by Erik j Schram
- For your own pleasure, please read the following with Robin Leach as your inner dialogue -
I have to say, being an Open-Source American for the last decade, it can be pretty easy to preach the good word of Linux to unwilling ears. Like a newly converted Vegan, I simply cannot help but to shove my beliefs down any hole that may lead to your brain. Actually, it's been ten years this summer, since I hacked my first iPod mini 2nd gen using my first Linux kernel. So in honor of this anniversary, I decided to share a little about what Linux has given me. Now, in my attempt to 'sudo apt-get purge' the world of inferior operating systems and programs, I present to you a list of the 10 Most Luxurious Luxuries That Only Linux Users Understand.
10. Community Support
Whether you're just starting your journey through the buntu's or building a complicated server, you will never feel alone with Linux. If you installed Linux Mint with my How to, you'll notice that even in their Welcome Screen, you get a direct link to the Mint IRC channel where there is always someone to help you through your conundrum. Quite literally, I have never faced a problem with Linux that I couldn't figure out with a little help from the community.
9. Total Freedom
I personally have never understood why Microsoft and Apple have stripped away the average Joe/Joanne's right to customize. Sure you can change your wallpaper and move your task bar, but have you ever wanted to change everything about everything? Not only are there countless different distro's to choose from, but you can also mix and match every aspect of your system. If I did my math correctly, there is exactly 7.8 squillion different combinations of Linux programs to choose from.. From changing your desktop environment to optimizing the entire system for performance, if there is something you would like to change, you simply change it. No permission needed.
No more waiting on security updates and service packs to come out, that you may or may not get. Or waiting for updates to download, configure the updates, restart the computer, and then yet again configure the updates.. I didn't even like typing that. With Linux you can update not only all of your programs, but your entire system, security and all, with just one click. Plus, it will do it all in the background and at lightening speed. Most distro's release an update every six months or so they made it extremely easy to get said updates and install them. Also, if by chance you don't like what they've changed, skip the update and wait for the next.
7. Open-Source Software
Not only is Linux an amazing free operating system, people make some really unbelievable software for it. At the moment, literally all of my software needs are met with open-source programs that are not only free to use and update, but you're also free to change them if something doesn't meet your needs. However, that doesn't happen often. The developers who make these programs are often the ones that need to use them the most. So they make them out of experience, which means the programs are built with the users needs in mind. Again, there has yet to be a task that I haven't been able to accomplish with Linux, thanks to the amazing developers that came before me. Even if I absolutely need a piece of Windows software, I still use it on Linux with an emulator like Wine. Keep an eye out on my upcoming post on the best open-source alternatives to Windows programs for more info.
6. No Drivers
This is one of my favorite features of Linux. It seems like every other week I get some new gadget that comes with software that needs to be installed to use it. Graphics cards, sound card, mouse, keyboard, camera, they all need drivers to be installed on Windows. With Linux however, almost all the drivers you'll ever need come built in with the kernel and are updated with it. So that means no more cd's that pollute the earth, no more installation wizards that take forever and no more hunting for the right driver on the web. If you do need a driver that isn't built in, they also make that easy to fix as well.
Due to Linux's open-sourceyness, you can have your favorite distros installed on just about any device you can think of. From desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets. CERN even runs their Large Hadron Collider on Linux. Or perhaps you'd like Linux in your Cadillac XTS? Because they did that already.. I hope I just made a nerd salivate somewhere.. Also, you can catch Linux in countless television shows and movies because of customization capabilities. So regardless of what device you buy, chances are that someone out there has put Linux on it.
Currently, just in my own home, I have:
Currently, just in my own home, I have:
- One Linux desktop
- One Linux laptop
- Four smartphones with Linux installed
- Two tablets with Linux installed
4. Minimal System Requirements
Again, Linux runs on just about ANYTHING! Most distros like to have 512mb of RAM, a 700MHz processor, and about 5gb of free space. That's nothing in today's standards. You could even throw Microcore Linux on something with i486 processor and just 48mb of RAM. So really, there is no other way to bring an old PC back to life. Go ahead and us XP if you want, I'll continue to stay updated and safe.. Check out my post on how anyone can easily check out Linux Mint.
3. Live USB or Live CD/DVD
I cannot begin to count how many times I've had to use a bootable USB or disc to save a computer from total devastation. These little guys allow you to boot an entire working operating system simply by choosing it in your bios. Which I also covered here. From a live USB or disc, you're not only able to install the distro but just use its tools for time being. And since its the system isn't being booted from the computers hard drive, you can partition and edit things that you wouldn't be able to from a normal boot. One of my favorite things to do is make a bootable SD card with all of my favorite programs and keep it tucked in my wallet. Hey, ya never know when you need to out geek someone.
Linux is by far more secure than other operating sytems. LIke the 'Linus-Law' states, "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." This means that because of its open-source nature, everyone and their geeky grandma can look at the code and point out security bugs. Which in turn are scrutinized by some of the most detail oriented people on earth, geeks. Also, Linux was built with the idea of networking and simply being connected to the internet, in the heart of it's kernel. Other operating systems were built years before the implementation of networking. So let's just say Linux grew up alongside the internet and they've become good friends. Not only are most viruses and malware targeted to WIndows and Apple users, but Linux has a far superior security structure.
1. It's Free!
This ones obvious for the top luxury of Linux. What's better than getting an operating system that surpasses all others in security, speed, versatility, and support? Why getting all for FREE of course. With the exception of a few flavors of Linux like Red Hat, you will never have to pay for a Linux distro or updates for it. The only thing you really gotta have around is a blank disc or USB drive. So opt for the USB because then you can reuse it as many times as you need and install it on as many computers as you like. No need to worry about product keys and pirating because it's all open-source.
So if you would like to experience the Luxurious lifestyle of a Linux user, just figure out which device you'd like to try it on, pick a finely tuned distro that suites your needs, and install it on as my different things as possible. And share your first and best experiences with Linux in the comments. Could be fun I suppose. So thanks for reading everyone. And remember, Sudo apt-get Life.