Tag Archives: technical

Why Linux is better !

Many newbies think that why they should move to the world of linux . So for them I am representing some facts , and after knowing them , I can bet , you can’t wait to try linux on your loving machine .

So Here we go –

1.Forget about viruses

This was one of the basic need of mine due to which I moved to linux.

Linux hardly has any viruses. And that’s not like “Oh well, not very often, you know”. That’s like “If you’ve ever heard of a real Linux virus, please tell me”. Of course, a Linux virus is not impossible to get. However, Linux makes it very hard for this to happen, for several reasons:

  • Most people use Microsoft Windows, and pirates want to do as much damage (or control) as possible: therefore, they target Windows. But that’s not the only reason; the Apache web server (a web server is a program located on a remote computer that sends web pages to your browser when you ask for them), which is open source software, has the biggest market share (against Microsoft’s IIS server), but it still suffers from much fewer attacks/flaws than the Microsoft one.
  • Linux uses smart authorization management. In Windows you (and any program you install) usually have the right to do pretty much anything to the system. If you feel like punishing your PC because it just let your precious work disappear, you can go inside the system folder and delete whatever you want: Windows won’t complain. Of course, the next time you reboot, trouble begins. But imagine that if you can delete this system stuff, other programs can, too, or just mess it up. Linux doesn’t allow that. Every time you request to do something that has to do with the system, an administrator password is required (and if you’re not an administrator on this system, you simply can’t do it). Viruses can’t just go around and delete or modify what they want in the system; they don’t have the authorization for that.

2.Don’t pay $300 for your operating system

And friends don’t copy  them illegally .

You’re probably saying to yourself : “Oh, I didn’t pay for Windows”. Are you absolutely sure ? If your computer came with a copy of Windows, then you paid for it, even if the store didn’t tell you about that. The price for a Windows license amounts to an average of one fourth of each new computer’s price. So unless you obtained Windows illegally, you probably paid for it. Where do you think Microsoft gets its money from?

On the other hand, you can get Linux completely free of charge. That’s right, all these guys all around the world worked very hard to make a neat, secure, efficient, good-looking system, and they are giving their work away for everybody to use freely (if you wonder why these guys do such things, drop me an email and I’ll try to explain the best I can 🙂 ). Of course, some companies are making good business by selling support, documentation, hotline, etc., for their own version of Linux, and this is certainly a good thing. But most of the time, you won’t need to pay a cent.

3.Too many windows? Use workspaces

Weird situation when you open too many windows in Microsoft’s windows . [:P]

Here we have workspaces to avoid this situation.

Workspaces is a feature I would never trade for anything else. You probably only have one screen, right? Try Linux, and you have four. Well, you can’t actually look at the four of them at the same time, but this doesn’t matter since your eyes can’t look in two directions at once, right? On the first screen, lets put your word processor. On the second one, your instant messenger software. On the third one, your web browser. So when you’re writing something in your word processor and you want to check out something on the web, no need to review all your windows to find your browser, stacked all the way behind the others. You just switch to your third screen and voilà, here it is.

windows problem solved !
windows problem solved !

hat’s your “workspace switcher”. You can see it has four (virtual) screens, but you can have more than this (I use 12 of them, but some people have many more). The one on the left is highlighted: it’s the current one. To switch to another one, just click on the one you want (each one of them shows a small preview of the windows they contain: in this case the three others are empty), or use a keyboard shortcut.

4.Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, with a single program

You may have accounts for several instant messaging services, such as MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Jabber, AIM, etc. While running Windows or Mac OS X, you probably need one program to connect to each one of those : MSN Messenger for MSN, ICQ for ICQ, etc.

With Pidgin, the instant messenger for Linux (it exists for Windows as well, and for Mac OS X with the name “Adium”), you can connect to all these services at once, with this one program, and see all your buddies at the same time.

Enjoy to be in touch with your friends atonce in a single window !
Enjoy to be in touch with your friends atonce in a single window !

5.Enjoy free and unlimited support

One of the great assets of the Open Source community (and Linux in particular), is that it’s a real community. Users and developers really are out there, on web forums, on mailing lists, on IRC channels, helping out new users. They’re all happy to see more and more people switch to Linux, and they’re happy to help them get a grip on their new system.

So if there’s something you don’t understand, a program that doesn’t behave the way you would expect, or a feature that you can’t seem to find, don’t hesitate to go and ask for help. If there’s somebody near you (family? co-workers?) who is using Linux, he or she will probably be happy to help you out. Otherwise, just go online and you’ll find literally thousands of places where nice people will answer you and walk you out of your problem most of the time: geeks actually are very nice people, if you ask your question politely. Just type “linux help” (or replace “linux” with whatever distribution you chose — see the install section) in Google and you’ll undoubtedly find everything you need.

6.Why does your Windows get slower day after day

Windows has a number of design flaws, resulting in it becoming slower and slower and not lasting very long. You’ve probably heard more than once someone say “My computer is getting sluggish, I’m gonna reinstall”. Reinstalling Windows solves the problem… until next time.

You may think this is just how computers work: they’re very new technology, and not really stable yet. Well, try Linux and you’ll be surprised. Five years from now, your system will be just as fast and responsive as the day you installed it, not to mention that you won’t have any viruses, adwares, trojans, worms, etc., that would force you to reinstall anyway.

I have managed to convince many people to switch to Linux, while keeping Windows on their hard disk, because they needed to use some piece of software that Linux doesn’t have (eg Autocad), so they use both systems. Since the day they switched, most of them have reinstalled Windows about once in a year or two; but Linux didn’t let them down, and is still running perfectly well and is still snappy today.

Linux lets you spend more time working, less time reinstalling over and over again.

7.Need new software? Don’t bother searching the web, Linux gets it for you

If you want to check out a new piece of software in Windows, you’ll need to:

  1. Search the web to find which piece of software suits your needs.
  2. Find a web site that allows you to download it.
  3. Maybe pay for it.
  4. Actually download the software.
  5. Install it.
  6. Sometimes reboot your computer.

Whew, that’s a lot of work to just try out something new!

With Linux, everything is much simpler. Linux has what is called a “package manager”: each piece of software is contained in its own “package”. If you need some new software, just open the package manager, type a few keywords, choose which software you want to install and press “Apply” or “OK”. Or you can just browse existing software (that’s a lot of choice!) in categories.

Here I just typed “mine game” to search for a mine sweeper (actually, I already had one coming with my Linux, but anyway). If I want to install a new program, I’ll just tick the checkbox on the left, and click “Apply” (“Appliquer” in French – which is greyed out for now, since there is nothing to be installed yet):

Synaptic package manager
Synaptic package manager

8.Why copy software illegally if you can get it for free

So, you’re perfectly clean, you have *cough* purchased a license for all the software you’ve ever used *cough*, and nobody can bother you about this? Well, if that’s the case, congratulations 🙂

However, for most people, let’s be honest, illegally copied software is very common. Copying Adobe Photoshop instead of buying it probably doesn’t let you have nightmares. But are you really confident that you won’t ever have trouble for that? Not so sure, huh… Software makers are progressing and finding more and more ways to track down illegal owners, and since more and more people tend to have broadband (permanent) connections, they might add an online functionality on the software that will control and verify your copy each time you launch it.

If you run Linux and install free software, you won’t have to worry about this ever again! Most of free (as in free speech) software is free (as in free beer). You can find a free replacement for most of the commercial software out there. They might lack some of the advanced functionality, but they’ll be more than enough for most people. Here’s a list of some commercial software, and their open source equivalents :

Commercial Open source Exists on Windows?
Adobe Illustrator (~$500) Inkscape Yes
Adobe InDesign (~$700) Scribus Yes
Adobe Photoshop (~$600) The GIMP Yes
Adobe Premiere (~$800) Kino, Cinelerra No
Adobe Reader (free) Evince, Kpdf, GV No
Apple iTunes (free) AmaroK, Rhythmbox, Banshee No
Autodesk 3ds Max (~$3500) Blender Yes
Autodesk Maya (~$7000) Blender Yes
Kazaa (free) aMule, eMule Yes
Microsoft Excel (~$200) OpenOffice Spreadsheet Yes
Microsoft Internet Explorer (free) Firefox, Konqueror Yes
Microsoft Office (~$400) OpenOffice Yes
Microsoft Outlook (free) Thunderbird, Evolution, KMail Yes
Microsoft Powerpoint (~$200) OpenOffice Presentation Yes
Microsoft Windows Media Player (free) Mplayer, VLC, Totem, Kaffeine, Xine Yes
Microsoft Word (~$200) OpenOffice Word Processor Yes
MSN Messenger (free) Pidgin, Kopete, aMSN Yes
Nero (~$100) K3b, Gnomebaker No
Palm Desktop (free) Gnome-Pilot, KPilot No
Quark XPress (~$800) Scribus Yes
QuickTime Player (free) Mplayer, VLC, Totem, Kaffeine, Xine Yes
Winamp (free) AmaroK, Rhythmbox, Banshee

9.Are your tired of restarting your computer all the time

Have you just upgraded one or two little things on your Windows system with “Windows update”? Please reboot. Have you just installed some new software? Please reboot. Does your system seem unstable? Try to reboot, everything will probably work better after that.

Windows always asks you to restart your computer, and that can be annoying (maybe you happen to have a long download going on, and you don’t want to interrupt it just because you updated a few pieces of your system). But even if you click “Restart later”, Windows still keeps bothering you every ten minutes to let you know that you really should restart the computer. And if you happen to be away from your computer and you didn’t see the question, it will happily reboot automatically. Bye bye long download.

Linux basically doesn’t need to restart. Whether you install new software (even very big programs) or perform routine upgrades for your system, you will not be asked to restart the computer. It is only necessary when a part from the heart of the system has been updated, and that only happens once every several weeks.

Do you know Internet servers? They’re the big computers that answer you when you ask for a web page, and send the information to your browser. Most of them run Linux, and since they need to always be available (a visitor could come anytime), they aren’t restarted very often (services aren’t available while the system is starting). Actually, many of them haven’t restarted for several years. Linux is stable, it runs perfectly well without restarting all the time.

You’ll probably not let your computer stay on for several weeks but the point is: the system won’t bother you with restarting all the time.

10.Reporting bugs

If you find a bug in Windows, you can basically wait and pray that Microsoft will fix it fast (and if it compromises your system’s security, you would have to pray twice as hard). You might think that reporting that bug to Microsoft (so that they can fix it more quickly) must be easy. Well, think again. What if Microsoft doesn’t even notice the bug ? Well then, let’s hope the next version of Windows will fix it (but you’ll need to pay another few hundred bucks).

Nearly all open source software (including Linux distributions) have a bug tracking system. You can not only file bug reports (and you’re encouraged to do so !) explaining what the problem is, but you can see what happens next : everything is open and clear for everyone. Developers will answer, they also might ask a little extra information to help them fix the bug. You will know when the bug has been fixed, and you will know how to get the new version (still for free, needless to say). So here you have people taking care of your problems, keeping you informed about it, and all that for free ! If the problem is solved on your system, it will be on everyone else’s : it’s in everyone’s interest to work together to make software better. This is how open source works.

  • More eyes make fewer security flaws. Linux is Open source software, which means that any programmer in the world can have a look at the code (the “recipe” of any program), and help out, or just tell other developers “Hey, what if blah blah, isn’t this a security flaw?”.
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