Advantages of Linux OS:
Most Linux distros are free….. users do not need to pay for a copy, but this is only one aspect of freedom enjoyed by Linux users! In addition, Linux distros can be freely downloaded and legally installed on as many computers as you want and freely (and legally) given to other people. Because most distros are open source, you have access to the source code and can customize Linux to be whatever you want it to be; you can even create your own distro if you like!Linux is easy to install! In many instances, it is actually easier to install Linux to your computer than Windows.
Linux Is More Stable Then Windows:
Linux systems rarely crash, and when they do, the whole system normally does not go down. The “blue screen of death” familiar to Windows users is not a worry for Linux users.
Does Not Slow Down Over Time:
Unlike Windows, Linux does not easily become bogged down with spyware, viruses, trojans, etc., which can greatly reduce a computer’s performance. Also, because Linux does not have a registry like Windows, it is not plagued with registry errors which can slow down a computer over time. Finally, the hard drives on Windows (especially Windows XP and older) computers need to be defragmented on a regular basis in order to maintain faster performance, due to being formatted in NTFS. On the other hand, because Linux is normally formatted in a different way using ext4 among others, there is no need to defragment a Linux hard drive.
New Life For Old Computers:
If you have an older computer (especially Pentium III or later) laying around, you can install Linux and in essence have a new computer. In many cases Linux will run faster and you can do all of the basics such as browse the Internet, email, play games, and create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It should also be mentioned that Linux runs great on newer computers as well.
The most obvious advantage of using Linux is the fact that it is free to obtain, while Microsoft products are available for a hefty and sometimes recurring fee. Microsoft licenses typically are only allowed to be installed on a single computer, whereas a Linux distribution can be installed on any number of computers, without paying a single dime.
In line with the costs, the security aspect of Linux is much stronger than that of Windows. Why should you have to spend extra money for virus protection software? The Linux operating system has been around since the early nineties and has managed to stay secure in the realm of widespread viruses, spyware and adware for all these years. Sure, the argument of the Linux desktop not being as widely used is a factor as to why there are no viruses. My rebuttle is that the Linux operating system is open source and if there were a widespread Linux virus released today, there would be hundreds of patches released tomorrow, either by ordinary people that use the operating system or by the distribution maintainers. We wouldn’t need to wait for a patch from a single company like we do with Windows.
The power of choice is a great Linux advantage. With Linux, you have the power to control just about every aspect of the operating system. Two major features you have control of are your desktops look and feel by way of numerous Window Managers, and the kernel. In Windows, your either stuck using the boring default desktop theme, or risking corruption or failure by installing a third-party shell.
There are so many software choices when it comes to doing any specific task. You could search for a text editor on Freshmeat and yield hundreds, if not thousands of results. My article on 5 Linux text editors you should know about explains how there are so many options just for editing text on the command-line due to the open source nature of Linux. Regular users and programmers contribute applications all the time. Sometimes its a simple modification or feature enhancement of a already existing piece of software, sometimes its a brand new application. In addition, software on Linux tends to be packed with more features and greater usability than software on Windows. Best of all, the vast majority of Linux software is free and open source. Not only are you getting the software for no charge, but you have the option to modify the source code and add more features if you understand the programming language. What more could you ask for?
Linux is perfect for those old computers with barely any processing power or memory you have sitting in your garage or basement collecting dust. Install Linux and use it as a firewall, a file server, or a backup server. There are endless possibilities. Old 386 or 486 computers with barely any RAM run Linux without any issue. Good luck running Windows on these machines and actually finding a use for them.
You don’t have to deal with anti-piracy schemes and additional “hoop jumping”.
What about not needing to assess the number of security solutions out there for Linux. Just visit the Wilders Security Forums, and you’ll see what I mean!
There isn’t like 1 AV solution, or a few access control solutions (SELinux, grsecurity, etc)…In Windows, there’s like 50+ AV solutions, a whole dozen anti-malware apps, intrusion prevention, anti-this, anti-that, etc…People say this one is better, others say that one is better. In less than 10min, you’d be pretty confused as to which is the best for your needs!
Disadvantages of Linux:
Becoming familiar with the Linux operating system requires patience as well as a strong learning curve. You must have the desire to read and figure things out on your own, rather than having everything done for you. Check out the 20 must read howto’s and guides for Linux.
Because of its free nature, Linux is sometimes behind the curve when it comes to brand new hardware compatibility. Though the kernel contributors and maintainers work hard at keeping the kernel up to date, Linux does not have as much of a corporate backing as alternative operating systems. Sometimes you can find third party applications, sometimes you can’t.
Though Linux developers have done a great job at creating alternatives to popular Windows applications, there are still some applications that exist on Windows that have no equivalent Linux application. Read Alternatives to Windows Applications to find out some of the popular alternatives.
Now that you have an understanding of some of the advantages of Linux, its time get out there and experiment. Windows can be a great tool for the lazy and incompetent, but it takes a true scholar and one who wants to learn to run a robust operating system like Linux.