The Linux operating system is more widespread than you may have considered. Did you know you can find it in the electronics you use every day, like phones, televisions and even your car. It’s so wide in scope in fact, that it’s even responsible for running all of the world’s top 500 supercomputers and most of the Internet! The reason for that is unlike Windows and the MacOS, Linux is opensource, which gives users with the know how greater control and freedom to redesign the source code as they wish. In this article, we’ll go over some of the upsides and downsides of the Linux operating system to help you get the full picture.
The Pros of Linux
Even though it’s not as popular as Windows or the MacOS, there are many aspects that have made Linux a favorite of many. Better yet, some of Linux’s features are considered better than those of Windows or MacOS. Let’s find out what makes Linux so special.
1. It’s Free!
The fact that you can get Linux for free is perhaps the single most important reason for its popularity. If you’re a PC laptop or MacBook user, then you know firsthand that you’ll have to buy either Windows 10 or the MacOS to make your machine operational. And without a valid product key, there are only a few things you can do with these operating systems.
Not so with Linux, you can install this operating system on as many devices as you’d like for free and without a product key. Another cool feature is that you can run Linux along with Windows. This can be great particularly if you want to test things out first before making it your primary operating system.
2. Easy to Install
Sometimes, operating system installations can take hours (we’re speaking from experience here!).
Of course, that can be time-consuming, especially if you’re always on a tight schedule with what feels like a million other projects going on simultaneously. But this problem is virtually eliminated by setting up Linux.
This OS is a breeze to install, and you don’t even have to set it up straight away. You could always boot Linux from a CD or USB drive and use it from there.
That’s yet another way to take Linux out for a test drive if you’re feeling unsure about making it your permanent OS. And the best part is the capacity of your hard drive won’t be affected since the software isn’t actually in the system.
3. Takes Minimal Space
Speaking of storage capacity, one of the few issues with Windows is the amount of storage space and RAM it takes up. For that reason, many users have considered giving Linux a shot due to its space-saving qualities.
The OS can run on any system seamlessly on only 500 MB of drive space. What’s even more interesting is its RAM consumption, which can be anywhere between a paltry 64 and 512 MB.
But in the interest of full disclosure, the amount of RAM you’ll need to have available varies based on the version of Linux you’re using.
4. More Stable and Secure
Viruses and malware are everywhere. You come across them every day by simply browsing the Internet, checking email, and downloading apps. Luckily, according to users that have given Linux a try. Like the Chrome OS, the built-in security features of the Linux operating system can level off many of these concerns.
Linux is efficient when it comes to getting rid of potential threats without outside help from virus and malware protection programs. When compared to the performance of other operating systems, many users were surprised that Linux actually did a better job.
That’s quite impressive!
5. You Can Make Changes to It
Yes, Microsoft Windows is one of the most reliable operating systems out there. But you can’t put your developer skills to work with it since doing so is illegal. Conversely, this isn’t the case with the Linux operating system.
Linux comes with advanced command prompts. This allows you to get so much work done using a command-line interface to make practically any changes you want – You can really tweak Linux to suit your needs without any problems.
Even better, you can share the changes you’ve made to your version of Linux with other users and vice versa. So, not only is the operating system great on a personal level. But it’s an operating system that encourages teamwork to improve its functionality.
6. A Mistake-Free Experience
Many Linux users comment on how it’s less likely to crash compared to more popular operating systems. For example, Windows users have faced issues with privacy, lost applications, and compatibility errors.
The Apple operating system doesn’t fare much better. Many users encountered crashes, being locked out of their accounts, or issues with the OS not accepting their passwords.
In stark contrast, facing any of these types of issues is few and far between with Linux. You likely won’t find yourself turning your laptop off and on to force a reboot nearly as often.
7. Offers Alternatives for Most Programs
Again, like the Chrome OS. Linux comes packed with many programs that closely resemble the ones we all typically use in the Windows and Mac environments. Once inside, you’ll find alternatives for programs like Photoshop, Microsoft Word, etc.
But you want to know the best part about these substitutes? Most of them are free!
8. Community Support
A lot of Windows users have complained about the operating system’s poor technical support. This has led many to seek other systems with better troubleshooting services. That search has led many to the Linux door.
Even though Linux doesn’t have a dedicated technical support service, per se. It does have online forums you can use to get in touch with the extensive community.
The forums on the Linux website have answers to questions about things like installation, troubleshooting, and more.
The Cons of Linux
As with everything in the digital world. In general, there are a few drawbacks to Linux you’ll need to consider. According to some users, the following issues weren’t deal-breakers and certainly don’t outweigh the plus points.
1. Needs Some Getting Used to
If you’ve been using Windows or the MacOS for your years. The switch to Linux can be a tad rocky in the beginning. That’s not because the operating system is hard to use necessarily. It’s just unique to other systems.
Thus, if you intend to switch to Linux. Be aware there is a learning curve, which means you should dedicate some time to learning the new environment. As you do, using the system will become second nature as features and operations fall easily to hand.
2. No Technical Support
We’ve mentioned this one in brief; indulge us as we elaborate: You won’t find assistance from the developers or creators of Linux. So, whatever issues you face while using the operating system will require you to find appropriate solutions and solve them on your own.
That said, there’s a lot to be gained by visiting the Linux forums. There you’ll be able to find other users that suffered and overcame the same problems.
3. Office Software Solutions May Not Be That Powerful
Yes, Linux has many alternatives to Microsoft and Apple programs, especially Microsoft Office. Alternative Linux programs, like Open Office can help you do many things. But they’re less than a full replacement to the original.
Sometimes, you may come across specific tasks that can take up much more time and effort with Open Office. However, some users have managed to get around those matters with patience and experience.
4. Not the Best Choice for Gamers
Most games that work seamlessly on Windows might not be available on Linux.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to have a wonderful gaming experience with Linux. It’s just the process of installing your favorite games tend to be more involved. But you’ll find more gaming options with Linux than the MacOS.
5. No Proprietary Apps
The last major downside of the Linux operating system is that you can’t install proprietary apps like you can with the MacOS and Windows 10. Sure, you can set up an assistant work-around so you can use familiar versions of your favorite programs. But doing so is often a time-consuming process with results that are sometimes unreliable.
Therefore, if you have limited technical knowledge. You may not be able to use proprietary apps. There are some alternatives to most apps as we’ve pointed out. But sometimes you just have to use the original program for the best results.
This fantastic operating system grants you the liberty to configure everything in it. Giving you unheard of levels of control compared to most other operating systems. Linux isn’t for everyone. Having strolled through a few of the pros and cons, it’s easy to see why. But for users who know what they’re doing, like developers. The ability to modify the program any way you want is a massive boon. And it’s a cost-effective alternative in that it’s a free tool to acquire. And you don’t have to spend extra on anti-virus protection. But there are those handful of caveats we listed out that my lead you to reconsider – For us, the ability to game easily ranks highly on that list.