In a conflict of a desktop handling systems (OS), there are customarily 3 widespread players left – Windows, Mac and Linux. At some point, Windows was expel as a height for a common man, Mac as a one for a artist, and Linux as a geek’s playground.
Linux found foster in powering servers, supercomputers, vast businesses and even batch exchanges. And Google even used it as a height to build a renouned Android mobile handling system. But in a desktop and cover space, it still unsuccessful to benefit traction.
There’s an picture compared with Linux that can be frightening for a normal user, invoking cinema of authority lines and depot windows. But over a past 20 years, some large stairs have been taken to make a OS some-more accessible.
The Linux desktop
Linux comes in some-more flavours currently than what we would find in an ice cream shop. Each flavour, called a ‘distribution’ or ‘distro’, is designed for a opposite set of users. Some of a many renouned ones are Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, OpenSUSE, Debian and CentOS.
Each distro has a possess unique, discerning and easy to use interface, designed following pointy user testing. Developers have delicately complicated what stairs people take for common day-to-day tasks and have finished poignant improvements to facilitate as good as speed adult a user experience. Still, behind all a eyecandy lies a same fortitude and coherence that creates Linux a OS of choice for companies like Google, Amazon and eBay.
Distros use opposite interfaces, giving a extended accumulation in demeanour and feel. Popular ones are Unity, Gnome or KDE, that work best if your complement has 512MB RAM or higher. If we are regulating an comparison PC or enterprise faster speeds, interfaces like LXDE or Xfce are a approach to go.
Each distro is open source and a applications are grown by a village of enthusiasts. This customarily translates into a engorgement of singular facilities and add-ons that make computing many easier. For example, if we have thousands of MP3 files on your tough drive, an focus called Nautilus – a record path-finder – lets we reason your rodent over a record for a few seconds to automatically play a track.
Similarly, those who adore present messengers and use mixed ones – Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Windows Live or Google Talk – competence infrequently be stormed by a flurry of messages popping adult together. In Linux, if we accept 5 messages, they all lay in a summary queue. The initial one shows adult in a presentation area, fades out, and a subsequent one fades in. The Empathy Instant Messaging customer supports all a renouned discuss applications, including Facebook chat, so we need customarily one module to bond to all your favourite discuss services.
Apps: work play
Initially, Linux users face a vital problem in anticipating module for any distro, as good as installing it. But all that has altered recently. One of a things that mobile users suffer many is a ability to learn and implement applications from their phone’s app store. Similarly, Linux desktops also have app stores, such as a Ubuntu Software Center and Deepin Software Center, that offer thousands of giveaway and paid module for gaming, education, capability and development.
But will Linux be excellent for your common computing needs? On a work front, it’s adult to speed. For all bureau applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and presentations, many distros come with an bureau apartment pre-loaded, such as LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or Calligra (or we can download them if not pre-installed). These can simply open many MS-Office files, be it one finished in a latest MS Office 2010 or comparison versions. They can also save files to a same formats, as good as others such as PDF – ideal if we wish to send an check to someone but permitting them to revise it.
The customarily thing missing is an email apartment to take on a absolute Microsoft Outlook. But Mozilla’s Thunderbird supports Linux and is some-more than able of executing anything we would have finished in Outlook.
There’s no necessity of games accessible either. Popular titles such as Battle for Wesnoth or OpenArena will let we while divided some time. And hey, what’s a mechanism but Solitaire? The world’s favourite digital label diversion and a twin FreeCell are both accessible on Linux, as good as Tux Math – a fun diversion to keep your mathematical skills sharp.
You can play song in a far-reaching accumulation of song players available, and also revise your marks regulating Audacity. There’s also a ability to revise videos with Shotwell, and a famous VLC actor can play many audio or video files. And of course, a Gimp picture editor will make we never skip Photoshop again.
In many cases, if we consider we need a module for something, afterwards chances are that it’s accessible for Linux – and now it’s easier afterwards ever before to find it.
Secure and updated
One of a vital attractions to Linux and open source is that a module has no viruses, expelling a headache of your PC going down each few months, or of shopping costly antivirus software.
“There are about 60,000 viruses famous for Windows, 40 or so for a Macintosh, about 5 for blurb Unix versions and maybe 40 for Linux. Two-three of a Macintosh viruses were widespread adequate to be of importance. None of a Unix or Linux viruses became widespread – many were cramped to a laboratory,” write Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell in their news patrician Analysis of a Impact of Open Source Software.
Linux also doesn’t delayed down over time; it runs during a same speed as when it was initial installed. And what’s maybe some-more critical is that a applications theoretically won’t hang your whole system. If some module misbehaves, customarily that focus hangs but inspiring other things.
Linux also gets absolved of those consistent pop-ups seeking we to refurbish a module or implement drivers each time we run it. The complement manages all updates centrally, so we customarily have one focus that prompts we for a upgrade. And it’s customizable adequate that we can make it automatic, ask for a presentation but a pop-up, and even spin it off entirely. It creates for a clutter-free and undeviating mechanism experience.
A vital regard for mechanism users is a support for hardware. If we have used Linux in a past, it competence have had difficulty detecting your printer or a third-party device.
Today, however, many of a inclination work good but installing any drivers, as Linux now supports 3,000 printers, 1,000 digital cameras and 200 web cams. In fact, we can even sync your iPod/iPhone song with a Rhythmbox media actor but installing iTunes.
Take a jump
If we are now prepared to try Linux on your computer, we don’t need to uninstall your existent handling system. You can simply dual-boot Linux with Windows or Mac. What’s more, Linux also has a ability to run as a full OS directly off a CD or a coop drive, vouchsafing we try it out before installing it. Be warned, though, a speeds would be a small slower than what we get if we were to implement it on your tough disk.
The best part, of course, is that Linux is free. And this cost is customarily upheld on to a consumer, as PCs regulating Linux from Dell and Wipro cost about Rs. 3,000 obtuse than a same indication bundled with Windows. Considering a benefits, it competence be inestimable to give Linux a chance…
The author is Regional Manager – Asia Pacific, Canonical. The views voiced here are his own. He blogs during www.cityblogger.com and can be reached during firstname.lastname@example.org.