Linux is an Operating System (more specifically a kernel) that provides an interface between the computer hardware and the user. Like Microsoft Windows and OS X, Linux provides a platform to the users, enabling them to carry out their daily chores on their beloved computer. And in case you dual-booted or installed Linux on your computer or are just curious to know how Linux can make your life easier, then, you are at the right place.
You might have heard the term “Linux distro” or “Linux distribution” which when used they might mean Ubuntu or Fedora or any one of the possible hundreds of distro available. This article is intended for all those general-purpose Linux distributions and won’t give specific consideration to a particular distro.
Cool Centralized Software Centre
Ever browsed Play Store or App Store and installed apps on your smartphone that easy? Most general purpose Linux distros provide that same functionality, though the application name for that varies depending on the Linux distribution. But nevertheless, it’s designed to be simple and intuitive; installing, removing and upgrading applications. Below is a screenshot of gnome-software on Debian. The layout is simple with applications grouped into categories.
With the software center app on Linux, you don’t have to worry about searching the Internet for third-party applications, drivers, missing libraries, etc. There are hundreds of applications you can try out. Or do you prefer to stick to your favorite Windows-specific application that you can’t find on Linux? Try Wine program, it’s great though slightly buggy, supports most popular Windows games and programs (an example is MS Office suite).
Plethora of Resources
Every now and then users run into issues, with questions on their minds such as “how do I fix that problem?”. To be honest even I myself do too! Varying hardware specifications is usually the culprit and yet it’s easy to solve them because someone out there has run into those same issues, found a solution and then shouted it out to the world through their blogs. One can google for the problem being faced or interact with the Linux distribution community through IRC (Internet Relay Chat). There are lots of Linux groups on facebook too, I’ve found them to be handy and resourceful. Then again most Linux distributions have their wiki page, documentation page, and StackExchange sites too.
The most common problem Linux users get bumped into is the proprietary drivers for the dedicated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) or graphics card. In rare cases, certain Linux distributions that firmly stick to the term “free” refuse to come packaged with firmware or binary blobs too (which was the case with my notebook computer when installing Debian operating system). Luckily new releases of Linux distro are slowly eradicating that.
Just More Secure
Linux is secure and one doesn’t have to worry about virus attacks or installing anti-virus software. Got an infected USB drive from one of your Windows pals? Just go ahead and mount it on your computer. Download whatever’s necessary and then unmount it, you’ll be surprised your computer did not create weird shortcuts after that. But be mindful enough not to execute scripts or commands someone randomly offers on the Internet if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s fun and creepy too.
Moreover, Linux distribution maintainers release security patches almost instantly when one is discovered.
The only vulnerability you have to worry about Linux is getting your computer stolen or getting into the hands of malicious users.
Fun to Learn
Learning a new Operating System (OS) is fun and just as much fun you had discovering new tricks on your previous OS, Linux is no stranger to that. It’s full of surprises. Some of the most common “fun” include: learning how a distro package and distributes software, solving complicated problems on a terminal program, etc.
Since there is a learning curve for those who’ve been long users of OS X and Microsoft Windows, getting familiar with alternative apps is often a speed-bump. For instance, the word “Office” is wired to many of the MS Office users and it just means MS Word in short. So, it becomes a little bit harder to say “Writer” and not “Office” to mean LibreOffice writer program.
Nevertheless, humans are capable of reprogramming their mind and it happens every single day. Learning Linux is one too 🙂
Linux Is Free
Above all Linux is free to download and install and even distribute!
Consider a scenario where you just bought a new computer and you don’t have enough budget to purchase a Windows license. You might want to download and install a pirated version on your hardware or borrow one from your friends, which unfortunately is illegal. Instead, take a second thought and install Linux. If you prefer OS X-like environment, Elementary OS is recommended and in case you prefer a smooth transition from Windows to Linux, try Zorin OS or Linux Mint Cinnamon.
There we have it, the above points briefly highlighting how Linux can make your life easier. And by the way, this topic covers general-purpose Linux distro, not those enterprise ones because they are intended for a business environment and not for ordinary users. Missed out something important worth mentioning? Please let me know in the comment section below. Liked the article? Share it with your friends on one of your social media handles. Or share your experience below and I’ll be glad to read them.