You might not be a Linux user, but you have a nerdy friend who won’t shut up about it. Why would they be so excited about an operating system?
Read on to find out why so many techies are so in love with Linux.
1. Linux is free
One of the reasons Linux has such a huge following is that Linux distributions are available for free download.
It may not seem so impressive when upgrades to Apple’s and Microsoft’s proprietary operating systems are also free these days, but in the 90s when Linux debuted operating systems were costing very expensive if they were not supplied with your machine.
Windows, OS / 2, or macOS can cost hundreds of dollars, and proprietary Unix systems can cost well over $ 1,000, depending on the options you have installed.
Linux distributions, on the other hand, could be downloaded for free, the only cost being the boxes of floppy disks you had to install. Or if you had a CD-ROM drive, you could just buy a CD, saving you a lot of time in the dial-up Internet age.
Even back then, it was much cheaper than a proprietary operating system, and techies loved that it was influenced by the design of the Unix systems they knew and loved.
Linux, then and now, allows people who want to explore Unix and Linux concepts to do so with minimal investment.
2. Linux is open
Along with Netscape’s opening up of its browser source code (which led to today’s Mozilla Firefox browser), Linux helped popularize the open source movement in the late 1990s.
One of the most important aspects of Linux is that the operating system kernel or core, other components of the operating system, and many user programs are free and open source, which means that no matter what. who can view the source code and make changes. As Richard Stallman says, this software is “free as in speech. “
Since many technicians were familiar with Unix and knew at least a little about programming, they were ready to add things to make the system even better. This openness also extends to the design of the system itself. Linux is primarily configured through text files which you can examine with any text editor.
3. The Linux command line
Another reason Linux is so beloved by techies is that it has maintained its connection to the command line in a way that Windows and macOS don’t.
While you might think of macOS as a cousin of Linux because it’s based on the BSD Unix variant, it still comes across as a user-friendly GUI-based system just like Windows, even though it has a terminal application. .
Although Windows has command line interfaces, both PowerShell and, yes, even Linux, they are still primarily used by administrators unlike in the days of MS-DOS where everyone used the command line.
The reason is that the command line offers the most control over the computer. Many Linux programs only use the command line, including development tools. It may repel normal users, but technical users appreciate it.
No one likes to listen to music on hold. If you have a problem with your Linux installation, you can get help from other users. You can choose from IRC, web forums, wikis, Discord servers, and even in-person usergroups.
You can get help with the installation or any other issues you might encounter in Linux. If this has happened to you, you are probably not the first. Someone has often posted a solution somewhere on the web.
Even if you don’t have any issues with Linux, user groups, online or in person, provide a fun social atmosphere, possibly due to the community spirit Linux seems to inspire in its users. Linux users come from all walks of life and tend to be interesting people, so it’s fun to hang out with them.
There are commercial forms of support available from major distribution developers like Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical, but these are more aimed at companies that use Linux servers in large data centers.
There’s a reason Linux is so popular with developers: It comes with a lot of the tools they need to do their jobs. Editors, compilers, interpreters, debuggers, etc., it is often included in the system by default. Otherwise, this is just a command from the package manager.
The wide availability of programming tools on Linux makes it an ideal system for learning to code. The easiest languages to use are the shell, as many users already use it, and scripting languages like Perl or Python. These make it easier for users to experiment, which leads to the popularity of Linux for rapid prototyping.
6. Rapid prototyping
Linux is an ideal platform for rapid prototyping and experimentation due to its affinity for scripting languages.
Scripting languages allow you to build code interactively, and because they are interpreted, you don’t have to wait for them to be compiled. This means that you can develop applications quickly. Developers are free to experiment with their code this way.
Many websites use them behind the scenes, which is why they can deploy features before their competition. Performers may be slower than compiled programs, but developers believe speed of development trumps performance.
For many years, the shell, or command interpreter, has been the benchmark scripting language. While shell scripts are still useful for small jobs related to Linux files and utilities, modern scripting languages like Python are popular because they are more portable on different systems and have many libraries to make programming jobs easier.
7. Linux is customizable
Linux is also popular among technical users because you can customize it more than other operating systems. You have the choice between desktop environments, window managers and applications.
You can even run Linux without a GUI if you want. And many servers do. It is this flexibility that makes Linux so fond of so many sophisticated users.
8. Linux works everywhere
Linux started out on x86 processors, but now runs on pretty much all processors. If you have an Android phone, it is running a modified version of Linux. It’s also the default operating system for the Raspberry Pi. If it exists, you can probably get Linux for it.
This is why Linux is so popular for reviving older machines that may no longer be supported by Microsoft or Apple.
9. He plays well with others
One of the strengths of Linux is its ability to interact with other systems. Linux can read or write many identical file formats on PC and Mac.
Since a number of PC programs only worked under DOS / Windows, many users would do a dual boot or run Windows and Linux on separate partitions or drives and use a boot loader to choose between them at boot time. start-up.
Later, virtualization allowed users to run one system in the other without restarting. With Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), you don’t need to install Linux separately. You can run several popular Linux distros on Windows 10 or 11. This means you don’t have to choose between one or the other.
Is Linux Right For You?
If all of these features appeal to you, you might be wondering if Linux is right for you. If you are considering a career in IT or really love computers, Linux is worth learning.
You don’t even need to install Linux to verify it. You can try a live distro, play around with Linux, and see if you like it. Maybe one day you will become the friend who will not be silent about Linux.
Linux is a nerd’s playground
Linux’s flexibility makes it a favorite for tech users, but you don’t have to be a nerd to install and use it. If you have a spare USB drive, you can try a Linux distro and see if it’s for you.
USBs are great for running portable versions of Linux. Here are the most useful Linux distributions to run from a live USB drive.
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