Normies And Linux
Top 5 reasons normal people should use GNU/Linux - July 2, 2020
There are many reasosn why a software engineer or information technology specialist may want to use Linux. Although I think its more interesting to discuss why a normal computer user may want to use it. I believe that Linux is not only better for those with a technical background, but also normal computer users.
- Linux is more secure
- Linux is free
- External devices just work
- All Linux distributions have a package manager
- Good community based technical support
Since Linux is open source it tends to be more secure than closed source solutions such as Windows or MacOSX. This is because anyone can read and submit bug fixes to the source code. In practice this tends to mean that secuirty vulnerabilities are found and fixed faster.
While we could argue about whether or not the GPL is the best open source license to choose (I happen to like the BSD license better) there is no denying that Linux is free. By free I mean that it is free monitarily but also free in the sense that you can change, modify, or do whatever you want with Linux.
Since Linux is open source it is much easier for device manufacterers to write device drivers for Linux as well as package them with a particular Linux distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu, or Arch. This means that when you install a new hard drive, deploy a new printer on the network, or get a new mouse that the device will just work out of the box without having to go to the manufacturers website to install additional device drivers.
Both Windows and MacOSX have dedicated software stores, but there is lots of software that is only avaiable via a download from external websites. The problem with downloading software like this is that it comes with all the required dependencies to run the program even if another program might have already came with those dependencies. This causes unneeded clutter and more storage space used than necessary. Linux solves this problem by having something called a package manager. A package manager keeps track of all the programs you have installed as well as their dependencies. So if you install a new program that has Python as a dependency, but you already have Python installed the package manager wont install it again. Also if you delete that new program, but you have another program that uses Python it wont delete Python. Although if you delete a program and its dependencies are not used by any other programs it will delete the dependencies as well. This helps the user save storage space and prevent clutter in their files.
Many people are nervous about not being able to call Microsoft or Apple when they have a problem with their computer, but the truth is getting technical support on Linux is normally better. Even though Linux has a much smaller marketshare there are still plenty of people who use Linux, and because Linux is open source if someone has had a problem they have probably shared how to fix it somewhere online. Many problems can be solved with a quick google search or by asking a question on a forum. Also when you find an answer to your problem it usually comes with a good explanation about whats going on. This helps you learn more about your computer, and most likely how to better avoid the problem in the futurte. Compare this experience with being on hold with Microsoft/Apple, or waiting a long time in the store for an employee to just fix it and not explain how they did it or why the problem happened in the first place.