Most people have heard the word Linux mentioned from time to time over the web. For those of you that haven’t it is an alternative operating system. Linux was created by Linus Torvalds in the early 90’s and over the years it has become more popular as it has become simpler to use. Linux comes in various distributions to suit a variety of different needs. The top ten major distributions according to DistroWatch are
The Linux Environment
The desktop environment comes with KDE, Gnome and XFCE being the most popular. KDE is very similar to the Windows XP desktop, Gnome similar to a Mac interface and XFCE is extremely lightweight.
Linux has applications that you can find on Windows like Open Office, Mozilla Firefox, Gimp and Inkscape to name a few but has an excellent package management system in which you can choose from an extensive list of software, which will download and automatically install, unlike the tedious operation of having to install programs one at a time in Windows.
How Many Users Are there?
Nobody knows how many users they actually are but the Linux counter homepage estimates it at around 29 Million. Of course many would argue that everyone uses Linux as Google and Facebook is amongst the big names that use Linux servers and no doubt the introduction of the Linux friendly netbooks and dell distributing Ubuntu the world of Linux is spreading quicker.
Why I Chose Linux
The table above speaks for itself! Vista uses far more system resources, even with all unnecessary services turned off. The test was performed on my 2-year-old ASUS F3f with 2GB RAM whilst the system was idle, no programs running, on both operating systems. File transfer and loading of programs in Linux are much quicker and the overall startup time of Mandriva with KDE 4.1 is quicker. Linux is also very capable to develop websites with a vast array of tools available.
People have been frightened off in the past as it had a poor history of driver support for hardware and peripherals. Linux has improved extremely in this department and companies are now distributing Linux drivers along with all others which no doubt has increased the popularity.
Linux is safe and secure and extremely user-friendly. If you can find the right distribution to cater to your needs then you will enjoy the experience.