Rather than prattle on about how Linux is a more powerful, reliable, stable and thoughtful operating system, as you would expect on a blog for a website that sells Linux distributions (along with other great software), I thought I’d explain why I’m trying to make more time to move over to using Linux and the software that comes along with it.
The price of software
Firstly, for me, this is number one. Yes, I may sound like a little bit of a cheapskate but there are good reasons behind this. The idea of moving over to anything when there is an additional cost makes the move even harder to fathom, never mind actually doing it! With Linux, the costs are lower than low. When you buy a CD or a USB drive from us, after that, you’re basically living freely (in computing terms) for time immortal. You can get a lot of the software you are already used to and if you can’t get the exact one you are used to, there are alternatives (more times than not) that will fit the mould. An example of this would be users of Microsoft Office, who can easily and quite satisfactorily use Apache Open Office and then never look back. The fact that all software is free is a BIG plus.
Learning new stuff
The way I’m using Linux fits in with my gradual way of learning something new without having to dive all the way in; at the moment, I’m tipping my toe in and seeing what I like and what I don’t. I’ve moved on past using the desktop environment and am now quite comfortable using Linux CLI (Commmand Line Interface). At the moment, I don’t really have much use for this other than viewing the contents of a folder and moving stuff around and issuing the odd command to shut the computer down, etc… but I’m still learning. I have what I would describe more than the normal PC user’s experience of using Linux and I’m just trying to increase that knowledge organically and I’m enjoying it.
Life saving ability
Ok, so this is a dramatic sub-heading but what I mean here is that on more than a few occasions, I’ve installed Linux on a home computer where the Windows install had given up. Doing this was a (computer) life-saver as it solved my immediate problems of being not being able to access Windows. With a live Linux CD, I was able to access the files on the hard drive of the computer, allowing me to access the Internet and open, view and edit my files so that life didn’t stop while Windows had. Furthermore, with free virtualisation software, I was able to actually run a windows machine within the Linux machine so I really didn’t need to switch back to using Windows on it’s own. This is the number one reason that many of my customers buy our Linux CDs and USBs and it is a really great feature.
Rather than installing Linux as a secondary operating system on my Windows machine and then having to reboot to get into Linux, using a USB pen drive with the inbuilt virtualisation option (that we now provide by default with all USBs that this is possible on) means that I can start a virtual version of Linux whilst within Windows, like any other Windows program, which is really handy. Also, whenever I go somewhere, I don’t feel the need to bring my own laptop around with me as I can just use my Linux USB pendrive that has a persistent version of Linux installed on it. For those of you that don’t know, persistence is a feature that allows your settings to be saved on the USB drive, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time you start your version of Linux. It’s like carrying a personal Linux computer around with you and all you need to do is plug it in and boot from it on whatever computer you want to use.
I plan to keep using Linux wherever I can and will take my time to use it more and more. For me, I see that the CLI is where I want to get comfortable… eventually. Just last week I managed to log in remotely to my FreeNAS box that houses my media files, just to have a poke around, so hopefully, there will be more of this on the way as I learn more and more.
This may answer some of the questions about why someone would want to use Linux but that wasn’t entirely what this was about; it was just so you knew how I used it.
Until next time. Take care
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