We already discussed the importance of operating systems and their types. In today’s discussion, we will focus our attention on Linux, one of the most popular operating systems. Its support isn’t confined to a single type of device and instead ranges from smartphones to enterprise servers. Its growth is quite fascinating, too. Within a span of a few years, the OS has built a huge user base. And how can we forget about Android, based on the modified version of the Linux kernel? Despite the fact various operating systems exist, Linux stands out from the crowd because of its reliability, customization potential, and open-source nature. To further explore Linux, let’s delve into its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Linux
What’s better than being able to tailor your device the way you want to? Linux gives you more control and flexibility to achieve this. Here are some other benefits of using Linux.
Linux is an open-source operating system that is free for users. Unlike other operating systems, you do not have to pay Linux for receiving requests from programs and relaying them to the hardware. The source code of Linux is available to everyone for viewing and editing, too. And if you have the required skill and interest, you can even contribute your knowledge and free time to the Linux community. Thankfully, the process of installing Linux has been streamlined, making the procedure hassle-free. So, if you are thinking about stepping into the world of Linux, keep reading more of its merits.
The first and foremost reason people opt for Linux is because of its high level of security. Programmers worldwide can easily find bugs, exploits, and other threats because its code is publicly available. Additionally, the users have ID and passwords, and the access is limited. This restricts the spread of malware, making the platform more secure. Also, unintentionally installing malicious attachments is easier on other operating systems – all it needs is a double click. But with Linux, additional steps are required, such as saving it before execution and requesting permission to open. To sum up, it requires strenuous efforts to execute malicious programs or code in Linux.
Using Linux to get any type of work done is fairly easy because it’s an operating system optimized for efficiency. It allows seamless integration of applications and services. Furthermore, it provides the feature of customization, allowing users to set the workflow in a way that boosts their productivity. Also, it has an advanced command prompt named Terminal that allows easy installation of repositories and packages via the command-line interface (CLI). All these features make Linux an efficient operating system.
4. Easy to use
The installation process of Linux is quite easy and quick. You can easily install it from the web and run it on your device. Moreover, it’s compatible with older hardware (or has a distribution that is), so you don’t have to worry about device compatibility. In fact, if you have an old device lying around, why not put it to good use by installing Linux on it?
If you are a Windows user, you might have experienced a system slow-down when you download large files or use multiple tabs at a time. But with Linux, there is no such issue. It promotes multitasking, meaning you can carry out various activities simultaneously without experiencing a delay in response. Furthermore, many processes can share processor cores/threads and other system resources.
Disadvantages of Linux
Considering Linux isn’t a widely used operating system, you are bound to face concerns. Here are some drawbacks of Linux.
1. Learning curve
Once you get hands-on experience with Linux, you can easily customize it according to your needs. But the starting process can be difficult, especially if you are a Windows user or have little to no technical experience. Also, different Linux distributions have varying learning curves. Some are beginner-friendly, while others can torment even experienced Linux users. So, if you are looking forward to using Linux as the operating system for your device, prepare to take out time to understand it well.
2. Software options
We regularly use some types of software because it helps us get things done. Well, many programs are exclusive to one or more operating systems. One such example is Microsoft Office, used by billions globally. Now, just imagine you switch to Linux from Windows and you can no longer use it. Although alternatives exist, they cannot compete with Microsoft Office. Likewise, there is other popular software that isn’t compatible with Linux.
3. Hardware drivers
Operating systems typically have drivers that allow access and control of hardware functions. But the concept of drivers is different in Linux; they are built into the kernel. Even though it comes with many preinstalled, Linux still cannot have the driver for every hardware or device it comes across. This may lead to compatibility issues. Therefore, users must install their drivers where hardware is not detected or doesn’t work properly.
4. Technical support
Another drawback of having the least market share is that there is a lack of technical support for Linux. You can easily find service centers for Windows and Macintosh, but with Linux, you must frequently run the extra mile. Considering you won’t get help offline, you will be forced to look for online alternatives. The Linux community can surely aid you, but getting help right away or from experts cannot be guaranteed.
5. Gaming options
If you are a die-hard gamer, you might want to reconsider your choice in the operating system. Linux is not an ideal choice if you often play games on your device. We have operating systems such as Windows and Macintosh that have a larger market share than Linux. So, it’s sensible for businesses to develop games compatible with these operating systems to reach a wider audience. The low market share discourages developers to work towards the Linux version of their game. Regretfully, this further narrows down the gaming options available for Linux users. Plus, not all games work perfectly on this platform i.e., cannot squeeze the maximum out of gamers’ hardware.