What is Linux?
Linux is an An open-source version of the UNIX operating system. Linux is a very versatile Operating System and is used to run most of the servers and super computers.
Linux is named after Linus Torvalds, a Finnish software engineer, who created the kernel or core of this Operating System. He did not get a copyright or any intellectual property rights over this simple and effective software, and made it available for other developers – free of charge.
There is a great diversity among Operating Systems based on Linux, however, the bigger organizations are trying to synchronize the releases of newer versions. Linux utilizes the hardware very effectively and is much more effective than Windows in protecting the system from Viruses and other Malware. I have been using Ubuntu Operating System on my PC for a few months now and it works great!
Let us check out the best and the most popular Operating Systems based on Linux.
Ubuntu is the most stable and user friendly Linux distro about. If you’re simply looking for a free alternative to Windows, this is it.
It comes with drivers for your hardware, so it’s highly unlikely you won’t be able to use your printer or screen with this operating system. As unlikely as it is with Windows, actually.
Ubuntu is perhaps the most popular Operating System based on Linux. It is a fast and secure Operating System, I have been using it for more than 6 months and have never been bothered by Viruses – unlike Windows. It is backed by Canonical Ltd. which releases 2 new versions of Ubuntu each year. I can certainly say that changing from Windows to Ubuntu is very easy. You’ll enjoy this Operating System for sure. The software library of Ubuntu has thousands of software for productivity and fun, and all are free!
On a previous version of this page I asked:
Do you agree? Is Ubuntu the best Linux Distribution?
What’s the best Linux distro?
- 45% Ubuntu
- 29% Linux Mint
- 2% Mandriva Linux
- 4% OpenSUSE
- 8% Fedora
- 1% Puppy Linux
- 2% Xubuntu
- 1% Jolicloud
- 0% MeeGo
- 3% Arch Linux
- 2% Chrome OS
- 3% Android
While Ubuntu has the name recognition, in recent years Mint has become the more user friendly version of Linux.
The main advantage that Ubuntu still has over Mint is that it can easily be dual-booted with Windows on the same PC. In other words: if you want a reasonably easy to use version of Linux in combination with Windows, you’re stuck with Ubuntu.
However, if you want a version of Linux that is free and REPLACES Windows, Mint is probably the better option.
Let me say that again: Mint is probably the better option for most ordinary users who need to switch to a free OS on an older PC, for instance because their Windows version got into trouble.
Mint is based on Ubuntu, but it has the following advantages:
- Optimized for speed
- Pre-installed with often needed software like Adobe Flash (needed for many web-applications).
- The default install is easier for Linux newbies to understand
Like Ubuntu, Fedora comes with drivers for whatever hardware you’re likely to use, so no worries on that front.
Fedora is considered cutting edge among Linux distributions because it is often used by Red Hat Enterprise Linux to test new features. It has a very large Online community which is active and helpful. Fedora 14 comes with productivity suite, web browser, instant messaging, image editing, multimedia and email for your everyday needs. Also available Fedora 15 on 4gb USB Stick Flash Drive and Complete 2-disks DVD Installation and Reference Set.
Debian 6.0 includes completely free Linux kernel for the first time. It no longer contains the problematic firmware files. Dependency based boot system makes the system load much quicker. It is a very good Operating System for Netbooks and Laptops which are slow. With more than 29,000 free software packages – you’ll never have to buy a software again for your computing needs!
CentOS is the most popular Linux distribution for web servers with almost 30% of all Linux servers using it! Technical support is primarily provided by the community via official mailing lists, web forums, and chat rooms.
Another poll I put to my readers on a previous version of this page:
Have You Ever Used a Linux Operating System?
- 86% Yes
- 14% No
1104 people have voted in this poll.
Reader comments on a previous version of this post
Linux is the Best. I’ve been aware of Linux for six or seven years, but have been using Linux Mint for four years on my business machines. I use Maya, Nadia and Olivia everyday with no problems. The Cinnamon DE is superb, but is a bit of a graphics card killer. You can’t use Cinnamon desktop on an old computer.
I don’t think you can say Linux is the best period. I use it for servers which to me is a no brainer. For the desktop I also use it but not exclusively, some programs/hardware just work better/easier with windows.
For laptops I now use Linux exclusively.
Yes it is definitely the best.
Use Linux after 20 years continual work it would work the same as it works when installed for the first time.
Best security features that never let Virus or other Malicious software to make changes.
Great Place to explore the Open source tools and development.
I have ben using Fedora since the 14.0 release, and to date I have NEVER had a problem! I take great care to store most of my important files on an external USB drive and have no problems with the “Backup” feature that comes with the distro. I have never seen a laptop move so fast! I am browsing the web faster than ANY version of Windows! And I doubt I’ll EVER go back to using Windows at home! I’m in the process of updating to the next release which will be 18, and I’m also looking to buy a desktop and install a different disto on it…thinking maybe Ubuntu…or openSUSE..! Can’t WAIT!
I started using Red Hat 5.2 in 1997 I believe it was. I remember having to write a script to set my irq using the setserial command…then using the AT Command Set to query my modem. Good times lol. Back then it was actually a bragging right just to get installed and functional.
I am a big fan of Arch, although I have been using Fedora lately. I love the rolling-release style distro, as you always have the latest programs and tools available. One of my favorite things about Arch is the community. There is a lot of great wiki-articles on Arch’s website and it is easy to find help when you need it!
Yay! It depends on my necessary.
Linux has trouble with hardware compatibility (except Commercial Linux).
Linux has great community, we can ask the Linux user group if we have trouble(s).
I use bodhilinux, it based on Ubuntu 10.04 and also it’s a lightweight Linux. :). I use Linux especially for coding, doing a research and learn networking.
I use windows xp too, because I love gaming since I was 6 years.
So, is Linux the best? My answer is depends on the one who use it… 🙂
[Author of this page] Actually, I had less problems with Ubuntu and hardware compatibility than with windows XP, so I don’t think it’s true any more that Linux always has hardware compatibility issues. In fact: if you have old hardware you’re MORE likely to find patches for Ubuntu than for the newest Windows PC. And of course Apple is terrible at this sort of thing.