Ohh.. I expect some flames on that title! Lolz! Defend your camp is you wish, whether Linux or Windows. And yeah, when I say Linux here, it mostly refers to Ubuntu and its derivatives, considered as one of the friendliest distros, and a pioneer in bringing Linux to new users.

1. Linux = FREE!

Absolutely right! And in all senses! Firstly, Linux is free. You don't pay a cent to get it. You just go to a distro's website or ftp, and leech it off there. Burn it on a CD or DVD, try it via LiveCD and after you are satisfied, you can install it, and send the LiveCD to your friends to convert them. Oh yeah, subsequent upgrades are free too! You get a complete OS, fully functional and many times (IMHO!!) better than Windows, and that without spending money. Isn't life generous? Another kind of freedom is that you are free do do whatever you want to Linux. Copy the disks, give to your friends, modify each and every part of it, take a look at the internal codings. In general, there's very little restriction placed on you.

Considering Windows, you will have to spend money to get each and every new version. You can't copy the disks and pass on to your friends. You cannot see the code. And you can hardly modify it to suit yourself. Is this what you want?

2. Linux is (relatively) safer

Quick! Name me 10 Linux viruses. "Uh..."? Right. Good answer. These things are rare. The last famous one, if I remember correctly, was Bliss. Even then, it couldn't propagate as easily as Windows viruses and had to be executed willfully by the user. Today, it is considered as a research curiosity. Since then, I've not heard of any major, chaos-causing ones.

Now. Another exercise! Name me 10 Windows viruses! "Easyyyy!" Yes! Nimda, ILoveYou, Blaster, Slammer, SoBig, MyDoom, Klez, Melissa, Stoned... and the list is very very long, and it gets longer everyday. This goes without considering the other kinds of malware floating around, that love Windows so much, and jump at the first occasion to infect your machine. You can get trojaned, wormed, keylogged, backdoored. All these terms mean one thing: you are in serious trouble once it hits you. Who would like to see his/her hard-drive completely wiped after installing something called YourFreeSoft.exe or similar. Ouch. That's about viruses. Some fun for you: List of Windows Virii vs List of Linux Virii

Now, in Windows, you often see people logged in as Administrator to perform their day-to-day tasks like browsing. This is serious liability, as all programs run can do admin-class things to your PC, like killing your files. Under Linux, you never login as admin. When you want to do something admin-like, you sudo it. “SuperUser Do it”. What happens is that you explicitly give admin privileges to your programs, so that they can't do weird stuff without you being aware.

No OS is totally safe. I don't say Linux is flawless and impenetrable. But considering the number of vulnerabilities in Windows (think WinME, MS denies its existence :D ), you are a lot safer in the Linux camp. You can even browse around the Internet unprotected, knowing that none of those .exe malware will ever hit you. That's a big part of the population. And even if the malware tries to find the registry or “system32”, they won't be able to find those! You could say your data is a lot safer when entrusted to Linux.

3. Linux is made by users, for users.

That's a definition of democracy, the OS way. When users develop things, they know exactly what other users might know. They are users themselves, and sometimes they look for certain features. If they cannot get these, they try to incorporate them into their software. I've searched for a transparent, auto-hiding and nice-looking launchbar for Windows like forever. After hours of searching, I found RunMe. The funny thing is, under Linux, that feature is already included!

Under Linux running GNOME, I created a panel, set its background color to transparent, set it to auto-hide and modified its size. That's it. I got myself an auto-hiding, transparent and cool-looking launchbar that matches my theme. What more could I ask of.

Another example? Windows networking. Whenever you are roaming, you will often need to change your IP address to match that of your home or office. It happens loads of time. I wanted a program that could keep "profiles" of my network settings, and apply them at the click of a button. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any free software that did this for Windows. Under Linux, KDE's network manager has that feature built-in. Useful!

And finally, yet another example for the unconvinced. Haven't you ever required to re-arrange your windows in your taskbar? Maybe switching between browser and wordprocessor, and you wanted those 2 windows to be side by side in the taskbar? Windows requires additional software to handle this. Linux handles it natively. Just click and drag the windows, and arrange them as you want.

Like this, there are many many useful features for you to discover, and you will probably say “why can't Windows include that?”. That's because Windows employs developers to write software for users, whereas Linux “employs” users to write software for users.

4. Linux is not resource-demanding

That's a ~50MB distro's desktop - Damn Small Linux's desktop

Right. I agree that it does demands resources. But this depends on which distro you are using. Distros like Kubuntu or Sabayon indeed demand loads of resources for KDE and the effects they use. But have you ever used Puppy Linux? Damn Small Linux? Feather Linux? PCLinuxOS Mini? Or any of those Mini distros? No? Then do try. These things run with the bare-minimum resources. People often install those on an old PC at home and turn it into something useful. Linux allows you to revive an old machine, say around 300MHz. Forget games and all, but at least your old box will be able to handle word processing without lagging, and without fear of BSODs. You could, for example, turn an old computer into a sort of "download server" to handle your long downloads. This will allow you to cut on electricity bills (maybe), and extend the lifetime of your "new" PC while the old one handles the long uptimes, and without fearing the risk of catching something nasty online. And hey! You are running a full OS, up-to-date on an age-old machine. Be proud!

5. But Vista has coooolll effects!!

Then my friend, you have not seen Compiz Fusion in action. Just watch the video below, and if your jaw doesn't hit the floor, then I dunno what would surprise you... Compiz Fusion's effects are simply amazing. The effects are not just for eye-candy. There are actually some use to them. One simple example that I often use myself is the transparency. When I need to refer to one window, and type in another, I put the typing one as "always on top" and make it semi-transparent. Then place my reference window just below. Then, I can "see through" my typing window, without the need to constantly switch between windows.

Alright, wobbly windows and flaming windows when closed may not be totally useful, but at least it's cool and can help turn your friends to Linux. The Cube is useful to quickly see what's all around your desktops. Yes. DESKTOPS! Linux supports virtual desktops natively.

If you still cannot cope with the mouse flaming trails, you can still turn off the effects you don't want. But rain falling on my desktop.. Looks peaceful! :P

That's part #1 if this article. I decided to split it up cuz it was just too long. Part #2 will be for another occasion. After I complete it, it'll be here.. But first, Intrepid Ibex requires my attention :D

Additional reading:


  1. carrotmadman6 said...

    I usually go ROFL when i see something like this...

    Usually everyone decides to stick to one camp or another... but smart users enjoy the best of both worlds! :P

    1. Linux is free whereas for Windows u've got to try illegal ways to make it free! :( (which doesn't work after each SP!)

    2. With Windows being on 95% of PCs, it's the most obvious target for virus makers. The same thing is happening with Symbian... bcoz it's the most popular mobile OS, it's the most targeted.

    3. Microsoft is going opensource. But I'll believe it only when i'll be able to mod my Office! :P

    4. & 5. Windows is sure a resource-hog... & it gets bigger with each version! :(
    & the UI doesn't get that much better either!

    The only way Windows pwnz everything else is with... the apps! :D  

  2. InF said...

    That's totally it, considering that manufacturers and developers try to aim for the 95% market share. They will do apps and drivers and whatnot for Windows only. But we all know that smart companies target both worlds. Think Intel. At least they release Linux drivers too! :P  

  3. SPV Head said...

    Excellent article!



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