A few days ago I decided to switch to Linux. At that time it was just because of I was free and wanted to do something and to learn something new. I’ve been a satisfied XP user for all the years I have used computer. And I pretty much like it. But still trying something new doesn’t hurt anyone. So lets try it.
What is Linux? Search this and you will find a lot of stuff with complex technical terms that will make you re-think your decision to try it. But fortunately I have a BS degree in computers. So it was not that hard to digest all that (I must admit it was somewhat hard). For a typical user “Linux System” should mean an operating system just like Windows or Mac that helps you use your computer (yes really). For a programmer its the kernel: the main part of the operating system. And the best thing about it is its open-source. And by virtue of that anyone can build an operating system using that kernel. That is the reason there are so many “flavors” or “distributions” of Linux out there.
So many people take the kernel, add a terminal to it (the command interface to interact with kernel), a graphics environment (GUI), add utility programs (Network Manager, Control Panel etc), add some daily-use software (media players, cd burner, office suit, games) and ship the whole thing as a distribution. We have got plenty of them. In fact quite a lot of them. A Linux Distribution is actually “the system” that is ready to be used by end users. Most popular being Ubuntu. And thats the distro I am using.
Now why should one use Linux: its open source. And because of that it puts “you” in control. It doesn’t hide things from you. Its very flexible. A Linux System you use is build so transparent that “you” know which thing does what and what alternatives you have for that. You know that the graphical environment is not necessary and you can remove that from your system, you can try another GUI from many available. You can use terminal of your choice. You can modify your system to do virtually anything you want it to do. AND A BIG THING: your system doesn’t hide things from you. It doesn’t consider you dumb and tells you whats happening and lets you control whats happening!