There are many reasons to like Windows, MacOS or Linux. Which OS offers more potential for the user in the long run? So, why should you use Linux. Here are 10 reasons why the Linux operating system is better than MacOS or Windows.
As you may already know, we have written articles on Why Should You Use a Mac and 10 Reasons PCs are Better than Macs. But, what about our thoughts on the Linux OS? You may be thinking, "Is Linux better than Windows and Mac?" We thought that in this post we would argue in favour of Linux. So, continue reading to figure out our 10 reasons to use Linux and why it is better than both Macs and Windows.
1. The Code Base is Open-Source
We already know that Linux is free to use and free to obtain, but more importantly there’s a freedom from surveillance by companies like Microsoft or Apple.
Additionally, well established open-source applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC and many of the other apps available don't stretch the bounds of user privacy. With the constant erosion of privacy by Windows, Mac OS, and iOS it's refreshing to know that the Linux environment respects user privacy. Now, this isn't to say that there aren't some Linux distributions that may collect data on the user.
It's well known that Abun collects at least some information in conjunction with the Amazon app that's installed. Of course, the maker of Ubuntu is a for-profit company and must bring in revenue somehow. Ubuntu has brought some amazing features to the Linux community which are freely available for any Linux distribution to use.
2. Different Desktop Environments
This is able to suit a variety of user needs. Unlike Windows or Mac OS there are different desktop environments to choose from that's easily configurable for the end user. Some of the more popular desktop environments are GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, and Cinnamon.
Users can also have more than one desktop environment installed and switch between them at any time. Although Windows 10 and Mac OS offer consistent user environment, it also lacks any real revolutionary changes. Users are greeted with the same interface day in and day out.
Here's an example of a lackluster trivial change for Macs. The flattening of the minimize-maximize and close buttons. Although there are small changes in tweaks, the core of Mac OS has essentially remained the same to this day. Some may say that the touch bar on Mac OS is an example of recent innovation, but this is a weak attempt to compete with Microsoft's touchscreen interface. Both are a mix of hardware and software, but in this post, we're going to stay focused on primarily software changes.
3. Stable Codebase is Better than Windows or Mac
Although every OS has its bugs, Linux users will tell you that Linux is the most stable and resilient operating system available. Most Linux users are also users of Windows or Mac OS, or even users of both.
With that experience, they can tell you that Linux does a great job at supporting a large established platform of hardware and receives frequent and useful updates almost daily. To be sure, this can be particularly subjective and most users will defend their choice of system.
This isn't to say Linux isn't without its problems. Some third-party hardware such as video cards can be downright difficult to install and configure the driver. Once the driver is installed however, as always problems are at a minimum.
4. Ability to Work with Linux, UNIX, Mac or Windows File Systems
Unlike its competitors, Linux can easily read and write to HFS+ or NTFS formatted drives. This is a major time saver when one is transferring files back and forth from a Linux system to another system.
For example, Windows will not even see a Linux or Mac OS formatted drive and offer to format the drive with NTFS when it's plugged in. Mac OS at least read a Windows formatted drive, so it's possible to get the data from the drive.
5. Linux can be installed on any PC or Mac
Linux is system agnostic and can easily be installed on any hardware platform. Linux can also be installed on arm based systems such as the Raspberry Pi, making it the most universally accepted OS on a variety of hardware. But it doesn't stop there, Linux is capable installing on a system that already has an OS even if the drive is completely formatted.
For example, if your Windows system has an NTFS partition across the entire drive the Linux installer and Fedora is able to shrink the partition and install. The user can then select the OS to boot from easily at start-up.
6. Open Source Application Availability
There are plenty of applications to choose from in Linux and every category of software is covered. From office apps to programming to graphics to Internet to multimedia and games, one can find quality open source apps. Although Linux doesn't boast as many apps as Windows or Mac OS, there are literally thousands of applications for a wide variety of needs.
7. Easy and Intuitive Updater
Linux overshadows both Windows and Mac with its powerful and quick update application. Regardless of the distribution, Linux is capable of updating apps in real time while a user continues to work without the need of reboot.
There are a few packages that require a reboot such as the Kernal. On those rare occasions that do require a reboot, the user gets to choose when. Incidentally, after the reboot there are no additional steps and the system boots up immediately. Included with bug fixes and enhancements for the OS and apps are security updates. Although the update process can be automated, the choice of when and how is fully within the users control.
Users are able to disable individual packages from being updated or entire repositories. Contrast this with the daily nag screen for Mac OS or the intrusive and arbitrary way that Windows applies updates with little or no input from the user. It's no surprise for Windows tend to take 20-30 minutes to install updates, then take another 20 minutes to finish updates after rebooting.
8. Genuinely Fun to Set Up and Work With
One can create their own custom environment, write their own programs or enhancing existing programs. The ability to tweak and change just about everything in Linus is reminiscent of the 80s when PC enthusiasts would meet and trade ideas about computers or shareware programs. There never seems to be a lack of exciting new changes or programs to talk and learn about.
Many users enjoyed writing custom batch scripts for Dawson pushing their 808 six or 808 eight computers as far as possible. Indeed, the roll-your-own system was most likely created back then. Today this collaborative and enthusiastic environment is infectious in Linux and is very conducive to the do-it-yourself user.
9. A Large Support Group
The enthusiasm of Linux users is apparent. One has only to do a search on the Internet and you will quickly find countless help sites and forums with users’ ready to offer help and support for just about any Linux based topic.
YouTube is another great example of Linux support. There are thousands of videos with help on just about any Linux topic. Yes, there are Windows and Mac OS support videos as well, but some issues are limited by Microsoft and Apple. Many times, Linux users will write and compile a code fix for the problem. While Windows or Mac users will have to wait for the company to release an update, if they ever do.
10. The Future is Transparent
Although Microsoft and Apple aren't likely to disappear anytime soon, they do have complete control over their products. They can choose how long a product will be supported and even how long it'll be available. In the open-source community, there's a lot of discussion about the difference in software development philosophies. These are known as the Cathedral and the Bazaar. Eric S. Raymond originally wrote about this concept in an essay and later in a book (published in 1999).
On one hand, a company like Microsoft uses the Cathedral philosophy. Meaning all code is closed and produced in-house. If the company chooses to no longer support a release a product, you can do so on a whim. Users are never aware of the actual source code nor can they gain access to it or edit it.
The Bazaar philosophy is more of a bottom-up development style. This means that software code is developed by anyone over the Internet and is open and transparent for all to see your change. Raymond considered this style to have first created by Linus Torvalds when he began the Linux project. There are many advantages to the Bazaar, most importantly that no single person or organization controls access to the source code and anyone is free to participate in its development.
Linux in the packages that make up a distribution like Fedora, Debian or Arch are all open-source and developed by anyone who has an interest. Although distributions may come and go, the core of Linux and its supporting applications will always be available and developed regardless of the downfall or change of any one company.
Many companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and others actively participate in the development of Linux and its well-established codebase. This ensures that Linux will be around for a very long time and as we've seen, will only continue better and better. So, here are our 10 reasons for why Linux is better than both Windows and Mac. We hope you enjoyed this article on Linux vs. Windows and Mac.
As always, feel free to leave your opinion in the comment section as we would love to hear from you.
FastGadgets. (2016, November 22). 10 Reasons Linux is Better than MacOS or Windows [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH3v41JmyIg