Why should I use Linux instead of Windows?

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by DogPal, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    All I have been seeing in this thread is the same nonesense that comes from sites like http://www.promotinglinux.com/ Seriously, To clarify a few things:
    1. Enterprise level Linux servers are not "Pay to use". They are "Pay for binaries". You don't actually have to pay for RHEL. But if you want the prebuilt binaries, then you pay RH. Now, if you want the advanced non-GPL software management like Landscape then you can pay for the SERVICES. The OS itself is still free.

    2. All Linux distributions, that are current, get security/bug/improvement patches and fixes.

    3. With a good IT department, paid support is not needed. I run 3 servers IN MY HOME with no paid technical support. Everything from Plex media server to a LAMP. Never paid anyone for support....

    4. With Linux there is a Choice as to what Distro you want, and also what server and technical packages.


    5. Linux runs the Internet. Without it the worlds largest websites like Google, Youtube, Microsoft.com (yes I said Microsoft.com. The site does not run on Windows servers), linked in, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, etc.....

    6. Scaling...never seen a server farm running Windows or Apple server...
  2. Darren Hale

    Darren Hale Active Member

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    GNULinux respects your right to privacy. You have choice over working environment.

    If you don't like the choices then maybe start your own distro - the world is your oyster with GNULinux enjoy.
  3. Stuart

    Stuart New Member

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    I have had my hands in and on the *nix (Xenix, Unix, Aix, HPUX, Linux etc..) world for a number of years...or is it decades?

    Anyway, I made the jump to Linux on my personal machine a few years ago. You can do it in increments. I started back in the VMWare 4 days, but a wonderful alternative to virtual computing is VirtualBox, which is a free offering from Oracle. Once you get a handle on the idea of a computer program pretending to be another computer, you can install any one of the various distributions of Linux into a virtual "machine" and play with them without risking your windows computer. After a few different of those (Debian, Red Hat, PCLinux, Mint, Arch, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Xubuntu and even played with DSL) I finally settled on one I liked. At the time it was Ubuntu (6, I believe). I then made the jump and inverted the installation, with Linux as the main OS and Windows in a virtual machine. Due to some changes in Ubuntu, I made the minor switch to Xubuntu, which is Ubuntu with a light weight simpler Graphical User Interface (GUI) layer known as xfce4 (X-Force 4) as opposed to the ubiquitous Gnome. Ubuntu had drifted into this thing called Unity, which is a bit like Windows Hate (love the moniker). You could still run Gnome on Ubuntu, but I was losing my affinity for it as it "matured".

    Consider the Virtual computer way of try-it-before-you-buy-it. VirtualBox is available for free for Windows platforms and Linux platforms, so you can try various distributions out and decide on one you like. There are sometimes things that don't work...a particular wireless network chipset or maybe graphics board or audio...but you can usually find a solution here or on any one of the many discussion sites concerning Linux found by Googling the problem. You won't run into these in the virtual computer, as it emulates a fairly simple, standard set of hardware, so you should probably Google your computer model and Linux before you reformat your hard drive and go for it.

    I run old XP systems in VirtualBox instances (VM's) for when I "need" Windoze, but otherwise stay in Linux. I even run an emulated Dos 620 VM for an old accounting system I wrote and use for my personal records.

    Happy computing...
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
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  4. labrat

    labrat Active Member

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    Creative... but it's actually just a name and no longer stands for anything.

    Once upon a time it actually stood for "XForms Common Environment", nowadays it's based on GTK+2, not XForms which is why they changed from XFCE to Xfce.
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  5. Tux1342

    Tux1342 New Member

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    First off, you don't need anti virus, every thing that can harm you requires root access. Second, I used to be a windows user, so I speak from experience, it's really easy to get used to. Lots of programs arent compatible, but there is a compatibility layer that let's you run them. Im on a phone right now or I would get more detailed.
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  6. labrat

    labrat Active Member

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    While true enough in principle, there is that small matter of "privilege escalation".... but yes there is no real need for a "personal antivirus". Even clamav is targeted at mail servers (mainly for protecting windows clients...).

    There are viruses and trojans for GNU/Linux, but few are actually in the wild. The biggest targets are domestic routers running out of date firmware (and thus an out of date kernel) and Linux derived platforms such as android which are also often out of date. So while the tech press really like to post attention grabbing articles about such matters, it's often the case that while a particular trojan, worm or virus may indeed exist (yes they exist and that's not really a big deal), there is often no real means of propagation beyond social engineering (i.e. tricking someone to download something and run it as root or give away their root password - this is called "user error" and no OS can really guard against it).

    The interesting thing about "personal anti-virus" software for windows is that it is all designed from the perspective of a windows user (i.e. back to front) who is probably running as root, and has downloaded the infected files and/or is trying to execute them. The anti-virus is designed as a "baby sitter" protecting the user from themselves - this is the windows culture - always has been, always will be.

    A GNU/Linux system or any UNIX-like system is designed from the ground up with the idea that this is not a reliable security model.

    One of the fundamentals of any *nix system is that the user should have as few privileges as possible - a source of frustration for many new users. While not guaranteed immunity, this principle alone makes the propagation of malware extremely difficult and ensures that the user cannot inadvertently damage important system files or compromise security. The main user of the system - the person who installed it, has root access and can still royally fsck things up if they so desire - so the "it's my system!" argument is just a common product of a misinformed and frustrated user.

    While you may be the only human user of your system, you are not the only user of your system. This is why services/daemons should also only be allowed to access what they need to access and nothing more.
  7. ainteinstein

    ainteinstein Member

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    As a former Windows user, I can vouch that no matter how careful you are, you more than likely will get infected. And that is even if you were "smart" enough not to log in as "root". Why? One, it has to do with the kernel, Linux made their kernel "secure", Windows did not. Another reason, just the programs Windows uses. For example, Windows intertwined Flash into their Internet Explorer. Flash, for Windows users, is like downloading an infected file. Another one to add, Java. Both are security disasters for Windows users. Third, they are not too prompt with their security patches, nothing like leaving the back door wide open for un-wanted guest. Makes me wonder if Gates doesn't have stock in one of the big anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware concerns...one hand feeds the other.
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  8. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    It wouldn't be the first time
  9. labrat

    labrat Active Member

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    I'm not sure if this is strictly true but flash is a gaping security and privacy hole nonetheless. I don't have flash installed on any of my systems - I just do without it. This means I miss out on a big CPU hungry bloated and buggy mess...

    Java (not to be confused with javascript which is something else entirely) is something few average users really need. I don't really have a need for the JRE or JDK so it doesn't get installed. The last time I had it installed it was still sun java rather than oracle and openjdk, never needed it or missed it. The browser plugin should certainly not be enabled by default in browsers - I believe mozilla blocked it at some point?
  10. ainteinstein

    ainteinstein Member

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  11. labrat

    labrat Active Member

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    Well that the article seems short on facts and meaningful logic. The reasoning seems to be "window 8 has flash integrated into IE, there are X more exploits in windows 8 than in previous release so it must be that...". This is pure speculation. In fact it's typical throwaway tech press rubbish.

    Flash is also 'integrated' (bundled) into google chrome. In fact if you want up-to-date flash in GNU/Linux you need that browser (or you can extract and install the pepperflash lib and use it in chromium). I prefer to say no to chrome (and google for that matter).

    Whatever the platform, flash is a mess and should be avoided. If someone cares about security/privacy, but still runs flash they have left the back door open - same goes for Java. As a general rule - avoid proprietary software wherever possible - because you have no idea what blobs are doing.

    Anyone who avoids, say proprietary VGA drivers, but still runs flash is missing the elephant in the living room..

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