Linux isn’t reserved for computer geeks who build their own computers and want to tweak their operating system. Linux is for everybody, and already powers a significant amount of devices we interact with daily. Most webhosting platforms run on Linux. Websites like Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia are powered by Linux, and so are Android devices and in-flight entertainment systems mounted to the back of each seat on a plane.
You’ve probably used Linux without realizing it, thanks to aesthetically pleasing interfaces and the open source nature that allows infinite OS customization. In fact, there are many forms of Linux people rely on every day. Next to Red Hat, Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux operating systems people choose due to speed and simplicity. Today, it seems like everyone’s using Linux.
Here are five reasons for you to consider embracing Linux, too:
1. Linux is the definition of flexible
Windows and iOS might have the spotlight in terms of brand loyalty and an outspoken fan base, but Linux has something neither have: true flexibility. Linux is open source, which makes it fully customizable and also secure. Closed-source software can hide flaws in proprietary code that go undetected by even the best programmers. Open source software can’t hide anything. When flaws are discovered in open source software, multiple people often pitch in to fix it. In a way, it’s like a guaranteed way to crowdsource solutions to bugs.
Flexibility is perhaps the most important aspect of any operating system. With Windows and iOS, flexibility is limited to what the creators want you to have control over. With Linux, even if you’re not a programmer, if you want your operating system to do something special, you can hire someone to make it work how you want.
2. Linux can dual boot with Windows
If you’re hooked on Windows-specific applications you can’t give up, or you require memory-intensive tasks, you can keep Windows by using a dual boot. A dual boot lets you boot in either OS whenever you want.
When running Linux, your laptop is far less likely to crash due to a software issue, but Windows makes some repairs easier. If your laptop ends up in the shop, maintaining a dual boot with Windows will get your computer fixed fast. Professionals understand the nuances of each laptop model, but may need to run recovery software that’s only compatible with Windows. If you don’t already have Windows installed on your laptop, they might need to reformat your hard drive and you’ll lose your files.
3. Linux is reliable and stable – just ask a supercomputer
If you want to know which operating system is the most powerful and also stable, look no further than what’s powering most of the world’s supercomputers: Linux. Supercomputers require access to incredible power and reliability to perform a high number of processes each second. Linux delivers that capability.
As of 2013, Linux powered 96.4% of the world’s top supercomputers including Tianhe-2, considered then to be the world’s fastest supercomputer, capable of performing 33.86 petaflops. A petaflop is one quadrillion floating point operations per second. This record was overtaken in 2016 by the Sunway TaihuLight, which can perform 93.01 petaflops.
Of 2013’s top 500 supercomputers, 482 were running Linux, 11 ran Unix, four ran a mix of operating systems, two ran on Windows, and one ran BSD Unix.
Supercomputers have helped GE identify areas to improve jet engine fuel efficiency, and they’ve helped scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Labs develop new techniques to gather data to identify oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico. Supercomputers have also been in aircraft simulations to improve aerodynamics, fuel-efficiency, and safety.
Linux also powers the Large Hadron Collider and the International Space Station recently replaced Windows with Linux. That speaks volumes about Linux.
4. Linux gives users freedom to customize
Linux is open source and programmers can make any changes they need; they are only limited by their knowledge and ability to implement ideas.
5. Linux is free!
The best part about Linux is the price – free. There are no licensing fees to install Linux. The only fees you’ll ever incur by using Linux is if you pay a programmer to customize your version of the operating system.
If you’re still not convinced, partition your hard drive and take Red Hat for a spin. See what it feels like. If you don’t like it, you can always go back.