Linux users? Who are these people?

Among the three major operating systems, you may know that Linux has the lowest market share on the desktop but is leading the server market. However, Linux on the desktop is slowly but surely going mainstream that's enough to scare the crap out of Microsoft. People who have been using Windows or Mac all their life maybe curious to know who are the minority (Linux users) and why are they still using this unpopular OS. Well, allow me introduce them to you:

* Practical people
Since Linux is free, easy-to-use, secure, and has almost the same features as Windows or Mac, people with no-nonsense attitude are using it. They have recognized the value of Linux and appreciated the fact they will never have to empty their wallets whenever it's time to upgrade or get a new version of their favorite distro.

* Programmers
Linux is a programmer's heaven. It has tons of pre-installed or compatible tools and utilities that make them productive such as text editors and IDE software among others. Popular programming languages like Python and Perl are also often included in almost all Linux distributions. Not to mention the power of the Linux/UNIX command line at their disposal.

* Casual to Hardcore Gamers
Who says only Windows has great games? With Linux, gamers can still enjoy some of the many quality free and open source games such as first-person shooters, puzzle/arcade games, 3D racing games, and more. They can also install and play Windows-compatible games on Linux using Wine.

* Business Owners
With lots of free and open source finance and accounting software that can be installed on Linux, there's no doubt that a lot of business owners are using it. It's also a good way of cutting expenses so it's a real blessing to have Linux around during these tough financial situations.

* Netbook Users
We all know that several distributions are pre-installed in some of the most popular netbooks on the market so I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of netbook-with-Linux users out there. Linux runs smooth on most netbooks these days so why don't you try something like this: Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook.

* Artists
Professional graphic designers, photographers, animators, and other artists are known to use Linux since there are a lot of available software that they can use free of charge. So if you are an artist yourself, perhaps you should check these out:
- 2D Animation Software
- 3D Graphics Software
- CAD Software
- Vector Graphics Editors
- Digital Audio Editors
- Video Editing Software

* Geeks
I shouldn't fail to mention the friendly neighborhood geeks who aren't afraid to mess up with their computers. These people will be more than happy to share with you all the joys of using Linux and they will even give you a Linux LiveCD for free.

I could go on and on but in general, almost all kinds of people are using Linux nowadays. So if you are part of this minority, stand up and be proud that you are part of something good.


  1. My mother uses desktop Linux, and she is a computer neophyte. My brother and sister-in-law have been using Linux for a couple of years now. They simply got tired of not being able to boot Windows due to a virus infecting the MBR.

  2. My mother is a computer neophyte and uses desktop Linux. My brother and sister-in-law both use Linux. They simply became tired of not being able to boot into Windows due to a virus in the MBR.

  3. Awesome post with great references!
    Way to go.
    Shannon VanWagner

  4. many people uses linux but mostly they don't have an idea that they're using one. :)

  5. Great article. It makes me feel proud and appreciative that there exists a great OS like Linux and that I'm using it.

    I didn't know that the Big Bill G is using Linux also LOL!

  6. As "noteither" said, almost everyone uses Linux in one form or another ... maybe your mobile phone is powered by Linux, or you router, or you microwave, or your TV set ... most of the home appliances use some kind of Linux.

    But on the desktop it's hole other story. I like this article, and I am a hardcore Linux user (started to use it exclusively about 10 years ago), but there are some limitations on how much change people like to accept. The biggest problem is change ... and doesn't matter who or how tech savvy someone is. But the new generations has a real chance, they can start with Linux and discover Windows later, and that's a great thing.

  7. The only thing I would take issues with is the "gamer" comment. Casual yes hard core no! There are some amazing puzzle games in Linux. Any if not all of the 3D stuff, especially the fps shooters are hideous. Playing any of them is like a time ship back 10-15 years. As we all know things move fast in computer development and games are no different. Anyone attempting to pass off any of the Linux FPS games as comparable to modern windows games is delusional. Or simply has no concept of what modern games look and sound like. Linux has no FPS games comparable to ones on Windows. Sorry guys I'm sat here with three computers on my desk all running Linux. But one of them has a Windows partition for gaming...

    These are recorded on my PC and show what modern Windows games are like and compare them to any of these OS offerings.

    Lets let Linux and Open Source do what it's good at and admit it just can't do big production Video games.

  8. it is for sure worth to include scientist as a user group

  9. I've been using Linux (exclusively) on my desktop for nine years, for many of the reasons cited in this article. Though I've installed Linux for at least a dozen people over the years, not one has stayed with it - there are just too many problems with every single Linux distro on the market, even today. Some distros are buggy; others have problems with multimedia (even after installing codecs). Often the user has one or two pieces of hardware that are not supported. My mother-in-law across the country was on dial-up and every "user-friendly" distro failed her - it was only when she finally found a local Linux expert that she got her modem working, my many phone calls with her did not do the job (turns out an additional time delay had to be added before the dialler would work properly - KPPP was spitting garbage characters out on initialization). There's no single central control panel in most distros - the ones that exist (Yast, Draktools, PC Linux OS control center) don't yet work as well as Windows 98 did, twelve years ago - sooner or later, you need a root shell and obscure bash commands. Software you find on the web won't install; adding new repositories for a desired piece of software requires the command line and may break your install; Most distros are heavy and slow (Ubuntu is horrible in this regard). The fast distros are lacking in usability. OpenSuse 11.2 combined speed and usability, giving me a surge of hope. Five installs later it turned out to be horribly buggy. And so on, and so on.

    I'm disappointed. Twenty years after birth, Linux is so wonderful, and yet so very badly crippled. The kernel is great - full distros are a different story. Technical users like me can cope with the problems; most users cannot. Not one Linux distro today has yet matched the basic usability of Windows 98, and that is a crying shame!

    I think the last decade has made it clear that the Linux model isn't working for the desktop. Maybe FreeBSD, with its coherent development, will get there first. Maybe Haiku OS. Whatever, I really hope one day we have a free, open-source desktop OS that works better than any Linux distro on the market today.

    -Disappointed full-time Linux user

  10. I use linux, but I also have a Windows virtualbox so that I can use Microsoft Office. I don't like how people are quick to criticize Microsoft. In my opinion, no office software comes close to MS Office.

    With that said, I have been gladly using linux (Ubuntu) as my main OS for the past four years. I don't mind typing in a few lines in the terminal, but the usability of the latest versions of fedora and ubuntu has impressed me. I had a windows printer driver that refused to print duplex. When I connected the printer to my ubuntu computer, the driver was automatically suggested to me and then installed after a few clicks. I had a fully functioning printer--all in under one minute. I gave a linux CD to my computer illiterate dad, who was having problems with viruses on his ancient computer. He installed Ubuntu himself and has been happily using it for the past year. Although, he does only use web browsers and openoffice. The gamers; graphics designers; engineers or scientists requiring specialized software; and video editors will probably be unable to cut all ties from Windows or Mac just yet. For those who want a simple, stable (depends which flavor of linux you choose), and straightforward OS with decent office software and the usual web browser, you might be able to switch to Linux completely. The biggest hurdle for Linux to become mainstream has got to be software compatibility. Why would people who use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, OrCad, SolidWorks, etc. switch to Linux?? As it is stands right now, they probably wouldn't.

  11. I've been using Linux (as my only desktop) for approx 3 years now. The biggest descision I found was settling on the right distro for me (which turned out to be Ubuntu).

    I probably am the stereotypical geek, been using windows since I was 11, coding (in windows) since I was 12.

    Switching was not without its sacrifices, decent games (i'm sure someone will argue this) are just not available out of the box. Maybe I got a little too used to the luxuries of Steam. Instead of playing games, I now try and spend my time understanding why things work the way the do, and also with a 9 month old daughter I just don't have the time any more.

    However on the plus side, my machine just works.
    1) Very rarely will an update break things
    2) I don't need to upgrade my hardware.
    3) I can easily automate things that do annoy me
    4) It is open, and every change goes under a massive amount of scrutiny.
    5) I can give some of my changes back to the community.
    6) I've not had an issue with malware/viruses in 3 years.
    7) I can give my wife, daughter an account that does what they need knowing they will never delete those old photos/videos by accident.
    8)Its faster than it used to be on the same hardware.

    I would suggest its still not ready for everyone, but its worth a play and its free :)

    I'm not knocking windows, it has its place, however I can't see anything apart from games holding it back.

    The main obstacle, seems to be people know Windows, and people fear learning curves.

    If you are a digital image buff, you may decide nothing comes close to photoshop. I thought the same, however the GIMP does 99% of what I want with no price tag, and it doesn't hog my system in the process.

    All I would say is, think about what you use your pc for, and decide on balance could this be something worth exploring ? If so, great try a live cd, if not then keep paying for your hardware/software upgrades.

    I'm really not convinced that vm's are a good alternative as the only apps missing tend to be the high cpu/memory usage ones that will run even more slowly than on native windows.

    Just my 10p !!!

  12. I am the first user of Ubuntu in my town, no body knows about Linux over here, need awareness to let people knows, that besides windows another free OS available.I was surprised to know about 100 of free useful applications inside Ubuntu to start the work in virus free environment. I am suggesting all my friends to use this OS. a little confusion about its version, we would like to know which is complete desktop OS, for common use? Nice article, thanks A Z Raja

  13. Just loaded Ubuntu, and I've already installed a media server (MediaTomb) for my BRPlayers, and my PS3. I've got a bittorrent program running. I think I'm good to go. Guess I don't need virus software. Definitely a plus. Think I'll keep my windows box turned off except for the occasional hardcore game.

  14. Thank you for this great article. I'm using GNU/Linux for over a decade now. In the beginning as dualboot systems with Windows 9x. Since 2005 as singleboot systems. Other than temporary playing around with new versions of Windows, I never looked back. Linux is so much more user friendly, stable and fool proof.

    Watch out for Kubuntu 11.04, which will be a very interesting alternative for Windows XP users. Sooner or later they will have to migrate to ether a newer version of Windows or GNU/Linux. Kubuntu is a much better solution IMHO.

    The "unhappy Linux user" comments are clearly written by scared Microsoft "Paid To Post" astroturfers :-p