The Advantages of Using Linux

Every now and then, I receive emails from people who are asking me to explain the benefits or advantages of using Linux. I just answered them with a link or two to articles that could give a good explanation regarding the subject matter. But since I realized that it would be better if my response were based on my own experience, I finally decided to write a simple list that I could use to answer those who want to know the benefits of using Linux.

* Price
You may already know that you can use Linux free of charge, but since this is one of the most important advantages of using Linux, allow me to explain or should I say convince you further. Using a free operating system means not having to spend for even a dime whenever you do a major upgrade or install a new version of your OS. In addition, most major Linux distributions are pre-loaded with essential applications that are also free such as office suite, graphics editor, DVD-ripper, and more, so that means you can keep your savings intact. You can also fire up your software or package manager anytime and get more free applications that you want. I've been using Linux for several years now, and not having to worry about paying for software is priceless.

* Security
If you are a frustrated Windows user because devastating viruses, worms, spyware, and other kinds of malware plagues your computer, then Linux may solve your problem. In more than 4 years of using Linux, my computer was never infected with malicious software. And that's without even using Linux anti-virus software or any of those security applications that can only slow down your PC. However, this doesn't mean that Linux is immune from malware. It's just that Linux and other Unix-like operating systems are well protected and are designed to be secure.

* Stability
Some people have criticized Linux for its lack of stability, and I would have to agree with them several years back. There was a time when upgrading was a pain and drivers for my video cards and other hardware devices didn’t always work as expected. But at present, Linux is getting better and better and stability is almost not an issue anymore.

* Ease-of-use
Linux is really easy to use. You may say that I'm kidding but I'm not. You don't have to be a techie or a programmer to use Linux. In fact, my wife has learned to use and love Linux. After she became familiar with the desktop and the way the files are organized, she told me that it is as easy as using Windows.

* Efficiency
If your PC can't cope up with the latest version of Windows such as Vista or Windows 7, then you should try the latest version of Fedora, or Ubuntu, or any distro that you like. That is because Linux is efficient and will run faster on old hardware when compared to Windows. I have already installed several Linux distributions on my ancient laptop and I'm always impressed on how Linux handled its aging hardware.

There are still a lot of advantages of using Linux that I failed to mention, but I would like to leave them for you to discover. For me, Linux is more than just a software because there are lessons in life that I've learned from using it.

So how do you start using Linux? Perhaps this will help: How to Use Linux in 5 Simple Steps.


  1. AnonymousJuly 03, 2010

    What I think is one of the main advantages, not so much of Linux in a whole, but more of the different distributions, is the availability of package managers, which make it so much easier to install software and keep it up to date.

  2. AnonymousJuly 03, 2010

    Thank you for this article.

  3. R-WdziecznyJuly 03, 2010

    I think another good reason to use Linux is its infinitely customizable (Especially KDE) You can make your computer unlike any others and have it look and feel exactly how you want you not forced to use a predesigned default.

    (For the record I use Kubuntu 10.04 w/ KDE SC 445))

  4. In my experience, not all windows OS is bad.. Though they do need the firewalls and AV supports.

    Just because you don't see them does not mean they don't exist in that context. The beauty of linux is that a lot runs behind the scenes, not requiring the casual user to bother much with the same.

    I have an old DELL P3 Optiplex with a 128Mb ram and guess what! WinXP professional runs far better on it than Ubuntu. Yes have used the DSL and Puppy Linux also, but then you have to compare apples with apples.

    Despite being a big fan of Linux and use Ubuntu at workplace, still can't figure out what does the community need to understand that UI is very important in an OS!

  5. AnonymousJuly 09, 2010

    If you are still talking XP and comparing it with Linux, I would say you are a caveman.

  6. AnonymousJuly 09, 2010

    Krishna Iyer Said:
    "WinXP professional runs far better on it than Ubuntu."

    Is that before AV or after? You didn't say.
    Is that before 6 months or after? You didn't say.
    Can/did you run any apps (after 6 months)? You didn't say
    Will you check your bank account on it? You didn't say

    Hence the article, Linux will only get faster and more secure with updates. Windows slows down/freezes with usage and updates.

  7. AnonymousJuly 09, 2010


    Anyone that has a 'user interface' issue with GNU/Linux is simply full of crap.

  8. AnonymousJuly 09, 2010

    Windows wastes my time....

    I bought a new laptop for my daughter for college last weekend. The school has an MS enterprise license, so I downloaded Windows 7 Enterprise from the school to load on it.

    While it was downloading, I loaded Linux (Ubuntu 10.4) on her old laptop. A few mouse clicks (and about 10 min) later and it was installed, complete with OpenOffice and many other useful programs.

    The download of Windows 7 completed, so now for the new Windows install... The actual install didn't take too long, but left me with a bare system with a bunch of missing drivers. Off to the laptop manufacturer (using the Linux box of course, since the Windows box had no network drivers) to download the dozen+ drivers and utilities. A couple hours (and about 10 reboots) later, I finally had the OS set up. Now back to the school website for MS Office, antivirus, and a few recommended utilities. Another hour (and several reboots) later, and the system is set up--though still with less software than the Ubuntu system had out of the box.

    So...3-4 hours for Windows vs 10 min for Linux.

  9. AnonymousJuly 10, 2010

    On top of the advantages you mentioned, personally i think the configurability of Linux is awesome. Things that in other platforms are imposible or nearly impossible are just a few clicks away or just a few lines in the terminal.

  10. AnonymousJuly 11, 2010

    Being "as easy as Windows to use" is neither a benefit nor advantage in favor of Linux.

    And having to drop to the command line to sort out a common wireless driver in Mandriva 10.1 yesterday, just as I have had to do in seemingly every Linux OS over the last 10 years, isn't going to fool anyone into thinking Linux is easier to use or is more stable than Windows 7. There are advantages to Linux in cost, flexibility and security (for now), but these comparisons with Windows or Mac OS's are a mug's game.

  11. AnonymousJuly 25, 2010

    @Anonymous July 12, 2010 1:46 AM:

    So, you're complaining *one* piece of hardware didn't work OOTB? How many drivers do you have to load for XP?

    I'd blame the card's manufacturer for no support. Nice try thou.

  12. Disagree on "Linux is really easy to use."

    Even as a computer professional I have problems using even "user-friendly" distros eg, Ubuntu, Debian.

    Mac OS X was the only PC interface I've used that was strongly focused and consistent (and even then it's not perfect).

    Ubuntu impressed me initially and I used it for about a year until my system broke - the updates somehow rendered firefox unstartable and I could not figure out how to fix it. The imperfections and inconsistencies show up after long-term use. (this was several Ubuntu releases ago though)

    Linux IMHO is not ready as a mass-consumption desktop OS. Its versatility is unmatched as a UNIX clone, that's without question. BTW I'm typing this on Debian with Google Chrome browser.

  13. awesome
    i wish i gould directly add it to facebook

  14. AnonymousJune 12, 2011

    Hi all,
    Long unending debate on Linux Vs Windows!
    I think we Linux Users (I am a fan of Fedora, recently shifted to Ubuntu just for a change) should do campaign at personal level to show that Linux is better OS not only becoz it is free (of cost) but also becoz it is secure, highly customizable and low resource hungry OS. I have an old Pentium III HP vectra machine, still running with 128 Mb RAM and Fedora 5 as only OS. Believe me, I am still using it for complex Finite Element Modelling of Soil-structure system, again using free softwares like Scilab and OpenSees.
    In short Linux has infinite possibilities, Windows keeps you inside your self-created cage. So be bold enough to break it out and enjoy the FREEDOM.

  15. CU10 you must be a fool. Both linux and windows are as easy to navigate as Mac.

  16. I tried Linux 2/3yr's ago but was too enamored with windows to realize just how easy to use Linux was, i was also scared of "Command line". I tried again (Mint) about 6Mths ago & wouldn't use windows again if i could avoid it. On the very few occasions i've CHOSEN to use the command line it's been easy & the sense of accomplishment, the first time you achieve something with it is terrific. If anything Linux is EASIER to use, is definitely faster & just looks so darn good!

  17. I tried Linux 2/3yr's ago but was too enamored with windows to realize just how easy to use Linux was, i was also scared of "Command line". I tried again (Mint) about 6Mths ago & wouldn't use windows again if i could avoid it. On the very few occasions i've CHOSEN to use the command line it's been easy & the sense of accomplishment, the first time you achieve something with it is terrific. If anything Linux is EASIER to use, is definitely faster & just looks so darn good!