Advantages and disadvantages of using Linux

Why Linux?

It’s not that hard to use: Many Linux distributions use graphical interfaces that look and work much the same way as the Windows interface does. In fact, a 2003 study by Relevantive, a Berlin-based company specializing in consulting companies on the usability of software and Web services, rated Linux almost as easy to use as Windows XP.

Less viruses: Windows currently has over a hundred thousand known viruses, while Linux has less than a hundred. Linux also uses smart authorisation management , so it requires you to authorise any action that may potentially harm your computer by entering your password. That means you are less likely to be tricked into installing malware and running virus programs, simply because it won’t let you.

No crashes: Windows users will be familiar with the infamous “blue screen of death” that greets them whenever the system crashes. In contrast, Linux users have reported uptimes exceeding over a year, which means that their computers have been continuously running over a year without a single crash or reboot.

Tech support: Get round-the-clock support when using Linux. You don’t have to make any calls; simply visit any of the Linux online forums and post the problem there. The Linux community is very active and generally friendly and helpful, so expect the solution to be posted within a day or two. Or do some forum surfing; your problem will most probably have been faced by other beginners before and already solved, so Google your specific problem first to find if there are previous forum threads solving it.

Free software: Linux users can download free software from huge repositories containing thousands of free programs and applications, from games to music players to office productivity tools. Most of them serve as free alternatives to commercial software, the most popular ones being OpenOffice and Mozilla Firefox, which replace Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer respectively.

Runs on old machines: Many new computers in the market still struggle to handle the memory and capacity demands of Vista, which requires 512MB RAM and a 800MHz processor. In contrast, the latest Ubuntu version, the Feisty Fawn, needs a measly 64MB RAM and a 300MHz processor. Other versions of Linux require even less. That means you can run Linux on your ten-year-old PC without a hitch.



Why not Linux?


Incompatibility issues: Because many hardware and software publishers deem the market for Linux users too small, you may encounter some incompatibility issues when installing programs or devices like printers. Many devices are supported though, and, as mentioned above, there are free alternatives to proprietary programs that are available for download. As a general rule of thumb, if two or more of your devices are not supported by a particular version of Linux, install another version.

Different working mechanism: If you’re a lifelong Windows user, you may take a while to get used to the way Linux works. From installing software to running programs, things are a little different in Linux-based systems. Be prepared to type a few new commands as well. However, there are programs within some versions of Linux, such as Ubuntu, which help you to download and install programs with just a few clicks. Most people take about a week to familiarise themselves to the new virtual surroundings.


Convinced about using Linux? Click here to see a step by step guide of installing the most popular version of Linux, Ubuntu.


14 Responses to “Advantages and disadvantages of using Linux”

  1. Why Linux? « The Tech Tipster Says:

    […] here to move on to a brief summary of the pros and cons of […]

  2. Jeremias Says:

    Hi, my name is Jeremias, I am a student at UMass Boston. I am currently using Ubuntu. I am also legally blind. I have tried to use the magnifier, and, Ocra. However the magnifier does not function at the level that, Zoomtext works. Zoomtext is an enlarging software with amazing pixel quality, which Windows offers. The pixel quality is not as good for the Ubuntu magnifier. I was hoping, that someone could point me to some other open source options to accessible magnifiers. Thank you for your time. my email address is

    ps great article, especially the info on viruses.

  3. Yaw Says:

    Hi there!!
    Great article.
    I recently experienced my last “blue screen of death”. I moved of windows entirely. I’m currently running ubuntu and loving it. currently spreading the good news to all my friends.

  4. docklc Says:

    The trouble with Linux: In spite of much helpful input and much time spent learning Linux terminal commands, I still cannot get my very common Canon ip1700 printer working under Ubuntu 8.04. In addition, I get partition errors on booting Ubuntu 8.04(Wubi) which keeps me from accessing one of my XPSP2 partitions (not a major problem, but annoying). The terminal commands under Unix/Linux are not as easy to figure out as under DOS, but I’m getting there slowly.

    The good: Very nice interface and fun to learn a different OS, especially one not tied to a vendor. I use both OO2.4 & Mozilla Firefox under both WinXP and Wubi. Both work great either way, and I’d love to dump old klutzy Windows even though I own stock–but I also have lots of other apps that run under Windows. I especially like the idea of being able to install an OS on any machine or number of machines I want to, at no charge other than a donation.

  5. Tresor Says:

    Thanks a lot for your comments and for this post. I helped me make up my mind about using Linux. I had some reservations but they are all cleared, By the way i found out that you can install MS Office 2007 on a Linux machine. something I’ve been wanting to know before making up my mind. (We have to admit it MS Office 2007 is just good). Check this website

  6. Ajay Says:

    Actually i am using ubuntu howere my brother usally enter on diff por web set and i am afraid that my computer got a virus i did not install an how will i know if there is a virus on my computer? also i am not able to download song frow u tube. however for my university course work i have a course work to show the efficency of ubuntu compare to other window

  7. Ajay Says:

    actaually when i am downloading powerpoint on the ubuntu and when i send it by mail to friends who have other window they are not able to open it. Is there any solution for this problem.

  8. anagha umashankar Says:

    I’m not that much impressed about ubuntu / linux. I think we need much time to understand it. But it’s a good software which easily gets rid of viruses,etc,,. But ubuntu doesn’t have good gaming, even printers don’t get easily on to linux. I’m now facing the difficulties(ubuntu). I also know that linux have also some good uses. I thank you for giving me a chance to share a few words about linux / ubuntu.

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  11. anish Says:

    Linux has many advantages over ms windows,I prefer Linux

  12. private Says:

    I installed XP on a netbook, but I didn’t activate it or set up the network connections right away. When I got back on the computer XP locked the operating system and said I have to activate it before I can use it. But because I didn’t configure the network connections XP couldn’t connect to Microsoft’s servers to activate the system. I tried to reinstall XP with an installation disk but the installation failed. I cannot spare the few minutes of time left on my cell phone to activate the OS by phone. Registration makes installing Microsoft OS’s a hassle. At least this problem is non-existent in Linux.

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