Monday, August 13, 2007

Why do we use Linux as Home Users?

Why does a common Linux Home User who has little knowledge of the technicalities of an Operating System he or she uses e.g Windows , Mac OS or in that matter any other Operating System has any reasons to switch from the above Operating Systems and switch over to Linux?

1: Is Linux easy to use for a Linux non expert home user?

2: Is it because Linux is free of cost & people don`t want to pay for Commercial Operating Systems?

3: Is he or she worried about his/her system security and bothered by the viruses and spy wares ?

4: Is Linux more eye candy than other Operating Systems?

5: Does Linux offer lot more innovative tools than other Operating Systems?

Please answer these questions and let us find out why do we use Linux as a home user.

Please suggest any other reasons if you have in your mind .


Sultan Qasim Khan said...

Hello. I got your link on your DW Weekly comment.
Here's what I say:
I switched to linux in 2002 because I was tired of paying for software of having to use pirated ones. Back then, Linux was a pain in the butt to use so I got Mandriva and an old UNIX book to learn it. A knowledge of the command line really helped. The desktop was fairly easy to used but it required some tinkering. The driver problems frustrated me but i continued using due it's small userbase. Security also conviced to continue with linux. Eye candy was up to the user and I liked it that way. I didn't care much about eye candy till i switched to mac. Open source software was able to compete with M$ software in features so I continued using it for that reason. The rest of my story is in comment #50 on the current DW weekly.

PP said...

On Windows, I started being interested in Freeware, and also in Linux. Now I only use Linux, and I support the ethics that are connected to it (Free Software). It's free, it's for everyone that wants it. And it does a good job. I've come to appreciate the Unix philosophy too, simplicity, no GUI when not needed (for servers).

Anonymous said...

Saleem, what a great idea for a blog, by the way, so thank you for asking this question! I've spent the past year migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux, and have written 6 parts of a 10-part series on Making the Switch to GNU/Linux over at You might find it an interesting journey from this Windows user's perspective.

However, here's my Top 10 reasons for using GNU/Linux on the desktop. Mind you, when I upgraded my machine earlier this year, I kept my old one, downgraded it to XP, and use it for various background tasks, like CD/DVD burning, usenet downloading, and long print jobs. The newer, main machine is the GNU/Linux one!

(01) Breathe new life into old hardware. Because most GNU/Linux require fewer resources, my old machine is new again! Same for peripherals. I can't tell you how many scanners I've thrown out and Vista (nor HP) still doesn't support my new HP printer, even though the printer is one of the all-time best sellers (HP Laserjet 1020).

(02) Yes, I have to say, I'm free from Microsoft, which is a big relief. WGA, OGA, built-in DRM, Windows EULA, and many more viruses.

(03) Comes loaded with software and ready to run right out of the box (Fedora, Ubuntu, Sabayon, Linux Mint, etc.) or I can load a distro that includes the essentials and build my software as I go (Xubuntu, Linux Mint Xfce, Puppy, Zenwalk, etc.) With a typical Linux distro, assuming you use the package manager to install your apps (be it DEB, RPM, etc), you are covered from start to finish when it comes to application and system updates. So a simple click on a GUI frontend updater or a single command line is all you need to update!

(04) I've got three major desktop environments to choose from: Gnome (like Mac), KDE (like Windows), or Xfce (stripped down Windows, only better and faster).

(05) Updates and upgrades are free, and they happen on the major distros twice a year. Heck, it's all free!

(06) Once you learn one distro, you already know most for any other distro. Much like moving from Win98 to XP to Vista, there's a lot of overlapping similarities, so what you learn is cumulative. So you have the freedom to choose a distro to fit your needs, or you can go with one of the larger, more popular distros like PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, openSUSE, or Fedora and be done (link to DistroWatch major distro list).

(07) Networking is easy, as in real easy. Samba recognizes everything during setup and at most in some distros I might have to click three buttons. That's it.

(08) Try before you commit. The LiveCD environment for GNU/Linux is fantastic — drop the CD or DVD in your drive when you're booting and it'll take you to an environment where you can play with Linux without having installed it. So, this would be a great way for you to see if your hardware is supported and which distro you'd like to have full time.

(09) A caring community. The Linux community is incredibly helpful on the most part, with forums dedicated to each distro with a large user base — allowing you to get tailored support from real users. That's clearly better than the "try-this-and-hope" manner Microsoft delivers support. True, the extensive directory of support available at Microsoft Technet is useful but it pales in comparison the getting real support from fellow users.

(10) Because GNU/Linux is a good skill to have. Being tied to one operating system makes you dependant on it and either Mac or Vista is going to cost a lot of money, so why not take the step and give GNU/Linux a try? You won't lose anything if you dual boot, or better, use an older, separate machine for it.

Sandman said...

Thanks for the comments by Sultan Qasim Khan,pp & Zaine.

I am a linux fan,over enthusiast home user myself,and I am trying to see and speak about Linux as a home user,do read my KDE & KDE Lite post please,it also reflects what I want from Linux as Home User. I will rewrite the curruent post once I get more feedbacks.

Thanks again for sparing your time for me.

Soni said...

I use it because I get the latest and the greatest development tools for free.
For a student of a computer science(regardless if he/she is formally enrolled or not) it is the GOD sent. He/she can learn a lot simply by reading the system level or application level open source code.

Long Live Linux.

Antonio said...

Please spend few minutes & answer the few questions regarding the above question on my blog page

I got your link from Distrowatch Weekly. I had a computer at home, but did not want to connect to the internet because of the issues that you have talked about, spyware, viruses, trojans, etc. This computer had Windows 98 and sometimes froze, gave the famous BSD, I had wasted many cd's. This was in 2001/2002. A college professor at the University I attended, suggested that I try out Linux. He gave me copies of Mandrake 9.0 and Redhat 8.0. I started my journey with Linux and have not looked back at home that is. At work, Windows is still needed. I wanted to connect to the internet and the computer had a winmodem so ok what do I do. I went to the LinModem Resource page, downloaded scanModem and sent an email with the ModemData.txt to the list and they were very helpful and I quickly got on the net. Two modems one LTModem and the other an Intel 536EP. One working with Mandrake and the other with RedHat. It was nice. These kind folks at LinModems Resource Page do not get the credit they deserve (Jacques Goldberg, Marvin Stodolsky, and others on the list) and the persons that make the drivers for these winmodems also deserve a lot of credit (Sasha Khoporsky, Alexi Chentsov, etc.). Later on, The little things that did not work for me on RedHat started working and they started Fedora, I continued with Mandrake until the 10.0 release, then they began Mandriva and I went with Fedora. I have used different LiveCD's as well. All I can say that it is great that Linux is out there to use and enjoy. Besides Fedora, I also enjoy using Slax, Knoppix, SystemRescue CD, Gparted LiveCD, Parted Magic, grml, Sabayon, ..., etc.

I love to visit to check out the latest news and information about linux. Thanks for letting us share our experiences.

Why do we use Linux at home?

It is faster, no viruses, no spyware, system is more responsive.

I can connect to the internet with the installed distro on the hard drive or with a Linux Live CD like SLAX. I can get on, and not worry about updates, virus definitions, spyware definitions, etc. that take a lot of time to load up on dialup. The time wasted there does not come back and frustrates many users.

I also enjoy using it despite some troubles that easily frustrate other users. I am very happy to use it and not worry about other things people have to worry about.

Antonio said...

Is Linux easy to use for a non linux expert home user?

It takes some time to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it is easy enough.

Is it beacuse Linux is free of cost & people don`t want to pay for commercial operating system?

This question is easily answered by many people do not pay for commercial operating systems on home built machines, they run pirated copies of windows. The main reason is that windows comes preloaded on the computers people buy and that makes it harder for users to get away from it. Now with Dell offering computers with Linux preinstalled, it is going to make a difference little by little.

Is he worried about his system security and bothered by the viruses or spywares ?

Sure, who is not worried about security and by malwares on their machines. Some people make images of their running machines and can easily restore them to a point before the makware hit them, but not too many people know how to set up this things on their computers.

Is Linux more eye candy than other operating systems?

The eye candy is their but not very convincing. I do not believe that this is very important here.

Does Linux offer alot more inuvative tools than other operating systems?

Linux does have a lot more tools at install time than Windows, there are a great deal of programs that come with a linux distribution as opposed to what comes on windows. If you install windows and to get the equivalent of an installed Linux system, you would have to start downloading applications and other programs which by the way do not come on Windows to make it more secure, and programs like Word Processing, Spreadsheets. The one that comes with windows is a pre trial version of MS Office good for 60 days then they want to sell it to you, Instead one has to get OpenOffice to not have to pay M$.

Linux is simply awesome!
Yes there are problems like everywhere else, but one can work out these problems and get a good system that works efficiently from home.

Thanks for reading my responses. Best wishes to all.