Why do I use Linux?

Lots of friends come and visit me and when they want to check their email or just browse some pages on the internet, etc… they use my linux system. Usually after the first 5 mins, they ask me: What is this? What kind of Windows? My answer is classic: This is not Windows, this is Linux. For geeks that`s ok, because they know what I`m talking about. But average user usually looks at me and says: What? And I explain…

The second phase is: But why? Why to use this instead of Windows. When I`m lazy (99% of the time) I say because it works… But when I`m not lazy (now…) I usually explain them why… (I am writing this also to give some people as a link when I am lazy… 99% of the time)

– It is Free: What does that mean? It is usually free of charge, but this is not what it means. Linux is a free operating system means that I (and anybody else) have the freedom to use, change, distribute the heart of the operating system and the surrounding applications. But why do I want that? I don`t want to be a “slave” of an organization`s marketing strategies. I don`t want to be dependent on what these companies want in their products. I want the freedom to suggest ideas, needs to the core developer team of the software that I am using. I want to be able to change the software when I can or when I want. I want to feel free when I am using my computer.

– Because it works: I believe in free software, because it simply worked great the last 7 years I`ve been involved in it. I can give you gazillions of examples in my experiences. But I`m not gonna do that. Because examples are boring. If you really want to see one go here.

– Latest and greatest: I pull my hair most of the time with my desktop system, because it crashes a lot… (Should I say that my desktop is Linux?) My friends possibly know that. But the reason is not that Linux is baaaad, the real reason is: I go bleeding edge all the time. This is another beauty of Linux. You can either live on the edge, or stay stable like a rock. You can live with a kernel 2.4.* for the rest of your life, or you can start compiling now 2.7.*

– I have options: I can do many things in many ways. I love this! There are many ways in a unix world. Many many many ways. You can create a list of all your mp3s, resize an image, calculate the disk size, draw a circle, block an intruder, be an intruder, browse a web page, backup, restore, clean disk, format a hard drive, etc… etc… in sooo many ways that you can never think about!

– It is stable and secure: I might be bashed for this, and I don`t care. My systems (servers) are always very stable and secure. I can turn on iptables and have a firewall, install Snort and automagically capture bad network traffic around me (good traffic too : ) ), patch my system remotely with couple of easy keyboard clicks, or even with a gui, without rebooting my system 99% of the time (if this is not a kernel update), etc…

– Wide variety of programs and ease of installation: The next generation package management tools are awesome. (apt-get, portage, etc…) I can found and install again 99% of the time any program I want in just a matter of minutes, seconds, depending on your internet connection. They are smart to understand if a program depends on something, and asks me to install the dependencies. The variety is amazing. You can find applications to browse the web, read emails, write office bullshit, chat with friends (or enemies : ) ), create a web server, database server, mail server, weather station, car computer system, personal video recorder, etc.. etc… Talk about variety… Did I say: FREE (as in freedom) ?

I have soo many little/big reasons that I want to add here, but maybe in the future. (I just felt lazy now) I love to work with Linux, I can never put my mini penguin aside and continue living with a non free operating system. I highly recommend it to you too… ; )