As with all things, GNU/Linux too has pros & cons. Here I will try to give you a rough idea of both the sides of GNU/Linux, so you can decide whether to take the plunge.
Why should you use GNU/Linux
- Most of the Linux distributions & their software’s are free to use. Due to this you can save a large amount of money you spend on purchasing softwares for your computer. Almost all software’s are free. Even public & private organisations have taken note of this & have started adopting Open Source/GNU/Linux at their premises.With the money you save can be invested in getting new hardware or for upgrading your system.
- GNU/Linux is a robust platform. Linux is at the apex when it comes to security that’s the reason why most of the servers use linux as operating system. Due to this you need not to worry about viruses or trojans infecting your computer & corrupting your system. This will also save you from the expenditure you would incur on data recovery programs if your windows system happens to get infected. Linux is secure enough that you don’t even need to use an antivirus. Here again you can save some bucks.
- Since the source code is available you can modify/tweak any software or make changes in the main OS as per your liking. You have the freedom to modify it without the fear of breaking any rules and regulations.
- With Linux you have plenty of choice. There are so many Linux distros/flavors out there that you would be jumbled for choice. The number comfortably surpasses that of Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh. Each distro is tailored to suit a distinct type of audience. For e.g. : If you want an linux OS for servers, you have CentOS. For novice linux users, Ubuntu fits the bill. For advanced user, distros like Gentoo, Arch are indispensable. You are free to make your choice. You won’t get this benefit elsewhere. (Have a look at Distrowatch which keeps a track of Linux distros)
- Linux has an excellent help in the form of manuals, mailing lists, forums, IRC, yahoo groups & offcourse layman linux. ;) If you ever get into any problem, you can easily solve it using any of the above. Open Source fanatics are generally good at heart & more often than not are always ready to help. You can get a strong support that too without spending a single rupee. If you ever need more help or none of the above could get your problem solved(very rare 0.001%) then you can always take the aid of professional support by spending a few rupees.
- Using Linux makes you a member of the huge Open Source family round the world. If you have any skills in designing, writing, developing, marketing or even a bit of spare time then Open Source whole heartedly welcomes you to join & help them improve.
Why should you not use GNU/Linux
- If you are a gamer then you should stay away from Open Source. Most of the commercial games out there are not ported to Linux for the very obvious reason of additional expense. Even the software’s which run game under emulation perform a shoddy work & they fail too. There are games designed for Linux too but they are not too large in numbers. So if it comes to gaming, your best bet would be to stick with Microsoft Windows.
- Some people are not comfortable with changes. Shifting from Microsoft Windows to Linux is often not digestible to some folks. They expect Linux to perform like Windows & then curse it & spread foul. If you are such a type of person, do not take efforts to even try out Linux as you will surely not going to like it wasting your precious time as well as spoiling your mental state.
- If you are used to some particular software on a particular OS then the shift to Linux may become difficult or may prove uncomfortable. For e.g. An Adobe Photoshop user won’t feel home using GIMP under Linux. Also some offices require you to use only a particular software like Microsoft Office so that document format remains constant throughout the entire branch. If you use Openoffice in Linux to create documents then your team will have difficult time working with your files.
- Fanboyism always creates problem in every field. Fanboy is an individual who has developed a liking for a particular brand or service. He will support that product or service no matter even if its not up to the mark in the eyes of general public. He knows this well but still doesn’t wants to change his attitude. If you are the one who feels Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh is better than GNU/Linux then use it. Nobody forced you ever to use Linux. Shut up & continue using your favourite OS instead of spreading foul about others.