Have you ever heard of or considered using Linux? Here are five reasons to give it a look for your desktop or server.

Over the past 15 years or so, Linux has gained worldwide acceptance as a first-rate server operating system but do you know why? It's because Linux can also be used as a Desktop operating system, like Windows, on your personal computer at home or in the office. This article gives you a look at the five biggest reasons why you should take a look at Linux for yourself or your business.

1. Linux is Free.

That can almost stand on its own but I'll elaborate on this point a bit. Linux is free to download, customize, use and even redistribute as long as you comply with its licensing caveats in the Gnu Public License (GPL). This one fact makes it thousands of dollars cheaper than any commercial operating system.

2. Linux is Stable.

Linux never needs to be rebooted unless you upgrade the kernel (the core of the operating system). You can install or remove software, stop and start any service or peripheral, change network addresses, and just about anything else without a single reboot. Updates are free and automatic and work completely in the background. Linux is a stable multi-user, multi-tasking operating system which means that even your home computer could support dozens of users simultaneously with no affect on its stability.

3. Linux is Loaded with Free Software.

Everything from office suites (OpenOffice.org, KOffice, and Lotus SmartSuite) to an Exchange Server compatible Email client (Evolution) to games to the FireFox web browser. Linux has so much free software included with it that, if you had to purchase it all, you probably wouldn't.

4. Linux Will Run on Your Old Hardware.

No more upgrade madness with every new version of the operating system or software suites. Linux is perfectly at home on that old 5 year old computer that you thought you'd have to throw away so that you can upgrade to the newest offering from a certain commercial software vendor.

5. Linux Powers the Internet.

It's true. There are more Linux servers that power the world's websites than any other operating system. Linux has traditionally been a server operating system residing in chilly data centers, humming away quietly, while serving millions of web pages to content-hungry web surfers. But Linux isn't just for serving web pages anymore--you can use it as your Desktop computer operating system, on your PDA, or even on your cell phone. You may be using it right now without even knowing it.

If you're a beginner with Linux and want to try it out, I suggest looking at Ubuntu Linux--the world's most popular Desktop Linux distribution. Check out a Live CD that boots from your CD/DVD Drive for a 'Try Before You Buy' experience. But no matter which Linux distribution you choose, you may never want do Windows again.

Not only does Linux not need to be rebooted, but you are never nagged ad nauseum to re-boot if one is in order. You can wait for as long as you like, you just can't take advantages of the changes in the meantime.

There are many reasons to use Linux and you have given us five excellent ones. Thanks for the article. I look forward to more!