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Does anyone like to use Linux over the Microsoft XP or System 7/8. I have used at least 4 virtual Linux's and like the fact that you do not have to run with Virus or Spam software. Unix based system?

I would tend to beleive that the non-windows systems are not necessarily more secure or less vulnerable. Since Windows desktops dominate the market, itself only makes sense from a malicious users perspective to develop malware targeting Windows systems. The other reason, again in my opinion, why Windows is faced with these issues is that the Windows OS is installed with too much of a footprint. I.e., unecessary programs, services, etc... Anyone can basically load Windows, install apps, etc... For a Linux distro, the average non technical person would have more difficulty. It has been getting better over the years. If Linux continues to become popular, I would suspect that these operating systems will be more targeted.

I like the various Linux distros available.

I use both, and home and work, but my main systems are all Linux. In point of fact, Linux and Unix (including OS-X) are both more secure than Windows because of how they are designed. That isn't to say that they have no vulnerabilities, but in point of fact it is MUCH more difficult for an attacker to get root access to Linux/Unix than Windows systems. This is a design and implementation issue, not one of popularity per se.

Does anyone like to use Linux over the Microsoft XP or System 7/8.

Everyone that I know who has ever tried to use Linux for any substantial amount of time (usually compelled to do so because of job, or just out of curiosity) and who is the least bit competent with computers (e.g. not mortally scared of a terminal window), they have all expressed strong preferrence for Linux (and I've never heard of someone familiar with Linux who preferred Windows). I'm no exception. One of the reasons for me is just the sheer difference I feel when I boot into Windows after having spent some time using Linux, I feel the weight of the Windows system crushing me:

  • it takes forever to boot up, and everything I do seems to take forever.
  • it constantly nags you for updates which are always tedious to install (next, next, I agree, next, next,... restart now!) (as opposed to almost always automatic and most of time reboot-free, under Linux).
  • the lack of integration (and inter-operability) of software packages makes it so that every time you have a little task to do, like converting video formats or reading a particular type of file, you have to either dig in dark corners of the internet for freeware tools for that particular job, or pull out your wallet for some big professional software that you don't really need. Either way, you end up with a system that is bloated with a huge amount of stupid little unreliable, and possibly virus-laced, programs.
  • it has the messiest possible system file structure with tons of annoying redirections and linked folders. This makes it really hard and annoying to customize your system well.
  • it lacks a proper, native, feature-rich command line interface. Tasks that are so simple and quick to do in Linux (e.g. $ find . | grep keyword) are much more complicated and time-consuming in Windows, unless you install cygwin with a massive package set.
  • and as a programmer, of course, Windows is a horrible development environment from a point of view of getting, using, linking to, and distributing any external libraries.

The above list is somewhat biased towards the kinds of tasks that I tend to do, e.g., programming, dealing with data files and logs, customizing systems, and scripting, and so on. And you might also guess that I'm not terribly competent at dealing with a Windows system for these tasks, as I'm sure it is not as bad as it is for me when you know better ways to do such "advanced" tasks with a Windows system.

Many studies say that the costs of running and maintaining a corporate or academic network of user computers (e.g. all the computers for your employees, or all the computers for a university department) under a Linux-only environment (Linux for servers and users) is significantly lower than doing the same with a Windows-only environment. We're talking half the cost or lower, and sometimes much lower. Many studies on this subject are very biased (either by Microsoft or Linux service providers like IBM or Novell), so you have to be careful about the credibility of what you read. I spent some time in Helsinki, which is, to some extent, the Mecca of Linux, and the university there had more Linux computers in the student computer labs than Windows computers, and clearly, people (technically-savvy or not) preferred the Linux computers.

Ask any system administrator, it is very likely that they will tell you they much prefer working with Linux / Unix / Solaris computers or servers. I mean, if they are familiar with such systems (some only work in Windows, of course). When you setup a Windows computer to incorporate it into a corporate or academic environment, there is a long shopping-list of things to do to setup virus-protection, network securities, server accesses (VPNs and such), special firewalls, etc. etc. With a Linux node, its much simpler and safer. Truth be told, one sys-admin can manage a much larger amount of Linux nodes in a network than he can manage Windows nodes, just due to how easier and quicker it is to deal with.

From a daily-user's point-of-view, for simple stuff like surfing the web, chatting, writing on forums, watching videos and listening to music, Linux does all of this better than Windows does, period. I often use the example of KDE (Plasma Desktop) which is so customizable that you can literally make an exact replica of a Windows desktop (any version), or if you prefer, you can also make an exact replica of almost any version of Mac OSes. The point is, Linux subsumes both Windows and Mac, you don't have to choose between the "serious" Windows and the "artsy-fartsy" Mac (like in those famous ads), you can just pick a Linux distro and customize it to your needs and to your liking. And after all, you don't have to be an expert user to appreciate the light-weightness of Linux, the superior software integration, and the ease of installation and massive availability of good and mostly reliable open-source software.

As a final note (after this crazy long rant!), most of my computers are dual-boot Windows / Kubuntu. I have two reasons to keep Windows on them: I'm an engineer, so there are specialized, commercial software that just aren't available on Linux (but many of them are beginning to offer Linux versions), like CAD, FEA/FEM, simulators, and some control software; and I like to keep my code compilable under Windows systems so I sometimes have to boot into Windows just to check that it is still so (it usually is, beyond a few trivial issues).

In point of fact, Linux and Unix (including OS-X) are both more secure than Windows because of how they are designed. That isn't to say that they have no vulnerabilities, but in point of fact it is MUCH more difficult for an attacker to get root access to Linux/Unix than Windows systems. This is a design and implementation issue, not one of popularity per se.

I agree with rubberman. I'm no expert on security or hacking of any kind, but you can clearly feel the inherent security in Linux (not without flaws, I'm sure) just from the way access rights are so deeply embedded in the system design. Windows can't compare, Windows is basically a massive patch-work with many layers each with their own vulnerabilities (I mean, my knowledge of Windows is minimal, but I could probably muster up some pretty nasty malware in a snap, not that it would last very long against virus-protection software, but I'm just saying, in Windows you find security flaws without even having to look for them, that's just how obvious they tend to be).

Guru of rant!

I also agree with rubberman. I like linux very much. As far as I am concerned, the only substantial reasons I use Windows are games and word-processing (sorry, but openoffice really just doesn't cut it). Also, there is the fact that ods file are not well supported outside openoffice so I can't really send it to anyone.

But the main reason I really like linux is its versatility. In Linux it is easy for the moderatly technical user to costumize just about everything. There are many distributions, with strong developers community. In windows based system, every idiotic 2nd rate program is most likely to either 1) cost some $ or 2) contains commercials, malware, spyware, whatnot. In Linux its most likely free, and opensourced.
For programming, work, media etc., I definately use a linux box. Windows is for games, and sometimes, word-processing.

One of the best features of linux IMHO is the ability to pretty much do everything remotely, and from command-line. It makes life so much easier as an administrator. You don't have to worry about importing graphics (through vnc for example) and have everything take ages.
The rich terminal scripting, the ability to seamlessly interwine perl, python (and many other more serious programming languages) in the normal functionality of Linux makes it great. If it weren't for games I'd probably use Linux as host and Windows as virtualbox.


I have to agree with rubberman and mike_2000-17 for most of the same reasons. I run a couple of different Linux systems depending on what I am using it on. For servers on the web I run CentOS and for my laptops and desktops I run Fedora 14. I do run Windows 7 on one desktop that is primarlly for gaming. When I need Windows 7 and Windows Server 2003 I run them on the Linux systems inside Virtual Box by Oracle for applications that are not available for the Linux OS (MS SQL Server, Games, Dataconversion utilities.). Linux provides the firewall and security to keep the Windows systems from being attacked.

One other comment is that Microsoft does have a larger market share in the United States but if you look at systems world wide and what our own government uses on their systems you will find Linux in one flavor or another because it is secure.

I am not a Linux user, but i use it only when need to run some scripts,
or when windows crah and need to get into those corrupted directories.
but is good thing to have a copy near you. :-)

Its not one or the other. Use the right tool for the right job.

I use linux for all my servers.
I use linus to run asterisk for the VOIP system.
I use linux desktop distro for all my python coding.
I use windows as my normal workplace desktop for mail and productivity crap.

A final note on this subject from me - an anecdote from about 10 years ago. I was Principal Engineer at a major semiconductor equipment manufacturer, designing and building manufacturing software systems for the semiconductor industry. One of our major customers was Intel. A group of their senior manufacturing engineers were visiting our home office in Massachusetts and at one of our meetings they were asking us to port our Unix MES software to Windows (it would run on Windows for testing purposes, but we never certified it on Windows for production systems for a variety of reasons). They were asking because they wanted their manufacturing software systems to run on Intel gear, and all of the Unix systems we supported were from other manufacturers (DEC, Sun, HP). When I brought up that some of the reasons we didn't support production systems on Windows was that our testing had shown that it 1) didn't perform adequately, and 2) was unreliable for a 6-sigma installation. Their answer? "Well, Windows is plenty fast and reliable, as long as you leave the GUI off of it." ROFLMAO!!!

To add my 2 cents: I have been using Linux desktop at work and at home for about 4 years now. At work we switched to Fedora desktop and server after not receiving usable support from Microsoft for Windows SBS when we had problems (support was paid for). We had some Linux experience already and a moving all the production was not that hard. At home I also installed Ubuntu on 3 laptops and even my wife has been using it for a couple of years and never complained. For a year or so I have been completelly freed from Windows. The last applications I moved to Linux were the ones I use for music making at home: Wavelab was replaced by Audacity and Cakewalk was replaced by Rosegarden. For long time I have been using Gimp, Inkscape, Open/LibreOffice, Eclipse, VirtualBox, Kontact, K3B, VLC, Kdenlive and tons of other opensource software (that costs zero). Very rarely I have to hack arround the system since most things work out of the box nicely (Wifi, Bluetooth, LAN, sound, camera etc.).

Who are experienced in both will allways use linux as his first and favourite OS because of too much reasons. Like I do.

I like linux a little more then Windows, you dont have to have anti virus software but you can get to be a 100 % sure that not even the littlest python virus makes its way onto your computer. clamav isnt a bad one....

Linux is my OS of choice for reasons already outlined by Mike, Rubberman and a few others. (So I won't repeat them!).

The only place I use Windows nowadays is at work. And I don't have any choice over that.
But I do use a lot of free and/or open-source software packages on my work PC. Mainly because I am already familiar with them and can be productive using them.

For a number of years, all of my home computers have been running various flavours of Gnu/Linux. My wife and kids have all been using it and they love it too! After a lot of problems with malware on their XP system, I even got my parents to switch to Linux rather than buying a new PC with a newer version of Windows. I can't count the amount of times I got phone calls about problems with that PC when it had XP on it. If I wasn't up there removing viruses, or fixing registry problems, I was reformatting and re-installing Windows and drivers etc. I really don't know what they were doing to that poor machine!

After trying Ubuntu 10.04, they decided they liked it and stuck with it. So they saved their money and got full use of their computer again, with the added bonus of no more malware infections. Since getting them started with Ubuntu and teaching my mum and my sister some basic sys-admin skills using the GUI (I didn't want to scare them off with the command-line!), I rarely get phone calls about computer problems any more. And when I do, they're usually simple things that can be answered over the phone. E.g. "What program should I install if I want to {blah blah blah}?" or "How do I {blah blah blah}?"

As a result, fewer phone calls about serious problems means fewer unscheduled trips to my parents house after work to fix problems. Giving me more time to spend with my own family. ( WIN! XD )

BTW: My parents are probably the least tech savvy people on the planet and they find Ubuntu easy to use and maintain. They've even done distribution upgrades with no help from me. They're currently running 11.10 and looking forward to upgrading to 12.04!

To be honest I was expecting an angry or confused phone call from them this time last year, when they upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04. Which was when the Unity interface became the default. But surprisingly they took it in their stride.. Hat's off to the wrinklies! They certainly took it better than I did. They actually like Unity! Yes, sadly I'm one of the many long-time Gnome 2 users/luddites/malcontents who dislike both Gnome 3 and Unity! Heh heh!

Anyway, Linux might not be for everybody. But for my family and I, it's GNU/Linux and free software all the way... Or at least, as far as humanely possible! Heh heh!

I hate *nix -- its just too complicated for me. I like the ease with which I can accomplish things in Windows. For example, yesterday I decided to install Ubuntu because there was a problem I wanted to test out on *nix. That all went well, until I tried to access the internet. NOT. I have wireless connection and Ubuntu didn't have the drivers for wireless, all it recognized was wired connection. So I booted back to Windows and did google search for the problem. Lots of problems came up but no solutions. Fortunately, a couple weeks ago I created an image of my computer (Windows control panel option) and saved it onto an external hard drive. So today I deleted the Ubuntu partition and had Windows restore the computer image -- about 2 hours work for the computer.

Well AD, I don't disagree that WiFi cruft is a big issue with Linux. With Ubuntu and related systems it is often because they require that you install proprietary drivers and firmware (required for most WiFi gear) manually, so they don't work "out-of-the-box"... Pisses me off! Anyway, if you need to get WiFi running on Linux, and your system doesn't work with default drivers, then visit They have drivers, or links to drivers, and firmware for just about any non-supported gear, as well as comprehensive instructions to get them installed and running.

Linux is actually more sensetive to viruses, a simple fork bomb would cause the system to run out of memory and reboot will then be essential

Linux is actually more sensetive to viruses, a simple fork bomb would cause the system to run out of memory and reboot will then be essential

Really? More sensetive to viruses? Even a simple fork bomb?

One would think that a rather simple issue to resolve, wouldn't one?

Now if only protecting Windows against viruses was quite that easy; or that Google-able.

An, in case you thought fork bombs were limited to Unix or Linux only, I have 5 characters for you:


Put that in a batch file, run it and see how much fun you have...

Even better, do a search for "Windows Fork Bomb" on you frienldy local Google, and realise that while we certainly may attempt to mitigate the effects of ignorance (much like I'm doing here), we currently know of no cure other than curiousity and education...

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