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Why Linux over Windows?

by SkepTones / May 3, 2013 9:03 AM PDT

Now I want to hear from any of those Die-Hard Linux fans (if there are any who happen to read this)

Why would you ever choose Linux over Windows? The only reason I can fathom is because you don't want to/ can't pay 200$ for an operating system. But then again, that 200$ is a great investment in the world of operating systems.

There are just so many limitations to using Linux, so many things that Linux can't do that Windows does. Choosing it over Windows just seems weird to me. I'm using Ubuntu currently and it's got problems. In theory it's nice but it just doesn't have that rock-solid stability that Windows has always had. To add to that, it is very limited. Most programs are built for windows and OSX, and have no alternative in the Linux world. Admittedly you can run SOME win programs under Wine, but again it just is not the same as the rock solidity of Windows. The software center included with various versions of linux is alright, but only has a few truly useful programs. Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04 are not very stable at all. The sidebar lags and stutters, as does the dash home button. Freezes/Crashes regularly. Slows down after time. Windows does not do these things.

So basically again, why would you ever choose any version of Linux over Windows if you had the option to get Windows?? That is the question.

I believe that Ubuntu could be a really awesome OS. If it were invested in more, and not totally reliant on donations or however they work. But in it's current state, it is nowhere near as good as windows in any category besides being free.

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I guess it depends on what the need is
by itsdigger / May 3, 2013 10:36 AM PDT

I have a friend that is upgrading a major bank here in the U.S and guess what the the bank uses ? If you guessed Linux you'd be correct also another friend works for the Corp of Engineers, they use Linux too, and you have to wonder why the U.S Dept. of Defense uses Linux. The U.S Army uses Linux and the Navy's nuclear sub fleet is ran using Linux. The US National Nuclear Security Administration operates the world's tenth fastest supercomputer, the IBM Roadrunner, which uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux along with Fedora as its operating systems and the list goes on. The reason is for security my friend. As a matter of fact a lot of country's only use Linux for that reason. If you need a bigger list look here>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters . Yeah, I like Windows too and yes it is highly polished but don't think Windows is without it's problems. Not everyone uses they're computer to play games on and with that exception Linux does everything else quite handily. So there's my little opinion, take it for what it's worth....Digger

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Quick answers
by 3rdalbum / May 4, 2013 12:18 AM PDT

I own a copy of Windows 7. I don't like it.

Ubuntu is easier to use than Windows. I've had much fewer issues with it than with Windows 7 and Windows 8 (which I tried for a little while). I've had about the same number of crashes on Windows 7 as on Ubuntu (not very many) but there have been fewer times on Ubuntu that I've experienced glitches and needed to reboot.

Windows 7 is very glitchy for home use, in my experience, but then there are a lot of people who use it and are happy with it. Then, there were people who didn't find anything wrong with Windows XP's three notifications when you insert a USB flash drive.

Linux software is fine for what I use it for. You don't get shareware begging, nagging for updates or in-app advertisements in free Linux software, whereas you usually get these things in free Windows software.

I can install, reinstall and share Ubuntu as I want. New versions come every six months and apart from 13.04 there are usually useful new features every time. Unity is a definite strength of Ubuntu as it really saves screen space for the things that matter, the Launcher is actually very similar to the Windows 7 taskbar, and the Dash is very powerful for searching. The Sound indicator is pretty handy, too. Most things in Unity are handy, and when I can remember to use it the HUD can be useful in finding that very-hidden menu item.

The Unity desktop is certainly better than the OS X desktop and it's really tough to decide whether it's better than the Mac OS 9 desktop. I prefer Unity to the Windows 7 or Windows 8 UIs as it's space-compact, organised and so helpful. And of course I don't need to worry about malware. All this adds up to just a more pleasant, less anxiety-inducing computing experience. In short, even if Linux cost more than Windows I would still pay the extra.

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Thank you for your answer.
by SkepTones / May 4, 2013 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Quick answers

That was quite the type of answer I was hoping to get. I do love the philosophy of Ubuntu and Linux, and the interface is really nice as well. Unity is quite handy as you said. Also I do love what you and Digger mentioned, which is the security. Malware-free is always a good thing.

But experiences differ. Lately for me Ubuntu 13 has been pretty choppy. It feels like I need a really powerful system to run it smoothly. My computer isn't necessarily powerful, but it's not really under powered either. Which seems strange to me because isn't Ubuntu supposed to run well on most computers? In my own case, Ubuntu is really well thought and totally usable for many things, but Just doesn't run as well as Windows did on the same computer. I'm not sure whether it's something I am doing wrong personally or what. But I mean I just straight up installed Ubuntu and have been running it like I assume anyone who does would.

*Quick question insert* Does Ubuntu run better on AMD or Intel? I'm running with AMD right now.

Thanks for your time.

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Is it just me
by James Denison / May 4, 2013 9:18 AM PDT

Or have you noticed the "Live CD/DVD" versions, especially when installed on a flash drive, seem to run faster than a full installation to the hard drive?

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It probably isn't just you,
by SkepTones / May 5, 2013 9:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Is it just me

BUT I've never even used the live version for very long myself. just long enough to get a decent idea of what I'm working with and then I install it. But hard drives can get pretty slow, so I can see this happening. Especially if you are dual-booting with another operating system.

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I really can't say
by itsdigger / May 12, 2013 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Is it just me

anything about it being faster on a flash drive because I have never used one but, it would make sense if it does because it would still be running off of you're RAM rather than the HDD . ( I think)

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Try Lubuntu or Xubuntu
by nbahn / June 8, 2013 1:50 PM PDT

I believe that Lubuntu runs faster than Xubuntu, but I don't exactly remember. Either one, however will run faster than regular Ubuntu. Also..... *googles for a minute*
Top 5 lightweight Linux distros for older PCs

Sooo... please let us know what choice(s) that you've made!

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If all I wanted to do was
by James Denison / May 4, 2013 9:11 AM PDT

to do email and browse the internet and save files, music, pictures, camera downloads, and so forth, then I'd go with Linux over windows based on cost. Thunderbird and Firefox are just as versatile under Linux as they are in Windows. If instead I wanted to access certain specific programs which work only in Windows, then of course I'd have to choose windows.

Linux could do better if they'd develop "gui buttons" which could be added for every sort of command so the Terminal could be avoided, that's where Windows paid off for Microsoft in the marketplace. The further Windows moved away from a command line, the more people embraced it, the more who bought their first computers and came onto the internet.

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You can avoid the terminal
by 3rdalbum / May 4, 2013 2:47 PM PDT

For pretty much everything except troubleshooting, you can avoid the terminal. Same as on Windows. (well, the difference is that a Windows troubleshooting command is usually long, impossible to decipher and impossible to remember).

Oh sure, people give terminal commands as answers to questions; if you ask someone how to add a PPA they'll tell you to "sudo add-apt-repository" but that's only because it's a lot easier than giving step-by-step "click here, then click here" instructions. Even PPAs are mostly unnecessary for ordinary users.

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Give Kubuntu a try
by James Denison / May 5, 2013 2:57 PM PDT

I've heard even linux users complain about the new Unity desktop environment on the latter Ubuntus. On Kubuntu you can change the Menu to look and work like in Windows with a couple mouse clks. Here's a screen capture showing an installation I did on a 16GB flashdrive for a friend recently. Here's the Kparted (much the same as GParted in other distros) showing how it is setup. This was just for Kubuntu use, no requirement for a storage area for windows files. Instead he intends to copy anything into the Kubuntu, while if he loses the thumbdrive (it's very small in size) any casual windows user will only see this and probably just reformat it, not realize it is bootable, nor realizing it has any files stored on it.

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I don't mind the look of Ubuntu.
by SkepTones / May 5, 2013 11:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Give Kubuntu a try

Actually I quite enjoy how different it is from Windows. It's just that it doesn't have the stability that Windows has. I was constantly getting lag in places I shouldn't be in Ubuntu 12 and 13. More so in 13 for some odd reason though.

But I would definitely give Kubuntu a try. I went looking for a new Linux to try out recently and found Pear Linux 7. I found it to be awesome because it is supposed to kind of resemble OSX. Its based on Ubuntu 12.10, but so far it seems so much better than plain Ubuntu. It seems to run a lot smoother, and just looks a lot more appealing. I'm going to stick with it for a while but should it start to get any less enjoyable to use I'll try kubuntu for sure.

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tried Ubuntu
by itsdigger / May 6, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

and found it to be glitchy and problematic , it hung up often and was pretty slow. I opted to use Zorin OS 6 . I'ts based on Ubuntu 12.4 and is very stable and easy to use . I purchased the Ultimate version for $12.85 U.S. but there is a core version for free. Here's a Youtube review if you'd care to check it out >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=P5K6nYhXwdY . I use this as my main OS now and have no complaints. Digger

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Zorin looks awesome.
by SkepTones / May 6, 2013 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: tried Ubuntu

Ubuntu is pretty bad from what I experienced. Stability is my biggest concern, so I will more than likely give Zorin a try myself. Its neat how you can change it's style to look like any other OS out there.

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Here's the Ultimate version
by itsdigger / May 6, 2013 5:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Zorin looks awesome.
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running in VM
by James Denison / May 11, 2013 7:01 PM PDT
In reply to: tried Ubuntu

I usually try new distros in VM first, but the problem is since it's emulated environment, something that seems to work almost flawless can suddenly have flaws when installed to a flash drive or hard drive partition and run from there because suddenly it has to deal with all the actual devices instead of being spoon fed through the VM.

Another problem I noted with Mint 14 is it has problems installing on some thumbdrives, no matter if windows or Live CD was used to format in fat32. Seems to be when the zero point isn't used for the boot, or is offset for some reason. I found the Universal USB Installer program at pendrivelinux to work great for getting past that situation. It also sets up persistence which gives you the versatility of a "LIVE" installation and the ability to keep changes you've made like opening screen resolution. Another problem with it, at least on one ASUS motherboard I've had, no matter if all sleep and suspend settings are turned off in BIOS, and power settings are done in the program to keep sleep mode away, if I switch to my other computer through the KVM for a bit, when I come back it's frozen and the ONLY way I've found to wake it up then is CTRL-ALT-F1 followed by the CTRL-ALT-F8 key, which toggles terminal to GUI mode.

Kubuntu, it just works.

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Quick answers
by discountsoftware / June 22, 2013 8:18 PM PDT

Linux distributions are characterized by high reliability.

When Windows already died Linux only was frightened Happy

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But
by SkepTones / June 22, 2013 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Quick answers

From the 4 or so Linux distros I have tried, they have been near useless and extremely unreliable. I'm not saying there are no reliable versions of Linux, but every Linux I've tried has been no more useful than a web browser. There are too many distros to choose from, and a lot of them are duds anyway.

Relating this to the original topic of the thread, You can get any version of Windows newer than XP and it is going to be productive and reliable as your main OS. From my experience Linux cannot do so, that is why I was wondering why someone would use Linux. My conclusion is that its because its free.

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Which four?
by 3rdalbum / June 24, 2013 12:11 AM PDT
In reply to: But

Which four Linux distros?

If you're having problems with crashing, then it's almost certain to be a faulty memory problem. Yes, I know you didn't have problems with Windows - but Windows reserves up to 2 GiB of your RAM and then never actually uses it, whereas Linux only takes as much as it needs and leaves the rest for your programs.

Try taking a RAM stick out.

Your conclusion is wrong. Most people who have Linux also have Windows, but prefer to use Linux. I have a legal copy of Windows too, and I made a serious attempt to move to Windows 8 last year, but in the end I got too frustrated and came back to Linux.

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Open-Source expands computing possibilities for everyone.
by rfriendship / July 11, 2013 5:18 AM PDT

I came here intending to open a debate on this subject and am pleased to find it is already well subscribed.
With over 35 years of computing experience I too find the power of Windows addictive. As has been said, Windows appears to provide most every feature any user might wish for. Of course this comes at a price. Most would agree that it is good value except, of course, those not in a position to pay for a licensed os. This is where the Linux distributions come in to play, produced by a multitude of talented and skilled people from all parts of the world who subscribe to the view that the power of computing should be available to everyone who so wishes. True Philanthropy.
In reply, "itsdigger" illustrates just how powerfully endorsed the Linux operating system is. Most of the worlds internet servers also run Linux, in spite of offering the choice of Windows to web designers. It is an inherently more stable system.
To return to the funding issue, Ubuntu is the first Linux offering to maintain a funded team of experts who regularly hold meetings to discuss and deal with current issues with the os and whos' remit is to provide regular maintenance, upgrades and bug fixes. There are distributions which accommodate older and less powerful computers as well as for enterprise server requirements.
As an illustration, my 10 year old notebook, which takes around 10 minutes to boot Win Xp desktop and is impractically slow, is ready to go with Ubuntu 12.04 in 1 minute 40 seconds. True, it does occasionally freeze but after a short period, maybe 15-30 seconds, sorts itself and I don't find this unmanageable. So, maybe that old XP machine can come out of retirement after all? Less power consumption (notebooks/laptops) to Boot! (no pun intended) and with a little research all my old peripherals are connected and running.
I believe I am persuaded!

Kind regards to all,

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