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Operating Systems Security Ubuntu Linux

OMGUbuntu: 'Why Use Linux?' Answered in 3 Short Words (omgubuntu.co.uk) 269

Linux-focused blog OMGUbuntu's Joey-Elijah Sneddon shared a post today in which he is trying to explain why people should Linux. He stumbled upon the question when he typed "Why use" and Google suggested Linux as one of the most frequent questions. From the article: The question posed is not one that I sincerely ask myself very often. The answer has, over the years, become complicated. It's grown into a bloated ball of elastic bands, each reason stretched around and now reliant on another. But I wanted to answer. Helpfully, my brain began to spit out all the predictable nouns: "Why use Linux? Because of security! Because of control! Because of privacy, community, and a general sense of purpose! Because it's fast! Because it's virus free! Because I'm dang-well used to it now! Because, heck, I can shape it to look like pretty much anything I want it to using themes and widgets and CSS and extensions and blingy little desktop trinkets!"
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OMGUbuntu: 'Why Use Linux?' Answered in 3 Short Words

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  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:10PM (#53110655)

    Nuff said.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:14PM (#53110693)
      Windows 7 is actually pretty damn good.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by fizzer06 ( 1500649 )

        Windows 7 is actually pretty damn good.

        It was. Beginning in Feb., the updates made it unstable and caused application to not open. I had to remove the updates and disable updating, so security took a hit.

        I ended up removing Windows 7 from my desktop and laptop and installing Linux Mint 18, Cinnamon edition on them. I haven't regretted it one second.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The problem with this answer is it doesn't tell anyone anything. It comes off as an opinion without any useful information to back it up.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:22PM (#53110749)

      No. Vendor. Lockin.

      • by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @09:12PM (#53111973) Homepage

        Sure, but we're now replacing that with ecosystem lockin on the Linux side. Thanks, systemd.

        Linux was a free-as-in-speech, *and* free-as-in-beer version of Unix... The Windows devs who've invaded seem to want to bring lockin back by standardizing the Vendor layer across their own userland middleware, and FreeDesktop locked we shall be.

      • Well, try running a kernel or bootloader not signed by Microsoft on new Restricted^WSecure Boot systems. The requirement for the user's ability to disable Restricted Boot on x86 has recently mysteriously disappeared, wanna guess what's coming next?

        Another thing: Windows bootloaders are signed with a key named "Microsoft Windows Production PCA". There's a different signing key, "Microsoft Corporation UEFI CA" that OEMs merely "should consider" including. Guess which one keys of distributions who begged to

        • The workaround for Restricted Boot, which I define as UEFI Secure Boot that a PC's owner cannot reconfigure, is to buy a different make and model PC without Restricted Boot. But that fails if all close substitutes also have Restricted Boot. So which PC form factors are more likely to have Restricted Boot? Is it mostly, say, laptops smaller than 12 inches or with a detachable keyboard?

        • And once you boot one of such kernels in Secure Boot mode, you can't insert unsigned modules, kexec unsigned kernels or access (even as root) a number of facilities that could let you gain control over your own machine.

          Number of people who give a crap about that: you.

    • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @07:04PM (#53111065)

      Windows may suck, but they own the hardware driver market, and they still have significant software applications that are Windows only.

      You can "get by" in Linux by picking and choosing your hardware to be supported, you can "get by" with open equivalent software, sometimes. Then there's games...

      For basic web browsing, document writing, and other daily use tasks, I agree, Linux is better. Taken in the big picture, No... even though Windows sucks as an OS, it still provides access to a wider universe of valuable things.

      • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @08:25PM (#53111713)

        >Windows may suck, but they own the hardware driver market,

        Linux supports more hardware than Windows supports at one time. Linux even supports that pre-XP scanner that you had to throw out because Microsoft changed the driver model and the manufacturer said "well, the customers will just have to buy new ones."

        >driver installation on linux vs windows

        It's laughably easier on Linux. Indeed, there aren't these "driver disks" or ridiculously large "driver packs" with bloatware, Flash, Adobe Reader, and Ask toolbars and other totally unrelated junk.

        >no games

        Funny, Steam has plenty of games.

        >but my (obscure game)

        Ah, the last refuge of the Windows shill - windows is a game launcher.

        >wider universe of valuable things

        I find that the software available from the repos is surprisingly good /and/ is not laden with "appeal to the lowest denominator" graphics nonsense (virus scanners on Windows with animations to demonstrate to the user that it's "doing something" as a particularly egregious example). This nonsense is rife throughout the "windows universe of valuable things."

        >daily use tasks Linux is better

        Indeed. And less common tasks too.

        --
        BMO

        • ...I find that the software available from the repos is surprisingly good /and/ is not laden with "appeal to the lowest denominator" graphics nonsense (virus scanners on Windows with animations to demonstrate to the user that it's "doing something" as a particularly egregious example). This nonsense is rife throughout the "windows universe of valuable things."

          This, exactly. Just today I was doing some work for my old boss and had to use an old Windows laptop. I kept being interrupted by Norton telling me what a wonderful job it was doing, and Windows asking me if I wanted to disable some IE6 plugins to speed things up - and I wasn't even using IE at the time. It was such an annoying, distracting clownshow, reminiscent of a young child starved for attention and saying 'look at me!'. I've been spoiled by Linux - it (mostly) does what I want, it stays out of the wa

          • And I agree- especially with my Win10 boxes recently re-installing Windows Store launchers to my taskbar, reactivating Cortana, and turning "helpful tips" back on - GTFO! But, again, these OS failures don't diminish the ecosystem. The Linux ecosystem is growing, and getting more an more useable as a professional platform (yes, it always was used in _some_ professions, but I'm talking more about the mainstream than the cherry-picked examples).

            Lots of forces keep Windows in-play, many of them unsavory, but

            • > The Linux ecosystem is growing, and getting more an more useable as a professional platform

              The Linux ecosystem (or more exactly, open source) is a black hole that eats voraciously and has become so big that Windows is just including it as a subsystem. They can't block or ignore it any more. The more software is contributed in open source, the more powerful attraction it has.
        • >but my (obscure game)

          Ah, the last refuge of the Windows shill - windows is a game launcher.

          Hey, I play pretty much exclusively obscure games and I resent that.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Linux supports more hardware than Windows supports at one time. Linux even supports that pre-XP scanner that you had to throw out because Microsoft changed the driver model and the manufacturer said "well, the customers will just have to buy new ones."

          While true, it's just not very useful. What is more valuable to the average user, good support for the latest GPUs or version of the software package they use heavily, or support for a 1990s era scanner that can be replaced with a much better one at minimal cost?

      • 1998 called and wants their argument back. The driver thing WAS true in 1998.

        Pick any version of Windows from the last 6 years and any enterprise Linux and you'll find the Linux supports more hardware, and more often does so out of the box, with no driver disk/download.

    • by MrKaos ( 858439 )
      Well, that is three words.
  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:14PM (#53110695)

    * it has bash plus coreutils and all the other command line toolset
    * its software is free as in beer (this is what made me try out linux)
    * its software is free as in software (this is what made me stay on linux for so long)
    * all the things I do with computers can be done with it, and when there is a case I can't do it on linux, I can always fire up the windows VM (happens very very rarely)
    * it has working package management. updating software is no nightmare. Windows has to force its customers to update it, because its a nightmare.
    * most support issues are talked about and you find something you can instantly do not where you have to download this little exe then execute it (and god knows what it may contain). Maybe this will get worse if/when linux adoption reaches the non technical people, its very hard to find such things for android for example.

    many other things I have forgotten, but I will surely miss when I have to use windows or mac.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:29PM (#53110797)

      * its software is free as in beer (this is what made me try out linux)

      For almost all practical purposes so is Windows and you can get all the good Linux software on Windows and Mac too.

      * its software is free as in software (this is what made me stay on linux for so long)

      Like it or not, users in the vast majority don't care about that and it won't draw them to Linux. As far as the software is concerned that same free software like Blender, Gimp and LibreOffice are available on Windows and Mac too. No exclusivity to Linux.

      * it has working package management. updating software is no nightmare. Windows has to force its customers to update it, because its a nightmare.

      yep! But remember Windows has Chocolatey and Mac has Homebrew, this covers many of the free software options and for proprietary software you most often need to go through their updaters whether you're on Windows, Mac or Linux anyway.

      It's great that it does what you need but you have to remember that above anything else a computer is a tool to run the programs a user needs and while Windows and Mac run pretty much anything Linux does the same cannot be said the other way around and most standard applications in industry support Windows & Mac but not Linux. It might be more secure and/or more stable and free of charge and open source but none of those things matter if it doesn't run the applications I need.

      So it's a chicken and egg problem, if you want people to use it they need their applications to support it and to do that you need users. So what you need to offer is some disruptive innovation, some great feature that draws people to Linux, something so good that they would be willing to temporarily forgo the lack of applications and work through the kludge of dual-booting or VMs until their programs supported Linux as a first class citizen. But for the entire life of the hundreds of Linux desktop distributions none has ever offered the user such a feature(s).

      Now you can pretend this isn't true, mod it down and fantasize about how desktop Linux is simple held back by a big conspiracy perpetrated by Microsoft and Apple but the fact is it has succeeded incredibly in pretty much all other markets including those in which Microsoft and Apple participate - and it dominates! Server? Dominates! Embedded? Dominates! Mobile? Dominates! Desktop? Utter failure!

      • So what you need to offer is some disruptive innovation, some great feature that draws people to Linux, something so good that they would be willing to temporarily forgo the lack of applications

        Although I'm a rabid Linux fan I have to say that your post made a lot of sense. But I'd add to the above, in view of Windows 10 integrated spyware, "Or Windows has to become so bad that people will be driven away."

    • by nnull ( 1148259 )

      For someone that switched their business to linux, these are all excellent points. However, linux is missing and lacking critical commercial software which makes switching difficult. Cad software, PLC programming software, well, just have to run it in VMWare, which is nothing unusual, most people in this profession will run those things in VMware regardless of Windows or Linux. The licenses on these software is just too expensive to lose, VMWare helps a lot there.

      Also, I've noticed employees having trouble

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Why the hell do all the linux PDF's viewers not have OCR?

        Two guesses: Patents, and not enough ability and interest among corporate or volunteer contributors to produce a high-quality OCR engine as free software.

  • Clickbait (Score:3, Informative)

    by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:14PM (#53110697)
    Really, Slashdot? Clickbait? "Because it's better". Would that have been so difficult to throw into the Summary? I'm ashamed.
  • 2016 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    2016 and if I upgrade my kernel to 4.7, no wifi...again. Fucking Linux still sucks.

    • Or maybe it's 2016, you're fiddling with stuff you don't completely understand and forgot to put the wifi firmware in place for the new kernel...

  • said no one ever
  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:38PM (#53110877) Homepage Journal

    So that your nerdy friend will stop bugging you to use a *real* operating system, and start bugging you to read the fine manual! :D

  • Three words? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:42PM (#53110935) Journal
    It's not Windows.
    It's not spyware.
    It's not Microsoft.
    It respects you.
    It's your computer!
    Try it today!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't easily run the games I want to play.

    • by bmo ( 77928 )

      Burma Shave.

      --
      BMO

    • Seeing the shit Windows has turned into, the respect motive is a really important and appropiate one: It lets you uninstall and disable things you don't want and they stay that way (hello Cortana and assorted uninstallable Windows 10 things). It lets you update at your own pace. You tell the computer what to do and *gasp* it does it.
  • That is all ...
  • Use FreeBSD Instead (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrun4982 ( 3875585 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @06:46PM (#53110977)
    for servers at least. Sorry, but I'll stick with Windows and OSX for desktop usage for wider software support and both are good enough these days.
    • "Good enough" was coined by Bill Gates back in the eighties. Windows sucked then and it sucks now. But perhaps your definition of good enough differs from mine.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @07:02PM (#53111057) Journal
    ""Keeps your secrets" vs "Do no privacy"
    "National Security Agency"
    "Secret Intelligence Service"
    Who wants code by private sector teams that allowed 5 eye nations to get all the plain text for years?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
  • by roesti ( 531884 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @07:07PM (#53111087)

    ... "I love systemd"? I bet that's what they are.

  • Why use Linux? Because of security! Because of control! Because of privacy, community, and a general sense of purpose! Because it’s fast! Because it’s virus free! Because i’m dang-well used to it now! Because, heck, I can shape it to look like pretty much anything I want it to using themes and widgets and CSS and extensions and blingy little desktop trinkets!

    Security - unless you screw up one of a million subtle things. Control? Not only does it allow you control, it _requires_ that you understand how to control every damned thing (90% of the time it just works, then the other time everything is broken). Fast? Unless you configure something wrong. Virus free? Granted. Can make it look any way you want to? Well, yes and no - you can make it look many different ways, but you end up swearing at whoever forbade the particular combination you actually wanted

    • upgrade screws everything up because new-GNOME has no relationship to old-GNOME.

      There's a simple and obvious fix for that: don't use GNOME. Most of the other DEs I've experimented with respect your decisions about how you want your desktop to look and don't reset everything to their ideas of perfection with every upgrade.
  • ... it's an efficient server platform and offers a *nix environment with an easy-to-grok underpinning that a human can eventually understand, until systemd entendrils itself everywhere because non-determinism is cool now.

    Ohhhh... You mean "Why do I use Linux on the Desktop?"

    I don't. I use a Mac laptop and a Win10 PC desktop. I want to get work done and/or play games, not fiddle with crap.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @07:39PM (#53111319)

    I have been a hard-core LInux user for over 15 years, running it on desktops, laptops, everything, completely eschewing the WIndows ecosystem (except for some occasional Wine use). Then I moved to an employer that is 100% OSX based. Running Linux on a bare metal Macbook was not an option due to the necessity of running security software mandated by their compliance department (along with a security token for MFA that doesn't work with Linux).

    So I switched to OSX and run Linux in a VM, ssh'ing to it as needed.

    I was reluctant to make the switch at first, but now am quite happy with OSX as my main OS -- everything works, the laptop sleeps and wakes up as it should, the integrated touchpad and camera work flawlessly, it switches from a single monitor to my double desktop monitors without a problem, then switches back to the laptop display when I unplug. Presentation mode works well when I plug in the projector.

    While running running Linux on my thinkpad, I've experienced lots of problems -- sometimes the laptop would fail to suspend -- I'd pull it out of my backpack and it'd be hot with a nearly dead battery after continuing to run while the lid was closed, sometimes it would fail to wake up and I'd have to power cycle it. Sound was a recurring problem, I'd have to restart the sound daemon at least once a week, and plugging in an external monitor was always an exercise in finding out where my windows scattered to and hoping that it found the right resolution for my monitor.

    On the server side, I'm a big fan of Linux, but on the desktop, I'm become a fan of OSX.

    • by niks42 ( 768188 )
      Couldn't agree more. I have a number of Linux machines at home running services like Asterisk, Plex, web services and so on. I have one Linux machine for music production, and I used to have a Linux laptop - BUT the controls didn't all work, it failed to suspend all the time, and occasionally on resume the mouse would cease to function. I had to tab round to find a command prompt and do the "sudo rmmod psmouse &&sudo modprobe psmouse" to wake it up again.

      And then there are the MS Office applicati
  • Compiling. Networking. CUDA.
  • and now a haiku.

    Linux is better,
    Microsoft ruined Windows,
    Liberated user!

  • It is not ok to reboot my laptop in the middle of the night. I don't care what security canard you dangle in front of me, do not reboot my laptop unless you ask, and I say OK. Waking up to a rebooted laptop is pure and simple bullshit. I'm pretty sure I saw it come out of the bull and hit the ground, it's bullshit.

    Spying on your users is bad. You really should not be spying on your users. Yeah, I can turn the spying off. But you turning it back on everytime I get an "update"? Fuck you.

    Remind me
  • for all those who need "themes and widgets and CSS and extensions and blingy little desktop trinkets".

    for those that need excel. not so much...

  • 1. It suits me
    2. Tux is cute
    3. Microsoft Windows Sucks
    4. Macs cost loads
    5. Tux is cute

  • The main reason for using Linux is security; and control! The two main reasons are security and control; and privacy! The three main reasons ... no, amongst the reasons are such items as ...

    Sorry to any Monty Python fans...

  • You don't 'use' OS; you use whatever software you need to do whatever you do.
    If a Linux distro does it for you, great - it's cheaper and often easier to keep operating acceptably than Windows.
    If it doesn't, well, tough luck.

    To this day, it mostly doesn't.

  • Invented on Linux's crappy UI and still the most awsome and useful UI paradigm invented since the UI. The only problem with it is it has been dumbed down since 2009 for no reason I can tell other than to make it easier for Windows, then finally Mac users to use.

    I know people who start using Linux see the default Linux UI experience as not much. But it used to be a lot more configurable. I liked customizing my own UI experience because I wasn't building a comptuer for everyone else, I was building it for m

  • by allo ( 1728082 ) on Thursday October 20, 2016 @09:34AM (#53114385)

    "because it's better" are four words.

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