A Guide to Buying Linux

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A Guide to Buying Linux

Ever wanted to smash your computer? Ever just had that urge to try and throw your computer out the window? Ever been caught yelling at your computer, "I hate Windows!"? If you have done any of these then I suggest that Linux is for you and this guide will explain to you the benefits and features of linux, where to get it, costs, if it's right for you and more.

Background Information

Linux was developed quite a while ago and was developed to be a Free and Open Source Operating System for many that wanted an alternative to Windows. If we were to compare Linux and Windows then you could put it this way:

Linux is on the same level as Windows
Linux has distributions and Windows has versions
Distributions of Linux include Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora Core and Madriva.
Versions of Windows include 95, 98, 2000 and XP
Each distribution of Linux has it's own version number for example: At the time of writing this guide SUSE Linux is currently version 10.1 and Ubuntu is currently version 6.06.
Each version of Windows has a build number although you may not know it. At the time of writing this guide Windows XP is build 2600. If you want to find out your build then:

    1. Click Start
    2. Click Run
    3. Type winver and press enter

Ever different disribution is made by different people in different parts of the world who spend lots of time creating these versions for free. Windows is made by Micrososft. Some distributions you may have to pay for but that could be for extra services which come with it. A distribution is regarded as Linux when it has a thing called the Linux Kernel in it, the core of Linux.

Features and benefits

Linux has many features and benefits assoiciated with it which do not come with Windows. These are listed below:

  • Linux is 100% Free unless you choose to buy a distribution that comes with extra services or support. Note that the best of the best Linux distributions are almost always Free.
  • If you are a user of Windows you may notice that it crashes once every so often. In Linux you will probably on experience 5% the amount of Windows crashes and these normally fix themselves without requiring a restart.
  • The security of Linux is phenonemal. Linux will always, in my opinion, beat everything else with it's inbuilt security including Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Firewall etc.
  • Viruses are mostly targeted at Windows and therefore you will probably never expierience a hacker or virus trying to get onto your computer when you're running Linux.
  • Inbuilt Software is common on all distributions of Linux. Programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Nero etc are all availiable in different types free and preinstalled. Such as OpenOffice to replace Microsoft Office, DVD Authoring Software, GIMP Shop to replace Photoshop.
  • Linux is 100% open source most of the time. This means that you can download the source code which is what the programmers have written to make Linux anytime and modify it to youur own personal needs.

Is Linux Right for me?

I know that you probably been asking this the whole time you have been reading this. You have probably also been thinking that if I install Linux then I can't go back to Windows. Well heres just another great feature of Linux, many distributions of Linux offer to you the option of Live CD which means you can put the CD in your computer and run Linux off the CD, not affecting any of your files on your hard drive.

This is always the best option if you just want to try it before you go for the big install. If you have two or more hard drives and you don't use one of them then that's even better because with a little bit of education you can learn how to install Linux onto a seperate hard drive and switch between Windows and Linux anytime you want before you turn on your computer.

So if you are the person who is desperate for something other than Windows, and you don't want Apple Mac because it's a little bit expensive and you don't want to spend money, and if you want something you will be able to adapt to fast without having to buy Micrososft Office and Photoshop etc to use with it then I can safely say that Linux is definately for you.

Where to get it and Costs

Linux distributions can mostly always be downloaded somewhere off the internet. Yet you may not have a fast enough internet connection to go and download 700mb up to 3gb. You also may not have enough download limit per month to download it or you can't be bothered spending time downloading or leaving your computer unsafely on at night time downloading. If this is you then welcome to eBay. Just type in your favorite distributions name into the search of eBay and you should find some results immediately of people selling Linux for low prices such as 0.99c just to cover the cost of the CD/DVD they burn't Linux to.

There are many distributions to choose from but I suggest these 3 to you:

  • Ubuntu
  • SUSE
  • Fedora Core 5

Ubuntu offers the Live CD Support that I explained earlier and it would probably be the best to start off with. I'm normally selling Ubuntu on eBay so just check out my items and I'm sure there will be something to help you and your Linux future. Good Luck!

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