At first glance, an operating system such as Linux may seem very complex and difficult to learn. The number of simultaneously operating and communicating elements is staggering. Additionally, when we take into account the dizzying number of seemingly different distributions, we may get a headache and the question “why are there so many”? Being a user of a commercial product from the Redmond giant, you can come to the conclusion that every distribution is different, like every version of Windows … but is it really so? In this article, I will introduce you, to the world of Linux.
What is Linux and how to understand it?
Linux can be compared to the engine, the same known to us from cars. However, we can look at the distributions themselves as at the car brands. Each brand hides the same engine under the hood, only the form in which it is presented changes. On the one hand, we can get a ready cockpit and manage our engine from its level, and on the other hand, we can create our own Linux cockpit. We have many ready-made dashboards to choose from, we can use such as, for example, GNOME, KDE, XFCE or MATE and modify them as we want.
Many people at the very beginning become (unnecessarily) discouraged from Linux by the “famous” black window in which some information appears. Perhaps the reason for this is that they were taught by another operating system that only professionals use the terminal in an emergency, but that is not the case in Linux systems. The Linux terminal gives us a lot more possibilities and helps with file management, resource monitoring and many other activities, but we’ll come back to that in another article.
However, you don’t have to use the terminal to do anything, most distributions allow you to manage the system in a simple and fun way via a graphical interface. How you choose to manage your Linux is entirely up to you.
Linux is amazing
Linux is everywhere. The entire Android system is based on the Linux kernel (kernel or according to the previous allegory) of Linux, if you are interested in dry facts, I will list them below for you:
- As many as 93.6% of servers from all over the world are run on Linux.
- Worldwide, 100% of the top 500 supercomputers run on Linux
- Globally, as many as 90% of cloud services are based on Linux
- As many as 85% of all mobile devices use Linux
But does all of this mean Linux is the best system in the world and is suitable for everything? Of course, the answer to this question is not simple. If we wanted to point out the weakness of Linux, these are definitely games. When creating them, game developers do not always think about users of operating systems other than Windows. Therefore, not all recent games will run on Linux. I specifically use the word “not all” here because there are several projects that deal with developing Linux software that is able to open Windows games (like Wine ). Of course, there are also games that can be run on Linux without any problems. More than that, one of the most popular gaming platforms has released its own Linux-based operating system, we’re talking about SteamOS here .
Why is Linux worth having?
Okay, you already know what Linux is, but you still don’t know why you should start using it. There are many reasons why you should use Linux, in this section I will try to objectively present to you why it is worth using this operating system.
First, there is the security of your computer. It’s not like some people like to portray that there are no viruses on Linux. Everything in the world today is vulnerable to hacking, it’s not that Linux is an exception. Linux is a safer system than others and this is because of its architecture, the way it was created and the way it works. In addition, it should be mentioned that Linux is open source, which means that everyone can have access to its source code, and its reliability is supervised by a huge community.
Secondlylow hardware requirements. Low consumption of computer resources is very important because they determine how smoothly other tasks will be performed. If most of the power is spent on displaying the graphical interface of our operating system, it may turn out that the seemingly simple browsing of the Internet will be simply problematic. There are special Linux distributions that are designed to run smoothly even on old laptops. A good example here is the Puppy Linux distribution , which takes up less than 300MB.
Third, Linux is perfect for developers. Linux supports almost most major programming languages such as Java / Python / C / C ++ / Rust. Working with these languages in a Linux based environment is much more enjoyable and easier.
I could also mention that another advantage of Linux is its price (it’s free!), Or at least mention the huge possibilities of customizing the system to our needs, but this article could go on forever because I still think of new advantages of using Linux .
What distribution should I choose?
As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of Linux distributions and if you want to choose the right one for you, you need to know what you want. Below I will describe a few distributions so that you have an overview of them and you can choose which one you want to use.
Ubuntu is a modern distribution based on Debian, constantly updated and modernized. Simple to install and easy to use. Many recommend it to beginners.
Linux Mint is a distribution based on Ubuntu but is a lighter version. Low hardware requirements enable smooth operation even on older laptops / computers. Additionally, Linux Mint looks a bit like Windows, which can be an added bonus for some users.
Fedora Workstation benefits this distribution from many factors, such as: huge software availability, quick access to new features, and quick and reliable updates
Deepin biggest advantage of this distribution is probably its appearance, very elegant and similar to that known to us from macOS systems. Distribution is also simple and intuitive to use
Of course, these are not all recommendable distributions, because there are a lot of them, but it is a presentation of the more interesting and noteworthy, especially for new users. When choosing a distribution at the beginning of our adventure with Linux, we should focus on its reliability and frequency of updates. When it comes to the appearance, we can always adjust it to our liking using ready-made themes that we can find on the Internet or manually change something ourselves.
Summing up, the distributions intended for beginners are mostly the same, they mainly differ in appearance and availability of certain functions from the graphical interface. The choice of your first distribution should be carefully considered, because by choosing a distribution with a small community it will be difficult for you to gain knowledge about things that interest you, such as solving a problem, e.g. with software installation.
Well, that’s it for this article, thank you very much for making it to the end and I hope you will find a distribution for yourself. If you have any questions, write in the comment and I will be happy to help