Opinion on Linux

12

I a longtime Windows user, and have used Windows since Windows 3.11. I recently tried out several popular Linux distrubutions recently, to see what they were like. I tried Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Elementary OS, and Linux Mint. I was very surprised at how solid some were. Linux was always the OS I had on a flash drive in case my computer had issues. Now it seems like an OS I could dual boot with Windows.

Here is my thoughts on the different distros

Ubuntu 16.04

Pros

Works out of the box

Offers many great software

Stable

Scales reasonably well on a Hi DPI display

Cons

Interface is subjective

Maintained by a company

 

Fedora 24

Pros

Cutting Edge Linux technologies

Includes newest features

Very secure

Cons

Not for people who want long term support.

Not the stablest of distros

Scaling in Gnome needs a lot of work.

Debian

Pros

Very stable

Great community support

Cons

Is not the most begginer friendly distro

Some drivers do not work out of the box

Elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Pros

Very good clean, easy to use user interface

Excellent preinstalled programs

Scales very well on a Hi DPI display

Cons

Epiphany browser isn’t as full featured as like Firefox

Linux Mint

Pros

Easy to use and familiar interface

Works right out of the box

Includes a wide range of free software

Great for beginners

Cons

Not the best on a touchscreen.

 

 

Overall

Linux has matured and gotten to a point where I think it is comparable to Windows. It still have flaws and isn’t as clean cut as Windows yet, especially having to use the terminal on many occasions. However, Linux distros like Linux Mint,  and Ubuntu, are excellent and are good for those wanting an alternative OS to Windows or OSX.

 

 

 

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12 Comments
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  1. 2 | Reply
    Siv Alpha Member #451 - 2 months ago

    I don't know about you but I think Microsoft's continual cloud focus is driving me away from Windows. Here in the UK (especially rural UK were I live) internet bandwidth is just so poor that anything cloud is just a non-starter. Until I have a reliable 50gb/s connection cloud is just a pipedream.

    Also the worry that MS are intent on doing away with Windos 10 Pro and making me move to Enterprise is the last straw and I am starting to contemplate a move to Linux Mint on the client and Red Hat or Ubuntu on the server.  That combined with the death of Small Business Server is driving me and a lot of small IT consultancies to Linux solutions.

    I recently switched a client who had SBS 2003 onto IGAWare Small Business Server and it has worked flawlessly. My other clients who are still on Windows 10 and SBS 2011 or 2008 are getting really pissed off with the issues with updates that Windows 10 has had in recent months and this whole concept of updating Windows versions as a whole new O/S install is just too disruptive when it takes 3 or more hours out of a client's business day. I know about the working hours thing, but it's irrelevant when clients shut down their PCs at 5pm and switch them back on at 08:30 the next day, so inevitably the updates occur in business hours.

    MS need to get their head out of their asses and realise that not everyone wants cloud and provide non-cloud alternatives. Otherwise they risk losing all their small business clients to Linux.

    1. 0 | Reply
      J_Numan - 1 month ago
      In reply to Siv:
      Where do you live in the middle of dartmoor? :) just joking.I travel the UK all the time and rarely find anywhere that has poor internet connectivity of some sort with a quick travel.If we are talking adsl, then sometimes out in the sticks that can be slow for a home user. But why not use 4g, its what I use on the road and get get a very decent upload and download and rarely have trouble anywhere with it. It is pretty widespread now. We are also spoilt rotten for wifi hotspots in the Uk, just try doing that in some parts of Europe. Must be one near you that you can pop to now and again, have a long pub lunch or something and load up or download all your files for the heavier cloud stuff. For that i often find a good wifi hotspot when on the road and up/download for those occasions when its really needed. Then rest of day just use 4g for normal net stuff. Not seen any problems with windows 10 updates in our business at many levels and on a lot of new and old kit. That is at a self employed one user level (just a home or pro editions) or the few business networks we use. What update has ever taken 3 hours? Maybe the anniversary one took a bit longer, but that could easily have been deferred to after business hours and was no where near three hours.   As for linux, there is still a lot of software that just does not work with it. Im thinking stuff like itunes, sky go, now tv. Also more professionally, video editing is not a patch on Windows aor the Mac. Also, with many now back to using MS offoce apps on their iPads and Android, especially with Excel we have found it s just not compatible with the Libre Office Calc for good business practice and just slows down our meetings when a linux user says its not working.Have used it in the past, but it can get tricky for the casula user when something goes wrong. It can be qit a learning curve.
  2. 1 | Reply
    cubichon - 2 months ago

    First some background. I worked at Bell Laboratories back in the day, in the same group with Kernighan and Ritchie (inventors of UNIX), and Dave Korn (father of the Korn Shell). I have used practically all flavors of UNIX from Super Minis, to PCs. AT&T v5, AIX, SCO, Solaris, HP-UX, BSD, UnixWare, SuSe, Red Hat, Debian, Mandrake, and now the various Ubuntu versions. I have settled on Ubuntu Mate 16.04. I have used all incantations of DOS, IBM DOS and Windows, including NT, 2000, Bob (yes insert joke here), Millenium, 95, 7, 8 all the way to 10. I have used many Mac OS versions as well. For my needs (subjective here), I have decided to move my family to Ubuntu and Libre Office. The old hardware gets a boost in life with the 64-bit versions I am using, and I don't have to pay anybody for software even those presented as SaaS. No one has ver said to me they can't read or use my Libre Office Docs, Spreadsheets or presentations.  I do realize my work is usually standard and no special high-end user features used. Even file locks via passwords work fine.

    I guess I am trying to state that I try very hard to support and use MSFT products but it is getting to the point that the tool is not the focus rather the output. It works for me and at my stage of my life, I want simplicity and control.

    I do a great deal of charity IT work, where businesses and wealthy schools call me to pick up their discards for donations. I spend a great deal of time cleaning and refurbishing the equipment. I install Ubuntu and tailor the image for the organization receiving their "new" toys. I have witnessed older non-tech savvy users such as teachers, nuns, priests and even kids use their new devices loaded with Ubuntu and never complain about usability. They are able to do their work and actually compliment me on how fast the machines are and how everything they need to do just works. Simplicity at work again.

    Corporate America is a different beast as I work for a major Airline and we just upgraded everyone to Windows 7 SP1 with the exception of the pilots that use Surface pro devices with 8.1 or 10.

    It is a refreshing and sobering realization that we geeks get caught up in the ying and yang but most folks just want the thing to work. I am old enough to have lived through the UNIX v VAX VMS, Unix International vs Open software foundation, Open Look v Motif, EISA v Microchannel architecture as well as the Windows v UNIX/Linux wars. When I look back I just laugh at all the wasted time we spent on geek wars while users again just wanted the thing to work.

     

    1. 0 | Reply
      hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 2 months ago

      In reply to cubichon:

      Wasn't it Thompson and Ritchie who developed Unix. Kernighan and Ritchie together wrote The C Programming Language, but Kerhighan wasn't involved with the original development of C, was he?

    2. 0 | Reply
      cubichon - 1 month ago
      In reply to hrlngrv:

      No, you are spot on. Ken Thompson and Ritchie were the Multics and UNIX guys. Ken was also major involved in Plan 9 but I was on my way out at that time. Thompson was also the originator of an insult directed towards me in a group conference, To this day, I did not understand a word he used, so my feelings were not hurt. I was told later on that day that I was perceived as just plain stupid. as he and most of the others in the session were aware that my question lacked intellectual challenge, was mundane, and too pedestrian for his acknowledgement and processing. Looking back, I feel like my dog, when I yell at him and he just looks at me with that look that says I know you not happy with me by your expression, but have no freeking idea what you are saying to me.

      In those days, Holmdel NJ was so much fun as it was an adventure everyday.

  3. 0 | Reply
    Dave Alpha Member #481 - 1 month ago

    I've been using linux for about 7 years.  Its best attribute is that I can encrypt the hard drive just before installing the OS which is great for security.  But there are drawbacks eg  AMD are not supporting graphics drivers in the latest ubuntu (or derivatives) distro.  This matters if you have a discrete AMD graphics card or APU processor and you want to play steam games which won't render or if say you wanted to hook your pc up to TV - you will only have limited resolutions to work with and your picture won't look great.  Even flagship programs like libre office linux don't always play nicely when you open the document in libre office windows, let alone ms office.  I can't open my tax submissions to the inland revenue propely unless I use a recent version of adobe, etc etc etc....So I'm not really convinced that Linux is good enough for all my needs.  It's nearly there but not quite.

  4. 0 | Reply
    Narg Alpha Member #420 - 1 month ago

    Many IT folks do this, few stay with Linux full time or even at all.  Linux is far more work than Windows is these days.

    1. 0 | Reply
      hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 month ago

      In reply to Narg:

      How so more work?

  5. 0 | Reply
    Patrick3D Alpha Member #994 - 1 month ago

    I've been trying Unix-variants since FreeBSD2.0 back in 1995 (IIRC.) Tried so many I can barely remember their names. I've seen just about every problem there can be, from no drivers for a particular hard drive controller, no USB support, needing to manually configure the bus ID of a graphics card, etc.. Somewhere around Ubuntu 12.04 things fianlly reached a point where there is really no excuse for a casual computer user to pay for Windows outside of wanting to play the latest computer games. As a Systems Administrator that gets paid to support Windows environments I continue to run Windows on most of my machines, remaining relevant to my chosen profession is more important than saving $100 on an operating system.

    Personally, I tried to switch to Linux as my sole desktop back in 2009 with Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackelope) and got by for close to 2 months until I kept running into issues getting embedded web videos to play on various news sites. There were other issues cropping up like files lost that had been backed up to a flash drive and getting sound to work in some games. I ended up switching back to Vista then quickly on to Win7.

    Around 2011 I built my file server (see user icon) and decided I might as well get some Linux server experience under my belt. Started out with 14TB of storage across 8 drives configured using LVM, I figured since everyone is using RAID I might as well use the less-used LVM and add something to my resume' that others would be lacking, LOL. Everything was great until my desire to run the latest got the best of me, with each update to Ubuntu something in the server would stop working requiring a reinstall from scratch (thankfully the LVM pools were unaffected.) The more the server was updated the more unreliable it became to the point where streaming media would stop playing every 10 minutes. Went through the Samba configuration on the server, reinstalled everything, tried every registry fix on the Windows clients I could find online and eventually got fed up with it and reloaded the server with Windows 10 Professional instead. Migrated my LVM pools over to Storage Spaces (sorry, I forget the name of the tool I used but it was able to read EXT4 LVM pools in Windows) and everything has been rock solid ever since. Now sitting at 34TB of capacity (6x 4TB & 2x 5TB drives.)

    I still keep a netbook loaded with the latest Linux distro each year but don't see myself switching back unless Microsoft tries to charge a monthly/annual service fee for Windows. I also have dipped my toes in the Apple world every 5-10 years but their continued forced obsolesence of older machines and shoddy reliability irks my wallet. Ultimately, my experience with Linux continues to be that everything is great until you run into a problem at which point everything goes to Hell.

  6. 0 | Reply
    polloloco51 - 2 months ago

    I apologize for the spelling and grammar mistakes in the post. There is no edit function available currently.

    1. 1 | Reply
      Tim Alpha Member #20 - 2 months ago

      Apologies, we are working on this!

  7. 0 | Reply
    hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 2 months ago

    Few of the current Linux distributions are meant for touch screen systems.

    In fairness, it's necessary to use Powershell (essentially a terminal) in Windows 10 to remove bundled apps which lack Uninstall options in their popup menus. All but the simplest tasks with additional disk partitions also require a console in Windows 10 (and prior).

    Re Elementary, it's not that hard to replace Epiphany with Firefox, Chrome or Opera.