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GNU/Linux Advantages


We've already mentioned many GNU/Linux advantages -- the security, stability, and other points. And we've mentioned the increased freedom you get with Linux. You get freedom from insecurity, freedom from instability, freedom from software audits and piracy charges, and freedom to customize your software.

You are also free to change vendors -- what a concept in today's computing world! For example, if you opt to go with Red Hat Linux, but you later decide to switch to Ubuntu Linux, you can easily do it. You run the same free, stable Linux system, but with a different vendor producing and backing the software.

Here are some other reasons to consider using GNU/Linux systems for your organization:

An easy install. Modern GNU/Linux distributions are just as easy (or easier!) to install as any other modern operating system.

Interoperability. Linux vendors do not try to force you to use only their software. GNU/Linux systems work seamlessly with other operating systems like the MacOS, Windows, and Unix systems.

Linux is standards-based. Every part of GNU/Linux systems are based on open computing standards. There is no vendor which is trying to invent their own secret, proprietary "standards" in an attempt to lock you into their own specific platform.

Your choice of vendors. As mentioned above, you can choose between many different GNU/Linux vendors. This competition forces vendors to earn your business.

Your choice of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). Linux distributions give you a choice of desktop GUIs. Two popular ones, GNOME and KDE, are just as easy to use as Windows or other GUI operating systems. In fact, GNOME or KDE can be configured to look and work almost identically to Windows! But GNU/Linux also gives you more choices! For example, the Burlington Coat Factory chain of stores is using one Linux GUI to create an easy-to-use gift registry for its customers. GNU/Linux doesn't force you into one way of doing things.

Remote Desktop Support. GNU/Linux adopted the X windowing system which was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This GUI allows you to easily have a remote desktop on a machine located half a world away -- all without buying expensive third-party software to do this!

Graphical Terminal Support. Using the X windowing system mentioned above, with GNU/Linux you can use inexpensive graphical terminals instead of buying a full-blown PC for every user in your office. This will not only save in terms of hardware costs, but also allow you to centrally administer all desktops from one server.

Linux runs on different hardware. GNU/Linux systems run on many types of computers. Not only on traditional Intel and AMD personal computers, but also on Sun SPARC systems, PowerPCs, Apple computers, and a huge range of IBM computers -- right on up to IBM's largest mainframe computers. While you may never want to explore these options, isn't it nice to know that you have multiple options?

Linux runs efficiently. Because of the efficiency caused by the free software development process, GNU/Linux can be happily run on older computers. Your old Pentium computer can be brought back into service as a useful machine. Even ancient 386 or 486 computers can be used, either as a lightweight GNU/Linux system or perhaps as a graphical terminal (see above).

Linux is multi-user. Unlike operating systems (OSs) built from single-user systems (e.g. Windows, MacOS) which have had band-aids applied to make them appear to be multi-user systems, Linux has the multi-user Unix system as its model and seamlessly handles multiple people using a single machine.

Linux evolved on the Internet. Linux has been modeled after the Unix operating system, a system which evolved on college campuses and the hostile computing environment of academia. Linux itself was also born in and evolved in a hostile environment -- the Internet. Linux's rough and tumble neighborhood means that you benefit from increased security and stability.

Linux is easy to network. Because of Linux's birth and evolution on the Internet, GNU/Linux systems network easily, "naturally" and seamlessly.