Linux may not be as popular as Windows yet, but it is constantly growing and has more users every year. It’s a great operating system and can be an alternative to Windows and Mac. The growing popularity demands that operating systems continue to change and add new technology. Linux is known for its performance and security, but is it the right choice for your operating system?
In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Linux operating system. You need to consider these points before deciding to use Linux. If you are not yet familiar with Linux, please read What is Linux? first.
Advantages of Linux
1. Open Source
Linux is published under the GNU GPL license and is free to download, use, and share. This means that users can contribute to and check the code and functionality of the system. Users do not need to pay to use Linux and most of its software is open-source and also free. There are thousands of free software options that can easily be downloaded and installed through software managers.
Unlike the Windows and Mac ecosystems, Linux does not bind users and make them continue to use the free software. There are free alternatives to popular software in Linux and some of them are even better than the original versions.
Linux is a highly secure operating system. Strong security is achieved due to several factors, such as protection against malware and harmful software. Linux is also rarely affected by viruses as hackers and viruses usually do not target the Linux distributions intended for everyday use.
Linux has a better security system than Windows. In Windows, every user has administrator rights, while in Linux, root access is heavily restricted. Ordinary users only have sufficient permission to use the system and perform required tasks.
Therefore, it is very difficult to spread malware or rootkits on the Linux system. Users must have special permission to open attachments, access files, or change kernel options, making the system more difficult to attack and exploit by unauthorized parties.
3. Fast Performance
The Linux operating system has the ability to run with very minimal resources. Even with as little as 256 MB of RAM, Linux can still run smoothly. Linux has very good resource efficiency and can function quickly on hardware with low specifications.
Unlike Windows and Mac which often experience problems on quality hardware, Linux can revive old computers with minimal specifications. If you feel that Windows is slowing down on your device, consider trying the Linux operating system which has lower resources.
You have full control over the Linux operating system you choose. Without restrictions, you can customize, change, and personalize your system as you wish. You can choose from a variety of graphical interfaces, applications, and tools to make the system work the way you want.
5. Easy to Use
Linux in its development has become increasingly user-friendly and user-friendly by using a GUI (Graphical User Interface) based interface. This means you do not need to worry about typing commands through the Terminal, as everything can be done through the graphical interface. Even the Linux installation process also uses GUI, making it easier and simpler.
Although there are sometimes bugs that appear on the Linux system, this rarely happens. Linux distributions are generally stable and always updated to fix the latest bugs. Before being released, each Linux distribution is repeatedly tested to ensure quality and stability.
When the Linux kernel receives an update, your Linux distribution will perform preliminary tests to ensure compatibility and stability. This process helps keep your system bug-free and provides the best performance.
7. Privacy Preserved
You can maintain privacy by using Linux. Unlike other operating systems that collect your personal data and use it to target you based on your online behavior, Linux has no association with such things.
This privacy advantage is received without having to make additional adjustments. This differs from Windows, which by default allows telemetry to send usage and performance data from your computer.
8. Regular Updates
With the Linux system always updated on a regular basis, you don’t have to worry about your computer or server system becoming outdated. The updates ensure that the system runs smoothly and is more secure, including the resolution of small bugs. Updates also often bring new features, such as faster installation processes and improved application performance, making it easier for users to use.
9. Many Distro Options
Linux has many distros available, helping users choose based on their computer’s function. There are many distros currently available and growing, such as:
- Ubuntu: One of the most popular and user-friendly Linux distros. Suitable for beginners or those looking for general-purpose desktop or laptop solutions.
- Linux Mint: Similar to Ubuntu, but with a simpler appearance and some performance enhancements. Suitable for beginners and those looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use desktop solution.
- Fedora: A Linux distro developed by Red Hat and aimed at more advanced users. Suitable for research, development, and strong desktop use.
- Arch Linux: A very basic Linux distro developed for more advanced users. Suitable for users who want to customize their operating system and create solutions tailored to their needs.
- CentOS: A very stable Linux distro developed by Red Hat. Suitable for servers and enterprise use.
- Debian: A stable Linux distro known for its stability. Suitable for servers, desktops, and laptops.
- Manjaro: A Linux distro based on Arch and developed for beginners and those looking for an easy-to-use desktop solution.
These are just some of the many options available for Linux distros. The best choice will depend on its function and the user’s preference.
Disadvantages of Linux
1. Few Applications
Some major developers are reluctant to release their software for Linux due to its limited market. As a result, Linux users have to make use of third-party software such as Wine or Virtualbox to run their favorite software. For example, Adobe software is not available for Linux and does not function well through Wine, making some people less interested in using this operating system.
2. Lack of Hardware Support
Another significant issue in Linux distributions is the lack of a well-accepted Driver concept. Instead, drivers are built directly into the Linux kernel. However, the kernel cannot have drivers for every hardware device, which causes compatibility issues with some devices.
Devices such as printers and Wi-Fi cards are greatly affected by this issue. Users often experience problems when using printers with Linux and some Wi-Fi cards that were previously installed on laptops may not be compatible with Linux or require additional configuration to work.
3. Not Suitable for Gaming
Popular video games generally run using Windows Direct X technology which is not supported by Linux. As a result, Linux is missing out on some popular games. But, this is not a major issue for Linux as with the advancement of Cloud gaming technology, players can now play various games on Linux.
Steam has been trying to bring more games to the Linux platform in recent years. The presence of technologies like Steam Proton, Wine, and Lutris allows players to play games on Linux, albeit not as smoothly as on the original platform.
4. Difficult to Troubleshoot
Finding a solution for problems on Linux can be difficult if you are not a technology expert. Getting help for your issue can also be a heavy task as it is difficult to find someone who understands the problem. This is due to differences in hardware and software on each system, meaning each user must find a solution for their own problems.
Although many Linux software are open source and developed by the user community, you do not have a guarantee that the software will work well on your system. Getting technical support for open source software can also take time, such as reporting bugs and waiting for the publisher to resolve the issue.
5. No standard edition
Instead of having one main version like Windows and Mac, Linux has several versions developed by various communities called Distributions or Distros. This often confuses beginners. Choosing the right Linux distribution to use is very difficult for beginners.
No standard distribution also means that the community is fragmented and finding support for a specific Linux distribution becomes more difficult. Each Linux distribution has its own package manager, meaning each software must be packaged and distributed differently. With some distributions that have been around for a long time, support may be limited or discontinued.
Benefits of Using Linux
1. Computer Operating System
Linux is an operating system that can be used as a desktop. Its main function is to run various activities such as browsing, using office applications, listening to music, watching movies, and others. As an alternative to Windows, Linux provides a solution for users who want a reliable and robust operating system.
The development and various distros of Linux provide many options for its users. Some distros, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS, are designed to meet desktop needs and provide a user-friendly interface.
2. Server Operating System
Linux is not only used for desktop purposes, but is also highly effective as a server. Many large companies like Amazon and Microsoft entrust their servers to Linux. The high security offered by Linux, with features such as encryption and Two Factor Authentication, is one of the main reasons for its use.
Another advantage of Linux is its ability to automatically update the system when connected to the internet. Some Linux server distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, and Fedora can help manage servers easily, which is why VPS generally uses Linux as its operating system.
3. Mobile Operating System
Linux can be developed into a mobile operating system. Examples include Android, Tizen, and others. These mobile operating systems are designed using Linux technical capabilities and have similar capabilities to desktop operating systems.
Using Linux as a mobile operating system provides freedom for developers to modify the operating system to meet their needs. Android, for example, is a popular platform for app developers because of its ability to run different applications.
However, the development of Linux as a mobile operating system is not as popular as the development for desktop or server.
4. Multifunctional Operating System
The development of Linux does not stop at the three functions above. In this case, Linux has many open source applications that can help in managing these devices easily. There are some Linux distros such as Kodi and OSMC that are specifically designed for media centers and have features that allow for managing multimedia devices such as TV and CCTV.
Linux is a powerful and flexible open-source operating system that has been widely adopted for both personal and commercial use. It offers a number of advantages, including high security, stability, and compatibility with a variety of hardware devices.
The vast array of available distributions makes it easy to find a version of Linux that fits your specific needs, whether you are looking for a simple desktop environment or a complex server setup.
However, Linux also has some drawbacks, such as a lack of hardware support and compatibility issues with some popular software applications. Additionally, the lack of a unified standard for Linux distributions can make it difficult for users.
Despite these limitations, Linux continues to be a popular choice for many users due to its strong community, the availability of a wide range of open-source software, and the cost-effectiveness of using it compared to proprietary operating systems.
That’s advantages and disadvantages of Linux, overall Linux is a robust and powerful operating system that provides many benefits for both personal and professional use.