Three Reasons To Use Linux For Home Use

By Anand V Parekh

Back in pre Ubuntu days, using Linux for personal use was somewhat like a hobby for computer programmers or the very geeky.

Not anymore. With the release of Ubuntu, a broader user base started using Linux and not just because it was released as a free OS meant for all.

Here are three reasons to use Linux for your home use:

1. Low hardware requirements: One doesn’t need the latest computer to use Linux. If your only reason to use computers is to surf the internet, check emails, make office documents and play lightweight games like Windows soltaire, older computers running Linux will do just fine. If you have some old spare PCs lying around, they can be configured as something cool like a gateway or a FTP server for home office (if there is lots of disk space) by running Linux.

2. Less dependent on tech support : As surprising as it sounds, using Linux means not relying too much on a phone call to some remote location to fix your problems. This is a great learning ground for the tinkering types with many internet forums offering free and high quality help for all sorts of Linux problems. This is because Linux is open source and so you don’t really have to rely upon a single company for your needs.

3. Awesome security: To be fair, Windows 7 has greatly improved upon user as well as system wide security. Linux on the other hand being open source can be configured in any way to make it secure – total freedom to use. There are no setup wizards for most part when configuring Linux security but in return you get solid granular security by editing various configuration files and fine tuning your system.

So does this mean you should completely dump Windows in favor of Linux? Of course not, either dual boot and use both the OSes or run a virtualization program like VMWare or VirtualBox to experience the best of both the worlds. This will be useful when you need to run native Windows applications as well as switch over to Linux when not needed. Most of the commonly used Windows applications like Office and Outlook have their Linux counterparts in OpenOffice, Thunderbird etc.

Either way, don’t miss out on experiencing Linux. Start with the widely used desktop OSes like Ubuntu or Linux Mint and see if it really proves useful for your computing needs, you may be pleasantly surprised.

The author is a tech enthusiast, systems administrator and a computer geek who got his first computer back in 1994 and fell in love with it. He blogs at ihaveapc.com regarding various stuff related to Windows and Linux.