By Bishnu Marasini
Although my engrossment in electronics as well as better understanding of computer hardware, I have not been working significantly in this field for 10 years (used to do at initial days). Only, as amateur technical support for my colleague is being the use and sharing of my expertise. While, parallel use of both Windows OS and Linux OS more than 10 years, I, now realized to switch completely towards Linux OS because of the following reasons.
- To Get rid of Virus: Windows XP is too old to resist virus attack, Windows Vista and Windows 7 also susceptible to attack, the pirated version are even worse. Linux OS might not have pulled hackers’ intention to enervate which may be due to fewer users and free/Open Source Software.
- Hardware Compatibility: The latest version of Microsoft like Windows Vista and Windows 7 cannot be installed or are very slow on the older CPU and Motherboard. The latest Linux OS always takes care of older CPU and motherboards but depends on the distro (type) of Linux.
- Better Understanding of Programming Code and Software Pleothera: Linux is free and Open Source Software and can be modified by anyone and redistribute the OS and we can read and copy every codes associated with it. This feature has been helping me to understand the meaning of code and my experiments in modifying only few terms from the code file and to see the ultimate effects. However, I have not developed any application.
- Better Security of Files/Pictures/Folders etc. I have very bad experience of corruption of my word (*.doc), excel (*.xls), pdf, pictures (*.jpg) while keeping them under XP OS. Which were damaged and decoded if could be opened. Fortunately, I have not lost them (except few due to backup duration/period cycle) because of monthly backup of data in Linux OS.
- Easy and Quicker Initial Installation of OS: Linux OS have the feature of complete installation along with all basic drivers e.g., driver of monitor, motherboard, audio drive, printer etc. in a single initial install. All of these drivers would have to be installed after the main Windows OS which ultimately increase installation time.
- Live CD: Because of live CD it made easier to understand, view features without any change and installation in hard disk. This also helps to restore/copy files and folder accidently deleted even in case of OS failure/crash.
- Swiftness: I have noticed that opening any application and internet search is very fast in Linux compared to Windows OS. Need for installation of anti-virus software and virus attack might impede the performance of Windows OS.
Linux is free and becoming user friendly, but still more than 85% people pay to Microsoft/Apple Inc. for the same service because Linux OS still has many limitation.
- Difficult for Beginner of PC Users: Windows OS is easily understandable and could be one mouse click operation. Also, institute/schools use Windows OS to train basic computer, so they feel easy to use it in future days. However, some distros like Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, etc. have been progressing a lot in graphical user interface (GUI) so that it would be like Windows OS. They have improved in GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc. desktop environment.
- Some Software and Games are not for Linux: Most of the daily required Software like MSOffice, ChemDraw, NamePro, SoftMax, ACD, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc. are only for Windows and can’t be installed in Linux. An adapter-like (emulator) software known as “Wine” facilitates to install these software in the Linux OS. But Wine has not exhibited satisfactory result in complete installation of most of the above applications. Also, it (Wine) opens the gate and vulnerability of virus to Linux root.
- Connection of Instruments to PC: Most instruments such as ELISA Reader, Microscope, PCR, etc., and even some printer can’t be connected to PC of Linux OS or if connected, their full capacity enervated. A Distro “Scientific Linux” derived from Fedora and RHEL, "Scibuntu (UbuntuScience)" derived from Ubuntu may become better OS in future days not only to support such kind of scientific equipments but also better view of molecule’s, Protein’s, and DNA’s 3D structures in Linux OS.
- System Crash: As this OS is free and supported and built by community; some of its application and whole OS vulnerable to crash and should be debugged. The Distro “Debian” is found to be most stable but it is usually found to be outdated in comparison to other Linux Distro.
At last, our smaller and smaller contribution like reporting of bug found in crash e.g., my report (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=613592), sharing of scientific knowledge helps the volunteer engineer/developer to make Linux as better OS in future days. Also, we’ll not be accused of using pirated software used as lured by easiness and better performance; without paying in these days.
I am currently using Fedora 12/13 as it is updated in every six months and latest repository and application of Linux is available via Fedora than other distro.