Posted on Wednesday 4th of October 2006 at 05:08 in Linux

Top 10 Ways to Convince a New User Onto Linux

We all know the advantages of Linux, but getting new users to embrace the open source side of life is often difficult. I've spent some time reasoning with friends and colleagues why I feel Linux is a good idea for anyone, even if (like me) they can't live without Windows, either dual booting or having a separate Linux Box (a very popular notion) is still a good idea. However, explaining the advantages to users in terms they can relate to is the key so here is my 10 point argument:

1. Linux is free so instead of spending $400 on Vista you could throw more money at your PC/Partner. So either your machine will be faster or your partner will like you again - either way = win.

2. It's more secure - Brian Profitt from LinuxToday reported there being a known 863 viruses for Linux compared to 114,000 for Windows. So you're at significantly less risk than you are on Windows.

3. You can feel smarter than everyone else - but in a good way. Windows is about profit while Linux is an intellectual experiment. You've broken away from "the norm" to broaden your horizons - this can only be a good thing.

tux4. Linux gets updated all the time. I believe Ubuntu gets updated 3 times a year, so you essentially get a new version every couple of months and they do look new (if Edgy Eft is anything to go by when compared to Breezy or Dapper). While MS rolls out new O/S's every 6 years or so, you get regular updates with Linux.

5. Freedom of choice! Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora, Knoppix, Mandriva, Gentoo, how many distributions are there? Have a look here for a full list, but it is a lot! So why is this a good thing? Your Windows choices are fairly limited (XP or Vista basically) whereas with Linux you have numerous distributions to choose from - so there's lots of choice, allowing you to find the O/S that suits you best, rather than making do with a generic package.

6. A caring community. The Linux community is incredibly helpful on the most part, with forums dedicated to each distro with a large user base - allowing you to get tailored support from real users. Which is clearly better than the "hit and hope" manner Microsoft deliver support. True, the extensive directory of support available at MS is useful but it pales in comparison the getting real support from fellow users.

7. Obtaining free software is very easy. Certainly with Ubuntu (and no, this does not mean piracy), using the Synaptic Package Manager makes life so easy... If you can use a mouse you can install software. True, some software is still a right spoon to install, but on the most part the days of command line headaches are gone.

8. Try before you commit. The LiveCD environment for Linux is fantastic - you chuck the CD in your drive when you're booting and it'll take you to an environment where you can play with Linux without having installed it. So, this would be a great way for you to play and see which distro you'd like to have full time.

9. Hop on the bandwagon! It's on the climb... Brazil trains its government sector on Linux, it's breaking into the banking industry... It's really taking off so don't you want to be able to say that you did it first?

10. Because it's just a good skill to have. Being tied to one operating system makes you dependant on it and Vista is going to cost a lot of money, so take the step and give Linux a try. You won't lose anything if you dual boot or have a separate machine for it.

11. I'll be your friend. - how could you resist? I didn't include it in the original 10 points because it's not really a valid reason, unless you want it to be :)

 

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