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Linux has many, many advantages as an operating system over competing
systems such as Microsoft Windows. Below is a short list:
- Free - Linux source code is freely distributed (gratis)
and freely modifiable (libre). Tens of thousands of programmers
have reviewed the source code to improve performance, eliminate
bugs, and strengthen security. No other operating system has ever
undergone this level of review. This open
source design has created most of the advantages listed below.
This also means that customers or users can locate past versions
of software. Anyone who has an old Netware network knows how hard
it can be to find the old installation disks should something
go wrong, and one certainly can't get them from the vendor anymore.
In the Linux/open-source world, each and every version of a package
is available for download, forever.
- Best Technical Support - Linux has the best technical
support available. Linux is supported by commercial distributors,
consultants, and by a very active community of users and developers.
In 1997, the Linux community was awarded InfoWorld's Product of
the Year Award for Best Technical Support over all commercial
software vendors. Farious Net Solutions provides around-the-clock
support for Linux with highly-trained, expert technicians.
- No Vendor Lock-In - The availability of source code
means that every user and support provider is empowered to get
to the root of technical problems quickly and effectively. This
contrasts sharply with proprietary operating systems, where even
top-tier support providers must rely on the OS vendor for technical
information and bug fixes. It also means that your data is your
data - you will not find that you cannot access your data because
of upgrades to the system have prevented you from doing so, as
customers sometimes find in the commercial OS world.
- Runs On A Wide Range Of Hardware - While most Linux
systems are based on standard PC hardware, Linux supports a very
wide range of computational devices, including Alpha, Power PC,
680x0, SPARC, and Strong Arm processors, and system sizes ranging
from PDAs (such as the PalmPilot) to supercomputers constructed
from clusters of systems (Beowulf clusters).
- Exceptionally Stable - Properly configured, Linux systems
will generally run until the hardware fails or the system is shut
down. Continuous up-times of hundreds of days (up to a year or
more) are not uncommon. FNS has found that the only limits to
the uptimes of our Linux systems are hardware failures and the
- Tools and Applications - Programs ranging from the
market-dominating Apache web server to the powerful GIMP graphics
editor are included in most Linux distributions. Free and commercial
applications meet are available to meet most application needs,
especially in the server arena, where the Linux star shines most
- Interoperability - Linux interoperates with many other
types of computer systems. Linux communicates using the native
networking protocols of UNIX, Microsoft Windows 95/NT, IBM OS/2,
Netware, and Macintosh systems and can also read and write disks
and partitions from these and other operating systems. FNS has
used this ability to tie vintage computing networks such as ARCnet
or Coax-based Ethernet to newer 100base–T or 1000base–T
- Low Total Cost of Ownership - Although the Linux learning
curve can be significant to the uninitiated, the stability, design,
and breadth of tools available for Linux result in very low ongoing
- "One For All and All For One" - All changes
one makes in open source software (especially open-source software
released under the GNU license, like Linux) will benefit each
and everyone, all over the world, without exceptions or constraints.
- Security - Linux is one of the most secure operating
systems, largely immune to harmful viruses that can cause expensive
and distracting system interruptions. A Linux system has internal
'walls' built up so that unwanted visitors and viruses do not
have broad access to the entire system. All files and directories
have read, write, and execute privileges for the owner, the owner's
workgroup, and all others. The Linux community aggressively maintains
these 'walls' and all other aspects of Linux security.
- Network friendliness - People today are becoming more
and more enamored with the Internet and what it can do for them.
Because a team of programmers developed Linux over the Internet,
its networking features were given a high priority. Linux is capable
of acting as client and/or server to any of the popular operating
systems in use today, and is quite capable of being used to run
Internet service providers. Many Internet service providers and
telephone companies base their technical infrastructure on Linux.
Strong enough to support Internet backbone, it is well tested
for home and office use.
- Speed - Linux servers typically can handle several
times as many users as other proprietary ones using the same hardware.
Linux can take advantage of the latest processors and even use
several of them at the same time for incredible speed. Furthermore,
Linux supports true multi-tasking, which is the ability to run
more than one program at the same time. It is therefore much more
natural for the system to be doing many things at the same time
without the 'flaking out' that one finds with the Microsoft operating
- Efficiency - Unlike other environments where industry
players create "planned obsolescence", Linux is very
efficient and can have high performance on older hardware. The
benefit is that users do not have to continually repurchase hardware
as often, which results in large cost savings. In fact, the first
Linux server that FNS installs in its customers' location is usually
an old workstation which is no longer useful for any other purpose.