28 Reasons Why GNU/Linux is Better ( and a few why it’s not)

Found a cool site for the newbie discovering GNU/Linux. It provides an array of 28 clear, iconic aspects of IT with GNU/Linux that are better than that other OS and provides links to more detailed information.

see Why Linux is better.

UPDATE I was just corresponding with a reader from India. He pointed out a similar site there:
http://mknadeem.blogspot.in/2011/11/liberate-yourself.html

Similar great ideas. I suggested the joy of using a package manager might be an additional item to put in the list and I would recommend Debian GNU/Linux. It’s all good. The same blog has an excellent brief introduction to Edubuntu 12.04 with emphasis of choice of desktop environment and LTSP during installation.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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20 Responses to 28 Reasons Why GNU/Linux is Better ( and a few why it’s not)

  1. oiaohm says:

    By the way NT transparent compression is not the most advanced out there. lessfs is well and truly up there usable on top of ext and xfs filesystems. It contains de-duplication.

    ChrisTX on the ksplice one if I need a system that need to reboot not that often where can I go purchase equal for windows?? Guess what you cannot. So not requiring reboot is true if you pay bill. Linux you have option of paying bill to get rid of reboots.

  2. oiaohm says:

    ChrisTX the problem is a person like me can give you a bat file that will generate a slow registry hive.

    You do it using the reg command to insert and remove keys. Best I have done is a 500meg file contain 4 reg keys at the then end and taking insane ammount of time to look up.

    But that is intentionally pushing it in the direction of failure. So the Not reproducible is not fact. You can reproduce the areas of Windows failures. Probability of effecting you before you upgrade is another question. Yes the slow downs are real and some people will be effected worse than others. Directly linked to how they have used there computer.

    ChrisTX
    –Windows uses an approach that optimizes your disk silently for its usage (ie, files used read-only will be stored compact – expanding files with have extents).–
    This does not defrag. Yes reduces usage. Reduces probability of being fragmented. But this is a overwrite. So if the compress file size is bigger than the first fragment point of the file the file on NTFS will remain fragmented even after its compressed.

    The feature in NTFS you are referring to is called Transparent compression. Default ext and xfs filesystem do not support this. ChrisTX Transparent compression is not free. Also does not have to be done in the raw disc file system http://code.google.com/p/fusecompress/ also remember doublespace from the dos age.

    NTFS Transparent Compression is not defrag on Write does not at all replicate defrag on write function.

    ChrisTX the NTFS Transparent Compression feature is not that superior. There are reasons why the Linux world has not gone down the transparent compression path very much. Transparent Compression can have a very high price if something that you presume is read only now requires to be altered.

    XFS and EXT both implement Defrag on Write on Linux. Both exploit the file system cache to pull it off.

    ChrisTX defrag on write is a feature that some file-systems drivers implement others don’t.

    ChrisTX I have named the features correct please do so in future.

    –Previously, a limited user account would have resulted in the same effect.–
    Other than the fact most applications would not have worked in that. Too many windows applications presume/require administrator powers.

  3. ChrisTX wrote, “Repeat of the claim that viruses slow down Windows. Not reproducible, not a fact.”

    You do know that malware exists, right? How many processes do you think that other OS can run before the user notices? Every seen a network connection maxed-out by malware? I have, on that other OS. Then there’s fragmentation of storage and the register and excessive swapping? You do know that half the world is still using XP, eh?

    You do know the post was written years ago, right?

    Google: “windows” “slow” 360 million hits.

  4. ChrisTX says:

    Uff. That site is likely written by one of the most clueless Linux fanboys ever.

    Not only does it present things that are factually wrong, it also heavily uses weasel words.

    Just some picks:

    Viruses:
    Claim that Apache has fewer holes than IIS does… This is incorrect. If you compare Apache 2.2.x and IIS 7.x on Secunia (they were released more or less about the same time – if you want take out the 3 holes from 2006 of Apache), you’ll find that Apache had 50 vulnerabilities while IIS had 6.

    “Linux uses smart authorization management.” At least since Vista the situation is exactly the same. Previously, a limited user account would have resulted in the same effect.

    Stability:
    “people who tell you that theirs can never ever crash are lying.” Not an objective statement, and wrong over that.

    “Well, Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted” So can Windows. I’ll just point to this nice graph here: http://www.ksplice.com/why

    “Linux protects your computer”: Many-eyes theory. Not a fact.

    Fragmentation:
    Claim is factually wrong: Not only is “Linux” here used in exchange for “ext”, whereas the situation on XFS is entirely different, but even for “ext” this is wrong.
    Windows uses an approach that optimizes your disk silently for its usage (ie, files used read-only will be stored compact – expanding files with have extents). This approach is even superior to what ext does, which cannot distinguish different file types.

    Crapware:
    Not a property of Windows. If you use PC decrapifier or reinstall a clean image, crapware is gone, too. Whether you format and install Linux or format and install Windows makes little difference here.

    “Windows gets slower every day”:
    Repeat of the claim that viruses slow down Windows. Not reproducible, not a fact.

    Freedom, back doors:
    Paranoia and personal beliefs. Not exactly a point, plus nobody uses fully free distros.

    Free and unlimited support:
    Not a point. Microsoft holds their own forums and there are dozens of forums and chat channels for Windows support out there.

    Tired of restarting:
    See the Ksplice link above. Not valid.

    Workspaces:
    Or just Google for “Sysinternals Desktops” which is the Microsoft product to achieve this.

    Weather:
    Built-in since Vista.

    Illegal software, $100 OS:
    Not a point about the system’s quality and irrational accusations.

    Bugs:
    Well, lol. Ubuntu, volume slider, non-linear. Make a sentence out of these.
    Or this funky Debian OpenSSL key generation problem they had. Both are/were there for years.

    Drivers:
    Or just use Windows Update, which can do exactly that.

    Amarok, Pidgin:
    Both work on Windows. Not a point.

    I could discuss the other points here, they’re equivalently shallow, but instead I’ll pick a single sentence that I like very much:

    “The average period of time before a Windows PC (connected to the Internet and with a default “Service Pack 2″ installation) gets infected is 40 minutes (and it sometimes takes as little time as 30 seconds).”

    What is a “Service Pack 2” installation? If that means XP SP2, well that’s been unsupported for over 2 years now. Windows 7/8 don’t have any SP2, and I doubt he meant Vista SP2.

  5. kozmcrae says:

    Chris Weig attempts comedy:

    “Why should they? The Windows 8 kernel is some levels above what Linux has to offer.”

    “Some levels”. What levels? What kind of “levels”. Your statement doesn’t really say anything. You haven’t defined what “levels” means. You are talking out of your hind quarters Chris.

    Levels! Carpenters have some levels above you Chris. And the Empire State Building is many levels above Microsoft.

  6. Chris Weig says:

    Interesting possibility, do you think they’ll take that route if Windows 8 craters?

    Why should they? The Windows 8 kernel is some levels above what Linux has to offer.

    Apple did basically that a decade ago with using Net/386/BSD as their core for OSX when MacOS9 didn’t do so well….

    Apple had only to care about the support for their own computers. You think Microsoft will choose an OS, namely Linux, with abysmal hardware support — despite what “experts” like Greg Kroah-Hartman are parroting — as a base for Windows?

    Even some FOSS-committed corps. do it like Canonical, IBM and Red-hat, with n important difference, the latter DO contribute much back to the commons (codebase) and do not try to run away with the kickball.

    First, Canonical does not contribute anything back to FLOSS, unless you count the crap their writing specifically for Ubuntu which, unfortunately, isn’t worth anything for the rest of the FLOSS ecosystem.

    Second, IBM and Red Hat haven’t been very successful in the consumer market. Wait… right! That’s because they’re not present there. Red Hat’s idea for a flagship operating system is to go back in time and pack together outdated software which can be considered stable and presumably sucks a lot less than the newest perversions FLOSS developers have duct-taped together.

    Yes, Microsoft should shudder.

    Most unlike Apple and MS, whom try to lock up innovation with patent and copyright law strong-arming as opposed to innovation which these three seem to commit to…..

    First, I’m opposed to the idea that there was ever innovation in FLOSS, particularly by the aforementioned companies. Red Hat at least can pat themselves on the back for creating a somewhat successful business modell with their subscription system.

    Second, companies are free to use other technology, which is not patent-encumbered.

  7. oe says:

    “rename Suse Linux as Windows 9”

    Interesting possibility, do you think they’ll take that route if Windows 8 craters? Apple did basically that a decade ago with using Net/386/BSD as their core for OSX when MacOS9 didn’t do so well….It’s not like that using open source for the heavy lift coding and then slapping corporate logos and user experience on top is without precedent. Even some FOSS-committed corps. do it like Canonical, IBM and Red-hat, with n important difference, the latter DO contribute much back to the commons (codebase) and do not try to run away with the kickball. Most unlike Apple and MS, whom try to lock up innovation with patent and copyright law strong-arming as opposed to innovation which these three seem to commit to…..

  8. oldman wrote, “So your entire narrative against windows 9x and after was based on running DOS!

    there is not much more that can be said Robert Pogson.

    You are a bigger jackass that I thought you were Pog.”

    You’re full of it, oldman. That was about my personal PC, my own property. I used MacOS, and several versions of that other OS in schools over 14 years.

  9. oldman says:

    Yet, I used Lose 3.1 for about 8 years until my PC was dropped on a runway on the way back from the Arctic.

    So your entire narrative against windows 9x and after was based on running DOS!

    there is not much more that can be said Robert Pogson.

    You are a bigger jackass that I thought you were Pog.

  10. kozmcrae understated the matter with, “Windows was not created with a security back bone.”

    Lose 3.1, ’95 and ’98 had no security whatsoever. Lose 3.1 was not even “network-aware” being just an application running in DOS. M$ had a separate product with networking, Lose “for Workgroups”. Lose 3.1 did not come with a browser nor an ftp client. It’s hard to think of security when you think you are alone (ie without threats) … Yet, I used Lose 3.1 for about 8 years until my PC was dropped on a runway on the way back from the Arctic. My next PC was custom-built by me and ran Caldera GNU/Linux. I’ve only ever had one virus on a PC I owned and that was on Lose 3.1 about 1995.

  11. kozmcrae says:

    Chris Weig wrote:

    “They openly admit that Linux only doesn’t get viruses because those target Windows, not because Linux is more secure.”

    Windows was not created with a security back bone. It was created for a release date and an 80 IQ user interface. Security only came later as patches and add-on layers to keep the OS from completely falling into enemy hands.

    The security that keeps Windows barely afloat is reactive security. It’s applied after the damage has been done. Say what you will about Linux security but it’s in place, before the fact. Linux security is built in. It’s part of the frame work. Windows will never have that unless they toss the whole thing out and start from scratch. Or, rename Suse Linux as Windows 9 or some such nonsense.

    Every time you say that crap about market share and Linux security Chris, you give one of us an opportunity to set you straight. Did you forget? It’s never a good idea for the Cult of Microsoft to mention security. Nothing good ever comes out of it for Microsoft.

  12. Chris Weig wrote, “site has been around for ages. Have you been living under a rock?”

    Nope, and I checked the site’s history with Netcraft before posting. The information is intended for newbies and does not include statistics, for instance, just general statements, each sufficient reason alone to switch. Together it is compelling.

    Chris Weig wrote, “look at what they write about “viruses”. They openly admit that Linux only doesn’t get viruses because those target Windows”.

    • forget about viruses
    • If your computer shuts itself down without asking you, if strange windows with text you don’t understand and all kinds of advertisements appear when you don’t ask for them, if emails get sent to all your contacts without your knowing it, then your computer probably has a virus. The main reason for this is because it runs Windows.
    • Most people use Microsoft Windows, and pirates want to do as much damage (or control) as possible: therefore, they target Windows. But that’s not the only reason; the Apache web server (a web server is a program located on a remote computer that sends web pages to your browser when you ask for them), which is open source software, has the biggest market share (against Microsoft’s IIS server), but it still suffers from much fewer attacks/flaws than the Microsoft one.
    • Linux uses smart authorization management.
    • More eyes make fewer security flaws.

    Yeah, they openly admit that GNU/Linux is a better OS 🙂

    Chris Weig completely mischaracterizes the whole site taking a tiny straw of truth and hoping he can walk on it.

  13. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy controlling source of software for a platform from a safe source. Is security. Security limiting what the end user can do.

  14. That Exploit Guy says:

    @oiaohm

    ‘The numbers don’t lie. Android when it was new had more viruses and worms than the iphone when it had larger market share at the same time.’

    Even if I completely disregard the fact that iOS (unless jailbreaked) prohibits side-loading and thus prevents software, legitimate or otherwise, not dispensed from Apple’s official store from installing or running on the platform, you are hardly providing any figures as to why I should be convinced what you claim indeed the case.

    Note that the number of news reports, lists on Wikipedia and statistics from anti-virus signature databases don’t count as reliable representation of the picture.

  15. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy
    –The first iPhone worm “ikee”, which gained it infamy by changing the UI backdrop to a picture of Rick Astley, was discovered about 2 years after the platform’s debut in 2007.

    Do you also know that all jailbreaking hacks for iOS work by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system as well?

    Just spare me the same old Apple’s sales pitches, alright?–
    I did not claim that the iphones were virus free. I said the number of viruses were lower.

    That Exploit Guy I did not say the iphone was free of vulnerabilities. The numbers don’t lie. Android when it was new had more viruses and worms than the iphone when it had larger market share at the same time.

    That is the reality. That is something those who want to push the market share idea have to explain is how could this be.

  16. glen says:

    Going down with the ship, guys,
    or just going down???

  17. That Exploit Guy says:

    @oiaohm

    ‘This was clean when iphone had larger market share than Android but android had more viruses.’

    The first iPhone worm “ikee”, which gained it infamy by changing the UI backdrop to a picture of Rick Astley, was discovered about 2 years after the platform’s debut in 2007.

    Do you also know that all jailbreaking hacks for iOS work by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system as well?

    Just spare me the same old Apple’s sales pitches, alright?

  18. oiaohm says:

    Chris Weig yet market share alone does not explain why MS Windows is so infected.

    This was clean when iphone had larger market share than Android but android had more viruses.

    Difference is iphone security more strict than Androids.

    Another one why does the xbox360 and other game stations have basically no viruses. Its not a population thing. Chris Weig it does not take looking far to find one of the key factors to infection is the security of the OS. The security of the OS is more dominate force than market share.

  19. Chris Weig says:

    Found a cool site for the newbie discovering GNU/Linux.

    Dear Bob, this propaganda site has been around for ages. Have you been living under a rock?

    Also, you shouldn’t be too proud of this site. Just look at what they write about “viruses”. They openly admit that Linux only doesn’t get viruses because those target Windows, not because Linux is more secure.

  20. That Exploit Guy says:

    Oh, I found a really cool site, too! It is a concise list of Linux facts and myths that is constantly updated to reflect the current state of affairs of the operation system.

    I highly recommend everyone to bookmark it in case any one of your friends starts parroting phrases like “Wintel” and “that other OS” from the less-than-rational part of the computer-using demographics.

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