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Why Switch to Linux?

When it comes to cloud computing tactics, Linux operating systems are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason.

What Does Linux Have to Offer?

Linux-based systems offer tougher security and superior customization, not to mention that Linux is usually free up-front.

Linux OS comes in varieties that are lightweight and powerful - perfect for aging hardware. Some may be skeptical about learning a new operating system, but with Google preparing support for Linux apps in Chrome OS, it has never been a better time to make the switch.

Linux offers many features similar to long-time operating system favorites and can be more cost-effective for small to medium-sized businesses. Here are some of the most beneficial distributions, or distros, that cut down on overhead costs and are easy to transition into.

Why make the Switch?

Linux has more in common with Windows and Mac operating systems than one may initially think.

Many Linux programs are similar to typical software tasks with Windows applications. Most open-source programs read and write in the same file formats as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint files. Other proprietary and commercial software have file-saving features that export data, so it can be imported into compatible open-source formats.

There are numerous distros of Linux, each offering a distinct experience for a particular purpose.

All are based on the Linux kernel, which is its core OS code. On top of that kernel, distributions may add different desktop environments, applications, and features. Ubuntu and Linux Mint are two of the more popular contenders. Most distros are easily customizable, whether with industry-specific apps and modules or varied graphical interfaces.

image: r/Ubuntu
image: r/Ubuntu

Most Beneficial Distros

One of the most challenging aspects of switching to Linux is researching which distro will benefit a user’s personal needs. DistroWatch is a great resource for keeping a finger on the pulse of all things Linux Distro, but for those needing layman’s terms, here are some features of the top Distros in the market:

  • CentOS: One of the world’s most popular server distros, and perfect for those wanting to build serious hardware appliances without paying for a Red Hat subscription. CentOS is designed to be super-reliable, which is why it’s a great choice for a server. However, it’s not a good bet for someone looking for a new OS for daily use on their desktop PC or laptop.
  • feren OS: The look and feel of feren OS is familiar, with a Windows-like start button and taskbar with useful icons. The “Theme Changer” tool allows play with icons, setup, and background. Apart from being a beautiful Linux distribution eye candy, it’s familiar and innovative for new users.
  • Ubuntu: While Ubuntu’s stability and flexibility for end users is very solid, there’s also a free-to-use Ubuntu Server version to handle backend tasks. One of Ubuntu’s strongest features is the level of support it benefits from. The vast user base means there’s a raft of technical documentation available, and its generous community has answered just about every question out there.
  • Manjaro: Built on top of Arch Linux, traditionally one of the more complex and obtuse Linux distros, Manjaro OS does away with that complexity, while sharing Arch’s streamlined and fast environment. A better installer, improved hardware detection, and repositories full of stable software make it a solid choice for end-user systems.
  • Zorin OS: Built on an Ubuntu Linux foundation, Zorin OS runs on the same open source software that powers everything from the U.S. Department of Defense to systems on the International Space Station. It comes pre-loaded with go-to apps, with a wide range of new apps available on the built-in software store.

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