Showing posts with label Ubuntu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ubuntu. Show all posts

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Installing Ubuntu on a Virtual Machine

Ubuntu remains on of the best Linux distributions for new users. Learn on this tutorial how to install it on a Virtual Machine and test it to learn more about it
A brand new Ubuntu desktop

Before switching to Linux permanently, it's recommended to test it on a virtual machine so that you can feel the experience before making permanent changes on your system. On this tutorial, we will continue revisiting the best distributions for beginners in 2021 and install Ubuntu on VirtualBox in Windows 10.

Please note that this process should be pretty similar to accomplish in either VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation player.

Downloading Ubuntu

Head to Ubuntu Desktop download page an grab the ISO. For this tutorial we'll use Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The file should be around 2.5 Gb in size so go grab a coffee while it downloads.

TIP: An ISO is simply an image of the installer containing all the files needed to boot and install that distribution in your system.

Installing Ubuntu

With the ISO downloaded, let's start the process. Open VirtualBox:

VirtualBox's main screen

Click New, enter the name of the VM and select its save location:

Choose the memory size (4Gb or more is recommended):

Create a Virtual Hard Disk:

Choose VDI (VirtualBox's default format):

Set it to Dynamically Allocated (slower) if you don't have much disk space or Fixed Size (faster) if you do:

Review and Create:

After clicking Create, you should see a summary of your new VM:

Booting the VM

Okay, so it's now time to boot (load) our VM so we can install it in the virtual hard drive. On the screen above click on Start to have your VM initialized. We'll first need to attach our ISO as if it were a virtual CD-ROM. Click Add and select your downloaded ISO from your Downloads folder and click Create to set it:

Confirm on the next screen and click Start:

Your VM should now be booting:

Installing Ubuntu

Once the initial boot ends, you should see the following Ubuntu installation screen providing you two options:

  • Install Ubuntu - install Ubuntu in your virtual hard drive
  • Try Ubuntu - to run Ubuntu in memory without installing it

Choose your language and click Install Ubuntu to proceed with the installation.

Choosing the Keyboard

On the next screen, choose your keyboard and click Continue:

Apps and Updates

Next, specify what kind of installation you want and how to update the system. For our VM, we're good with Normal installation:

Installation Type

Choose the default installation type. For VMs, Erase disk and install Ubuntu should be good enough. (don't worry, none of your files will be deleted):

Set Time Zone

Click Install Now > Confirm the changes and select your time zone:

Setting Host, User and Password information

On the next screen enter your name, username (how you will login as), password and host (how your machine is identified):

Finishing the Installation

Once the all the settings were satisfied, the actual installation begins. Give it 10 minutes or so:

First Login

With the installation done, let's login the first time. Enter your username/password as specified during the installation on the login screen:

Default Desktop

After login, you should see Ubuntu's beautiful desktop:

A brand new Ubuntu desktop

Next Steps

There you are! Feel free to have fun with your new Ubuntu VM! We will cover some more interesting topics in the future but we recommend that you play with it in the meanwhile.

Conclusion

On this tutorial we learned how to install Ubuntu in a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM). Installing Linux on a VM is the first step you need to explore Linux in its multiple variations. The next step is obviously, replacing your Windows or Mac. But take your time!

See Also

Monday, February 8, 2021

Getting started with Linux on Virtual Machines

Learn how to get started with Virtual Machines on Linux so you can test any Linux distribution on your computer without risking to lose your files 
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

On a previous post we reviewed the most popular Linux distributions for new users in 2021. We also discussed that, before switching permanently to Linux, it would be good to try out some of those distributions. Today, let's learn a little more about virtual machines (VMs) and how to install them on Windows and Macs.

About Virtual Machines

More a less 20 years ago the tech industry saw a big growth in processing power, memory, storage and a significant decrease in hardware prices. Engineers realized that their applications weren't utilizing the resources effectively so they developed tools such as Virtual machines (VMs) and hypervisors to run multiple operating systems in parallel on the same server.

Source: Resellers Panel

Advantages

Among the advantages of running VMs is the fact that you can better utilize idle resources of the host (compute, network, storage, etc), isolation, sandboxing, allowing to test different operating system, etc.

Host x Guest

The physical hardware running the VM is generally referred to as the 'host' and the emulated VM is generally referred to as the 'guest'. A host can emulate several guests, each of which can emulate different operating systems and hardware platforms.

Hypervisors

A hypervisor is computer software, firmware or hardware that provides the guest operating system with a virtual operating platform and manages their execution. Hardware virtualization started circa 2005 on the x86 architecture with Intel VT-x (code-named Vanderpool) and AMD-V (code-named Pacifica).

Full Virtualization

Multiple technologies are available for full virtualization using software, including  Parallels Workstation, Parallels Desktop for Mac, VirtualBox, Oracle VM, Hyper-V, VMware Workstation and VMware ESXi.

Hardware-assisted Virtualization

In hardware-assisted virtualization, the hardware provides architectural support that facilitates building a virtual machine monitor and allows guest OSes to be run in isolation. The most popular technologies are KVM, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, Hyper-V, Xen, Parallels Desktop for Mac, Oracle VM Server, VirtualBox and Parallels Workstation.

Graphics Virtualization

Graphics virtualization is not part of the x86 architecture. Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology (GVT) provides graphics virtualization as part of more recent Gen graphics architectures.

Operating-system-level virtualization (Containers)

Another important thing to note is that VMs are substantially different from operating-system-level virtualization. On the latter, all instances (usually called containers) share a single kernel, though the guest operating systems can differ in user space, such as different Linux distributions with the same kernel.

We will discuss containers at length in future posts, keep tuned

Most Popular Solutions

The two most popular (and free) virtual machines applications in use today are Oracle VirtualBox and VMWare Workstation Player. Windows 10 users can also use Hyper-V and on Macs, Parallels is also very popular (albeit expensive) solution. Let's see how to get started with them.

Installing Oracle VirtualBox

Installing Oracle VirtualBox should be straightforward for both Windows and Mac users. The first thing to do is to downloaded the latest installer from VirtualBox's website and install it on your machine.  After installed, it should look like this:

Oracle VirtualBox after installed

To learn to install VirtualBox on your Windows box following a detailed tutorial, check this video.

Installing VMWare Workstation Player

VMWare Workstation Player is also a pretty popular virtualization tool and fortunately, its installation is also straight forward. Download the installer and run to install on your machine. After installed, it should look like this:

For more information on how to install VMWare Workstation Player following a detailed tutorial, check this video.

Installing Hyper-V (Windows 10 Pro only)

Those using Windows 10 Pro (or better) can also use Microsoft's in-house virtualization tool, Hyper-V. We've been testing Hyper-V and it's decent enough for the most use cases so, feel free to try it out too if you like. Installing Hyper-V on Windows is done by: 

  1. Right clicking on the Windows button and selecting Apps and Features.
  2. Selecting Programs and Features on the right under related settings.
  3. Selecting Turn Windows Features on or off.
  4. Selecting Hyper-V and clicking OK.

For more information on Hyper-V support on Windows, check this page.

Installing Parallels on Macs

Apart from VMWare Workstation Player and Oracle VirtualBox, Mac users can also create virtual machines using Parallels. Please note that Parallels is not free as the alternatives above but, since it's a popular solution, it's worth mentioning.

To learn how to install Parallels on your Mac, check this video.

Conclusion

On this article we learned about virtual machines and how to get started with the most popular options. We hope you are now excited to install one the virtualization tools above and start testing some of the best Linux distributions of the year.

Keep tuned, in future posts we will cover how to setup Ubuntu, Fedora, Elementary OS and Pop!_OS in virtual machines. Good luck!

See Also

Monday, February 1, 2021

The best Linux distributions for beginners in 2021

Looking for the best Linux distributions for beginners in 2021? Check our top 5 picks
Photo by XPS on Unsplash

Once you understand the benefits of Linux and decide it to try it out, the next point in your open-source journey is to choose a Linux distribution that best suits your needs. Since there are so many variables in this equation, we prepared a list of the best Linux distributions for beginners to try in 2021.

How we got to this list

But before, let us explain how we got to this list. Since new Linux users have different needs than say, advanced users and developers, here are we we consider the most important for new users:

  1. Installation - how simple it is to install a distro
  2. Features - Which features are included by default
  3. User Friendliness - how friendly is the distro for new users
  4. Customization - how customizable is the distribution
  5. Software - how extensive and up-to-date its software is
  6. Community - how easy will it be to get help from the community

So let's get to work.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is one of the most popular distributions among new Linux users. It may be due to its similarity to Windows, it may be due to its solid foundations, Mint is still one of our favorite choices when it comes to newcomers.

Source: LinuxMint.com

Here's how it scores:

Installation Features User Friendliness Customization Software Community Final Score
8.5/10 8/10 9/10 8/10 8/10 8.5/10 8.33

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and is based on the venerable Debian operating system. Ubuntu is also pretty popular on the server, cloud and containers and is usually a distribution that works well for everyone. Ubuntu gets a non-LTS version every 6 months and an LTS every two years.

A brand new Ubuntu desktop

Here's how it scores:

Installation Features User Friendliness Customization Software Community Final Score
8/10 8/10 8/10 8/10 8/10 9/10 8.17

Fedora

Fedora is a cutting-edge Linux distribution, base for the enterprise distributions such as CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux, Cloud Linux and RHEL and incubator of new technologies in Linux and Open-Source. Fedora is a very solid distribution that works well for everyone (including Linux's creator himself). Together with Ubuntu, Fedora can increase your employability due to its roots in enterprise software. Fedora also counts with a very friendly community (albeit smaller than Ubuntu) ships more up-to-date software than all of the other distributions in this list and gets a new release every 6 months.

Source: GetFedora.org

Here's how it scores:

Installation Features User Friendliness Customization Software Community Final Score
8/10 8/10 8/10 8/10 8.5/10 8.5/10 8.17

Pop!_OS

Pop!_OS is the newest distribution on this list (and the weirdest name). Based on Ubuntu and shipped by default on System76 hardware, PopOS is seeing a spike in its user based due to its polishedness, segmentation and default customizations.

       
Source: System76

Here's how it scores:

Installation Features User Friendliness Customization Software Community Final Score
8/10 8/10 8.5/10 8/10 8/10 7/10 7.92

Elementary OS

Elementary OS is a beautiful and powerful Linux distribution that focus on speed, privacy and is a replacement for Windows and macOS. As Mint and Pop!_OS, Elementary is also based on Ubuntu and is a popular choice among macOS users due to its similarities with that system.

Source: elementary.io/

Here's how it scores:

Installation Features User Friendliness Customization Software Community Final Score
8/10 7/10 9/10 7/10 8/10 7/10 7.66

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it's a very tight race. On a quick glance, you may question how these distributions differ from each other. And it's a valid question. There's indeed a lot of equivalence between these systems as they are based on the same open-source software.

However, under the hood, there are lots of moving parts which, for new users shouldn't be relevant for now. Choosing a Linux distribution is a continuous process. Most of us, tried, 3, 5 or even 10 different distributions until we settled on something we like. Take your time!

Conclusion

In the end, choosing your distro will come down to preference. So take your time, read about each distribution, test them in virtual machines before installing on your system. And remember, Linux is about choice. You will always be able to reinstall and test as many times as you want. Most people, never settle down on the first one. Good luck!

See Also

Monday, November 2, 2020

What is Enterprise Linux?

You probably heard the term "Enterprise Linux" before. But do you understand what it means?
Photo by Danielle Barnes on Unsplash

On a previous post we discussed what's a Linux distribution. Today we'll discuss what they are, what they offer and how they differentiate from the traditional community-based desktop distros you use at home or work for free.

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, we definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

What is Enterprise Linux?

Enterprise Linux is the term commonly used to refer to a Linux distribution available through a paid subscription service customized for use in commercial organizations. It's frequently used in servers but enterprise software for the desktop is also available. It's available in different architectures.

The first company to popularize the term by specifically targeting a Linux distributions to large enterprise vendors was Red Hat with the first to offer enterprise Linux software with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in early 2000's. Quickly following that, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, followed by Oracle Linux with Ubuntu following more recently.

On the community side, traditionally the venerable Debian Linux has been the go-to choice for the server disputing with CentOS the top spot in recent years.

Why use enterprise Linux software?

The reasons to by enterprise Linux software are:

  • Solid, bulletproof software - LTS Linux kernel and LTS open-source software 
  • Long term support - up to 10 years support 
  • Super high SLAs - for example, RHEL claims up to 99.999% uptime
  • Enforced Security - Frequent and quick security updates to mitigate CVEs and security vulnerabilities
  • Extended Support - Dedicated support to help troubleshooting production issues
  • Access to certified software, hardware and cloud
  • Access to multiple partnerships, trainings and certifications
  • Access to custom/proprietary technologies - including predictive IT analytics service that identifies potential issues before they become problems

Most popular enterprise distributions

The last category is the commercial/enterprise Linux distributions. Those are distributions that require a financial commitment from the user or organization that plans to use them. The most popular today are:

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, I definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

Architectures supported

Enterprise software needs to be available for most architectures, including supercomputers. For example, RHEL is released in server versions for x86-64, Power ISA, ARM64, and IBM Z and a desktop version for x86-64. All of Red Hat's official support and training, together with the Red Hat Certification Program, focuses on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.  

Enterprise-Grade security

Since how critical Linux is for the functioning of the internet today, there are lots of eyes on its security model, especially on Enterprise-grade software. Government agencies like the NSA and others collaborate to build enterprise security tools like SELinux and AppArmor. But Linux's enterprise-grade security goes beyond that. In fact, there are multiple reasons that make if more more secure then other operating systems, including frequent updates, native disk-encryption, encrypted virtual machines, integrity sub-systems that can be used to detect if a file has been altered and encrypted data at rest.

FAQ

How much does it cost?

Since prices are always fluctuating, we'd ask you to consult the vendors linked above for more information.

Is there such a thing as enterprise desktop?

Yes! There are commercially supported Linux software for the desktop as well. The most popular being offered by Red Hat, Canonical and SUSE.

Are enterprise distributions always paid?

The short answer is no. Most vendors offer a development subscription allowing the developers to develop software on the same system they'll run their services. For example, Red Hat offers a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, available as part of the Red Hat Developer Program. This license is offered as a self-supported, non-production developer subscription offering a more stable development platform for building enterprise-grade applications and enables a clear pathway to supported, mission-critical deployments across cloud, physical, virtual and container-centric infrastructures.

Free enterprise Linux distributions

Looking for the best of enterprise Linux for as little as possible for your organization? Indeed there are community based enterprise Linux distributions. The common alternatives to paid enterprise software that we recommend are:

Conclusion

On this post we discussed what the term enterprise Linux means and reviewed some frequently asked questions about it. Hope it helps!

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, we definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

See Also

Monday, October 26, 2020

What is a Linux Distribution (aka. Distro)?

New Linux users often encounter the expression "Distribution" (or distro). Learn what that means.
Photo by Derek Oyen on Unsplash

When getting started with Linux you'll often hear the term distribution (aka distro). But what does it means and how a Linux distro is made? First off, let's review how Wikipedia defines it:

A Linux distribution is an operating system made from a software collection that is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. Linux users usually obtain their operating system by downloading one of the Linux distributions, which are available for a wide variety of systems ranging from embedded devices and personal computers to powerful supercomputers.

What's included in a Linux distribution

A Linux distribution (or distro) is composed of thousands of software packages which are usually built by the community or by the company maintaining that distribution, packaged and assembled in a live-CD (or iso) so it can be deployed somewhere (usually VMs or bare-metals).
 
Today, most distros (desktop or server) are composed of:
  • an installer: the tool you'll use to install the distro.
  • a boot loader: the tool that will initialize your system via its kernel.
  • the Linux kernel: the kernel is software that's responsible for interacting with and managing your hardware resources.
  • kernel modules: also known as drivers.  for common hardware: 
  • an init system: also known as PID 1, it's the first (and only) program executed by the kernel when loading your system. Today, systemd is the most widely used init system.
  • a daemon service: a service to manage background processes. systemd can also be used to be managed daemons (services).
  • a package management system: tooling to manage software (add/remove/search/etc). The most common package managers are Apt (Ubuntu/Debian/Mint), Yum/DNF (Fedora, CentOS, RHEL, SUSE) and pacman (Arch/Manjaro) are the most popular
  • general tools: general tools to interact with your system (ex. ls to list files, mkdir to create directories, ps to list the running processes, etc)
  • libraries: libraries (software extensions) that can be used and shared by multiple programs
  • documentation: software in Linux usually comes with its own documentation that can be consulted without access to the internet.
  • development tools (optional): depending on the vendor, development tools can be pre-installed with the system.
  • a graphical user interface (optional): if you're running a desktop install, most likely your system will be running GNOME or KDE. Servers frequently run GUI-less to reduce their attack surface.

Sustainability Model

It obviously requires money, time a lots of resources to built everything and to guarantee that everything will work on the users and companies' machines. So how do the distributions sustain themselves?

There are essentially three sustainability models for distributions today.

Community-based distributions

Community-based distributions are entities that survive off of donations and often require help from volunteers. The most popular ones these days are:

Commercially-sponsored distributions

Commercially-sponsored distributions are those distributions that receive grants from commercial companies to support the development and maintenance of those systems. Note that there's nothing wrong with this category since most of the distributions tend to run completely independently from their commercial institution. The most popular distributions today are:

Commercial/Enterprise distributions

The last category is the commercial/enterprise Linux distributions. Those are distributions that require a financial commitment from the user or organization that plans to use them. The advantage is bulletproof software and usually a dedicated support to help troubleshooting production issues. The most popular today are:

    Conclusion

    On this post we reviewed what's usually called a Linux distribution, also know as a distro. We also reviewed which components are included in a distribution and the most popular options on the market today. Is your favorite distribution on that list? Let us know!

    See Also

    Monday, October 12, 2020

    Why is Linux free?

    Linux is secure, fast, reliable and.. free? If that seems too good to be true you need to know more about Linux.
    Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

    On previous posts, we discussed why use Linux and one of our most compelling arguments to use Linux is that Linux is free. But since Linux is so secure, fast, reliable, how can it be free? Let's understand what that means and how it happens.

    A little history

    Avoiding jumping too much back in history, it's important to understand the contribution model in which Linux was built. Once upon a time, there was a developer named Linus Torvalds who wanted to build a kernel to run a free Unix clone at home. He named the project Linux (Linux + Unix) and sent a message to the world looking for volunteers.

    That project attracted so much attention that soon, hundreds of other developers joined that cause forming a big network of contributors. Linux, the kernel was the missing piece to produce a completely free operating system as most of the tools were already built on the GNU operating system.

    The first distributions

    With all the pieces to build a free and open-source operating system available, developers started creating the first Linux distributions. Some of them you may have heard of: Debian, Red Hat and Slackware, the most popular ones.

    What about now?

    The fact that Linux runs everywhere and that thousands of successful products are built on top of it, is the biggest motivator to use it. It's estimated that today the Linux kernel be worth $5 billion dollars. Given its licensing model, companies building new products today (for example, Tesla, Google or even Microsoft) can leverage Linux and more quickly reach the market saving them literally millions of dollars.

    Today, Linux's development is supervised by Linus and sponsored by the Linux Foundation which employs Linus, Greg Kroah-Hartman (and others) to coordinate and foster the development of Linux around the world.

    But this model does not only apply to Linux itself. The GNU project and thousands of other larger and smaller projects are being developed every single day by anonymous contributors worldwide following the same methodology.

    But why is Linux is free?

    Because the Linux kernel, the GNU operating system and all other tools needed to create a free operating system are available as open-source software respecting the premises of the free-software movement fostered by the GNU foundation, it's guaranteed that, as long as there are volunteers to build the distributions, you'll have a free/open-source operating system to run wherever you want.

    And this is exactly what happens.

    Linux Distributions

    Today we have two different lines of Linux distributions being built and available for free: community-based distributions and enterprise-sponsored distributions. Let's review them.

    Community-based distributions

    Community-based distributions are Linux systems built by volunteers and living of donations. The most popular these days are:

    Commercially-sponsored distributions

    For brevity, let's define as commercially-sponsored, those distributions that receive grants from commercial companies to support the development and maintenance of those systems. Note that there's nothing wrong with this category since most of the distributions run completely independently from their commercial institution. The most popular are:

    But one could charge for it, couldn't they?

    The short answer is a definitely yes! And indeed some companies charge for it one way or another. And how do they make money? Well, read the next section to understand.

    How companies make money with Linux

    Differently from this blog, Linux is not all about charity. There's lots of money being made on it today. Essentially, companies can use Linux in virtually any line of business. Just to illustrate some:

    • support
    • training
    • certification
    • licenses
    • building products around it
    • cloud services
    • storage solutions
    • networking solutions
    • ads
    • social networks
    • cars
    • TVs
    • Watches
    • and more, much more! 😊

    Conclusion

    On this post we reviewed briefly how Linux was created and how it's license model guarantees that it will remain free for future generations. We also touched briefly on how companies leverage Linux to get faster to the market and to make money. Regardless of who builds your favorite distro, all of us benefit from this massive chain of anonymous contributions.

    Hope it helps!

    See Also

    Monday, September 21, 2020

    Why use Linux

    Linux runs the cloud, the Internet and super-computers. Learn why you should run it too.
    Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

    Linux runs the cloud, the Internet and supercomputers. Turns out that Linux could be a very solid choice for your computer as well regardless of how old it is and learn how Linux is a good fit for anyone, regardless of their technical skills.

    Linux is free

    Linux is free. And this is a very important reason to use Linux. As poverty in the world grows and more and more people use digital devices in emerging markets, it's important to keep prices low so these folks can also have access to newer technologies. Prices are very high for Windows and impeditive for Mac for half the world. Being free allows Linux to reach those markets saving you and/or your company a lot of money throughout the years.

    Linux is more secure

    Linux is way more secure than Macs and Windows. That's mainly due to:
    • open-source code: due to its open nature, researches and hackers frequently inspect and crack the code. When issues are found, they're reported and fixed by community.
    • open collaboration: open-source code also fosters open collaborations. Developers from all over the world will frequently push fixes to the software you use making it better and more secure.
    • enterprise-grade software: tools like SELinux and AppArmor that protect and run on mission critical environments run on your machine too.
    • a different permission model: Linux users run on a low permission level making it very improbable that even if you're hit by a virus, you would infect the machine.
    • frequent updates: your system will always be updated getting the latest security, software and kernel fixes. These are usually the holes crackers explore to target you.
    • less viruses: yes, Linux has viruses but on an infinite smaller proportion than Windows users get. Linux also has anti-viruses if you need too.
    • curated repositories: the easiest way to install software on your Linux is by using its own repositories. These repositories are curated and are less prone to have viruses.

    Linux will feel familiar

    Linux will feel familiar for Windows and Mac users. Most distributions will either use GNOME and KDE, the most popular desktop environments that will contain applications for everything that you expect: file managers, contacts, calendars, email, communication tools, etc. For example, GNOME, the standard for most distributions looks like this:
    While KDE looks like this:

    You'll continue using the tools you love

    Linux also supports your favorite browsers such as Google Chrome, Brave and Firefox and runs your cloud services such as Netflix and Spotify without issues. Visual Studio Code, Slack? You'll find on Linux. Even Microsoft releases tools for Linux these days.
    Source: Slack Downloads

    From super-computers to your machine

    You won't lose a thing by using Linux, to the contrary. Linux is the most powerful system for your computer on the market. Linux runs the cloud, the Internet and super-computers. For some time already all of the world's super-computers run Linux, not only because Linux is better (and it is!) but because the engineers can configure the system as they wish as they have access to the code. Why wouldn't it run on your computer?

    Linux is reliable

    Linux rarely (really, rarely!) crashes. Linux is also way more stable than Windows and Mac. Even the tools you use on those systems are more stable on Linux.
    Remember this? You'll probably not miss those days

    Good for old hardware

    Linux is also excellent for old hardware as it can be configured with lighter tools that utilize less resources. Most distributions (such as Fedora LXDE shown below) release alternative lightweight versions so you'll just need a simple install to get these systems optimized for lower-end hardware.

    Reliable updates

    We've seen a lot of mistakes recently made by either Microsoft and Apple with their Windows and Mac operating systems. Updates on Linux are not only reliable but are more frequent than anything you'd get on those systems. Your system's usually updated once or twice a week, every 6 months for a minor release and every 2 years for long-term supported releases.

    Linux is not complicated

    Despite what you saw elsewhere, setting up a Linux system at home is no longer a complex thing to do. Gone are the days you had to specifically configure your disk, manage partitions, know networking details or which kernel module you had to load to make your WIFI card work. Today, it simply works and most of the tools you'll need are four clicks away.

    Linux is not difficult to install

    Another misconception is that Linux is difficult to install. Today tools such as the below guide you trough a visual installation process making everything simpler:

    Linux is beautiful

    Linux is beautiful. As we saw, the main distributions today come with GNOME and KDE, full-featured desktop environments that allow you configure everything. But, in case you want to go the extra mile, you'll also encounter communities on the internet dedicated to even more customization.
    Source: Pinterest

    Installing software is simple

    Installing software on Linux is simple. Every Linux distribution provides a tool to manage software with lots (literally, thousands) of apps. On GNOME, the Software tool looks like this:
    Source: Gnome.org

    A huge community to help

    Linux users are spread around communities over the internet. Being on Reddit or on forums of your specific distribution, you'll end up find a lot of help on the internet.

    Excellent Documentation

    You'll realize that the tools you'll use have a lot of documentation. Plus, there are hundreds of sites you'll be able to use as a reference for your questions. No access to the internet? Linux ships with the man tool providing you fantastic documentation. Just run man <cmd> to view documentation for the software you need:

    Linux is customizable

    Another big advantage of Linux is that it's customizable. I'm not talking about the wallpaper or desktop theme. I'm talking everything. Here's some of the things you can change or customize:
    • Desktop Managers: don't like GNOME or KDE? There's XFCE, LXQT, LXDE, etc for you.
    • Login Managers: how you login to your system.
    • Desktop themes: configure themes, colors, etc.
    • Fonts: customize your fonts, sizes, etc.
    • Shell: shell is the application that runs on your terminal and also can be changed or customized.
    • Systems and Services: your system will have an endless list of services to choose from.
    • Kernel: even the kernel, the main process of your system can be customized.

    Curated repositories

    Linux users are used to having repositories curated by the community and available for them. That means no viruses, adware, unsafe or untrusted software.

    Games

    Linux run games too! Emulators, custom games and thousands of games are also available on Steam for Linux. PCGamer recently did an in-depth review and they also concluded that's surprisingly easy to switch a gaming PC to Linux today. Not only is Linux easier than ever to use, but it's totally viable for gaming in 2020."

    Office Tools

    There are many alternatives to Microsoft's Office suite on Linux including LibreOffice, OpenOffice, WPS and Calligra Suite. You'll probably not miss Word and Excel.
    Source: linuxuprising.com

    Frequent Updates

    If you're using a major distribution such as Ubuntu, Fedora, etc, you'll probably get smaller updates everyday or so, minor releases every 6 months and major releases every 2 years. Your system will be constantly updated. For reference, the upgrade cadence for Windows and Macs average 4 years.

    Awesome Terminal

    You can do pretty much everything from the terminal: browse the web, manage your files, listen to the radio, send a tweet, read Reddit, watch YouTube. You can also use tools such as tmux and multitask on the terminal.
    On the left man git, on the right: vim on top and htop on bottom

    Linux is everywhere

    If you accessed this page, you probably used hundreds of services, tools and systems running Linux. routers, switches, firewalls, servers, clouds, web servers, the internet runs on Linux. Running Linux at home means that you'll won't have many issues running the latest tools.

    Your TV, smartphone, watches, Teslas, IoT devices (fridge, microwave), Raspberry Pis, nuclear plants and everything runs on Linux. And the trend is that going forward, more companies will use it into their products.

    Changed the world? Was probably made on Linux

    No matter which technology you use, it probably was developed on Linux. Clouds, web servers, databases, containers, firewalls, VPNs, databases. Most of the tools that changed the world incubated on the GNU/Linux operating system. Want to use reliable and cutting-edge technology? Run Linux.

    Huge growth

    The Linux marketshare just keeps growing. Today the cloud runs Linux. Learning Linux will get you in touch with the technologies that the world's using. Today, it's estimated that the number of developers running Linux is equal or bigger than MacOS users at 25%.

    Linux is fantastic for development

    There's a big difference between a developer who knows their tools and a developer who not only knows their tools but how they work. Using Linux will expose you to a vast resource of technical information making you know how things work behind the scenes. Plus, the more confident you get with the terminal, the less you'll rely on heavier tools such as IDEs making you a much better and more valuable developer.

    Plus, developers love Linux! According to StackOverflow, Linux is the most loved technology by developers:
    We'll address more how developers can benefit from using Linux in a future post.

    You will learn how technology works

    Due to the vast documentation available and due to the open-source nature of the tools you'll use, you have access to an outstanding amount of technical information on how everything works. That will help you not only learn more about your tools but also to learn how your computer works.

    Perfect for hardware-lovers

    Into IoT, Rasperry Pi, Arduino? Using this tools will teach you a lot about Linux itself but also about how your devices function and how they interact with your system. You'll also have access to a powerful documentation about how to setup and configure your devices.

    Perfect for network engineers

    If you want, learning networking on Linux is fun and a rewarding experience. As previously said, Linux runs the Internet today and its robust and reliable networking capabilities are to be given credit for allowing you to watch Netflix, YouTube or even FaceTiming Zooming with your friends. Want to work with networks? Use Linux.

    Conclusion

    On this post we discussed why use Linux and how you too could benefit from using it today. We hope you learned something today and are excited to try Linux.

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