Debunking some strong Linux myths in 2016

Aug 9th, 2016No Comments


I always wince a little when I see myths about Linux regurgitated online or even hear them offline. From Airport lounges to my Twitter news feed, I come across these myths on a regular basis. What do you do as a Linux lover when you hear “no one really uses Linux these days”? It takes a lot of self-control to not pull over the offending parties and scream into their heads the fact that absence of Linux ads on TV and no sales figure shown off doesn’t mean Linux is not being used. Here are some other myths I’d like to debunk.

Linux is only for geeky expert users

In the early days of Linux, it garnered a reputation as the operating system for programmers and system administrators. This has since changed. You don’t need exceptional coding skills to install or use Linux. Installing Linux is as simple of downloading a file, installing it on an external drive, restarting your computer and following prompts. If this isn’t simple enough for your, there are many computers in the market with Linux pre-installed. In fact, Linux has been championed as more welcoming for new users when compared to Windows.

There is little hardware support for Linux

This statement made sense in 2005. Today, I can quickly run Linux on most computers, including desktop and netbook systems, without any hardware issues. Across work and home, I have a decent variety in computer components from CPUs to graphic controller and Wireless network controllers. I have never run into hardware issues using the latest Linux distributions on any one of them.

Linux isn’t used in the corporate workplace

This is a rather surprising myth that has flown about for a while. Linux is open source which means the technology can be adapted for use in virtually any sphere. Apparently that is not enough reason to convince many that Linux is used in a large percentage of corporate work spaces in some capacity. Here are some examples for you to mull over:

Away from the corporate world, Linux is used on traffic systems, smart refrigerators, smart rifles, self-driving cars, heck even cow milking systems!

No company uses Linux servers

This is another myth that is almost guaranteed to get me talking anytime. Whenever I hear this, I always respond with the fact that even though Windows makes software that powers servers, many companies use Linux because it gets the job done. There are many Linux distribution developers exclusively catering for the corporate server market. That should tell you everything you need to know on the matter. I personally use Linux in my search marketing business Slingshot SEO in Manchester as its a  very stable system to run Majestic on.

Linux is sorely lacking on the applications front

This statement isn’t as outlandish as some of the others on this list because it is dependent on what applications you are looking at and your flexibility threshold. If you are an average PC user, I’ll assume you are online and need a computer for surfing the web, reading or writing emails, downloading content from the web, editing pictures and working with office documents. In this case, Linux has all the applications you need and some.

In fact, I have found many applications to be better, more flexible and more powerful than their Windows counterparts. Interestingly, I paid for some of these on Windows but currently use them free on Linux. On the other hand, if you are like me and need more applications then you can find thousands of software as solutions. The major distributions have a healthy catalogue of application alternatives.

Linux is ugly

Aesthetically, Linux didn’t appeal to many users in the past. In fact, I still vividly remember the less than stellar graphics of older versions of KDE and mGnome. However, even though Linux was ugly back in the day, things are a lot different now. Linux frontend (which covers desktop, windows and animations) mare decoupled from the backend (which is the crux of the operating system). There are many frontends you can use. Referred to as desktop environments, you can easily switch between the frontend types. I have personally gone past the days of switching desktop environments but if you value aesthetics, you should be happy to know that you can always determine what the graphics look like on your computer at the touch of a button.

You can’t play Video Games on Linux

Windows has often enjoyed attention because it is marketed as the operating system for gaming. People interested in enjoying the latest and greatest games usually need a Windows computer. However, it is inaccurate to say that Linux users can’t enjoy quality video gaming experience.

I have played several high profile games on Linux without any hitch. Some of the most popular include World of Goo, Half-Life, Dota 2, Civilisation V and Amnesia. Throw in the recently released SteamOS which is a variant of Linux
that is focused on supporting all games on the Steam platform and you will be able to see that gaming on Linux isn’t as bleak as painted.

One option I have also used to enjoy more Windows games is Wine. It allows implementation of Windows on Linux for
free. I use it as an emulator to run Windows games on Linux.

Is Linux for you? Linux is a great system and my one of choice, you should not allow myths sway your decision to use or not to use Linux.

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