This essay discusses some of the advantages of Linux. Tens of thousands of programmers have reviewed the source code to improve performance, eradicate bugs, and strengthen security. No other operating system has ever undergone this level of review.
The advantages one has with Linux are:
- Linux source code is freely distributed. Tens of thousands of programmers have reviewed the source code to improve performance, eradicate bugs, and strengthen security. No other operating system has ever undergone this level of review. This Open Source design has formed most of the advantages listed below.
- 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 honoring InfoWorld’s Product of the Year Award for Best Technical Support over all commercial software vendors.
- Linux has 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 swiftly and effectively. This contrasts sharply with proprietary operating systems, where even top-tier support contributor must rely on the OS vendor for technical information and bug fixes.
- Linux runs on a wide range of hardware. Most Linux systems are based on standard PC hardware, and Linux supports a very wide range of PC devices. However, it also supports a wide range of other computer types, including Alpha, Power PC, 680×0, SPARC, and Strong Arm processors, and system sizes ranging from PDAs to supercomputers constructed from clusters of systems.
- Linux is exceptionally stable. Properly configured, Linux systems will normally run until the hardware fails or the system is shut down. Continuous up-times of hundreds of days are not uncommon.
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