Linux, which is an open version of the Unix operating system has been around since the 1990’s. It has enjoyed an increase in popularity over the years, as many server administrators look for an alternative to the more popular purchased operating systems. The most noticeable benefit to using Linux is the price. Linux is free, in that no one owns the software. There may be a small cost to buying an installable disk that may be packaged with other open source programs.
Linux also has the advantage of using very little hardware resources to run successfully. It runs fine on hardware that is more than a decade old. It can also run without taking up much room on a hard disk. The software is not very vulnerable to virus attacks because of its robust core based on Unix.
It is possible to accommodate a large number of users on a server. Each session is fairly well isolated from other users. Linux has been known to run for years without needing to restart the computer. These qualities make it an excellent choice for use as a firewall or as a backup server.
There are many choices for application software. Because of the open nature of the software, there are many contributors who add their own version of applications and make them freely available. There are programs that specifically mimic popular word processors and spreadsheets.
You also have complete control over the administration of the operating system. There are no layers of administration to work through. You are able to access everything to the core of the system. There are helpful open software programs written to help with these tasks, as well.
There are drawbacks to using this system. Even though the system has universal appeal, there are still some popular applications that have no equivalent written for this particular operating system. Installation is considered simple, but learning some of the administrative skills may take longer than some commercial operating system choices.
Although this system takes up very little resources and runs on older machines very well, sometimes it takes a while before it can run on a brand new machine. It is dependent on waiting for someone to take the time to adapt it to changes in hardware. It runs best on slightly older machines.
Overall, it makes a good choice as an alternative operating system. It is solid, robust, rarely needs rebooting, and accommodates a larger number of users. Look into the advantages, yourself, and consider getting formal training in this software. Your time will not be wasted as there are many applications where this software is beneficial.