Subscriber Dave wrote to remind other readers about Linux as an alternative to Windows and to ask what I thought about Linux:
I have been subscribed to your computer tips for quite a while now, love the tips you give and the advise you have helped me on .
I have been using Linux for a while now dual booting with XP I have used Ubuntu 9.10 now i am using Mepis Linux now love it, although the printer support is not as good as Ubuntu 9.10 and I’ve used Linux Mint 8.
I was wondering what you thought about linux as they dont have spy-ware and virus problems like windows does.
Question 1: have you tried any of the linux operating systems I have used,
Question 2: I thought it would be good if you could let your readers know about Linux as an other option to surf the web safely.
Any way it would be good to here what you think about Linux
I haven’t tried Ubuntu in a long time, nor have I tried Linux Mint 8. Mepis was one of my favorite Linux distributions (versions) for a while, before I found PCLinuxOS.
However, the only Linux distribution that I use actively is CentOS, which I use on a Linux server at home. That server mainly functions as a fileserver for backing up individual data files.
CentOS (www.centos.org) is a free clone of RedHat Enterprise Linux, with all the RedHat specific identification removed and the non-GPL items removed.
Linux is definitely an alternative to Windows for some people — and is much more safe for novice users. As Dave pointed out, Linux doesn’t have the malware problems that Windows has.
That’s because Linux was built from the beginning with security in mind. It’s also because Linux users accept that they won’t be able to do all tasks with the aame "userID" that they use for web surfing and emailing.
Linux understands that running in Administrator mode (also known as "root" mode) is dangerous and firmly guides you not do do that. Windows users like to be able to do everything without logging in under a different ID, so they often run in Administrator mode at all times.
Of course, Windows makes it a pain to switch userID’s while you’re running, while Linux makes it easy to do one or more tasks as root without losing your non-root login session.
Is Linux a viable alternative? It depends on the programs you need to run and the compatibility you need. If you’re office uses Office 2007 and Windows Exchange Server, Linux is probably not your best choice. IF that’s not of concern, give it a try.
Many Linux distributions are available as runnable CDROMs, so you don’t even have to install them to try them. If you have enough memory, the Linux distribution may be able to "install" into memory temporarily, which will run faster than running Linux directly from the CDROM.