Linux Blog

How to talk openly about open source software

Filed under: General Linux,Linux for Newb's — at 9:42 am on Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today we have a guest post written by Whitney from Technected. Whitney majored in journalism and has been using Linux ever since. She now works for a large automotive corporation in the Midwest. In her spare time she enjoys playing video games, gardening and watching Dr. Who.

You already know Linux is superior. There’s a reason you downloaded it, even if you had to overwrite your pre-programmed OS. You painstakingly created partitioned files for your /boot, /swap, root and /home files. You even bought a stuffed penguin — the Jesus fish of Linux users — to proudly display on your desk.

With great power comes great responsibility, though. Suddenly, everyone is asking you why Linux is so great, and if they should download it. Once you’ve worked with an OS for so long, it’s sometimes hard to simplify your answers for them, so here’s a handy list of answers for the masses

What makes Linux different?

Linux is an open source operating system, which basically means that all of the information and code is available on-line free of charge. Having all of the code for it means that individuals can change it as they’d like.

What makes it work?

Users are actually the force behind the software. Individual users create fixes for problems (called patches) and write programs for it.

What’s with the different packages available?

Distributions are bundled packages of software that developers have put together that work well together. The developers have also ironed out kinks to make sure it runs smoothly. If you’re looking for a quicker start with Linux than piecing together each component, finding a distribution is an excellent route to go.

How is the security and virus protection?

Linux is actually safer to use because less viruses are created for them. In addition to that, because many developers are working on the same programs, they’re likely to come up with fixes and protection for viruses within a matter of hours or days, while Microsoft can take months.

Should I be using Linux?

This question can go either route depending on who’s asking it. Evaluate the questioner. If he or she still uses a Hotmail account, thinks Solitaire is ‘pc gaming’ or thinks sending cell phone pictures is the greatest thing, the answer is no. If this person tries to install it, they will never stop asking you questions. If they manage to install it, you may eventually have to put Windows back onto their computer. Encourage them to begin using some open source programs before they make the full jump to an open source operating system.

However, if they operate their own blog with a personalized theme, have taken a few computing classes or written a basic program or two, encourage them to try it out. You can offer minimal support — they’ll know to go to Google for basic questions.

Hopefully this list will help you explain the glory of Linux to your friends and family. Remember that as a Linux user, you’ll be standing up for open source programs everywhere. Speaking about it in accessible language is a great way to promote it and keeps with the open spirit of Linux itself.


Comment by SL33PLEZZ

June 13, 2011 @ 1:24 am

I am a Proud user of linux! I use to use windows and I would never go back to windows after I made the switch to linux. Windows has so many errors and security loop holes that would take sometimes forever to fix. Software being open source makes it so millions of users are improving it DAILY! If this article has you interested you can read a Linux Distro called ubuntu @ . I would recommend you to check out UBUNUTU as your first linux OS. You can download Ubuntu @

Comment by Sim

June 15, 2011 @ 6:06 am

I wouldn’t recommend Ubuntu any more. Apart from a name that doesn’t sound cool at all, version 11.04 is almost unusable to someone that wants a desktop that simply works.

I recently discovered Linux Mint. It looks better, runs smoother and has all the stuff previous Win/OSX user wants to see in an alternative OS. I recommend Mint.

Comment by opera unite

June 22, 2011 @ 4:35 am

Nice blog, I use ”Puppylinux” its fast,small semi-easy to use.
links are below.
iso is 135mb,runs as live,persistant or full install.
Good on older pc’s(1Ghz-256mb ram.) or lower.
irc #puppylinux on freenode.

Comment by Arpsit

June 29, 2011 @ 3:15 am

Software being open source makes it so millions of users are improving it DAILY! If this article has you interested you can read a Linux Distro called

Comment by John Cartwright

July 22, 2011 @ 5:54 am

I am using Linux Mint 11 with a customised desktop and it does everything I want without getting in my way with a strange new desktop that uses up all my system resources and looks like a strange cross bewixt MacOS and Windows.

Comment by

September 19, 2011 @ 3:31 am

Why not some posts on linux certification issues?

Comment by linux2aixdotcom

October 3, 2011 @ 5:39 am

Well this is good info for me about Linux Operating System. Thanks for sharing this!

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