25 things to love about Linux

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Today marks 25 years of Linux, the most successful software ever.

At LinuxCon this week, Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation spoke words of admiration, praise, and excitement from the keynote stage, saying "Linux at 25 is a big thing" and "You can better yourself while bettering others at the same time."

To celebrate, we asked our readers what they love about Linux and rounded up 25 of their responses. Dive into the Linux love!

25 reasons to love Linux

25. There is no autopilot. I am the king of my machine. —Anupam Datta

24. Nowadays stuff just works. No hunting for obscure firmware etc. Plug and play. Done in the open. That's truly, wow. —Jan Wildeboer

23. It is possible to customize Linux in multiple ways: via the kernel when compiling it and in user space. Plethora of free apps. —Eugene J. Markow

22. One thing I like about Linux is the fact that it's absolutely free. That includes price, ability to modify the code to your own specs, etc. No restrictive licensing, etc. —James Takac

21. Don't ask what Linux can do for you, it is already done, but what code you can apply for Linux! —Vladimir Cicovic 

20. Working in the terminal is awesome. Makes me look like a badass tech guy in front of the people around me when typing those commands. —Nilesh Sarkar 

19. When I ask "How do I send data via the serial port?" on a Linux forum, I get relevant answers and help. Other forums responses be like "Have you tried the parallel port? —Eric Lovejoy 

18. The freedom to edit my GUI however I see fit without worries about end user license agreements. —Jesse Woodside 

17. A huge selection of applications, tools, widgets, and other software. —Nathan Leach 

16. It gives you the feel of being a real programmer, or a hacker! —Sai Charan

15. There is no limit to what you can do. If you can imagine it, you can make it. —Jeroen Tuijn

14. It is less risky when it comes to virus attack... and of course its an open source! —Kefilwe Mosesanyane

13. The power to customize and create my own specific operating system to be used for any purpose. —Rasyid Sahputra

12. The main thing I like about Linux is there are no wizards. When installing software, it just does it and that includes all the dependencies. —Shaun Henderson

11. My machine loves it! The way I have total control over everything. It's a love story that is inexpressible. —Rhitik Bhatt

10. There's always something new to learn. —Alexander Golubets

9. Stability, resource friendly, safety. —Alwan Rosyidi

8. The freedom. —Maja Isaksson

7. Terminal <3 —Shahrukh Alizai

6. The commands :) file handling and big data analysis :) —Sum Aira

5. Light-weight, flexible, stabile, safe. —Tomasz Mikołajko

4. There is more than one topic why I love Linux. But I think because it is available for everyone for free, makes the world a little more free. —Tux von Kybermann

3. The ability to freely download, run, change, and distribute the operating system to as many computers as I want. Not everyone can afford to purchase a copy of Windows every 3-4 years. Everyone can afford Linux! —Jonathan Niccolls

2. It's the Swiss Army knife of computing. —Gary Alexander

1. Everything. —Ayoub Arahmat

Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.



Well, there is an autopilot, but you have to set it up. :-)
Seriously, I refer to Linux as well behaved. By that I mean it does what you tell it to better than other operating systems. They always seem to take a "we know what you really meant" approach.

Nonsense. Clippy was a brilliant assistance tool that revolutionized computing.

Seriously though, I can only agree. I can install, updated and configured to my liking, every computer in my house with a fresh Linux distro in the time it takes Windows to do a bare metal install with no software, incomplete driver support ("unknown device"), and enough backdoors and flaws that it gets infected the minute you open the included web browser to go get a real one.

There are so many reasons, but Linux is easier to install than a certain company's spyware and malware disguised as an OS...and no searching out and downloading drivers only to find out that they don't work... And I am in control of my computers, not a corporation that only cares about $$$$.

Linux is easy to use. Easy to install and free. The best software available in most cases and we can help other people in the process. It's a win-win.

There are 3 things I like Linux OS for.

1. Freedom. By freedom I mean freedom to set my system up the way I want it to be (Gentoo anyone?).
2. Repositories. Package installation and updates is a breeze compared to MS Windows.
3. Speed. Linux OS is really fast when you configure it right (some skills required obviously).

Why not state the true and main reason for loving Linux. ITS NOT WINDOWS!

Both the lack of hardware locking and DRM allow Linux installs to be backed up to live DVD or USB. This makes backups that are robust and portable.

I have installed Linux to a flash drive (I limit writes by putting frequently written logs into RAM; until I can add an overlay file system) and that flash drive boots my full OS, apps, and settings on my own laptop, my brother's system, or my PC at work. Try that with Windows!

There are (almost) no insurmountable barriers with Linux. Chances are, with a little work, you find that driver, that setup method, the right settings, whatever you need to jump some hurdle. And that's the point, they're hurdles, not impenetrable brick walls.

Yeah, this. I can't be bothered spending time on solving problems that only exist because a software company somewhere decided that some feature was only available if you pay more for it. If I'm expending effort on something, I want it to be because I'm trying to do something unique, and that's what Linux and open source really is all about: collectively solving problems so that the next thing we do is something new and progressive.

In reply to by Greg Pittman

All of the things that Zemlin and the Linux Foundation have no interest in... the Linux Desktop.

You are right, they don't care about Linux on the desktop, just servers, and what makes millions for large corporations. They don't care about the users of Linux desktops because they make no money from it.

In reply to by tracyanne (not verified)

Free and not Windows. But, poorly documented, can brick itself, support forums are hit and miss ...

Every little thing is an adventure!

Linux just does what it needs to do, nothing more, nothing less.

And from an admin perspective: Linux is consistent since over 25 years. Compare that to other operating systems...

At least Point 3 is bullshit ("Not everyone can afford to purchase a copy of Windows every 3-4 years")

Almost all PC come with a Windows License and with Windows 10 installed there is no need to buy a new license. I agree Windows is black box (or should I say a black hole), but why we need so many different Linux Distributions, a good one would be enough and this could be really successful.

Most people who start with Linux are almost always go with Ubunutu Linux or probably Linux Mint (for those who dislike Ubuntu). All other distros are for specific purposes.

BTW. around 3-4 Billion people on earth are poor. For some of them it matters how much money they have to spend for software.

In reply to by Winfrid

You make a valid point; Windows comes on most computers. But not all computers are purchased from a store as new. Some are bought used and might want a fresh OS (either for information security or for security updatedness), others are built from parts, others are rescued from a dumpster (sometimes literal, sometimes figurative), and so on. I believe there's a social responsibility that the tech space bears to ensure that any computer that *can* run, does run. No computer should be thrown into the landfill just because it's "too old", or "too slow", or "just isn't cool anymore". For those computers, especially, an OS is very often required, and the big software vendors out there do nothing to make sure we are keeping old tech alive for the sake of resource efficiency.

In reply to by Winfrid

Best thing to love about Linux..... There are at least 10 ways to do the same task, and they all work!

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