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Discussion on: Switching To linux

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brandonwallace profile image
brandon_wallace • Edited

I have never seen Linux getting slow or sluggish over time. I have used it for more than a decade for server and desktop.

Linux runs fabulously on hardware with low resources and does not slow down. What is nice about Linux is that you do not even need a graphical user interface on a server which will let it run even better.

Look at this headless (no GUI installed) Linux server with 512MB ram. It is using 68MB of ram.

brandon@fedora:~$ free -m
              total        used
Mem:            488          68
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Some of the many benefits to Linux are:

  • I can use one Linux CD and install it on 1 server or 5000 servers (or 5000 desktops).
  • I can use the same Linux CD to configure a router, a server, or a desktop/laptop.
  • I have freedom to change anything I want.
  • I do not have to update if I do not want to.
  • The graphical user interface is optional.
  • It does not slow down after time.
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jhilgeman profile image
Jonathan H

Linux is indeed great. My point was that if you take average, less-technical users and set them in front of a Linux desktop with enough knowledge to install new apps and launch them, THEY are going to eventually see the same kinds of problems on Linux.

There is a reason we technical folks remove unnecessary packages. Why load up the
Bluetooth service on a server that doesn't use it? Why load up KDE on a simple web server? We remove them because they have small impacts on system performance and we can make Linux run even faster without them. The opposite is true - if you are one of those users that installs a ton of packages, you're eventually going to run into problems. You'll have users who remove package X that also removes a dependency package that breaks another app and you'll have those users complaining about how Linux is terrible, when it's really just user behavior.

As far as your list of benefits go, a couple of those overlap with Windows. For example, you don't -need- to update Windows if you don't want to. You can even spin up XP and use it today if you wanted to. The catch is that you'll have a hard time finding drivers and your system will not receive critical patches. However, that's the same problem with Linux. If you never update, you'll eventually be left with a system that is not patched. I have a client right now who has a really old Fedora server that is so out of date that its openssl libraries are too old to allow it to communicate with most other modern servers, which means I cannot update it through a package manager like yum anymore. I could certainly manually compile openssl and swap that out, but that's a headache and a half. There are always workarounds but that's the same story with Windows. My point here is that if you truly dive down into the comparisons, there is not a huge difference if you are technically savvy on both platforms. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.