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Different Types of Linux Software

If you have a personal computer that utilizes the Linux Operating System, then you know that there are numerous types of software developed specifically for that system. Here are a few examples of Linux software, as well as the features they include and the functions they perform:

  • Ubuntu: This is a desktop platform that provides free software to anyone who wishes to use it. Unlike other platforms, however, Ubuntu software doesn’t have “commercial” and “community” software (commercial software usually has more features that community.) The software you download from Ubuntu on your computer at home has the same features as that on your work computer.
  • BleachBit: This software helps you free up disk space by doing more than simply deleting files. It actually “cleans” your computer, getting rid of applications and other programs that you may not even known were there and certainly don’t need.
  • NolaPro: A bookkeeping and accounting software program that makes keeping up with accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and other accounting functions easier.

Other types of Linux software include gaming software, software that is designed for use in the educational field, software that can help perform complicated mathematical functions, and many other types. You should have no problem finding some Linux software that you can use, either for business or pleasure.

These are just a few examples of Linux software. The website thelinuxgurus.org can give you more examples and descriptions. It can also offer you information on the newest software that is available as well as future projections for Linux software and the operating system.


Linux vs. Mac

Official Ubuntu circle with wordmark. Replace ...
Image via Wikipedia

Though Mac computers run on Unix, which is a Linux based operating system, there are still advantages to Linux over Mac.

The biggest factor for most people is the price. Since Linux is free, open source software, it does not cost anything. With a Mac, though, you will pay at least an extra $500, if not more. Though Macs use a Unix base for their operating system, they still charge a significant amount of money for the use of the software.

In a lot of cases, using a Linux operating system and using a mac are very similar. In other ways, they are very different. For example, updating software on a Mac can be frustrating and time consuming. You have to use the AppFresh installer every time you want to update a program. With Ubuntu, for example, everything stays up to date automatically. This is a huge factor for many people, who may not have the time to check frequently to see if there are updates to be made or not.

With Linux, all of the software that you will use is also going to be free. Since it is an open source software, you will be able to find many programs and pieces of software for free, that will serve the purposes you need. With a Mac, however, you may need to pay extra for these programs, as Macs are extremely proprietary.

Between a Mac and a Linux computer, the biggest difference is going to be the price. Macs are extremely proprietary, and can get very expensive. Using Linux software is free, and has about the same learning curve as a Mac does. They have about the same amount of computer security as well. If you are more worried about brand, you may want to stick with a Mac, but if you are looking for great functionality with a lower price tag, consider Linux.

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Linux Distributions

Tux, the Linux penguin
Image via Wikipedia

There are many forms of Linux distribution. In fact, there are over 600 of these distributions currently. So, what exactly is a Linux distribution? Basically, they are a collection of software applications that run on top of the Linux kernel. the software included could be word processors, database applications, spreadsheets, and more. Since Linux is a free, open source software, there are many versions of Linux distribution that are developed and programmed by the users themselves. There are also some that are backed commercially by larger companies.

Some of the distributions that are commercially backed are Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva Linux. Gentoo and Debian are two of the more community driven distributions for the operating system.

Ubuntu is the most widely used distribution of Linux, and is said to have as much as 50 percent of the Linux usage that is using Ubuntu. Ubuntu is used not only as an operating system for individual users, but also for servers. Ubuntu focuses their system on stability, security, and usability. It comes with a large variety of software, that can help in your daily using of your computer.

Gentoo is designed the be very easy to maintain, flexible, and optimizable to your computer. Gentoo is described as having near unlimited adaptability.

Fedora is the second most used version of Linux. One of their main goals is to be on the leading edge of free and open source software technologies.

No matter what distribution of Linux you are interested in, you will find that they are all great to work with in different ways. Some require a little more of a learning curve than others, but one of the great things about the Linux distributions is that you are able to customize them how you want. You can also count on them being extremely safe operating systems for your computer.

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Different Distros for Different Users

A screenshot of Ubuntu 9.04 with GNOME 2.26.
Image via Wikipedia

Depending on your expertise level with Linux, or even computers in general, as well as what you are looking for in your operating system, different distributions, or distros, of Linux may work best for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best distros for the different categories you may fit into.

If you are looking for something that is simple to use, but overall great for your desktop computer, Linux Mint 9 might be a good option. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it also has a great software manager. There is a desktop panel for settings, that has a control center that you can customize. Overall, this is a great operating system for a desktop computer.

Puppy Linux 5.0 has been shown to be one of the best for older computers. It does not take a lot to run; in fact, it runs right off of your ram. It boots from a CD, so it can be a great package for an older machine.

Many people are just starting to feel out Linux, and don’t know where to start. If you are new to the operating system, you may want to try Ubuntu. It has a very easy install process. Ubuntu has also been said to have a great look for the background. If you are coming from a Mac operating system, you will feel very comfortable with the control buttons for the windows, which are located at the top left.

If you consider yourself an expert with Linux, Fedora 13 has been said to be one of the best. Many proprietary softwares are not compatible, such as Adobe Flash. Even some video drivers may not work, like the Nvidia drivers. Luckily, for most things, there is an open source software to take its place. This can be difficult to work with if you are new to the system.

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Why Hasn’t Linux Dominated the World Yet?

People have been waiting for Linux to dominate the computing and programming world since its inception. It was thought to make its biggest splash in the desktop market. However, statistics show that Linux has only managed a 1 or 2% stake. Linux fans have adamantly espoused its advancements and it can only be reasoned that they would be great for the masses too. So what explains the lag in its desktop share? Some have come to wonder whether it has a lot to do with its distributions, especially its most popular one, Ubuntu. Those beneficial advances just may be the same thing keeping Linux from catching on to the rest of the world.

Looking at Ubuntu it can be hard for the Linux enthusiast to understand how people could be discouraged from adopting it. For one, the software is very similar to Windows. In addition, the installation process is a cinch and the support is very helpful. While that seems like it should satisfy the general user, there is the evident issue of its operations still being too technical. Many people simply don’t have the experience using commands and such. But it’s not just the look and performance that is an issue. Many Linux distributions like Ubuntu are updated at too fast of a clip. While this is great for users already in the loop, it can be a turn off for users that aren’t even used to their first version.

This can leave many Linux developers peddling projects only to Linux users, which isn’t a large part of the market. Still, there is hope for Linux domination yet. As generations grow up around computers, the technical know-how will catch up to open source’s operational capabilities. Plus, open source software like Linux is so adaptable it will continue to evolve to weed out any kinks users find unfavorable. And if that doesn’t happen, there is always room for another project to come along that will really craft its software to the needs of average users and potentially take the desktop market.

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