Linux is one of the most popular operating systems out there after the Windows family. What sets Linux distinctly apart from others is the fact that you can download it for free. Unlike Windows operating systems which come with a hefty price tag, Linux does not cost absolutely anything and Linux setup is quite easy. Even you don’t need to use any virus remover as there is very little or no chance of virus infection.
For beginners, it can be quite daunting to decide which distribution would be best for them. This is because there is a plethora of Linux distributions out there from which you can choose from – Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Mandriva, Opensuse, and so on. Each distribution, or distro, has its own strengths and features unique to it.
The first and foremost concern that you should consider is your hardware. All Linux distros are not built the same. Although most Linux distros try to be as hardware friendly as possible, you might discover that some work better with your hardware than others. So the best way to decide which distro would be right for you is to try out a handful of the most popular distros and see for yourself as to which of them work the best on your hardware. You will discover that some distros will detect all your hardware and work flawlessly, while others may not even boot on your PC or laptop.
The next thing you should consider is codec availability. Some popular distros like Ubuntu and Fedora do not ship with any kind of codecs to play common files like your mp3s or high-definition videos. There are distros based on these very distros that are more usable and ship with support for all of your audio and video files. Linux Mint, based on Ubuntu, is one such distro.
Ubuntu is probably the most popular and widely used Linux operating system that there is. It is based on Debian, another huge distribution with a very loyal fan following. Ubuntu also has one of the largest communities out there and you are more likely to find help on anything related to Ubuntu than any other distro. This is one of the great advantages of using Ubuntu or anything based on it, such as Linux mint. You will find it easy to look for help online should you get stuck with anything.
Fedora, sponsored by the Linux giant red hat, is also quite popular among Linux users. Like Ubuntu, it cannot come with any codecs pre-installed due to patent issues. Not all software companies allow Linux distributions to pre-install their proprietary software. For example, Microsoft license does not allow Linux distributions to contain programs like internet explorer or windows media player codecs. Similarly, popular Linux distros like Fedora, Opensuse and Ubuntu cannot ship flash, java, and other such proprietary software. If this is a concern for you, then download distros like Linux mint or PcLinuxOS, which come with all these necessary programs pre-installed.
So if you have really decided to move on to Linux, just take the plunge and set up Linux on your PC. You will not regret the freedom and liberty that Linux comes with.