Monday, July 27, 2009

TEN REASONS WHY AFRICANS SHOULD TRY UBUNTU LINUX.

In my post yesterday, I had some complaints about Linux and its ability to take on Microsoft's Windows OS due to its heavy reliance on the terminal and much technical jargon that scares away the average user. Today however, I intend touching on some ten reasons why in my view, despite Linux's set backs, it is still worth a try especially by my African brothers and sisters. The distro I am going to base my assertions on is the Ubuntu Linux variant (thats my primary OS) all the assertions are equally applicable to other distros too.

FREE FROM VIRUSES
Linux if free from viruses and other malware, trojans and rootkits that infect Windows systems on a daily basis. This is because of the authorization management system used. When you install Windows, your account is automatically given administrative powers. You have almost total control of the system and can easily tweak it. Ubuntu Linux however is not like that. When you make an installation of Ubuntu, two sets of accounts are created. You the user's account is given limited authority over the system. Only the root account has full access to the system. So any time you have to do something that requires an administrative power, you would have to enter your password to certify to the system that you really are the one authorizing the task. Thus no virus can infect in the system without asking for your password. The kernel moreover, is built from ground up to be resistant to viruses.

Also. because the Linux kernel is an Open Source project, it is under the watch of thousands of programmers from all over the world and thus anything that looks the least suspicious is quickly discovered and weeded out.

FREE
Why use a pirated software when you can have a very secure, reliable and great one for free. And by free I mean free as in both free beer and free drink. All you need to get Ubuntu is just go to the Ubuntu site and download. That's it. If you don't have a fast internet access, just ask Ubuntu to ship one to you and they will be glad to. Most of the Windows softwares that are used here in Africa are  I believe pirated since i doubt the average African can cough up about  $300 to pay for a license. So just go ahead and get your copy of Ubuntu for free.

MASSIVE SOFTWARE REPOSITORIES
There is a massive repository of softwares in Ubuntu. And by massive I mean over 25000 applications that you can install on your system for free. When you need any software, all you have to do is to go to Add/Remove software, search for what you want and just click apply and you are good to go. No need to Google and scour the internet for anything. You have everything at your finger tips. All you have to do is install. And they are all free of charge.

NO DEFRAGMENTATION
De-fragmentation basically means the sectors in which your system and programs are installed gets scattered. So when you tell your system to perform a task for you, it would have to take time to look for all the pieces of the command you issued it. This slows your system down very much over time. Ubuntu, on the other hand, does not experience such issues due to it's very organized and systematic way of handling system and program files.

GIVE YOUR OLD PC A NEW LIFE.
You don't need up to 2Gb of Ram and 15Gb of  HDD space to optimally run an OS. Ubuntu can run and perform well even on a system with just 128 Mb of Ram. So why buy a new PC when you can still use your old one?

SUPERB SUPPORT
Ubuntu Linux users have a superb support system made up of the users themselves.  The Ubuntu Forum is in my view one of the most superb forums on the internet. Just post your problem and in not more than 20 minutes, you will have someone willing and able to help. There is always some form of help for anyone. From the beginner to the geek, every one heads to the forum for help. And its not just a geeky forum, you can talk about virtually everything with just about anyone from any part of the world.

EASY UPDATE
Because all  the softwares that run on you Ubuntu system are centralized, you only need to run just one update to get all your applications and system updated with the latest patches and upgrades. No need to waste time running update after update for every single program on your system.

ONE TIME INSTALL
With Ubuntu Linux, you only need to do one installation, and all your hardware just work out of the box. Your Bluetooh, wireless, network manager, screen resolution and all your other hardware just work. You don' t have to fiddle with drivers to get things to work. Its all built into the kernel.

EASY REINSTALL
Ubuntu makes it very easy to reinstall your system in case of any such unlikely incident. This is because you can choose to install your root (/) files a directories on a separate partition of your hard drive and then have all your home folder also on another partition. The Ubuntu root is the Windows equivalent of C:\ and the home the equivalent of Windows My Documents. So in case you have reinstall your system, you wont have to worry about your personal documents since they are on a separate partition of your HDD.

EASY TO TRY
Ubuntu comes on a live CD which you can try without having to touch your existing installation. And if you like it, there is an icon right on the desktop where you can install the system as you are testing it.

These are just a few of the reasons why I would very much encourage my African brothers and sisters to give Ubuntu Linux and other Linux distros a try. After all, they are free, great, safe and you become part of a worldwide community.
I would very much like to know your thoughts of Linux OS and your experiences with it.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

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