What is Linux?

Linux is a software kernel - the core of a running computer system. Being open source software, it's source code is available free of charge. It is the basis for the popular Android OS used in many smartphones.

Linux for desktops is generally bundled with the GNU Tools to form an Operating System.  User software is packaged with GNU/Linux to form a software distribution, known as a "distro". Popular distro's include:

 

Why Linux for the desktop?

Linux distro's are often put together by volunteers and like-minded people who are able to implement features that they themselves find useful. 
Generally the Linux distro's will offer the following features:

  • Privacy
  • No walled gardens - use what you want when you want
  • Software is open for review or extension
  • Free & easy availability of system recovery tools
  • Updates don't jam up a system like Microsofts Windows Updates which can run for hours (or even days on Vista and Windows 7 at times)
     
What can I do with a Linux desktop?

Popular software titles such as Chrome, Firefox and Dropbox have Linux versions available and easily installed through the distro's package manager.  All Linux distro's offer the ability to upgrade and customize your software selection to suit your needs and by partitioning your disk you can still access your old system.

Some of the software you might be familiar with won't be able to run on Linux, but generally compatible alternatives are available.  It may not be effective to move to Linux if you use:

  • MYOB or Reckon Accounting
  • Graphics software such as Adobe Elements
  • Microsoft Office advanced features

Many Linux distro's also have the ability to run directly from the CD/DVD. This feature, known as a LiveCD, gives you the opportunity to "try before you buy". It's also a useful way sometimes to recover files if you have been affected by malware, ransomware or similar issues that result in broken systems or missing files. If you would like us to help you get going with a Linux distro please contact us. Typical it takes around an hour to get you started in a Linux desktop with drivers and software loaded with access to your existing files. Basic installation charges are around ~$150.

 

Which Linux for the desktop?

Distro's are available in many flavours that bundle software targeted at particular tasks. For older computers, as an alternative to the upgrade issues posed by Microsoft's Windows 10 you might like to try Lubuntu. Apple OSX users might prefer a distro such as Elementary.

 

Where can I get help?

Digital Foundations offers onsite support in Perth, Western Australia; or remote support (via phone & Internet) outside of Perth.