Linux - Free Of Charge And Free Of Malware

There is currently alot of interest and curiosity with the Linux / Unix operating systems becoming more widely used, well-known, and available. They have been around since the mid 90's, and used mostly as a server platform until recently - mostly due to the increased user-friendliness of recent releases - along with the integration of, and compatability with, the Mozilla Firefox browser, Google's Chrome browser, the program suite (ODF - Open Document Format compatible with the Microsoft Office Products), the GIMP graphics editor

and many others - all of which are free and open source as well.

Linux is the fastest growing OS worldwide - as it is not only freely available in many different versions - (or distros), but compatible with much of the software and programs we are already using and familiar with. In addition, Linux systems are immune to the malware and security threats that most other operating systems continue to remain vulnerable to. You don't have to invest in or concern yourself with antivirus programs or security suites at all. For your outgoing web applications, it features an MAC (Mandatory Access Control) activated by default for built-in protection. To me - this stuff sells itself - even though it's not for sale.....

This article will benefit those who are new to Linux and are interested in understanding what the current trend is all about. Linux is based on the free open source software (FOSS), which means that the source code is free to view, free to use, modify, apply and share in any way you see fit. It is released and protected under the GNU General Public License. The GNU License prohibits any 'for profit' development or releases of independent versions or variations thereof. This means that it is free to use, free to modify, and free to share without the usual restrictions that come with proprietary and 'for profit' software - not to mention free of malware or the need for antivirus or security software. GNU and supporters of open source create superior alternatives to the restrictions and confines of the more popular and expensive proprietary software and OS, as well as their developers and corporations. It has gained significant momentum as resourceful and innovative developers are consistently improving upon an already very flexible and reliable product profile.

There is growing intrigue toward Linux as it is (aside from being free of charge and free of malware) becoming more popular among average PC users who are finding it easy to install and use. A more favorable and flexible user interface, combined with optimal speed and overall system performance, is now widely distributed by many Linux developers, and in many different forms. It has a reputation for being extremely dependable as there is no mysterious behavior such as the unexpected interruptions, freezes, shutdowns, restarts, death know the ones....

Many Windows users are finding the transition surprisingly easy, and the results gratifying. I personally haven't heard of anyone making the switch to Linux, and then going back due to dissatisfaction with the installation,

functionality, or interface. Actually, quite the opposite. I've seen several YouTube videos sharing their favorable experiences in switching to a Linux distro. Check 'em out. Though they all seem to agree that there is a learning curve, depending on your level of experience with the Unix / Linux basic protocol and functionality. It is different - as different programs designed to do the same thing vary in their interface or performance. Any

learning required will be well worth it and there are numerous resources and tutorials available as you go. There are even Linux groups and forums online and off - that readily offer support and share knowledge and

experience as needed. A Linux 12 step?

One of the first things people get confused over is the various names and terms associated with the various distributions available. These mostly distinguish the various features or preferences. There is an extensive

selection depending on what appeals to you - such as interface, bundled software, level of experience, functionality, the look and feel, and others. Other terms refer to the interface, file systems, email client,

browsers, etc....

If you are wondering what exactly you're getting yourself into and would like to try it out first, there are several Linux versions available as downloadable live CD or DVDs - bootable from your CD-ROM. Currently, Knoppix is available as a live CD download and includes most features and programs you would most likely use. It boots from the CD or DVD and you don't have to install anything - probably a good way to start without committing to virtual machines, partitioning or formatting your hard drive.

There are hundreds of versions or distributions of the Linux OS. Some are well known and widely used which you may be familiar with. Ubuntu is probably the most widely used and well known. Linux Mint is also widely

used and both are said to be very easy to install and configure. Kubuntu is right behind it and is similar to Ubuntu and features the KDE interface. Gnome is another popular user interface and considered very stable.

Konqueror is the default KHTML web browser / file mgr. Evolution and Kmail are available email client programs.