Monday, April 28, 2014

Windows XP is dead, Why not switch to Ubuntu Linux?

Microsoft has stopped supporting its 14 year old Operating system - Windows XP this month(April 2014). No new updates or fixes and security updates will be released to XP machines (Unless you are in government and ready to pay heavy charges). Here are is Microsoft announcement on XP http://windows.microsoft.com/en-IE/windows/end-support-help

While XP was great for personal use, it is one of the least secure Operating System(OS) today.  The most vulnerable OS by Microsoft and this is due to its single-user architecture.  Microsoft has surely moved ahead with lessons learned and improved with Windows7 and Win8+ . Its still is most exploited OS on planet due to its design.


Time to switch to Ubuntu Linux:
With no updates on XP from Microsoft, its time for you to switch to better OS. Either upgrade to Win7/Win8 if your machine supports and ready to throw away some cash, OR try out new Ubuntu Linux 14.04.

Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/) is Linux distribution which is FREE for use.  It’s a general purpose OS which comes with set of default application for you to get started immediately. It has built is apps for document, spreadsheet, presentation editing and browser (Firefox). Ubuntu is Linux version which is known for security and stability. Linux is Open-source operating system built by huge set of developers world wide and has been most successful for last 23 years. Linus Torvalds is the person behind building Linux OS, which has made so many technology things possible around us.

There are other variations of Linux (called as Linux distros). These are different vendors which package linux with different requirements. Some popular Linux distros are - Fedora, Linux Mint, Open Suse, etc. Here is good site to visit to know more about Linux distros - http://distrowatch.com/



Performance advantage with Linux:
Linux works great on old PCs and you should be able to clearly see performance improvement over Windows. Linux uses resources diligently and give max performance on your hardware. If your hardware/machine is really really old(7+ years) then try other Linux distro like Lubuntu (http://lubuntu.net/) or  Puppy Linux - http://puppylinux.org/


Screenshot showing office applications on Ubuntu 14.04

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Screenshot showing lock screen of Ubuntu

Screenshot showing Software Package Manager from Ubuntu 14.04 


Where all is Linux used ? 
Open source & free nature has brought huge attention to Linux across globe. All major websites run on Linux (facebook, google, twitter, wikipedia, and many more). Your android has Linux OS underneath. Your TV, washing machine, Wi-Fi router has been built on top of Linux OS. You can connected to Linux already by one or other way.

Why is Linux secure ?

  1. Any one can see the source code of Linux and that makes it most secure. Any new code is reviewed by developers around the world. No commercial software company can afford as many developers on single project has been working on Linux for last 23 years.
  2. Program are run on normal user and not admin(root) user. Any access to damage your system will require admin access and that is not what all applications run with. Keeping access to minimal makes the OS secure.
  3. Its design and architecture is based on Unix which has been around for 41 years now.
  4. Huge set of applications are available via Software package manager in Linux. 
    • All apps are build from source and deployed on servers for you to use for free. 
    • You do not (generally) need to visit any third-party website to download and install an app. 
    • This eco-system makes it Linux secure as no unknown sources are executed on your machine. 
    • Entire concept of app-store (Apple/google) has been inspired from linux package manager. 
    • It provides updates for OS and for all apps and that’s a great benefit on Linux. 
    • Also security is built around about this to ensure valid packages are downloaded & installed and users does not need to worry   about
  5. Networking stack (Communication layer) of Linux prevents viruses from propagating. Networking stack is conservatively build and firewall is at heart of Linux to make it secure. 


Does that mean there are no Viruses on Linux ?
1. No. That’s a myth. There has been viruses reported on Linux and Ubuntu has documented it well for users to know about. Here it is - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Linuxvirus

2. Linux makes it hard for viruses to reproduce and spread due to its architecture and that prevents it out-break on Linux. Here is great article on Anti-Virus from Ubuntu - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus

3. There are Anti-Virus applications for Linux and it’s a good practise to install and run them. You would not like to host a windows virus on your linux machine and allow it to spread on other windows machines around right ?

Where can I get Ubuntu and How can I install it ?



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