An overview of free and open software(part 1)

Tux, the GNU/Linux mascot

I support and use GNU/Linux kernel and open source software mainly due to following factors.

1. Its free. Nothing can beat that.

2. Its stable and seldomly crashes. Memory management is more efficient.

3.Most of the documentation is available for free either online or offline.

4. It has got great desktops and allows one to fully customize the environment and settings without causing major hiccups. However, newbies need to be watchful.

But there are some things that are criticized

1. Lack of central control – Who controls Linux OS? Do new distribution makers need to follow certain common norms that would enable core system to setup easily without involving too much user interference?

2. Too many distros spoil the party – There are approx around 80 linux distibutions available today. Out of them, only 5 – Red Hat, Suse, Ubuntu, Debian, Knoppix are well known
amongst common users. People get confused in this matter.Its hard to decide when there is too much or too less.

3. Geek or n00b – Todays distros have to manage a balance between the geek and newbie. Too much simplification of Linux will definately affect its stable usability and real geeks will turn to more geeky kernels like FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris etc. Linux is attractive, mainly because of its geekiness factor.

4. Heavy duty multimedia users and gamers have to suffer a bit – Its true that linux clusters have helped to create some of the Hollywoods greatest flicks, but even then, its hard that pure gamers and CG programmers will switch to linux.

5. Device manufacturers often ignore Linux users while designing drivers, although the scene is changing fast. Big players like HP, Nvidia, ATI, Creative bundle Linux drivers too.

Meanwhile, feel free to vote in your favourite linux distro here.