Apart from macOS and Windows, users also have the option to install the Linux operating system on their computers. While Linux is not as popular as it should be, especially on mobile phones (via screen rant), it has a lot of pros that users can’t gain from other operating systems.
Its open source feature gives users access to better security, more customization, and higher performance compared to most popular operating systems. However, there are also some harsh realities that users will have to accept when moving to a Linux-based machine.
The learning curve is steep
Users who are used to Windows or macOS may find it difficult to get used to Linux because the operating systems mentioned above are designed to be very user-friendly. Linux requires some technical expertise as users will eventually need to use Terminal to complete their tasks.
Although there are many tutorials online that can help new Linux users get to know the operating system, there are big and small differences between all Linux distributions. Therefore, those who want to quickly get acquainted with their Linux machine should choose a distro that is very popular in order to access more tutorials.
Linux users will have to miss the exciting PC game releases in January 2023 because the game’s compatibility with the operating system is still poor. This is due to the fact that most of the popular video games run on Direct X technology that is exclusive to Windows devices.
Fortunately, game distribution services like Steam have done a lot of the work when it comes to bringing games to Linux machines. There are also game managers like Lutris and compatibility layers like Wine that can help gamers run their favorite titles on Linux machines.
Unlike Windows and Mac which only have one version, Linux has many community developed versions which are called distros or distros. One of the main selling points of Linux is its open source aspect, so entire communities and users can modify the operating system to their own taste and purpose.
However, this creates a problem for those who are not familiar with the operating system. Without a standard release, it can take some time to figure out which distributions best suit their needs. They also have to face the fact that getting support for their chosen distro can be difficult, especially if it was made for a special purpose or niche.
Lack of technical support
Despite the many benefits of using Linux, it is not a perfect operating system. Users will eventually run into issues and will need technical support to fix their systems. However, the problem with Linux-based machines is that there are no on-demand support services or service centers that can provide comprehensive technical support.
Instead, users will have to do their own research and check out the Linux communities on websites like Reddit and Stack Overflow. They can also check out the many YouTube channels that specialize in computer repair. It is quite tedious to identify a problem with Linux hardware, so in case users are facing issues with hardware or drives, they will need to look for a more reliable Linux distro.
Limited proprietary software
Linux users will have to accept the fact that a lot of proprietary software that is accessible on Windows and Mac computers such as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office Productivity Suite are not readily available on their machines. Since there aren’t a lot of Linux users, developers can’t be bothered to publish their software on the operating system.
To run proprietary software, Linux users will have to use third-party software like Virtualbox and Wine. Even the best alternatives to popular software like Photoshop and Premiere are not available on Linux. To this end, users will have to find the appropriate third-party software to be able to run the software they want on their Linux PC.
Troubleshooting yourself is difficult
Moving to a Linux machine means abandoning dedicated service and technical support centers. To fix a technical problem on their computer, Linux users will have to rely on their technical understanding and look for tutorials on the internet.
Troubleshooting a Linux computer has also proven to be a difficult ordeal as Linux distributions have been developed by many community users. Unlike Windows where old versions like Windows XP and new ones like Windows 10 have a barrage of online tutorials, every Linux distribution is created for and by a particular community, which means useful information may be limited and limiting.
Hibernation is not available
Windows and Mac users can put their computers into hibernation mode, a feature that allows them to put their computers to sleep without eating up their battery. Not many Linux machines have this feature as it can make the distribution unstable and unusable.
Hibernating a computer is extremely beneficial, especially for those who are always on the go. While those who use both Windows and Linux operating systems can switch to Windows in order to hibernate their computers, it is not very convenient to do so directly from a Linux environment.
Weak market share
While 47% of professional developers would prefer to use a Linux machine (via Enterprise applications today), most of the general public still choose between the two most popular operating systems: Windows and macOS. It is safe to say that the limited market share of Linux causes a lot of problems for its users.
One of the biggest problems that stems from poor market share is the lack of ported Windows and Mac apps. To add, it is also difficult to buy a computer that comes preloaded with Linux. Those who want to use Linux will most likely have to install the operating system themselves.
Device drivers are limited
The variety of Linux distributions allows to cater specifically to the needs of different professionals. However, Linux distributions do not have the concept of device drivers. The Linux kernel has a built-in driver, but this causes problems when it comes to hardware compatibility and usability.
Not every type of hardware is compatible with the Linux kernel. This means that some WiFi cards, printers, and even speakers cannot easily work with a Linux computer. Users will need to do more configuration and patching if they want to use specific hardware with their Linux machines.
Unified package manager and installer is not available
A package manager is a variety of programs and tools that make it easy to install, configure, and even remove software from your computer. The thing about Linux is that each distro has its own package manager, which makes it impossible for developers to create and publish Linux applications that are compatible with each distro.
For example, Linux Arch has Pacman, while Linux Debian has DPKG. Since there is no default package manager for Linux computers, users will find it difficult to install certain software and applications, especially if they are for a specific Linux distribution.
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