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The REAL Reason We Use Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the slow-saturday dept.


Vlad Dolezal writes "We tell people we use Linux because it's secure. Or because it's free, because it's customizable, because it has excellent community support... But all of that is just marketing BS. We tell that to non-Linux users because they wouldn't understand the REAL reason." The answer to his question probably won't surprise you.

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It would be good... (5, Informative)

Port1080 (515567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760690)

If the editors didn't strip away the story link [] from the article when they posted it, yes?

Re:It would be good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760708)

No one rtfa anyway so isn't it superfluous?

Re:It would be good... (5, Informative)

Peeet (730301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760720)

Thank you for posting that. For those of us too lazy to even click on the link, the reason is "Because it is fun." Good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.

Re:It would be good... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760738)

The real reason is also the dirty little secret of all open source - free software = free porn.

Re:It would be good... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760856)

I agree. When I was a student with nothing better to do than tweak my OS (ahem) all day, I ran Linux. Now I actually have a job and need to use my computer rather than just mess about with a half working system so I use Windows.

Re:It would be good... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760982)

I agree. When I was a student with nothing better to do than tweak my OS (ahem) all day, I ran Linux. Now I actually have a job and need to use my computer rather than just mess about with a half working system so I use Windows.
Isn't this just a variant of the standard alleged-Microsoft-shill-damning-Linux-under-the-pretence-of-being-a-real-"one-of-us"-Slashdotter post?

You know, the one that goes "I found Linux a fun diversion at college, but once I hit the real world, I found that although Linux was still fun (because we have to keep up the pretense) when I had "real" "grown-up" work I turned to Windows because (he pretend-grudgingly admits) it's easier/more reliable/more standard/[insert marketing spiel here]".

Re:It would be good... (5, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760860)

For those of us too lazy to even click on the link, the reason is "Because it is fun."

It really makes sense. Don't get me wrong, having the freedom to tinker with the kernel is nice. Having the ability to see the source code to ensure safety is great. But the majority of users don't actually use Linux (or any computer OS) for those purposes... they aren't a means to an end.

I personally use Linux third to Mac OS X (at home), which is second to Windows (at work). I like understanding the different systems, because that's how I can keep up with the extreme pace of the software development industry. But I almost never use Windows at home, and here's why: competition.

I want Microsoft to feel the pressure of competition. They have been feeling it for the past couple of years. And what do you know, it works! Firefox has caused the IE team to push towards open standards compliance. Love or hate OOXML, it's easier to work with than older formats (due to pressure from OOo and iWork). And there are many reasons to hate Vista, but it is more secure than older versions of Windows, it has much more advanced compositing, and a host of new things that are good for the future, even if they hurt now.

So, I care more about the future of the computing world... the future of my career, a future of openness by major corporations that enables someone little like me to start and run a business. And I'm doing my part to make sure that happens.

Re:It would be good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760736)

Didn't you see the by-line? It's from the slow-saturday dept. They let all the slow kids take charge of Slashdot on Saturdays. It makes them feel included.

Re:It would be good... (1)

SpiceMonkey (1055488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760788)

Technically the link isn't missing. Click on "Vlad Dolezal" and it'll take you to the blog. But yeah, there prob should be a link where it belongs.

Re:It would be good... (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760820)

They want to come back later to get the answer. Then they'll just leave you hanging again, and a dozen more unanswered ariticles.

Re:It would be good... (3, Insightful)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760826)

While it was nice to RTFA, which I do actually before posting. (yeah I am a weirdo, people keep telling me)

However, the truth to this story is ---- "But all of that is just marketing BS"

it's a one page, - THIS I BELIEVE page. Other then throw a sudden 30,000 hits on the author's site it will accomplish nothing. it's not anything I can tell a non-linux user that would draw any more of a response then when you tell your dog a joke..

They stripped out the article because its worthless.

Re:It would be good... (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760872)

Thanks for that. Now that I've read the article, I think it's spot on. And it explains why there are so many people who are resistant to switching, no matter how much sense it makes at an intellectual level. They don't really like their computers, and see no point in learning another system they won't like any better. They believe that the difficulties they currently have will follow them to Linux, because they are inherent to computers. What we see as challenges to be met, they see as chores to be slogged through.

This is basically why I've really backed off on pushing Linux on family and friends.

Donde esta el Fucking Article? (-1, Redundant)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760694)

It might not surprise me, but I guess I'll never know since there's no link to the fucking article. Nice going, editors!

I know why I use it (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760696)

Is there a link missing?

Re:I know why I use it (1)

Jens Egon (947467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760804)

Why? did you intend to RTFA? If so, why? We never do that.

Re:I know why I use it (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760838)

There is a missing link list [] on Wikipedia, if you are in a dire need of these. But mind you, is is incomplete. For example, there is no mention of Steve Ballmer, which is the missing link between modern human and Homo Executivus Developerensis.

so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760698)

so, what is it? o_O strange summary - where's the article?

The answer won't surprise anyone! (5, Funny)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760702)

Here it is in all it's glory:

Re:The answer won't surprise anyone! (4, Funny)

squarefish (561836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760722)

Re:The answer won't surprise anyone! (-1, Redundant)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760854)

Re:The answer won't surprise anyone! (0, Redundant)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760884)


Slow Saturday (1)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760706)

Is an understatement

The REAL reason we use Linux (5, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760712)


Re:The REAL reason we use Linux (5, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760780)

I never needed a reason to use Linux, but its hard to argue with penguins!

Since Taco is obviously stoned today (0, Redundant)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760714)

Story Link []

Re:Since Taco is obviously stoned today (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760818)

Hey! Who wants to get stoned and eat tacos!?

Low end and obscure hardware (2, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760718)

We use it because it will run on a fleet of lower end boxes to fool around with networking.

Ten years ago that was why I was running it on a bunch of old 386sx boxes anyway.

Now I run freenixes on hardware so old and obscure that Linux doesn't even run (well) on them.

Why I use Linux (2, Interesting)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760730)

because it gives me a feeling of belonging, Window's cant belong to me but Linux can! It helps to make you feel somewhat important in some small but significant way. The dreams and possibilities are never far from reality either.


gsonic (885510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760734)


We use it because... (4, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760748)

We use it because it's ours.


Re:We use it because... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760862)

No not really. Linux is under the GPL not public domain. The code still belongs to the authors of the software. They can duel license their software whenever they feel fit... But you can take some GPL code and sell it under a different license unless you are the creator of the code. With GPL 3 it goes the next step and starts telling what you software can and cannot do. So if you run Linux it is not your to do whatever you feel like. Under the GPL you can mess around with it far more then with most closed source licenses... But you cant do anything if it was actually yours. I write custom software for companies when I am done they pay for the effort I put in that we agree and the software is theirs they can do whatever they want with it. Change It, Use it not Use it Sell it for millions without giving a additional penny to me... That is Ok because my job is to create the software and I agreed they will pay for my effort. I cannot force my clients into GPL thus I need to be careful in what I use. Because if I did the software I wrote wouldn't be theirs because EVERYONE SEEMS TO FORGET ABOUT CUSTOM SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS!

Re:We use it because... (2, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761064)

We use it because it's ours.

Because it is ours (Free), and also because it is good for all my OS needs which for me means:

  1. having bazillion high quality programs available from a single distributor,
  2. secure,
  3. efficient
  4. configurable
  5. stable
  6. supported by a large friendly community
  7. runs on cheap hardware
  8. I can install it on a USB stick
  9. No MS/Apple telling me what I can or cannot do with MY computer

I actually enjoyed this story why do we use Linux?, (even better without a retarded link to some blog post). I have been using Linux for so long, and I actually enjoyed having to think about the actual reasons I wouldn't leave it.

No, those really are the reasons why (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760752)

I pretty much use linux because its secure, free, customizable, AND has excellent community support. I don't have time for this "fun" thing (whatever that is).

And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (4, Insightful)

Port1080 (515567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760756) many circles, anyway. I have no desire to tinker. I want it to "just work". I tried using Linux multiple times from when I downloaded my first copy of Red Hat in 1999 or so, through some attempts with Mandrake and SuSe. None of them "just worked" - driver support was missing, programs didn't work as expected (or work at all), etc, etc. So I stuck with Windows. Finally, Ubuntu came about and I saw that someone was taking seriously the notion that people wanted things to "just work" (I would say that Red Hat and SuSe didn't take that notion seriously until recently - they were making OS's for business use, after all, so a trained IT tech would be setting things up and maintaining them - they didn't have to "just work" for your average user, because someone else would be taking care of most of the tough stuff). Even so, the early versions of Ubuntu weren't the best (and there are still many problems with wireless support - ndiswrapper is a poor substitute for a native driver, sad to say). The 6.x series was almost there, and finally I feel like the 7.x series is something I can actually use full time (and indeed I am - I built a new system last November and for the first time didn't bother to install Windows on it). I didn't install Ubuntu because it was fun to tinker. I installed it because it was free, easy to use, and not crippled by DRM. That's it, plain and simple.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (4, Insightful)

armanox (826486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760866)

It's not the distribution's fault that the manufacturer won't make Linux drivers.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760890)

Exactly. I think that even here on Slashdot, there was a interview with Linus 9the man himself).

Thats preatty much what he said. Why would he want to spend time messing around, with the system, when he can spend that time working. I think it was Ubuntu, or Fedora that he is on.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (2, Interesting)

bobstaff (313564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760944)

I'm a long time Linux user mostly Red Hat and SuSE.

What I don't understand is the concept that Ubuntu is a Linux that is supposed to just work and be non- computer geek friendly. On the couple of times I played with it, I found the endless missing packages after install very annoying, on top of that there was no easy way I could find to find out what packages are available. So for example if I want to install subversion what is the actual package name I need to install (svn, subversion, svn-client,etc...), also why is it that there seems to be no option to install packages such as subversion during the initial install.

Then of course there's the whole thing about there being no root user.

I'm sure/I hope if I'm missing something it will be pointed out, but personally I did not find Ubuntu that easy to use.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761012)

Then of course there's the whole thing about there being no root user.
"sudo passwd root" will enable a root account if you really need it.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1)

cycoj (1010923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761044)

ever heard of apt-cache search or the search field in synaptic. how do you know what packages are called on SuSE?

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761054)

I'm sure/I hope if I'm missing something it will be pointed out...

I usually use sudo aptitude search subversion , which helpfully lists any packages with subversion in the name. I'm sure there's a way to do that from the graphical package manager, but I don't use it.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760998)

I tried using Linux multiple times from when I downloaded my first copy of Red Hat in 1999 or so, through some attempts with Mandrake and SuSe. None of them "just worked" - driver support was missing, programs didn't work as expected (or work at all), etc, etc.

I've used Linux since I got started on Slackware in the mid 90s. Apart from drivers, after about 1998 or so, I haven't had any broken-out-of-the-box experiences, and that includes Redhat and Redhat-derivatives in the same time period you are talking about.

What kind of problems are you talking about? What is "etc, etc"? You make it sound like there were masses upon masses of problems, but in my experience, so long as you aren't expecting it to be a 100% duplicate of Windows and use supported hardware, there isn't anything serious to complain about at all.

Re:And this is why Linux is still laughed at... (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761062)

The first part of your post doesn't make sense.. You don't like to "tinker", you just want things to work.. Well at that time Win98 was working just fine.. Why would you try and change if you like things that just work ?...

For me, at that particular time (1999), Linux was puzzle.. and the fun of it was the challenge of making it do what Windows could do.. and exploring the unix way of doing things.. learning how things work.. and tinkering until you could do an equivalent task.. When I read that someone could do something on their computer that I couldn't, I read and read and researched and tried everything until I could do it too. There was some satisfaction to solving a puzzle like getting your modem to dial and connect to the internet for the first time.

Things are definitely different these days, and I see no reason for the average person not to try Linux.. but at that time, you just had to be a little more than the average person. It's not elitist.. that's just where Linux was at the time in it's development.

I do not know about the rest of you l33t people (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760760)

but I use Linux because I don't want to pay MS for anything. ever. again.

Sure, I pay donations to those software projects that I use, but it's affordable, and upgrades are free of DRM, spyware, and other nasties that I don't want to have to pay for. For me and my family, Linux works just as good if not better than MS products. That is why we use Linux.

Fun? The Internet is fun no matter what OS is on the machine you are using. Paying to use a program seems rather ignorant at the prices MS charges. On Linux I never get a genuine advantage check BS window. Thats fun.

Re:I do not know about the rest of you l33t people (0, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761024)

I use Linux because I don't want to pay MS for anything. ever. again.

That's what I love about people like you. You hate Microsoft's guts, you wish its death, but you think you're to good to get their products for free just like anyone else and their momma. So you go around with your false "pay for MS or switch to Linux" dichotomy, and "forget" that you can download a perfectly well working cracked ISO of Windows as fast as an ISO of your favourite distribution and the fact that these won't ever show you any activation or advantage check bullcrap.

It does what it needs to do (5, Insightful)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760762)

I don't know about all this fun stuff. I use Linux because it does the job I need it to. More to the point though, when something goes wrong it is pretty simple to track it down and fix it. Heck, I have repaired systems that have become seriously mangled where with Windows you wouldn't have much choice but to start over.

I switched to Linux from UNIX (Irix at that time) and did so because that is the environment I need for my work. These days I use OS X for much the same reason. Whatever MS does to Windows, it is still a very closed system. If closed floats your boat, fine, but don't try and say that closed gets you a more reliable and cost effective system.

Actually, UNIX is fun I guess ;-)

He's right (4, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760774)


It's fun to use the command line.
He's totally right on this, in my opinion. I get a real kick out of using my shell (bash). I've got a bunch of options in my .bashrc that make it much easier to use for me:
  • Automatic logout when left alone for more than x minutes
  • Colored prompt, allowing me to spot the output between previous and next command fast
  • Aliases like 'printcode' that calls a2ps with all the right options
  • Fancy PROMPT_COMMAND variable that sets the xterm title just right
  • Limiting the history
  • Ignoring things like 'ls -l' in the history
  • Expanding the tab-completion possibilities
And lots of more options, the list gets too long already :-)

Because it works! (5, Interesting)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760776)

I find Linux to be a congenial programming environment, where I can noodle together scripts and programs to get things done. It provides lots of sharp tools that make things easy.

It doesn't get in the way like certain other OSs I could mention. It doesn't squander system resources on non-essentials (ditto), and I can tune it to allocate resources where they are needed. Oh, and did I mention? It just plain works!


Command line??? (4, Funny) (142825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760784)

Most people can't even spell command line. While I was in China, I was fixing a friend's computer and her boyfriend said, "You must be a computer expert, you are using a dos window." He didn't even say DOS in upper case.

You know you are a real programmer when you speak in UPPER CASE. []

In related news (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760786)

Girls keep telling Linux users that they (Linux users) are nice, caring and entertaining, but that they (girls) have no free time at the moment. But all of that is just a marketing BS told to Linux users because they wouldn't understand the REAL reason for girls using non-Linux users.

Re:In related news (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760900)

The real reason is simple: ladies prefer manlier men...such as....*PffffthaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*...MAC USERS!

Re:In related news (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761022)

You laugh. But rather than mock the gp with your gedankenexperiment, try a real world experiment. See how much attention you get in a bookstore while reading and typing on a laptop with a penguin slapped on it vs typing on a slick Mac.

I use linux because (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760794)

I use linux because it is more convenient for programming assignments (CS undergrad). Getting compilers/interpreters/devtools etc. is a snap.

Also because the UI is easier to use and more powerful.

Insensitive clods.

REAL reason (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760798)

its not the penguins, its the `linux chicks`. get with the program.

Well (0, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760800)

I can tell you the real reason why I DON'T use Linuzz or OZX: Because i'm perfectly happy with Windows. Well, of course not *perfectly*, but almost. And yes, it's a locked platform, it cost, it's not free, etc. But i don't care, i also payed for my Nissan and my bacon... And ideology? I don't care for idealistic ideologies. I'm a happy Windows user, yes, and proud of it.

Re:Well (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761026)

Because i'm perfectly happy with Windows.

Fine. Use Windows if you're happy with it and know how to use it. Nobody's saying you shouldn't. One of the things I like about Linux and why I use it (dual boot, with Windows) is because it gives me a choice; I can either do things the Windows way, or the Linux way whichever makes me happy at the time. If you don't mind only having one way to do things, do whatever floats your boat, and I'll do whatever floats mine.

Yep (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760806)

True, I agree, complete control IS why I use Linux. I'm happy to know I can convert any format of anything into anything else. All applications will talk to my file formats. I can use data from one application in another if I really want to, even if it isn't built-in. I have peace of mind in knowing that if I really wanted to, I would be able to use this exact set of software and be just as productive in the future because it will be available... whether in an emulated virtual instance, or whatever... because it is under the GPL and/or BSD and will simply just be available. No nags, no system tray icons trying to vie(sp?) for my attention, no time limits, no applications installing themselves under the company's name in my menu... Oh it's just so much nicer.

'All powerful' root? (5, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760808)

Ever tried stopping a process in Windows and the OS wouldn't let you?

Yes, and I've also had Linux do the same thing. It didn't give an error, but no matter how many times I "kill -9"ed it the process never paid attention to the command and carried on churning away. I guess that's the process rather than the OS, but it's still not always "all-powerful root".

I think a more accurate list (from my view at least) is:

1. Linux gives you complete control
2. Linux is free (as-in-speech)
3. Software install is easy
4. It has less potential problems with web dev for a Linux server
5. No DRM! You own the hardware, you own the software, you own the data.

Oh, and the penguin is more cuddly than some flag or some annoying animated critter ;)

Re:'All powerful' root? (2, Informative)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760966)

Yes, and I've also had Linux do the same thing. It didn't give an error, but no matter how many times I "kill -9"ed it the process never paid attention to the command and carried on churning away. I guess that's the process rather than the OS, but it's still not always "all-powerful root".
Well, to be THAT powerful you have to use other commands, because it's probably because the process is in an interruptible state, relevant post here: []

Re:'All powerful' root? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22761020)

My guess is that your process got stuck in uninterruptible sleep, which mostly means "waiting for I/O", for example from a crippled disk.

A process /can't/ ignore a kill -9 with anything less, I believe, although I have to check my trusty APUE to tell for sure.

Software not available elsewhere (2, Insightful)

notjim (879031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760810)

I use linux because the software I use: emacs, LaTeX, gcc, is unavailable on Windows, at least without hacking or using some emulator that never quite works right: also, wow, file management is a pain in the arse using a mouse and how do people manage without grep, sed and awk?

Re:Software not available elsewhere (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761058)

Google is hard:

Emacs for Win32: (
Faq: []
Download: [] (The faq contains other links that may be faster for you)

LaTex for Win32: (
Faq/Download info: []

gcc for Win32 (MinGW for this particular answer, there is cygwin and such as well): (
Info: []

command line utils for Win32: ( []
bc, bison, bzip2, diffutils, fileutils, findutils, flex, gawk, grep, gsar110, gzip, indent, jwhois, less, m4, make, patch, recode, rman, sed, shellutils, tar, textutils, unrar, wget, which

To answer your question, my windows machine does just fine when I want to use the unix utilities that I love, not real sure why yours can't, other than googling is hard.

For the record, all of the above web pages were basically the first result from google, I guess I'm feeling Lucky today.

It's fun to use the command line (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760814)

Heck, I wish those guys at Apple and Microsoft would catch up and add support for the command line....

Re:It's fun to use the command line (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760940)

Mac OS X from the command line is Darwin. It's pretty much like FreeBSD with some changes here and there. Instead of /dev/ad0s1, it's /dev/disk0s1.

Instead of kernel modules (kldload, kldstat, etc) they're kernel extensions (kextload, kextstat, etc.) a lot of frontends for Mac OS X run via backends, like hdiutil, disktool, etc. So if you love command lines, and especially if you are a freebsd fan, you'll like Mac OS X. I can't think of a unix gpl program that can't compile on it.

So pretty much you get the useful, easy, stable frontend that a ton of major software runs off of, and at the same time you have Darwin running in the back.

I personally either run Linux (nawcom is a Bob follower, so Slackware), FreeBSD, and Mac OS X on one machine. (no, they aren't Apple branded computers.) Unfortunately I have to have Windows on one of my computers so I can play just-released games, but hopefully more publishers and developers will integrate Cider so we can at least run those games on Mac OS X, and it would give it a better chance to run smoothly via wine on Linux.

The real reason I don't use linux anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760828)

Well aftrer more than 10 years using linux either as only or primary OS i no longer use it, counting from last November. I no longer use windows either (since 1998 it was either secondary os or not installed). The reason I stopped using linux is that it's way too much customizable, to the point that you are not using your computer to work with, but you work on your conputer. As for the windows - it allowa way too few customizations. So - af os november I use Mac OS X Leopard. It's got just the right anoumt of customizations possible and build in so I can be free ans use the computer to work for me. Not me working for the computer.

& BSD? (1)

Venture37 (654305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760830)

& you tell people *BSD is dead cause you don't know any better? :)

The real real reason (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760848)

We hate the guts of MS and we are still bitter about the MS share in Apple.

Why I use Linux (3, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760858)

Because I can't exactly afford the latest and greatest in computer hardware just to run the latest version of Windows. I kinda got tired of looking at XP. It is a good OS and it suited my needs but after 7 years, it was time for an upgrade.Vista was totally out of the question and I have been tooling-around with various distros throughout the years.

I finally settled on Gentoo due to the fact that it can be as bloated or as light-weight as I wanted it to be. Also, I could run as little or as much **bling** as I wanted depending on the load on the CPU and GPU. Linux suits my needs as well as XP did and was quite a learning experience in the total switchover process.

It's the people, stupid. (5, Interesting)

rubenerd (998797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760864)

Granted I'm a FreeBSD guy [insert comment about why BSD is dying here] but I think the arguments are basically the same as for Linux. I agree with most of TFA, but I enjoy using FreeBSD and other Free software for another important reason: the people.

Despite the fact commercial products can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, their technical support services nearly always suck: they're slow, obscure, vague, answered by people who don't know what they're talking about or are reading off a sheet of paper that assumes everyone they reply to is an idiot, or at the very worst you don't get an answer at all. Just speaking from my own experience.

Now granted there are plenty of jackarses on forums for Free software and the like, but on the whole I can post a question and generally get a useful response and in a fraction of the time. Plus if it's for a particular piece of ported software, generally I can either contact the port maintainer or the creator of the software directly and get helpful answers. I've NEVER got that from commercial software vendors. That's what makes the difference.

I use Linux because (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760868)

I can test networked applications on a single VMWare box without having to shell out for multiple copies of Windows. There. I'm a cheapskate. But why do I have to pay full rate for an OS that is used maybe eight hours a month, and consumes maybe 10% of processor time?

package management (3, Interesting)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760870)

Sure, it's fun, got an easy to customize UI, I can do tons of security and network tweaks, and it has a well integrated set of developer tools, but the real reason why I was never able to turn back is the package management. Package management issues were also the core reason I switched from slackware to debian in 2001, debian to gentoo in 2003, and gentoo to ubuntu in 2007.

It is ridiculous to me that even today, tools for Microsoft package management are completely archaic. Microsoft has MSI files, but still the difference in add/remove programs between windows 95 and vista is minimal. Imagine if they allowed users to import catalogues of software, and search for software within the add/remove programs interface (which most distros have been able to do in some sense for 10 years or so). Hell, they could even deal with licence subscriptions right in the interface. It would allow them to better integrate their software with third party vendors, while at the same time making sure effective QA is happening (they could threaten key revocation), and also protecting the users, making sure that all software that gets installed gets downloaded from reliable sources, and does not have the chance to get infected by malicious warez kiddies.

For the Software (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760878)

I use Linux because it has all the software I want. Since I use a Debian-type distro, that SW is all available with a click. Securely, with subscribed upgrades. And those upgrades come frequently, whenever anyone works on it, while many others test it for security and performance.

And since it's Linux, it doesn't have all the software I don't want. Viruses, sure, but all that crap SW that clutters Windows, like that crap bundled with the OS, or all the workarounds and utilities for dealing with a closed, broken OS.

Along the same lines, I use an x86 because it runs Linux. If it didn't, I wouldn't bother, because it wouldn't run my SW.

haha funny (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760880)

The answer to his question probably won't surprise you.
Wow, that's like removing the MAN pages from a distro, then making fun of the n00bs for not RTFM first.

why don't you just say (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760892)

"because we are bored"

same thing... Its the same thing if you were to tinker with a car, practice guitar, or play some basketball. Although the latter would at least get that bean burrito butt out of its chair.

-1 troll (1)

sonchat (819093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760904)

I thought only commenters could troll, not submitters.

creativity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22760912)

There's *nothing* better than being able to compliment new thingys to the source code of others. ..and Everyone keeps their credits for what they coded, and everyone's happy. It gives more space for creativity.

Open source is a royalty-free accessibility to the tree of knowledge.

Why I use linux: (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760916)

I use linux because, in certain instances, it's the right tool for the job. I'm busy. I don't have time to play around tinkering anymore ( and yes, I do have grey hair, thank you very much ). So when I want something that'll "just work", I analyse all the tools at my disposal, and choose one based on merits.

Quite often that's linux. Sometimes that's windows. But regardless of the choice, the end result is hopefully the same: A system that just works without me needing to constantly hold it's hand.

Ah, this is an easy one.... (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760930)

The real value behind Linux (to take one example) is the notion that knowledge (and in this example, code) should be public domain and should not just be held back by any one organisation, especially one bent on just making a heap of cash from it.

With OSS we all benefit from the sharing of ideas and code, and this is a good thing(tm).

That said, I still prefer working in Microsoft tech at the time of writing (you could say); I still find overall they have the best eco-system for what I want to do.....but I fully respect the ideas and philosophies of OSS.

Good on you all.

Well there's a reason I can take to my boss (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760932)

Boss: Why should we switch to Linux?
Me: Because it's fun!
Boss: Thanks for your input. You can go now.
Boss (to the secretary): Please get me HR on the line. I think we're over-paying some staff.

This is possibly the lamest story I've ever seen on slashdot. The article then lists THREE other reasons - plural with an 's' - (not one) why the author uses Linux. By 'we' I think he's referring to himself, his blow up sex doll and his imaginary friends.

Because it's fun indeed (4, Insightful)

websitebroke (996163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760942)

One of my favorite things about Free software in general is that the programmers and the people who write the documentation don't feel like they have to keep this "professional" face on their work.

For example, you'll never find George W. Bush's face for the "unsharp filter" icon (Cinelerra) in a closed source program. That would indicate that the programmers were having fun, and that obviously makes the program of lower quality.

Personally, I think that if the developers are having fun, and are in a positive frame of mind, they'll make better software.

Reason #2 (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760950)

I can relate to this. Linux not being widely used.

Some years ago, I was in engineering and involved in 'fixing' a system built by our IT department. They had sunk about $300 million into a system that was just barely functional. We (engineering and manufacturing) were supposed to supply them with appropriate requirements so IT could start over (yet again) building another piece of crap.

We convinced our management that we should hammer out requirements by building a functioning prototype. As our IT department maintained a stranglehold over all things Windows, we chose to build on Linux and a few surplus Sun desktops with Perl, Apache and a few COTS packages. Keeping the IT dept. and Windows out of the picture allowed us to get a working demo of the shop floor interface up and running within a few weeks and half a dozen people completed the 'prototype' in about 6 months.

When our system was up and running, it actually outperformed the one running on the Windows backend. When management saw it, they just gave the order to pull the plug on the legacy Windows system and place ours into production.

Part of my job after the project completion (about 10% of my time) was to administrate 6 hosts that made up the new system. When our IT department made a pitch to management to take over administration, they quoted an recurring maintenance cost for their proposal of $50,000 per host per month. Management fell off their chairs laughing and I suggested that they pay me 6 * $50,000 per month.

But.... (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760960)

It's fun to tinker with your system. It's fun to change all the settings, break the system, then have to go to recovery mode to repair it.

I actually find it easier to tinker with the system and break it with Windows.

I use Linux because... (2, Interesting)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760968)

Most of the time, I'm an OS X user. I love my MacBook, but when I use my PC at home, I run Ubuntu, and it's not because it's 'fun' - I use it for work, so it's not 'fun' by any stretch of the imagination - it's because of the same reason I like my Mac - because it just works. The computer came with Vista, and I genuinely tried to like it, and I will admit that, when it works properly, I do like Vista. I don't champion it, I don't think it's anything special, but I've nothing really against it either. It's never kicked in my door and raped my dog like the grudges some /.'ers have against it would suggest, it just doesn't 'just work':

* My Belkin wireless adapters never worked properly with it and required several reinstalls to work as they should.

* The Aero Glass effects make a perfectly servicable computer with 1Gb of RAM and a reasonably fast processor stutter if I dare have more than half a dozen windows open at once (I know it's Aero doing it, because it chugs along just fine if I run the same apps in the same state with the thing turned off).

* Niggly little 'features' like the Windows Sidebar reactivating itself whenever it damn well pleases and the 'You have disabled startup programs, would you like to view them?' (No I fucking wouldn't, that's why I disabled the bloody things!).

On the other hand, Linux (well, Ubuntu - your mileage with different distros may vary), when installed, automatically configured my wireless adapter and all I had to do was put in my network password and I was away. I don't know if it's using ndiswrapper to do that, because I'm not a techy and it never told me, it just worked. I'd assume it isn't seeing as I was never prompted to locate a Windows driver, but I couldn't tell you for sure - all I know is that my wifi works.

I can also have my computer look easily as good as Aero Glass with the automatically-installed-and-configured Desktop Effects and a swift set of clicks around - the only qualm I have is that the default window decorations take up a few pixels' more room than the 'Windows Classic' ones, but with the resolution I have, that's not really an issue. I also don't get any annoying pop-ups whenever I start my machine asking if I want to start the programs I asked it not to start (I asked you not to for a reason, ffs) or re-activating 'Ubuntu Sidebar' modules.

In short, maybe I'm strange, maybe I'm not the typical Linux user, but I don't use Linux because I love tinkering with the command line - I don't. I use Linux because it's fast, does what I want it to, is shiny without compromising performance and doesn't bug me about things I've no intention of looking at. A couple of years ago when I first checked it out it didn't do that, and kicked up all sorts of hassles about all sorts of hardware issues, etc, but it's really come on since then. I'm not the 'granny wanting to surf the internet for pictures of the grandkids', I'm a twentysomething screenwriter, but I'm not the /. stereotype sysadmin or guru programmer either, and I'd take Linux over Windows all day long.

Why I use it? (1)

moco (222985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760976)

Depends on the usage. As a decision maker for a corporation I had the servers moved to Linux to cut support, security, system administration and licensing costs. On my work laptop I use it for the same reason other people use windows, I am used to it. At home I use it for the games.... all right, you caught me, It's because I am a huge geek.

Not *my* reasons for using OSS (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760978)

My main reason is it doesn't support any of the conglomerates. It's free, and legal.

Below that main reason you have the stuff like more resource efficient ( most of the time ), friendlier to more platforms for consistency.. etc etc.

Umm, no. (1)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760980)

I use it because it works. And I'm not even an admin or developer.

Is it even possible for an article frontpaging on /. to be less original and more fluffy?

For myself... (1)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760988)

There are several reasons. Sure, it's fun, but more importantly, it's not NOT-fun. Regularly having to reboot the machine, trying to solve system crashes (where your only choices are quite often reinstall the driver (or whatever) or finally reinstall the OS), limitations on how customizable the GUI is, updates that hose the system, uncertainty over the invasiveness of the OS, slow boot times, etc...etc...

That's Windows, to me. For my needs, Linux is simply much better, and (once configured) I never seem to have problems creeping into the system. Once it's set up, I don't have to hold my OS's hand to keep it in working order. Every Windows system I've used tends to degrade after a few months of use, in my experience. It's nice to use my computer the way I want to and not as a computer maintenance hobby machine. YMMV

The answer is simple... (2, Insightful)

RichardtheSmith (157470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22760996)

Because a lot of people were waiting in the 90's for one of the Unix vendors (mostly Sun but also SGI and SCO) to stop ignoring the home user / hobbyist market, so when the first usable Linux distros started to come out it was like, "Thanks, it's about f*cking time."

Also, the overall "feel" of Linux reflects the fact that there is no vendor telling you what you can or can't do with it. It lets you be in control. There's nothing in the user experience that reflects corporate arrogance. It lets *me* be arrogant. :)

*Just for fun" (1)

be_kul (718053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761010)

the author of the blog wants to make big news with the idea that Linux gives you a lot of fun? Hm ... that's what it all about since the beginning... as the title of Linus' autobiography said already years ago :-)

Why assume everyone is the same? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761014)

I switched to Linux because I read the MSWind2000 EULA.

That was, in and of itself, sufficient. That I chose Linux was to avoid buying a new computer. (At that time the Apple Mac had, or I believed it had, a reasonable EULA...even if it wasn't the GPL. This has since changed, and I no longer consider the Mac a viable choice. [I noticed the change last year. Perhaps it wasn't new then.])

Another option that I considered was Unix (BSD). Linux had the reputation of being friendlier and of supporting more hardware. Also, for awhile I needed to double-boot, and this was easier for me with Linux...or at least it looked easier before attempting to install Unix. (And it still looks easier, as I've never yet tried to dual-boot with Unix.)

Control (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761018)

Simply put, I can see what is going on on my system.

Windows is a fecking black hole where all manner of shite can happen without me knowing. Until Microsoft gives the average user a complete view and complete control over processes, they're crap.

Fun? (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761028)

"It's fun to change all the settings, break the system, then have to go to recovery mode to repair it."
That's not how I'd define fun.. no, it's really more of a different word.. what would that be?

Maybe this is why I've never really been into Linux..

Honestly, the REAL reason is (1)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761030)

so you can mentally and verbally masturbate about it to all of your other geeky computer friends. That's what this thread is all about, after all. If you are gonna be a zealot about it, at least be honest about your reasons.

Simply put... (1)

fuzzyping1 (266783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761038)

Linux users hate Microsoft.
FreeBSD users hate Linux.
OpenBSD users love UNIX.

Here is what we must do to achieve Linux adoption (1)

Werthless5 (1116649) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761048)

I don't like having to recover a system after I screwed something up. That's really not fun in my book (although I do enjoy using the command line)

By the author's argument, wouldn't it be 'fun' for the hardcore linux community to write a single fool-proof distro? Why is there no version of Linux that is dumbed down and easy to use for the masses? Include a command line if you want, but don't force the user to use it!

The average consumer isn't going to adopt Linux exactly because of all of the factors that the author claims makes it fun. If we really want to topple Microsoft's hold on the OS market (and I know there are a number of you who want this pretty badly), then there needs to be a user-friendlier Linux distro. I've seen my fair share of distros (including scientific CERN linux, which comes with OpenOffice 1.0 and does not come with apps that are used in science), and somehow none of them are quite as easy to use as Windows or OS X (and I actually really hate OS X to boot).

I know I'll get crucified for suggesting this, but someone is going to have to write a bloated distro. Once installed, it needs to just work (so you'll have to include a million and one drivers). It needs to come with programs like Open Office and GIMP. It needs to come with VLC.

The point of suggesting a new Linux distro is NOT to force people to 'have fun' while fixing their computer. There are already countless distros that let users do that. If something breaks, most users won't know how to fix it or where to go for help, so they'll get frustrated and go back to using Windows.

Most users don't want to learn Linux, so let's create a Linux that they won't have to learn.

Unwanted Elitism (1)

sundarvenkata (1214396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761052)

That is the reason most people use it. To show off that they are somehow superior to troggledites (who actually get work done!!). Imagine how the world would be if all car driving experts drove with nitro-methane fuel (assuming all cars supported it) just to show off that they are great in driving. People, wisen up, operating systems are just means to an end. They are not the end themselves.

I'm not so sure (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761060)

Primarily I use linux because it is safer.
I had dual boot since the beginning, but for a long time i didn't even dare to browse the net from M$ win (for a while i even plugged the network cable, but it got worn out, so i just removed the network services). This was the time of Code Red/Sasser, etc.

On the other hand:
It was really fun when i had to edit some kernel files just to make it compile, though it was fun only the first time. Same about the manual upgrading of packages.

Linux is also less resource hungry, at least compared to Vista.
I still keep XP, just for the games, so, i'm sure i don't use Linux just for the fun. I keep XP just for the fun (uhm, ok, and for MSVC 6).

perverse economics of proprietary apps (3, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761068)

I use Linux because proprietary apps suck to high heaven, and if you want to run OSS (desktop) apps, Linux is by far the best system.

There's a horribly perverse system of incentives pervading the economics of proprietary apps. A user buying a proprietary GUI app typically has no way of knowing whether it's slow and/or buggy until he's already bought it. Performance is hard to judge until you have it loaded on your own system, and bugginess is hard to judge because the vendor does their best to keep bugs secret, and generally succeeds very well. Because buyers can't make decisions based on performance and quality, they tend to buy based on features. So vendors have a huge economic incentive to bloat their feature list, and push slow, buggy products out the door.

Two experiences that helped to sour me completely on proprietary software:

  1. Bought a copy of Mathematica for my Mac back in the 90's. Upgraded to a new version of MacOS. Mathematica stopped working. Called Wolfram. They told me my only option was to buy a new version of Mathematica.
  2. Bought Adobe PageMaker 6.5 (?) ca. 1997. Wrote a book in it. Found out it was horribly buggy, and was constantly corrupting files. Adobe's tech support came up with lots of excuses to explain why it wasn't their fault.

I teach physics at a community college. Recently I started working on a project to clean up the horribly messed up software situation in our student computer labs. Perfect example of what a mistake it can be to hitch your wagon to proprietary software. We have all these proprietary Windows apps. Every app has a different licensing scheme, and some of them have no explicitly stated licensing scheme at all (e.g., CD-ROMs that came with textbooks). Nobody can find half the original disks and licenses. Some software was bought to run on DOS or Windows 95, and isn't compatible with Windows XP. Some software is abandonware. In one case, faculty are downloading a particular piece of DOS abandonware/shareware from an untrusted third-party site every time they need to teach a particular activity -- can't ask IT to permanently install it, because the vendor is gone, so random people are just posting the .EXE on their web sites, without so much as a checksum. The whole thing is a nightmare.

Fun to tinker? if you have nothing better to do (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22761072)

If computers are your hobby then great, but computers should work. You shouldn't need to tinker and spend hours getting them useable.

Moved from Linux to Mac for this reason alone, I wanted a computer to use, not a hobby.
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