7 Myths About Linux That You Should Stop Believing
The internet is full of myths about practically everything and is jam-packed with people always ready to promote such misconceptions. If you’ve ever found yourself reading about Linux on an online forum, it’s highly likely you’ve come across a few of the widely-known Linux myths.
Here are some of the myths about Linux that have spread all across the internet like wildfire.
1. Linux Is Only for Developers and Coders
The history of Linux has been closely related to programmers and even today, most of the people contributing to the project are software developers. This is why most casual desktop users think that Linux is reserved for computer users with technical backgrounds.
Indeed, most of the standard utilities and packages that come preinstalled on a Linux distro are associated with software development, but almost every distribution has now started adding applications for the general public that’s not interested in writing code at all.
What most people don’t realize is that Linux has become an integral part of their daily lives. Anyone going over to the internet to browse a website, or a person using an Android smartphone is using Linux, in the form of web servers and a customized operating system for handheld devices.
Keeping aside the indirect Linux usage, you can even install a beginner-friendly Linux distro on your computer if you want. You don’t need to be a programmer or tech-geek to learn how to use it. What’s needed is a strong will to learn and a dash of persistence.
2. You Have to Master the Command Line to Use Linux
The command line, or the terminal, is inherent in a Linux distribution, and this has been the case since the beginning. When Linus started developing Linux, computers weren’t powerful enough to support a graphical user interface, and the command line was a necessity for anyone who wanted to interact with the system.
Fast forward to the present, the term “desktop,” referring to the GUI, is commonly used as a replacement for “computer,” and these two terms combined have a different meaning altogether. Machines can now run resource-intensive games in addition to the underlying desktop environment, and not much use of the command line has remained for casual users.
If you want, you can get away without using the terminal or having to type commands at all on a Linux distribution. There might be occasions when you need to troubleshoot a problem and it might require you to enter commands in the shell, but fret not, most of the help is readily available online. All you need to do is copy and paste the commands into your terminal and you’ll be good to go.
3. Linux Isn’t Suited for Gaming
Gaming is a well-known area of application that Linux is supposed to lack, even today. But that’s not the case anymore. Linux distributions are gaining ground in terms of gaming and you can now consider Linux as an operating system for gamers.
Native Linux games like CS:GO are known to perform better on Linux than on other operating systems, including Windows. This makes it evident that if game developers start developing for Linux natively, Linux might actually have a chance to surpass Windows in terms of performance.
This doesn’t call for celebration at the moment, however. It’s still true that multiplayer support for many titles doesn’t work on Linux, as the Linux architecture doesn’t allow kernel-level access to anti-cheat software. But that might change soon, considering so much has already been achieved when it comes to gaming on Linux.
4. It’s Hard to Find Apps for Linux
Windows users enjoy native support for premium applications like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and more.
On the other hand, such proprietary software companies don’t offer software support for Linux-based OSes. This leads many users into thinking that Linux doesn’t have many applications, and they might miss out on some golden programs if they switch to Linux. This is totally untrue, however.
Linux has at least an equal (if not more) amount of applications than Windows. They might not be as prestigious or well-known to the public, but they get the work done. To name a few, Linux has GIMP as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop and the LibreOffice suite as a replacement for Microsoft Office.
5. Linux Can’t Be Infected With Viruses
“You can’t get a virus or malware if you’re using Linux.” This Linux myth has been revolving around on the internet since time immemorial. However, the long existence of this statement doesn’t make it accurate.
It’s completely possible to get your Linux system infected. But the truth is that Linux accounts for only a small share of the desktop OS market, meaning attackers don’t develop malware for Linux due to low profitability. In fact, you don’t even need to use an antivirus or firewall on your desktop Linux system.
This is because most Linux antivirus software usually check for Windows-related malware so that you don’t share the infected file with other systems. Also, due to the way permissions work on Linux, it’s a lot safer to use than other operating systems.
6. Linux Is Only Used on Servers
Many long-time Windows users are under the impression that Linux is only used on servers, and that if it were a desktop OS, it’d be more prominent like Windows or macOS. Although Linux was originally created as a desktop OS by Linus Torvalds, it’s more dominant in the server world, thanks to its underlying architecture.
Apart from running on servers, Linux powers desktop computers, smartphones, embedded devices, and even supercomputers. There’s a high chance that most of the smart electrical appliances you use in your household employ Linux under the hood.
7. Linux Is Too Fragmented
There are thousands of available Linux distros and each comes with a different set of software, user interface, and unique ways to manage packages. All of this might lead you into thinking that the Linux world is fragmented, or unmanaged at the very least.
But this seeming weakness is the actual strength of Linux. The availability of so many different options gives you a choice. You can choose the operating system you want to use, install a desktop environment that suits you, and use a package manager that’s easier to learn for you. These choices are usually already made for you with other operating systems like Windows or macOS.
And that’s not all. Linux might seem fragmented to you, but only from afar. If you learn more about the OS, you’ll find there are more similarities between different distros than differences.
There are only a handful of parent distro families from which other distributions are created. Each of these families of Linux distros has a unique package manager of its own, which means choosing a package manager that fits your bill filters out almost 80 percent of the available distros.
If you need a wider catalog, however, there are packaging systems like Snap and Flatpak that are distro-agnostic and work on any Linux-based operating system, provided you have the right software.
Debunking Linux Myths for the Better
Linux myths have been floating around on the internet for a very long time. A lot of these misconceptions keep people away from trying Linux-based operating systems on their computers. Therefore, it’s important to bust these myths for the better.
Now that your mind is free of these misbeliefs, if you finally wish to try out Linux, Ubuntu and Manjaro Linux are the two distros to start with. But which one is good for beginner Linux users, and which one should you choose for your desktop?