Using Linux As a Writer


When most people think of linux, they likely picture an operating system that runs desktops, servers and embedded systems. In fact, it’s everywhere — from smartphones and automobiles to home thermostats and Roku devices to the world’s most powerful supercomputers. It’s also the platform of choice for many cloud providers and on-premises data centers, including Amazon Web Services. Its global user base stretches from individuals to the largest corporations and organizations.

Linux was first developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. He created the kernel, then invited a wide community of developers to work on integrated GNU components to create a complete OS. This enables Linux to run on almost any hardware platform and provide a range of functions, from a command-line interface and graphical desktop to file management and security.

The open-source nature of the Linux OS is a strong selling point for many users. The Linux community regularly releases updates and patches that address security concerns, and most distributions offer a range of features for new and experienced users alike. In addition, the popularity of Linux means that it has a thriving support community and many different software packages available.

Another advantage is the relatively low cost of a typical Linux system. Since it’s possible to install the system on older laptops and other hardware, this can save a company significant amounts of money. In addition, the Linux kernel typically supports the same programming languages as other Unix-like systems, allowing a variety of software to be written for it.

While the benefits of using linux as a writer are numerous, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. Proprietary software — such as desktop productivity programs or even some printers and scanners — may not be compatible with a linux system, and some hardware manufacturers do not make drivers for their products on the Linux platform. Additionally, the steep learning curve can be a challenge for many new users.

If you’re considering switching to linux, it’s best to start with a newbie-friendly distribution such as Ubuntu (Figure 3), Linux Mint, Deepin or Elementary OS. If you have above-average computer skills, however, you can opt for a more advanced system such as Debian or Fedora. Alternatively, you can use an installer that lets you build your own Linux distribution from source code. Those who have a true passion for the platform can even try building their own distribution from scratch. As long as you’re prepared to commit the time and effort, it is possible to achieve an optimal linux configuration for any purpose.

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