February 1, 2008

Switch to Linux

Filed under: Open Source — wan muhamad azmi mamat @ 5:54 pm


Have you ever see the picture above? Yes, it’s a penguin! But it’s not a regular penguin, it is a logo for Linux identification. Linux developer call it as Tux. For peoples who are familiar with computing and software environment, they should know about Linux even though they not use it. But for those people who are not in this area, and for those whose playing with computer once a month, i don’t think they know about it unless they read something or heard from someone.

What is Linux? And what the relationship between Linux and penguin? Linux is an operating system (OS). For example, Windows is the OS that familiar with Malaysian. So what the different between Linux and Windows? What are the features to be announced about Linux here?

Linux is an open source OS. Open source? Open source means users can use, modify and distribute it. And most of open source software is free! Yes, FREE!!! User can simply download it through an internet. Linux is a UNIX based OS. For those who are familiar with OS, they know and fully accept that UNIX is the most stable OS. About the penguin, i even don’t know and does not found it yet.


During one of the conference i used to attended at Petaling Jaya, the guy from Bogota, Colombia said that he really shocked because he saw all Malaysian using Windows. He was presenting his paper on security system development for military department of Colombia said that most of the computer user at his place is using Linux.


Why must switch to Linux? What wrong with Windows? There is nothing wrong in procedure with Windows actually. The Malaysian are really lucky since they can use pirate software! The goverment is still working with this issue but seem very slow. Starting middle of last year, it’s very difficult to get the pirate software CDs at popular computing center, at LowYat Plaza and Imbi Plaza. But user still can find it at the other shops.

My junior collegoues told me that his lecturer ask the student to use Linux. “You are in sin because using something with unproper regulation. You are using pirate software, the Microsoft can sue you. So use Linux. It’s free”. I laughing on hearing of his speech with serious action. But the point of his lecturer is brilliant and true.

opensuselogo.jpgWe will take some times to familiar when moving to a new place or new job. And so on with this kind of condition, it might take 6 months or a year to familiar. Even myself still does not familiar using Open Office (similar to Microsft Office) even though have using Linux for two years. It’s because i still using Microsoft Office to write the documents (hehehe). I use Linux mostly for my research project on programming development.

Talking about office package, for Windows platform user have to install Microsoft Office. They have to buy it. How much is it? It’s not RM5 my freind, i’m talking about the genuine software with Microsoft license. You can take a look the price here, for Office 2007 standard. But in Linux, user don’t need to buy it. If it is does not installed by default (normally install by default), user can insall it by select open office package from the cd/dvd. Or download the open office package from internet and insall it to your computer.


What else? User have to install yahoo messenger (YM) for Windows platform. But in Linux, it already include with similar function, it called ‘gaim’. ‘gaim’ support several internet messenger such as YM, IRQ, and Jabber. That’s it! All in the cd(s)/dvduser download from internet (or buy at shop). Don’t need to buy other cd to install new software or package or tools. User can found many open source software that function similar for Windows platform. For example, user can use SciLab in Linux instead of MathLab in Windows (that use large memory space), GeDA instead of OrCAD in Windows, and etcs.

There are a lots of Linux distribution. The most popular distributions are RedHat, Mandriva (previoulsly know as Mandrake), OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. The others distributions are Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora, Debian and Mepis. The other famous open source OS is BSD. BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) have two popular version, FreeBSD and NetBSD. There is also live cd Linux distro and the famous one is Knoppix. User can run the OS using cd without modifying the system. And there also OS that can be run through pendrive, Mandriva has released it starting version 2007.



Commercial (pay for use)

Cannot modify anything

Normally need large space to install

Not so stable

Need superior security (viruses,etc)

Have to renew license



Free (mostly, a few commercial distro)

Can modify (source code) and can distribute

Can install with minimum 2M(basic features)

Rarely crash

I never scan virus on Linux

Using GPL (General Public License)


Download Linux distro here.

Find out more by googling around!



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