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How do I Choose the Best Linux® Freeware?

By Troy Holmes
Updated May 16, 2024
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Linux® is an operating system (OS) that is based on the multiprocessing design of UNIX®. Currently there are many free versions of Linux® available on the Internet. This Linux® freeware typically works the same as most commercial based Linux® products without the additional costs. Choosing the best free version of Linux® primarily depends on the technical capabilities of the team using the product. Most freeware versions of Linux® are designed for technically savvy individuals.

There are many versions of Linux® available for free downloading. These versions of the popular operating system provide high performance software for a vast array of hardware and device configurations. Linux® freeware gives consumers a choice between high-end commercial products and free software to manage computers. Linux® originated many years ago as a free OS to compete against Windows® and UNIX® operating systems. It was commercialized with Red Hat Linux® version in 1994.

Ubuntu is an efficient version of Linux® freeware that is easily found on the Internet. This OS offers many advanced performance features with a similar desktop experience to the comparable Windows® system. Ubuntu provides a well balanced multiprocessing platform that enables the user to perform simultaneous tasks without impacting the performance of the system. This OS is relatively simple to install and includes a good support network.

Another open-source version of Linux®, openSUSE®, is designed for desktops, laptops, and servers. This operating system is one of the better implementations of Linux® freeware available. The primary drawback to this version of Linux® is the strict following of free software philosophy, which limits the proprietary hooks to devices and libraries within the core operating system.

Ubuntu studio is one of the better Linux® freeware operating systems designed for graphics, audio and video designers. This open source version of Linux® provides users with a multiprocessing experience that is necessary for most advanced graphics designer companies. Ubuntu studio can enable multiprocessing of audio, video, and graphical design, which provides the user with better productivity and performance.

Debian is one of the original Linux® freeware versions available. It provides an easy-to-use installation program, with many additional freeware add-on tools to support the management of the system. This OS was first available in 1993 and remains free for download today. Debian has a large user base, and open source community for support.

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Discussion Comments

By Melonlity — On May 19, 2014

@Logicfest -- Another thing to think about is how well the version of Linux you want supports your hardware. In the earlier days of Linux, finding the right hardware drivers was difficult. That is still a problem with some versions of Linux, but more mature versions detect hardware and plug in the appropriate drivers during installation.

Couple that fact with the pendrive install method you mentioned, and you've got a system through which someone can easily try various versions of Linux and settle on the one that suits each individual best.

By Markerrag — On May 18, 2014

Something else to consider is what software comes bundled with the version of Linux that interests you. There was a time when any version of Linux was pretty bare bones. The user got an operating system and very little else.

Those days are gone and most versions of Linux are usable as soon as they are installed. You usually get audio and video players, complete office suites, graphics design software, a few games, audio editing software and more.

That said, a good strategy to adopt is to try some versions of Linux and find the bundled software you want as well as the Linux desktop and general look and feel of the program.

One more thing. You might want to check and see if the version of Linux you like also contains a store which you can browse through and find applications. Most of those applications will be free, and the store is useful because it both allows the user to browse and install desired apps at the push of a button.

By Logicfest — On May 17, 2014

One of the great things about Linux is that users are encouraged to try several different versions (called "distros") until they find the one that suits them best. Such a process is possible because Linux is available for free and most distros can be installed to a bootable flash drive so they can be tried before they are installed.

The variety of Linux distros is impressive. There are lightweight distros that are great for older and slower computers with meager hardware resources when compared against more modern systems. There are distros built especially for use on servers or for multimedia purposes. It's all fascinating that so many varieties are available for free, but there it is.

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