The operating system landscape is dominated by Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS. Even though these 2 operating systems have the lion’s share in the operating system market but there are a few other options as well. One such option is Linux. The operating systems like Linux are created on an entirely different philosophy as compared to Windows and Mac OS. Linux is an open source system while the other two are not.
Ubuntu is an operating system which is based on the open-source Linux operating system. Before we go into the details of Ubuntu, let us 1st understand what exactly is an operating system.
What is an operating system?
An operating system – OS – is a software which connects the hardware with the software side of the computer. The OS is a platform which allows the user to run other software applications utilizing the hardware of the machine. Most of the software applications of any machine are reliant on the OS in order to synchronize the functions with the hardware.
The OS is responsible for handling all the hardware resources of the computer like:
- Input/output devices
- Network-based devices like Routers/modems
- Internal and external storage devices
- Other peripherals
The OS is also responsible for the allocation and utilization of memory as well as the tasks associated with the execution of memory slots and their management. Thus, in simple terms, the OS provides a platform not just to the users but also the software to use the software and hardware in an integrated fashion.
What is open source?
You might have noticed above that we stated that Linux is an open source OS. On the other hand, Mac OS and Windows are compiled operating systems. The question which arises is what is an open source operating system? An open-source OS has an accessible source code which the developers can use in order to develop the OS further. The main trait of the source code is that it should be comprehensible for humans. Machines do not directly understand the source code. It has to be fed to the machines with the help of a compiler.
In order to understand the source code of the Linux OS, you should just know the programming language in which it is written. You can download the OS and study how it works. The main benefit of writing the OS in open source is that the developers can use the source code to develop the OS further. Any bug or vulnerability can be collectively solved as well.
On the other hand, Mac OS and Windows operating systems are written in languages which are easier for the machines to understand. It will be very difficult for a human to decipher the exact data of the compiled operating systems. This is the basic difference between an open source OS and a compiled one. The open source OS is easy to decipher and develop further as the source code is directly available.
What is Ubuntu and how it works?
Ubuntu is an OS which is built on the Linux kernel foundation. It is also known as the distribution of Linux. Ubuntu is just one of the operating systems which are built using the Linux kernel foundation. There are quite a few others. Most of the other open source operating systems built on the Linux kernel are available to download and use for free. There are dedicated communities of developers who can support you when you use those operating systems.
The only problem with downloading the free open source OS is that for the normal user, it might be too complex. This is where Ubuntu stands out from the rest. It is distributed by a company named Canonical. The aim of this company founded by Mark Shuttleworth, is to provide access to a free and stable OS to the users as well as developers. It does not charge anything for the OS. Its business model revolves around providing commercial support to the products which it has brought to the market. It also provides various software solutions to corporates as well as other institutes all over the world to help them increase their efficiency and reduce the costs.
In order to download Ubuntu, all you need to do is to just get the official version of the OS from its website and burn it into a CD/USB drive to install it. You can even use it as a secondary OS. Now that you are aware of what exactly Ubuntu is, we will go into some of the advantages of this OS.
Benefits of Ubuntu:
The benefits of Ubuntu, Windows and other operating systems are plenty. We will go into the benefits of Ubuntu below.
- Ubuntu is free: The very 1st advantage of Ubuntu is that it is entirely free. Unlike Mac OS or Windows, you need not pay any fees in order to use it.
- Ubuntu can be easily customized: Even though Windows now provides some customization features but Ubuntu is much more customizable as compared to any other popular OS. This ensures that you are able to use it exactly as per your requirement. You can customize each and every aspect of the UI which ensures that you are able to make your machine much more efficient.
- Ubuntu is more secure: Most of the operating systems have their own share of problems. Ubuntu, however, is much more secure as compared to some of the other operating systems like Windows. You need not pay a fee in order to protect your machine when it is running on this OS. This is the reason why it is a good idea to go for Ubuntu.
- It can run from a flash drive: You need not install it in order to run it. You can simply load it into a pen drive and run it from there. This also means that you will be able to carry your OS with you wherever you go.
- Good option for development: If you program or code, it is one of the best options for you. It provides you with quite a few by default options which ensure that you are able to code right away. Text editors, as well as office suites, are directly included. This means that you will not have to install separate compilers or software on your OS in order to start coding.
- Frequent updates: The support which is provided by Ubuntu is much better as compared to the other operating systems. Any bug or vulnerabilities are patched pretty fast. Moreover, with each and every update you will have a host of new features as well. This will help you make your OS more efficient consistently.
- Virtual desktops: Ubuntu offers you multiple desktops just like the screen on your smartphone. You can switch between the different screens in order to work on different software. This ensures that you are able to increase your productivity significantly.
These are just some of the advantages of this OS over the other operating systems. In all, it is not only easier to use but completely customizable which is what makes it much better as compared to the other operating systems.
Why should you switch to Ubuntu?
The reasons to switch over to this OS are plenty. Some of them include:
- Free OS
- Secured OS
- Compatible with low-end hardware as well
- Easy to use
- All the drivers included
- Completely customizable
These reasons make it essential for you to take a look at Ubuntu as an OS for your machine rather than just relying on the other compiled operating systems.
So, if up until now, you have not used the Ubuntu OS, now is the time to check it out. With its mind-boggling number of features, and complete customization options you will be able to use your machine exactly as per your requirements which will increase your efficiency and productivity. It is time to explore Ubuntu in greater detail now that you are aware of the basics of it.