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There are several features of Linux® that distinguish it from other popular computer operating systems like Windows® and Mac OS®. It is a free and open source operating system that is also cross platform. Linux® is also very customizable and can be adjusted to a user’s particular hardware. As a truly multi-user operating system, several users can be logged on at once. In addition, a large community of users is available to provide support.
Linux® is an open source operating system unlike Windows and Mac OS. As one of the primary features of Linux®, the open source code is available to the public, and anyone can use, modify, and redistribute it. There are many versions or flavors of Linux®, including Ubuntu®, Red Hat, and Fedora, as a result.
This operating system is cross platform and can run on many different types of computer hardware, such as mobile phones, tablet computers, and even video game consoles. Linux® is free to download but may also be distributed commercially. A typical Linux® distribution, or distro, includes the kernel and all of the software necessary to run a complete system.
A Linux® distro allows the user to be up and running once the operating system is done installing. It is not necessary to install a separate office suite, audio/visual tools, or email client, unlike Windows®. Of the many features of Linux®, this one makes the operating system particularly user-friendly.
Customization is another of the features of Linux®. Users can tweak this operating system so that it works exactly the way they want and is optimized for particular hardware. This ensures optimal performance, although this degree of configuration may not be accessible to all users.
Although Windows allows multiple user accounts on one system, Linux® is truly multi-user. One of the features of Linux® is that more than one user can log on at once. Concurrent user sessions are available by default in Linux® but require third-party software in Windows®.
There is no official customer support for Linux®, but a large community of users is available to help. Users can post questions in chat rooms and discussion forums or via a mailing list. Other users will respond with solutions without charge.
One of the features of Linux® that has prevented a wider adaptation of the operating system is the lack of support for some Windows® software and hardware. Frequently there are free equivalent software applications that serve the same functions as their Windows® counterparts. The Mozilla Firefox® web browser can substitute for Explorer®, and OpenOffice.org™ is available in lieu of the Microsoft Office Suite®. Potential Linux® users should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of switching operating systems beforehand.
Good for you on pointing out the "out of the box" appeal of Linux. Early distros were difficult to set up and use, but times have changed so that distros are packed with enough programs to get people up and running immediately. It is very common to install Linux and find that very good office suites, graphics programs, video and sound editing and other great applications are already there.
Another fairly recent development is the store bundled into most distros -- that allows people to search for programs and install them without having to deal with the somewhat complex fooling around in a text terminal and trying to unarchive programs and install them that way.
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