Understanding Linux: A Free Computer Operating System

If you have access to a laptop or computer, you have likely heard of the computer operating system Microsoft Windows. However, did you know that there is a free operating system for computers called Linux? Continue reading below to learn more!

What is Linux?

Linux is a free operating system for computers. For Computer Reach customers, Linux replaces Microsoft Windows with a lighter-weight operating system that looks similar but runs much quicker on the older computers we refurbish. Out in the world, companies use Linux to run servers, appliances, smartphones, and more because it is so customizable and royalty-free.

Why Does Computer Reach Use Linux for Our Computers?

  • Linux runs much faster than Microsoft Windows would on the computers we refurbish. Many of the devices we refurbish were replaced by companies and individuals because Windows operated too slowly on them.
  • Free “open-source” software is easy to find in the “Software” app, including access to Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Graphics programs. Linux options are more cost-effective than paying for expensive software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
  • Most home computer usage is based on working in an internet browser. Specific programs on computers are becoming less important each year in comparison to the importance of running standard browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox.
  • Since Linux (in our case, Xubuntu) is free, there is no cost associated with using the software or its updates.

Takeaways for Our Customers

  • Linux is NOT Microsoft Windows but Computer Reach does configure our computers to work in the same way (in most cases). Just like Windows and MacOS, our computers feature a menu of programs, a desktop with icons of frequently used items, a control panel to change system settings, and the ability to let users have different configurations and permissions.
  • You cannot run Windows applications (such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) on Linux but you can run other applications that have the same functionality and can work with the same data. By learning to use those programs (many of which are free), you learn 90 percent of the skills used on other name-brand programs.
  • If the work you need to do happens on an internet browser, you will be able to do it 99 percent of the time on a computer using Linux. There are few limitations to Linux’s functionality.

More Information

For more information, visit the Computer Reach Support page or review the resources below: