5 Shitty reasons to use Linux

This post is not about the bashing of Linux, or why you shouldn't use it. It is, however, about weak or otherwise vague reasons that a few Linux "users" give when asked why they chose it. As you read on, take a minute and reexamine your timeline of Linux usage, and see if any of these apply - you may wanna rethink them. If you're an aspiring Linux user, ask yourself why you wanna use it. If your answer contains any of these, I'm not saying that Linux isn't for you, but rather that you can't bitch about it later when you start using.

"I'll become a hacker if I use Linux for long enough."

The fact that many hackers, security experts and crackers (you know, the ones that the FBI arrest) use Linux doesn't correlate at all to Linux being a school of hacking. Linux, if anything, dominates the server world, and I'm damn sure that their administrators don't spend their free time peeking into their neighbors' machines. Hell, if that was true we would even see grandmas "pwning noobs" in their Ubuntu machines.

And then come the people who claim that the best penetration testing tools are available for Linux, pointing that the fine BackTrack distribution is used even by the FBI. Hello? How many of these were also ported to Windows? And besides, you said it yourself: penetration testing tools. TOOLS. They are not a magical way to root your ex-girlfriend's computer and steal her pictures - you need time and effort to learn them, and even more to actually get to use them. And obviously a shitload more after that, when you do your sentence in jail.

Doing it right: I'll can become a hacker if I use Linux study computer science for long enough.

"Using Linux and Free Software is the first step in my way to become a communist!"
(NOTE: I'm not taking sides with any political views here)

Don't laugh, I've heard this one many times before. The only thing I can say is this: you wish. Regardless of whether Communism is a superior view or not, using Linux won't help you shit in achieving it. Oh, so you're talking community? Sharing of software? Equality of production means, since anyone can have it? No private property? Guess what; that's not Communism; it's Socialism. Actually, it's not even that - it's the ideals of Scientific Research. People working together and sharing the results for discoveries that will benefit all of them.

Also, what's with this thing of associating Linux to Communism? It began as an American project, joined later by a Finnish Computer Scientist (look up the historical relations between Finland and Russia). And no, the fact that the Linux Kernel was introduced four months before the collapse of the Soviet Union doesn't make it an attempt to spread communism unbeknownst. Fuck your conspiracy theories. There are many things you can do to preach communism - using Linux isn't one.

Doing it right: Using Linux and Free Software Moving to Cuba is the first step in my way to become a communist!

"Linux is Open Source, so I can easily debug and modify it anytime I need to."



I can't believe how widespread and bogus this belief is. It's powerful enough to lure a dissatisfied Windows user into the Linux pool, but the bad news is that this same user will go back to Windows later on, hating Linux forever. Imagine that Joe, average Windows XP user, catches a virus and that's his last straw with Windows.

Joe decides to use Linux, promised of power use, and the openness of programming, which he reads that gives its users the freedom to modify the programs as they wish. Joe doesn't think twice and downloads Linux, only to find out that:
  • All programs are distributed in Binary form
  • Source code for his favorite programs is more than 3000 lines long
  • Bug reporting is overlooked, and at the mercy of the devs
  • Being the average computer user that he is, he casually remembers that he lacks any programming skills to alter anything in the 3000-line source code.
Now, replace "Joe" with your name, and re-read the previous paragraph. Does it sound like a likely situation you'd be in? That's because it is. Average users cannot appreciate the concept of "Open Source" simply because they lack the ability to manage the Source. Unless you are an experienced developer, this reason is void.

Doing it right: Linux is Open Source Free, so I can easily debug and modify it anytime I need to use it for free.

"I can game in Linux through Wine without worrying about damaging my system or getting hacked"

It's true that Linux is a more secure OS than Windows, and that Wine does not "open a door" to malware/hackers by emulating it. The fallacy here is to think that gaming in Linux is of comparable performance to that of Windows. Short answer: it only is if you have the time, money and hardware to spend optimizing it. You can read the rest here. So yeah, the latter part of the claim is valid, but the gaming experience is always a mystery.

I am not saying that wine sucks. There are simply too many weak points where native Windows programs can fail in Linux/X11. Drivers for video cards, for example, are often not well-coded. A few DLLs may be missing, or not available in some version of wine. Or maybe the game you want to run was developed by idiots, and will not run no matter what. What you gonna do about it?

Doing it right: I can play flash games in Linux through Wine without worrying about damaging my system or getting hacked

"I will be free from Microsoft's wrath when I start using Linux"

This is only true if you're willing to give up the following, among others:
  • Skype
  • Hotmail and associated MSN services
  • Novell's SuSE and openSUSE Linux distributions
  • Compiz
  • Files in doc, ppt, pps, xls, msi, and exe formats
  • Games that were not produced for Linux /X11 platforms
  • XBOX, XBOX360, Zune (ok, this one doesn't count)
  • Websites hosted by Windows Servers, or using .NET framework.
If not, you just won't. You'll still eat Microsoft's shitcakes. Chap from work sent you "the funniest slideshow?" Microsoft-made! Boss needs you to make that report ASAP? Microsoft-made! Playing Call of Duty through wine? Microsoft API! Even some pages on the internet are powered by a Windows server, which explains the large amount of errors you get from them.

By the way, if you're wondering what is Compiz doing there, get this: Novell started the Compiz project, together with XGL, and look where they are now.

Doing it right: I will be free from using Windows Microsoft's wrath when I start using Linux

So there you have it: Five shitty, invalid and bogus reasons that you should never use as an excuse to justify the use of Linux over other Operating Systems.
But of course, there are the noble ones too. Maybe I'll put those in another post.

February 2012 by K. Zimmermann
Contact me.


  1. Some of your reasons are half-truths and bogus in themselves.

    Let's do them in order:
    Reason #1: Valid and correct. Using Linux doesn't make you a cracker aka "Blackhat Hacker" - which is a dumb and grossly incorrect term.

    Reason #2: Yet again valid and pretty funny.

    Reason #3: This however I disagree with. The MAJORITY of software IS Open Source. Just because the user doesn't know how to modify the source code, doesn't make this any less true. I have modified several programs myself in this regard and I'm far from a seasoned programmer. I just picked it up in the last few years and is somewhere intermediate to beginner in most languages. So stop FUDing about this. It's true. Just because some users are idiots, doesn't change that fact.

    Reason #4: Yes, WINE can't run ALL Windows programs very well. Note however it's an EMULATION of the Windows API and NOT A COPY. To copy it needs access to the actual source code, which I doubt Microsoft would give out. Nope, it's done the long way of looking at calls a program makes and trying to implement a desired result for it the LONG way. This however does not mean that some games and programs won't run smoothly using it either. I have run both games and programs without noticeable reduction in performance. This is also one of the most unreasonable requests. Does Microsoft make any effort to allow Linux programs to run on their systems? Nope? So why do we care so much for the reverse? Oh and FYI, the Wine team is planning to implement DirectX's API within WINE next. Can you say 3D Games here I come?

    Reason #5: You can still use Microsoft Services or Microsoft Software run websites. You can also use .NET programs with minor changes using MONO. Also Microsoft also didn't invent the doc format, it just took it over. Also the current MS Office formats uses XML technology, which is an open format and actually got them in hot water for not releasing source. Also why do sites run by Microsoft servers be blacklisted? It's like not eating at a restaurant because you normally have lunch at a different place. And equally retarded.

    What I don't get is why you lump Novell or Skype with Microsoft? Novell SUED Microsoft - does that now make them Microsoft. You can also use Skype on Linux! What is your thinking process here? And why the hell is XBOX there? What has that got to do with the PC?

    The last few looks like a half-hearted reasons you threw in just to have five instead of two.

    1. The reason why there are five reasons instead of two or three or thirty-seven is that the post is mine and I write it however I wish to do so...

      I can't believe you wasted such time writing this comment. But go on and feel free to rebute my article on your own

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