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Is Linux Ready for the Mainstream Desktop

A brief Overview of Linux:

Linux is a Unix based operating system, developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 and released as a free and open source software. Designed for Intel x86 systems originally, Linux can now be found in a variety of products ranging from smart devices, system on a chip such as raspberry pi, and even smartphones under the Android and Ubuntu Touch branding. Featured distributions include Debian derivatives Ubuntu and Linux Mint, Red hat derivatives CentOS and Fedora, and SuSE Linux or it’s community based equivalent openSuSE. With a plethora of Linux distributions to choose from, you have the ability to choose the operating system that best suits your use case, or if you can’t find one you can always build your own featuring your favorite utilities and libraries (“Linux” web. Dec. 2016).

Linux Distros

In the mid 90’s to the early 00’s Linux began to gain a following in the server and enthusiast marketplaces and soon after commercial businesses such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM began to sell computers with Linux preinstalled (“Linux” web. Dec. 2016). This period was called the “Dawn of Linux” and Linux on the home computer seemed imminent, but shortly after the bubble popped. Market share began to shrink and once again the main demographic consisted of IT professionals/enthusiasts. While famed for its usefulness as a tool by power users, the lack of support and steep learning curve stopped average consumers from switching from windows. As of the time of writing, Netmarketshare.com shows the distribution of desktop operating systems as 90.95% Microsoft Windows, 6.74% Apple OSX, 2.31% Linux dristrobutions, and fractions of a percent to other Unix based systems such as FreeBSD (“Market Share for Mobile, Browsers, Operating Systems and Search Engines”, 2016).

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