Revision as of 14:49, October 5, 2005 by (talk)

What's so great about Linux?

It's free. It's fast. It's reliable, and not that hard to use once you have it installed. It is extremely configurable. If PC spyware is ruining your life, or if you're serious about doing more with computers--with web pages, with programming, or with scientific computation--Linux is the way to go. BUT--you don't have to be a computer expert to find that Linux is a desirable alternative. You don't even have to commit to it all the way; you can use part of your hard drive to try out Linux, and if you don't like it just keep using Windows.

A few concrete advantages:

  1. Installing new software is really easy. Like, in many cases it takes about 20 seconds, and you don't even have to visit a web site to download it.
  2. Linux is open-source, and so a lot of people have built cool extensions to the software that's out there.
  3. There are free and decent clones of Microsoft Office products. You save $$$.
  4. Absolutely essential you desire any sort of geek cred.


  1. There's a slim chance your hardware isn't supported. Really, it's slim. I've installed a half-dozen Linux computers on laptops and desktops and never had a problem.
  2. It takes time to become familiar with Linux.
  3. It's not as purty as Mac OS X.
  4. Networking is kind of a pain to set up. But we'll be there for you.

So where do I go?

Step one: Come to a Linux Install Party! The next one is Sunday, October 9 from 1:30-5 pm in Jesup basement, right outside the WSO Cage. Here's what you need to know:

  • Back up your important files first. If you don't know how, stop by the WSO cage between 1 and 5 on Saturday, October 8. We have a few gigs of space you can use.
  • Pick a distribution. Members of WSO can help you with Gentoo and Ubuntu. Ubuntu is really easy to install and get going. Gentoo is highly configurable, and is recommended only for masochists.
  • Decide if you want to keep a Windows partition so you can boot into Linux or Windows, or if you want to go whole-hog Linux. If you're dual-booting, decide how much of the hard drive that you want to dedicate to Linux, and how much to save for Windows. Remember: you can access your Windows files from Linux, but not the other way around. A lot of people leave space for their music on the Windows partition, so they can listen to it from either operating system.

Step two: Join the Linux listserve: [1]. We're here to help if you have problems, and if you're willing to spend time trying to figure them out.