Why Linux?

At the beating heart core of all you do on your computer is an operating system. Heaven forbid you should have to communicate with your computer in it’s own language. To greet your computer with “Hi there!” you’d need to flip 80 electrical switches, each just 14 or so times wider than a DNA molecule.

If we say that 1 represents “switch on” and 0 represents “switch off,” then “Hi there!” in computer speak is:

01001000 01101001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100001 00001010.

Thank your stars that you have an operating system between you and your computer hardware. Your operating system listens to your keyboard and mouse, passes on/off electrical impulses called bits to some computer program or another, then passes the result on to your monitor, printer, or the web, also in the argot of bits. Fortunately your monitor, printer, and audio circuits in your computer know how to translate bits into text, images, and sound that you can understand.

You may know your operating system as Windows, MacOS, Linux, or some more obscure identity. It’s well-known in computing circles, however, that not all operating systems are created equal. Windows and MacOS are developed and maintained by tech giants to generate profit for shareholders and to support the commercial software market. They’re quite good at that.

Linux, on the other hand, is developed by more than 4,300 world-class programmers to harness maximum functionality and performance from computers ranging from size from your little finger to continent-spanning clusters of supercomputers.[^stats] And it’s becoming ever more popular for both personal and professional use by software developers.

Linux usage was more than macOS in 2021, but only by a small margin. 2022 it is now 9% more than macOS.[^growth]

Indeed, one engineer even hands out business cards that run Linux.[^buscard]

Sadly, set out to buy a notebook or desktop computer from a local electronics emporium and you would think that you only have two choices—Windows and Mac. The reasons are strictly profit-driven, not technical.

## A Wiser Choice

As indie publishers, we have books to write—no time for food fights.

Love your Windows box? Embrace it. Devoted to your Mac? Stay the course.

The goal is to EXPAND our competencies, do more in less time, not abandon hard-won computer habits and skills.

But consider: A Publishing Empire in a Box is a DEDICATED no-nonsense integrated tool suite explicitly designed to save time and make money.

A hard-working professional publishing system deserves a no-nonsense industrial-strength operating system to orchestrate the full suite of productivity software.

Linux is perfect for the job.[^linux]

Why?

Management tools built into Linux provide 100 percent transparency and functional mastery over the entire computer hardware/software system.

What does this mean?

Linux puts you in total control of your computer. Best of all, Linux is like a Lego set—you can completely customize the user interface look-and-feel to satisfy your sensibilities and needs.

And more:

  • Linux is free as in free beer.
  • Linux is free as in open source.[^opensource]
  • Linux opens a portal to thousands of free world-class software programs

Consider:

  • 85% of all smartphones run Linux
  • 96% the world’s top 1 million web servers run Linux
  • 100% of the world’s top 500 super-computers run Linux
  • 90% of all cloud infrastructure runs Linux
  • Linux supports the work and play of more than 5.4 billion people[^stats]

The Linux Foundation is supported by well over 1,OOO top-tier hardware, software, and telecommunications companies.[^foundation] Fortune 500 wouldn’t give a toss for Linux if it wasn’t best-of-breed for their critical 24/7 applications.

Security experts rate Linux more secure than rival proprietary operating systems. With billions of users and tens of thousands of code contributors, open source means that many thousands eyes review the source code on a regular basis. If a bug is reported, it’s quickly found, fixed, and pushed out to the user community. And more, Linux provides in-depth security tools out of the box.[^security]

You get the picture.

Linux is the perfect foundation for a Publishing Empire in a Box(tm).

“But Linux is for hard-core computer geeks!”

Don’t say that to this chap’s 70-year-old mom nor 65-year-old mother-in-law:^[ My 70 year old mother has been using Linux on the desktop for the past 21 years, https://www.unixsheikh.com/articles/my-70-year-old-mother-has-been-using-linux-on-the-desktop-for-the-past-21-years.html]

My mother turns 70, February this year, and she has been using Linux on the desktop for the past 21 years. My mother-in-law is 65, she has been using Linux on the desktop since 2015.

“Yeah, yeah, still, but Linux is kind of scary, really. After all, I was a humanities major.”

In many ways, Linux is similar to other operating systems you may have used before, such as Windows, macOS (formerly OS X), or iOS. Like other operating systems, Linux has a graphical interface, and the same types of software you are accustomed to, such as word processors, photo editors, video editors, and so on. In many cases, a software’s creator may have made a Linux version of the same program you use on other systems. In short: if you can use a computer or other electronic device, you can use Linux.[^linux2]

Stay tuned. Every Empire Builder post from here on will lead you baby step-by-baby step to Linux superpowers and indie publishing success.

[^stats]: Linux Statistics — 2023, https://truelist.co/blog/linux-statistics/

[^growth]:  2022 was the year of Linux on the Desktop, https://www.justingarrison.com/blog/year-of-linux-desktop/

[^buscard]: My business card runs Linux (and Ultrix), yours can too,

https://dmitry.gr/?r=05.Projects&proj=33.%20LinuxCard

[^linux]: What is Linux, https://opensource.com/resources/linux

[^opensource]: What is open source?, https://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source

[^foundation]: The Linux Foundation, https://www.linuxfoundation.org

[^security]: 10 Benefits of Linux You Need to Know, https://www.linode.com/docs/guides/benefits-of-linux/

[^mom]: My 70 year old mother has been using Linux on the desktop for the past 21 years, https://www.unixsheikh.com/articles/my-70-year-old-mother-has-been-using-linux-on-the-desktop-for-the-past-21-years.html

[^linux2]: Linux, http://www.noviusgroup.com/linux