What Is Linux? What Can You Use Linux For?

Geekom Official

Staff member
Aug 25, 2022
Heard about Linux online but not sure what it is? Here's a brief introduction to the OS and what it can be used for.

What Is Linux?​

When someone says, "I use Linux," what they mean is that they use the GNU/Linux operating system in one of its many forms. Over the years, various developers have taken the GNU/Linux code, crafted a unique operating system, and distributed it on the internet, usually free of cost. They can do this because of the permissive license that comes with Linux.


Because the license allows developers to redistribute their code, Linux operating systems are usually referred to as distributions or distros for short. Similar to the different editions of Windows 10 that exist, different Linux distributions exist for different purposes and people.

What Is Linux Used For?​

So you know what Linux is, but now you might be asking, "What can I do with Linux?"
From simple calculators to advanced graphics editing tools, Linux can in fact run all kinds of software you're used to running on Windows or mac-OS.


Browsing the Web​

An essential utility on any modern PC, Linux desktops always come packaged with at least one web browser.
Most will have Firefox or Chromium installed by default, but you can also get regular Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Brave.


Beyond using web-mail in a browser, you can manage your inbox with your choice of several email clients for Linux. Some popular choices include Thunderbird and Evolution. They often give you an experience like Microsoft Outlook, but more simplified and streamlined.


Yes, contrary to popular belief, you can game on Linux. How is that possible? Increasingly thanks to a Linux app called Wine, or Play On Linux, that runs Windows programs on Linux. Although it's true that many popular games have no native Linux version, Wine lets you get around that problem.


One of the best implementations of Wine is Valve's Proton tool on Steam. Proton configures Wine to your chosen Windows and maintains it in the background. That means you have to do nothing but install Proton and run the game.

The Linux Operating System: Explained!​

Now that you know what Linux is and what Linux can do, it's time to decide if a Linux operating system is right for you. Linux will appeal to you most if you like the idea of doing most things you already do on Windows or mac-OS, but outside of Microsoft and Apple's reach.

Interested? Getting started with Linux is easy and non-committal. You can usually get Linux free of charge and try it on your current PC without erasing or modifying anything.


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