4 Ways Linux Is Spreading Affordable Computing Around The World

Danny Stieben 26-07-2014

You’ve maybe heard that Linux is everywhere, and has the potential to be everywhere, including places in the world where computing needs to be extraordinarily affordable. Linux is the perfect solution for this, but why? Let’s check out four reasons why Linux is helping spread computing all over the world.


Linux Runs On Any Hardware

Linux is very portable, meaning that it can run on any hardware. Need a bit more performance? It’ll run on x86-based processors. Need to sip as little electricity as possible? It’ll also run on ARM-based processors. Have any other needs that other hardware and different CPU architectures can satisfy? Linux can run on all of them. To prove this, we even wrote an article about 10 places Linux runs that you might not think of Linux Is Everywhere: 10 Things You Didn't Know Were Penguin-Powered If you think the world rests on Windows, think again. Linux plays a crucial role in keeping our world going. Read More . This is partially thanks to how Linux was written, so that only minor modifications need to be made to allow Linux to run on other architectures, and partially because of its open source license that allows others to port it to whatever systems they need it on.

Linux Is Lightweight

Not only can it run on any type of hardware, but it can also run on hardware that a lot of people may initially think is underpowered. Of course, Linux isn’t the leanest piece of software out there, but when combined with lightweight alternatives for desktop environments (such as LXDE Using An Old Computer? Give It New Life With LXDE As Linux is arguably the most customizeable operating system between it, Windows, and Mac OS X; there's plenty of room to change just about whatever you please. Proper customizing can potentially lead to massive performance... Read More ) and other software, it certainly needs a lot less resources than other systems like Windows. The best example for this is the Raspberry Pi — with its stats on paper, it looks like it can barely do anything. But with Linux, it can actually do quite a bit — certainly more than a lot of people expected.

Linux Is Flexible

Linux is a lot more flexible in terms of what you can do with it, and this is again all thanks to its open source license. If there’s anything in a piece of software that you don’t like or would like to add to, there’s nothing to stop you. Creating your own solutions to satisfy your own needs Arch Linux: Letting You Build Your Linux System From Scratch For Linux power users, it's highly desirable to be able to completely customize your system. Sometimes, that can be best achieved from the start -- by piecing together the components that you'd like to include... Read More is a lot better (and cheaper) than having to get someone else to do it.

It’s also flexible in the regard that you can piece together all sorts of software to make your own system. Want a desktop environment with lots of features and effects? You can do that. Need one that’s extremely light and barely use any resources? You can do that too. Need a server and therefore no desktop environment at all? You got it.

It’s Free!

Best of all, getting Linux is completely free. Paying for software licenses is the biggest hurdle to affordable computing, and Linux does away with that completely. You can easily download a distribution, install it, and put it straight to work. And for those who do not have an Internet connection good enough to download a distribution, you can buy a CD of most distributions for a small fee.


Try Linux For Affordable Computing

As you can see, Linux has a lot of things going for it that can make computing affordable and accessible. For large organizations, using Linux means that they can spend less and maximize profits. For the average user at home, it means using a reliable, secure, and inexpensive system that can handle all your productivity needs. For areas where computers are uncommon, it allows them to receive cheap, low-powered hardware and load Linux on them for them to work. With Linux, all of this is possible. That’s how Linux is spreading affordable computing.

In what interesting places have you seen Linux run? Where else could Linux be used where it’s currently unpopular? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Robert
    July 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Well, I carefully tried Linux about 8 years ago, and noticed how flexible and user controllable it is! Had at the time quite some problems making a dual boot system, but succeeded. Slowly made the step of using Linux for every day use; bougth a new computer in 2008, again made it dual boot, and used many, many different Linux systems just to find the system I like most. After a few years found that I never even had used Windows, so I removed it all together. I am now so used to Linux, its flexebility, and the enormous amount of (again free) software, software that runs the way you want it to run, and not software that tells me how I should work! Plus installing most of the systems (and there are quite a few, next to all different and wonderful user interfaces, what a choices to be made...) today is mostly a breeze! In fact this is so easy, that for instance installing a brand new release from Ubuntu takes a lot less time then upgrading your existing system! And if you were so smart to save the user settings in a separate partition on your drive, you'll be up and running witin the hour; I remember re-installing Windows XP after a bad crash, which took a lot longer just to get it running!
    I guess it boils down to the question if you want your computer run your life, or if you want to take control yourself. Not a question for me anyway!

    • Danny S
      July 31, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I do have to admit that Linux has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. I took a serious interest in it in 2008, and a lot has changed since then!

  2. Robert G.
    July 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I tried many times Linux, and it's often buggy after an up-to-date. I chose Windows 7 64-bit Pro in replacement of Windows XP, and I like that.

    • Danny S
      July 31, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Which distributions have you tried, if I may ask?

  3. mike
    July 27, 2014 at 5:11 am

    i would love to use linux... the only problem is that i'm a gamer. I know that steam and have made some pretty good progress lately but its still not quite where it needs to be for me personally.

    • Danny S
      July 31, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Keep being patient! The way gaming on Linux is progressing, your patience will eventually be rewarded. :)

  4. michel
    July 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    For most users, there's no advantage to linux. It's difficult if not impossible to buy a new system any cheaper than one with Windows already on it. Why bother downloading and installing something else?

    • ContraptionMaker
      July 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Hate to say your wrong on this, but, your wrong. I can put together a nice system, depending on the hardware chosen, for $300-$400 which will be twice what a preconfigured system is.
      AMD FD4130FRW4MGU FX-4130 Black Ed. Quad-Core CPU and MSI 760GM-P34 (FX) Motherboard and Thermaltake CL-P0503 70mm CPU Cooler Bundle
      Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB Desktop Memory Module - DDR3, 1600MHz, PC3-12800, CL 11, 1.5V - PX38G1600C11
      OCZ Vertex 450 128GB Solid State Drive
      Apex SK-386 ATX Black Mid-T Case w/ 300w PSU
      Total cost: $315 *using on-board video and sound.
      **(prices quoted from
      Not having to buy an OS, depending on the version, can save $90-$200 on a build and I get what I want not what some OEM thinks I need.
      Also, let's say you buy a used computer. Chances are it has an OS on it, but some are wiped clean. If it has an OS on it, what happens when you need to re-install that OS. Did you get the disk and product key for that? What if you decide to set up a home network and need server software? Do you really want to hand over your hard earned money to an all ready rich conglomerate?

    • michel
      July 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Nope, I'm right. I said "most users" and "buy". Not "built by a geek who needs to prove he's always right." Most people just don't want to bother with that, they simply want something they can use. And virtually all computers sold come with an os, usually Windows, installed.

    • jymm
      July 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      I have an HP win 7 laptop that sucked. About 5 minutes to boot up, and 7 minutes to shut down. Spent all my time keeping the thing safe and secure and from screwing itself up with windows. Decide to give Linux a try. Same computer boots a minute and shutdown in seconds. Almost no maintenance or antivirus. Programs are free, and it does everything I want and more. Graphics, music, office, web, email and more. Better question is, why not?

    • Danny S
      July 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I have to agree with jymm. If more users are aware of the potential benefits of Linux, they can try it out for themselves and then decide. jymm's example is just one of many possible benefits.

  5. Adrian
    July 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    The problem with Linux in a corporate environment is that many of a company's associates use mainstream OSs and their software. It's a real pain to get employees to convert between compatible programs on various formats, let alone using emulators and the like to run original software in Linux.

    On the homefront yeah, linux is good. But methinks for the average user, Google Chrome is giving it a good run for its money.

    • ContraptionMaker
      July 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Chrome will never overtake Linux. Why? Chrome is limited to the apps available in the Chrome store and run in the cloud. Linux has real programs that live on your computer. The variety of programs on Linux far outweighs the number of apps for Chrome.

    • Danny S
      July 31, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Don't forget that Chrome OS has Linux under the hood. :)