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From The Chief Editor's Desk


It's a great thing in life. We are presented with lots of choices in life. We have many choices about what car we own and drive. We are presented with many choices when we go out to eat at a restaurant. We typically date several members of the opposite sex so we can have a choice of mates. We can usually make a choice about where we live, how we get around where we live, what clothes we wear, the goods and services we buy, etc., etc.

When it comes to the commercially available operating systems, however, there isn't a lot of choice. On Windows, you have one choice for a desktop. It's pretty much the same thing on OS-X. Sure, you can change the wallpaper, fonts, colors of certain items, and other small things, but you're pretty much locked into one desktop configuration. OS-X has a few more choices, but those choices are rarely explored or used.

Linux users are lucky. There are no less than 20 different desktop environments that Linux users can choose from, with no less than 12 of those being found most predominantly on Linux users' desktops. They include KDE, Gnome 3, Mate, LXDE, Xfce, Trinity, Cinnamon, Openbox, Enlightenment, WindowMaker, ICE WM, Unity, and many more. Most of these (except for Unity and Gnome 3) are available as choices with PCLinuxOS.

Ryan points at the penguins during the Penguin March at the Kansas City Zoo, February 18, 2017.

But the choices under Linux don't stop with just a choice of which desktop environment to use. Take web browsers, as an example. There are currently around 20 different web browsers to choose from under PCLinuxOS. And let's not get started on the number of text editors that are available. It's the same issue with graphic editors – numbering more than you realize. In fact, across the board, Linux is abundant with choices in virtually every software category.

Don't let anyone tell you "Linux can't do this," or "Linux can't do that." Chances are very good that not only can Linux do a particular task or thing, but you will also likely have choices to make about which program to use. Even in the past 10 or so years that I've used Linux, the choices have expanded greatly.

As more and more people get fed up with the lack of choices with the commercially available operating systems, Linux is poised for phenomenal growth. The same could be said regarding the increased costs of using the commercial operating systems, where you pretty much have to buy each program you want to use. With Linux, not only is the operating system free, but so are the vast choices of programs you use.

Sure, there are areas where Linux still has room to grow, but even those areas are quickly shrinking. Increasingly, software and hardware producers are realizing the purchasing power of the increasing ranks of Linux users.

Choice. Linux is all about choice. It's nice having choices.

Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.

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