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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Operating System?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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In looking for an open source operating system, you should consider what types of programs you need to run with the operating system (OS) you choose. The software you want to use is one of the primary issues you should keep in mind as you look for an OS, since many programs can only work with certain systems. You should also look at the community that supports or uses any open source operating system you are interested in, to ensure as many additional features as possible. If you are interested in working on such a program, you should consider the code behind the program and choose one that you can effectively work on.

An open source operating system is an OS that is developed under an open source or public license. Such programs are developed and released without copyright protection, allowing any other users to utilize and alter such programs as they see fit. This means that an open source operating system can be changed and improved upon by numerous developers, often resulting in multiple releases, patches, and updates that occur much faster than commercial software.

As you look for the best open source operating system for your needs, however, you should keep in mind any other software you need to use on the system. Most programs are developed to function with a specific OS or sometimes with multiple systems. This means that any program you want to use on your computer needs to be compatible with the OS you are using.

You may be able to find tools or utilities that allow an open source operating system to emulate a commercial OS, allowing you to run compatible software on that system. This all depends on the OS you choose, however, and the types of tools that have been developed for it. Some of the more common open source systems have such a large and devoted community that people may create patches that allow some programs to work on the OS.

An open source operating system that you want to use with business computers should also provide you with any additional tools or utilities you may need. There are a number of open source programs that often work with open source operating systems, which can be used for a variety of business tasks. Such software includes word processing programs, software for making spreadsheets and presentations, and even financing and accounting programs.

If you are interested in changing an open source operating system you use, then you should consider the code behind any program you are interested in. Though you can effectively change any open source OS you choose, some may be easier to work with or already have some features you want. You should also consider the size of the community that supports any OS you are interested in, as this can have a tremendous impact on updates for the program and other users who can help you begin using and altering such software.

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