Why Isn't Linux the Standard Secondary OS?

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 09, 2010

Recently, I've been using a MacBook Pro that has VMware Fusion installed so that it runs both the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows XP. A friend set it up for me this way, and it's really quite useful to take advantage of virtualization to have access to two robust operating systems and applications available for both of them. I can work with Photoshop and Illustrator, and on video tasks, on the Mac OS, and still jump into Windows to use various useful utilities and open source apps that I like. As I've been using both operating systems, though, I keep wondering why Linux isn't a second or even a third one on systems configured this way.

Of course,VMware and the other proprietary virtualization players have been besieged for some time by free virtualization in operating systems and free, open source offerings. I've also written before about how the Linux-based Google Chrome OS, due in a couple of months, may become an adjunct operating system on many computers.

Still, many people use multiple operating systems now, and so few use Linux as one of their choices. Among other reasons why Linux can function as a great sidekick to the more prevalent operating systems is that it's more secure. If you're going to jump into, say, an online banking app, why not do it in Linux, where the hackers and script kiddies aren't?

Additionally, many Linux distros instantly get you going on tasks instead of staring at hourglasses and are streamlined for quick results. It has long been a presumption in the Linux community that for it to really succeed, it has to be the sole OS on everyone's desktop. Why does it? The answer is that it doesn't have to do that.

I'm already contemplating adding a Linux distro to the VMware-based system I'm running, and evaluating which one to use. It makes lots of sense.