1) Linux is free !
Linux distributions can be obtained freely and copied at will.
2) Linux is open source !
The sources of Linux and thousands of other open source applications are readily available. Learning to build software becomes easy just by looking at those examples.
3) Linux has a community of users !
Linux is not only an operating system but also an extensive community of users willing to share experiences and support each other. The Linux User Group of Mauritius (www.linux.mu), among others, represents this community in Mauritius. Extensive user documentation created by fellow Linux users exists on the Internet (www.tldp.org).
4) Linux runs thousands of software !
A Linux distribution typically contains loads of software (e.g. Redhat Linux 9 comes with 1402 software packages) and many more can be obtained on the Internet (e.g. on www.freshmeat.net and www.sourceforge.net). Most of these software packages (e.g. productivity, graphical, educational, software development or Internet applications) are free.
5) Linux is robust, secure and efficient !
Linux has been designed to be very robust (it recovers gracefully from the whole range of exceptional situations), secure (every user can have private files and specific privileges) and efficient (it can be used on previous generation computers like 486s and Pentium I). Some very well-known companies now use Linux for their processing needs (e.g. Amazon, Google, the NASA, the CIA and even our own Mauritian Servihoo).
6) Linux is based upon open standards and open protocols !
Linux implements most open standards and open protocols including but not limited to TCP/IP, HTTP, MathML, PNG, SOAP, Web Services, XHTML, XML, XSL…
7) Linux is compatible with everything else !
Linux can easily coexist and work with all kinds of alternative operating systems systems (like Unix, Windows, MacOS…). Linux applications can also read and write files in proprietary format (like .doc or PDF). Linux can even run some Windows applications (most notably office applications).
8) Linux is an excellent environment to learn programming !
A Linux distribution comes with numerous software development environment and compilers (for C, C++, Java, Python, TCL/Tk, Fortran, Ruby…).
Java 2 Enterprise Edition is also available through the freely available J2EE implementations from Sun or JBoss. With the availability of the two leading open source databases in most distributions, PostgreSQL and MySQL, a student has all the tools required to learn to build extensive enterprise software applications.
9) Linux can be easily administered remotely !
Every computer running Linux can be administered remotely using the very secure SSH protocol. This means that all eventual maintenance and installations can be done remotely. This implies that every school need not have a local system administrator.
10) Linux is being promoted by some very well-known companies !
IBM (www.ibm.com/linux), HP (www.hp.com/linux), Oracle (www.oracle.com/linux), SAP (www.sap.com/linux), Sun (www.sun.com/linux) and other well-known companies are heavily investing and developing products for Linux.
This clearly shows their trust in Linux.
Linux is the future !
Thanks to all those who have contributed ideas and to Yash Nursinghdass in particular.