Linux operating system is no new name to the average computer user globally but most are yet to test it out or consider using it for various reasons which we are going to highlight in this article.
Linux by the way is the third most used operating system after Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac but still not very popular in Africa and Nigeria in particular as it is the continents biggest economy with over two hundred million people.
For power users and servers, Linux is by far the best option. Think of saving cost, security and stability not to mention real time support from communities or corporate.
Popular Linux distributions can be downloaded or paid for via subscription basis (Red Hat) but there are so many limitations despite it being free software and readily available.
Here are some major reasons Linux is not commonly used in Nigeria from our studies as we need to improve on it.
Not much is done from even Enterprise Linux distributions such as Red Hat as most Computer users in the region only read about it or hear of it on the internet or so but do not feel the corporate presence of Linux as there is practically no Official Red Hat Office around.
There are a few Red Hat Partners or vendors, Canonical partners or vendors but that’s about it.
This is not nice as these partners may not have the resource to run advertisement campaigns in order to boost patronage.
Few Training Centers
There are very few IT Training centers who focuses on Linux and proper opensource software integration and adaptation in the course of such schemes. Bensoft Enterprise, Linux Professional Institute and a few other firms and individuals do their but to promote Linux and Linux trainings but that’s about it in the region.
It will be nice to see more presence of Linux Training Centers in the country so as to boost its popularity and usage.
Little or no Linux Community in the region
In the same vein as having little or no training centers in Nigeria, the regions also lacks a general Linux community besides publications and a few seminars which are held by Red Hat partners like Gtown Media, Bensoft Enterprise and a few others.
A Linux community will foster good relationship and nurture curios minds willing to test and run Linux as their primary operating system.
It will also promote the culture of open source and create an avenue for developers to test applications or solutions before going mainstream.
Lack of Open Source Culture
Open Source is not just about free software or Linux like earlier mentioned, it is a movement, a culture of collaborations between developers from the down-stream up until the enterprise.
The general notion: open source means free code and barely makes profits scares a lot of developers away from it in Nigeria.
This is very wrong as an average developer in the region aims at making profit from their app or technology. Not everyone considers it wise to make their source code open and readily available.
There is more to open source and yes it is free for most of it, it can also be a multi-billion dollar venture if well nurtured and defined. A look at Red Hat, Canonical and VLC Media player will give everyone an idea of how to make the best of open source culture. Everyone wins
Readily Available Media
A lot of Linux users in Africa came in contact by way of existing Linux users encouragement or the internet. Not until recently, it was very difficult to download large volumes of data from the internet as download speeds were terrible and Linux distributions like Fedora, Debian were as large as 7-8 gigabyte in size.
Getting a distribution’s ISO or media was a daunting task which greatly limited one’s ability to test out a Linux distribution from time to time talk more of updating packages or maintenance.
DVD, CDs and training materials also were a huge problem as little or no Linux vendors exist in Nigeria besides Bensoft Enterprise which ships distros of Linux to any location in the country at an affordable fee.
We do hope things changes soon as internet access is now readily available and it is much easier to access Linux and open source software.