Linux is an open source operating system and it is the major OS used in servers and supercomputers. Ubuntu, one of the best known distributions has been gaining space in the personal computing scene, now days already being factory shipped by major manufacturers.
But how practical is to migrate to a Linux distribution? Well, very. If one passes beyond the hassle of backing up data and installing a new OS, there are many advantages that come with it. For starters these OSs are safer than any Microsoft or Apple OS. There is a large community of users sharing solutions to problems, bugs and so on (there hasn’t been to today a widespread of any malware through Linux systems). Being open source, the distributions are perfect for customization, something really useful for science labs.
A Small list of distributions that make a good starting point:
The robot operating system is a flexible framework for writing robot software. It is a collection of tools, libraries, and conventions that aim to simplify the task of creating complex and robust robot behavior across a wide variety of robotic platforms.