8 Reasons to Switch from Windows 10 to Linux

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Windows 10 has been out in the wild for a while now. For the most part, people have been really liking it. It’s probably the most streamlined version of Microsoft’s operating system to date. Still, some people aren’t happy with the upgrade and are looking at alternatives.

Introducing Linux: it’s a free and open source platform which many operating systems are built upon. If you’re looking to move from Windows to an alternative, here are eight compelling reasons why you should leave Microsoft for a more free and open source operating system.

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All Linux-based operating systems (for the most part) are completely free. You won’t find yourself driving to a Best Buy to buy your copy of Fedora Linux. All that is required is a USB flash drive, an Internet connection and the know-how to get it installed.

There are hardly any operating systems based on the Linux kernel out there that cost money. Sure, some do cost a fee to get them going, but those are enterprise Linux distributions. When it comes to desktop Linux, the price is a modest $0. This is perfect for those who can’t spare the $199 cost to get a full-featured copy of Windows from a big box store.

linux-free-software

More free stuff. Sounds good, right? If you were to install Ubuntu Linux on your laptop, you’d have access to tons of software totally free of charge. You see, Ubuntu operates on the notion that software should be free. Sure, if you look hard enough, you can probably find some programs that cost money, but paid software is largely a minority on the Linux platform.

Yes, there are free programs on Windows too, but most of them are not first-class programs. For example: since Adobe will probably never port Photoshop over to Linux, we have Gimp. Gimp is a huge software project filled with lots of contributors dedicated to making a viable photo editor for the Linux platform (and they also have a Windows version).

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One of Linux’s huge strengths is how seriously security is taken. When you install software it is impossible for you to do so without knowingly entering your password. What’s even better is that when you install a Linux distribution, all the software you will ever need is inside servers that are maintained by the developers of the operating system itself. They go through each and every package and verify that it isn’t malicious and even sign them. This removes the ability for malicious software to install itself (like on Windows).

You’d be hard-pressed to find a copy of Microsoft’s latest operating system that can run on something as little as 128 megabytes of RAM. As for Linux, this is totally possible. If you have an aging computer that isn’t compatible with Windows 10, don’t worry! There are Linux projects out there that specifically focus on old hardware. For example: Lubuntu can run on very little RAM yet allows its users to enjoy a modern, clean operating system.

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When you use a Linux distribution as your main operating system, you’re not expected to have a Microsoft account, a copy of Office 365, Xbox Live, a Skype account and a One Drive account. You’re not forced to participate in an ecosystem that you may not agree with, and Linux isn’t filled to the brim with one company’s “vision.”  Instead, you get to choose your own. Who can argue with that?

linux-privacy

In Windows 10 your privacy is mostly disregarded. A lot of aspects to Windows 10 are less than privacy-friendly. When you use Microsoft’s new operating system, you are telling them that it is okay for them to collect data on you. They harvest information on your device’s location, your calendar data, emails and texts, contact info, and the list goes on. If you’re interested in reading the full write-up on how Microsoft handles your privacy, Christopher Harper has written an article about it here.

If you value your privacy, avoiding Windows 10 is a must. Most, if not all, Linux distributions take your privacy very seriously. You won’t find a bubbly talking assistant on your Linux desktop collecting data and information on you for financial gain. What’s even more important is that if a Linux distribution is found to disregard your privacy, it will be quickly called out by the large community of Linux developers and fixed quickly.

linux-open-source-logo

Most, if not all, Linux distributions are made in part by open source technologies. A vanilla installation of your favorite Linux-based operating system likely won’t contain any closed-code programs. This makes it easier to give away the operating system for free, but it also means that modification of the operating system is legally allowed. This means that if you want, you can freely modify your operating system until your heart is content.

If you’re really good at programming, you can even join up with your favorite Linux distribution and contribute to it. All of the code used is open and publicly available for everyone to see, and anything is possible.

linux-customization

Have you ever wanted to change the icons or the way the folders look in Windows? What about the overall way the task bar looks? Maybe you just want to try out a new desktop entirely. On Microsoft’s operating system, this isn’t entirely possible. You’re stuck with the Windows 10 look, and there’s just no getting around that.

On Linux distributions this is not the case at all. You can take apart your operating system, and replace the icons, the desktop theme and nearly anything else you can think of. By doing this it’s possible to take Linux and make it truly unique. The same can’t be said for Windows 10.

Every year the reasons to switch to Linux increase. There’s no doubt that the Linux platform has matured past being an “operating system for hackers” to being something that everyone can enjoy. Hopefully this list will help those unsure of abandoning Windows 10 for a better platform that respects freedom of choice, privacy and software freedom.

Linux users: when did you switch to Linux? Tell us below!

Image Credit: Max Linux Penguin, Arc

180 comments

  1. I started dual booting Windows and Redhat way back in 2000 but I didn’t make the full jump until 2006. I’ve been using Ubuntu exclusively since then.

    • My story is almost the same, Carlos. I started playing with Red Hat in 2000 and later with Debian and Mandrade. In 2006, I discovered Ubuntu Dapper and got rid of Windows altogether. I use Arch now.

  2. ‘If you value your privacy, avoiding Windows 10 is a must’

    When installing W10 you can decide via the sliders which access you deny to protect your privacy, ain’t that enough?

    • Opting out isn’t enough, as it’s closed source so there’s really no way to know if that is even the extent of their privacy violations.

      • Derrik is 100% correct! You have no idea what the OS is doing, whether it is sending small packets of data to a Microsoft database or maybe sending it to the NSA.

        I don’t trust closed source. You have no idea what they are hiding.

        • Just for drill, I put a remote network packet capture tool (rpcapd) on my router, and pointed a copy of Wireshark, a network “sniffer” at the remote capture tool. This setup would allow me to see (and save) EVERYthing going into/out of my home network. I then proceeded to fire up a laptop which had a copy of Windows 10 on it, one that had been installed with all of the spyware aspects turned off, plus a local account vs an MS account, and a few additional tweaks via gpedit.msc, thus (supposedly) rendering this install of Windows 10 “castrated”. Alas, that was not true.. A look at what the laptop blabbed to during the 8 hours I left it turned on/connected to my wifi looked almost identical to the lists of MS (and other servers) that a “default” install of Windows 10 talks to.. My take from this is MS has ZERO credibility when they say that you can disable the privacy aspects of Windows 10. Contrast this with a Windows 7 system, with the force-fed “telemetry” updates removed and blocked, Windows update disabled, and a 8 hour “soak” on my network… Absolutely NO backchannel talk to any of the many MS servers in the Windows 10 lists… I’m a retired 19+ year sysadmin, having supported/used MS products during that 19+ years, but when I retired in 2010, I decided I was moving to my first love, Linux, on all of my home systems, and after seeing Windows 10, I couldn’t be happier..

          • Was WAP Push Message Routing Service disabled, and AllowTelemetry=0 added to the registry?

            It seems odd that you only tried group policy editor for Win 10, but for Win 7 you do all sorts of other things. It seems not quite fair.

            That said, I haven’t tried win10, but I think if one is diligent enough the stuff can be “blocked”. Any stuff that is left wouldn’t even matter, I’d think.

          • joe_anon, no one should have to go to those kinds of lengths to protect their privacy on their OS on their computer. Only seasoned Windows pros are going to even know to fiddle with Windows Services and change the registry.

          • I’d love to know how much CPU/RAM usage the Microsoft spying takes up on average. I keep hearing silly issues about SuperFetch and other System threads munching up resources with some of the recent updates…

      • Closing all programs, so (allegedly) nothing is using the net, opening up a terminal and doing ‘netstat -n -tcp’ gives
        one a rough idea of what Windows is *actually* doing while it’s supposedly doing nothing. Some of the Sysinternals monitoring programs tell a lot too, or used to, but Sysinternals was “assimilated by the borg” a number of years back, (probably because their programs were exposing too much MS didn’t want exposed, so they figured they’d just hire the guys and cut their losses, call me cynical…), and they’re closed source, so who knows if they can be trusted these days. I agree with Dan, I wouldn’t trust Windows as far as I could throw Bill Gates. For that matter, ANY form, from ANY OS, of “automatic-anything”, over the net, to me, is a bad idea, unless it’s a cron job, or a script you wrote yourself. The whole reason I got involved in tech in the first place, back in the early 90s, was because I wanted to know as much about what (at the time, Win95 and a dual boot w RedHat4) were doing, as I could, because for all I knew, it *could* be doing anything. It’s really gotten worse than I could have imagined (at least while I was still young and fairly optimistic about the intentions of “the system”). Though always on, broadband connections were a massive improvement over 33k dialup, the potential for abuse I thought they *might* have, when they first showed up, apparently has been fully realized, though not by the “hackers” *I*, back then, was thinking might abuse it. As if Govt. blanket surveillance wasn’t enough, now every electronic device wants permission (though *asking* for it, is probably just code for “we’re gonna spy on you anyway, so you may as well just give us permission”) to report who you are, where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and anything else they think may be relevant or useful in turning a profit at some future date, wouldn’t surprise me if your toaster was doing it. Running Linux really is your only option if you value your privacy AT ALL, and you could run Linux on a watch if you were so inclined, e.g. OpenWrt is pretty much a full blown Linux OS, yet you can run it on a router, mine has 8mb flash and 32mb ram, 94% free with a default install (though I might have to add a usb drive depending on what programs I load).

        Great article, and absolutely correct, there’s never been a better time to dump Windows, or at least give Linux a TRY, the difference between RedHat4 and say, FedoraCore22 is night and day, 1000x easier and more stable in every respect. There’s not even anything to lose but a blank dvd, and a little bandwidth, since most (all?) distros have the option to download a live disk these days, so you can take it for a test drive without touching your current install, and they COME that way, making a “live” Windows with AIK (was) a MAJOR pain, and kind of inaccessible to the average user, there are a few other ways, and I think Win10 added that capability natively, but you (of course) need a Windows ISO, or a MSDN subscription, to make a live disk, and you have to purchase that, (to be legal about it anyway) so….

        All in all, using Windows for me anymore feels like having only one arm, (but I will give MS points for *finally* adding virtual desktops to Windows10) I’m glad I don’t have to use it all the time, I’d be crippled. I have a dual boot laptop now, ONLY because a lot of the exploits to root/flash certain tablets and smart phones require a Windows box, so I need one, because, you know, Android un-rooted, (Linux kernel based or not), is…. well…. don’t even get me started on that….

        • Heh.. I read ya on the “rooting/flashing often requires Windows”… I had to go borrow a friends Windows 7 laptop to root my new (to me) Nexus 4 yesterday, as all of my systems are Linux, and have been 100% Linux since 2010…

          • I love it when people just make stuff up.. I’ve rooted/flashed custom roms on every HTC I’ve owned since 2007 on either Ubuntu or Linux Mint.. I’ve even done a couple of tablets.

            Infact, I didn’t even need a computer to root my M8 the last time I did it, simply downloaded an apk for a program called weaksauce on my phone from a site and ran it and boom.. It was rooted.

          • I’ve rooted quite a few devices from an old Samsung Galaxy Tab to an LG G3 with my Linux machine. Just google “How to root (device) with (distro)” if you need a guide to rooting your stuff.

  3. There are too many distros to choose from
    Things change too fast in Linux.
    Linux software is way behind Windows and Mac.
    The Linux learning curve is much steeper than Windows.
    etc. etc. etc.
    /sarcasm

    • Have you actually used Linux? I use Ubuntu Linux at work, and I have dual boot computers with Win/Ubuntu and I also have a Macbook Air. From the three OS, Linux is the much easier to use, my kids use Linux and it is not true that Linux have a stepper curve. Mac (OS X) is the one with a stepper curve, it make some simple operations unecessarily complex and/or longer, such as move files or delete a word (not through back space.)

      As for software, yes it true that there are some dedicated software such as Photo retouch/manipulation or CAD that the leading applications are not ported to Linux (although you might run them through wine), however, for the average Joe (probably 90% of the population) the apps in Linux are more than enough.

      As for distros, the best alternative for people coming form Win/Mac is Ubuntu since it easy to use and you can install natively popular apps such as Spotify, Dropbox, etc.

      • @Marco J:
        I was being sarcastic. I started playing with Linux in the late 1990s. I went 100% Linux in 2008.

        “As for distros, the best alternative for people coming form Win/Mac is Ubuntu”
        For those switching from XP, Vista or Win 7, Zorin is better than Ubuntu. For those switching from Win 8 and later, Ubuntu with Unity desktop environment is recommended.

        I tried Ubuntu and discarded it. It is like Windows written in Linux and Canonical is trying very hard to become the Microsoft of the Linux world. I know that Ubuntu is the most popular and the most pushed Linux distro but I did not switch from Windows to Linux to be put into another straight jacket (Ubuntu). I prefer distros that allow me more control over my system than the Ubuntu-based ones. Currently I am using PCLinuxOS and antiX.

        • I know right? Finally, someone else who thinks Ubuntu is the Windows of the Linux world. Kind of annoying that a lot of times, if you happen to need a certain program for something, for instance PIA has a VPN app for Win, Mac, Android, IOS, and (they say) Linux, but when you look at the page, evidently they think Ubuntu is the only distro. I have to just use OpenVPN and connect with a terminal, not a *huge* deal, but it’s irritating. It’s absolutely NOT the best distro out there at all, but just because so many people use it, it’s easier to find “how tos” and such, for Ubuntu with just a web search, other distros it’s easier to just go to their forum ask your question and wait for an answer.
          Eventually I got totally away from using “Desktop Environments” at all, I started using OpenBox, then IceWM, now WindowMaker in OpenSuse (though I’m thinking I might go over to one of the “pure” distros). Just using a window manager puts such a lighter footprint on things, and atm I just don’t have enough computer to run a DE. I had a hard time parting with KDE, because I REALLY liked the eye candy, I mean zooming your desktop out onto a 3d sphere, with windows hovering above, and a different wallpaper behind it, and spinning it around, is just TOO cool (the sheer customizability of KDE is amazing, but the window animations are my favorite part), ultimatelt it eats too many resources though. Maybe when I build my next box I’ll have enough power to not worry about it, but now that I’m used to it, I really kinda like WindowMaker.

          • Ever since ENIAC came into use, the computer industry has proven that “nature abhors vacuum” over and over again. As soon as more capable hardware is released, new software is released that requires 110% of hardware’s capability to run optimally. It’s a vicious cycle. So by the time you build your next box with “enough power” to run KDE well, KDE will require more than you have. :-)

          • Couldn’t agree more, you’re hitting all my favorites in the “stuff I hate” department, imagine how Windows 3x, 95, or NT, or one of the early Linux distros would run with 8GB of RAM and a 1.5 Ghz processor. I had RedHat4 on a dual boot with Win95 on one of my first boxes, it was a bear to get XWindows running back then, but it was screaming fast as a terminal only OS. Windows95 maxed out my 64mb ram, 3.5gb hard drive and mmx processor pretty quickly too, it’s never enough…..

      • See my comments at the end of the thread. The fact that basically any industry standard creative software has not been ported is a crippling problem… and it’s one the community could have done something about. It’s too late now.

    • You should really try Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Ubuntu MATE in dual-boot or virtualbox. I think you will love them. I’ve started with Ubuntu, i used archlinux, but i think the closest OS to windows from Linux, is one of these. I used these all, and now i’ll stay with Lubuntu. I like Openbox desktop. But you should begin with the native desktop. Openbox, it’s NOT for beginners.

      • “You should really try Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Ubuntu MATE in dual-boot or virtualbox. I think you will love them.”
        I have tried them. They are too much like Windows in look-and-feel, lack of control over the system and in corporate philosophy. The only good thing I like about Ubuntu is that it is free.

    • Huh? I guess dragonmouth doesn’t like choices. The more the better, you find a distro and stick with it. Also, it allows you the user to get involved in the evolution of the distro.

      You obviously don’t use Linux, it is not behind, it is ahead. Look at Windows 10 front-end, it looks like KDE to me.

      You don’t know what you are talking about.

      • I was being sarcastic as I indicated on the last line. I guess Dan reads selectively. :-)
        The four points that I made, along with “you MUST learn a bunch of hard commands” and “Linux has hardware driver problems” are the main arguments that Linux-haters use to disuade people from switching.

        ” I guess dragonmouth doesn’t like choices.”
        I don’t like balkanization. Why do we need 50-75 different spins based on Ubuntu? Every time somebody wants to make a minor change, they grab *buntu and create new distro. We now have spins of respins of spins of respins. How many of the 800+ distros in the DistroWatch database are actually unique and how many are just copies of each other with cosmetic changes.

        “You obviously don’t use Linux”
        You’re right. Even after using Linux for 8+ years, I still consider myself a beginner.

        • @Dragonmouth, I have never had hardware driver issues with Linux, but only once. It finds everything from old to new. The problem I had one time was with a weird generic wireless NIC.

          Ok, I am sorry, I didn’t catch you being sarcastic.

          To each his own, I just like Linux. Been using it for 17 years, it has come along way. Personally, I think the main distros like Ubuntu, SuSE, etc.. are getting to bloated, but that is what is nice, I have a choice. I have get a super lightweight version that runs fast.

          • I would love to find an alternative to Windows 10….ever since I have loaded it my desktop and laptop freeze constantly especially when I am on facebook….my page is very very busy and I keep getting lags and freezes while on it even with switching browsers from firefox and chrome….my problem is I do not know how to install Linux based software or how to use it or even if I can with my wifi and whether I would encounter programs that would not run that I have now….so any help or advise would be appreciated
            ps. would I be able to change the OS of my new galaxy s5 neo as well
            thank you

    • I use both and I love Linux but it does have its drawbacks.

      Ubuntu’s six month upgrade schedule is arbitrary at best. I can’t tell you how many systems I’ve upgraded to the “stable” edition and had programs stop working because the library file they depend on no longer exist or is the wrong version.

      For all of Windows’ faults (and there are many), there are 2 reasons to use Windows:

      1. Software installs without a hitch (no finding library files, installers for this/that distro, etc). Installing software just works.
      2. Most of the time, upgrading the system does NOT result in breaking normal software packages (please notice I said “Most of the time”).

      Linux has some better tools out of the box and it manages memory MUCH better, but there are advantages for using Windows.

      • “but there are advantages for using Windows.”
        There are advantages and disadvantages to each and every O/S out there. In spite of what Microsoft and Apple insist on, there is no one-size-fits-all O/S.

        • ” there is no one-size-fits-all O/S.”

          True of Linux, too (you left that out).
          As I said, I use both Linux and Windows and I like (and simultaneously) dislike components of both OS’s.

          Rarely use MACs.

          • I don’t know how you managed to construe that my statement was about any specific O/S. I don’t think I could have been clearer that it applies to ALL O/Ss, those for PCs or tablets/phones, mainframes, servers, etc.

          • Now, now. Calm down, it wasn’t meant to be vicious.

            You said “There are advantages and disadvantages to each and every O/S out there. In spite of what Microsoft and Apple insist on, there is no one-size-fits-all O/S.”

            What you should have said “There are advantages and disadvantages to each and every O/S out there. In spite of what Microsoft, Apple and the Linux community insists, there is no one-size-fits-all O/S.”

      • Yes i totally agree ! Yes you have nail it exactly to the point of 2 of the most reasons why users wont get further from that ”try and leave Linux”. Linux for Desktop use should get only one installer solution / the best way should be installing from binary or having web service for converting package for all package installers having it all covered and that with full mouse support (why we have mouse supported at all under Linux if not used to max possible extent ? Another Linux abandon reason !) so we have all the app available to all Linux Distros but this is only very wet wishand very statistical unlikely ! Linux is still not user friendly enough ! Look at BSD only one package management ! With some sort of standardizing Linux will newer be user friendly enough and will be what it is strong purpose OS even for Desktop use ! Either you get some sort of Linux expert power user or even more or simply tolerate Microsoft Forceful Politics of use and forced services ! Common user rely does not have much other choice ! My hope is that Android for Desktop overtakes PC-s but with full blown desktop like ease of use with full mouse support and ease of use just like Win XP was !

    • Sooo true. I have a whole text log of distros I’ve tried. Most were duds – except the Ubuntu flavours, most installed and worked fine.

  4. 2. Free programs: Not a reason to switch. Most programs I have run – from DOS to Windows 10, from PalmOS to Android – have been free. Lots of free stuff on Windows is not available on Linux. Most of the really great free stuff on Linux is available on Windows (cross-platform). The wealth and breadth of free programs on Windows blows Linux out of the water. I do not have a problem seeing top-quality commercial programs on Linux. This should really should say Free AND Open Source Philosophy and the merits of this (which also speaks to security and privacy).

    3. Better security: Generally speaking, I agree. Still, I have an issue with the lack of built-in firewall. Not only are they not ON by default, they aren’t nearly as full-featured (and easy to use) as their Windows counterparts (MITM, HIPS, Auto-sanboxing, real-time scanning of data-packets). Ease of use helps novices better secure their systems. Linux also doesn’t take viruses seriously and scoff at anti-viral apps the same way Apple use to…

    6. Your privacy is taken seriously: THIS. It should be the Number One reason. It’s the reason I made the switch. It’s also part of Securing your System.

    Fairly good article. Love that Linux is available and truly appreciate the efforts of the entire community – so I’m not being critical of Linux. I just prefer a certain level of objectivism (is this a word:-). People making the switch should be prepared for the pluses and minuses. Dependencies/libraries, lack of true portable apps, lack of up-to-date apps in the repos (forced to add PPAs in a convoluted install process, trusting 3rd-party sites/forums that these PPAs are safe), file-system (ugh…).

    • “Still, I have an issue with the lack of built-in firewall.”
      Many distros come with Shorewall, Selinux or other firewalls. All you have to do is to configure them to your requirements, just as you have to configure Windows firewalls.

      “forced to add PPAs in a convoluted install process, trusting 3rd-party sites/forums that these PPAs are safe”
      PPAs are no different than third-party Windows software sites. Some are good and some are sketchy. But you can run the Ubuntu-based distros without evewr needing to use the PPAs. You can also avoid PPAs by using any of the 200 or so distros that are not Ubuntu-based.. Their main repositories are maintained by the developers, so there is no question of them being sketchy.

      • Selinux was pretty comprehensive last I checked, since it was created by the people most folks want to keep out, i.e. the NSA, there’s also Tripwire if you’re really paranoid (it’s a pain to build and configure, but it’s effective). If you’re getting everything from a repository maintained by the developer though, how much need is there to worry about a virus? Not that a nasty shell script, or a root kit is out of the question, it’s just less of a concern than it is in Windows, Windows is an ‘attack vector’ in and of itself. I’m honestly more concerned about the AV companies CREATING the viruses they allegedly protect you from, it IS, after all, of FAR MORE interest to them, than to, say, some disgruntled programmer with a chip on their shoulder. Writing software takes A LOT of time and effort, it’s a lot of work to do for no paycheck, especially software designed to subvert OTHER software written by people who DO collect a paycheck (what can I say, older I get, the more of a conspiracy theorist I become :-D ), so how UN-likely is it they ARE being paid? Just sayin….. ;-)

        No, the stuff [my] Windows collected like a whore house collects social diseases, was from all that wonderful “free” software out there, even the free software that WAS good once upon a time, is now bloated and full of ad/spy/ransom-ware, been there, done that. I’m sorry, I’ve just never bought it, and I STILL don’t buy it, any time I ever ran AV software in Windows, I had more trouble with IT than anything it “protected” me from. Refusing to install signed programs unless it was disabled, (or completely uninstalled) false positives, etc etc etc, and of course, not updating till the company had extorted another $50 out of me, finally I just dumped Windows entirely, problem solved. I don’t know about the GNU/Linux philosophy, but that’s why *I* scoff at AV(but I kinda scoffed at it when I ran Windows too). In the end, as someone once told me, “Dave, nobody’s your friend when it comes to money”, he was absolutely right, consequently, I trust “Free and Open Source”, less for its lack of a price tag, and more for the fact that none of the developers are in it to get rich. The fact I can RTFS and see for myself it’s not doing anything nefarious behind my back doesn’t hurt either. So FTR, I do agree with Carlos that, free (as in free beer) was not the reason I stopped using Windows, beyond Windows itself, I could count on one hand the number of programs I paid for, I just got tired of having Microsoft’s “vision” shoved down my throat. ….oh, and the word you were looking for was “objectivity”, but hey, I personally sorta like “objectivism”, call it “a writer taking creative license”. :-D
        Cheers all

    • Its possible to dual-boot. That is install Linux after Windows and when turning on your system you have the option to boot either Linux or Windows. Note: Linux needs to be installed second, Windows doesn’t play nice with the GRUB bootloader.

      • “Note: Linux needs to be installed second, Windows doesn’t play nice with the GRUB boot loader.”

        This statement is NOT true! I dual boot with Ubuntu and Win 7. If you don’t hit the down arrow quick enough then you end up in Linux.

        • I said Linux needs to be installed second. Windows will smash any existing bootloader and ignore any other non-windows OSs on the drive.

        • @Zauldy:
          Windows has ALWAYS insisted on being the only O/S on a drive. To that end it ALWAYS wrote its own boot information into the MBR, overwriting any information already there. Linux, on the other hand, reads the information already in the MBR and adds that information to its own, and the rewrites the MBR which now contains the information for both O/Ss.

          “If you don’t hit the down arrow quick enough then you end up in Linux.”
          That is a different issue. To fix it you need to make two changes to your GRUB configuration file:
          1) Increase the ‘TIMEOUT’ from 5 or 10 to some higher value. ‘Timeout’ is the number of seconds the GRUB menu will remain on the screen allowing you to make a choice of O/S.
          2) If you are only booting Linux and Windows, change the value of ‘DEFAULT’ from 0 to 1. If left alone, GRUB will always boot the first O/S listed which most of the time is Linux. By changing the value to ‘1’ you are telling GRUB to boot the next O/S listed.

          • Windows 10 actually makes this even more true, in terms of being the only O/S. Whether you install Linux first or second on a EFI system. Windows 10 will now remove the linux entry completely from the bios. I redid my system about 4 times to see if it was just a fault. Windows 10 seems to run check at some point while its running. the first time it removed it when Windows Updated, the second took a couple restarts, and the last 2 only took 1 restart when being left on for awhile with windows updates disabled.

  5. Made the switch in 1995. never regretted it. Neither do any of my students. I start them off each year with a blank box, and a Debian install disk. Every year at the beginning of 2nd semester, I ask if they want to switch to Windows. “NOOOO” is what I hear every year.

    Also, Ubuntu-based? since Ubuntu is by definition a subset of stable Debian, shouldn’t you say distros that are not Debian-based? Also, there are way more than 200 of those….

    • It seems to me, you’re doing a great job in class. Bless you. I loved if you we’re my info teacher. :)

    • What George said. Great job.

      ” since Ubuntu is by definition a subset of stable Debian, shouldn’t you say distros that are not Debian-based?”
      That is no longer true. Canonical has made Ubuntu so different from Debian that Ubuntu can be considered a parent distro. For one, Ubuntu-based distros can use PPAs while Debian-based ones cannot; at least not without a lot of effort.

  6. I switched to Linux in 1997, for home use. At work I’ve been on Unix or Linux since 1982. I’ve never heard anybody claim that there are more good programs on Linux than Windows who actually backed up that claim with numbers. In any event, what I know is that whatever I need to do at home, I have always found a good free Linux solution, whether that’s multimedia editing, system backups (sadly, nobody in my family wants to switch to anything from Windows 7 or 8), Windows and Linux system recovery and virus scanning, security camera setups, home network setups, hieroglyphs, documentation, correspondence, bookkeeping, watching videos, or just tinkering around with old or new computers. If I tried to do all this on Windows or, god forbid, Apple products, I’d go broke. The best things I can say about Microsoft is that they do support Linux to some degree, and they’re not Apple. The only time I use Microsoft systems is when family or friends have problems with Viruses and I need to determine what’s wrong this time.

    • You don’t have to spend anything at all on Windows software. Even MS Office is available free now as online apps.
      See “Gizmo’s”.

      • You are correct if you have an Internet connection 24/7/365. If not or if you want/need to work off-line, you still has to buy them.

  7. My biggest reason for trying Linux distros is cause of the fact it’s very difficult to get a virus in Linux and Linux is a lot harder to hack. I tried Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and even the old Linspire (Lindows) And one of my biggest issues was driver problems in all of the distros. Either my wireless card wouldn’t work or my webcam and microphone wouldn’t work or sometimes even my sound wouldn’t work. And trying to find drivers and even installing them were way more difficult then in windows. Eventually I would get so frustrated I would usually end up wiping my drive and reinstalling windows cause at least everything in my machine would work in windows. So until I hear that Linux Distros have the same driver database as windows has, I’m forced to stay in Windows. They fix that and I’ll happily make the switch

    • What is more important to you? Solid security and sketchy drivers (Linux) or solid drivers and sketchy security (Windows)? Apparently you chose convenience over security.

      BTW – my experience with drivers has been exactly the opposite of yours. The hardware Linux recognized with no problems, I needed to find Window drivers for. And I am not talking about exotic or esoteric hardware, I’m talking about HP All In One printers, NVidia and ATI video cards, and Turtle Beach and SoundBlaster audio cards.

  8. i am so glad you brought this up. Absolutely correct. Trawling the net for hours to get a sound card, network adapter or whatever to work properly is made even more irritating by the crowds of tech fanatics flooding the world with indecipherable tech gibberish and dodgy code. WIne– well it sort of works but often slowed down and jerky even for the very old Win games I like to play. I find it hard to trust the linux drivers from the graphics card manufacturers and they do not seem in my experience to give the same control to the user if they work at all. It is a ballache that you need to enjoy unless you just want to surf the net, write office stuff and play cards. I always run a Linux somewhere though, presently Mint17 and I do for some reason enjoy it.

    • I have been using linux since around 1990. I those days it was hard to get things working. I ran slackware which required you to edit text files to get things working. Took me over a week of spare time reading to get networking to run.
      Maybe everyone should say which year it was they tried linux because to be honest this sort of comment I found virtually impossible to apply to current distros.
      There is just ONE caveat – don’t expect it to work without any issues for absolutely new hardware.
      Few manufacturers provide drivers for linux. One exception which stands out head and shoulders above the rest in my view is HP. I have had 4 HP laptops and 5 different HP printers. Example – last year my old HP 1205 printer failed. I bought myself a HP officejet 6500. Plugged it into my network, went to my laptop. Went to settings/printers/add printer/ network printer, waited until it found it, clicked it then next so it installed printer/scanner/fax software which it grabbed off the net – no need to stick a disc in. Printed test page all done.
      For the rest be aware that individuals with the knowledge will write good drivers ( in my personal experience some are better than those provided by the manufacturer ) AND they will be free so all you have to do is wait a while if it is brand new and even then some will work because the hardware is no different to what was in new PC’s a year ago. new ones often only have bigger faster memory/hard discs etc. which make no difference as far as drivers are concerned.
      I have installed mainly Linux Mint it the last few years on HP, Asus, Toshiba laptops and various home built desktops plus about a month ago a dsktop supplied by DinoPC. Honestly no problems with any of them – everything worked first time with all of them.
      Also you can boot a ‘Live’ version of many Linux distros and use them without installing and can quickly find out if you will have a problem.
      Not so with windows – a couple of weeks ago I was asked by a friend to “upgrade” his windows 7 to windows 10. What a laugh – it spent nearly an hour downloading Windows then said it was checking to see if the PC was suitable then started the install. 10 minutes later it said there wasn’t enough room to do the install. It told me how much extra space it needed so I spent 1/2 hour with him uninstalling software he didn’t use and moving photos and so on to DVD’s.
      It offered to try again BUT the stupid thing went through the whole download and the rest again then told me it needed even more space. It took another full cycle to get it installed. Now maybe it was only downloading enough to start the install initially but surely it should know what it needs!

  9. I simply do not understand how anyone can say they actually prefer Linux to Windows? OK, Linux is free and open source, I get that. But I tried Ubuntu and had to give up after 3 weeks due to the difficulties I had with some of my hardware not functioning and the hours of searching to find the correct syntax to type in to perform some quite simple actions – using the command line interface. And I consider myself to be of above average intelligence! The Ubuntu desktop was very uninspiring too…..

    Sure, there are hidden commands in Windows that most users will probably never know or use. But the majority of Windows users will never need to find and learn a long list of commands, as Linux users do. All they have to do is explore the built in tools and just enjoy using their OS and going on the internet.

    • That is a good point – Linux hardware support isn’t as good as Windows, although the gap is closing. The biggest problem on Linux hardware usually revolves around graphics cards and wireless adapters, although Linux wins HANDS DOWN on Ethernet drivers.

      I like both; I use both; I see the ups and downs in both.

    • You should try an other distribution. Every time I try Ubuntu I also have hardware problems where the same hardware works out of the box on other distributions like Mint or Cent OS. Ubuntu is very overrated. I work on Linux for 10 years now and from time to time I try some new distros and look how ubuntu is doing because it stays popular, but it was and still is very unstable in comparison with others. and Chris, the time Linux had problems with wireless adapters is long gone.

  10. as stated above the biggest reason most people haven’t switched to linux yet is the driver situation. fix that and i honestly believe that linux would over run windoz in a very short time! that and someone needs to work on getting directX 12 in a stand alone crossplatform format….i for one love the directX 12 and what it does for graphics.

    • I wish that all those that have hardware driver problems in Linux would be more specific. The statement is so vague that it sound like a troll. If you were calling a help center, would tell them that “My computer doesn’t work” or would you describe your problem as exactly as possible?

      I have been using Linux for over 10 years. I use hand-me-down computers so I have little choice in hardware. I am a distrohopper which means that in those 10 years I have used 50-75 different Linux distributions. I cannot remember the last time I had a driver problem. The default drivers provided by the distro developer work for my hardware. On the other hand, when I was running Win 9x, w2k and XP, I had to constantly be looking for printer and network card drivers. I still have a list of 20+ third party sites that provide missing Windows drivers.

      • Okay, here goes; I have an Atheros chip based PCMCIA card on an old laptop. In Windows XP the card works without a hitch. In Linux I had to use a wrapper to the Windows driver.

        If I weren’t a geek I would have given up on the Linux box. Granted, this is OLD hardware and no one in their right mind uses PCMCIA anymore but this kind of issue is what most people complain about.

        Oh, the internal wireless card works great in Windows and not at all in Linux, hence the PCMCIA card.

      • @dragonmouth. As it was well over a yea ago that I tried Ubuntu, I’m afraid I can no longer remember the exact hardware driver problems I had. That doesn’t mean that I am trolling: it just means that I can’t remember! But if I had called a help centre (is there one for Ubuntu?) at the time, I would have been able to give the technician the specific details. So please don’t try to dismiss the problems I had with Ubuntu by insinuating that I might be just making them up!

        I wish that Linux lovers would be more honest about its disadvantages instead of just singing its praises! Because apart from the difficulty some might face trying to find hardware drivers that work with Linux, Linux oficianados never seem to mention the Command Line Interface and all the complicated commands that users may have to research and learn and THAT was my main reason for deleting my Linux partition!

        • Methinks the lady doth protest too much. :-)

          If you look at my post again, you will notice that I said “all those”, I did not specifically single out “Sheri”. YOU may not be trolling but many others are. Out of all the comments about bad drivers, only one poster specified what hardware he had problems with.

          “I wish that Linux lovers would be more honest about its disadvantages instead of just singing its praises!”
          I wish that Windows lovers would be more honest about its disadvantages instead of just singing its praises! There is little chance that either one of us will get our wish.

          “Linux oficianados never seem to mention the Command Line Interface and all the complicated commands that users may have to research and learn”
          That is one of the Big Lies Windows fanbois like to spread. Using the more popular distros, like Ubuntu and Mint, the anecdotal “average user” can go for years without having to use CLI for anything. Others like Arch, Gentoo, TinyCore are nothing but Command Line. So it depends on the distro one chooses. Of course, if one is a sysadmin or likes to get under the hood, there is no getting away from CLI, but the same is true of Windows.

          • No, dragonmouth, you didn’t SPECIFICALLY single me out: I never said you did! But saying you “wish that all those that have hardware driver problems in Linux would be more specific. The statement is so vague that it sound like a troll” includes me, since I can no longer remember specifically which hardware driver problems I had 2 years ago!

            And I most definitely do not sing Windows praises without acknowledging its disadvantages! I merely made a statement of fact that I can do things in Windows with just a couple of clicks that you have to learn how to use the Terminal to do in Linux.

            And saying that the Command Line Interface in Linux is one of the Big Lies that Windows oficianados like to spread is simply not true. Because even in Ubuntu, which is the Distro I tried, I STILL had to learn how to use the Terminal and find out which commands to use, just to do a few things that, as I have already said, I can do in Windows, with just a couple of clicks!

            And whilst it’s true that only those Windows users who are system administrators or who like to get under the hood, also need to use the command line – most Windows users never have to because Windows just works right out of the box on the computer it came pre-installed on.

        • This is where I have to wonder if trying out the Linux OS is something to find exciting or better?
          Plus the versions aren’t just a few it looks like or distros? There’s an abundance of different ones and how do you know which one to start out with and how to build from there(?) i gather is what comes in time with using Linux.

      • Clearly you have never tried finding a high-end audio interface that works with Linux. Nor have you ever wanted to buy one of those $30 Lexmark printers…

        • You’re right, I haven’t. But then I do not use my PC to listen to music and I use a HP printers.

          I have had more problems with drivers when using Windows then using Linux. I’ve had to hunt for Windows drivers for popular printers, video and sound cards while all Linux distros I used recognized those devices with no problem. I still have bookmarks for 10-15 sites that provide Windows drivers.

          • My point is this: we would like our platform to be something that is used by professionals at the highest levels of industry as well as Joe Average User. If you want the industry pros to use it you had better be able to use things like high-end recording interfaces. If you want Joe Average User then you have to deal with the fact that he/she is NOT going to do research on the hardware they buy; they expect it to work and if it doesn’t they will blame the OS and not the hardware vendor. Joe Average User is not buying the HP or Brother or whatever, he is buying the Lexmark because it’s $25 at Wal Mart.

            The frustrating thing is we could have those hardware drivers. We don’t have them because most vendors are not going to re-roll them every time a new kernel version comes out, and Linus refuses to consider a stable ABI. His answer is always to say that this would not be a prob if the vendors would simply ship drivers with source code but the fact is that this is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN and refusal to accept that is one of the biggest things holding Linux back.

          • It’s the binary interface that allows the kernel to talk to compiled hardware drivers. And no, it’s not stable… drivers compiled for the last kernel version may very well not work in the next one. This means constantly recompiling and redistributing the drivers, and most vendors are not going to do it.

            Some kernel developer a few years ago published a long paper describing why a stable ABI was a bad idea. He had some good technical points, but it completely ignores the hard cold reality that you will NEVER get source code for most of those drivers. We need to stop being purists and simply make it easy for vendors to provide drivers in binary form. That means a stable ABI.

    • It is stupid to run VBox, unless your app has a very low resource footprint. If you’re going to compile a 10GB programs for Windows, I would never recommend doing it in a virtualized environment with shared and tiny resources…

    • @Bruce. Yes, I’m sure it does – but why would you want to? I’d rather install Linux on a VM. Because when I installed Ubuntu on a PC running Windows 8, I could not find out how to boot into Windows by default! So I always had to sit there and watch my PC boot up, in order to catch the very small window where you could select boot into Windows. That was just one of the things I didn’t like about Ubuntu. But the main thing I didn’t like is that I had to use the command line to do things I could do with a couple of clicks in Windows – and trying to find the correct syntax for any command I needed took literally HOURS of searching through the Ubuntu forums.

      • Did you ever think that maybe it’s not Ubuntu but you? Ubuntu did get to be the most popular Linux distro by being difficult. There are millions of happy Ubuntu users around the world who either did not have the problems you did or successfully overcame them. There always is a learning curve when doing something new but one must be willing to climb that curve.

        Ubuntu was designed to minimize the use of command line as much as possible. In more recent versions, Canonical has made it harder and harder to access CLI. Unless you are a Sysadmin you can use Ubuntu GUI tools for all your needs for years without needing to open up Terminal.

        “trying to find the correct syntax for any command I needed took literally HOURS of searching through the Ubuntu forums.”
        This is the one thing you SHOULD have used the command line for. Typing in “man command” or “command -h” at the prompt would have given you the complete information about any and all commands. Books like O’Reilly’s “Linux in a Nutshell” would have also given you the syntax for all but the most esoteric Linux commands.

        “I always had to sit there and watch my PC boot up, in order to catch the very small window where you could select boot into Windows.”
        All you had to do was to go into Ubuntu settings and change the boot delay from 5 seconds to 10, 15 or even 30 seconds. That would have given you plenty of time to choose Windows from the GRUB menu.

        • @dragonmouth. In response to my quote “trying to find the correct syntax for any command I needed took literally HOURS of searching through the Ubuntu forums.”
          Your reply was – This is the one thing you SHOULD have used the command line for. Typing in “man command” or “command -h” at the prompt would have given you the complete information about any and all commands. Books like O’Reilly’s “Linux in a Nutshell” would have also given you the syntax for all but the most esoteric Linux commands.

          Firstly – I did not know about the existence of a “man command” or command-h because I never came across any mention of them, despite trawling through the Ubuntu forums for hours and hours! And secondly, hand on heart, I have never had to buy a book OR spend hours and hours to find out how to do anything straight-forward when using Windows 95 through to Windows 8.1.

          I said “I always had to sit there and watch my PC boot up, in order to catch the very small window where you could select boot into Windows.”
          You said – All you had to do was to go into Ubuntu settings and change the boot delay from 5 seconds to 10, 15 or even 30 seconds. That would have given you plenty of time to choose Windows from the GRUB menu. I do not call even 30 seconds plenty of time! I call being able to answer the front door or take a phone call without returning to find I’ve ending up in Linux instead of Windows plenty of time.

          But hey – you win! Because no matter what I say, you always seem to have an answer that blames my dislike of Ubuntu solely on the fact that I am clearly of below average intelligence (seeing as millions of users all round the world get on with it and I couldn’t!). I could use exactly the same argument in reverse – but I can’t be bothered to argue any more. I have now un-subscribed from this article.

  11. Don’t remember the year. But it was a over night download on AOLdial up to get Slackware floppy disks. Wih a bunch of floppies later and a tedious set up process, presto, I had the best learning tool ever.

  12. I’ve been dual booting with UBUNTU for a long time. There are Windows programs that don’t have a good equivalent in Linux and/or don’t run well with WINE therefore the reason I still use Windows. I limit what I do in Windows and any internet work I can do is done on Linux. Other than the privacy issues I like Windows 10. Again I just limit what I do with it. Maybe I’m just lucky but never have had a driver issue with UBUNTU

  13. Why Linux over Windows?

    Well for me it has to do with the concept of openness and what true hacking was about in the original form. Today when we hear about Hackers it is mostly in the negative. The original hackers were mostly about computer development and traders in computer knowledge. Common practice was an open community believing in the sharing of programs and program development. The term hack meant to chip away unnecessary code in a program to make it more efficient and run better and smoother on the digital platforms. It was common practice to publish code so others could look it over, study, learn and often suggest a better way to perform a routine or sub-routine. People in the know, knew that code would run smoother with less step. In the beginning, memory was expensive and processors were slow.

    Mr Gates never understood these concepts. The concept of sharing, the concept of hacking for efficiency, the consideration of speed or memory. Wasn’t it Bill who was accredited with the statement of we will never need more than 640K or a 10Meg Harddrive? Quite a short-sighted statement.

    Microsoft (after Dos) pushed there Windows with its great GUI. Still pushing further that the GUI could solve everything. NOT! Most of the power in Windows is still done at the CMD line/Dos prompt. Major fixes are not handled through the GUI but via things like Regedit.

    Linux on the other hand will tell you that to become proficient you should understand Terminal commands and still pushes for clarification of the power of Terminal and Root. The concept of Root along override most fault with Windows Security issues. Open and free Linux proves nothing to hide. Windows not so. The very concept of a closed system, makes it a perfect target for less honest hacking.

    I wish to thank Mr Gates and Microsoft for their functions in securing the desire for the last generation in a push to become users of tech. However, by wanting to be the end all answer in a button pushing user base, they are damaging in the dumbing down of students.

    Why has the Raspberry Pi undone any and all projections in sales and marking? Simply put, it because in offers a challenge, is low cost, teaches and promotes learning. (IE it is not a push button operations).

    Living so far for the 58 years of my life and starting as a Tech at the age of 19 with Windows 3.1 and Dos 3.0, I have learned a lot about systems and their associated OS. I now have several computers running dual boot. I have Linux Mint 17.x, WinXP, Win7, Win10, and Android. I run Win Server at work. I will say this – the more I understand Windows (and I have gained much knowledge in the last 40 years), the more I like Linux!

    If you believed me to just rambling, understand that I am currently the family Expert on computer systems and have cleaned crapware, malware, junk files, ransomware and performed general and hardware maintenance off far too many Widows based computers to over the past 40 years.

    Researching systems error and issues give far more possible cause and effects (and maybe) in the Windows environment then the more direct issues and answers provided by the worldwide support you will find for the Linux Community.

  14. Ugh!! The *buntu’s are for idiots who can barely turn on their computers much less actually try to make a change like to the icons.

    All the *buntu’s are doing is making it too easy for the ‘tards of M$ to be the ‘tards of Linux. Making things that easy means the people will remain stupid/ignorant and lazy. Linux was meant as an alternative that Just Works compared to the crapware known as Microslop. It was meant to be safer, allow one to actually enjoy sitting at their computer instead of the constant worry about viruses and such. It was also meant to be used by those who don’t mind being able to have a choice to do whatever the heck one wants to their own system though it might take a little actual *work* to do so.

    If people are too lazy to work with things in /etc or too lazy to switch between root and user so they can install something and then get back to the safety of the user to use it, then they need not be using Linux because they’ll just end up screwing themselves with the Linux OS also.

    Back when I was using Windows (Win3.1 through Win98SE, ~’94-’00), I used to repair Windows users’ systems. I worked at their home by going there instead of having a shop they brought their system to. I can easily say that 50% plus should not have had a computer in the first place and shouldn’t *ever* own one, as I was there at their home at a minimum of every two weeks to fix almost always the same problems. ~35% only wanted to use e-mail or chat and maybe a very few other programs/games – these weren’t too bad about getting their systems all screwed up, but they still did every once in a while no matter how I admonished them or taught them how to stay safe(r). The last 15% were the very few who were like me…they were always hating their computer because of the OS and not because of anything they had done. These were the ones I told about Linux when I myself in the year 2000 switched literally overnight to linux because I got so sick and tired of Microslop’s crapware OS and all the problems it has. My mom, who is now 77, has been using Linux also for the past 6 years. The point being, one simply can’t just switch OS’s and expect suddenly everything to be nirvana. There’s idiots who absolutely *refuse* to get out of root because of any number of (idiotic) reasons – most of them being they’re just lazy.

    My favorite little quip I read quite a few years ago ‘Ubuntu, because Slackware’s too hard’. (BTW, I’ve been using Slackware since 13.1 then only a month or two later 13.37 came out, IIRR)

    • @Big Ugg. Quote “All the *buntu’s are doing is making it too easy for the ‘tards of MS to be the ‘tards of Linux. Making things that easy means the people will remain stupid/ignorant and lazy. Linux was meant as an alternative that Just Works”.

      Firstly, ff Linux did just work as you said, everyone (even those with half a brain) would be able to use it without having to learn a whole new computer language! The fact is that Linux doesn’t ‘just work’ – it requires the user to come to grips with having to use the Terminal (Command Line Interface?) to achieve the same things they can do in Windows using the GUI.

      And secondly, where the hell do you get off saying that 50% of the Windows users you ‘helped’ should not even own a PC????? And if only the last 15% were like you (brilliant in every way), why did they need you to help them in the first place? Also, as you would have only been called in to help those who weren’t clever enough to fix their own computers, you have no idea how the remaining millions of Windows users use their PC’s.

      You’re just a narrow minded bigot, who shouldn’t be allowed to post in public forums!

      • @Sheri:
        I must apologize for the existence of BigUgg. He in no way represents what Linux users are like. To call him a jerk is to insult other jerks. He’s a troglodyte who crawled out of some dark, dank basement.

      • Changing IPs in Windows requires to do ~20 clicks in ~4 different windows. On linux it is a one-liner.
        If you want to do it in Windows CMD, it takes AN AGE to apply the command, and it is a harder to memoryze/modify command.

        If you’re a poweruser in both systems, Linux is definetly better to do ALMOST ANYTHING

        Registry efficiency? It is pure shit.
        GUI being part of Windows kernel? Don’t make me laugh, i cannot think a way to do it worse.

        And about Linux “just not working”, its not like that. You may be used to 2-5 years ago linux distros. Today, most simple distros (like Ubuntu, which I dont like) are way simpler to Windows to set up. All drivers come with system, except some nVidia special drivers. You can install almost every software package from a program which is like the new Microsoft Store, but free.

        Almost everyone in this business who knows what they’re talking about will tell you the same thing: Windows is pure shit we only use when there’s no alternative. The rest usually work for MS and are not allowed to make such statements…

        • Changing IPs? I don’t even know what that means or why anyone would want to do it? I have certainly not had to do it in the 16 years I’ve been using Windows!

    • @BigUgg:
      You are one of those arrogant SOBs that gives all Linux users a bad name. No matter how much help newbies get from other users, they always remember schmucks like you. So you know how to spell “Slackware” and 10 other Linux-related words. BIG, F’ING, HAIRY DEAL! Go back to your momma’s basement!

  15. I have been dual booting windows and linux since about 2004. I have tried many distros and have settled on lunix mint. Not because it is a hackers dream ( because it isn’t) but because I have a business to run and productivity is the primary objective. I need an OS that is reliable and just works when I sit at my work station.

    About 2 years ago an employee left his win os computer on all night right after opening an email with a zip extension. We got hit hard with the crypto virus. All our network storage drives were hit and that includes our two servers. Thank goodness we had backups. That single event triggered a total change from windows (mostly win7) to linux, even our servers are now running linux. There was a learning curve to get our employees switched but it has been worth it. When motivated one finds that GIMP and Inkscape can accomplish as much as other windows apps. Our company uses Quickbooks so it is installed in a virtual machine and locked down. We have taken steps to secure our servers and our networks.

    The apps we use are mostly free such as OpenSCAD and FreeCAD for 3D printing. Fotoxx and Darktable for picture processing, LibreOffice for day to day documents, spreadsheets and drawings, Thunderbird email client and either Firefox or Chrome for web browsing. These apps and some cloud based business programs keep us going and growing without any Microsoft products.

    We have had no driver issues other than going to a manufacturers web site and grabbing the driver needed.

    With linux mint installed on all desktop and laptop computers we have never had so few computer problems and everyone is able to concentrate on their work.

    • @egriffiths. You’re very fortunate indeed if all your hardware manufacturers provided Linux drivers because there are quite a few that don’t! But I’ve made a note of the apps you’ve mentioned – just in case I ever try Linux again :-)

      • No, he’s not very fortunate.

        Most hardware manufacturers provide linux drivers. They even provide the source code of those drivers, most times.
        And in most cases, if a device doesnt have an specific driver, there’s a generic linux driver which makes it work.

        Stop blaiming Linux, you we’re too lazy to make your system work, and since then have decided linux is not your thing. Allow me to tell you that now Linux is much closer to what you seem to be looking for: On most distros you wont have to install a single driver by hand.

        • @Tux. I certainly am not lazy! I spent hours upon hours trying to find out how to get my wifi dongle to work! In the end, I had to buy a new one that was compatible with Linux. There were other problems too but it’s so long ago that I can’t recall what they were now :-/ But maybe Linux has come a long way since I last tried it?

          I’ve learnt quite a lot from Jargos, who has been very helpful and encouraging :-) So I might try Linux Mint soon and make sure I get the Grub customiser, which someone told me about, so I can prevent my PC booting into Linux by default.

          • Stick with Windows, sheri. Your life, as well as your computing, will be much simpler and less annoying.

  16. I am a computer dummy. Always will be – I don’t care to change. Computers are NOT my hobby or favorite pastime. And I have been a Windows user (only) for decades.

    I became interested in Linux when;

    a) The forced updates started to happen on my W7 laptop, without my knowledge and against my wishes – in a tricky .. ‘oops we made a mistake’ manner.

    b) I opened up my daughters new W10 Dell i7 laptop to see what W10 was like and after three hours or so decided it was an ABOMINATION – a cheap circus with a plethora of harrowing, time wasting sideshows.

    c) I was bombarded for weeks on end (here in Sydney Australia) with W10 adverts during my meager TV viewing. I considered them to be the most ORWELLIAN thing I’ve ever seen .. since 1984 anyway.

    Being a computer dummy I was filled with trepidation at loading Linux. After some unsuccessful attempts at dual booting Linux with W7 on my laptop (my fault), I decided to dust off a ten year old Vista desktop and fully load Linux – after some research I chose Mint Cinnamon 17.2

    That was easy, very easy, and computer wise, the BEST thing I ever done by far.

    To cut a long story short, I describe it this way;

    IN IS LIKE STEPPING OUT OF SLAVERY AND SERVITUDE INTO THE SWEET AIR OF FREEDOM !!!

    And contrary to what most computer dummies would think, it is NOT difficult at all. I was doing 50% of my work in a matter of a couple of hours on Linux, and 100% within a couple of days.

    I fully support and concur with, EACH AND EVERY ONE of the eight points, above.

    I sometimes contribute to the forums at bleepingcomputer.com

    Under the Linux page there, I created a thread called ‘My Linux Experience’

    Anyone who want to get a real perspective as to how EASY PEASY it is, please go there and read that thread.

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/591975/my-linux-experience/

  17. I’ve just installed Zorin OS 10 Core, one hour ago. I’M LOVING IT !!!
    It’s based on Ubuntu 15.04. It has the same familiar menu of Windows 7.
    It’s blazing fast.
    :)

  18. As I see it There are those who will “defend” Windows…or Mac till their dying breath. I have used Windows since “The Beginning”…and I have used Macs for a brief period of time as well. But after running into Linux in 2003 I was hooked. now I’m not going to sit here and type 5 paragraphs praising Linux and bashing Windows/Mac. Instead I’ll just give my own personal experience.

    I found Fedora Linux when I was fed up with (yet another!) BSOD on my Windows XP system. I struggled with the install the first three times!…(damn confusing selections!..LoL!) But after getting it installed on my Gateway 3261, I found that it was well put together, had everything I needed app-wise, and couldn’t be “broken” by simply clicking on the wrong thing. I’ve since used Ubuntu, Linux Mint, CEntOS, Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS, FreeBSD, GhostBSD, PC-BSD, Salix, openSuSE, Debian, Manjaro, Makulu, ElementaryOS, Zorin, LXLE, Parsix, and AV-Linux. Now while I can understand someone saying there’s too many distros to choose from and that poses a problem for them, I would point out that if the ONLY flavor of ice cream was chocolate and vanilla and NOTHING ELSE?…the dairy world would see NO SALES!…or at the very least?…microscopic gains! now Linux ain’t ice cream, but if there were only TWO flavors of it? where then would be the impetus to switch over from Windows / Mac?

    I believe that the choice issue some people have is because they of themselves cannot make up their mind. There are over 200+ (maybe more?) versions of the Linux OS out there, and yet, I’ve made my choices my main machine runs Fedora, I have the Gateway laptop running Debian, and a desktop running Linux Mint. I tried Ubuntu, and I DO have it installed on an even older machine from the mid-2000’s but its design is a bit too much for my tastes. But the beauty of the open source communities and developments? is that the info is constantly moving, evolving, and that each and every one of us can CHOOSE to either use it or not,…if you go to Best Buy and buy a laptop or desktop, you’re getting what MS decides is your desktop, File manager, and icons that won’t change period. yeah you can “skin” your Windows OS and get some cool effects but its not changing the entire desktop icons backgrounds, icon placement, size, color etc. So to those who feel Windows 10 is necessary in their lives, I say “More Power To Ya”….as for me? I’ll stay here in Open Source Land, and you can head on down the four color brick road to meet the Wizard……LoL!

    • “There are over 200+ (maybe more?) versions of the Linux OS out there”
      Actually, there are over 800 distros in the DistroWatch database, of which close to 300 are actively being maintained. Not to be pedantic but there is only one Linux. What everyone refers to as “Linux versions”, the distributions (distros), are just different application sets attached to the GNU Linux kernel. To use the hackneyed analogy of cars, think of the kernel as the chassis and the distros as the various sets of options (body, engine, upholstery, etc.) attached to the chassis. No matter what model you buy from which manufacturer, you are basically getting a car. The only thing differentiating the models from each other are the cosmetics. A Ferrari and a Geo are basically cars just as Ubuntu, Puppy and Gentoo are basically Linux. Of course, many people have trouble choosing the options for their car. :-)

      • This has to be one of the best discussions I’ve run into for quite a while. I too, though now hooked on Linux, am not going to sit here and write paragraph after paragraph of praise for it. Like Eddie G., I’ll just relate my own experience.

        Similar to many others here, I ran with Windows from almost the very beginning; 3.1, in my case. In those days, I was like your average Joe; excited about the whole computer concept (I actually started off with a Commodore 64 in ’83, writing my own programs in BASIC (lol)). I went through 95, 98, and then XP…..which I still run an off-line version of, in order to use a handful of graphics apps which simply run better under Windows than they do under WINE.

        Come EOL for XP, I switched virtually overnight to Ubuntu. Like Dragonmouth, I also run elderly (12-15 yr old) hardware by necessity. I refuse to spend hundreds of pounds on a new system, simply to use MyCrudSoft’s ‘latest & greatest’ (hah!) Ubuntu was great to begin with…..then I got infected with the distro-hopping ‘bug’. I’ve probably tried 30-35 different distros during a 6-month period, all the while keeping my initial install of 14.04 LTS. Then I began to notice little niggles occurring, courtesy of the never-ending ‘updates’ from Canonical. First one thing wouldn’t work, then another. THEN I began to suffer from almost continuous graphics freeze-ups, within minutes of booting (I use the built-in graphics; graphic design is my hobby…..I’m mid-50’s, and NOT a ‘gamer’. The on-board graphics work fine for my needs.)

        So I switched to one of my favourites from the distro-hopping period, and one which I kept returning to, again & again; Puppy Linux. Since doing so, and going ‘all-Puppy’ a year ago, I haven’t had a single graphics problem since.

        I agree with Dragonmouth; I also didn’t leave MyCrudSoft’s clammy embrace, merely to be locked into another one. Canonical are trying TOO hard to be the ‘MS’ of the Linux community…..and although it’s a popular distro, I’ve encountered many individuals in recent months who share my views. The ‘buntus no longer work successfully for anything much over 7 years old or so; Canonical is attempting to cater for all the newer hardware, to the extent of dropping support for older stuff. It’ll come back to bite them in the ass, trust me.

        RE; the command-line, well; it’s true that many people never have to use it, especially if they tend to use all the major, popular apps. If you’re like me, and like to use stuff that’s a wee bit out of the ordinary, then the terminal makes life SO much quicker & easier.

        And as for the driver issue? Never HAD an issue in Linux; everything’s covered…..even the NetGear PCMCIA wireless card I use in my ancient Dell Inspiron laptop ( an original 1100, from 2002/3). It ran like a slug with XP…..under Puppy, despite the P4 handicap, it flies. All those drivers you see at the bottom of the screen when you install XP Pro? Every one, without exception, is for a hard-drive or RAID array; just so it can get itself installed. After that, you’re on your own.

        At the same time, I WILL say this; each and every OS out there has it’s pros & cons. That much will always be true. There will NEVER be one that suits everybody.

  19. I tried to build a Linux server, I needed to copy some files into a system directory, I tried dragging and dropping them “Sorry” said Linux Mint, you don’t have permission… huh, where’s the UAC/Sudo box so I can put in my permissions?? oh that only works on the command line.. so easy remembering some huge long path to copy with on the command line.

    Sorry, but screw Linux, Windows is way easier. Not so great on security either now we’ve had Shell shock and various other things, and virtually all the free software that you can get for Linux you can get on Windows too.

    • “Sorry, but screw Linux, Windows is way easier.”
      Windows is easier because you know it. If you spent as much time using Linux as you have using Windows, Linux would also be easy. Do you remember how “easy” Windows was when you were learning it? Or were you born knowing Windows?

    • So install Krusader; it comes with a root mode file manager. There are a few other examples. You have to enter a password to use them but so what… the whole point is to keep a regular user from doing ANYTHING that could bring down the system.

  20. Alex, precisely what dragonmouth said.
    If I tried to build a Linux Server I would fail dismally, though wouldn’t blame Linux for it.

    Eddie G, you sound like a real Wiz, man.
    I too LOVE the idea of OSS. And all of it so high quality and functional in Linux.
    I particularly LOVE LibreOffice. In a flash, it opens PDF stuff that Windows keeps telling me it can’t.
    And It also copes brilliantly with 30 year old Lotus 123 files, of which I have several thousand.

    I’m a happy chappie !!!

    • That’s not a case of not knowing Linux, that’s a case that the same thing is really easy in Windows but needs you to know command line foo in Linux. I wasn’t born knowing any OS, but I bet 99% of people find a GUI file manager easier than trying to copy on the command line.

      • It is also a case of Windows allowing the regular user to perform administrative tasks too easily. Linux makes performing admin tasks very difficult for a regular user. By the time you as the user obtain the authority to perform admin tasks, you are well aware that you are about to mess with system files. That is called security.

        Since day one of Windows, it has been possible for a program running in user space to bring down the entire system. In Linux a user has only read access to system files. A user program can only bring down the user session. The system keeps humming along. If Windows separated user space from system space, much malware would not work.

        • @dragonmouth. I’d be interested to hear which administrative tasks that could mess up your system you would say Windows allows regular users to perform too easily?

          • Installing software. Not requiring a password for that is beyond insane and THE reason it’s so easy to install malicious stuff on a Windows box.

      • You can get root mode graphical file managers. Krusader, for one. You have to enter a password to use them but that’s a good thing.

  21. Today MS Office is a major tool used for work and collaboration with others. Linux does not have anything even close to it. Libre Office is a nice toy, but only a toy.

    • @nmr:
      LibreOffice may be a toy but it is a toy that will read and write all MS Office formats going back to at least the early 1990s. The latest version of MS Office, be it Office 360 or the desktop version, cannot do that. LibreOffice can also read/write many other file formats that MS Office cannot (or will not because of corporate hubris).

      MS Office does have some esoteric, used maybe once a year options that LibreOffice does not. So what? LibreOffice has options that MS Office does not. But, in either case, for daily use those options do not matter.

      • A simple letter to aunt Mary can be written even using vi. Word processor needs to do a little more. Libre Office can read only very simple MS Office documents. Can not handle templates and a little more sophisticated formatting. Can not handle big files either. I tried to work on larger MS Office document. It worked nicely. I saved the document and next day I realized that only ca. 150 pages were saved. The rest just vanished without any warning. My friend tried this document on his computer with the same effect. The same is with Excel and Powerpoint. And of course there is no database compatible with Access.Since I need Linux for other applications now I need two computers. It is OK because computers are not expensive but it is much to early to declare victory over Windows.

  22. nmr;

    Talk to me about toys – I saw enough of them when I spent a few harrowing hours in my daughters new W10 laptop. Oh, the CandyCrush and similar .. the involuntary .. “see your aunts daughters latest photos of her pet poodle on fakebook” .. “see what the latest twit has tweeted about angelena jeolees wardrobe” .. “check what the weather is in Borneo” .. and a plethora of other such uninvited garbage.

    But if Libre Office Is a toy, it is a good one.

    There is nothing I haven’t been able to do on Linux. A landscaper sent me a cloud based invoice. It opened flawlessly. I clicked on ‘pay now’ and it all happened, flawlessly.
    An associate sent me a ‘contract for sale of land’ – about 120 pages with various attachments in various formats. It opened all, flawlessly.

    MS Office ? I have never had a problem in opening such files on Linux, but just to run some tests before I typed this reply, I emailed my daughter and asked her to send me a complex MS Office document from her W10 lappie.

    “Oh .. I can’t do that”

    “Why not”

    “I don’t have MS office – I have to pay for it”

    Collaboration with others ? If the price of that, is the Omniscient Overlord (MSFT) being privy to all my collaborations (as per W10 EULA) with my business associates and having the capability to know all, I would rather miss out on such a sordid boon.

    In any case, I doubt that Libre Office is as limited in the business world as you say it is. But am not qualified to comment further on this. Hope others can shed more light on the issue.

  23. I am incredulous at the fact that MS Office DOES NOT open some of it’s own versions.

    I am incredulous also, that I sent some pdf documents from a W7 laptop, to a W10 laptop, and was subsequently advised by the recipient that W10 could not open nearly half of them.

    I am delighted at the fact that Linux Mint opens them all – instantly.

    What a frustrating, tedious pile of %^#& MSFT is putting out there!

  24. I agree with much of the anti Windows sentiment but there is one serious defect of IX systems as far as I can see and that is the inability to run business software on them. I don’t mean “office” productivity impairment tools. I mean line of business applications, either packaged or bespoke developed over the years for Windows OS.

    Yes MS have us by the short and curlies with their savage recurring price plans, but the counter to that is the cost of disposing of years of investment in systems and processes and starting again on a new platform.

    And please, don’t tell me that cloud based systems are the answer. The cloud is the current flavour of the month cash cow for the multinationals and is a seriously flawed proposition. Anyone who voluntarily puts their mission critical data and systems on a cloud infrastructure should be sectioned (lock in a mental institution for you colonials).

  25. I used to dual boot SolydK alongside Windows 7 and actually used Linux as my main OS for a while for it’s speed and security, but would use windows for video editing and gaming. After about a year, I decided to switch back to Windows as it had such a wider range of programs. If there were more programs available and comparable to those available on Windows, I’d go back in an instant, but the fact is that Linux doesn’t fit my needs.

  26. I bought a test computer to test the latest Ubuntu 15.something.

    INSTALL
    I’ve heard horror stories about almost mandatory use of Terminal (dos-like command line window).
    The sweet part is that Ubuntu installed easy with no command line entries required. It also allows you to test drive the system before installing it. I had it on USB drive, so test drove it right on USB drive without making the commitment (wish marriage was like that :-))

    USAGE
    Now about the the usability part. I’ll do it in bullet points to make things clear.
    0. It reminds me a lot of MAC OS X, which I like a lot from its cleanliness perspective.
    1. It appears to be slower than Windows.
    2. I found no familiar programs (names of software I’m used to in Windows) besides Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.
    3. Finding apps was cumbersome for the first 30 seconds but once you figure it out — it becomes really easy.
    4. The app store for Ubuntu is tiny-tiny-tiny. I couldn’t find the important things there, such as Chrome browser, Adobe Flash (Flash doesn’t come pre-installed, so you will have to download it separately or face the horror of movies not playing in your browser window.
    5. Adobe Flash install was cumbersome. Not only I couldn’t find it in the Ubuntu store app, I had to scour the internet. Went directly to Adobe website and wasn’t successful in installing it. It downloads the app somewhere you have no clue where and then when you finally find it, clicking on the app just opens the package that looks like a ZIP archive and there are a bunch of files and folders, no executables among them. So I kept on search on the inet and found a Terminal command that installs it. Phew! Done!
    6. Now installing Chrome. Although Ubuntu comes with some freebies, such as Firefox browser, Thunderbird email client, and LibreOffice instead of MS Office, I decided to go for Chrome as I have all the links and bookmarks and other stuff already saves on it. Ubuntu store again disappoints as it has no Chrome in it, just some “Chromium”, which I hear is a replica of Chrome. But wanted an original Chrome. So I go on Google Chrome download official site, follow the instructions — download the app goes good. But running it was problematic. The instructions on Google’s website are either outdated or flawed as they don’t work / produce the desired effect anymore. So I was able to install the app but it’s nowhere to be found. I says installed but I can’t see Chrome browser anywhere. Only after restart of computer it showed up in the apps. Wow!
    7. LibreOffice is a knock-off from MS Office, just like OpenOffice. It looks nice, usable too. The problem with it is that it doesn’t allow to work and open complex forms in MS Word format. When I open such complex MS Word forms in LibreOffice, the formatting is all screwed. So nothing beats the years of MS Office experience in the end.
    8. Thunderbird email client works good but has no Calendar, which must be installed as a separate plugin, which is another chore. Why it doesn’t come with Calendar out of the box I have no idea!!! To Thunderbird’s advantage — it treats multiple IMAP email accounts way better than Outlook does, and I like the interface in Thunderbird better — it’s cleaner than good old MS Outlook.
    9. Other apps — I downloaded some night sky watching app straight from Ubuntu store — no problem with download there but I couldn’t run it. It gave me error message something about lacking OpenGL. Why would you put it on the Ubuntu store if you can’t run it in Ubuntu??
    10. The browser froze on me once when watching a video involving Adobe Flash. I had to hard reboot the computer.

    Those are my first impressions as a user.

    • Most of your points are rendered moot with a simple web search, or are simply opinions. A ‘live USB’ session is going to be slower and have more problems than an actual install. Use the live session just for testing. In no particular order:

      1) install ‘ubuntu-restricted-extras’ for flash, java, and mp3 support.

      2) libre office version 5 is vastly improved, compatability-wise, except for presentations (that is still lousy for compatabilty). Most people don’t need all that extra formatting, anyways.

      3) A simple web search will show you how to install chrome browser, if it’s not included in your Distro. 7 steps, done.

      4) Lightning is the calender client for Thunderbird. It’s not included partly so you don’t have the kitchen sink shoved down your throat if you don’t need it. It IS (or was) included in some versions of Thunderbird, and is a simple add-in from the Tools menu when it is not.

      5) Any system you go to is going to have different named apps. Fact of life, not really an issue.

      6) opengl issues sounds like maybe your system is using the default open-source driver? Maybe from a live session? I’ve never seen that issue or at least it’s never been un-fixable in my 7+ years using ubuntu. Install the proprietary nVidia driver, if you have that option (from the software center). I bet you can’t run that program using the vesa driver in Windows, either.

      7) Slower booting or running? Maybe using open source video driver with full graphical effects activated on ubuntu, compared to Win XP or with no graphical effects turned on in Windows, sure. Once you get all your Anti-malware -spyware -virus apps on, Windows slows down allot on lesser hardware. Linux distros generally run better partly due to not needing all that overhead.

      8) Ubuntu app store small? Compared to Android, where 90% of any software category having mostly crap apps? Yes, I agree.

      9) Browser froze? Usually happens to me on dodgy websites or a ‘live USB/disk’ session.

      • That’s the problem with Open-Source community and computer enthusiasts. Instead of listening closely to the end user review and his experience, you start to argue trying to portray your point that the Linux is the best there is, instead of looking at my point of view as an end user and making things easier and better for the future.

        Peace.

        • Since when did offering solutions become a problem for you? I offered solutions to most of your points and you appear to not appreciate it.

          “Those are my first impressions as a user”

          A simple web search on my part took no more than five minutes to find potential fixes. No argument, just helpfulness.

          Also, at no point in my post did I say Linux is better than Windows.

        • Upon discussion with others, I owe Alex an apology. I tend to be a helpful person and frequently offer solutions or alternatives when someone declares they had problems with something. In his case, Alex was not asking for help or solutions, and I stuck my nose in it anyways. Alex, I am sorry about the unsolicited advice, especially since it read in a harsh manner.

          That said, every one of my ‘suggestions’ are completely valid and true, to the best of my knowledge.

          “…instead of looking at my point of view as an end user and making things easier and better for the future.”

          It is my hope that someone, upon recognizing some of the issues Alex had with his Ubuntu experience and echoing it in their own, will take my suggestions to heart and give them a try.

          Linux is NOT Windows, and using the same procedures to run/fix something in Ubuntu as if it were Windows is likely not going to result in a fix. Google/DuckDuckGo/Startpage is/are your friend, as are different forums, if necessary.

          • After reading all the posts, it seems that quite a few of the problems people are having with Linux is that they are trying to use it as if it were Windows. As you say, Linux is not Windows. It has its own way of doing things.

  27. Sure, some do cost a fee to get them going, but those are enterprise Linux distributions.

    Cough, cough… Elive? Enterprise? I. Think. Not.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t object to paying for software. Even operating systems (if the cost is reasonable)… but, without a trial? I. Think. Not. FFS what is the matter with the developers?

    • Not all pay-for Linux distributions are enterprise grade. Elive is definitely not an enterprise grade. In fact in all the years they have been around they have not released a final version yet. All they have released so far are development versions. They are using the fees to finance their development work.

      If you want/need an enterprise grade distro, look at Oracle Linux, SUSE Enterprise, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS (According to their site “The CentOS project builds an enterprise class distribution based on source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”). You can also look at Scientific Linux but, as the name implies, it is very much geared for scientific use. Scientific is also Red Hat-based.

      “I don’t object to paying for software. Even operating systems (if the cost is reasonable)… but, without a trial? ”
      Do you get a free trial of Windows? :-)
      CentOS and Scientific Linux are free downloads. They do not offer LiveDVD versions so to try them out you have to either install them to HD, USB or a VM.

      • “Do you get a free trial of Windows? :-)”

        Well, actually, as a matter of fact I do. : p

        But in my defence it is via work and testing for enterprise systems. And yes, Mickeysoft allows us to have 7 versions to test concurrently. Why 7? Absolutely No Idea. And has nothing to do with Win7 I am sure.

  28. Good article. Get rid of the XChat in the picture. No one uses that and it’s insecure crap nowadays. Replace it with HeXchat.

  29. Canonical’s Ubuntu data mines just like Microsoft does, so we won’t touch it. Instead, we use Linux Mint.

  30. I made the move when I realized that I was using the “pirated” copy of Windows, I was watching Gandhi on that day and it came to my mind why don’t I do my own Software Satyagraha..
    After that I used Ubuntu Gutsy gibbon, then sometime later after 9.04 I moved to Debian Lenny.

    I am now on FreeBSD.. enjoying it.

  31. what about the alternatives for software that do not exist on Linux such as video editing software (adobe premiere and sony vegas)?
    and for sure I don’t want to use emulators to run them (stability concern).
    I believe windows is mandatory for some and the alternative can not compete with the advance of those software.
    I am a starter in computer science major and I really like linux; so I kept a version of it on virtualbox and I keep visiting it regularly for self-development.
    I hope developer that care for regular user market to have more concern to develop their software in linux environment.

    • It won’t happen, because the Linux community has been a bit pigheaded over the years. I include myself in that by the way. But facts are facts. I have some associations with a company that sells a software package that I will not name here, but if you work in the recording industry AT ALL you use this stuff. I know for a fact that if they could compile the software one time and it would run on any Linux distro, not just now but in five years… they would probably have done a port five years ago. But we need inter-distro binary compatibility for that… yes, that means ONE package management system amongst other things. It also means the constant changes that render old software uninstallable has to go; commercial software vendors like stable APIs. That goes for hardware drivers as well; Linus’ attitude towards the kernel ABI is childish and willfully ignorant of reality. Get over it people; they are NEVER going to release the source code for this stuff. If we want ports and drivers we have to make it easy for them to distribute in binary form.

  32. I have been using Windows since 3.1, but became interested in Linux in early 2000 when Corel released a version of Linux. 400+MB on a 56K dialup, and not even worth it as Corel Linux at that time was still in beta and wouldn’t work on my system. I also tried early versions of Mandrake and Red Hat.

    I began playing with Ubuntu in 2005 (Hoary Hedgehog 5.04) and continued to “play” with it until Unity, when I began trying other distros in earnest. I dual-booted Windows and Linux Mint from version 8 through 16, all the while trying many other distros: PCLinux, Vector Linux, Makulu, Manjaro, Mandriva, SUSE, Zorin, etc. I must have 200 CDs and DVDs with various versions of many distros. Through it all, I stuck with Linux Mint.

    2016 started out with me dumping Windows and switching 100% to Linux. Linux Mint 17.3 on my two main machines and Lubuntu on my old c. 2002 PC.

    Regarding hardware…in the past three years I haven’t had to FIND drivers; the only driver I ever had to deal with was selecting the NVidia proprietary driver; Flash and Java were similarly a mere click away. That list of esoteric CLI commands? Well, there are a dozen I have used with some regularity, but for anything unusual or complicated, there are resources a-plenty online. Mint is faster than Windows 7 ever was (on an 8GB dual 2.3GHz PC), and I find that the software available via the software center is plentiful and for the most part practical.

    Linux is not perfect. It is not for everyone. But it IS for a lot more people than the mainstream ever thinks. While I did like Windows 7, I very much disliked the direction Microsoft was taking, so here I am, Linux and happy.

  33. Privacy? Come on people.

    If anyone says they are “outraged” by Windows 10 privacy, just “running Linux” isn’t going to solve anything for 99.9% of the global user base.

    Why? Because most of the Windows 10 privacy talking point is put forth by people that do at least one of the following:
    * Use a Smartphone
    * Use social media apps or websites
    * Use 3rd party messaging apps like “Whats App” (700 million active global users?) or “FB Messenger”
    * Use the “Log into my website / service using your Facebook / Google+ account” button
    * Use Google/Bing/Yahoo! to search the web
    * Use online Map services for web or GPS directions
    * Use Chrome web browser (any web browser really, but some are worse than others and some easier to adjust privacy)

    Doing any of those things sends your information to the “Storm” (i.e. “Cloud gone wild”), and most people do several of the above on a daily basis.

    So to put it simply, Windows 10 is only doing what your Smartphone, Facebook, Web Browser, and SmartTV have been doing every second of the day for YEARS! 3 cheers for Open Source based ecosystems! Yay? (kidding…sort of)

    Now, before I get flamed, understand that I run Linux with XFCE as my daily environment, so I don’t have any agenda except to challenge the often repeated “privacy” talking point because, in my opinion, it’s one of the most serious issues facing modern society and the facts are often buried behind wedge issues with generic talking points.

  34. I have just recently switched to Linux Mint.

    I used to be a Microsoft user, but I cannot see myself returning to their OS soon. This all stems from update issues, hardware driver issues and poor support.

    Granted, I was a “home” user and I got what I paid for, until I updated from a 8.1 OS to a 10 OS. Then I got less bang for bucks. Hardware issues galore bounced me back and forth between retailer, manufacturer and Microsoft. I ended up with a machine, under warranty, that would not function properly….no wireless…no DVD, etc.

    As an experiment I borrowed a friends machine and downloaded an ISO that I had to load via USB to install Linux. Within an hour my machine was working fine.

    Wonderful!

    It took me about a month of using the Linux OS to get used to it, but that was not a big hardship.

    Considering my broadband limit alone, I am saving at least 1Gig of usage a month by switching to Linux. That is a lot of data going astray when you are using a Microsoft 10 OS AND that was still going on with all the settings “tweaked”.

    To be honest, what I use a PC for, does not require an all singing and dancing, bell ringing and whistle blowing system, just something that works reliably and Linux Mint (for me) does the job quite nicely and about as anonymously as it can get.

    Linux is a fresh new challenge for me. Plus, the upside……….I don’t have to “Keep up with the Jones” and have to keep on digging in my pocket every time a NEW piece of “updated” telemetry laden, buggy and malware riddled piece of software is released.

    Bye-bye Microsoft. You got very greedy and very boring.

  35. I notice that there has been some criticism of LibreOffice above. If that office suite is an issue then I’d suggest trying the very latest edition of LibreOffice with all the improvements or trying out good, free alternatives instead such as FreeOffice for Linux and Kingsoft Office for Linux.

    • That’s great unless you need it for work. Then you’re screwed. I use Libreoffice myself but I’m not making high-end spreadsheets that need to be propagated to multiple people most of whom are trying to open it with MS Excel.

      See my post below. In the 2005-2009 window we had our opening and we blew it. If we as a community had recognized that a) we have not and are not going to catch up with the industry leaders for high-end creative software and b) there is no way they will open source their software, we might have been able to go mainstream. Instead we continued to waste the community’s talent on packaging software for a zillion distros and designing an insane number of new desktop environments, when we should have been focusing on inter-distro binary compatibility and stable APIs both at application level and kernel level. Aaannnnd now… it’s too late.

  36. Sigghhhh… You said it all when you pointed out that Adobe will never port Photoshop.

    Look, I still use Linux for most things. But the truth is we’ve already lost. The reason is that the community can’t compete with the armies of paid full-time developers that high-end creativity apps like the Adobe suite, Pro Tools, and Auto Cad employ. We won’t get that stuff ported ever, and it’s the community’s fault. We’re frittering away our strength on packaging software for like 80,000 distros when we need to be focusing on stable APIs and inter-distro binary compatibility… and yes, I’m in a position to know for a FACT that this is why at least one high-end piece of software that has vendor lock-in in it’s industry has not done and will not do a port. Hey, want the hardware drivers ported over? Tell Linus we REALLY need stable ABIs in the kernel. Not that he’ll listen.

    It’s too late now anyway. The time to do all of the above was a decade ago. I know lots of people who would probably switch, but they have apps they HAVE to have that are not and will never be ported.

    • My, we’re not TOO defeatist, are we? :-)

      However, I do agree with you to a certain degree. Linux environment could/should be further along than it is. The reason is not that Linux community cannot compete with “the armies of paid full-time developers” because it can compete. The problem is that “the armies of paid full-time developers” develop what they are told to. Linux developers work on whatever they choose to and most of them choose to work on new distros. This is the ultimate failure of the Linux’s culture of “choice.” People work on what they choose, not on what is needed. It is so much easier to cobble up a new distro using a Chinese menu of modules than it is to be creative and develop a new application from scratch.

      I would not hold my breath waiting for the commercial software houses, such as Adobe, to port their products to Linux. They have no incentives to. I am sure they have quite a few disincentives, not the least of which is Microsoft. Linux developers need to develop Windows-work-alike applications in the mode of Star/Open/Llbre Office and GIMP. Personally I’ve been looking for years for tax filing software. Windows has TurboTax, TaxCut, TaxAct to name a few. The best I’ve been able to find for Linux is TaxSolver. To call it rudimentary is to be kind. But it is better than nothing.

      • Even if you created one to one replacements for pro tools, turbo tax, photoshop, or whatever else you would have significant barriers to adoption, the biggest to which is vendor lock-in. If you do professional photo editing, you’re stuck with photoshop’s proprietary formats because it’s what everyone else in your industry is using. You’re not getting around that anytime real soon. Now I don’t know about all of them, but I have a personal association with one vendor that has lock-in within it’s industry, and I know exactly why there is no Linux port. It’s because the Linux environment makes it too hard for them to distribute the software in binary form. They want inter-distro binary compatibility, and they want stable APIs.

        Essentially we have to make it easy for them; they wanna compile the software exactly once with the expectation that it will reliably install and run on any flavor of Linux, and that it will still run five years from now without having to recompile and redistribute. They will never, ever release the source code.

        As for the “choice”… why do we need more desktop environments, for instance? Frankly you can make KDE into anything you want and given the functionality gap it astounds me anyone uses anything else. Why do we need 80 zillion distros? And don’t get me started on package management software. File managers. If developers are “choosing” their projects why are they choosing this insane duplication of effort? Pick something we NEED.

        Honestly I don’t think anything will change unless/until someone forks the kernel with sufficient manpower to compete with the present team. Because the cultural dysfunction starts with Linus. Remember him flipping off Nvidia… the company that does more than almost anybody to provide current, highly functional drivers for their product? Because they don’t open source their drivers. Grow up. Get over it. You are never going to see that source code… and we still need the drivers.

  37. “As for the “choice”… …………………………………………………. Pick something we NEED.”
    That is precisely my point. Any script kiddie can slap together some Linux apps with the Kernel and call it a distro. It takes skill and time to program an app from scratch.

    • I agree… most of the people packaging software probably couldn’t design an app from scratch anyway. But what about all the people working on desktop environments? Why do Cinnamon and Unity even exist when there were already too many desktops? The devs working on those projects could be putting their talents to much better use.

      That said, I still think our chances of catching up with the Adobe Creative Suite, Pro Tools, and Auto Cad are slim bordering on zero… and even if we could, nobody would adopt it anyway because of proprietary file formats everybody in those industries is stuck with. The only hope is to get the stuff ported and the only way to do that is to make Linux more binary friendly. Yes, that means every damn distro would have to use the same package management infrastructure. You’d also need to stabilize things so a binary rolled in 2016 will still work in 2021. Ideally what’s needed is a clear separation between system space and application space similar to the way it’s being done on mobile devices these days.

      • “Why do Cinnamon and Unity even exist”
        The same can be asked about any of the 70+ other desktop environments and window managers.

        Unity exists because Canonical wants its own version of everything. Just as Mir is Canonical’s version of Wayland. Canonical has even come out and admitted that the only reason they created Mir is so that they can control the interface, which they cannot do with Wayland. Granted it can be argued that Wayland need not exist. However, it is supposed to replace X which has gotten long in the tooth.

        Linux cult of “choice” is the answer/backlash to Microsoft’s and Apple’s walled prison environments. Personally, I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, I can see the advantages of a single environment but on the other, all we have to do is look at MS and Apple to see what happens when one entity controls the entire environment.

        • Honestly, we’re just sitting here talking around the problem anyway. I think the only way we’re going to see Linux in widespread desktop usage is to make it binary friendly, and the whole Linux ecosystem seems hell-bent on preventing that outcome.You could still have your zillion distros and desktops and it would still be fine if a software vendor could release their software binary-only with full confidence it would install and run regardless of what Linux version someone is running and the skill level of the person installing it. Short of that we’re screwed.

  38. 1. Free operating systems for life
    Yes, this is true. But you’re getting something free that has a good chance to not be able to run the applications and games you need.
    2.Free programs
    Windows has more free programs than linux, in fact the screenshot you shows several that are available on Windows too.
    3. Better security
    This has not been true since Windows 7
    4. It’ll run on anything, including aging hardware.
    As does Windows, I can install Windows 10 on a decade old computer. Meanwhile Linux is notorious for not having drivers for even current hardware
    5. No walled gardens.
    You are no at all forces to use ANY microsoft products or app stores. You can go to any random website and install the software.
    6. Your privacy is taken seriously
    I can agree with this.
    7. Open source
    99% of users don’t give a shit about this.
    8. Customization
    I can agree with this, but most users wont care. The actual way you customise is beyond most users.

    So considering everything in your list, the majority are either exaggerations or just silly lies that have been perpetuated by the Linux community for 20 years. Quite pathetic really.

    • ” you’re getting something free that has a good chance to not be able to run the applications and games you need.”
      FUD. Linux has all the applications most users will need. No, it will not run Windows programs, it’s not supposed to. Windows runs more games natively than Linux. But then Windows does not have ALL the games, either.

      “3. Better security. This has not been true since Windows 7”
      If it wasn’t for Windows, the after-market security industry wouldn’t exist or it would be vastly less developed.

      “I can install Windows 10 on a decade old computer.”
      Please! If you are going to make claims, at least make them somewhat believable. Decade-old PC had problems running Win 7.

      “Meanwhile Linux is notorious for not having drivers for even current hardware”
      More FUD.

      “You can go to any random website and install the software.”
      Yes, you can. Along with all kinds of malware.

      “So considering everything in your list, the majority are either exaggerations or just silly lies that have been perpetuated by the Linux community for 20 years. Quite pathetic really.”
      Have you ever used Linux? Or are just perpetuating the FUD you read somewhere on the ‘Net?

  39. And pay $49,99 for year subscription to use Windows 10 after August/2016 ??????
    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-much-would-a-windows-10-subscription-cost/
    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/195592-with-windows-10-microsoft-could-move-to-a-subscription-based-model

    Imagine “pay the subscription, or your Windows will never boot again”
    http://www.ghacks.net/2015/04/23/windows-10-builds-stop-booting-when-they-expire/

    Win10 is Windows-as-a-Service, will be like Office 365
    https://products.office.com/en/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans

    Rumor or Reality? In August we’ll find out.
    (And prepare the world for the bad news)

    • You need to analyse Microsoft’s business plan more deeply. They don’t need to charge people to use Windows anymore because they have so many things built into Windows now that are designed to make money.

      Basically Windows 10 is now the vehicle to deliver services and products that people will pay for.

  40. I am interested in trying Linux on my home PC I just don’t know what flavor.
    I have a higher en PC with a gaming quality graphics card an i7 CPU 16GB of RAM. I game and I have a web page that I manage as well as video and photo editing. I need to be able to run Java and Abode apps on web sites for school as well which means I have to have Chrome, Firefox, and ie in order to use the web effectively.

    What flavor of Linux do you recommend?

    • If you are a heavy gamer, need to run Adobe products and IE then you should stick to Windows because those apps do not exist on Linux. However, if you are amenable to dual-booting, you can install Linux on the same PC that you use for Windows. I would recommend PCLinuxOS. It has many advantages over Ubuntu and its offshoots. The one caveat about dual booting any O/S with Windows is that Windows MUST be installed first. Windows has a nasty habit of not recognizing any other O/S and overwriting the MBR. Linux, OTOH, will recognize the presence of Windows and create an entry for it in the boot loader.

  41. I started playing with Linux with Ubuntu Feisty Fawn years ago. I have not fully made the switch partially because of my wife and partially because of the Windows specific software that I am currently using. I am working on putting together a Linux Server for my house right now though.

  42. Yes, yes, yes..I’ve been using Linux on LiveCD/USB stick for about 4 years now. I still have Win7 on my main machine because of a few apps that won’t work properly on Wine, but I’m in the process of migrating fulltime on my netbook, and ultimately fulltime on my main PC after I find (or code myself if need be) replacement apps for those few. I’m even looking at the open source laptop projects for the near future, as I feel these are equally if not more important. After all, what good is floss software if the machines can be forced not to run it? I have HAD IT with the “locking down” mechanisms of these companies, both software and hardware. We’re at the point where some “free” proprietary programs require a dongle, and companies are switching to subscription models. No…I’m done.

  43. Great interesting read this thread .
    Less than a Month in LinuxMint , was gonna do it , was gonna do it , when I have some free time …..years of that non commitment mainly due to the fact I thought I had to buy a white coat first and talk penguin .
    I have 3 PCs (Game rigs | laptops)with W10 on them and they are great , I can steam my Windows Games to my linux setups whilst using the hardware I have on the W10 PC, if I so wished.
    Windows 10 is data mining , so what , cheap price for the free upgrade . Having (and using ) DirectX 12 in games was well worth that upgrade .W10 is chatting with M$ but it has but my steam data , its VPNed on boot so it can say what it likes.
    LinuxMint runs Thunderbird, Fruho (VPN manager), KODI , ZeroNet and Sonarr to name but a few amazing pieces of software . Yeah I P2P , hang me later I’m guilty, but bit busy right now learning Nix .
    So I had to copy and paste a few command lines, with all the info on the internutz, it’s not hard to bookmark stuff or offline the Web pages. With LinuxMint you can click your way around a lot of stuff including changing permissions , but forget your password would get tricky.
    I would suggest as many have done here to dual boot and get the best of both worlds . Microsoft’s W10 and DirectX 12 for your gaming and Linux for the rest . Neither OS has to see the other one , unless you make it that way. If M$ in the future starts yearly fees then you can scrub the Windows Partitions or HD and say ‘Bite me ‘ MrGates.
    Lastly I assume nothing about an OS I know little about , VPN was up as priority – learning, configuring and checking.

  44. Winreducer + Ntlite though I don’t think they currently work with Windows 10 and I don’t believe they ever will. It’s better to embrace Linux, fact is while M$ stagnate Linux is catching up it is already capable of running many of the software you would expect to run on Windows 7. M$ has cemented itself in mobile waters, now it is losing two battles both desktop and mobile. Time will be its ultimate defeat, as it winds down its clocks and thins out its presence.

  45. It isn’t a monopoly or even close to becoming one. I am tired of having only one choice for a source of products. I don’t want to encourage it to happen in the software field as well.

  46. I don’t remember when I switched to linux. I have had to learn a lot so that I can use it. Of course, I think it’s worth because it’s free and I’m tired of using non genuine window os (it’s abnormal in my country if I pay for it); Moreover, I felt like it would be the future, and I needed to catch it. I only tried some distros and finally end up with Lubuntu, mostly because it’s simple, lightweight and I can drag/drop while using keyboard to move around other windows, I really love it ;). I don’t care if it’s look like windows or hotkeys are similar. I config it to suit my need, why not? I agree that there is no one-size-fits-all O/S, so I still have virtual box windows os, but rarely use it.

    After using linux, I have some special impressions. It is using middle mouse button a lot. I can use single click to paste selected text to anywhere, it’s very useful. Besides, I can scroll on any objects, no need to have focus first like windows os, especially up/down volume. And using usb. I create a bootable usb with two partitions. The first one is for windows os, and the second one is for linux. Even if windows users format it, it’s still bootable. Very useful when most of windows os pc around me are non genuine and full of malwares, virus…

    Of course all your reasons are good. I just hope they’re always true.

  47. I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re referring to as Linux,
    is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux.
    Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component
    of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell
    utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

    Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day,
    without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU
    which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are
    not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

    There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a
    part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system
    that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run.
    The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself;
    it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is
    normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system
    is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux”
    distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

  48. Switched in 2010 to Linux. Dabbled with Debian, Fedora, and others. Settled on Ubuntu in its various forms. I run 12 Desktops and Notebooks with no Microsoft in sight. My associates and I have not experienced a minute of the otherwise usual MS dilemmas and even carry a fully bootable ubuntu OS in my pocket where ever I go. No need to drag my notebook around.
    Anyone able to tell me what can not be done with Ubuntu. Why paying good money to the DOS thiefs. 279 million Window 10 downloads; 270 million mindless suckers. Use Ubuntu and keep the money and spend it on good looking company of your liking.It is called “intelligent computing.

  49. Switched most computers over to Mint, a debian derivative, Knoppix, and Puppy – during 2015. Use Virtual Box for Windows whatever, consequently not stuck with M$ obsolete your software agenda. This expands the possible while avoiding being forced into some other agenda. Some 28% now shows in Internet usage of Linux based browsers.

    Having experienced a hard drive crash due to software while using Linux, the significance of adding extras to Virtual Box to have USB backup sticks became all too significant. Sharing the hard drive space between Windows and Linux means keeping valuable options open. Tool of choice for recovery: ddRescue or gddrescue – fastest, most effective and, so far, produced the best results in SAS, SATA and SCSI hard drives.

  50. I do like changing but I am 82 and maybe not clever enough to set it up .Is there a good mail program and foto program and the possibility to play games etc
    Bill

  51. No doubt, As Windows 7 is the most recommended OS, Which through user can do almost all work without any problem, Where I recommend you to activate your OS being purchased its license code from: ODosta Store
    Which is distributing license for almost all types of Microsoft Products. I personally use it and have a good experience.

  52. Hah, nope. Keep the free open source crapware and kernel crashes and lack of DX12 and lousy performance. As both a developer and end user who spent many years a linux fanboy, sorry, but no. MS is leagues above Linux at this point.

  53. I have my whole life computers. Mee was born. Father makes xray technician in hospital. Computer a long time. But so stupid weird ugly and nonsensical program win10’ve never seen. Here no man can work well with. Seems little holywood software. I’ve still better commandore64 ox earlier. Was not perfect. But did what had to do.

    I have almost every comp in my house now put on Lubuntu. And my love for computers returns. Computers work faster.
    And it feels like my computer is mine again. Think that counted the last days of win10. I Love Linux :)

  54. 4 Linux dipteros must have.

    1. Lubuntu. Works for all my computers. systems from 10 tot 1 years old run out of the box! Perfect OS for home user.
    2. Puppy arcade. Plays all my loved games.
    3. Kali Linux. Network security. Use this only for my own security! End I hear and see match more then a windows user :).
    4. ddwrt. this removes the limits of your wrt router.

    So see no space for win10 systems anymore :). To day I se good bay to Microsoft. Stupid OS.
    I call win10 the Obama-PATRIOT-Act-OS. And its stealing, terrorising my Internet and computer. That’s how it feels for me.

  55. Hi,
    I just decided to switch to a dual boot a few days ago. I’ve been pissed for a long time about Microsoft’s strong arm tactics. There are programs I want to use but was no longer able to use once I got a new Windows 8 computer. I think the final straw was Microsoft forcing me to “upgrade” to Windows 10. I’m not a programmer but I decided I could learn to be one if I needed to and started researching Linux. I ended up going with Mint 17.3 and it took me a couple days to get everything set up the way I like it. I had some issues with installing virtualbox and it took a minute to install windows 7 on virtualbox for the two or three things I need windows four. But I didn’t need to learn a new language (although I picked up some sudo commands pretty quickly just googling about things) and I joined a forum where I could ask questions when I hit a snag. I only had to ask for help once. I love my computer’s set up so much I am thinking of getting rid of windows 8 in a month or so. I am all proud of myself for figuring this out and working through the one issue I struggled with, also I mentally tell Microsoft to eff off every time I get on my computer. I think you can break it down by age, I was a kid when we got our first dos computer so I’ve had computers almost all my life. My parents hate that they are being required to windows 10 but I don’t think they would be willing to try linux because they were adults when computers became common. My dad used a slide rule in college! I wouldn’t even know how to work one. So to sum up- people who are afraid to use linux are scared old people. Just kidding, you might not be old.

  56. I made a temporary switch from Win Xp to Ubuntu many years ago, but had trouble understanding Terminal and updates. Switched back to Xp. Then switched to Mackbook. Now I am back on Ubuntu as of a year and I have never looked back! I was lucky enough to have a friend who is well versed in the Linux world and encouraged me to install Ubuntu again. He and I have done plenty of Teamviews to educate me in the world of Linux.

    Only thing my wish is, that Linux will catch up and break through the barriers to allow licensing for gamings, music, videos and beat Micro-suck at their game!

    Recently I had to assist my mother with the Win 10 force update. I ended up having to reverse back to Win 7 and block all force updates. I don’t like Windows… period!

  57. So many folks complain about Windows 10 data collection – you can turn off all or any of it with a few clicks. It’s not hard. In fact it took me less time to tweak those settings than it did for me to find Linux drivers for the wireless card on an old IBM Thinkpad laptop after a fresh install of CentOS . Sure Linux is free but the bitter taste of it being a pain in the @$$ remains long after the sweetness of low price is gone. For a person who has been using computers since the Apple IIc came out I can honestly say that Linux feels like a little walled garden with a very narrow scope of experiences to be had. When I am on my Windows 10 PC I am able to do so much more so much easier (and in 7.1 Surround sound with three 40″ LCDs using Nvidia surround to set the desktop resolution of 5760 x 1080). I can play Overwatch while I listen to “Mr. Big” by Free on Spotify and download some new audiobooks on Audible or get new music to send to my droid or iPhone for workouts. What else can i do on my Windows 10 PC that Linux cant? Well I run Photoshop or Adobe Premier to edit video and pics. I can stream video content from more than just NetFlix, I can use my Google Drive, I can use iTunes to easily add or remove content from iPhone and it seems there is no decent UI designing software for Linux – they have to use Windows to use Sketch, Skala Preview, etc. Working with PDFs where you may have to fill out forms can also be a challenging task on Linux. If you need to send electronic paperwork out for signature or sign it yourself using DocuSign or CudaSign on Linux you are out of luck. Linux is awesome if I want to grep through logs to help someone figure out where their email went to but Linux is zero fun in Real Life. I find that my experiences using my Windows 10 machine are so much richer and varied than my Linux experience (which feel like Windows 3.1 with a slightly better GUI). In fact the folks that bought Linux based Steam machines are finding that performance is much better with Windows- not to mention much larger library of software you can run on Windows. I use Linux when I have to but when I get home from work it is a joy to use my Windows 10 PC where everything just works. It may be a year and 1/2 old but I built it with a 1000 watt PSU, an 4Ghz Intel CPU and 32 gigs of RAM with 8TB of storage and the GTX980 GPU. I’m glad I’m running Windows 10 on it instead of Linux because I can do so much more (try using Oculus Rift/HTC Vive on Linux). BTW I have yet to be infected with any viruses since the build (thank you Avast) and no hardware issues either. Alexandre Dumas once said “The merit of all things lies in their difficulty”. It is so true, Linux is just more of a pain than Windows has been for me thus its merit is narrow and limited to work related boring-ness.

  58. Hello – I am hoping to find someone here who has experience with an OS called UberStudent. CONFESSION : I’ve been a “window’s girl” my whole life. ( Yes, I know it’s bad; please don’t boo me, although I would deserve it. ) * My current OS is Win7. I was fairly pleased. Now, due to some issues, and recent revelations, I am not so pleased. I am considering switching to Linux. QUESTION FOR AN US USER : Regarding UberStudent… Is this suitable for an adult, ( taxes, banking… ) Also, how much of a “shock” would the USOS be to a Linux newbie, do you think? Thank you much =]

    BTW : Looking for a light, fast, simple OS, for an older Dell LT, ( only 2gigs ). Not looking to game, write a novel, or anything else like that. ( It does, however need to be able to handle adult responsibilities like banking, taxes, shopping, research… )

  59. Until July last year I used Windows 7, which was my favorite Windows edition ever. However when I tried to setup Ruby on Rails on Windows, it was a NIGHTMARE!!! At one moment I gave up and decided to install Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 back then). I didn’t regret any second spent in Ubuntu. as it was stable and development on it was a breeze!

    Recently I switched from Ubuntu to Fedora, and I am very happy with the system. At this moment, I don’t even think about switching back to Windows, let alone upgrading it to Win 10 *cringe on the back*

    • There was a time I would argue the positives of Windows. But that was Windows 7 or earlier versions. Since Windows 8 and now Windows 10. I couldn’t possibly offer any good reason to use either Windows OS at this point. Microsoft has simply sold out the customer to marketing. In fact Microsoft’s questionable tactics in trying to push Windows 10 has basically led me to conclude that a user should definitely work to move past Windows if they want a truly neutral PC experience. Otherwise, when you install Windows 10 or buy a new Windows 10 device. You might as well be buying a Chromebook.

  60. I mostly have used Windows OS since 3.11 version. I dabbled in Mac’s for a few years but always kept Windows close. Then I began to build PC desktops and started trying several Linux distro’s to see how well things ran. I was very impressed but always ended up back with Windows. Mostly because of one or two programs I was tied too. Now that Windows 10 has rolled out I have begun to question the privacy and Microsoft’s attempt to push users into their ecosystem. I see Windows 10 as a means for Microsoft to use Windows 10 as a marketing tool. I then began to gain more interest in making Linux the primary OS for my day to day use. I have always felt a OS should be just that and nothing more. Not a conduit for marketing or locking users into a ecosystem or a preferred set of apps, programs, and services. I felt just as tied down with Apple’s ecosystem, or Google Chrome OS for that matter. Linux really seem liked the only reasonable option to stay open to what I wanted to use. With an OS like Ubuntu or Mint you have many more options and you don’t need a Google, Apple, or Microsoft account to use your device. I certainly would recommend any user who is questioning Windows 10 issues take a look at Linux.

  61. I have fought with Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu for too long now. Seems each new version gets less user friendly and tries to see which one can hide services and apps the most. Trying Fedora and so far, its working great.

  62. Useful post . I Appreciate the details ! Does anyone know if my assistant would be able to obtain a template DD 2400 copy to fill in ?

  63. WOW, this post forgot some HUGE reasons
    1/ The OS is faster, more, efficient, cleaner
    2/ Boot time is 2-6 times faster, with no need for “HYPERHibernation”
    3/ Updates don’t require restarts (95% of the time), like windows 5 minute restarts, and …
    … they keep them self mean and clean, Windows get into 40 GBs very fast requireing annual re-installs
    4/ Oh yeah – One ~Never needs to re-install Linux, and may even get smaller over time
    5/ No Viruses, No Defragmenting, No Sluggishness over time
    6/ Backing UP EVERYTHING except the OS, i.e.) Files, favourites, system settings, everything in one well organized Home Folder, Nothing Elusively Hidden, back up is as easy as backing up/synchronizing that /home Drive
    7/ and it just gets better Open Source = Not JUST free, but = ALWAYS Getting Better

    please edit this and put it at the top for newbies all to see!

  64. I also think this a great time to try Linux. But I also know all of these benefits listed have long been positives of Linux. But it has not attracted many to Linux desktop. Maybe the truth is most consumers just don’t care? I don’t know of too many PC users who really would forgo Windows for Linux just on privacy concerns. They have too much vested in Windows programs to just dump iTunes or Microsoft Office or Windows gaming. You have consumers thinking Chromebooks and Android phones are Liunux. Which are both not very open sourced in the least.

  65. I just switched to Linux Mint 18 on two desk tops and one laptop.
    It is so nice being windows FREE :) No windows in this house…lol
    I hated windows 10, 8.1, 8.

  66. I had an old vista laptop, 32 bit hardware. I don’t really need it, but the thing still works. I figured I’d give Linux Mint a try. What did I have to lose? I had dabbled with linux in the past. As a non-expert, I found it frustrating that it occasionally didn’t recognize my hardware and provide needed drivers during initial installation. I would do the requisite googling and reading, sometimes finding success and sometimes not. But I was pleasantly surprised how my first install of mint got everything working on that old laptop right off the bat. I think that will be a huge factor in getting windows people to give Linux a try. A painless install providing a functioning machine will turn heads. Yeah, you still have to things to learn. But if the machine works, positive reinforcement will propel people to pursue more knowledge. I think it’s a very good time to try Linux.

  67. Yes Linux is completely free. Wholeheartedly I was trying to switch to Linux. I was trying to do a particular work which cost me a week in Linux Ubuntu just because the ecosystem was not so matured. But it took 10 minutes to do the same thing in Windows. One week easily outweighs the cost of Windows $199 price tag for life. Yah Linux is free to install but NOT free to run!!!

  68. My first experience with Linux was with Ubuntu in 2008, and i just didn’t like it. However i use Linux Mint 18.1 as my main OS on my laptop since the start of 2016 and i’m loving it! I would love to make it my main OS on my desktop but the lack of support for some games has me sticking to Windows 7(for now).

    I’ve seen some comments about bad experiences with drivers which i find strange as if installed Linux on 4 or 5 different machines in the past and never encountered a problem, and some of those have been pretty old crappy laptops.

  69. for me Win10 Anniversary Upgrade was the straw that broke the camel’s back… it took me a while to figure it out, but numerous issues began to plague my computer after that upgrade. All of 2016 I had been upgrading family computers to Linux Mint, and this was my last Windows PC. No more. It was insufferable. The support effort in time and money cost me many times what I paid for it, and then they want you to buy a new machine… because… trust me, it will work.

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