10 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Linux

Reasons why you should switch to Linux

If you are an unhappy Windows user, you might be wondering should I switch to Linux? Is Linux better than Windows?

Let me help you with that thought. Not one, not two, I am giving you ten reasons to switch to Linux.

Why switch to Linux from Windows?

There are a plethora of reasons to choose desktop Linux over Windows or even Mac. Here I list 10 of the best reasons why you should consider Linux over Windows 8.1 upgrade:

1. It’s free

Microsoft will force you to upgrade to Windows 8.1/10 which mean you’ll have to spend around $120 just for the OS.

Linux OS, on the other hand, is completely free. If you choose to switch to Linux, you save at least hundred bucks. Sounds good enough a reason, ain’t it?

2. More Secure, no need of any antivirus

In Windows, you cannot live without an antivirus. Even with an antivirus product, your system is continuously at risk of catching virus. If you had a premium antivirus, it would keep on alerting you of a possible threat detection.

In Linux, you don’t need an antivirus. Virus and malware are alien to Linux world. Linux is known for its security features. Switching to Linux will save you some more as you won’t have to buy an antivirus.

3. Compatible with lower end hardware

A good reason why you have been running Windows XP for such a long time could be hardware constraints. Windows 7, 8 and 10 require at least 1GB of RAM. Running Windows 7/8/10 on the minimum configuration will be a real painful experience as it will be extremely slow and almost unusable. And if your system configuration doesn’t meet the minimum criteria you will have no option other than buying a new PC.

Welcome to Linux world. There is a Linux OS for everyone. Most of the Linux OS does not require a heavyweight computer system. But even if your system is one of those of late 90’s or early 2000’s, there are plenty of lightweight Linux distributions. In other words, hardware is no constraint for Linux OS.

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4. Ease of use

The one misconception about Linux is that it is “geeks only” and one needs to be computer genius and command line ninja to use Linux. No, it is not true. It is not late 90’s where Linux was a complicated operating system. These days desktop Linux OSes run out of the box, have GUI tools and have all the functionality that you look for in Windows.

5. Drivers included

As a Windows user, you must have struggled with drivers. Finding the correct driver for your system was a difficult task. I remember, I had several drivers folder in my external backup disk as I did not want to waste time looking for the audio, video or wireless drivers. But with Linux, most of these drivers are supported directly by the Linux kernel. Which means its more like plug and play for Linux, no struggling with drivers, largely.

6. It’s sexy and I know it

When it comes to looks, desktop Linux rules over Windows. Be it Unity, Cinnamon, Gnome 3, KDE or even low end desktop environments like Xfce or Lxde, they are much more good looking than the Windows desktop. So if you think Linux desktop to be a plain boring and dull looking, you are definitely wrong. Best of all, you can choose a desktop flavor according to your choice.

7. Software repository

Most of the desktop Linux OS have their own ‘app store’ or ‘software repository’. You can look for any kind of application, libraries at one single place without the need of Googling all over the internet for it. Moreover, the software thus installed will be safe, compatible with your OS and will be getting automatic updates.

8. Better updating process

Windows updates are real pain. First Windows will notify that you have system updates. When you install them, it will be configured at shutdown time at a pace that even a tortoise can beat. You will be told to “preparing to configure Windows, do not shutdown your system” and the wait is eternal. And that’s not the end. At the next boot, it will again be configuring the updates. Moreover, the software and applications installed in Windows provide their updates separately. Remember Java, Adobe or iTunes updates pop up?

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Updates in Linux is a like a cool breeze. You will be regularly notified that updates are available. And these updates include not just system and security updates but available updates for different applications installed. Unlike Windows, you won’t have to wait at shutdown or start time. Updating in desktop Linux is a matter of one click.

9. Gaming on Linux

One of the major constraint one face while switching to Linux is gaming. While Linux had some native games, thanks to Steam, it has now a wide range of games available. GOG.com will also be bringing around 100 games by the year end. Apart from these, we always have PlayOnLinux, which lets you play ‘Windows only’ games on Linux.

Read this post to know more about gaming on Linux.

10. Community support

Probably the best thing about Linux is the Linux community. You will never feel alone in Linux world. Apart from numerous Linux how-to blogs, just drop by any forum for any kind of problem you are facing with your system, someone will always try to help you out. Such is the support of Linux community.

Think these 10 reasons are good enough for you to switch to Linux from Windows? If yes then you might be wondering which Linux OS is best for you. In a previous article, I had written about best Linux OS to replace Windows XP, you may take a look at it.

I hope this post makes your decision of switching to Linux easier. Time to ditch Windows and embrace the freedom has come. Welcome to Linux.

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47 comments

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I cannot tell you how much Windows frustrates me. They seem to change features simply so they can "claim" it is the latest and greatest when in fact, everything since XP has been a royal pain the the aspirin. I have win10 and since being forced to update it has been a nightmare. That POS program now has made it impossible for me to save ANY files. regardless of the name or location. So what is the "solution" offered by the MS i.e. most sh!tty gropup is to try to jump through multiple hoops to TRY to solve the problem, when all the commenters agree the solutions DO NOT WORK.

So when MS Windows dies the world will be a happier place.

LXDE is good looking? did you even try it? its too ugly and you can't customize shit.

it need to be rephrased....Free is Not free. It is open (source) for most things some are not open but you have the choice. NO money is asked if you do it yourself, when you need special apps you need sometimes to pay for it. But Donations are always welcome if you liked it to further support this free O.S. and his apps.

Hello Foss,

I just wanted to let you know that "TaxCalc" the tax calculating programme used by many accountants is now available as a Linux download (not free though). But it does mean that Linux is being used more and more by professionals.

Yours,

John G

was looking for the article, about windows 8 support and it should be a reason to migrate to Linux

Hiya,

for the most part I agree with what you wrote here... But it does rather sadden me that there is also mistruths in some of the things you have written. For a start Windows 10 is a free upgrade from Windows 7 , 8 and 8.1 so no do not have to spend lots of money. I know what you were trying to say... just did not convey it very well. If upgrading from an earlier version then yes, it costs or wait until after the free period expires ( I think from memory it was a year from Windows 10 release)

Driver support in Windows 10 is in fact pretty good. (Although do not like it still prefer Windows 7)

I agree windows updates are an absolute pain in the b...... and then you get other which only tell you when windows has rebooted. Adobe being one of the worst offenders.

Virus's yes you are correct... But I think as more and more people start switching to Linux based OS's then we may find that they will start being targeted. Microsoft is a prime target because it has market share of OS but if that alters then targets will alter.

The rest of your comments agree with, I do though note you have not mentioned Ubuntu which i actually quite like.

Good article overall and thanks :).

So what if it is "free"? It is a POS and worthless which is why it is free.

Author
Abhishek Prakash

Hello Greg,

This article was written on the time of Windows XP demise. The upgrades were not free at that time.

Even though Windows 10 upgrade is 'free', it's not really free because you'll have to pay in few months, you did mention that :)

Ubuntu is my favorite as well and is widely covered on It's FOSS :)

I think the Linux world is missing a big opportunity. Microsoft has chosen to stop supporting VB 6 (Visual Basic 6.0) and is forcing all Application Programmers, like me, to switch to VB.Net. The only problem is, to convert all the old code that programmers have written, is very time consuming and in many cases, such as mine, the VB.net code runs slower, and will not keep up with Real-Time Events in Process Control and Automation programs. Several companies have written Visual Basic compilers with more speed than VB.Net, but they are still incompatible with VB 6 drivers and interfaces to factory automation devices such as PLC's, servo drives, etc. It would be great if a group of Linux programmers would come up with a VB 6 like compiler that would run on Linux and support the ActiveX interfaces and Input/Output structures as VB 6, and execute compiled code quickly and allow Real Time interfacing via RS-232, USB and Ethernet ports.

Nice article... I am a proud linux fan but I would like to comment all your points. Server side Linux is unbeatable but on Desktop I prefer Mac/Windows still, sorry :(

1. I have installed a cracked Windows 7 Ultimate and the Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro was smooth and hassle free, Windows 10 rocks by the way.

2. AGREE, but beware WHEN linux will become the desktop OS, THERE WILL DEFINITELY BE VIRUSES. Viruses are more on Windows because it's more vulnerable, I concur, but also most popular.

3. Windows 10 installed on my 10 year old AMD XP 2600+ without any hassle.

4. Linux can be a pain sometimes, windows is easier I might argue cos' more people are used to it. I give it 50/50 for the sake of fairness.

5. Windows 10 drivers' support is surprisingly good... all my peripherals work... driver installation on Linux is hell!!!! Come on guys :)

6. AGREE. So many distros have their own way. Linux wins it all the way.

7. AGREE. It rocks! No comparison.

8. I have no idea. I haven't seen any Windows 10 update so far.

9. Gaming on Windows is a luxury, you need a super graphic card. On Linux it's a myth :) All the big game developers simply don't go for Linux, yet. Gaming is for consoles. PS4 is the way forward.

10 AGREE 100%, Windows KB just sucks... I have never got a single decent help from a Windows KB. Linux forums are great, but I hate it when the "nerds" say RTFM. Linux is really tough under the hood.

VERDICT

Server: Linux >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Anything else

Desktop: Windows > Mac > Linux (although sooner than later Linux will catch up)

Author
Abhishek Prakash

I liked "Gaming on Windows is luxury and gaming on Linux is myth" :) Good one

I have started using Linux Mint on some computers. I have experience using Unix. I work in the IT field. I want you to know who's saying this.

If you have a geek in the house to do the setup and installations, then yes, the family can get by and even enjoy Linux for web and email ONLY.

If they have to do it themselves, or if they want to use any other programs, then they are going to get frustrated and give up.

People who develop Linux and claim they have it ready for the mainstream user are simply wrong. I don't think they're deliberately lying but they do not field test their assumptions with average Windows users to find out that they're wrong.

I do think it could be done, it's certainly improved a lot over the years, but it is not ready yet.

I look forward to the day when before declaring a release "ready" that they have a focus group of NON-Linux people test it without help.

Not to mention that Microsoft is spying on you using Windows 10. Check the agreement.

Spying? what do you mean? tell me more...

Linux has some advantage over windows in terms of cost and technology, But windows still is a good option if you want to use Microsoft software and application. I have chosen windows from http://www.ixwebhosting.com/ simply because my website needs Microsoft.

I am a software developer for several years so I use some programs like Total Commander, Notepad++ or IrfanView very efficient. There are several alternatives to them on Linux but none of them is a full substitution. They do not have the same shortcuts, they miss some functionality. You can find several forum themes on the subject.

Fortunately, I could install a Linux Mint without any problems, but it's sometimes a bit pain to get used to it in some extent. There are simple things that I've done several times on Windows like "put a shortcut icon to the tray", "setup power saving options" , and now I have to google for it.

I like the speedy startup and stability of my new Linux machine. I've basically hated the libraries like Documents, Downloads, etc. of Windows, but somehow I used to it, and it was a really nice surprise to have a similar structure in Linux.

My wife uses the computer mostly for internet browsing and mailing, I recommend her to use Linux for everyday usage but to switch to Windows for Word/Excel/PowerPoint, or to take a deep breath and start with LibreOffice. She will have the same problem there like me at Total Commander.

Author

Hi Geza,

Indeed it is about "getting used to it". If you start using Linux as your main OS, in sometime, you won't need to Google for small stuff because you would know around the OS already.

Linux has same Documents/Music/Picture directory structure but not as Library as Windows which is useful in editing metadata of the files. But there are always workarounds.

LibreOffice is growing but I can understand the viewpoint of long time Windows user. Good thing is that with MS Office Online, you can actually use it in Linux in a web browser and documents synched to OneDrive.

Word online is shit. Google docs excels at collaboration but comes no where near to word when it comes to editing.

What I have done is install Windows and office and photoshop in virtualbox.

But I get free copies from my job. May not be the same for everyone.

Author

With Office 365, you can use MS Office online as well, I presume. Not sure how good it is against the full install.

Hi Prakash,
I regularly visit your site for linux feedbacks. I would like to know more about Reason 2 for security, antivirus and web protection.
I am using windows triple boot with Ubuntu 14.04 and Centos 6.6.
I regularly transfer some downloaded files (Movies, videos, pdf, doc and all) from windows to linux. Videos play excellently in linux rather than windows.

Now coming to the point,
1. Is there any chances that my linux OScis get infected with virus, say virus made for windows or virus made for linux OS. I have reviewed the web and found some people claiming that virus is also made for linux os. Also some of linux OSsis are good choices of hackers, e.g. Backbox, DEFT, Live hecking OS, etc.

2. I am not using wine as I don’t want to install windows software in any of linux os. I am trying to keep my linux os as pure as they are and see what difficulties I face with them. So far my requirements are
fulfilled and everything seems to be running smooth.

3. Is there any necessity for installing good antivirus in linux?
I am using clamav and WOT add on for firefox which says which site is
malicious (replacement of Mcafe security for windows). I want to install comodo for linux as I regularly transfer data from windows to linux os. Does comodo for Linux scan viruses, both virus made for windows or virus made for linux OS? Does it provide web protection? Will it be useful to protect our system from linux heckers?

Kindly elaborate on my concern. Thanks.

Author

Hi Rajesh,

I kind of missed your comment which got buried in several other comments I receive daily. Apologies for that.

For your question about virus, yes, there have been some viruses for Linux in the past, and there will be some in future BUT Linux is still way way secure than usual Windows virus. You don't need to worry about a exe file installed somewhere and other regular Windows annoyances.

That said, like any other OS, it mostly depends on users. Linux doesn't secure you from phishing attacks for example. You should be smart enough to see it. Bottom line, nothing is absolute secure in the world, Linux in not an exception. But you have a much better security by default in Linux.

For antivirus on Linux, like you I use WOT for web reputation stuff. Apart from that I never used any antivirus ever. And I don't advice the same to anyone.

Hi Prakash,
Thanks for your Reply.
I came across a new term in Linux when I installed Centos 7 in my system. i.e. selinux. My Centos system is selinux enabled.
Is it advisable to have selinux enabled in the linux desktop. What difference it makes as per speed and performance.?
Is it advisable to install selinux in Ubuntu14.04 as well? Will it really make any difference?
What are the adventages and disadventages?

LA ODE IQBAL SIDIK

I try several linux distro, now i m using elementary OS. My question, why the download speed in linux is only 1/4 from the Windows's download speed?

Author

Are you really sure about that? I never find such a difference.

I have made the switch to Linux Mint 17 KDE. I am seriously considering re-installing Windows 7 and dual booting it with Linux Mint 17 KDE. I am only wanting Windows 7 solely for the purpose of gaming and Linux Mint for the purpose of an everyday desktop. I hate using Windows, but seems like a necessary evil in order to keep gaming unfortunately. Yes, there is some games available to Linux, but there is terrible support for AMD video cards (especially newer cards). I have tried gaming with the opensource X.Org drivers and it is hit and miss with FPS. The games that I mainly play are World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and GTA 4. World of Warcraft used to work with OpenGL, however the support was dropped a long time ago and the last thing I heard about it was that Mists of Pandaria wasn't supported as well as Warlord's of Draenor i'm sure. I've gotten League of Legends to work on WINE (WINE is not an emulator) at one point, but there must have been an update because it is broken again. GTA has only ever worked on Windows.

I would only ever recommend Linux to somebody that doesn't game on PC or is a console gamer. There are a lot of nice things that you can do with Linux and it is very powerful compared to Windows. But there is a lack of support when it comes to gaming and drivers from AMD. If you have Nvidia, you are in luck. They care about their customer base and provide drivers for each platform. If you don't game at all, that is even better as there are so many free opensource programs for Linux that will basically cover all of your needs (anything to do with regular desktop use to video editing, screen recording, office needs with LibreOffice, and so on.)

If you are new to Linux, Linux Mint 17 KDE is very easy to start out with. Many may argue that KDE is more for the technically-minded, however I find that this desktop environment reminds me quite a bit of Windows in a way. It really isn't that hard for anyone who would like to learn it. Another great thing about KDE is that it has remained consistant in design over the years while other desktop environments such as GNOME have changed from a simple and straightforward environment to a tablet-based and a diminished environment that it is hard to really customize anything at all besides window buttons and wallpapers. Yes, there are extensions that you can install to make it easier to use or resemble GNOME 2 more, however why do that when you can have it all with KDE? I Can't speak for Openbox and IceWM as it has been years since I last tried them out.

The only thing I am going to say is that the switch to Linux will be dependent on a few things.

1. What you use your computer for?
If you use your computer for just basic word processing, video or music
(editing maybe), or just for browsing the internet, then Linux is for you
and you should stop giving unnecessary money to Microsoft or any other
company in order to use their products. I'm saying this for Microsoft Office,
Corel, Lotus, and any other thing imaginable that you could possibly sink
money into that there is a more efficient opensource application available
that performs literally the same function.

If you use your computer only for gaming, then I would recommend sticking
with Windows 7 or 8.1.

2. Whether or not you care paying a large company for software or having to constantly hunt for drivers.
Drivers are included in each release of the Linux kernel. Unless you have
fairly new or very old hardware, or are using a Nvidia or AMD video card,
your drivers will be already installed on the first use.

When it comes down to software such as Microsoft Office, etc...

A lot of businesses use Microsoft Office. There are very few that use Lotus
Notes, Lotus 1-2-3...eh DFS, or Corel Office. LibreOffice is able to suite almost
every need you would expect from a word processing suite. Best yet, it is
completely free! You don't even have to spend a penny on it.

3. The driver support you are after (applying to AMD nearly exclusively)
Linux comes with pretty excellent driver support for everything but AMD
video cards. So again, dependent on what you are using your computer for
will depend if you are going to be happy with the switch to Linux. Again, if
the sole reason that you use Linux is to game, then be sure that you are
using a Nvidia card because the lack of support from AMD sucks.

Again, the Linux community developes the X.Org or opensource drivers for
AMD and Nvidia cards, which might work perfectly again depending on what
you are using Linux for.

Finally, just to forewarn anyone wanting to switch to Linux. There are quite a few distributions out there that are available. There are some that are tailored to be more newb friendly (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Makulu, Linux Lite, PCLinuxOS, and others) and those that are for a person that enjoys building their own desktop environment (Arch Linux, Gentoo Linux --"shudders"). If you are looking for a distribution that is newb-friendly, I would suggest checking out Zorin OS, Linux Mint, or Ubuntu. For those more technical-minded and willing to learn, I would first recommend Arch Linux, and then the more pain in the neck Gentoo.

Also, did I mention how customizable Linux is? Instead of paying Stardock or another third party company to theme your desktop. Yep, there is literally thousands of different themes that you can get for your Linux desktop comptelely free of charge. Most of them are submitted in by the Linux community.

Hopefully, this comment helped anyone considering the switch to Linux. I
will say that it is quite the switch. However, if there are only
certain things that you need your computer for (i.e., word processing,
web browsing, or the like), then you will feel very at home using Linux. There "are" games available to Linux, but they are limited. Don't expect to find some of the popular titles on Windows on Linux!

Author

Thanks for taking your time to write your views.

I agree for the gaming part and hardware support. Indeed there are not as many Games as we have on Windows. But if you have a console (like me), Linux is perfect.

What I always suggest to newcomers to Linux, is that they should always dual boot Linux with Windows. use Linux as main desktop and keep Windows for emergency uses if you screw up with the system in some way.

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