11 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Linux

You’re probably using Windows or macOS if you’re reading this. No matter what you’re using currently, you will find a lot of use-cases where Linux is better than Windows and also cases where it’s better than Mac.

In case you’re new to all this and confused about what “Linux” actually is — I recommend you to first read one of our previous articles to know what Linux is.

Now that I assume you know what Linux is — I must make it clear that I’m not leaning towards the statement — “Linux or nothing”. But, if you haven’t used a Linux distro, you’re missing out on a lot of good things.

So, if you’re planning to give Linux a try — there are several reasons to do so.

In this article, I’m going to highlight ten reasons why you should Linux and never look back.

Here’s why you should switch to Linux

While Linux already powers all the top 500 fastest supercomputers worldwide, in this article, we focus on desktop Linux for an average Joe like you and me.

1. It’s free: No license, no fees

Linux is completely free to use unlike Microsoft Windows or macOS. You don’t need to purchase any kind of licenses (or shell out cash for specific hardware) to use it for personal or commercial use.

With a couple of hundred bucks saved, you can use it to upgrade your hardware, purchase premium services or anything better that you can think of. Isn’t that exciting?

2. More Secure: Antivirus not required

To be honest, every platform has its share of issues. However, Linux is one of the most secure platforms when compared to macOS and Windows.

With a big community of developers/users, even if someone finds a problem, it gets fixed quickly. However, sometimes with macOS and Windows, I’ve noticed that it takes a lot of time for them to fix the issues in a future update.

And, of course, you don’t necessarily need an antivirus program on Linux. So, you also save on yearly/monthly subscriptions for Antivirus programs on Windows/macOS.

Yes, one could argue that the market share of Linux on Desktop is lower than Windows/macOS. So, attackers don’t always target Linux users and hence, there aren’t any widespread security issues being spotted.

Even if that’s true (let’s assume), would you prefer to use something that’s safer to use or something that’s a magnet to virus, malware, and adware? I’ll respect your decision with that.

3. Compatible with old and low-end hardware

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 doesn’t work very well with older computers and you know that. macOS is a different story because you don’t really have the option of choosing your own hardware — so there’s nothing to talk about here.

But, Linux is easily compatible with low-end hardware and IoT devices as well.

In fact, you will find some specific lightweight Linux distros tailored for old computers.

Not just limited to that, you can also fire up a Linux distro on a Raspberry Pi or its alternatives to set up a basic system or work on DIY project. If you still don’t believe me, I recommend you to check out the best Raspberry Pi OS available out there.

4. It’s not that complicated to use

With Linux distributions like Pop!_OS, Ubuntu, Manjaro and many others, Linux is easier than ever.

You can get almost anything done using a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and you don’t need to type any commands.

Yes, you can do a lot of things if you know how to use the terminal quickly. And, you might come across some distributions that are meant for experienced Linux users. But, you will find plenty of documentations/help resources online to follow without relying on anyone.1

5. Drivers installed automatically

Drivers scene has improved on Windows 10 as well but it has always been better on Linux.

Almost all drivers are automatically installed on your system. If there are more than one drivers available, you can choose to install the one you want.

Install Nvidia Driver in Ubuntu

6. Customize the looks of your desktop as much you like

Starting from the icon pack to the application window, you can change the look and feel of a Linux distro in minutes.

In case you want to explore, you can refer to our list of the best GNOME themes and best icons for your Linux distro.

Linux Customization Reddit Post
Image Credits: Reddit by u/jom4d4

Not just limited to theme, you can also change the desktop environment of your distro to KDE, GNOME, MATE, and others. A Desktop Environment basically changes the overall user interface of your OS.

You can take a look the best desktop environments available to know what I’m referring to.

In case you want a Windows-like interface on Linux, fear not, you have plenty of Windows-like distributions that you can install.

7. Software center to get all apps in one place

Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu Software Center

It’s easy to install software on Linux using the software center (or the app center or the package manager). The collection of software available is usually huge and actively maintained.

This is not something exclusive to Linux, you can find Microsoft Store for Windows as well. But, the point is, it’s not difficult to find and install applications on Linux.

8. Hassle-free updates: Update your system as well as installed software

Updates Available Ubuntu

Linux has got a strong track record of hassle-free updates unlike Windows. It not only updates your system but it also updates installed software. How cool is that!

Not to mention, I have to re-configure my audio configuration every time a Windows update arrives. In a nutshell, with every Windows update, something goes wrong. If you’re lucky enough, you may not have noticed any issues but it’s a mess with Windows updates.

Also, the most annoying thing with Windows is its background update download and later forcing you to update your system.

Wait, you also have to reboot every time you get a Window/macOS update? That can be inconvenient.

Fortunately, on Linux, you don’t necessarily need to reboot and the updates are mostly error-free. And, that’s why Linux is the perfect choice for enterprises and servers.

In fact, there’s an entertaining video by the fine folks at SUSE which highlights “don’t reboot it, just patch it”.

10. Gaming on Linux

In the past, one of the major constraints while switching to Linux was gaming.

While Linux had some native games, thanks to Steam Play, now you can play ‘Windows only’ games on Linux.

Steam Store

You may not be able to play “every” Windows game on Linux yet. However, you can enjoy most of the latest AAA games and older titles without any issues.

You can read more about gaming on Linux to see all the options to game on a Linux system.

10. Community support

Probably the best thing about Linux is the community of users itself.

Not just blogs/publications like ours — but you can interact with people to get help on numerous forums. You will find a lot of helpful users online who will go an extra mile to help you out. So, you’re not alone, we’re a family here!

Well, we also have our own Linux forum if you need any help.

11. Linux is Open Source

If you like to have transparency on what you use on a day-to-day basis, Linux (in general) is the perfect choice to have.

Unlike Windows/macOS, Linux relies on the concept of open-source software. So, you can easily review the source code of your operating system to see how it works or how it handles your data.

For instance, you get a car but you’re not allowed to see what’s inside, wouldn’t you be annoyed? That’s how Windows/macOS works — but with Linux, you are allowed to see what’s inside without any restrictions.

Fret not, if you don’t have the required expertise to understand the source code, there are thousands of developers/contributors who constantly work on fixing the issues (if there’s anything at all).

You don’t have to trust a company, right? So, with an open-source community, it’s the people/users who’re largely responsible for fixing issues or help to improve it.

Wrapping Up

Linux is something that anyone ranging from an average Joe to a system admin can utilize. So, if you find these reasons compelling enough, make the switch!

Personally, I’ve been using Linux for several years now and I’ve never looked back. What about you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • “Also, the most annoying thing with Windows is its background update download and later forcing you to update your system.”

    For me, that says it all. I’ve avoided making the change, but in the last round of “Windows Updates” anyone who examines what’s happening will note that M/S has gone into “Tyrant” mode, where they updated their software with software that assures they can now update my machine with whatever they want and I have no way about it. I have spent hours trying various methods of “shutting off” Windows Update, all to no avail, as the M/S nazis have so far succeeded in overcoming everything formerly used to shut the WU off. So they preloaded you system with software that guarantees they can now update your system forever and you’re stuck! In fact from my research it appears likely they they will force the update to Win11 within this year.

    This is absolutely unacceptable to me. For this single reason alone, I’m switching to Linux. Freedom is more important than the few things I might want to do with Windows which will be missing or more difficult with Linux.

    List all the reasons and excuses and biased support for M/S you want but for me it’s “FREEDOM!!!”

  • None of that is a reason to change from Windows/Mac to Linux. If the question is “Why should I change” then the answer must be “Because Linux meets your particular need better than Windows/Mac”… and none of these features meet that criterion. Sure… in the very specific case that you have old hardware that you want to run well and you don’t have a need to run specific Windows/Mac only software THEN you have a valid argument… but that’s a minority case. To address a few items specifically…
    – The need to pay for a licence is largely irrelevant these days… if you’ve bought a ready made PC or Mac in the last fifteen years then you already have a licence.
    – Linux being open source is just another facet of the argument licence, not a seperate argument, since the only impact that has on the majority of Linux users is the lack of licencing requirements.
    – ALL modern operating systems have community support and easy access to software and drivers.
    – Your agument about gaming boils down to “Gaming on Linux is not quite as bad as it used to be, but is still significantly better on Windows”.

    So basically unless you fit into a few niche categories there’s still no reason to deal with the steep learning curve that goes along with adopting Linux… there’s simply not enough benefit to be had to make the effort worthwhile, especially since the vast majority of Linux users end up with a dual boot sysyem so they can still access a mainstream OS. Sorry, but it’s still a niche use case and will remain so.

  • What do you mean cases where it’s better than mac? Everything is better than what appel cooked up in their basement … yes even windows is better than mac by a lot even.

  • TLDR – I agree with much of what you say. But you are taking an advocacy position.

    Here’s my real-world experiences of making the move recently:

    I have been a long-term Windows user. I started developing an application under Windows 1 (a disaster due to memory leaks in the OS), I developed device drivers under Windows 3.1. I have 4 computers at home quite happily running Windows 10, and with very little frustration.

    Why then should I want to migrate to Linux? There are multiple reasons. Perhaps the most important is that Microsoft has branded most of my hardware unfit to run its next revision of Windows; at some point Windows 10 will cease to be supported and vendors of the various Apps I depend on will stop supporting it. The second reason (and perhaps an equal first) is that I like to tinker, and Linux has plenty of scope for tinkering. Thirdly, I am familiar with running Linux, which I use on my home server. Finally, I wanted to use ZFS to provide management and protection of my filesystem.

    But can I drop Windows entirely? Unfortunately not. A couple of the apps I depend on run only in Windows. These are VideoPsalm (which is used to present in Church) and Microsoft Access (which I use to maintain multiple databases, e.g., for a publication I edit).
    I would really like to have moved my existing Windows 10 installation into the virtual domain. I never did find a way to do this. I tried virtualizing the nvme PCI hardware in qemu-kvm. I moved my installation to an SSD (where it still booted) and then virtualized this as a raw block device. The boot up in the virtual machine (VM) gave an error on a fetchingly attractive light blue background (gone are the bad old days of dark blue). Booting the Windows 10 installation image and attempted to repair the installation failed. I could boot it in safe mode, but not in normal mode. Eventually I gave up and bought a one-time install license for Windows 10, and for Microsoft Office, which I was able to install in a fresh VM. There I was able to continue to use VideoPsalm and Microsoft Access (Office).

    Here is a list of observations from this work:
    • I selected Zorin 16 Core (based on Ubuntu 20.04) as my OS. It has good reviews. The Core version is free, but the existence of paid versions means the features in Core get professional attention. It’s based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which is also well maintaned.
    • I initially installed Zorin 16 to a SSD using ext4 as the filesystem, then I moved the installation to my nvme using the zfs filesystem (separate boot and root pools). I kind-of followed some of the ideas in the Ubuntu ZSYS project, having separate datasets for the root, and each user. However, I did not use the OS option to install on zfs because I have found zsys to be buggy, and in the past it failed me when I needed it most.
    • Ubuntu 20.04 domain name resolution is a right pain too if you have a local DNS server. I disabled Network Manager and used netplan (rendered by networkd) to define a bridge (needed by the virtual machines) with static IP and DNS settings. If I relied on the values supplied by my DHCP server, the OS would occasionally reset itself so that it resolved only external names, and sometimes didn’t work at all. I never did find out why.
    • Linux apps, in general, do not talk to data on the network directly. I mounted my network resources using nfs in the fstab.
    • Printing proved to be a right royal pain in the posterior. I spent a day messing about with different printer drivers and trying to coerce otherwise functional programs to behave rationally. I ended up insalling Gutenprint drivers for my Canon mx925 printer, and installing a printer using the same connection for each combination of job options (page size, borderless printing, paper type) that I wanted, because applications generally don’t seem to want to remember prior combinations of print options.
    • Sound. Managing sound devices is also a pain in the derriere. Ubuntu 20.04 / Zorin uses Pulse Audio. Some applications work seamlessly (e.g. Zoom). Others support ALSA device selection, or the Pulse Audio default device, such as Audacity and Skype. Evenually I learned to disable a device in Pulse Audio in order to allow Audacity to access it via ALSA, reserving headphones for editing, and my main speakers for everything else. But, Pulse has the annoying habits of randomly changing the “fallback”=default output device, for no reason that I could find. I ended up keeping the Pulse volume control open to manage which device audio should come out of. I also had to edit the pulse config files to specify initial default source and sink, because it appeared to have no memory from boot to boot of device selection.
    • I had to be sensitive to the source of a program: OS-supplied, supplied by a PPA (i.e., an unofficial release for the OS), Snap, Flatpack or AppImage. Snap and Flatpack applications are isolated from much of the machine – for example, limiting the user’s home directory subdirectories that are visible, and making the printer unavailable. Also start-up time for Snap, Flatpack and AppImage applications may be slow. Opera installed from Snap had a 10-second start-up time. This is not acceptable, IMHO.

    And comments on specific applications:
    • Thunderbird is my go-to email, calendar and contacts app. Works seamlessly in Linux.
    • Audacity is used for my audio narration. I encountered a number of issues. The latest AppImage (3.1.2) has one feature I use (Noise Reduction) slowed down a factor of seval, and when installed as a Flatpack, it slows down a factor of several more. I had to install an old version (3.0.2) from a PPA, which restored the speed.
    • My image library is managed using Faststone on Windows. I evaluated a number of alternatives on Linux. I wanted to use Shotwell, but found it too unstable – crashing for some drag-and-drop operations. I settled on digiKam, which is way more powerful than I need. However, printing images in digiKam has issues. Using the print tool from the LightTable results in weird cropping aspect ratios, i.e., the first print is OK, but subsequent prints are stretched or squashed. I resorted to printing one-at-a-time using GIMP.
    • Google drive. I was unwilling to pay for a linux replacement. I evaluated some of the free alternatives with no success. So I reduced by dependence on it, and used the gnome ability to see it as a directory under nautilus to drag and drop files into it, rather than accessing files in the Google drive direct from applications.
    • Desktop search. Part of my self-employed work requires me to research in a large corpus of Microsoft Office files. I uses Lookeen (paid) on Windows. After some evaluation, I settled on Recoll under Linux. I did have to work around a system crash that occurred when Recoll indexed my 40GB corpus directly mounted on nfs. I synchronised the files to a local directory (using ownCloud) and Recoll indexed that without issue.
    • Voip client. I was using MicroSIP on Windows. I evaluated the usual suspects on Linux (Linphone, Twinkle). Eventually I was forced to drop the open source choices due to limitations or bugs and go with the free version of Zoiper, which perfectly meets my needs.
    • Brower. My Windows preference is Opera, although there are some websites that don’t like it. Under Linux the limitations of Opera are more evident. I moved to Firefox, which also has support for hardware video acceleration, an added plus.
    • What’s App: there is no native App, but web.whatsapp.com works well enough in a browser.
    • Applications which work seamlessly in both environments:
    ◦ RSS reader: QuiteRSS
    ◦ Video editor: Shotcut
    ◦ Teamviewer
    ◦ Ultimaker Cura
    ◦ FreeCad
    ◦ Zoom
    ◦ Calibre
    ◦ Heidi SQL
    ◦ Inkscape