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Linux has been a wonderful operating system for many people. It’s free, it’s open source, it’s customizable, secure and much more.

We, like many other open source enthusiasts around the world as well, have been trying to convince people to switch to Linux from Windows for many reasons. These reasons should be all known for you by now.

But we have to be honest and admit that Linux is not for everybody. There are some specific cases where staying as an avid Windows user could be better for you than switching to Linux, and we’ll be seeing some of these in today’s article.

1- If You Don’t Have Time to Learn

switching to linux 5

Anyone who tells you that Linux is so straightforward to get into is lying on you. There is a big learning curve that you have to go through in order to fully start understanding how your average Linux distribution works.

Things like package management, desktop environments, drivers, games optimizing and others will need huge time to learn. It is an investment in one’s self for sure, but for many people, they may not be able to afford that investment.

There will also be some edge cases where two or three things will not work with you on Linux (E.g some Windows apps you depend on, some hardware drivers, fractional scaling… etc), and fixing them will take part of your time. Yes you’ll only have to fix them once, but you still have to fix them by yourself nonetheless.

If you are a very busy person who just wishes to use his/her computer for Internet browsing and gaming, and have no time to do any technical debugging and learning, then Linux may not be the best OS for you.

2- If You Are Deep In Microsoft’s Products

switching to linux 7

Some people, especially in the US, depend a lot on Microsoft’s products and services in their daily lives. They could be C# or .NET developers, MS IIS sysadmins or even normal students who use Mircrosoft 365, Teams, Office, OneNote, OneDrive and other MS services.

While half of these products do work on Linux just like on Windows, the other half does not. More importantly, you would lose the default system integration offered in Windows for these services in Linux, as you’ll never find a distribution that offers the same unique user experience (No shame in that, it is a proprietary ecosystem at the end).

A developer can use Mono on Linux for example to develop C# and .NET applications, but that wouldn’t be a pleasant experience to have, especially from the first time. There would be a number of hidden bugs, incompatibility issues and missing helpful features.

If you are heavily depending on Microsoft’s services in your work or study life, then Linux may not be the best default OS for you.

3- If You Expect Linux To Be Like Windows

switching to linux 9
Windows Subsystem for Linux, image by WSL team.

The other more important thing to get is that Linux is not Windows, and never will be.

Things on Linux are done in a different way than on Windows, for example:

  • Software does not come from the random Internet, but from official repositories created by distribution maintainers. It may be hard to get a software from a verified source if your distribution does not offer it.
  • A distribution typically consists of hundreds of different components developed by tens of different vendors and put together. The OS is not controlled by one vendor, and hence these components may sometimes not work nicely together.
  • Most open source software developers, especially on the area of the desktop, are developing software for free. This means that there is no one to shout at or fire if things don’t work as expected.
  • Famous software/hardware vendors have ignored Linux and its users for far too long, that’s why some hardware drivers may not work in the same way as on Windows, and some software applications (E.g Adobe) may not be available at all.

The above points combined with the open source nature of the Linux ecosystem have led into creation of a different user experience than on Windows or other proprietary operating systems.

Don’t enter Linux and expect the same Windows mentality to be here; leave it behind because you’ll be otherwise shocked for your unmet expectations.

4- If You Can’t Learn

switching to linux 11

It wouldn’t be recommended to install Linux for people with no technical knowledge or ability to at least Google for the problems they are facing. Older folks like those in their 60’s or 70’s may want to stay away from Linux.

Like in the first point we talked about in our article, not just the time but also the ability to learn is important when you enter Linux. If the user can barely understand the difference between an HDD and an SSD, then it would be harder for him/her to understand the key concepts in the Linux desktop such as permissions, package management, desktop environments, driver issues… etc.

It would be a fun experience for sure, and they could try testing it in a virtual environment (Like on VirtualBox) before going for the real thing, but going straightforward for that could be a mess.

5- If You Are An AAA Gamer

person sitting on gaming chair while playing video game

Thanks to Proton technology on Steam, Valve successfully allowed many people to run their favorite top AAA games on Linux. You can check websites like to see which games work and which don’t.

However, most of the newest games from other vendors do not work on Linux. And you’ll also notice that some important hardware and software pieces are not working well.

E.g AMD does not provide its AMD Radeon software for Linux (They only provide the drivers, but no the software control center), and many gaming accessories manufacturers only release their hardware-adjusting software for Windows, which would prevent you from getting the full gaming experience you desire. NVIDIA has been a known bad player on Linux for many years, too.

Of course, you can have many entertaining games on Linux, but if you are aiming for the most recent AAA games in the market or if you have gaming hardware from many different vendors, then it would be hard to get these to work flawlessly on Linux.

So to sum up, Linux is a good OS for many people, and it has been solving many use cases for millions of users, but it is not for everyone. If you are one of the user types mentioned above, then delaying your Linux conversion could be a wise option.

Don’t let the mentioned points prevent you from trying, though. You can easily install Linux side by side on your computer so that you can choose between Windows and Linux at boot time (Dual-boot), and in this way, you keep your Window installation intact while you explore the Linux world and learn it anytime you wish.

Here is an entertaining video for a bunch of monkeys trying to switch to Linux (Just kidding! /s) and see what problems they stumbled upon:

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