The view that Linux is a server operating system only is an outdated view. There are hundreds of Linux distributions designed specifically to be beneficial for the average desktop/laptop user, and it is perhaps time you consider switching to Linux from Windows.
When we talk about switching to Linux, we talk about using distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint instead of your Windows installation. Of course, you don’t have to get rid of Windows at the same day either; you can install Linux side by side with Windows if you wish, until you have finally made your mind about it.
Windows vs Linux: Top 7 Reasons to Switch to Linux from Windows
In today’s article we’ll be seeing the top 7 reasons to switch to Linux from Windows, and why it could be a viable option for you in the future.
1- To Save Costs
This has to be the most straightforward reason to switch to Linux: Saving costs.
If you are a Windows user, then you already paid for a Windows license. Not necessarily directly, but when you bought your desktop/laptop, the price was already increased by $100-$200 for the included activated Windows installation.
For example, a laptop may cost $1000 if it comes with Windows, but $800 if it comes with Linux (or no OS). And sadly people don’t realize that they have already paid for a Windows license when they made such purchase.
Over the years, you’ll see that you are paying hundreds of dollars on your devices just for the basic operating system. This is also especially true in the case of enterprise installations, where they have to sign many contracts with Microsoft in order to keep getting new Windows releases for all their machines.
On Linux, almost all desktop distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Ubuntu MATE and many others are 100% free of cost, forever. This means you’ll be saving few hundreds of dollars over the years by just switching your default OS.
2- To Fully Own Your PC
When you use Linux, you don’t just use the kernel of the OS, you use the entire open source ecosystem.
Thanks for this ecosystem, you can do things like:
- Fully changing your desktop environment and using a different one.
- Get rid of any software piece on your system, no matter what it is, unlike on Windows.
- Fully control updates timing and settings, putting an end to Windows updates during meetings or critical work times.
- Use any supported software however you like, unlike how Windows tries to suppress your freedom to choose a web browser.
- Much more.
With Linux, you are completely in charge of how your system should work and behave. You can replace the login screen, the desktop, the default programs or even the kernel itself with other more optimized kernels (Like Liquorix)!
3- For Customization Abilities
The above point results in having much more customization abilities on Linux than on Windows.
Basically, you can customize the following things on Linux:
- The bootloader theme.
- The login screen system & theme.
- The desktop environment used, like Cinnamon desktop.
- The selected installed applications.
- All your system settings.
- The file manager.
- The underlying OS infrastructure such as packages, updates, permissions, services… etc.
- Much more.
Since every piece is open source, then you’ll always find alternatives to that piece or other customization options available to tweak according to your own needs.
4- For Better Security
It is true that Windows has improved a lot in terms of security in the last few years, and that an average power user no longer needs an antivirus like before.
However, Linux changes the mentality of security handling completely. You don’t go around on the Internet looking for software to download and install like .exe files on Windows, instead, you download software from your official Linux distribution repositories.
And even the few ones which you may download from outside these repositories, you don’t get them from any source. Instead, you get them from the official developers for these apps at least, or from a trusted source.
Also, many Linux distributions have started moving to more advanced software distribution mechanisms like Flatpak and Snaps, which take security to the next level with how they handle app permissions and sandboxing in a way similar to android and iOS devices.
So to sum up, if you are concerned about security, then Linux is a no-brainier for you.
5- To Forget About Cracked Software
In many countries around the world, especially in poor countries where copyright laws are not fully implemented, cracked software prevail as the default software selection for end users.
Here, we are not just talking about the default OS like Windows, but also the other normal apps like Microsoft Office, Adobe programs, AutoCAD… etc and basically any other proprietary premium software.
Users tend to not pay for them, and prefer to used the cracked (aka “hacked”) versions for free. But this may not be wise for two main reasons:
- You do not guarantee that the cracked software you are using are not full of spyware, malware or other malicious codes inserted by the people who cracked the software. At the end, no one does these things for free.
- You’ll be missing on updates and new features coming each year to the same software you use, which could result in a more reduced security for your PC and the data on it.
Cracked software are nightmare for any person who values his/her safety and privacy, and should not be used or encouraged.
But on Linux, since almost all software are both free and open source, this problem does not exist.
6- To Enhance Your Technical Experience
Let’s be honest and admit that there is a learning curve to beat when switching to Linux. It won’t be an easy task and it may take time and effort, but at the end, it will increase your technical experience like never before.
Ever wanted to understand how your system works? How the desktop gets to its current working status and how apps integrate with the system to provide you with the pleasant experience you are having? What these software companies are all competing about and what useful business cases are being solved thanks to open source and Linux?
All of these things you’ll learn, and much more, when you use Linux as your daily driver. You’ll no longer remain an ordinary newbie user who needs to contact tech support because his or her mouse isn’t working, instead, you’ll become a power user.
7- For Getting Rid of Spyware
It is a widely known fact that Windows, and by extension, Microsoft, collects huge data about you when you use Windows (Even if you are paying customer). And you can’t disable it completely even if you wish to.
You may also see ads in your start menu from time to time, or in any other Microsoft services that you use.
On Linux, and in the open source ecosystem in general, no one likes these things here. Many years ago, Ubuntu was heavily criticized and called as “Spyware” just for including Amazon results in the search page in the desktop, which forced the company to turn that feature off by default. Most recently, we have also covered a story where Audacity developers were forced to do the same in order to defend users’ privacy.
When you switch to Linux, you’ll never see ads running on your desktop. You will never see a notification that tells you to switch to Microsoft Edge when you are running browsers like Firefox.
And your system only collects non-personal and non-identifiable information about you, if ever at all. And you can disable these data collecting mechanisms in one click if you wish to.
How to Switch to Linux?
After you have read enough information on how to switch to Linux form Windows, and got the enough technical knowledge about what to expect, you can start the switch by downloading and installing your Linux distribution of choice.
You can, for example, download Linux Mint and burn it to a USB stick in order to install it side by side with your Windows installation. And when you boot your PC, you’ll be able to select which OS you want to use at that session.
The process is simple and isn’t complicated, but you should be ready to learn few key concepts before you do so.
At the end, and just like we explained, the benefits of switching to Linux from Windows could be huge and life-changing for you.
Here is a full breakthrough of the process if you wish: