Should I Switch To Linux?

By
Mon, 6 Nov 2017

In a mainstream discussion about operating systems, it can seem like Mac OS and Microsoft Windows are the only options that exist. But those who prefer a more customizable, open source experience, Linux is an attractive alternative. It's safe, it's free, and it comes in a variety of community-made versions.

Which Linux Distro Should I Get?

There are many distros out there and they each have their own unique features. Here are a few of the most popular options.

  1. Ubuntu: An OS for all your Internet-connected things.
  2. Arch Linux: Keep it simple.
  3. Linux Mint: Elegant, up to date, and easy to use.
  4. Fedora: Choose freedom.
  5. CentOS: Stable, predictable, & manageable.

How Do I Install Linux?

Linux is considered one of the easiest operating systems to install. Each distribution is a little different, but many of them follow the same basic steps.

  • Check that your computer meets the requirements for installation.
  • Decide whether you want to erase your current OS, or run Linux alongside it
  • Choose where in your hard drive you want Linux the be installed.
  • Create a username and password.

Linux vs Windows vs Mac OS

Linux Windows Mac OS
Free
Works with a Variety of Hardware
Open Source
Low Risk of Viruses

The History of Linux

Conclusion

If you're looking for an alternative to Microsoft and Macintosh, Linux is a good place to turn. With so many different versions available, you're bound to find one that suits your needs. It's completely free, so you don't have to make a financial commitment to it if you just want to try it out. And if you ever run into a problem, you can always turn to the Linux community for help and guidance.

In Depth

Have you ever wondered if there are other operating systems worth using aside from Microsoft Windows and Mac OS? There are loads of them on the market, but the one you're most likely to encounter is Linux. It's a free open-source operating system that comes in many different community-made versions known as distributions, or "distros" for short. There are many things to consider when switching to Linux, and it may seem very intimidating at first. Let's go through a few major points to help you decide.

It's a free open-source operating system that comes in many different community-made versions known as distributions, or "distros" for short.

To start off, there are several hundred Linux distros available, with the most popular one being Ubuntu. Each of them have their own unique aesthetic, desktop environment, and even specific goals or niches. For example, SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system specifically designed to run video games and Valve's proprietary software known as "Steam". There are many distros with active developers, so feel free to choose one that best suits your needs.

For example, SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system specifically designed to run video games and Valve's proprietary software known as "Steam".

This brings us to the next point, which is the community. If you've ever had trouble with your OS before, such as the occasional random "Blue Screen of Death", then you probably know how frustrating it is to find a solution. As a Linux user, you have access to a lot of information written by countless contributors.

If you've ever had trouble with your OS before, such as the occasional random "Blue Screen of Death", then you probably know how frustrating it is to find a solution.

Most, if not all, distros come with its own comprehensive user manual. Some, like Ubuntu and Linux Mint, even have their own websites where you'll find community-written guides and tips. There are also dozens of online forums where people discuss troubleshooting info, among other things.

There are also dozens of online forums where people discuss troubleshooting info, among other things.

A few great places for starters would be LinuxQuestions.org and Linux.com's forum. Both of these have a dedicated "newbie" subcategory where you can ask questions such as "What distro should I get?" or "How do I get started with this OS?" There are also a bunch of subreddits that are dedicated to helping people learn the basics and resolve whatever problems they may encounter.

Both of these have a dedicated "newbie" subcategory where you can ask questions such as "What distro should I get?" or "How do I get started with this OS?"

One great thing about Linux is that it's absolutely free. Unlike Windows, you won't need to spend a couple hundred dollars to get a genuine copy of a Linux distro. Installing it is pretty easy too, depending on your computer. Ideally, all you'll ever need is compatible hardware and either a flash drive or a blank CD that you can burn an ISO file into. Aside from that, it's mostly just an installer with simple instructions.

Ideally, all you'll ever need is compatible hardware and either a flash drive or a blank CD that you can burn an ISO file into.

You may need to do a bit of fiddling with your BIOS settings though. Because of this, we recommend that you search online for a guide that works for you.

You may need to do a bit of fiddling with your BIOS settings though.

Aside from the OS itself, a lot of the software you can use with Linux is also free. A great example of this is LibreOffice, which is a very capable alternative to Microsoft Office. With the programs that come with it, you can create word documents, spreadsheets, and even presentations. If you've ever used their Microsoft equivalents, then you should feel right at home with this suite.

With the programs that come with it, you can create word documents, spreadsheets, and even presentations.

Another good example is GIMP, an image manipulation program compatible with Linux. It's basically an open-source Photoshop that you can download for free. It has very similar tools to Adobe's powerhouse and it's also very easy to learn. Not only that, but you can open psd files and even use Photoshop brushes in GIMP, which is very convenient if you have to work on a computer without Adobe's Creative Cloud.

Not only that, but you can open psd files and even use Photoshop brushes in GIMP, which is very convenient if you have to work on a computer without Adobe's Creative Cloud.

It's worth noting that all of the aforementioned software are also compatible with both Windows and Mac, so you can try them out before switching over. When you do decide to use Linux, you'll notice that a lot of its available software comes from official repositories. This means that, for the most part, whatever you're installing was developed by a trustworthy source.

When you do decide to use Linux, you'll notice that a lot of its available software comes from official repositories.

In terms of security, Linux is considered to be one of the safest operating systems out there. One main factor that contributes to this is the mere fact that most software is made for Windows. As a result of this, it is very unlikely for the average user to encounter any malware. Linux is also secure because, unlike Windows, users are not given full administrator access by default. This means that if your computer ever gets compromised, the damage done will be limited to your local files and not the entire system.

This means that if your computer ever gets compromised, the damage done will be limited to your local files and not the entire system.

You should still remain vigilant because Linux isn't completely immune to viruses. As long as you're careful, you shouldn't have much to worry about. You may not even need an antivirus, though it wouldn't hurt to get one.

You may not even need an antivirus, though it wouldn't hurt to get one.

With all that said, Linux is definitely a decent alternative to the mainstream operating systems. If you want a significantly safer and frequently updated OS, then you should give it a shot. If you can't decide on which distro you should go for, try Ubuntu. Its user-friendly nature makes it perfect for people who want to ease into the world of Linux.

If you can't decide on which distro you should go for, try Ubuntu.