I recently switched to Linux full time and I wanted to share my thoughts to why you should and shouldn’t move to Linux. Please note that I switched to Linux Mint which is Debian based, this means that some of the points that I talk about might be directly related to that. I will be also comparing it to Windows not MacOS.
Why you should switch
- It’s easier to install software - The inbuilt package manager for Debian (and other distros have a similar system), which is apt, is really easy to install packages. For example if I wanted to install chromium you’d run
sudo apt install chromium-browserand to remove it you’d run
sudo apt purge chromium-browser. This downloads the software and any dependencies it might need, compared to Windows where you’d need to download the exe and any programs it would need.
- It’s better for developers - Linux has always been known as the “nerdy” OS and it certainly is better for developers, more tools are made for developing apps or software and it integrates better. Windows does have some ports but it isn’t always fully functional or documented.
- It’s built better - Every couple of months we hear of a Windows update that “Resets your preferences” or deletes your files. Linux, not so much, if you don’t want to update your OS right now, sure, you don’t need to. If you do want to update, just run one command and it’ll do it all for you. Unlike Windows, you won’t need to restart your computer to complete the updates, only certain ones like driver updates will need this.
Above: The Linux Mint desktop
Why you shouldn’t switch
- It doesn’t have as much support - The Linux community is significantly smaller than Windows and MacOS. Its not for the faint hearted, by prepared to by searching of forums and stack exchange for the occasional error or program that doesn’t work since you may run into them.
- It isn’t as user friendly - You’re going to need to learn some basic terminal commands to do things every now and then. Most things can be done from a nice little GUI if you’d like however.
Above: One of the best places to get help on ask ubuntu
Overall, Should you move?
Personally, I think if you are a developer or someone else who is interested in computers I think you should switch to Linux. Its so much easier to use once you get used to it and will teach you lots about how systems work. Even Microsoft use Linux for their servers and not Windows. If you’re new to Linux setup a VM in something like VirtualBox so you don’t mess up your computer by accident. Once you’re comfortable with this you could (if you wanted to) move to Linux as your primary OS. Make sure you know that some common programs, for example Microsoft Office are not supported yet (however, Microsoft Office 2010 does work in Wine).
Where to get it
The problem with Linux is that there isn’t simply one OS that you can download like Windows, there’s 100’s of different OS’s that you can get, however there is hope. You can have a look at distro watch which has the most popular distros on the side bar. For a beginner, I would suggest going with something like Ubuntu or Linux Mint because they are very widely used and Linux Mint feels a lot like Windows.