Why You Should Start Using LinuxToday
2. Linux is more polished than ever
Most major Linux distributions never abandoned the basic principles of the desktop. While Microsoft enraged the world with the Windows 8 disaster, popular Linux distros like Fedora and Linux Mint kept their heads down and spit-polished the traditional PC interface.
linux Ubuntu With Ubuntu desktop environment
Linux Mint with the MATE desktop environment.
Linux Kubuntu Kubunt Desktop Enviorenment
For people used to Windows XP and Windows 7, some Linux distros may be easier to wrap your head around than Windows 8 and 10—both of which have a learning curve, just like switching to Linux. Linux Mint’s “Start menu” bears much more similarity to the traditional Windows Start menus than Windows 10’s Live Tile-infused alternative, that’s for sure.
3. Open-source software is, too
The quality—or lack thereof—of open-source software was another longtime bugbear for Linux. No more. These days, Linux houses superb alternatives to all of the most-used Windows software, from Office rivals (Libre Office) to Photoshop alternatives (GIMP) to media players (VLC). That trio alone covers the typical software usage of many households, and PCWorld’s guide to the best open-source software for everyday PC users features many more. Many top-notch video games even call Linux home now thanks to the arrival of Valve’s Linux-powered Steam Machines.
Chrome for Linux playing Netflix on Ubuntu. Oh, Archer, you’re so silly!
4. Linux is free
Hey, it is. Not only does that make it relatively risk-free to try, but it also means you won’t need to spend $100 on a Windows license if you’re building a PC from scratch or upgrading an old computer.
5. Linux runs great on old PCs
Windows XP was tossed to the wolves long ago, and Windows Vista’s end is rapidly drawing near. But hundreds of millions of people rely on PCs that are several years old. Installing Linux not only plops an up-to-date (and updated) operating system on your PC, it can breathe new life into your computer if you choose a lightweight distro designed for aging PCs, such as Puppy Linux or Lubuntu (a.k.a. “Lightweight Ubuntu”).
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The transition doesn’t have to be painful, either. There are numerous easy Linux alternatives designed for Windows XP refugees. These distros offer dedicated “Windows XP Modes” that mimic the look and feel of Microsoft’s most venerable operating system.
6. Linux is easy to try
Okay, okay, I’ve sold you. You’re ready to test-drive Linux. Fortunately, Linux is dead simple to try. You don’t even have to ditch Windows if you’re feeling hesitant.
Before you install a Linux distro on your PC’s hard drive, I suggest giving your chosen operating system a whirl with a live drive or live DVD. With live drives, you install a bootable system of a Linux distro to a DVD or flash drive, then configure your PC to boot from that rather than your hard drive. It takes minimal muss and fuss, lets you try several Linux operating systems quickly, and doesn’t touch the Windows installation on your primary storage drive.
fedora live cd start
PCWorld’s tutorial on creating a bootable Linux flash drive can help you set one up. But which Linux operating system should you try? Our guide to the best Linux distros for beginners can guide your decision. Personally, I think Linux Mint provides the best experience for experimental Windows users because it mixes Ubuntu’s flexible approach to closed-source software with a Windows-like interface.
Using Linux shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, especially if you opt for an operating system with a Windows-like Start menu, but there are several core differences. Read our beginner’s guide to Linux to go in with both eyes open, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you run into a problem. Most major Linux distros offer an online forum with dedicated help sections.https://www.pcworld.com/art...
install ubuntu alongside windows
Installing Ubuntu Linux alongside Windows.
If you decide you like Linux, you can use the same live drive (or disc) to install your new operating system on your hard drive. You can keep Windows on your PC if you’d like, too. PCWorld’s guide to dual-booting Linux and Windows explains everything you need to know. And again, if you run into pesky Secure Boot errors while trying to install your Linux OS of choice, refer to our primer on installing Linux on PCs with Secure Boot.
See? That wasn’t so hard. If you’re running an older PC with limited hardware or a dead OS, or if you’re irked at some of Microsoft’s recent decisions around Windows 10, there’s no reason not to give Linux a try. You might just like what you find—especially if you spend most of your digital life in a browser and productivity suite.https://www.pcworld.com/art...