Linux. You’ve probably heard of this Windows alternative, but what do you really know? Linux has earned a reputation for being a high-tech system that is best left to the most computer enthusiasts.
You may not be aware that Linux or one of its close relatives runs almost everything we use. Your favorite website is probably running on a Linux server. Android? Here comes the Linux kernel.
However, in the personal computer market, Linux in its various incarnations has been very slow to move into the PC market. Just a few years ago, you may have argued that Linux for the average consumer is simply not ready, but that has changed.
Linux can stand up to the best Microsoft has to offer today, and there are at least five reasons to move. Besides the five listed below, Linux runs on fewer computers and therefore contains fewer viruses and malware than Windows.
It is more friendly than ever
There is a difference between hardship and hardship. Many Linux tasks that users describe as complex simply use conventions other than Windows. It just seems more difficult because you have to unlearn some of the habits you have.
That being said, in the past, Linux has indeed served more people who like to tinker with the command line and write code than those who prefer to push buttons. These days, if you’re using something like Ubuntu Linux , you never have to touch the command line during normal use.
Once you know where the buttons are, all you have to do is click on them! The beauty of something like Ubuntu is that you can still do all of these power user activities, but it doesn’t have to be in the normal way when using a computer.
Modern desktop Linux also has many usability improvements. Virtual desktops are a good example, which you’ll find now happily copied over by Windows 10. The best part is that you can customize your preferred Linux shell if you want. Not so simple with a proprietary operating system.
Players are welcome now
Whether you’re creative or working in an office, switching to Linux is pretty easy. You will be able to do everything the Windows user can do. The big exception to this rule has always been games.
PC games are a dynamic industry and community, but there is very little support for Linux from game developers. Previously, gamers who switched to Linux had nothing to play with. Worse, the support for graphics drivers was rather weak, like that of Nvidia and AMD.
It’s all in the past. Steam is probably the best example for a number of reasons. First, there is a native Linux Steam client. Steam’s vast library of games has a significant number of Linux games to buy and enjoy.
The truly amazing thing is that you can also play some Steam games on Windows and on Linux! All thanks to the special version of WINE that is built into the beta of Steam, known as Steam Play . Windows games are whitelisted officially tested games that run flawlessly.
The list now contains less than 40 games, but it is constantly growing. However, you don’t have to wait, you can try any Windows game and many will work perfectly. It’s just that Valve won’t make it official until it tests it and fixes the bugs.
These are just two examples of games going on their own: More and more developers are releasing versions of their games for Linux thanks to APIs like Vulcan, which supports multiple platforms.
You don’t have to leave Windows apps behind
It turns out WINE isn’t just for video games. You can also use it to run other Windows applications that don’t have Linux versions. However, this is becoming less and less necessary as many applications move to the cloud.
This means that if you have a modern web browser, you can use it. This leaves Linux users with many options. Either run Windows apps with a translation layer like WINE, run the Linux version if available, use a cloud app or find an open source alternative
It is open source!
Yes, everyone knows Linux is an open source operating system, but why would you switch because of that? There are quite a few reasons, but there are several, especially relevant for ordinary users.
First of all, you don’t have to pay a cent to download and install Linux on your computer. This means you can spend your money on better computer hardware, or just get a computer for less. This is very important for educational computers, office equipment for your business, or even the HTPC you were about to buy.
The second reason it matters is the transparency of open source. The whole community can scrutinize what code is included in the OS, which means that it is impossible to build into Linux anything that spies on or collects information about the user. Windows 10 is notorious for collecting telemetry and other user data. This is not something that everyone likes.
Take the reins
The good news is, you don’t have to wipe your entire computer to try Linux for yourself. You can use the Live CD to try out the OS before installing it. You can also run it in a virtual machine on Windows to see if it works for you.
Even if you install Linux on your computer, you can still dual boot with Windows if you really want the best of both worlds. The choice is really yours. To get started with Linux, be sure to check out my article on Linux Commands All Newbies Should Know. Enjoy!