Isn’t It Time to Switch to Linux? 12 Reasons to Abandon Windows

So you've been using Windows for a long time. You've heard about this Linux thing and maybe you've even tried it, but you still haven't made the switch. Maybe the newest Windows update really chafed you and you're seriously considering a change.

To help you make an informed decision, let's take a look today at what Linux can offer as a Windows replacement. Below are some of the best reasons Windows users switch to Linux. If they don't convince you, then maybe nothing will.

1. No Forced Updates

A common refrain among ex-Windows users is that the operating system pushes too many large, compulsory updates. They often interrupt the user's experience with the PC, and they sometimes bring surprising changes and annoying bugs that need fixing with further updates.

Indeed, these updates are often meant to keep you secure. What use, though, is a secure PC that's unusable for extended periods? And what about when an update causes major issues for you? That can be catastrophic if you depend on your PC for your job.

Linux, on the other hand, gives you complete control over your device. Updating Linux is always optional, and rollbacks are also possible. For example, if a new kernel causes any problem, you can always roll back to the previous one or install a different one.

2. Linux Is Free

Most Linux distributions are available to users free of cost. Unlike the Windows license, the Linux license allows for free distribution, so you can legally download it, copy it, and share it without paying a dime.

Of course, most Linux developers will appreciate your donations to keep the project going. They're sacrificing hours and hours of their spare time to make Linux great. Ultimately, you have the agency to determine the project's value to you.

3. Linux Covers Your Essential Needs

You can use Linux for virtually all your essential computing needs with its native apps. This includes web browsing, email, streaming, and more.

Granted, you can't get native Linux editions of some popular software, but they're mostly professional tools like Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. The average user rarely needs them, and even if they do, there are usually several alternatives to choose from.

For example, if you need Microsoft Word, you can still use the web app on Linux, or choose from several native alternatives that can open, edit, and save DOC and DOCX files.

4. Linux Is More Secure

No operating system is totally immune to security threats, and Linux is no exception. However, actual cases for Linux desktop users remain rare because most malware target Linux servers instead of desktops.

The fact remains that Windows is a bigger and more profitable target for malware simply because more people use it.

There's also a certain advantage in Linux's modular and customizable nature: malware might depend on certain system elements that a user, because of a personal preference, may have disabled or removed. This combined with other advanced security features makes Linux a formidable opponent to bad actors.

5. Linux Is More Private

When you use Windows, Microsoft creates an advertising ID for you and attaches information about your usage for the purpose of ad targeting. The feature requires you to opt out, so it will operate by default until you choose otherwise.

With Linux, you get much more respect for your privacy. Linux doesn't record your usage data and ship it to some data warehouse. There's no voice command feature registering your speech patterns to create a vocal fingerprint.

Some distros may ask if you'd like to contribute to development by sending anonymized data to the developers so they can know which features you use. Again, it's up to you if and how you want to help the project.

6. No Built-In Advertising

Tired of Windows pushing Microsoft products on you inside your desktop? Remember when Microsoft Edge had a bug that was pestering people beyond reason to make Bing their default search engine? Microsoft also famously inserted ad banners in its classic, beloved Windows games like Minesweeper and Solitaire.

Linux never pulls that slimy stuff on you. The creators usually don't own money-making products and don't rely on advertising money, so they have no reason to push specific software or integrate ads in their distros.

7. Linux Is Open-Source

The Linux kernel and most software that comes with it is open source. That means the source code is publicly available for developers, security experts, and anyone else who's curious to review and ensure it's clean of any funny business. With Linux, you know what you're getting.

With Windows, whose code is mostly proprietary and not made public, you never truly know what's going on inside Microsoft's "black box." You're forced to put your total trust in a private company and assume it has your best interests in mind.

8. Gaming on Linux Is Better Than Ever

Linux has long carried a bad reputation in the gaming world. Game developers don't typically make official Linux support a priority and instead focus only on Windows and sometimes macOS.

In terms of capabilities, however, Linux has grown increasingly comparable to Windows. The Steam platform, for example, has taken great strides in porting Windows games to Linux through their Proton utility. Other projects, like Lutris, are taking the pain out of configuring Wine and other compatibility tools.

9. Linux Revives Old PCs

Windows' numerous capabilities and features come at more than just a monetary cost: it's either slow to start with or it inevitably slows down with time. Before long, your hardware is sure to grow too old for Windows' resource-hungry processes.

At that point, you have only a few options: upgrade your hardware, replace the device, or replace Windows with Linux.

Breathing life back into old PCs is one of Linux's most practical uses. The Linux kernel typically manages RAM and other resources more efficiently than Windows. Plus, Linux never forces bloatware on you. Switching to Linux instead of upgrading reduces waste and makes use of "outdated" hardware.

10. Large Organizations and Governments Have Adopted It

If you switch to Linux, then you're in the company of world leaders and technological innovators. A number of organizations, both private and public, make use of Linux either in their cutting-edge technology or their everyday workstations.

For example, NASA's historic helicopter, "Ingenuity," navigated the Martian airways using a version of Linux in its onboard computer. SpaceX also uses Linux to control its space-bound rockets.

The French National Gendarmerie uses a custom Linux distro called GendBuntu. They fully migrated to the Ubuntu derivative in 2014 when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP.

Similarly, Google employees use a Debian-based distro on their workstations called Linux. Such organizations typically cite cost efficiency and independence from private companies as their motivating factors for switching to Linux.

11. Linux Is Highly Customizable

While you can customize Windows' appearance to a certain extent, your creative liberties remain limited.

With Linux, the only limits to customization are often your own skill and creativity. Depending on your desktop environment, you can potentially create your own taskbars and widgets, modify window appearance and animations, add new icons and fonts, and more.

12. Linux Has a Helpful Community

One of Windows' benefits you might miss is the 24/7 customer support and wide support from third-party computer services.

If you need help with your Linux device, your best option is to visit the active and vibrant Linux community. Every distro has its own following, and you'll often find them in a Discord server, a Telegram group, a forum, or all of those things. Most members will be eager to help people with issues.

Worried about looking like a "noob" for not being a Linux expert? Stick with distros like Linux Mint, Zorin OS, or Manjaro, which seek to be friendly and accessible to new users. The support forums will no doubt be more welcoming than the likes of Arch or Gentoo, which assume a certain level of advanced skill and knowledge.

The Best Reasons to Switch to Linux

So what's holding you back? You're getting more privacy, security, and speed at no monetary cost. You no longer have to put up with forced updates, obnoxious ads, and limited customization. Linux knows how to make the most of your hardware, while Windows is only going to get bigger and slower as time goes on.

You'll find that getting started with Linux is easy. Even if you aren't certain you want to kiss Windows goodbye, you have multiple ways of trying Linux before committing.

[Original article:]

Author: Lee Underwood

Just another HTMLy user.