5 Reasons Why I Chose Linux Over Windows
Note: This is an article I wrote in 2017, so feel free to consider it a bit outdated. A lot of things have changed since then, e.g. most of us are using SSDs. I'm republishing this to push myself to write another article and explain why I'm using both Linux and Windows today.
For the past 3 years Linux has been my OS of choice. Once I left my previous job that required me to use Windows, I deleted it from my computer and never looked back. This was a huge step for me because I was gaming a lot at that time, but I realized that you can play games on Linux too :)
Here are the 5 reasons why I prefer Linux over Windows:
1. Linux is free
Beat that you nasty, greedy, opinionated, full-of-commercials Windows.
I choose when and how to update Linux. I can do it through GUI or the command line, and it won’t complain even if I don’t update it at all.
While I was working as an online teacher, my laptop crashed more than a few times because Windows decided that it needed to update. This was both an uncomfortable and a painful experience. There was nothing I could do to stop it from updating, and at the same time, somewhere in Japan, my student was probably angry and waiting for me. If you’ve ever worked with Japanese ppl, you know how much they value punctuality.
3. You don’t need an antivirus
There are hardly any viruses on Linux. All of the actions that perform system changes require a user to enter their root password. Take that you nasty Trojans.
Also, this is awesome in terms of performance of the computer itself, since antiviruses tend to use a lot of RAM. Not to mention that antiviruses aren’t so cheap.
4. Linux is customizable
Everything you see on Linux can be customized to suit your needs. You can customize your bootloader (the place where you can switch between different operating systems), GUI, I mean, you name it, you can customize it. I customized my desktop, icons, colors and window decorations.
5. File system
The file system used on Linux is ext4. It is way more efficient than NTFS system used on Windows. In plain words, you don’t need to defragment your hard drive from time to time, Linux arranges files automatically in the way that is the best for the hard drive. Also, ext4 has a better journaling process which marks unallocated blocks of data, and they are skipped during disk check operations. Your hard drive performance will definitely improve, and you’ll feel a huge difference if you decide to make a switch from Windows.
So, those are my 2 cents regarding Windows vs. Linux duel. Just so you know, I’m not saying that Linux is the best OS in the world for everyone. Try it out and figure if it’s a right fit for you and your needs.
In the land o' Linux for the desktop, starting from 1995, I've used: Slackware, Red Hat, SUSE, Mandrake, Fedora, Ubuntu, BackTrack, Kali, openSUSE, and Mint.
Once or twice, I've tried Gnome, but I've always gone back to KDE. I love lots of things about Linux. I never pretend that Linux - any distro as yet released - is a full Windows replacement for most users. Never has been - ain't now - might never be. I have a piece of tax software that will likely never be available for Linux. If I REALLY need to communicate a Windows Office document (Excel, Word, etc.), I don't pretend LibreOffice will do...still not-ready-for-prime-time.
At my (younger, more naive) urging, my bride gave Ubuntu a try about ten years ago. She made a valiant effort for a little over a year. As a reward for her diligent perseverance (and suffering), I bought her a brand new laptop with a fresh install of Win7, once it became inarguably clear that she HATED Linux. She worked, works, and will work in worlds where Windows is THE OS. So, I have to keep at least one real Windows box around for my sweetie, no matter what.
I don't game. Sorry 'bout your monkey. No issue for me.
I just generally keep extra boxes around for safety. I have my current notebook and last laptop (fewer hardware capabilities - same software) for my stuff. I maintain the same for my bride, but Win10 (current) vs. Win7 (last) for her; if her Win10 box dies, she can use her old Win7 laptop until I repair or replace her Win10 notebook. I also keep VMs of Win7 for me on my Mint boxes (for testing).
Overall, I heartily agree with your notions. Where we differ is that I keep more computers on hand and layer my backup and emergency options a little differently. I do it that way, because I can get trailing edge but powerful boxes on EBay for cheap.
I think you've established a solid model that keeps you in shape to meet your own needs (including letting your game monkey ride your back) while fulfilling your obligations to your clients. Hard to beat that combo.
P.S. You mentioned that, "There are hardly any viruses on Linux." I like to say that Linux viruses operate on the honor system: 1) they ask you to download them; 2) you have to run them intentionally; 3) before running them, you have to grant them root privileges.
I love Linux, but even now in 2019, it's so painful to get stuff up and running in it. Dependency hell, even with all those systems (apt-get, yum, etc.) designed specifically to avoid that. I spent hours and hours just recently trying to get some pen-testing suite (don't remember which one) installed that I just gave up. Not worth my time. I don't have that kind of time available every time I want to install something. Yes, I see this on Windows on a rare occasion, but so much more often on Linux. Then there's VPN... ok, don't get me started. But I still love Linux. Go figure.
I agree, Linux is not plug & play hence you sometimes spend time to figure things out. Although if you are experienced Linux user, this time gets a lot shorter / you will have such problems a lot less.
As for VPN point, it is extremely easy to set up and use. Then again, your linux flavor might be different.
L2TP/IPSec VPN is very painful to set up. I just walked through the process for THREE HOURS on Linux Mint 19.1 over the weekend, and could not get it to work with our work VPN. I've had similar issues on other flavors of Linux with varying degrees of success. Why this isn't baked into the kernel is beyond my understanding. Openswan (deprecated), Strongswan, libreswan... I mean really? How many libraries do we need that just don't work, or make configuration really quite painful? I shouldn't need to know the low-level details of the configuration to make it work. And the error messages that are so incredibly vague that can't even begin to point you in the right direction (even in syslog), well, I think you get my point.
Like I said, I love Linux. I've used it for years. There's tons of great stuff about it. I won't stop using it. But until it matures to the point where things actually work out of the box, there's no way I can make it my everyday OS. I don't have time to deal with stuff like this every time I want to do something that should be trivial.
Thanks for sharing that, I didn't know about the defragment thing that makes my life much easier. Interestly I was wondering that about the other day as my laptops been lagging, think its more due to the chip than the version. which version of linux were you using at the time?
<my2¢>I used Fedora 8 thru 11 (Werewolf to Leonidas). Fedora was my first full-time, make-the-leap-to-Linux-only distro (WinXP started BSODing my workstation - I used Fedora to recover and ended up totally replacing XP with Fedora after rescuing my files). The main differences you will experience in Fedora-land is the total FOSSness and a need to learn more about SELinux than you probably ever imagined wanting to know. Anything not-FOSS, you will need to install and configure yourself (with help from kind strangers in forums on the wild-'n'-wacky-web). Unless your primary goal is learning a huge amount of stuff totally unrelated to coding for the Interwebz, and you don't especially cherish ease-of-use for non-FOSS programs, give Fedora a pass.</my2¢>
I install ubuntu 18.10 in my computer and try for 2 months. At first ubuntu it worked normally, but after a month pc it started to slow down, think, crash, and uninstall it forever. There is no better solution right now from Windows