Migrate to Linux? What you need to know

Linux may not be on every computer, but it is definitely growing in popularity.

The reason for this development is related to many factors, such as the release of Windows 11, Windows problems in general, how browsers have become the main tool for most users, and the incredible evolution of Linux on desktops.


When I started using Linux, it was a challenge not only to install it but also to use it. Everything I needed to do required reading about why it had to be done in a certain way, and at the same time there were many different ways to achieve the same thing. He was very confused but he forced me to find out quickly. After about six months of using Linux as my only operating system, I had overcome every problem.

But six months is a long time to learn to use an operating system.

Fortunately, things have changed. Yesterday's Linux has nothing to do with modern Linux. Not that I did not like those early days with Linux. It was a pleasure to learn something new.

Today Linux is as user friendly as any operating system on the market. If you are thinking of migrating from Windows or macOS to Linux, here are some things to keep in mind.


It's easier than you think

The Linux desktop is easy. The developers and designers of most distributions have done everything possible to ensure that the desktop operating system is easy to use. During the early years of Linux, command line was a must. Today; Not so much.

In fact, Linux has become so easy and user-friendly that you could continue your work without ever touching the terminal window.

Today's Linux has a GUI. If you can use macOS or Windows, you can easily use Linux as well. No matter how good you are with a computer, Linux is an easy choice. In fact, I could say that the less skills you have with a computer the better off you will be with Linux. Why; Linux is simple and less corrupt than Windows (see Microsoft Troubleshooting).

Linux is not just a kernel

A very quick way to start a debate in the Linux community is to say that Linux is not just a kernel. Similarly, a very quick way to confuse a new user is to tell them that Linux is just the kernel.

Let me clarify this. Every version of the Linux operating system uses the Linux kernel (Linux Kernel). But as a new user, this does not interest you. Talking about the Linux kernel is one way to completely confuse new users. Yes, Linux uses the Linux Kernel, but all operating systems have a kernel. But you never hear Windows or macOS users talking about the kernel they use.

Simply put, Linux is an operating system because, without the kernel, you would not have an operating system. So if one tries to confuse the issue, you should understand that Linux is both an operating system and a kernel and they are inextricably linked.

Distributions are just different "brands" of the operating system

When you first enter the waters of Linux, you will find that there are a lot of "brands" that you can use: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop! _OS, Fedora, Arch Linux, openSUSE, Mageia, Deepin, Sabayon, MX Linux, Manjaro, Debian, Zorin, elementary OS, PCLinuxOS and the list goes on and on. Yes there are hundreds of Linux distributions.

What is important to understand is that every distribution is like a brand. Think of Linux distributions as shoes. If you want a new running shoe, you can think of Nike, New Balance, Addidas or whatever. They are all running shoes, they just offer a different variation on the theme. Each shoe may have different characteristics, different soles, different weight, and different appearance. However, in the end, they are all running shoes.

Think of Linux distributions in the same way: Each one offers different features, different GUI tools, serves different purposes and has a slightly different look όμως But they are all operating systems.

The important thing is to find the distribution that best suits your needs and desires. There are many options but what will help you narrow them down is the desktop you prefer.

There are GNOME, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, Mate, Enlightenment, Xfce, LXQt, Budgie, Pantheon, LXDE, Trinity Desktop, Sugar and many more. Are they scaring you? Should not. As a novice user, choose KDE Plasma, or Cinnamon, or Mate that look a lot like Windows.

You will have many browsers, email clients, office suites, and image editors, just like in Windows. There is a choice for everything and most of these choices are really good choices.

  • So decide which desktop you like.
  • Restrict distributions that use the desktop of your choice.
  • Remove distributions that do not have an easy-to-use application store.
  • Remove hard-to-reach distributions based on, for example, Arch or Gentoo (new users only).

If you encounter a problem (or something is not as clear as you think it should be), just do a quick search and you will find many solutions.

Not for all hardware (but most work)

Ubuntu Linux probably has the best hardware detection and support of any operating system on the market. This does not mean that it works with everything. There are some peripherals that you may have that may not work easily with Linux.

Two of the most problematic hardware are scanners and wireless chips. What you can do (if you have a problem with unsupported hardware) is try a different Linux distribution.

For example, you may have a laptop and Ubuntu may not be able to detect the built-in wireless chipset. If you try Fedora Linux it will work (Fedora often comes with a newer kernel than Ubuntu Linux, and supports newer hardware).

One thing to keep in mind is that most Linux distributions also have live ISO.

This means you can try them out without making any changes to your hard drive. This is a great way to find out if a distribution supports your computer hardware.

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It's not an exhaustive list of things you need to know before moving to Linux, but it will help alleviate some of your concerns. If you are tired of the headaches that Windows brings or if you find Apple products too expensive, Linux is a great choice.

To avoid misunderstandings:

If you think you can not live without Windows, live with them. We have a democracy (?).
The above post is not for designers who can not imagine a world without Photoshop, heavy gamers sleeping with the joystick or any other work that requires specialized Windows applications.

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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