Some friends wondered why I prefer Linux over Windows. As I am currently using only Linux, I can make some examples.
Here is an open list, why I prefer Linux over Windows:
No marketing strategies
Windows 7 comes in may flavours: Windows 7 Home, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, ... (see Microsoft product flavor hell)
I have to admit that the choice of Linux can be difficult, too. You can choose from different distributions like Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora, ... (see distrowatch.com) and some distributions offer different desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. The important difference is that Linux flavors depend on your needs, but Windows flavors depend on your money.
As a Ubuntu 10.04 LTS user, I think that Ubuntu is much more user friendly than Windows 7. You have much more control about your system than you have on Windows (see Why are Microsoft products so User unfriendly?)
Here are some everyday examples:
- Chaning the sound volume on a Notebook: You will see an indicator in Ubuntu like this. On Windows, you have to guess or wait until your movie starts
- Taking a screenshot: In Ubuntu, you only have to press "Print Screen". On Windows, you have to know Snipping tool or install some additional software. Additionally, it seems not to be possible to get a the key "Print Screen" as a shortcut for taking screenshots (source).
- Different workspaces, pinning a window to "always in foreground" is definitely missing in Windows.
- PDF-Printers: oh my god. This is really sad.
Where do I find answers to Windows questions? I have tried superuser.com, but is there anything else?
When I want to install
something on my Ubuntu machine, I simply
sudo apt-get install something
When I want to install something on Windows, I have to Google for it. When I find a tool which seems to fit, I have to find out if it is for free or if it's only a trial version. Then I need to find a way to download it and make sure that it's not malware.
When I want to update all software I have on my linux machine, I type:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
After this command, my system and every single piece of software I have installed is updated. The updates are automatically installed in the background. A restart might be necessary, but until the restart is done the old software is used.
On Windows, I have to:
- Click on the start button
- Type "update" in the search bar
- Click on "Search for updates"
- Install all updates
A restart might be required. But I can't simply make the restart when I want to. No, on Windows you will get reminded. You can choose the delay (max. 4 hours) of the reminder, but you can't disable it. And this is only an update for the operating system. You have to look for updates of your software by yourself. For every single piece of software! This is not so easy. How do you find a reliable source of Updates e.g. for Unreal Tournament 2004?
You can do everything with terminal. When the system is slowing down, I press
Ctrl + Alt + F4, log into the shell,
kill the process which slows my system down.
And I really like ZSH and Oh-My-ZSH.
Linux is gratis
You don't have to pay for it. In comparison, Windows 7 costs now (31.12.2014) about 50 Euro on Amazon. Although it is already outdated.
There are some simple, little things which I like when I use Linux. I can't name them all, but some that come to my mind are:
Isn't it great to have the possibility to use the OS from a CD / DVD only? This gives you the possibility to check if your system runs (or to diagnose what's going wrong) without chaning anything.
The installation setup is great. It detects at the beginning if everything is ok (disk space, internet connection, battery) and tells you in simple words what is wrong. To chose your time zone you are shown a very simple graphic and by now the default was always correct for me. It continues with keyboard detection. Although the default was always wrong for me by now, it has an awesome auto-detection tool. You simply have to type some letters and it returns your layout. Great!
Reasons to stay with Windows
Although I don't like Windows 7 for many reasons, I can see some reasons to stay with Windows:
- Linux doesn't support your hardware (see Check Computer / Hardware for Linux-compatibility)
- Linux doesn't support your software AND no free alternative exists (e.g. Photoshop for professionals)
Pseudo reasons for Linux
A pseudo-reason is an argument which might be true, but is not important at all for the person who wrote it.
I often hear that people like Linux because of higher security. I don't think that this is a real reason, as I have never heared of any end user having switched because of security reasons. I also don't think that there is a significant difference of the bare systems in security.
Freedom to change code
Some people argue, that you can change the code of Linux / OpenSource programs according to your needs. This is only an argument, if you have done it at least once.
Pseudo reasons against Linux
Linux is only for geeks
This is obviously not true. I know at least some non-geeks who are able to use it.
Linux supports NO games!
Not true either. Steam gives A LOT of high quality games to Linux and you also have the possibility to use wine.
However, if you want a specific game that might be a different story.