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Why you should use Linux

Topics: linuxยทwindows

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I've seen several articles on Medium/Twitter/Reddit about why one should or should not use Linux as their main OS, but sometimes the arguments for Linux take a very specific case and try to generalize it, which fails to convince the more casual users or even developers used to only developing on Windows environments to switch OSs.

"You should use Linux because only with it you can compile your own mini-kernel and install it in a Tamagotchi powered by a potato battery."

The points I discuss here are based on my personal experience. Most of them also apply to Mac OS.

Now let me explain...

Linux just works, right?

This is, in my opinion, a misleading affirmation. It is true that all Linux distributions (or distros) tend to be more stable than Windows.

But they are not perfect, and when something will go eventually wrong the new guys will immediately think one of two things:

Issues are hard to fix for newbies

The thing is that when the new user encounters these issues, they are a very different beast than what they are used to. If they even try to google a solution before jumping ship, a forum full of weird commands awaits them to remove any little hope they had left.

I argue that we should be honest from the get-go and try to make things easier, starting by showing that the Terminal is nothing to be afraid of.

Installing and uninstalling stuff on Linux is weird

At the beginning, I had a terrible time figuring out how to install and uninstall programs. It seemed there were dozens of ways to do it... Ubuntu Software, apt-get, ppa, .deb files, Snap packages... and don't get me started on having to type chmod commands to actually make some of these installations work.

But why should you make the switch, anyways?

Once you get used to these difficulties, it only gets better from here on.

It's faster

When you're new to Linux, you don't notice a lot of speed gains. But, dudes, when you boot back into your Windows partition, and you wait for several seconds (or even a few minutes) for everything to load before you can start clicking anywhere... that's when you realize you probably lost days of your life waiting on your OS.

This new found speed makes Linux perfect for resurrecting old computers.

"Thanks, bro" - Earth

No annoying updates

Linux updates will never kidnap your computer. It'll always ask you first, and most of the time you won't even need to reboot your PC.

More Secure

It's so good not having to pay for an antivirus, or avoiding annoying popups from the free options. Now I'm not constantly thinking:

"Is this really protecting me?"

It teaches you

If you stick long enough to Linux, you'll likely have to learn some new things about computers while searching for a solution for the more weird problems, or when trying to install that package that is not easily available.

Basically, it gently forces you to better understand what the computer is doing.

Free and Free

Maybe not a big deal for you, but saving money and having the freedom to customize or choose from different distributions is something that you'll definitely enjoy once you get a taste of it.

No Ads (really Microsoft?)

Having ads in a product you paid for should be illegal.

Issues are easy to fix for intermediate users

Issues usually only have one single cause, and thus, one single solution you can usually quickly find online. Sometimes a single command entered in the Terminal will do the trick. Sometimes, the distro will make an update that fixes your issue the next day.

When I had to work on Windows applications a while back I would go crazy how hard it was to debug some issues. Very often googling the error message would give me 3 or 4 different solutions for the problem, and even after trying all of them the problem would not be resolved sometimes.

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So, which distribution will you try first?

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