Essential Tips When Switching From Windows to Linux

If you’re a Windows user and are always intrigued by the Linux world, then many times you might have wondered about switching to the light side. As easy as it sounds, and easy as it really is, there is a certain sort of paranoia Windows users have before trying out anything Linux-related. This inhibition can be partly attributed to Microsoft’s long-standing domination and partly to the bad reputation Linux has with the so-called ‘normal’ users.

That said, it’s not as if people aren't switching to Linux. Slowly, as users are getting tired of Windows, and are opening up to new technologies, Linux is getting recognition in the most unexpected of domains. Also, thanks to the amazing work Ubuntu is doing to make things as user-friendly as possible, there is no doubt that the underdog is slowly rising against the Redmondian monopoly. So, if you too are thinking about switching from Windows to Linux, here are some tips that might help you make a smooth transition:

Choose the right distro

They are right when they say that the “first impression is the last impression”, and it does really hold true for many users who switch to Linux. More often than not, Linux users start with a distribution or a flavor that isn't suited for them and eventually end up disappointed with Linux in general. And, it’s not really their fault nor is it the fault of Linux developers who spend hours working on some great software. The main problem is that there are so many choices welcoming Windows users that he or she often gets overwhelmed by the variety. Also, most people are introduced to Linux by some of their ‘geeky’ friends who often use distros that are more suited to themselves and which, in turn, end up turning off the normal users.

So, the most important thing to remember is that you should choose the most user-friendly distro that’s out there. Personally, I’d recommend going with Ubuntu or even Linux Mint. Moreover, I’d say that Ubuntu is a much better choice as most of my friends whom I've recommended Ubuntu to have never been disappointed, and also, with the release of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, Ubuntu has won back many of the Unity-dissing users.

Ask for assistance

Okay, installing Linux is not as hard as it sounds. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s ten times easier than installing Windows on a fresh machine. That said, chronic neurotics and technologically clumsy people might get disappointed with Linux even when they come across the slightest of hiccups. So, in that case, I’d suggest taking help from your geeky friend. If, in case, you don’t have one, don’t worry, it’s quite easy to install.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

The virus-free, quick-booting side of Linux is also hard to handle sometimes. As with everything technological, it’s bound to breakdowns. However little or big the problem be, don’t be afraid to ask questions in the forum. Not only will this help you with your problem, it will also help other users who are facing the same problem. Furthermore, you may also check out this article: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Support on Linux

Accept that you won’t find everything you had on Windows. But...

Yeah, there’s no Photoshop, no iTunes, no high-end games and no AutoCAD. Many users often don’t want to switch to Linux due to the lack of apps they mostly depend on. However, the problem is not something that cannot be solved, or at least circumvented. New users can try out Wine, a free software that lets you run Windows-based applications natively on Linux. Most applications like Adobe Photoshop, MS Office, and even World of Warcraft run perfectly on Wine as if they’re running on Windows. Also, if you don’t want that, you can easily use alternative software like GIMP, LibreOffice, and Rhythmbox for the most commonly used Windows-based tools. So, in short, you might not find everything you had on your Windows box, but you surely will find alternatives, and who knows, you might find the alternatives better than the proprietary software that many people so fondly stick with.


  1. A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity (this contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity's control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly which consists of a few entities dominating an industry)[1] Therefore, MS does not have a monopoly.

  2. AnonymousJune 07, 2012

    yes you are prolly right.. but what os is the most computers delivered with.. in store.. and is there a possibility to have a choice?
    guess not.. if u go to an apple store it is because you dont acually want anything else handling your computer. same problem though
    Hovever, linux runs on all machines

  3. wonderful article.. :)

  4. Sorry Jun, your article is pretty thin. Other than suggesting Ubuntu and Mint (a whopping two words on Mint) there is nothing here to help a newbie.