Why I Left Windows for Linux

Me to Windows: Hit the Road, Jack! (And don't ya come back no more, no more no more) (Old Ray Charles song, btw)


Are you really getting tired of Windows 10? Are the constant updates driving you crazy? Does it take you five minutes to boot up in the morning and then follow with another five minutes of Windows Updates? Do you want to throw your PC in the landfill when you finish a Windows Update and then find that you can't boot your computer anymore? Are you annoyed that MS is taking all of your personal data and selling it whoever wants it? Would you really like to stick it to Bill Gates? If you would, I don't blame you.

I found this on Telegram. Interesting graph.

I started out with Linux by accident. I had an old 2 core desktop that I advertised on FB but nobody wanted it and I was a day from bringing it to the local recycling station when I read a FB page done by a computer teckkie who wrote about giving your old computer a new lease on life by installing linux and Mint in particular. That caught my attention and I looked into Mint, downloaded the .iso file, burned that to a DVD and installed it. The rest is history.

It's now 2024, seven years later, and dumping Windows is one of the best moves I've ever made. Over the past five years I've checked out a dozen or two distros (varieties of linux). I've tried Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Lubuntu and all those), Manjaro, MX Linux, Linux Lite, Debian, Fedora, Mint XFCE, Mint LMDE, Zorin and Ubuntu Budgie. My favorite distro is Mint. Of them all, Mint comes out on top. Currently I'm running Mint Cinnamon on my Dell 7010 i5 work PC, another Dell 7020 i7 Deaktop and an HP 8560 i5 laptop. I have Ubuntu running on another HP 8570 i7 laptop.  I get my work done with no crashes, no mandatory upgrades that tell me not to shut down the computer, no blue screens of death. They just run fine on Linux. Mint runs so well that sometimes I get bored. I don't get bord with Windows. I get mad.


That's a good question because what I want may not be what you want. What I want from linux is an operating system that doesn't force updates on me. I want to be able to do them myself whenever I want to do them. I don't want updates that take an hour or more to complete. I never want to see the operating system update when I turn on the computer or when I turn it off. I want an OS that's responsive, not sluggish or slow, taking it forever to load a stupid program. I never want to see those dreaded words "DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER!" I want an OS that looks and acts like Windows out of the box. I don't want to have to find and change a bunch of settings to make it that way before I use the system. I want one that is easy to learn, stable and lets me do most (or all, ideally) of the work I was doing with Windows 10. And I want it to be customizable. For me, Mint comes with the Cinnamon desktop, does all that and more. It's perfect for me.


I base the following on my seven years of using Linux. You may disagree. That's ok. However, many will agree with me that the easiest version (distro) of Linux for people leaving Windows is Linux Mint. Another good one is Zorin OS. You can get yourself installed and running either of these with a minimum of fuss or configuration. Both look like Windows right out of the box. Both have a taskbar (panel) on the bottom with a logo on the left that one clicks on to view a menu or shut down the PC. Both have system trays on the bottom right.

Why not Ubuntu?  Because god-awful Ubuntu uses a gnome desktop with a panel/taskbar/something that shows vertically on the left side of the screen. Sure you can move it to the bottom but even then it still looks weird. The apps icon on the right side of the panel is just awkward. And the desktop itself is annoying. Can you right click on an icon/file and select 'move to desktop'? No, you can't. There are workarounds for all of these conditions but you can't expect a new user to do web searches to figure out how to do them. I have one laptop running Ubuntu that took me over four hours to configure the desktop to where I wanted it. With Mint with the Cinnamon desktop it took less that two because Mint already had the programs I needed and made the changes I wanted easy. My advice would be to give yourself a year or two on Mint and then maybe try Ubuntu. Configuring Ubuntu can sometimes not be a pleasant experience.

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