Linux has been around for a while. And while we are certainly past the days when it was considered unsuitable for home use, there are still many people who remain skeptical of what it has to offer in that regard. The operating system is in a pretty good place right now, all in all.
But it's important to have the right expectations when getting involved. It's a great system for a wide variety of tasks and activities, but there are a few things that Windows – or macOS – remains a better choice for.
1. Linux is built on ease of use
One of the main complaints against Linux in its history has been its ease of use and overall intuitiveness. Much work has been done in this regard in recent years, and Linux is now in a completely different place than it was about a decade ago.
Of course, this also depends on which particular distribution you want to use. But those who intend to stick with something popular and widely supported like Ubuntu should expect a lot of improvements since they last gave it a chance.
Gone are the days of digging through documentation pages and fiddling with the command line just to get your internet up and running. You can now solve most of the most common problems through a graphical user interface. And there are plenty of helpful resources to use if you get stuck.
2. Many popular applications now have Linux versions
If it's been a while since you last used Linux, you might also be pleasantly surprised at what it has to offer in terms of application support. More and more popular applications are now offering Linux support, including some that were out of the question in the past.
Even some major gaming platforms – like Steam – have taken an interest in the operating system and actively worked on it. The emulation has also improved significantly. Now you can easily run applications even without native support.
The only real problems are with more specialized programs, such as those that rely heavily on graphics acceleration. But for everything else, you should definitely try it out.
3. Linux is well suited for everyday use
You can use Linux for normal daily use. It supports almost all popular browsers and lets them run just as smoothly as Windows.
Organizing your personal files and documents is relatively easy, and you can take advantage of native integration with many cloud hosting platforms. All in all, making the transition from Windows to Linux for most everyday tasks can be very easy.
Many of the applications will be available on Linux without the need for emulation or special configuration. You should also be able to use whatever services you pay for as many of them either support Linux through their websites or even have native support with applications.
4. Office work under Linux?
If your daily work is mostly about editing documents and sending emails, this is another area where Linux can come in very useful.
The only downside here is that you don't have a real alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. All in all, LibreOffice is pretty good, but you can still run into compatibility issues.
Look out for advanced formatting requirements and other similar points that can cause problems. If you can, it is advisable to do some of your work on Windows for compatibility.
Media relations is an area where Linux can really shine, depending on what exactly you do. For example, if you edit videos or large amounts of images, the operating system can make your work much easier and automate parts of it with scripts.
While you can do a lot of this in Windows too, the native, built-in scripting support that Linux offers is on another level. Admittedly, that has changed in recent years, Microsoft has pushed PowerShell forward and actively developed it.
Photoshop is perhaps the most notable outlier here. Unfortunately there is no native version available for the operating system yet. However, with a little tweaking, you can get it up and running in no time. Other than that, no other notable tools should be missing.
6. Gaming on Linux has improved
This is the main reason many people stay away from Linux. Or at least it used to be – today a lot is different. Many game developers have realized that there is a largely untapped market among Linux users and have started porting their own products to the operating system.
Steam reported nearly five thousand native Linux titles on its platform not that long ago, and the number seems to be growing pretty quickly. At the moment there is no shortage of entertainment on Linux no matter what kind of games you like.
Things to Consider Before Switching
We mentioned distributions above, and that is perhaps the most important point to consider for newbies with no prior Linux experience. You should look at what is available and choose the one that works best for your needs.
The unique thing about Linux compared to Windows is that it comes in so many different "flavors" and each of them brings something different to the table. Some distributions are intended for everyday work, some are aimed at security specialists, others offer more multimedia features.
And when you've made your choice, stick around and give her a chance for as long as possible. As with many things, Linux can be a little awkward at first if you're not used to how it works. But after using it for a while, you'll notice the general patterns.
And when it all clicks, you won't regret spending the time learning the system. Because there are many reasons that it will continue to gain popularity in the years to come, so it is worth familiarizing yourself with what it has to offer.
What is linux What can you use Linux for?
Have you heard of Linux online but not sure what it is? Here is a brief introduction to the operating system and what it can be used for.
About the author
(7 articles published)
Stefan is a writer with a passion for the new. He originally graduated as a geological engineer but chose to freelance instead.
By Stefan Ionescu
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