Should You Switch to Linux?

From Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Note: At the moment this article is unfinished.

Most desktop computing is dominated by the Windows operating system from Microsoft. There's a good chance you're reading this on a Windows machine, although you really might not be. It might be running macOS as well, or maybe it could be a phone or tablet running Android or iOS. Or something else. Or, you might very well be reading this on a Linux machine... Or some sort of BSD. You get the idea. One way or another, you're reading it.

But you are a a computer user of some sort. And if you primarily use Windows or macOS, you may or may not be contemplating using Linux on your desktop. There are different reasons for this. Maybe the idea of it or the philosophy behind it sounds interesting, or maybe you're just curious about it. Maybe you need it for work. Or, you're just frustrated with the system you already use, and want to try an alternative. Maybe people have recommended it to you. Or perhaps tried to discourage you from trying it.

I pretty much use it exclusively outside of work as my "daily driver," and have for years, and plan to continue doing so. Does this mean I think it's the greatest thing ever? Not really. I've had my share of ups and downs with it, and have had my share of frustration with it. I keep using it because it works for me, and overall I'm happy with it. The purpose of this page is to give an account of Linux as a desktop system from my point of view, to encourage you to try it, or discourage you, but mostly just to lay out what it is.

Who This is For

This page is intended for a variety of people. Obviously, for anyone giving some thought into daily driving a Linux-based system, but there are some particular types of computer users I have in mind. The important thing I'll point out is that I will try to strike a balance between Note that it's quite possible to fall into or between these groups, or outside of them completely. You don't have to fall in line exactly, these are just some examples. :)

Power Users

This is someone who uses Windows and/or macOS routinely for a certain set of tasks, professionally or at home. This person probably does this enough that they've put some effort into streamlining what they do, ie customizing their system to some extent, and learning ins and outs like keyboard shortcuts.

Causal Users

This is someone for whom the computer is kind of like an appliance, someone who boots it up now and then to check on something or do some one-off task. I imagine this to be someone who types a document now and then, checks email or social media, or browses the web. The computer is most definitely general purpose, and they may or may not have deep familiarity with the operating system they use. Unlike the power user, this type's usage patterns are less rigid.


This person is generally interested in computers, and may own several of them. They may actually run Linux or some other Unix-like system on some machine, and be contemplating using it as their main desktop. This person will probably be interested in exploring how the OS on their computer works, and what it can do. They may also have more tolerance for problems that arise due to bugs or mistakes.

Required For Something

This type of user needs to learn Linux for a specific reason, like for work or school. Could also be secondary to some other interest, such as an enthusiast who wants to learn Linux for a Raspberry Pi project, for example.

Anyone Growing Their Skills

Similar to the enthusiast, or someone who needs it for something, this person just wants to gain a new skill.

Looking for Something Different

This person just wants a change. I don't know how how likely it is for someone to be learning Linux for this reason, but I can imagine someone just wanting a different computing environment to escape to for some reason, perhaps to put one into a different state of mind.


As I mentioned, you may fit into one, several, or none of these as per your specific circumstances.