Computer users are doing more work in browsers. Thanks to the cloud paradigm, it is now possible to perform many work-related tasks without leaving your web browser. This trend is only expected to continue; development companies are looking to the cloud, and users are doing so as a means of getting away from dependence on Windows. Google offers free web products that compare with Microsoft’s Office suite. This web based phenomenon has caused many users to consider making the switch from Windows to Linux. While the switch can be beneficial for many, it requires some careful planning and consideration.
Does Everything Work on Linux?
While many programs and web-based services work on Linux, those who use legacy software or certain programs may be unable to make the switch. Photoshop, for example, does not support Linux, so many graphic artists who would otherwise be interested in making the switch maybe stuck on Windows unless they are willing to using alternative software. In many cases, Linux offers comparable tools. Click this link to see a list of Linux equivalent software to Windows software. If there isn’t a quality equivalent software option available on Linux, you can use Wine to run Windows applications on Linux.
Try it First
Most Linux distributions now offer live booting, which allows users to try the operating system on a CD or flash drive without installing it. This can be a great way to ensure that your hardware is compatible, and it can give you a taste of what Linux is able to do. Speeds are slower when running a distribution off of a CD or flash drive, but the experience can be useful for those who are not sure about making the switch. In addition, it can allow users to try multiple distributions before settling on one.
Choose a Distribution
Linux itself is only a kernel, and this kernel is used in all Linux distributions. As a result, the capabilities, appearance and support provided by distributions can vary greatly. All users should first try Ubuntu as it remains the most popular distribution choice. Linux Mint, however, utilizes a more traditional user interface, and many people switching from Windows will prefer Linux Mint’s interface to Ubuntu’s. Fortunately, live booting makes it easy to try multiple distributions, so there is no need to commit to one distribution prematurely. It may be beneficial to take an online linux distribution test which will point users to various distributions depending on test results.
Backup Your Data
One of the main reasons why people are reluctant to switch to Linux is because migrating data can be a hassle. In addition, small mistakes can make it difficult for you to recover important documents. Fortunately, it is now possible to backup data online, and burnable DVDs are relatively cheap. In addition, many Linux distributions make it simple to resize the Windows partition; because of this, it might be possible to keep your Windows installation when installing Linux. Those who choose this option, however, will still want to backup their data.
Even those who are convinced that they will want to migrate completely to Linux should consider dual-booting first. Linux is known for being reliable, but installation problems are not uncommon. Those who run into a problem with Internet connectivity may wish to have access to a working Windows installation to help sort through any issues that arise. In addition, people often forget about files when backing up their data, and keeping a Windows installation on hand can help people ensure that they have access to everything they need.
No More Windows?
After dual-booting for a certain period of time, many people make the determination that they are completely satisfied with Linux. Those who reach this stage can consider deleting their Windows partitions and reclaiming the space for Linux. Linux works well with multiple partitions, and there are tools that can help resize Linux partitions after deleting the Windows partition. While Linux has seen tremendous success on servers, mobile devices and embedded systems, it has seen only limited success on desktops. Thanks to the move toward web-based programs and the nearly universal dislike of Windows 8, more people are expected to make the switch. By carefully researching options and making the move in steps, it is very possible to make a smooth and happy transition from Windows to Linux.