I installed Linux Mint on a Thinkpad today to get used to the operating system and Linux in general. That got me thinking; what is keeping me from using Linux on all my devices?
I have used Windows ever since I got my first personal computer back when the Pentium 1 was the latest craze. Yes, I never experienced DOS to its fullest extent even though many programs still required it.
I did try Linux back then but it was hardly usable and complicated to setup. And that stuck with me I guess.
Thinking about it, there are three core reasons why I'm not switching to Linux on all of my computer systems and wave goodbye to the Windows world.
The first is time. Switching to a new version of Windows takes time, but switching to a whole new operating system will take so much longer. I'm not only talking about installation and moving data to the new system but everything after that initial setup.
Programs are one area for example. I know that some programs that I use regularly are available on Linux as well. Firefox, Thunderbird and VLC are supported, and there are several others that are as well.
But for programs that are not cross-platform, I'd have to find a suitable alternative. For the screenshot taking tool SnagIt, for KeePass, for the video to DVD converter ConvertXtoDVD, for the excellent news reader Newsbin and several others.
That not only means searching the Internet up and down for alternatives but also testing them to find out if they offer what I require.
Programs are just one part of the equation. As was the case with the missing WiFi support today, I have to find out how things are done using Linux. This goes from simple tasks such as changing the wallpaper or disabling sounds to configuring network settings or a firewall.
The second reason are games. While I'm not a die-hard gamer anymore, I like to play games. The situation got a lot better in recent time with games such as Pillars of Eternity being available for Linux as well. That's however not the case for all games, not by a long shot. This means that I have to keep a Windows installation for games.
It would not be too difficult to keep one Windows PC though and switch my main system to Linux I guess.
The third and final reason is Ghacks. Since Ghacks is predominantly visited by people using Windows -- last time I checked more than 93% -- it would be foolish to abandon that operating system. While I'd certainly gain new readers writing exclusively about Linux topics, it is not something that I want to do.
The solution here is the same as for the second reason: keep one Windows system and use that for gaming and testing.
I'd like to make time for switching my main system but it is not there yet. What I plan to do is however use Linux on my laptop and get used to it this way. While it will take longer than a radical switch, it is the best I can do right now. Eventually though, I'd like to run all but one system on Linux and not Windows.
Now that you know my reasons for not switching to Linux just yet, I'd like to hear yours. What keeps you from switching to Linux on your computer system(s)? If you made the switch already, what was the most difficult thing to adjust to?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.