Moving to Linux
By Tad Brooker
As the landscape for computer use, operating systems, tablets and phones evolves and matures I get requests daily from users asking what Linux distribution should I chose when I make the move. I have to take into consideration WHAT the user wants to do, and not as importantly WHAT hardware is available, and then try to determine their daily work flow to come up with an ideal recommendation from my experiences as a technical professional.
I have been an avid Linux user since 1991 when it was released, and I have seen many changes, improvements and been a distro-hopper along the way. I consider myself a Linux expert and love to share my knowledge with others who are looking to break away from the bloated, virus ridden Windows versions released by Microsoft and the outdated entry level OS used on Apple and MAC PC’s.
When I sit down in front of the screen, I generally have one thing in mind: To get work done, and I focus on doing so in the quickest and most effective manner. I don’t want to wait 4 minutes for my PC to load up and spawn all of the windows crap that must start up, I do not want an anti-virus software loading and bogging down my machine and I really do not want to deal with Microsoft’s activation and “big brother’s” attitude on registering everything they produce.
I have grown to enjoy the simplicity, speed and style of Linux. It is fast, clean and efficient, but most of all – it is free. You can do everything that Windows can do, faster, better and more reliable using even older, outdated hardware. There is no need for an anti-virus due to the design and security of the Linux OS, and the chance of getting hacked i minute because all of the script-kiddies run Windows on the PC’s their Mom and Dad bought them at Wal-Mart, leaving us Linux users out of their reach.
Yeah I know, I may sound harsh at first but my goal is to work smart and efficient – and moving Microsoft out of my daily work-low has achieved that for me. There is no looking back, no missing anything and really no pain… So lets get on with the topic of getting you to spin up your first Linux Distribution.
I am going to break it down to three classes for new users and my recommendation for each.
Absolute beginner – Elementary OS
Technical Beginner – Fedora
Experienced Hacker – Antergos
A fast and open replacement for Windows and macOS
A very easy step for users coming from Mac or Windows alike, Elementary OS is clean, simple and easy to use. The menus and layout seem familiar and are easy to navigate without much thought. In a minimum amount of time you will be up, running and comfortable with your new system. Installing and managing applications is a breeze, upgrades are seamless and automatic behind the scenes so I rate this as the perfect entry level distribution for users to get their feet wet in Linux. Breaking free from the chains of Microsoft and Apple is very easy and the ultimate reward outweighs anything they have to offer…
Choose Freedom. Choose Fedora.
Looking for something a little more in depth, more raw power or have the need to get your fingers dirty? Fedora is one of my favorite all time distributions. It is beautiful, very powerful and able to do all of the things a more advanced user may want to tackle. With an excellent Gnome graphical environment and plenty of awesome applications installed this distro will get you up and running, and provide you with a few things you can dig into, learn more about and really get to know the Linux environment. Not to be afraid of for the new user, but it will leave you a little more room for advancement as you master your Linux skills.
Your Linux. Always Fresh. Never Frozen.
Power, perfection and pretty, that is what I see in Antergos. It is my new personal favorite and what I run on my desktop today. I absolutely love it, based on Arch Linux – definitely one of the more complex distros, configuration and installation can be a bit challenging, but if you have this one secret tool I use often: Google, you can find out the answers to most of your questions! Learning, growing and stretching your legs you will find this to be the perfect distribution for now, and in the future once you become familiar with it!
Hopefully this is enough information to get you at least interested and maybe even taking the first step to moving into s speedy and secure computing environment with the power to run your digital world. Looking back, I am very glad I have made the jump and I have to say I am irritated every time I have to use a Windows machine, slow, bloated and insecure are feelings you should never have while using a computer.
Step out and make the change, it will only be a matter of time before you are a competent Linux user and you will enjoy the extra time and money you have saved so that you can use it for something enjoyable instead of feeding the computing monopolies.