Some people claim that switching to Linux is as easy as flashing system image on USB stick and following a few simple steps after booting from it. Others state that switching to Linux is almost impossible and its only for lifeless losers. I dare to declare that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Please, stop making this process even harder than it allready is. Avoid writing about purely technical details, as most people who want to give linux a try do not care about that. Do not order them to overprotect their files as most of them will give up on the whole process because of that. Remember, we just want them to switch to linux, we do not have to hide from NSA.
There are a lot of situations in which you might want to give Linux a try, for example if:
- You are concerned about the mass data collection done by your current operating system
- Your hardware is struggling to run your current OS and you want your operating system to run smoothly
- You want to poses a new set of skills to get a better job
In some cases, you should not switch to Linux, for example:
- You do not have enough time and patience to transition and learn about this operating system
- You depend on software that is only available for your current operating system
Don’t worry! You do not have to use Linux to improve your privacy and security. There are many ways to enhance it anyway, like “privacy.sexy”.
Those are some popular examples of software that is tricky to run on Linux:
- Professional tools (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, AutoCAD, SolidWorks, etc)
- Some Games (usually those with kernel-level anti cheat, such as EasyAntiCheat, Battleye etc). It is however worth checking out Are We Anti-Cheat Yet? and ProtonDB as Linux gaming is becoming more prevalent.
- Microsoft Office
Some people claim that Linux alternatives can work the same, or even better. I dare to partially disagree with that statement. While Linux compatible alternatives can be used to get your job done, they are very unintuitive to use and require alot of patience to use then efficiently. Gimp is not a decent alternative to Photoshop, and LibreOffice is not a decent alternative to Microsoft Office.
You can very easily try Linux without touching your main operating system. For that I would recommend trying it via live booting. It will give you the best idea of how it will run on your hardware. If you just want access to most Linux command line utilities, I would recommend Windows Subsystem for Linux(If you happen to use Windows 10 or above) or virtual machines such as VMware, or VirtualBox.
I recommend one of the following distributions:
Pop!_OS and Fedora have really solid support by a serious companies (System76 and RedHat). They also quickly adapt new technologies (like Wayland and PipeWire) and they are really stable. If you wish for your system to resemble Windows, you can give Zorin a try.
Before the installation, make sure to back up all your important data. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Important Documents and Notes
- Family Photos
- Your Passwords / TOTP codes
- Any files that are important to you
Even doing something as simple as compressing those files into zip archive and uploading them to your google drive or dropbox will be better than nothing. It might be a good idea to set a password on that zip archive (make sure to write it down).
Assuming that you run one of the distributions mentioned above, your current device should be compatible. You can double check that by live booting from usb stick as mentioned earlier. Nowadays it is even possible to run Linux on apple M1 silicon thanks to Asahi Linux (it is in early alpha stages) and some people even try to run it on iPads and iPhones
There is a nice and simple video that shows how to install Linux. It will be almost the same for every distribution, only the final setup steps might differ.
For Mac users, there is a nice guide on how to jump from MacOS to Pop!_OS.
If you think that you can do it, it might be a good idea to give Linux a try. And don’t worry if Linux is not for you, it is not must-have tool for everyone! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them!