Why is using Linux more private than Windows?

What do you want advice about?

I’m considering dual booting my laptop with Windows 11 and Ubuntu. I want to use Ubuntu for my personal and professional work. Some of the applications I use don’t work on Linux, so I must use Windows for those apps.

What have you considered or looked at already?
I like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Pop! OS for a Linux distro. I described my dual boot setup above. I’ll try to find a way to get around needing a Microsoft account for Windows 11. Perhaps creating a burner account?

In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model?
I don’t want Microsoft tracking everything I do on my laptop and giving that information to other big tech companies and data brokers. Some things, like engineering software, I have to use Windows for. But I want to use Windows as less as possible.

So is my dual booting setup going to give me the level of privacy I need? Are there any security trade offs I’m making? Why is Linux considered more private than Windows?


Last I checked you can not connect to the internet on setup and it’ll let you skip account creation.

More or less yes. If you keep personal stuff to Linux then you can expect a reasonable level of privacy with respect to system wide tracking.

Most Linux distros don’t have an advertising network thus no inherent benefit from collecting data. Yes they can collect data to sell but in the Linux Ethos that’s been a No-No for a long time. Usually you can stop, any or all, data form reaching the distro makers by disabling crash reporting.

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When people say Ubuntu isn’t as private as other distros, is it because Ubuntu has crash reporting and optional user data being sent to the parent company?

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Why is using Linux more private than Windows

A huge reason is because Linux is open source. You or anyone else can literally see all the pieces of code that make your computer how it works. From the kernel, to your desktop. It’s also a proven fact that the majority of Linux distributions collect a lot less, sometimes no telemetry, than Windows. Downloading software is also a lot more safe, with some kind of maintainer hosting all your software. Your software will also be in some kind of container, with the modern favourite being Flatpak. It’s permission based, so your software won’t have access to areas that they don’t need. If you’re going to use Ubuntu, you’ll likely be using Snaps.

I’ll try to find a way to get around needing a Microsoft account for Windows 11.

Methods exist, and I literally did it… 3/4 days ago, on a new .iso from MicroSoft. It could get patched out in the future, though. Here’s how to do it:

  1. When you install Windows, it’ll ask you to choose your Country, Keyboard config, and so on. Make sure you have no internet. Just unplugging the ethernet cable should work.
  2. Instead of giving your WiFi info, press “Shift” + “F10”. This should launch a terminal.
  3. Inside the terminal type “oobe\Bypassnro”
  4. The installer will reset, and you’ll find that you no longer need internet to create a MS account.

All this does is tweak a registry key… that’s it. You’re not doing anything dodgy to the install.

I don’t want Microsoft tracking everything I do on my laptop and giving that information to other big tech companies and data brokers.

Have you considered a firewall? Simplewall, and Portmaster are two excellent options that work on Windows. Portmaster is a lot better, but it does require some work to get it functioning alongside a VPN (like Mullvad). At the very least, use WindowsSpyBlocker script, which adds various MicroSoft telemetry IPs to the built in Windows firewall. Though, a dedicated one will be much better.

I’d also suggest disabling various MicroSoft rubbish. It’s proprietery, but O&O ShutUp10++ is a great tool, for this. ThisIsWin11, and privacy sexy (be careful, it has scripts that can break a lot of functionality), both of which are open source.

So is my dual booting setup going to give me the level of privacy I need?

Depends on you. Are you literally going to dual boot, and spend 90% of your time in Windows? If so, there really isn’t much point in dual booting. If you stick with Linux, and don’t mind switching back and forth, you should get a good privacy improvement.

Are there any security trade offs I’m making?

Somethings will be better, some will be worse. It’s honestly up to debate. A debate that belongs in another thread… and exist on other threads. In my opinion, you will be better of.


I believe by default it’s on. I’ve not gone through the source code but iirc if you disable it Canonical (distro maker) doesn’t get any data.

(Apart from one time hardware info right on install - unless they removed this)

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The only data collection in Ubuntu is non-personal technical data used for crash reporting and directing development, and even that is optional and transparent. The user is asked whether they would like to opt-in or opt-out during the first install (and shown a sample report of the type of technical data that is shared), it is also easy to change from settings afterwards.

In my opinion this is not a flaw, but a great example of how telemetry can be implemented responsibly/ethically. The user (1) is made aware of it (2) is given a real choice (3) is given the information needed to make a more informed choice.


Just throwing this out there can you use your windows software offline.
Your kinda facing two hurdles or asking two questions. People bet their life on using Linux, you probably can guess the top three secure private or anonymous distro.

My windows use usually comes around I don’t have time right now to learn how to do something on Linux. You got time on your side. I bet you can tweak your work flow and use a linux distro you like and figure out you best options with windows.