What are your main reasons for switching to Linux?

Hello everybody. First-time poster here and long-time reader/viewer.

As far as operating systems go, my life has been dominated by Microsoft since the mid 90s. Like most things in life, if something becomes muscle memory and is adequate for your needs, it can take a lot of good reasons for you to diverge from it. Diverging from something like an operating system that you’re comfortable with takes time and effort. After all, I had only touched on Linux (Mandrake) during university a couple of decades ago, and even then it was only for a brief sneak peek because the main language of the course was C# .NET (this requiring Microsoft software).

A couple of years ago I had a tipping point in my digital life. Social media began to make me feel negative and lost perspective of reality. I was growing increasingly concerned about the “oh well, nothing we can do about it” attitude towards online privacy. On a more positive motivation, I always wanted to learn more command line syntax and generally become a better developer - one more in-tune with the tool that he uses.

Everything pointed me towards Linux. After discovering LearnLinuxTV, I decided to give myself a challenge and dive right in with Arch. :grin:

However, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as switching overnight and everything will just work for you. It has taken me a couple of years and a few full-on attempts to make it happen. I went back to Windows on a few occasions. If I’m being honest, I got fatigued by having to work hard to make certain things work in Arch Linux, many of which I probably would have had the same issue in other distributions. I had also invested quite a lot of money into certain games and add-ons that I simply can’t get to work in Linux, but I can bite that bullet and move past it. On the occasions that I reverted to Windows, I felt dirty - like I had given up too easily and was slipping back into the digital world that perturbed me from that environment in the first place.

I think the key advice I’d have to anybody looking to switch is to accept that you’ll have setbacks, complications, things to figure out, and it may tire you. Take things one task at a time, go for dual boot as a precaution, and each time you feel like giving up, dust yourself down after a little bit of time and try again. I could have made life easier by accepting a dual boot situation to bed myself in more easily but I’m maybe wired in an irrational way that I wouldn’t have been comfortable with that.

Anyway, I hope this was OK as a first post. Big thank you to @jay for his amazing channel and guidelines for Linux - definitely my first port of call!

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F R E E D O M to start with.

Computing my way instead of what features some company wants me to have. I say features, I’ve become a bit tainted in that I now see computers, TV’s, cell phones, etc as data collection devices first, then the general function of the device second.

I’m sick and tired of being taken advantage of. Linux gives ME control over my computing experience.

I may be bit older in that when I was in college, C++ was being taught and M$ Visual Studio was the tool to use. So, I was an Apple fan at the time and completed the course with Apple’s X-Code. The teacher recommended that I use the M$ tools, but my source code from X-Code compiled with no issues so I was good.

The issue that pushed me over the limit is when Facebook started recommending friend connections that it stole from the address book in my cell phone. I have not been on FB since that day, many years ago.

I will say that learning Linux will make you unlearn a couple of things that we’ve learned from M$, but once you get past that point, the “ah-ha” moment happens and you come to see how much more simple Linux is. It is at this point that you realize that you have just begun a wonderful journey. A journey where there is no turning back (at least for me). I found FREEDOM in Linux.

The one thing that kept windows around for me was gaming, but I am now gaming on Linux and do not windows except for work, where most of my time is spent in putty…on a Linux server.

Welcome to the journey. May your path provide you with rich knowledge and the wonderful experience of computing freedom.

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I have been using Linux on and mostly off since the early 1990s. The university computer aid engineering lab had access to FTP servers. IIRC we used Softlanding Linux System - Wikipedia it came on 13 3.5 inch floppy drives. For school, we were required to buy a ten pack of disks. So we would go to the lab and copy some and install them. When we installed all the disks we had, we would ride our bikes back to the lab while our home computer cursor blink, “Please insert next disk and press Enter to continue.” We would download the next batch, ride home and install them.

The problem at the time was that the engineering school taught their programing for engineering in FORTRAN. But after upgrading the lab they didn’t have enough money left for FORTRAN licenses. You would have to reserve time in the middle of the night to use one of the computers with FORTRAN.

Luckily, There was a free GNU FORTRAN compiler available on Linux.

I have switched back and forth between windows and Linux since then. Most recently, I switch full-time to Linux because I work with a software system called https://www.ros.org/ which only works well on Linux.

Then, when I needed the home infrastructure to support my ROS work, Linux was the has to go.

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Short story, I switched to linux last year after I noticed that windows 10 was installing software automatically on my computer.

The full story is, I had just built a new home gaming PC in January of 2020 and I had set up my old PC (one I put together back in 2010) into a NAS/plex server using windows 10. I was unhappy with how many resources were being used up just by windows. Since it was a headless setup I had to “fool” the system into thinking it was attached to a monitor for team viewer to work for remote connections. Plus the shares I had set up in windows would seem to work only when they wanted to. I would have to look up the IP I had set up for my NAS system and manually search for the shared drives. I was a little frustrated with the shares but they worked about half the time I needed them without any extra effort and Plex was working flawlessly(as long as windows didn’t automatically update and reboot).

So one day in May(I think) when I logged into my newish gaming pc I got a notification about some new communication software installed on my windows 10 pc. I had my pc turned off, and I didn’t do any updates, and this new program was installed or activated or something without my consent or input or anything. It was at this point that I considered for the first time that windows does not need my input to do ANYTHING with my pc. They could, and I’m not suggesting they are or are not, monitor all of my internet usage, all of my email communication, access my webcam or mic, without my knowledge. It kinda freaked me out. So I started to look into alternatives. Needless to say that brought me to linux.

I stumbled across some reddit posts that had suggested that if you really want to understand linux and how it works you should install arch. I’m not afraid of a challenge, and I had nothing to lose, so I also installed arch as my first distro. I wasn’t ready to abandon windows because it was all I knew, so I looked up how to dual boot arch and windows, and after 2-3 days of researching how to install arch as a dual boot (that’s how I found learnlinuxtv) I installed arch on my laptop. I was shocked to find my laptop, at least seemed to me, was way faster. The KDE desktop I installed felt pretty familiar and I was pretty comfortable with it. I too was a bit fatigued by having to work hard to make certain things work in Arch Linux, I didn’t understanding anything about the kernel and almost anything I installed from the AUR didn’t work as expected, plus as a new linux user I wanted to see what the difference was between the distros. This was the turning point for me. I accidentally nuked my windows boot loader, after installing fedora, I eventually fixed it, but I found I didn’t want to boot to windows anymore. So I got rid of it.

I have since bought Jay’s book, read it cover to cover, set up my plex/NAS on Ubuntu server, have found it WAAAY more reliable, and resource efficient. I have settled on PopOS for my laptop and gaming PC. I am considering Manjaro still for the Gaming PC but I have no problems at all with PopOS. I do still have a windows install on a second hard drive on my gaming pc but I only have it for the few games that don’t play well with linux, but I rarely ever boot to windows because I’m more comfortable with PopOS. I like knowing what all the programs are doing and that my PC isn’t “Phoning Home” to someone that has more control than I do.

This has opened my eyes to so much that I didn’t know about before. I have started to obsess with learning about networking and servers. It’s not job related but I have started home labbing as a hobby. I bought a Protectli 6 port mini pc for a pfsense router. It is way more machine than what I require but it’s a nice little toy. I got an old HP server for $300 that has pretty decent specs for a proxmox server that I install different server programs on just for play. I am learning a lot about VM’s and networking. It’s been a wonderful journey.

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F R E E D O M from spyware, virus, telemetry.
Windows is getting suckier everytime.
Don’t want proprietary software.
Freedom to use old hardware.
Free up landfills from e-waste.

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@PhilTDev As i was reading your story and it was like i was writing it. your story is so close to mine.

Still using windows day to day for my work (it support for small businesses) but i have my main pc running ubuntu and a home lab with a dell R420 128gb memory and 3 x3tb hard drives running esxi and playing around with servers and using it for my samba server and plex server.

hoping to make a career in Linux and trying to do some certs soon. i also have @jay latest book. i am just trying to find the time and effort! been waiting to do this for over 20 years and thinking am i to old now (38).

Nice stories to read.

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@mason64 38 is no age at all. You’re in your prime. :smiley: I’m even thinking about the freedom of computing I’ll enjoy when I retire, at which point I can ditch Windows entirely. Until then, I’ve accepted that my work will always require a Windows environment for one reason or another - be it software that I can’t get to work in Wine, or for native environment testing purposes.

To old? Nonsense.

I was laid off in 2018. I got a nice severance package and used it to update my skills. I bought a subscription to Linux Academy and started studying full-time. In 6 months, I had completed about 30 courses and came away with a CompTIA CySA+ and Security+ certs. All of my training was Linux, Network, and Security related. From start to finish, Security+ took me about 3 weeks and CySA+ took about a month. I took courses on each, bought a cert study guide for each, and took copious notes.

BTW, I’m 53 years old. Granted I had a pretty strong motivation, but it can be done.

My belief is that anything can be done, and all it takes is enough desire. So, make Linux your passion and you WILL succeed.

Thanks @PhilTDev @Mr_McBride for the kind words. its give more motivation reading your replies! i am going to study for the Comptia Linux + and hopefully learn some more useful things on the way.

Congrats on all the certs @Mr_McBride are you looking to work in the I.T industry with them certs or more of a hobbie? you know your stuff if you can do so much in such little time!

thanks as always!

I’ve been working in IT in the corporate environment for about 28 years now.

For me, Linux, open source, and security are a passion. I enjoying studying these at home and I enjoy putting my training to work on the job.

I will admit that the certs and the studying do come a little easier when you have a lot of experience. By that I mean that there is less to memorize because I’ve already been exposed to most of the topics.

Stick with it and it can only get easier.

My case is definitely much more casual than most here from what I’m seeing.

I don’t have a degree on anything related to IT nor I have ever worked in anything related. I just had a lot of trouble updating my Windows 7 machine right around when Windows 10 came out and was pushing its updated onto everyone. Constant reboots, very slow responses due to constantly downloading updates… Looking for alternatives I even considered getting a Mac but the price tag quickly reminded me of why I didn’t want to do that. So between a huge price tag or getting a new Windows machine that I knew eventually would go back to becoming a pain in the glass, I started looking for alternatives.

I had heard of Linux, so I decided that might be a good time to dig a little deeper into it. I remember going through the basics from a website that explained things nicely, even before I installed it just to make sure I didn’t break things. And one distro led to another and here I am writing in the very same machine that was giving me headaches a few years back, running smooth and without complaints.

To be fair, Windows was installed in my machine up until very recently since I used it from time to time though more infrequently as time passed. But I’m running Linux only and couldn’t be happier!

EDIT: Just remembered the name of the site, it’s Linux Journey.

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(Taken from meta topic at Ask Ubuntu)

I have been tinkering around with different Linux and BSD distros (and NAS variants) together with a friend for about 10 years now.

Recently we both needed to upgrade our home servers, and talked about settling on a single distribution that would be best suitable for our needs. After some research, we decided to give Ubuntu a try over Debian, mainly because of the great support options, the easy guides on the webpage, and the broad support for different hardware (and also for ZFS support).

So in spring 2020 we both installed Ubuntu 20.04 on our main servers, and we have been learning and developing different scripts and utilities since then. This is still very much a learning experience for both of us, but I thinks it’s safe to say that neither of us regret for one second choosing Ubuntu as our preferred server distribution.

you should check out this script to debloat windows. I have also heard Dave2D explaining how he removes most of the stuff from windows before he starts benchmarking.

I loved using this script to get rid of the junk windows ships with. In that sense, arch makes a great deal to make this possible by giving us control over what one wants.