What topics would you suggest for "full transformation from Windows 7 to Linux"?

You probably know that Windows 7 will be discontinued in a year and users will be forced to upgrade (and pay for) Windows 10.

Someone on It’s FOSS YouTube channel suggested to make “make videos on full transformation from windows to Linux”.

I think it would be a good time to create some helpful tutorials to help people use Linux instead of Windows 10. The suggestion to make videos on full transformation from windows to Linux is a good idea in this context.

Now the problem with me is that I have been using Linux for almost a decade and I am out of touch with Windows. I have vague ideas about the needs of a Windows user migrating to Linux desktop but it’s more of my assumption.

And this is where I would like your help. While migrating to Linux from Windows, what issues you faced? What are the topics you think could help a Windows 7 migrant to Linux?

Based on your suggested topics, I’ll create a series of both text and video tutorials that will be available for free so that more people could be comfortable using Linux.

P.S. Please check this getting started with Ubuntu tutorial collection. I have covered a few topics from my own assumption.


At the very first it is very important to clear up the following question:

Does the user want to sink into the philosophy behind Linux and learn how to use it properly
does the user only need a working system while not caring at all about the system, basically thinking “it just has to work, that’s all”?

Because depending on the answer, the approach to the migration will be different. If they want to dive into the Linux world, they should start very easy. My first commands were sudo apt-get update, as far as I recall. They should start with the basic update/upgrade routine. Later they should do more and more on the command line, as time progresses and as they feel more comfortable.

If they just want a working system, nothing else, then the answer for a Windows user is:



Everything in a GUI. The terminal shouldn’t exist. They shouldn’t even know what a terminal is. Want to install something? Click, click. Want to move something? Click, click. Want to rename something? Click, click. Want to change system settings? Click, click. The only thing the user should be typing is their password, except they are using the browser or open a text editor.

Especially this type of Linux user is very demanding and can’t stand the terminal. So it is important that there are alway graphical ways of doing everything needed for a casual user, like the one in this example.
Windows users are so used to GUI being everywhere all the time, that just seeing a terminal window scares them already. So basically the gist is, that they should feel comfortable like “at home” by explaining how to do everything with graphical user interfaces.


We addressed this topic a while ago in our community at the time when Windows XP got obsolete.
We had some information meetings and an information booth at the market.
If we are honest, most people don’t care about the GNU/Linux philosophy as of my experience.
So I would agree with @Akito you should focus on how to use Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, …

Also we are often asked to name alternatives to Windows apps, such as WinZip, Corel Draw, Photoshop, etc. (which is not that hard to address)…
Just a few first thoughts…


A normal person just want a working computer. And that’s what this series would aim for.


Then I would go for what @Fast.Edi said regarding my post.



a working system while not caring at all about the system, basically thinking “it just has to work, that’s all” ?

This my experience of dealing with Window users (being a potential Linux novice), by dipping their toe into the Linux pool, not forgetting “Updates”, they’re done automatically.

A gentlemen who I serviced and looked after his computer for the last few years, had this attitude of oblivion, hadn’t done an update in 16 months and wondered why his browser was pleading to be upgraded. After a headache inducing and pointless telephone conversation. He came around my house and I had to do 16 months of updates (over 280), clear out his cache etc and restore all his LibreOffice letters saved under the same name.

Bit like being a parent spoon feeding a toddler. :rofl:


I’ll give you that. Really (my experiences proofe this).


The point with GNU/Linux fans is, we use GNU/Linux for its own sake.
Sure, we like to get work done.
Sure, we like to be secure from viruses.
Sure, we like to save money.
But those are only the side effects.
What we really like is playing with the system, poking around and discovering fascinating facts about the software that lies underneath it.

It’s fun to tinker with your system.
It’s fun to change all the settings, break the system, then have to go to recovery mode to repair it.
It’s fun to have over a hundred distros to choose from.
It’s fun to use the command line.

(not mine, found it somewhere, translated it to german and made a wallpaper from it at DeviantArt


The problem with Windows users is the convenience.Them want make all
with double click, it’s awesome, however them will be charged ahead …
with virus, invasions, hackers, keyloggers, spywares, trojans … ohh hell !!!
In first place, as suggestion: study Linux, serious learn lot commands and
no have fear of command line.Ubuntu, Mint and ZorinOS, are great for begin.
Put the topics of manner more simple possible.Since the download iso, passing
by make pendrive boot, installing and using Linux, the rest is with the user, if he ( she )
are lazys, then you nor nobody go make the lazy get out Micro$oft :slight_smile:


To add my two penny worth: This is great for changing directly to Ubuntu, but a windows user coming from 7 would be better off with Mint as the DE is similar. Windows 10 changed things and many found it difficult, but there were free tools to change it back to the Windows 7 look. Classic Shell which is an example and what I used until I got completely fed up with Windows updates etc.

As you have stated a “normal” user wants something that just works and is easy to understand which is where Mint scores. I therefore would add this into this and that would be my only suggestion. You could do a set of alternatives for the very frightened as to be honest if I had only the choice of going to Ubuntu when I first started I would have stuck were I was as it Ubuntu seemed too much of a radical change.


Once you go classic, you never go back. :+1:t2:


I vote for installing ZorinOS, replacing Windows 7. I installed ZorinOS on my mother-in-law’s computer and she loves it. Her old computer with ZorinOS died and she bought a new computer which came with Windows 8, but she wanted me to put ZorinOS on the new computer, replacing Windows 8. She is 70 next year I think.


As someone who made the shift recently, and being just a skilled home user, I think we have to insist that NOBODY should just switch. The best bet, I suggest, is to get a used laptop, install one of the easy distros (Ubuntu or Mint), and get into it slowly. Once the potential mutineer is using Linux more than Windows, then make the leap. Not before.

Maybe it goes without saying, but don’t delete the Windows (don’t quit the day job).


Thank you Abishek,

I love this question. Switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10 will force users to loose and acquire quit some habits. Switching From Win7 to Ubuntu 18:04 or Elementary’s latest would imply the same thing. Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18:04 etc are userfriendly. The bottom line is how comfortable do you want to live your live. Windows 10 I found intrusive and insecure and your anonymity has died.

What would maybe handy to make the transition comes after the transition/ installing Linux. Tools and scripts that pick up usernames and password and the personel user folder from windows and a tools that understand windows different backups.

Kind Regards, D. Lovink.


Hi Abhishek,

I’ve set up www.linuxworks.eu to provide information on Linux for starters, on the website there’s a complete tutorial for how to get started with VirtualBox. Hope this helps!

Kind regards,
Arnold Offerman.


Mr Abhishek,
Your FOSS appers to help new users to a larger extent. The presnt question is worth to ponder. I am using Ubunto as a dual OS for more than 6 to 7 years. Earlier it used to be unstale had to be reinstalled frequntly. Now it is better. For example when I have upgraded to 18.04 i have sound problem.
Another problem is many business people use windows 7 for photo shop, tally, astrology software etc. Most of them are pirated and cracked versions. Ubuntu wil not help them. Certainly switching to windows by Government departments, companies may help if your suggesion is pursued seriouly but not to common people.


This conversion is nowadays easier because of many platform-portable apps and built-in Microsoft (“MSFT”) compatibility - but it is still not trivial. An important first step is an inventory of:

  1. the Windows apps you use - whether by MSFT or others,
  2. what kinds of files you’d be sharing with others, and them with you (.pdf, .txt, .docx, .xlsx, .mp3, .wav, .bmp, .flac, .zip, …),
  3. what platforms you’d be using regularly - i.e. sharing data for oneself to/from - example: doing a [Save] on a Linux box to a cloud location or NAS, and an [Open] / [Read] / [Edit] on a Windows device, with changes sync’d back to others,
  4. what kind of local network file storage and sharing you’d be needing, and
  5. what kind / how much scripting has been done and which you use (bash, cmd.exe, PowerShell, csh, …)

Knowledge and understanding of some basic, non-maskable incompatibilities is required. The goal, here, is to not be surprised when you see this “impedance mismatch” when going back-and-forth between systems and their otherwise-similar file formats. For example:

  • Differences in text line termination [CR][LF] vs. bare [LF], and ways to handle that
  • Handling of very long lines of text: line/word wrap not being the default in some editors
  • File pathname separators “/” vs. “\”, component length limits and Case Sensitivity (or not)
  • A broader need in Linux for file & pathname quoting, since Windows tools often create pathnames with " " (space) as part of the name
  • Differing appearance and manipulation of symlinks, hard links vs. Junctions and MSFT symlinks
  • Differing default “standards” or conventions for file placement - for example:
    • /home/myusername vs. \Users\MyUserName, and
    • /tmp vs. \Users\MyUserName\AppData\Local\Temp
      (This is complicated by Windows’ changing these conventions over the years and usually seeing multiple in effect on any Windows system. This has been converging, however - $HOME/Documents vs. %HOME%\Documents.)
  • Somewhat different keyboard shortcuts, esp. when entering international chars via compose keys

For me this included:

  1. Surveying programs already in my chosen Linux distribution (Fedora, for me) for simple cross-compatible use (example: Leafpad, vim, PDF reader, etc.)
  2. Identifying alternates to my Windows apps: example: MSFT Office --> LibreOffice,
  3. Start using (everywhere) portable tools running on both Linux and Windows, like: again LibreOffice, GIMP, gVim and/or UltraEdit, KeePass (on Android, too),
  4. Only use portable browsers, like Chrome or FireFox,
  5. Getting an X-server running on any remaining Windows boxes I’d use
  6. Retrieving and installing some Windows programs suggested by occasional need: Gpg4Win, an MD5/SHAxxx tool, PuTTY,
  7. Finding some portable development tools common on Linux and usable (in some form) on Windows: make, gcc, g++, etc.

I’m sure I can go on, but this is a start. If you’d like to probe my experience setting up and managing a mixed environment before I retired, let me know.


@JDHoward Excellent contribution. :+1:t2:


Something explaining a little about very basic admin access, passwords and security would be helpful. I’m trying to get my husband switched over and he doesn’t like or understand that he has to occasionally put in a password for things like updates or installing a program or even for unlocking the screen (until I changed that for him) because on Windows he never had to enter a password for anything.

I don’t think the GUI thing can be emphasized enough, either. When asking for help in Linux forums, you will always get instructions that involve entering commands in the terminal, even for things that could be easily done with a few clicks in the GUI. That can lead to the impression that these things can’t be done as easily as in Windows. I understand that it’s easier for the person giving the help, but newbies need to know that if you don’t want to, you really don’t have to use the terminal for much, if anything. My husband should not be let near a terminal but he also isn’t going to want to ask me for help all the time. If he doesn’t think he can easily do everything he needs to without help, he isn’t going to use it.


Bwwhhhhaa, that describes most windies users to a tee :rofl:

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@JDHoward @LNXlady @Achara @ElectricDandySlider @Fast.Edi @Akito

Thank you all for your suggestions.