What you should have known before switching to Linux from Windows?

I think most of us share at least parts of your experience. For me, losing stuff during changes stopped as soon as I committed to external storage of anything that mattered. Continual, on-the-fly backup is the key to happiness as far as I’m concerned. MEGA, Dropbox, an external hard drive, even optical media will safeguard the treasures and enable your search. Best of luck!

I did have backups, but with my limited knowledge I wasn’t able to work around the hard drive issues I was experiencing. I tried repairing the disk thru a bootable USB stick I had. When that didn’t work I tried the upgrading windows option, but it wouldn’t allow that. Then I tried a clean install with windows and even that didn’t work because it couldn’t read the hard drive due to the boot sector not being recognized (I forgot if it was the EFI or MBR it couldn’t recognize). So at that point I thru my arms up and went with an MX Linux installation. Yes live and learn.

Dual-booting is still a nightmare. Firstly, legislators still do not understand the importance of requiring the BIOS to be OS-neutral, accepting any combination of operating systems, installed in any order.

Secondly, unfair practices go further than that. Not long ago I wanted to install Ubuntu on an inexpensive HP portable with a 500Gb disk that was much less than half full. Windows refused to defragment in a way that left a usable amount of space for the linux distro.

Although, as part of national policy, the French Gendarmerie is 90% Linux,
[La tactique du gendarme 2021 passe par le drone et l’open source | Rockingrobots]
this does not apply to the educational sector, which appears to be a total monopoly.

In our walk-in shop we have rescued numerous PCs that had been obsoleted by Windows, but this activity is of little interest to families with children.

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and of course Trash/Recycle Bin

If you select “Move to Trash” when deleting files, they go to the TRASH folder. Want to recover a file you deleted? Search for it in your TRASH folder and click RESTORE to put it back where it was, or just move it to where you want it. I always have a TRASH link icon on my desktop for easy access. Otherwise, just go to FILES > TRASH. I’ve been using Ubuntu since the beginning of dirt. Still am, 18.04 until somebody convinces me I should upgrade. I’m only assuming that other distros also have a TRASH folder . . .

I’ve done half a dozen Windows/Ubuntu and Mint dual-boots and they were always very easy. I always start with Windows already installed and then just use a fresh Linux install USB drive to install it alongside Windows. I usually just let Ubuntu decide how to do the install rather than creating partitions myself, as this has always worked well for me.
The only “tricky” thing one needs to do is to set the computer to boot from the USB drive and then it’s all automatic from there. During the install, make sure to select the option to connect to Internet at that point, and then select the option to let the install include updates and drivers as it needs them.

Once the install is completed, you will be asked to reboot (and remove the USB drive). Then a small menu will appear on your display asking you to choose Windows or your new installation. If you ignore that for a few seconds, the computer will boot to your new installation by default. If you select Windows, it will boot into Windows. Sweet!

There are several excellent tutorials online; just do a search for “dual-boot windows [your linux os]”

2 posts were split to a new topic: My Experience Transitioning from Windows to Linux

It can work very well on older hardware as Linux usually doesn’t have as much impact on system performance as macOS or Windows 10, but now the main reasons for moving to Linux in 2021 are security and privacy. Apple and Microsoft are sniffing out their professions.

My tryst with Linux commenced on 01/05/2017 in a very small curious way out of my misdemeanors with Windows Updates. Since then, I have attempted to maintain an indexed date-wise log (to fall back for cross referencing) of my attempts at familiarizing with Linux as a novice, having migrated from a decade long association with Windows. A brief narration of the chronological summary of my learning progress including successes & failures, the problems faced - some resolved, some still unresolved, some deemed silly by me to be even brought to the notice of experts on a forum, some I am still struggling with a self-help desire to resolve by myself etc all consolidated in a file, can be sent to Abhishek directly, if that could be of any help. I must however confess that it has been an excellent learning experience and a thoroughly satisfying journey for me so far, with the only regret of not having started earlier.The quest to learn keeps me busy with the CLI-friendly initiatives of learning by committing mistakes.

Your comment reminded me of a Network Admin class (Novell) in which the instructor told us the purpose of the TRASH folder or bin was actually known as Delete.Save.

A post was split to a new topic: Moved from Windows to Linux - Now what?

It can run on older hardware because Linux doesn’t have the same impact on system performance as macOS or Windows 10. But now for the most compelling reasons to make the transition to Linux in 2021. Privacy and security. Apple and Microsoft are both watching your every move. For more details to check out the page 7 Best Ways to Cool the Laptop While Gaming - Instant Hacks.

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Hi @abhishek
Another great plan of yours. Thanks for that.

I think, using removable storage can be a little bit challenging at times for new GNU/Linux users.
I experience some hickups myself sometimes, when it comes to permissions with sayd devices.
So it would be good for new users to have a slight idea how to handle such problems, e.g. plugging in an USB stick and not being able to write to it, because of insufficient rights.


Nice to see this (rather old) piece of art with its slightly ironic tone again.
Maybe someone might read it in german, there is a translation here.
Just for information.


I think ITSFOSS should have a detailed article on switching to Linux from windows 10 - especially dual booting and ‘trying out linux’. Dualbooting can sometimes end in disaster as it did in my case and I did the ‘prudent’ thing and went back to windows.Sad. By ‘disaster’ I mean you get left with neither! It has something to do with the ‘boot sector’ and where you put ‘grub’ files and the partitions don’t have the same letters…so for a non-technical enthusiast, it can be hard. A detailed account on this will be very valuable.

It’s even harder for someone who tries to make big change in his computer without backing up his important data. Operating systems can always be re-installed.

Hi berninghausen,
You seem to be an old hand at this since in earlier posts you have mentioned you used to use windows in 1990. I am someone with ‘creaky bones’ :slight_smile: and I prefer to learn from an old hand. Any suggestions on where I could find a comprehensive and reasonably foolproof way to create a dual boot system? Right now if I want Linux, I plug in the usb and boot, having set the booting sequence. If windows- boot without usb.

AC: It used to be easier to dual boot systems, but with the advent of UEFI and fast start and other such Microsoft-intensive crap, it’s harder. I will make two suggestions. First, back up every scrap of data that you will regret losing–particularly family pictures, spouses have no sense of humor. Second, read the following:

It’s the most recent and best guide for what you want to do. Now read it again. And again.
Double check that your data is backed up on external media or in the cloud–DropBox is good for this.

You may not want to install Mint, but it’s really the best one for new folks. Later, you can try a different distribution. Believe it or not, the booting-from-usb method isn’t the worst thing you can do. Look into setting up a usb stick with a persistent distro (it remembers your data and changes). But start with Mint, following the reference.

The best thing I can do for you is point you at the great advice from the smarter people on this forum.

[Later note: subsequent comments mention two major things to remember: always install Windows first, then Linux, and using separate hard drives does indeed make things easier. Thanks, guys.]

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I had a problem that when I chose to boot Windows from the Grub menu that when I rebooted Windows wanting to get the grub menu, it would instead boot Windows again. Since then I re-installed my Linux OS (Changed OSes a few times) and now I get the grub menu every time. So I would say, Install Windows first, then install your Linux OS WITHOUT FORMATTING THE EFI-BOOT PARTITION.

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