Windows refugees, why have you changed to Linux?

I’m curious. Why did you switch from Windows to Linux?

Was it the horrible, inconsistent user interface? Was it because how locked down the entire system was? Did windows 11 not support your hardware? Has your computer mysteriously been reduced to a crawl? Endless trouble with malware? Was your computer too low end to handle Windows?

Tell us!

I changed to Linux because of the abhorrent user interface of WIndows. Inconsistent all the time, a locked down system (I had the ambition to develop software at the time) and was frustrated with the price of IDEs. Development on Windows seemed counter-intuitive to me, and so I started dipping my fingers in Linux.

I liked what I encountered… a lot. However, actual development would not come off the ground. I liked Linux way better than Windows because of a myriad of reasons. Package management simply is better (the difference is astronomical); no weird hardware issues, things either work, or they don’t; Software is developed by people who actually have a heart for what they’re making (it is really noticeable); I have never encountered malware for Linux.

On top of that, the community is great. whenever I hit trouble, most of the time somebody who is actually knowledgeable is available, which is really helpful. The solution is usually something simple and the times I had to read “reinstall” because of an issue was exactly once… and that was a huge mess.

The amount of times I had to reinstall Windows because people trying to help didn’t know anymore… countless times.

A huge difference for me, and I’m grateful.


That is one of the main reasons why the scientific computing world uses Linux or BSD. Development software , like compilers and IDE’s are free in FOSS systems.

I like that. I have developed software for the R community, and you can indeed see in the CRAN repository for R packages an immense committment of behalf of the contributors.
The same is true of the kernel developers. It is inherited from the orginal creators of the Unix system.

An OS or a distro IS the people behind creating and maintaining it.
That includes the user community.

That is exactly how I feel. Open source software has made things possible for me. I want to put something back.


My problems were with with Windows 10 (home edition):
-no way to disable unwanted updates (especially graphics drivers)
-no permanent way to remove unwanted bloatware (only temporary solutions were available)
These count to “locked down the entire system” I think.

-No control on the utterly ugly look&feel.

This counts to your “user interface” part, but to be honest this was not my main problem.

With Linux I got:
-full control over what’s installed, what’s not…
-(almost) full control over look&feel, different DE’s if I want, no “one size fits all”
-frugal system, so wasting resources was left to the Windows world…
-did I mention freedom? :smiley:

And of course:
-the NEED to be vary cautios when buying hardware components:
picking a new hardware there’s a need to double-check wether it works with Linux, when I was on Windows, I could buy anything, I could be shure it will work somehow with the vendor provided drivers.


That is not always easy, as I recently found out with a simple AMD graphics card.

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A few reasons. I had been a user of Linux (running servers, etc) since around 1996, so I was already familiar with it. I switched to it full time right before Windows 11 came out, because none of my computers could run Windows 11, and I hated the idea of Microsoft bullying me into buying new hardware just to run their operating system. Plus who’s to say that when Windows 12 comes out, it won’t have some even more stringent requirement, so then the cycle starts all over again…

I switched to Linux and haven’t looked back. I have a Windows 11 VM set up, which ironically can emulate a TPM, even though my main system doesn’t have a TPM module installed… (how does that work?) Aside from a few pieces of my hardware (I’m looking at you Yamaha) not making Linux drivers for their equipment, I’ve had no problems.


Why did I switch to Linux?

At the time I was running Win 10 and I felt I had lost control of my PC. I did not seem to have control of when updates were going to be installed, which updates, or how many. Then there was that awful green line of wait that sometimes occurred when opening a folder. It was like Win was searching for sometime, indexing, or whatever.

But what really was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” was the constant Win scanning of the hard drive when I turned on my PC. The scan would hog (high I/O) on the disk which would cause for the PC to be almost unusable until the scan was finish.

I had hear about Linux, but until Windows 10 seen to take control of my PC, I really did not mind Windows and had no reason to change. I begin to doing some reading / research about Linux. Which ones were the easiest to migrate to, which ones were a bit like Windows, which ones were easy to install, and what were the most popular Linux releases and why.

So one day I tried Mint Cinnamon release 18. I felt that I was back in control of my PC! I ran Linux and Windows in a dual boot environment for a while. Then about 2 years ago I dropped Windows form my PC.


I had the exact same! Phew…
I was told, in the pro version there’s a possibility to control updates.
But I upgraded from Win 7 home, so I got Win10 home, which doesn’t allow this…
…And when you turn on the computer in the morning, in the hope starting to work (or just do something), but instead booting, it just starts to spin those dot’s and say don’t turn off, updates preparing, etc… Just another coffebreak before having done anything useful :coffee: :smiley:

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Yep, in the pro version of Windows you can defer updates… but here’s something that had me really mad for a time. One of the major feature updates to Windows had my computer blue-screening for whatever reason close to the end of the process. It would take forever, I’m talking multiple hours, and then right at the end it would bug check, revert to the previous version of windows, and “too bad so sad, better luck next time”. I did that about 4 or 5 times…

So that was the first hint that I needed to get away from Windows, because now I was in an endless loop of sorts. Windows would force me to do the upgrade, but the upgrade would endlessly bug check. Finally I had to nuke and pave and install the updated version directly from an ISO.

Hi all,

what an interesting thread. :+1:

My PC came with WIN 8 preinstalled. When I bought it there was already WIN 8.1 out and I could upgrade to it online.
So I was using this WIN version for quite a while but then WIN 10 was announced…
… together with the possibility of upgrading (for existing users) free of charge.

That I did but it was horrible. Quite a few programmes didn´t work anymore or at least not the way they were intended to. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Luckily I had a backup to which I could revert. But that was not the only thing.
The file manager kept crashing more or less constantly, for no obvoius reason at all etc.
The main reason however for me was:

Due to some special circumstances my internet connection is established via a mobile web-stick only (4G stick). I cannot have a DSL router.

And - most of you already mentioned it - WIN 10 (and the versions onwards) force those unholy updates on you, and with WIN they may be huge data-wise at times.

With my 5 GB data allowance per 28 days I would soon run out of what´s available to me.
With Linux I can decide when and what to install. :wink:

As I run the bigger part of my programmes in the firejail sandbox I could - theoretically - take more risks than with WIN.
But I don´t have to. My data allowance is sufficient for my main PC and 2 VMs.
At the end of the billing period I often have around 1 GB of data left.

The main thing is: with a Linux distro it´s me who is in command of my system and I can decide what to do or not do.
Distrowatch´s slogan “Put the fun back into computing” is not so wrong after all. :wink:

In mid 2016 I decided to put Lubuntu on my PC and never looked back.
Currently I´m running Linux Lite 6.2 on it.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


I made the move about 15 years back for my own machine to Linux Ubuntu, but did not like the way it looked or worked so moved quickly to Linux mint.
With many clients experiencing virus issues, older machines no longer supported and updates either failing or taking so long… I move all my clients to Linux mint end of problems except they don’t often come back as everything works as expected. Even on 32 bit old machines.

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That hasn’t been my experience. Lots of different interfaces in the Linux world with different desktop environments. What I’ve seen from Windows is a very, very consistent user interface. When going from one generation to another they did always seem to change just enough to hide something you could do before and had to find again. But the interface itself was consistent all across all native applications.

For the most part my Linux desktop environments are consistent. There are many more cracks and inconsistencies in Linux than in Windows. At least in my experience.


The difference is, in Linux one can fix things. Linux may have more things to fix, but at least you are not powerless.

Learn how to use Windows Command Prompt and Windows can be fixed in the same way. Point in case, my neighbor brought me her laptop, she had forgotten the password for login, I said no problem and was into the laptop, in less than fifteen minutes, via the Command Prompt.
I for one, am comfortable, in using both Linux and Windows, yes Windows is changing, but so is the World, one either adapts or dies.
Linux and Windows both are good, and both have their use, but too team Linux up to some of the new hardware, that is being used is plain ludicrous, although I do have a couple of machines that could be adapted for Linux-only.
So I guess I am in the minority here, because my main machine is running just fine with W11, after a few tweaks, and at this point I see no need to have Linux on that machine.

That is true up to a point. You cant access the source code.

In general I agree, both Win and Linux can operate a computer.

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The shell… main thing that makes me want Linux… or UNIX…

Stopped dual booting 11 years ago with the advent of the Steam client on Linux desktop…

My job is UNIX / Linux system admin… I live in the shell…


Include the Unix commands in that


100% and while I’m there - I’d like to see Debian add vi to busybox - I fecking hate having to use nano… it utterly screws with my muscle memory…

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Hi Paul, :wave:

That´s interesting.

Those older machines you converted to Linux Mint, did they originally come with MAC or WIN?

Purely out of interest… :blush:

Cheers from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I think there is a need to produce a cutdown vi with just a few basic commands, to take the place of nano. All I want it to do is move the cursor, delete and insert.

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Oh wow. That’s the main reason I use vi. Because you can “always” count on it being there. I guess we can’t always count on it. Nano works, but vi is just the standard.

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