# Lessons learned from Migrating from Windows to Linux

I have been a Windows user for around 7 years before finally switching to Linux back in 2018. It was so painful that I often switched back to Windows due to performance issues(later came to know the stupid HardDisk was throwing off) and hardware compatibility issues(Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Fan-Control, Over-heat…).

Started with Windows XP, switching to Windows 7, all it took was a few clicks and everything just worked out with ease.

Having the continuous urge to click Refresh button within desktop and scanning system and drives for viruses was a daily routine for me.

I was not a PC Internet user until 2018, so you can guess, all I thought was Windows was the core thing that runs the computer and if it crashed(infamous Blue Screen of Death), all I could do was re-install Windows with a fresh copy(came to realize this is still the custom even in 2020).

# First Distro

Ubuntu! The most stable distribution, of course it is.

My laptop was throwing off at certain occasion when I tried to use my development environment within Ubuntu. Having Windows as a pre-installed OS, there are many caveats that comes up with the Laptop when using Ubuntu(or any other Linux Distro).

Some OEM’s don’t offer driver support for the Linux Distro so we have to rely on 3rd party drivers to get things working(like Wi-Fi, bluetooth…)

# Shell & Terminal

For the GUI user I was, using Terminal to install things(and get things done) was not a simple change I could ask for.

Deploying a Linux VPS to DigitalOcean for hosting websites was a game changer.

Why? No GUI…

The articles from DigitalOcean community often times helped a lot. Using that in my local distribution made the process of migration a bit easier.

Tossing out HardDisk and swapping with a SSD was the thing that drove me to finally embracing Linux.

I don’t know why, Linux performs worse than Windows on a machine with Harddisk rather than SSD.

# No Antiviruses

Linux is the most secure OS (family of OS) in the planet. Just remember, it’s far easier to create a virus for a windows machine than that for a Linux distro.

And even if somebody managed to create one for a vulnerability they found in Linux kernel, the patch for the vulnerability will be out way before the virus does.

# Customisation

Ubuntu offers a lot of tweaks and tools support and the community support is 100% better and wider than that of Windows.

With Windows, there are a lot of limitations to what you can do to and with it, forget all about that with Linux.

It’s just awesome.

# Package Manager

With Windows, I had to download tools and applications from 3rd party sites and install it. There was no store(don’t get me started on Windows 10 Store) where you can get access to the tools and packages.

apt package manager for debian to the rescue

apt is a command line utility for the debian-based linux distro’s for installing, updating, removing, and otherwise managing deb packages.

# No More Forced Updates

With Linux, you put what you want in your system(forget about paying), i.e, no more slapped updates when doing works(like in windows).

# Crashing

I can’t say Linux hasn’t crashed when I used it(less than 5 in 2 years).

But turns out, the modular approach to Linux Ecosystem can be much useful even when crashed to recover it to the working state.

Often times it was the GNOME(the desktop environment) that crashed and reinstalling it from shell resurrected it.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gnome-shell

sudo apt-get install — reinstall gnome-shell

# Tossing out Ubuntu

Wait What!!! Relax, it’s just a distribution.

While Ubuntu could be told as the best beginner-level Linux Distribution, you often try out other distributions to find the one that suits your need.

I have tried out Linux Mint, Clear OS by Intel, Manjaro Linux and so but often switched back to Ubuntu as it was more stable and had the community support for almost everything you possibly will come across when using it.

# Finding the perfect distro

Arch Linux

Oh Boy, it was painful getting through the installation but once I managed it to work on my system, all I could see was the pluggable Linux that just is so awesome.

With Ubuntu, I often had to upgrade to the major LTS Versions and also the intermediate versions to use the latest features. This was a time consuming thing.

What’s that like in Arch, one may ask!

Update your system and you have the latest Arch. That’s it.

There are No distributed Minor or Major version, it’s just one that keeps on improving.

# Community

The Arch community is the largest of all. The AUR"A"rch Linux "U"ser "R"epository, is a community driven repository with a large collection packages developed by the users itself.

So if you don’t find a package in official repositories, you still can one from community.

# Final Thoughts

Gaming is what is left on Windows that Linux couldn’t implement to the fullest performance .

You see why now Microsoft Loves Linux right!

So, just Toss that Windows to the Trash

Note:

For the instructions to customize and tune Arch / Ubuntu, I have set up the dotfiles repo here: https://github.com/abhijithvijayan/dotfiles

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Abhijith Vijayan

Abhijith Vijayan

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I'm someone who follows my own instincts without worrying about how people would feel about it.