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>> Linux

Linux is pretty popular around here from what I've seen. Unsurprising, but still, I'd like to write a little bit about why you should switch if you haven't already. There are two main reasons - Privacy and freedom.

(If you have concerns about switching, there's information at the bottom.)

>> Privacy

Over time, Windows has become an OS that spies on you. A Windows Home License costs $139, and the OS still  tries to pull this shit on you. Need examples? Let's start here. By default, Windows will send your contacts, calender details, typing data, and more to Microsoft. This is meant to personalize Windows and improve suggestions. You can click the link to see the specifics, but it's not pretty. Over time, Microsoft has also made it harder to use offline accounts on Windows installs, destroying your anonymity. Windows 11 simply won't let you use an offline account without disconnecting the computer from the internet during install.

Unsurprisingly, this means Windows has ads as well. Take, for example, this lock screen ad for Tomb Raider, or this help article doubling as a list of the ads across Windows. What's the point of paying for an OS just to get spied on and advertised to?

Linux doesn't spy on the user. It's entirely free, with no one profiting off of it, meaning that there isn't even an incentive to track their users or advertise to them. You can stay as anonymous as you want with Linux. It's the first time I saw a usage tracker that was opt-in instead of opt-out.

>> Freedom

Do you want to change some really, really dumb settings that'll probably mess up your install? You can do that on Linux! You have the freedom to do whatever you want on Linux, including changing whatever settings you want, customizing it as you please, and lots more. If you really wanted to, you could install a custom kernel. Windows sure as hell won't let you do that! Windows will block off settings depending on your license, revert options after updates, and prevent you from changing or deleting certain things altogether.

Linux gives you complete control over your system with no restrictions. Take advantage of it!

>> Beginner Distros

A Linux distro is basically a collection of software that comprises a Linux OS. The explanations below are definitely simplified, but it's a good place to start. Don't be afraid to do your own research! There are far more distros of Linux. Maybe you'll find some super hipster one that you grow attached to.

If you want something that feels close to Windows, try Kubuntu.
If you want the most widely supported distro there is, try Ubuntu.
If you want something lightweight, try Lubuntu or Mint.
If you have no life and want to do everything on your system from scratch, try Arch or Debian. These definitely aren't beginner friendly, but lots of Linux users end up there eventually, so it's worth mentioning.

>> Concerns

How is gaming on Linux?

Lots of Steam games are working on Linux due to Steam's Proton play . You can expect performance that's near identical, if not exactly identical, to Windows. You can always use WINE if needed as well. Unfortunately, games with certain anticheats, like Fortnite or League, won't work.

How much will I need to relearn or set up?

You'll only need to relearn a bunch of things if you're a masochistic power user. There's plenty of distros that offer you a polished and simple experience with little set up, which have been mentioned above. Take your pick.

Terminals are scary

They're not as bad as they look, I promise. You'll just end up running the same commands with different inputs. Terminal use can also be mostly avoided with the more user-friendly distros.

My important software doesn't have Linux support

This one is a pain to deal with, and it makes perfect sense if it ends up being the reason you don't switch to Linux. There are a few possible solutions though.