Linux has become much more user-friendly. The most significant advantage of the platform: it is free and more secure than Windows. But users have to invest a little time.
Linux is still considered by many to be a platform for nerds. Yet it has become much more user-friendly and has long been a real alternative to Windows. Thanks to slim and resource-saving distributions, the operating system with the penguin as its mascot is suitable even – or especially – for older systems. But not all Linux is the same, and newcomers must learn the ropes.
There is a whole jungle of different Linux systems, the so-called distributions. The trick is to find the right one for your use. One of the most significant advantages of Linux is the price: the distributions are usually free for private users. So trying them out will cost time.
How to Choose the right Distributions
We recommend Ubuntu, OpenSuse or Linux Mint for beginners. All of them are easy to install and come with an excellent basic set of programs. The user interfaces of the three distributions are also logically structured, easy to use and customizable.
Especially those familiar with older Windows versions will quickly find their way around. However, those who are looking for an even stronger Windows orientation should try the Ubuntu variant Xubuntu, which does not make any great hardware demands on the system.
With its Cinnamon interface, Linux Mint is even more stylish, oriented towards the latest Windows versions. However, if you come from a Mac, you should try Elementary OS to start in the Linux world. The aesthetics and function of the user interface are strongly oriented towards MacOS. On the other hand, the pre-installed software is somewhat sparser.
Do you know: How to Remove Linux from Chromebook?
Installation from DVD or USB Stick
Many Linux distributions are also available as so-called live systems. This means they can be started directly from a DVD or a USB stick without installation and then used.
This offers many advantages for beginners: they can test the distribution and determine whether the system suits them and harmonizes with their hardware.
Software for Linux
Linux users do not only save on the operating system: the programs also usually cost nothing for private users. Most Ubuntu distributions, for example, come with LibreOffice preinstalled, an open-source competitor to Microsoft’s Office.
Suppose you can’t find a Linux equivalent for a particular Windows program. In that case, you have to take a diversion via auxiliary programs in order to be able to continue using the Windows software under Linux. Wine is such a software.
In the Wine app database, you can check how well the software in question is supported. The commercial Wine variant Crossover has focused in particular on improving support for popular Windows software such as Microsoft Office.
Install Linux and Windows on the same computer
If you want to use Linux but still need Windows frequently, you can install both operating systems on one computer – and then always select which system you want to start when booting.
Detailed instructions are easy to find on the Internet, but only advanced users should attempt a parallel installation. In any case, a data backup is advisable beforehand.
Another Linux plus point is security. Linux distributions are usually open source and tested by a worldwide community- there are also more restrictions on user accounts.
But Linux systems are not invulnerable either. Therefore, it is advisable to encrypt the system directly during installation to prevent misuse.
And as always and everywhere, Linux updates must be installed immediately. Although most malware is written for Windows, there are also Linux viruses.
Linux users are never alone with questions and problems. There are numerous groups on the net where experiences are exchanged, and help is given. A List of helpful Linux forums you can find here – where beginners can find support in almost every area.
Each Linux distribution also has its help and discussion forums. The place to go for Ubuntu is Askubuntu.com.