What is keeping you from switching to Linux?

So ghacks, Martin Brinkmann, wrote an article today about what is keeping him from switching to Linux.

I’ve been an avid Linux user since 2001/2002, and have been using it as my primary operating system ever since. I do have a few Windows PCs that are using for specialty purposes (the software will only run on Windows). Likewise, I once had my wife converted to Linux only to move her back to Windows because she just couldn’t get used to it.

For me, I love the technical side of Linux. I love the command line, I love the thousands of options I have so I can run the system my way. My wife on the other hand, she doesn’t. She wants it to just work how it used to, she doesn’t want to play around with customizations to see what fits her best and she simply wants it to feel familiar.

So what about everyone else? Why did you switch to Linux or what has kept you from switching?

And here is why I would be VERY hesitant to move. My wife struggles enough with changes that come with updates to her cell phone, and the switch to Windows 7 was a stretch. Going to another operating system would be a big no no.

Primarily, as you have stated, not everything runs under Linux. Someone (I think it was @felgall) suggested running Linux and create a VM for Winblows to run the apps that won’t run under Linux. And I might do that.

But there are other reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I cut my computer teeth on a 1984 IBM PC XT (8088) running DOS 3.31, so I’m no stranger to command lines. However, Windows has made me a bit lazy. (I used to joke that if I wanted to use a point-and-click communication interface, I’d use the original: Smith & Wesson.) The learning curve is high, for Linux, especially in this day and age of instant gratification.

Not to mention that Linux doesn’t natively network well with a Windows environment (my elderly parents, whom I’m currently residing with, will never learn how to use Linux); and setting up Samba for networking isn’t simple.



I had a weird issue whenever I tried installing linux on my chromebook (Chrubuntu) which gave me dual boot options… I would eventually get errors on startup (without me doing anything wrong or installing anything!) and I’d also have an issue where the first network I used; that was the only network that would work. All other networks would fail to recognize.

Perhaps it was just an issue with Chrubuntu but I’ve had nothing but bad experiences. Also, I can’t use Microsoft Silverlight (for Netflix) on Linux AFAIK.

Someone fix these issues and I’ll switch…

Actually, it works in Ubuntu (as of latest) and Jessie on Debian.

Oddly enough, one of the things I love about Linux (Ubuntu in our case) is that my husband can cope with it all by himself. When we ran Windows, I was forever being summoned to come and fix something for him, but since we switched about eight years ago, he’s largely managed things himself. Part of that is he’s less afraid of Linux; for whatever reason, he feels he’s unlikely to destroy the computer by trying to do things himself, unlike Windows, where he was permanently in a state of panic over it.

When we got an old second-hand computer for an elderly friend, mainly to allow her to e-mail relatives abroad, I installed Xubuntu on it, as a lighter-weight option for low resources. She’d never used a computer before, so had nothing to unlearn and has had very few problems with it. Her equally-elderly friend, who uses a Mac at home, has no problems using the Xubuntu machine. OK, so they’re only doing basic stuff, but in my experience, Linux isn’t difficult - it’s just different.

I’d still need those other issues fixed though :slight_smile: .

Why I prefer Windows:
I have been using it since 3.1 and know how it works and where to find everything I need - Windows 8 screwed that up and I have as little as possible to do with it.

You install a program and it works.

I use some software that is not available on Linux - install a virtual machine or whatever on Linux and you can run the programs people say. I am getting old and do not need the extra complications.

It is usualy easy to find help on the web.

Why I do not use Linux - I usualy try it again every 5 years.

My first forray into Linux was in the early 2000’s and as I was not a computer genius I could not even install a modem and so I gave up.

My last try was probably 2011 and the interface was a lot better but still hard to find my way around.
I was brought a new mp3 player for christmas and I thought I know what I will install Linux over the christmas break and rip some CD’s. Installation was quite complicated deciding what I did and didn’t want and when it was up and running I tried the ripper that was installed with Ubuntu. Didn’t work and so on the web and did a search and the process was:
Find a site with instructions on what to do and get to the second step and it tells me to do something I have never heard of. Find a site with instructions on what to do and get to the second step and it tells me to do something I have never heard of. Find a site with instructions on what to do and get to the second step and it tells me to do something I have never heard of. Give up at this point and speak to the IT Linux guy at work and he says something along the lines of “People who maintain the distro’s write their own software and insist it is included in the distro and it quite often does not work.” He told me to install a different ripper which I did and then spent from memory at least half an hour finding and downloading dependancies?

Anyway when I feel like bashing my head against a wall I may give it another go as I am getting a new PC soon and can install it on the old one.

For the most part I use Windows and have XP, Win7, but now mostly Win8 knocking about the place. I know where I am with all of them having worried in the IT team supporting them for an MS based blue-chip for near on 20 years.

I do have an Ubuntu 14.10 LAMP server here as well, but it’s not an environment I’ve really grown to known or love, and I can’t ever see me wanting to use it as a client for any length of time.

Other than that, it does look like I’ll pick up an OSX device within the next year or so, I do like my iOS mobile devices, and I’d sooner be peeled and salted than be caught dead with an Android OS.

I used Linux for the last couple years and on and off since about 2009. I’ve mostly used Ubuntu, but I used Mint for a little while until I ran into GFX card problems. I gave Fedora 20 a legit shot, but just got fed up with it. I’ve also used Debian 6, but it was lacking too much as a Desktop.

The first time I switched off Linux was when I was first starting to look for Intern jobs and my resume looked completely different on Open Office than it did on Word. I worked pretty hard to keep it at one page and I think it ended up being almost 2 pages when printed out in Word. I was still playing games and I was dual booting anyway, so it made the transition back to Windows pretty easy.

Fast forward to 2012/2013 and I switched back to Linux, because I pretty much quit playing games and had no use for Open Office and I started doing a lot more development than when I was in college. I really liked it, but it was frustrating sometimes when programs didn’t work or I had to run a VM to run things. The last 2 places I’ve worked, both use Citrix to remote in to my work machine, which did not have a good Linux Client so I had to run a Windows VM for that and setting up Photoshop on Wine was a pain in the butt, so I ran a VM for that. There were a few other programs, too that I missed and didn’t have.

For development, it’s great. Everything is native and command line driven, there’s no “oops, I used the wrong slash”. It’s just freeing. Especially for personal projects, where you have full control over the dev and production environments. Plus, most dev articles/tutorials/etc are written for terminal. There’s no need to translate it to CMD in your head or figure out a work around, you can just keep flowing with it. (not to mention, Linux terminal commands actually make sense)

Not to mention, the Linux Desktop platforms are the best. Unity is pretty good, Gnome3 is my favorite, and KDE is very clean as well (even if I wasn’t a big fan).

A few months ago, I switched to Mac. I like it, but it’s not quite what I expected. There are a few things I like and a few things from Linux I miss.

####Things I miss from Linux

  • I loved natively browsing my remote servers via SFTP on Linux and I freaking hate using CyberDuck.
  • command line installers apt-get… I don’t really like brew, it feels like a bandaid.
  • everything is mostly free, where on a Mac everything is mostly paid for. I find the amount of non-free software on Mac pretty ridiculous.

####Things I like about Mac

  • you get a lot of the new development stuff first. If it’s webdev related and only written for 1 system, it’s probably going to be Mac.
  • I love the fact that I have not had a single thing randomly break my computer from an update, which happens from time to time on Linux.
  • Most of the time I can use real software and not crappy FOSS copies of real software

My next computer will probably be another Linux machine, but I’m happy with my Mac for now and I got the whole “wanting a Mac” bug out of my system. Plus, I’m a pretty big Android fan, so iOS and all that is just not even a consideration for me.

I’ll probably never switch back to Windows again and I don’t really have a reason to. Windows 10 is really going to be nice, but it’s not enough to save the platform for me. There’s just nothing there that I want or need.

My perfect OS would be the stability and the amount of apps Mac has, but on Linux. I really think Linux is nearing that level pretty rapidly, but doubt that important niche apps, like Citrix, will really ever have the level of adoption they deserve.

My first shot at Linux was 2001. I bought Mandrake Linux from Best Buy. I fully admit that the combination of Linux being a lot less user friendly, slower internet (still 56k), and less resources to learn online was too much for me.

An SA, here, told me to not use apt-get and to use aptitude, instead (apparently aptitude has checks in place that apt-get does not.) So far, aptitude has failed me only once - trying to add a ppa repo. I was forced to use apt-get for it.


I’m one of those lazy people who just wants to open a computer and for it to work, so I’m bolted to Mac. I do love the idea of Linux, though, and have wanted to try it for a long time. But I’m so forgetful that I know I’d have to invest a lot of time into learning it, forgetting what I’ve learned, re-learn etc., and for no really obvious gain.

1 Like

As an FYI, this is actually fixed. I use Citrix Receiver to connect to work all of the time on my setup. It works pretty well too.

BTW, I’m really loving how this discussion is going. I don’t disagree with much of what anyone has said. Linux is one of those that either works for you or doesn’t. To each their own. I may one day try and get Linux in front of my wife as a lot has changed since she last used it, but I’ve also learned that some people, no matter, how well you can make Linux work, just do not want to use it (and that’s okay).

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that, every time I look into Linux, I get overwhelmed by all the “distros”. Too much choice! Again, being lazy, a feature I like about Apple products is that there’s no choice—none at all. There’s one option, and that’s it: take it or leave it. Actually, I hate them for putting out two kinds of iPhones. How dare they! Apple, part of my loyalty to you is that I don’t have to think, and now you put me in this painful situation of having to choose? I literally had a panic attack the other day when I learned that the new laptop come in three colors! Hell, guys—what are you trying to do to me? This is too much …


I must admit, when I bought a new laptop a few months back, it gave me a warm glow inside to click “No OS required” and see Windows disappear - along with £70 off the price. (Meant I could spend a bit more on things I wanted - like RAM.)


Where was that?
I tried to buy a new laptop a couple of years ago and couldn’t find one that didn’t come preloaded with Windows bloatware.


Did the same thing with the desktop we got to replace our elderly friend’s Xubuntu machine when the old one finally died.

1 Like

Dell used to provide Linux options too, and then there is System76

I’ve just remembered an unexpected benefit of setting her up with Xubuntu. Twice she’s received phone calls from people purporting to be MS, who’ve asked to access her computer to fix a supposed Windows problem they’d detected. While she’s generally pretty savvy about hoax calls, her computer knowledge is minimal and if she had been running Windows, I think she might have been uncertain about this and what to do. As it happened, she took great delight in politely informing them that they were mistaken, because she didn’t have Windows on her computer. One caller persisted with “Of course you do - everyone does” (), but when she responded with “Well I don’t, I have Xubuntu”, they just hung up.


Really? I find computers with linux installed everywhere. There are not as many as Windows pre-installed but every store has a few models.

And Dell lets you choose the OS