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Linux has progressed quite a bit in recent years to where it has become a better and better alternative for Windows users. If you’re simply tired of Windows, don’t want to pay for new Windows releases, or you’re still running Windows XP, it’s always a good time to take a good look at whether Linux can work for you.

If you’re still a bit unsure, here are six secrets that Windows users may not know about Linux. Knowing these these six secrets should make you more comfortable trying Linux out. Interested? Let’s get started.

You Can Test It Risk-Free In A Live Environment

ubuntu_trusty_desktop

The most useful thing Linux is able to do, hands down, is the fact that you can run it in a live environment. This means that you can prepare a USB drive with a distribution installer, and then boot off of it like you would a Windows CD/DVD installer (it might help to read about the differences in how a USB drive can be used with Linux Running Linux from USB: Are You Doing It Right? Running Linux from USB: Are You Doing It Right? Did you know that can keep data persistent, or even do a full install for Linux, on a USB drive? Read More ). However, you can choose between going straight to the installer or going to the live environment. When you choose the live environment, it will load the default desktop as if it were installed on the USB drive. From here, you can do whatever you want without having to worry about it messing up your actual files (unless you decide to mount your Windows partition).

So you’re free to install as many applications as you want, mess around with settings, and more, because it all gets “saved” to your RAM and gets cleared as soon as you turn off or restart your computer. It’s also a great way to test out your hardware, because it’s a full Linux experience without having to actually install it — so it’s easy to check if everything works. Nowadays, the chances of a piece of hardware not working is quite low.

Drivers Are Rarely Needed

ubuntu_additional_drivers2

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Wait, test out my hardware? What about drivers?” Linux distributions come preloaded with a load of drivers that can make virtually everything work — webcams, microphones, wireless chipsets, graphics cards, SD card readers, and much more is already supported as soon as you boot Linux for the first time. It’s extremely rare to need to hunt down drivers.

If you use Ubuntu or an Ubuntu derivative, there’s even a utility that will show you any proprietary drivers for some hardware, so if your graphics card seems slow or the WiFi doesn’t work, you can go to that utility and choose to use the proprietary drivers. Done.

Software Alternatives Exist

open_source_gimp

Another concern for a lot of Windows users is that there are programs they use on Windows that they can’t use on Linux. And while it’s true that a lot of software for Windows don’t have versions for Linux, there are loads of very good alternatives that can pick up the slack. For every type of software, there’s going to be an alternative, even for CAD software Free CAD Drawing for Linux, Windows & Mac Using LibreCAD Free CAD Drawing for Linux, Windows & Mac Using LibreCAD LibreCAD Beta 4 is a free 2D open source CAD client, which can be used for all manner of 2D design, including architectural plans, engineering drafting, graphic design and the design of mechanical parts. The... Read More . It’s really just the very highly specialized software that might not have a Linux alternative, but that doesn’t apply to most casual users.

steam4linux

The same issue applied to games, and a lot of people won’t settle for “alternatives” to their favorite AAA game. Thankfully, gaming on Linux has improved immensely over the past couple years, and is only getting better. There are already a handful of AAA games available that you can get right now, and that list will only grow. Even GOG.com is now supporting Linux.

Installing Software Is Easier

So how do you find and install applications? You won’t have to scour the web to find all the packages you need for installation. Instead, you can just go to your distribution’s respective package manager (or software center, depending on what they call it) and simply search for it there. In most cases, it’ll be there and then all you have to do is click on Install. Easy, right?

ubuntu-restricted-extras-install

For the rare instances where you won’t find what you’re looking for in there, you can look through the web to see whether there’s a package you can download, or if there’s an extra repository (like a PPA What Is An Ubuntu PPA & Why Would I Want To Use One? [Technology Explained] What Is An Ubuntu PPA & Why Would I Want To Use One? [Technology Explained] Read More ) that you can add so that the package manager/software center is aware of those packages. Just be aware that there are two major package formats: .deb and .rpm. You’ll want .deb files if you use Debian, Ubuntu, or any derivatives based on those, and you’ll want .rpm if you use openSUSE or Fedora. The different formats exist because they use completely different package managing systems, but in a very generalized sense they both work the same way. You download the file, double click it, and let the system install it. That’s it.

Linux Is All About Customization

gnome_extension_shellshape

Since Linux makes it extremely easy to customize your experience, there are a lot of things you can do to make yourself feel more at home. We’ve shared plenty of such tips on MakeUseOf, including these 12 tweaks for Ubuntu 12 Useful Tweaks To Make Ubuntu Feel Like Home 12 Useful Tweaks To Make Ubuntu Feel Like Home We'll show you some great tweaks that can go a long way to achieving desktop zen. Read More . Take the time to use your Linux desktop, identify the things you don’t like about it, and try to fix it! Using Linux is all about having it cater to your needs and preferences.

The Terminal Is Rarely Used (And Easily Learned!)

09-1-image-ls-command

The last secret? It’s rare for people to need to use the terminal nowadays. We know that it can be scary to use for casual users, especially those who have been used to Windows. But the reality is that it’s a rare occurrence — it just might not seem rare. This is because a lot of people who are used to the terminal enjoy it as they feel like they can do more with the terminal in less time. However, a lot of commands that you see online are primarily just to install packages, which you can do just as easily with graphical tools.

That being said, if you do need to use the terminal, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about the commands that you’re using An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know Linux is the oft-ignored third wheel to Windows and Mac. Yes, over the past decade, the open source operating system has gained a lot of traction, but it’s still a far cry from being considered... Read More . If you ever need to learn about a command (such as one of the essential Linux commands you should know), just type man xxx, replacing xxx with the command that you’re curious about. So an example would be man apt-get. It will give you a very detailed description of everything that command can do.

What Secrets Would You Share?

These six secrets should ease the nervousness you might get when considering trying out Linux. But don’t worry — it’s not as hard as you think. Just take a deep breath, jump in, and know that you have lots of resources nearby and that you won’t mess up your computer just by trying.

What other Linux secrets do you share with people who haven’t tried Linux before? Do you have any other tips to help them ease into Linux? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Surprised young man Via Shutterstock

  1. freak
    April 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Terminals aren't used rarely! They are used all the time....

    • Khauf Fadlilah
      May 27, 2015 at 6:16 am

      you're right, I used terminal all the time

    • kouul
      May 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      you're so right.. terminals are used all the time :D

  2. Victor
    December 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Sorry for my English :)

    I use Linux in about 10 years. Why I've forggot Windows and I don't wana see it. Virus. I have reinstalled windows 10 times in two weeks and nothing. Doesn't matter what software I have used - nothing. I've had to wipe the hdd in order to get my hard drive clean. Linux is stable, easy to use, easy to manage, secure, fast, looks good and the most important fore me, I can deside what the OS will do, when, how, I can do stuff in the way and speed that Windows users can only dream for.
    I use Windows 7 at work. Win 8 I don't even touch it.

  3. Unbeknowst
    August 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    @ Hildy J, others already answered, but here's my contribution: among the various distributions with automatic security updates, I use Mageia. It's quite different from Microsoft updates. These usually take place nowadays while the computer is shutting down and take a few minutes to half an hour (at least, that's what I see in my daughter's W7 notebook). In XP it took more or less the same time. I noticed updates are not that frequent -- at most weekly, IIRC. Mageia, for instance, has no fixed time for updates. You may have 3 days in sequence with updates, once a year even two on the same day, taking typically 5 to 10 minutes -- with a 10Mbps connection, maybe less if you're fortunate to have a faster ISP. All in all, it's a pleasing experience: you can get and drink a coffee while the system updates (a small one, not a big cup). Version upgrades take a lot more time, depending on what one has already installed. Sometimes, as user data can be put in a separate disk partition, it's way simpler and faster to install the new version from scratch (while keeping the data safe, and better yet, backed up). A new version can usually be installed in half an hour, provided you have a previously download CD or DVD as source. This is done once a year for common users. As a hint for my fellow Linux users, don't install the 700+ games your distribution offers... upgrade time can reach 6 hours in that case. Most of the games never get played anyway... I believe a better way is to test each game and keep the (rare) ones we like.
    Well, my Linux secret (for Windows users) is that Linux can be configured to be easier to use than Windows. Single-click to start things (needs some time to get used), double-click to select words, a single-click to paste them, the mouse wheel scrolls everything on screen, just like browser pages. It's a whole set of small and intuitive actions that make the entire user experience more enjoyable -- kinda like how the iPhone is way easier to use than desktop Windows, for instance. But you have to configure Linux for that. Out of the box, most distributions imitate Windows to be more familiar, which is annoying.

  4. analogtek
    August 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    You forgot to mention Wine. If you can not find a equal app. Your fav. win app might just run under wine.

  5. Agnishom
    August 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

    chattopadhyay@chattopadhyayPC:~$ echo "Hmm, I am a linux person. I love the terminal" | cowsay -f tux
    ______________________________________
    / Hmm, I am a linux person. I love the
    terminal /
    --------------------------------------

    .--.
    |o_o |
    |:_/ |
    //
    (| | )
    /'_ _/`
    ___)=(___/

  6. Aram Iskenderian
    August 14, 2014 at 5:36 am

    "The Terminal Is Rarely Used"
    You are using a different OS then, or should use a different OS.

    In fact, without using terminal, you are pretty not enjoying Linux and not using it seriously. In that case stay with Windows or maybe a Mac.

    • Daryl
      August 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      I find the comments about the terminal pretty amusing. I use both Windows Linux daily, and I use terminals on both daily. Just because Windows replaced DOS doesn't mean that the command prompt went away. In fact, given the power of many command line programs, I would find Windows far more difficult to use effectively if there was no such thing on Windows. The terminal, console, command prompt, or whatever you choose to call it is a necessity and a huge convenience in my opinion.

  7. Dan
    August 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Have the various distros found a way to make Intel GMA500 to work out-of-the-box? I remember weeks of agonizing research on Linux Answers and Ubuntu Forums on this (then) common netbook graphics card. None worked. ~_~

    Then there's my USB 3G dongle because free wifi is not ubiquitous nor safe. Works on some distros, not on others. And sometimes I had to replug it a half dozen times for *buntu to recognize it.

    Then there's my various mobile phones that I want to sync with my Outloo.... err, Evolution? TBird with Lightning? Sigh....

    As for not using the terminal, that is true to a certain degree. If only because most fixes now advocate editing conf files instead of aimlessly hammering commands in the terminal. As if reading dense manfiles and editing configuration files manually is more n00b-friendly.

    And the community, gah. Talk about obnoxious geeks with raging anti-M$ issues. It makes us trying to convert feel unwelcome.

    I just tried the latest versions of Lubuntu and Mint (MATE) via LiveUSB and while there are some improvements, it is still not a true drop-in replacement for Win7. And since Win7 will last until 2020, I have no reason to convert. Maybe in 2020 Linux will be as usable as WinXP? :-)

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      "As if reading dense manfiles and editing configuration files manually is more n00b-friendly."
      And I suppose fixing Windows problems is "n00b-friendly"?! At least Linux allows the user access to the config files. I've spent many hours searching for and trying to install supposedly correct printer and NIC drivers only to be told by Windows "this driver is incorrect for the device" or some crap like that. I'd rather edit config files than the abortion called Windows Registry.

      "it is still not a true drop-in replacement for Win7"
      Windows 8.x is not a true drop-in replacement for Win 7, either. So how do you expect any Linux distro to be?

    • Blake
      August 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Dan, I think you are approaching Linux with the wrong outlook. Linux is not Windows. It's not meant to be Windows so you shouldn't expect it to be exactly the same. I have used lots of different Linux distros and they all have their strong points as well as their weaknesses. Windows is the same way.

      The difference between Windows and Linux is the freedom to mold your system into whatever you want it to be. Windows, while it has some customization ability, is still essentially the same exact thing for everyone. Linux can be customized and molded into an operating system that is custom tailored to your needs. Maybe you don't need the huge KDE desktop environment. Great! Use a window manager like Openbox or i3. Maybe you need the desktop environment but you don't want all the extra programs that it installs. Awesome! You can choose to not install them.

      As for the community, you may have a point. But, in my experience, the ones you are talking about are nothing but a vocal minority. Almost everyone that I have interacted with in the Linux community is extremely helpful and more than happy to help out a newbie.

  8. Robert Obuch
    August 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Think I would much rather use an early version of Debian than go back to Windows. I do however run Mac OS X as a desktop OS.

    • Don Crowder
      August 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Windows fans love to point out that no OS is immune to malicious software and I won't dispute that, but the fact remains that the next individual home user of Linux whose personal Linux system is infected by a malicious software will be the first of his or her kind. Home users of Linux are admittedly a small (and often verbally abused) minority group but it's a minority group to which I'm proud to belong.

    • Hildy J
      August 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Don, you may not know of any but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I replied to your original post because you used the term 'immune' and, for the home user community that MakeUseOf is directed at, that can be a dangerous belief to have. A good article on the subject can be found at: http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

      As far as me being a 'Windows' fan, I'm not so much that as a 'Windows tablet with stylus' fan. I've been using them for over a decade. As far as I know, no Linux distro supports digital ink and handwriting recognition to the extent that Windows does.

  9. Don Crowder
    August 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I think it's worth mentioning that Linux is all but immune to the sort of malicious software which Windows users must constantly be on the alert for. I've used Linux full-time since 2006, never bothered with anti-virus/anti-malware software or a firewall and have never had even a minor problem. I've never had an update break my system and never needed software that wasn't in the repository. I don't use Google Chrome but have had no trouble installing it for other Linux users who wanted to use it. I've never cared for any version of Gnome so I've always used KDE. The transition from KDE 3.x to KDE 4.x was annoying because everything I was familiar with changed but once I re-learned how to customize KDE to suit me I was very happy with it. I'm currently very happy with Kubuntu 14.04.

    • Hildy J
      August 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      No, it's not immune, it's just not as common a target. Since OS/2, I can't think of a really bulletproof operating system for personal use. That said, I've been a Windows user since Win95 and I've never seen a virus. In life it's who you know, on the web it's where you go.

  10. anon
    August 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I wouldn't call the terminal rarely used being a secret feature as the terminal is the best executable available in linux

  11. LinuxLover
    August 13, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I have been using only Linux since a few years ago and I never want to even see windows again. Even I have written and compiled my entire PhD thesis using Fedora and I totally enjoyed it. Linux really rocks.

  12. Duane H
    August 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Terminal rarely used? I wouldn't say rarely, but googling will give you the command lines you need to get the job done with a minimal of pain.

    • jymm
      August 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

      It depends on you. I rarely use the terminal, and when I do it s only for convince. Apt get update, apt get upgrade for the speed of the terminal. The only command I have ever had to use is "sudo dpkg --configure -a" to fix broken packages. Synaptic can do it, but it doesn't seem to work as well. Other than that I could care less about the command line and never use it, and I am going on 4 years as a linux user.

  13. Scott M
    August 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I take stock every once in a while and decide I should switch to Linux and it's always the thing I don't expect that holds me back. This time round it was Netflix. I'm a tech from way back and I don't mind configuring things and playing in a command line, but it just seemed like something that should work by default, and the fact that it doesn't (didn't?) gave me pause. I like to go into something all the way, and I didn't want to find something else after the fact that wasn't working for me.

    That said, I do like many of the ways Linux does things, and I will keep watching for a distro for me.

    • MakingUseOf
      August 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      That's a Netflix owned issue, not a Linux issue in terms of Netflix being the ones not wanting to play ball with anyone other than Windows.

    • Scott M
      August 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Oh, I don't doubt that, but as an end user I just want it to work. I feel like may have signed some kind of online petition to Netflix, but that might just be in my head.

    • Howard B
      August 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Chrome/Chromium 37 will let Netflix work on Linux.

    • Scott M
      August 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Well I guess it's time to try again then! I'd honestly like to move to a Linux environment if I can do the things I like to do in it.

    • Juan R
      August 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/08/netflix-linux-html5-support-plugins

      Sam use this short tutorial to make Netflix run on Chrome, it is painless and real fast compared to Pipelight.

    • dragonmouth
      August 13, 2014 at 11:17 pm
  14. DJ KooK
    August 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The only thing holding me back from a total switch to linux is the lack of a professional grade karaoke program. There are karaoke programs but I've yet to find one that allows for cueing up a singer rotation. Until I find one I'll continue to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu Studio

  15. Tenyo M
    August 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    yEAH !!! NOW install

  16. linuxhater
    August 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    very limited amount of software is there in the software center. you can't even find google chrome in it. then for every little thing you have to use the terminal. installing drivers in linux is equivalent to putting the toothpaste back into the tube. i have a wifi dongle that just refuses to install on linux. i inserted the driver cd to install it but it said that i had to compile it to use it (ridiculous)( took me 3 hours to do so). in windows its as simple as running the exe file and clicking on next.

    • T
      August 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      @linuxhater

      In the software center did you see Chromium? It is the open souce version of Chrome. Gor Chrome itself a Linux user just needs to behave like they are a Windows or Mac user and go to google.com/chrome

      I use Linux as my primary OS and don't need the use of the terminal for any purposes any standard (Non-Tech/Admin) user of any other OS would.

      In Linux the drivers are almost always already there so I don't have much experience with installing them. What little I do have, the level of difficulty seems to have been very different for different drivers, much like Windows. It sounds like you bought a Wifi Dongle with very poor Linux support. I made that mistake once at work with 30 NICs that weren't supported under Windows.

      I suppose: Haters gonna hate.

    • Robin Jacobs
      August 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      In general the software centre only contains open source software, with a few exceptions. Chromium is pretty much Chrome but without Google's tracking and some other features in it. Installing the regular Chrome would take exactly 3 steps; 1. Download it. 2. Open the file. 3. Hit "Install".
      The terminal is very convenient when you get used to it, but you pretty much never are forced to use it. The reason the CD didn't work was because it contained Windows drivers. The easier way would've been to find out which driver the device needs and just install it from the repositories/software centre.

      Please don't judge something you have very little knowledge about. If you wanted Windows, you should've stuck to Windows. If you want to try something else, then don't expect to it to work like a rebranded version of Windows.

      Ubuntu and other Linux distributions have a big community surrounding them which are always willing to help you out in case of problems. AskUbuntu.com is one of those websites where you can usually find the answer you're looking for pretty quickly :)

    • Guiseppe
      August 14, 2014 at 4:33 am

      i had a very nice experience with some older version of ubuntu (10.4) and my work notebook, where i wanted to set up a dual output on graphic card - old intel one, took me about a week to make it run as i would like, but i've made it an now i am stronger :D

    • themainliner
      August 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Like your name all you points are risible. Google Chrome? A little research would teach you that Chromium (for licensing reasons) is how Chrome is known in many software repositories. There is no shortage of very open source (and free) software that can compete with the very best proprietary (and expensive) applications.

      If you bought a Wifi dongle with no Windows support and tried to get that working three hours would like attractive. Be honest about your experience it takes significantly longer to install Windows that most, almost all, Linux distros. Once Windows is installed the process of install basic drivers including chipset drivers to access all your peripherals takes a considerable ammount of time and CD switching. With Linux you boot up a live environment from CD and begin sufing the 'net as soon as it has loaded (only slightly longer than Windows installed to hard drive takes).

      Once in a live or installed Linux environment you can pretty much begin installing applications. Whatever Windows charms: it came with your PC apparently (but of course not) free; you are familiar with it; there are more major games released for it, for all it's financial cost it is not any better than Linux and in many way not nearly as customisable and flexible.

      Your contention that it is as easy as running the .exe and clicking next? Even this is untrue. Getting new software in Windows: 1) Open browser; 2) Google *your example) Google Chrome (other Search Engines are available); 3) browse to the official website; 4) find the 'Download' page; 5) locate the downloaded installtion .exe file; 6) run th executable; 7) complete the set up infomation, installation directory, software key from box etc; 8) Click Next mutliple times and finish.

      Installing Chromium (the smae thing minus branding) in a Debian-based Linux Distro.
      1) Open a terminal; 2) type "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser"...THAT'S IT! It is only easier to install software on Windows for someone intimately familiar with the process. A novice PC user will struggle to find the software download they need, struggle to identify where the .exe has downloaded and may even struggle to answer the set up questions and identify their authenticating software key. Linux installation as as difficult as remembering your password.

    • Karl
      August 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

      For Chrome on Linux you have to look for "chromium" - it's chrome compiled for Linux without google tracking software parts.

  17. Jean-Francois Messier
    August 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    The concept of clipboard and the shortcut commands are the same as Windows. Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Shift-Delete, Ctrl-Insert, Shift-Insert. They all work perfectly. You also have access to several clipboard managers for all major Linux installations. Same for Alt-Tab and Ctrl-Tab. Most of the keyboard shortcuts you learned under Windows are available under Linux.

    • Guiseppe
      August 14, 2014 at 4:15 am

      And, of course you can set it up as you like, which i am not sure is possible on W

    • Daryl
      August 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      You can disable the built in Windows hotkeys with a registry edit, then use something like Auto Hotkey to create your own set of keys.

      http : / /www . autohotkey . com / docs / misc / Override . htm

      (I'm not sure what the forum rules are for linking sites, so please forgive this if it's not allowed).

    • Danny S
      August 31, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Nice tip! That's something I didn't think needed to be explained, but somehow I forgot that Mac has different shortcuts so users might assume Linux does too.

  18. peter
    August 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Unity sux--- linux has come a long way if you find yourself a fanboy for desktop environments.

  19. linhobbyist
    August 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Started with Ubuntu 8. Also have looked at and used Zorin 7 & 8, OpenSuse 12 & 13, and Crunchbang. Settled on Bodhi. Sometimes it is the distro that is best suited for the user and not the hardware.

  20. Sam Friendly
    August 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Linux is great, but regularly falls flat on its a**e when you try and update it. Five times I`ve had laptops refuse to boot after Linux updates. That and the fact many updates simply fail when trying to update them anyway. Just isn`t reliable enough. When it does work though its a fantastic operating system.

    • MakingUseOf
      August 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Not sure what updates you were working on, but I maintain about 100 Linux powered workstations (Ubuntu) and a couple of servers (RedHat 6) and I've only seen that happen once and it was due to xorg not liking the graphics chipset on the workstation.

    • Jadon
      August 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      I'm inclined to believe that that's something you're doing, Sam. I've run Linux for 2 years, and have "converted" many friends to Linux, and I, nor any of my friends, have encountered problems after updating...

    • Hildy J
      August 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      As one who hasn't experimented with Linux in years, let me ask a n00b question. Do any of the distros offer anything like Windows Update to push and apply OS and key package updates to your computer?

    • Artem
      August 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

      @Sam
      I've had a similar problem with bad PPAs and so on, but once you learn reputable sites and PPAs (much like reputable sites for windows software) you are fine.

      @Hildy
      There are multiple distros that support this functionality. Any of the major flavors actually. I would definitely suggest giving it a shot if you haven't tried it in years.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      @Hildy J:
      Unlike Microsoft, no Linux developer/distributor takes over your PC and shoves updates onto it whether you are ready for them or not. Most Linux distros notify you that updates/upgrades are available and you apply them when it is convenient for you. You control the process.

    • themainliner
      August 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Honestly mate, I understand that this is your experience, but I just haven't had it. I don't know what distro you are using but I've only ever had that with Debian "Testing" which is a rolling distro and not really intended for "production" machines. I used Ubuntu and Mint for years without ever running into what you have described.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I'm using SimplyMEPIS. But it is not the distro but the package manager that notifies you. I use Synaptic. I like it better than Software Manager or Mint Update. Synaptic may not have as pretty an interface as the other two but, IMO, it works better. Both Software Manger and Mint Update offer too much extraneous information such as User Popularity. If I want to install a package, I don't care how popular it is.

      Synaptic Package Manager can be installed in any Debian-based distro. If I'm not mistaken, it is in Ubuntu and Mint repositories. You also should install "apt-notifier"

    • jymm
      August 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I find your comment FUD. I run Point Linux and have never had a problem with an update. Not one, ever. I have been using Linux for about 4 years. I have had Windows updates that broke my system or programs way to often, which is why I switched in the first place.

    • Daryl
      August 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      I can vouch for this type of thing happening, but it is easily controlled. If you put a custom driver for video onto a newer Linux distro that requires 3D acceleration for the GUI, and you do a kernel update without generating kernel modules for the custom driver, it will cause the system to appear not to boot. Technically it's not that the system isn't booting, but rather the GUI isn't coming up. It's not that difficult to fix, but it's even easier to avoid. If you're going to do a kernel update, be sure your system is set to use the open source native driver instead of the closed source from AMD or Nvidia, etc.

  21. Ant0Net
    August 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    title must be :
    6 Secrets Every Windows User Should Know About Ubuntu

    • Danny S
      August 31, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Why? They all apply to Linux in general.

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