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Despite what all the Linux haters say 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell 5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell Linux may have been a scary operating system before, but all of that has changed in recent years. These myths, which are more accurately called lies, are now dead. Read More , choosing Ubuntu is logical and migrating from Windows 7 to Ubuntu is a breeze. This article summarizes the process and provides solutions to some of the most common beginner hiccups.

The Windows Vs Mac Vs Linux debate has been going on for years and doesn’t look to be settled anytime soon. If you are a Windows 7 user and still haven’t made the switch to Windows 8, you may want to consider migrating to Ubuntu 14.04, the latest Linux distro from Ubuntu. In addition to strong support from developers and a massive software repository, it’s free, faster and safer than Windows.

A Bit Of Housekeeping

Before you migrate from Windows 7 to Ubuntu, there are a few issues you need to take care of first to ensure seamless transition. If you follow this advice, you should be able to pick up your work right where you left off.

Backing Up Files

The first thing you want to do before you change your operating system is to backup any files you will want to use in Ubuntu. There are two ways to do this: you can use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, or go with good old fashioned external media such as a flash drive or portable/external hard drive.

If you decide to use a cloud storage service, make sure you move all the files and folders you want to back up to the cloud storage folder. Ensure your Internet connection is on and wait until your cloud service confirms that all files are uploaded before you continue.

Browser Sync

Migrating to a new operating system can interrupt your browsing experience. To avoid this, you need to set up browser sync. All major browsers can sync your data 4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones 4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones Gone are the days when we used a single browser on our only computer. Today, many of us constantly switch between desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets, all of which are outfitted with various... Read More  and you only need to enable this feature and wait. For example, in Chrome, sign in using your Google account. If you aren’t already signed in, go to the Chrome menu and scroll down to “Sign in to Chrome”. After signing in, go to the menu once again, scroll down and click “Settings”. Next, click on “Advanced settings” and tick all the items you want to move to Ubuntu.

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chrome-advanced-sync-settings_001

When you are done installing Ubuntu, all you need to do is install Chrome from the Linux Software Repository, sign in and in a few seconds all the synced items will be replicated in your new browser session.

Installed Programs

You may also have software that you use on a regular basis and which you would like to move to Ubuntu. Go to the product’s website and find out if they have a Linux version. Also, read any available documentation on migrating that piece of software. The process is different with each software vendor and there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Ubuntu also has one of the largest support forums, which makes it likely that any software issues you encounter have already been solved by another user.

But, in some cases (rarely) you may find that your vendor doesn’t support Linux, which then leaves you with three options. One, you can run the program in Wine Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Read More , a free open source Windows emulator that allows applications designed for Windows to run in Linux. Check the forums and ask questions to see it is possible to do this with your program. If it isn’t possible, and the application is vital for your work, then the next best thing is to have a dual installation of Ubuntu and Windows Tired Of Windows 8? How To Dual Boot Windows & Ubuntu Tired Of Windows 8? How To Dual Boot Windows & Ubuntu If you discover that Windows 8 isn't quite your cup of tea, and you have no feasible path to downgrade, it may be a good idea to dual boot with Linux to have an alternative... Read More . This way, you can use Ubuntu most of the time but switch to Windows when it suits you. However, I must warn you that this could slow down your computer. You can also install Ubuntu from within Windows using Wubi How to Set Up a Dual Boot Windows & Linux System with Wubi How to Set Up a Dual Boot Windows & Linux System with Wubi Read More . Finally, you could always purchase a different program that works in Linux, especially if the application only costs a few pennies and moving to Ubuntu is a stronger motivator.

Installation

Now that all the housekeeping is in order, let’s get right into the installation process.

Download Ubuntu

Start by downloading the disc image from the Ubuntu download page. You will need a blank DVD or USB stick with at least 3 gigs of free space. If you prefer, you could also download the Ubuntu torrent version which downloads faster.

donwload-ubuntu-14.04.1

Burn To DVD/ Bootable USB Stick

One the file is done downloading, burn the ISO file to DVD or create a bootable USB Stick on Windows. The best way to create a bootable USB stick is to Download Pen Drive Linux’s USB Installer.

linux-pendrive-installer-setup

Make sure your USB drive is Fat16/Fat32/NTFS formatted, otherwise it will not boot. If unsure, transfer any contents in the drive to another stick. Go to My Computer, right click on the drive and click “Format”. Leave the file system field at “FAT 32(Default)” and click “Start.”

The process should take a few minutes and you can then create the bootable USB stick and proceed to the next stage.

First Boot

Once you have created your Ubuntu Disc or USB drive, insert into the PC and restart. The PC will boot into the live Ubuntu Environment. You will notice that you can play around with Ubuntu before committing to the full install.

Get a feel of it and once satisfied, select English, install Ubuntu and click “Continue”. After that, it’s really just a matter of following the installation prompts and making selections based on your preferences. Some highlights include a prompt to replace your Windows 7 installation and encrypt your disc for added security. Once you have entered a computer name, username and password, click “Continue” and the installation begins. I must say I found this really fast when compared to my past experience with Windows installations. It took exactly five minutes to completely install Ubuntu and get a prompt to restart the computer. Make sure you eject the DVD or USB before restarting. In the login screen, enter the credentials you set during installation.

Getting A Feel For The Unity Desktop

unity-desktop

Ubuntu’s default desktop is known as Unity. There are several other Linux desktop environments It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Overwhelmed? Start here. Read More which you can experiment with once you get the hang of things. It actually looks a bit like the Windows 7 desktop when you see it for the first time. The main difference is of course the color and the location of the Windows Taskbar equivalent, which is aptly named the “Launcher”, located on the left side of your screen. This is where you “dock” your application shortcuts in much the same way as you would pin and unpin Windows programs to the Taskbar. Unlike Windows 7, you cannot change the location of the Launcher.

Instead of a System Tray, you have Status Menus (Indicators) at the top right of your screen. Here you will find several menus including; Network , Sound, Messaging, Clock, Session and others.

To view other installed applications, click the Dash icon in the upper left corner of your screen to open the Dash. The dash is similar to the Windows 7 start menu. To find an application, type its name in the search field or search the categories. You can also navigate the Dash using Lens (Home, Applications, File, Music and Video), plug-gable elements to the Dash, as shown in the screen capture above. An application appears in the launcher for as long as it’s running.

Inside the File Manager (Files), you will see your Home folder which contains several folders; Documents, Downloads, Videos, Pictures and a few more. This is where you store your files.

One of the features that Windows 7 users will find useful is the Workspace Switcher. Do you sometimes feel that the Windows desktop is too small especially when you are running several applications? If so, this feature should interest you. With the Workspace Switcher, you can have several instances of self-contained virtual desktops running. Switch between the workspaces using Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys.

A Few Beginner Hiccups

Being new to Linux, there are invariably some beginner issues you will encounter. The following are a few speed bumps that you may encounter coming from a Windows background.

The Linux Software Repository

ubuntu-software-center

Smartphones introduced application stores to many people. But, the Linux community already had an “app store” long before Apple and Google came up with the now popular iTunes and Play store respectively. Linux software repositories have been around for decades. They contain hundreds of free open source applications to do just about anything.

To install a program in Ubuntu, you don’t need to search Google and run the risk of installing a malware-laden product. Simply visit the Ubuntu Software Center on the launcher and look for the shopping bag icon with the letter “A” .

Ubuntu also comes pre-installed with a bunch of software out of the box. This includes: LibreOffice, Firefox browser, Thunderbird mail, Transmission Bit Torrent client, Shotwell photo viewer and a host of other useful applications. Click the “Installed” tab in the Software Center to see what’s already included.

For more applications, search and when you find something that meets your needs, click install. Every application in the software center comes with brief notes explaining what the application does. A good way to find popular software is to look at the “Top Rated Recommendations” under “All Software”.

The Terminal/Command Line Interface (CLI)

ubuntu-command-line

If you have never seen a command line, then you may have a bit of a learning curve in Ubuntu. The Windows command line is rarely used by the average user, at least not since the mid-1990s in MSDOS. In pop culture, the command line is associated with geeks and hackers. When most people think of a command line, the picture that comes to mind is that of a geek wearing thick glasses and typing away furiously at a black screen.

But, this morbid fear of the command line is misplaced. It’s actually easy to learn and helps with complex tasks including installing packages. To launch the Terminal press and hold Ctrl+alt+T. Learn and practice a few commands daily and within a few days, typing commands into the command line will become second nature. Read our quick Guide to getting started with the Linux command line A Quick Guide To Get Started With The Linux Command Line A Quick Guide To Get Started With The Linux Command Line You can do lots of amazing stuff with commands in Linux and it's really not difficult to learn. Read More . After that, read our list of 40 essential Linux commands 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 with detailed explanation of what each command does.

Installing Applications

One of the major differences between Ubuntu and Windows is that applications come as packages containing all the files that the application needs in order to run. Programs also have what are known as package dependencies; which simply means that the program cannot run before the dependencies are first installed. Dependencies are commonly shared with other applications so in most cases, once the initial files are installed, you won’t need to install them again for a different program. You will occasionally be prompted to install the dependencies before installing a program.

Ubuntu Restricted Extras

ubuntu-restricted-extras

This is possibly the first package you should install once you fire up Ubuntu. This is because, out of the box, you won’t be able to do a couple of things such listen to MP3s and watch DVDs. You also won’t be able to browse sites that require Flash and Java. This isn’t enabled by default because Ubuntu doesn’t have the legal right to distribute codecs and other copyrighted technology on the installation disc.

Ubuntu Restricted Extras is a collection of software that pulls in support for MP3, several other audio formats, Microsoft fonts, Flash, LAME and DVD playback. To install, simply visit the Software Center, type in “Ubuntu Unrestricted Extras” in the search bar and click “Install”. You can also find it under “Top Rated Software.”

.Deb Files

ubuntu.debi.files

In some cases, you may not find the application you want in the Software Center and as mentioned earlier, you have to search the developer’s download page for a Linux version. Linux applications from most websites are often packaged as .deb files. Google Chrome is one such example. A .deb file is created for each different Linux distribution. To install .deb files, you will need a simple tool known as Gdebi. Open a Terminal window using Ctrl+Alt+T and type sudo apt-get install gdebi. Once you have installed GDebi, use the File Manager to find the Google Chrome package. Its files will look similar to the screen capture above.

Double click the package. This will install the program and add it will be added to your application lens. You can lock it to your Launcher for quick access. The process to install all .deb files is the same, provided all dependencies have been met.

Canonical Partner Repositories

ubuntu.canonical.partners

There are also other popular applications which are not in the Ubuntu Software Center but are available in the Canonical Partner Repository. One such example is Skype. Canonical is the company that leads the Ubuntu Project. To install Skype, you have to add the Canonical Partner Repository. There are two ways to do this, go to the command line and type:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner"

Alternatively, navigate to System Settings (the gear and wrench icon) on your Launcher, click on “Software & Updates” and under “Other Software”, tick both Canonical Partner repositories. Click close and reload to update the database.

This gives you access to proprietary and closed-source software such as Skype that are not enabled by default. You can then install the program(s) via the Software Center or using the Terminal command sudo apt-get install skype.

Are You Ready?

Remember, if you run into problems with anything, Ubuntu has one of the largest online user communities. Whatever issue you face, there is a great likelihood that someone else has experienced it before and a solution is available. MakeUseOf also has a large database of Linux articles which provide solutions to some of the most common issues, useful hacks and tips.

Are you ready to plunge into the penguin-filled waters? Or are you one of those types that wouldn’t touch a Linux Distro Distro Watch: The Best Linux Distributions For 2014 Distro Watch: The Best Linux Distributions For 2014 We're halfway through 2014, and a handful of Linux distributions have already made a big splash in the community. Which distributions are the best ones for this year? Let's take a look. Read More  if your life depended on it? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  1. saqib bilal
    June 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

    It is my first day using ubuntu 14.04 and this page proved to be very informative, resourceful and helpful. Thank you for writing something useful :)

  2. Michael
    February 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I've been contemplating a switch to Linux for years now. Got an old PC at my parents' house, in case I visit them and need to bring work with me, which runs fine on Ubuntu. But the main computer?
    Well, this is the incentive I needed: "We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary."

    That does it - enough is enough.

  3. arvind
    December 10, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Today i was switching to ubuntu 14.04 , i found this article very useful.. thanks guys ....
    It is very useful website.. thanks..

  4. Paul Davidson
    September 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Practical post ! I am thankful for the facts - Does anyone know where I could find a blank 2007 SC DoR I-309 example to edit ?

  5. Tildesare Cool
    May 26, 2015 at 6:00 am

    I can't believe I'm actually contemplating a switch. Although it probably won't be to Ubuntu. More likely something closer to Debian like whatever the latest crunchbang was then customize from there. It will likely take months to figure out how to get all my monitors working along with wifi, NIC, audio/mic, bluetooth (although I don't use that anyway) and power management. Then there's getting different programs to work through Wine (or I'll just use VirtualBox for some of that). I don't know how hard games will be. I don't play very many and those I do are relatively main stream (like blizzard stuff). The graphics driver seems like a never ending source of frustration from what I've read in forums. I do store a lot on dropbox/Onedrive/googledrive. No actual client for one or more of those might actually be more of pain than anything. I'll either be switched by the end of August (2015) or sobbing on the floor in the corner from all the frustration. Oh, and I've using a "clevo" laptop...

    • Grcoeeg
      January 19, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Give Zorin OS a try, it is built to look like windows 7 , but there is ends. because it always works, never freezes up, it just keeps working. Zorin is an all in one OS, everything is built into it. Go to zorin . com and look it over, it will change you computing life for ever. Just passing this along because I had to escape from the windows madness. This is a dream, compared to the window nightmare. Enjoy.

  6. Fernando
    November 30, 2014 at 7:11 am

    As and advanced Windows user that likes computers I'd like to switch to a GNU/Linux distro. However, in addition to usual migration challenges for Windows users, I'm blind and most of the documentation about distros GUIs are writen thinking on use with the mouse. Many distros come with Orca, but its help seems too generic (it does not cover specific distro's keyboard usage) and there's no intuitive way for exploring the various areas on desktops like Unity. Moreover, when the user opens a help topic, it is not clear that he/she must press F7 to navigate with arrows.

    I used console-based distributions, and I don't hatte Windows nor GNU/Linux: both worlds have their own (diss)advantages. As a Windows 7 user that work with screen readers (JAWS for Windows and the open source NVDA), what else should I know if I want to use Ubuntu with Orca?

    Sorry for the misspellings. English is not my primary language and I have no installed English dictionaries for the Firefox's Hunspell on this machine.

  7. Tony
    November 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for the article

  8. PaulD
    October 9, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Is there anyone who sees a reason not to have both Win7 and Ubntu on the same computer? Wouldn't a dual installation, if enough RAM is available, be more valuable? When my Win7 got the BSOD, my Ubuntu still existed; I used one to fix the problems of the other, and my valuable information was not lost

  9. Leo
    October 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    #paul. I have an 11 years old dell d800. After winxp i has the same problem with installing every version of ubuntu. But there is hope for you. Install lubuntu 12 and update but NEVER upgrade! Its work for me very fine. I hope you have succes! Nota that dell gives longlife support for printers of the first owner.

  10. Alex Tebo
    October 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I like Linux and more specifically the Ubuntu distro, switch to it when I was teaching a class of pain in the ass scumbag who loved to join viruses to their assignments. Even with the best anti-virus I had to spend hours on my F** computer during weekend to fix it. I solve the problem by switching to Linux for the machine I use in class and could finally enjoy my weekend.
    But let's be honest, if Ubuntu do work fine, (And I am a big Fan of the Unity interface) you must be ready at the beginning to spend hours to understand how it is working.
    And I agree with the person who said that the Linux community should learn some manners and lose the attitude, especially when they meet people who actually use Linux for some productive paid job not just for bragging how good they are at doing everything in command line.
    Then If you are an engineer there is a lack of good CAD software, (please spare me Blender or Freecad, those are useless) . You do have VariCAD (commercial) which is kind of old but which do some good job, but nothing really comparable to Solidworks, AutoCAD or Pro-E. (forget about CATIA, NX seems to run with Wine but I never try) .
    Then if you are a designer, Gimp is nice, it has tons of plug in and is way lighter to run than Photoshop, but you can run it in Windows as well and don't need Linux to enjoy it. Furthermore do not hope to find anything close to Adobe Illustrator. A soft like Inkscape isn't even close to software like Corel Draw. but I did use it for some professional works with some good result. But it does run as well under Windows.
    Then again 3D modeling suck big on linux nothing similar to 3Dmax, maya or even Rhino3D. You can try Blender but I am not a big fan of the final result and the interface is such pain. Wings3D could be nice if only it was stable and it also run on windows and is slightly more stable.
    So far Ubuntu OS is fine for office job or as media station but when it comes to more specific job like engineering, electronic or design, stay on windows unless you can develop you own tools.

  11. Moshe
    October 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Linux Mint 17 Mate is stable as the Rock of Gibraltar. It is easy to install from a flash key, or use the flash key as though it was a live non installed all on CD. This way you have total security as all goes into the RAM. When you switch off all is forgotten, unless you decide to save a file to Hard Drive inside your computer.

    Is Linux easy, well it's come a long way to be user friendly. So you have 2 options dual boot or use as Temporary . Enjoy.

  12. hotdoge3
    September 25, 2014 at 7:44 am

    XP to Mint I keep some XP PC's as I have 5 ,think I can 99% in Mint

  13. dicegeorge
    September 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    the little dots on the left when I have several copies of an app running took me quite a while to notice

  14. dicegeorge
    September 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    the little dots on the left when I have several copied of an app running took me quite a while to notice

  15. Anonymous
    September 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    ubuntu is great for beginners but i found it a bit too unstable at times for my liking, switched to debian instead

  16. Eduard L
    September 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

    You forgot to mention askubuntu.com which is insanely helpful (I'd say even more than the community forums).

  17. gizzenbriggs
    September 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    My daughter has Win7 running on a netbook and cannot get rid of the blue screen of death after an update. She doesn't have CD drive to boot from a rescue disk and she has asked me to install Linux for her. I think I shall choose Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon which works well on my Intel Atom 1Gb netbook. I do use Ubuntu 14.10 a lot but my main complaints are that I cannot print wirelessly, I have not managed to crack the problem of scanning on an all-in-one printer, and I have to log on to my Synology NAS unit every time I wish to mount it. Win 7 is a fine OS but I pity the poor beginners who have to learn the new Win8 interface just because MS want to get into the touch screen market.

  18. Surajit Basak
    September 24, 2014 at 2:52 am

    The bad thing about windows is it don't have pre-built application like Ubuntu or other Linux distros like Linux Mint(cinamon/mint), OpenSuse, Zorin OS, Fedora etc. Ubuntu or other famous Linux distros comes with mail client like Mozilla Thunderbird, Office like LiberOffice, Chat client like Pidgin, Torrent client Transmission etc. But if you want this type of application you need to download them from internet or you need to backup those exe files. I love Ubuntu for its charming graphics interface. There are many features included in Ubuntu or other Linux distros as an example if you right click on a folder or file you will see [copy to] option which is most useful feature and windows doesn't have this feature. Ubuntu or other Linux distro have terminal which is very easy to use CLI if you have basic knowledge of some command of its. I like Ubuntu than Windows.

  19. KT
    September 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

    When I switched 8 years ago, I found the unity desktop on Ubuntu unappealing. Mint was an easier transition for me. My advice is use any distro with a MATE GUI and the switch will be easier. I just took a 72 year old guy a work with from XP to Mint 17 on his older desktop and he likes it better than XP.

  20. Mary Brady
    September 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    1st, thank you for the great information in this post. I like the fact that Ubuntu is free. On my laptop w/ Windows 7, I have dual booted Ubuntu 14.4 Am now taking the edX free course to learn how to use the Linux command line and graphic interface. The only caveat to a great experience w/ Linux is that certain printers and scanners (especially some of the all-in-ones) do not have drivers compatible w/ Linux. (Although this also occurs w/ older hardware drivers and Windows). Am a 60-something Granny, so anyone can do Linux.

  21. Ravi L
    September 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Hi love Ubuntu. Its just awesome. However the reason why I use Windows more often is because I use alot of apps that work only on Windows at work and I hate turning my laptop off. So switching between the two everyday doesn't cut it for me. I don't mind switching but I would prefer if it was a once every three months thing. I have use many of the programs that were created to allow for using window apps in Ubuntu but its not the same. I find the system runs alot slower and its annoying. But the MAIN reason is the quality of the video or graphics card and the fact that the games I love cannot be played on Linux. Especially Sports base games. If there was a way for me to be able to play these games at the same quality level with windows then i would definitely give windows the boot. I just don't like the idea of having to juggle between the two. I just want to use ONE.

  22. Ray M
    September 23, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Windows Vista 64 drove me to Linux. After trying many distros, I am currently using Xubuntu and running a few apps in Win 8.1 on VirtualBox.

    If you want a bit of advice, don't use any Ubuntu distro until it has been released at least a month. It usually takes that long for all of the repros to catch up to the new version, plus you will get a few more bug taken care of. I'd also recommend Synaptic as a package manager.

  23. dragonmouth
    September 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    "In addition to strong support from developers and a massive software repository, it’s free, faster and safer than Windows."
    Ubuntu is all that and more. It offers Windows refugees similar lack of control over their system that they have become used to. Linux is about choice and the only choice Ubuntu offers is whether to run Ubuntu or not. Canonical is busy creating proprietary versions of Linux software. All other disros will be using Wayland graphic server but not Ubuntu. Canonical created Mir version of Wayland only because they will be able to totally control it. Notice that no other distro than Ubuntu is using Unity (a proprietary version of GNOME). Canonical is trying very hard to vecome the Microsoft of the Linux world.

    • but...
      September 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      but, but, but what about Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, Linux Mint, (insert other ubuntu based distros here)? No freedom there?

      I've been able to do whatever "I" want in both Windows 7 and the variety of ubuntu-based distros I currently use.

      I love Win 7, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, and PC Linux OS. Love my Chromebook too. All let me do what I need out of their respective ecosystems.

    • dragonmouth
      September 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Just for giggles try uninstalling "cowsay" or "fortune" from any Ubuntu-based distro. If you use Synaptic, it will warn you that the "ubuntu-minimal" file will also be uninstalled. If you use Software Center, you may not get the warning. Uninstalling "ubuntu-minimal" will result in incapacitating your O/S. If you call that freedom, then you demand very little from your O/S.

      PCLinuxOS software is much less tightly integrated with the O/S, allowing for greater control.

  24. Herman Karssen
    September 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I've used Ubuntu on my HP ProBook 65606 and installing was easier then Windows 7!! The only reason why I'm using Window 7 now is because I work a lot with Evernote and that doesn't work well under Ubuntu :( I've tried it with Wine, but that's terrible...

  25. Tom
    September 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I have been experimenting with Linux on an old, secondary, (10 years), Dell desktop. Pleasantly surprised. Recognized all hardware, including wireless, upon install. Experimented with about 10 distros. Win 7 was sluggish on this older box, as was Ubuntu 14.04. Not a problem. I have settled upon Kubuntu 14.04. For browsing, email, watching videos, etc., it is excellent. Customization options are fantastic. Learning curve, yes, but didn't we all go through that over the years with Windows. BTW, Win 7 is still on my main PC and I have no complaints about it.
    Thanks for the article.

  26. Eddie G.
    September 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    To respond to those people who question why a person would need or want to switch to Ubuntu., well most users WON'T switch, but not because Windows is "better" or "worse"...only because they don't know any better. The majority of Linux users were just like everyone else EXCEPT they longed for more control, more flexibility, more "freedom" than Windows offered, regardless of whether it was Windows 2000...Windows XP...or even Windows 7. A lot of Windows users I've spoken to do not like Win8, nor do they plan on moving on to it when support and updates are terminated for Windows 7. So yes...a few people WILL need and WILL want to explore their options regarding Linux, and it might not just be limited to Ubuntu, there are other distros out there but for the uninitiated Ubuntu Linux is a great starting point. For those who think its always about bashing Windows when people speak of Linux they need to broaden their vision, and see that the future isn't "branded" with just Windows or Mac OS anymore, there's a new player in the game that has been ignored for quite some time, and it's name just happens to be Linux. If you have problems accepting that, then you will be forever locked in those stale, outdated, and totally unproductive "flame wars" of the 90's. As for myself, I have been using Ubuntu / Fedora / openSuSE / CEntOS and Scientific Linux since around 2004, and I love the freedom I have, I dropped Windows usage completely and have never looked back. And although there was a point in time when you either had Microsoft Office or else you suffered, now?....with LibreOffice I have everything I need with none of the "fluff". I don't even need to run the antivirus that exists for Linux, because of LVM and heavy data encryption, not to mention there just isn't' that many ways someone can infect a machine running Linux unless the users is ignorant of security and the proper practices for it, whereas I've seen Windows machines that HAVE a McAfee....or Symantec...or some other AV software installed STILL get infected! Hmm...go figure....

  27. Eswar Varma
    September 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    hi I am Eswar Varma. i am using dual boot but internet is not working in ubuntu. my internet settings are manual. how to configure a manual settings for ubuntu.....

    • Grcoeeg
      September 23, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      Hi, I hope this helps. I had trouble with Ubuntu in a dual boot I have going. I ended up just getting a USB WiFi card ( dongle thingy ) that works with the Linux kernel and Windows, about $12.00 on Amazon. It works with my Windows 7 and Ubuntu, so I just leave it in at all times. It was an easy fix for me. I hope this helps you, good luck.

  28. bben
    September 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I have migrated several people from WinXP to Ubuntu. These are not geeks but actually fairly computer illiterate people. They have no particular dislike or special attachment to Windows - it's just what they always used. It took less than ten minutes to teach the worst one how to use Ubuntu. Most are older and only use their computer for email, facebook and browsing the internet. For one older user that had never used any browser except IE, I explained it was like a new version, It does the same thing as always, but they moved some of the stuff around. Now she loves it. I have had one with a printer that is just not supported - I even found posts in some of the Linux forums on that specific printer not being supported at all. I consider the Ubuntu app store one of the worst there is - I find it nearly impossible to find anything if I don't already know the exact name - they seem to push certain apps that are mostly useless and hide the ones I am looking for. Note that most of my older users are younger than me.

    • Paul
      September 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      (1) I have a 10 year old Dell D800 Latitude running XP that I wanted to convert to either Ubuntu or Mint. When I went to run a test as LiveCD I get an error message about absence of PAE. From what I can determine, it probably is caused by the hardware not properly reporting the existence of PAE. So installation is not always easy. (2) Hardware is not as easy a deal as others state. I have a Dell laser printer which is not recognized. Only a basic PCL driver seems to work. From what I read mostly only HP printers are well supported. (3) I was hoping the article would discuss partitioning the hard drive(s) for best use. No mention of what to do about those files one dutifully backed up before installing Ubuntu. So the article is not friendly for the Windows user. Too bad, I was hoping ...

  29. Rajib Ghosh
    September 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I switched to Ubuntu. My new laptops (Asus X200CA-KX219D) did not come with OS installed and I decided to give Ubuntu a try rather than trying Daz Bootloader.

    To say that Ubuntu installation, adapting to it has been a breeze is an understatement. I am a geek but even my non-geek wife was completely at home in Ubuntu in a day.

    So what is the ride like? Did it remind me of WindowsXP or Windows7?

    The default driver for the Wireless chipset was very flaky and resulted in dropped connections or ultra-slow data transfer while I was sitting 2 feet away from the router. A quick search on google, a couple of commands on Terminal, I had a new driver that worked beautifully.

    Ubuntu does not come with touchpad sensitivity settings in control panel. A quick trip to google, single client on terminal (synclient) and I had it resolved.

    Ubuntu does not remember the last-used brightness settings. Another trip to google, a couple of commands on Terminal, and I had that resolved too.

    What worked seamlessly? Everything else. Webcam, Sound, HDMI audio (incl. passthrough for Dolby/DTS), Scanners, Printers. I did not have to install drivers for any of them. They just worked.

    The software selection is incredible. WPS Office gave me the familiar Office suite. Gimp is better or equal to Photoshop. VLC on Linux works way better than VLC on Windows.

    So, the ride was like WindowsXP. It still requires occasional futzing to get things set-up just the way you like it. Once set-up, it works fine.

    Will I be recommending it to a computer noob? By all means. Noobs can install Ubuntu in a single click and get to work virus-free worry-free. Many of the issues I have faced are not showstoppers for noobs.

    And just like there was the friendly neigbourhood windows-geek to help them, there now exists a linux-geek too to help them.

  30. John Weldon
    September 23, 2014 at 2:45 am

    To the author: if you were intellectually honest you'd have to admit that the overwhelming majority of comments on sites like this are not "Linux haters" but rather gratuitous Windows haters. And why would anyone need to switch from Windows 7 to Linux to begin with? Answer: they wouldn't. The majority of Win7 users just don't feel the necessity to switch to anything, be it Win8.x or whatever. Why? Because it works. And people have investments in hardware and software that just aren't supported in other operating systems, Linux included. You know that. So let's cut the crap. You like Linux...fine. There's nothing wrong with it. But more importantly, there's nothing at all wrong with Windows 7, either. Silly article.

    • Rob
      September 23, 2014 at 3:44 am

      yeah sure, I am a win 7 and a Ubuntu studio user. Ubuntu is faster, a lot faster, has a better file system, and a few things more, win 7 is expensive, Adobe is expensive and Linux offers good alternatives for software, give me an other year to get used to all software and exit windows.

    • dragonmouth
      September 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      "there’s nothing at all wrong with Windows 7"
      How do I hate thee, let me count the ways. (That's from a gratuitous Windows hater) :-)

      If you were intellectually honest, you would not arrogantly generalize based on your own likes and dislikes and admit that an O/S other than Windows CAN be an informed choice.

      For 20 years my employer controlled my choice of software at work and I used Windows. At home, where I have the choice, I use Linux because it is more secure, runs faster, problems are fixed faster and I do not have to mortgage the house to pay for software.

      "the overwhelming majority of comments on sites like this are not “Linux haters” but rather gratuitous Windows haters."
      Why is it that Window Fans have such a persecution complex? Why are they so defensive? Why is anyone who uses an O/S other than Windows automatically a "Windows hater"? I guess it must be the paranoid philosophy of "If you're not with us, you're against us." An O/S is only an inanimate tool, like a chisel or a screwdriver. I find that, for me, Linux is a better tool than Windows.

    • Ohm Banning
      September 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Meh. Clearly you know very little about Linux. Hardware is actually very rarely an issue, if ever. I've been using Mint for 5 years now and have never had any issues. Period. Bottom line is that you should use whatever you want to use! If you're OK with Windows, by all means use it! This was to inform people about alternatives to Microsoft. As an aside, most Linux distros run very well on older hardware, while Windows 7 has pretty high requirements...

    • Derek
      September 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      But more importantly, there’s nothing at all wrong with Windows 7, either.
      Really? How about memory (mis)management as a simple example? That's my most recent issue with Win7. The list of Windows issues is much too long to list here.

    • Saad Husain
      September 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      John, Windows 7 is the best OS out there that Microsoft has. Never the less, there are frequent (too frequent?) updates that are pushed out there. Many updates requires a reboot. I have seen Unix servers which do not have to reboot for several years. Plus the Unix command line is far better for complex operations than Windows. Yes, Windows is good for 90% of the work, but for the last 10% you will need Unix.

    • Andy Pandy
      September 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Linux promoters say Linux distros like Mint are wonderful Linux gateways for former Windows users. We're told that Linux is now ready for prime time, that the transitions are going to be easy and simple.
      None of this is true. I'm a former Mac (pre- and post-OSX) user, and a Windows XP and 7 user who switched to Linux (Mint 16) several months ago.
      If this is the best the Linux world has to offer, then you are definitely not ready for prime time. I am running pretty plain vanilla apps (e.g., Open Office, Chromium, GIMP) and still have to deal with screen freezes, updates that affect other apps and cause problems, flashing colorless screens, and all kinds of mess. What about the help forums, you may be asking? No thanks. I have more to do with my time than ask respectful questions that are met with impatient, cryptic--or even abusive--replies.
      I feel misled--I believed the hype about the new Linux. Now I'm going back to Macs or Windows as soon as I possibly can.

    • Greg Wardlaw
      November 6, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      I have to disagree. I am recently retired and I was a Windows Network Administrator and Desktop Troubleshooter. I was a solid Windows guy until Windows 7. I had nothing but problems, problems, and more problems. Windows is actually good job security for technicians though. There is always going to be problems. I started tinkering with LInux before it was ready for the desktop environment and continued to use Windows XP. Then I bought an Iphone and then a Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. I will not be going back to Windows. I ran the MBP for two weeks before I realized I didn't have an Anti-Virus. I'm not trying to start a OS war here but I have had 95% less problems with the MAC and I never thought I would say that in a million years. I have MS Office to use on old documents but can easily use Pages, Open Office, or Libre Office. I still have Windows 7 on my desktop but I am dual-booting to Ubuntu until I get everythng the way I want it. Windows 7 and 8 to me are a complete Joke. Again, I was anti-Mac,LInux for 20 years but now it is just not even close unless you like problems. Now, with IOS8 on the IPhone and IPad, and OSX Yosemite you can be working on a document or note and use continuity to switch to your laptop and continue work without missing a beat. By the way, I just spent a couple hours trying to get Windows Update not to BSOD on me. Irritating. Good luck guys.

    • Lee
      January 29, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      The reason to switch if if you're a developer and want more freedom to control root. To install open source software etc.

    • K Narayanan Unni
      April 29, 2015 at 6:19 am

      I would agree that most comments are from people who know Ubuntu or some other Linux distribution and had a chance to learn both Windows and Linux. The reason why people do not shift from windows is not only because it works. People are afraid of the unknown. They have got used to GUI of windows and are afraid of the Linux terminal and the incomprehensible command language. After using windows from the time it became available in India, I am now trying to switch to Ubuntu. Though I find that almost everything I was doing using windows can be done through the software available for Ubuntu, I find it difficult to comprehend the commands to be typed on the terminal, partly because I am in a hurry and is not trying to learn systematically.

      I feel people should start giving these options at an earlier period of their learning curve.

  31. Jason
    September 23, 2014 at 2:41 am

    "...there isn’t one thing that you can’t do faster ( in most cases), or more secure (ditto), in a linux OS." ...except run Adobe apps upon which I depend :-(

    • J V
      September 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Linux won't run Norton Antivirus either, in case you "depend" on that too. I got over it (run Mint, Puppy, Zorin, openSUSE and Ubuntu).

  32. Ken
    September 23, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I love some of the linux distros, especially Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I have used others, but overall I like the ease of usage on these. That said, there is one thing that I wish would change for linux users. Good video software. As far as video-to-dvd stuff, there isn't anything close to windows-based programs. And I hate that. Other than that, there isn't one thing that you can't do faster ( in most cases), or more secure (ditto), in a linux OS. Printer setup is insanely simple, wireless works almost every time. And security. And for the people who like the windows look, there is a deb file for that, too.

  33. Colin
    September 23, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Wubi is no longer supported in Ubuntu. A dual installation of Windows and Ubuntu should not slow down a computer, it will slow down your work when you have to reboot from one to the other. Could also use Windows in Virtualbox for programs that you need to use that will not work in Ubuntu any other way, this might slow down your computer. Gdebi should also be in the software centre. The terminal is nice to use, but most people can use Ubuntu without needing it.

    • null
      September 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      You can still use Wubi for newer versions:
      http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04.1/wubi.exe

    • Colin
      September 24, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      You are right, you can still use Wubi for Windows 7 and before. Windows 8 can give problems. It is not one of primary recommations for installing Ubuntu.

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