We all love Windows, right? It’s a great operating system, there’s no doubt about that. However, what if I told you that Ubuntu was better? You may laugh and think that nothing could possibly be better than your beloved Windows, but in this article we’re going to look at 6 reasons why Ubuntu is better than Windows.
Some of you may think that Ubuntu is just for nerds, and that the average user wouldn’t be able to use it. So how on earth could it be better than Windows? Well the truth is that Ubuntu is not that difficult to use, in fact, it’s actually just as easy as Windows to use, if not easier in some respects. So then, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Ubuntu is better than Windows.
1. OS and Software Updates
Imagine the scenario: you sit down to do some work at your Windows PC, and just after getting stuck in to that important document you need to type up, you get a popup asking you to update Windows. Being the dutiful, security conscious user that you are, you decide to update and reboot your machine.
Fast forward another 10 minutes, you’re settling in again and wouldn’t you know it, Apple now pops up and lets you know that there is an update for their software also. Annoying? Yes!
You see, this is because Windows handles its operating system and application updates separately. So you will receive popups for different applications as and when they need updating. This makes the whole process very frustrating, to the point were many people just turn them off.
Ubuntu is different. Everything is done via repositories and it uses a dedicated update manager to update both the operating system and all of the applications installed. So you only ever have to manage your updates from one place. This makes the process far slicker and means users tend not to turn them off — which means you are more secure. Speaking of which…
2. Computer Security
Windows has a number of security features that you can use to help secure your system, but there’s no getting away from the fact that Ubuntu is more secure than Windows.
User accounts within Ubuntu have far fewer permissions by default than in Windows. This means that if you want to make a change to the system — like installing an application — you need to enter your password to do it. In Windows, you don’t. This makes it much more difficult to execute malware or a virus inside Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is also a lot less popular than Windows. That means that the bad guys who make all the viruses don’t really care about it, so they don’t bother writing much malware for Ubuntu: that’s great news for us users!
Also, a lot of the bad guys use Linux distributions like Ubuntu themselves, so although Ubuntu isn’t impervious to viruses, as a Linux distro, it’s less likely to get infected. But the scenario is not impossible, which is why you should always use anti-virus software in Ubuntu.
3. Desktop Customization
There isn’t that much you can do with Windows when it comes to customization. Windows 10 gives more customization options than previous versions, but it’s still nowhere near that of Ubuntu.
You’re pretty much limited to changing your wallpaper and start menu colors in Windows, but in Ubuntu any aspect of the desktop can be easily changed. Want the window buttons on the right? No problem. Don’t like the icons? It’s easily fixed. Maybe the Ubuntu fonts don’t float your boat? Say no more!
The screenshot below is my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop. The changes I have made took around 5 minutes to apply and it looks very different from a stock install.
4. System Resources
Not everyone can afford an all-singing, all-dancing computer. So for some, the latest version of Windows may be out of their budget. However, the latest version of Ubuntu need not be.
On a test machine, I ran stock Ubuntu and stock Windows 10, and as you can see from the results below Windows 10 used almost double the amount of RAM as Ubuntu. Now that might not seem like a big difference, as this test machine has 8 GB RAM. But if your machine has 2 GB of RAM, that would mean that you have 60% of your RAM utilized in Ubuntu, or 90% utilized in Windows 10 and that’s before you start opening applications.
If your machine has even less resources than this, then there are lightweight versions of Ubuntu and Linux available that use even less system resources. This means that your computer could last years longer than you thought it would.
5. Live Environment
If you haven’t used Windows before and decide you want to give it a try, you have to commit to installing it on your machine beforehand. That could lead to problems such as data loss, if you later decide you don’t like Windows.
That’s not the case in Ubuntu.
In Ubuntu — and many other Linux distributions — you can burn the image to a CD, or write it to a USB stick and boot it up straight from that media. This is a fully working version of the operating system, which means you can try every aspect of Ubuntu without having to commit to installing it on your hard drive.
Don’t like it? No problem: just reboot your machine and you will be back on your previous operating system as if nothing had ever happened.
6. It’s Free
That’s right, Ubuntu is 100% free. It won’t cost you a penny (although you can make a donation on their download page). I know what you’re going to say: “but Windows 10 is also free.”
Whilst it was offered as a free upgrade until the end of July, that offer is no longer valid (although there are other ways you can still upgrade).
If you want to buy Windows 10 it will cost you $119.99 for the Home edition and $199.99 for the Professional edition, that’s a lot of money. So why not save that cash and put it to better use elsewhere? You could download the latest version Ubuntu for free instead.
Windows vs. Ubuntu: Which Do You Prefer?
Overall, both Windows 10 and Ubuntu are fantastic operating systems, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s great that we have the choice.
If you’re ready to give Ubuntu a shot, here’s how you can install Ubuntu on your Windows computer.