Why Windows XP Users Should Switch To Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr”

Danny Stieben 05-05-2014

Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr” is here, and this isn’t an ordinary release – this is an LTS (long-term support) release. This means that the release will be supported for a full 5 years, which is great piece of mind after support for Windows XP ended Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps It's time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it's time to upgrade. Read More .


In fact, if you’re still trying to dump Windows XP but haven’t found an alternative yet, Ubuntu 14.04 is a great choice. Let’s take a look at what makes it awesome, and why it’s a great choice for Windows XP refugees.

Easy to Learn and Use

Although Ubuntu doesn’t look very much like Windows, don’t worry – it’s very easy to learn. You can come into Ubuntu with most (but not all) of the same assumptions that you have in Windows.

For example, the window control buttons (close, minimize, and maximize) are on the top left corner rather than the top right corner.

The “Start Menu” is replaced by the Dash button (near the top left of the screen with the Ubuntu logo on it), which allows you to open any application you have installed, search for any file on your system, and anything else that extends the functionality of the Dash through “lenses”. For example, it’s because of the shopping lens that you get search results from Amazon. The remaining icons on the left pane are open and pinned programs, just like on a taskbar in Windows.

Installing applications is also very easy. You don’t even have to scour the Internet for applications; instead, you can find them all right in the Ubuntu Software Center. A handful of popular programs, as well as functional alternatives to ones you’ve heard or might have used, will be freely available for you to download from there. It also makes installing them easier too – you just have to click once and type in your password. That’s it.


If you need help, we even have an article all about making Linux a genuine Windows replacement Making Linux a Genuine Windows Replacement With Windows 8 casting a long shadow over the PC industry and Valve committing to create Linux-based gaming PCs, there's never been a better time to start using Linux. For many users, the Linux desktop... Read More .

Most Supported Version of Linux

Ubuntu is a fantastic Linux choice because it has the largest user base, meaning that you as a user won’t be left behind by developers. If you ever need help while using Ubuntu, you should also be able to find answers rather easily based on the sheer amount of other Ubuntu users out there.

Additionally, Ubuntu is based off of Debian, a sturdy Linux distribution that is the base of choice for a lot of other popular distributions. The combination of these two reasons means that any software that’s made for Linux will almost always be available for Ubuntu, especially games.

Support for 5 Years

Let’s face it – you’ve been on Windows XP all the way until now because you don’t bother with upgrading. And that’s fine so long as the operating system you use still receives patches. Sadly, this isn’t the case for Windows XP anymore, so I’m glad that you’re considering switching to a supported operating system.


Remember when I said earlier that Ubuntu 14.04 was an LTS (long-term support) release? This significant LTS designation means that this version of Ubuntu will be supported with critical updates and security fixes for the next five years. For someone who doesn’t like upgrading to new operating systems, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

Better yet, once those five years are up, it’s easy (and still free!) to upgrade to the newest Ubuntu LTS release. It’ll even prompt you and then take of the rest automatically when the time comes!

Changes Compared to 13.10

If you’re already an Ubuntu user, that’s great! Upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 is highly recommended simply because of all the benefits that you’ll receive from an LTS release. However, in terms of changes compared to 13.10, there aren’t really as many as a new release usually brings.

Of course, there’s a bunch of updated software (Linx 3.13 and GNOME 3.10, for those keeping track). Unity and the Ubuntu theme have also gotten some additional polish with items such as anti-aliased window corners and the ability to place application menus in the application’s title bar rather than the top system panel.


The “web apps” that used to use Firefox or Chromium now use Ubuntu’s new self-built browser, which for the time being means that the experience is a lot worse than it was because the new browser is far more buggy.

The extra focus on polish also means that 14.04 is more stable, and will continue to become more stable during the span of its lifetime.

The only other notable item is that Ubuntu One is no longer included. This isn’t because it was taken out of Ubuntu, but because Canonical decided to shut it down completely.

Getting It

You can get Ubuntu 14.04 by heading to their download page. They also offer ways to download the distribution via torrent, for a speedier download.


Once you have the ISO image downloaded, you can burn it to a DVD or write it to a USB drive Linux Live USB Creator: Easily Boot Linux From Your Flash Drive Read More and boot off of that media.


Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr” is another great release that will be great to use for the next 5 years.

If you’re a Windows XP user considering the switch, do it! Remember that you can always try Ubuntu before committing to an installation. You’ll see the option between the two when you boot up your media.

For current Ubuntu users, it won’t be a very exciting upgrade, but it’s still one well worth it.

What’s your favorite part about Ubuntu 14.04? What do you plan to do with the new release? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Linux Distro, Ubuntu, Windows XP.

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  1. einat162
    February 17, 2017 at 6:38 am

    If you are here because you are thinking of getting into Linux (any version of it)- DO IT.

    Ubuntu takes a little time getting used to from Windows, but you'll be amazed from what you'll be getting, free and legal (for example- the software GIMP shown in one of this article pictures is a very good free alternative to Photoshop). If you are a gamer however, I would think twice or suggest you do more research.

  2. Jon
    December 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Easy to use! You're kidding right. Look at Unity. Just look at it. You say that the Dash replaces the start menu? No it doens't? It's not even a menu. It's a mess. Installing applications os very easy? No it isn't. You have to enter a password every time and sometimes the software center just crashes. It's happened before. The last time that I tried to use Ubuntu I had to to open up a terminal to type ina command just so the the software center could even search for software. This whole article is a lie. Ubuntu is not good for Windows users.

  3. indie
    April 22, 2015 at 10:22 am

    • What are the difficulties, related to usability, someone may face when switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu 14.04

  4. Deimon
    April 10, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Mike Walsh, I can't believe you, I have only 2 Gb ram in my system and Windows 8 fly.. I have tested all linux exists and for exists.. and they are so slow in comparative with Windows 8, even W8 is better than XP.

    The main linux problem is with video card drivers, if you have a old card you could not play well videos even youtube, and see the linux interface respond slowly is a really headache. all linux can do slowy if you have not 3D acceleration, don't matter if it's puppy linux, or ubuntu 14..

    For linux, you need a compatible 3d acceleration card, even some nvidia cards don't work well... if you have not a good 3d acceleration, only keep with XP and his old drivers.

    And If you can run linux with hardware acceleration, that mean just one thing.. that W8 can fly in that computer..

    I was tired to try puppy, lubuntu in old cumputer, and get it very slowly.. but they are just good to see the mail.

  5. poorguy
    February 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    i like ubuntu and have had some issues with all linux distros that i have run. depending on hardware it will easily work obe a real pain in the ass. most problems were easily worked out with some effort. some i just gave up. one can't bitch or complain about linux as the are free to try and yes you may be required to think.
    i am a long time user of windows and just decided to try ubuntu and have no complaints or problems that i wasn't able to solve with help from web searching. however some hardware or graphics cards simply aren't giong to run with ubuntu or other distros.

    the poorguy

  6. yotoprules
    February 9, 2015 at 6:49 pm


    instead of getting linux, why not get windows 10 when it comes out? they are bring back the start menu and just as easy to use as xp, only easier.

  7. Mike Walsh
    December 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    To be perfectly honest, speaking as an ex-XP user who migrated to Linux (Ubuntu, Lubuntu & Puppy Linux back in May this year, all I will say is that I'm glad I made the switch. The various Linux forum communities happen to be some of the friendliest people I've yet found on the net.....and helpful doesn't begin to describe the amount of assistance I've received (and in my turn, given).

    Sure, it's different from Windows.....but not overly so. And yes, you do need to be prepared to get your hands dirty, in a manner of speaking, in the early stages. But after you've done that, it's well worth the effort! I've yet to find one thing that Linux doesn't handle better than Windows.....and I use some pretty heavy-duty graphics applications, including a fair amount of CAD work.

    When all's said & done, though, what a huge number of people don't seem to be able to comprehend, is that Linux isn't TRYING to 'take over' from Windows. If you want to use it - and you find you like it - then people in the community will bend over backwards to try and help you. But if you take the attitude 'Oh, I don't like this.....why can't it work like Windows? (grumble, grumble)', then you're likely to be told, 'Well, why don't you bog off BACK to Windows, then'.....and rightly so. Linux is all about CHOICE. You choose which distro suits you, which desktop environment suits you.....which browser suits you, which way of handling your updates suits you.....and you really assemble your own, custom-made O/S.

    I'm running Puppy Linux on a 10-yr-old Compaq Presario desktop PC, with 3 GB of DDR1 RAM, and a 160 GB WD Caviar 'Black'. It was a top flight machine in the hey-day of XP, but it can't handle Windows 7, never mind 8 or 8.1.....because the hardware isn't up to the job. But with Puppy Linux (where the entire O/S sits in about 250 MB of RAM.....compared to the 15 GB or so for Windows 8.1), it absolutely FLIES. Boots up in about 15 seconds, shuts down in 5; Chrome opens up in 5 seconds flat, and I'm browsing while my mate's Windows 8.1 laptop is still thinking about booting-up.....

    The nice thing about Linux is that it will revive old hardware, and 'bring it back to life'.....which I think is an important consideration. Where is the point in throwing away hardware that still works? I'm running Puppy on an ancient, 12 yr-old Dell Inspiron 1100.....and it's like a new machine again; snappy, responsive, and able to handle FAR more than it ever could when it, too, was running XP..!!

  8. Fred Dickey
    August 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Ubuntu with Unity requires just as much graphics adapter power as Windows 7. Most machines running XP are trapped at that level of OS because they are single core systems with a crap video adapter (less than 512MB video memory with poor 3D support).

    I just got through testing out a version of Ubuntu called Xubuntu on such a machine and it runs just as fast as XP on such old hardware. I would recommend it over Ubuntu with Unity for these machines. You still have the Ubuntu Software Center and can load distros made for Debian/Ubuntu so you get Ubuntu as a modern secure OS without it dropping your outdated hardware into slow motion.

    • Mike Walsh
      December 15, 2014 at 12:10 am

      Hi, Fred.

      While I agree with your comments about Unity (which are true for a lot of people), I myself use a single -core system (an AMD Athlon 64) with a 'crap' video adapter (Radeon Xpress 200 series, with 256 MB video memory), and it handles Ubuntu Unity beautifully.

      I think the reason for this is that I took the time and trouble to configure Unity PROPERLY, so that it uses as few silly effects as possible; what do I want with spinning cubes & 'wobbly' windows?

  9. Ryan
    July 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Lubuntu is a nice, clean Ubuntu based distro but for the middle ground, I'd recommend PCLinuxOS. More RAM is *recommended* (at least 1GB) but It's the most complete Linux distro I've come across.

  10. Radu
    July 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Ubuntu used to be a viable upgrade some years ago.
    While it gets updated frequently and it is a modern operating system, it doesn't do well with older hardware anymore.
    I have installed it on a Compaq 610 wich runs on an Intel celeron M 570 cpu (single core , 2.26 ghz ) and one gb of ram and i gotta say , it's far slower than windows xp. I've polished it even further , i've applied different tips and tricks to make it faster (including disabling unity UI) but it only got a bit faster than before.
    The pc feels sluggish and i'm seriously thinking about reverting back to windows xp with its flaws and goods.

  11. 0liver
    June 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Yet, they can't play all their games.

  12. 0liver
    June 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Yet, they can't play all their games.

  13. swt
    June 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    The problem with linux is that there are too many distros. People want things standardized and simple. Most people that I support that are using windows don't want to learn new things. Even new versions of windows. They want to sit at their computer and do their work with out having to learn something new. As the old saying goes " KISS" Keep It Simple Stupid! When I suggest to people that they can get tutorials on line for free, they say " I'm not going to do it on my time. Or I don't have time to learn it when I get home.

    Standardize Linux!

  14. Paul S
    June 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I have a 2005 Dell D800 Latitude I'd like to switch from XP but it is a non-PAE machine. Current Mint & Ubuntu won't install. I want a simple solution, not try this, try that etc. George Schwarz mentioned this type of problem earlier. As luck would have it, my printer is non-HP & I have a Canon flatbed scanner of about the same vintage. I would try out solid suggestions using Live CD type trials. Thoughts?

  15. MyndPhantom
    May 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Linux Lite is great also Manjaro is not as hard to learn as some might think :)
    join us at

  16. Kate A
    May 21, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I have played around with a few previous releases of ubuntu and decided to use it full on after XP was dropped. It seems so much easier than it did when I first tried it about 6 or 7 years ago. I mostly use the computer for browsing and writing text; it is a bit annoying that I have to get used to some different packages than the ones I am used to but given the massive saving over buying a new Windows OS it is far preferable. From what I have seen I reckon moving from XP to Ubuntu is probably a lot simpler than moving to Windows 8. I did think I needed to do a bit of trouble shooting and terminal use but in the end it turned out that once I had updated and restarted it had sorted itself out anyway. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but anyone looking for options has no reason not to try it out.

  17. ?????? ?
    May 20, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I find your content useful, but I don't find a option to share to blogger or wordpress or webs please add those

  18. Tim
    May 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I have always been fascinated by the sheer volume of passion some blogs display, when it comes to Windows vs Linux.

    As an ex-corporate support professional, I have been looking after windows systems all my life, but when it comes to recommending Linux over Windows solutions - I always hit the same issue.

    Gone are the days when a novice couldn't install it, gone too (almost) are the insane driver issues - that would stop you from proceeding because the screen didn't display anything.

    All good.

    However, in Windows world, software packages have names like 'Photoshop' - which describe their function within the name. In Linux world we have names like 'Gimp'....

    This means a novice user, searching for a photo editing program, scan reads the word Gimp and has no understanding that this might suit his purpose. I come across this continually.

    Linux world is choc full of process and program 'names' that are meaningless to novice users and as a consequence, make any transition harder.

    Xfce / Gnome / Lxde anyone?

    I'm not saying Windows and OSx don't have these issues, I am saying that generally they both have better semantics and are easier to comprehend.

    It appears to be exceptionally rare, that anyone ever considers operating system ergonomics and semantics. One of the reasons people spend so much money on Apple machines, is that Apple do. The hardware and the OS are beautifully paired down to the essentials - and function *flawlessly* without user frustration or confusion.

    I have never owned a Mac though, primarily because I'm a techie and require bespoke hardware - and would never pay the premium - but I understand why people do.

    For any version of Linux to go head to head with Windows or OSX - for newbies, the ergonomics/semantics need to be completely overhauled. Users are never going to care how somethings works - they just want it to work - and function like a light switch: dead simple and reliable.

  19. ed
    May 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    sorry to say but many XP computers wont even run Ubuntu 14 because they lack 3D accelleration.
    Lubuntu probably would be a better choice
    Funny you illustrate it with the GIMP example. Gimp is such a hideous program that that solely is a reason for me to have at least one windows computer for Photoshop.
    Anybody saying Gimp is as good as Photoshop obviously never has used at least one of those

  20. Jim K
    May 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    People still using Windows XP don't want to learn a new way of doing things. Give them a start button or something similar(kde, gnome, XFCE, and LXDE have something like a start button.). Also forget Linux Mint. When you upgrade you have to reinstall the whole operating system. If they are still using windows XP, give them something you can upgrade in place, please. When suggesting a distribution try to think of the person who will be using it, what they are using now, what is good about what they are using and what is bad about itand go from there. What they use now will give you a clue about what they need. Do not suggest something that while technically excellent what work for what they need. People using Windows XP either have specific applications they need to run. Or the want to use something they don't put much effort into for the long haul. Or there is something else you need to know which would drastically effect what they need.

  21. Gary
    May 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Need some help, I know almost nothing of Linux. I have a machine with 4GB memory and used to run Windows Vista. Some how this machine got trashed. When it starts ups it does check the DVD/CD before trying to boot. Boot up from the C drive does not go far. It asks for my backup. My backup was an external hard drive. That hard drive apparently has a bad sector and will not completely load to my computer. Long story short, there is no data on the computer I care about. I want to turn the whole machine to a Linux machine. I am trying to figure out which Linux to use. I would appreciate any help.
    Thank you very much

  22. Clyde A
    May 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I'm a Mint fan because of the built-in codecs, rather than having to install those later.

    • B-Dub
      May 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I went with SolydXK's SolydX for the same reason - built-in Codecs and VLC, w/ XFCE for my old Core3Duo laptop. As I understand it, SolydXK took over the on-going development of Linux Mint's KDE and XFCE Debian versions?

  23. Allan L
    May 8, 2014 at 9:49 am

    For old computers and out of the box working i tend to install Peppermint for my friends and would recommend anyone new to linux to try this distro first.

  24. Mary Brady
    May 8, 2014 at 1:54 am

    I really like Ubuntu 14.04 but have spent the better part of two weeks trying to get it to work with my printer. Am an intermediate computer user & am no slouch at searching for answers; found and tried several suggested fixes, but am unable to get my Brother printer to print. Am reading on most forums that Hewlett Packard is the only major printer manufacturer that focuses on Linux and open source, so if all else fails, I'll purchase a Hewlett Packard printer. I suggest that your machine have at least 2.5 GB of RAM if you want to run Ubuntu 14.04.

    • Mike Walsh
      December 15, 2014 at 12:17 am

      Ubuntu will happily run in about 1GB of RAM; but ONLY if you have a dedicated graphics card with its own GDDR3 or 5. THEN you will have NO IS Unity which is a big user of your available RAM when using integrated graphics adapters.

  25. pmshah
    May 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Unless one is working with a totally cleaned out hard disk I would not try and install any version of Linux on one's pc. Lately every time I have tried to install Linux it has trashed my MBR and have had to go through the painful exercise of undeleting my partitions. Where have those days gone where I was given a choice of installing the boot sector to the MBR or the installation partition ? Ever since the advent of GRUB and demise of LILO this is missing.

    From a variety of Linux flavours only ones that offered this option were Slackware, Mandriva and Puppy. I would not risk any other version if I have any other data on my hard disk.

    • Mike Walsh
      December 15, 2014 at 12:20 am

      If you're using Ubuntu, upon installing, use the 'Something else' option when asked where you want to install it to. Then you can choose the partition you want to use.

  26. Rishi Raj
    May 7, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Danny, thanks for the post. It may well prove to be path changing or many people and organizations out there. I suggest you to add few more point to this post:
    1. Replacement to Microsoft Paint program is - Pinta. Its awesome and quite similar to Paint for looks and tools therein.
    2. Users may choose from various specialized flavours of Ubuntu. These include Lubuntu, Xubuntu,... Give reference to one older MUO post introducing these flavours.
    3. No need to install any program by youself to avail saving screenshots to files. It is provided prepackaged.

  27. Dale Ziemianski
    May 7, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I'm using 12.04 on this computer cuz when I tried 14.04 it decided I didn't need my video driver anymore. Anyone know how to install a driver for a K8M800 Micro AM2? :-

  28. michel
    May 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I tried it, and once again, had many problems. Few things ran right, some crashed outright and frequently, and it was a hell of a lot slower than Vista. I've tried ubuntu a few times over the years, and it's always been the same story.

    • Grcoeeg
      May 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Michel, Try Zorin 8 core as referenced earlier in this post, I first started with Zorin 6.4 core about a year and a half ago, it was great and now Zorin 8 just feels better. It was seamless for as a duel boot in both my older Dell laptops. One with Vista Ultimate and the other with Windows 7. Initially my Epson NX 330 printer would not hook up do to no drivers for that particular model but after a short note to the boys at Zorin, I looked about 3 weeks later and the drivers were there waiting for me and printer works fine. Zorin is made to look and act very very similar to XP and windows 7, it is very very fast. This 63 year old newbie to a Ubuntu/Linux OS just loves Zorin and never a hint of a crash or problem yet.

  29. George Schwarz
    May 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    To John B.,

    Thanks for those links. I'll take a look ASAP.

  30. Dave Frandin
    May 6, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I'm a retired Linux (and Windows.. (shudder)), and I'm running a small business in Las Vegas upgrading people from XP to Ubuntu.. Actually I'm using XUbuntu 12.04LTS, as I (and the users I've polled) do not like Unity. I haven't run XUbuntu 14.04LTS yet for long enough to start moving over to it.. Bottom line, take it from a 25 year Linux (and Windows) tech. GET OFF XP and join us on Linux....

  31. Bob
    May 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I am not a reguar linux user but I have found that MX14 works really well on old laptops - I have played with several from the 2004 era.

    [Broken Link Removed]

    Support community is excellent especially if you explain that you are a complete newbie and they will walk you through any problems you have.

    I have a couple of old think pads and mx14 automatically picked up the sound, mouse, keyboards and screen without any problems.

    I highly recommend this one for older machines and the only 'improvement' I have made is to install firefox. It already has libre office installed so that covers the majority of simple users needs!

  32. ColdFire001
    May 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I would love to move to Ubuntu but I get a Fatal Syncing Error and it says it panics and is "switching back to text console". So I tried Lubuntu figuring the resources were too much for my HP Pavilion 5700 Laptop. But I get the same message. Now I'm not asking for a solution because that would be off topic but just a place to get support. Please email me @ coldfirefusion001 at hotmail dot com. Thank you.

    • Col. Panek
      May 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Ubuntu has a large forum ( where you can search for help. It is unlikely that yours is unique among millions of Ubuntu users.

  33. George Schwarz
    May 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    When I contacted Justin Pot, MakeUseOf’s managing editor about the issues surrounding migraton to a Linux OS from XP, he agreed it would make a good topic. This article is a lot lighter than it should be.

    I have tried Ubuntu 13.1 and 14.04, Lubuntu and Mint on a 2003-era Toshiba laptop with a P4 single core CPU and 1 meg of RAM. Both full versions of Ubuntu bogged down. Mint and Lubuntu was nimble, but I favored the latter because of the GUI and how well it ran Chrome. None, however, connected to my Windows 7 home network nor would work with my networked printers. And I spent a long time researching and trying myriad solutions. (TeamViewer gave me a good work-around for some issues.)

    Part of the problem is the OS itself, which makes itself so secure that it is arcane and inscrutable. But — and here is the point in this post that will start the flame war — none of the Linux flavors nor the entire Linux community will win converts unless it loses it its coded-jargon-loaded, super geeky smugness. In trying to solve these two problems, I spent inordinate amounts of time surfing forums, YouTube and other sites, finding a gazillion suggestions (some obviously wrong) but none solving my problem. The problem is, in part, that the terminology and commands differ slightly from flavor to flavor and the terminal commands sometimes don’t work. It’s not that some of those sites or forums don’t have good stuff on them; but, finding the kernel (pun intended) in all the cyber-chaff is well-nigh impossible. As “helpful” as a wide range of forums said they wanted to be, they simply don’t talk to the audience of those who didn’t want to get deep into their nerdy world. All we want is for things to work easy-peasy, as one of the previous posters said.

    I am not whining. I am a fairly comfortable computer user, more or less serving as a one-man focus person (like a very small group, right?) as I try to keep old electronics working. If the Linux-open source world wants to break the hegemony of Microsoft for the PC platform and help keep older and very usable machines out of the landfills, it’s going to have to do better — a lot better — than this. If any of the three distributions I’ve tried (Ubuntu, Mint and Lubuntu) wanted a red cent for their product, I wouldn’t pay. Microsoft may stick it to us, but — like it or not — it works.

    • John B
      May 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      George, another good community which is pretty smugness-free is for Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu/Kubuntu and other officially supported versions of Ubuntu (e.g., Classic Gnome Ubuntu), or and [Broken URL Removed] for the Mint versions.

      I know that non-HP printers can be a big bugboo; I volunteer one day a week doing Xubuntu support at for the machines we refurbish. That's why I recommend HP printers, because HP supports the Linux community with drivers, unlike many other printer companies.

      And, I like Xubuntu, available from , because if seems to be the best balance of usability and speed; I found too many features missing from Lubuntu for my liking, much as I liked it.

    • Craig
      September 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      @JohnB The 2nd link you included for a Mint forum takes you to a community for Intuit's Mint financial product.

  34. MoisheP
    May 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    My Acer Aspire One D250-1165 netbook came with XP, and was slowing down as each update was added. Ubuntu timed their release of long-term supported Ubuntu 14.04 to coincide with MS abandonment of XP, so I tried the installation as a dual-boot OS, and it worked very well!
    All hardware was recognized, including display, audio, WiFi and external USB devices. It took a few minutes to create a partition for Ubuntu, and total time for installation was under 1/2 hour.
    Since I already used LibreOffice (rather than MS Office, which would have cost as much as the netbook), Thunderbird and Firefox, I didn't need much time to get comfortable. IrfanView, my favorite image viewer and editor, works well under Wine, though it took some time to figure out how to create a shortcut for it on the Unity Launcher.
    Applications start more quickly under Ubuntu than XP, and having a single menu bar for all apps saves vertical space, which is helpful on the 1024 x 600 screen.
    My one complaint, so far: I've not found a way to make a disk image from the mounted partition, but I should be able to run XP and use DriveImage XML and Windows Volume Shadow Service to back it up (or a Linux imaging app from a USB drive).
    The change to Ubuntu was easy and worthwhile, but I can always boot to XP if needed.

  35. dragonmouth
    May 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    If XP users are going to switch to Ubuntu with Unity desktop, they might as well stay with Windows and upgrade to 8.x.

    The Linux distro that most resembles XP and provides the easiest switch for XP refugees, is Zorin, not any of the *buntus.

    Just because Ubuntu has the "largest user base" does not mean that it translates into best support. Most of that user base are there because pundits and tech writers are pushing Ubuntu. Because of that the user base has a bigger percentage of newcomers than other distros.

    Speaking of other distros - Porteus, Mepis, Puppy, Slitaz, Mageia, PCLinuxOS will be just as easy, if not easier, to use than Ubuntu. They also have great support from their user communities. An additional advantage of non-Ubuntu-based distros is that they allow the user a greater control of their system.

  36. joey
    May 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    or, you could just keep using XP

  37. Jonathan
    May 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Ubuntu is good, no doubt about that but If I had to recommend an XP alternative that would be Linux Mint. The Menu system in Mint is more beginner friendly and the pre installed codecs are a treat, Those 2 features alone are already a good reason why Mint is the better choice, especially for those not very tech savvy.

    From time to time I tamper with Linux on VMWare Player to learn the ropes without breaking down my system and I have to say it has been a pleasant experience. Once I get my day to day software up and running with their native Linux binaries I'll start migrating my files.

    Lastly I think Windows XP is still good for home users, as a PC Tech I have many clients that are still using Pentium 4 computers with XP installed and most of the problems they encounter are self inflicted such as clicking the "Next" button without reading and ticking off 3rd party offers when installing software, or clicking shady links on less reputable websites.

    For people still wishing to use XP I recommend avast! free as antivirus, Spybot Search & Destroy, Spyware Blaster and Malwarebytes free. May sound a bit overkill with 4 anti malware software but it worked really good all these years.

    As for browser I always recommend Firefox over Chrome. I find that Chrome has a lacking of user privacy and it's more vulnerable to hijacks than all the rest of the browsers (This is based on my opinion and experience).

  38. Damien
    May 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

    For old PCs, best friendly user alternatives are Xubuntu and Lubuntu.
    Ubuntu is also great but may be for a more recent PCs.

  39. A41202813GMAIL
    May 6, 2014 at 6:16 am

    It Is Nice To Have Choices.

    Fortunately, I Do Not Need Them Yet.


  40. KT
    May 6, 2014 at 1:59 am

    Ubuntu and it's knock offs are improving a lot these days, I may even play around with some of them again. But I agree with some of the other posts, Mint was an easy transition for me from XP back in 2007, Ubuntu with Unity was not my cup of tea. I may try another Mint (13 irritated me a bit with it's network issues) if I ever get bored of PClinuxOS.

  41. Tom E
    May 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I had a laptop that I wasn't using any more, with some Windows-based OS on it (maybe 7? Vista?). Wiped the partitions and installed Ubuntu 14 on it about a month or a month-and-a-half ago.

    Some weird things that I had to Google about, but most everything "just worked." Second monitor? Plugged it in, was detected. Had an old webcam? Yep, found drivers for it. Network laser? Easy-peasy. Even a USB hard drive was plug-and-play.

    Most of my day-to-day software (Dropbox, browser, etc.) were easily installed, and only a few had weird unix instructions (KeeFox needed some Mint library, which it prompted me to install).

    I even went ahead and installed Plex media server - no issues on this machine at all!

    Just be ready to search for some things (e.g. where *ARE* programs installed to, for the "what program do you want to use to open this type of file" question), and to learn a little bit. Always a good thing to keep learning!

  42. Jello
    May 6, 2014 at 12:01 am

    No reason to. Made a switch to Windows 8 32bit. Its lighter than Windows 7. :)

  43. jymm
    May 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xbuntu. They are all Ubuntu. That is want makes Linux great, you have choice. KDE, , LXDE, XFCE and Unity, you get to pick the desktop you like. How many versions of Windows 8 do you have to choose from? It is not really an argument. It is what works and is right for you.

    • Col. Panek
      May 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      You can also run Cinnamon, Enlightenment and Mate, but it's easier to just get distros that have them baked in (Mint, Bodhi).

  44. Paul B
    May 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I'll use Lubuntu or Xubuntu (or the server version), but not regular ubuntu. Why? The things bloated with more crud than when you buy a retail windows machine.

  45. Luke
    May 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I tried Ubuntu and switched to Xubuntu. Easier to use than Ubuntu and the Xfce interface is more like windows.

    No Linux distribution is user friendly compared to Windows. Linux is a PITA by comparison. Once you (finally!!) get it configured the way you want it, basic features (web browsing etc) is nice to use.

    • David
      May 7, 2014 at 1:29 am

      I use multiple machines and operating systems every day. Using Linux as a Windows person is no more of a jump than using Windows 8 was from 7 (or xp > Vista). In many ways, Linux is less of a PITA because adding drivers and programs under Windows is seriously difficult and inefficient if you're doing it yourself. Yes, I know Windows 8 addresses many of the driver issues but at the same time, some not that old devices such as Cams and Scanners become effectively obsolete unless you do some heavyweight tinkering.
      In my opinion, the differences between Windows and Mac environments are greater but for some reason, most 'jumpers' are prepared to have a go.
      Further eveidence is with Smartphones. They are really computers with substantially different interfaces and methods but we were all prepared to 'have a go' and we all survived. The limitations of smartphones/tablets/pads hasn't prevented massive uptake. Anybody who suggets Linux is a PITA is quite right if they'r embedded in the ways of another system

    • Luke Bradley
      May 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

      You must be doing something wrong. I was around for the birth of Windows (and DOS...and the Apple OS for that matter) and was a "forced" user at work since its inception. Switched to Ubuntu at home a couple of years ago and it was like a re-birth. The more I use Linux, the more I hate Windows. No offense, but even a basic computer user would pretty much have to be a moron, or someone who completely screwed up the Linux installation, to think Ubuntu Linux is more of a Pain In The Ass than *any* version of Windows. As for the Ubuntu (or any flavor thereof) interface: Try using Windows 8 or 8.1, the Edsel of computing interfaces, if you want to talk about an absolutely crappy and confusing experience.

      And Mac? Never have figured out the long-term advantage of using a Mac for most people. In fact, for most people, never have figured out *any* cost-benefit advantage.

  46. Scott M
    May 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    What's the story with Netflix on Linux these days? It's one of the big things that was holding me back in the past, because I do most of my media consumption through it.

    • Crip
      May 6, 2014 at 1:22 am

      There is a ppa, that is supposed to work. It installs silverlite and wine to your system. If you google netflix and ubuntu you should find all the instructions. Not too difficult to install, couple of copy/paste commands. It did work on the ubuntu 13s, not sure about 14.04, but it still should work. Should work using the try ubuntu on the live dvd, if you don't mind redoing it if you install after.

    • KT
      May 6, 2014 at 2:04 am

      I got it to work on Mint 9 with some packages from the software manager. I can't remember if I used Wine or native Linux software. I know I had 4 gigs of DDR400 sdRAM, 2.4 gig dual core AMD cpu and a Geforce 210 graphics card on an older machine and it ran fine. I haven't tried it on my PClinuxOS system because I just stream movies from a "questionable" site, lol.

    • Danny S
      May 6, 2014 at 3:32 am
  47. Mike Bigelow
    May 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I made the the swich from xp to ubuntu last month (april) and have not looked back since. Ubuntu runs much smoother than xp did and the interface is awesome!

  48. kye
    May 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Ubuntu is not as light as it was some years ago. It will not roll good in old computers. Alse the interface is quite different from windows xp.
    Why don`t you recommand Linux Mint or Lubuntu ??
    They are extremely light and have 90% same interface as XP ...

    • Aidan
      May 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      +1 for Lubuntu. My father has a computer that’s basically pathetic at computing. I have no doubt that it was some sort of ‘powerhouse’ when it was first released but it’s now 2014. I installed Ubuntu a while ago and while it worked great it was awfully sluggish in some places. I installed Lubuntu over the top of Ubuntu (sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop) and it works great. Combine it with Google Chrome and it handels most tasks such as web browsing and word processing now problem at all…

    • jugo
      May 6, 2014 at 4:20 am

      Unity work quite bad some place. So I recommend Lubuntu for new bie. From 11.xx ubuntu is not good for old PC.

    • David B
      May 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

      I was considering deploying Ubuntu 12.04 some time ago to replace the ageing and poorly-maintained Windows XP machines at a public computer lab. The machines had 512MB of RAM which is a decent amount for running XP, but Ubuntu ran like an absolute snail on the test machine until I upgraded it's RAM capacity to 1GB and even then it's performance was middling. 1GB of RAM is the *absolute* minimum I would recommend for any heavyweight desktop environment (Unity, KDE, Gnome), so Ubuntu would definitely be unsuitable for machines with less than 1GB of RAM and potentially unsuitable for machines with 1GB of RAM. Xubuntu would make better use of RAM on a 1GB machine, and lighter-still Lubuntu would be able to run on a machine with 512MB of RAM. That needs to be kept in mind when recommending users to upgrade or not upgrade.

    • Anonymous0programmer
      May 29, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Well technically Mint and Lubuntu are currently based off of Ubuntu.

      It would be nice to have a seperate article discussing the differences between each distro and what is the best distro for different kinds of users and computers.