Is Ubuntu a Replacement for Windows?
Linux as an Operating System
The idea of using a Linux-based operating system instead of Windows is strange to some people. However, I have found that I quite enjoy using Ubuntu.
I am going to go over the reasons why you may want to use Ubuntu instead of Windows 10. I also discuss why you may not want to use Linux.
Table of Contents
- You Will Need to use Open Source Software
- Have You Ever Used a Linux Distribution Before?
- You Will Use the Terminal Often in Linux
- Some Common Bash (Linux Terminal) Commands
- Ubuntu Can Be Very Pretty
- Linux Is More Secure Than Windows
- Ubuntu Still Has Some Flaws
- Some Software Will Not Run on Ubuntu
- The Linux Gaming Problem
- Why Do so Few People Use Linux for Games?
- There Is Some Progress to Get Better Game Support on Ubuntu
- My Personal Thoughts About Ubuntu
You Will Need to use Open Source Software
Linux Is Open Source
Ubuntu is open source. You will mostly be using open source on Linux. Outside of web applications and few other things. If you do not like how open source software looks or works you probably will not like Linux very much.
A Lot Open Source Software
There are many great open-source software options to choose from. Open-source software in many cases can be just as good if not better than alternatives.
Some Open Source Software Examples
- Audacity is a program to record to edit and record audio files.
- Firefox is an open source web browser.
- GIMP is an open-source image editor.
- LibreOffice is an alternative to Microsoft Office.
- Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a software to record video and stream to Twitch.
- QBittorrent is an amazing alternative for uTorrent as a BitTorrent client.
- VLC is a video player that plays most if not all video files.
Have You Ever Used a Linux Distribution Before?
You Will Use the Terminal Often in Linux
Strange Blank Screen
The terminal at first is very odd and maybe unknown. You get thrown into a blank screen with a blinking cursor. Without any knowledge of what to do not much will happen.
Using Terminal Commands Is Very Important in Linux
Understanding how the terminal can be helpful requires some research and practice. Once you learn text commands and how to use them the terminal is helpful for certain daily tasks.
While it true in Linux there are plenty of options and menus to really work hard you need to learn terminal commands. Some troubleshooting steps require at the least the knowledge of copying commands and running them.
Some Common Bash (Linux Terminal) Commands
- Launch programs by name and use optional parameters for specific tasks.
- Use apt-get to install and update software.
- Use the ls command to see the contents of a directory.
- Use the mv command to move files and directories around.
- Use the mv command to rename files and directories.
- Use the rm command to delete files and directories.
Ubuntu Can Be Very Pretty
Ubuntu Can Look Great
Most people are going to prefer to doing things visually. Ubuntu is also great for providing great looking software and themes. This is a factor to consider when deciding if to use Linux or not.
There Are Multiple Desktops
Ubuntu has multiple desktop options. I use Ubuntu MATE myself. With Ubuntu MATE I was able to choose a theme for my desktop and icons. In some cases, Ubuntu has more built-in customization options than Windows does!
Linux Is More Secure Than Windows
There Are Much Fewer Viruses That Target Ubuntu
I won't say that is impossible for Ubuntu to get infected by malware because this is not true. But the chances of getting infected are lower.
On Linux You Need Root to Do Anything Serious
The main reason is due to how Ubuntu handles permissions. You need Root/Administrator rights to do anything serious. Without these permissions, viruses and infected software can't do anything.
On Ubuntu No Antivirus Software Is Required
On Ubuntu, using an antivirus software is not needed or recommended. I am much safer browsing online with Ubuntu since most people use Windows. Hackers are going to target the operating system with the larger install base.
Great for Browsing the Web
Ubuntu is great for using Google Chrome or your favorite web browser of choice. I used an Ubuntu distribution on a laptop before. It ran great.
Ubuntu Has Some Flaws
Ubuntu Still Has Security Issues
There are vulnerabilities in Ubuntu like any other software. If I were to install and use an infected software and give it administrator rights, I would be in deep trouble. Thankfully there are many security updates and patches for Ubuntu.
Be Careful of What Software You Use
Always be careful when installing new software on any operating system! There is a certain amount of trust you must put in developers.
Open Source Software Is Safe but Still Could Have Issues
Open-source software tends to be safe since there is many eyes on it. But there is always a risk with unknown programs or software.
Only Download Software from Safe Sources
Only install software and from trusted sources! The same advice applies to Bash scripts.
Some Software Will Not Run on Ubuntu
Sometimes You Just Need Windows
Some people have critical software that just doesn't work on Ubuntu. This issue is a huge flaw. If you need certain software for your job or business and it doesn't work, then Ubuntu is not helpful.
There Are Some Workarounds
There are some ways to get Windows software to run on Ubuntu. But none of them are very user friendly. They may work sometimes and will not work in other instances.
WINE is a popular software layer that some people use. It can run some Windows programs and games. When it does work it tends to work well but most of the time, I had issues trying to use WINE.
The Linux Gaming Problem
Less Than 1% of Steam Users Use Linux
According to the Valve Steam Hardware & Software Survey, less than 1% of people used Linux in January 2019. The number of Linux users was 0.82% of people who agreed to complete the survey.
Linux Is Not Used for Playing Games
Not even the most optimistic person can argue against that very few people use Linux for games. It is important to note that Steam is one of the biggest computer game stores. This number is very significant.
Why Do so Few People Use Linux for Games?
Few People Use Linux
Few people use Linux, to begin with. So, there will be fewer people playing games on it. Software developers will be less likely to want to support Linux because of fewer sales.
Some Games Will Not Work
You will not be able to play the most popular multiplayer games on Linux. This issue alone is a reason to stop some people from using Ubuntu to play games.
There Is Some Progress to Get Better Game Support on Ubuntu
There is some progress being made to get more games running on Linux. Valve recently started working on Proton. This is an easier to use version of WINE. You install the games like normal and they ideally should run. Proton still needs a lot of work, but it has already made some previously unplayable games work on Linux.
My Personal Thoughts About Ubuntu
I Use Ubuntu MATE
I use Ubuntu MATE. I am currently using the 18.10 release.
Why Ubuntu MATE?
I used Ubuntu MATE as I really liked the MATE desktop. I like how it looks, and it has the customization options I want. I also like the default applications that come installed.
I considered using Windows 10 again but I decided to keep on using Ubuntu.
I am thinking about switching to Ubuntu Budgie when the 19.04 version of Ubuntu is released. I like how this desktop looks and it has better default software I think.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2017 Eric Farmer