Is Ubuntu a Replacement for Windows?

Updated on June 25, 2019
EricFarmer8x profile image

Eric has always loved to tinker with, and test software, and using computer software would become his great passion.

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.

Ubuntu logo.
Ubuntu logo. | Source

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.

The icons of common open-source software.
The icons of common open-source software.

Have You Ever Used a Linux Distribution Before?

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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.

The terminal on Ubuntu MATE.
The terminal on Ubuntu MATE.

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!

MATE desktop with the Adapata-Nokto theme and Papirus-Dark icons.
MATE desktop with the Adapata-Nokto theme and Papirus-Dark icons.

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.

About WINE

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 Budgie

I am using Ubuntu Budgie. I am currently using the 19.04 release.

Why Ubuntu Budgie?

I wanted to try the Budgie desktop because I thought it looked nice. I decided to download Ubuntu Budgie and try it for a while.

This is my favorite version of Ubuntu yet. I love the default applications, and I was able to apply themes easily enough.

Future Plans

Recently Ubuntu stated they would drop support for 32 programs. They did backtrack this statement, but this worried me. I don't plan on staying on 19.04 for too long as this is not a long term service release.

I am honestly thinking of trying a non Ubuntu distribution for a change. I am strongly considering Manjaro. This is based on Arch Linux.

I have plenty of time to decide. Ubuntu 19.04 is supported until January 2020.

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Eric Farmer

    What do you think about Linux and open-source software?

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      • profile image

        Dodio 

        11 months ago

        I like ubuntu too for software development

      • S.K. profile image

        Craig Holman 

        20 months ago from Dallas, Texas

        Great read! I'm going to take your advice and do more research into using Ubuntu.

      • EricFarmer8x profile imageAUTHOR

        Eric Farmer 

        21 months ago from Rockford Illinois

        I have tried Mac OS once in the past. I think I probally rather have a iPad than use a Apple based computer.

      • mugisha adamz profile image

        musubaho mugisa 

        21 months ago from uganda kasese

        try mac os its exclusively fine

      • profile image

        Grant 

        21 months ago

        I prefer Ubuntu as well. I use it to mine cryptocurrency. It's awesome for that as well. The OS makes me feel more secure with it's defense mechanisms. Cheers!

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