Why Ubuntu Is a Good Replacement for Windows
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 as my main operating system. I am going to go over the reasons why you may want to use Ubuntu instead of Windows 10.
The current version of Ubuntu is 18.04 Bionic Beaver. This is a long-term service release (RTS). 18.041 is releasing at the end of July, and 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish will be released in October this year.
My Linux Credentials
I do not remember the first time I used a Linux distribution. I have used a laptop with Linux Mint in the past, and I have run multiple virtual machines with Linux on it. Ubuntu MATE is the first time I am using Linux as my main computer operating system.
I am using Ubuntu MATE 17.10 and I most likely going to update to 18.04 soon. I plan on sticking with 18.04 for a long time when I do upgrade to it, and I will skip 18.10. I did not want to use the Unity desktop, and I will most likely keep on using MATE as I don't partially like the Gnome desktop either.
Open-Source Software Is Great
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.
- VLC is a video player that plays most if not all video files.
- Audacity is a program to record to edit and record audio files.
- LibreOffice is an alternative to Microsoft Office.
- Firefox is an open source web browser.
- QBittorrent is an amazing alternative for uTorrent as a BitTorrent client.
- Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) +is a software to record video and stream to Twitch.
- GIMP is an open-source image editor.
I could keep providing examples, but you get the idea. There are many decent open-source options to use.
Have You Ever Used a Linux Distribution Before?
Typing Commands in the Terminal Like a Hacker Is Fun
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. 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. The terminal is great for moving files and directories (folders) around. You also use the apt-get commands to update and install new software.
Some Common Reasons to Use Bash
- 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.
- Use apt-get to install and update software.
- Launch programs by name and use optional parameters for specific tasks.
Have You Ever Used Terminal Text Commands Before?
Most people are going to prefer to doing things visually. Ubuntu is also great for providing great looking software and themes. 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!
Less Chances of Getting Malware
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. 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, 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.
Ubuntu Has Some Flaws
There are vulnerabilities in Ubuntu like any other software. If I were to install and use an infected software and give it admin rights, I would be in deep trouble. Thankfully there are many security updates and patches for Ubuntu.
Always be careful when installing new software on any operating system! There is a certain amount of trust you have to put in developers. Open-source software tends to be pretty safe since there is a large number of eyes on it. But there is always a risk with unknown programs or software. Only install software and from trusted sources! The same advice applies to Bash scripts.
There used to be a joke where people would trick others into running a script that would delete the victim's entire hard drive! The evil command is rm -rf /. The rm stands for remove, and this command deletes files. The r stands for recursive. This command means delete everything inside. The f stands for force. The / is the root directory and the beginning of the file system.
Sometimes You Just Need Certain Software
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. Ubuntu is best used as a personal operating system or for certain specific needs.
The Linux Gaming Problem
I could not end this article without bringing up the gaming problem. Fewer video games run on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. You can't play many popular online games and AAA titles on Linux distributions. Few people play games on Linux, so few games get ported/made for Linux. This issue is a huge turnoff for many gamers, and I can not blame them for wanting to use Windows because it runs all of their games.
Ubuntu is great for playing smaller indie games. These types of games tend to have Linux support. Steam supports games on Ubuntu, and a few other stores do as well. So it is not that you can't play video games on Ubuntu. Your choices will be limited.
The Idea of Switching Back to Windows Is Something I Am Always Considering
Despite being pretty loyal to Linux and Loving Ubuntu, I am considering going with Windows again when I build my next desktop computer. You the reader may be a bit puzzled. Why would I consider this after stating how much I love to use Ubuntu?
There are multiple tiny issues I have that add up to be a big annoyance. I am considering buying a laptop that I can run Linux on even if my main computer doesn't anymore. I am most likely going buy a Chromebook though as I enjoy what Google is doing with the Chrome OS (operating system).
Don't let this segment completely contradict the whole article. I still very much love Ubuntu and open source software, and I plan on using Ubuntu still for some years. Even if I start to use Windows again, I still will heavily use open source software.
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© 2017 Eric Farmer