How can you switch to Linux?

Hey guys I stumbled upon your post and would definitely say for beginners grab a old pc with a intel core 2 duo or equivalent and 2-4gb of memory . Download LinuxMint Mate version / Ubuntu Mate.
Or go the VM route like VirtualBox even vagrant like @tsora mentioned.

at least for testing and learning .

I would highly recommend the Raspberry Pi approach if you want to learn Linux.

Modern Linux distros are beasts. They are not designed for someone to learn about the OS. Some attempt to hide the OS and provide a seamless desktop UI (eg Ubuntu). Other distros contain more experimental code. This all adds to the complexity of the underlying OS.

The RPi is designed as a learning platform. There is enough of a UI to make navigation easy, but not enough to get in the way of learning about the OS, and there are plenty of people willing to help. It feels like a return of the good old days of Linux.

Personally, I have blown away my windows partition and run Fedora on my laptop - I like to mess around in the OS. I run Windows on my wife’s computer because she is more comfortable with it. With Cloud/Web based apps the desktop OS is largely irrelevant. Unless you have a reason to switch (eg learning to be a sysadmin) or a project in mind I would run what you are most comfortable with on the desktop.

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I do not recommend listening to any advice about learning Linux from anyone who’s used Linux for more than 5 years. This includes me, so don’t listen to what I’m about to say:

The best way to learn Linux is to just install it and use it on a computer you actually want to use daily. If you don’t know which distribution, just pick Ubuntu --you might find a different distro later, but don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis in choosing one to start with. When you’ve found your way around the GUI (Ubuntu loves that meta/windows key, so make use of that) then go pick up a bash tutorial to learn the command line.

Linux runs on everything from watches to supercomputers. The notion that there’s a single way to learn it or even a single incarnation of Linux you should learn above all others is laughably obsolete. Yes, it’s all unix underneath, but what’s actually relevant is how you use it.


I think that Linux is a fun tool to use that has a lot of benefits. That being said, it also has a lot of setbacks. You’ll learn many of them in time. I have been a Windows user my entire life and I’ve only dabbled with Mac. I game a lot and have only really ever done development on a Windows machine. I switched to Linux for development after having used my Raspberry Pi right when it came out in 2012. I thought it was very interesting and started delving more into it. I know develop solely on a Linux machine at home (I am currently enjoying Ubuntu 16.04) and I have a separate Windows machine that is only for gaming. I have been practicing for the past year on my Linux box with relying less on using my mouse for navigation. You really can be more productive by not having to move your hands from the keyboard as often. There are text editors like VIM and EMACS that are centered around this idea too.

My advice would be to either get a Raspberry Pi or use an old laptop/pc that isn’t being used anymore to install Linux. Or try it on a live CD/USB to see what you think. I love it because of it being free and all of the other great resources that you can get on it like GIMP (similar to Photoshop), Inkscape (similar to Illustrator), LibreOffice (similar to Microsoft Office), and many more. Yeah it doesn’t really hold up in my opinion for gaming and it can definitely be intimidating to start but I think it is a very nice tool to be familiar with.

I still haven’t made the switch, But I will get a Raspberry Pi 3 to learn Linux… and to play some games too :slight_smile:

Packtpub ebook of the day is about Linux Mint essentials too ! Will give this a read.