Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux


  • Ambassador

    @TalGarik said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    @Catweazle before using - your list - ¨an office suite, a web page, a video or any application¨ you need an OS which boots every day without issues, which installs and updates the OS and the applications without hiccups requiring even a minimum of technical expertise. M&A's OS's do that, linux distros don't. I have spent years trying to convince friends and family to use linux, in time everyone of them has switched back to windows because windows ¨just works¨
    the way I see it there are two reasons to use linux, a technical one (you have work to do which requires linux) and a political one (a quixotic stand against corporations) - if you don't fit into one of these categories linux will hurt your feet with no purpose (just like playing tennis wearing safety shoes).

    The only difference is that MS by default includes all the necessary drivers, whether FOSS or not, while in Linux it is necessary to add proprietary drivers later.
    As he said, I have used both Windows, as well as Linux (Kubuntu), and I have never had problems of any kind, despite massive daily use.
    If it is true that at the OS level, Windows is somewhat more intuitive to use than Linux, but outside of this I have never had difficulties with Linux, nor the first day using it as newbee.



  • That is exactly what i did years ago and i should of done it sooner.I went mint-buntu-slackware and then i have finally stuck with xenial puppy linux 32bit and it has been totally flawless.



  • @TalGarik said:

    you need an OS which boots every day without issues, which installs and updates the OS and the applications without hiccups requiring even a minimum of technical expertise. M&A's OS's do that, linux distros don't.

    Then please let me know if you have any idea why my Manjaro install boots every day w/o problems & I can upgrade it via GUI just by clicking some (few) buttons & entering my password…

    the way I see it there are two reasons to use linux, a technical one (you have work to do which requires linux) and a political one (a quixotic stand against corporations) - if you don't fit into one of these categories linux will hurt your feet with no purpose (just like playing tennis wearing safety shoes).

    Using Linux causes mostly ‘incompatibility’ w/ the Microsoftised people around me (i.e. what I do doesn’t require me to use it) & if the only pain of using Windows was hating corporations, I’d probably be OK. That said, Linux is much more convenient for me.


    Btw., nice signature. Do you use it voluntarily?


  • Ambassador

    @LonM said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    @Catweazle said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    An office suite

    Not all are created equal. I was helping someone who has to use LibreOffice instead of MS Office (we both are used to using MS) - oh my, LibreOffice's interface is dated.

    I spend several minutes trying to spot where the "change font colour" option was in the toolbar before giving up. Thankfully they have an easier to use ribbon interface which I eventually enabled.


  • Moderator

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    There is ONE reason for Windows: it gets pre-installed on every PC.

    Well, actually, there's plenty of hardware that comes with no software whatsoever. The reason for this is that a lot of people go for the cheapest option available, therefore such hardware attracts a lot of customers. They'll end up getting Windows anyway (although, in many cases, they go for the "free" version from Pirate Bay or whatnot), but that's mainly because they're already familiar with it and got used to it over the years, due to its popularity (and multiple different reasons, many of which some of you have already mentioned here).

    There's also the other group of customers who don't go for the pre-installed software, that is the people who build their own PC's. And there's hardly any software coming with certain components such as the CPUs, hard drives, memory, PSUs etc. You can get some free games with the graphic card at best. But I haven't seen any "Radeon RX 5700 + Windows 10 Pro" bundle so far...

    Therefore, it's hard to credit the fact that Windows comes pre-installed on almost every "ready-to-use" computer for its popularity. It didn't use to be like that back in the days of Windows 95 & earlier. Nowadays it comes pre-installed because it's popular, not the other way around (although, it's true that those two factors kind of "fuel" each other over time).

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    nowadays even the silliest Web page loads tens of JS libraries and huge slideshows, videos autoplaying everywhere and so on

    That's just lazy/bad web-development, which, unfortunately, seems to be the scourge of our time. There are still people out there who have very limited access to the Internet, but since they're the minority of the Internet users, very few developers make the actual effort to make their websites and services well-optimized, to use as little bandwidth as necessary. Same is true for the software - it's built to just work "well enough" on an average machine, but it's rarely optimized to use as little resources as necessary since most of the machines can handle it well anyway...



  • @potmeklecbohdan I hope you realize that we are not here to comment our personal experiences using linux, we are commenting the feasibility of recommending linux as a replacement to a windows user: I am sure you get the difference
    for a lifelong windows user just having to use constantly a password is a PITA, not to mention the implications and further disconcerting PITA should that former windows user decide one day to change that password: where are my browser settings? what is a keyring?
    this is not fiction, this is simply the experience I have made during so many years trying to convince family/friends/colleagues to use linux: it does not work.
    btw ¨linux is not a windows replacement¨ is what you can find on the home page of a lot of linux distros (probably tired of seeing their forums flooded by newbies who thought that linux was a windows replacement)


  • Moderator

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    Now we move from the few who use Linux because it is not pretty or intuitive to the "huge number" of those who build their own PC themselves. You are joking, right?

    You seem to have misunderstood my post completely. I didn't even mention Linux, to begin with, all I did was I explained why the fact that (nowadays) Windows comes pre-installed on so many computers can hardly be credited for its widespread use as a single or the main factor (which was your point, that I replied to).

    So, let me reiterate: it became so widely used (to the point that it is pre-installed on so many devices) for multiple reasons (that being marketing, its ease of use, compatibility, a big corporation behind it etc.) and since people always preferred to buy "ready-to-use" sets, then at some point, it simply became an inherent part of the "computer" set. This became one of the reasons why it can be found on so many devices today, but it's neither the main nor the original cause.

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    You bet that "hardware" like the case, CPUs, motherboards or video cards all come without Windows installed. It is not so easy to find complete computers that don't come with Windows pre-installed AND that are somehow "certified" for Linux.

    I don't know what you're replying to, because I generally agree with these points and I wasn't even raising any of them in my post... Besides, "certified for" to me was never anything more than a marketing babble.

    On a side note - it took me about 20 seconds to find a listing of about 15,000 PCs and about 5,000 laptops for sale that come with no OS pre-installed (as opposed to 70,000 Windows PCs and 40,000 Windows Laptops on the very same listing). Is it a lot? Is it a little? You decide...

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    Plus, the world "popularity" shows you don't actually understand the problem. There isn't any "popularity contest", vendors don't ask people what OS they prefer. Vendors cannot decide the terms of installing Windows, it is MS who decides. You want some million licenses with discount? Ok, you subscribe this exclusive contract that obliges you to install Windows on all these products of yours.

    Fair, I could've used a different word than "popularity" (by which I meant something being very common or widely used and not necessarily "loved"), yet I'm not sure if it could've helped you not to miss the point of my post completely, should my English be a little better. You're basically trying to reason with me over something that I agree with.

    @JohnConnorBear said in Why you should replace Windows 7 with Linux:

    I never met a "developer" who decides on his/her own how the site must be done. There is always somebody else who pass the specifics and these other people want the "wow effect" or want to add some stuff as part of some marketing campaign or partnership. (...)

    Then you didn't meet too many of them, but - unless you work in the field - it's not something unusual. There is a lot of company-hired developers and a lot of freelancers and - even though they technically work for somebody else - they can have a certain amount of "freedom" as to what methods do they use.

    Unfortunately, it is very common to cut corners (as it is in almost every field). It's quite easy to shove the entire jQuery library into a local giftshop's website because you're too lazy to call a few DOM elements using the "traditional" way. Most devices can handle it anyway, so almost nobody seems to care that it's an overkill.


  • Ambassador

    The same store where I bought my current laptop (Dynos), gives the PCs that sell with Windows only by default if the customer says nothing. They always leave it up to the customer what OS they want the PCs with.
    It is what all computer shops currently do, what happens is that most customers they don't say anything about it, buy a PC and voila, naturally they will have it with Windows.



  • @JohnConnorBear

    As far as a simple and intuitive graphical user interface is concerned, let's assume the OOTB Windows XP or Windows 7 fits that definition, since Windows (since 95) essentially copied the early Mac GUI, and those conventions of menus, task bar, start button, etc. have become the de facto standard. (88% market share vs <2% market share).

    Wallpaper is completely changeable so I'm not including that, although if there is (or was) a standard wallpaper it would have been the XP Bliss default wallpaper.

    I won't follow you into the weeds on the Linux/GNU kernel thing. The OP is speaking of Windows 7 users swapping their OS for Linux.

    Which begs the question: which Linux?

    To define terms, if this OP is written from the perspective of current (at the time, Win7) users switching from the MS universe over to the Linux universe, then that would entail the operating system, its GUI (and no, the 88% used to a GUI are not going to stop what they are otherwise doing to learn the hieroglyphics of the CLI of the highly splintered, less than 2 percent Linux universe), the range of devices that will work with that OS (e.g. drivers), the availability and ease of use of application software, and soooo importantly, how standard that software is across the business world.

    Linux has improved over the almost 30 years of its existence, as far as being intuitive and easy to use, largely by adopting Windows-like menus and keystroke combinations. I have seen commenters praise MINT and ZORIN as likely adoption candidates for those wanting to switch.

    Insofar as "revitalization" of hardware, it absolutely does exist. Machines 10 years or older were designed to work with WinXP or Win7, and the internet architecture similarly designed to work with WinXP and later, Win7 machines.

    But the overall architecture of the OS / desktop hardware / internet changed and now 32bit systems, fine in their heyday, were showing their age. Browsers, beyond a certain age, were rejected by websites, like banking applications and streaming video. Manufacturers took down driver support for motherboards, add-on cards and other devices.

    The 32bit machine with an Atom or Pentium-M processor had become an unsupported hunk of junk, at least in its Windows guise.

    Enter Linux, and specifically, the small constellation of distros coded specifically to work with such hardware and have device drivers for such hardware.

    The machine, which was otherwise an orphaned outcast from the Windows universe, could now operate with sufficient speed, could communicate again with its devices (sound, video, wifi, etc..) and to be able to once again surf the internet so as to comprise a second lease on life, eg, revitalized.

    So Linux does have a place for those who want to extend the useful life of at least some older machines.

    The only remaining question is whether, once revitalized by distros such as LXLE or Linux Lite, whether they can have their GUI themed to resemble the Win2000 / WinXP / Win7 desktops, to give the install a familar face to those who have otherwise been using Windows all along.

    This last item causes apoplexy in some of the more prissy Sheldon Cooper type purists, while other Linux users jump in with both feet to welcome converts and compile Windows- themed icon and taskbar packages for exactly that purpose.

    And that's a good thing.



  • @Gaëlle Thank you. Merci. Danke.

    Yes, that's fine.


  • Moderator

    @HAL2000 I don't know if you've thought to poke around with Q4OS. I found I was able to get it running well on an old 1.8 GHz P4, 1GB RAM machine, and it was built from the ground up to look and act an awful lot like XP. That hardware was so limited the BIOS could not even be made to boot from USB (the option did not exist in the BIOS), so I had to burn a CD (no DVD optical drive on the machine) to load it. But hey - it works.



  • @Ayespy Actually, I've been wrestling with Q4OS, which themes very, very nicely to all sorts of Windows, with a single download, and reemerges from the changing room as XPQ4. Additionally, those German rascals at Q4OS have come up with a respin of that combination, adding in WINE and calling that version FreeXP.

    Alas, it is Debian based, versus Ubuntu based. The difference is that the Ubuntu family of distros (Lubuntu, Linux Lite, LXLE, etc...) all readily recognize sound, video and wifi, and webcam devices even before being completely loaded. Q4OS, in contrast, is, IMHO, even faster than the lightweight Ubuntu distros, but can't or won't recognize a Schload of devices, to include things like Wireless PCMCIA cards and webcams.

    It's been a tough slog with Q4OS, despite lots of help:

    https://linux.org/threads/new-user-locating-and-installing-device-drivers-in-debian-based-q4os.29253/

    https://www.q4os.org/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=18083#p18083

    And they can't fault me for not trying hard enough, and more experienced Linux users for not trying to lend a hand. Some of them tried very hard.

    Ultimately, I swapped out the HDD (to leave the original Q4OS install intact) and with a fresh HDD loaded Puppy Linux 32, and voila the PCMCIA came to life. I searched and found this forum while looking for a means to Theme Puppy Linux and posted, using an old Sony Vaio PCG-FRV26, 2.6GHz and less than 1 Gig of RAM (I tried swapping out the modules for 2x1GB RAM modules, but for one reason or another, 890 MB is the most the machine would recognize. BIOS flash?).

    Prognosis: Puppy 32-bit still had very good attached device recognition, but not as fast navigating / downloading as Q4OS. Q4OS has released an experimental distro of it, based on Ubuntu, but only in 64-bit, alas.



  • @Ayespy ADDENDUM: Re: No USB recognition. Absolutely. I downloaded HIREN'S ULTIMATE BOOT CD and had that in the CD-drive, while having the Linux ISO on a USB drive, using YUMI. Once booted, the BIOS was set to look for the internal CD drive first, where it found HIREN's. Once there, I scrolled down to PLOP! (a USB boot utility), and the USB-based ISO was located.

    PLOP! is very handy.


  • Moderator

    @HAL2000 Ah, well. Can't say you're not putting in the effort...

    My Q4OS recognized all of my obsolete and "modern" (read USB keyboard, mouse, Wi-Fi) hardware without a hitch, so that was lucky. Still, the old hardware was so insufferably lame, that box is back in the closet and only my five main Vivaldi testbeds remain.



  • @Ayespy Ha! So you use the term "testbed" as well. Aviation background?

    This is some background of what I've been trying to achieve (with mixed success) with Linux.
    https://www.linux.org/threads/distro-candidates-mx-vs-antix-which-is-best-for-the-following-purpose.29112/post-92473

    I am trying to find the best distro and then mass produce a bunch of revived machines for some kids in schools overseas. (Don't worry, my contact says there is a local tech to get things unstuck if something goes pearshaped once the machines are in front of the kids).


  • Ambassador

    @HAL2000 , a good search engine for kids is Swisscows, secure, privat and absolutly family save (no option to change this)


  • Moderator

    @HAL2000 No aviation background, but my dad was an aerospace physicist, mathematician, etc.

    Geez - if there were a handy way to ship them to you, I have two old laptops and three old desktops, plus a couple of spare monitors that would be prime for your project...



  • @Ayespy Thank you for the thought. Actually I have so much accumulated stuff that I can afford to be generous (the folks were going to stage a Hoarder intervention, all waiting for me when I came home). I know for a fact, through testing, that these machines can zip around if they don't try to download a Windows program, but just use the basic configuration and save their projects on their own flash drives. I'd much rather each kid get a machine, even if it's basic, than make a little pocket money, selling them for scrape.

    My Panamanian contact said the kids were thrilled with the first shipment, especially the Windows machines. Go figure.



  • @Catweazle Just curious, were you running XP games in Win7 using XP compatibility mode?

    I found an ancient CD of Arcade classics (Battle Zone, Missile Command, Tempest, Centipede...) along with some other games. I've been loading some of these on donation machines: Red Baron, Fury III, and HE!!BENDER (voiced by Scully of X-Files), along with HOVER! and Pinball from a Win95 install CD. The XP compatibility mode worked well, but of course, your mileage may vary.


  • Ambassador

    @HAL2000 , more curious is that Windows 10 is more compatible with older games than Windows 7.
    I have a Dark Messiah CD, good game but only for XP, I needed headaches and a patch so I could play it in Windows 7, but in Windows 10 it works without any problems.
    In older Arcade games, it is almost better to have DOS versions and use them in DOS Box. But there are also old classics that work smoothly on any Windows or direct in the browser


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