I won’t bore you with my personal journey with Linux (it’s pretty much try, give up, try again, give up, try again, distro hop, pick a distro), but based on this comment, I thought it would be worthwhile discussing how best to try Linux out and the reasons you could find it useful to do so and why you may not find it so useful… Call it a belated Christ-/Mithras-/Horus-mas present to the world.
First, the reasons people test out Linux. These are many and varied, but the main ones seem to be: they heard it was cool, it was sold as a major panacea for all computing ills, they are geeks and think it’s de rigeur to do so, it looked good on a friend’s PC, it solves a problem they have, they are sick of lock in and viruses. There are other reasons, but I think these are representative. Here’s the thing: none of these reasons are bad reasons. I have tried various things out over the years for similar reasons - some I have stuck with and some I haven’t. The more rabid Linux evangelists will tell you that you have to try it and that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t. I’m not going to do that. It would be great if the balance were tipped from proprietary OSes to the FOSS way, but I am realistic enough to know that this isn’t going to happen soon. We are making major inroads, particularly on the server front, but by being realistic I have more chance of being persuasive.
If you are planning (however vaguely) to try out Linux I cannot stress this enough: do your research. Look at the more popular distributions and check that your hardware is supported and won’t have any major issues. Google is an excellent resource for this, Linux is an operating system that wouldn’t have come in to being without the internet and problems and fixes are discussed widely all over the place. Head over to Distrowatch and see what people are looking into, hit the various websites that distributions have and see what they look like and make sure that you feel comfortable with the look and feel of the distribution.
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