I made the switch from Windows 10 to Linux Mint about a year ago. I’ve never looked back. It has greatly improved my work flow and time online. It might sound strange, but becoming a Linux user really is empowering. It is a significant way to break free from Big Tech. We might not be able to do it in every part of our life today, but every bit we can chip away diminishes their power.
I would like to encourage others to find the same freedom so I will continue to write about my experiences. I’ve assembled this post of helpful articles as you think about making your own switch to Linux.
Windows Updates vs. Linux Updates
If I had to say there was ONE thing I hated about Microsoft Windows above all else (besides the expense, rampant security and privacy issues, and the fact that Bill Gates is apparently a psychopath), it was the updates.
There was one massive Windows update a few years ago that took over my computer for literally hours one morning. I had work to do and it was maddening. No warning it would take hours. None.
I normally don’t respond to the “give us feedback” requests at the end of such things. That time I did and they got an earful. That was the beginning of the end for me and Windows.
With Linux it is completely different. You control it ALL.
You don’t dread it. You look forward to discovering the neat new things people have developed that are open source!
And Linux always asks so politely when there is an update to download.
It’s a totally different experience.
Is there a learning curve with Linux? Yes. There are new terms you have to learn and it can be a little overwhelming at first.
Linux is not as “user friendly” as Windows for the average person. But it is so worth the extra effort to be free from Windows and their vulnerability-plagued operating system.
I mean, why do you think Linux servers run a great deal of what is going on in the background of our world? Did you know that?
Regular people use Windows (and Apple) because they have been aggressively marketed to us. A significant number of large corporations and government entities use Linux because it is the best option by far.
I would never go back.
Deciding To Switch To Linux
I wrote my own story of deciding to switch to Linux: I Switched From Windows 10 To Linux Mint
Linux is significantly more secure than Windows. Here’s a brief look at why.
Think about the issues raised in this article. They are important at this point in time.
Choosing A Linux Distro
A distro in the world of Linux is an operating system. Here’s an article that will help you choose the distro that best meets your needs.
Many people bring older computers back to life by installing an appropriate distro. So find an old computer in the closet and try it out!
I settled on Linux Mint (Cinnamon) and have been very happy with it. These articles and videos focus on the process of getting Linux Mint set up on your computer.
- The Online Home of Linux Mint
- Linux Mint Installation Guide
- How To Dual Boot Linux Mint 20 with Windows 10 (Video)
- Complete Linux Mint Tutorial: Getting To Know The Desktop (Cinnamon)
- Verify Linux Mint ISO file on Windows
- Create Linux Mint Bootable USB With Rufus On Windows 10
- Windows 10 USB Linux Live Key Creation
Linux Mint Reviews
Three reviews of Linux Mint to help you decide if it might be right for you.
- Linux Mint review: Fresh and funky
- Minimalist vs Modern – Linux Mint 20.1
- Ubuntu vs Mint: Which one is better?
Free Linux Mint Wallpapers and Backgrounds Collections
This website post has a really interesting collection of Linux Mint themed wallpapers and backgrounds. Linux Mint comes with quite a few options, but it’s always fun to see something new!
This collection focuses more on nature and such.
Two collections with a focus on sleeker looks featuring the logo
This website has a unique and fun collection.
Helpful Linux Posts, How-To Articles, and Groups
Here are some helpful how-to resources as you get started:
- How to Install Microsoft Fonts on Linux Mint 20 LTS
- How To Reset Your Password In Linux
- How To Change Your Time Zone In Linux
- How To Install Applications In Linux Mint
An overview of how to use the terminal:
Real people if you have questions:
- Jeff.Pro Forum (Full of very knowledgeable Linux users)
- Linux Users of Gab (Large and active group)
- Rob Braxman Tech Odysee Channel (He all kinds of tech, especially privacy and security.)
If you prefer looking through books, here are a bunch of suggestions. I personally think it’s easier to learn Linux through videos and asking questions in chats/groups/forums, but books can sometimes also be helpful.
Browsers for Linux
I have been using Brave as my main browser and have been happy with it overall. I will sometimes launch Firefox which comes installed with Mint, but I quit using Firefox as my main browser when they went woke.
I’m currently in the process of switching to Vivaldi for reasons I’ll get into in another post. Vivaldi is another popular choice for Linux users. They have rolled out so many fantastic features that I decided it’s time to make the switch.
But both Brave and Vivaldi are highly recommended for Linux if you want something other than the Firefox that comes with Mint.
These are some of the apps I use and others that come highly recommended.
- Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Products for Linux
- Best Linux Software Suggestions
- Why You Should Use Timeshift to Back Up Your Computer
- Massive Collection of Linux Apps and Tools
- The Best Linux Software and Apps
- FreeTube – The Private YouTube Client
Ebook Manager for Linux
- 8 Best eBook Readers for Linux (I use Calibre)
Bible Apps for Linux
Joplin – Free open-source Evernote alternative for Linux
- Joplin is newer and therefore has less bells and whistles than Evernote. But it’s free and designed for Linux so wins all around for that! I use Joplin for my homeschooling record keeping.
- Joplin Forum
Using LibreOffice On Linux
Because David was an adjunct college instructor for so many years, he received Microsoft Office for free. Now that he no longer teaches, his subscription has ended. We really did not want to pay for it if we didn’t need to.
I’ve been using LibreOffice ever since I made the switch to Linux Mint several months ago. I had ZERO problems making the switch. David decided to try LibreOffice on his Mac (which is NOT running Linux). He said it’s better than Microsoft in so many ways. Best of all? It’s free and open source!
Even if you don’t switch to Linux right away, you can get rid of Microsoft Office and use LibreOffice!
And the really important question – Adding Times New Roman to LibreOffice
Best Email Options For Linux
I returned to Thunderbird when I switched to Linux. After doing a lot of research, I decided it was the best option for me at the moment (plus it is free). I only use Thunderbird for email so I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Here are several options to consider.
Many people not only switch to Linux on their computers, but their phones as well. We have not been able to make this jump yet because Linux phones are pricey. But I would switch in a heartbeat if I could.
I hope you find this information helpful as you think about making the move to Linux and greater freedom from Big Tech!