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View Full Version : Why did you switch to Linux/UNIX from Windows/Mac?



kaldor
November 30th, 2008, 11:06 PM
I was a Windows user for pretty much all of my life, starting from Windows 3.1. Even when I didn't know much about computers, I hated Windows. Always viruses, always problems, and very little ability to customize the look of the system without the aid of third party software.

I always wanted better, so last year I found out about Linux from a friend. I heard that it did not get viruses, had good applications and support, and had endless customization capabilities. I then followed the Ubuntu.com link that my friend had sent to me. Tried the LiveCD, and from the moment it booted up I loved it. Ever since then, I am happy using Linux, even despite its incredibly irritating and downright frustrating problems that sometimes occur. It is far better than Windows for my uses.

I got a new laptop in late June with Vista.

"Oohh.. looks cool.." *waits 30 minutes while vista configures*
"Took long enough..*pop in ubuntu CD and overwrite vista* ..there :)"

So everyone, share your stories on how you switched away from Windows or Mac to Linux or UNIX-like systems in general!

fjf
November 30th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Same here. Came disgusted from the vista fiasco. They had a nice OS (XP) and wanted us to pay them again for that POS!.

nick09
November 30th, 2008, 11:36 PM
Viruses trashed my XP install, so I went into safe mode and got me Ubuntu 8.04. Upgrading the system in a few days to see if I can get some 3D effects running in my system.

wrtpeeps
November 30th, 2008, 11:54 PM
Recurring discussions?

Dr. C
November 30th, 2008, 11:59 PM
In short because of DRM. Made the switch back in 2006 and feel vindicated because of:

1) GPL v3 This will slowly make GNU / Linux a platform very hostile to DRM
2) The mess that Windows Vista has become because of its built in support for DRM. Also problems are starting to show in XP as Microsoft back ports DRM from Vista to XP
3) The problems with the new Macs that will not display certain videos on external monitors due to DRM
4) The days of operating systems such as MS DOS and Windows 3.1 that were propriety and free from DRM are long gone. The only way to avoid the plague of DRM is Free Libre Open Source Software.

Linuxratty
December 1st, 2008, 12:57 AM
I also used Windows for years..I finally realized that it kept having the same problems release after release. i also had problems with the control freak agenda,DRM,and Windows genuine Advantage...The list of complainnts just goes on and on.
I got curious about Linux while the Microsoft/Linspire battle was going on and decided to find out what the big deal was.
Once i tried linux,there was no turning back for me.

cardinals_fan
December 1st, 2008, 01:02 AM
I wanted more control over my computer and a clean slate to mess about with. I first installed Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06), and have progressed to my current Slackware/SliTaz dual-boot.

Eisenwinter
December 1st, 2008, 01:07 AM
For me, I was a Windows user for several years.

The home computer I had was some really old POS from the early 1980s (my sister's computer), it had no GUI, only command line. I used to play pong on it a whole lot as a kid.

In August 1998 I got my first computer which was capable of running more modern systems. Of course, it came with Win98 preinstalled.

So I've been a Windows user starting at 1998, and ending at 2006.
I've only found the "deep" Internet (IRC, messengers, etc) when I was 13, at 2002.

So I've been hearing all this talk about Linux, around IRC, but never really knew what anything the guys talked about meant.

I finally got an ADSL internet connection at May 2006. I plugged the ethernet cable in, while Windows was running.

I decided that since I have a new fast connection, I'm going to download Linux, I downloaded Mandrake.

When I rebooted Windows later that day, it wouldn't boot up, apparently because I plugged in the ethernet cable while it was running.

That was the last straw, I changed the boot order in BIOS, and moved to Linux.

SunnyRabbiera
December 1st, 2008, 01:11 AM
Because of windows itself.
My upgrade to XP SP1 was a major disaster, lost my major data, had to rebuild my home office and basically turn back time.
It took me 7 months to get back what I had before SP1.
And then I learn that SP1 really didnt fix anything and that XP was just as vulnerable as it was before SP1 underneath.
During the time between SP1 and SP2 I discovered free and open source software, Firefox, Open office, the gimp, Pidgin (at that time GAIM)
So I was getting into open source before I started using Linux, then with SP2 I finally decided to give linux a spin.
my first two distros though, failures.
Yoper and SUSE were crap.
I spent some time after that in limbo before encountering Mepis linux.
Mepis is what really pulled me into the linux world, I discovered that linux had so much great potential and by the time Vista came out i became a full linux convert.

Georgia boy
December 1st, 2008, 02:08 AM
Still in the switch mode. Right now running dual boot with XP. I started learning the computer right before 3.1 came out. The second class I had started in Windows and have been there since. Heard so much about Linux from someone at work. Got a Knoppix Live CD, played with it. Then got a Ubuntu Live CD and played with it also. Thanks to the people in the forum I went to dual boot. Eventually I will get rid totally of the XP and run Ubuntu instead. I spend most of the time here anyways, only go back to Windows to keep it updated once every two or three weeks. Always learning, always asking, but that's what life's about right?

Don't worry bout virus, etc with Ubuntu. Know that I can always come to the forums when needing help. Can I get help with Windows without paying for it? Haven't heard of doing so from anyone yet. Love the format of Ubuntu and as I said, constantly learning.
Better than Windows for me since I don't play games.

Tom

Twitch6000
December 1st, 2008, 02:12 AM
In short because of DRM. Made the switch back in 2006 and feel vindicated because of:

1) GPL v3 This will slowly make GNU / Linux a platform very hostile to DRM


Uhmm you realize Linux is on GPLv2 right?(last I heard anyways)

Anyways for my small story,which by the way I still use windows as a tri boot :P.

I Came to Linux to search for something else.

I felt bored of windows and just felt like I needed something new.

I had heard of Linux while searching for a video of BEOS and downloaded PClinuxOS.

After that I got Ubuntu 7.10 about 1 month later and well... The distro hopping began :p.

Dragonbite
December 1st, 2008, 04:33 AM
I couldn't afford a Mac.

At the time I was interested in going with a Mac (G3s were just out) but could not come to spend the money (not to mention the money for software). At the same time my system was running Windows 98 and I needed to upgrade.

A friend told me about Linux and after downloading, reading documentation and such I just dived in and gave it a try.

I kept fooling around with it and after getting a few machines (without an OS) and trying to get Windows working on it (Win 2000).

For the longest time I've dual-booted but now I got a few machines I've been able to put Linux on each one and try them out. I even fooled around with LTSP and thin clients.

Currently, after a combination of BSOD and taking our current dual-boot machine out of the living room while we worked on the floors, my wife has been getting more used to using my laptop running Ubuntu 8.04.

So far, so good...

djsroknrol
December 1st, 2008, 05:06 AM
I gave Billy Boy enough of my hard earned money :lolflag:

Seti
December 1st, 2008, 05:19 AM
To me Windows was boring, filled with problems and constantly suffered from gradual performance slowdown. Also I was getting tired of the endless maintenance; virus/spyware/malware-scanning, defragging, etc etc. It got to the point that reinstalling XP was every few months, and always having to grin and bear all the stupid little pop-ups and BS of setting up XP for the first time.

wirepuller134
December 1st, 2008, 05:53 AM
For us it was an economic decision to start looking for alternate products. We were already familiar with Linux, as we are long term Red Hat customers. We would probably give Ubuntu server a go if we weren't already set up with Red Hat. The support software to go with Windows based units was eating our lunch every year. We now donate to several projects from the money we are saving by making a complete change. Our uptime has improved substantially on our desktops, thus productivity is improved, and for once everyone is happy with their work stations.

RiceMonster
December 1st, 2008, 05:54 AM
Uhmm you realize Linux is on GPLv2 right?(last I heard anyways)

Yep, and it looks like it'll stay that way because Linus has openly stated he doesn't like the GPLv3.

tsbaker
December 1st, 2008, 06:03 AM
Went to school for Network Admin, I was the only kid in the major with little to no computer knowledge other then basic hardware skills, building and taking apart etc. I had to learn it just to fit in HaHa. However after using it I fell in love with it. I've been using since Dapper, however I didn't really get into it until Gutsy. Now I'm running Intrepid and virtually running XP just for my iPhone. Now I'm always on the command line playing around trying to learn the ins and outs. I'm going back to school next fall, focus is Unix Admin, hopefully that pans out for me!

Dragonbite
December 1st, 2008, 06:13 AM
For us it was an economic decision to start looking for alternate products. We were already familiar with Linux, as we are long term Red Hat customers. We would probably give Ubuntu server a go if we weren't already set up with Red Hat. The support software to go with Windows based units was eating our lunch every year. We now donate to several projects from the money we are saving by making a complete change. Our uptime has improved substantially on our desktops, thus productivity is improved, and for once everyone is happy with their work stations.

Sounds like a great testimonial!

phrostbyte
December 1st, 2008, 06:28 AM
I have no clue why I switched in the first place to be honest. I've been interested in Linux since 1998 though. Can't explain exactly why, maybe it's the inert hacker spirit inside of me? :)

There is just something "epic" about Linux. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, in fact it might be a multiple of things.

Dr. C
December 1st, 2008, 06:36 AM
Uhmm you realize Linux is on GPLv2 right?(last I heard anyways)

Anyways for my small story,which by the way I still use windows as a tri boot :P.

I Came to Linux to search for something else.

I felt bored of windows and just felt like I needed something new.

I had heard of Linux while searching for a video of BEOS and downloaded PClinuxOS.

After that I got Ubuntu 7.10 about 1 month later and well... The distro hopping began :p.

Yes the Kernel is GPL v2 but many critical parts, ranging from the GNU tools to Samba, of a modern GNU / Linux distribution like Ubuntu are going GPL v3. Avoiding GPL v3 in GNU / Linux (by say staying with Dapper) like avoiding DRM in Windows (by staying with Windows 2000) means staying in the past and giving up any kind of support in a few years.

SunnyRabbiera
December 1st, 2008, 06:52 AM
Yes the Kernel is GPL v2 but many critical parts, ranging from the GNU tools to Samba, of a modern GNU / Linux distribution like Ubuntu are going GPL v3. Avoiding GPL v3 in GNU / Linux (by say staying with Dapper) like avoiding DRM in Windows (by staying with Windows 2000) means staying in the past and giving up any kind of support in a few years.

Well again Linus does not like GPL3, he could just relicense it though, perhaps a BSD license even :p

DouglasT
December 1st, 2008, 07:34 AM
A combination of things. I've been using Windows for about 7 or 8 years now (I'm 16, so the first few hardly count). I guess I've been lucky the entire time. I've never had a virus problem I couldn't handle myself, I've never had a serious crash, or lost any data. I've got no Windows horror stories.

I had been thinking about trying out Linux for awhile. To be honest, I was mostly inspired by being a faithful reader of XKCD.

I'm also have a goal of one day being a part of the Free Software Foundation, so I figured running Linux, learning about Linux, etc, would also help me learn about open source and free software along the way.

rileinc
December 1st, 2008, 08:33 AM
Out of curiosity.
I was competent and content with XP. I used to run around and fix my friends' Windows computers (I still do so, but not as often). Going back two years, I've heard of Linux occasionally from my brother (CS major). My initial impression was that it's something hard and reserved for geeks. He had mentioned Ubuntu to me a few times during 2006 before moving out. Then it was around mid-2007 that I decided to try it out. I went back and forth a few times, and eventually settled down with dual boot for gaming. That was sometime around March of 2008.
I now run 64bit Ubuntu Intrepid and almost never reboot to use Vista (no more time for gaming now ;__; ).

Dj Melik
December 1st, 2008, 08:43 AM
Ex-Windows user here.

Honestly, got sick of reformatting.. I probably spent more time reformatting my computer than actually using it :(.

Then I thought to myself forget this and got myself Ubuntu 7.10; was really confused, the entire systme was all new to me so I had lots of trouble adjusting. Went back to Windows and just recently ago got myself Ubuntu 8.04 (I updated to 8.10 now) and fell in love with Linux after spending time learning it.

I really doubt I am every going to go back to Windows, although I do have a very small partition of Windows on my HDD that I use for gaming every now and then.

cmay
December 1st, 2008, 08:49 AM
i was one of those that got a windows xp update with a virus in it. i cant trust a company that lets virus be submitted with their updates. i had so many problems with windows xp that i did in fact pay for nothing at all and after 6 month i erased it completly and never had looked back at it..

cariboo
December 1st, 2008, 08:58 AM
I really missed Dos when Windows 95/98 came out, after about 6 months of usage there really wasn't any challenge any more. I started with Redhat 5.2 desktop and have never looked back. Windows still doesn't challenge me enough to keep me interested. I only keep XP and Vista around to support some old customers I can't seem to get rid of. :)

Jim

MikeTheC
December 1st, 2008, 09:20 AM
In short because of DRM. Made the switch back in 2006 and feel vindicated because of:

1) GPL v3 This will slowly make GNU / Linux a platform very hostile to DRM
2) The mess that Windows Vista has become because of its built in support for DRM. Also problems are starting to show in XP as Microsoft back ports DRM from Vista to XP
3) The problems with the new Macs that will not display certain videos on external monitors due to DRM
4) The days of operating systems such as MS DOS and Windows 3.1 that were propriety and free from DRM are long gone. The only way to avoid the plague of DRM is Free Libre Open Source Software.
What FineE said...

I haven't 100% switched from using Mac OS X, but the only things I'm using it for are Photoshop, InDesign, and the occasional DreamWeaver. Other than that... I love Ubuntu 8.10!!!

jimi_hendrix
December 1st, 2008, 01:43 PM
a friend came over...brought his new laptop and 3 CD's

i asked what they were...he said linux live CD's

after some questioning making sure they wouldnt crash my system, i tried them out

after that i started burning my own...and picked ubuntu because it looked the least like windows...

distro hopped for a while and now i have arch

chucky chuckaluck
December 1st, 2008, 01:47 PM
i had pretty much tweaked ME in every way possible and just wanted a change.

Dragonbite
December 1st, 2008, 02:45 PM
I will note, it was not easy to convert the rest of the family/house to Linux until Ubuntu.

It made it simple and stable enough that I can manage the different computers what each person "expects" from a computer (web, email, multimedia, printing, office documents, etc.)

Before Ubuntu, I could not truly move everybody over because it was too much work trying to get the systems up and running and doing everything I need while learning the system! Red Hat was alright but not perfect and Gentoo was .. well, Gentoo. Suse was better but I would have needed more time learning Yast to become effective. Ubuntu was just easy to set-up, maintain and handle.

larsenguitars
December 1st, 2008, 02:54 PM
I was a Windows user for pretty much all of my life...

Same here, didn't really know anything else.
Tried out ubuntu 5.10 years ago, ever since then i've been trying out debian, pclinuxos, puppy, deli, dsl, mandriva, etc...

I stopped using windows for my main computer when ubuntu 7.10 first came out. And after hardy came out I haven't used windows for anything at all.

I switched because windows sucks.

alfick3
December 1st, 2008, 05:22 PM
I remember starting on computers in 1988, I'm guessing it was DOS 5.0 or there abouts (I can't really remember now, that was a long time ago) when I was in the US Navy using the government computers. It was probably also on a 386. By '93 I was pretty good at DOS, and then started using Windows at 3.0. It wasn't much, 'cause most of the apps I used were DOS apps (the Navy (and the DOD in general) is slow to adopt newer software). I finally bought my own computer in Jan '94 and it had Win 3.1. I upgraded it by adding a sound card, larger HD and more video memory and installing Win3.11. I got pretty good at learning how to manipulate the IRQ's and .ini files and other settings in order to get my hardware and other software to work. Moved to W95, W98, W98SE, WMe, XP, and so on.

My home computer (an Asus laptop) has Vista Home Premium on it, and I really haven't had any problems with it ('course I'm not running anything very taxing on the system). My wife uses it mainly and my oldest son uses it for school. She isn't too keen on switching yet, so I leave it.

My work computer is also a laptop (I work for IBM, so it's a Lenovo Thinkpad) and runs WinXP SP2. My personal laptop to playaround with though is running Kubuntu 8.10. I enjoy running this flavor of Linux.

When I first started to play around with Linux, I tried out Fedora 5 (I was attending DeVry University at the time and one of the classes on Linux servers used it for us to learn on). I have since tried out Fedora 6 & 7, OpenSuse 10.3, Linux Mint 5.0, and a couple of others. I have pretty much decided to stick with Ubuntu, and more specifically with Kubuntu. I really prefer KDE over Gnome; to me it has a nicer look and feel, and it is also closer to the look and feel of Windows (and if I'm ever going to get my wife to allow me to change over the home computer that will be important for the familiarity of it).