When someone suggests you use Linux, you may think that there is no way you could ever learn something as complicated as Linux. But the operating system has come a long way in recent years, with many distributions now providing an experience that’s almost as seamless and fluid as macOS or Windows. If you need a good reason to give Linux a try, let’s take a look at 5 reasons to switch to Linux so you can get the push you need to try something different with your computing life.

1. It’s Free and Open Source

The cost of Windows has dropped in recent years, but if you purchase Windows you will still be out somewhere around the $100 mark. To get macOS, you have to buy a Mac, and I won’t even get started on how much that’s going to cost. When you buy a new PC, it may seem like you are getting Windows for free as part of the machine, but the reality is the cost is built into the price you pay for the computer.

With Linux, however, the software is free and open source. So what does that mean? Essentially it means you can download it at no charge and you can even modify it to suit your needs if you see fit. The only thing you can’t do is resell it. But, access to a modern operating system for free is a big bonus and can save you quite a bit of money.

2. Customization

One of my favorite reasons to use Linux is customization. Sure, you have a few options in the major OS players out there. But with Linux, you can customize everything. Want to use a dock like macOS? No problem. Prefer a look that reminds you of Windows? Easily doable. With Linux you have the ability to customize virtually every piece of the look and feel of the system you choose to use. From theme, icon packs, to manual customization, you have the power to create a computing experience that is unique to you based on your needs and wants.

3. Better Security

It’s no secret that Windows is a virus magnet. That’s what happens when you are number 1. Add to that Microsoft’s design and development choices, and it’s a recipe for a virus nightmare. Linux is very different. It’s built with security in mind. Today Linux powers a huge percentage of web servers on the planet, and the security that comes built into Linux is one of the big reasons. That’s not to say that there aren’t issues from time to time. There definitely are. But when you compare these attacks and vulnerabilities to Microsoft, it’s no contest.

4. Hardware Agnostic

For anyone that has spent any amount of time running macOS or Windows, you know that with each new release the hardware requirements continue to increase. This means that after a few years or maybe even less, the computer you have will feel slow and sluggish as the operating system continues to demand more and more resources.

While the same can be said for some versions of Linux, because of the seemingly infinite amount of distribution choices out there, I can almost guarantee that you will find a distribution of Linux out there that’s right for your needs and will run great on your machine, regardless of what hardware powers it.

5. Privacy

Look, I’m not some tin foil hat wearing alarmist or anything, but I do believe we all have a right to privacy, especially while we are using our computers. Microsoft has come under fire since the release of Windows 10 due to the vast amounts of data the company has begun collecting on its users. Apple is guilty of this data collection as well, although to be fair they haven’t gone as far as crazy as Microsoft has. Still, when using a computer, you should have the right not to have your every move tracked.

Linux gives you this freedom. You can run Linux without worrying about “big tech” watching and recording your every move. Just remember, this doesn’t necessarily apply to the software you use, like Chrome, for instance. But, the operating system itself won’t track every move you make. You should also keep in mind that some Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, do track at least some of your data. So you may want to consider that when choosing your Linux flavor of choice.

6. Amazing Software

There is a lot of software on Windows that is great. There is no denying that. In many cases this software isn’t even available for Linux, although there are exceptions to this rule. However, with about 5 minutes of searching you can find amazing alternatives to the software you currently use in Windows, and in most cases these applications run better, faster and are more stable when compared to their Windows counterparts. I have to say I don’t find myself missing Windows or macOS while I’m using Linux.

7. Perfect for Programming

If you’re a programmer or if you have wanted to dip your toes into the programming waters, then Linux is a must have for you. The Linux terminal is far superior for programmers compared to the terminal in Windows, and you can easily download a ton of programming applications, libraries and more to make your programming experience much easier and more fun.

8. A Distro for Everyone

Linux is available in what is called distributions. These are compiled by communities of individuals that often also offer free community support. Each one specializes in something and is built with a specific design philosophy in mind. You can find distros that are great for first time users coming from Windows, distributions built with the latest and greatest tech, stripped down versions for aging hardware, and everything in between. With all these choices, you shouldn’t have too hard a time finding one that fits your needs.

9. Great Community Support

While there is technet and other places that offer community support for Windows and even macOS, you will be hard pressed to find better community support outside of the Linux world. These are collaborative projects by nature, and this collaboration and support has been extended into the community. If you are looking for guidance and how to fix something or what steps you need to do to make changes to your system, the community is there for you. In fact, you will probably never need any support outside of this system.

10. Reliability

Outside of the virus issues, the overall performance of Linux is just, well, better. I have seen Linux systems that have been up for over a year with no signs of slowing down. Have you ever tried to run Windows for longer than a couple of weeks without a reboot? They become as slow as molasses chugging away trying to do every day tasks all the while practically begging you to please reboot them. Linux just runs better and is not as susceptible to crashes compared to Windows.

Final Thoughts

Linux has come a long way in recent years, and today has made itself much more accessible to daily, regular users. It’s no longer a world for computer engineers or programmers, even if it still excels in areas for these users. With all the available software out there and with the improved usability of the system, it’s now more user friendly than it’s ever been.

If you are tired of using macOS or Windows, I would strongly encourage you to give Linux a try. I think you will find that you will not even miss Windows if you make the switch.