A quick guide to switching from Windows to Linux

Windows is hands down the most popular Operating System in the world. Being the most popular however doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. Windows can be so nagging sometimes, especially with updates. Don’t get me started on the whole malware issue. It is the most targetted Operating System and that makes sense due to its shear scale of numbers. Also, not many people are fans of the one-size-fits-all that Windows is using on its consumer-grade system.

That said, if you are unhappy with your Windows experience, you could invest in a Mac or sell a kidney and get yourself their usually overpriced hardware to run their Operating System MacOS. But since you already have decent hardware with you, the world of Linux could very well be your next destination.

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Switching to Linux

The world of Linux can look confusing and fragmented to the average person but once you scratch the surface, it really is a rich ecosystem. If you’re looking to make the big plunge, first you might want to check the rankings on DistroWatch. This site ranks the many different flavors of Linux or Distributions as they’re called, in order of popularity. We just abbreviate that to Distros. The list does change but the top 3 distros are Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Manjaro.

Because the Linux kernel underlies all these flavors, the basic installation procedure is more or less similar across. In this guide, we will use Ubuntu as it is more supported. Many forks of Linux are also based on Ubuntu so we can as well say that Ubuntu’s installation process is the baseline.

Installing Ubuntu

Creating an installation media

The first step would be to download the Ubuntu system image from their official website. Being Linux and open-source, this is free to download. Burn this ISO onto a DVD or use UnetBootin to create a bootable USB stick.

Boot from USB flash drive

Most computers will boot from USB automatically. Simply insert the USB flash drive and either power on your computer or restart it. You should see the same welcome window we saw in the previous ‘Install from DVD’ step, prompting you to choose your language and either install or try the Ubuntu desktop.

If your computer doesn’t automatically boot from USB, try holding F12 when your computer first starts. With most machines, this will allow you to select the USB device from a system-specific boot menu.

Also Read: How to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10 without Partitioning

Allocate drive space

Use the checkboxes to choose whether you’d like to install Ubuntu alongside another operating system, delete your existing operating system and replace it with Ubuntu, or — if you’re an advanced user — choose the ‘Something else‘ option.