When Migrating to Linux…

You need to make sure you’re ready for it. And I have a list of self-check questions to help.

Are you okay with setting up the system from scratch?

This stands for downloading all software and configuring from passwords to wallpapers and widgets. If you are too lazy or busy to do so, migrating is impossible unless you have someone else do it for you. This is not a “Linux Issue” though, because you need to set up everything from scratch for a new machine.

Do you mind using terminals(CLI)?

Terminal is one of the most feared aspect among non techy users. Although GUI is made a lot more competent nowadays, sometimes you will still need to use terminals to, say, do configurations.

Do you mind writing proper bug reports?

This is not mandatory, but when you want a bug fixed, the best way is to file a complete and detailed bug report to the responsible party. Some people do not report bugs in a professional (or appropriate) manner, instead screaming “FIX THIS BUG NOW”, or threatening not to use the software again. Please be advised most Linux distributions is a collaborative effort, meaning your bug reports are just as important as codes contributed by others.

Do your favourite software/games have Linux version?

This is unfortunately due to the rather low user count compared to the two major players in OS market, namely Windows and macOS. Some large software suites like Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office are not available to the Linux ecosystem. Of course, you can use Wine to run them, or find alternatives. For games, you can run them with the Proton compatibility layer.

Are you ready to embrace Open Source?

The philosophy of Open Source is important because this was what made Linux and other Free software thrive. Embracing Open Source means you are willing to share knowledge with others, free of charge and unreasonable limitations. If you find Open Source solutions unreliable, or otherwise disagree with philosophy behind it, you may not want to use Linux at all.

Are you afraid of choices?

Yes, I’m not joking. According to DistroWatch.com, there are more than 200+ Linux distributions that are actively developed and updated. And there are numerous desktop environments (DE) for Linux. So you will need to make some decisions before truly migrating to Linux.

Is your hardware supported?

The Linux community does an amazing job at keeping relatively old hardware up and running with latest kernels and distros. However, old hardware means developers may not have these components and may not always perform ideally compared to newer/modern hardware. And if you own the latest hardware such as DDR5 RAM or latest CPU and MB, you may need to wait a month or two after they are released to have their drivers incorporated into the Linux kernel.

Switching to Linux from Windows and macOS is not easy, but it’s a fun and rewarding experience. If you are not sure where to start with, I suggest reading these articles by It’s FOSS. You can’t go wrong starting out with Ubuntu.