I have three laptop computers in my house. Two are 15.6-inch notebooks and one is a 10-inch netbook. This notebook is running Linux Mint. The other is running Windows 10, a free upgrade from Windows 8. The netbook is running Windows XP and only because I can’t seem to install anything else on it.
I don’t know why I prefer Linux Mint. I like Linux distributions based on Debian even though I don’t like Debian itself. To me, Linux Mint is better than Ubuntu even though it’s based on Ubuntu. Let’s put this in perspective: Ubuntu is based on Debian and Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. Got it?
If you’d like to know some of the differences between Ubuntu and Linux Mint, take a look at this article. I think the author did a pretty good job of explaining it.
I’m convinced the reason most people stick with any version of Windows is because they don’t know any better. It came pre-installed on their computer and it’s all they know.
Some people actually like Windows 10 but I’ve never met any of those people. Those who’ve told me they like Windows usually mean they like specific applications on Windows.
As I mentioned, I have a notebook with Windows 10 on it and I’m using the notebook with Linux Mint on it. The last time anyone used the Windows 10 notebook was in August and it was when my daughter-in-law used it to create a video for my wife’s birthday.
Since March, I’ve only started it up to allow all the updates to install (usually once a month). Waiting for Windows 10 to update is excruciating. It seems to take forever. That is, if it finishes at all. The update manager on Linux Mint is so much faster and I can choose to skip certain updates until later without a lot of hassle.
Certain applications seem to run better on Windows 10 but it’s really just an illusion. If you have two computers with the same hardware components, most applications will run better on the Linux system. That is, of course, if it’s an application that runs on more than just Windows.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a laptop or a desktop computer, the steps are the same. You can choose to have it installed side-by-side with Windows 10 (dual booting) or replace it entirely. This article at Tecmint explains how to set it up for dual booting.
My article on using a Linux USB flash drive is worth reading if you want to completely replace Windows 10. You can create and test as many “live CDs” as you want without installing anything until you’re satisfied with what you see.
If you want to avoid headaches and hassle, buy a decent computer with Linux Mint preloaded. If I could afford it, that’s exactly what I would do. A lot of store-bought computers can run it but they usually have hardware upgrade limitations.
Linux Mint boots faster than Windows 10. It uses less memory than Windows 10 (up to a gigabyte less, in my experience) but a four-gigabyte machine is about as low as you can go. If you really want to see it fly, get a computer with eight gigabytes or more.
The same goes for your storage drive. Even though you can get a big hard drive as standard, a solid-state drive is the way to go. If you need more storage space, you’re better off using external drives and USB flash drives.
Linux isn’t for everyone. It took me many years to decide to switch completely. There isn’t any reason you can’t run it from a USB flash drive or some other external drive for a while. It’s a bit slower doing things that way, but it works. Puppy Linux is specifically designed to run from an external drive. I’ve used it many times, just not lately.
Make a complete backup of your Windows installation if you decide to install it. If you use full-drive backup software, you won’t lose anything but time.
By: RT Cunningham
November 26, 2016
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