Moving from Windows to Linux: Easy Steps and Resources

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 31, 2012

Linux is succeeding on many platforms other than computing desktops, but it's still true that many Microsoft Windows users are either switching to Linux or choosing to run it as a secondary operating system.  In many cases, Windows users are unaware of the benefits they can get from Linux, or don't know where to start in experimenting.  However, there are a number of free resources available for Windows users who want to take the Linux plunge. In this post, you'll find our updated collection of several of them that can make moving to Linux very easy.

PC World is out with a good Getting Started Guide for Windows users who are interested in Linux.  The guide discusses benefits of Linux, what you need to get started, and how to turn a Windows PC into a dual-boot computer, which can be one of the best ways for Linux newbies who are used to Windows to get started. Users can also brush up on the most popular Linux distributions here.

I always like to investigate a new topic with a good book as a guide. Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds is a free online book that can get you started with both Linux and several open source programs. Beginners will find it approachable, and it covers everything from basic Linux commands to user interface conventions that differ between Linux and Windows. The chapters of the book are online links, so you can just peruse the Table of Contents to go straight to the kind of material you're interested in.

It's always instructive to hear from other Windows users who have immersed themselves in Linux, and there are complete stories about this type of switch available online. In this post, we covered a die-hard Windows user's immersion in Ubuntu, which includes lots of good information about going from Microsoft's OS to Linux.

Along the same lines, MyBroadband has put up a good introductory post specifically about switching from Windows to Linux. It covers the flexible desktop environments that you can use with various Linux distros, running Windows and Linux concurrently, and more. Among educational Linux sites, it's also worth looking into 

As Windows users dive into Linux, they may wish for more advanced documentation and the good news is that there is a wealth of it available for free. In this post, we covered free online books and guides that can take the Linux beginner toward more advanced know-how, and in this post we discussed how a USB thumb drive and online resources can get new Linux users going very quickly.

If you've been using Windows for years but are interested in Linux, now is the time to experiment. You can run both operating systems if you choose, which means you don't have to ditch favorite applications. Hopefully there are some useful resources here.