If you consider to use GNU/Linux (I’ll come back to the „GNU“ part later) on your system, you might have heard about the following reasons. While not beeing strictly wrong, they should be taken with a grain of salt.

There Are No Viruses on Linux

This statement is not as wrong as the rationale often given. „Linux isn’t as an attractive target for hackers as Windows because it is much less common.“ In fact, Linux is very common – just not on desktops and laptops. The texts you send via WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and so on, your contacts, whatever online banking you use … A great many of these interactions take place on Linux server. So if someone wants to know not only your but many other personal details, banking information and correspondence, a machine running Debian, CentOS or Ubuntu is a very worthwile target.

Every operating system has bugs and there is nothing in the DNA of GNU/Linux, that makes it more secure than Windows or macOS. Complacency can be your biggest enemy in terms of security. You shouldn’t believe that just using a Linux distro makes you immune against worms and the like.

Much rather it is easier to implement security and safety measures in a modern Linux distribution. My favorite example is encryption. There are various methods to lock down files, directories and even partitions and none of them are particularly complicated. On Windows one gets BitLocker but not in the ubuquitary „home edition“ and a well hidden, device specific option that doesn’t work on every hard drive model. Privacy is a whole other can of worms. When Canonical shared data with Amazon they collected via their desktop environment much of the FLOSS community went balistic and the „feature“ was dropped (Personally I didn’t even mind it that much because Canonical was open about the entire thing). On Windows… to overstate, I’m surprised they don’t just suck in your entire hard drive and sell the contents to the sd bidder. At least give me a free year of Office 356 for that!

Microsoft is the Devil

Some people feel this deep hatred towards tech giants and Microsoft in particular. And in a way I can’t really blame them. The AARD code made me furious and I only learned about it in 2006 – years after the fact. Then the shameless utilization of monopoly, Netscape, calling open source cancer… The list of reasons to hate Microsoft is long, but …

Hate leads to suffering.

– Yoda

I know. It’s lame to quote Yoda especially with a platitude like this. True nonetheless.

Aside from the moral standpoint of rejecting hate there is the very real danger of disappointment. I heard people pointing out all kinds of weaknesses on Windows. Its crashyness, bad performance after a long time using it, incompatibility with older hardware and so on. And albeit these being valid complaints, many of the issues have been addressed (not the incompatibility part if you look a Windows 11 though!). Windows 7 generally crashed a lot less often than Vista, 8 a lot less often than 7 and I can’t think of a time where I actually saw a bluescreen on Wondows 10 in person. They have a smiley now, right?

And Linux is no panacea. You will still face the occasional kernel panic or segmentation fault. Don’t expect Linux to magically keep away all hard and software problems away from you because the guys making Ubuntu aren’t working for evil corp.

I Want to Be Part of the Elite

Back in 2010 I began my attempt to study physics – not my best idea. I saw someone in the lecture hall using Ubutuntu 10ish and thought: „Wow, all the smart people seem to use Linux!“ [Non sequitur warning!] I mean, that guy was studying one of the most taxing subjects, clearly he was a sharp tool so him using Ubuntu fit in the picture perfectly, right?

The truth is: Your IQ and even youre computer skills in general have nothing to do with what os you are using. In the very same physics institute an entire workgroup was using Mac OS X. And the Ubuntu guy might very well have wished for a Mac but couldn’t afford one yet.

Using Linux doesn’t make you cooler, appear more intelligent (except to Markus(2010)) or into a leatspeek Haxx0r. Opting for Linux means a different approach to using your computer – nothing more and nothing less.

Bad Reasons for Switching


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