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Eagletech offers alternative to Windows or Mac operating systems

By Quiten Kilborn
On November 27, 2017

When buying a new computer, often the first and hardest question is: Are you a Windows or a Mac person? 

Most people are stuck between choosing an expensive, locked-down Mac or a slower, virus-prone Windows computer. But what if there was another choice? What if you could have a computer that was much more secure than a Windows computer but ran as fast as a Mac?

Enter, Linux. Linux is a completely free operating system on which all the software is also free. No more paying for the next version of Windows or a subscription fee for Microsoft Office or Adobe products. Free alternatives such as LibreOffice, WPS Office, Inkscap, and Gimp have all the power of the paid products without the steep cost. Even gaming, a notoriously Windows-dominated area, is making strides on Linux with thousands of supported games.

There’s a common misconception that Linux is only for coders and computer geeks, but that’s just not true anymore. In recent years, it’s made huge steps toward being as user-friendly and well-designed as any macOS or Windows computer. And if you don’t like something about it, you can always change it. Linux is extremely customizable, allowing for themes, alternate apps and layouts and even changes to the code itself. Linux can be as basic or as powerful as you need it to be; it adapts to the way you use your computer rather than the other way around.

There are hundreds of different types of Linux called distributions (or distros). Because Linux is open-source, anybody can take the code and customize it to their liking, leading to many different versions. Choosing between them can be intimidating, so I’ve narrowed it down to three of what I’ve found to be the most polished and user-friendly. All of these distros come with App Stores full of free apps, are well-supported in the Linux community, and are very easy to learn and use.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu has been around a long time, and is probably one of the most well-known and well-supported consumer Linux distros. I recommend this one for people who want a true Linux experience and don’t mind learning a slightly different desktop layout, as this one is the most different of the three from Windows and macOS.

ElementaryOS

If you’re coming from macOS, Elementary is very easy to learn and has a similar simple design to Apple’s desktop OS. While it has a few less features than other Linux distros, they are features that most people wouldn’t ever use, and most of them can be added back in if needed. If you’re a newcomer to Linux or just don’t need the more complex features of some other distros, this is the distro for you.

Linux Mint

There are a few distros that attempt to emulate the experience of using Windows, but I think Linux Mint is the best and most stable. The Mint development team makes it their main goal to keep the OS as stable as possible, so you don’t have to worry about too many bugs or glitches. Mint’s interface is completely customizable, too, so it can be themed and changed in any way you see fit.

With Windows 10’s built-in ads and alleged collection of user data and Apple’s high price tag, people are looking for an alternative. Linux offers higher security than both major operating systems, is lightweight enough to run smoothly on even older computers and is completely free, forever. 

If those benefits sound good to you or you’re just looking to try something different, try Linux!

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