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[–] Pee-on-it 0 points 9 points (+9|-0) ago 

You make it sound so easy. I would love to drop Windows but where does one begin with Linux? It's not beginner friendly.

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[–] TheTrigger 1 points 6 points (+7|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Yes! Honestly, you won't regret it. If you have an old, spare computer lying around you can always play around with it and see if you like it. I always recommend Elementary OS as a good starter for people looking to try out Linux. It's sleek and easy enough to use without knowing how to do anything besides burn a CD and load it when starting your computer.

It has the added bonus of looking pretty and being infinitely customizable; so even if there's stuff you don't find, or want to change but don't know how, there's nothing a quick Google search won't be able to show you how to fix / get around.

EDIT: Actually, even if you don't have an old PC lying around: just install VirtualBox on your computer. It lets you run an OS inside your current one (Windows, Mac, w/e). You can play around with it all you want, and if it's not your cup of tea, you can just delete it and nothing on your PC will change because of it. Just note: performance isn't 100% (since it's running a system inside a system and all that). You won't be able to test games or anything that requires "high performance" unless you have a sick computer, or you install it on the HDD itself.

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[–] RedSocks157 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Both are user friendly, and Mint has an interface that will be familiar to anyone who used Windows.

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[–] Pinyaka 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Install virtualbox on Windows. Use it to create a virtual machine with 5-10GB of disk space and then try installing linux to that. You'll get a good feel for the installation process with no risk of messing anything up. Try creating a few virtual machines with a couple of distros (Debian, Mint, Arch) and try some of those with different desktop environments (KDE, Gnome Desktop, XFCE) just to see what you like.

Personally, I'd recommend Debian with KDE as a starter. Most of the popular distros are based on Debian to some degree and Debians "Stable" branch is really, really stable (The "testing" branch is actually pretty stable and may be required for really new hardware). KDE is probably the closest thing to Windows to start with and you can always install multiple desktop environments to play with (although you may run into problems if the same user tries to use both KDE and Gnome regularly as they use some of the same config files).

Remember too that Windows will run in a virtual machine as well, so if you've got a windows install disk you can always install it to a VM and run it like another program under linux. A lot of graphically intensive games won't run well in a Windows VM, but things like Office do.

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[–] kronal 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

As someone who used it for years as my main OS is not veteran friendly either lol The UX basically sucks, although the customization is great, most of the time you just want to get your things done, not fiddle with your OS. Customization also requires you to know how to configure your stuff properly and lack of that could be a security problem.

Now I tend to enjoy Windows 8.1 because it makes me more productive, and gives me the best of both worlds, that is some applications that aren't available on Linux and ported open source ones.

As a side note, access to free applications is nice (and you get that on Windows and MacOS X, too), but some alternative to established products are simply not as good, and in general tend to have worse user interaction. You end up "paying" for them with the extra time you spend, it's not a panacea.

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[–] batteriesnotincluded 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

As someone who used it for years as my main OS is not veteran friendly either

If you find modern linux hard, I'm not sure if you qualify as a veteran.

It was bad in the mid 90s. Now its quite easy, and there are heaps of documentation, tutorials, videos, clubs, free helpdesks, etc.

alternative to established products are simply not as good, and in general tend to have worse user interaction

The argument about 'established products' is legit, but the OS it favours depends on the product. If you want to run the Cadence suite, you're going to need to run AIX, Solaris, or Linux. If you want to run the adobe suite, you'll need Windows. If you're stuck on final cut pro, you'll need OSX.