Six secrets that might encourage Windows users to try Linux

Six things that Windows users should know about Linux. Plus: Four Linux download managers, and why has the controversial systemd been adopted so quickly?

If you've been a Linux user for a while then chances are that you know quite a bit about it. But for many Windows users Linux can seem quite abstruse and intimidating, and that's not a good thing. Fortunately, MakeUseOf has a helpful article that blows the lid off the secrets of Linux and may encourage Windows users to try Linux.

According to MakeUseOf:

Linux has progressed quite a bit in recent years to where it has become a better and better alternative for Windows users. If you’re still a bit unsure, here are six secrets that Windows users may not know about Linux. Knowing these these six secrets should make you more comfortable trying Linux out. Interested? Let’s get started.

1. You can test it risk-free in a live environment

2. Drivers are rarely needed

3. Software alternatives exist

4. Installing software is easier

5. Linux is all about customization

6. The terminal is rarely used (and easily learned)

More at MakeUseOf
Linux secrets that Windows users need to know
Image credit: MakeUseOf

I always like articles like this because they offer a chance for Linux to reach out to Windows users and welcome them into the open source family. The information in it might seem obvious or very basic to experienced Linux users, but it can be quite a revelation to someone who has only used Windows for their entire computing lives.

The bit about the terminal is probably one of the more important secrets covered in the article. It's unfortunate that some Windows users do think that they'd have to use the terminal to do many things in Linux, and that simply isn't true these days. Rarely does one actually need the terminal to perform the usual desktop functions in Linux, but many Windows uses are unaware of this.

That said, I think it's a great idea to learn more about the terminal since it can be an extremely useful and powerful tool for any Linux user. William E Shotts Jr. is the author of The Linux Command Line and he also has a helpful site that has some basic information about using the command line. Tecmint also had a helpful article that covers Twenty Useful Commands for Linux Newbies.

I'm also glad that they mentioned software applications, and how easy they are to install these days. Some Windows users probably still think that installing or managing software in Linux is some sort of arcane process, and nothing could be further from the truth in most desktop Linux distributions.

Hopefully articles like this one will help encourage Windows users to give Linux a try by helping them to overcome ignorance or misunderstandings about how Linux actually works, and what it has to offer.

Four Linux download managers

Linux User and Developer has a roundup of what it considers to be four of the top download managers. The article covers interface, integration, features, availability and an overall score for each download manager application.

According to Linux User and Developer:

Download managers seem to be old news these days, but there are still some excellent uses for them. We compare the top four of them on Linux.

uGet

KGet

DownThemAll!

Steadyflow

More at Linux User and Developer
Top Linux download managers
Image credit: Linux User and Developer

Binary Tides also has a longer list of Linux download managers, as does alternativeTo.

Why has systemd been adopted so quickly?

A redditor asks why systemd has been adopted so quickly if it's such a controversial technology.

According to Reddit:

I'm not asking about whether or not it's a good thing. There are already plenty of threads about that.

What I'm wondering is how such a controversial technology has achieved such widespread adoption. Basically all the major distros have/will be using it (wikipedia source), even though the community and a lot of its prominent figures seem to think it's a terrible idea. In my experience, getting the distros to unanimously agree on anything is a rare occurrence, never mind something so many people hate.

What social/political/technical factors are at play here that I don't know about?

More at Reddit

The thread clearly hit a sore spot among Linux users, with more than five hundred comments already posted in it. One redditor answers with this comment that may shed some light on systemd:

For the average developer/admin who has to write a few daemons/initscripts a year, it truly is far far easier to deal with and get right than the systems it replaced. (there are other ways to accomplish a similar level of robustness and ease of use, but systemd it is by far the most comprehensive). I think it also makes the distro packager's lives much easier, and they are probably the ones with the most influence on decisions like the default init system.

If you aren't familiar with it, see Wikipedia's overview of systemd for some helpful background information.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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