Migrating from Windows

A common topic in Linux forums is migrating from Windows. For many people this is a daunting task and rightfully so.

Whether Linux succeeds varies for each person.

The first focus should be migrating software apps. Find alternate cross-platform software that runs on Windows and Linux. Get comfortable with using the new software.

Focus on migrating the operating system last.

If there is any serious dependency on vertical software then migrating likely is not worth the effort. WINE is a wonderful example of reverse engineering but is not designed for non technical people. Often software running in WINE does not perform exactly as needed. Virtual machines (VMs) are great tools, but a significant number of non technical people do not grok VMs. Those who do often reply with, “Why should I run two computers?”

I have installed Linux for other people. The effort does not always succeed. I have had to restore Windows because of vertical software.

Most non technical people know how to tap and swipe on their phones, but know nothing about configuring computers. At work I created several custom *.desktop files and shell scripts to help users avoid the command line as much as possible. I can’t even encourage workers to use SSH in a terminal window. Instead they insist on using PuTTY because that is what they grew accustomed to using with Windows. Memory muscle is a steep hill to climb and most people refuse to embark on any such journey.

Using LibreOffice is great for many people but becomes a proverbial can of worms when needing to exchange files with other people using MS Word. Simple files work fine but adding complexity to documents usually causes tech support complaints.

Linux is not Windows. People who do little more than use a web browser and think Facebook is the world wide web usually can adjust to Linux as long as custom desktop shortcuts are provided. Often home users are a tech support nightmare who expect perpetual support for free.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Migrate, Windows

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