Sick of Windows? Try Linux!

March 15, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’re tired of Windows, there are other operating systems that you might use.

For instance, you might buy a Mac; of course this is an expensive solution, and one that can be avoided if you first try one of the many Linux operating systems.

These open source operating systems have come a long way in the last 10 years, with polished user interfaces and useful onboard applications that will deliver (for most users) a seamless computing experience.

Ideal for both enthusiasts and beginners, the Linux distribution Ubuntu is the most popular at present, offering Windows-style computing.

You don’t even have to install the operating system – Live discs are available that can be used to sample the delights of Linux without even installing it.

Using Linux Live Disc in Windows

Finding a Live Disc

There is no need to go running for a new computer when you can breathe new life into your old one with a copy of Ubuntu or one of the many other Linux distributions.

A live disc will run by copying the OS into your PC’s RAM, allowing you to find out just how easy the new operating system is to use before you discard Windows and head for Linux. If you don’t like the Linux version you have chosen, you can either try another or forget about the whole thing – without affecting your PC!

Live discs can be found online from a variety of places – the most up-to-date list is available via www.livecdlist.com, but if you want to get started with the popular Ubuntu, head to www.ubuntu.com, where the live disc can be downloaded in ISO format and burned to a blank CD-ROM.

(Note that Live discs are available for other Linux distributions such as Debian, Fedora and many others.)

Using Ubuntu Live Disc

Once you have downloaded and burned the Ubuntu ISO to a blank CD, insert the disc into the PC you want to test it with and run the Live disc contents.

The Live disc will then run, with a menu offering the following options:

Demo and full installation: this allows you to restart your PC and boot from the Ubuntu disc, taking advantage of the Live feature. If you like it, you are also able (but not forced) to install the operating system as the only choice or to dual-boot.

Install inside Windows: you can also install Ubuntu as an application within Windows. When installed you will be able to run Ubuntu from the Windows programs list; this will use up more resources than the demo or full installation, however.

Finally…

There is little more you can do at this stage than to make a decision. The Live disc is a popular means of enjoying Linux in its most user-friendly form, and if you decide you like it, installation is usually simple and fast.

Once you have switched to a Linux OS such as Ubuntu it is unlikely you will want to go back to Windows. Almost all utilities are open source and you will not need to spend time downloading them from the web and installing – Ubuntu features a manager tool for adding software, automating the configuration and generally making the process easy!

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