The stigma that Linux is difficult to use is well deserved, but is becoming increasingly less true. I’ve been using Linux Mint exclusively for several years now, and I can say with confidence that it is much easier to use and far more powerful than Windows or Mac OS. There are dozens of features that won me over, but here are the top five standout features of Linux Mint that make sitting down at a Windows machine painful.
Simple, Unified Software Updates
If you’ve ever installed an Adobe product on a windows machine, then you are well aware that each program thinks it’s the most important thing on your system, and must be updated as soon as you boot your computer. Windows itself is the real bully when it comes to updates, and will pester you to restart your system so it can install a few hundred security updates. It’s a huge pain to keep a Windows system up to date, and for years I was pining for a unified update manager. Little did I know that Linux had been doing this for a long time. Everything is updated through one software manager that you can run at your convenience. What’s more, updates install extremely fast and almost never require restarting your computer.
Superior File Browser
Nemo (formerly Nautilus in Linux Mint) is a tabbed file browser. After having tabs in my file browser, I simply can’t use the standard Windows explorer. But it gets better. The file browser doubles as an FTP/SSH client. Bookmarks to my local folders live comfortably alongside bookmarks to my remote servers in Nemo. I can’t even begin to express how convenient that is.
The command line is the scariest part of Linux and is the main contributor to the learning curve. Truth is, you don’t have to use it. The every day user will likely never need to touch it, but once you understand how quickly some tasks can be accomplished with it, you’ll understand why the terminal emulator is a featured program.
It’s So Beautiful
Linux has not always been pretty. Utilitarian, for sure. Pretty not so much. This is turning around with my personal favorite, Cinnamon, being one of the best looking desktop environment I’ve ever used. It’s simple, configured just the way I like it right out of the box, and it doesn’t get in my way. Even KDE, which has always been something of an eyesore to me, has cleaned up rather nicely.
It wouldn’t be a proper Linux post without mentioning security. This was actually the driving force behind my decision to switch to Linux. I was a very careful Windows user, but I seemed to get infected with all sorts of viruses only moments after installing the operating system. On Linux, I’m not nearly as careful as I was on Windows, and I have never dealt with malware. I don’t even use anti-virus software on Linux. I’m aware that nothing is one hundred percent bulletproof, but when security vulnerabilities do pop up in Linux they are quickly squashed. Even with all kinds of virus protection measures in place, I don’t like to access sensitive information on a Windows machine any more. Best to save that for Linux where I’m pretty damn sure nobody’s spying on me.