The Linux Convert Corner


Share your Linux conversion success stories here! If you've switched your friends, family or workplace to Linux, we want to hear about it. Please post below! (This page originally started as an Open Ballot for our podcast, but it became so full of positive reports that we want to keep it as a permanent feature.)

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A long journey

I first converted from Windows to Linux fully when I found myself with an extra hard drive. I put Ubuntu on it, and was immediately drawn to the style and legal freeness of everything. I am now at the point where the only thing I will use another operating system for is video editing, a field in which Linux is sadly lacking.

Recently I converted from Ubuntu to Arch Linux. It was an incredibly difficult setup that almost ended in a fiery disaster, but I pushed through it. I would never recommend Arch to anyone but a dedicated Linux power user, but I love having complete control and responsibility for my system now, and will probably never look back.

Converted Windows Guy

just a comment to let you all know of my recent conversion.

up until a month a go I was a die hard windows fanatic. all of my qualifications are in windows and the network I work on are windows.

when windows 7 was released I thought that no OS could actually compete.

I have used Linux before but I reverted back to windows as I didn't like the early versions. I was pointed in the direction of TuxRadar Podcasts by a colleague of mine. I started listening and I enjoyed them. I started hearing about Ubuntu 11.4 Unity, so i thought " ah why not " so I decided to install it on a spare laptop i had in my office.

I knew that you could only use Unity if your hardware was compatible so when it installed on a 5 year old laptop i was extremely impressed. I started using it and quickly fell in love with unity and then the first thing that came into my head was " wow! this is competition for W7."

that night I took the decision to remove Windows from my work laptop as i realised that all the apps I use at work i can install on Linux.

I now have a working work laptop that runs 11.4 unity. I have Dropbox, Skype, LibreOffice, Virtual Box ( have to use windows from time to time) and i am also aple to Remote into all of my Windows servers as i would with my Windows machine.

I was impressed with evolution mail on how it connected straight to my Exchange Email and was set-up within seconds.

so now I work in windows environment with my Linux laptop, my laptop is 2 years old and has never ran as slick as it does now.

Well done Ubuntu on a great OS. im very Impressed!!!!

yours Sincerely

a new Linux convert to add to your long list.

Wife, son, folks, in-laws and a few friends

There are 8 households happily running Ubuntu as a result of my helping them fix badly behaved windoze installations. The best part is their are no support calls or questions afterwards - it just works.

Sister-In-Law, and her brother

So, I hope everyone had a lovely relaxing Xmas.

I had the usual family "can you take a look at my computer" questions and my Sister-in-law had a particularly nasty virus on her Win7 laptop. McAfee couldn't find it, Clam couldn't find it, but it was definitely there, along with it's "you need to download software to fix a virus" messages.

So, long story short, we wiped the hard-drive and put Linux Mint on.

I spent, oooh, 5 minutes showing her around the desktop wow-ing her and her brother with sliding desktops, fancy menus, how all the software you could ever want is just an automatic download away, etc, etc.

I'd setup MythTV on Ubuntu 9 for my Brother the year before, so I think they're now free from M$ :¬)

Whole family converted

I converted my brothers whole family to Ubuntu. The 3 kids all have netbooks, my brother has a newish Lenovo and his wife has an Acer.

Windows has been blitzed from all of them and Linux installed.

They also have an old desktop that was too slow for Windows and now it's happily buzzing along with Ubuntu.

No problems, no virus, no crashes, just easy to use fast trouble free computing.

In the mean time i earn a fortune fixing PC's that belong to others that still insist on using Windows.

Today I held a gun to

Today I held a gun to someone's head and told them to install Linux over their Windows 7 partition. It was a tense standoff but eventually they had to install it because I threatened to kill their whole family. LOL, oh well.

Another Linux convert.


I converted Witney Houston to Linux, look what happened to her.

Steer clear of it is my adise.

i want to be a linux user

hi guys.. nice work here in tuxradar.. I use a windows XP and I am already used to it and i am thinking of "upgrading" to a linux os instead of another windows' version.. anyway, i am thinking I might not be able to use most software tools on linux.. I am a learning web/computer programmer..

Please, could someone help me out with some advice...

Re: I want to be a linux user

If you are a beginner web/computer programmer then I think that there is very little question that moving to linux would be smart. Linux is far better for web developement. I use a acommand line editor called "vim" and I love it to bits, however if you're looking for a more user-friendly opotion with more GUI features and less of a learning curve; bluefish (I think) is a wisiwig/code editor similar to dreamweaver.

As a beginner I think you should also get to know IRC and check out the ubuntu or liux channels for help and info.

As to converting someone? I am always getting much interest in my laptop at school and why it isn't 'Normal' and I have come close to converting multiple netbook users to linux, but no cigar quite yet. mostly this is because there are some hardcore windows fanboys that practically shout at people if they switch to linux.

Thus far in 2012

I've had two requests to wipe Windows and install Linux. (My sister & a colleague.) These conversions were to Linux Mint and Mepis respectively. I also installed Mint on a family PC where the 'native' Windows install's integrity was in doubt. They initially wanted me to clean up Windows but circumstances allowed me to suggest they try Linux. It's been several weeks and there's no sign of them looking back. Yes, i have been keeping in touch and checking all is OK which I think is important!

She did it, but not without a fight...

When the love of my life and I met, she was a diehard Apple woman with an iPhone 4 attached to her thumbs and jawline and a 7 y.o. Apple laptop close by. Since then, about 843 lifetimes have happened. Not the least of which were her laptop finally crashing to a halt (yes, they ALL do it, even Apples), and her iPhone getting stolen during an in-home burglary.

She had no computer and no phone to speak of, until she spent a few bucks on a new Android device (and a new carrier) that wipes all iPiles away for a fourth of the price. iOS to Android conversion: done. It even has the "pretty assistant" app I got her. She bitches and misses her iPile, but it's for typical reasons--learning curves make people mad, especially when their pretty, cream-colored, status symbols have been ripped from them.

So, next appeared the 10 y.o. emac*ines laptop, this bastard was so ancient it came with WinME!! I quickly installed Ubuntu and the Macbuntu theme for her. Again, she bitches, but AGAIN, most people bitch because they can't see their pretty white shell and hate the 5 minutes of training they need to get to be up and running again.

Grand total financial hardship for a new Android smartphone and new Linux machine that doe EVERYTHING and MORE than the iPiles they replaced: $103. We are now a Linux/Android household exclusively. She'll keep whining, but, you can't whine for long about FREE.

The real reason people move to linux...

A while ago i heard about linux and decided to try it out. Being quite computer savvy already i soon had Ubuntu 11.04 up and running, getting some cool software and customising it for my needs. Then school started and several things happened - firstly pretty much everyone who saw me switch workspaces asked me if they could get something like that, and i managed to convert a whole bunch of my friends! Then, as soon as they saw me installing stuff with terminal they decided i was a hacker, then when they found ways of screwing their pcs up i officially became tech support. Interestingly, all the new converts have NO problem with unity - they're not used to anything else.

Yup yup

I've been using Slackware since 2005. I started with 10.1 and have upgraded with each new iteration. I love it. For machines I'm not writing code on, I use Linux Mint with Cinnamon.

I installed a fresh HDD in an old P4 machine for my father that I pulled out of the trash and installed XP for him two years ago. After having nothing but problems and suffering through long RDP sessions, I dual booted his machine with Lubuntu. He told me he liked it better, since it ran faster and the menus were set arranged with more thought. I eventually backed up the disk with Clonezilla and ran GParted to remove the Windows partition.

My girlfriend has been using Linux Mint since her sister dropped her laptop down a flight of stairs, destroying the HDD. I bought her a new disk, and since we're both broke, she said she would give Linux a try while she saved money for Vista. She hasn't switched back yet. The only thing she missed was iTunes, but since she bought an Android phone, she hasn't given Windows a thought in three years.

softly, softly, catchy monkey

What do most people do on Windows ? Browsing, email and documents mainly. So, first get them onto open source software that works on windows;, Firefox, Thunderbird etc. Once they're happy, then one can swap out the O/S underneath. I've done the first part with the wife and kids and am now working on getting my son onto linux by tempting him with all the free games.

Got my friends on Linux

First I installed Lubuntu 11.10 on my teacher's second office computer. It ran much faster than XP. He likes how it's modular and customizable.

Then I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on my youth pastor's office computer. Again it ran smoother and faster than XP and he was very impressed. He said it looks good like a mac but it's free.

I also hooked my school's technology club president with Ubuntu 11.10.

perhaps oldest ubuntu user

I converted my grandmother to Ubuntu like 5 years ago. She only do mailing and "gaming", with a tiny bit of web browsing, but it is easier to understand to her, more user-friendly than windows. Her computer also stops crashing everyday, which she enjoyed.
She now is 93 years old.

I finally have a spare box

I finally have a spare box that I want to drop a copy of Linux on

New Convert

My mother had a toshiba laptop that stopped working properly. The keyboard upped and died on it. She needs a device to listen to podcasts on. So I bought her a Nexus7. She is happier with that than the Windows machine that had been a source constant headaches for both me and my mother. My dad also uses a samsung tablet more than the laptop which runs vista. When I explained to them that it runs linux, they were surprised as 'It doesn't look geeky at all, at does lots of good stuff.' Now, if only I can convince him to install Mint on his laptop, We'd be set.

Next Door Neighbour again

Got a knock on the door again from the guy I installed Mint onto his laptop last year asking if I could replace Vista on a virus riddled laptop for him, nuff said.

Upgraded to Windows 8 from Vista then ditched for Mint 13

Upgraded from Vista to Windows 8 which at first was good until a bombardment of updates and PC running at a snails pace in addition PC would not shut down! Then got problems with the Virus Checker as lost license information. Ditched the lot for Mint 13 and PC is now in the fast lane. Had installed Ubuntu on my netbook some time ago after recurring problems with slow speed of Windows XP. Will see how I get on with Mint.

Sure Did!

Mom's XP infected laptop got usurped by Dad,so I gave her my little EEE PC which I had installed Ubuntu on, showed her how to get to Firefox, LibreOffice, and the little NAS I have set up for them,she has been using it ever since,for about a year, with no problems!
The XP infected Gateway Dad was using finally gave up the ghost (thank the almighty penguin in the sky, I was getting tired of bringing it back to life from all of its viruses and various other windows problems), and he switched to a Dell mini, running, of course, XP, and badly. I took out all the bloat-ware, turned off auto-updates, took away all the (limited) eye candy for XP, and it still ran unbearably slow. He got fed up, I ran my live-USB of Bodhi for him, demonstrated how to do all the simple tasks he used Windows for, and it all just worked flawlessly. Installed it, and now he is a convert. I unfortunately must use Windows to accomplish tasks for work, because the products I work on (which all run either Unix or some form of Linux BTW) require programs only written for windows to interface with to download upgrades and applications into them! But that is the only time I fire up my WIN7 laptop. When I get home, I use my Bodhi desktop PC and have fun seeing if I can break it! I usually do, but thanks to the Forums, I can always get it back up with a few CLI commands.

Great for relatives!

I've installed it on a couple of relatives aging Windows laptops. My parents now use Lubuntu to do their office work and printing without any problems.

My aunt uses it for web surfing and e-mail.

My roommate has grown fond of it, though her aging laptop is starting to die...

Linux has proven a great tool for reviving old computers that Microsoft would advise to be tossed out.

10+ Coverts

I've helped my mum, dad, bother (both personal laptop and public PC in his guest house), sister, her husband, 2 ex-girlfriends, the current girl friend, her mum and 2 other friends all change to Ubuntu. I won't provide free tech support for family and friends unless they switch and I get far fewer calls than when they were all running Windows. All most everyone find Ubuntu easier and faster...happy days!

Two Random converts

I recently had a bit of an extended outing last weekend, and found myself hearing of the computer ails of old friends with whom I had been just recently re-united. I, considering myself more tech-savy than the average user, offered to take a crack at fixing his computer. The state of this computer cannot be exaggerated, at this point the malware was running Windows. It was at this point I told my friend, I can get this running again, but I can't fix the inherent insecurities in the operating system. His response was, "well, what else can I run?" At this point I, having been a regular listener of the tuxradar podcast, with my courage bolstered by the alcohol in my system, I then proceeded to spin the tail of the wonders of Linux. After hearing the daring tale of the Linux, he decided that a functional free operating system would be preferable to a broken Windows install. Not twenty minutes later, another person singing of computer woes walked in, right after I had gotten the previous person's laptop up and running with Ubuntu 11.10. His computer failed righted past boot screen, and again, I installed Ubuntu 11.10.
Two weeks later, both people are very happy with their ubuntu installations and I find myself converting more and more people to linux whenever I go about my debauchery. Linux 'nd booze, what a wonderful combination!

beautiful wife, linux user

My wife was an avid Windows user on her laptop. It worked great, except the images and desktop would get distorted all the time. It was fine, but annoying. Then, she got into blogging, she had to see what she was doing. So, she allowed me to put ubuntu on her laptop, and she has never been happier. It is fast, boots quickly, no lag to start or shutdown, no distorted images. no antivirus jargon. Perfect with gimp, etc. Plus, she loves the window animations that jiggle when moved, and being able to customize the colors and fonts so easily. :)

Work mate

A colleague of mine was a total Bill Gates supporter. She was such a fan of Microsoft that she was constantly picking up discussions with me about the benefits of Windows. She enjoyed every time I was having trouble with a linux machine.

One day, for some reason, she came to me with a windows XP laptop that was taking hours for booting. Once the desktop was running, any input (mouse or keyboard) will take minutes to show in the screen. I formated the whole disk and installed Debian with LXDE. She was astonished the first time she saw her old laptop booting in less than a minute. Webcam, microphone and headphones plug were working out of the box.
We don't work together now. But every time I get to talk/email with her, she tells me about the great thing linux has done with her good old laptop.

PC Woes No More

Tired of spending countless hours fixing my brother's Windows laptop, and removing hundreds of viruses owing to his lackadaisical security and safety concerns, I remotely downloaded Zorin OS vie Teamviewer and then called him to talk him through the installation process.

I was sceptical at first about how he would get on with it, but last week when he wanted my help to install some software, I connected to Teamviewer and saw that he had been hacking the desktop displays; changing screen wobbles, desktop icons and taskbar opacity. After I helped him he sent me a text message that read simply "Linux is the best"

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