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As far as I have been able to tell, if you are tech-savvy in any way, Linux is better than Windows for a number of reasons:

  1. Linux just doesn’t die

Windows seems to slow up and either crash or just become un-usable after a few days, if you are doing much with it. Linux doesn’t. I’ve had my Gentoo system up for fifty days doing full time dev work and gaming without a noticable slowdown.

  1. Linux VWMs actually work

My belief is that the taskbar is a fundamentally inefficient way of managing windows and that virtual desktops are a far better way to manage windows. Due to the weird way windows are managed in windows, you have to severly hack the window system to get VWMs working, and even then you tend to have errant apps that don’t play ball. On Linux, they just work, in every window manager I have used.

  1. emerge/apt

On Gentoo and Debian you have special commands to install software. These commands can also update software, including automatically updating all the software on your system. So, installing, say, the Gnome desktop is as simple as:

After this initial command, emerge will then keep Gnome up to date all by itself pretty much. After you get used to this way of doing things, downloading installers and having to check websites for software updates seems positively archaic.

  1. Consistency of UI

If you choose one toolkit, either QT or GTK, and stick with apps from that toolkit, you get an extremely consistent look and feel to applications. Compared to the often confused layout evidenced in many Windows programs, it’s nice to see. GTK especially expounds the virtues of simplicity and just-getting-things-done, making most core GTK applications both simple and intuitive. I can pick up a Gnome application pretty quickly when compared to some of the programs I have used in Windows.

Take CD rippers. There are about ten or fifteen buttons in my Windows one, all without labels. Even after a year or so of using it I have to mouse over the buttons and wait for a tooltip to popup before I can rip a CD. My Linux ripper, by contrast, has two buttons, one labeled “Reread” and one labeled “Extract”. Much simpler.

In conclusion — for how I use a computer — Linux simply makes my life simpler. I don’t have to constantly reboot, I don’t have to bother with keeping software up to date and I don’t have to live with confusing programs. If you don’t want that, then I’m afraid I can’t win you over.

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