Slackware64 Linux is on my desktop.
It depends on what you want to do with your computer, but unless you have a windows based application for which there is no Linux equivalent (which is getting rare), there is no need to use ms-windows. OTOH, I have heard of web sites that will only work with ms-windows browsers, but there are ways around that.
There are literally hundreds of Linux distributions, some made for general use and some for
Distrowatch.com a good place to start your research, https://distrowatch.com/
At the top of the page is a link to a bit of history about the more popular Linux distributions,
Once you get your "feet wet" and have questions, Linuxquestions.org is a good source of
The MAC operating system is very much based on FreeBSD and other open source projects and is a remote cousin of Linux. What we know as BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) and was developed at the University of California, at Bekeley (CAL).
Linux was developed by Linus Torvalds a, then, 19 years old college student at the University of Helsinki, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds
Mr. Torvalds is now a U.S. Citizen and lives in the Portland, Oregon area.
There are several reasons there are more viruses and malware written for ms-windows.
One, ms-windows is the largest target and the sick, twisted minds that write vriuses, etc.,
want the largest possible audience (read, pool of victims).
Also, ms-windows was, originally, meant to be a single standalone operating system (running on top of DOS or NT) and security wasn't much of a consideration, that is, it was an easy target.
BSD and Linux, OTOH, were written from the very start with network security in mind.
For beginners, Linux Mint, is very popular, especially among former ms-windows users.
There are several desktop environments for Linux and the *BSDs, but, again, among
former windows users, the KDE desktop is very popular, https://www.kde.org/
I'm not a big fan of the latest KDE, what they calll Plasma 5, or what others call KDE-5,
but you can't beat it for the number and variety of applications that come with it.
I bounce between Xfce and KDE-4, but still use several KDE applications while using
the Xfce desktop. During the holiday season (or anytime you wish) you can run XSnow on Xfce. It puts
"trees" on the desktop, falling snow that accumulates on the desktop, and every
once in a while, Santa and Rudolph fly by. :) XSnow won't run on the newer versions
BTW, to make it even more confusing :) there are also "window mangers" that are
not "desktop environments," but that is another converstion best had after someone
has become a Linux user and has a little experience under their belt.
That is not to say Linux is difficult. Distributions like Linux Mint are as easy, if not
easier, to install and run than ms-windows.
I can install Slackware Linux in less time than ms-windows, but, OTOH, Slackware
is for those who don't mind learning something new and are willing to roll up their
sleeves and get under the hood (bonnet for the cousins). :)
BTW, Dell sells both desktops and laptops with Ubuntu Linux installed. In a recent
article a Dell excutive refused to state how many have been sold, but he did say
it has been a very successful project and the sales of their Linux based computers
are into the tens of millions of Dollars.
Edited by Samsonite, 23 January 2017 - 03:47 PM.