Microsoft some time ago decided to end support for older versions of Windows such as Windows XP. No more technical support and security updates for these versions in future signaled Microsoft’s intentions to encourage users to migrate to the latest version of Windows. Let’s face it; there are several users who are still on Windows XP – especially in the developing parts of the world. While upgrading Windows XP to Windows 10 seems to be the logical step, users who unwilling or unable to pay can migrate to a free operating system based on Linux.
Linux alternatives to Windows
Linux, till date, remains one of the best known and most used open source operating system. It is one of the most popular version of the UNIX operating System with open source as its source code. Primarily, it is composed of 3 components namely,
- Kernel – forms the core part of Linux. It manages all major activities of the operating system and consists of various modules which interact directly with the underlying hardware.
- System Library – Programs via which application programs or system utilities access Kernel’s features.
- System Utility – Programs of this utility are specialized to perform individual level tasks.
Let us take a look at some of the free and open source Linux based operating systems for your Windows XP computer.
It is the most renowned PC OS alternative running everywhere from PC to the cloud and from the smartphones to tablets. The highlight of the OS is its simplicity and dependability. The User Interface of the OS is pretty simple. The best part about the OS is its open-source license. As such, any user desirous of introducing changes to the OS can tweak it to his liking and improve upon it. Interested in taking a tour of the OS, visit here.
There has been a visible increase in the share of Zorin OS user since it morphs the looks and the feel of Windows 7. The emulation of the user interface makes it easier for users to get accustomed to the OS without many efforts. It is a multi-functional operating system designed specifically for Windows users who want to have easy and smooth access to Linux. In addition to the above, there are unique programs like Background Plus, Web Browser Manager and more. Home page.
If your workstation is crammed with multiple desktops, Linux Mint should find a mention amongst them even if it doesn’t happen to be your main production desktop. Following the widespread report of Cinnamon desktops freezing, the developers of the OS have come up with a version that brings a fix for it. Users can, therefore, in case of system freeze, use the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+Alt+Esc’ which restarts the file manager and Settings section. A great easy-to-use alternative, for Windows users. Home Page.
The install of the operating system is not overly difficult for anybody with experience partitioning. For the first time users, there is online documentation available which does a fairly good job in educating the user. It’s pretty fast and responsive, as most applications fire up quickly. Moreover, the layout is simple and easy to understand. Download here.
The OS runs on a modified version of Linux and is believed to be baggage of mixed reviews. It lacks a user – friendly interface which makes the process of navigation somewhat difficult. As soon as you venture beyond the home screen, you find yourself in a cobweb of menus that don’t fit together properly. The good part is the standard SteamOS installation includes a recovery partition on the hard drive. You can use this partition to restore the system drive to its original state, in case of any event of misfortune.
Which Linux is most like Windows?
Zorin OS is probably the most identical to some Windows versions. It comes with a Windows 7 or Windows 10 like Start Menu, which includes all the apps, tools, etc. It has a Taskbar, where you can pin apps, files, folders, etc. Apart from that, you can also use Ubuntu with some mods to make it look like Windows.
Is Linux a good replacement for Windows?
It depends on what you want to do on Linux that you could not do on Windows. If you want to use Linux for programming, you can also consider using Windows with some third-party tools. However, if you want everything natively, you might want to opt for Linux distributions instead of Windows.
More Linux distributions which look like Windows here.
If you have any suggestions to add, please do so in the comments section below.