Gaming: Old and New
Native gaming on Windows is better, while programming on Linux is much improved over Windows. Sure, thanks to Steam OS there’s been a push to optimize games for cross-compatibility. Such titles as Alien: Isolation and Half-Life 2 saw Linux versions alongside Windows and Mac iterations, and there are some fantastic gems hiding right there in the software center, but gaming is unarguably stronger on Windows.
Want to play those old games (think 16-bit)? Well, modern (64-bit) Windows architecture can’t handle them. Linux gracefully offers support of 16-bit programs via both 32- and 64-bit operating systems. Thanks to WINE, many Windows apps run like a champ. Want the best of gaming, both old and new? Dual boot.
When running an operating system natively on a system (as opposed in a virtual machine, or VM), that operating system has full access to the host machine. Thus, dual booting means more access to hardware components, and in general it’s faster than utilizing a VM. Virtual machines typically are more system-intensive, so running Linux or Windows inside a VM requires pretty beefy specs for decent performance.
You may find that many of your favorite programs don’t function quite as well in one operating system versus the other. Until recently, a case in point was Netflix (but this has since been overcome). However, regular use of Adobe applications and/or particular video games may compel you to dual boot. Having two operating systems installed ensures surefire access to all your programs and services.
Using Netflix on Linux has been simplified considerably in the past few months. With the right browser, you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies from the popular streaming subscription service on your Linux device.
Programming Is (Sometimes) Better on Linux
Want to get into programming? Linux has many advantages. It’s free, which is always a plus. Then there’s the bevy of languages including Java, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, and C/C++, loads of coding apps, and bash support.
Want to develop for Windows or Mac? Sure, you can totally use Linux, but it’s typically preferable to code apps for an operating system natively. Windows, for example, has the ultra-powerful Visual Studio and it’s the go-to for Windows apps. Consider dual booting for programming, and use Linux as a development environment.
It’s Really, Really Easy
There’s a misconception that Linux is ridiculously complex. Sure, the command line can be a bit daunting to the first-time user, and yes more tweaking is occasionally required when compared to using Windows or Mac. Ultimately Linux is merely an operating system, and may be used as simply that.
How do you evangelize Linux to someone who doesn’t share your enthusiasm? How can you persuade your mom to switch from Windows? These tips will help you build an army of Linux newbies.
Similarly, dual booting is a cinch. There are guidelines that ensure a smooth install. For instance, always make sure to install Linux second, after the primary operating system. Sharing files is totally feasible as well, as Linux allows access to many Windows files.