Linux has gained great popularity over the past few years, and although its market share is still relatively low compared to Windows, through its own efforts, it has adapted well to the changing needs of users.
Linux has some of the most advanced features that other operating systems currently lack, and it is these features that keep its user base growing.
Next, let’s take a look at 10 things you can do on Linux but not on Windows.
1. Test a Distro Through Live Boot
Linux has various distributions that offer tons of unique features. The great thing is that distros let you test the environment first using a live boot feature.
If you are thinking about shifting to Linux, there is no need to delete your current OS. The live boot feature enables you to run any Linux distro in real-time through a USB drive. So, you can evaluate a distro while keeping your current operating system intact.
This feature is not just limited to testing, however. It also allows you to keep Linux portable on a USB drive. You can start using any Linux distro without configuring your PC’s hard drive partition and other settings.
Live boot is safe for your system as it mostly runs on RAM. But first, you’ll have to create a bootable USB drive using the distro’s ISO image.
2. Choose from a wide range of versions and styles
Linux has several distributions and styles. You can find distributions for specific audiences, such as gamers, novice users, system developers, ethical hackers, network engineers, and more.
Each distro has some unique features and optimizations for particular types of users and systems. The competition between distros improves the quality of the Linux ecosystem as a whole. You can even use a particular distro for personal use and another for work.
This variety helps provide you with a personalized experience. You can get a targeted Linux distro if you want to use the OS for specific tasks.
At one point, Microsoft only offers you a flagship operating system.
3. Always free to make the operating system
Since Linux is open source, you can install it for free, unlike Windows, which is expensive. Linux Creator developed this operating system because he wanted a free operating system. So, you can choose any Linux distribution and install it without worrying about spending a dime.
Also, unlike expensive Microsoft Office subscriptions, most of the apps that come with Linux, such as LibreOffice, Firefox, GIMP, etc., are free. This is also one of the main reasons for the success of Linux.
4. Have your own operating system
Because Linux is open-source, this means that anyone can use, edit, and distribute its source code. You have access to the full code, and you can modify it or even add custom functionality.
This step is considered pretty innovative, and it is one of the reasons behind its popularity. Imagine the features you always wanted—now you can add them yourself and develop a customized operating system.
The open-source nature of Linux has helped in growing its community support. You can easily get solutions and fixes for any problem you face through discussions on forums. It’s all because of the open-source code.
Clearly, you can’t do such things on Windows due to the unavailability of source code. Microsoft prefers to keep Windows closed-source.
5. No antivirus software is required when using the operating system
Another benefit of using Linux is that Linux-based systems do not require antivirus software. This is because most viruses and malware target Windows PCs.
Linux systems have a protective layer on the core operating system files, and no one but the superuser can access the root files. This is why virus attacks on Linux rarely occur. So, you should be able to save a year on expensive antivirus software.
6. No need to restart your computer frequently
Reboot after each system update or a software uninstall is a pretty annoying thing on Windows. It is usually not the case with Linux, as installations don’t require the system to reboot at each step.
Windows systems require a reboot after a change in any of their configurations, for example, configuring the speakers, webcam, and more. Linux is smooth in this respect—it barely asks you to restart the system after a change in settings.
However, Linux does need to restart at times, but only after updates in the Linux kernel. So, all in all, the experience is pretty smooth, not requiring long hours of waiting for a system to reboot and configure after an update.
7. Use Lightweight Distros to Resurrect Old PCs and Laptops
OS support for old systems is continuously discontinuing. This is mainly because of the rapid improvement in hardware technology.
Recently Windows, with Windows 11, has discontinued its support for various older PCs. However, Linux provides solutions to address this issue.
You can resurrect your older laptops and PCs by installing Linux distros suitable for your device specifications. You can easily find the right one that supports low-end and old systems as there are plenty of lightweight distros on offer, specially made for this purpose.
Not only distros, but you also get lightweight applications that run seamlessly on old hardware, without bogging down the system.
8. Customize almost all components of the operating system
Again, as Linux is open-source, it means anyone can use, modify, and test its code. This feature allows you to add custom features and improvements to your system.
Even if you are not a developer and don’t want to play with the source code, Linux lets you customize almost every aspect from within the settings and through the terminal.
You can customize things like themes, metrics, filing systems, and much more. You can even change the default file manager, desktop environment, and other primary components of your OS.
9. Create a Folder Named CON
Don’t believe us? Try it yourself. Windows forbids creating a folder named CON. This is because CON is reserved to use for specific system tasks.
Linux allows you to create a CON folder, however. In fact, there is no restriction in naming folders and files. This feature is something you can’t have on Windows.
10. Use Multiple Desktop Environments Simultaneously
Desktop environments like GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and more are the beauty of Linux. You can go a step further and install multiple DEs on the same Linux distro. This ability lets you taste different flavors of the same distro simultaneously.
Some Linux distros come pre-installed with multiple desktop environments, while in others you’ve to install and configure desktops manually. You won’t find this functionality on Windows altogether as there’s only a single Windows desktop you’re bound to use.
You should enjoy a unique desktop experience on Linux
Linux is an innovative operating system backed by an enormous community that continuously expands its feature set. It is growing in terms of features, performance, and stability.
As listed above, Linux provides various unique features missing from other proprietary OSes like Windows. If you are looking for any of these features in your operating system, feel free to switch to Linux. It’s free, and you can test it through a live boot with just a USB drive.