From Windows to GNU/Linux

This is what everyday users usually find better, mostly the same, or not as good, when switching from Windows to GNU/Linux.

What is better in GNU/Linux

Es libre

Unlike Windows, GNU/Linux is free software – free as in freedom. Install it on all computers and make copies for your friends! You can even study it, transform it as you please, or build and sell your own distribution.


There are a wealth of free applications available at no cost under GNU/Linux. To edit professional documents, burn music CDs, rework photos, design a website, or organise music; there's no need for $200 software with restrictive licenses.

El instalador incorporado hace que sea increíblemente fácil encontrar, instalar y desinstalar programas, eliminando la rutina de buscar en la web el software que no le haga daño al computador.

Además es seguro: Te puedes olvidar del software con versiones de prueba que expira a los 30 días, o el peligroso freeware que contamina la web.

Ninguna lucha

Para mantener el computador en forma con el paso del tiempo no tiene que ser necesario una lucha constante. Un año después de su instalación, GNU/Linux funciona tan rápido como el primer día. E incluso puede darle vida a tu computador viejo.

Also, GNU/Linux lets you choose what you want and what you don't. If you had a hard time getting rid of Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, or adware and web browser toolbars, you'll find it refreshing.


Forget expensive and restrictive anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-anything and anti-everything. GNU/Linux is very, very secure.

It is often difficult for Windows users to believe that there are no spyware nor viruses under GNU/Linux — but it's true. Malicious programs have a hard time doing anything at all in a well-built system.

Las actualizaciones regulares y sencillas de GNU/Linux mantienen el sistema completamente a salvo.


GNU/Linux benefits from a great sense of community whose friendliness will surprise you. If you try to do something complicated but can't succeed, there are a lot of people around to help you out. Our "Más detalles" page gives a few pointers.

The companies behind the main GNU/Linux distributions, such as Canonical and Red Hat, also provide expert commercial support.

What is mostly the same in GNU/Linux

Fundamentally, everyday users will find GNU/Linux similar in use to Windows or macOS.

Configuración general

If you still believe GNU/Linux is controlled with code and command-line, you should update your views!

Just like Windows, GNU/Linux has to boot when you switch your computer on, and then you use programs in it to do different things. The taskbar and layout of applications will feel familiar to Windows or macOS users.

Navegación web y tareas comunes

The Web looks just the same when viewed with GNU/Linux (in fact you can browse the Web with the same program if you already use Firefox or Google Chrome). And of course, you can go through your picture and music collection all the same. Files and folders are navigated with a file manager like Windows Explorer.

What is not as good in GNU/Linux

Soporte de controladores

Manufacturers of computer hardware don't always (yet) release drivers for GNU/Linux or publicize full specifications.

Por esta razón, a veces no hay controladores para las tarjetas gráficas más nuevas en el mercado; los voluntarios tienen que aplicar ingeniería inversa a los controladores de Windows. Además, algunos son ofrecidos gratuitamente, pero bajo licencias restrictivas.

Lamentablemente, lo mismo sucede con muchas tarjetas WiFi baratas.

However, the vast majority of computers with standard hardware work out of the box with main GNU/Linux distributions. Common hardware such as USB keys or photo cameras never are a problem.

DVDs, formatos restringidos

Many multimedia formats in use are proprietary and not openly specified; this means, broadly speaking, that GNU/Linux programmers have to find out how to read them without any help from the format designers.

This might lead you to circumvent the restrictions in some DVDs and the DRM in some music files, even if you purchased them in full legality, to be make them work under GNU/Linux. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, such circumvention processes may be illegal even if you purchased your media entirely legally.

Read more in our GNU/Linux FAQ:


Hard-core computer gamers, you might find that the GNU/Linux gaming world is less professional and out-of-the-box than under Windows: the large game developing companies are only slowly getting interested in the free software world, which means that many well-known titles do not work on GNU/Linux, or need special restrictive emulators to work.

There is a very active free software game development community though, and they have produced quite a few high-quality games, both 2D and 3D, that are free software. You can head to the Ubuntu gaming forum to find more information. And with the release of the popular Steam platform to GNU/Linux, the number of GNU/Linux supported games on Steam has been growing rapidly.

Read more in our GNU/Linux FAQ:


En algunos computadores, hibernar no es del todo fiable, una vez más, por problemas de controladores. El problema más frecuente es la pérdida de la conexión WiFi después de hibernar en computadores portátiles cuyos controladores no son libres.


Whether you are going to enjoy GNU/Linux depends mostly on what you expect from it.

  • If you wish GNU/Linux to be just exactly like Windows, you will probably be disappointed. GNU/Linux is built by people who simply wish it to be different. In the free software community, members have different visions of what makes an ideal operating system. These differences lead to variety, which is what makes GNU/Linux so special and interesting.
  • Tu libertad importa. Miles de personas en comunidades y compañías trabajan para crear software sobre el cual tú puedas ejercer tu libertad. Usando GNU/Linux es la forma más sencilla de hacerlo.
  • ¡Es divertido! El no tener que preocuparse de spyware, virus, activación de programas, programas que expiran, o encontrar software que es realmente libre, hace que de la nada, usar un computador sea una experiencia agradable.

Esperamos que cambies pronto. Hay una gran comunidad esperando, y nadie pidiéndote que "te inscribas, compres y te registres".