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

C'est gratuit

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.

Les programmes.

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.

L'installateur intégré facilite incroyablement la recherche, l'installation et la suppression d'un programme.

De même, c'est sûr : vous pouvez oublier les logiciels limités en version "démo", ou les freeware malintentionnés qui polluent l'Internet.

Pas de combats

Garder votre ordinateur en forme ne doit pas être un souci. Après un an, GNU/Linux tourne aussi vite que le premier jour. Et il pourrait bien ramener votre vieux PC à la vie.

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.

Sécurité

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.

Des mises à jour régulières garderont tout utilisateur en sécurité.

Soutien

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 "En lire plus" 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.

Mise en place générale

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.

Navigation web et tâches communes

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

Prise en charge des pilotes

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

Ainsi, les pilotes des cartes graphiques haut de gamme les plus récentes ne sont pas toujours disponibles – certains doivent être dérivés de pilotes pour Windows par des volontaires. Certains pilotes sont également disponible gratuitement, mais sous des licences restrictives.

Malheureusement, le même problème apparaît avec de nombreuses cartes WiFi bas de gamme.

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, formats restreints

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:

Jouer

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:

Mise en veille prolongée (hibernation).

À cause des questions de pilotes évoquées plus haut, la mise en veille des ordinateurs portables n'est pas toujours entièrement fiable. Le symptôme le plus fréquent est la perte de connexion WiFi après mise en veille, sur les portables dont les pilotes matériels ne sont pas libres.

Conclusion

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.
  • Votre liberté compte. Des milliers de membres de communautés et entreprises travaillent à construire du logiciel qui la préserve. Utiliser GNU/Linux est la meilleure façon d'en profiter.
  • C'est très agréable ! Ne pas devoir se soucier de logiciel espions, de virus, d'enregistrement en ligne de programmes, de démos qui expirent, ou de trouver des logiciels vraiment libres et gratuits, tout cela rend l'utilisation d'un ordinateur bien plus sympathique et presque ludique.

Nous espérons que vous migrerez bientôt. Il existe une grande communauté qui vous attend, et personne ne vous demande « d'acheter et de vous enregistrer ».