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Replacing Windows 7 With Linux


Currently, there are lots of people who are still using Windows 7 (Some of those people have no intention of upgrading to Windows 10).

Guess what?

Microsoft would be ending its support for Windows 7 on Tuesday the 14th of January, 2020. Therefore, the people who have no intention of upgrading to Windows 10, will have to find an alternative operating system.

Luckily for those people, there is a free alternative — Linux (Which in my opinion, is a thousand times better than sticking with an old Microsoft operating system that will no longer be supported).

The great news is that there are a lot of Linux distributions that are easy to use right out-of-box and I am going to recommend six of them (It is up to you to choose any one of them to permanently replace Windows 7).

Linux Mint Logo (Photo credit: Linux Mint)

Linux Mint Is A Worthy Candidate

Linux Mint was created by Clément Lefèbvre.

It was first released on Sunday the 27th of August, 2006.

Linux Mint is one of those distributions that I would always recommend to new users.


Because of its simplicity (Which makes it ideal for the entire family).

Linux Mint is available in the following desktop environments:

My blog post, Linux Mint — A Mighty Distro, goes further into detail on this wonderful distribution of Linux.

There is a high probability of you being pleased with Linux Mint.

Ubuntu MATE Logo (Photo credit: Ubuntu MATE)

Ubuntu MATE Is A Workhorse

Ubuntu MATE made its debut on Thursday the 23rd of October, 2014.

It was founded by Martin Wimpress and Alan Pope.

The name of the distribution says it all (It is an official Ubuntu flavour with the MATE desktop environment).

Ubuntu MATE is available in the interim release (which is released every six months) and the Long-term Support (Which is released every two years).

The interim release has more up-to-date software while the Long-term Support has software that is a few versions behind the interim release version (Both work rather well).

This reliable distribution of Linux can be used at home and for small businesses.

Here is a sample of the software that comes with Ubuntu MATE:

  • Mozilla Firefox (A popular free and open-source web browser).
  • Evolution (Which is an integrated mail, calendar and address book suite).
  • LibreOffice (An open-source office suite that can give Microsoft Office a run for its money).
  • Rhythmbox (A free and open-source audio player).
  • Shotwell (A digital photo organizer).
  • Celluloid (A free and open-source music player).

The recommended hardware requirements for this well-loved Linux distribution are:

  • A core 2 Duo 1.6 gigahertz processor.
  • 2 gigabytes of RAM.
  • 16 gigabytes of available space on one’s hard disk.
  • A bootable USB flash drive.
  • Keyboard or mouse (Or other pointing devices).
  • A 3D capable video adapter and widescreen monitor with 1366 x 768 or higher resolution.
  • A sound card.
  • Speakers or headphones.

Today’s modern computers come with higher specs; which means that they are more than capable of running Ubuntu MATE in a highly efficient manner.

I am proud to admit, that I used Ubuntu MATE in the past without experiencing any sort of major technical issues.

Ubuntu MATE will make a perfect replacement for Windows 7.

Elementary OS Logo (Photo credit: Elementary OS)

Elementary OS Is Beautiful-Looking And Powerful

Elementary OS was developed by Daniel Foré.

This beautiful-looking distribution of Linux made its first appearance on Thursday the 31st of March, 2011.

Elementary OS uses the Pantheon desktop environment — a desktop environment that is built on top of the GNOME software base.

Elementary OS happens to be another one of those Linux distributions that are based on the LTS version of Ubuntu (Which contributes to this operating system’s stability).

Its recommended system requirements are:

  • A Recent Intel i3 or comparable dual-core 64-bit processor.
  • A computer that has 4 gigabytes of RAM.
  • A solid-state drive with 15 gigabytes of free space.
  • Internet access.
  • A 1024 x 768 display.

Elementary OS is geared towards non-technical users (Which makes it ideal for newcomers to Linux).

M. Hanny Sabbagh’s article, Elementary OS 5.0 Juno Review: A New And Polished Experience, tells us everything that we need to know about this eye-catching distribution of Linux.

Solus Logo (Photo credit: Solus)

Solus — An Independent Desktop Operating System That Is Fabulous

Solus‘s initial release date was on Sunday the 27th of December, 2015.

It is the brainchild of Ikey Doherty.

Today, Solus is run by Joshua Strobl and his team.

Solus is a curated rolling release distribution; its slogan is “Install today. Updates forever.”

Here is a small sample of some of the software that it comes with:

  • Mozilla Firefox.
  • LibreOffice.
  • Rhythmbox.
  • VLC Media Player.
  • HexChat (An internet relay chat client).
  • Transmission (A BitTorrent client).

Solus is available in three desktop environments:

  • Solus Budgie (Their flagship desktop; which is a feature-rich, luxurious desktop using the most modern technologies).
  • Solus GNOME (A contemporary desktop experience).
  • Solus MATE (A traditional desktop for advanced users and older hardware).

The system requirements for Solus are:

  • A blank DVD or a USB flash drive with 2 or more gigabytes.
  • A minimum of 10 gigabytes of available disk space.
  • A 64-bit (x86_64) processor.

Solus is ideal for the following types of people:

  • Developers.
  • Content creators.
  • Gamers.
  • Anyone who wishes to use it at home.
  • Anyone who wishes to use it in their office.

My laptop computer has Solus MATE installed on it (That is what I use to create my blog posts, listen to my MP3 music files and consume other types of multimedia).

I would like to point out that some people were unable to get Solus installed on their computer (Which is probably due to the fact, that there are so many configurations of hardware out there).

However, if you manage to be one of the lucky ones (one of the many people who were able to get Solus installed on their computer), you will like its performance and its stability.

I can proudly admit to you, that updates never rendered my computer useless (It is one of the most stable rolling releases that I ever came across).

Namib GNU/Linux (Photo credit: Namib GNU/Linux)

Namib GNU/Linux Will Leave You Pleasantly Surprised

Hey, I was pleasantly surprised when I used Namib; it worked way better than I expected it to.

Kudos go out to its developer, Frederic (He created Namib from scratch with the help of the Arch Linux ISO).

Namib’s slogan is “Arch Linux made simple.”

Unfortunately, not everyone possesses the skill to install Vanilla Arch (Which is why Frederic simplified things for anyone who wants to venture into the area of Arch Linux).

Namib might not be Arch Linux installed via the so-called, “Arch way,” but it is certainly a pleasure to use.

Namib is available in the following desktop environments:

One of the main reasons I highlighted Namib is because it is compatible with lots of hardware (People who were unable to install other distributions of Linux managed to install Namib easily on their computer).

The only thing that worries me about Namib is that it is run by a one-man team — Frederic (If he meets his untimely death or he decides to quit maintaining Namib, the project could come to an end).

Manjaro Linux Logo (Photo credit: Manjaro Linux)

Manjaro — The Distribution Of Linux For Tech-Savvy People

Manjaro was developed by Guillaume Benoit and Philip Müller.

This Arch-based distribution of Linux was first released on Sunday the 10th of July, 2011.

Manjaro is strongly focused on user-friendliness and accessibility; its system is designed to work fully straight out-of-the-box.

It also comes with a variety of pre-installed software.

Now, the reason why I mentioned that Manjaro is a distribution of Linux for tech-savvy people, is because it breaks occasionally (And when it breaks, you will have to get your hands dirty by fixing it via the usage of various commands in the terminal).

There are times when I think to myself, “The folks at Manjaro wants to keep the minds of its users sharp by introducing technical issues — the types of technical issues that its users are forced to find solutions to.”

For the record, I do not mind Manjaro’s occasional breakage because I love to tinker (Now, even though I am not Elliot Alderson from the television series, Mr. Robot, I do enjoy a good challenge; one that involves fixing the technical issues via Linux terminal commands).

Hey, most rolling releases are known for their occasional breakage (Solus and Debian are exempt from this issue because of their high level of stability).

In the proverbial sense, Manjaro keeps its users on their toes (One never knows when it is going to break again but is fully prepared for whenever a so-called technological-related catastrophe takes place).

The good news is that Manjaro has an active user forum — a place where friendly and well-informed people are willing to help new and old users out (Please be warned, that they dislike help-vampires; the type of people who are in the habit of asking for help without ever trying to solve their problem on their own).

If you are brave and you have a penchant for things that are of a tech-savvy nature, you are more than welcome to replace your Windows 7 installation with Manjaro.

You will find the system requirements for the various desktop environments and window managers on Manjaro’s official website.

Final Thoughts

Dear friend, Microsoft will be ending its support for Windows 7 soon (I do not want you to be left in a vulnerable state; fully exposed to malware).

If you have no intention of upgrading to Windows 10, I highly recommend that you choose any of the six Linux distributions that I highlighted.

After you have made your choice, I want you to thoroughly read, Sarbasish Basu’s article, BalenaEtcher — How to create a bootable USB flash drive using Etcher.

I want you to know, that installing Linux on your computer is akin to breathing a breath of fresh air; your computer will run much faster (Just like the first day you bought it or even better).

And, there is a huge quantity of open-source software for you to utilize.

Remember, with Linux, you do not have to spend your money to acquire a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 crap.


Because you will be using LibreOffice for free!

One of the perks of switching to Linux is that it allows you to save lots of money.

Are you intrigued yet?


40 thoughts on “Replacing Windows 7 With Linux

  1. When the time comes to no support for the older versions of Windows, I wonder how many will ditch for an alternative.
    I don’t know how many years I have now used Apple products, whether my current second hand desktop, or before when I used to have a laptop, but I went this way because I was so fed up of not able to use my computer because it spent more time updating. I was no way leaving my computer on overnight for the updates. Not saving energy when you have to do that, when I didn’t need to do before.

    I like my Microsoft Word and so I have that on my Apple desktop, for when I write letters or attaching cv’s to emails, because businesses mostly use that. But my one query would be, if I went the Linux route years to come, by buying an old Windows laptop and putting it on that does Linux use an equivalent to Microsoft word, that businesses could open if say I was to attach my cv to an email?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🙂 I am speculating that only a small percentage of people will ditch Windows 7 for an alternative (But it is still good if 5 out of 100 people accept Linux as their alternative operating system).

      Oh yes, a lot of people who were disgruntled with Windows went the Apple route.

      The current iMacs and MacBook Pros are exorbitantly priced.

      Also, Apple tends to lock their users into a figurative walled garden.

      Once your CV has been converted to the DOCX File (which LibreOffice can do), businesses will be able to open it.

      By the way, LibreOffice falls under free and open-source software and there is a version for macOS that you can experiment with.

      There are LibreOffice tutorials on YouTube that you can look at to learn more about it.

      Thank you for your interest in this topic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s good to know if I ever went the Linux route, that it’s DOCX.
        Having the Microsoft word for my Apple is a DOCX file. This was why I went for this after trying an Apple product and finding it didn’t do DOCX. I needed to know that I was using something a majority had. I did not know the alternatives.
        I spent under £800 for my Apple desktop, which I have had some years ago and working well still. A bloomin bargain at the time.
        A laptop I had before that, was around the same price, which I sold for a price I was happy with, to put towards my desktop. I will always buy second hand when the time comes. But it’s good to know, should I want to try the Linux, that it will by the sounds of it, do the job for me too.
        Knowing I can use something like Libre to create a DOCX file would be the first thing I am after, but also knowing I could transfer songs onto my mp3 and maybe store photos. (Although I don’t do that now on my desktop, as I once did.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. A couple of years ago, I went to an ATM and it was down. It was still using Windows XP. Microsoft is about to shoot itself in the head. In the near future, a version of Windows is going to be a monthly subscription where you need a high speed Internet connection to access it and all updates will be done on their servers so updating on our computers won’t be needed. At that point, I will probably switch to a Linux computer as Apple is way overpriced since they started doing most of the work outside the U. S. I will probably go with a Windows version to handle the computer games that need Windows although many of them are now available on Steam so I am not sure how they would work on a Linux device.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Good to know. I figured it probably was. I have Civ III Complete from Steam as I lost my DVD version and it was cheaper to buy it on Steam than trying to find a game that old on Amazon or EBay. It took a while to download as it’s a big file, but it runs fine on my Windows 10 laptop that is nowhere near top of the line.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. How well does Linux work with common programs such as Excel, Wordpad, and Paint (to name a few I use regularly)? Is there a compatible program that plays MP4 video files? And can Linux be installed on an existing computer or do you need to buy a new one?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 To be most straightforward, there are alternatives to those programs that you mentioned; for example, LibreOffice Calc does the same thing that Excel does.

      If you cannot live without Excel you can use the online version by signing into your Microsoft account via any Linux machine.

      An alternative to WordPad is LibreOffice Writer.

      VLC Media Player (which is another free and open-source program) can be used to play MP4 files.

      Yes, Linux can be installed on an existing computer (You can run it live on a USB flash drive to make sure that it is compatible with your system before installing it).

      Thank you for presenting me with your questions.


        1. Nice hardware but I guess MS has bomb proofed it against installation of Linux. Isn’t it weird that it’s always American corporations who are so hardcore anti-freedom? FFS, American companies of all people! 😮

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Thar She Blows! and commented:
    Renard wrote a very nice article about Linux as the practical way to replace Win7.
    I just stumbled when I read “Win7” … why just Win7 when you’re soon be forced to agree to a monthly or so licensing agreement with Microsoft. Believe me, it will happen soon and you’ll lose all ownership of “your software” and become a renter. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicely done. You left out some other really great Linux distributions that are great for newcomers. There’s Linux Lite (built especially for Windows users, with a familiar-looking interface and applications re-named to make sense to newcomers to Linux. “Simple, Fast, Free.” Then there’s MX-Linux, also built for newbies but based on Debian Stable instead of Ubuntu, so far less likely to be borked by updates. There’s PCLinuxOS, with a choice of community editions for more modest hardware. “So cool that ice cubes are jealous.” I’ve probably left out a few great ones as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thank you, Robin.

      The three distributions of Linux that you mentioned are fantastic (They would make wonderful replacements for Windows 7 or any of the versions of Microsoft Windows).


    1. 🤔 Michelle, I want you to restart your Windows 7 PC.

      Press the “F8” key repeatedly as soon as you see the manufacturer’s logo appear on the screen; the “Advanced Boot Options” menu should appear; select, “Disable automatic restart on system failure” and press the “Enter” key and wait for that PC of yours to reboot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just so you wouldn’t think I am giving out “likes” without reading, Renard, I made a diligent effort to read this post. What comes to my mind is an Indian Chief in “Blazing Saddles”: “I read this Torah – didn’t understand a damn thing.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This might be a silly question, but how do we know what operating system we have? When I purhased my laptop, I had my sister install windows


    1. 🙂 One easy way of finding that out is pressing the “Start” button (Which is the one with the Windows logo on it), then venture into “Settings”, then click on “System” and click on “About”.


  7. I’ve had Win 10 since the beginning and I’ve encountered no problems. However, I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about Linux. Thank you so much for your well-written information.


  8. I have an old machine that still runs on XP. I have been looking into breathing new life into it by converting it to a linux machine. I have been reading into it, and have yet to get into anything technical.

    I’m just being a bit stubborn, but mostly lazy. It’s mostly a matter of “when” rather than a matter of “if” that I will be jumping on the linux boat.


  9. When I tried upgrading my laptop from Win 7 to 10, I was informed that I had a permanent error on my disk. I decided that was BS and installed first Ubuntu then Linux Mint on it, and never looked back. The disk was fine, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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