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7 Reasons Why Linux Is Not The Dominant OS On PCs


Linux is king when it comes to the usage of servers (It is the backbone of the internet).

However, Linux is the proverbial pauper when it comes to desktop usage worldwide (In comparison to Windows 11 and macOS, Linux has an extremely small percentage of the market share).

A lot of people (both Linux-lovers and Linux-haters) have shared their opinions on what has kept Linux from excelling in the PC market.

Today, I am going to tell you my reasons for Linux not being the dominant OS on PCs (So, read on closely).

1.) Brick And Mortar Stores Do Not Sell PCs With Linux Pre-Installed On Them

The term, brick and mortar stores is a reference to stores with a physical structure ― the traditional type of store that we walk into whenever we want to purchase something.

If you were to walk into a store that sells computers you would most likely find computers with the following operating systems on them:


Because there is a demand for them.

Also, most people would only buy what they already know and trust.

The God’s/Goddess’s truth is that we Linux users would either install Linux on a computer for ourselves or purchase a computer with Linux pre-installed on it from an online store (We do not have much choice in this matter because our needs have been blatantly ignored by those brick and mortar stores that sell computers).

2.) Marketing Has A Lot Do With An Operating System’s Popularity

It is no huge secret that large corporations like Microsoft, Apple and Google possess the finances to market their operating systems worldwide (As a result of their deep pockets, they have managed to make Windows 11, macOS and Chrome OS household names).

Linux developers do not have a huge amount of cash; therefore, they are not in a position to market their operating systems in the same way that the big corporations do (Canonical and Red Hat Enterprise Linux might be the two biggest Linux powerhouses around; but do keep in mind, in the area of finances, they are small in comparison to Microsoft, Apple and Google).

So, from a marketing standpoint, Linux is the underdog!

3.) Familiarity Breeds Comfort

There are not many people who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone (And, in this case, stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, requires using an alternative operating system ― Linux).

In spite of the release of Windows 11, some people have chosen to stick with Windows 10 because they are comfortable with it (The only way that they are going to upgrade to Windows 11 is when Microsoft ends its support for Windows 10).

People, who are not open to change, will often say to you, “Why should I change something if it already works for me?”

So, in this case, some people are quite comfortable with sticking with what they already know (You would be wasting your breath if you recommended Linux to them).

4.) Some People Believe That Linux Is Too Difficult To Use

Truthfully speaking, there are beginner-friendly distributions of Linux and of course, distributions of Linux that take a lot of time to learn.

One of the beginner-friendly distributions of Linux that I recommend to people who have never used Linux before is Linux Mint (My article, Renard’s Thoughts On Linux Mint, will let you know my exact thoughts on that wonderful distribution of Linux).

Some of the young and the elderly have put Linux to good use.

What about you?

Are you brave enough to give Linux a try?

5.) Game Vendors Are Heavily Focused On Microsoft Windows

The majority of the games were created with Windows users in mind (After all, Windows dominates the market share; therefore game vendors would do their utmost best to make sure that their games perform well on Windows 10 and Windows 11).

Linux users, on the other hand, would have to rely on Lutris and Steam to make the games that work well on Windows somewhat playable on Linux.

On a positive note, Linux has come a long way where gaming is concerned (And, it will get better each and every coming year).

6.) A Lot Of People Are Unaware Of The Existence Of Linux

If you were to ask twenty people walking on the pavement, “Have you heard of Linux?” the majority of them would say, “No!”

There is a small probability that one of them would say to you, “Yes, I have heard of Linux. I have heard about Ubuntu.”

The sad truth is that there are a lot of people that are unaware of the existence of Linux.

Therefore, it is up to the hardcore Linux users to spread the awareness of Linux via their blog posts and their YouTube videos.

7.) Linux Is Not Compatible With All Hardware

Due to differences in electrical components, etcetera, Linux will not work on all hardware.

The good news is that Linux is compatible with most hardware.

Before anyone thinks about installing Linux on their particular brand and model number of computer, they should conduct a search (preferably on their search engine of choice) with the intention of finding out whether or not Linux will work on it.

Also, one can try Linux out on a USB flash drive in live mode to make sure that everything works before installing it on their computer.

If you are the type of person who does not want to go through all that trouble, you can purchase a computer that comes pre-installed with Linux from the following companies:

The nice thing about ordering any of the models above is that everything works!

Final Thoughts

To recap, Linux is not the dominant operating system on personal computers because:

  • Brick and mortar stores do not sell PCs with Linux pre-installed on them.
  • Marketing has a lot to do with an operating system’s popularity.
  • Familiarity breeds comfort (This causes people to cling tenaciously to the operating system that they are already using on their computer).
  • Some people believe that Linux is too difficult to use.
  • Game vendors are heavily focused on Microsoft Windows.
  • A lot of people are unaware of the existence of Linux.
  • Linux is not compatible with all hardware (However, people are free to purchase Linux-compatible hardware that comes pre-installed with Linux).

Personally, I do not think that Linux will dominate the market share anytime soon (I am okay with that).

Also, Linux does not have to be popular in order for me to have a deep appreciation of Arch Linux.

Please feel free to share your opinion via my blog’s commenting section.

And, thank you for reading!


29 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Linux Is Not The Dominant OS On PCs

  1. It’s exactly Linux’ versatility and choice that is in its own way. I can’t blame any brick n mortar store for not stocking Linux computers coz there ain’t that one Linux for everybody. Only way for selling it sorta successfully from a store would be minimal hardware choice, say a 14″ and a 15.6″ laptop but with a whole plethora of Linuxes to choose from. The lappy I just got from a Dutch mailorder shop came in plenty choices … but the one I wanted wasn’t among them. The one I bought featured the “wrong” distro and I had to install my chosen distro/desktop combo by myself anyhoo.

    At least in Germany I can order a variety of laptops without any preinstalled OS on them. But they won’t ship internationally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That said I can’t understand the #3 pseudo reasoning. Windows itself is re-inventing itself all the friggin times and makes might big jumps from version to version. There is hardly any familiarity beyond the mouse/trackpad, keyboard, little boxes and radio buttons on screen paradigm. Which is the same in all of the big 3 OSes, Win, Mac and Linux.

      People are able to switch from Win to MacOS remarkably fast … so a switch from Win to Linux should be even easier. And tests with untechy people (toddlers, housewives, geriatrics) have shown that they all could do a few standard tasks in Linux much faster than in Windows.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Unfortunately, there are people who are stuck in their ways. They do not like leaving their comfort zone because it would require that they try an entirely new operating system.

        There are Windows users who would stick to using the version of Windows that came pre-installed on their computer; an example of this is people using Windows 7 way after Microsoft ended its support for it.

        I also agree that people who are not tech-savvy can adapt well to using Linux.

        Doing standard tasks in Linux is relatively easy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, that’s the desktop. But the server market share is a whole ‘nother thing! Linux dominates the server market share by a huge margin. It’s not the point of your article, but it’s certainly worth mentioning.

    I must agree with Her Orcaness about the Linux desktop being a hodgepodge of different desktop environments, window managers, software packaging, and support options. Most Linux distros do not take the one-size-fits-all approach the way that Ubuntu, Mint, Zorin, Mangero, PCLinuxOS, etc do. And of those that try the one-size-fits-all thing, there are huge differences even among the ones that are “made to look like Windows or Mac.” And that is key: One-size-fits-all does not work for Linux. It never can. There’s no “standard desktop” or “standard software management” or even a standard kernel for cry’n out loud. Linux will never enjoy a decent market share of the desktop, but that’s no awful tragedy or anything. It’s really okay. You use what you like and just enjoy the benefits of greater security and freedom, and the admiration of your friends who think you’re some kinda wonderful computer wizard with awesome techno-knowledge and mad geek skills – even if you’re just an ordinary kid or an aging great-grandparent or even a technophobe like me, still generally scared of technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 In my humble opinion, Arch Linux is better than Linux Mint.

      Do keep in mind, that in regards to the Cinnamon desktop environment, Linux Mint’s version is much better than what you would get on Arch Linux.


      Because Linux Mint created the Cinnamon desktop environment.

      In regards to all of the desktop environments, you will have to theme them yourself (Which is a lot of work).

      Linux Mint has fully themed desktop environments out of the box.

      Since you are interested in Arch Linux, I suggest EndeavourOS because it is Arch-based, lightly themed and is much easier to install than vanilla Arch Linux.

      Thank you for participating in the discussion, Walter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Renard, I have always used the Mate desktop on Mint, and I have never tried Cinnamon. Because Mate is well supplied with photo software…

        Maybe, first, I should try Cinnamon desktop on Mint, before trying Arch . Just to see how it looks…

        Thank you Renard for this information… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I use Windows 11 I signed up for Insider program and started using the Developers Build then got the official release which am using now.
    My laptop used to dual boot Windows and Linux but I have recently “upgraded” to an SSD drive which much much smaller disk space and put my old drive into an external case which I can use via USB and it boots bac into Linux but I find I use Linux more as a problem solving tool than an OS like when drives are acting up or when having partition problems or recovery


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent article. We actually do have a laptop with Ubuntu on it, my partner prefers it. While I do like a lot of what can be done with Linux, so much of my software that I use on a daily basis does not work on Linux or uses something similar but not close enough to what I actually need. So I end up sticking with Windows.

    Liked by 1 person

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