The Freedom of Linux: A World Beyond Hardware Restrictions

In the ever-evolving world of technology, software updates often bring excitement and anticipation as they promise new features and improvements. However, with operating system updates for proprietary operating systems, the excitement can be tempered by stringent hardware requirements that leave many users facing the inevitable need for a new computer. Fortunately, an alternative,  the Linux kernel which powers the many Linux distributions and open source, allows users to embrace the latest software without hardware limitations.

A Diverse Landscape of Compatibility

Unlike proprietary operating systems with strict hardware prerequisites, Linux distributions offer fresh air. Whether you choose Pop!_OS, Fedora, or Linux Mint, Linux’s open nature ensures compatibility with a wide range of hardware, even aging systems. This remarkable flexibility is a testament to the power of open-source software.

Take, for instance, the case of the Darter Pro laptop from System76, acquired in early 2019 with Pop!_OS 18.10 pre-installed. Despite the years that have passed, this hardware continues to support the latest versions of not just Pop!_OS but also Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch without breaking a sweat. Such an upgrade would be an unattainable dream if one attempted to install Windows 11 on the same machine. Likewise, the closed ecosystem of MacOS locks users into a world where they can only experience the latest software if they invest in Apple’s proprietary hardware.

The Hidden Treasure of Open Source

Regrettably, many people remain oblivious to the hidden treasure trove that is open-source software. Beyond the Linux kernel that forms the foundation of countless distributions, a vast ecosystem of applications thrives, often outperforming their proprietary counterparts. This abundance of high-quality, open-source software is built on principles prioritizing user freedom and choice.

For instance, consider the MarkText application, a tool I use to craft this article. It’s an exemplary testament to the capabilities of open-source software. With abundant features, a user-friendly interface, and an active community of developers and users, MarkText competes toe-to-toe with proprietary alternatives without any vendor lock-in or hardware mandates that plague proprietary systems. This is the essence of open source—a realm in which the user controls.

Breaking the Chains of Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in is a pervasive challenge in the technology world. Proprietary software and hardware vendors often design their products to ensure consumers remain captive to their offerings. This strategy serves the interests of these companies. Still, it can be detrimental to the user, who may be in a never-ending cycle of purchasing new hardware to stay current.

In contrast, Linux and open-source software operate under a different ethos. They empower users to take control of their technology. With the freedom to choose software and customize their experience, users are no longer chained to a specific vendor’s roadmap. This approach breaks the cycle of forced obsolescence and keeps hardware relevant for years, ultimately saving users money and reducing electronic waste.

A Sustainable Approach

In an era of increasing environmental consciousness, the longevity of hardware takes on added importance. The “throwaway culture” of rapid hardware turnover is financially wasteful and environmentally unsustainable. By embracing Linux and open-source software, users can extend the lifespan of their hardware, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Additionally, the open-source community fosters collaboration and innovation without the limitations of proprietary systems. Developers worldwide work together to create secure, stable, and feature-rich software, often outpacing the development cycles of their proprietary counterparts. This collaborative spirit ensures that Linux users can access cutting-edge technology without the need for frequent hardware upgrades.


In the world of technology, where operating system updates often come with stringent hardware requirements, Linux stands as a beacon of freedom and sustainability. Its compatibility with a wide range of hardware, commitment to open-source principles, and freedom from vendor lock-in make it a compelling choice for those who wish to break free from the shackles of constantly upgrading their hardware.

As we navigate an ever-changing technological landscape, let us remember that there is a world beyond hardware restrictions, a world where Linux and open-source software offer an oasis of choice and longevity. In this realm, the user is king, and technology serves their needs, not vice versa. So, next time you hear the siren call of a new operating system update, consider the boundless possibilities of Linux and liberate yourself from the cycle of forced obsolescence.

WoeUSB-ng to the rescue

Frequently, I’m approached by individuals seeking assistance in rescuing Windows computers that have encountered locking or damage issues. I occasionally utilize a Linux USB boot drive to access Windows partitions effectively. This enables me to transfer and safeguard files from these compromised systems securely.

Sometimes, clients misplace their passwords or lock themselves out of their login accounts. One viable method to restore account access involves generating a Windows boot disk to initiate repairs on the computer. Microsoft provides the option to obtain Windows copies via its official website and tools designed for crafting a USB boot device. However, utilizing these tools necessitates access to a Windows computer, posing a challenge for me as a Linux user. Consequently, I’ve sought alternative approaches for creating a bootable DVD or USB drive. My go-to tools, such as, Popsicle (for Pop!_OS), UNetbootin, and even utilizing the command line utility ‘dd’ for crafting bootable media, have yielded limited success. Since my daily driver is Linux, it was near impossible to create a USB drive with a bootable Windows version.

A few years ago, I learned about WoeUSB and the subsequent project WoeUSB-ng. WoeUSB-ng is a software utility used for creating bootable Windows USB drives using Windows ISO images and effectively transferring them onto a USB drive, making it possible to install or repair Windows operating systems from that USB drive. On Linux systems, the WoeUSB-ng software package. The “ng” in its name stands for “next generation,” indicating that it’s a successor or evolution of the original WoeUSB tool. I have used it to create bootable Windows drives with both Windows 10 and Windows 11. WoeUSB-ng is open source with a GPL v3 license.

The project website lists several install options for Linux users.

Fedora users can use the following commands to install the software necessary to support WoeUSB-ng.

sudo dnf install git p7zip p7zip-plugins python3-pip python3-wxpython4

Ubuntu/Linux Mint users can use the following commands to install the software necessary to support WoeUSB-ng.

sudo apt install git p7zip-full python3-pip python3-wxgtk4.0 grub2-common grub-pc-bin parted dosfstools ntfs-3g

Then issue the following commands to install WoeUSB-ng on your system.

git clone
cd WoeUSB-ng
sudo pip3 install .

Once the software is installed, creating a bootable Windows drive is very straightforward.

Click install, and depending on the processor and RAM in your machine, you should have a bootable Windows 10 or Windows 11 drive in very little time. This article is adapted from Use this bootable USB drive on Linux.

Crafting a Universal Linux Live USB Drive

I frequently create USB boot devices for Linux to troubleshoot ailing Windows computers. I also use these drives to introduce new users to the beauty and utility of using Linux as their primary operating system. If you are a Fedora user, you can easily create bootable media using the Fedora Media Writer. It is usually included by default with Fedora, but if not, you can easily create your media by installing the software on your computer with the following command.

sudo dnf install liveusb-creator

Pop!_OS users can use Popsicle. Popsicle, an open-source application designed for Linux, empowers users to securely and effortlessly write images onto USB drives. This software comes pre-installed in Pop!_OS versions 18.04 and newer. Popsicle has an MIT license.

Linux Mint users have Mintstick which is part of the default install of LinuxMint Cinnamon 21.2. Like Popsicle it can be used to create live USB drives from any Linux ISO you can download. It is open source with a GPL v2 license.

Ubuntu users have a similar tool designed to create bootable USB drives for Ubuntu. The Fedora and Ubuntu tools are great to make bootable media for those distributions. But what if you create a bootable drive for Linux Mint or Pop!_OS? Neither of the previous tools will create that media. There is an excellent open-source tool that allows you to make the media you need regardless of the host operating system you are using. It’s Balena Etcher.

According to the project’s Github repository, “Etcher is a powerful OS image flasher built with web technologies to ensure flashing an SDCard or USB drive is a pleasant and safe experience. It protects you from accidentally writing to your hard-drives, ensures every byte of data was written correctly, and much more. It can also directly flash Raspberry Pi devices that support USB device boot mode

Etcher is also available for installation of MacOS 10.10 and later and Microsoft Windows too. If you are on a Debian or Ubuntu based system you can install Etcher easily with the following command sequence. Download the latest release for Debian/Ubuntu.

  sudo add-apt-repository universe
  cd Downloads
  sudo apt install ./balena-etcher_*_amd64.deb

Fedora users can install Etcher using ‘dnf’,

   sudo dnf upgrade --refresh
   sudo dnf install balena-etcher-1.18.12.x86_64.rpm

If you are a Windows user, you can install Etcher using Chocolatey.

choco install etcher

MacOS users can install it by downloading the disk image.

Etcher has excellent documentation and an Apache 2.0 license.

Reviving Vintage Laptops: A Tale of Linux Mint and Broadcom Woes

A week ago, I met Gary at the local library; who was having trouble with his aging Dell laptop that he had purchased from a refurbisher. Troubleshooting revealed that the laptop was fine but needed an operating system. Gary chose to let me install Linux Mint Cinnamon on his computer.

A few days ago Gary emailed me to ask if I could help him with another laptop he’d purchased from a refurbisher. Similar models are currently selling for $45 online. I started the laptop with a USB with Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon edition and used ‘inxi‘ from the command line to determine what the processor, RAM, and wireless card were. This one Dell Latitude D630, which is vintage 2007, had an Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 processor with 4 gigabytes of RAM and a Broadcom 4311 wireless card.

I quickly decided that Linux Mint XFCE was a better OS choice than Cinnamon due to the processor and RAM. Fortunately for us, we were in the public library, and I had no trouble downloading Linux Mint 21.2 XFCE. I wrote the image to the USB drive and began the installation process on D630. The computer started up well and loaded Mint XFCE very well. I chose to install it, and after twenty minutes, we had a laptop with Mint XFCE adequately installed.

However, this D630 had Broadcom wireless, so the wireless card wasn’t recognized out of the fresh install. I have encountered this issue before with Dell laptops and knew immediately what to do. An internet search led me to Ubuntu’s excellent documentation of how to install Broadcom wireless drivers. I followed the command sequence below to update the drivers easily and restarted the Latitude D630.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install firmware-b43-installer
sudo apt install linux-firmware
sudo reboot

Once the computer was restarted, the tiny wireless indicator light began to glow as it should. I knew we were in business and could finish the update process and add additional software to this vintage Dell laptop. Gary had a big grin and once again thanked me for rescuing another old laptop from the landfill.

Reviving a ‘Dead’ Laptop: A Linux Mint Success Story at the Local Library

An urgent plea for assistance reached me from our local library director concerning a patron grappling with an unresponsive Dell laptop. Upon arriving at the library, I encountered the early-morning visitor facing this issue. Activating the laptop, it became evident that it refused to boot, displaying no prompts to access the startup disk via F1 or F2. I proceeded to explain to the individual that their hard drive was likely damaged or that crucial startup files had been lost, particularly given the laptop’s eleven-year history.

I arrived equipped with my own Linux laptop and a bootable USB drive containing Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon. Placing the USB drive into the ailing laptop, I powered it on and initiated the startup using the Dell Laptop’s standard F12 key for USB boot selection. The process proved successful, allowing me to test run Linux Mint. After connecting to the wireless network, which was promptly recognized, I investigated the mounted hard disk, revealing the absence of vital startup files. I took the time to illustrate to the individual that their computer was indeed functional, but the Windows 10 operating system was malfunctioning.

Inquiring about any valuable data stored on the laptop, the patron confirmed there was none. With their consent to explore Linux Mint, I initiated the installation process. The laptop’s BIOS hailed from 2012, armed with 4 gigabytes of RAM and an Intel i3 processor—not a powerhouse by any means, and possibly not the ideal candidate for Linux Mint Cinnamon. Although Xfce might have been more suitable, it wasn’t an available option. Despite the gradual pace, the installation was eventually complete, resulting in a fresh instance of Linux Mint Cinnamon 21.2.

The laptop owner Gary expressed his enthusiasm as this seemingly ‘defunct’ device was revitalized. I invested time in updating the system and guiding him through installing desired software like Google Chrome. I offered instructions on startup, shutdown, login procedures, and wireless connectivity for when he returned home. Additionally, I assisted him in configuring LibreOffice Writer, allowing him to save files in ‘.docx’ format for sharing with his friends.

Once my assistance concluded, I returned the laptop to Gary, who inquired about compensation. I informed him that, as a library volunteer, my aid and installation services were free, suggesting he pay the kindness forward to someone else. Grateful, he remarked that my help had spared him $170—the amount he had spent on the refurbished computer. I believe that Linux and open-source contributions are imbued with positive karma and that introducing yet another individual to the merits of free software will ultimately bring forth something positive.

Customize an Intel NUC 11

In the previous year, I acquired a Hewlett-Packard DevOne to replace an Intel NUC 10, which had been serving as my primary workstation. I set up the DevOne with a docking solution detailed in an article I wrote last year, aiming to replace both the NUC and an older Darter Pro I had been using. However, I gradually realized that the DevOne wasn’t quite suitable for me due to its smaller fourteen-inch screen. Given my aging eyes, I needed to adjust accessibility settings, which work better with larger displays.

I must acknowledge that the DevOne is an impressive laptop—crafted with quality and firm performance. Nevertheless, the idea of docking a computer that I never use in a laptop mode started to seem less logical. After careful consideration, I recently decided to transition back to a dedicated desktop setup. Despite being four years old, I plan to retain the Darter Pro, which continues to serve me well during my travels and while assisting clients at their residences.

A lot of research for a bit of PC

Embarking on constructing your computer brings forth a distinct feeling of liberation. Instead of accepting pre-determined choices from a computer manufacturer, you can handpick each component that constitutes your system. Engaging in a do-it-yourself PC project entails an element of risk and adventure and lends a greater sense of accomplishment than a mere purchase.

I diligently conducted research to ensure the compatibility and viability of my selected NUC and its associated components. As part of this process, I switched from Pop!_OS 22.04 to Linux Mint 21.2, which also draws from the Ubuntu 22.04 base. I have relied on Cronopete as my chosen backup solution throughout my journey. Anticipating a smooth installation of Mint, I’m confident that I can seamlessly restore my files, reassuring me of the feasibility of my chosen path.

Assembling the NUC

When the package arrived, I was eager to assemble my new computer. I took the NUC out of its box and looked at the directions. The NUC has four screws in the base, which I loosened until I could easily remove the bottom plate. Once the case was opened, it was easy to see where the RAM chips belonged. I gingerly removed them from their packaging and, one by one, inserting them into their places.

Installing the SSD drive was a bit more complicated. I had to remove a tiny mounting screw before inserting the NVMe drive. A good screwdriver with a magnetic tip is an excellent aid when securing the NVME drive.

It was finally time to see the fruits of my labor. I connected the NUC to a monitor with an HDMI cable, attached the keyboard and mouse to the USB ports, and turned on the device. As the directions instructed, I pressed the F10 key at startup to enter the BIOS and selected the USB drive on which I had previously installed Linux Mint 21.2.

Booting Linux on a NUC

After connecting the NUC to my Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse and a Sceptre 27-inch monitor, I was ready to begin the installation. My first boot was unsuccessful, so I turned off the ‘Secure boot’ option, and on the second boot, Linux Mint came up! A quick check revealed that the wireless was fine, and the keyboard and mouse were both working. The installation took only about 10 minutes. I added my favorite applications, including the Chrome browser, and began to have some fun.

The NUC is certified on several Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and Clear Linux.

Once the operating system and updates were installed, boot time was much quicker than the NUC 10 I replaced a year ago. I used ‘Neofetch’ for a brief overview of the system.

Give it a try

I use my system primarily for writing, coding, video conferencing, virtualizing other operating systems, and reading. If you are considering building your compact Linux system, this is an excellent option.

Why Linux Mint Could be Your Perfect OS Choice

I have owned several MacBooks and purchased one for my wife a few years ago. She’s not a power user, mainly utilizing it for shopping, email, and discovery. As it approaches the end of its life, each new OS upgrade renders it less usable. Although my wife has never used a Linux computer, transitioning might be smooth. After all, many of her applications are readily available on Linux Mint. Upgrading to Linux Mint could be the best option for her.

Here are five reasons why Linux Mint might be a better choice for the average user than purchasing a new MacBook.

Customizability and Flexibility:

Linux Mint offers a high level of customizability and flexibility. Users can choose from various desktop environments (Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce) and tweak the system to suit their needs. This level of control is not as readily available in macOS, which is designed to offer a consistent user experience across its devices.

Cost and Accessibility:

Linux Mint offers an open-source and free-to-use platform, while macOS remains exclusive to Apple hardware, leading to higher costs than comparable PCs. For budget-conscious users or those seeking the freedom to install the OS on a wide range of hardware, Linux Mint presents a more affordable and accessible alternative. It’s even possible to install Linux Mint on her MacBook Air.

Software Repository:

Linux Mint gains a significant advantage from its vast software repository, offering users a plethora of free and open-source software. The package manager (APT) streamlines application installation and updates. While macOS also features an extensive collection of applications through the App Store, it fails to rival the sheer number and variety available in Linux’s repositories.

Community and Support:

The Linux Mint community exudes passion and activity, always eager to assist newcomers and experienced users. Online forums, documentation, and community-driven support offer many resources to troubleshoot issues and delve deeper into the OS. While macOS also boasts a strong user base, the open-source community’s nature often fosters more accessible and diverse support channels.

Privacy and Data Control:

Linux Mint empowers users with greater control over their data and privacy. Unlike macOS, which tightly integrates with Apple’s ecosystem and services, Linux Mint enables users to determine data-sharing preferences and recipients. Moreover, being open-source, the operating system’s inner workings remain transparent, facilitating auditing for potential security and privacy concerns.

My open source story

In 1995, an email from my brother introduced me to Linux. Although I had heard of a high school student using Linux to build a web server, my knowledge was limited. Intrigued by my brother’s recommendation, I purchased a copy of Red Hat 5.0 from a nearby computer store. However, my initial attempt to explore it on an older computer resulted in a command prompt without success in running Xserver, leaving me unimpressed. A year later, I stumbled upon Red Hat 6.0 during another visit to the store. Taking it to work, I successfully installed Gnome on a Hewlett-Packard Vectra 75 with a Cyrix processor upgrade. This experience sparked my interest further.

The Red Hat 6.0 distribution came bundled with fascinating software like the Mozilla browser and OpenOffice 1.0, which I hadn’t encountered before. Excited about this discovery, I shared it with my IT team, and together we experimented with another machine. While we could browse Yahoo Mail using the browser, our workplace’s official email system, Lotus Notes, remained inaccessible. It was around early 2001 when I expressed my dissatisfaction with content filters to a vendor, and he suggested I build my own using Linux. This suggestion was an epiphany for me.

With minimal knowledge of Linux and no prior experience building a content filter, I embarked on a rapid learning journey. Armed with a Dell Optiplex GX1 equipped with a Pentium II-300 processor, I upgraded the hard disk and purchased Suse Linux 7. Through my exploration, I came across Squid and Squidguard and discovered Mandrake Linux, which appealed to me for various reasons. I also learned about the Red Hat Package Manager. Leveraging these newfound tools, I successfully built the first non-proprietary content filter in the history of Western New York’s public schools. Initially using Mandrake and later Fedora Core 1 on the older Dell machine, I employed Squid and Dansguardian to meet the requirements of CIPA compliance with E-rate. Although I faced some resistance from other technicians, I gradually demonstrated the legality and practicality of this solution over time.

This was just the beginning of my Linux journey. While developing the content filter, I delved into Samba and created our first network-attached storage device, providing our teachers with a reliable file backup solution. Subsequently, we built a Samba server running Fedora Core 1 and 2. I found stories of other schools utilizing Linux and learned about the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project. I taught myself Linux and Linux system administration through online forums, Google searches, and several books. I became a passionate advocate for open source, often promoting it at regional technology coordinator gatherings.

Using idle computers tucked away in closets across our school, I assembled a working demonstration of the K12 Linux Terminal Server. With an old Pentium II-300 boasting a mere 192 megabytes of RAM, I acquired special boot ROMs and repurposed additional older computers as thin clients for the server. One of our principals was so impressed with the results that he suggested implementing this solution in one of our computer labs. The success of the trial led to equipping two computer labs and numerous computers in classrooms and libraries with the K12LTSP solution. As the project expanded, we needed a more robust server and acquired a Dell PowerEdge with an advanced RAID controller. However, this setup proved incompatible with K12LTSP packages on Fedora Core 4. That’s when I discovered K12LTSP on CentOS. We adopted the CentOS 4 LTSP server as our DHCP server, seamlessly integrating it with Microsoft’s Active Directory. It served us well for over three years until we eventually virtualized our servers using VMWare ESX.

My foray into learning Linux empowered me to explore and create in ways I never imagined possible. Initially, open source presented challenges, with some components requiring unfamiliar configurations. However, I overcame these obstacles by relying on search engines and reading forums on the internet on Red Hat, Fedora, and other Linux user groups. Subsequently, I secured grants funded by our New York State Legislature, allowing me to attend Red Hat System Administration training in March 2003. A year later, another grant facilitated my participation in the Linux Boot Camp hosted by Training Camp and taught by Ross Brunson. Brunson’s teaching method involved building a system “from the ground up” with Red Hat 7.0, starting with the command line and gradually transitioning to a graphical user interface.

Equipped with experience and training, I became a resource for other regional school districts. Recognizing the tremendous potential of teaching students Linux, I seized every opportunity to do so. Unlike other operating systems, Linux allowed students to learn the fundamentals and progress to building their files and web servers. I utilized tools like VirtualBox to virtualize other Linux systems, such as Ubuntu and Debian, providing students with additional learning opportunities. Beyond developing a deep understanding of the operating system, my students and I familiarized ourselves with various open-source projects such as Audacity,, Apache, WordPress, Drupal, and Moodle, to name just a few.

The open-source ethos resonated with my desire to serve individuals and small businesses, which continues to this day as I work as a consultant for my own information technology business.

The foundational knowledge that propelled me toward advanced studies continues to animate my life and career. I teach young people and adults about Linux using platforms like the Raspberry Pi computer at our local library and other venues. Linux and open-source software have also spurred my exploration of social entrepreneurship, heavily influenced by what I have learned and witnessed within the open-source community. Later this month, I will be able to teach middle school students how to use Raspberry Pi 400 computers and Python at a local library.

This article is adapted from

Open Source Software: A Cost-Effective, Secure, and Flexible Option

Open source software is developed and distributed under a license that gives users the right to use, modify, and redistribute the software. When you purchase proprietary software, you don’t own it. In many cases, proprietary software is effectively leased to you for a set period. Many companies force their customers to upgrade to newer versions to continue to have access to their creations. That is not the case with open source software. Open source software is the best value in the market, and here are five reasons why that is so.

1. Lower costs

One of the most significant advantages of open source software is its low cost. This can save businesses a significant amount of money on software licensing fees. I am writing this blog with MarkText , a simple yet elegant editor that’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows.   It saves my work by default in MarkDown, which is an open source format. I can export the file to HTML or PDF or I can copy and paste it directly into LibreOffice Writer or into my WordPress blog. In all cases, I own my work without needing a license for the software.

2. Flexibility

Open source software is often very flexible and customizable. This means that businesses can tailor the software to their specific needs. Businesses and individuals can modify their software or move from one application to another with compatible formats. One of my clients had files written and saved in a proprietary format that was no longer accessible because the proprietary software was no longer on the market. I was able to open and save the person’s files using LibreOffice Writer because it had the filters built into it that allowed that to happen. You can imagine the delight my client felt when her work of many years was made freely available to her in a format that was accessible using a free product.

3. Community support

Open source software often has a large and active community of users and developers. This community can provide support for the software. These communities are responsive to the needs fo users because they have a share interest in the success of the software and are part of a caring community committed to the development of quality software and the maintenance of the communities, many of which are governed by codes of conduct which ensure respect for the users.

4. Security

Open source software is often very secure. This is because the software is constantly being reviewed and audited by a large community of users and developers. This helps to identify and fix security vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. An adequate number of eyes on a project ensures that bugs in the software are quickly identified and quickly fixed.

5. Innovation

Open source software is often a source of innovation. By its very nature open source software frequently leads to rapid innovation as communities form around projects of common interest. With a quick look at Github and Gitlab one can easily find new projects or forks of older projects that are leading to new solutions. The development of the Linux kernel and the subsequent proliferation of nearly six-hundred different distributions, each one customized for its community, is but one example.


There are many good reasons to use open source software. These reasons include lower costs, flexibility, community support, security, and innovation. If you are looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and secure software solution, then open source software is a good option to consider.

Here are some additional resources about open source software:

I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Linux Mint: A Stable and Reliable Operating System for Your Everyday Needs

I own two laptops. One of them is a System76 Darter Pro which is the older of the two computers. It came with Pop!_OS preinstalled when I bought it over four years ago. I’ve experimented with Fedora, Ubuntu and Linux Mint on this computer, and I’ve settled on Linux Mint because its easy to use and its a great way to introduce new people to Linux. I have found Linux Mint to be the easiest way to transition folks who are former users of MacOS and Windows. There are three main reasons that I recommend Linux Mint.

First, the software is also open-source, meaning anyone can contribute to its development. This makes Linux Mint a very cost-effective and secure operating system. Second, it’s easy to use. The Cinnamon desktop is very similar to Windows and MacOS, so new folks will find it easy to get up and running. There are also a wide variety of tutorials and documentation online to help them learn more about Linux Mint. Third, the distribution is stable, reliable, and regularly updated. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and Debian and it’s been under continuous development since it was first released in 2006.

The Cinnamon desktop is very intuitive, and most folks who are at least a little computer savvy can easily find the software that they need to accomplish the tasks they want to. The power of Linux Mint is simple enough for a neophyte to use yet powerful enough to satisfy the needs of a power user. Linux Mint’s ‘Software Manager’ is easy to find in the ‘Main Menu’, and if you can’t find it there, you can begin typing ‘software…’ in the default search bar at the top of the menu. I have found that most of the software that I need to be productive is found in the default install, but other software can easily be added from the command line or the ‘Software Manager.’

Linux Mint supports ‘Flatpak’ out of the box which is another feature I have come to appreciate which is different from its upstream Ubuntu base. Linux Mint also comes with a ‘Backup Tool‘, which makes it easy to backup your important files to another disk. Linux Mint is powerful yet doesn’t burden your system even if you have a computer past its prime. Linux Mint is designed with privacy in mind, so it is not sending your information to a third party. Mint is easy to use yet powerful enough for developers.