Now that Microsoft Windows 7 no longer having technical support, it is likely that many users decide to take the final step and move to the GNU / Linux world. Users who don't have three options. One is to pay for a license to purchase a newer version, as long as your computer hardware is compatible. The other is to have a pirated copy of Windows 8 or Windows 10 (with its implicit risks). And finally, opt for an alternative like a distro.
The option to stick with Microsoft Windows 7 is not an option. Many stayed with Windows XP, with the risk that this implies for the security of an obsolete system that has stopped receiving security updates. Some unconscious are likely to repeat their audacity and stay with Windows 7. But if you want to avoid risks, and not spend money on licenses, it is best that you switch to Linux ...
And so that you do not find an environment too too hostile, here you go a good list of GNU / Linux distributions that will make you feel "at home" now that you have decided to say goodbye to Windows 7. To do this, one of the most important issues to look at is its desktop environment and ease of use. But if you do not want to break your head looking, here I show you the best substitutes.
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The best GNU / Linux distros to replace Windows 7
Linux Mint it is one of the easiest distributions to handle. It is maintained by the community and based on DEB packaging. Includes low-level package manager dpkg and high-level APT.
The objective for which this project began is to provide a stable distribution, with a modern, elegant and easy environment to use, but without losing the power that other distros offer. In addition, if you come from another operating system such as Microsoft Windows, you will have some extra facilities, such as working with a multitude of multimedia formats and hardware by including proprietary software among its repos.
As you can see, his desktop environment It is quite similar to Microsoft's, so it can be a great alternative for Windows 7. And that's thanks to the MATE, Cinnamon and XFCE graphics environments that it includes among its capabilities.
This project started by Clément Lefèbvre, has a large number of exclusive graphic tools that you will love, since automate and facilitate a multitude of operations. Those known as MintSoftware or Mint Tools are made up of:
- MintUpdate: to easily update the system.
- MintInstall: for download packages and install them easily from the repositories.
- MintDesktop: an app to configure your desktop preferences and easily adapt it to your tastes.
- MintConfig: is a complete control center for configuring system preferences and settings.
- MintAssistant: a wizard that will guide you to customize the Mint database without computer skills.
- MintUpload: a simple and simple FTP client to integrate into the file manager.
- MintMenu: a menu that allows you to customize text, icon, colors, etc.
- MintBackup: to make backup copies or backups of the system and be able to restore them in case something fails.
- MintNanny: an interesting parental control software if you have children at home.
On top of all that, his installation is simple thanks to his assistant, so you won't have too much trouble with it ...
At LxA we have already spoken on many occasions about ZorinoS. This distro is geared primarily for beginners who come from the Microsoft Windows operating system. Therefore, it is one of the best to get rid of Windows 7 without too much difficulty.
Intensive work has been done on GNOME to modify it and offer something different than what this project offers by default. As you can see, your environment looks a lot like Windows, so it will not be difficult for you to move through it. It competes with Linux Mint, ChaletOS (currently abandoned), and Q40S in this regard.
In addition, the ZorinOS developers have thought of offering you the best experience from the moment you install it, also providing a friendly environment with native Windows software. This is achieved thanks to WINE project. It also gives you a good number of tools to make configurations very simply.
It is based on Ubuntu, therefore, it is compatible with DEB packages through managers like dpkg, APT, and also with other universal packages, of course ...
Another thing you should know is that it is offered in 4 different editions:
- Ultimate: it is a version that provides everything available in the other editions, that is, it will have the entire software pack available in full.
- Lite: designed for PCs with few resources, therefore it is light, demanding few hardware resources. To do this, it makes use of the Xfce desktop environment.
- Core: is the basic version, which has the GNOME desktop environment along with basic applications.
- Education: is an edition specially designed for educational environments.
KDE is a great project with extraordinary developers behind it, and proof of this is this distro KDE Neon. A distribution based on Ubuntu and with the latest version of the KDE Plasma desktop environment. That means power, flexibility and lightness as they have been working really hard lately to make it not so heavy anymore.
To manage the packages you can use the same managers as with Ubuntu, but in addition to that, you are provided with a tool Graphics PackageKit GUI-based. Although, if you do not have some computer science experience, you may find it uncomfortable to have errors when always using the latest versions of the KDE project. Therefore, if you come from Windows 7 and you don't have much knowledge, or you want something robust and more stable, you'd better opt for another of those present here. Although, if you allow me to joke, if you come from the Microsoft Windows world you will be more than used to errors ...
By the way, you may think that this is a Kubuntu, but it has some differences with her. Although it is based on Ubuntu and with KDE Plasma, KDE Neon uses the LTS version of Ubuntu as a base and the latest versions of KDE apps. And by the way, if you want computers with this system already pre-installed, you must remember this name: slim book.
Similar to the previous one, but in this case stable packages are used at all levels, also in terms of those of the KDE project. Therefore, it is a good stable option to the previous one, with which you will not run into those annoying errors if there are any. Kubuntu It is an Ubuntu with the powerful KDE Plasma environment and its extras.
The physical appearance of this distro is very similar to Windows 7, so it can be a good substitute. In addition, by having the base provided by Canonical, this distro will have unbeatable support in every way, both software, hardware, help from the community if you have problems, etc. All this positions her as one of the favorites.
If you have considered Ubuntu as an alternative To start in the Linux world and want a similar environment, then Kubuntu might be an even better choice than Ubuntu. The reason is that GNOME might be a bit confusing at first.
RoboLinux goes one step further of all the above. Not only does it offer an environment similar to Microsoft Windows, or a more welcoming system like ZorinOS for those who come from this world, but it also pretends that it pretends that you can run Windows software almost as in a native environment.
This distro is based on Debian, and that great base has added some extras that allow you to run native Windows software without using Wine. It achieves this thanks to a system called Stealth VM, that is, a Windows virtual machine that will run in the background and in a practically transparent way for the user.
If you like Stealth VM, you should know that you can download and install it on other distros like Ubuntu, ZorinOS, openSUE, etc.
Stealth VM It will allow you to run your favorite Windows programs and games, but without running too many security risks. The reason is that they have included numerous security measures and improvements so that Windows applications run on the machine without causing problems to the Linux system. Completely separate and isolated from the rest, but with an amazing integration.
Finally, and although it is a controversial GNU / Linux distribution, it is Linspire. It was previously known as LindowsOS, and was intended to be as Windows-like as possible, including its famous CNR (Click-n-Run) system for installing software with just one mouse click. This, which can now be done in many other distros, at that time was a novelty, and was not frequent in others.
It was owned by Linspire Inc., later bought by Xandros and later by PC / OpenSystems LLC. There is also a free version called freespire. Although lately, the latter seems somewhat abandoned ... The one that has been updated more recently is Linspire, which is now in its version 8.5 based on Ubuntu 18.04-3 LTS.
And yes, I said free, since Linspire licenses have to be paid for. It is not a free download like most cases, but you will have to pay a considerable amount of money for it, although not as high as Windows licenses. For the boxed version they are $ 30,99 and for the digital download version they are $ 19,99, although you have the option of buying 2 or up to 5 licenses in a pack.
Now you have no excuse not to go over to GNU / Linux with these 6 alternatives...