My mom has a business and mostly uses Windows and Mac OS X; I mentioned Linux because it could help save money.

She is unfamiliar with Linux though; I gave her some basic introduction (uncertain if it’s any good, but sure), but I would like to be able to ease her into Linux if she prefers it.

Helix 🧬

My mom has a business and mostly uses Windows and Mac OS X

Do all her applications run on Linux? If not, please don’t switch. She makes money with that. Money > ideology if you can’t afford losing it ;)

Explain the concept of free software to her: that it is free to use for everyone, and reproducible in case the original programmers aren’t interested in it.

Since she is going to use it for her business, she will want to know if it can use peripherals well, which it can in most cases, and if it runs Office. The main document format of the world is .docx, so recommending LibreOffice for the regular user isn’t a good idea since the document isn’t translated well after edited by LibreOffice. I would recommend OnlyOffice - it’s like Google Docs in its features, but it works offline. And it comes bundled with Manjaro, which is an easy to use distribution.

I think you should pick a good desktop OS like Linux Mint, and install it and just put it in front of her.

I would avoid complex presentations about what Linux is and stuff like that because that can introduce all kinds of nuances that aren’t strictly necessary to know, which can scare people away.

I wouldn’t mention it unless she had problems with either Windows or MacOS and expressed a desire to switch to something else.


She wants to try it, because she’s interested in saving money.

Install ElementaryOS on an old laptop, and let her use it.

She runs a business, so sell the ‘free, but used by lots of people’ standpoint, hard.

I like ElementaryOS as well, but there is one big downside in my opinion that makes it less user friendly and that is that it does not officially support upgrading between major versions (e.g. 5.1 to 6.0). You have to either mess with repositories on the terminal and hope for the best or you have to do a complete reinstall. So if you install Elementary OS, make sure to create a separate /home partition so you can perform a major upgrade without loosing too much data.

Otherwise, I believe that Elementary OS is quite nice. Although I had to help them at first by pointing out where the application menu is and to help them install LibreOffice (they were already used to it on Windows and it apparently did not show up in the App Centre), they mostly seem to be able to use it themselves with the same amount of assistance required as while using WIndows.


“Linux, this is Mom, shes looking to adopt you so you be nice Okay?” “Mom, this is Linux”

A decade ago, when my moms laptop stopped working, I installed Fedora on it and set everything up for her, and she loved using it for years until my dad got her a mac 🙄

Now her mac is deprecated and I’m sure that fedora laptop still works just fine lol

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.


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