Migrating from Windows 10 to Ubuntu 16.04 – Complete How-to Switch

Migrating From Windows 10 to Ubuntu 16.04Migrating to a new environment is something Cool, right? There are so many ubuntu lovers and ubuntu haters out here. And there are so many discussions and debates going around Windows vs Ubuntu but I don’t think it will be settled on either one side 🙂 . Now you are a Windows user, I know 😉 And you would like to switch to Linux. right? Yeah, I’m reading your mind 😎 . If you are any windows version user this article is applicable to you.  Like windows versions (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10), Linux too has different versions, we can call it Linux distributions or distro.  If you search for “Linux distributions” Wikipedia says

A Linux distribution (often abbreviated as distro) is an operating system made from a software collection, which is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system.

and you can see a wide list of Linux distributions. Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Fedora, Kubuntu, LUbuntu, Ubuntu Mate, Kali Linux, Bla… Bla.. Bla.. and the list is going and never-ending 🙄 .

If you are a techie, either you are using Linux (Sorry, this article is not for you đŸ˜„ ) or you are trying to know more about Linux. Let me say some advantages over Windows.

Now you know there are a lot of Linux distro available, Among those Ubuntu is the most popular and has an extremely large community than any other Linux distros. While using Ubuntu if you got any problem just search on the internet, you can see other users encountered the same problem and someone has given a fix for it 💡 . Ubuntu fits for every type of user. So we use terms Linux and Ubuntu alternatively in this article.

Why Switching to Linux From Windows?

  1. It’s Free
    • You heard it Free? Yeah, right it is absolutely FREE!! And everything will get for Free.
    • You can get lots and lots of apps for Linux.
    • Every alternate of Windows applications is available on Linux for free of cost.
    • You can save some amount of money. You don’t have to buy Windows (~ $40), Office Tools (~ $100) and other commercial software needed (Now you may think Hey Dude! I am using the pirated copy of OS and all software, then why should I bother? :mrgreen: , If you are doing all these things at home, I have no answer for you 😐 . But in case if you are using pirated copies of windows / other software in office, at any time the Microsoft people come can raid.).
  2. Open Source – The source of Linux is freely available to download and customize to your needs and redistribute. Did you think why there are so many distros available? This is the answer.
  3. Security
    • Don’t think I am mad and Windows has less security. But Windows is comparatively less secure than Linux. No need of Antivirus, Say bye to Virus and Antivirus, there is no need of antivirus if there is no Virus because you are free from virus.
    • Windows 10 is not so privacy friendly. Unlike Windows, Linux never sends your personalized / usage data to their server. You can read more about Windows 10 privacy issues here.
  4. Endless Customisation
    • You can customise the look and feel of Linux easily. There are Lots of Themes and icon packs are available freely to change the face. You can get some here.
  5. Works best even in old system
    • You don’t need a high-end system. There are Linux distros available to work on the low-configuration system(Lubuntu, Arch Linux, Puppy Linux etc). You can get a list from this list.

These are some of the main advantages. If you do a search on advantages you can see tons of results about advantages of Linux over windows.

So let us start switching from Windows to Linux.

I recommend you to backup everything you need from windows and remove windows when installing Ubuntu  😀 . There are 2 Advantages of doing this :

  1. You won’t go back to windows if you feel a bit difficult to start. (Ubuntu is super cool. Stick with it. Explore its Super Power.)
  2. You will become an expert in Ubuntu and increase your productivity.

A Little Housekeeping before migrating from Windows to Ubuntu

Before migrating to Ubuntu we need to keep a few things backed up for the seamless use after installing Ubuntu.

  1. Backup Files / Folders
    • First things first, you must backup the files and folders in a pen drive. Especially files in the drive where Windows is currently installed.
    • Files and folders in other drives won’t lost so not recommended to keep a backup.
  2. Sync Browser
    • If you are using Google Chrome, you just sign in with your Google account and leave everything to Chrome, it will do for you. Chrome will sync everything (Bookmarks, Browser History, Extensions). This is one of the most interesting features I liked in Chrome 😉 .
  3. Export Data / Configuration settings of other software
    • If you are using software that is configured strictly for your use then export the configuration files and data files of each software needed (Eg: I was using these Softwares: Filezilla, WAMP, Photoshop, Premiere, PuTTY in Windows and I configured properly for my use and there are other data in each software).

Installing Ubuntu 16.04

After backing up the important files then next we have to get the copy Ubuntu 16.04 with us to install. You can download Ubuntu 16.04 from their official site. I am not going to elaborate the process of installing Ubuntu, you can get breif tutorials from Youtube or Google.

  1. Download Ubuntu 16.04 iso file from their official site and download a bootable USB Creator (I used Rufus).
    Download Ubuntu 16.04
  2. Connect Pendrive and Open Rufus bootable USB Creator and load the Ubuntu 16.04 iso file by clicking on the CD drive icon and Start.
    Ubuntu 16.04 Bootable USB Creator
  3. Restart Computer and Boot from Pendrive -> Select Install Ubuntu -> Next -> Next -> Install

When I try to install Ubuntu 16.04 I got an error “grub-efi-amd64-signed failed installation /target/” at the end of installation process. To Fix this error I just created an EFI partition of 100MB.

grub-efi-amd64-signed failed installation /target/ ubuntu 16.04 Error Fix

Creating an EFI partition of 100MB at the partition time will fix the grub-efi-amd64-signed failed installation /target/ on ubuntu 16.04 Error. You can get detailed answer here.

After Installation of Ubuntu 16.04

After installing Ubuntu 16.04 on your system, you are all set. We need to take care a bit for the optimization of Ubuntu.

Update & Upgrade your OS

  • If you have a good internet connection then it is recommended to update your ubuntu. Take the Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type the following command.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  • Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras – It is a collection of codec that doesn’t come preinstalled in Ubuntu.
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
  • Install Google Chrome – It doesn’t need a description right? 🙂
    • Go to Google Chrome Download Page and download the 64 bit deb file from there.
    • After downloading that file we need to install it. Take the Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type the following command.
    • After installing Chrome just Sign in with your Google Account. Everything will be restored back soon.
# Navigate to Downloads
cd Downloads
# Type the correct filename
dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_xxxx_xxxx.deb
  • Install a good video player. You can get many video player VLC Media Player will serve better.
sudo apt-get install vlc

A Little bit Speed Optimisations for Ubuntu 16.04

1. Install unity-tweak-tool and compiz-config for optimisation of Unity desktop environment.

sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  • Open Unity Tweak Tool and Turn Off the background blur option
  • I usually prefer Performance Mode, not caring about the flying, fading effects on windows that increase the load to the CPU and degrade battery soon. So I turned off the animations and effects. You can do this by taking CompizConfig Settings Manager from search and uncheck Animations and Fading Windows option the is available under Effects Tab.
  • Also turn off background blur on the dash panel

Unity tweak tool ubuntu 16.04 Unity tweak tool ubuntu 16.04

2. Install TLP to improve Battery Life

  • You can improve battery life and reduce heating. TLP brings you the benefits of advanced power management for Linux without the need to understand every technical detail. TLP comes with a default configuration already optimized for battery life, so you may just install and forget it. Nevertheless, TLP is highly customizable to fulfill your specific requirements. Take the Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type the following command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
  • If your Laptop is of Thinkpad type then you can install additional packages to do more improvements in power management.
sudo apt-get install tp-smapi-dkms acpi-call-dkms
  • Once TLP is installed you can run with this code sudo tlp start

3. Monitor your Power Usage with PowerTop

You can monitor the battery usage by application and services using this package.

sudo apt install powertop
sudo powertop

4. Install Night Light Mode

This is one of the features that I love most in Windows 10 – It will reduce the strain to the eye while working at nights.

sudo apt-get install redshift
sudo redshift

5. Turn Off StartUp Applications that we don’t need anymore.

  • There are services and applications hidden from startup. First, we have to show hidden apps from startup. Take Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop
  • Search Startup Applications and uncheck the following Apps / Services
    • Accessibility Profile Manager
    • Backup monitor
    • Caribou
    • Desktop Sharing
    • Orca screen reader
    • Personal File Sharing
    • Update Notifier
  • Also, stop the Bluetooth and printer services from startup.
sudo systemctl disable bluetooth.service
sudo systemctl disable cups.service

6. Install Preload to speed up frequently used application startup

sudo apt install preload

7. Install Flat Material Theme to Ubuntu  😀 

Themes will change the overall behavior of your system. You can install it by the following command.

I am listing 2 themes and icon packs which are of Material theme both are cool you can install both and decide which one suits you.

1.Adapta Theme 

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:tista/adapta -y
sudo apt update
sudo apt install adapta-gtk-theme

2. Flatabulous Theme

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flatabulous-theme

1. Paper icon pack

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme

2. Flat remix icon pack

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flat-remix-icons

Applying Theme: You can apply the installed theme via unity-tweak-tool.

  • Open Unity Tweak Tool and select Theme from the Appearance section
  • You can see newly installed theme there. Click it to set theme.
  • Also, you can see icons tab there you can set icon pack.

I am using Flatabulous theme + Paper icon pack. I am pretty satisfied with this combination.

6. Setting automatic system suspend one Idle

When you are not using your laptop or leave your laptop for a long time in Idle state, you can set to automatically suspend the laptop after a couple of minutes in idle state. Take Terminal and type:

sudo gedit /etc/systemd/logind.conf
remove '#' from the following lines in that file and save.
IdleAction=suspend
IdleActionSec=20min

Conclusion: Migrating from Windows 10 to Ubuntu 16.04 is a really worth and once you enter into the world of open source and Linux, you can explore more.

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