I’ve been working on moving from Windows XP to Linux since late July, and I’m still working at moving over fully. There are several obstacles I’ve encountered along the way to full Linux adoption which I find worth discussing:
Paying Attention to Windows: One of the biggest hassles has in fact been that the Linux experience is so good! My goal is to eventually put my soon-to-be-spare XP Home product key to use for a virtual machine and use my XP Pro dedicated install for Windows gaming, but since I almost never boot into XP on Limited Edition anymore, it gets very difficult to choose which programs and data to migrate. (And yes, this is a real problem for me — much of my old data are Windows standalone programs and varied Windows-specific junk.)
Legacy Data: Another difficulty is my partitioning setup, which is the legacy of the slow transfer of the files from my old Windows data partition (~810GB) into a dedicated /home partition (~360GB). I hope to attack this problem very soon — SMF purchased two 1TB hard drives for our new server, so I am borrowing one of them temporarily to harbor my user data while I finally delete my Windows data partition and migrate the data over to a fully expanded /home.
Look-and-Feel: As far as general Linux-feel versus Windows-feel, there are a few things that I miss from XP: Win-key combinations were pretty much exclusively the property of Windows, which made remembering system-wide shortcuts easier (I was a particular fan of Win-R and Win-E); the Win-key by itself doesn’t open the Start Menu analogue in Linux, but is just as exciting as pressing Alt or Ctrl with no additional keys; sound playback from multiple programs is less consistent than in Windows; and especially, Windows just feels more… predictable than Linux, which is undoubtedly an outgrowth of the extreme flexibility of Linux as opposed to Windows.
Tyranny of Choice: The diversity of choices that Linux offers adds to the difficulty of balancing between learning new things and having the rock-solid stability that I want for my main machine. As far as distros go, I’ve mentally given up on Ubuntu and its derivatives despite their popularity because they’ve made KDE4 unexciting and slower than XP — I mean, imagine if Canonical poured as much effort into maxing out KDE in Kubuntu as they do Gnome in Ubuntu! So I’ve come back to the two distros that have interested me historically — Debian (for its stability) and OpenSUSE (for its innovation) — Debian is slightly ahead at the present, though OpenSUSE is by no means out of the running.