5 options to migrate from Windows XP to Linux

Microsoft has announced that it will stop providing support for Windows XP on April 4, which means that your computer will not get the latest software updates, including security updates. That would leave your computer vulnerable to viruses and malware, even more than it already is. In case you use a pirated copy, you probably don't care much about Microsoft's official support, but you must not forget how exposed you are when using a system that is already considered, even by Microsoft itself, as obsolete.

At this point, the paths to follow are:

  1. Continue with Windows XP and face the consequences,
  2. Upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8, which implies having to pay a good amount of greens (not counting the antivirus and office suites),
  3. Migrate to GNU / Linux and enjoy the money saved.

Why choose GNU / Linux?

Well, so far the description of the problem. Windows XP is on the way to extinction, and something needs to be done. But, knowing the reality from which many of us start, the question may arise in you: "And why use GNU / Linux if I can download pirated Windows 7 or 8?" Well, friends, in that case I suggest you read this another post in which the benefits of GNU / Linux are summarized, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. it's more insurance- There are virtually no viruses or malware affecting GNU / Linux
  2. it's more stable- crashes are really very rare on GNU / Linux and there are always ways to cope with them should they occur
  3. it's more fast: depending on the distribution you choose it is possible to revive even the oldest machine
  4. is free!: Need to say more?
  5. it's more Customizable: in GNU / Linux it is not only possible to change the desktop background but EVERYTHING that is in it
  6. it's more entertaining: by using GNU / Linux you will learn how your system works

And most importantly: GNU / Linux is FOSS. This is not empty and meaningless declamation. You may not be fully aware of it now, but I assure you that as you start using GNU / Linux, you will realize how oppressive proprietary software is, be it developed by Microsoft, Apple or any other.

If you've never tried GNU / Linux I suggest you read our Beginner's Guide. Without a doubt, a compilation of the best articles on this blog for those who are just starting out with GNU / Linux.

What distributions do you recommend for me?

1. Linux Mint

linux like

Linux Mint is the recommended distribution for those who have never used GNU / Linux, as it comes with everything installed to work.

Minimum system requirements:
RAM: 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
Minimum resolution: 800 × 600 pixels
Free disk space: 5GB

Get Linux Mint

2. Lubuntu


Of the distributions listed here, Lubuntu is the one with the least demanding hardware requirements. It is ideal for recovering laptops or netbooks with WinXP. Also, its visual interface will be familiar to those migrating from WinXP.

Minimum system requirements:
RAM: 256MB RAM (512MB recommended)
Minimum resolution: 800 × 600 pixels
Free disk space: 2GB

Get Lubuntu

3. Zorin OS


Zorin OS even has a "WinXP mode" that adapts the visual aesthetics of the system to that of WinXP. It is perfect for newbies.

Minimum system requirements:
Processor: 1GHz
RAM: 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
Minimum resolution: 640 × 480 pixels
Free disk space: 5GB

Get Zorin OS

4. Elementary OS


Elementary OS is characterized by its elegance, simplicity and speed. It is recommended for those who come from Mac / Apple.

Minimum system requirements:
Processor: 1GHz
RAM: 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
Minimum resolution: 1024 × 768 pixels
Free disk space: 5GB

Get Elementary OS

5. Ubuntu


Ubuntu is, within the distributions presented here, probably the least similar to Windows XP. However, it is also the most popular distribution, so it could not stop being on this list.

Minimum system requirements:
Processor: 700MHz
RAM: 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
Minimum resolution: 1024 × 768 pixels
Free disk space: 5GB

Get Ubuntu

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  1.   diazepan said

    «Well, friends, in that case I suggest you read this other post in which the benefits of GNU / Linux are summarized, which can be summarized as follows:»

    Link is wrong

  2.   rv said

    Great post 🙂

    By the way, wouldn't it be nice if they added (if not among the 5 at least as an extra or "honorable mention") to Trisquel and / or Trisquel Mini?
    I have been using them for a long time, both for myself and for machines that I prepare for other people, and not only do they tend to work perfectly 'out-of-the-box', but the finish is impeccable, in the case of the Mini version it does not consume no resources and flies when using it, and above all: They are 100% Free!


    1.    let's use linux said

      It's a great idea! I'm going to add it ... 🙂
      Cheers! Paul.

      1.    FGuardia said

        I see a problem in this post. At least as far as I know neither Ubuntu nor Elementary OS have support for logging in via LDAP (LightDM doesn't allow it) so you take away a large part of the corporate market.

        1.    mitcoes said

          Although it is not by default, IT IS INSTALLABLE

          Google, among many others, uses Ubuntu server and Ubuntu desktop LTS
          RHEL and SUSE EL sell even more than Ubuntu

    2.    diazepan said

      If the computer does not contain hardware that works with blobs, it is a good idea.

  3.   Horacio said

    Waiting for the final release of lubuntu lts to install it in a net of the plan to connect equality (Argentina), since I am not very convinced by Huayra. Keep up the blog that is excellent ..

    1.    rv said

      Did you try Trisquel Mini?
      Like Lubuntu it uses desktop LXDE, and on a couple of netbooks I installed it ran faster (and less power) than Lubuntu. Also, the current version (available) is LTS, and if you lift the hardware well, you have a 100% Free distro 🙂

      1.    Horacio said

        The issue is that the Wi-Fi network card that is incorporated works with a proprietary driver.

  4.   Alfred said


    1.    let's use linux said

      Yes, thank you Alfredo!
      It is an excellent alternative. For those who are interested, we have covered it in detail here: https://blog.desdelinux.net/solidxk-la-mejor-nueva-distro-linux/
      Cheers! Paul.

  5.   Hugo Iturrieta said

    I use Lubuntu on my netbook (netbook connect equality, I only made a space between what there was, nothing illegal) and FLIES, I recommend it to EVERYONE who migrate from a PC where it was not running at all smoothly.
    Even if you are a fan of Games, I tried Lubuntu on my desktop computer and Minecraft nailed the 30fps, incredibly stabilized, it did not vary by ANYTHING (and the FPS limit was "infinite"). I remember that in Windows it went up to 35, went down to 15, recovered at 20, stayed at 25 for a few short seconds and as soon as a mob appeared, climbed a mountain, or traveled a new part of the map, it would vary again in gigantic proportions.

    1.    Horacio said

      what version of lubuntu did you install 12.04?

    2.    danymat said

      I on a disk that had to be formatted, I was installing mint 16 mate and xface lubuntu 12.04 and 14.04. and the mint debian. I used all of them and lubuntu 12.04 was the fastest, stable, it consumes 91 mgs when booting and after installing all «wine libre-office etc. still the same. The 14.04 consumed 127 mgs. and in a netbook you would have to put an icon in the wifi bar for convenience. I recommend and stick with lubuntu 12.04. It has everything, I think it lacks nothing, it could only be asked for the icon my pc, computer or shortcuts (as the cairo dock calls it) to the desktop. I don't know where it is if you tell me where it would be 100% perfect. From already thank you very much

  6.   Faustino said

    Someone recently asked me about my operating system, and he asked me if it should be "cracked" and I told him it was free. * - *

    1.    let's use linux said

      Jua ho!

  7.   lceccott said

    A few months ago I migrated from XP to Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon and I couldn't be more satisfied.
    A much nicer interface than Windows, highly "configurable" desktops, plus it runs really well.
    Indeed, it is a very suitable distribution for those of us who started with this new world of free software.
    It could be said that my machine has been revived and the bottom line is that I saved a lot of money.
    I hope to learn more about this topic to try other Ubuntu distributions.

    In short, highly recommended for those who are willing to spend some time and learn.

  8.   Chaparral said

    Your arguments outweigh a freight train loaded with iron girders, but unfortunately, they don't believe you. They prefer to continue hacking in one way or another the Widows on duty, defying the current legislation that the monopoly imposes. What's more, many feel proud to be able to do it, when the most practical thing is to download a GNU / Linux and learn little by little the use and management of any distribution that gives a hundred and one line to any Windows. And it is not that GNU / Linux is a perfect system, which it is not, but to be better than any paid system, it is not necessary to run too much.

  9.   Jair said

    It also lacked some optional ones like Debian with XCFE4 or LXDE, and Xubuntu. Or Salix with XCFE and LXDE, among many others

    1.    let's use linux said

      Yes, like any choice, it is capricious. We could have added many others as well. 🙂
      This post serves only as a guideline.
      Cheers! Paul.

    2.    nonamed said

      as a newbie I started with debian, and it is as easy as any other distro

  10.   clown said

    From tests I have done, Ubuntu's requirements are higher than indicated.

    at least a 1.4 ghz processor and 1gb of ram, and with this the system will be extremely slow and heavy

  11.   water carrier said

    I think there should be four considerations: a) support, b) community, c) resource usage, and d) interface - in this order. I have put resources and interface behind support and community because they depend a lot on the desktop regardless of the distribution. In support and community, Mint / * untus distros win for the documentation and number of forums where you can find help. Of these I would put Mint first because the distribution is more responsive to users and makes it easier to install programs. I would add Mageia to the list because of the enthusiasm of the community and the information available in Spanish (Blogdrake).

    In resources for a few there is an additional consideration: PAE. More and more distros (Debian only?) Require PAE and I still have a machine that doesn't support it. In terms of interface, if someone is used to Windows XP, MATE or, perhaps, XFCE they would be good candidates despite being heavier than LXDE. I have been with MATE for almost two years and it is easy to understand and handle. (I don't recommend Cinnamon because of the graphics acceleration it needs.)

    The truth is that despite having been with Linux Mint MATE for a long time, I have used Mageia KDE since the release of version 3 last year and I am doing great. Despite having a reputation for being heavier, I just installed Mageia KDE 4 on a non-PAE laptop that is 10 years old (but yeah 1GB RAM) and is doing great.

    So for someone switching to Linux I recommend Mageia or Linux Mint LTS with MATE / XFCE / KDE.

  12.   Nebuchadnezzar said

    I no longer know what to think about these controversies. Of course, Windows is highly inefficient and Microsoft is a monopoly beast that as such is attentive (indeed, MUST attempt) against the basic freedoms of people. For its part, MacOS and Apple machines In general, they are the best there is, BUT their very high cost makes them elitist, which is one more facet of monopoly bestiality.
    And Linux is wonderful, functional, stable, free (according to), free ... but it is for geeks, out of the reach and interests of users who are only looking for a working OS, period.

    1.    clown said

      Since 2005 I've seen comments like this ...

    2.    mitcoes said

      You send this message from Android -LINUX - and Chrome
      It shouldn't be that hard
      Certainly we have desks to choose from if one is too difficult
      Gnome, KDE, Razorqt, XFCE, LXDE, MATE. Cinnamon, Enlightment, Fluxbox, Openbox etc

    3.    joakoej said

      Currently, I find that some distros are much easier, for example Linux Mint is very easy to use. What happens is that many are already used to Windows

  13.   CANNON said

    «Minimum system requirements:
    Processor: 700MHz
    RAM: 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
    Minimum resolution: 1024 × 768 pixels
    Free disk space: 5GB »

    I do not know why, I have a PC with Dual core proc (of the first generation) at 1.6 ghz, 2 GB of RAM and a 8600 GB NVIDIA Gefrorce 1 gt graphics card and it runs terribly wrong :(, It goes very slow, I click on the dash and it takes up to 5 seconds to respond ...

    1.    Fvce said

      haven't you tried installing manjaro? I had the same problem but my old computer runs better with manjaro

    2.    clown said

      you have to remove the diver that you install with "additional drivers" and replace it with the proprietary driver.

  14.   Mario Guillermo Zavala Silva said

    I am completely in your observations… I have more than two rounds of 365 days of being using linuxmint maya, in a dual boot… Now how do I remove windows XP without losing linux! Please help me !

    CHEERS !!!!

    1.    mitcoes said

      Gparted lets you remove XP without losing Linux
      But make a USB with Multisystem or yumi.exe with Mint and Manjaro that will always get you out of trouble wherever you are

  15.   mitcoes said

    All the recommended options are one: UBUNTU and forks

    In a company SUSE can be much more interesting

    At home or small offices Manjaro or Antergos

    And installing wine to run the XP programs you are used to should be explained in an article like this one that doesn't do the site any favors

    1.    let's use linux said

      It's true, it's a good observation. It happens that generally Debian / Ubuntu and its derivatives tend to be more "friendly" for those who are just starting out.
      That doesn't mean they aren't better, of course… 🙂
      Hug, Pablo.

      1.    joakoej said

        Actually only Ubuntu and its derivatives, Debian is unfriendly for new users

  16.   Bones said

    for unknown reasons, elementary crashed installing grub and was never able to use it. In order not to fill, I did a couple of maneuvers to fix the bootloader and I finished with Ubuntu 13 and now Mageia for the three B's: Good, Nice and Cheap

  17.   harman said

    The crashes are relative ... I have Ubuntu 12.04, and from an update that I carry out, the performance of the computer is bad, it freezes frequently and I must let it "recover" to continue working (I always get an error with something called «ntop», which until now I have not been able to know what it is and what it is for), ... my experience with this Linux distribution became very frustrating for it: S

  18.   BobLiic said

    It seems to me that the migration from Windows XP to Linux would be the most natural thing, since the technical requirements to use Windows 7 or 8 are many, so the older equipment could not run these new operating systems.

    Excellent list you provide, although I lean more towards Linux Mint.

  19.   sergio said

    And I thought that you had to have a cool PC to run the latest versions of Ubuntu. I think that until 10.04 the thing had flowed, 4GB of ram would be needed if you want to take advantage of Ubuntu 🙁

  20.   msx said


  21.   vidagnu said

    Excellent article, for the company I would bet on Ubuntu, it has excellent support and good support.

    1.    let's use linux said

      So is. Thank you for leaving your comment.
      Cheers! Paul.

  22.   gonzalezm # Bik'it Bolom # said

    Excellent post. I hope you don't mind Pablo I have translated and published this post into the Tsotsil indigenous language. I leave link http://slikeb.mx/?p=92. Greetings.

  23.   Maria said


    I have the xp, and I have heard that many people are going to migrate to linux, the truth is that I have no idea what to do to go from xp to linux, can it be downloaded with xp? Or does it have to be done on a floppy disk? Can you tell me what to do? And where do I see the free space that my pc has?

    Thank you very much.

    A greeting.

    1.    let's use linux said

      Hello Maria!
      I suggest you read our guide for beginners: https://blog.desdelinux.net/guia-para-principiantes-en-linux/
      Cheers! Paul.

  24.   Hector Foster said

    I plan to migrate from windows xp to Linux Mint, is it possible to use the documents that I had saved in Microsoft Office ?. I only know Linux from background, since I am an advanced PC user but, of the third age.

    1.    let's use linux said

      Hello Hector! Of course it can. There is an office suite called LibreOffice, which would be the replacement for Microsoft Office, which supports all .DOC, .DOCX, .XLS, etc. formats. LibreOffice is also available for Windows, so you can try it first if you want to see how compatible it is with your particular files. In general, it is usually very high (unless they are too complex excel sheets and so on, although this is rarely the case).
      If you're just starting out in Linux, I highly recommend reading our beginner's guide and its related articles:
      Cheers! Paul.

      1.    Carlos said

        you can also use kingsof office..which looks quite similar ..

  25.   Juan José said

    Hello a question

    I lose my files if I change from XP to Any of these options?


    1.    cuervo291286 said

      Of course not Juan, unless you back them up on a USB or DVD, then everything is the same or better. Cheers

  26.   OSCAR said

    In the NETBOOK, even if you have the requirements mentioned for Ubuntu, it simply does not start when going through USB, it hangs therefore it is not so recommendable, my lap is 2 memory and 1.2 processor and it does not work.

  27.   joakoej said

    You could put Fedora too and I came back to it after a long time, it's the one I started with and it seems very good and easy, it's just a matter of following a post-installation guide to add certain things that we surely need for the day to day.
    Right now I have it installed and it is the best, very stable, easy and practical. I recommend the Mate + compiz spin version.
    This is the official page: http://fedoraproject.org/
    and this is a very good post-installation guide: http://kuboosoft.blogspot.com.ar/2013/11/que-hacer-despues-de-instalar-fedora-20.html

    1.    joakoej said

      Ah, by the way, of all the ones you named, the best one seems to me Linux Mint is also very good for new users or any type of user. Install Linux Mint and forget about Ubuntu problems, the only bad thing is that it has a bit old software (like Ubuntu) and it comes out a month after Ubuntu.
      Anyway, maybe a year from now this will change, as they plan to do a complete overhaul on Ubuntu, maybe they'll make it a rolling release and hopefully bleeding edge as well.

      1.    cuervo291286 said

        I have 1 year with linux mint and I would not leave it for nothing, I started with ubuntu 10.10 but when migrating to linux mint everything changed, I will always recommend linux mint, personally it is the best distribution that I used….

  28.   Carlos said

    I love it when they put Linux Mint first

  29.   Pedro said

    Hi, I have Windows XP installed, with Linux I can install any application for Windows and your Office. Thanks