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Do you use Linux?

alexgeorgiev17 profile image Alex Georgiev Originally published at devdojo.com on ・3 min read

Introduction

A lot of people love Linux due to its ease of use, great compatibility with almost any hardware and because it's free and open-source!
Linux is not only powering almost 90% of all cloud infrastructure but more people decide to use Linux over Windows or macOS to power their desktop setups or laptops.
If you're a developer or system administrator there are a lot of tools that you can find handy and when it comes to multitasking you can customize the distro of your choice to match your exact needs.

There are a lot of reasons why you should choose Linux and I will try to list some of them and explain why Linux can be the perfect platform for you.

  • Linux is free and it's open-source
  • It's secure.
  • Offers great customization
  • There are a lot of distributions that you can use
  • It's reliable
  • It's user friendly (although sometimes it can be very picky about who its friends are)

Usage

There are a lot of ways to use Linux or take advantage of its powerful features. You can have any Linux distro like Ubuntu and you can also have it as a dual boot setup with your Windows OS as well. If you like the terminal you can also configure Linux as a subsystem on your Windows 10 PC. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) is a Windows 10 feature that enables you to run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows.

You can find more information about WSL2 here:

You can run Linux in a VirtualBox or any other virtualization software solution that you prefer as well. In this way, you can quickly spin up a new instance of Linux when this is needed for testing or to have a development environment before pushing code to production.

Why you should use it?

I believe that Linux offers a lot of features and tools that can speed up your daily tasks and also improve your skills while doing so. You can easily install it on almost any hardware including old desktop computers or even on single board computers like the Raspberry Pi. Additionally, Linux has all the applications that you're most probably using right now with your current OS so you're more than welcome to give it a try.

Conclusion

I would like to know if you're using Linux (feel free to share which distro) and why you've chosen to use it. When was the first time you've used any Linux distro and how Linux helps you to complete your daily tasks and long-term projects? Also let me know if you're using WSL2, running Linux as a virtual machine, dual-boot or just using Linux on your PC or laptop.
That's all folks

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Discussion (128)

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eruizdechavez profile image
Erick Ruiz de Chavez

Linux is not only powering almost 90% of all cloud infrastructure but more people decide to use Linux over Windows or macOS to power their desktop setups or laptops.

Don't forget that it is even in Mars! Linux is the OS powering Ingenuity, the helicopter sent to Mars by NASA.

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seancallaway profile image
Sean Callaway

Making Mars the second planet with more computers running Linux than Windows.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
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jadenconcord profile image
Jaden Concord

Virtually every (or mostly) non-consumer computers run some sort of Linux (or BSD) like operating system on servers, supercomputers, voice assistants, rocket ships, you name it but it depends on how you define what a Linux operating system is. Is it an operating system with the Linux Kernel or Linux and Free (GNU) software? Could you define Android as a Linux operating system because it uses the Linux Kernel.

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polaroidkidd profile image
Daniel Einars

Could I define Android as running Linux? Yes. If it runs the Linux kernel it's a Linux machine. What diese would it be?

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jadenconcord profile image
Jaden Concord

What about if you run the Linux kernel on Windows? Or you swap the Linux kernel for a BSD kernel in an Linux operating system? This is why officially, you would say GNU Linux and not just Linux. GNU tools are a part of the GNU Linux package otherwise Linux would just mean a boring free kernel made by some Sweden college student. It’s also the ecosystem and other things that make it GNU Linux.

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kopseng profile image
Carl-Erik Kopseng

Finnish. Linus Torvalds is a Finn from Finland. But yeah, GNU/Linux.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

May I ask if Linus Torvalds is being recognized (in Finland) as one of the people that have made Finland popular? Accept my apologies if you're not Finn the same as Linus.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That is a valid point. If you think about it Linux powers basically everything around us. Also, some ATMs use Linux, I've seen a lot of them booting with the Windows 7 screen but still, Linux is also helping.

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The Sharp Ninja

It also powers the targeting system of the AC-140 Gunship and controls the firing mechanism of the cannon as well.

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bronxnica profile image
DoubleM

Wow... when was that done... which distro..?

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sharpninja profile image
The Sharp Ninja

Since 2012 at least. It was RHEL.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That's a true, pretty amazing fact!

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jcdea profile image
JcdeA

Yes, I use arch btw

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epsi profile image
E.R. Nurwijayadi

Gentoooooooo

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jcdea profile image
JcdeA

I also tried gentoo for a while, I liked it but I couldn't stand waiting for programs to emerge because I only had one laptop.

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

I have been planing to give it a try for a long time!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Can you share your experience with it?

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epsi profile image
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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

It looks pretty good!

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ginsburgnm profile image
Noah Ginsburg

more people decide to use Linux over Windows or macOS to power their desktop setups or laptops.

Well that's not true: we've only got like 2% market share of personal machines.

gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share...

But for me, gosh. I've got 2 Linux laptops. Ones just hooked into my TV (ever run i3wm on a 65in TV?)
The other is used for development. Both run a Debian derivative. I run a personal server at home off of ubuntu (honestly just for configuration consistently with my other machines)

Then a couple Pi's sitting around doing menial tasks for me..

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing! I have my raspberry connected to my TV. The reason is my TV is not smart and I use the raspberry with Kodi and using it to Mirror my phone screen to easily watch some youtube videos or watch movies whenever I have time to do so.

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Alex Georgiev Author

I hope that the number of people will increase in time! People are having fun and they really enjoy using Linux! I have so many friends that were so negative about Linux, but when I showed them how easy is to use it and that most of the apps they use are also available in Linux at least they changed their mind about Linux!

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ginsburgnm profile image
Noah Ginsburg

That's not my experience! Lol my friends either already are into it, or were like "oh no, that's that system for computer geniuses" and refuse to give it a chance.

But that's really cool you got some of your friends to at least check it out!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I hope they didn't lie to me just so I can stop showing them how cool Linux is! :D

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ianwijma profile image
Ian Wijma

I asked my partner to try out Linux on her new desktop, and if she doesn't like it. I will just install windows for her.

Thus far she managed to do all tasks she normally would.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That is great! I really hope she finds Linux user friendly! As mentioned in the post Linus it's user friendly (although sometimes it can be very picky about who its friends are) :D

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Carl-Erik Kopseng

I was like ... eh ... what, that isn't true too when I read that. But I just recently realized there is no editorial process on dev.to so anyone can post any statement without facts backing it up, so here we go 🤠 I remember starting to hear about how next year might be The Year of Linux on the Desktop, winning normal folks over, way back in 2000. People (magazines, really) started shutting up about it before 2010 realising that this never materialized and never will. The closest Linux has been to being deployed on every desktop computer is ironically Windows and the WSL. Quite the irony in the end 😁 I started using Linux in 1999 (RH6) to free me from the shackles of the buggy Windows 98 SE. I never stopped using Linux, but two decades later I have gone full circle and I am now back on Windows to get away from the buggy GUI software on Linux 😂 Still mainly running all my tooling in the WSL2, of course ❤️

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I believe that people should take advantage of both Linux and Windows if they can speed up their daily tasks or to create more content and use any software that is not available for Linux or Windows. Generally speaking, people should not choose to give up on any of both but maybe learn how to not to fully depend on any of them.

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Aaron Keisler

Sounds like my kind of setup! I dual boot my main PC with Windows 10 and Arch, and use Ubuntu via WSL on the Windows side. What sort of menial tasks are you automating with the Pis?

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Neil Wolfkid

Once I learned Linux, I couldn't go back to Windows not matter how hard I tried because it was too uncomfortable and limiting for me to use it the way i used linux, it just didnt click the same way linux did.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That's the same way I feel after trying Linux for some time. I just love it!

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darltrash profile image
Neil Wolfkid

EVERYTHING can be done with some commands and EVERYTHING can be customized to the SOURCE! I just cant stand having to install things manually anymore or have to deal with a laggy and heavy interface because i can literally just change MY WHOLE DESKTOP INTERFACE with some commands! I dont like something? I just change it!

MacOS is also veeery damn nice, but i still cant stop using Linux all the time, it's just amazing

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I agree with you! It's just once you try Linux you get to understand that you really enjoy being able to customize your environment, especially via the command line. I agree that macOS is also really good, once you get used to the different keyboard layout, scrolling and shortcut commands of course.

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darltrash profile image
Neil Wolfkid

Linux is that one kind of thing that looks horribly intimidating at the first time, but once you learn it, it can be extremely simple to use.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I agree with you. I remember my first experience with it was using Linux Mint and I spent several minutes doing some random stuff at work, before realising it was not Windows :D

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darltrash profile image
Neil Wolfkid

My first time was with lubuntu, it looked weird and did weird things but it was EXCESSIVELY FAST, i started reading and reading more about it and turned out i became a fan of it, started exploring the linux world and tried a thousand distros and desktops and when i tried windows 10 back, my disgust was inmeassurable, everything was so broken and weird and unstable and it suddenly became a pain to use, now i only use Void Linux (Musl edition) with open source software exclusively and not because i am a FOSS purist but because it's just better for my needs!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

It does feel weird when you get to use it for the first time, but with time you understand why so many people use it and why so many companies rely on it. I've tried a lot of distros, for example, a few weeks ago I bought a new laptop for my niece and it came with pre-installed OpenSuse and I feel bad I needed to replace it with Windows but I spent some time browsing around before going forward.

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Nikhil M Warrier

I have an old (2005ish) laptop running puppy linux out of a usb stick as a side project...
Oh, and I run Ubuntu on my tablet...

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That's really cool! Can you share more info about your experience with the tablet after you switched to use Ubuntu on it?

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Nikhil M Warrier

I didn't entirely switch to Ubuntu, as I prefer Android on my tablet, but yeah, installing Ubuntu is a kinda cool weekend project.

I actually installed Ubuntu within a Terminal Emulator and used the Bash terminal for installing a vnc sever (TigerVNC in this instance). I then installed a vnc client on android and used it to actually interact with the GUI. So far I got not-terrible performance. I managed to install LibreOffice and Firefox. I am planning to try Visual Studio Code for ARM soon, too...

Trust me, it isn't exactly a productivity workhorse or anything. It's good for show-offs and bragging rights, you know...

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing more details about it! I would love to try Ubuntu on a tablet or phone for a few days and have fun with it!

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nikhilmwarrier profile image
Nikhil M Warrier

Sure! Go for it!

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Ruby Rubenstahl

I've gone back and forth between Linux and Windows for years. Mostly because I enjoy working in linux, but my professional life has often demanded I use Windows for specific software.

I'm now at a place where I can be more free with my tech decisions and after several disastrous Windows updates that caused me to lose several days worth of work I finally decided that I was just going to switch over full-time to linux.

I spend 99.9% of my time in Linux now and it's the happiest I've ever been. I keep a laptop with windows on-hand for the times I need it. I'll just boot it up, connect over VNC and do whatever windows stuff needs to happen.

No one else knows how to use my computer because I've customized the hell out of it, but the ability to easily adjust things to meet my needs and the comfort that comes with knowing the next system update isn't likely to wipe out my network or announce itself with a BSOD while I'm in the middle of a meeting.

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Alex Georgiev Author

This sounds so like me! I also keep my Windows laptop just in case I need something out of it. I'm also planning to move the Windows OS to an Intel NUC and then install Linux on the laptop as well, perhaps a distro I haven't tried!

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Ruby Rubenstahl

I've thought about going the NUC route, but I have a laptop that's not in use much and it's got some pretty decent specs so my boss and I decided not to spend the money.

I've stuck with Ubuntu so far only because it's so ubiquitous that I can hunt down information on any topic easily and its what I know and since I'm using it as my daily driver for work, consistency and stability are all I need from my distro. The bells and whistles don't matter too much to me because it can all be customized regardless of the distro.

I've been doing some work with raspberry pis and I've been thinking about exploring different distros there. It's always fun to keep exploring.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I agree that the NUC will require some extra cash to spend. I also enjoy the fact that you can easily access any information about Ubuntu and if you run into an issue this is already been discussed, troubleshoot and resolved in the community as well.

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Bobby Iliev

Yes! I'm a big Linux fan, I use it everywhere. In my full-time job, for my side projects, for my personal laptop, and on my raspberries!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for joining the discussion, Bobby! I can say that I'm using it everywhere I can. At the moment all of my laptops are running Linux (I also have raspberry).

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kailyons profile image
KaiLikesLinux

I love Linux, the community is so kind compared to the Windows community.

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ginsburgnm profile image
Noah Ginsburg

Lol that depends. Ubuntu community? Pretty friendly. Arch community? Pretty toxic.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

There are always some negative or even toxic people, we can't escape this, but compared to the Windows community (more often because there is lack of response when you seek for a solution) it seems to be a lot better experience.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

That is so true! This is probably one of the key points on why you should try Linux! When you install it you join an awesome community that is always there to help you out!

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ianwijma profile image
Ian Wijma

As of beginning last year I run fully on Linux. The last PC to switch was my desktop. Which I used for gaming. I just got tired of the windows updates, and data lost I've had because of windows updates.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Do you still like gaming and if so do you just use a console? At the moment my Windows PC is way too old to run any new games, but I can still run some cool and old games whenever my nephews are here.

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Sacha Telgenhof

Of course, I use arch btw ;)

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Why you've chosen arch and not another distro?

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stelgenhof profile image
Sacha Telgenhof

First and foremost because of the Arch way (wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/The_A...), of which the rolling-release system attracted to me as I like to use the most recent (stable) packages.
Furthermore, the Arch Linux Wiki is extensive and a great resource to learn about the inner workings of Linux.

Arch Linux is perfect for those who like to do-it-yourself and figure-it-out-yourself. Other distro's may be more suitable for those who like an OS that is install and go :)

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Good point, my personal experience with it is not much, but I also agree that it's not definitely worth trying to do some things on your own and try learning something new!

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Krrish Dhaneja

Yes I am using Linux(currently Fedora). I have chosen it for checking compatibility of my software(as I have tested on Manjaro and Ubuntu), I use Fedora in WSL2(rootfs) and as well as in a VM. The first distro I ever tried to install(but failed) was Lubuntu!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing this with us. I never personally tried Fedora but with the recent CentOS news I read a lot about it and why people use it in the first place.

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krrishdhaneja profile image
Krrish Dhaneja

If you are a type of person who likes somewhat stability (like that of Ubuntu) and cutting edge (like sort of Manjaro!)then you must try it, it's just awesome!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

A lot of people recommend Manjaro and it seems like it's definitely worth trying it

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alex46845119 profile image
Alex

I was 14 when I first started using linux. That's 19 years ago now. Ubuntu 4.10 when it was green in the gills. Spent several late night learning the command line, pushing proprietary graphics drivers... When X showed the desktop finally in all it's glory, I was hooked. It was my first PC I built with my cousin's help. I don't even remember the hardware. My next rig was an opteron 165 that I put under water with a 1A-Cooling kit (still works, eheim pump, brass/copper construction of the CPU block). 1.8ghz out of the box, pushed close to 3.3ghz like butter. Ran Ubuntu dual booted with windows XP. Those were the days.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

This is amazing! Do you still use Ubuntu or you've chosen another distro?

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Jesse Phillips

I have had linux as a primary OS off and on for years since about 2005. I've ventured o different distribution, SUSE would provide better out of box support for hardware I couldn't make work.

Ultimately I'm always back to using Debian. Today I'm less need/desire for bleeding edge so I'm on the stable channel. My newest computer build is AMD and gaming has never been better on Linux, I could argue it is match to Windows as I've had my fair share of issues running games their (usually on the older side though).

Why, well that is the hard one. My main example is "turn it off and on again" does not work in Linux. If the system does not work, then it is consistent, and a solution must be found.

For my profession I deal with Windows applications and I can see where the appeal their is. You get a platform which helps you integrate different things together in one administrative panel. But even with Windows following along toward containers, that ecosystem is dieing.

Linux provides tools and convention to plug things together, Windows plugged things together and told you to do the same.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I agree with you! Thanks for sharing it!

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bronxnica profile image
DoubleM

I use Slackware.

I don’t know who said this but it’s true::

Install Debian you learn Debian
Install Red Hat you learn Red Hat
Install Gentoo you learn Gentoo....(on and on and on...)

Install Slackware you learn Linux...!!

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I believe that Slackware is more UNIX like.

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Justin

Linux Desktop All Day !

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

What distro are you using?

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codebyjustin profile image
Justin

Pop!_OS

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sarveshtheabstractor profile image
Sarvesh Hiwase

One best thing about linux is that you don't need good hardware configuration and it really runs super fast on even 2gb ram.
I'm currently using it on my home pc with 2gb ram and Intel core 2 Duo(Ubuntu)
I'm really loving it.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I also run Ubuntu on an old laptop with 4GB RAM it's just doing miracles!

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Ian.H

Depends where...

Servers.. Definitely.. Debian being my preferred server distro (since moing on from FreeBSD).

As far as desktops go, used many over the years. Ran FreeBSD 4.x as my main desktop for 18 months or so with WindowMaker for the UI years ago, but lack of "normal" app made this too much of a challenge (the likes of a decent alternative to Photoshop (GIMP isn't that)).

Since Microsoft released WSL, things are much better IMO for the dev world, that and the fact I do 95% of my dev stuff in Docker containers anyway, I'm happy with my windows dev boxes. I use a macbook pro for $dayJob which is....... ok... but nowhere near as performant as either my windows desktop (quite a beast) or even my old Lenovo W540.. especially in the docker realms.

My previous workplace was Linux for desktops (Mint and Ubuntu) and there was nothing but hassle. I'm quite at home with a Linux box.. but it just wasn't fun. My Lenovo laptop is dualboot with Win10 Pro and Mint 19.3, but I only booted into Linux once in the past 6 months and that was to read a portable HDD that wouldn't map on windows (turns out it was formatted for Freeview TV recordings, hence the lack of access via windows).

So in short, for me, my preferences...

Desktop/development: Windows with WSL2/Docker
Server: Linux (Debian).

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

WSL did make some change for sticking with Windows but I've started to use either Linux or macOS for my desktop setup and laptops

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kieran815 profile image
Kieran815

This may seem controversial, but I like Ubuntu because it WORKS. I started learning dev on Win10, but the buffering and loading drove me insane. I thought my computer may be slower, so I tried out Ubuntu and everything worked quickly. Yes, there is a learning curve. Yes, you have to be willing to learn more about what you're doing. But the effort has paid off, esp when I started learning/working with servers.
After I got enough bills paid to finally buy a new computer, I started working windows again, as surely my new machine would handle it with ease...
And it still freezes all the time...
Also, "wsl is an abomination" so something someone said to me a while back, and I am inclined to agree.

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retinafunk

I use Linux for web development , but virtualized as in WSL2 built into WIndows 10.
It handles Docker much better and stable then windows and I can still use my IDEs like Phpstorm and VsCode and also use GUI Tools on the Linux side like GIT Kraken or Chrome with X-Server in own window .
Works like a charm and I love it .

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Vusal Ismayilov

Linux is very powerful, which I have been using for the past years now. However, big companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, and a lot more are not really into to supporting Linux with their biggest software applications. As sad as it sounds and it is, There can not be any more powerful, secure, smooth OS yet to get for free, and personally do not think also will be in the upcoming few decades. As the new upcoming OS' are also almost all UNIX based, which means there is probably a lot to go to come with a brand new founded and based OS which will surprass Linux in any meanings.

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Giles

I tried Linux a few times, got a spare ssd in my pc with Kubuntu on it and it looks really nice. But my whole dev setup is in Windows and I have yet to have a reason to switch to Linux. I've never had issues with updates causing trouble and Windows supports everything I need from a dev perspective. If really need Linux I can use WSL. Though my main tech stack is NET Core with Angular so Windows is more than sufficient. I also like to game lots so that's another reason to keep using it. The new Windows Terminal is also a really decent terminal as well.

For me Linux is one of those things I'll have a play around with every now and again.

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Borna Šepić

"but more people decide to use Linux over Windows or macOS to power their desktop setups or laptops."

I think you might be wildly overestimating the desktop / pc market share that Linux has (gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share...)

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thiago pires

of course

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

What distro are you using?

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thiago pires

i use ubuntu, and mint

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Mint was the first distro I ever used!

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hombregeek

I'm using Ubuntu distro with KDE plasma to develop web application. I'm happy with the change from windows 10 to Linux. I'll never get back

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I also use the KDE version and I really enjoy using it!

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Syed Umair Ali

Just switched to fedora 33 from Windows8 battery life increased by 3.5 hours ❤️

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

This is interesting! Is there any particular reason you've chosen Fedore or you just want to have the latest software updates?

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dewhallez profile image
Akinwale

I am using Ubuntu 20.10.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

How long have you been using it?

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dewhallez profile image
Akinwale

for about 9 years now

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Almost a decade, have you tried using other distros as well?

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Julien Gabriel

I did use Linux (Ubuntu / Fedora) in the past, but I have to admit that after switching on MAC I would not come back.
I find Linux not enough ergonomic and hardware must be very strong to have something "correct" (aka memory management).

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epsi profile image
E.R. Nurwijayadi

Subsytem Diversity 🤦🏻.

🕷 epsi-rns.github.io/system/2020/10/...

Linux Diversity

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michael-andreuzza

Absolutely,I dropped it 3 years ago and ever look back.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

What distro are you using?

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michael-andreuzza

Ubuntu plain.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I had Ubuntu plain for a long time on a dual-boot setup with my Windows 10 laptop and it was really handy to have it around.

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Allan Camilo

I love Linux. Yes I do!

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Alex Georgiev Author

What distro are you using?