Hey there. It's my first time on #dev.to community.
The reason why I wrote this blog is to let you all get a glimpse of why using a free and open source operating system is always better for people in the tech domain and also to break some myths about Linux. I have changed as a full-time Linux user a year ago and haven't looked back since.
Operating Systems have always been a fascination to me and I've tried a variety of the same from Macintosh System 1 through MS-DOS to latest version of BSD Unix.The following are some genuine reasons why I switched to Linux as my fulltime operating system.
Updates are a way of getting the brightest and greatest features and tools to stands out from the crowd. But if we have no control over it, it can break and disrupt your workflow.
Linux stands out in delivering timely stable updates and gives users a choice of either to download it or not so that you can have total control of your updates.
In Linux what's good to see is you could always select what to update and what not. This is very useful when we have limited memory and we only need to update security patches.
Linux selective update
Now when we compare with other operating systems it's not the same. There is little flexibility with updates. Another plus point of Linux is that you can change and swap any new feature and integrate it into your existing configuration. It may not be a single click but you always have that option as well.
Most proprietary operating systems have their core designed in such a way that the OS can be used only if you have a decent system specification.
Since the internals like the kernel is so lite some (thousand LOC), you could bake up your customized Linux version which only uses RAM of around 400Mb....great right! Think about it, even your smartphone uses around 1.5Gb of ram on average.
This ultimately translates to the fact that you could run more apps and scripts with the limited specification.
Linux is and will remain the best ecosystem without debate for developers of the fact that it comes prebuilt with a plethora of suites and apps for the sole purpose of software development and because of the FOSS community that it is backed up by.
Another thing to consider for developers is because sources can be compiled and executed on Linux much faster.
Package management also plays a key role in making the TUX special for hardcore devs. One could selectively add or remove any packages at will. This is a more flexible way of getting things done much faster and be more productive at work.
😎 Cool Fact : The above statements can be backed up by the fact that the top 500 supercomputers run on Linux and most cloud servers are powered by the TUX.
It is greatly accepted that Linux is much harder for a newbie, it has changed to some extent but deep down it is the same. Linux was intentionally designed so that one can know the ins and outs of the computer system whether it's the software or the kernel interacting with the hardware.
To use Linux full-time or as your primary OS especially for a newbie is tough due to various reasons. For example, in some distribution,you need to write hardware-specific drivers for WiFi, Audio and such basic things. This might look very complex but once you get the hang of it you could solve bigger problems.
Linux is a great way of gaining some troubleshooting experience. It may give up on you but you have the power to always bring it back up if you are willing to do so!.
It's not Apple or Microsoft or even Canonical that are controlling you. You are your 😎 Boss when it comes to Linux even if it's backed up by any MNC.
You have the supreme authority to have all permissions to edit any files as per your liking. File permissions are an entirely humongous topic when it comes to Linux. You can practice, understand and benefit a lot by knowing file permissions.
Know more about Linux file permissions: WikiArchlinux
The whole firewall, VPN, SSH and every other aspect of the network can also be controlled at will.
Back in the days when Linux was young and tender, one might look at it and say: "An unfriendly dirty command-line O.S!".
Mind you!..those days are long gone.You can have pre-built beautifull linux distributions like Deepin, Elementary, Endless OS etc.. which are very much 21st century and a visual treat.Moreover since you are your own boss here,you could try out different desktop environments(layouts) or a window manager in th same system and select the best that suites you for different moods.You could have:
- Pantheon and many many more...
Tried all and don't like any? - Build your own desktop environemt
Customization of UI doesn't mean that you can only change the theme, fonts, icons, lock screen only. You could change the window buttons, you don't like the taskbar, you could change that as well. You could even change the boot-loader background or logo to say your dog's picture. The options are endless as long as your imaginations don't.
Note: You could emulate the looks of MacOS or Windows if you are that sort of person.
Windows 10 Theme for Linux: Original Soucrce
Mac Theme for Linux: Original Post
Other than a minute percentage of apps and OS vendors, the whole Linux operating systems and apps are open source and free to use and distribute. This makes it a joy for people like me to test out the best apps and OSs out there and to get inspired.
With the non-open source nature of other OS, it's not clear what's under the hood. The level of transparency even though is documented, but we can't see it. We don't know what all data are being collected but with Linux we know what are dealing with if we are willing to dig deep.
See source code of linux: Linux Repo
You might argue that then why I am using Google. For that my reply is: " Prepare for the worst! and Expect the best!."
" Virus?.......I don't know you well!" -🐧 TUX says
It's a myth that Linux is immune to viruses. Any computer which is attached to a network is prone to threads and so does Linux. But the risk here is much less when we compare it with the likes of other operating systems because of Linux's Permissions.
The best thing about Linux is that you could always open a virus infected USB from other operating systems and even Linux binaries with malicious code can be copied to your file-system as long as you don't execute or give it necessary permissions, you're OK.
Even though Linux is great for many things, it falls short when it comes to the following things.
- Since Linux is open sourced, not every distribution will get customer support like a Windows or Mac. This is true and will remain so for years to come until and unless Microsoft or Apple make their own Linux distros. Hey..why bother when you are your Boss..the responsibility is on you!
- Linux won't automatically install all drivers for you. For instance, my laptop the Acer Swift 3 comes with a fingerprint sensor (vendor- EgisTec). Windows has the driver for the sensor but EgisTec doesn't provide any Linux drivers or source. So now I have to figure out a way to build a driver for the sensor without any source.It seems tough going! and It is.... but I love it.
- Gaming is an area of heated debates between Linux and Windows fans. One might say Linux supports games through Wine Emulation or you could always use Steam. But it is not practical everywhere.
- Even though ProtonDB , Lutris and PlayOnLinux are worth a try, but it’s felt quite buggy and unstable for the long run and even the setup is pretty tiresome. Trust me I’ve gone through the chaotic crashes.
- But things will change since cloud gaming is the future where we don’t rely much on hardware or software but the network only.
- Windows and Mac-specific application
- One of the main reasons why every professional cannot switch into Linux is due to the proprietary application suites like MS Office, Adobe etc..they use for their work which is not available on Linux. Even though alternatives are available for Office productivity, image manipulation, and video editing. The Windows and Mac counterparts are much better.
Folks that's the end of this blog. I hope you like it and feel free to contact me.