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Sam Erickson
Sam Erickson

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I Love Linux, Just Not Enough To Stay With It

I love the idea of Linux. Admittedly, there are many things I miss every time I move away from it but that is not enough to make up for the sheer amount of work using it is.

What I love

Linux has the potential of being perfect, though the one aspect the I feel keeps me away from it is also what draws most people to it, choice.

What I hate

Power management

On macOS my battery lasts hours longer, and that can really be a deal-breaker while I am in university and not every classroom provides the option of charging.

Idle, suspend, and hibernate

I can only advocate for the function of these states running on a Macbook Pro hardware and they are beyond broken.

Sometimes, my machine would not wake up, or wakeup seconds after suspending. There are extended wiki pages about solving this issue, but the amount of time I was sinking into trying to make suspend work the way I wanted seems like a waste when I could be working on something more important such as school projects, labs, and papers.

Closing the lid does not always suspend the machine. I have had a few situations where my laptop would remain on while inside my backpack. To the point of almost overheating. Not cool.

After a while, I would just power on and off between each class, which is far from ideal. I would like to be able to leave work in progress pages open so that I remember to deal with them at a later date when I have time. I used to have a running notes file that I would open and create a list of "ongoing" projects so that I would remember to open up all the related files and applications at a later date. But again, this adds unnecessary time to what might otherwise be a quick project.

Lack of consistency

There are design principles of computer human interaction that people have grown to expect to just work. Some examples are:

  • Drag and drop
  • Uniform look between apps
    • The share icon should be in more or less the same location in every app. Etc.
  • Don't open every file I click on with wine.

I get it. Like everything listed in this post, with time I could go in and modify everything to my liking. This issue is time. How much time am I going to waste fine-tuning something--and also maintaining it through software updates of used applications--when the operating system that came with my machine is not costing me anything, and there are teams of people working on preventing issues that might arise from ever becoming issues for the end-user, which is me in this case.

The expectation from others

While using Linux, there are many, many alternate tools to mainstream applications like Photoshop, Word, and Sketch. But let's say a student that I am working within a group project is sharing files for Sketch for all of us to collaborate on, with the expectation that we all can get sketch on our computers. Now I, running Linux, have to find an alternative app that I often have to convert the files to a different format, then find a way to export them in a format that my classmates can read.

All of this is an unnecessary overhead that cuts directly into my free time.

Conclusion

Though I love the idea of a free operating system, free software, and opensource everything: the time required for using such tools is far greater than I am willing to put in at this date. Maybe this will change in the future, but for now, Linux requires too much time from its users.

For now, I will be using as many opensource tools as I can, but from the comfort of macOS.

Discussion (2)

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Vitor Lobo

Please don't get me wrong. But their motives are too superficial. Everything you presented can be easily circumvented in a variety of flavors and mounting options in any Linux distribution.

Alright, OSx is all set. But remember: OSx is nothing more than a BSD (Darwin OS).

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Chris C

Solus has been great for me. Elementary is also not bad