I have been an avid windows user for a really long time, developing, browsing the web and gaming. That platform was one awesomeness to use.
Time goes by and I managed to upgrade to Windows 8 Consumer Preview and oh boy, That was one worse decision that I ever take. Windows 8 was a step back from the much beloved Windows 7 that still I use at one of my old laptop.
Microsoft decision to move forward to touch-friendly and mobile-oriented operating system was hated by many including me, I thought of alternative at that time and decided to return to my old choice of operating systems. Ubuntu Linux.
I have using linux as my secondary operating system and even dual-boot most of my hardware with a different set of distros and flavors. From the tiny-sized Slitaz http://www.slitaz.org/en/ to the beautiful elementaryOS http://elementary.io/.
My friend always asks me if using Linux are a good choice?
My answer is yes, also it’s not as hard as everybody said. My first day using linux when I was at my junior high school just to check it out using VirtualBox and a good old Ubuntu Lucid with GNOME flavor.
Finding application are a bitch if you are a beginner back then, except one thing.
Ubuntu Software Center, the one and great store for finding an application to install rather than browse and try each .deb installation and its component. Where do you thing Mac App Store came with that idea?
As I grow old enough and found my passion with programming, I was felt that Visual Studio and Notepad++ was my life. I learn to code one by one using those two software. And when I switched to Linux the choice wasn’t easier being a .NET programmer as I do for hobby and now for living.
I tried to use their default apps, gedit. and I thing it doesn’t satisfy me because it had lack of feature from Notepad++ that was based on Scintilla. I keep browsing for an alternative until I decided to try Sublime Text. I’m not a fan of proprietary software and always try to find and alternative…. until I pirated that damn thing with one of the best torrent client on linux or maybe at other platform; Transmission-Qt.
I use and play around with it and fallen love with that thing. I use that as my primary code editor and even able to avoided IDEs for creating a website. But last year was a big win for me when Microsoft announced that .NET core was going to be open-sourced and coming with another great free and open source code editor. The Visual Studio Code.
Programming aside, there was a good bunch of utilities for a programmer like me on Linux. FileZilla, XAMPP, NetBeans, and more… another programmer paradise.
For media there always VLC for me and Rhythmbox and Clementine for music playback. There also Spotify that I was frequently use, the problem only came with performance.
You see, linux has a rather limited hardware driver support and even my damned Laptop Bluetooth keep turning on/off by itself.
The graphical performance hits harder than using windows because I used an Nvidia hardware with its notoriety for linux users. I can play a 1080p with my 10 inch laptop with Intel HD Graphics on windows just fine, in Linux the fps drop frequently to 15-20fps.
Also for gaming, linux was a bad choice for many, including SteamOS that was just a glorified Big Picture mode. I always wish that hardware maker could more care with this platform so I can love to game as I love it on my Windows.
So, overall? If you want to try linux, I said go ahead with it. For a normal use and developing like me it was a great platform for newbie or just starting to code.
For general use, there always an alternative application from windows in linux. Even for your office work there always LibreOffice and OpenOffice as they both was a great replacement and even free.
So, try to make a switch. I’m sure there one point that Linux excels for you.