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Gracie Gregory (she/her) for The DEV Team

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Do you use Linux? Answer for the chance to appear on the DevDiscuss podcast!

The DevDiscuss Podcast begins with an interview and ends with commentary from listeners — and we like to feature the actual voices from our community!

To inform an upcoming episode of the show, we'd like to know...

“Why do you or don't you use Linux?”

For your chance to appear on an upcoming episode, answer the question above by:

  • Calling our Google Voice at +1 (929)500-1513 and leave a message 📞

  • Sending a voice memo to 🎙

  • OR, leaving a comment here (we'll read your response aloud for you) 🗣

Please send in your recordings by Wednesday, February 24th at Midnight, ET (9 PM PT, 5 AM UTC)

Voice recordings will be given priority placement 😉

Plus, don't forget to check out the most recent episode of DevDiscuss:

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Discussion (39)

denisvalcke profile image
Denis • Edited on

I went from MacOS to Linux because I no longer believe Apple is the ultimate dev-machine or targeted at pro-users. Plus, Apple and it's closed eco-system is something I can't get behind. Which is all pure personal opinion of course.

After my switch the only regret I have is that I waited this long. The benefit of Linux is that there's so much you can do to make it your own or create your ultimate work environment. Starting with the right distro, DE and making everything exactly how you want it.

Added bonus: FOSS.

mandarvaze profile image
Mandar Vaze

I was a long time linux user, so switching would not be difficult.

Only reason I'm sticking to macOS is because of the hardware.

Genuine questions :

  1. Are there any linux distros that truly support retina display ?
  2. What other "hardware" gives 8+ hours battery life with linux ? (With M1 macs, the battery life with macOS is even better than it already was)

If I get good answers to these, I will switch (I've already tried live booting my MBP with various linux distros, so there is that)

denisvalcke profile image

I don't really notice battery life because I'm mostly at the (home) office. I do feel like PopOS was pretty good on my Dell and so is Manjaro. Especialy when I switch to Intel only.

Hidpi and mainly a mix of hidpi and lodpi screens is still kind of an issue. This should be resolved when Wayland is fully done.

You should give PopOS a try if you're on a hidpi screen. It's pretty good. I switched back to Manjaro with Gnome because I prefer arch based distros and their package management. But I don't feel much difference in performance tbh.

Gnome has optional fractional scaling (which is on by default in PopOS and which you need to add yourself in Manjaro - takes like 5mins) and I use a 4K screen in my Dell with an external 4K monitor and everything works great. Can set different scaling for both screens etc.

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mandarvaze profile image
Mandar Vaze

Thanks. Will try PopOS (I used to think it was mainly for System76 machines)

toonarmycaptain profile image

My second hand/repaired HP Envy does about 10 hours on battery running Ubuntu? Workload is rarely too heavy, but my son plays Minecraft on it, and it drives a TV, so not a trivial amount of processing.

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mandarvaze profile image
Mandar Vaze

Wow. Which version of Ubuntu ? Did you do any tweaks ? laptop-mode or something ? (I haven't used linux in over 5 yrs, so not sure if that is still a thing)

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toonarmycaptain profile image

Nah, I mean, the monitor often stays off? The meter says 4.something hrs, but it lasted over 10 hrs after the power went out the other day, and he'd been playing on it for a bit. It's got an 8 cell battery and a non-original SSD, running Ubuntu Groovy. I was very impressed, as I've never had another laptop last near that long.

strogiyotec profile image
Almas Abdrazak • Edited on

A lot of people are saying something about privacy In Linux by using Google , Gmail or chrome , I don't buy it, for me Linux is much much easier then other OS, first software delivery using package managers, second window managers, third vim , fourth minimalism ,I know that my laptop is running only what I want , also , with window manager and minimal setup gnu/Linux doesn't require a lot of resources , I will be happy to discuss it with you, sorry too lazy to record a voice message

pontakornth profile image

My computer is bloated and filled with pirated software. This includes the Window itself. It slows down my computer so much to the point that deleting fies won't help. Besides, no one uses that computer anymore.

I cannot upgrade my computer because I am broke. So I delete everything to install Linux (Currently,I use popOS but I want to use Endeavor or Void.) Everything seems to be faster. I hope I can get a chance to upgrade my PC as well because my Macbook is not suitable for gaming. Even Minecraft heats my Macbook so much.

jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips • Edited on

The short answer, I use Linux because my brother introduced it to me. This includes dvorak, vim, and the internet. Basically everything we know as modern computing today my brother showed me in the 90's.

Why I continue to run Linux, I will summarize as: if it isn't working reboot and it will continue to not work. To me this is a statement of consistency. It is unfortunate that it means a fix needs to be identified and applied, but I think I am all the more knowledgeable because of it.

This last year I built an AMD system and no longer have a dual boot to Windows. Unfortunately my day job is in Windows.

deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

Have been a Linux user for around 5 years now and there is no going back for me. I have been long term windows user before that wnd I also use a mac from time to time for work but those can't compare to Linux when it comes to freedom and the satisfaction you get out of doing anything exactly the way you want

My post summarize it

kennergf profile image
Kenner Gonçalves

What is funny is that I am a .Net Developer, and I have been using Linux as my daily driver for about five years now. I have made the switch because of Windows Update and I stayed because of the power Linux gave me, and everything runs smoothly even though my laptop have nine years. I don't miss anything from Windows, and I have been able to do everything I had to do on it

abhineetmishra64 profile image
Abhineet Mishra

I am using Linux for the last 3 years because it is faster than Windows 10. As a computer science student, I do a lot of coding and for me, Linux is a much better platform for writing a piece of code of any programming language, there is no need of setting programming environment for each and every IDE's like in windows 10, just install the compiler/interpreter of language and run where you want.

seancallaway profile image
Sean Callaway

I live and die by command-line utilities, Python, and Docker. These don't work well in Windows (even using WSL), so this leaves Linux and Mac as my options. The limited hardware choices for Mac mean that I'm better served by Linux for most things.

amanksingh99 profile image
Aman 🚀

I use Linux not because windows or mac sucks, i use it because I like my pc with minimal bloat and spyware. And it's much better to use linux for web development than using WSL etc.

Terminal saves my time and my laptop specifications are average so Linux works flawlessly on it.

ryencode profile image
Ryan Brown

I use Linux. But also Windows. I prefer Linux for a variety of tasks as it much better supports the concept of a general purpose computer. Like others have said, I can eek out a few more years of usability from hardware by switching to Linux. My VMs run Linux as well as my CI and CD pipelines, (either in a VM or Linux container.)
I don't use Linux for my primary human interface systems. Those are windows, as that is what it is best at. Presenting tools and interfaces to the user. (and games, I know there are Linux games and many games for Windows can run in Linux, but its not worth my time when something that works is right there)
For any kind of server process, Linux is ideal. Server processes that require Windows mean I'm looking for an alternative.
A lot of the utility comes from extensive package repositories, open source software, mature build tools and scripting for automation.
Windows has power-shell, but it's often not straight forward, and relies on the applications you're using having good APIs or command line tools which can be a hindrance when missing.

miku86 profile image
  • I feel like I own my devices: I can change whatever I want, because I use 100% free open source software; if I want to, I can change it
  • I can fight for my moral values: I have the feeling that consumerism and capitalism are eating the world; many people can't afford to pay for an Apple device or a Windows license, so they don't get access to the same education as people in rich countries get.
  • Linux makes me pro-active: if I'm not happy with the software, I give feedback or modify it myself; I don't wait anymore passively so that other people (Windows or iOS devs) fix my issues
  • I am not being spied on all the time
unmukt_hindi profile image
Unmukt S

I use Linux in My laptop as well as desktop. I started with Linux 20 years ago because I liked its philosophy and there is no copyright violation, no cost, and it serves my purpose completely.
I am not technical person so I can not contribute but I speak and popularise it.

mauro_codes profile image
Mauro Garcia

Yep! I just published a new article on DEV about my journey from Windows to Linux:


I also wrote about the Linux terminal a few weeks ago:

Among many reasons why you should at least try Linux:

  • Is free and open-source
  • Is fast: There are many "minimal" options for those who can't afford new hardware.
  • Is fully customizable: There are endless customization options through different desktop environments or window managers.

You may consider not using Linux if:

  • Your work depends on specific proprietary software that is not available on Linux
  • You want to play games that don't run on Linux.
plaken profile image

I've used Linux since it was distributed on floppy disks (yeah, I'm old). Soon after, I dumped Windows for good.
Today, I use Linux for everything, including posting this comment from Android, if you think about it. I also use it for work as my company offers everyone their choice of OS.
Why I use Linux? It is about choice. About always having another way of doing things. Always a better way of doing things. Ii is, in a word, Freedom itself.

zilti profile image
Daniel Ziltener

I'm using openSUSE since version 10.0, and for me it is the perfect OS. I can't stand the constant tries to shove products down my throat and to prevent me from changing settings, both of which is being done extensively by Windows and macOS.

toonarmycaptain profile image

I do! It's free, and so is the plethora of free software! It runs better than Windows, particularly on old machines. It comes without Cortana etc which is nice when kids are involved.
We inherited some machines for free, which I repaired, but had no they all run linux rather than paying for Windows licenses.

noelemmanuel16 profile image
Noel Emmanuel

Reasons why most programmers prefer Linux to windows and why I use Linux:

-Linux Is free
-linux Is scalable,it can be used on any device ,old or new with the latest version,it brings old computers to life
-Linux has a easy learning curve with the GUI and CLI

-Linux is portable

-Linux is open source,with thousands of distributions from different programmers across the world ,I can also contribute if I have the knowledge of C language and the kernel

-Linux is secure ,with thousands of distributions from different countries and different programmers, it can never be hacked but windows can

-Linux has more performance than windows ,no doubt.
That's why alot of people install antivirus and some security softwares but Linux comes with alot of tools to battle viruses ,malware and hackers
When you start using Linux, you'll enjoy it.
The reason windows is widely used is because of its popularity ,Linux is now used widely by developers /programmers world wide According to stack overflow survey last year

eclecticcoding profile image

I have been a longtime on again, off again Linux user from the last 90's. After my MacBook Pro starting reaching its end of life, I tried Linux again. For the last two years I have been using a System76 laptop with POP_OS and recently switched to Manjaro. Why do I use Linux? It is not privacy, per se, but the fact that I wanted to use a system that was less proprietary, and more cross platform. My switch to Linux has been a great choice for web development. It is stable, fast, and fun to work with.

brandonwallace profile image

I use Linux because I have the freedom to change or do anything I want with it.
Installing Linux can breath new life into a old computer destined for the garbage.
I can use one CD to install Linux on all of my desktops, laptops, and servers free of charge. The advantage to using Linux outweighs any disadvantage more than any
other operating system by a long shot.

frsr profile image
Fraser Embrey

I use macOS and linux, I really love a lot of things about macOS but Apple is slowly chipping away at those things. Linux isn't really special but the community is huge and there is a distro for everyone whether you want a pen-test focused one or an ultra minimal one or a secure one etc. Being well used means that the general underpinnings are pretty secure.

On top of there being a great distro for nearly every niche, there is a huge variety of potential customisations that are often extremely easy to set up, like icon themes.

masinick profile image
Brian Masinick

I have been a regular Linux user since November 1995. I found a minicomputer running an old version of UNIX while I was an undergraduate student in the late 1970s and a few years later in 1982 I had an opportunity to use UNIX every day instead of either timesharing on a mainframe computer, or even more frustrating, submitting batch jobs and await their completion. Receiving output, whether in printed or visual form was difficult with the mainframe systems, so to use UNIX was a pleasure.
By 1985 I switched jobs, working for a computer manufacturing company. I was fortunate to work in their telecommunications organization, matching my previous job experience, and that put me in immediate contact with UNIX software. Within 7-8 years I was regularly hearing about Linux software, so I followed it until I had an opportunity to get my hands on it.

Personal computers were still fairly expensive in those days, so I had to wait patiently for the right opportunity. In 1995 a friend of mine was passing around CDs containing an early version of Linux. That made me even more interested, so I looked for a good deal and finally found a personal computer. It didn't have Linux pre-installed, but I made sure that it had "compatible" hardware, and then I bought a book that also contained a copy of Slackware Linux and installed it.

Restrictions were still in place because Broadband networks were still a couple of years away. In 1999 I got Broadband available in my home and from then on I was able to download my own systems and I have used predominantly Linux ever since, with an occasional BSD or VxWorks, or whatever other OS I can freely download and try out, but my daily driver, including right now, is a laptop with Linux - today it's a Dell Inspiron 5558 with a dozen or more distributions, some on hard disk, others on removable USB drives and portable sticks.

I only use other systems today when I'm testing them or away from my own system.

masinick profile image
Brian Masinick

I'm also retired, so I only do this as a part time hobby, but it's Linux most every day.

bfef profile image
Efrem Rensi

I'm a web developer and I use Arch on one laptop and Pop_OS on another one. My needs are fairly simple. I need a text editor/IDE and a web browser or three. I use my TV or my phone for videos and social media. With Linux I can install only the basic stuff that I need. I can set up pretty much any laptop less than 10 years old with the tools I need to develop in about an hour or less.

I feel like Windows is just way too complicated, because it is meant to be general and work for everyone. The people who need Windows either are hardcore gamers or they have to use Windows-specific software for work or school.

msilvaj profile image
Miqueias da Silva de Jesus • Edited on

I use Linux since 2009, and I've already tried a lot of different distro, including Slakeware Server, Mandriva Desktop, CentOS, Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Linux used in Network Devices, like Mikrotik. Linux desktop (and mobile) are very good to install packages and make complex things, (for example, when you need install and configure some web server, or email server or even compiling and updating the Kernel). Nowadays I am using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to do everything I need, including to to work developing personal softwares, bash scripts and work as freelancer with web developer to other people.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I use Linux, on my personal laptop, on my gaming PC under WSL, on servers and in Docker containers for development.

I use it because it's convenient and more user-friendly than alternative systems - though I'm well aware that one one user feels is "friendly" is different to another.

gargakshit profile image
Akshit Garg

I currently use Linux on my servers, my RPi and my old laptop. I use my old laptop as a deployment testbench where I load test my applications. Also the old laptop comes to the rescue when I want to run ROS (Robotic Operating System) simulations

codeperfectplus profile image
Deepak Raj • Edited on

I am using Linux and Windows both. I am using Linux for almost 5 years

I used Linux on my old laptop for its Terminal and personalization and better os for old hardware. Linux kernel has lots of useful commands to ease daily programming. Currently, I am using Kubuntu 20.10 on my first system. It's faster and better than windows.

I am using windows10 on the second system because on the Linux kernel I am having an issue with the GPU driver. It's not handling the GPU correctly and getting switch off because of heat and no driver available for fingerprint reader by the manufacturer.
So I have to choose windows for it.

bglamadrid profile image
Benjamin La Madrid

I use a Debian-based Linux Mint distro. Sparingly though, in a separate computer, mostly for server-side stuff when I develop. This way, I spare my work (and gaming) station some precious RAM and processor time, since I am yet to upgrade it.

seriousfun01 profile image

The question could be rephrased: "You are not using linux. What is wrong with you?" :-)

Software technologies come and go in popularity as adoption, maturity, business models etc all evolve on ever faster timescales. We haven't really done "digital society" before so everything is a bit of a first, an exploration of the maze of possible configurations using trial-and-error.

Yet if you take a step back you see there is a Darwinian dynamic at play that over the course of decades has propelled linux to be the centerpiece of current digital transformation. There are complex reasons why is this so. To mention some candidates: good architectural choices rooted in the Unix era that created a legendarily efficient and stable OS, the incremental, ever improving, nature of open source development, the faster "weeding" out of poor design ideas of open software, and (obviously) its free access that is democratizing information technology.

The net result (as of 2021) is that linux servers and linux desktops are computational powerhouses that are totally customizable, offer enormous range of capabilities for most any computing needs (and did I mention they are free). For power users (say data scientists, developers) getting familiar with this ecosystem seems like a smart idea.

Yet the linux story is still unfolding and who knows what the next twist and turn would be. Linux is still not really accessible to non-technical people (which seem to be the vast majority of us when I look around).

The old joke used to be that every year is the "year of linux desktop". Now the joke will be that every year will be the "year of the linux mobile". People frequently mention that android is based on linux but in reality the mobile experience (which is today the primary compute platform for billions) is absolutely nothing like the linux experience.

Another area where linux has failed is the home server (NAS) segment where it could really offer privacy preserving alternatives for a whole range of services. The rush to the "cloud" (which is really just somebody else's linux computer) has ushered a dramatic swing back to centralized computing. This configuration may or may not last.

If my reasoning for why linux has succeeded up to this point is correct the most glorious days of the linux story are likely still ahead of us. And they will come about by people like you and me :-)

ja7ad profile image
Javad Rajabzadeh

I use Linux only for convenience and integration

murphy2134 profile image

one more simple reason:

  • you cant go wrong with developing on the same OS that the application runs on in prod.
nikhilmwarrier profile image

I use Puppy Linus on an ancient laptop (Dell Inspiron 1300 from mid2005).
Trust me, it works better than Win XP...

erdal_turan_3f1f0cf082ac4 profile image
Erdal Turan

I have worked on linux for over ten years, now I switched to mobile software, linux for mobile software unfortunately did not meet my needs, because emulators do not work, so I had to switch to osx environment, it is linux in osx, but not as free as linux.