Is using Linux really productive?

dhruvgarg79 profile image Dhruv garg ใƒป1 min read

I am now using Ubuntu for around 9 months, before that I was a windows user.

There are certainly many things in Ubuntu I love like custom themes, terminal, native docker support, and search bar without irritating web results (referring to the Windows search bar, getting web results when you just need to open a local app).

But the time I have to invest sometimes to get simple things working is just crazy. My Bluetooth doesn't work from time to time. Sometimes even audio doesn't work, keys like play/pause never work with Rhythmbox and suspend was working in ubuntu 19.10 version but it is again behaving weirdly in 20.04 (and never worked for me on 18.04). Many more similar problems.

Now the above problems are pretty common and after spending some hours(sometimes many hrs) things start to work. So why I am writing this post, because from last week Intellij Idea is freezing again and again because of some bug and I can't live without Intellij Idea.

Even though I can't think about moving away from ubuntu. I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic, dev community?

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Dhruv garg


A generalist having imprecise knowledge of many things and trying to be specialist in Mobile app development, java and kotlin.


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I used some time off between my jobs to install and configure arch linux on my work laptop.

It was a lot of work, it took me 2 weeks to get a 100% fully functional system, but I learnt tremendously in the process, so it was definitely worth it.

Now I have a system that was built from the ground up by myself for myself. My workflow productivity increased tremendously. I have the joy of working every day on an amazing and beautiful operating system that I optimized for my needs and which I know everything about.

Granted, there were headaches along the way, and not everyone can give 2 weeks of their life for this. But if I had to I would do it all again.

And since arch is a rolling release, I don't need to perform any major upgrades. Btw, I use arch.


What a beautiful post, I feel like you summed it up really well. It's really a learning experience that only makes you better. I feel like anything else I say is just reiterating what you said.
Btw, I use arch.


I think back to issues that would take me hours to figure out some years ago, and how now similar ones take 5 min or less. It's all about learning. Granted that most learning comes, at least in my case, from screwing things up and ending up reading a ton of docs (there is no wiki like the arch wiki!) to fix things up.

Btw, I use Arch.

Arch wiki๐Ÿ˜Ž

Btw, I use Arch

As long as you're not shy to look at that wiki, it's literally the best documentation I've seen when it comes down to configuration as well as just general knowledge around a lot of tools and libs. I'm so happy that I use arch.

I think even users of other distros end up using the Arch wiki from time to time


I just read about arch linux and rolling release(didn't knew much before).

It seems that arch linux gets latest updates very fast (which makes it less stable) and you have to configure it to make a complete OS like Ubuntu. I would definitely want to go through the same process as you to configure everything on arch linux from start in future, but would definitely go with Manjaro for now if want to use arch based linux.


Still, printing the Arch Installation and Beginner's guide and following it for a couple times will give you a completely new perspective on how your system works. I suggest everyone that works with computers includes doing that on their to-do list, even if just as study/practice. When things break, no matter how badly, and you know you can fix it without formatting, it's awesome.

Plus, by using the terminal so much, you start to write code that works like that. Many friends think it's funny how I use the terminal to check stuff, be it searching for packages or reading documentation, but this actually feels very liberating, and I can say for sure I make better stuff, and faster, because of this understanding.


I agree on the last point, however the rolling release system is actually pretty stable if you know what you're doing - which can be hard for a beginner.


For lesser worries regarding Arch Installation, I suggest using the archfi script by MatMoul.

One more quick tip, while installing use IITK mirror if you are currently residing in India. Its blazing fast.

Btw, I use Arch


you need to tweak your mindset.
yes, at first arch might scare you away because it's rolling release.. but..
if you understand how pacman works, what pacnew files are and that you should always check the news before updating, you will get a insanely stable experience on it.

some projects have a few bugs.. kde on wayland for example.. but using that is really bleeding edge.

in general you are the one making the decisions when it comes to your installations.

apart from that, the archlinux irc on freenode is filled with people willing to help.

side note: i even use arch on servers


This is where you should probably make full use of Docker container. I have different container for different project, where rolling release nature of Arch wont be a problem for me. My containers will always in stable state.

Yes, it will take some times to setup Linux, but it will worth it.
Btw, I use Arch.


Someone told me once that the best Debian based distro is Debian, haven't you tried it? ๐Ÿ˜
I recommend you to use Elementary OS and Snap.
Setting up a new laptop for work lasts only an hour like this and the software is more containerized.
If you have time, mounting all parts by your own (a.k.a. creating your own distro in some manner) is the way to learn how it works pretty well as Samuel pointed out.

Depends, best for what?
If you're looking for a non gui thing, perhaps, yes, but the last debian I played around with, looked like a 2005 Redhat clone. Like, between a windows 95, NT, and a 3.11.

It was only something like a joke, but you can add your preferred GUI into it and.. tada! a debian with nice GUI on it.
The other way to go is the same as Elementary OS does. It's based on Ubuntu (which is based on Debian). Then decouples packages from it and repack all into a lighter distro for being more efficient (with a prettier and easy to use GUI).
Feren OS was nice at the beginning, now it's more like a nonsense Frankenstein monster.

I would recommend you not use snaps. They're buggy, and slow. Which is exactly what the poster was complaining about (bugs and speed). In fact, it's possible that the poster would have a better time if snap was completely purged from the system and the existing snap packages were appropriately replaced by the equivalent Debian packages.

I've had issues with Discord only on snap, then i installed it as deb package and it was still buggy so i assumed it was version bugs and used it on web version.
I'm using docker, php storm, spotify, gitkraken, slack, dbeaver and more everyday without issues TBH.
I'll need to check your speed concerns between deb and snap packages to see if it makes an observable difference. If it does I'll simply move phpstorm and gitkraken out of the snap as on big projects these two are the most resource-consuming packages (both indexes the entire project). Thanks for the info

There are plenty of people that have tested things such as startup speeds, some snaps taking almost a minute to load vs their Deb versions taking a couple seconds:

Here's a link, happy to help


Thanks I'll take a look, at the first sight it seems the article talks about load times only which is something i haven't to concern about. I open all software at the beginning of the day while taking a coffee and i didn't close it till I'm about to go home.
I'll look this article further and make some tests with the apps i use and will see.


Manjaro sucks and you won't learn much more than you already know.
Either you go back to windowz or try Arch.

Linux is customizable. so is there not a way to customize manjaro or ubuntu?

Answer is yes they can be customized. It's users choice, right? for eg we can remove gnome and add MATE in ubuntu.

I think there is need for better discussion than just dismissing everything and saying arch or nothing.

If for you it is a matter of customization go ahead and use whatever you want.
I am speaking about the rock solid base (first of all the package manager) over which Arch and other serious distributions (Gentoo, Slackware, Alpine...) are built. Also their communities are made by compentent people. Manjaro is born to make easy something which has its own complexity: in my opinion this is exactly the opposite of the Arch KISS philosophy.

I don't really want to try Arch on my main machine as It is my only machine.
So will persistent bootable USB with arch Linux a good start?


I've no time nor want to spend 2 weeks on it (for now) so i usually use Elementary OS that works fine. Better optimitzed than ubuntu, prettier interface. Moreover I usually go for Snap as package manager (some people blame it for working different) but I think the productivity is much better.
No upgrades from APT to the software I'm using for work, if something breaks up I just snap remove and snap install again and I'm working again on a minute.


Can you get a normal keyboard layout in Elementary? I loaded it and I could only seem to get a Mac layout. Is that bolted down and essential?

I'm using the same layout I get on windows or ubuntu or... Simply selected keyboard layout on installation process like almost any Debian based linux installation.


Can't agree more, I also love how easy it is to create identical environments, even across different distros. on top of that the privacy and the open source as default is huge.

I use arch BTW


I will definitely consider Using Windows 10, Please Now don't scroll down ๐Ÿ˜…, I know there are alot of lags, Memory Issues In Windows 10.
But I was also a Linux Lover Before I came to know following Points:

  1. Windows Is Adding Support For Native Kernel Support Of Linux with Windows Subsystem Linux. You can do any task, which you can do with linux. you can easily setup WSL 2 By downloading from Microsoft Store. Now even Linux GUI Can Be Used.
  2. Use Debloat Scripts ( Alot Are Present On Github ) For Debloating all of Garbage came inbuilt. This will increase alot of efficiency of windows.
  3. Alot Of apps are mainly made for windows which makes a issue when using wine in linux ( Alot Of Time Wastage Configuring ).

Counterpoints as a Linux user:

  1. WSL2 is not perfect, and still doesn't solve a number of the issues with Windows in general (such as the brain-dead VFS layer or the requirement to pay extra to get a usable system). It also has no ability to actually interact with hardware in many ways, making it completely useless for some things (such as data recovery from just about anything except Windows).
  2. You shouldn't need to do this with an OS in the first place. Period. There is no reason that an OS should include this much crap that most users will never need (this is one of my big arguments against KDE on Linux FWIW). On top of that, you just can't get rid of some things.
  3. Whether this matters depends very heavily on what industry you're in. If you're just coding, there's not much reason that you should need anything that's Windows-only unless you're making Windows apps (in which case you shouldn't be on Linux at all). Some other areas may need some Windows apps, but quite often there are decent options that either run fine on Windows or work well enough under Proton (screw regular Wine, Proton works much better in most cases).

These are some good points.

When I was using windows, I had removed all bloatware manually using PowerShell. I just think WSL is not that stable right now. I had just moved to Linux to give it a try. Now it is very hard to go back.


I have been using Ubuntu installed in WSL2 for a few months now. It's been pretty stable other than a couple of minor quirks. I get the best of both worlds. I still run linux on a laptop for most of the development work, but I'm moving (back) to Windows for the main desktop experience.

I used Mac for 10 years before this. It used to provide the best desktop experience but not any more. The software quality has been declining while the price tag stays high. Once I realized I didn't need the "cool looking factor", I was ready to ditch it. :-)

Are you sure we didn't talk? Exactly what I had done. Two weeks into Winux and loving it so far. The high price tag of Mac forced me to consider this option and it's working great so far.


But then you will have the worst things about Windows still


It works, until it doesn't. WSL2 is leaps and bounds better than WSL1, but it's still not quite native. E.g. we couldn't use WSL to develop on some embedded hardware at my last workplace, as it relied on the device being mapped to a /dev/USBx, which simply didn't work with the WSL VM.

But I've spent a couple of days developing with Python and Node without thinking much about it. When it works, it works pretty well. But at that point, if it's not actually better, I'll just keep dual booting.


Unless your work locks down your Windows 10 so you can't install WSL2. They have not yet blessed a new enough windows release.

Rather than using WSL, I use my Windows 10 box as a client to one of the many Linux or Unix boxes that I have access to.

I can run windows apps on windows and Linux apps on Linux and they all just work.

I can even use ThinLinxOS as a thin client for both if I want...


i use wsl2 and docker at work.
the network stack constantly breaks apart and it doesn't properly integrate into vscode in comparison to a native linux experience.
I'll totally stick to arch.


That's a lie (...You can do any task, which you can do with linux...). Try using simple native security Linux tasks over WSL (nmap), it's not supported, therefore, it is not native.


I have my whole dev environment in a docker image. The day windows had native docker support, I will try..


I recently switched from Mac to Windows 10. WSL 2 is slow at least for Java development. Intellisense is also as well as compilation is even slower.


Don't know your case, but I felt a huge leap when I hosted my projects (a python and a reactjs one) on the linux's home folder. I was previously using them from another disk and it was unusable


I think what people don't really understand about the stability differences between Windows, macOS, and Linux all have to do with the drivers that have been developed to support those platforms. If you try installing any OS on hardware that it wasn't intended for you are going to have problems. I spent many hours attempting to install Windows 10 on an older MacBook Pro only to be stuck in the end because of the lack of Windows support for the dual video card setup in the MacBook Pro. The macOS works great on Apple hardware, Windows works great on PCs because the OEMs have invested the time to develop solid Windows drivers for their hardware. Unless you are using a machine that the OEMs have invested time in to provide solid support for Linux you are going to have problems.

I run Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 13 that has solid OEM support for the device. Dell & Lenovo sell devices pre-installed with Linux which means they have invested time into supporting that hardware. However, that also doesn't mean that they have invested that time in every hardware combination they produce.

Before choosing Linux as your OS you have to ensure you are picking the right hardware with OEM support. If you purchase a System76 device you are in the realm of Apple because System76 is controlling both the hardware and the Linux distro it's running on.

And as we all know it doesn't matter what OS you are running Microsoft, Apple, etc can still put out bugs that cause their OS to have problems on their own hardware.


Couldn't agree more. First, choose your hardware wisely: certification.ubuntu.com/.. I switched to Ubuntu after 20 years of using windows and never looked back. It's true that you have to invest more time in the beginning to operate it, but you get greater control. Plus you'll learn shell scripting on the way, which you'll benefit from when you're code ends up on a Linux server, which will inevitably happen.


The Ubuntu hardware certification list is pretty telling when you look at HP's 12 certified laptops, none of which are certified for 20.04, compared to Dell's 300+ certified laptops, only 5 of which are actually certified for 20.04.

I guess it is not updated yet. Both Dell and Lenovo go at great lengths to make their laptops Ubuntu ready. I just upgraded to 20.04 on an Inspiron 5000 series laptop and it works like a charm

Being able to run 20.04 and actually being certified for it are different things.


You make a good point but I think it should be added that stuff isn't always so black-and-white.

I use a Dell, didn't come with Linux, still the Dell with the worst Linux support will be 200% easier than something actually hard, such as your experience with the Mac, or, God forbid, my saga to install Linux on a PowerMac G5 (Nobody supports PowerPC anymore, still it runs Gentoo pretty nicely, took me a couple months to make it work though).

It's a trade-off, Ubuntu is especially bad but for most distros, there are many levels of hardships depending on the hardware.

OEM not supporting Linux is not a reason to drop Linux, is just an indication that you may have some degree of troubles masking it work, but it may be actually pretty easy.


Well, my point was more about those that struggle with getting a Linux distro working on their machine. And their concern that the time required to get things working was not worth it. If they want it to be easy, and just work, then they can't expect this for a Linux desktop with just any hardware. If they don't want to invest the time to get it working then they need to choose their hardware wisely.


I assume you installed Linux on your Laptop. May I ask which brand?

In general, I would only suggest Linux to anyone who has thinkpads or dell xps lines. Other than that: too much hassle, worse battery life, etc.

I code daily on Linux because Iโ€™m an embedded software engineer and because the target system is (embeded) Linux. Even then I only use it on my workstation.

My macbook pro is my daily driver because of 1) battery life 2) it works out of the box 3) almost all Linux tools are there.


On my Huawei MateBook D14 the battery life lasts bit more than I got on my MacBook Pro 13" 2017 touchbar, and getting more performance (that's why i sell the MacBook after some months).
Note that the comparison is from a 2.006โ‚ฌ MacBook "Pro" vs a 600โ‚ฌ Huawei.
Apple performance per price is a shame...


Right.. you compare battery life of a notebook with a different one. Iโ€™m not going to argue with your logic.

Hey, my Audi A4 uses more gas than my Vespa.

Note that "dealing more performance" on the text.

For further details, it was a MacBook Pro 13 with intel i5 with iris plus integrated graphics, 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD vs Huawei MateBook D14 with Ryzen 5 with Vega integrated graphics, 8Gb of RAM and 256Gb SSD. First one at 2006โ‚ฌ, second one is 600โ‚ฌ (you have the i5 option at 650โ‚ฌ). Both promoting 10H battery life.

It's like buying a vespa at the price of an A4, that's what disappointed me.

Iโ€™m not going to argue about price or performance of any laptop.

What I was trying to say is from my experience, if you have a windows laptop and you install linux on it, the battery life on Linux (on the same laptop) is comparatively worse than Windows (on the same laptop). At least out of the box. You could tweak the power usage but as I stated before, it might not worth it.

That's true on the major laptops with intel and from my experience the difference between windows and linux battery life it's almost 0 on AMD ones (i tried only 3)

Funny enough, I get about 4 hours on Linux on my Inspiron, didn't use Windows all that much but I remember it didn't last as long.

Still, I use Arch so it may be the tweaking things. Since Arch doesn't do anything for you, tweaking things is basically what you have to do when installing, so obviously I have it turned for what I need...

Though a Macbook would be perfectly acceptable for me, if not for the fact I live in Brazil and here a Mac costs an arm and a leg, and maybe also a kidney or two...

Should be interesting to see what this will look like if arm laptops go mainstream. Battery life with Linux on arm should be nice

I'm a little sceptic about performance of ARM for heavy tasks, general purpose and multi-tasking. Yes there are supercomputers with ARM but they perform a little set of actions instead. Will see how it's managed on a close future for general purpose devices.


Sadly, even then it's some models. At my last job I had a Lenovo P50 with Linux Mint. The Nvidia Quadro graphics were poorly supported. The laptop screen would only work with the Intel GPU and external displays with the Nvidia one. Plus I could not reposition the monitors or switch which was primary in software.

I've since run it on a Lenovo Yoga, E540, and an ASUS VC66 desktop without any trouble.


Nvidia drivers had been messed up by Nvidia itself and I wouldn't blame distros for it. Though I haven't faced those issues with Nvidia external display support although I don't have Quadro instead have GeForce 1050Ti and it's working great with ubuntu although I switched to pop os for better support 3 months ago.


nVidia is pretty much the best reason to use windows on any machine. As for the reason, I recommend watching this answer by Linus Torvalds himself: youtu.be/IVpOyKCNZYw


Hehe... Buying a Dell xps 15 made me switch to windows. Horrible support for hybrid graphics. Linux on that laptop was basically unusable for me in 2016. But I too read the articles about the xps 13 being a fantastic Linux machine. Should've researched more


Although I personally haven't, did you or anyone tried the dell XPS developer edition for linux? Or system 76?


I am having HP laptop. My laptop and workstation are same ๐Ÿ˜…

I didn't really have problem with battery life but things just break from time to time.


HP laptop and Linux. What could go wrong :P

On MSI things don't work better too hahaha
I'm using full AMD since like 12 years ago and no issues related to GPU nor CPU.
I've a Dell with intel CPU and GPU at work and it runs fine till I add more load, then it starts freezing a bit.
Sometimes intel cpus works well and suddenly you get an update from intel team to the linux drivers and the CPU start overheating so... I prefer to keep the brainless safety of AMD.
A 3600X + Vega64 for playing and heavy duty tasks, and a 2500u on my laptop for little projects and "sofa code". ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…


Is your BIOS current? I've recently been dealing with someone who had Linux problems on their HP laptop and discovered the BIOS had never been updated since new. A number of revisions since had been missed.

Regardless, I've been impressed with how Dell has embraced Linux, and I've seen fewer problems running Linux on Dell than HP. YMMV

I checked my BIOS and it is indeed older than the latest release. It was last updated before I switched to Linux.

Thank you for this comment. Updating my BIOS might resolve some issues with performance.


I've been using an older HP elitebook and it works surprisingly well on Ubuntu. In fact, the multi-screen support is better than Windows which amazed me. The laptop has discrete graphics from a FirePro m5950 and has both displayport and VGA connections available. Windows refused to run the internal display in addition to the two external monitors, but Ubuntu worked out of the box. HP had led me to believe that it simply wasn't possible. And as far as I can tell, everything else works in regards to hardware too.


We have pretty much similar experience then. I never had HP laptop that runs Linux works comparably well like on Windows. From my experiences, I had to tweak A LOT to get everything working at least as good as on Windows. And that costed me time that I nowadays don't want to spend.

Imagine tweaking a laptop for 2 weeks straight. And even then there's no guarantee that after updates it will work properly. For me it's not worth it.

If I were you I would use Windows. It works. And WSL 2 is surprisingly good. I've been testing A LOT of cross compilation stuffs with it. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting there.


Yes. I can't live at work without at least one Linux box with a tmux session running. However, Linux isn't the right tool for every job. Some things are easier on other systems, but it's usually worth the effort to learn the linux way.

Most of your weird issues can be avoided by carefully selecting hardware with good open source drivers. There are several vendor that treat linux as a first class citizen and make sure their supported distros work properly on their hardware.

I also run LTS releases... Usually CentOS, but sometimes Ubuntu LTS or Debian on stuff I just don't have the time or desire to be tinkering with. If I need cutting edge for something, I run Fedora because it's easy to do major release upgrades, and because it's upstream to RHEL.

I am far more productive than I would be without my time investment in Linux. I'm also a Senior Sysadmin instead of slapping out pizzas for a living because of it. Stick with it. The more you learn command line tools and shell programming, the more value the system will have for you.


As with all things, it depends.

After using Linux for 10+ years now, I feel safe in saying "the moment you leave the terminal your possible productivity declines rapidly".

Linux as in the kernel, is cli-centric. So all tools it brings are made to be used there. It is convention to give results in the form of exit codes or some sort of string so results can be easily piped and processed in other programs.
This is where productivity with Linux hits it's peak performance I would claim.

UI in the Linux world has always been lagging behind windows and MacOS. Though in the last decade several Linux distros made tremendous improvements and are very user-friendly. Some notable distros that come to mind would be

  • arch/manjaro/elementary
  • ubuntu/mint

If you live in the terminal and can live without UI, like me, there is no contest really. Linux is very productive there :)


I have been using Linux for the past 3 years, mainly Ubuntu. For me, being productive is about getting comfortable with the thing. There's no doubt that it's annoying when you have to troubleshoot basic problems like bluetooth not connecting or updating broken drivers. On the plus side, the very same process helps me in learning new things about the OS itself. TBH, I learned how to Google problems only because I switched to Linux from Windows and faced tonnes of problems during the transition.


To have a smoother experience with Ubuntu IMHO, as well as with any other distro, the point is to buy hardware that is known to work well.
For example, most Lenovo laptops are Ubuntu certified hardware. certification.ubuntu.com/make/Lenovo

I haven't had any problems with Ubuntu on my T480, media keys, wifi, audio, Bluetooth all are working out of the box. There's one thing though, the digital imprint device, since it's proprietary, it only works on Windows.


My first exposure to Linux was Ubuntu's first release. I settled on Slackware in those days because it was the only distro I could get my 56k softmodem's drivers to compile on. When I hear people talk about hardware support almost two decades later, I'm not sure they appreciate how far things have come. I didn't fully make the switch to full time Linux until recently though, once Steam and Proton really had me impressed.

I try to stay in the habit of keeping pace with the major desktop and mobile OS ecosystems. I daily drive Linux and Android, but I try to keep an open mind. As a desktop environment, I use Cinnamon the most--Linux has the most freedom of choice in that department by far. I don't care for the direction Gnome took, but MATE reminds me a bit too much of 15 years ago. The choice is up to the user though. There's also no real shame in using the GUI interfaces available to you, and it's very possible to use Linux without spending much time at all in the terminal.

Though, you'd be doing yourself a disservice shying away from the CLI. It really is faster, but even with double digit years of experience I don't consider myself a pro.

Comparing Linux and Windows in terms of productivity is tough. It really depends on what you do. There's probably a FOSS attempt at anything you could ever want, but sometimes the feature parity isn't there or relearning something complex with a different interface and shortcuts just isn't worth it to you. And as far as an OS--they have different paradigms and different approaches. Being an expert in the Windows ecosystem doesn't mean you'll pick Linux up instantly, and vice versa. Things are "harder" insofar as they're not "the same". The overlap in skills required like diagnosing, troubleshooting, and researching solutions are cross-applicable though. The ability to Google an issue instead of immediately giving up isn't as universal as we'd like, and I often forget that myself


I kinda like CLI, when fn keys do not work with Rhythmbox, I open rhythmbox-client in CLI with -i flag and It solves my problem. I can then use n and p keys for next and prev.

After watching many videos on Linux(YouTube), I am finally able to understand little about terms like MATE and why people like it or why the arch is so loved.

I think I made one mistake, I should have worded post better and researched more about the Linux community before posting this because I can solve problems generally because of very helpful forums. The point was just that it can be a bit frustrating when you are working on something important and things like OS break. So you have to kinda initially invest time in OS and work gets bit delayed. But then again these things don't hamper productivity if you are good with Linux. So I will just have to improve my knowledge.


When I finished college years ago, I worked at a warranty repair facility for a major laptop manufacturer. Hardware features that people like (in this case, fingerprint readers for login) require development efforts. I had multiple "internal" tools, including a half dozen drivers for that thing for Windows alone. The slightest difference in SKU was very problematic for that little device.

I recall the days where installing Linux on a laptop and having a WLAN card was a "good luck" endeavor. Hardware support is far from perfect; I just spent an hour today getting my desktop's PCIE wireless card working after a kernel update myself.

I'm lucky that my discrete sound card (think what you will about that haha, I dabble in audio hobbyism) has Linux support because the manufacturer sure doesn't support it. It takes resources to develop, and a company (especially a laptop manufacturer) simply has to say "we don't support Linux" and they're off the hook.

Hardware support requires having the hardware to develop, and the Linux community isn't getting free documentation and (expensive) hardware to test with... it's mostly a community funded and development effort. I know I'm straying from the point, but the Linux community remains small enough for vendors to effectively ignore.

My point is I very much see where you're coming from: time spent troubleshooting my WiFi on a production machine is wasted effort and possibly income. My home computer is one of my hobbyist devices and it's a little easier to digest lost time there. No matter how long you use it Linux always seems to feel like a learning experience.

If you stay patient you'll start to unlock your potential. If you're using Linux as a production machine, I would recommend checking into distros that tout time tested stability at the cost of being bleeding edge. Something like Debian Stable might be a better fit for you.

I agree with all of your points. I think this is my problem, youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/JBR-2269. so I will just downgrade kernel for now.

But I think now the Linux community is expanding especially because of distros like Ubuntu, PopOs, Mint, and Manjaro which are more beginner-friendly. Some hardcore Linux lovers sometimes hate on these distros but they are very important for wider usage and support for Linux.

Now many hardware manufacturers/vendors have even started to provide better support like Dell developer edition laptops and System76. The only thing I don't like about this is that both are not available in India, LOL.


I have switched from Windows to Linux, and yes initially it was a different experience from Windows, I had to break my head over simple things like installing a software, extracting it, I was not aware of centralised repository concepts, I had to struggle for setting up environment variables etc. But at the end of the day, once you learn to use Linux, your entire workflow becomes faster and there are many free tools for photo editing , reading etc which I find even better than windows.


I love Linux for the following reasons:

  • less resource consumption (compared to Windows).
  • the brilliant, fully customisable terminal
  • it's UI (well, not everytime)

That being said, I'm not entirely sure it makes me more productive. I have trouble finding normal features that I use on Windows 10 like a clipboard, hibernate (not available in Ubuntu 16.04) and much more that I can't recall. Also, I don't quite understand the package management system so it troubles me sometime.

I also haven't been able to find a proper substitute for AutoHotKey that works for Linux.


Interesting ๐Ÿค“ I see a lot of answers from a lot of hard core Linux guys but I can't relate to them because I don't have the time or desire to constantly tinker with my OS. I too came from Windows background into a startup where no one used Windows and had to make a choice - always figure out how to make something work on Windows or switch to Linux or Mac. So I chose Mac, got used to it, set it up the way I need and able to run everything without any major issues. My dev environment just works and I am able to focus on my job without burning extra time maintaining my OS. I have a few older laptops at home running Linux Mint and they work great for basic user stuff but even then I see that certain software titles like Zoom work better on Mac or Windows. And that's the root of the issue to me - it doesn't matter how good you are with OS if the software you use is not maintained on Linux as well as it is on Windows or Mac so I guess one's experience on Linux may be highly dependent on the hardware and the software used, where on the popular desktop OSes it's a lot less of an issue.


You are experiencing the reality of Linux.
It doesn't have paid teams worth billions of man hours behind it propping/patching it up.
So things are mostly complete, and a LOT of it is barely complete.

So guess what, if you try Mac or Windows 10, whichever you haven't yet, you will find the same situation... there are some things you need/want to do that are simply easier/more stable on another OS.

Linux is great for SOME server programs that were built for it, and need an OS that will simply keep going. (I dropped a Progress/OpenEdge ERP database onto CentOS, 11 years ago, and that setup has been running without OS problems that long.)

Now if you want IntelliJ to "just run", AND your desktop to "just run" with your hardware, I would choose Windows or Mac.

(If you haven't been on Mac, wait for the ARM Mac, and spare yourself having "old Mac" hardware.).

Windows 10 is decent. My JetBrains IDEs run with no problem, as does sound, video, and wireless. I have Windows 10 running on AMD A10 and Intel i5 and i7, hardware.

(Just don't depend on the "Restore Partition", keep/make your install media and back your stuff up off your system.)

I have seen Windows Server 2019 run on the same level of hardware, but there the specific hardware may not automatically work like it does with Windows 10 (sound). And it works with no issue on old hardware I previously could not run Windows Server 2012 R2 on.

Choose your OS based on what you want to accomplish, (and on your hardware).

Oh and don't choose Mac if you are going to Administer Windows Servers... too much hoop jumping in that setup too.

If you want to run everything on VM's... my experience won't help. I am old-fashioned preferring my "iron" to be physical.


I use Ubuntu full-time. It is on my notebook computer and my desktop at home. The issue with Linux that yes, things don't always out of the box. However I have noticed that hardware vendors that have stronger support for Linux (i.e Dell and Lenovo) tendo to have the best experience. My PCs came with Windows, but they know run Ubuntu and it is perfectly fine. Nowadays, Ubuntu has better support for hardware than they did 15 years ago.


With nine months, you're still a rookie. If you'd started to use Windows for the first time, it could have been similar after such period. To add to that, you've chosen Ubuntu, which is on the tech side, not on the user side of range of Linux distributions. So you can expect more configurations done via command line and in more raw way.
I've set up a new machine and upgraded old one this year (OpenSuse) and the only problem I had was with finger print reader dongle, which I knew was a trouble. I did my homework though and with the new machine, I checked compatibility beforehand.


Ive spent about 2hrs in the last couple of days trying to get my bluetooth and sound working correctly on Fedora 32. I love the environment for development but some seriously basic things in daily use can be extremely frustrating to get working.


It depends. Simple problems are less common in polished consumer OSs like Mac and Windows; OTOH, hard server-side problems are virtually impossible to identify & solve in Windows and, to a lesser extent, in Mac. So, I put up with the extra time needed to solve client-side issues (e.g., audio and video) on Linux. Decades ago, I deployed server-side products to Solaris, HPUX, Linux, and Windows -- I now deploy strictly to Linux which an enormous load off my shoulders, in simplified deployment, analysis, and debugging once you learn the incredible tools available.

FWIW, my primary development system is exclusively Linux for last 15 years; I inherited my wife's old MacBook Air laptop which I can still use for light development when I'm on the road or typing stuff like this. I started with developing on Linux in the late 90s in mixed environments with Windows. While I've tried quite a few distributions I keep returning to openSuSE.


No offense to Arch Linux fans but rebuilding a machine for what is mainly an IntelliJ issue is a terrible idea. Open a ticket with Jetbrains and they'll quickly figure that out.

If you can't drop everything for two weeks to build your OS installation from scratch there are other polished distros that can be installed in no time. Install Time Machine and backup ubuntu to somewhere besides the root file system. Back up your user files also. Both Linux Mint and Pop!_OS are easy to setup and be productive with in 30 minutes vs. weeks.


Noting the title, using linux is indeed productive. How productive is dependent on you.

The learning curve for linux is higher than other operating systems, that should be a given.

My recommendation to you is use whatever you are comfortable with and enjoy.
At the end of the day, every operating system is going to have pros and cons.

For me:
As a software developer, I use OSx for work on a Macbook Pro (I would not pay for mac products personally, but if your company offers it, it has bonuses).
My beefiest computer is running Windows 10, as I tend to game.
Every server I maintain is running Linux, the distribution/flavor does not really matter.

I could easily swap my OSx/Macbook experience to a *Nix/System76 one if a company offers that. But, generally speaking, Linux is 3rd place with Desktop compatibility and experience, 1st place for server experience.


This is a matter of experience. How long were you using Windows?
I'm a "soft" Linux user - just get the job done - with Ubuntu / Mint / etc. I recently transitioned to Kubuntu, and my past 17 years experience made it a snap ( except for Snap packages, which are not ready for prime time).
My last salaried gig had me on a Windows PC in the (pre-COVID) office, and I am way more productive in my Linux box now.
So, learn Linux. It's a tool. Try several distros. It's not for everyone. Gain some experience. Enjoy!


Sometimes I find myself spending a lot of time configuring something that would be simple on a Mac or Windows. For me though, that's why I love it. Not only have I gotten so much better with Linux but it also has improved my ability to read, debug and write code. When I think back to when I first started using Linux how confusing it all was to the progress I've made now it's a real sense of accomplishment. I say stick with it you can learn so much and you're guaranteed to. That's the point of being a developer isn't it? Developers are lifelong learners.


I admit it - I've been using Linux since... 1995 or so and things definitely got much better.
I work on headless Linux servers and things are generally fine.

BUT on the Desktop I still hate it.
Recently I switched to Pop OS because things were smoother with internal + nvidia GPU, CUDA and generally like the improvements I did.

But just in the last two days I gathered such a list of issues for my TOFIX list, it's not fun.

Apart from the usual "printer not working"... (ignoring that and just booting into windows or using the macbook):

  • issues connecting to some special WiFis, didn't bother investigating
  • OpenVPN needed tweaks so that the DNS was not messed up (worked fine under MacOS and Windows)
  • (not a Linux issue per se but annoying): no native google drive and onedrive clients - currently trying a few but they are all rather wonky and break all the time.
  • Last update broke GRUB and had to fix it so I could boot it up again.
  • Currently Nautilus does not start, just installed necessary packages that were magically missing now - still does not start, have to waste more time with that.
  • Some authentication error when updating packages - also important that I fix that next.
  • System settings just crashed completely.

On the Laptop - suddenly brightness controls completely stopped working, the function keys do something else and the slider does nothing.
I didn't expect the fingerprint scanner to work without tricks - doesn't, don't care enough to waste time on that.

Wasn't much better with plain Ubuntu. Over 3-4 years I reinstalled it a dozen times while that Win10 installation which was even updated from Win7 still runs without issues. The MacOS on my 5 year old cheapest Macbook Air also still working well (except that it seems to get slower and slower).
Previously I used Debian, Mint, Undead Linux, SuSE and a couple others but overall there were generally too many issues with the desktop environment to bother at some point.

While writing this article suddenly the airplane mode turned on? wtf?

I never had all those issues with Windows many people report, although I never early-adopted and also skipped Win8, XP, Vista etc. (went from 3.11 to 95 to Win2K (that one I had for ages and never reinstalled it) to Win7 to Win10). Since 2k I never had to reinstall any Windows once. I mostly want to get rid of it because of annoying ads, data gathering etc. I had 4 years with mostly using MacOS X, which was generally smooth but I hated the walled garden and forced upon choices.... what the hell do you mean you have to delete all my files on that ipod if I switch account? reparing that disk drive is 300โ‚ฌ? really? on my PC I plug in a new one for 20โ‚ฌ. I can't just upload that iOS app to the phone? Oh yeah, sure, just drop OpenGL support, makes sense. What do you mean that thing costs 3-4kโ‚ฌ? I just got a ZBook for 1200โ‚ฌ with 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD, dedicated GPU.

rant rant
Think it's just me getting old and hating everything ;)


Your experience seems even worst than mine. I understand your pain a little. The airplane mode line made me laugh, LOL.

Even though I have never bought MacOS but I don't like it exactly because of the reasons you mentioned. They force you to use everything Apple and even slows down devices so that users buy a new one(iPhone 6 case that happened). It is super expensive and not even allow to develop apps for their platform without MacOs again their close ecosystem mentality is very frustrating. Now people won't even be able to dual boot macOS with Linux or Windows after they start putting Apple chips in them (even though Intel version will also be available).

I don't really have anything particularly bad to say about windows other than what I already mentioned in OP. Because all the Bloatware can be removed and there can be much more customization done than people talk about through the windows registry (granted not on the level even close to Linux). Also, It is much more affordable.

I still prefer to use Ubuntu, but right now I feel less productive with it.


I've been using Linux since 2002 and there have been many hours spent configuring and fixing broken functionality over the years, but I just installed Ubuntu 20.04 a few days ago (switched from Arch) and have experienced no problems at all. Everything is working perfectly out of the box as far as I can tell. It's unfortunate that you're having so many problems. I definitely know the frustration of getting hardware to work in Linux, but it's come a long way over the years.


I'd like to share my view on things. I used to be kind of polarized on this topic, Windows vs Linux, but currently things have settled down dramatically.

Linux is amazing. It has lots of possibilities. Super customize-able. You can fiddle all day long for weeks and months and still have stuff to play around with. You can build anything you want, made specifically for your needs.

At the same time, Windows is simply amazing. It just works, straight out of the box. For a fresh install you may want to fiddle for a bit - install fresh drivers and such, but then it is mostly smooth sailing. And it has a ton of software that works just the same way - you install it, it works.

My preference between the two is rather straightforward:

Let me explain: I need a tool to get the job done. No distractions, no fiddles. I've tried Linux a number of times, it has awesome features, but I always come back to Windows. I just install it, set it up and get the job done.

I've tried Linux a few times but came back to Windows, simply because I know it well and it allows me to just get the job done quickly and efficiently.

For someone else, Linux may be what Windows is for me and they can get the job done faster using Linux. And that's awesome!

In short: OS is just a tool to get the job done. The job is the important part, and I want to do it well and I want to do it fast (enough to meet the deadlines). As long as the tool helps me in that, its great. Use whatever works for you.


This sums up everything pretty well.


I feel like a lot of people might have missed the point that OP makes so because i share it, I'll reiterate it.

Linux doesn't "just work" in the way that Win 10 does. I think OP is pointing more at the out of box experience, setting it up inititally (because he refers to drivers etc), not the adding software on part.

my experience is with Ubuntu and Mint.
My problems were always with stuff that should just work. Bluetooth drivers are in an appalling state. they dont work out of the box, i can't pair my msft keyboard and mouse to either. I could only get mono audio on my sennheiser usb headset. I run a USB c hub to control my peripherals, but there are no drivers for it. power management issues, fans spinning constantly.

stuff that should just work. go back to windows 95 and 98, you could just plug anything into it and it'd mostly work. the driver library must have been colossal. but its just not there for linux.

in terms of the software experience, the thing that attracts me to linux is not having to tinker. Snaps, to get what i need working up and running. and yet all the die hard linux fans are not fans of snaps.

and back in the windows camp, lets look at windows terminal. it integrates with clipboard history which is native in windows, but you've got to mess with linux to get the same running. people say you've got more choice in linux because its not bundled, but when its bundled and it just works, its hard to argue with.

all imo and i get that some people want to spend a couple of weeks setting their OS up. I'd probably put that effort in if i could use backup and restore points as easily as in windows (3rd party software admittedly). i'll also admit to having never tried arch or read the wiki. i think i'll go look at that next.


I Got Same Problem With Ubuntu My Bluetooth earphone always making Trouble To Connect With Laptop, Cant Change Desktop Effectively. multitasking So Poor In This. and I was dissatisfied with That
Lot Of thing Not Wokring Properly So Finally I Switched back To Windows 10, Now I'm Using Windows Sublinix System in That. and Im More Productive With Windows rather Than Linux.


Hi Dhruv, as a base Ubuntu used to be a good choice. When it comes to productivity, it depends upon if you are planning to use it for personal use or professional use. For professional use suse, in my opinion, is the best choice due to yast. It's rock solid and it works. You can try opensuse and see what you think of it. For personal use you can try manjaro, but for me it was limited because it's dev use their own dependencies causing issues with certain software. If you want to learn , try arcolinux. You can start with a base and then at your own pace, you can learn to build basically your own distro from scratch.
Productivity is a relative term. What may be productive for me, may not be productive for you. When you design something that works best for you, with the apps you need, in a layout you like, you can be the most productive.


I keep running Ubuntu at home for two reasons:

  • Now that I'm an "architect", my employer doesn't think I need root. Struggling with those simple things keeps me current.
  • It is more secure - running Windows is as big a target.on your back as running WordPress.

That is awesome. I have always liked the role of system architect.


After reading most of the comments, this is clear to me that the main issue is the support provided by the hardware. In my case, I had bought windows PC and then installed Linux on it (as many people out there do) and it seems HP doesn't provide that good support for Linux at least in my model.

So as many people have written the best thing would be to invest in a laptop with better support for Linux. I would certainly buy a Laptop that promises support for Linux next time, whenever I am financially able to do so.
One more thing, I have a problem with DELL for not providing all range of its laptops in India. There is some very good laptop like New XPS 13 Developer Edition, which are not available in India for some reason.


Decades Linux user here. When you purchase hardware designed for Windows you typically encounter the issues you're describing. Buy a computer from a company like System76 and, I PROMISE, you'll never have those issues you describe.


Dhruv Agreed. But this worked for me. Instead of using Ubuntu desktop iso , I first used Ubuntu server iso then using taskel downloaded desktop environment. I don't know the reason why this give a bit stable system.

Also, Ubuntu with gnome desktop environment requires lot of resources. Instead try some other distro.
Look at CLEARLINUX . Design by intel for intel.


I remember reading a review recently that performance is good on amd chipsets too. Made clearlinux USB to test. However, issues booting with usb. So tried different distros. Namib looks promising (built on arch- although easier to install and configure than arch pure)


yeah, ubuntu certainly takes more resources than I had thought. I don't think ClearLinux is general-purpose distribution, It's more suitable for cloud.


If I remember they are not wording it for cloud only . In case, you are installing os , let us know your experience

I won't be changing distro right now for main system, but I am thinking about trying manjaro on USB stick.
Maybe will try ClearLinux also. will share my experience with it, if I do so.

Nice ... will wait for your experience

HI, you might find this video interesting. It's on clear Linux.



It gets easier and easier. I have been a full-time Linux user since 2007 and was using a Mac for about 5 years at work (still Linux at home). I then had a much better Mac that I used for everything for about three months before migrating back to Linux.

This last migration - partly from my old Linux laptop and partly from the Mac - went really quickly and without challenge. Almost everything works out of the box and I just copy my settings as part of the migration. I was surprised how easy it all was and how quickly it went.

I don't use IntelliJ so cannot comment, but I do use Emacs and that works for pretty much everything.


Windows is now integrating the Linux kernel with WSL. That should be a hint that development on Linux is productive. I quit using windows when 95 came out. Mac and Linux. It's easy to set up web development on both. Great cli utilities. Apple has switched CPU architectures a few times, dropped support for glsl, and has become bloated with unnecessary gui making it slow. Currently using Manjaro with gnome for desktop.


I use either Ubuntu or Xubuntu on my personal machines, except for an ageing white plastic Macbook that I only ever get out to sync my iPod with Last.fm, and have done so for over a decade. I moved my parents to Xubuntu six years ago when Windows XP came out of support, and they do fine - it's particularly amusing when they get Windows support scam phone calls. I've used it professionally in three different places, and would still do, but for the fact that my current employer doesn't allow it so I have to settle for a Macbook Pro.

Obviously it depends on the hardware, but by and large Ubuntu has mostly just worked for me, and in general for what I do it's easier than a Mac, let alone Windows. Homebrew is a reasonable package manager, but I spend more time fighting to get things working with that than I ever do in Ubuntu. And both Windows and OS X are terrible for locking out the whole system when installing a big update - in Ubuntu installing any update, no matter how big, you can keep using the system.

Recently I updated all of my personal machines and my parents' one from 18.04 to 20.04 and it was quick, efficient, and caused no problems at all. Overall I'm far happier using Ubuntu than either Windows or OS X, and will continue to do so unless something happens to make me stop.


Hey, bug are part of Linux, but the experience is different for every people. I personally can't even cite you a but right know because I have so few and so little I can't think of one known. I have a friend who have a lot of problems.

maybe Ubuntu have some problems on your hardware. I personally use and recommand manjaro but Linux mint is a good just work distro. obviously there a lot of other distro. maybe you can try another distro ?
personally I don't ever had a problems that requires me more than 5min to fix it. so few bug and there a little.

sorry for my English


I would give another distro a try in the future.

No need to apologize for English. Try Grammarly chrome extension, it will certainly help you with it. I also use it.


I've used Ubuntu on both my work laptop and gaming pc. I had audio issues and sometimes USB mouse receiver isn't detected after sleep. the situation was worse on my gaming PC: Ubuntu didn't knew very well to remove old kernels and I ran out of space for many, MANY times.

on my gaming PC I've installed Manjaro two weeks ago and I'm happy about it. sure, I ran into small inconsistent stuff like white gtk color scheme in updater software, no dark theme in lutris (even if it's ticked) and visual artefacts after changing theme / cursor and stuff (which needed a reboot).

I want to install Manjaro on my work laptop but it's an old 860M Nvidia graphics card which isn't supported anymore and the proprietary driver gives me a black screen. hope in Manjaro I won't have these issues. and I hope it will play well along Windows.


First off, if you use the words "Ubuntu" and "Linux" interchangeably, then you are mistaken. I love Linux but not overly fond of Ubuntu. I run Linux Mint Mate, and although based on Ubuntu, is NOT Ubuntu. It's solid as a rock right outta the box. Everything works except I replace caja with thunar and VLC seems to crash but celluloid works great. Aside from that, it just works.


I get what you are saying and I meant Linux in general as you will see from other comments other distros of Linux also have some issues as generally, hardware manufacturers such as HP don't give good support for Linux (many have started to give better support in newer laptops).

I mentioned ubuntu as an example of my experience since I have only used that.


So, one of the things I hear about (I've used Linux for more than a decade and Ubuntu mainly) is all of a sudden features like audio start dropping out, including headsets, mics, and players or similar services. This is most commonly associated with a condition where the machine is hitting it's upper resource limits e.g. RAM. The machine having reached it's limits will start to shutdown less important services to prevent the OS from stalling out completely (freezing up). You can test for that condition by installing HTOP linuxhint.com/install-htop-ubuntu/.

Restart your machine and open a terminal. Then run htop command and keep an eye on resource levels as you start adding/opening/using apps. a lot of tabs open on Chrome on Gnome, apps that load your machine. It's a pretty good method to see if you may need more RAM or maybe upgrade soundcard, especially on older machines and laptops. This is a WAG mind you, but could be helpful. At the least it will eliminate that cause.


I've been using Linux as my desktop exclusively for 20 + years. Ubuntu used to be very usable and efficient. Today, I use Linux mint. Ubuntu unity desktop makes working with the operating system less efficient then using the cinnamon desktop in Linux mint. There is also a strange divergence in Ubuntu from net tools and towards snap that makes the system overall more difficult to use. Having used distributions since around 1994, exclusively since 1999, pick a flavor that works best for you. Mint works with everything out of the box. I've been very happy with it as my desktop.


I think it's users' responsibility to research best hardware for using Linux. I have a Lenovo with none of these problems, and Ubuntu, Fedora, any distro really, is significantly more productive than Windows on the same machine because the software selection, ease of use, and portability are unmatched. Most complaints about Linux come from a place of not having much experience with it, like trying to shoehorn it into poorly supported hardware, not knowing your way around the filesystem and so on. When you plan, it's simly capable of much more than Mac or Windows, assuming the app tools you use are available for the platform. Simple as that.


linux is productive only in the hands of somebody who knows their system well. I mean who can do can use terminal better than gui. If you are trying to use apps made for windows, then better stick to windows. At the end of the day it gets your work done. But if you want more control then you need to do it unixish way like everything from terminal. I use mint for base install on top of it I use i3wm and vim for coding, gets most of my work done with very little effort.


hello, i have been entire life on windows and last year on ubuntu > pop!_os. After a year i realised how everybody talks about workflow and how everything is miracle on linux but in my case not. I just open vs code, dbeaver, browser, pomodoro and thats it. THATS IT!!! what others do so different to be 100x more effective on linux ? its same ๐Ÿ˜‚... vs code, dbeaver, browser, everything opening and works same on any OS.... so i just wait to WSL2 on windows, tested, it worked very good so i am back on windows. I am not more productive on linux and dont have to resolve why nobody hear me on 50% meetings because linux has problems with many external devices etc. Only what i need is terminal and with WSL2 i can have it with solid performace ( honestly i dont see difference between ubuntu and windows WSL2 ) ... some tests says on windows it has -8% but i didnt notice.


I totally agree with you. For the actual work, all tools are mostly the same, I am still using IntelliJ idea, vscode, chrome, etc.

I had just moved away from windows because of some problematic updates in 2019 and to learn Docker. But I do like the level of customization that can be done in Linux. I spent 3 hrs yesterday to manually customize my terminals look instead of installing zsh or bash themes ๐Ÿ˜‚. That's why I sometimes question my choices.

After writing this post, I have done close to zero development and am just looking for perfect Distro, Now I want to install manjaro. It would take another 2 days to get everything on it according to my needs and customizing applications on it again. That's why I think overall my personal productivity has declined recently on Ubuntu 20.04.


I used Ubuntu for almost ten years but always found myself plagued with distractions as bits misbehaved, particularly connectivity.
I switched to Fedora and have had virtually nil issues to distract me, it seems to be rock solid.
I used to use xfce on Ubuntu though, and use gnome 3 generally on fedora, although I have used xfce on fedora and it also seems to not break as regularly.


If your goal is to deliver value out of the box as a developer, then go with MacOs or Windows. GNU/Linux in a nutshell is about customization and giving the end user the power to decide. Basic things as color themes or fonts to low-level stuff like kernel and drivers.


I run Linux on my desktop but I wouldn't make that recommendation to everyone. I say that as a 20yr+ Linux user. My laptop is windows, but it runs an X server and I SSH everywhere. I'm using VS Code most of the time anyway, so it doesn't really matter what OS I use. I think a developer should have at least one Linux machine however, Even if that's just a raspberry PI or a VM.


I do not know about your hardware, but I'm using Linux for almost 20 years and it works as expected, some issues time to time but this is normal in every O.S. for me it's better use some time to solve something than reinstall the O.S. setting my developer envinronment is tedious and I do not do this for 7 Years since I bought my laptop.


I've found that I'm much more productive in Windows 10 than with Linux. People who are extremely skilled with Linux, and who focus on the command line, can be productive, but they'll still run into all sorts of hassles with drivers and desktop bugs.

Windows is much more polished, and has a higher quality interface than Linux (and macOS in my opinion). One example of greater productivity is the Your Phone app from Microsoft. It integrates with my Android phone and allows me to read and respond to text messages on my PC, make calls, move photos from my phone to PC, etc. I wouldn't know how to do any of that on a Linux distro โ€“ does Ubuntu have something like this?

I also don't like how old and obsolete most Linux distros are with their kernel versions and app versions. It's confusing. RHEL is using an ancient 4.x kernel on their latest release. I can never get the latest version of gcc or many other apps when using Ubuntu โ€“ their repo only has older versions for some reason. To use modern kernels and apps you have to use Fedora or maybe Arch. Fedora's docs are frustrating and their community is unfriendly. Arch's docs are great, but last time I checked Arch requires tons of maintenance effort, and doesn't have trivial automatic updates. And with any distro, there will be lots of glitches and hassles on desktop.


KDE Connect offers similar functionally to the Your Phone app. I really prefer using Google's Messages for Web, though, since it's mostly texting via the PC I'm interested in. It can be installed as a Chrome app and run in its own window. Photos can be accessed via Google Photos on the web or through USB. If you use iOS and not Android, I'll agree that Linux doesn't do much there.

It's difficult to compare package versions across distros strictly by version number though. Different distros have different ethos behind them.. Rock solid stability, bleeding edge, and in between. Sometimes a version appears outdated, and may be missing newer features, but upstream security patches and such are backported. It's not always intuitive, and I wouldn't blame somebody for having the opinion that it's more effort than it's worth keeping up with the differences that can pop up between distros that way.

RHEL probably isn't the best example since it's aimed at enterprise. My last job had me using a Windows laptop 4 or 5 "feature update" versions out of date (about 3 years) with newer security patches applied. Companies like that would still probably be running Windows XP if they could


With all due respect, no we don't. We buy hardware certified for Linux and never look back. Serious professionals don't buy machines preinstalled with Windows then try to run Linux on it for kicks.


One thing I always found is that cutting edge hardware may not be fully suported the moment it is introduced. this includes new motherboards, chipsets etc. The vendors rush to get windows support before release, but then it takes a while for Linux coders to get their hands on new stuff to write the drivers.

I have never had the problems you describe, but I always choose my hardware with Linux support in mind. I have been using Linux exclusively for over 20 years, and from my perspective things were great and now they are even better


I think that is somewhat correct. Last year I worked on over 20 Aiot Dev kits and what I found was there was a lack of Gnu Linux knowledge... To the point I needed to edit config files and build modules. Modules existed but they didn't even build them or load to the kernel. I mean let's be honest here, there are a lot of these windows developers trying to work on Linux and they don't even know how to roll out a package. I also have been using gnu Linux for over 20 years and I think maybe my insight about being new to Linux is not as applicable... But I can say that I recently converted a process workflow to remove proprietary software and this long-drawn Windows GUI workflow was replaced with a 20 line bash script... and this definitely improved my productivity!


Certainly - however, at this stage of Linux development, users expect the drivers to their hardware to be present and configured "out of the box". Very few new users will have the type of skills necessary to discover the correct driver/module, configure it or compile it for their kernel, especially if it requires tweaking the device tree.

As to the productivity gains, that is the reason I switched all those years ago. I prefer a system that I need to configure once, that works efficiently and without breakdowns, to one that automatically detects and configures new hardware, but breaks down over time and becomes unusable.


Why don't you switch Intellij Idea to something else? Visual Studio Code and Vim are better options. It takes a lot of time to configure and get use to Vim but it's capabilities cannot be matched by any other editor and it's native Linux app.


I do use vs code but it's not better than Intellij Idea. Don't know about vim but nothing out there can compete with Intellij Idea in my opinion. I can guarantee once you use IDEs by Jetbrains, it will be very hard to use anything else again. It's an IDE and capable of much more than any editor out there, especially for java projects.

I have not met a single soul who can argue that Intellij Idea is not good.


Sorry, I meant VS code and Vim are better options for Ubuntu in terms of stability (not as IDE) because of their bigger community and support for Linux. With Linux you should always sacrifice something if you don't want to try other IDEs then you should change the Linux distribution.

I got your point. This has only happened recently and honestly for me ubuntu 19.10 was working like a dream and both 18.04 and 20.04 have some issues.


I've been using Ubuntu Linux for years and I've learned so much from it. Sure enough, I've had to spend some really long nights fixing the issues that show up, especially after an update, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


I had the chance to try out Ubuntu after getting a new laptop about 3 weeks ago. I initially started with dual booting Ubuntu 20.04 with Windows 10. I had it for about 3 days before trying Manjaro instead. I think the issues I had with non smooth scrolling bugged me an awful lot (I came from using a Mac where this was never an issue). After that I switched to Manjaro before finally trying PopOS. I really liked it and had it installed for about 2 weeks before I went back to Windows 10, which I plan on sticking with.

My biggest issues were problems with battery life (2hrs on PopOS vs about 5 on Windows), smooth scrolling in VSCode and Firefox (everything felt quite slow and jittery), Bluetooth headphone issues with my airpods (sound was very quiet) and finally a vsync issue that I couldn't unsee and wouldn't go away even after 2 days of googling for a solution and tweaking a number of config files.

I was confident going into it that Linux would be great for me. I'm a PHP and Node Developer and having had a mac for the past 7 years I feel more confident with terminal. I really have respect for and understand people that want that extra level of customisation not found in other OS'. The fact that you can just jump in and change how absolutely everything works is a great strength. For me personally though those small remaining issues bugged me too much and used up way too much of my time, when I just wanted to jump in and start developing.

I'm actually getting by fine with using WSL on Windows 10 at the moment, I may however come across issues in the future that might change my mind.

When I'm next due for a hardware upgrade though (or WSL isn't cutting it for me), I'll definitely try a few different flavours of Linux again!