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Why you still love using linux?

donnisnoni profile image Don Alfons Nisnoni ・1 min read

Hi ... I am a linux user and I really love linux. I am very comfortable working with linux especially in development.

Lately, many of my friends who have been using Linux have been switching to Windows. Yeah, their reason is because there is already WSL on windows. So they advised me to use Windows instead of linux. Hmmm ... honestly, I'm still hard to leave linux.

There are several points that make me still want to stick with linux, here are the reasons:

  • Open source.
  • Highly Customizable.
  • High security.
  • It's Free.
  • Better Community Support.
  • Privacy.

I think that's all for now. I think there are still many reasons there. Since I have only been using linux since 4 years ago, there may be other strong reasons to support my decision and maybe your decision to keep using linux as the main OS. If there is? please tell me in the comments.

One last thing, I like freedom, and I found it on Linux...

Posted on May 26 by:

donnisnoni profile

Don Alfons Nisnoni

@donnisnoni

Simple man 😉 | Good Coffe Maker ☕ | Not a Nerd 🤓 | Love Computer Science 🖥️ | Care about his area future 🤗

Discussion

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Linux is great for the open-source benefits, which encompass not only the freedom of the software but also that a lot of the open-source projects do not track and sell user data like closed-source projects have been known to do. The customizability of Linux is a second-tier factor, but still super imperative for users like you and I. I love to be able to use different shells, the package management solutions, the wide array of software to choose from, and the community support offered by the service. With Windows 10, so many trackers come on the system now, I would say privacy is a big win for Linux right now.

On the flip side, let's look at some of the cons for it. The customizations and large software ecosystem can be a downside. Sometimes and the user just wants to log in, install familiar software, and just use the pre-system. Now, Linux has become so much better about plug and play support. I remember my first install in 2003 left me with no wireless support on my laptop and trackpad not working. Compare that to the install of Ubuntu 20.04 I just did and I didn't have to do anything. All of the out-of-box drivers were just there. This can have a lingering effect on people, both from experience and from hear-say.

I find myself switching back and forth constantly for work reasons. Most of the software my company uses is exclusive to Windows. Sometimes, I just don't have the energy to boot back my PC from Windows to Linux at the end of the day. I can see both sides of the argument and at the end of the day everyone is going to find their own best use cases for everything.

 

Very lovely comments man!! Yeah... i just cant imagine linux at that time (2003). Also I have the same situation like you, I just got my first work, then their using Windows at all. So, yeah sometimes I boot using Windows when working. And thanks to WSL too... BTW thanks man!!

 

Why Linux?

It 'just works'. I never have to install drivers. Even XBox controller support works out of the box.

Software installation/updates are streamlined. I can automate 95% of my setup. If something breaks, remove and install and it's fixed.

It's lightweight. I use ElementaryOS with very little customization. I have never run into a performance issue. Even running a ton of Electron apps.

Systems running Linux run forever. I have only ever thrown away my linux machines when they get too physically beat up to use.


Why not Windows?

Focus stealing. I absolutely hate being interrupted when applications steal focus. It completely breaks my flow state.

Updates and application management are a tire fire of broken usability. Not to mention viruses are a huge deal. In Linux, I wipe my system when I want to not b/c I have to.

Telemetry. For some reason Windows has gradually turned into a behavior tracking skinner box since 10 shipped. Hard pass, I block as much of that crap as possible.

 

Yeah...I have the same experience with Linux. Agree with you about the Why not Windows? section. Thanks man for the comments...

 

you get a like because of "focus stealing" comment. I almost smashed my new monitor with my g815 keyboard because of it

 

I think your friend got the question completely backwards. Instead, he should answer "For which benefits do you switch back to windows, and which disadvantages you accept by doing so?"
And then we can think about how to get these benefits another way :)

I don't really have reasons to stay on linux. I'd rather say, I don't have a reason to switch. Therefore I'm not doing it.

If someone (who is on linux) really need windows for testing or whatever, a secondary device is fine. Some people use VM's.

 

My answer for switching back (to macOS, not windows - for work I value a proper terminal and security to better gaming support) is always that I need a machine where I'm not always fighting to get updates to work, or disappointed by lack of software support. It's been a few years since I've used linux for my main machine though; I'd love to give it another try and see if things have improved!

 

It's good to have some critical view in this thread too :) Let me comment on your points.

I like to separate linux users in two groups: The ones that want to use and the ones who want to learn. I am in the camp who wants to just use linux and not necessarily learn about under-the-surface details. So I strictly stick to newbie-friendly distros (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, others may qualify as well).

Updating haven't been a problem to me, mostly. Most things go by a single click, and reliable. Updating Nvidia drivers involves a few more steps, but nothing difficult (I just sticked to the guide I found in the internet). Some software that comes as appimage or flatpak, I need to update manually. But it rarely takes more than 2 minutes, and the software often notifies me about it.

Software support: Here, the situation of the usual suspects didn't change much over the last years. You want Adobe software, still nope. Native MS Office, still nope. There are probably countless smaller MacOS-only apps you are using - they likely didn't gain linux-support recently.

Of course there are alternatives to each of these, but this depends on how much you are willing to give them a chance. If you use AI and didn't like Inkscape in 2017, you probably still won't like it in 2020 (though it got a good update recently). But, maybe some other contenders popped up in meantime, which you may like more.

 

If you go with fancy-pants bleeding-edge distros like Arch or even Ubuntu of course you're going to get into trouble.

But if you try out let's say Debian, it's a very stable and comprehensive OS. Updates are kept to a minimum. And I can do everything I need.

 

@bendman Yeah... you should give another try...BTW What year did you last use linux?

 

Agree!! Well... i often do that for my work..... hahaha. Thanks man

 

I tried WSL, and WSL2. WSL2 is miles better and addresses most of the gripes I had with the first version. For certain workloads it's actually just fine. Docker based stuff with the new WSL2 backing, Node, Python, it's usually just fine.

But it's not quite there for some things. USB devices are still not properly supported. I work with some embedded stuff that just plain doesn't show up under the WSL2 VM. It still has a tendency to gobble up RAM and never release it without manually clearing the cache. Editor support is spotty. It also still feels just like developing in a VM, as filesystems are separate, as well as applications. Networking is a bit special and has some magic going on.

It's definitely not perfect. I'm gonna keep dual booting for the foreseeable future, I think. Windows for media (music/video production) and gaming, and Linux for development. Rebooting is not as painful as it used to with SSDs anyway.

 
 

As a desktop (or as a server) I think that far better OSes were designed (Solaris comes in mind) but unfortunately none of those can run on a modern hardware nor run modern apps.

So Linux is still good because its design is acceptable, there is a great community, and when a vendor decides to throw what you like out the window you can still use it as long as you'd like (look at MATE and Trinity for Gnome 2 / KDE 3.5 fans).

On other OSes you have no other choice than to get restricted release after release. By example, MacOS 10.15 makes network calls before starting processes rendering the system slow overall and unbreathable for developers. As for Windows, I have to use it regularly and there is so many bugs (especially hardware bugs) than anybody thinking that Linux has driver issues didn't compare Windows and Linux for a long time. Needless to also say that their UX choices are more and more dividing and you have no say in it.

Also I could go on and on about why I hate the Windows and OSX user interfaces or why the Mac keyboard is so dumb but that's a matter of taste and fingers flexibility.

So why I still use Linux? Because I know it's not going to fuck me in the butt when I don't expect it. In short

  • Don't bet on software whose source you don't have — Libre software is essential for a long-term strategy
  • Don't rely on capitalistic companies to make choices that are in your best interest
  • If you don't go buy some hardware that Linux can't handle then everything is going to be smooth (you wouldn't install OSX on a PC would you? Same thing here)
 

I migrated from Windows to Linux, or i would say reverted back to Linux because of the fact i loved Linux, its open source repositories as well as himself as well as the security and Command Line (I love Command Line), The use of proper hardware resources and no need to just stare at the Microsoft Telemetry and Compatibility Service after a boot up, man it take ages for these services to process, However i use Windows just for work due to Visual Studio as the only good thing in Windows, However i am not here to criticize, windows not to mention most famous software run on windows like a charm, but still loved Linux.

 

Yeah.... and also a lot of malware & virus there. BTW to get rid of that, we should install anti-malware & anti-virus software. It's not a problem for me to install them, but to find a good one, will take a much of resources.

 

It doesn’t interrupt me to randomly install updates. On a more honest note it just feels more snappy, is easy to setup my config on a new machine, and is fun to rice to your liking.

 

Agree..!! That also one of my favorite thing on Linux... is easy to setup new machine with our config. Thats how developer do it! hahaha... Thanks man!

 

For me, Linux is more enjoyable to use, and I really like how I can customize it to my taste. On the other hand, it still lacks some of the de-facto standard apps like Adobe CS and Microsoft Office. That makes difficult for me to use it at work. But. I really wish I could.

 

Yeah... I agree with last sentence. Im still using wine for it but sometime, we cant get best experience with it.

 

I have strongly opinionated preferences about using machines.

If I wanna play games - I play consoles, few of games I have interest or want to play are working on Linux just fine, never cared and never will be 'PC master race'

If I do it for work I work on Mac, I work on hybrid apps so I need to have XCode, been working on it last few years I just love to work on Mac.

Personally I use linux (been using several distros trough the years, currently on ubuntu but before was on mandrake back in the days, also tried arch and ElementaryOs for significant amount of time before)

there are lot of things I don't like while using windows, just remembering it makes me angry and sad at the same time.

  • had to have RAM hog apps like antivirus and firewall
  • had to manage start-up apps as almost everything you install is kinda there
  • had to change global variables frequently because projects used different versions of .net and TS, which is PITA
  • no privacy whatsoever
  • forced updates messed with my settings and reset those on defaults every time, especially ones for automatic updates (what an irony)
  • scheduled tasks appeared out of nowhere like a wild pokemon in the grass, I didn't scheduled a thing in my life but there were some scheduled tasks to send my usage data to MS at certain times every day, at that times CPU is on fire as it hits 100% in 3 seconds, after some struggle to breathe computer freezes for a while then restarts, tries to repeat that scheduled thingy when it is on again - very frustrating

same machine using linux, none of those issues there, works smooth, no lags and no shenanigans so that's why! =D

bear in mind that last time i used windows (it was win10) was somewhere in early 2016, on linux and Mac since then, never looked back, never will

 

all my workflow is based on the gnome way of doing things and i really like that, windows doesn't come with gnome, or a decent package manager, nowdays most games run just fine on linux, and that's i still using linux

 

My programming teacher used to Hate windows so do I

 

hahaha... glad with that but you not should to do that because of your programming teacher like it. Just kidding man.. Thanks for the comment.

 

Neal Stephenson wrote a little book that is a bit dated now, titled "In the beginning was the command line" that describes Linux well. It's a funny and short read.

I like Linux because you can have all the GUI stuff and artifice of interface if you want, and you can get under-the-hood to the lowest level if you want. Even with Windows Linux Subsystem on Windows, and the terminal on MacOS, there's still a lot of decisions the OS makes for you.

 

If you use distro like Ubuntu than privacy argument is horrible argument for out of the box solution. Not sure if they fixed it now but research more about this. For me privacy is long gone if you want to live in a modern society, no argument can prove me otherwise.

Driver support and stability. Joke all you want, Windows does this better for graphics and network, not sure about audio. Although Mac may be best here it's not even close to same range as these 2. Apple has limited hardware which it supports while Windows targets broader spectrum and Linux has great community but at least for graphics it still dominates way more than Linux in terms of stability. Since Gnome 3 and KDE 4 i just can't work with it's UI anymore. Mate has same issues as Gnome, Deepin and similar have KDE issues and all of them overheat graphics card. Tried it with at least 7 distros on 6 different machines. Didn't try pop OS so far and will do I hope but any amount of "you type this configure that" means people don't understand what does "out of the box" mean. Way to many of us will pay for mac not to configure anything, or deal with windows blue screen, horrible updates that damages earth ecosystem, rather than listen to "you need to confgure" talks or blaming end users that they don't know how to use it. It should be easy to use to get the work done, and I we don't wanna look smart spending hours configuring stuff and typing code to make it work.
Maybe weird to some devs but other developers like to spend time with family and friends not computers only.

 

0$ cost along with very light distributions means that many more people can have access to a functioning computer even on old or low end machines.

Automation and scripting are vastly better on Linux, for development or learning it's simply the superior environment of the two.

 

I have my computer dual booted (Windows 10 and Manjaro) and I set up a dev environment in WSL 2 and tried it out for a week. I just got a new graphics card before doing this too. I was on Windows, so why not play a game, right?

After about a week I switched back to Manjaro and I felt like I was home again. I downloaded the same (Dark Souls 3) and it's just as beautiful and performant on Windows. I didn't have to install any drivers for my new graphics card either, which was nice.

I don't think I'll ever go back to Windows. I love open source, and I love GNU/Linux, and I love Manjaro. I've got my setup and I'm sticking to it.

 

Also, my Linux has access to my Windows files, but my Windows doesn't have access to my Linux files. Which is pretty lame on Windows end.

 

Switching to windows to use Linux?

 

I'm still on Arch + Plasma.

Continuo no meu velho Arch + Plasma KDE.

 

Sim ... O KDE também é bom, mas sou fã do GTK

 

I think the push for windows has to do with more apps working with little to no extra required configuration. With WSL, you really get the best of both worlds.

 

To be honest I moved to Windows, but my god would I kill for a decent desktop RSS reader....lol