re: A definition of the Linux desktop VIEW POST


I've considered switching from mac to linux on a couple of occasions. All the developer tools I use are OSS and work just fine on Linux. I need Docker, a jdk, intellij, maybe a bit of node, python, bash, etc. Vs Code is essential as well. Stuff like that. I can probably be up and running in a few hours on a generic Ubuntu laptop.

I have dabbled with linux distributions since the day they came in the form of slackware and 27 or so disks that I had to download. It never stuck on my desktop but I spend a lot of time sshed into servers running Ubuntu. Automating devops on Ubuntu, building docker images for Ubuntu. I say Ubuntu, not Linux because if you don't use Ubuntu, you are a second rate citizen in the linux world.

You'll find instructions for running many things on a mac and usually for Ubuntu. You might find some for other distributions. But typically, if you are not on Ubuntu, you are on your own. Configurations may be in a different place. There may not be a package that plays nice with the stuff you need. I remember dealing red hat professionally, or as I jokingly called it: the wrong fucking version of essentially everything I care about packaged up incompetently and indifferently ages ago when that stuff was already obsolete. Thankfully we have docker these days to shield us from shitty package mismanagement. Made my life a lot easier dealing with configuration management.

Things are a lot easier today in terms of hardware support. I have a parent with an ancient laptop on a dito version of Ubuntu.

But nowhere near as easy as getting a new mac. But you get all the nasty issues like the trackpad not being quite right, high resolution screens still being a bit of a PITA, dealing with non work essential stuff like getting some decent drivers for your video card working, your screen glitching on boot, making sure energy management actually doesn't roast your battery, and dealing with buggy standby behavior and the uncertainty that any of the stuff you fixed may need fixing again on the next update. Stuff like that requires a lot of googling, trial an error, and your mileage may vary with distribution versions, hardware platforms, etc.

If somebody does a well supported, hassle fee Linux platform I'd consider it. IMHO Google is making some smart moves with Chrome OS here. That might become a viable development platform with well supported drivers, slick end user ready applications, and you can run your assorted development cruft as well.

So, I chickened out last time my laptop came up for replacement and got a Mac. Was up and running two hours after booting it. All my apps, settings working as they should. No driver issues. No endless fiddling with configuration files. Of course the keyboard sucks and I'm glad I didn't get the nvidia option from Apple but went with the AMD one.


I can't remember the last time I had to do any of that sort of stuff. I've gone through phases where I've spent days tweaking things, and sometimes breaking them, but not because they didn't work out the box on any modern desktop distro.

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