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Year of the Linux Desktop 2021

This year is the year of the Linux desktop... again.

Linux is not a complete operating system like Windows, Mac or BSD Unix. They take the different free software packages and put them together with the Linux kernel, this is called a Linux distribution.

Picking a Linux distribution is hard. Besides many choices, you have to pick the right one for your needs. Do you need high performance or security?

There are so many different Linux distributions.

mind blown

For getting work done, people usual use Ubuntu, OpenSuse or Fedora. Their packages are quite up to date and they are stable. But that doesn't mean they're secure by default.

Ubuntu uses snap and apt packages at the same time, I don't like that. OpenSuse doesn't use the deb package management system but zypper and rpm. So you would go

sudo zypper install package
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Instead of the Debian way

sudo apt install package
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I don't trust Fedora, because Red Hat pulled the plug out of CentOS. Who's to say they don't do the same with Fedora?

Distros and forks

There are only a handful core distributions. Most Linux distributions are fork of distributions. There are many of them.

As the Debian folks would call it a frankenlinux. Some of them are gone overnight or don't have long term support. That's why it wise to pick one that has long support.

Debian, Slackware and RedHat have been around since 1993. RedHat is orientated to servers.

linux distros

Personal use

Switching operating systems. I like to use Debian based systems, because it has a really large user base. So if you run into a problem, you can quickly find a solution.

I don't have time for Gentoo, Arch etc.. work to do. It should just work. One issue I have with Debian is that the packages are outdated, but I found you can install Kali Linux on the desktop (Debian + rolling release + some security tools). Perfect for my use case.

Development on Linux

You can do most of your programming on Linux, depends on what field you are working on. You can use C, C++, Python, Go all the web dev stuff like vue and a lot more.

In fact most of the times it's one single command to install it, while on Windows or Mac you have to struggle a bit. Something like Go is a one line install. Linux really is the programmers OS.

As IDE you can use any of the JetBrains stuff, Sublime (if you must), Visual Studio Code or vim (perfection).


Top comments (8)

postrecord profile image
postrecord • Edited

There are three ways to access Linux terminal on Windows: ssh connection, virtualbox and Windows Subsystem for Linux

Perhaps you can convince them to use another web chat, like google meetings or others that work on Linux. I don't know how restrictive the corporate is in installing things, but you can change jobs again :-)

edydeyemi profile image

I have been trying to switch to Linux for about two years now but I am yet to find that distro that hits the sweet spot for me. I have tried quite a few Distros; Elementary OS, Ubuntu, Mate, Zorin, Mint, Cent OS Desktop something always seemed missing. I guess I have grown so steeped in Windows that switching to Linux is near-impossible 😔😔

nishithsavla profile image
Nishith Savla

Yes, it may or may not work but if it does, you are lucky to be able to get to your original workflow (in Linux) back.

nishithsavla profile image
Nishith Savla

Did you try running Skype through wine? It may not be the best experience but will still do the job I guess