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My Experience With Linux

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Posted

A year ago today (give or take a few days) I started running Linux 100%. Never looked back to Windows. I tried to help my Mom with her Windows 7 machine from time to time, and I was like, bleh... As soon as I got up to Linux 100%, my dad was interested in it, and I installed Mint 14 Cinnamon on his system.

 

I can tell you, it's been a ride. But I think I broke through most of it. For those I couldn't, I just discarded and found an alternate.

 

I started with Ubuntu 12.10, went between Debian Squeeze, #!Crunchbang, Fedora, Arch, Gentoo, maybe a few others that I can't remember. I am now settled with Debian Wheezy 7. Using XFCE 4.8.3.

 

The reason I went to Linux, was because 90% of what I ran was open source. And I didn't like Windows 8 for a desktop. I tested it before then, but didn't use it as a mainstream OS. Also because I wanted more choice.

 

I liked Unity, but after awhile, it really hurt my system, hogging down the video card. So, then I went to GNOME, and used that for maybe 5 months, then I was looking into Openbox, but I found that a bit... odd. So now for the last 3 months, I've been on XFCE. Gives me a lot of options on my panel. Whisker Menu Bar was a godsend. :laugh:

 

Now, I look Windows as... meh. As more games are now coming to Linux, it's a better time to switch. Yeah, I know not all, but most. All I play is Minecraft these days, but who knows... Could get into more games, or just go with consoles, like the SteamBox or PS4.

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Posted

Congrats! I started with Red Hat 9 and love many flavors of Linux too. I must have had almost all of the major distros on my box at one point or another, including a BSD or two at one point.  Debian especially rocks. Enjoy :punk:

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Yeah, thanks, Barney. :)

 

I used to mess with Linux back in the days, with RedHat, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Puppy, DSL, etc. But I would have that on my VM, but the next day, I dis it.

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Posted

Debian is my favourite distro by far - I use it on all of my boxes. Stable for servers, testing for desktops.

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Posted

I love Debian for servers, great distro! Never tried it for desktop, only Linux I really ever used for desktop is Ubuntu. May give some others a try sometime.

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congratulations to your successfull migration. i understand perfectly your words and reasons, its been basically the very same for me since i went fully to linux 4 years ago. most software is free/open source, and the customization is even better than under windows. also you learn quite a bit about computers/software in general when using linux, (even if you go for an easy distro like ubuntu). i bet basically every linux user has no issues to install and work with macosx or windows. but for most windows users if you give them a linux distro to install and making work, they need to learn it first

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Posted

Congrats :)

I just use CentOS for my Servers.

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Posted

I like Linux to tinker with, but I still have so many reliability/stability problems that I can't use it on my main system. I do have Ubuntu installed on an extra computer I had lying around. I am a bigger fan of enterprise Unix - AIX specifically. 

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Posted

Same, really dig it in a server setup (well mostly BSD but there's a few Linux boxes), don't much care for it on the desktop for a number of reasons, but the server side really "meshes" nicely with Windows as a front-end. 

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Posted

Have played around with several different distros also, but Debian is rockin' my world, as of now, on 2 of my boxes.

 

Have had it installed for around 6-7 months now and that's probably the longest I've ever left a Linux distro left installed.

 

Rock solid, but still can't ditch Windows totally.

 

Good luck and congrats! :)

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Posted

The reason I went to Linux, was because 90% of what I ran was open source. And I didn't like Windows 8 for a desktop. I tested it before then, but didn't use it as a mainstream OS. Also because I wanted more choice.

 

I've been running Linux since 2007, off and on. When I finally realized earlier this year that almost every piece of software I ran was open source, I said I would be crazy not to switch. I'm so glad I did. What was icing on the cake for me was to learn that some things that I do was much faster and easier on Linux than Windows. 

 

 

Now, I look Windows as... meh. As more games are now coming to Linux, it's a better time to switch. Yeah, I know not all, but most. All I play is Minecraft these days, but who knows... Could get into more games, or just go with consoles, like the SteamBox or PS4.

 

I don't see me ever going back to Windows again. I'm on Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon and it just works, now that I've got it tweaked right. I just can't get into Debian proper, though.

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Thanks, all. Linux, just, works. Apt-get is the greatest tool I found. Only thing you need to do is press yes or no. Not do you agree, next, next, next. :p

 

 

My internet was down today until now. :p

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I have used Linux exclusively on my personal machines for several years now, but my justification for it is slightly different than yours. It's not about what I can do in GNU/Linux; it's about what I can't do in other operating systems.

 

Let me explain. I once used Windows exclusively. When I built my first computer in junior high school, my dad bough me a copy of the recently-released Windows XP Professional to go with it. He also gave me a copy of Red Hat Linux 9 and the accompanying (paper-back) user manual that he bought at CompUSA, and he encouraged me to dual-boot. Foolishly, I didn't. I didn't see the point of Linux. To be completely honest, although I considered myself a Windows power user at the time, I didn't really understand Windows that well either. I played with various Linux distributions a few times after that, but it was never more than idle curiosity.

 

Fast-forward to my freshman year of college. I had started programming in high school, and had become reasonably proficient at C++. As an indirect result, I had learned more about open-source software and started using a lot of it on my machines (Firefox, VLC, MinGW, Notepad++, etc.). Unrelated to my evolving programming skills, I had also become much more adept at fixing problems with Windows. For that reason I was offered a job at my university's IT help desk, which I accepted. One of my coworkers - a man whom I learned a lot from and still have a great deal of respect for - introduced me to Ubuntu. Not only did he introduce me, but he challenged me. Therefore I quickly moved from virtualizing Ubuntu to dual-booting it with Windows on my desktop.

 

Jump forward another couple years. By the end of my sophomore year of college, I was using Ubuntu far more often than Windows on my desktop. I had reached the point where I only booted into Windows to play games and install security updates. Since I wanted my data available in both operating systems, I still stored the vast majority of it on my primary NTFS partition, which I kept mounted in Ubuntu. I even went so far as to write scripts for programs such as Pidgin and VirtualBox to keep their profiles in sync between the two operating systems. That was a hassle, and there seemed to be no shortage of bugs to be discovered with those scripts. At that point I realized how much of a pain dual-booting really is, so I chose to move all of my important data to Ubuntu and slim down my Windows installation to just games. Since this strategy worked so well on my desktop, I also completely replaced Windows with Ubuntu on my laptop.

 

The narrative above is missing one key factor: why did I decide to go with Ubuntu over Windows as my main OS? After all, Windows had an obvious advantage: it ran all my games. However Ubuntu had a huge advantage too: a powerful command-line. In the end, the command-line won. I felt like I could do more work faster using the terminal than using functionally-equivalent GUI applications most of the time. I really like the UNIX philosophy. The Advanced Package Tool in particular was one of the most compelling factors of my choice. As time went on, I came to favor the command-line even more. I heavily rely on it in my daily workflow today. The lack thereof remains the number one thing that bothers me when I use Windows. Neither Cygwin nor Powershell cut it (although Cygwin is definitely closer).

 

Shortly after my decision to use Ubuntu as my primary OS, my Windows installation fell into disrepair. My programming and hiking habits began to eat the free time I used to use to play games. When I did decide to play video games, I played mostly Minecraft, which was really nice because I didn't have to boot into Windows to play it. Booting Windows became a little discouraging because I used it so infrequently that literally every time I booted into it, I had Windows updates waiting to be installed. Therefore I switched to Debian on my desktop (and later my laptop) and completely removed Windows. Although I do not regret the decision to live without Windows in any way, I felt somewhat vindicated when Valve brought Steam to Linux, along with some of my favorite games. I still don't play video games very often, but the growing trend towards releasing cross-platform games virtually eliminates the singular advantage I once awarded to Windows when I was debating switching to Ubuntu.

 

Although I think that users all-too-often malign the command-line rather than seeking to take full advantage of it, I am far from the only one who sees a good POSIX shell and the traditional UNIX utilities as a huge asset. In fact, Michael Dominick listed it as chief among his reasons for preferring Ubuntu over other operating systems in this week's Coder Radio. As fellow Neowin Linux users, I hope you will agree.

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Posted

Interesting read, Orange. Where did you transfer from Ubuntu to Debian?

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I still see no use for desktop Linux, personally. It seems like a fine system for those willing to tinker and customize their OS; to me the best OS is the one I most rarely notice.

 

Windows runs my favorite IDE (Visual Studio), favorite bittorent client (uTorrent), favorite music player (foobar2000), a variety of excellent video players (MPC-HC, VLC, KMPlayer, all of which I find best in different circumstances), my favorite office suite (MS Office), my favorite screen capture utilities (Fraps, Action!), my favorite video editor (Virtual Dub), it has Internet Explorer which, like it or not, still sometimes is the most compatible browser for certain sites; it has the best drivers for all my hardware, and most open-source software available on Linux is available for it as well.

 

Above all, I don't need to do anything to get it working the way I want to. (well, with Windows 8, I actually have to do 2 things - StartIsBack + uninstall all the metro apps - but still.)

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I always found alternatives to the above apps. And I wasn't saddened by the alternatives, either. Sure, something doesn't do EVERYTHING, but the feature that I often wanted was there.

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Interesting read, Orange. Where did you transfer from Ubuntu to Debian?

 

I contemplated switching to Debian for some time because it is a true community-driven open-source project whose ideology aligns closely with my own, but I did not actually switch until mid 2011. The catalyst was Ubuntu 11.04, oft-bemoaned because it was the first release to include Unity by default. I tried Unity for a little while, but the version that shipped in Ubuntu 11.04 was far too buggy and unreliable for my daily use. Therefore I switched from Ubuntu 11.04 to Debian Squeeze sometime around the Debian 6.0.2 release.

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Although I think that users all-too-often malign the command-line rather than seeking to take full advantage of it, I am far from the only one who sees a good POSIX shell and the traditional UNIX utilities as a huge asset. In fact, Michael Dominick listed it as chief among his reasons for preferring Ubuntu over other operating systems in this week's Coder Radio. As fellow Neowin Linux users, I hope you will agree.

 

I listened to that episode as well, and I quite agree. For anyone who doesn't know, Michael Dominick has just switched to Linux, and in that episode he talks about it. Excellent show. All I can say is the more I use the command line the more I love it. It is so powerful. 

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I have tried Linux many times in the past and it has felt unfinished.  There is definately something about the OS I love and would like to give it a shot again.  My problem so much isn't the software, it is the community.  In my multiple tries at the OS I would come to things here and there that I have issues with like graphics drivers, some scripting help or finding alternative ways of doing things.  So I reach out on linux forms I find.  Most of the time I get flamed at best the questions go unanswered.  I try searching all the time for answers and usually come up emtpy.  If I can be pointed to some friendlier resources then that would be fantastic.  Its been a while so I don't remember the places I used to go.

 

Thanks

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I have tried Linux many times in the past and it has felt unfinished.  There is definately something about the OS I love and would like to give it a shot again.  My problem so much isn't the software, it is the community.  In my multiple tries at the OS I would come to things here and there that I have issues with like graphics drivers, some scripting help or finding alternative ways of doing things.  So I reach out on linux forms I find.  Most of the time I get flamed at best the questions go unanswered.  I try searching all the time for answers and usually come up emtpy.  If I can be pointed to some friendlier resources then that would be fantastic.  Its been a while so I don't remember the places I used to go.

 

Thanks

 

Not here. :D We got Orange for that ;)

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I have tried Linux many times in the past and it has felt unfinished.  There is definately something about the OS I love and would like to give it a shot again.  My problem so much isn't the software, it is the community.  In my multiple tries at the OS I would come to things here and there that I have issues with like graphics drivers, some scripting help or finding alternative ways of doing things.  So I reach out on linux forms I find.  Most of the time I get flamed at best the questions go unanswered.  I try searching all the time for answers and usually come up emtpy.  If I can be pointed to some friendlier resources then that would be fantastic.  Its been a while so I don't remember the places I used to go.

 

Thanks

 

I cannot speak for other online communities, but although there is a fairly small congregation of Linux users on Neowin, we will do our best to help you. I extend to you the promise I made a week ago in this post. I will help you work through your Linux-related issues to the best of my ability.

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I still see no use for desktop Linux, personally. It seems like a fine system for those willing to tinker and customize their OS; to me the best OS is the one I most rarely notice.

 

Windows runs my favorite IDE (Visual Studio), favorite bittorent client (uTorrent), favorite music player (foobar2000), a variety of excellent video players (MPC-HC, VLC, KMPlayer, all of which I find best in different circumstances), my favorite office suite (MS Office), my favorite screen capture utilities (Fraps, Action!), my favorite video editor (Virtual Dub), it has Internet Explorer which, like it or not, still sometimes is the most compatible browser for certain sites; it has the best drivers for all my hardware, and most open-source software available on Linux is available for it as well.

 

Above all, I don't need to do anything to get it working the way I want to. (well, with Windows 8, I actually have to do 2 things - StartIsBack + uninstall all the metro apps - but still.)

 

That is a very fair criticism. I respect your opinion and your choice to run Windows. It is a well known fact there there is no one-size-fits-all solution in technology, and I wish more people understood that. That is why I do not evangelize Linux to everyone I know who uses another operating system, or even try to convince other Linux users to switch to my distribution of choice. For example, Majesticmerc prefers Arch Linux while I prefer Debian. Although I have reasons why I believe that Debian is the best distribution, I am not on a mission to make everyone else see the world from my perspective.

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I always found alternatives to the above apps. And I wasn't saddened by the alternatives, either. Sure, something doesn't do EVERYTHING, but the feature that I often wanted was there.

It is pretty difficult to find a replacement for Visual Studio.

 

Just sayin.

 

If there was, I would have left Windows entirely a long time ago.

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I always found alternatives to the above apps. And I wasn't saddened by the alternatives, either. Sure, something doesn't do EVERYTHING, but the feature that I often wanted was there.

 

Same here. Sometimes the alternatives work better after you learn them, even though on the surface they lack polish. A lot of people coming over from other platforms take one look and go "eww." Don't judge a book by it's cover.

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Although I think that users all-too-often malign the command-line rather than seeking to take full advantage of it, I am far from the only one who sees a good POSIX shell and the traditional UNIX utilities as a huge asset. In fact, Michael Dominick listed it as chief among his reasons for preferring Ubuntu over other operating systems in this week's Coder Radio. As fellow Neowin Linux users, I hope you will agree.

Well as I mentioned earlier I'm not a fan of the various *Nix desktop environments, none of them really "do it" for me like Windows does never mind other issues, etc.. but 101% agree about the command line.  It's a crazy powerful tool at your disposal, and one of the reasons I prefer *Nix servers.  I do occasionally like working with MMC's various snap-ins and such for Windows, but you just can't beat how flexible a good console is, especially when the OS is built around it to begin with versus the other way around.   Now I do have similar tools in Windows, for example I do have Windows versions of the Gnu tools (sans compilers, I use VS or whatever other third party compiler for that, nor do I use Cygwin), PowerShell is actually very good, etc... but for a console environment you can't beat *Nix.. very much enjoy using Windows as a "front end" for a Linux server.  Also doesn't help when some of the various Windows command-line tools don't play nicely with an SSH session as some tend to use direct screen writes versus ANSI commands (IE, not at all), etc.

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