My Linux Story: The Big Switch: Page 2

A longtime Linux expert talks about his early days with the open source operating system.
Posted January 25, 2016

Matt Hartley

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Linux on my desktop today

These days, I run Ubuntu MATE as my primary desktop and Archas my bleeding edge distribution. Since I'm no longer in the "repair biz," I have more time to distro hop and try new things as they come out.

The one thing that still amazes me today is how far newbie friendly Linux distros have come. From Mandrake, Linspire, Xandros, Simply Mepis to Ubuntu, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS today. The shift in distributions has been a productive one in my opinion. It's clear to me that the most popular distributions of Linux will always be the easiest to use with the most stable user experience.

For advanced users, I've been fascinated by the rise of Arch over other distributions. Thanks to pacman, the AUR and a do it yourself approach, I believe Arch will remain the king of non-newbie distros. And rightfully so, because their documentation is second to none.

As I look back, I found that my switch to Linux was a fairly straight forward one. It was a path that started in seeing how Linux could be a tremendous tool for file recovery and then grew into a lifestyle from there. Today, I feel completely out of my element running Windows and OS X. Don't get me wrong, I have access to these operating systems, but I honestly don't have a need to bother with them anymore. They simply don't appeal to me and frankly, I usually end up feeling a bit put off by the experience.

An interesting note that Linux newcomers reading this might find compelling is this: Linux has become as familiar to me as Windows once did. The way a computer behaves, reacts to my input or new peripherals...all of these considerations are very Linux-centric for me now.

Clearly, switching to new operating system is an act of personal dedication. Back then, I balked at the idea of using a command line to accomplish tasks. I simply found the idea to be archaic and dated. Today, I spend at least half of my day in an SSH session or adjusting something in a text file from a command line editor.

This doesn't mean that I'm looking to take up a career in Linux-specific IT though. Rather, it's merely a measurable indicator of how I use a computer has evolved over the years.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Tags: open source, Linux, Linux desktop

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