Let’s talk about Linux

Hi me Addison and I use Linux.

WHY

Well numerous reasons really:

  • Performance
  • Looks nice
  • uhh
  • (Look I don’t have great reasons)

But the thing is in the current situation of Linux it isn’t like I’m losing much. Compatability is basically perfect* and usability? well it’s a new experience but if you get used to it then it’s as good as windows. I won’t lie it does help that my profession (Developer) does align quite well with Linux in many cases it’s actually a bit better with Linux. Plus I cannot understate the performance increase like it’s insane.

Look there is countless reasons to use Linux I’m not going to get into all of them but this isn’t to argue for Linux just How.

Where to start

Okay stop thinking Linux is one thing it isn’t. This is both a good thing and a bad one, it makes downloading it somewhat difficult. NO FEAR I’m here. Let’s start with the most well known stuff: Distros. So basically “Linux” mm not really a thing. It’s a lot of things combined to make a usable operating system. GNU, Systemd yaddy yadda. The best way to really think about it (in my opinion at least) is by thinking of linux as a big family.

This article isn’t going to talk about linux on servers unless it is neccersary.

Lineage

For the sake of simpicity I am going to split Linux into 3 seperate and distinct families:

  • Debian
  • Fedora / Red Hat
  • Arch

I am aware that there are others but practically speaking they all either take inspiration from one of these or it isn’t often used (don’t bully me please). So TLDR of this all is that each of these generally have different vibes:

  • Debian.
    • Debian is very stable, like they never update. I would not use it.
    • Ubuntu is disliked for reasons that ill talk about later.
    • Many distros base themselves off one of these two but really it’s not the best choice just a popular one.
    • The standout for this is pop!_os. A great distro that is currently being updated so (yeah ill skip you the hastle I wouldn’t use it until “Cosmic” releases)
  • Fedora / Red Hat. You got me this isn’t really a family just a loosely put together inspiration list. Fedora is fantastic. Think both forward and back in time when I spoke about “compatability”. Because Red Hat is used on servers (and Fedora is great) nearly everyone packages (ill talk about it) their app for Fedora (also debian). DNF + APT (ILL TALK ABOUT IT) are the largest package managers in the system.
    • Fedora + OpenSUSE are the two biggest standouts in this space. Their stability and the way they push the ecosystem to go further than before is fantastic and I will always strongly reccomend one of these two (or based on these two Nobora is my no.1 for gaming).
  • Arch.

AGHH WHY IS THIS SO COMPLEX

Yeah mood. The biggest stopping point and difficulty with Linux is the difficulty of choosing. So let me make it a tad more complex 😀 You have to recall what I said: “It’s a lot of things combined to make a usable operating system” This is meant seriously:

  • Desktop Enviroment So this is literally what you see. You are pretty much choosing from 4: Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon or XFCE. The best way to figure out which one is for you is to look at pictures. Typically Gnome or KDE is the one you will choose:

    • Gnome is the stylish MacOS + Modern Windows + Android ? looking system and it is the best choice for laptops (I doubt anyone will disagree) becuase it’s use of touch pad gestures. Gnome is used by Fedora, Ubuntu, and well many many companies.
    • KDE is the customizable mess that many hate but some love because it is “just right”. Personally I’m a hater but I can see the potential (But seriously look at pictures of it).
    • Cinnamon is typically just used by Linux Mint but it is fantastic and very well made. Perfect for a Windows user.
    • XFCE is the lightweight DE (Desktop Enviroment) that you can use in many places.
  • Package Manager hhhh so right lets think about this. Linux one of the largest OS-s by choice would it have a simple nice way to release an application to? HA! funni:

    • DEB / APT
    • RPM / DNF
    • PKGBUILD / PACMAN
    • Appimage
    • Snap
    • Flatpack The simple way to say all of this is: .deb files and .rpm should be used for debian and fedora respectively for applications that don’t use a gui. If your app is using a GUI use a flatpack instead. PKGBUILD can be used instead of either and is generally useful for Arch. Appimage and Snap generally provide the same situation as flatpack but is worse.

    The reason why this matters for your distro is some distros prefer one over another ie Fedora is very pro flatpack and ubuntu is very pro snap + appimage.

I am going to speed up the last ones:

  • Display Server Wayland VS X11: X11 is older, more stable and liked by nvidia but Wayland is newer and simply better.
  • Other stuff (like audio, security etc) This is the type of stuff that gets forgotten about and for good reason it is boring. #

Cool

Is it over yet?

Linux is fantastic, it’s opened me up to the developing world in many ways and in my opinion very usable for the masses (less so for gaming but the steam deck is going hard).