Linux is not currently the most used desktop operating system in the world, despite being the number one choice in smartphones, servers and even super computers, but as time goes by more and more developers and programmers are switching to Linux or at least considering it as their next stop.
Well lots of people have so many questions like Is Linux really a better desktop OS than Windows or Mac? Can you rely on WSL and continue using Windows? These are the kind of questions that most users ask when they hear about Linux as a replacement and in this tech debate we are going to answer them as best as we can. What is all the FOSS about? To answer that we should review some of the biggest advantages of Linux for developers, makers and programmers. Where UNIX and Linux system shine is the philosophy of the system itself, having small simple tools that can be easily composed together, having easy to use package managers that contain every tool you as a developer could possibly need, having the possibility to tweak something easily, should really need it. Better control. Linux allows you to do upgrades when you want to and in most cases without requiring that annoying reboot.
Windows 100$ Subscription = Linux whole hardware(RPI) with freely Available OS. (Do Math)
Windows 10 will forcibly upgrade itself even when you don’t want or need it to. Imagine being in the middle of a presentation, how embarrassing it would be to tell your audience that you have to wait for Windows to finish doing its thing. Having to reboot windows with OS updates or just because it wasn’t working properly, contrast that with Linux which can run updates that don’t usually require reboot and can run, well, sometimes for months and years without needing a reboot. Windows basically wants to hide you from how your computer operates. This makes things nicer for the non-experienced users, but makes things difficult for more expert ones. More sophisticated file systems. As a developer you work with lots of small files that get read, written, temporarily written and deleted. Unlike the ntfs file system that is being used by windows which doesn’t like writing the smile files too often, UNIX and Linux file systems such as EXT4 are good for that. Linux file systems support journaling, journal check summing delayed or pre-allocation, improved timestamps and permissions, online defragmentation, snapshotting and lots of other features. Cost. Windows is expensive and cost starts from $100 Linux is free and everyone can download and use it.
Mac is Money Digger For Linux Users & Developers.
Mac is costlier than Windows and the user is forced to buy a Mac system built by Apple. The much bigger cost for all these environments will be your ongoing maintenance expenses, as well as the amounts you need to pay for third-party software licenses. Open source and free software. Open source license criteria focus on the availability of the source code and the ability to modify and share it, while free software and public domain focus on the user’s freedom to use the program, to modify it and to share it.
Linux Always Supports Budget Things & Cheap Hardware(RPI).
Linux ecosystems offers lots of free and open source software to rival paid programs on the other operating systems, especially when it comes to internet, media or computing use. Raspberry Pi and other single board computers. Today there are many different SBCs available on the market and many of them have one thing in common: they all use Linux as the operating system. Linux offers high performance with low price and low power. It is typically the most desired OS for embedded computers. Lightweight Debian-based distros are highly optimized for minimal CPU and ram usage, ensuring your SBC always runs at its maximum potential. Maker turns to Linux to add another useful tool to their kit that will help them build their projects more easily. Linux can be used in a headless manner for SBCs that don’t offer any video output. You can use the command line interface over a ssh connection to control the board and run different programs.
Command Line is Love. Command Line is Freedom.
The command line freedom. Developers are not usually afraid of the command line, and they actually embrace it. They are curious users. You can make a SSH connection to a remote server without any extra installs right from the terminal. It is tabbed and colored. You can split the shell into several views and even run tasks in the background using “screen”. It has tools for searching, downloading, editing and all the other basic needs. We can also use git very easily and right from the terminal. A production reading environment for web developers. Most web servers like Apache, nginx and Litespeed run on Linux, so the difference between development and production is less pronounced if you use Linux. Windows uses backward slashes for directories while the rest of the computer world uses forward slashes for that and we still don’t know why!
Availability and Supports for DevTools.
Today devtools are first built for Linux and very often on Linux and then are ported to other OSes. If you are familiar with Docker you know that it was a Linux only effort and has been locked at for several years. Linux has better support for devtools and from day zero. Docker and containerization are getting stronger and more popular. With Docker images going stronger and stronger, this popular solution is now finding its way everywhere. It is fast, flexible and controllable.
Docker and Containerization is The Strongest Thing of Linux.
Docker is an important tool when you are creating the groundwork for any modern application. It enables easy deployment to the clouds, after all, dev environments today are installed as containers and they work the same on different operating systems and runtime environments. They’re self-contained, no files going around, no PATH setup, so things are changing and the playing field is becoming even for different OSes. Docker shines compared to virtual machines when it comes to performance, because containers share the host kernel and do not emulate a full operating system, however, Docker does impose performance costs. Processes running within a container will not be quite as fast as those that run a native OS.
No “Telemetry”, right? It’s all about your Privacy.
Well, almost! Software, whether open source or not sometimes include functionality to collect telemetry data, which is a term to denote data about how the software is used or performing. Microsoft collects machine and user behaviors to different degrees of details, but it seems there is no way to completely switch it off at the system level. A lot of system admins try to block Microsoft telemetry servers in the firewall. Any Linux foundation project is required to obtain permission from the Linux foundation before using a mechanism to collect telemetry data from an open source project. In reviewing a proposal to collect geometry data, the Linux foundation will review a number of factors and considerations. Most of the Linux distros will let you disable the telemetry very easily and with their open source nature, it is very easy to investigate the type of the data that they collect and where they send to. Faster builds.
Faster Work With Coding & Compiling.
In Linux sometimes even a simple C++ compiling is faster than windows on the same machine. There are various benchmark and test videos that you can find on YouTube. Most of the user benchmarks show that software building and compiling takes less time in Linux and the file system, kernel robustness and better dependencies play an important role in the final outcome.
Operating System Security & Stability.
OS degradation by time. Windows relies on a central “Windows Registry” for storing a lot of configuration settings, not just off the OS, but most of the apps that you install. Every time you install something, the larger the Registry gets and eventually the Registry will cause the OS to slow down. Sometimes defragging the registry helps, but there are times that you are forced to reinstall the OS. Some apps are poorly written, and they leave orphaned Registry data, clogging up the space even after uninstalling them and worse, when the registry becomes corrupted, you’re kind of screwed! Contrast that with Linux, where configurations for individual apps are stored in hidden directories and files. If one gets corrupted, the rest are safe, and you are not having to load all the settings for all the things, just the ones that you need. Lack of consistency for tracking and making software updates. Virtually every program that you install on Windows has its own way of checking updates, if they do so at all. Many of them will check for updates during the program startup. Some install separate update apps to check for updates periodically. Think about the resource usage when you have a few of these running in the background. Some apps don’t check for update at all and you have to manually look for updates and apply them individually. Contrast that with Linux which uses repositories that are regularly checked, and you can run all your updates at the same time with minimal interaction.
Haters gonna hate.
Although some developers love Linux, some are Windows haters and believe that with Windows: System resources are wasted on a bloated OS. There are many annoying interruptions to your work, because windows knows better than you what you should be paying attention to. Loss of productivity, because Windows knows better than you when it’s a good time to install updates, reboot or just crash and lose your work. More security risks and more system resources wasted mitigating them. More spying on you. More suspicious, malicious and garbage software to avoid, contain or mitigate. Some of it even comes pre-installed. More expenses for commercial software, if you want to avoid trash software. More time wasted installing and updating most kind of software because app stores and/or trusted software repositories are for geeks. There is a Windows app store now, but it only covers a small amount of apps. More time wasted on system maintenance, updating drivers and reinstalling Windows.
Linux Gives Power to The Windows as a WSL
Windows has a very long and nasty track record of poor security. Windows subsystem for Linux. A fair amount of people believe that WSL is the answer to some of the shortcomings of windows, although it’s a cool addition to Windows, it doesn’t fundamentally change the answer, because it still isn’t what Windows has to offer. It is still Linux offering it, you’re just using it via Windows. If you need windows for other reasons, yes, it’s a reasonable, yet limited alternative. Although you can use Windows inside a virtual machine. So, what is the conclusion. After all these years, there are a lot of free and open source alternatives that you can use for day-to-day usage and it gives the developers the confidence that they can switch to Linux without worrying about the apps that they need. The UI of Linux desktop distros have evolved drastically over the past few years and now they offer a modern and sleek GUI, although there are some lighter desktops that are more suitable for older machines.
Choice of Programmers.
A lot of programmers choose Linux because it is fast, secure, modern, the community is getting bigger and bigger and they have access to the apps that they need very easily and in most cases for free. They can work in an environment that is close to their production platform. They can develop apps on a reliable and consistent environment with distros that offer long-term support releases with three to five years of active development and support. One of the greatest things about no longer using Windows is when friends and family ask geeks to help troubleshoot their Windows computers, they can honestly tell them that they have no idea how the latest version of Windows work and they’re not able to help. So, if you have lots of friends and family who constantly run into complicated and frustrating windows problems, you too can also consider switching to Linux.
Your opinion does matters for itsfoss.net
Well, that’s it for now, let us know your opinion in the comments. What do you think about Linux as a daily driver for your development work. Are you using Linux and if so, which flavor of it are you using? Be sure to Bookmark itsfoss.net for more tech debates, reviews and tutorials like this one.