You might not realize this looking at my blog posts, but I was actually actively using Linux (Debian) over 10 years ago. Back in the day Vista made me move to Linux after dual booting it together with XP for a few years (Vista was simply terrible, don’t even try to deny this). I went back to Windows when I started studying to become a developer in 2012. First because I had to, I needed to be able to create Windows Phone apps, later on 8.1.1 because I liked it, and in the end on 10 because I loved it.
Why the love?
Contrary to popular believe, Windows can be a great development environment by using amazing tools such as ConEmu, PowerShell and Visual Studio. And thanks to the WSL, you can now use tools just as you would on Linux, removing even more restrictions. Windows 10 finally enabled virtual desktops, and it got a lot more responsive compared to previous editions. All in all, this was a nice experience.
So, what happened?
It was only when I wanted to start using Docker, that my personal machine hit a “dead” end. There I was, trying to get Docker to work on Windows 10 Home, when suddenly I realized I needed a Pro version to enable Hyper-V and get Docker up and running. I had the choice to either spend 150 euro on Pro, or dual boot Linux once again and have some fun with Docker. The initial plan was to simply play with Docker, see if I liked it enough to use it and if so, purchase Windows 10 Pro and continue living my life as the weird CLI Windows guy.
As an unexpected turn of events, I really enjoyed my time on Linux. I started out by dual booting Ubuntu 17.04 next to Windows 10. I needed something fast, and Ubuntu’s easy installation procedure was all I needed to get things going. But, I quickly noticed a few things. First, the network connectivity is A LOT more reliable on Linux when it comes to connecting to WIFI networks for example. You can’t imagine (or maybe you can) how often I cursed at not being able to connect to a network on Windows 10 when my iPhone had no issues at all. Secondly, it’s FAST. Windows 10 took a step in the right direction, but boy, it still has a long road ahead to get to where Linux is right now.
Running Windows 10, I always stripped it naked before using it. That means doing a fresh install, removing all the crap I didn’t want or need simply to make room or remove unnecessary CPU load. On Linux, I could work the other way around. Simply install what I need and be done with it. Nice. I’m in control.
And another benefit, everything works. Do you know how hard it can be to configure a printer on Windows? Well, it’s silly how easy this is on Linux. Seriously, I had no idea knowing that my last experience dated 5 years back.
Right now I ditched Ubuntu and run Arch with Gnome as my DE. I like the idea behind Arch and how well documented everything is. Windows 10 is completely gone from my machine, I moved to Linux full time. These past months, I learned so much that I only feel like I’ve gained something valuable. Can’t wait to see where this adventure will take me.
You might wonder if I’m now in that “I’m running Linux, fuck Microsoft” vibe. The answer is no. Knowing myself I can’t tell if I’m going to be on Linux forever, probably not. Microsoft still has time to fix the annoyances on Windows 10, it’s just silly that their upgrade plan turned against them as soon as I realized I don’t need them. I can suggest anyone to do the same. Stop staring blindly at your tooling/vendor and look at the world out there. Switch when you feel like it and trust me, you’ll learn a lot. You can’t see the world when you’re on an island.