Why Linux

Posted by Sean Francis N. Ballais on December 22, 2015 10:00 PM

Today, I came across this forum post over at Daniweb.

Why Linux?.

As seen from the photo, it’s just basically asking the question, “Why Linux?”. This piqued my interest in answering the question for I have been a Linux user since 2012, specifically through Ubuntu.

I would have answered immediately the forum post but I decided to turn my answer into this blog post. I believe I would be able to answer it better through this post.

Let’s start. But first, a little bit of history.

A Little Bit of History

I first used Linux way back around 2008 because of sheer curiosity. Our old desktop computer has Ubuntu installed together with Windows. The interface was still full of orange colors. All I did with Ubuntu at that time was play the pre-installed games and nothing more.

A few years later, I began my first foray into installing Ubuntu into our old desktop computer. That’s when I began my transition into a Linux user.

Since that time, I’ve slowly learned the ins and outs of Linux, its beauty and frustrations, and many more. And starting from mid-July 2014, I only have Linux installed in my laptop. No dual-boot. No Windows. You could say that I’m a Linux fan.

Okay, so why Linux?

Oh simple answer. Linux gives me all the tools and power I need to develop software.

Even though I have spent a large chunk of my early programming days in Windows (I’m still ashamed of the ugly web browser I made during my first programming days in Windows using Visual Basic way back in 2011 called Blue Bird. It still disgusts me up to this day.). I began learning programming in Linux. The operating system I used to start learning programming was in Linux through BASIC-256. Ahh, good times.

Basic 256

Even though the transition from Windows to Linux was a bit rough, it became easier once I learned how to use GCC. Code::Blocks helped my transition a lot.

Developing code is easier for me in Linux than in Windows. I have been used to using the Linux terminal that going back to the Windows command prompt makes me feel that the latter is lacking. Also, I find the look of the terminal in Linux (well, at least in Ubuntu) more appealing compared to the Windows command prompt. And oh oh! The package manager in Ubuntu (apt-get) is awesome! It can update most of my software in one single sudo apt-get upgrade. And through Linux, I discovered the power of terminal commands over the GUI method. Most of the time in my workflow, typing is way faster than pointing and clicking.

Using Git with the Terminal

To generalize, my development workflow has been adapted much to Linux that I can’t imagine myself developing in a Windows environment.

The other reason why I chose Linux as my primary operating system is its resistance to most viruses. Viruses are the bane of my existence when I was still in the Windows world. Every time I plug in an infected USB drive, I had to be careful not to double-click that suspicious shortcut and doing attrib -h -r /s /s /d in the Command Prompt before I am able to access the files inside the drive. With Linux, it’s a different story. I could just plug any USB drive into my laptop and never worry of any viruses that may be plaguing the drive. And if ever I find out that the drive is infected, disinfecting it is as easy as selecting the files of the virus and pressing the delete key.

Linux will protect you from viruses

The last reason I’ll write in this post is Linux’s speed and stability. Back in the Windows world, my computer would randomly crash for no reason. After weeks of usage, the computer would gradually slow down. Now in Linux. Randomly freezes? Oh, I was just opening up too many processes that my hardware was not designed to handle. Or, in the case in my laptop, the compilation process might be choking my system. Yeah, my system still needs to be upgraded. Use Linux for a few hours and your computer will rarely freeze (do take note that this is system-dependent and depending on what you are doing). Use Linux for a long time and its speed won’t degrade as much as Windows would.


Those are the three of the reasons why I chose Linux. I may have more reasons but I won’t be adding them in this post. Feel free to contact me for the other reasons instead.

Despite Linux’s stereotype of being a server-only OS, Linux is already fit enough for a desktop operating system. It has everything an average user might need in an operating system. Heck, even the average user is using Linux through Android. Despite the downsides of using Linux (Adobe is still not making Linux ports of their suite), I find it suitable enough for my needs. It gives me the tools I need for developing software, having fun, and going through with my life. And that answers the question, “Why Linux?”.

Are you a Linux user? Why Linux? Are you a Windows user wanting to try out Linux? Or do you have an opinion to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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