My 3 year journey with GNU Linux

Linux has been around for 25 years! Last week the world celebrated the 25th anniversary since Linus Torvalds wrote the Minix kernel.
I've been using Gun/Linux based operating system as my main OS for three years now, and it's been very rewarding! In this post I’ll talk about a journey with GNU/Linux and how it turned into what I use on daily basis and feels right to me rather than the new interesting idea I saw in a tech magazine!


My beginnings with Linux

Although I learned about Gnu/Linux over ten years ago (thanks to the wonderful LTT magazine) I didn't fully convert to open source until I graduated from college. We depended on Microsoft based products for school such as SQL server and Visual studio, which were essential softwares for a computer science major and I couldn't risk converting to Linux and messing up my school work so it had to wait, I was itching to get rid of Microsoft Windows and start fresh with an all open source system.

Even then I relied on open source software to do my daily tasks such as Gimp and Apache Open office (LibreOffice came into play in 2011) and the only proprietary software was Windows itself. Once I graduated it was time to kiss Windows good bye.


My Windows setup

My computer had Windows 7 installed on it and I have to admit. It was running like a charm!
I had everything I wanted and had the system fine tuned and optimized to my liking. I downloaded tools and learned how to harness their power to the max, I even blogged about it here on this blog at the time.
But I was willing to give all that up for the sake of open source! Apparently I don’t have a problem of fixing what doesn’t need to be fixed.
Research.
Before converting to Linux I did a lot of research and took my time looking for the best alternatives for tools I used daily, luckily many tools are cross platform and open source so these were a given like VLC and Firefox.
I also took my time testing it as a live version and I even installed it under Windows as a software (older versions of ubuntu supported that).
I didn't do much distro hopping, I liked Ubuntu from the start and still use it until now.
Distro hopping is one of the major criticism points GNU/Linux receives as people say there are too much distros out there for a person to try and it can be confusing and counter productive.
I have a theory about that!

Distro hopping

Linux is all about freedom and you can try what ever you like, it would be a good idea if you used a virtual machine to test so you don't ruin your HDD with the excessive installation and removal of systems.

Preparing to convert

After I listed my software and got the alternatives (executor wasn't ported to Linux) I decided to install Zorin, built on Ubuntu and came fully featured with everything new comers to Ubuntu needed. 

Zorin-Os-7
The Linux gateway for Windows users.


From flash support and restricted extras all the way down to Wine and Playonlinux to make sure your tools from Windows didn't go to waste.
It looked and behaved like Windows 7 and I didn't like that very much. Trying to change it messed it all up and nothing worked, not even installing it fresh?! I was a beginner and didn’t know what to do so I decided to move on to something new.

Installing Ubuntu

So I installed Ubuntu 13.04. It was really good and got even better when I added xfce interface, while googling for it I learned that latest version of Ubuntu won’t be released for another 2 months, and was going to be an LTS (long support version). 




At the time I had a separate laptop for work and I didn’t think that was really productive!

My first LTS and dual booting

As soon as Ubuntu 14.04 was out I got it and installed it clean, I chose the Xubuntu version because I enjoyed the XFE interface.
It was the best time ever getting to know the new distro and customizing it to my liking.
I had to install Windows for work. And since I gave away the work laptop I decided to dual boot Windows 8.1 and Xubuntu on my computer.
I used Windows to work and it was a good solid experience with the metro interface, but I didn’t feel home until I restarted and went to Xubuntu, I sighed in relief as I saw the loading screen knowing that I enjoyed working on this system and I wrote a list of reasons why.

My interface revolution

After a while I felt I needed a change, so I began testing  with different interfaces until I  decided to go with the Gnome interface, but my “home brew” distro was buggy. I was delightfully surprised to know that there is a project where Gnome was used as the interface for Ubuntu (Ubuntu Gnome) and I downloaded it and installed it right away after a successful trail on a virtual machine. It was the end of the dual boot period for me.

Settling down with Ubuntu Gnome

I got Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 as soon as it got out and I couldn't be happier! I did a review about it here on this blog which proved to be a total success! Hundreds of readers tune in every month to read this tutorial which I keep to update as often as I find new things (I use the same principle all over my blog).

Windows is residing now on the virtual machine, I use it every once in a while.

The 1% percent dogma and the “Personal computer failure”

Many people claim that GNU/Linux failed on the personal computer with user share just above 1%. While it remains to be a success in the server and super computer department.
Just for your information, GNU/Linux’s user share has exceeded the 2% barrier in July.


And to be honest I never really cared for those people’s opinions anyway, I have a system that is well supported, totally free and I get the job done just as good as I did on Windows based systems (and maybe even better) so why all the fuss?

I love Linux, and so does Microsoft!

I could sing the praises of Gnu/Linux and open source on and on and totally miss the point, I enjoy using and contributing to open source, and I don’t have a problem with Microsoft based software, I think it’s really good!

Microsot loves linux
This image is still strange to me!






Gnu/Linux has came a long way from it’s humble beginnings and it’s a force to be reckoned with in the computer world today, even Microsoft has showed it’s love and support and there is a lot of cooperation between Canonical and Microsoft (it doesn’t necessarily make me happy, but times change).

Final words

A long journey of exploring indeed.  I didn't do it by the book and I took my time experimenting with things and making my mistakes along the way. But I've settled into my system and it feels great!  I wouldn't have it any other way! Much like life itself.

How did you like this post? Are you using open source or thinking of converting to it anytime soon?
Drop a line below and let’s see what we can do ;)


P.S: I have reached 110000 views on my blog :)

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