My Journey with Linux – Year One
My Experiences With Linux During The First Year of Using It
21st February 2011, that was the day when the first time, I was successfully able to replace Windows and install Linux in my newly bought PC. Though I had bought my PC a month ago, on 30th January, I had to wait almost 20 days to get the internet connection working and download a CD image (.iso) of Fedora 14. I choose Fedora, though many preferred Ubuntu because I didn’t like what the majority like. The truth is, I don’t like Ubuntu now also, because first of all I hate its nasty 6 month releases and also the apt-get (.deb) package manager, reason I don’t know why.With Fedora came a breath of fresh air, and it just took me a week to dump the crappy Windows XP and replace it as my primary operating system. Though I got some hurdles in the road like installing the mp3 and media codecs (remember, they are not present in official repos), after all, it helped me learn more and more, and understanding the Linux system. Today, if someone ask me what distro to follow to learn Linux, I always advice him Fedora.
|presto magic in Fedora|
I am on a cheap wireless connection, and if you are lucky, speeds hardly cross 25 kBps. The Fedora system has an amazing system of delta RPMs, and with yum plugin presto enabled, you can significantly reduce size of updates. May be thats why the reason I hated apt-get from first, and Ubuntu also. This seemed as an magic to me, and also helped me love Fedora more and curse my connection and fate less.
Those were the good old days of Gnome 2.x. I remember that I managed to make the windows and panels transparent to show off the guys who said that with Linux you cant have eye candy. The result was something like the one shown below. Amazing, isn’t it?
|Eye candy Linux desktop|
But the most thing that impressed me me about eye-candy in Linux is the Compiz with wobbly windows and rotating desktops. Though I failed to install it in the first chance, I finally managed it. One of my friends who was amazed my it, finally decided to switch to Linux. It feels nice when others choose freedom like you. 🙂
|Security in Linux|
One of the Linux things that always impressed me is the sense of security it offers. Imagine a life with no viruses or malware, where your data is yours and no one else has the right to access it. My friends debate on which antivirus they use, and no one comes to a definite conclusion. Even though, they spend around a thousand bucks per year on these security products, I can guarantee that all of them are not 100% full proof. While they worry, I humbly use Linux without a single sense of worry in my mind. This screenshot justifies my statement.
The thing I loved about Fedora, and Linux in general was that the ability to tweak it to your own liking. I learned how to change my boot background image to make it look good and also I didn’t like the GDM login screen, so I switched to KDM.
Come November 2011, and I had the brand new Gnome 3 desktop running with Fedora 15. I *really* was amazed by it, as mentioned in this blog post. No desktop icons, no menus but a interface that is somewhat comparable to your Phone’s UI and netbooks. It made my work even faster and distraction free. The empathy integration, which had a bug solved recently made me chat more and more with my Facebook buddies. Who said Linux cant be fun?
Good looks, tweaking and excellent support in forums. Fedora had everything. I loved it, to the extent of joining their Ambassador program. But one thing I hated about it was it 6 month releases. What it meant was that I had to format and re-install the OS. That used to be hectic task, and a day wasted to download and install the applications I need. I wanted a solution to this problem, and what I got was a thing called rolling release, in the form of Arch Linux.
To those who don’t know, rolling release is a software (or operating system) concept where you don’t need to format and re-install to update your whole system. The software vendor provides periodic releases, which you install in your box and whole system will be up to date without formatting it. Imagine running the state of art software all the time. I am an update freak, and having an unlimited internet plan means downloading and installing updates every sunday. This is all I wanted.
I am totally satisfied with my Linux journey till now. In this past one year, I am comfortable with the command line, have learned to do basic tasks such as word processing, listening music, surfing internet and things of that sort, and also advanced things such as programming, using MySQL, PHP and hosting web servers. One thing that Linux taught me is that there is not any end of learning in this world. Even you learn one thing, there are more things you don’t know as Newton rightly said “I have just picked the pebbles in the ocean of knowledge”. So I hope, my thirst of knowing Linux more and more will remain constant in this year too, and I will tweak and personalize my system more and more, till I break it.
I love the freedom that Linux offers me. There isn’t a thing called piracy, everyone shares the good software and mostly you don’t need to pay for it. You “own” your system, and can do whatever you like. You don’t need to see those long End User License Agreement pages before using any software and agree to them. Thats freedom, to do whatever you like, edit any software to your needs and no one will say that you are doing a crime.
I must say I have fallen in love with Linux (reason why I started this blog). And its a love I know that will never die. If you don’t use Linux now, don’t worry, its never too late to start. If you are not convinced as yet, have a look at this post containing all the features why I love it. Trust me, once you will fall in love with it, it will be impossible to come out of it.
To my loyal blog readers, here is a small gift. Have a look at this public Linux Magic album in Facebook to know what amazing things I have done with Linux last year. These are the lovely memories I wish to cherish forever.