November 20, 2016

November 25, 2019

2016: The year of the Linux desktop

// Edit 2016-11-20: 2017: The year of the Linux desktop

Just kidding ;-(

The correct title should be: "Bye bye Linux, welcome Windows". I got tired of waiting.

I have been using Linux since 2001. My first distribution was Red Hat 7.2. For 14 years I have used a lot of distributions, Red Hat, Mandrake/Mandriva, Debian, Gentoo, Arch Linux, Aurox, Fedora, Ubuntu. I used KDE, Gnome, Unity, XFCE, Fluxbox, etc. At the beginning I had installed both systems, Windows and Linux. Windows - mostly for games. Somewhere around 2004 I decided to switch totally to Linux.

I'm a programmer and Linux was always the best choice for me. I didn't see any possibility to use Windows for programming. I tried it many times but it wasn't for me.

For 14 years I have been waiting for better days for Linux. I have always wanted the newest applications, better hardware support. From time to time I helped to install Windows for other people and since Windows 7 it was always something like "wow, I would like Linux to work like that as well".

Six months ago I bought Asus Zenbook UX303LN, 13.3', i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, Intel HD5500, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, SSD. Great ultrabook. I installed Linux. Touchpad didn't work correctly, not all keyboard shortcuts worked correctly, I had some issues with WiFi (frequents disconnects), battery life was not as good as I expected. I spent a lot of time trying to fix all those issues, more or less succeeded. What about NVIDIA Optimus support? It's not my first laptop with Optimus, still no good support, it works but not as good as on Windows and still requires restart to switch graphic cards.

One week ago I did disk format. I wanted something new than Ubuntu. I installed Debian - too old packages, Fedora - works good but I spent 3 hours to configure NVIDIA Optimus and it didn't work, Kubuntu - Plasma 5.5 looks great but it crashed 3 times in 30 minutes so no, thanks.

I decided to try Windows 10. And.. WOW! Everything works, drivers were installed automatically. I don't need to change screen resolution (FHD on 13.3 is too small for me when I need to work 8 hours) because I can scale everything and it works very good. NVIDIA Optimus works correctly, battery life is very good. I don't know why but Windows works faster than Linux, really. Sound is better, display quality is better. Everything works out of the box and works great!

Software? A lot of new features! I can install Skype, Spotify, Slack, Gitter, Steam, Origin, GOG and a lot of other applications. Yes, of course, many of them is available also on Linux but are not supported as good as for Windows. I feel like I went back in time about 10 years. Everyhing is so simple and intuitive.

What about programming? I decided to try Windows because I managed to run all my projects using Docker. I had some issues because Docker worked differently on Windows but I found out how to fix that. I needed 4 hours to setup all my projects on Windows. Github for Windows, Docker, Kitematic, Pycharm are very comfortable, work better and work with Docker out of the box (it didn't work on Linux for me), Babun as bash console. I have everything what I need to work and it works very good. Checkmate.

Ok, but.. It's Windows. I'm a Linux fan, it's hard to switch to Windows after 14 years, isn't it?

No. One week with Windows 10 and I don't want to back to Linux anymore. Don't get me wrong. I love Linux, really, I respect and appreciate people who are working on it. I still have hope that someday it will be supported as good as Windows or OSX and I even can pay for Linux and for that support but I have no strenght to wait anymore. I don't have time for searching how to improve my Linux system, everything should work out of the box. I have work to do. I want to spend more time on programming than trying to install graphic drivers. Long time ago I was able to wait all night to compile KDE on Gentoo Linux using Celeron 600Mhz and 64MB of RAM but today it's not fun for me. I don't have time for that.

People ask me why not Apple and MacBook? I don't know. Never have I used OSX but my laptop with Windows is enough for me. Maybe OSX is a good system but I don't understand why I need to pay two times more to have similar hardware and MacBook doesn't have matte display. Maybe I will try someday.

To clarify. Linux is still the best and the one choice for servers and without Docker it wouldn't be possible for me to work on Linux. I can't wait for and ! ;-)

© 2020 Przemysław Kołodziejczyk