GNU/Linux: It's Freedom Out of Your Comfort Zoneby@jnavedan
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GNU/Linux: It's Freedom Out of Your Comfort Zone

by Javier NavedaJune 22nd, 2022
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Linux-based systems dominate server environments, making it possible for us to enjoy the services available on the Internet. There is no need to know how the engine works under the hood. In addition to powering older computers in such a way that they come back to life, Linux is becoming more friendly to all personal computers. It is now an alternative in its own right on the PC. No doubt, just as it will also dominate mobile telephony in this sector in the near future.

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In 1989 I had my first experience with a personal computer. Well, if you can call it that.

A beautiful Casio PB 1000 with a touch screen and programmable in assembly language and a version of Basic with which I made my first programs.

In that sense, I was a geek in front of my contemporaries, who looked at me with surprise when I manipulated that technological marvel really portable.

Today, my two-year-old granddaughter operates the smartphone with an enviable fluency for many of the friends of my generation.

A couple of years later, I had the opportunity to work in a systems development department under the client-server environment on UNIX (Sun Solaris) and Oracle relational databases.

If I'm not mistaken, at the time when Linus Torvalds was developing Linux based on Minix (an adapted version of Unix for the university environment).

Also, at home, I already had an XT PC with MS-Dos 3.0 without a hard disk and two 5 1/4 floppy drives.

The graphical environment was still to be used, and those who operated the computers were weird kids in front of a black screen with amber or green alphanumeric characters. One needed to know MS-Dos commands to be able to create, copy, save and delete files and directories.

Over time, technological convergence led to the rapid development of computing to the level we know today.

I am writing these lines on an Apple laptop under macOS (A proprietary variant of UNIX) stable and incredibly optimized for the applications I use daily. Yes, far are the days when the console or terminal with commands and parameters in your nerd mind gave you total control of the computer.

Now, the graphical interface, touchpad, and mouse gestures contribute to the increased productivity of your tasks. On the other hand, the old MS-DOS evolved (if the term applies) to the widely spread Windows accompanied by the Office suite.

Of course, although both operating systems are excellent, they also have drawbacks, not to be called problems.

I don't want to go into technical situations such as vulnerabilities to computer viruses, the fatefully famous blue screens, or excessive resource consumption.

To be frank, macOS is the one I enjoyed the most. But right now, I'm starting to lean towards the latest versions of GNU/Linux for one powerful reason: the freedom of being able to use the computer without the restrictions implicit in both macOS and Windows.

Why Linux?

Source: Image by 2023583 on Pixabay

I don't know if you know that Linux-based systems dominate the server environments that make it possible for us to enjoy the services available on the Internet.

They are also installed on most of the computers of large banks and government agencies.

You may ask me, if this is so, then why don't they dominate the personal computer sector?

I suspect there are two main reasons. One is commercial, and the other is because of the collaborative philosophy of how the operating system has been developed and perfected.

Also, most people are now focused on productivity. Don't need to know how the engine works under the hood.

Perhaps, only nostalgic people like me, who went from typewriter keys to computers, dare to open the hood. Hahaha

However, I have good news for you. Although the development of GNU/Linux and applications has been slow, it now has little to envy.

As these proprietary operating systems become more closed, restricting permissions on your computer comes at a high price.

Systems based on the Linux Kernel and its entire ecosystem are becoming friendlier. In addition to empowering old computers in such a way as to revive them with decent and safe features with almost no associated costs, not to say free.

Not forgetting that they still give you the privileges to manage the computer that is supposed to be yours.

Well! I think that's what freedom is all about (in terms of using the software.)

As if that were not enough. In this paradigm, configurations of GNU/Linux supported by enthusiastic communities of developers and companies popularly known as Distros abound.

So, in addition to productivity, stability, and security, there is no room for monotony for custom workflow.

In my opinion, I believe that one has the best of both worlds at the best possible price.

Of course, I also understand that the human being is an animal of habit. If I already work with macOS or Windows, why should I experiment with GNU/Linux?

After all, one already paid for it when buying the computer.

Besides, one wants the best of the moment. Faster, beautiful, and more efficient. Without forgetting that it is more friendly to the environment.

The problem is that one falls into the spiral of consumerism.

For example, my 2010 Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E30 laptop with Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS works better than; when I bought it with Windows Vista.

I only had to change the mechanical disk for an SSD and increase the RAM. In that sense, I am still as productive as before. I would dare to say Better using the KDE desktop.

Maybe that's when there will be a really significant change in computing.

If there is one thing to highlight within the Linux ecosystem. It is the purpose of optimizing computer resources to provide the best experience.

So, I think we are entering an exciting time for personal computers.

Even the technological giants are showing signs of approaching Linux. For example, Microsoft now says it loves Linux and offers virtual machines with Linux inside Windows.

So, it's a great time to beat the habit and get a taste of GNU/Linux in any of its flavors.

Although Ubuntu was the most widespread GNU/Linux distribution over the years, you can also try some derivatives such as Linux Mint or Lubuntu (a marvel for beginners) as well as others like Manjaro (based on Arch), Zorin, Debian, and Fedora. Just to name a few.

I'm doing great with Fedora 36 Design Suite in creating content for Web3 on a 2014 Dell computer.

There are no excuses. Even for Gamers, the future is promising, and steps are being taken to close the gap with Windows.

So give yourself a chance to enjoy the freedom that GNU/Linux provides.