My 10 Linux Years in 11 Picturesby@nebojsaneshatodorovic
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My 10 Linux Years in 11 Pictures

by Nebojsa "Nesha" TodorovicAugust 9th, 2022
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That is the beauty of the largest open-source software project in the world. Everybody can contribute, use, and most importantly write about Linux. Linux has an important mission with the capital ‘M’ in the future. Honestly, I'm not sure that even Linux itself is fully aware of it.

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Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic HackerNoon profile picture

I am a freelance writer with a law degree and a corporate business background, which makes me an ideal person to write about Linux.

You have seen the title of my story, and you are like: Damn! Ten years! This guy must have reinvented the Linux wheel. Or, he is a Linux sys admin rockstar making hundreds of dollars per hour, and writing this story from his yacht.

The truth is that when the lawyers start writing about Linux, you know the end is near, and our world is doomed. But, that is the beauty of the largest open-source software project in the world. Everybody can contribute, use, and most importantly, write about Linux.

Ten years later, I am serving my Linux heart on a silver platter for you to judge in your comments.

Why do you prefer to use Linux over macOS or Windows?

Windows has always needed more space and RAM. Apple has always asked for more money. I have never had either.

You are supposed to choose your computer, not the other way around. Right? Before Linux, I was stuck between tech limitations and financial frustrations. What was once some Windows user’s trash, became another Linux user’s treasure. No machine was too old for Linux.

What about my Apple dreams? Well, one sleepless night was a price worth paying for a macOS-like theme installation. The “finishing touch" was an Apple sticker I got from a friend who bought a new iPhone. I used it to “hide" my laptop's HP logo. Yes, it's a childish thing to do, but who are you to judge me? As far as I was concerned, from a visual perspective, I was a proud owner of an Apple laptop in “disguise."

Feel free to laugh my dear reader, but I probably installed Linux on more computers than you both read and published stories on HackerNoon. It wasn't only about me. I lost track of how many family members and friends I helped save money by installing Linux on their “antique” machines. I boldly and baldly went where no Linux enthusiast dared to go, before and after. 256MB RAM.

Yeah, I did it. I was offered some money for my time and efforts. My answer was, get some extra RAM, buddy. I am good.

Which is the best Linux distro that you have used?

I am Ubuntu die hard fan. I had my Mint, Zorin, and even Lubuntu “phases," but they didn't last long. Nothing compares to the Ubuntu Community, period. “Ubuntu version this and that Wi-Fi doesn't work after installation or update." There's always someone who knows how to fix it.

Ctrl+Alt+T and the words of wisdom. To this day, I have never been left behind with a problem unsolved. There's always a fix. Nobody is laughing or rolling their eyes when someone asks what's the difference between sudo apt-get and sudo apt for the zillionth time. Kudos and respect to the busy and patient Ubuntu Community bees.

What is the best thing that you love about Linux?

I know. You are looking at a s..tty configuration. But this small HP fella had battery juice for five or six hours. No need for a big bag and charger when I wanted to write outside. Try to install Windows 10, and let me know how it goes, especially how it works.

The best things in life ain't free, but can we make them a bit cheaper?! MS Office. Nope. I still haven't seen the movie, and I still haven't tried LibreOffice 7.4.0. But all things come to the Linux guys who wait. There are always alternatives. If something doesn't exist for Linux at the moment, it will in the near future.

Quick and easy installation on any kind of configuration. Who says you can't get no satisfaction! No troubles manually looking for missing drivers. The blue screen of death, no longer my faith. Nuff said.

What is your favorite customization for your Linux Desktop?

As a deeply Apple traumatized case, I can't live without Cairo-Dock. I am a fan of fine arts and bouncing icons. Sue me.

Yeah, it's not rocket science, but it makes me happy. I am ready to spend hours playing with it until I get it “right." Then I usually lose a track of time playing with it. More than once I got carried away. It was easier to reinstall the system than deal with multiple unwanted and accidentally created docks.

What would be your word of advice for beginners in Linux?

It's better to be a Linux beginner than a Windows old-timer. You'd get that look, what's wrong with you? Why Linux when the “whole world" is using Windows? You've evolved. Your answer should be like, “there's nothing wrong with me, but there are so many things that can and will go wrong with your version of Windows.”

I still remember a dude who had a “Free Software, Free Society,” T-shirt back in my university days. I didn't quite get it then, but now I do.

So many passionate freedom fighters and preachers around and among us. Yet, very few use, let alone can install Linux. Sad but true, with or without Metallica.

What are some of the myths about Linux that you would like to bust for our readers?

Only developers, rocket scientists, and Deep Web freaks use Linux. Yawn!

So, here's my daughter. I think she was nine or ten back then. Can't remember. What I do remember was an endless series of how-to-this-and-that and this-or-that-does-not-work requests. One day, I just had enough.

So, we opened up her laptop to check there are no little people living inside and being harassed by the gremlins. Oh, it's so simple. You don't say.

Next, she got two gifts. One bootable Ubuntu USB stick, and another for the data backup. You have a problem. Back up your data. Reinstall the system. Repeat. Xbox for games. TV for Disney classics. Now, beat it.

What are some of the tools and plugins that you recommend using with Linux for a fantastic experience?

This may be a surprising, and even a shocking choice, for the Linux nation, but hear me out. If a browser choice plays a big role in your cyber life, then you shouldn't let it decide which OS you'd eventually settle for.

At first, I was not happy with Microsoft setting a foot in the Linux door with their “Frankenstein Edge." It wasn't like, if you can't beat them, plunge your browser into their system. But still, I didn't feel good about it. Yet, I had to try it myself. What's the catch?!

Tom’s Guide did an eye-opening homework by comparing Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Edge: RAM usage results:

The numbers have spoken. MS Edge actually does something good for Linux. And, I became a bit tired of Linux pushing Firefox as a default option. OK, if Chrome was too RAM demanding, you can always level down with Chromium. Now, when I think about it, Chromium should've been included in this comparison. I wonder what would the results of Edge vs. Chromium RAM usage be?

What are some disadvantages of Linux from your experience?

Nobody is perfect. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Ubuntu 19.04 or Disco Dingo, officially released on my birthday three years ago (coincidence?!), was the last 2 GB RAM-friendly version. After that, it was 4 GB RAM or drop-dead gorgeous.

Look, I don't live in a cave. 8 GB RAM is the standard for my machines at home. And, just because I live in a third-world country doesn't mean I can't have a coaxial cable gigabyte Internet at home. But c'mon guys, all those Linux 20-something versions popping up like mushrooms after rain.

Do you want to prove something?! What exactly? You can catch up with Windows. Sorry, but you're taking the wrong turn. Linux should be able to do what Windows can't, not the other way around. Again, correct me if I am wrong, but the latest Ubuntu versions have become unusually demanding.

My friend, a gaming fanatic, has the beast at home with 64 GB RAM. That's the only thing I was able to remember about his configuration for obvious reasons. I hate his guts. But, guess what? He doesn't have Linux on his out-of-this-world PC.

What excites you about the future of Linux? What are your expectations for Linux in the upcoming years?

I don't know what you're expecting, but Linux has an important mission with the capital ‘M’ in the future. Honestly, I'm not sure that even Linux itself is fully aware of it.

We can't stop talking, writing, and worrying about global warming, saving the planet, green tech, blah, blah, blah... At the same time, we are literally throwing 800 laptops every second. Why? Because we need to get the new ones, which would work properly with the new high-performance operating systems installed.

So, y'all Linux brainiacs do you recognize the default Ubuntu background for this part of my story? That's Ubuntu 12.04 or Precise Pangolin. Do you know how many old laptops this relatively decent Ubuntu version can prevent from becoming the so-called e-waste?

But we recycle. That's BS.

Only 12.5% of E-Waste is recycled.

But we have more serious environmental issues. That's even more serious BS.

E-waste comprises 70% of our overall toxic waste.

But Ubuntu 22.04 is awesome. Yeah, that's true, just stop talking about our planet being green and blue - again.

Will you still use Linux if macOS or Windows were more privacy-oriented and even a bit open-source?

I can't remember when I took this picture. What I do remember is that was the last time I allowed Windows to live for a few seconds on a new laptop, I just bought, before I ran it over with Linux.

Windows more privacy-oriented?! macOS even a bit open-source?! Are you joking? Sorry I had to ask because it isn't funny at all. I may try Chrome Flex out of pure curiosity.

I have and keep a USB stick with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, for I forgot how long. Windows 10 support end date is October 14, 2025. macOS Ventura will purge all 2013, 2014, and 2015 Macs.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is supported until 2026 through Canonical’s Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) product.

25 bucks per year for the essential (basic) plan. I can live with it. Fun fact: I am a regular Netflix, HBO MAX, and Disney+ subscriber, so I won't have to make tough and painful choices.

That's all HackerNoon folks, money talks, only Linux walks talLTS.