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Why More Developers Should Use Linuxby@amritsingh
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Why More Developers Should Use Linux

by Amrit SinghFebruary 18th, 2022
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In this article, we will focus on why Linux is the best platform for developers to develop new tools and software. Linux consumes fewer resources as compared to Windows, and is highly reliable and secure. Linux is free, open-source operating system and its everywhere. Most of the devices we use in our daily life have Linux or a modified version of Linux running. This includes Android phones, tablets, cameras, video recorders, wearables, Chromebooks and more. Your car might have Linux running too.

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Why I have not used any other OS for over a decade

My first interaction with Computers was in school. These machines were running a version of DOS. I had no interest in the subject, so I did not pay attention to it. Ironically, years later I landed up pursuing Engineering in Computer science.


Windows 98 was the primary OS I used in the first couple of years of my graduate program. Like most of my friends and batchmates, I became a fan of Windows XP. The beautiful interface of XP was ahead of its time.


In the 3rd year of Engineering, I installed Linux on my machine for the first time. It was Redhat 5, the interface was very basic, not at all comparable to Windows XP. But to install Linux I had to learn a bunch of new tools like fdisk, grub, etc. It was a great experience but I was reluctant to use it.


Slowly in a few months, I started liking Linux, but I used to switch between the OSs quite frequently. In my first job, I had to code on HP-UX and Solaris. This is when I switched to Linux forever (almost).


In today’s era of technology where new software and tools emerge every day, there is one software that is everywhere and that is Linux. In this article, we will focus on why Linux is the best platform for developers to develop new tools and software.

Powerful yet resource-friendly

Linux consumes fewer resources as compared to Windows. You can literally run Linux with a much inferior processor and half the RAM as compared to Windows.

At the same time, Linux is highly reliable and secure. As Linux is developed and maintained by a large developer community, a large number of developers review it. This stops most of the security flaws from slipping through.

Linux is free, open-source, and its everywhere

Linux is a free, open-source operating system. It is distributed under GPL license. As long as you comply with the license, you can run, study, modify and redistribute the source code. You can sell copies of your version as well.


Most of the devices we use in our daily life have Linux or a modified version of Linux running. This includes Android phones, tablets, cameras, video recorders, wearables, Chromebooks, and more. Your car might have Linux running too. Most of the online services, and social media platforms you use run servers on the most reliable OS, Linux.

Powerful Linux Command Line

A question can cross your mind, why use the command line if there is a UI. Yes, Linux graphical environments are a long way from the first time I used them many years ago. They are almost as good as Windows UI. Linux still maintains the purity of the terminal as it is loved by the developers and is one of the core components.


Command-line has many utilities. It helps you develop fast, and automate repetitive tasks. I love it for the reason that I don’t have to use a mouse or trackpad. You can automate everyday tasks. This saves you a lot of time and helps you focus on the more important tasks at hand.

A distro and desktop environment for everyone

Linux has many distros and flovours. You can choose one based on your needs or your liking. A few developer-friendly distros are:



Apart from the distros, there are numerous desktop environments that cater to different needs. GNOMEKDEXfce, and Cinnamon are a few famous ones in the developer community. If you love command line and command line editors “awesome” desktop environment is for you.

This gives you flexibility and customization for setting up the best environment for yourself.

Secure

Security has been one of the main concerns for users. This is the reason we are reluctant to use others' thumb drives, install anti-virus software, and are careful while browsing the web.

There are many malicious attacks happening every day. Nowadays, most malicious attacks are focused on stealing your personal and financial data.


Windows is still the most used OS, covering about three fourth of the desktop/laptop market. This is the reason most of the attacks are focused on Windows as compared to Linux.


Since Linux is open-source and developed and maintained by huge developer communities, the chances of catching and fixing a security flaw are higher.

Developer friendly

Linux interfaces have come a long way. They are much more user-friendly and much easier than ever for a Windows user to like Linux. But the major reason developers love Linux is the tools that it provides specifically for the developers.


You get C/C++ compiler, command-line editors, options to specify your own shortcuts, and configurations to customize almost everything. And all this out of the box. Options to choose the shell you love, better containers are a few other reasons.


Once you get used to Linux and its tools, it is hard to use any other operating system. The only resistance is Linux requires some level of technical knowledge to use it in an efficient way.

Parting Words

For a general computer user, it really does not matter which OS he/she is using as long as he/she is comfortable.


For software developers, OS and the development environment play a great deal in day-to-day tasks. Linux has been my choice for most of the development I do.


However, there are still a few areas where Linux lag behind — Embedded development, game development, and games themselves. For these purposes I still use Windows.


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