How can you switch to Linux?

I’ve read many things on here and on the web concerning which OS people use to dev. I have been a Windows user my whole life, I did try Ubuntu or Kubuntu at some point (dual boot) only for experimenting but switched back to Windows for some reasons (games, programs not available, or just scared :blush: )

  • How did you make the switch to Linux ? What was needed of you to learn ? Did you make a complete switch to this OS for everyday life needs ?

  • What kind of tasks are you using in bash that makes your life easier ? Did you keep a second OS ?

Home programming is my current hobby, I won’t call myself a developper just yet. Am I really missing something ? What are the key factors that could “sell” me a switch ? I must say when I tried Kubuntu (while Windows 10 was forcing himself on my computer) I was enjoying a lot the UI but didn’t feel the power everybody is talking about.

Sorry, so much questions but this has been in my head this last year :smiley:


I feel you on that, I have also been a windows user my whole life until this year. On top of that I was raised by an Apple Enthusiast(who owns a NeXT computer). It sounds like dual booting should still solve the games/programs problem?

Regarding the scared aspect, I agree it can be intimidating. What might help is seeing if you have an old laptop or just buying a Raspberry Pi and using that to get used to Linux.

I initially started dual booting to Ubuntu/Windows because of the difficulties with Ruby on Rails that were talked about at the start of The Odin Project. I still Dual boot(with no difficulties yet) and have found myself to be spending 90% of the time on Ubuntu. I only jump over to Windows for the occasional photoshop use.

  • Because I am so new to programming, I haven’t run into the issues with having to learn a lot of new stuff. I never used the windows PowerShell, but started off with Terminal.

  • I haven’t been doing much in Bash but picked up the Bash Cookbook from O’Rielly, and I look forward to eventually writing some time saving scripts.

What I have enjoyed most is what you said, the UI. It was fun to switch to a different UI and get a different feeling. Hope that was helpful somewhat.

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don’t switch because someone says good things about particular OS
I have been windows users since ages and recently made switch to Ubuntu.
I suggest you to use operating systems you are comfortable with .
In order to fully utilise the power of Linux. Please learn command line course on code academy and learn bash or Python (any scripting language)


That’s an excellent idea actually ! I have been wanting a Raspberry Pi for a good while to play old games using Retropie. This could an affordable way to learn Linux.

When you are using a dual boot configuration, do you have to always restard to switch OS or is there a quicker way ? I remember finding this part tedious (me getting used to Linux, and my girlfriend wanting to get back to windows, so restarting 3-4 times a day…)

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Linux is good for you if you’re used to work without user interface (only by typing commands on the terminal). Altough Ubuntu is a very user friendly distro, you won’t have any advantage over Windows on using it, if you continue to think in a “Windows way”. A good compromise, if you want to change your way to work with an OS could be Mac OS, but you have to spend almost double to have the same computer characteristics you would have with computers other than apple.

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Wow thanks for this great reply and ressources! You are right about Cloud 9… I knew it was bash and Ubuntu but it didn’t felt like it because there’s only a console, and it was not as scary as to learn a new UI. Time to dive in ! (At least to try)

@Mizu Came across this when I was reading article Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years by Peter Norvig, and thought it was good advice.

“Use your friends. When asked “what operating system should I use, Windows, Unix, or Mac?”, my answer is usually: “use whatever your friends use.” The advantage you get from learning from your friends will offset any intrinsic difference between OS, or between programming languages. Also consider your future friends: the community of programmers that you will be a part of if you continue. Does your chosen language have a large growing community or a small dying one? Are there books, web sites, and online forums to get answers from? Do you like the people in those forums?”


I always benefit from your contribution. I switched between windows and ubuntu for a while before eventually making a final switch to ubuntu. The only thing I missed windows for I would say is the game and occationally some programs. You could dual boot and or use wine in ubuntu if you miss some of this so much.
Moving to linux has killed my fear for CLI and I feel more complete as a programmer. I have also completed codecadmy command line course and have gone through several other materials on Linux but the best advice I can give you is to do a “all or nothing approach” Switch to Linux and use it for a while if rhymes with your person and you feel comfortable with it ( with little or no reason to go back to windows ) then stick with it. But if you find it unusable you may want to stick with windows because thats where you would be more productive.
Don’t use an OS because MR ‘A’ is using it.
The OS doesn’t get the job done, but the user skill gets the job done.

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I agree with pavankrcr: If you have no valid reasons to use Linux beyond “well everyone else says they use it for development work!” Don’t.

As it is: If you’re wanting to learn, there’s books out there for the command line (No Starch’s “Learn the Command Line” by an author can be found on the authors site. Link is escaping me, sorry) and other things like the distro you’re using.

P1xt is also right in this regard. OS doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to code (outside of factors like tools being used in those. Windows has no native C compiler, but Linux does with gcc IIRC), because at the end of the day you’re just writing the code for certain applications to “mold” into an working application for you.

For me, coding in windows was a nightmare. Anything I wanted to do with Rails offered me 3 choices: Mac which used the command line, Linux which looked almost identical to Mac, and Windows (sometimes) with three page back end “here’s how you can force it to work…maybe” option. When Win 10 came along I made the switch.

Pros: Ubuntu is so lean, I got tons of hard drive space back. I’m not running a memory-hog virus program so my machine feels zippy again. Once I got over command-line-phobia, I felt like more in tune with my machine - kind of like driving a manual transmission car vs driving an automatic. (OhMyZsh is a nifty terminal and has some time saving plugins.) My experience with the Ubuntu community has been much better with than the MS.

Cons: Graphics software - if you use Adobe products the only way to run them is WINE or equivalent. Linux is still the last to get popular software. (Maybe it’s just the apps I’m into.) If you use an app that you need and it only works in Windows…that pretty much decides it for you. Music playing apps - not a ton of options to my taste. But if you use an online player, it doesn’t much matter. I’ve had issues with printer drivers and printing.

I love Ubuntu! It’s a perfect fit for my needs. But there is no reason to switch if it’s not going to help you and make your coding experience more enjoyable. My dad is a programmer, and has been since a single computer took up a large room (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth :grin:) and he has used Windows since there was a Windows. Use what works for you. Happy coding! :sunglasses:


I got a cheap ass refurb t400, put kubuntu on it and use it strictly for dev. I still use Photoshop on my Win.
Mac seems to be the perfect intersection but I ain’t got that apple $.

I didn’t notice anyone mentioning this, but you don’t need to dual boot to use Linux. You can use a virtual machine, like VMWare or VirtualBox. Just download the .iso of whichever Linux distro you want to use, like Ubuntu, then load it into your virtual machine. By doing that, you can use Linux and Windows at the same time.

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You can also try out many different Linux distributions by running the disk image from a USB or a CD. Look up ‘pen drive linux.’ That way, you don’t commit to the hard drive, and you can also plug in your linux usb into any computer with a USB port.

I use Windows and Fedora/Ubuntu. Linux has a steeper learning curve, the software can often be harder to find, and you are more likely to run into software that takes more patience to setup than if you were on Windows. But it is far, far, far more customize-able from the shell (command line) to the themes and background. You can even edit the Linux kernel itself if you are into operating systems. Think standard (Linux) vs automatic (Windows) transmission. Look up books and free articles, and just read and practice.

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I have tried many distros over the past 15 years or so, flipping back to Windows, then back to Linux… some distros work, some are terrible, some have issues with Wi-Fi or other hardware so you may have to just hop around a bit if you find some things don’t work with your particular hardware.

I have found more recently that Linux Mint ‘just works’. I find it the easiest to pick up and start using, without all the questions such as “how the hell do I do use this basic feature?” or “why does the file browser have only 3 features?” that you get with some other distros.

Linux Mint works fine for Odin Project and FreeCodeCamp so far. I’be been dabbling with both.

I’m not a Linux Mint zealot, but it seems to do the job well for me… might change again in a few years, who knows what new shiny distro will come available!




Hi there,

I recently switched to Ubuntu (dual boot) and I haven’t logged into windows for about 1 month now, I might use it when I will need to use Photoshop or Illustrator, not for development purpose though. Ubuntu is really great, there is no lagging as it does on windows. My machine is 4th gen i3 with 3gb ram.

That was the main reason why I switched to Ubuntu and I am happy that i did so.

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Yes i’ve heard much praise for Linux Mint. My laptop is quite old (Dell XPS 16 from 2009) which still works just fine. People says that Mint is very lightweight so that was in my options list to run on my laptop.

I’ll have to check if running it as a virtual machine is comfortable alongside win 10, I could then be able to play around and just switch ton windows when needed.

Have you considered any Open source apps like Gimp or Inkscape for casual stuff instead of the Adobe suite?

I’m not Torvalds but I know how to work in Linux.

I deleted my windows partition and installed Linux instead, I forced myself to learn it, while I installed my stuff on Linux I learned a lot, now I work exclusively with Linux, because it rocks.

I’d suggest the learner to use a service like Cloud9 to try it out, discover the power of Linux and enjoy it.

I’ve been a Windows user since the mid-nineties and I’ve used pretty
much every version of it starting with 3.1. I only skipped ME and (for
now) Windows 10. I switched to Lubuntu a few months ago and it went surprisingly smooth.

The Linux distro that I recommend to people coming from a Windows background is Lubuntu. At least for me, it made the switch quite easy, because everything looks so familiar. Plus, it’s the fastest OS I have ever used. Booting into Lubuntu and shutting it down takes a few seconds.

For those who want to do image manipulation, I’ve been told that Krita is quite intuitive for people who come from Photoshop.

The only Windows thing that I really, really miss (and that seems a
bit ironical) is Notepad++. Although Linux is written by developers for
developers, apparently the Linux community hasn’t come up with an editor that is as easy and intuitive to use. There are no doubt decent enough
editors for Linux, but they are no match for Notepad++ in terms of flexibility and ease of use IMO. It runs on Wine, but for me the font resolution is a real problem.

Just my 0.02 $.

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there are also other ubuntu based distros which are lighter than mint and have been reported to work really well with old hardware. I’ve heard good things about Lubuntu (i think that’s the one that comes with LXDE).