Switching to Linux as My Daily Driver

I’ve been using Linux on and off and on since 2005. I’ve made a couple of attempts at making Linux my daily driver (last time in 2013 with Linux Mint) but music options weren’t what they are today. Now with native Linux Spotify clients and what-not, I have no reason not to switch.

I spent years wrapped in the Apple ecosystem because, for 8 years, that was the platform that fed me and supported my business. Now that I develop solely for the web, and the tools I use to build apps with were built for Linux, it only makes sense.

I’ve long been frustrated with using Home Brew as a package manager for the tools I need. As a web app developer, my needs are limited – an editor and a collection of open source tools, all of which are written for Linux.

Here is a list of my web development needs:

  • terminal
  • zsh w/ oh-my-zsh
  • vim
  • tmux w/ tmuxifier
  • git
  • node
  • browsers (chrome/firefox/opera)
  • vagrant
  • docker
  • Gimp/Inkscape (in rare cases)

And here is a list of everything else to cover a typical day at the office:

  • hipchat
  • skype
  • spotify

I’m not going to lie – finding the right distro, configs, and i/o settings to make the transition a comfortable one has taken the better part of my morning. But it has been worth it so far.

I initially tried Elementary OS 0.3.1 Freya on a Lenovo ThinkPad T450, but there were so many glitches. I can’t point to it being the software or my ineptitude, but it was not going well.

Ultimately I settled on Gnome Ubuntu.

My most challenging tasks so far have been to get the same experience from my Apple Magic Trackpad and getting gestures set to something that I can settle into comfortably.

If I learn anything from this experience in the coming months I’ll be sure to write about them.