Front End Developer switching from Windows to Linux

I’ve now been using Linux on my machine at home for close to a year. I decided to go all in when I has some problems with my windows machine booting up. All of my files are stored on either onedrive, bitbucket or an external hard drive. So I took the plunge and went to using Linux full time.

Kubuntu Logo

The first thing to do is was find a distro. What I never realised was the amount of distros out there there is loads. I’ve put Ubuntu and Linux Lite on some old laptops in the past. So I wanted to try some different. There are some great youtube channels – Linux Scoop and Riba Linux that highlights different distros. Ideally what I should of done was download the distros that looked interesting and ran them of a usb stick.

However I was too impatient to do all that, so I found handful that I liked the look of and went from there. The four that I rounded it down to was Linux Mint, Elementary Os, Antergos and Kubuntu. I decided to go with Kubuntu.

Using Kubuntu the UI is very polished and there is an attention to detail. Which is one of the reason why I chose it. Kubuntu has loads of flexibility I’m a big fan of keyboards shortcuts which Kubuntu allows you to do. I’ve listed some of the main program which I use on a day to day basis.

Programs

  • VScode – This is my main code editor and I use the extension Settings.Sync so my extensions, settings and keyboard shortcuts are all sync so I didn’t need to reinstall them all.
  • Vagrant – I’m used to using Vagrant on my old Windows machine. I’m not to sure what most dev’s use on Linux. But Vagrant works for me so was happy to keep using it.
  • Firefox Developer Edition – Is my main browser I use on a day to day basis I find the dom inspector the best of all the browsers when working on Css grids and flexbox,
  • Chromium – I decided rather than using Chrome I would give Chromium a go. I’ve found it runs the same has Chrome. It shares the history and plugins with Chrome. I’ve found however It is missing a small amount of codex’s out the box.
  • Gravit Designer – For designing website I was torn between both Figma and Gravit Designer. In the end I went for Gravit Designer has they also have a desktop app. They have a free and paid for version which is around £60. It’s a good alternative to sketch as that only works on the Mac.
  • Spotify – I listen to a lot of podcast and music when I’m coding. I was surprised that Spotify had a Linux version of there desktop client.
  • VIM – I also use Vim to code on, goes without saying this worked without any problems.
  • MySql Workbench
  • Postman
  • Kate
  • Thunderbird

Problems

  • Adobe Creative Cloud – I use both XD and Photoshop. Adobe products don’t won’t on Linux platform and I can’t see this changing anytime soon. I know you can use Wine but the price you pay for Adobe CC. I want it work out of the box. So I decided to cancel my subscription and move to Gravit Designer.
  • External hard drive – A lot of my work is on seagate external hard drive. One of the issue which I ran into whenever I log into my machine I’m on unable to access files on my hard drive even though it is plugged in and icon showing the drive folder. The way I worked out how to resolve this is I need to click on the seagate folder and then clickback off it twice and it starts working. It’s bizarre but it works.
  • IE/ Edge – IE browser usage is pretty low these days but I still need to test that the projects I work on do perform ok in IE. They in which I test the IE site is using a virtual machine which have IE and edge on.
  • Tortise GIT – I love this tool and use it for when working with Git. But I think it has become crutch for me. So I decided not to look for an alternative and get into the habit of using the command line for GIT.

Summary

I’ve had no real problems moving over to Linux. Overall I was quite surprised how much software do have Linux versions which made the switching easier. I do occasionally run into problems but most problems are resolved with a bit of Googling. I don’t play games on my computer so not to sure what support for that is like. Overall I’m surprised how well it’s gone I was convinced I be back on Windows 10 within a couple of weeks. But if I’m honest I’ve not looked back.

2 responses to “Front End Developer switching from Windows to Linux”

  1. Jonty Newman says:

    How’s your first month of Linux been Duane?

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