Journey of a Linux newbie
Originally written on April 10. 2018
For my future self and those interested in GNU/Linux overall and my one-and-a-half-week journey with it. I first got into Linux because of ‘Mr. Robot’ (still my all-time favorite TV show by the way), so naturally the first distro I chose was “Kali Linux”, which I didn’t know then, was possibly the worst beginners’ choice available. Not only because it comes with 600+ pre-installed hacking tools that I’ll probably never use (I’ve only learned to use less than 10 of them so far), I also dangerously run as root from default.
I decided that I’ll need to choose a daily distro for general use (file editing and programming, etc.), instead of making Kali my main operating system and use it only when I want to practice penetration test exercises (i.e. hacking, in a legal way). After some decent research from browsing through no less than 10 books from our library, hours of YouTube and mainstream forums, I narrowed down the options to 4 choices, namely Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, and Fedora.
Ubuntu (the most mainstream distro by far) was let go first, merely because I wanted something more special for myself. Mint was out second, because I have, over my hacking time with Kali, grown to become a fan of the Gnome desktop environment, and Mint failed to offer me that. Debian is the distro of stability, releasing updates only when they are thoroughly tested out. Fedora on the other hand stands for bleeding-edge, releasing upgrades/updates sometimes even just hours after the development. I installed Debian on a virtual machine operating on my MacBook Pro and wrote Fedora into the hard disk of my MacBook Air (after some serious suffering) to run the final round. In the end, I went with Fedora.
GNU/Linux to me is more than an operating system, it is the GNU’s almost socialist philosophy I respect and inspires millions. The idea of a coder sharing the source code for free which he worked on for years even made me sit through an entire GNU/Linux documentary voluntarily for the first time in my life. I am a beginner in the Linux community, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
May 12. 2021
After 3 years of daily Linux CLI interaction (I’m a CS student after all), I’ve become somewhat more knowledgeable than when I first wrote this post.
Currently, I’m running Arch Linux on WSL2 and always have Ubuntu 20.04 sitting in the background as my backup plan. In fact, I’m writing this very blog post in Ubuntu because some weird issues are going on with WSL2 Arch and Ruby gems.