Thursday 13 July 2023

Linuxiversary... Three Years With LinuxMint.

Today is my third ‘linuxaversary’, that’s three years using Linux full time, leaving a twenty year relationship with Apple behind in 2020 and what a journey it has been.

I wrote an article on the first anniversary and on the second anniversary and I have to say this year has been a lot better.

While I had played with Linux while still in the Mac world, jumping in to it full time for all my computing needs was a daunting task. I had to make sure it was capable of doing everything I needed – and I was fairly up to speed with it - with as little down time as possible. I’d already been using a lot of cross platform open source apps on my Mac so it was mainly the OS swap I had to cope with.

The first year was a steep learning curve. While Mac and Linux are quite similar, there was still a lot to learn and a handful of times I did question whether I had done the right thing. I get very frustrated when I can’t do something or work something out. The second year was a lot smoother, I had settled in quite well, with only a few minor issues which were easily fixed. This last year has been a breeze, an absolute joy to use and now I cannot see myself using anything else.

Linux Mint Cinnamon is my distro of choice and is fantastic. I have run it on a few different laptops over the last few years but currently (and for quite a while now) I am using it on a Dell Latitude E7250 – a rather modest fifth gen i5 machine, maxed with an mSATA drive and 16GB of RAM. It more than copes with my daily life – which consists of web browsing and video editing.

Linux and the choice of desktop environments have come a long way in the last ten years. Very rarely would the average user need to dip in to terminal and a lot more software is cross platform and if not there are software managers – like App Stores – where even a non-technically mind person can browse and install what they need. I certainly think in terms of Linux Mint and Ubuntu they are easier, less complicated, less intrusive and far more stable than running Windows.

That is the beauty of Linux. There are distros suited for everyone – new users, pro users and those with specific needs. And while Mac and Windows really need modern hardware to function fully, Linux can be tailored to run on modern hardware as well as less capable hardware and even very low end kit – depend on which distro and desktop environment you choose – making it fantastic for just about everyone.

So I am happy. I won’t be writing an anniversary article next year. I have reached that point from initially switching where I had minor hiccups and learning new Linux related things daily, to just being able to use my laptop for what I need without anything getting in the way. After all, I just want to get done what I need to. But if I need to I can comfortably install new software, dip in to Terminal and fix any issues – although finger crossed I haven’t had any in the last year – without it eating up an entire afternoon.

On a small side note, for anyone who relies on Windows software – there is always the option to run some of these inside Linux. I do a lot of gaming on portable devices and I like to mod them or run hacked games which need specific small piece of software or patching tools, which are generally developed for Windows only and I have had great success running these using WINE – which is a great tool (available for Mac as well as Linux) which adds a compatibility layer and emulates the Windows environment (although it does stand for Wine Is Not an Emulator) allowing a lot of Windows only software to run.

So I am going to finish this article (and mini series) with one piece of advice. If you are fed up with the constant chase of new hardware with Apple, or hate the intrusiveness and downright awkwardness of Windows, you should give Linux a serious thought. There is a distro and a desktop environment to suit everyone's needs and while it might be a little more complicated initially – if you don’t rely on Mac or Windows only software – then I highly recommend giving Linux some consideration.

Written by Simon Royal. Follow me at

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