Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS does its best to save me


Man, this one made me run back to Linux again...

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to witness me making up my mind about using Linux as a main OS. Again. But hey, it is what it is.

As I’ve said before, I really am a big Linux fan and I have been for almost 20 years. Over the past two years I’ve been experiencing some sort of a “switch back to Windows” urge, quite often, up to the point where I did switch back to Windows 10 as my main OS. Yes, I did give in to comfort and what always seems like familiar, only to be surprised by the approach Microsoft took in regards to Linux and the Open Source movement during recent years. You know, stuff like WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), Linux kernel additions (that mostly serve their own Azure-related goals, obviously), the new Windows Terminal (which, truth be told, is a massive improvement in regards to Windows) and other gimmicks really made me feel better about my decision. I relived some of my bad experiences with Linux only to strengthen my decision (a textbook example of cognitive dissonance) and started using Windows 10 exclussively for work. But at some point, I connected to a specific remote UNIX server and suddenly felt like home. Everything I was familiar with worked out of the box, without little hacks or command adjustments. Everything felt different, in a good way.

So I setup a dual-boot environment on my laptop, because I was skeptical. I am still keeping my Windows 10 Pro installation (for a couple pieces of audio/music software which could be easily replaced with proper hardware at some point in the future), but Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 is my main driver these days. It does have a minimal, beautiful & well thought desktop environment that helps me move away from Gnome & Unity (I really hate Unity!..it’s like the Windows 8.1 UI equivalent for Linux), official drivers for my laptop are available and work perfectly out of the box (nVidia & Intel), Microsoft Teams is available on Linux and it runs smoothly and, for accessing my work email, I use the Outlook Web Interface, which is truly an app now and not a website that pretends to act like a desktop app. My workplace VPN connection runs natively without any issues and everything is faster, simpler and familiar. I am able to keep using Visual Studio Code (which I DO believe is a great IDE), Remmina for RDP and much, much more.

Since I also rely on GCC, Code Composer Studio, YOCTO and other stuff related to embedded devices, a Linux workstation fits like a glove. I won’t post photos or stats about Ubuntu Budgie 20.04, because the Internet is full of tutorials & presentations, so I’ll leave you to those.

Yes, I still use some Microsoft tools, like Teams and VSCode, because I think they are great and deserve their place. And I’m now reconsidering Linux for my desktop PC too, because I am using Darktable for photo editing anyway and I’m still a fan of Lightworks (probably the best Linux-native professional-grade video editor that I know of). I feel that day may be close. But, until then, I’m enjoying deep breaths of fresh air (figuratively speaking, because I live in Bucharest and fresh air is nowhere to be found).