Once upon a time I got in touch with Linux. I read about it in a magazine which was and still is very popular in Germany. It is called c't. There was something written about this alternative operation system which you can get for free and everything about it seemed so exiting to me. Even universities and banks used to use it so it had to be a pretty good piece of software.
I fired up my PC and headed straight to Debian. At that time, there were not so many distributions than you can find today. I installed it and tinkered around with it for months. All of this happened on a second machine, because my holy Windows machine should not get harmed. After I felt confident with Debian, I looked around for other distros. I was curious. I wanted to see what the differences between distros were and where the benefits of one to the other were exactly. So I gave SuSE a go. And after that RHEL. And then Slackware. And I could list several others. But most important for me was year 2001. I did the main switch. I decided that I don’t want to be on Windows anymore. I wanted to be one of those independent guys. I was in the beginning of my studies for computer science, so this seemed to be the perfect time anyway. So I really did it. My second machine was close to be the main machine in terms of daily usage and my main rig was starting to break in pieces. So, I bought components which I researched were good with Linux and built my new, fancy, uber-cool Linux box. And I installed SuSE on it. I used this beast for years and I think it still can be found somewhere in the basement of my parents house.
A view years later I tried Fedora. Aaaaaaand I hated it. I had such a bad experience with it that I still can, after all this years, remember how bad it was. So I moved on to this new fancy distro. It was named (and of course still is) Ubuntu. And, I liked it. I liked every single bit of it. It just installed. It just got the hardware up and running and I didn’t have to tinker around for days to get stuff the way I wanted them to be. Well, I got older and times changed.
I was interested in having a machine which was able to let me get my work done. Ubuntu helped with that.
Then, there was this new desktop called Unity (Booooooohnity). I didn’t like it and I still don’t do. And so I had to say goodbye to Ubuntu.
I decided to give other distros a chance again. So I installed Fedora. And I realized, I still didn’t like it. It was not stable on my machine. And I really gave it a chance. I made a rule for my self. Every distro got a whole month of exclusive usage. Debian? Naaah. To conservative. Gentoo? To much time needed to get things going. Arch? Tried it. But too much fiddling around.
And then there was this green chameleon again. This time with an open in the name. I installed openSUSE and I felt back home. I stayed there for a long time. I used it for everything. As a server OS, development machine ran it, my Dad’s laptop is powered by it, recommended it to friends. All the fan-boy-ism you can expect from somebody who really trusts an OS.
Then I had to start developing software in Java. Oh boy did I cut my teeth on this. I couldn’t get my companies development environment up and running in a whole week. The alternative was to switch to Windows. A switch to Windows was never an alternative nor even an option for me. So I was back in the distro hopping biz.
I installed Ubuntu Gnome, installed and configured all the stuff I needed and was able to be productive in around 3 hours or so. That was pretty impressive. I used it for days until I stumbled upon a few bugs in some GNOME software I was unable to live with. I did all the ppa stuff, tinkered around here and there and got the OS to a point where it was unstable and as a result, I was unable to use it.
So, I was getting into serious trouble. My project manager was reaching out to me because he was missing something from me. Something like results. Production ready code, to clear things up. And I had to explain him what happened. I got 2 days to sort things out and get back to work. So I reached out for everyone I knew who was not an Ubuntu user. And most of them recommended Fedora to me. I was like “Fedora?! Ja... Are you kidding me?” Time was running by and I had nothing to loose. I decided to give Fedora a try. If it wont work for me, I would re-install Ubuntu Gnome and live my life with bugs, but at least I would be somewhat productive.
I am on Fedora now!
And I am productive. Everything went fine while installing it. It recognized every single piece of hardware in my laptop. All the applications I am used to are there. They are up-to-date. I didn’t encounter any bug since installation and it is rock solid. I have no idea nor an explanation what went wrong in the past with me and Fedora... Today I am a happy software engineer living and working on Fedora and enjoying it. I mean it. I really enjoy it. It just works, is out of my way, fast, stable and even fun to use.
So guys from Fedora. You did a really damn good job! I’ll stay on it for a while. Seems like we’ll not part ways soon.
I am planning to do a review about my experience with the OS, the tools I use and how I feel about everything after a few days (maybe weeks).