I run a Linux box at home. For the uninitiated, Linux is a free (in the GNU sense of the word) operating system.
After all, the machine that I purchased, an Aptiva S90, is claimed by IBM to be ‘Designed for Windows 95’. And I do have Win95 on one of the hard-drive partitions.
There are several reasons. The most important is that I am a Unix aficionado. Linux is a variant of UNIX. Prior to Linux, versions of UNIX that one could buy were too costly for my budget.
UNIX has its supporters and detractors This is the subject matter of quite a few religious wars. I do not wish to get into such a debate. Those of you who dislike/hate UNIX, are free to continue doing so. I like UNIX.
Another reason for Linux is GCC. GCC / g++ are the GNU C/C++ compilers that come with every distribution of Linux. I am a software professional in my daytime job. I would like to improve my C/C++ coding skills. GCC / G++ is a freely available compiler which will allow me to achieve this goal.
Linux also appeals to my hobbyist nature. I mean, where else would you get to compile an operating system yourself? (Note that today, there are other free operating systems available such as FreeBSD, whose supporters can do the same. But I didn’t hear about FreeBSD until I had joined the Linux community.)
So, how has it worked out so far?
From a hobbyist point of view, I love it. Would I recommend that corporations start using Linux? That is a different ball game.
As part of my hobbyist activities, I decided that I would learn how to maintain a website. I wanted to start small: this web server is actually hosted by someone else. At some point in the future, I might shift it to my own machine.
This website is still growing. I have a lot of plans for it but at present lack the know-how to implement them. One of the first things I plan to implement is a mail-server so that I can receive mail addressed to me regarding the content of this site.
But for now – happy linuxxing!