People who don’t work as developers don’t often think of using Linux. However, you might have caught yourself in a situation where people talked about it, and it might have struck your curiosity. In today’s article, we will discuss the top 12 reasons why software engineers and software developers love using Linux.
Linux is one of the most versatile operating systems you can find. It has a strong community that is passionate about its open-source nature. With that said, many software developers go through their careers without ever using Linux, but hopefully, after reading this article, you will fall in love with it as much as we are.
Linux is Open Source
The first reason on this list is probably the reason that stands out the most. Linux is open-source, which means that it is free. However, there is a lot more to it than the simple fact that software is free.
Because Linux is open-source, it means that you can modify, redistribute, and even study the source code for free. Finding study materials for Linux is more straightforward than finding study materials for Microsoft or Mac-based operating systems.
Because the Source code can legally be modified, you will find many different versions of Linux online. Some of them are paid for, but for a programmer, they can find a tailor-made version of Linux that suits their work the best, and you will find that some programmers pay for these modified versions of Linux.
With traditional operating systems, you rely on the operating system manufacturers to plug any holes or back doors. This is great for people who release viruses but not so great for the user who has to rely on Windows or Mac to find that back door and close it. Often, this is only done once a virus has been distributed.
Because Linux is open-source, users can plug back doors and holes a lot quicker than Microsoft come, which means that Linux is technically the most secure operating system on the market. On rare occasions that a virus or hack is released for Linux, a patch is released almost instantly.
Software developers, engineers, and anyone who writes code appreciates a secure operating system. Remember, a lot of the time; their work is confidential. Apart from being confidential, they also don’t want a situation where they lose all their work because of a virus. This loss of work can happen on other operating systems more frequently than on Linux.
Technically, no operating system is 100% secure, and the same can be said for Linux. There is still a chance that you can pick up a virus or be hacked via while on Linux; however, it is a lot less common than it is on other operating systems.
Linux Runs Well on almost Any Hardware
When you work as a software developer, you put any machine you work on through its paces. This statement is especially true for developers who create programs and create, and while creating them, they have to run them on virtual machines.
For example, developing an app for a smartphone means that you have to run that app in a virtual machine that imitates a smartphone. This consumes a lot of resources.
However, Linux uses fewer resources than traditional operating systems, even when using a distro like Ubuntu or any other distros. At the end of the day, it means you can do more with less in terms of hardware.
A Linux distro means a “Linux distribution.” It is basically just the short way of saying distribution. To fully explain what a Linux distro is would take a significant amount of time, and I am guessing that you are not here for that.
Some people say that a Linux distro is a modified version of Linux, but this isn’t an accurate way of describing it. A distro such as Ubuntu turns Linux into an easy-to-use operating system. Without it, installing Linux, keeping it up-to-date, and more can be highly time-consuming.
That is where the distro comes in. It compiles Linux source code and does all of the hard work for you. Then, whenever you install programs or anything on the Linux operating system, the distro does all the heavy lifting in the background, and you don’t even know that it’s going on.
For example, without a Linux distro, the boot time for Linux is significantly longer than it is with a Linux distro. Each one has its pros and cons. You could think of a distro as a package manager. They all manage and maintain the Linux core and your PC differently.
So yes, you can technically say that distro is like a modified version of Linux, but if you want to get into more detail, the way we explained it is a bit more accurate.
Accessing Linux has become easy. It is as easy as downloading Linux to a thumb drive with your desired distro and installing it on your machine. Some beginners have a misconception that they can only run Linux or Windows on one PC. However, this is not true.
You can run Linux alongside windows, and when you boot up your system, you can choose which one you want to use. While it can be technical, this means that you can share projects across both operating systems.
Sticking with accessibility, Linux is easy to use, especially when you have the right distro. If you are thinking about using Linux in the future, I would highly recommend that you take time to research what each distro does so that you can download the one that suits you the best.
One of the best things about Linux is its flexibility. You have a wealth of tools at your disposal to customize the way Linux works. This customization is perfect for software developers as they are always looking for ways to make the code they write work.
Most apps use a front-end and back-end to work. The front-end is what you, the user see. The back-end is where all the heavy lifting is done. Often, the back-end of a program or web-based application will use a server. This is where the term “server-side” comes from. Because Linux is so flexible, many servers are set up using Linux as the operating system.
Again, this is because of its flexibility. Anyone who is setting up the server can tweak Linux to work for them instead of tweaking the server to work for the operating system if that makes any sense.
Linux is compatible with almost any type of hardware that you can think of. While yes, it is true that most PC hardware is designed for either Windows or Mac OS, they are also compatible with Linux, but there is more to it.
Remember, Linux is open source, so when something is not compatible, you can be sure that someone in the community will find a way to make it compatible. You can go download the drivers or the patch from the open-source community.
In terms of software that developers use, Linux is compatible with almost every compiler available. However, for people who program in C or C++, Linux has the inbuilt GCC compiler.
Linux Offers Great Help
When you work as a software developer and spend most of your life behind a PC, you run into many errors. Just because you are a senior software developer does not mean you know the inner workings of operating systems such as Windows. Sometimes things just don’t work, and you are left sifting through a Microsoft support page that can often feel redundant and unhelpful.
However, Linux has very specific error messages that can tell you the problem without you having to stop everything you are doing to go and find what the issue is first and then fix it.
Because Linux is particular with error messages, you can immediately go and find a solution. We will talk more about the community in just a second.
Linux has a Helpful Community
When we say things like “The community,” we talk about people who engage in Linux Forums. You can find the official Linux forum here. To prove a point about community friendliness, when you search “Linux Forums” on google, the 1st thing you see is “Friendly.”
I know this may seem like a reoccurring theme in this article. Still, because Linux is open-source, it has a large community of contributors and people who have studied the source code in its entirety, often not allowed with other operating systems.
The people who have studied the source code are often the friendliest people you will meet in online discussions. You could find solutions to problems via these communities, and people are always willing to help. You can either find solutions via past discussions or start your own within the Linux community.
The friendliness of the Linux community could be because the individuals within the community have a particular understanding that they are working on something bigger than them. For some reason, open-source projects can bring people together. After all, the people who work on open-source projects are doing it for unselfish reasons in most cases.
Linux Has Easy Automation
Linux automation is a technical subject to cover. To put it in its simplest form Linux has a variety of tools that allow software developers to automate many of their tasks. When you eliminate the need to do many manual operations, the company saves a lot of money by reducing man-hours. The developer also reduces redundancy.
Automating repetitive tasks is known as a “Crontab job.” It takes a little bit of time to get going, but it saves time in the long run.
As a software developer, using automation scripts is not something you will learn in school. You will need to spend a lot of time researching, but once you have got automation scripts down, you eliminate a lot of mundane tasks and increase your productivity.
Most mid-level developers Who have experience with Linux can write automation scripts. Once you do this and reduce your workload by at least 20%, you can become a rockstar developer that gets things done in good time. A quick note, you can find scripts online.
Remember when we spoke about Linux being secure. Well, the same logic that we used for Linux security applies to its reliability and stability. You cannot claim that one operating system is more stable than the other. This is because there are constant updates for each operating system. So, at any given time, one could be more stable than the other.
However, Linux can be considered the most stable operating system for the most part, which is perfect for coders who spend long periods on specific projects. Not only do you risk losing your work on unstable systems, but having to deal with an unstable operating system can cost a lot of time. As a coder, efficiency is often a priority. This statement is especially true when working in large teams where one department may be waiting for you to complete your work before starting theirs.
Stability also plays a massive role in server-side situations. Thanks to Linux’s stability, it is frequently used in large server farms (datacentres,) medium-sized office networks, and more.
Again, as a software developer, efficiency is crucial. When you combine almost everything we have spoken about in this article, you can count on Linux to be highly reliable. This reliability makes things slightly more efficient for coders and all types of developers.
You can count on Linux, which is one of the primary reasons why developers love it so much. Its reliability is also why Linux has such a passionate community, especially when you consider that most people in the community don’t make any money off Linux. So, there must be a reason why so many of them tend to stick around.
With Linux, you don’t have to restart your system. I know of a Linux machine that ran for four years. Now, I understand that with how fast current PCs are restarting with M.2 drives, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s more about how stable and reliable the system is.
You could rarely achieve something like that on a traditional operating system because the longer you keep them running and the more work you do, it will bring the PC to a standstill at some point.
Linux is, Overall, a great experience
We have gone through pretty much everything that we can talk about. I guess the final thing to say and the best thing about Linux is that it is just an excellent operating system to use. From its accessibility to security and reliability, you have everything you need to have a pleasant experience on your PC.
We could spend hours talking about why software developers love using Linux. At the same time, we could spend hours telling you why some developers absolutely hate it, but this article was about those that enjoy using it. The thing is, we tried not to get too technical in this article.
If you are a novice developer and skeptical about learning how to use Linux, this can harm your career prospects. Learning Linux means that you are learning a new skill. It is not taking away from everything else that you already know, so when you apply for a job somewhere, if you have Linux on your CV, it opens a new door.