I tried Linux for 1 year for developing games, webs, and my other content! Here is what I learned.
So, this is something nobody does. I don’t know a single person who develops their game IN LINUX. Well, I thought, “Why not?”. Linux shouldn’t be SO BAD, why not test it myself and share this with the world? So, yeah. I challenged myself to use Linux FOR A YEAR. This took a long time, effort, and also, sadly, some money. And the results which I got were quite shocking. It did not go how I thought It would. I’ll make sure that I keep this to the point and interesting 😊 I hope you enjoy it and Let’s start 😊
Okay. First off. Whats Is Linux?
Shortly put, Linux is an operating system kernel. If you don’t know what a kernel is, think of it as a core component of an operating system. It is completely open-source, which means even you, can have a look at the code and make your operating system with it!
So, many people take the code (kernel) and develop their operating systems. The final operating system created using the Linux kernel is called “Linux Distributions” or “Linux distros”, for short. These Linux distro developers are in no way related to the Linux kernel developers other than the fact that the source code of the kernel is being used for the development of the distro. So when people say “I use Linux”, they mean that they use a Linux distro made by other people. Some of the Linux distros are: -
- Pop Os
- Arch Linux
- manjaro, and so on…
Hey! Why did you choose a YEAR and not just a month or so?
Why didn't I use it for a month or 2 and call it an “experiment”? Well, It has to do something to the learning curve. You see, in the one year, I had to: -
- Learn the basics of Linux
- Learn how Linux works in a detailed manner
- Get used to the changes in software
- Get used to the workflow
- Get used to the “ecosystem of Linux”, which contains hundreds if not thousands of distros!
and the problems went on forever honestly.
The Long Journey
I would classify my journey using Linux as these parts: -
0. Before Installing
- First Few weeks
- Distro Hopping
- Learning Curve
- What I missed in windows after switching to Linux
- developing games
- The hardware problem
- So, which distro did I choose?
- Switching back to windows and how it felt
- Am I switching completely to Linux now?
- how this affected me
I would share both the good and bad parts of everything. Let’s go!
Before Installing: -
This was it! It was time I completely switch to Linux! I knew nothing upcoming for me, I left my windows ecosystem, took a backup of all my files, and was completely ready for this.
The sad part? I don’t know which distro I would want to switch to. I started to look for a Linux distro on google.
But then I made a HUGE MISTAKE. The worst thing I did. I judged the Linux distros based on their looks 🙁 Now, if you are a Linux user, you would probably know what a mistake this is. So, without any clue, I SWITCHED TO KALI LINUX!!! For those of you who don’t know what this is, IT IS A DISTRO FOR HACKING!!!…. Yes, for hacking. And it’s not at all beginner-friendly, in any way. I was clueless about anything about this until I was not able to do anything.
So, I came back to windows, google searched for a beginner-friendly distro, and finally switched to Ubuntu, which made my life a lot easier. That was when I started my full-year journey or experiment, whatever you call it 😊
First Few Weeks: -
I have never used a different operating system other than windows. And now, I had to work in this new environment I knew nothing about.
I was searching for all my software on the web rather than installing using the package manager, I used NVIDIA graphics (and I did not realize “The Nvidia problem” for a long time).
After some weeks I finally learned some stuff had some control over it. I learned to use package manager, and how to install the software in the “Linux” way, I learned to swap desktop environments, and so on. I did not expect the surprise.
I thought that it was just windows with different looks and application formats. I also ended up reinstalling ubuntu multiple times for no reason. I’ll talk about this later, but honestly, the first month slowed down my work and reduced my productivity.
So, it was about a few weeks after I switch (over a month). I was now almost comfortable with the GUI, with the change, and I have almost used this workflow now.
This is the time. I thought of trying another distro out of curiosity. Who knows? maybe I was missing out on a nice feature of another Linux distro I guess? Here is where it all started.
I feel Linux has just made me more delicate when it comes to sticking to one Operating System. I always tend to hop from one distro to another even if I don’t wish to do so. It became a dumb habit where I started to switch from 1 distro to another almost every day. I also Reinstalled the same distro multiple times thinking that I had bloated my system.
Learning Curve: -
Linux is not windows. We have to agree with that. It has hundreds of thousands of stuff to learn from. Desktop environment, window manager ricing, terminal usage, are some of that stuff. Linux is without a doubt more difficult than windows to use, but worth learning, and can also be easier for you once learned.
I am an “adobe person”. I used to use photoshop premiere pro, and after effects along with adobe xd, and other stuff for my UI Development. I use visual studio with unity for developing games, I use adobe dream viewer for developing websites.
Yeah….. It was really difficult for me to shift from adobe products to more “free and open-source” products. I was so irritated with switching software, that I tries using windows files through wine(wine is a utility). Of course, it did not go well.
By the end of few months, I switch to using gimp, blender, natron, vs code, angular, kdenlive, and so on for my development and productivity. It was a steep curve, to be honest. But, it is worth using. It saved me from paying adobe for software, and play around a bit with other workflows!
What I missed in linux which I had windows: -
It was all the stuff related to the “Ecosystem”, “Gaming”, and “support”.
I had Microsoft covered with the “Phone” app which was a big part of my workflow, as I usually used it for calling from my computer.
I could not play many games in Linux which I could have played otherwise. Games like “call of the duty”, “Inside”, “GRIS”, and so on. All though, I can use proton for these, it did not work well, for me.
And, as I said Linux is the last thing to choose for people who want support. For example, for me, Adobe Support!!!
Developing Games in Linux?
As an independent game dev, I design, animate, develop, and modify games all by myself, and unfortunately, I did most of these in adobe suite as usual. I also used to use another software called spine 2d, and dragon bones which were 2d bone animation software. But in here, I got no software like that. As usual, I had to learn new software for each software.
Here is a list of some free software I personally used and preferred instead of other paid softwares, for my work: -
- Synfig studio instead of adobe animate
- natron instead adobe after effects
- gimp instead of photoshop
- kdenlive instead of premiere pro
- audacity instead of audition
- Inkscape instead of illustrator
- Figma instead of adobe xd
- standalone angular framework instead of dreamviewer
- Godot instead of game maker (unity for 3d games)
- electron instead of UWP
To be honest the only difference I got between all these apps was the price.
Hardware Problems: -
People who use Linux would probably know this but, for those of you who don’t know, Nvidia gives you ALMOST NO support if you are using Linux or Linux-based distro. Unfortunately, I was the unlucky person to get Nvidia on my computer and I had to struggle to learn how to install drivers in Linux distros! The installation by the way is SO different when it comes to the steps and instructions!
In Linux, you have to either go to the package manager to install your Nvidia drivers, or, if your distro does not support Nvidia, you had to go to the official website of Nvidia to download the driver, go to the TTY INTERFACE, which is a scary blank interface, and then install your drivers, THROUGH THE TERMINAL!!!
I barely got to know how it works in the later stages of my journey. Until then, I even did not know that you have to manually do that! But then, after installing drivers, the hardware worked smoothly, and since Linux is open source and consists of less bloat, it worked better than windows!
So, what are the distros I used? And what I liked the most?
Well, honestly it was all scattered in all places. I started with ubuntu (please don’t say Kali Linux) and then continued with it for some time. I then switched to pop os and stayed there for a while, I then dug the rabbit hole deeper, started using some advanced distros like arch, nixos, and so, on.
After that, I started to completely lose my mind and started hopping from distro to distro out of curiosity. I used very rare and unpopular Linux distros. There is this distro called “extern os”, which I liked but, I'm sure that barely anyone even knows about it. It is barely a Linux distro but rather a project run by a single person.
So, yeah…… I dug the rabbit hole a bit too much. This made me more fickle-minded on what to choose, but finally, by the end of July, I finally thought of sticking to ONE and only ONE distro. So, I stuck with fedora. It really was the best I could find FOR ME at least.
Switching back to windows after a year: -
FINALLY!!!!! A HUGE sigh from me to return to the set which I was most comfortable with. It felt like living in a desert for a year without food and water and coming back home after that.
Of course, I might have exaugurated, but the feeling I got was similar. I saw the adobe suite on my laptop after sooo long!
How did this change my life?
Honestly, IT WAS WORTH TRYING!! This affected my life in a HUGE way! I stopped using SOME of my adobe applications as I found that some free ones were better.
I now use photogimp (a fork of gimp made to mimic photoshop) instead of photoshop, kdenlive instead of premiere pro, Inkscape instead of illustrator, audacity instead of the audition, and so on. This one year not only saved me money (through NOT buying extra software) but also helped me get a better understanding of the workflow.
So now, as I changed to windows, I started making some heavy customizations to it. I changed the look by installing Cairo shell, I changed the icon, and UI theme, and many, many more tweaks, just because I am now used to customizations and need them.
Am I gonna use Linux?
Of course YES. But not on my primary workstation. I have recently bought a new laptop especially for having Linux in it! How do I use it?
Well,… I use it for some specific stuff that does not need windows support. For example, developing basic websites from HTML, any work related to python (since python comes preinstalled in Linux!), some hardcore customizations when I get bored (I use xmonad window manager), and the stuff I can do with it goes on forever.
Linux changed my life. It saved me money, energy and helped me in many ways! One year ago I was so scared and freaked out to try Linux
In my primary machine. Although I should have done some research before jumping into Linux, I am glad that I switched and tried this experiment. It helped me in so many ways. It gave me the freedom to tweak my desktop LITERALLY ANY WAY. It forced me to try some free software which ended up helping so much.
So…….. There you go 😊 the end of the story.
I hope you guys enjoyed and took away something 😊 Check out my youtube channel “FadinGeek” where I post fun stuff like this!
I'll meet you guys next time 😊