I started quite late with using Linux, but these days, I wouldn’t know what to do without it. You rarely think about it any more because it’s ubiquitous and readily available, but if you take a step back, it’s actually fantastic that we live in a day and age where a piece of software like Linux exists. I was personally quite a late starter with Linux. Only when I started studying computer science I actually ended up using Linux for real. That was also a rather mixed bag at first. In 2005 the Linux desktop wasn’t quite where it is today, but Linux server was already hands down the best server environment. I thus ended up using it on the desktop when I had to, but I tinkered with it on the very first home server I built. Later in my university life I ran some computationally heavy calculations and ended up using Linux as my primary operating system at work, which meant again dealing with Linux as a desktop, but the desktops around 2012 were already significantly better, and I ended up running even more servers with it.
After university, the story was simple: On the server side, all my servers run Linux. Be it at home, at work, or in the cloud, if I need a server I set it up using Linux. On the desktop side I did end up installing one at home and the third time was a charm here. In 2015, Linux was good enough for me for desktop usage as well, and I did a lot of web development and other stuff on Linux since then (but I still used and use Windows, so I’m not a “Linux only” person on the desktop by any means.)
There are many reasons to like Linux – it scales from small machines to large servers, it runs on very different hardware architectures, it’s all open source, it’s free, and it’s really stable. It’s also intimately tied to the broader Linux ecosystem. This resulted in Linux becoming the best programming environment for various tasks, for example, web development. The easiest way to realize this is by looking at what happened on the Windows side of things – WSL is now real and allows running Linux applications natively on Windows. There’s a thin layer of virtualization involved but it’s never been easier to quickly open a Linux shell and try something out. I really love the fact that I can get access to Linux and Linux based tools everywhere now – it just makes life so much easier.
There’s also no end in sight for Linux. It’s “too big to fail” these days with huge companies heavily invested in it, which ensures the health of the project. Be it AWS or Google, the largest businesses in the world depend on it, and hardware vendors (especially for server hardware) have to invest Linux first, and sometimes Linux only. It’s actually quite interesting to see how many things are exclusive to Linux these days, up to and including the world’s top 500 fastest supercomputers which exclusively use Linux. I’m glad we have it, and I with the project and the developers behind it all the best so we may continue enjoying a free operating system for years to come!