It’s May 2022, and Linux is no longer my main operating system. It feels a bit ironic to write this, considering how convinced I was just three months ago that it would work. The gist of it is that I’m back on the Mac. The decision was made after spending countless hours trying to make Linux/Ubuntu work as my main workstation. Real work happened, and a long list of show-stopping issues and shoulder strain was the result. I wanted it to work this time. And I tried. I tried hard.

“You are using it wrong”

As my machine kept crashing more or less continuously, I was vocal about it. The reply I got back from my community was repeatedly something like; “Linux works if you use it as it should be used. Don’t tinker with it too much.” I think this remark undermines the entire concept of Linux in the first place. Let me remind you what Linus Torvalds said:

“In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.”

So if trying to map keyboard shortcuts, improve how I do screenshots, or change a driver is ranked above destiny, something is wrong to the core. Or to the kernel.

Aw, Snap!

I will not attempt to list all the issues I encountered, but one particular behavior needs to be put into the spotlight. I kept getting hard-core crashes in standard apps like Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Visual Studio Code, and others all the fricking time. In the beginning, I started to blame my hardware, but then the same behavior showed up on two other machines I operate daily. That said, all of these machines have pretty damn standard components. SIGILL, SIGTEM, SIGINT all over the place. If one searches the internet for these errors, it seems like the entire Ubuntu user community is suffering from these types of crashes. Not bearable at all.

The point of this post is not to make a list of what went wrong or in some way try to hurt the Linux project. It’s written to remind myself about the experience and to acknowledge and learn how fast I could change my mind about something in such a short time frame.

This is where Linux shines

As most of us know, Linux is the king when it comes to servers. It also shines when used in very isolated environments for particular tasks only. E.g. a ticket machine at the movies, a parking meter, a print server, and others. But as the go-to operating system for power users like artists, coders, writers, and many others, it represents a dangerous path if you value your time.

Epic penguin fail

“I started Linux as a desktop operating system. And it’s the only area where Linux hasn’t completely taken over. That just annoys the hell out of me.” - Linus Torvalds.

I understand why Linus. It simply does not perform. The market (and Kuiil) has spoken!