I started using Linux for development (again) but this time I'm blown away!

Every now and then I (but it seems its something widespread amongst developers) check the prices of new Macbook Pros and find myself looking for alternatives.

I use my laptop for development (node.js, docker, etc.) and need Photoshop for my photography work. On occasion I also need other Adobe tools like Indisign and Illustrator. Believe me, I tried switching to Windows recently but that isn't an option if you're used to the OSX standards in my opinion. I also tried a dual boot setup using Linux and Windows together. Not an ideal way of work. Because developing in Linux makes you unable to use Adobe products if needed. And as a webdeveloper it's quite handy to drag and drop an image from your IDE for Photoshop to edit, save and be done with it. Such things work flawelessly on OSX.

So yes, my conclusion is that if you develop for work and also use other (graphical or other) software in the process nothing can beat Apple/OSX for a near perfect workflow in combination with hardware that's just next level. Those things together justify the price. Again especially if you use these tools for work.

Now if you mainly use your laptop for development and ocassionaly might want to edit an image and don't depend on Adobe products at all, it's a whole other story.

Recently I aquired a new piece of hardware which I inted to use solely for development purposes. Now I didn't want to spend a sh*tload of cash for this machine so I started looking for a machine that was known to be Linux friendly and still have enough RAM and (SSD) diskspace. The thing is, new hardware tends not te be fully compatible with  Linux so you're in for a bit of a gamble.

If you're not into Linux on a day to day basis you're probably trying to install a known distro like Debian, Ubuntu, Suse or CentOS. I for one did and came to the conclusion that it wasn't a 100% happy experience...again. Of course you're prepared to do some work like figuring out workarounds for small hardware issues and switching to a more recent kernel to get your machine fully working. But it just didn't work well. You know, well in terms of trusting the setup for some heavy future development work.

After this experience I went to distrowatch instead of Google and tried different distros I didn't even know. And being used to 'apt' for installing packages non debian based distros where not the first onces I tried. I did however heard of Arch Linux which appealed to me, but I didn't want to spend my precious time to invest into setting up a system like Arch users do. You know, head first.

But then my eye stumbled upon another populair distro (based on Arch) I didn't heard about. Manjaro Linux. Long story short. I downloaded the ISO, created a bootable USB and powered up my Asus Zenbook US433FA. Yes a pretty recent laptop. (So didn't play well with any of the distros I tried so far.)

I was just blown away with the ease I could setup this system. After booting I immediately installed Docker, Docker Compose, a nice graphical database client for Postgres, MS Code and was quickly properly working. What! With such ease. The desktop also looked very slick and was quickly tweaked to my taste. I'm really deeply impressed by Manjaro Linux. Everything just worked out of the box! No issues at all. My bluetooth mouse, external monitor, keyboard lights, sound and Wifi. No issues whatsoever. And after some digging around I understood that supirior hardware support is one of the main pro's of Manjaro.

Manjaro desktop

So, if you're that developer looking for a proper Linux alternative to OSX (or even Windows for that matter) that might blow you away I really suggest you try out Manjaro. I can tell from my experience that I'm more than pleasantly suprised by using it from the fist moment I booted it.

Psyched!

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