I just completed my transition back to a Linux workstation1. My distro is Ubuntu, of course. I first tried Ubuntu about eight months ago, at my previous job, and was impressed so I stuck with it. On a side note, I am quite pleased to see how Ubuntu is getting noticed recently.
Every time I install Ubuntu it blows me away with it’s completeness and ease of use. The thing that impressed me the most this time is that it created a dual boot machine out of my laptop. No option twiddling, no questions even I don’t know the answer to, not even a “do you want a dual boot machine” question. It just detected the Windows installation on the NTFS partition and went about configuring grub appropriately. That is the it-just-works sort of behavior that really sets Ubuntu apart.
I am really glad to back on Linux. My job is a windows-on-the-desktop shop. I figured I would go with the flow and use windows for couple of months just to make sure Linux would work. That was just about as long as I could stand. I find Windows to be a significantly less productive, and more frustrating, environment in which to program.
I have been the lone Linux user in a Windows shop before so that did not worry me, but IE compatibility testing did concern me. Most of my development is on web based applications and web based applications have to support all the weirdness that is IE. So I went on a little search and I found IEs4Linux. This is a sweet program that downloads and sets up IE 6, 5.5 and 5 via Wine. That gives Linux even better browser support than Windows which only support one version of IE.
I use the term “workstation” loosely. The hardware is Dell Inspiron 600m. So far it works beautifully.