Linux is about the Journey
Marko Mirceski, 2021-07-28
I often take the time to think about the things that are important to me. Stuff like family, programming, life, philosophy, psychology, free software and Linux, among many. And it made me wonder: What makes Linux so special? What makes it stand out from all the other Operating Systems? How does Linux take effect on your life where other systems don't? Of course, the GOTO argument would be all the technical aspects, its respect of privacy, and the users freedom in comparison to proprietary systems. You could also argue that the thing that makes Linux outstanding is its general system security, as in being basically the safest system you could use.
But none of that matters here. I'm here to offer a new Point of view on the quirks of the GNU/Linux Operating system. What truly makes it the greatest system that currently exists, and why people should start learning it.
The "Linux Lifestyle"
As with all things in Life, people like to attribute a certain way of living to GNU/Linux users. Most of the times it's all about horrible stereotypes, like the neckbeard and the Elitist. Two Archetypes that present the average Linux-user as a greasy, conceited and misogynistic asshole, and that couldn't be farther from the truth. The average Linux user is usually a normal person, just living their life without any need to rub their use of GNU/Linux under their nose.
But what about that "Linux Lifestyle"? It's simple: It doesn't revolve around some sort of Elitism or militant preaching. In truth, this Lifestyle is centered around being conscious about your privacy, and your freedoms, to ensure that they are in your hands and your hands only. Another thing that is part of this Lifestyle is a willingness to solve problems, if needed. Because only that way can you guarantee that your stuff actually works the way you want it to. And most of the time, this way of living involves the Linux community.
The Linux Community
Some might argue that there is no such thing as a Linux Community. They say that the word "Community" doesn't apply because it's mainly present on the internet. But I think that this line of thinking is wrong. Because the Linux Community is one of the most vital parts of the experience and definitely a great asset, and a fantastic way to make new friends. Anyone discrediting a perfectly legitimate community is at the very least a bitter loner with no grasp on how people nowadays work and thrive. You do not have to always assemble in person to form bonds, and nowhere is that more true than in the Linux community.
It is inevitable that you encounter this odd bunch of people, and you might even be appalled by some. But that is perfectly fine! No one has to like everyone. But keep in mind that most of the people in this community are very good folks who only want to see you succeed. Because while we are a very vocal community, we are still pretty small compared to some others. And shying away some potential new members would be the last thing we'd want to do. In the end, the community is a part of your journey. And that is important.
Linux is all about learning. Be it some simple stuff like a few terminal commands, or complex cron jobs that you can use for some advanced automation. It doesn't really, matter where you stand, if you are a beginner or a pro, you never stop learning on Linux. That is the charme of it all, the ability to further your knowledge of computers and programming whilst also using a free and open-source operating system. Some might not care about the freedom it gives you, and that is fine. But it is still important to keep it in mind when working with Software.
In the end, it is of the essence that one realizes that Linux isn't about the end goal. It isn't about some free software utopia, or about the ultimate privacy-driven society. Linux is a tool. And it is about the Journey you make with this tool. And on this Journey you will experience hardships and failure. And it is only normal that you might not wanna use it after your first encounter. The trick lies in actually using it again, instead of going away and never looking back.
This journey is about what you want from your perfect computer operating system, and the friends you make along the way. Learning Linux isn't just about Jobs, or "nerd cred". It is an experience, that forever shapes the way you see computers, and shows you the most efficient ways of using one. Personally, I see it as a kind of semi-spiritual experience, but that is just my personal perception.
Whether you already use the system, or are in the process of installing it, I hope you take this advice to heart: "Never try to force success, it will only leave you dissappointed. Rather, learn about why you fail, and then try again. For failure is more a teacher than a mark of shame."