The worth of a computer platform for your home and business life, I believe, should be measured by how easily what you depend upon can be taken away. I decided to migrate my own home and business to Linux when I realised that the open-source platform was the only way to make my home and work computer life unassailable.
For years in Dublin I have been paid to professionally intervene while computer viruses and anti-virus programs fight it out in the field, while at home I watched my Windows computer get slower and slower as the resources used by the anti-virus program eclipsed the needs of the operating system itself. My computer was virus-free, but I also wanted it to be antivirus-free.
Based on a long career of awful experiences with "black box" software, I was also disturbed by the empirical finding that Windows computers become inexorably slower due to proprietary structures like the Registry and OS files, whose eventually debilitating pathologies can only be fixed by reinstalling the operating system. I'd already known for some time that the sharp division between OS and application in all forms of UNIX eliminates this degradation as well as the virus susceptibility.
I also wanted a system that was reproducible... so that my business, personal and creative workflow could be set up on another computer just as easily as my own, without reacquiring any software licenses or digital certificates, with all software downloadable and legally free to use.
Finally, after having warned a huge community of Dublin homes and business against the hasty adoption of the Windows Vista operating system in 2007, I had been looking for an alternative to the three-year timetable of arbitrary reorganisations that are not always improvements. I predicted, so far correctly, that the continuously self-upgrading Linux variants would avoid the inevitable three-year cycle of rebuilding everything from the ground up amid the anxiety over my favourite software never working the same way again.
Why this DIY material assumes you are a Fedora user
I surveyed the popular Linux variants and chose Fedora, because of statistics that may have varied since then, and may always be subjective:
- the largest contributed body of DIY support material available on the Internet
- the most applications integrated into the mainstream (installable just by typing yum install my_application)
- a variety of spins suggesting large collections of application software supporting a growing number of commercial endeavours.
I also knew that eventually I was going to stand by a commitment to professionally support Linux, just as readily as my company has long been supporting Windows, Apple, and mobile platforms in the home and workplace. Perhaps vainly, I needed to choose one path if I hoped to help others that would follow.
Therefore, I chose a personal specialisation so I could begin developing an aggregate workflow solution in which every Windows dependency was replaced or surpassed by a Linux counterpart. That is why the rest of this DIY material is written from the perspective of the Fedora user: to begin building a baseline for professional Linux support.
- Next: Your Linux migration
- Last Updated: 08 May 2012