I am writing this post from Windows 11.
It has been a ride of more than 15 years. Back in 20061, I started my FOSS journey with OpenSuSE 10.0. Linux has been the primary operating system in all my personal machines over these years. I learned VIM during those days. Co-founded a Linux user group and learned running IRC servers etc. I moved to Arch two years later. As I noted there…
I had tried to customize SuSE to as much as I could. Removing all the unnecessary stuff which bloat the system etc.. Just for history : I could get my system running with a desktop manager (e17) and music player daemon at ~50 MB of RAM.
Arch opened up newer realms for me. Arch wiki was my go to knowledge center. It taught me how documentation ought to be. It also played the role of a trusted advisor, seek the tools there. I had the privilege to author one of the popular gnome shell extensions back when Gnome 3 debuted. It was quite humbling to maintain it for few years until another passionate developer took over the reigns. I continued moving back and forth with ratpoison and later i3 as my primary setup. Linux provided a play ground for tinkering, learning and productivity.
I am immensely grateful for this experience. It is impossible to imagine my current self without this. As I write this, I still run Arch in 75% of my machines including self hosted server and media center. My router runs an open source embedded Linux.
Here are the answers for “Why Windows”?
- Familiarity. Although Linux has been my personal system, Windows has been my professional setup all these years. I know a thing or two about Windows (as a system) and a tool compared to Linux (where probably I am just another power user). I have a deep desire to learn and experiment more about the system.
- Developer tools. Back in the day, Windows was a closed system for developers. The only option for students was to use not so legal copies of professional tools in windows. Linux was much more inviting. Today Windows developer tools are free. Most of the frameworks are cross platform and work equally well.
- Priorities. My Arch setup used to run at 300MB RAM with a complete i3 and terminal. 1GB RAM with Firefox running. Windows runs at 4.6GB RAM with terminal, Firefox and VIM. Resource usage is no longer a constraint for me, instead my preferences have shifted to saving time and effort.
There’s a great community of DIYers in Windows world. I’ve been using tools like
https://scoop.sh or Conemu etc. for years in my work setup. All these
configurations are up here: https://github.com/codito/configs-win. I’ve started
cleaning and updating them. Lastly one secret, I still have my
/home in ext4 and
I mount it on Windows with WSL2 ;) Copy over the firefox and few other tool
$env:LocalAppData and continue where you last left.
Onwards and upwards.
See Wow! All opensource this time. The teenage me surely appears to be in a hurry to express their excitement and happiness :) ↩