In this short article, well…maybe more just some random personal thoughts, I want to give a little insight into how I came into contact with Linux, what my journey was like and how I have experienced that journey in recent years. A big part of that journey was a beautiful and positive experience, but during that journey I also had some negatives that have stayed with me and partly have been a reason for setting up this website. And one of those experiences has been why this website is called RealLinuxUser.
I first came into contact with Linux relatively recently. Before that I was an Apple user for many years. But somewhere in 2017 I think, my beloved iMac 2011 suddenly broke down and my MacBook Late 2008 with Core2Duo processor couldn’t handle the things I did every day, such as photo editing and management with Adobe Lightroom. So suddenly it was time to think about my next purchase, what it might cost and which platform I would choose. For years I have also become more and more aware of the fact that we burden the earth with electronic waste, so I preferred to reuse older computer equipment from others that still works and that is good enough for my purposes. I was also consciously introduced to the concept of Linux for the first time through articles in a number of magazines, which sparked my interest. An operating system that is stable, secure, could run very effectively on older equipment and had a large community behind it to help me with all my questions…that sounded nice.
After a lot of research, I bought both a refurbished desktop and a refurbished laptop and started my journey of discovery with Linux Mint. With help from forums and websites and Youtube, I managed to install Linux Mint successfully. And then my enthusiasm got bigger and bigger and I dared to ask my questions in some forums. Since I am drawn to graphical applications and a graphical way of using my computers, One of the things I asked was how I could do certain things with graphical applications only, as I am a visual person and prefer graphical user interfaces. And what shocked me then was the reactions I got. It was like I was swearing in church or something…how ridiculous it was that I didn’t want to just use the terminal because everything was so much nicer and better and faster using terminal commands. And maybe that is true in some cases, but what struck me the most was that I was not considered a real Linux user because of that And some folks told me that in a really harsh way. When I started thinking about those comments, I came to my own conclusion that this way of thinking and communicating from the Linux community (for a while it felt like the whole community was against me, which of course wasn’t, but harsh words have sometimes major impact on me), may be one of the major reasons why so many people don’t even want to try Linux. The technical level, the language, the attitude, and the unfriendly tone of voice that I often encountered, I don’t think fit with all the beautiful things Linux has to offer.
So the fact that I was called a “no real linux user” several times, made me start my own website with the name RealLinuxUser, as a statement and a platform to bring Linux closer to normal, but in my eyes also “real”, Linux users. With this website I want to show how much Linux has to offer and I want to do that mainly from solutions with a graphical user interface. And in the meantime, of course, I also found out myself that some things are indeed really easier via the terminal or can even be done only that way. But I also want to describe the use of the command line in my articles in a friendly way, so that it is understandable for everyone. And if you still don’t want or like to use the terminal, you are in my opinion still a real Linux user.
In addition, perhaps the most important thing for me is that I want to create an inviting atmosphere with this website to try and use Linux. I want us to talk to each other in a friendly way, listen to each other, be open to each other’s opinions, not pointing at each other and ridicule each other, and respect that we are different users but with the same interest. If I want to use Zorin OS and you use Linux Mint or Ubuntu or Arch Linux, let’s communicate about it out of respect for each other instead of burning each other down because the other made a “ridiculous choice”. Let’s learn from each other by providing an inviting community for existing and potential new Linux users. And even though my website is just a hobby project, I hope it makes a small contribution to the humanization of the image of Linux and its community.
Note: Everyone has personal experiences with Linux and the community around it. If you want to share these experiences, good and bad, with me, or maybe even want to share them through this website in the form of a personal story, please contact me via the contact page.