If you are like me, it may seem daunting to change to Linux OS when you start to code — and you may ask, is Linux necessary?
Well, I would time travel and tell the little me when I started to program, “Ahoy! Uninstall the VirtualBox, then remove windows 7 from your machine, and have at it on a new installation of Ubuntu or Kali Linux.”
To be honest, Linux is the best operating system that you could ever use to make applications, software, and websites.
But first, can you code in Linux?
You can code in Linux as Linux provides you with the best features that include; support for popular coding technologies, applications, programming languages, and services; stability; speed; security; multitasking; reliability; affordability; and native support for SSH.
So, if you ever install Linux on your machine or you have it installed on your machine already, and want to code in Linux, I would say, get on with your coding. Install your favorite text or code editor and start writing code.
Linux supports the majority of the technologies, programming languages, and applications used in programming
Linux supports popular programming languages, especially those you are using to code. Let’s say almost all of them.
Besides, when you want to use your favorite IDE or code editor, Linux supports the software fantastically.
When it comes to database systems, Linux supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Firebird, Amazon Relational Database Service, Redis, Ingres, e.t.c.
As a programmer, you will probably interact most with MySQL and PostgreSQL databases when coding in Linux.
As almost all the programming languages are supported in Linux, you are guaranteed support for popular frameworks such as Python Django, React, Laravel, ASP.NET, Spring Web, Ruby on Rails, Angular, Flask, Express.js, e.t.c.
Installing programming tools, programming languages, and frameworks is very straightforward on Linux
Whether you want to install Node.js, Python, or any other popular programming language you may think of, Linux comes with it preinstalled, or you can easily install it using a couple of straightforward steps.
For example, to install the latest Python version on your Linux machine, just open the Terminal and type the following:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install python
Hit Enter and Python should install successfully.
You do not need an additional or long process of configuring the operating system to start using a particular programming language or software in Linux.
Linux is a very reliable operating system
Have you ever been frustrated because you have to reboot each time you install new software in Windows?
Or the annoying message that keeps reminding you that you should restart Windows to install new features or update. Only when you do that your computer either becomes much slower or you get a BSOD!
Heck! Gotta recharge the phone bill to call your favorite computer repair man or woman.
Well, on Linux, you do not have to worry about that anymore.
Linux is a very reliable operating system that can run for weeks or even months without needing to reboot because you have:
- Installed a new software
- Updated to the latest version
- Slow performance
- Screen freezes
I have been using Linux for a long time, and there has been no single moment that I have had to face a screen freeze or slow performance. I am using an HP Probook 640 Gen 1 laptop with 8 GB RAM and I can go for weeks without having to reboot the machine.
Linux works great and smoothly!
You can check out this resource I have written containing in-depth information on why Linux performs better than Windows.
Linux stability outperforms other operating systems
Another good thing about Linux is it’s very stable. I have never faced those moments when I am programming, and the computer crashes without notice or freezes.
Linux doesn’t require necessary reboots even after updating the system. Thus, when coding, you do not have to wait for the machine to boot when you want to resume writing your code.
Linux can operate for a long duration and even update without having to reboot the system.
Linux performance is the best for new and old computer hardware
Linux is the most powerful OS in the world because it runs 90% of the most powerful Linux supercomputers. Google primarily uses Linux as the primary operating system – Android and Chrome Operating systems use the Linux kernel.
If these companies trust Linux performance, you should too because — well, … I trust it too, mate.
Do you have a vintage computer (like a really old and dusty one!) – Let Linux bring it to life! You can revive old hardware using Ubuntu matte or puppy Linux operating systems; yeah, Puppy (woof!)! You just need a minimum of 64 MB of RAM, and you are good to go!
You do not have to invest too much when you use Linux to code. If you have an old computer, you should try installing Linux and writing some code!
That would be classy, by the way!
See this comparison article showing the number of computer resources required to run Linux and Windows operating systems.
You do not have to worry about security compromises on Linux
You will enjoy using Linux to program because you do not need to install antivirus software to mitigate any virus or vulnerability exploits.
The reason why Linux is very secure is that it deploys one of the best built-in security defenses built within its kernel. Besides, Linux implements the best file and folder permissions and group policies that eliminates unauthorized file execution and access.
Thus, virus replication becomes very hard on a Linux file system. Virus replication occurs when viruses acquire read/write permissions, create their own files, and attach themselves to legitimate binary files across your file system. The new files can then affect your important documents.
However, when you use Linux, your files will always be safe from threats like viruses, worms, or ransomware.
Say goodbye to expensive anti-malware or antivirus software.
Please Dev, invest that money into stocks or save for the future old you.
I do not know about you, but for me, I will use that money to buy a levitating sofa/boots – you know, I do not have to walk around the house too much when I am old.
And hopefully, Elon Musk would have invented it. I hope he does!
Linux is one of the fastest operating systems.
Linux runs very smoothly even when you are multitasking.
Thus it increases your productivity because they do not have to waste time waiting for some applications or chrome tabs to respond.
How to install your favorite text/code editor in Linux
You can also use it as an IDE because it is easily customizable by installing extensions.
Here’s how to install VS code in Linux:
How to install Visual Studio Code in Linux
Head to the Visual Studio download page and download the .deb version if you’re using Ubuntu or Debian-based Linux such as Kali Linux. If you have installed Red Hat, Fedora, or SUSE, use the .rpm file.
Open the Terminal, navigate into the downloads folder, and type the following:
cd ~/Downloads sudo apt update sudo apt install ./code*.deb
Replace code*.deb with the name of the downloaded file and hit Enter.
Wait for the installation to complete, and no further steps are required.
To open Visual Studio Code in the Terminal, type
and hit Enter. A new VS code window should open.
You should see the Extensions icon on the left side of the Visual Studio Code window. Click on it, search for your desired extension and install it.
For tricks on how to use Visual Studio Code, check out this article I have written for you.
How to install your favorite IDE in Linux
If you are going to code in Python, Visual Studio Code should be enough to write basic to intermediate Python code or when you have such levels of proficiency. However, to be more efficient in coding in Python using a Linux machine, you should install an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
One of the best IDEs to use on Linux are:
- IntelliJ Idea for Java, Kotlin, Groovy, and other JAR-based programming languages
- Pycharm for Python
- Spyder for Python
Here is a step-by-step process on how to install Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ Idea, and PyCharm in Debian Linux (Ubuntu, Kali Linux, and other distros that use apt package manager).
How to install PyCharm community in Linux
If you develop your web applications using Python, especially Django, you shouldn’t miss one of the best features PyCharm offers.
PyCharm is a Python integrated development environment that you can use to create a convenient environment for your Python applications used for web and data science.
Here’s how to install PyCharm in Linux:
Head to the JetBrains download page and download the PyCharm community version under the Linux tab.
Open the Terminal, navigate into the Downloads folder, and type the following:
cd ~/Downloads sudo apt update sudo apt install ./pycharm_file_name.deb
How to install Spyder in Linux
Spyder is one great IDE you should use in Linux when learning scientific programming in Python or getting started with Python programming language.
It is very lightweight compared to PyCharm.
It has a very good interface that I use when I was learning to program.
Spyder’s multi-pane interface allows you to write code on one pane and run the program on a separate pane in the same window.
I see the pane layout as more convenient when I am trying to understand simple to complex concepts used in Python programming.
Here’s how to install Spyder in Linux:
Open the Terminal and type the following:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install spyder
The command installs the latest Spyder version on your Linux machine.
That’s it. You can start using Spyder to write Python code.
How to use Spyder to code in Linux
To start using Spyder, press the super key (the key with the Windows logo on your machine) and start typing Spyder.
You should see a window like the one below with the Spyder app icon appearing after typing the spyder.
Click on the icon to open it.
If you cannot see the icon, open the Terminal and type the following
The command should open Spyder app.
Once the Spyder app opens, you use the left pane to write your script.
To execute the script, use the little play button at the top toolbar. Alternatively, press the F5 function key to execute your Python script.
The script output should be displayed inside the right window pane.
So, can you code in Linux? Yes, and there are many reasons you would choose to program in Linux. Some of these advantages are but are not limited to smooth application execution and running, support for multitasking, compatibility with popular programming languages, support for popular technologies and database systems, security, and reliability, among many others.
In general, Linux gives you all the freedom and the best environment you will ever need to start your programming aspirations.
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