I just realized that it’s been a little over a year since I pretty much permanently switched from Windows to Linux! I had been using Linux on and off over the past 10 years or so, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I seriously ditched Windows in favor of Linux.

On December 30, 2004 I blogged about my Gentoo installation, which I had completed the week before. I kept Windows as a dual boot option, but these days I pretty much never boot Windows any more.

Overall I was quite happy with Gentoo, and I still have a lot of admiration for this distribution and the community around it, but a few months ago I decided to switch to Kubuntu, and I’ve been extremely happy with this distribution so far.

These days my Linux box serves many purposes, and it serves all of them well. First and foremost, it is my primary desktop machine that I use for email, browsing the web, posting to my blog, occasionally watching movies, doing some minor graphics work here and there, etc. Second, it is my development workstation that I use both for my personal projects, as well as occasional work related programming tasks. Third, it acts as a server: My MP3 collection is exposed to our various laptops via a Samba share. Recently I have also started running Galleon, the open source Tivo media server. This application is actually quite impressive, and I’ll blog about it in more detail some other day.

I do have to admit that I am still running Windows on my laptop. The main reason for this is actually iTunes, which is still far superior to any Linux application when it comes to syncing with an iPod. Otherwise, I would seriously consider installing Kubuntu on my laptop as well, as I am very impressed with it and confident that it will run just as smoothly on my laptop. However, this is probably a moot point, because I know that I’ll ultimately replace this with a PowerBook anyway. :)

Anyway, I’d like to point out that Linux is an awesome operating system. It’s come a long way in the past 10 years and should be considered a very serious contender to Windows. Until very recently, I was still quite disappointed with the state of Linux desktop environments. However, this is no longer the case. KDE 3.4.3 (which is included in the last official Kubuntu release, “Breezy”) is great, and the recently released KDE 3.5 (which I haven’t tried yet) is supposed to be even better. I personally like the recent KDE versions much better than Gnome. Anyway, if you’ve mainly been using Windows so far, you’re technically minded, and you don’t have any highly specialized Windows software needs, I strongly encourage you to take the plunge and at least set up a dual boot Linux installation. You may find that you don’t even want to boot back into Windows any more…