I started using Linux after losing a new Windows 7 operating system after a botched BIOS update. Low on funds and with time to kill over the summer of 2011, I tried out Ubuntu and ended up hooked.
From Ubuntu, I progressed to other Debian-based Linux distributions such as CrunchBang (now known as BunsenLabs Linux) and Peppermint, but since 2012 my distribution of choice has been Arch Linux, a highly customizable distribution based around binary packages. While the three days spent trying to get Arch working on my old Samsung N250 netbook were not always fun and games, it was the first time I started to peel back the GUI and get into the inner mechanics of an operating system. I highly recommend Arch to anyone looking to better understand how operating systems and computer hardware work, whether Linux novice or Linux neckbeard.
Arch User Repository
- archlinux-lxdm-theme -- Simple Arch Linux theme for LXDM, by Thayer Williams and Allan McRae
- bootstrap -- Open source toolkit for developing with HTML, CSS, and JS
- canon-pixma-mx870-complete -- Complete stand alone driver set (printing and scanning) for Canon Pixma MX870
- linode-cli -- Linode API wrapper
- parcellite-git -- Lightweight GTK+ clipboard manager (git version)
- pass-parcellite -- Stores, retrieves, generates, and synchronizes passwords securely (Parcellite history removal support)
- puddletag -- An audio tag editor for GNU/Linux
- puddletag-qt5-git -- An audio tag editor for GNU/Linux, Qt5 version (currently broken upstream)
- python2-musicbrainz2 -- A client library written in python which provides easy object oriented access to the MusicBrainz database
- python2-terminaltables -- Generate simple tables in terminals from a nested list of strings
- python2-colorclass -- Yet another ANSI color text library for colorful worry-free console applications, python2 version
Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS
I also spend a lot of time working with CentOS, whose upstream source is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). I am currently a Red Hat Certified System Administrator and a Red Hat Certified Engineer for RHEL 7.
This site is hosted via Linode, who offer scalable Linux-powered virtual private servers and a great library of technical and how-to guides. If you are looking for an inexpensive, unmanaged hosting provider, I highly recommend you check them out.
If you are in search of quality managed hosting, however, I strongly encourage you to check out the managed web hosting company I used to work for, Liquid Web.
This site is powered by a LNMP stack (Linux, NGINX, MariaDB, PHP)
- NGINX (pron. engine x) is a lightweight, secure, fast web server and reverse proxy server. I was an avid user of another web server Lighttpd for several years, but started exploring NGINX recently as a reverse proxy solution on a project and enjoyed working with it so much I decided to convert.
- MariaDB is a fork of the popular MySQL database management software with similar style, architecture, and indexing
- PHP is a popular scripting language that handles modules and other interactive content on the site. It is closely integrated into NGINX through PHP-FPM (PHP FastCGI Process Manager), a PHP FastCGI implementation
On my Arch-powered personal computers, my favorite open source programs are:
- LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) -- low-resource fast desktop environment similar in appearance to classic MS Windows
- Openbox -- highly configurable windows manager
- Strawberry -- modern music player, fork of Clementine
- puddletag -- audio tag editor for GNU/Linux
- Syncthing -- peer-to-peer secure file synchronization over multiple devices
- TeXstudio -- robust editor for creating files and documents