Skip to main content

Linux Update in 2023

This article is part of a series titled Trying Linux 2022. You can read the other items in there series here:

  1. Giving Linux another try
  2. Finding a Linux distro and software that work
  3. There is no multi-tasking on the Raspberry Pi
  4. Linux Update in 2023

Last year I experimented with using a Raspberry Pi as a home development environment. The device was ultimately too low powered, but my interest was piqued. Linux has improved a lot since my last experiments with it in the early 2010s.

Encouraged by that experience and a coworker who uses Linux at work and home or development, I decided to try again with a more powerful device. I considered buying a new laptop—Pinebook and System76 look promising—but I opted instead for a Lenovo Yoga from 2017 that we had lying around. It has an Intel i5, 128GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM which felt sufficient. Plus, it feels good to give new life to an old device.

After some internal debate, I ended up installing Ubuntu. There are probably distros that would have been better for an older device with simpler specs, but bog standard should be good enough for me. I didn’t have any issues with drivers this time (🙌), and the only feature that I lost was the fingerprint reader. Overall, the experience of installing Linux on the laptop was great.

Outside of work, I’ve been using this Linux laptop almost exclusively for the past month. It runs well, the battery life is decent (Power Mode helps a lot), and Ubuntu has been a great development environment. I work mostly in the JavaScript world, and the computer is able to handle some resource-intensive Node.js processes. I’ve also been learning Go, and all of that runs without the fan.

I’ve installed Microsoft Edge for browsing and VS Code for editing, but outside of that I’m trying to keep things lean. I know that 128GB will fill up fast, so I’m trying to limit installs to only the essentials. To date, that hasn’t been a limiting factor: turns out your don’t need much to write web apps and Go scripts!

In summary, I’m happy with my current set up. The experimenting with Linux in 2022 helped prepare me to use it as my daily driver in 2023.