Andrew Matthews



Perhaps the day has finally arrived when GNU/Linux seems like a viable option. Every six months or so I try out the latest GNU/Linux distros to see how they’re progressing. I look at them from the usual jaundiced perspective of the professional programmer. Not from the naive perspective of teenage rebellion. Normally I end up wandering off in disgust at the unfinished feel of the whole ensemble.

All I want is an environment that doesn’t fight back when I use it. I only care if it is possible to run all the usual tools with a minimum of fuss and bother. And, believe it or not, that’s fairly true of Eeebuntu. (With the sole exception of the fact that monodevelop is still a very long way behind VS 2010 or even sharpdevelop, but you can still do real C# development, and that’s so very cool).

I guess I’m lucky because I chose a distro specifically designed for my brand of machine, so everything is tuned and provided and properly configured. But it still amazes me that I am up and running in minutes (including dev tools) where previously on GNU/Linux that would have taken weeks of frustration.

I love the package management systems – they are (so far) flawless, as was the OS installer. Google Chrome, MonoDevelop, Mono, XSP2 and even ASP.NET MVC 1.0 are all available directly from the synaptic package manager and all install and run completely without hitches.

MonoDevelop even has settings allowing it to default to using VS 2010 project file formats! I’m impressed. Really. No piss taking at all. Well done, all involved.