I’ve been a Microsoft OS user since… well, as far back as I can remember. I grew up on MS-DOS, moved to Windows 3.1 when I was around 11, and then from there through Windows 95, 98, 98SE, 2000 (yup, we skipped ME on my family’s systems), XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 (only on a Surface tablet), and now 10. I know how to get around in Windows like the back of my hand, or better, but I think it is finally time to diversify a bit.
Technically I’ve been running Linux on smartphones for years now, but while Android is built on Linux you never really interact with the OS on a phone like you do on a "real" computer. As Puget Systems has matured we’ve started to sell a significant number of Linux-based workstations, servers, and HPCs. We have other folks here who know a ton about Linux, and who are great resources when I need help or a customer has questions, I’d prefer to be able to converse more intelligently about it myself. I’m not sure I’ll ever run it at home in any significant capacity, but who knows: if Microsoft continues to get more intrusive in future editions of Windows, maybe a time will come when I need to migrate to a more securable OS.
Anyhow, that was a very long-winded way of saying that I am setting out to learn Linux. I’ve got a couple books on the subject, and my goal is to pass the CompTIA Linux+ test as a benchmark to make sure I’ve learned the basics in the end. In order to play with Linux as I study, I am setting up virtual machines - both here at work and at home - that I can tinker with. I think I’m going to start with Ubuntu Server, to get used to the command line, and then install a desktop environment from there once I am ready for it. I’ve heard good things about Mate, that KDE is classic, and that Ubuntu’s default Unity is not too horrible (depending on who you ask). If anyone reading this has a suggestion for a desktop to try, let me know in the comments!
Oh, and wish me luck :)