Two weeks on....

Mar 28th 2021

Reading Time:
4 minutes

blog Mike Jones Writer

A week ago i wrote my post on Ubuntu Dev Environment. Since then i have been using the system i setup during that blog post as my main machine... and i don't think i'll ever go back to my iMac.....

Keep reading for a few things i have moved to Ubuntu and also some things i haven't....


So, as someone who is only just starting to branch out with Dev work i need an IDE to help make me look better than i am. for a long while i have used PHPstorm which if you have used you will know it is incredible, i cannot fault it in anyway shape or form.

Now the reason i have moved away from PHPstorm is there is a monthly cost... its not much but im a student, a father of three and have other things which are given priority.

The cost per month for a single user is - £6.90, and like i said its worth every penny, unfortunately im pretty skint at the moment so a free alternative was needed.... Here comes Visual Studio Code.

Visual Studio Code

Initial usage of this app i genuinely thought it was a trial and would be required to pay any day now.... but no its completely free. Download it here... if you're using Ubuntu like me just use the following command to install it through terminal.

 sudo snap install code --classic

For Laravel i recommend the following plugins if you working with Laravel projects.

All of these plugins will help with you Laravel Flow... Also if you work with TailwindCSS i highly recommend the plugin: Tailwind CSS IntelliSense.

UNI Work

I started UNI at the beginning of this year, i thought it was time i should get myself accredited to move my life up and up, so what a year to start. With UNI i get access to all office365 in full and on my iMac its absolutely fine.... but on Ubuntu... not so much, i have found some great applications but the free alternatives like LibreOffice just don't hold up to Microsoft Office (In my opinion).

The one application i really want to be able to use is oneDrive so i can auto Sync my work as i'm working. So far i have found abraunegg / onedrive on GitHub. I've not installed this yet, but looks to have a bit of configuration required.

Other Applications that i use for UNI and have got working with Ubuntu 20.04 without issue are all below:

  • Packet Tracer
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Im using this instead of outlook and so far im actually preferring it, not as RAM intensive as far as i can tell.
  • Virtual Box
  • Dbeaver
  • GIMP (one click install from the app store)

Personal Work

Another thing i like to do is move apps away from my phone to my PC. For example i like to use the Desktop app for Signal instead of having to open on my phone and type on the phone.The desktop app is near identical to the phone app but you get the use of a keyboard and mouse, it can also be a one click install from here.

Oddly Signal Desktop runs better on my Linux install than on my iMac so all good from that angle, same goes for the Twitter App.

The Elephant in the room

Gaming... One thing i used to do (a little too much sometimes) was gaming, but with my move to linux there was the decision to reduce my gaming so i knew about this downside.... but thats not to say its impossible. There is a huge number of games that are now being made available on Linux, Games like:

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Limbo
  • Left for Dead 2
  • Borderlands
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider

and that's just a few i like.

Steam is a good example of a company that is pushing the boundaries for Linux Gaming... and it can be installed in just a few commands.

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse
sudo apt update

Then install Steam itself

sudo apt install steam

Run it from the linux "start menu" or just type steam in terminal

And that's it, i installed it on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa with no issues at all. Just out of the box these are the games that worked from my steam lightening.

Final Thoughts

With the constant improvement of the Ubuntu operating system and it becoming easier and easier to install i highly recommend people use the OS...

As a test i got my 11 year old to install Ubuntu on an old machine also, he's never used it before but successfully set himself up the OS its that intuitive.

For my dev work i'm actually preferring it to my iMac with the exception of a 27" monitor (but that's getting rectified soon hopefully), installing the dev environment as discussed in my previous post was easy to do and performs better than my iMac.... baring in my the iMac was £2000 and the Linux PC was £300.....

Apart from Gaming and Microsoft Office i cant see anything else i need another PC for and even in the future when i build a system it will more than likely be a Linux OS with a small Windows partition for ease of use.

I've given my mums old Laptop a new lease of life with a light weight Linux distro and as a technophobe she is even getting to grips with it really well!.

If you have any questions, drop me a contact on the Contact page and i'll respond ASAP.