I manage the web server running this site, an Ubuntu distribution running on a Linode in some distant datacenter. My only interface being the command line. It’s been an incredibly cost effective way for me to distribute shards of curated HTML and the occasional file. I look for system updates on weekends and apply those followed by a reboot when required. Sometimes, when I think about it, I also purge some log files that grow incredibly large. That’s about all the system maintenance I do.
Kernel updates, patches, reboots, and a little file pruning. Easy peasy and just twelve bucks a month.
I first became involved with the Linux operating system around 1992 or ’93. It was definitely the pre-1.0 kernel days though I don’t remember exactly how I got my hands on that Slackware distribution. I think it was at a hamfest. After Slackware came RedHat and then some SUSE version I don’t recall.
Eventually I settled on RedHat and was a happy camper for several years. Then a few years later everyone seemed to be using Ubuntu and I switched as well. It was a good decision for me because suddenly all the hardware just worked without having to apply endless patches and roll daily kernels just to keep the sound card working, etc. Ubuntu remains my favorite Linux distro and I have it running here on many machines.
When it comes to other flavors of Unix systems, I’ve been a member of the Super Dimension Fortress for decades. SDF is a networked community of free software authors, teachers, students, researchers, hobbyists, enthusiasts and the blind. It is operated as a non-profit and is supported by its members. The system started out on a single computer in 1987, and now is comprised of eight 64-bit enterprise class servers running NetBSD realizing a combined processing power of over 21.1 GFLOPS.
The experience of living on the command line in those days before Linux was cool proved invaluable to my career. While I left the crazy OS zealotry behind long ago, I am forever grateful for the personal computing experiences I’ve had and can’t imagine a time when I won’t have ready access to Linux in one form or another.
Because when you get right down to it, Linux (still) Rocks!