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Setting up your cloud engineering Linux desktop environment

As technology professionals, we spend a TON of time in front of our computers. To be battle-station-ready, we need to have the right tools for the right job.

The first thing is the OS. For my Linux desktop, I like to use Elementary. It's an aptitude-based distro with a Mac-like feel. It's fast, steady, and I haven't had many problems. Remember to keep it up to date however. A cron job at every boot to run apt-update -y will do the trick.

The next thing is your code-editor. A lot of distros come with one, but I prefer VSCode. VSCode has very quickly become a top-tier editor. The amazing amount of extensions alone makes it the top, if not, very close to the top. My top extensions are;

1. PowerShell
2. Python
3. Docker
4. Kubernetes

Since I work on both Azure and AWS, I need PowerShell to manage Azure. For this, PowerShell Core is the way. Below is instructions depending on your distro.

The next thing we need to test on our cloud environments is the cloud's CLI and API. Working on both AWS and Azure, we'll need awscli and az (az is Azure's CLI). Along with this, PowerShell can import az and you'll have cmdlets at your disposal.

I'll need to be able to test some micro services and containers. For this, we'll definitely need Docker. We won't run production-level workloads from our Linux desktop, but we'll need to have the ability to test containers on the fly.

Now that we have Docker installed, we need some Kubectl. Kubectl from your Linux terminal will allow you to run your Kubernetes config locally so you can connect to your orchestration system6.

The final thing, as in most desktops, we need a good web browser. I prefer Chrome.


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