Best Programming Languages for Linux Development
Linux by market share is not the most popular choice for an operating system. That said, market share is only the only determiner of popularity. Linux has proven to be an ever-popular choice amongst software developers of all stripes. Plus working solely in the Terminal makes your co-workers think you actually have hacking skills.
In all seriousness developing Linux, applications have received a shot in the arm with Steam’s announcement that it will be using Linux for its new portable gaming device the Steam Deck. This will prompt some developers to look at developing the operating system along with the numerous others committed to providing great open-source applications.
Often the first question prospective software developers will ask is what programming language is best to learn for some goal. This is the most loaded question in terms of software development, and the answer is always “it depends.” Every year articles will discuss where coding is going but the answer to what the best programming language will always be “it depends”.
Rather than providing a top to bottom ranking of what can be considered the “best” programming language or tool, it is wiser to give some of the most useful options depending on the use case. The first in this list is C/C++, fair warning it is not the most beginner-friendly language to pick up but C and its advancements like C++ are the building blocks of Linux along with assembly. The language is particularly good when performance matters and is known for being highly precise in terms of memory management.
Another popular choice amongst Linux developers is Java. Due to the language’s object-oriented and cross-platform approach. The language, although initially developed to run web applets, has matured to the point that it is capable of running extensive networked operations.
When it comes to developing software applications that require cross-platform functionality Java has proved to be an ever-popular choice. Further, the language is a particularly good choice if an application needs to be migrated over to another operating system without the need for extensive porting.
Every year Python reaches new heights in its popularity. This is driven in part by its easy-to-read syntax, a design feature from the outset, and the ability to enable programmers to code entire concepts in a few lines of code, often far less than other languages. Along with being easier to read Python is a high-level, general-purpose, dynamic, and interpreted programming language which lends itself to be easier to learn for beginners.
When it comes to Linux development, Python’s increasing popularity can be seen in the increase in the number of applications using the language. Further, over the years several popular frameworks, like Qt and GTK, have been developed to help make Linux development that little bit easier.
Going on, with the combination of Node.js, developers can tackle both front-end and back-end development, which will ultimately boost the likeliness of them getting hired.
Swift is Apple’s programming language that allows developers to create applications for Mac computers, as well as Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch). Swift, like many modern programming languages, has a very readable syntax and runs code quickly. It can also be used for client-side and server-side development.
However, as with all the languages we listed above, Swift is not compatible with older versions of iOS. In addition to that, the code is a newer programming language and can sometimes be unstable. There are also fewer resources for programmers. And if you want to dive deeper into the apple operating systems, then you can also check out our Swift vs. Objective-C comparison.
Before you jump on the best programming languages used to develop Linux apps, make sure you learn a bit of Bash. It will help you navigate through the ins and outs of any Linux distro and maintain the status we were talking about in the first paragraph. That being said, we hope we’ve successfully created a small trajectory in your head with this introduction, in your quest to become a developer.
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