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Switching to Linux - a humble report

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#1 giganerd

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 10:04 AM

Usage of operating systems is like living in countries: There are laws, things you may or may not do. Also, there are people, talking one or two certain languages, behaving in a certain way. Operating systems are like that: There are restrictions on the system what you can do and what is more difficult. And there is software, supporting certain languages, behaving in a certain way. You can of course decide to use two or more OSes, but it's like renting a holiday cottage and visiting it a few times a year. There's always home, as there's always a primary OS.
 
I chose this simile because it reflects a bit of myself. I lived a certain amount of my lifetime in Russia, and now I live in Germany. Two different legal systems, two different kinds of people. As it is with switching my primary OS: I've been using Windows for a certain amount of time and now I switched to Linux.
 
Why? Windows more and more gives me the feeling that it's nothing but a machine for procrastination and entertainment (besides being a cash cow for Microsoft). Like Facebook, where scrolling through your feed gives neither knowledge nor wisdom, it's only good at burning time. Also, Microsoft's recent publications marked them the enemy for me: What reputable, customer-centered company would publically say "Our goal is to have 1 billion Windows (10) installations by 2018"? It just shows me that Windows is no longer the OS "you want to fall in love with". Also, when Windows 10 was announced along with the Windows-as-a-Service plan, I really started to question my habits. I would not want to pay for an OS which spys on people and restricts both your creativity and productivity.
 
My intention with this post is to show how easy or difficult it is to switch to Linux and what steps it involved for me so you get an idea how much work is needed. The thread can then be used for discussions. :)
 
 
The first decision one needs to make, besides deciding to actually switch, is which distribution one's going to use (and which desktop environment but that's another thing). Since I work with SUSE Linux Exterprise in the company, I wanted to use OpenSUSE. So I downloaded a Live CD of it, wrote it on a USB drive and attempted to start it. It didn't work, it hang on a "Assuming drive cache: write through" message referencing the USB drive. To see whether it's a problem with USB, I went ahead and installed it. This time, it worked, and I was welcomed with GNOME. And while I was making my first steps in this new world.. it hung itself up. Just like that. It still did after several reboots.
So I was thinking, maybe it was a driver issue because I experienced dozens of those in the past. So I downloaded Ubuntu to see if this would work, and the Live CD did. I didn't install it, though. It's popular and maybe it has the highest compatibility with different kinds of hardware (due to easy access to proprietary drivers) but I thought to myself, I don't want a distribution aimed at beginners. I also used Linux Mint on my netbook and found it too much pre-configured (but Cinnamon was cool!).
So I decided to go with Debian out of a few reasons.

  • I like how Debian puts you in control while you don't need to configure everything in detail.
  • There's this huge software repository, of course.
  • It's well documented and supported.
  • I also like Debian's mindset about free software, like the DFSG (there also were some guidelines on behavior inside the community or something like it but I don't find the links anymore :( ).

Installed, booted, same hanging. Here the DE would "crash" and show a shell with one repeated message from nouveau: "GPU lock". This is where I knew it has to be the open source driver causing this; it forced me to use the proprietary driver for now. Its installation could be done in two ways: By downloading it from nVidias homepage or from Debian's non-free repos. I chose the latter since it was easier to set up. I even found a guide for this. Anyway, the drivers fixed the only hardware problem I had with switching. :)

 
Next steps included the configuration of the OS for production.

  • Setting up Cinnamon
    This included spawning a few desklets and altering the taskbar. xkcd on your desktop, what could be cooler than being greeted with one of these when you log in? :D And of course a system monitor. :)
  • Mounting the other drives
    I reserved a 500 GiB partition for Linux, but there's still the other half of the hard drive plus my Windows 8.1 SSD and a 2 TiB media drive, all of which I wanted to have access to from Linux. Mounting the SSD and the media drive was easy and I "hardcoded" it directly into /etc/fstab. But the other half of the hard drive caused a small error. The thing is, it still contains a working Windows installation which I kept there to allow troubleshooting the SSD in case it failed. mount told me it wouldn't mount the partition in read-write mode because Windows was allegedly not shut down completely. I don't know what the Windows 8 bootloader is doing but going through man mount I found an option to clear the hibernation cache or something which did the trick.
  • Installing and setting up programs I needed
    I was using mostly open source and cross-platform software on Windows, in general software which was also available on Linux. Even migrating settings sometimes involved a simple move command (like Firefox and Thunderbird profiles). Also installed Steam and Wine. And Steam on Wine, though I use this combination in very rare occasions. I was very surprised to see almost all games I played on Windows were available as Linux builds on Steam. So much for "Linux is not ready for gaming". :D Also: openvpn and airvpn, both of which work much better than on Windows in terms of stability, qbittorrent, vlc, PDF editing tools, a number of others as well. Some of these apps were installed to replace already included things, for example zsh instead of bash.

Overall experience

 

Linux is a wonderful desktop OS. But it depends on many points how easy or difficult it will be for you.

  • Sometimes the switch fails because of unsupported hardware.
    As you have read, the open source driver nouveau has its problems with certain nVidia graphics cards. When I searched for this on the internet I found out I am not the only one with this: nVidia don't support nouveau like they supported nv so most work on nouveau had to be done by reverse engineering their proprietary drivers which involved much work and time I imagine.
  • Most people at my age don't switch because they use Windows for gaming, especially for playing the notorious "triple A" games which are traditionally Windows/DirectX only, using the newest tech hardware and software can offer.
    I can understand this point of view, even I still have Windows on my SSD which I see as a last reserve when Wine fails. There was no reason to boot Windows yet so update-wise it's like 60 days behind. :)
  • But in most cases it fails because people have no experience with Linux.
    Most of them expect it to work like Windows. "Windows != Linux" is often cited in this case - Windows is not Linux. Linux does not aim to be like Windows, Linux also doesn't want to be a replacement for Windows. Understanding this is key if you're new to it. If you do the switch, be ready to read. Like, a lot. :)

As for me, I had experience with Linux before. The hardware problem was a small one, multiple smaller complications arose, ensued, were overcome and I don't focus my time on gaming. My choice is clear.

 

What about you? Planning on switching? Maybe you already use Linux? If yes, tell us which distribution and desktop you use and why. Give some tips for "potential switchers", for newbies and for pros if you like.

 


Windows you ditch,

to Linux you switch.

 

Edit:
I have stumbled upon my second self on Reddit who wrote this:

 

Now that I have been through that experience, I know exactly why I prefer Linux. It's not because I am a hipster of the PC world, or a power-user who loves to write his own software (I don't even know how). It's because Linux comes with zero bullshit. Zero. It comes with the necessary files and drivers to make my hardware work and everything else is installed only if and when I say it is. Linux is a fast and effective tool that allows me to play my games, draw my pictures, and browse the internet without interruption or delay.


Always remember:
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Amazon IPs are not dangerous here,
running TOR exits is discouraged,

using spoilers for your logs helps us read your thread.

~ Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. ~

Instead of writing me a personal mail, consider contacting me via XMPP at gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join the lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org. I might read the mail too late whereas I'm always available on XMPP ;)


#2 serenacat

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for the interesting read, which deserves some dialog. I have extended a Windows 7 Lenovo E530 laptop to include AirVPN internet access, then Virtualbox running a Linux Mint 18.0, which I use most of the time and for most web browsing and torrenting.

<p>

The VM setup positives are concurrent use of W7 and LM18, with shared display and some shared filespace and shared VPN/wifi. A 1920x1080 32 inch HDMI monitor helps with extra eyespace. Runs okay in original 4GB ram with 1.5GB for LM and 2 CPUs of 4 for LM (2 core hyperthreaded).

The extra security is that Firefox and qBittorrent and their addons run in Linux processes inside a VM, so getting to the base W7 filesystem and processes is an extraordinary challenge. But I do not entirely trust Oracle, but I am not actually attacking the USA, so whatever. The Chinese Lenovo updates and firmware can capture the US implants for all I know, I am just the innocent civilian.  |o 

<p>

The negatives are limitations for the LM in the VM for lack of direct access to hardware graphics (intel hd4000), instead uses CPU rendering into a memory buffer, and some unsolved problem using the Lenovo Dolby etc audio chain, so no good for video streaming.

<p>

I may get another Lenovo laptop over a Christmas visit, it would be nice to turn this setup inside out, with Linux installed as host and Windows as a guest.

Linux Mint is very easy to use and keep updated and do some personalization for people coming from Windows, but is real Ubuntu and Debian in underlying layers for developing knowledge as required or interested.



#3 ZPKZ

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 04:12 PM


Windows you ditch,

to Linux you switch.

 

lols

 

good stuff!



#4 OmniNegro

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 01:04 AM

I do have a single very useful addition. Let me tell you all about what happened with my system. A few months back, I was using my system, and it suddenly hard-crashed. The power button did nothing and I initially thought the power supply or motherboard was dead. So I disassembled it to parts and eventually determined that the system worked fine with the integrated GPU only. At this point I thought the GPU was the problem. (It was not, but that comes later.)

 

So after looking at GPUs I decided I would be better off buying a new motherboard and seeing if the old GPU would work in it. I replaced an AM3 motherboard with an AM3+ motherboard. And because I intended to replace the GPU either way, I bought a Gaming type motherboard without any integrated GPU. Now here is where things messed with my head.

 

I tried every OS I had at the time, and several new ones, and the only way to boot this system was to remove the old Radeon 5850 GPU I was hoping to use until I could afford a replacement. (I bought a cheap GPU that I knew would work in anything.) Yet for some reason, nothing but Windows and Puppy Tahr would boot. And that is where I learned something crucial that everyone needs to know. What do Windows and Tahr Puppy Linux have in common? Well Tahr Puppy is based on Ubuntu. And Ubuntu and Windows are part of that nightmare known as Secure Boot.

 

It took me multiple months to learn this lesson. Secure Boot has exactly nothing I wanted, and does not actually make things secure. Instead it just restricts what software can run, and most importantly in this situation, what Operating Systems can boot. I disabled it and everything boots and works even with the old GPU. (Though by the time I learned that, I had already replaced it twice. The cheap GPU to allow me to boot, and the Geforce 1060 that is my gaming GPU for the next five years or so.)

 

Learn from my mistake. If moving to Linux, either use something based on Ubuntu, or disable Secure Boot. I have not yet heard of any consumer motherboards that actually let you change the allowed list for secure boot as they are supposed to. And frankly I doubt motherboard makers will ever bother.

 

And anyone who absolutely hates having to understand how things work on Linux, give Puppy a try. It is absolutely tiny and has everything you want and much more. Linux natives, be warned. Puppy does not use a typical "Root" system. Everyone is root and has 777 permissions by default. So it is not secure, but it has the tiniest learning curve any distro can possibly have.

http://puppylinux.org/


Debugging is at least twice as hard as writing the program in the first place.

So if you write your code as clever as you can possibly make it, then by definition you are not smart enough to debug it.


#5 giganerd

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 12:10 PM

Linux natives, be warned. Puppy does not use a typical "Root" system. Everyone is root and has 777 permissions by default.

 

Then one should think twice before installing it on HDD. As a Live CD it's probably good, though. :)

Also, thanks for your story and a great addition. My mainboard is one with classical BIOS.


Always remember:
There's a guide to AirVPN,

Amazon IPs are not dangerous here,
running TOR exits is discouraged,

using spoilers for your logs helps us read your thread.

~ Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. ~

Instead of writing me a personal mail, consider contacting me via XMPP at gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join the lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org. I might read the mail too late whereas I'm always available on XMPP ;)


#6 OmniNegro

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:52 PM

Linux natives, be warned. Puppy does not use a typical "Root" system. Everyone is root and has 777 permissions by default.

 

Then one should think twice before installing it on HDD. As a Live CD it's probably good, though. :)

Also, thanks for your story and a great addition. My mainboard is one with classical BIOS.

Yeah, I thought about trying to explain the differences between BIOS and UEFI here since UEFI is what resulted in Secure Boot being the problem. But most people would not get it, and it would be better one its own thread.

 

If I ever get around to making one, I will link it in here so people who want more information can come to understand the horrible replacement to BIOS motherboards seem to be favoring today.


Debugging is at least twice as hard as writing the program in the first place.

So if you write your code as clever as you can possibly make it, then by definition you are not smart enough to debug it.


#7 serenacat

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 10:32 PM

I prefer a rather powerful laptop for my usage, but if I wanted a Linux system, possibly with just Windoze in a VM, I would look at "workstation"/"server" built systems or motherboards. Just a quick look at Lenovo range, there are "no operating system" ThinkStations starting at about the same price as a decent W10 laptop, with i7 or xeon cpu power options. So none of the M$ and PC vendor tricks of the trade and bloatware found on "home"/"office" units. Such systems would often have higher business security requirements and tighter system admin, but UEFI seems hard to avoid. From my reading, all sorts of vendor variation and features can be built in, and it may seem like renting out a room in your house to the police to do whatever they want to.

#8 serenacat

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 02:51 PM

Without wanting to start a new topic, this article warns of a current specific problem and raises general issues about Linux security:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/fedora-and-ubuntu-0days-show-that-hacking-desktop-linux-is-now-a-thing/

 

Although a negative problem to be addressed, note that the Linux opensource community can more quickly and effectively deal with such problems than the poor mugs who might get a security fix in the next monthly updates while kept in the dark for commercial reasons. Some of the comments are useful.

The vulnerable codec was present in my Linux Mint 18.0, but could be removed with the Synaptic Package Manager, and also I was very unlikely to encounter and it was sandboxed in a VM.



#9 OmniNegro

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 05:03 PM

In case anyone wants to know why I went with UEFI on my motherboard verses getting an older BIOS system instead, UEFI has one significant advantage in coming years. BIOS can at best handle 2TB drives. UEFI is the only way beyond 2TB.

 

I did seriously think of building a very tiny UEFI setup to host larger drives for my BIOS setup, but the cost would still nearly double. So I went UEFI.


Debugging is at least twice as hard as writing the program in the first place.

So if you write your code as clever as you can possibly make it, then by definition you are not smart enough to debug it.


#10 cm0s

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:02 AM

i'm on the giganerd super deluxe hardened edition

#11 Kendji

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:43 PM

Reason why I jumped over from Private Internet Access to AirVPN is because they have an native vpn client for Linux. In other words been a Linux user full time/only now for ~2+ year. My absolute favorite distros are Elementary and Chalet OS, both have things other distros don't have, which makes using Linux less of an project and more seamless to use. Started out by dual booting and never going back to Windows, did this first on my laptop, since windows 8.1 broke my wifi drivers and there where no drivers available for 8.1. My favorite games support Linux and so forth so I had no use for it. Then came Windows 10 and all it's privacy issues, so I'm glad I switched, can't see myself ever returning to Windows.

 

If your using a new version of a Ubuntu based OS, then use the experimental branch(2.11) of the client not the 2.10, which is there by default on the download page. Something to do with 2.10 using an old version of Mono complete package, which is installable on Ubuntu 14.04, while Ubuntu 16.04 requires the newer version, which the experimental client supports.



#12 giganerd

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:13 AM

In case anyone wants to know why I went with UEFI on my motherboard verses getting an older BIOS system instead, UEFI has one significant advantage in coming years. BIOS can at best handle 2TB drives. UEFI is the only way beyond 2TB.

 

I didn't know this. Guess I was lucky that I didn't try a 3 TiB drive, I suppose. :D


Always remember:
There's a guide to AirVPN,

Amazon IPs are not dangerous here,
running TOR exits is discouraged,

using spoilers for your logs helps us read your thread.

~ Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. ~

Instead of writing me a personal mail, consider contacting me via XMPP at gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join the lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org. I might read the mail too late whereas I'm always available on XMPP ;)


#13 Staff

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 01:02 AM

In case anyone wants to know why I went with UEFI on my motherboard verses getting an older BIOS system instead, UEFI has one significant advantage in coming years. BIOS can at best handle 2TB drives. UEFI is the only way beyond 2TB.

 

I didn't know this. Guess I was lucky that I didn't try a 3 TiB drive, I suppose. :D

 

The limit is on the boot partition only, not on the drive itself. Once the kernel runs, you can handle any other partition larger than 2 TB, but (of course) according to the limits of the filesystem of each partition.

 

You need to take additional care if you need a dual boot BIOS machine with Linux and Windows, when you want an older than Windows 7 system (or a Linux kernel older than 2.6, really archaic), or any other system not supporting GPT partitioning (in this case, even with EFI). To clarify:

https://superuser.com/questions/384807/2-1tb-limit-on-bios

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/33555/what-is-the-max-partition-supported-in-linux

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems

 

Kind regards



#14 John Gow

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 03:21 AM

 I switched to Linux because I worked for M$ and because I was hacked (two different but possibly related reasons). I didn't like what I saw there, I didn't think the work we were doing was ethical. I'll be more bold: What MS, Apple, Facebook, [certain countries] and Google are doing with deep learning ("AI") is unethical, immoral, and dangerous.

 

Linux was impossible for non-technical people to convert to 10 years ago, maybe 5 years ago. It might be a challenge today for many. You have to completely transform the way you think about file systems, and you probably have to get a little comfortable with the command line. After a year, I can't live without unfettered command line access and the limitless power Linux gives the user to customize and manipulate data in almost any way possible. I find myself yelling at my macbook for treating me like a baby and capping essential Unix BSD functionality (homebrew or macports is the way out-ish).

 

Linux's main issue is in standards. There are lots of them. There's just a lot to digest. They also suffer from a lack of good, updated, standardized documentation, an issue that has been persistent. That being said, it's amazing how much GOOD documentation exists, and how helpful some people can be out of the goodness of their hearts and the belief in a system of open, free software. It is ideologically driven software. That's important. It is important that civilization has ethical, informed relationships with the technology it uses. This might seem like a wide net I am casting, but it's been on my mind since the last election, which was (I know for a fact), influenced by malicious actors on the internet who were doing some pretty magical things.

 

As a side note: The GPT bit at the end is not a Linux-only problem. Converting from MBR (512-sector partitions) to GPT (4086-sector) is something everyone with a newer hard disk should do but can be kind of annoying in any operating system.  OSX doesn't tell you anything, that's kind of Apple's thing: Show them a shiny car and don't talk about the rootkits in the security blogs that come out every month. Windows, you're sort of on your own. You have to use gdisk or one of the programs in the gdisk suite to convert a disk to true GPT; not the same as a "hybrid GPT" disk which is labeled GPT but has 512b sectors. Running fdisk will sometimes tell you that you've got the wrong sector size; 512 on a 4086 enforced disk.  If you have a big, new hard drive, converting to 4086b sectors (back up everything, always, all the time) will not only give you a lot more space, since a lot of that "vanishing hard drive space" for the past 20 years has been used for ECC for outdated MBR system, it will also lower data corruption in general. Or so the internet tells me.



#15 jean claud

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:55 AM

Thank you very much Treiberschreiber for this brilliant and very interesting report.

Personally I use Linux Mint since 2008 simply because I feel comfortable with this problem-less distro  (18.3 cinnamon now)

Where I was playing a lot I had a dual boot  with windows 7 (erased now)

I've tested a lot of other Linux distro (Tails, BSD, Arch, Debian , Sabayon ), always gone back to Mint home

I like Mint Cinnamon for his compatibility , stability, elegance and no headache use

 

#16 giganerd

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 03:15 PM

I want to thank everyone for their input on this topic so far. It's good to see that Linux on desktops is used and loved just like I use and love it and I look forward to seeing more of you folks making the switch.

 

As part the insight I want to give you on what you might have to expect when you switch, I want to write a quick follow-up post.

In the past 14 months many things happened to my environment. I managed to break both my Windows installation on the SSD and Linux on the HDD in two separate actions unrelated to each other. I replaced some more packages I was using with others and looked into other distributions and desktop environments.

  • I broke Linux.
    Updating software for me is as easy as typing "update" into the terminal. It's an alias for apt-get update, dist-upgrade, autoremove and clean. When I did that, I didn't read too closely which software apt deemed "not needed anymore". Interestingly, all of the manually installed software was at that time (some kind of bug, maybe, I didn't investigate), including the whole X server and Cinnamon. I pressed Enter and removed it all. As it was a remove and not a purge, I hoped reinstalling Cinnamon and X will bring it all back, but then I noticed that all of the manually installed software was removed as well and I opted for a complete reinstall of Linux to also upgrade the whole distribution.
  • I broke Windows.
    When installing Linux I also destroyed the "System reserved" partition which was there since the days of Windows 7, but "SSD-Windows" also used it as I found out. I couldn't boot to Windows anymore. So I decided to recreate this partition on the SSD. With gparted, I made NTFS smaller and created the partition. I used bootrec from Windows Recovery to make it boot again. It booted and got stuck at login. And this is where it gets really frustrating. Some time ago I made a HD backup image with Windows' tools and decided to simply restore it, put up a Windows bootloader on a small SD card and boot from there when I need Windows. GRUB is such a sweet thing, it can boot almost anything which calls itself an OS from any device which calls itself storage. Buuuut.. no. Windows decided that it cannot restore the image on the same drive with the same hardware config because the image was too big. I tried it on one of the NAS HDD. "Image too big". Did I say I love Windows?
  • Package replacements
    - I did some testing with deja-dup/duplicity and backintime/rsync for backups and after a period of time decided to use backintime. It can only talk to local directories, NFS shares and via SSH, both encrypted if you wish, but its way of restoring files or whole backups is exactly what I was looking for. deja-dup, for everyone who doesn't know, is the default backup app in Ubuntu, it talks pretty much everything, local, ssh, smb, nfs, ftp, etc, but apparently some of its functionality is supposed to end up in GNOME/Unity.
    - I did some reading on bash and zsh and decided that I don't need all that bling-bling zsh can do. Reverted to bash and customized it instead.
    - Looking into MPD/MoPiDy to gather all music files and services in one place and streaming it over local network and the internet, replacing music players and apps on all OSes at once. Need more reading and testing on that one, though.
    - Tested KDE applications. More below.
  • Distributions and desktop environments
    BSD. I only started testing and reading. It doesn't look like something I want to use, though. Maybe more reading will do. :D
    But the biggest part here is that I decided to switch to the KDE and all its apps. Not only is it good-looking but also more customizable than Cinnamon and it's got many "plasmoids" offering functionality Cinnamon's "applets" and "desklets" don't offer. As for apps, I tested KMail for example and it looks like I'll be replacing Thunderbird with it.
    I was also looking into distributions without systemd, Devuan first of all, but it really looks like systemd is the future for now. Let's see what the world will look like in a year.

As you can see, once you begin this journey, you will be confronted with questions about what you can change in your environment or workflow, as Linux allows you this freedom. It's like daylight, lighting the way, letting you know where you will end up when you take that next step - as opposed to closed OSes who are good at letting you walk in the dark.

 

Keep following the daylight,
don't go back into the night.

Don't fear questions, manuals and errors,

for the night is dark and full of terrors.


Always remember:
There's a guide to AirVPN,

Amazon IPs are not dangerous here,
running TOR exits is discouraged,

using spoilers for your logs helps us read your thread.

~ Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. ~

Instead of writing me a personal mail, consider contacting me via XMPP at gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join the lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org. I might read the mail too late whereas I'm always available on XMPP ;)


#17 Rational35

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:04 PM

2 cents worth here:

I've been very happy running PCLinuxOS KDE for 10 years now.

It is a fork of Mandriva, is systemd-free, and has an excellent installer which has always played nice creating a dual-boot setup on a Windows machine.

Very usable desktop distro, makes liberal use of nonfree code for excellent hardware support.

Great software repository, and support forums.

If you're still distro-hopping, try PCLinuxOS. 

YMMV, but that's where my journey ended and I like it here :)



#18 giganerd

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:00 AM

2 cents worth here:
I've been very happy running PCLinuxOS KDE for 10 years now.
It is a fork of Mandriva, is systemd-free, and has an excellent installer which has always played nice creating a dual-boot setup on a Windows machine.
Very usable desktop distro, makes liberal use of nonfree code for excellent hardware support.
Great software repository, and support forums.
If you're still distro-hopping, try PCLinuxOS.
YMMV, but that's where my journey ended and I like it here :)

Will look into it in a VM, thanks :)

Sent via Tapatalk. Means, I don't have a computer available now.

Always remember:
There's a guide to AirVPN,

Amazon IPs are not dangerous here,
running TOR exits is discouraged,

using spoilers for your logs helps us read your thread.

~ Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. ~

Instead of writing me a personal mail, consider contacting me via XMPP at gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join the lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org. I might read the mail too late whereas I'm always available on XMPP ;)


#19 John Gow

John Gow

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:19 AM

There's a lot of FUD between linux distros, people take it seriously and personally. I think proper handling of root is important. Like, you should not even have to think about root. It shouldn't be accessible very easily unless you really know your way around. A lot of distros do not do a good job of securing root. Also, automatic updates that work and don't break things are important. A backup and restore system that works is really important. Rsync and so on can be a challenge to get if you are used to OSX or some Windows restore option. Mint 18.3 introduces very good backup and restore choices. Not everyone has time to compile things themselves and comb the blogs for updates and such, Mint has been very good to me there. I am just starting to try out some other distros "for fun," but I'm pretty happy with the Mint flavors as my home base so far.







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