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I'm considering switching my daily driver computer to Linux (for the 20th time)


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Over the years there's been a growing part of me that's wanted to be a full-time Linux user.  I've been using Windows from the beginning and attempted to switch to macOS a few years ago (given the excitement of M1) however I gave up after 8 solid months because I came to dislike some issues that I couldn't circumvent in macOS.

Due to some fear, impatience and most importantly, software compatibility, I have not made the switch to Linux, but times have changed.  I've played around with the big distributions (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc.) in some way or another.  I've grown extremely comfortable with Bash, the command line and have the confidence in working my way out of issues (a lot of this is due to the hardware business I was involved with for 7 years which sharpened by skills).  I've dealt with installing Nvidia drivers in every which way too (if you know, you know).  

Whenever Ubuntu releases an LTS version, I tend to experiment with it and I did so last night with 24.04.  Really annoying things like not being able to move the taskbar from the left to the bottom without having to use extensions that could break, are now natively supported (IIRC you couldn't do this so easily before).  That sounds like a minor nit-pick but if there's something I know about myself, it's that if I don't have to reprogram my muscle memory, I will have an easier time.  The mouse movement feels Windows-like (this truly annoyed me with macOS despite trying every program and tweak in existence) and font rendering doesn't seem to bother me as much as macOS.  Again these seem like minor nit-pick type things but to me they matter.

At this point, it comes down to software compatibility.  I'm not some hardcore Office user and I barely use it beyond basic word processing, so that's not an issue.  The only other software suite is Adobe CC.  I do rely on Photoshop and Illustrator, but not for "creating" but rather tweaking.  I've built some muscle memory with those apps as well but I can't let them hold me back.  I know Photopea exists which many have raved about being a great Photoshop alternative and which supports PSD quite well from what I've heard.  So that's always an option combined with Gimp or Krita if I don't have to deal with actual PSD files.  Maybe I'll set up a VM with Windows to help ease the transition.

So at this point, there's nothing holding me back.  I installed Ubuntu 24.04 on my main system along-side Windows (dual boot).  In a couple months, I will try to switch.

Any other desktop Linux users here?

BTW, I'm sticking with Ubuntu because I like how it's Debian-based.  I know there's some disagreements with snaps being used, etc., but because it's the most popular Linux distro and feels polished enough and similar to Windows, it's the best place to start (and maybe stay).

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Yes, I switched from Windows to desktop linux in 2004 and have not regretted it.

I do have a Windows VM for running one legacy app, which I boot once every 2 months and run for a few hours. Apart from that I also use DDEV to run local development containers (thanks for the pointer @bernhard) and am using the Cinnamon desktop - which I do prefer over gnome.

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KDE Plama user here and very happy with it (currently KDE Neon but sometimes Kubuntu).

I do also own a Mac becasue we sometimes build apps which needs me to use XCode, and I have a laptop that I can dual boot into Windows but I can't even remember the last time I had to do that and most of my day is spent in Linux.

I'd agree that the main drawback is the gap in graphics software. I use Affinity Designer on the Mac which is great, but whilst it nearly runs in Wine it's not quite there yet. Apart from that my development stack on Maxc and Linux is pretty much identical so it's dead easy to swap between them. The designers I work with nearly all use Figma these days so it's been a while since I was given a PSD anyway (which Affinity Desginer deals with very well).

You should definitely give Plasma a go if you want to be able to tweak your desktop .... although I warn you will spend a lot of time tweaking your desktop ....

 

 

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Nice to see Linux users here.

As for KDE, even though it's more advanced user oriented (my opinion), I like the polish and feel of Gnome more.  Also, I want to avoid the whole ricing thing altogether.  My need to tweak is very minimal... just a few changes to satisfy my muscle memory with Windows.  The feel of the mouse alone without any tweaks is already a huge win (I abhor macOS mouse acceleration).  When System76's new Cosmic is done, I will definitely give Pop_OS! a try (it's based on Ubuntu which is good for me).

I bought Affinity Designer last year, so I will try to run that in Wine.  In the meantime I've installed a bunch of other graphics programs like Photopea, Vectorpea, Gimp, Krita, Inkscape, Pinta.  I'm going to install every graphics software I find! 🙂

I also installed the Segoe UI font and enabled it as the default font for Gnome.  Segoe UI is a Microsoft font which is the default font for the Windows 11 UI.  This change makes me feel more at home and it still looks great with Gnome (sorry Ubuntu Sans).  Seriously, not having to adjust my eyes to a new font is a huge win for me.  https://github.com/mrbvrz/segoe-ui-linux

One other piece of software that is absolutely great on Windows is XYplorer.  It has a bunch of features, but one that I really miss is the ability to tag files with colors (similar to how macOS allows it in Finder).  Any file manager recommendations?  I've tried many but maybe I'm missing something important.

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23 hours ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

Really annoying things like not being able to move the taskbar from the left to the bottom without having to use extensions that could break

Yes Ubuntu adds their own philosophy over the Gnome desktop. With Gnome in Manjaro Linux I can move the dash in 4 screen edges and have more options to tweak.

You could try Manjaro since it's based on the rolling release Arch Linux distribution, so you get only recent versions of each software. It's not considered as stable as Ubuntu tho (in theory, because of rolling release philosophy), but practically there's really few chances to have a serious issue.

23 hours ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

The only other software suite is Adobe CC.

In the past I ran Adobe CS5 under a virtualized Windows with Virtual Box and that was working fine, I mainly used Photoshop and Illustrator. Maybe make a try.
It's necessary to enable CPU virualization in BIOS and activating some options in VirtualBox (like graphical acceleration) after creating the Windows VM and installing the package virtualbox guest additions.

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On 6/10/2024 at 7:10 PM, Jonathan Lahijani said:

Any other desktop Linux users here?

Here! Moved away from Mac over a decade ago and went with Windows for quite some time. Then about 6+ years ago I made the switch to full-time Linux. Never looked back.

Enjoyed distro-hopping between Ubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro, Debian, Arch, Zorin and finally settled with Ubuntu because of the broad support even for tools like ScreamingFrog (.deb and .rpm). Moved away from Gnome to i3wm to have a super minimal environment. Everything works just by pressing keys - from moving windows around workspaces, opening or starting apps, to window tiling.

I am a happy camper now. 🐧

As you are on Ubuntu as well I suggest looking at deb-get - a little helper to install most common apps without hunting down the .deb files:

https://github.com/wimpysworld/deb-get/blob/main/01-main/README.md

You may have seen over on X/Twitter the journey of DHH

He released his very own setup as a script to make tons of changes, installing software, fonts, and all kinds of stuff.

See here:

https://x.com/dhh/status/1798466733222838758

His journey explained here:

https://x.com/dhh/status/1799185008378171885

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Awesome. Ok. He is convincing quite a few right now. It's quite interesting to follow the situation.

Didn't know about Pinta. Might give it a try.

Another thing in regards to Gimp and Inkscape (an Illustrator alternative) - great tutorials here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/LogosByNick

He offers courses to master both for very little money. Might help to keep things moving in that space.

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Spoiler: I didn't switch to linux. I hope it's ok to share my journey as I found it very interesting to read others'.

Spoiler

I've been on Windows for maybe two decades. Then I started working in an agency where everybody was on mac and I got one as well (Air M1). I made a hard reset from one day to the other. Learned all keyboard shortcuts from scratch, got used to the max/min/close icons being on the "wrong" side and also the reversed mouse wheel.

Then I left the agency and thought I'll use that opportunity to go a step further and switch to linux. Similar to @Jonathan Lahijani over time I got more and more used to working with the command line - RockShell, knock knock 😄 . And all my servers that I manage run on linux, so I thought it would be good to work on it every day.

BUT.

There have been two very important points that made me go back to mac.

  1. Graphic Design Software. I really can't understand why Affinity does not offer their software suite for the linux market. There has been discussions about it, but all affinity said is "linux support is not on our roadmap". For me I need to at least be able to open files and play around and maybe modify things and export everything for what I need with my dev work. Gimp & Co are really no comparison, unfortunately...
  2. Noise. Man... I bought a quite expensive laptop for linux online. I installed everything. Booted Linux, everything looked nice. But then... A jumbojet took off right from my desktop. Why the ** is there no laptop with passive cooling like the Macbook Air? It's such a difference if you are used to that everything you hear is the clicks of the mouse and the keystrokes of the keyboard. I really don't want back. So I sent the linux laptop back and got a Macbook.

I've never been a huge fan of apple products. But I'm very happy with the macbook for my daily development work. And it has all the programs that I need for my "artistic" work too (like affinity designer/publisher/photo and davinci resolve and obs for youtube videos).

The only tool that I really miss is "Search Everything" from my windows days. I waste far too much time for finding files on my mac...

 

On 6/10/2024 at 7:10 PM, Jonathan Lahijani said:

however I gave up after 8 solid months because I came to dislike some issues that I couldn't circumvent in macOS.

Would be interesting to hear those!

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2 minutes ago, bernhard said:

Would be interesting to hear those!

I wrote about it here to an extent: 

 

3 minutes ago, bernhard said:

Why the ** is there no laptop with passive cooling like the Macbook Air?

Indeed.  While I don't use laptops, I did have a Intel NUC for a while and that totally drove me insane with the fan whizzing.  However a new era is now upon us with Qualcomm Snapdragon X, the non-Apple alternative Apple Silicon.  When Framework laptops get this chip and Linux support is 100%, I'm making the switch and saying goodbye to X86 (and Windows).

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30 minutes ago, bernhard said:

But then... A jumbojet took off right from my desktop.

Wow... that's what I had all the time using Windows. The moment you clone a repo and it tries to index the files, it went crazy and didn't stop for hours. Disabling all indexing and search features helped a lot but still more fan noise on Windows than nowadays on Linux - at least for me. The last time I heard a fan was when moving the old Thinkpad X260 from Ubuntu 23.10 to 24.04.

35 minutes ago, bernhard said:

Why the ** is there no laptop with passive cooling like the Macbook Air?

And passive cooling... there are some MS Surface Laptops out there that don't have a fan at all. My Surface (from 2018 or so) is one of those. Sure it's an i5 but that machine did a great job on Windows and even Linux. Really miss it.

27 minutes ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

However a new era is now upon us with Qualcomm Snapdragon X, the non-Apple alternative Apple Silicon.  When Framework laptops get this chip and Linux support is 100%

Count me in on this. I'm tempted to get a Framework laptop right now but with those new processors... I sure get one. (And yes, it's DHH's fault.)

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Go for it! The distro you choose doesn't really matter imo. Just use the one you feel most comfortable with.

I'm full time on Linux since 2003 and haven't thought about switching back to Win or Mac ever since. Maybe Linux on Mac hardware 😛 Back in the days Ubuntu was released as free DVD via mailorder 🙂 My journey went from Ubuntu to Debian Based Mint (LMDE) with Mate, then Cinnamon desktop. I finally settled on Arch (btw) for the last 8 years or so.
Now I'm in the process of switching to NixOS for its deterministic setup approach and reproducability
of exactly the same system on multiple machines. Lot's of fun if you're coming from a programming background.

Anyways, as for graphics apps, I've been using a pirated CS6 in VMs for many years. Then switched to Photopea. Not doing a lot of graphics. But sometimes really am missing Illustrator, mainly for its text on path features. You can do it with Inkscape but it is fiddly as hell. Photopea is even better with that.

14 hours ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

Any file manager recommendations?  I've tried many but maybe I'm missing something important.

File manager color labels: Nautilus on Gnome needs an extension for that from a custom PPA. If you feel comfortable using gnome extensions and packages from random PPAs out there, you could go that route.
Gnome is great in itself. But, you already said it, might break easily when using extensions. Kinda like the Wordpress Plugin Hell.
KDE does not have that out of the box as far as I'm aware. Found a 6 years old extension...

Maybe you missed out on terminal file managers. There's a ton out there. I love yazi with vim style key binds (configurable through toml file). It has file colors/icons out of the box if you use Nerd Fonts in the terminal and feels really nice for a terminal application:

yazi.thumb.jpg.c01b083ecba63eb62df76ebc49f4a792.jpg

On 6/11/2024 at 12:10 AM, Jonathan Lahijani said:

BTW, I'm sticking with Ubuntu because I like how it's Debian-based.  I know there's some disagreements with snaps being used, etc.,

You can disable snaps and replace them with flatpak which is a way better ecosystem given you have ample disk space.

10 hours ago, bernhard said:

Noise. Man...

This depends very much on the hardware and distro used. You really should have had a better exoperience given that you bought a Linux optimized laptop. I have one, too (Tuxedo with AMD) and it seems I got lucky or they did a better job than your vendor. Never hear even the faintest fan noise. Then I have a 10 year old Asus ZenBook. Still running like a champ with very moderate noise under high loads.

Linux is so awesome because of all the choices it gives you. Can be a bit overwhelming at the start, though.

Man, I could talk hours on end about this topic. What a great way to procrastinate 😋

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Going back to finding the best file manager, I think I'm going to settle on Konqueror (I tried about 7 different ones).  I'd prefer to stick with a GTK app, but all the GTK file managers are just too simplistic.  I need my tab state saved and none of them do that except for Konqueror (well maybe some do but it's outweighed by other things I prefer to skip like dual-pane file management).  KDE apps tends to be advanced user oriented, and in this case, the deep customization capability of the app really shines for what I need.

As for TUI and CLI apps, one route I've long considered is switching to terminal-based apps for almost everything and being as mouseless as possible.  Before I do that though, I would first want to become comfortable with Neovim and Vim-style key bindings.  The problem with that however is I don't type "correctly" (fingers on home row, etc.) so fixing that after 30 years of typign my own way will be... fun.

Small incremental steps for now, but after many years of experimenting, I think the "year of the Linux Desktop" has arrived for me.

 

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The larger picture of why I'm doing this is to overall De-Google, De-Microsoft and De-Apple my life as much as possible (surely there will be exceptions).  It's not about saving money or privacy (those are very very minor points), but personal optimization, control, me being ready for it, Linux desktop having become really great in the last X years, and taking a stronger liking to FOSS and self-hosting.

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32 minutes ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

Neovim

For me it was like this: It's hard for a week or two. Another 2 weeks to feel more at home. After that it was fun.

34 minutes ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

Vim-style key bindings

Noone forces you. In ranger (CLI file manager) you might be better of using them but you always can change them or add arrow keys. For me arrow keys win most of the time. I didn't feel the need to learn HJKL. I know about it, that's enough.

The real fun, especially in Neovim, will be the keycombos like ciw (change in word) or diw (delete in word). These are game changers.

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12 hours ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

As for TUI and CLI apps, one route I've long considered is switching to terminal-based apps for almost everything and being as mouseless as possible.  Before I do that though, I would first want to become comfortable with Neovim and Vim-style key bindings.  The problem with that however is I don't type "correctly" (fingers on home row, etc.) so fixing that after 30 years of typign my own way will be... fun.

Having exactly the same experience with vim keybinds. Haven't really bothered switching. As for terminal filemanagers, the keybinds are fully configurable. And yazi comes out of the box with hjkl and arrow keys.

11 hours ago, wbmnfktr said:

For me arrow keys win most of the time. I didn't feel the need to learn HJKL. I know about it, that's enough

same here 🙂

12 hours ago, Jonathan Lahijani said:

The larger picture of why I'm doing this is to overall De-Google, De-Microsoft and De-Apple my life as much as possible

I'm on the same path there. But it is really hard. Especially getting away from Google. So many websites that offer easy login, some map API keys for my clients etc. But on the Smartphone, I'm running Lineage for MicroG for about 1 year now. It is pretty great. Some apps, like OpenAI and one of my banking apps, are not installable though, due to them requiring Play Secure or some BS service from the playstore. Might work with the next upgrade of the OS...  

 

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For 20+ years I've always maintained a Windows box and a Linux box connected via a KVM switch and with a dual monitor setup. I also have a somewhat older Intel IMac I keep for various tasks.

I haven't given it much thought as I regularly switch between Linux and Win10 throughout the day.

As far as distros go, I'm using Ubuntu 20.04 KDE and will probably upgrade (clean install) after summer sometime. My $0.02...

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38 minutes ago, Jim Bailie said:

For 20+ years I've always maintained a Windows box and a Linux box connected via a KVM switch and with a dual monitor setup. I also have a somewhat older Intel IMac I keep for various tasks.

Yes, this is my preferred way to keep Windows around once I fully switch.  A better alternative to using Windows in a VM or dual booting.  Hardware is cheap!

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On 6/10/2024 at 12:10 PM, Jonathan Lahijani said:

The only other software suite is Adobe CC.  I do rely on Photoshop and Illustrator, but not for "creating" but rather tweaking.

Although they have been bought by Canva, once I got used to how Affinity does things their Photo/Designer/Publisher trinity is my daily driver - particularly with the improvements finally brought to Publisher to make it feature complete with Serif's prior publisher (proper endnotes/footnotes support). And they do run on Linux with Wine and a bit of massaging:

https://codeberg.org/Wanesty/affinity-wine-docs

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I'll share my experience as full-time 100% happy Linux user since 2018. I used Ubuntu up until a few months ago when I got my new laptop (Framework, btw). I just switched to Manjaro and have had a flawless experience.

The pain point in the beginning was the common losing Photoshop conundrum, but I've found better solutions for web design since then and only use Gimp when I need to clean up/crop/make web-ready bitmap images. Moving primarily to vector for UI makes bitmap design feel very un-web. For web and layout design I've switched over to using the FOSS Penpot web app. I've traditionally be hesitant to embrace a web platform, but really with today's state of web technology I feel at home with it now and don't miss a desktop app. I've also come to appreciate that a web platform allows developers to iterate, bugfix, and deploy new features much more quickly without having to wait for an entire full local app update. I get that this can be a pain point for those looking to make the switch. In my case my work is UI/UX based and don't consider myself, nor have the talent for, a graphic designer.

I, like pretty much everyone here, absolutely have to have a dependable machine to do work. My ability to earn an income stops dead without a usable laptop and having a backup machine just isn't a viable option considering how much it would take to fall back on. I'll back-to-back my experiences. I'm not trying to sell anyone on these distros, but the experience has broadened some horizons. I didn't switch for 5 years. Do what you want, it's still *checks watch* a free country.

Linux in general:

  • Free and open source. I've become much more aware and appreciative of how great this is.
  • I don't feel "screwed around with". The "innovations" coming out of Microsoft and MacOS updates tend to be disruptive and entirely subjective as far as their utility and value are concerned. There hasn't been one single feature that they've released that I feel like I'm missing out on, and in some cases already have. Plenty of stuff I'm grateful not to have or deal with. Apple has been long-term recognized for it's decline in the "pro" experience.
  • I feel more at home on servers and have stronger skills on the command line. Even if the distros are different, you still get a shared directory and OS behavior between server and desktop. I always appreciated Mac for the *nix-like environment, but switching to Linux still felt a lot more awesome because at the end of the day I wasn't jumping between OS' that have true distinctions.
  • Docker just runs better both in ease of installing/managing and in raw performance- which Mac really struggles with. The fact that Windows now at least has WSL is a nod to the needs of developers. Mac specifically has had known performance issues for years.
  • For me, security and privacy is a big deal. Win is completely out of the question, and Apple's claims are becoming less trustworthy on this front. When I boot my computer and connect to the internet my network up/down activity is literally a flat line. Aside from having automatic update checking for the OS, it don't talk to nobody nowhere about nothin'. Not possible with Win/Mac and I am also not constantly accepting new terms of service and opting out of things left and right. I think Windows Recall and Apple Intelligence are really dumb and whatever promises are made today about "security and privacy" can be cancelled via new Terms and Conditions you're forced to agree to so you can continue using your computer after a decision made based on what side of the bed a CEO woke up on or earnings report demanding more profits be made or else the CEO will be fired and replaced with a new CEO who will force it upon everyone anyway. A run-on sentence for a run-on problem.
  • NVIDIA support is spotty, and that's on NVIDIA (linus_middle_finger_nvidia.jpg). My previous machine did have an NVIDIA gpu but it was as old as the 2018 laptop and I never had real problems with it since it had long been stable. If you're someone who needs new NVIDIA, it'll come down to some research about your gpu and compatibility.
  • Aside from the graphics app situation, I didn't feel like I lost anything. My code editor (Sublime Text, I'm switching to Neovim) is available and there's a lot of availability great alternatives without compromise.
  • If you like games, Steam's compatibility layer and continually widening native game selection has been a massive improvement. I'm an extremely casual game player though and others would have a better opinion on more serious gaming.
  • Linux is a beacon of hope when faced with the depressing and accelerating trend known as "the ens**ttification of everything"
  • Obvs, full customization, many desktop environment/window tiling options, it's like exploring the limitless frontier of space. You can do anything you want, including getting sucked into a black hole of customizing your machine and realizing at some point you just have to stop or you'll never stop. Never been there, no idea what that's like, totally hypothetical on my part, really, I would never do that, I see that none of you believe me.

Ubuntu positives:

  • Debian based means wide availability in software and a ton of support. Easy to find help online when needed.
  • Everything can pretty much be relied upon to be ready out of the box
  • Stable. Very. This is why I used it for so long, for reasons mentioned above
  • Well tested before releases so you know upgrades are far less likely to break something save for the most deeply customized and tweaked systems
  • Ready to go out of the box and does well maintaining availability for things like NVIDIA drivers where stable. It's why my NVIDIA gpu never had issues which was highly appreciated.
  • The softest landing for someone making the jump from Win/Apple
  • I never borked my machine to a point where it needed serious effort to get working again. This does not include typing "sudo rm -rf --force" into a terminal within a VM to see what would actually happen only to realize the VM wasn't in focus and it was actually a real terminal and find out it does exactly what you think it would do

Ubuntu not-so-positives:

  • I'll address the elephant in the room: Snaps. I've never liked them, but having had the choice of how I installed/managed my apps made it less of an issue. My tolerance ran dry once they started replacing system apps with Snaps at a direct cost of integrations due to sandboxing. Most simple example would be the calculator- they Snap'd it and you couldn't quickly type math into the Gnome search input, that's a micro-example but there are others that were problematic. Choosing to replace apps by default while removing features is just not great, especially when Snap hadn't been widely well received. Fresh installs meant a lot of work uninstalling and replacing- to a point where I kept a "checklist" so I didn't have to look them up.
  • Snaps part II: The latest version of Ubuntu has now forced Snaps and added a lot of difficulty even forcing it to not install them by default. When I type "sudo apt install firefox", I expect a deb. What I didn't type was "snap install firefox", and Ubuntu choosing to ignore and deceptively replace what you asked for is unacceptable. I didn't know this happened until a) Firefox took longer to open, and b) I went to "About Firefox" to check. Not not not cool and it made me lose trust in Canonical. It involves extra steps that never existed before
  • Feels bloated, I got a performance boost on the same machine switching to another distro. This means different things to different people though.
  • Bi-annual stable release means that it's generally behind versions in things like Gnome and the kernel. This isn't 100% bad because that's a tradeoff made for peace-of-mind stability.
  • I'm not sure if this is widespread, but out of the box APT fails because it hangs using ipv6 and doesn't fall back to ipv4. No idea why but I have to fix this on every install. Again, like the Snap calculator example, this is not a huge issue but things add up.

Manjaro positives:

  • Arch based without Arch stability anxiety. I am completely capable of managing an Arch distro but I just don't have the time to do it. As much as I want to use Arch, btw. I need to sit down at my computer and work without some concern that I might have to take a detour to manage the OS because it could cause me trouble with deadlines and confidently delivering for clients.
  • Arch updates are tested and have a healthy delay between bleeding edge release and Manjaro updates. Personally, I wait an extra week- unless it's a notable security update, and just check in on the message boards to see if there are any known issues, then update myself. The maintainers are responsive and communicative.
  • Absolutely faster and leaner than Ubuntu. Some of this comes from having more recent updates sooner. Gnome was a big difference because Ubuntu doesn't update as often and known performance issues take a lot longer to make it into the OS by comparison
  • Truly clean install. Example- the dock on the left side of the screen was mentioned- not a problem on vanilla Gnome that hasn't been modified by Canonical
  • Still has a wide selection of software. I lost nothing when switching.
  • AUR (Arch User Repository) provides a lot of software that you are looking for available on Deb but repackaged for Arch. This falls into both positives and considerations
  • Sane defaults, 100% worked out of the box, dip your toes into Arch without falling in. I may switch to it down the line.

Manjaro considerations:

  • Need to be mindful about updates, this is mitigated by what I mentioned above, but you have to be aware and make more decisions than Ubuntu.
  • AUR is wide open and community maintained. Installing apps willy-nilly opens up possibilities for bad or unmaintained software. I've adopted an "install it only if you need it" and read up before I install. With Ubuntu I noticed I cared a little less about this because a lot of stuff is available via Ubuntu and trusted repositories. I'd also chalk that up to a potential false sense of security because of how beginner friendly it is. Everyone should keep this in mind regardless of distro.
  • Involves extra documentation. If I have to look something up I check Manjaro specific info, then fall back to Arch. No something I ever needed with Ubuntu

The reason one has not-so-positives, and the other has considerations is because there hasn't been anything that I don't like or been forced to deal with, only decisions I had to make when switching. Different experience. Others do not like what I like about Manjaro, and that's cool.

All said- I'm not making a case for Manjaro specifically- just sharing what a compare/contrast looks like between distros and specifically back to back with Ubuntu. There are plenty of alternatives out there. Find one you like, or distro hop for fun and research. I like Gnome, others like KDE, others like i3, knock yourself out- install more than one. The world is your oyster, in space, next to the black holes.

Why I mentioned my laptop...

I bought a Framework 16 and love everything about it. Modularity, repairability, upgradeablity, company ethos, etc. On top of all that they have first-class Linux support and an internal team that actively works on this. Ubuntu is an officially supported distro, Manjaro is not but I've had zero issues whatsoever. Worth considering if you're in the market for a new machine. I also considered the companies mentioned by @gebeer and in the past I had a System76 as well. There are more great options these days than ever IMHO. I also want to mention- little to no fan noise at all except under real load that are directly related to what I'm doing. Maybe a little during automatic disk backups but those are fast and only when I'm connected to my external. I think the specs on a fresh machine probably help that, but battery life is also great. I also don't have the optional dedicated GPU, the AMD chip does very well with a lot of games.

On 6/11/2024 at 9:41 PM, gebeer said:

Gnome is great in itself. But, you already said it, might break easily when using extensions.

This has happened once for me last month and it was for a completely aesthetic and totally unnecessary it's-okay-to-laugh-at-me-for-installing-this "neat thing". I try to keep things simple but agree that this is an issue with much-customized DEs. My issue stemmed from distro updates coming out faster than the extension. Overall agree and YMMV. Happens less with Ubuntu due to the delayed Gnome releases that can be multiple versions behind current but are stable.

On 6/11/2024 at 9:41 PM, gebeer said:

Arch (btw) for the last 8 years or so.
Now I'm in the process of switching to NixOS

Mad respect. I wish I could live on this level of bleeding edge. Feels like I'm watching a someone drive by in a Porsche 911 GT2 from behind the fence at a daycare playground 🤣

On 6/12/2024 at 8:17 PM, gebeer said:

Smartphone, I'm running Lineage for MicroG 

GrapheneOS here. You have to like not having a lot of things though haha.

On 6/12/2024 at 7:53 AM, Jonathan Lahijani said:

De-Google, De-Microsoft and De-Apple my life as much as possible (surely there will be exceptions).  It's not about saving money or privacy (those are very very minor points)

Bravo. Did this years ago and it's liberating for many reasons- this forum is pretty much the only "social" account I have. As for privacy, I'll send you the dossier I purchased from a data broker with a map of your activities on and offline for the past 6 months, no need to send me your address, I know where to mail it 😎

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1 hour ago, FireWire said:

For web and layout design I've switched over to using the FOSS Penpot web app.

Wow... Penpot is awesome. Maybe it's time to ditch Figma and move over all my files.

 

2 hours ago, FireWire said:

I just switched to Manjaro and have had a flawless experience.

Manjaro was really an awesome experience but I moved when there was no way to install a working DDEV environment with it. Are there now all moving parts available? Didn't plan to move back, but maybe... the AUR, minimal footprint, and recent versions were great.

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1 minute ago, wbmnfktr said:

Wow... Penpot is awesome. Maybe it's time to ditch Figma and move over all my files.

Active developers, passionate team, can self-host. Entirely happy with it!

2 minutes ago, wbmnfktr said:

there was no way to install a working DDEV environment with it.

I don't remember it being difficult, everything works as well as it did when I was on Ubuntu. Odd that it gave you trouble. I installed Docker then DDEV then done.

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