Hey Internet G33ks,
In this post I will be telling you about my struggle trying to move away from the clutches of Windows 10, and if I have manged to, what Linux Distro I have landed on as my daily. But first things first.
If you’ve heard anything at all about Linux, you’ve probably heard of Linux distributions – often shortened to “Linux distros.” When deciding to use Linux – on a desktop computer or server – you’ll first need to choose a distro.
For many people, Ubuntu has become synonymous with Linux. But Ubuntu is one of many distros, and you have a lot of choice when it comes to Linux.
What Is a Linux Distro, Anyway?
Linux isn’t like Windows or Mac OS X. Microsoft combines all the bits of Windows internally to produce each new release of Windows and distributes it as a single package. If you want Windows, you’ll need to choose one of the versions Microsoft is offering.
Linux works differently. The Linux operating system isn’t produced by a single organization. Different organizations and people work on different parts. There’s the Linux kernel (the core of the operating system), the GNU shell utilities (the terminal interface and many of the commands you use), the X server (which produces a graphical desktop), the desktop environment (which runs on the X server to provide a graphical desktop), and more. System services, graphical programs, terminal commands – many are developed independently from another. They’re all open-source software distributed in source code form.
If you wanted to, you could grab the source code for the Linux kernel, GNU shell utilities, Xorg X server, and every other program on a Linux system, assembling it all yourself. However, compiling the software would take a lot of time – not to mention the work involved with making all the different programs work properly together.
Linux distributions do the hard work for you, taking all the code from the open-source projects and compiling it for you, combining it into a single operating system you can boot up and install. They also make choices for you, such as choosing the default desktop environment, browser, and other software. Most distributions add their own finishing touches, such as themes and custom software – the Unity desktop environment Ubuntu provides, for example.
When you want to install new software or update to new versions of software with important security updates, your Linux distribution provides them in precompiled, packaged form. These packages are fast and easy to install, saving you from doing the hard work yourself.
[… For More Visit this topic over @HowToGeek …]
Now, with that settled, on with my struggle. I have been contemplating the move to Linux for a long time, and after watching quite a few of TylersTech videos showcasing many Distros, I started liking a few of them and thought to myself, it’s time, not knowing how deep the rabbit hole was..
To paint a clearer picture, I currently own 3 Desktop PCs, if you wanna know more about their specs visit the My Builds page on here, but in short, one is for storing games, drivers, and other mundane stuff, one is my HTPC Plex Server, and last one is my main gaming and everyday rig…
When day came to make the decision as to what Distro will go on each, I had to re-watch a lot of Tyler’s videos to make sure I was making the right decision as I didn’t want the move to take forever. Oh boy was I in for a bumpy ride…
As was mentioned above, there is a Distro for each purpose right ? Well, not exactly, I have come to find out that there are 100s if not more for each purpose, which made the struggle all the more real. But I didn’t want to give up, not yet anyway. So I kept on watching more and more videos. Until I started filtering the ones that had too much from the ones that had too few features for what I wanted.
What do I want it to run ? Do I want a Rolling or LTS Distro (Difference in video below) ? Debian or Arch or other base ? Those are the kinds of questions that one needs to answer for each System, before committing. Once answered that would make the choice less of an overwhelming one. But wait, there are, what I call sub-questions that I thinks need answering as well, to filter choice even more, since there is an overwhelming number of Distros out there for each purpose. Those questions are, do I prefer looks over performance or vice versa ? Do I need updates ? What Hardware do I have and will it run ? etc..
Ok, now, for first System, the infamous HTPC. What do I want it run and do I care about updates to select a Rolling Distro ? Do I care about looks ? Well, it’s a Media Server, it will be running Plex Server, and I do not care for updates or way it looks as I won’t be seeing it and I just want it to run 24/7… Choice was super easy this time around. Which Distro you ask ? Linux Mint / Cinnamon Flavor.
Oh, and to make post shorter, I did the same on Storage PC as I don’t care for looks or updates there either and just wanted both PCs to work no issues hassle free…
Finally that brings me to the real struggle, my main gaming rig. There is controversy surrounding the gaming subject when it comes to Linux vs Linux. Unfortunately there is yet to be a united opinion, that’s why, I decided to keep my Windows 10 install and Dual-Boot with Linux. Gaming still has a long way to go on Linux, but it’s getting there. For games that require too much messing about I run on Windows, rest on Linux..
As a good friend of mine recently said on Discord :
As for Linux Gaming, for now I see it more as a Do It Yourself Gaming Console experience rather than “full pc gaming” for now, tho it’s changing more and more.
I, myself am of the same opinion as ChrisTitusTech which launched quite a bit of controversy… I don’t mind it, until things change I will not change my opinion… Video below…
In my mind, Linux is trying to do gaming differently… If you look at the way Steam does things, you would notice that it’s Emulating Windows on the back-end.. Creating a C:\ Drive with everything it needs to run Windows games.
It can be looked at from this perspective, Linux is emulating Windows, so Game Developers don’t have to make yet another version of their titles, making it easy for us to play existing titles without having to wait for Linux releases. Maybe… I do not know…
Then again, people who say Linux gaming is “Native”, are far from the truth as it is now. That’s not to say that there are no “Native” Linux games out there, there are, just very few and they are not AAA Titles. To add fuel to an already blazing fire, people keep mentioning Steam when it comes to Linux gaming as if Steam is the end-all be-all platform, forgetting all about BattleNet, Epic, RockStar, Origin, GOG and many others out there that are either borked or in their infancy, or even straight out boycotting Linux as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of games that are being launched on Steam run just fine, but to say it’s as good as on Windows when clearly it’s still being worked on very hard. I am thankful to all the Proton devs and community for going above and beyond making sure that Linux becomes viable as a gaming System. As my friend above said, in its current form Linux more of a DiY gaming console until more support is added…
Linux still has a long way to go before Triple-A titles become “Native”. Until then we will have to rely on an emulation layer to make them feel that they are.. It’s an on-going debate will leave it at that…
Below is another valid opinion, a counter-argument, guy makes valid points.. Anyway let me know which camp you belong to in comments below…
Anyway, besides gaming, on this rig I do care about constant updates, I do care about looks. So Rolling and looks based. But which one ? I have tried many but with one thing in common, KDE-Plasma… I love this desktop environment. Oh, what are Desktop Environments ? Video on that below…
But which Distro ? I have tried many. Below are highlight videos of each one I have tried, with various amount of success. Each had its own Pros n Cons. Tyler made nice videos about each so have fun watching before I finally tell you Distro I have settled on and closing out this long post.
I hope you had some fun watching some if not all videos. Kudos to you if you have watched all of them and are still here to read test of this post.. 😀
Anyway the Distro I have decided to go with after all this, is, drum roll please… Manjaro KDE Plasma Edition…. This Distro, for me, offers everything I need on a daily. It’s based off of Arch which in itself is a Rolling Release, has KDE Plasma DE, so super fun to customize looks wise, and it just works..
The struggle was real, but so much fun and informative. I have learned a ton. But still in my opinion, one cannot fully switch from Windows to Linux. There are some things that one does better than the other. So, to be realistic, one should have all Platforms, Windows, Mac and Linux to be able to do things completely. My dream is to, one day have one OS to rule them all, free and open source.. Of course 😉
Now that you know about Distro I have settled on, and the road I took, and how bumpy it was, let me know your story by sharing it in comments below. I hope it wasn’t as bumpy as mine.. Also feel free to find me on Tyler’s Tech Discord where we all have fun with Linux and learn new things…
Thanks for making this far 😀
See ya in next post 😉