LebGeeks

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#1 March 30

VincentKeyboard
Member

operating systems

Since I got a Windows 10 laptop, I'm finding myself using it more and more and I've been using my Linux desktop less and less. I already copied my documents, pictures, etc... to the laptop.
The only thing lacking in the laptop is the screen estate. At FHD, I have to use 125% size scaling which means no more placing two windows adjacent to each other as I did with the desktop and no longer watching youtube while writing.

The desktop is decent hardware. corei5 6400 with 16GB DDR4 ram, two 1TB disks, and nvidia 1050Ti. It had arch linux (Gnome desktop) but I wiped it out and put Windows. Allow me first to explain something about Arch Linux. It's like a painting that you keep patching, fixing, and redrawing different parts forever. It is truly a personal work of art. No two Arch Linux installations look the same and none even resemble what Arch Linux developers meant it to be. While you learn Linux internals this way, it feels no longer important to me (perhaps I am finally growing up) and hence why I put windows 10 instead. Bare in mind that I referred to Linux in the last statement as a hobby for technology enthusiasts. Linux is and will always be the correct choice for single board devices, networking devices, servers, and many other things. The list is huge. Even Microsoft contributes patches to the Linux kernel (Hyper-v?). Everyone from technology enthusiasts, to IT professionals and software engineers should be fluent in Linux and the opensource ecosystem.

Anyway, I can apparently legally keep updating through Windows insider editions before the 30 day expiration which I guess resets on upgrading from build to build (Correct me if I am wrong). That's one choice.

However, I would like to experiment with something else for a while on the desktop though before settling on something.

My two choices so far are Installing insider version of Windows 10 and keep updating it forever or some LTS version of Linux the requires minimal maintenence on my part. Another thought that comes to mind. I've used Gnome forever. I would like to try KDE again. Any recommendations for a polished KDE centric distribution? By polished, I mean something that resembles RHEL's Gnome desktop but with KDE.

How about other operating systems? Can anyone suggests something that can at last run my hardware? I'm open to suggestions. I can even review operating systems and report back results if anyone is interested.

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#2 March 30

Adnan
Member

Re: operating systems

As you mentioned, I highly suggest that you just keep on Windows for your daily driver. There's no need to run into the small problems when a friend wants to use your laptop or when you suddenly need to install some program thats only available on Windows.

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#3 March 31

DNA
Member

Re: operating systems

Windows 10 is with no doubt the best Operating system available overall, sure linux is powerfull when it comes to specific tasks but windows is overall better

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#4 March 31

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

@Adnan. Yes, I'm keeping windows on the laptop. It's an original Windows 10 home edition.
I was referring to the desktop which I use less now and was thinking of experimenting on it.

@DNA. Yes, that is definitely true. I am impressed with how polished windows 10. They truly improved since XP days. That's the main reason I switched to using the laptop instead of the Linux desktop. The question is do I keep installing insider editions on the desktop or go back to a Linux flavor? or some third solution?

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#5 March 31

xazbrat
Member

Re: operating systems

If you want to experiment, see if a fellow geek or friend has an old system they want to get rid of and you can use linux or any iteration of it  on it without compromising your existing systems. and keeping your curiosity bug alive.  They good thing about these os's is that they don't need powerful processors to do their thing.

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#6 March 31

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

I in a dilemma on the topic.
I use a dual-boot combination of Debian Linux and WIndows 7 (yes 7) and I am constantly unsatisfied.

I boot into Linux because:
- Some things work better in Linux. For example, I got a video capture device, with a Windows driver, which I installed and all, and it still does not work properly in Windows, but in it does in Linux, without any driver or anything
- The Linux distro is easy on the CPU. Basically it does not do anything I did not tell it to do. There is nothing I hate more than to see my hardware struggling when I am not doing anything with it, because of some background process.

But Windows is nice too. It is more stable and reliable on my hardware.

Some things made me sick in Debian, for example annoying bugs that go unfixed for years and years. It can randomly crash. The audio stack is a mess, there is ALSA and the PulseAudio on top, and if you want more there is Jack?

So anyway it is what it is.

My experience with Window 10 was bad. I do not need such as OS, never did. OSes should be thin, lightweight.

A good option would be maybe get a Macbook pro. Then maybe I can run Linux in a VM if I want to experiment. I do not think that dual-booting a Linux os on a MacBook would bring any advantage at all. However, there is the price.

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#7 April 1

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

Ok, I put KDE Neon on the desktop (Laptop still runs Windows 10 Home). KDE Neon feels good but Kmail won't work with gmail...
It does however work with my GMX account. Both using IMAP.
Oddly enough, on Windows 10, the builtin mail client works with gmail but MS Office outlook doesn't.

@rolf, I never tried jack but I remember it was a pain getting pulseaudio on Arch Linux in the past to get it to use intel hd onboard audio instead of nvidia hdmi.

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#8 April 2

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

It works out of the box, but the thing is Alsa was initially supposed to be the sound stack, then Pulse was built on top and re-use parts of it, so I have a sound mixer for alsa, and one for pulseaudio. Sometimes the sound goes, and I am fiddling with all these sliders, and not sure where the problem is from (in alsa or pulse). Eventually I get it working but it just adds to the whole messy Linux experience.

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#9 April 2

Elitism Guru
Member

Re: operating systems

I used Linux distros for 14 years (last one kde neon), gone back to windows due to windows precision touchpad and WaveNX as well as plethora of other irreplaceable and polished proprietary software. Barebone ubuntu sitting in a VM with mobaxterm on Windows 10 LTSB, zero issues and its close to one year. Non-LTSB versions are Russian roulette.

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#10 April 2

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

Yeah, KDE Neon is as good as it gets on Linux at the moment. Still, I am enjoying using my Windows Laptop. People are wondering why it has been days since I powered on my Linux desktop :)

@rolf, I understand the frustration. Linux has the kernel and potential for an excellent operating system. It just lacks the userspace. It is a pity.

Last edited by VincentKeyboard (April 2)

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#11 April 3

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

VincentKeyboard wrote:

@rolf, I understand the frustration. Linux has the kernel and potential for an excellent operating system. It just lacks the userspace. It is a pity.

It is funny, Linux distributions have great aspects and pretty bad aspects. Depending on how you look at it, it can be awesome or it can be garbage.

Take BTRFS for example, there is nothing like that in Windows. Eventually someone will port this to Windows, but it will be playing catch-up forever.

On the other hand, some bugs linger and some aspects are very amateurish and far from being complete yet are released because there is nothing better available. Basically users will find themselves being beta or even alpha testers.

It's not only the UI. For example my SD card reader only works in basic low speed mode in Linux. It is 4 times faster in Windows.

It seems that Linux is mature and well used as a server OS. As such it has backing from big companies (google, etc) who use it, develop it, and contribute back to the codebase. So basically the parts that are used by Google, Facebook, etc. are well polished. The rest is kinda experimental - I think that includes desktop environments (Gnome, XFCE, etc.) and much of the UI, so you are right.

By the way, Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux. This is why some pages on the internet report that Linux is the most used operating system in the world, ahead of Windows.

What you say is true.

Last edited by rolf (April 3)

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#12 April 3

Elitism Guru
Member

Re: operating systems

Linux started like lego blocks, I would put the blame on xorg and wayland, gnome/kde, nvidia/amd drivers etc; Windows is a huge one piece sandcastle, built for desktops in mind, unlike the modularity in Linux. Its just the current state of desktop GUI that is failing Linux, having a solid desktop env would be enough to persuade popular software companies to make the move. By solid it doesnt have to be perfect or even stable, more like double-standards like unity and windows desktop, predictable.

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#13 April 3

Joe
Member

Re: operating systems

I've been running Fedora/Gnome on my Lenovo laptop for almost 3 years, and only issue I've had is with the fingerprint reader.

It's totally true that Linux sometimes feels like assembling vaguely compatible lego blocks, but things have gotten incredibly better recently. Major kudos to the Gnome team for the recent work on hardware integration. I was pleasantly surprised how effortless I could configure bluetooth speakers, headsets and usb microphone without any effort. Things have gotten much better in the past 5 years or so.

PS: Remember that there are many different linux, and different distros will feel different ways.

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#14 April 3

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

Ok, mail client on Neon keeps crashing (#ragequit). I think I will try Fedora 29 instead sometime in the weekend.
@Joe, that makes sense. Gnome is mostly developed by Red Hat with Endless and Canonical contributing code.

@rolf yes, I know android uses a Linux kernel. That's why the LTS kernels are periodically extended to 5 years when enough devices are using them. Some stuff like system were nice. It made my life easier.

Last edited by VincentKeyboard (April 3)

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#15 April 3

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

Joe wrote:

Things have gotten much better in the past 5 years or so.

I agree.
I actually prefer how the Gnome 3 desktop is organized, with 2 different views, each one being distraction-free.

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#16 July 25

ap4ss3rby
Member

Re: operating systems

Maybe late, but if you have unlimited internet with no FUP, I wouldd certainly recommend Arch Linux, that is if you have the time and patience and willingness to RTFM and google should anything go wrong. Also protip, you can partition in gparted live or whatever live media that has gparted(think ubuntu installer), this does come with the warning that it is labelled as a "pro linux user" distro due to the command line install that throws you at a command line after install.

Also archwiki is excellent so is the AUR.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installation_guide

Good luck

Last edited by ap4ss3rby (July 25)

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#17 July 25

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

On the topic of Arch, there are a few easy to install derivatives of Arch, such as this recent one:
Endeavour OS

Regarding Linux I am always drawn to it, I now run some stripped down version of Debian. I used to like Gnome but finally settled for XFCE4. Most mature software is going to be command-line based. For example, `nmcli` for managing networking. It's actually not that hard to use, and I prefer mature command line software than a half-baked, buggy GUI.

I have found that if you want a good Linux experience, get compatible, well tested hardware. You can run Linux on pretty much anything but you would possibly end up dealing with many very annoying hardware / driver bugs.

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#18 July 26

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

systemd-networkd + wpa_supplicant for wifi connections and just systemd-networkd for wired connection.
xfce 4.14 will be good. It's only missing a display manager but there are a couple of ok ones such as lightdm.

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#19 July 26

rolf
Member

Re: operating systems

VincentKeyboard wrote:

systemd-networkd + wpa_supplicant for wifi connections and just systemd-networkd for wired connection.

Why not Network Manager with its nmcli?

xfce 4.14 will be good. It's only missing a display manager but there are a couple of ok ones such as lightdm.

All good, my favorite is sddm.
I'm having an issue: when I hibernate then resume, often the display is blank - something went wrong with the GUI and I have to switch to a text terminal (Ctlr-Alt-F1 for example) and restart the display manager. I have tried different display managers, though, and the problem remains.

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#20 July 26

Joe
Member

Re: operating systems

Ironically I moved back to Gnome a few years back because "network manager just works" ;)

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#21 July 26

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

@rolf, are you using legacy boot or uefi? NVIDIA? If NVIDIA, you may need to manually set a console resolution that matches the native monitor resolution. For example, "set gfxpayload=1920×1080" in grub.cfg which works around oddities in the nvidia xorg driver. If it's Intel graphics KMS should be handling this automatically and your best bet is to file a bug report at the freedesktop bug tracker.

@Joe, yes networkmanager works perfectly now. I only used systemd-network when I was on Linux because it was easy to configure and I wasn't using a frontend. I had a very "crafted" installation.

Last edited by VincentKeyboard (July 26)

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#22 July 26

Joe
Member

Re: operating systems

I noticed the older I get, the less I enjoy crafted versions.

Just rely on defaults, and bitch when they make no sense... that's what I say.

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#23 July 26

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: operating systems

Joe wrote:

I noticed the older I get, the less I enjoy crafted versions.

That is actually very true. I felt I was getting too old for the tinkering. If I do go back to Linux, it will be CentOS8. No AUR or pacman there.

Last edited by VincentKeyboard (July 26)

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#24 August 2

Padre
Member

Re: operating systems

I've been using arch for a good 15 years now. I agree you tinker less, but so far i would go with i3 any day over windows

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