I have started using Linux


Ach ja, this was a long time overdue. Like most people, I am a Windows user, starting with Windows Vista in ye olde times, up until right now with Windows 10 and to be quite frank, I’m happy. Sure, fuck Vista and Windows 8, but using Windows 8.1 and 10 for most of my life, I never felt the need to switch. I mean, what are the other possibilities? macOS?

Anyway, not sure when I first heard of Linux, at the latest when I started attending university, but one thing got clear pretty fast over time: At least fundamentally, is is better than Windows. Learning to know Linux makes you wonder at all the weird stuff and decisions Windows OS makes. From “little” things such as Windows being barely customizable, to security and open-source code to the way programs are handled. I mean, Windows essentially treats programs like normal data and basically every phone handles its programs in a more sensical manner. Package managers are an objectively good thing.

Bottom line, switching over to Linux is just a thing I should do, especially as I am literally studying software system development and writing code in Linux seems more like the correct thing to do. Just one problem though, there is also no real incentive to do so. As already told, I am quite comfortable with Windows 10 and even if it is “worse” than Linux, it works not only well enough, but quite good actually. On the other hand, I will have to give up some of the comfort provided by Windows, like programs not being available under Linux and most of the world assuming you are on a Windows machine. Not really a big compromise, especially me not being a complete stranger to the way Linux works, it is still enough to not switch over to Linux immediately, as if it were the non-brainer choice.

The reality will be, that even as I currently have Linux installed, whether I will actually end up using it, either as my main OS, or constantly switch between Windows and Linux, will be up to the future. My current plan is to at least try going full Linux for one or two weeks and decide from there on how I will run my PC. I doubt I will completely abandon Windows, but I will try to make a decision I am personally comfortable with, not influenced by the accessibility of Windows or the massive amount of street cred I get by using Linux.

So, here is how the story goes: How, after a long time of already accepting it, but not putting it on my PC, I am now able to use Linux:

My friends irgendwr (the fox in the image above the post) and DeinAlptraum were so kind to break into my home and just install it. The End… okay, maybe a bit more happened.

A day prior, I looked into the many different distribution for Linux and the only real differences I noticed was the way the desktop looked and worked and since you can customize your desktop without much problems, I simply opted for Linux Mint Cinnamon, as it is often recommended for new users. As it turns out, there is more to a distribution than just the look of the desktop, though no one I have seen bothered to get into the actual meat of the many distributions and where their differences lie… something my friends had to explain me first. Yay ^^.

Before we could even try to live-boot and test the distributions my friends prepared, we had to partition my hard-drive first. I wanted a dual-boot so we needed to make space for Linux itself. Eventually, we decided to leave Windows with a good 500GB, create a 280GB shared partition for my actual data, accessible from both Windows and Linux and gave Linux the remaining 150GB, including a Swap partition and the boot/efi. Even though nothing should actually happen, I will most likely buy an additional hard drive for Linux to keep both operating system physically separate, purely for safety reasons. The only thing I will have to keep in mind is that I will have to store my data on the right partition, getting used to my folders only linking to the shared partition, not actually being there and to not bloat one partition with too much data (Looking at the 100GB of PreCure episodes). I will also have to relink some files, but nothing I can’t handle.

With the partitioning out of the way, it was time to try some distributions. As it turns out, you can live-boot most distributions and they simply work via USB-drive. Cool stuff. I first tried the aforementioned Mint Cinnamon and it just didn’t work right at all. There were either no drivers for my graphics card, or they simply didn’t work correctly. First time we couldn’t even get an image and on the second try, the resolution and aspect ratio were completely messed up. Bye bye all the time I spend researching Mint. No problem though, as I didn’t insist on a specific distribution.

Next we tried Kubuntu, until I later agreed upon Manjaro. I have nothing against Kubuntu, Manjaro just felt a bit better and a irgendwr is currently using it too, so problem solving will most likely be less of a hassle (for me). Installing was, with some uncertainties in between, pretty easy as Manjaro ships with a graphical installer. It all went well, though booting up took some time and booting down currently checks the hard-drive for errors. Then there was the fun part of automatically mounting the shared partition, to access my data on Linux. One could have used a program to do it fast and easy… one can however metaphorically masturbate in front of me by doing it manually and only via CLI, though I suppose learning is part of the Linux experience and watching those two guys do something utterly incomprehensible from my perspective was fun too.

The only thing left was all the stuff I didn’t know I needed. Going through settings, installing some programs and must-haves, linking my e-mail, github, etc. Took some time, but everything seemed reasonable and useful and I am glad they took their time. I still have to go through some of the appearance settings, as some themes or specific elements clash with certain programs, like audacity having misaligned dark theme dropdown selectors and most borders… not looking good.

I will also have to try some programs to see how (good) they function under Manjaro, like Audacity, Discord, OBS, plus learning some new programs like KDenlive, as most Video Editors, like Hitfilm, which I use, are not available under Linux, though KDenlive using ffmpeg is already making a great first impressions. Thank god, I was mostly using free open-source programs, as it would make the transition much harder.
Also, my PC audio is working normally under Linux. It broke under Windows for some reason over a year ago and am using a workaround since then and while I will keep my current setup, the sound being redirected over my TV (Second monitor) via HDMI and going from there into my speakers, it is nice to be able to hear sound again with only one monitor. The only thing slightly bothering me right now is a less smoother image while scrolling or moving windows, something I will most likely be able to fix myself.

I’d like to thank irgendwr and DeinAlptraum again, without their help I would have probably put my PC ablaze. There may be a follow-up post coming after I used Linux for a while, but until then, just remember that Windows uses backslashes (\) for their path ^^.

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calendar_today 2021