Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

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gavinsiu
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Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

I notice that there are a number of diehard linux users here. How is it? Every couple of years I tried using Linux as a daily driver, and everytime I eventually get annoyed by the problems. On the plus side, things have improve considerably.

Usually the problems I encounter are drivers related. The typical probelms are:
* Wifi drivers would cut out after an update.
* Power management is dicey especially on laptop. When I take the computer to sleep, it never wakes up.
* Graphic drivers support is iffy especially for Nividia. AMD, which does have open source driver, typically works better.
* X11 often have issues. I have heard that it's being replaced by Wayland, but that might still be more like beta at the moment.
* The most recent problem I have is audio.

I am curious what you are using. Do you have something more recent like a gen 12 or 13 Intel or Am5 AMD? Did you encounter Graphics drivers issues. What distro and desktop are you using?
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enad
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

I have used many different distributions of Linux in the last 30 years, but for home use prefer Linux Mint 20.1. We use a mixture of AMD processors including CPU's with integrated graphics and some older Intel processors also with built in graphics. The original kernel was 5.4.x but if you have an AMD Zen 3 or an AMD with integrated graphics kernel 5.15.x can usually fix the issue and is easy enough to install with the Linux Update Manager.

Linux Mint comes with an Office like program that is okay, and it still has the ability to automatically name titles if extracting sons from a CD, whereas Microsoft took the feature away in Windows 7/8 (not sure about 10/11) years ago. Updates are much smoother in Linux and there is little reason to panic as is often the case with Microsoft updates.

If you have a Windows licenses you can usually install it from scratch in Oracle's Virtualbox Virtual Machine and install any unique Windows based software. I am a power Office user and use it extensively and have older versions installed in Virtual Machines which can have Internet access enabled/disabled on a per machine basis (most are disabled). Backups are a breeze for me as I have been using Unix/Linux since the 70's.

If you want, you can download and install Linux Mint onto a USB then make sure you can boot from a USB in your BIOS and boot what is known as a live session (it will not harm the underlying OS) and you can try and see for yourself what it's like. It is nothing like the Linux installations of the 90's or early 00's. Everything is pretty automatic if you decide you wan to install it. I use it to repair Windows machines that will no longer boot especially to recover data (personal files, photo's ,etc ...) by having them create a bootable Linux Mint USB and then direct them to install TeamViewer and remote onto their machines and saving their data onto a 2nd USB drive. No WiFi, or graphics compatibility issues with Linux Mint and it found network printers automatically. I run two networks in the house, one for the Internet, the other for the network (file) servers and printers. I have a stand-alone Windows 7 PC that only has access to the private network (i.e. no Internet) and use mainly for sorting very old data, and once that is done it will be sold off in pieces as it's pieces are worth more than the whole.

As a daily driver, Linux is great, but it's not for everyone. If a person has difficulty using Windows, then using Linux will be equally difficult. Many have friends and family to turn to for help for Windows, iOS or Android phones but perhaps not many who can help them with Linux.
Last edited by enad on Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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andreas
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by andreas »

I have been using Linux since 25 years, 20 of those for work. There are huge benefits for Linux if you do special kinds of engineering such as AI or robotics. But I never bothered using it for basic personal stuff such as browsing/gaming/paperwork. All my personal devices run Windows, unless I do some special personal project where I need it.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by eyedrop »

Running PopOS here. I used to have a lot of the same issues you described, where special work was needed to get broadcom drivers working, gpu driver install, etc.. But I found pop already seemed to have proprietary drivers out of the box.

Not sure if their gui uses X11 but i have had no stability issues with it, the built in nvidia driver and my GTX 1060.

The gui seems to take some of the best queues from macOS and Windows but ultimately has a dumbed down file explorer and not a lot of built in system settings. I really do prefer Windows and its robust file explorer, window management system, clipboard history, window previews, the volume mixer, etc.. Windows has the best gui.

My old PC would not wake from sleep with popOS (AMD A8 Kaveri generation.) My new Intel 12th gen CPU wakes from sleep just fine. No audio issues with the built in audio engine unlike ALSA problems of past.

I keep things simple with the applications I use as in my experience, software from some smaller developers in linux can be buggy, or old apps wont run at all. compare that to windows still supporting DOS apps. Tough to write software that runs good on all distros. Plus, everyone wants to make new software. But nobody wants to fix bugs or usability issues.

At the end of the day, i find software with the highest market share to have the best stability and support. The world runs on Windows and Chrome which is kinda hard to avoid sometimes. But I cant say ive had much issues with Pop and it stays out of the way unlike Windows and its telemetry. I recommend running LTSC. W10 Enterprise iot LTSC has extended support until 2029.

I would not recommend macOS or iOS at this time due to stability and usability issues. Ive kept my mac on Montery and iPhone on iOS 15 for a reason. Never would have thought to see apple this bad with new releases and bugs but here we are.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by hammockhiker »

enad wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:38 am ...for home use prefer Linux Mint 20.1.
Another vote for Mint, which I've been using for something like ten or more years at home. My needs are not complex, so depending on what hardware you have or what you're trying to do, YMMV.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by jebmke »

I have Mint and Zorin — I use them in VMs. I am also tinkering with ReactOS which is a Windows clone. Crude, but interesting.

Right now I only use Linux for browser.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by happyisland »

hammockhiker wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:41 am
enad wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:38 am ...for home use prefer Linux Mint 20.1.
Another vote for Mint, which I've been using for something like ten or more years at home. My needs are not complex, so depending on what hardware you have or what you're trying to do, YMMV.
Same. My wife and I (neither of us techies) have Linux Mint on our laptops and they work fine. Wifi, audio, behavior on closing the lid, etc all just work.
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gavinsiu
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

I have tried mint in the past. I am going to give pop os a try in a virtual machine to see how well it works.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by jebmke »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 2:06 pm I have tried mint in the past. I am going to give pop os a try in a virtual machine to see how well it works.
While you're at it, try Zorin. Very light.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by rich126 »

Unless I missed it you didn't mention your reason for switching to Linux?

Cost?

Reliability?

As someone who started back before DOS, and used DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux and Apple's OS I personally would recommend Apple over Linux in most cases since it has been rock solid in my 20 years of using it at home. Linux is fun to play with if you are a tech person or want to do things that Apple makes more difficult or cost is a big factor but IMO having an iMac just made my life simpler. Sure there are updates and occasionally Apple does something that is annoying but having had 3 iMac and a couple of laptops, I've never had anything similar to the crashes/blue screens you get with Windows. Years ago I thought a system was messed up during a big updated but I left it alone and when I came back later it was fine.

My (late) father got one and he had no issues with using it despite not being a tech person and starting with it in his 70s.

Really depends on your needs. Personally I dread using Windows at home anymore.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Swift »

I tried Linux in the last few weeks thinking I might give it a go (longtime windows user here). I tried both Mint and Ubuntu. It was not easy for me, and my trackpad on my Dell XPS would not work properly. I spent hours finding a workaround for that - for something as simple as a trackpad! And then it just seemed like most other things were sorta ok, but not super workable without a lot of tinkering. I ditched Linux and went back to a locally installed version of windows (without logging into windows). I just am not up to that level of constant tinkering to get the simple things working.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by nalor511 »

As long as you're using something easy (Ubuntu, etc) I haven't had anything that won't work on Linux in the past 5 years, except tax software. I was using a separate windows computer (or dual booting this one) just for that, but I've moved online for the most part
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by exodusing »

I tried Mint on 2011 vintage Thinkpad X220, doing mainly web stuff. It was basically indistinguishable from Windows in terms of use, launching programs, etc. Wifi worked better than Windows. Mint configured my printer automatically, while Windows required finding and installing a driver. Power management and audio were fine.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

rich126 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 2:55 pm Unless I missed it you didn't mention your reason for switching to Linux?

Cost?

Reliability?

As someone who started back before DOS, and used DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux and Apple's OS I personally would recommend Apple over Linux in most cases since it has been rock solid in my 20 years of using it at home. Linux is fun to play with if you are a tech person or want to do things that Apple makes more difficult or cost is a big factor but IMO having an iMac just made my life simpler. Sure there are updates and occasionally Apple does something that is annoying but having had 3 iMac and a couple of laptops, I've never had anything similar to the crashes/blue screens you get with Windows. Years ago I thought a system was messed up during a big updated but I left it alone and when I came back later it was fine.

My (late) father got one and he had no issues with using it despite not being a tech person and starting with it in his 70s.

Really depends on your needs. Personally I dread using Windows at home anymore.
Mostly because I want an alternative to Windows and MacOS. I like to be a bit OS agnostic. I want to be able to be able to switch back and forth because different OS so not to be tied to a particular eco-system. This is helpful because I tend to be the person that the family calls if there is a computer issue.

I often view Linux as the reverse twin of Apple stuff. With Apple, the idea appears to be to do it the Apple way. Linux is apparently the opposite where everyone can do it their way. This is both good and bad. This mean you can customize things the way you want, but it also means your desktop might not resemble your fellow linux users.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by mhalley »

I’ve been using Ubuntu for many years. Very rarely boot into windows, but I’m not doing much except email, web surfing, occ financial websites, use Bitwarden for pw management. I use an office Ubuntu software occ.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

Hi, I just install POPOS and is already stuck. First for some reason, the keyboard was set to Czech. After that was fixed, I can't seemed to sudo, it won't accept my password. I did check and my account can sudo. I am pretty sure there is a good explanation.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by badger42 »

As an old school Unix / Linux hack, I run Windows on my personal hardware and would not go back to Linux.

Linux still fails hard at, say, actual good support for my scanner. Multimedia support is also lacking, eg more complex audio and video hardware. Hardware support on modern laptops is always hit or miss.

If I want a decent command line, WSL2 does not suck, and can even run GUI apps now. This is the best of both worlds - all of my hardware works, my scanner works, and I can run any app from either ecosystem. Microsoft makes the best desktop Linux out there, it's called WSL2.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by eyedrop »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:19 pm Hi, I just install POPOS and is already stuck. First for some reason, the keyboard was set to Czech. After that was fixed, I can't seemed to sudo, it won't accept my password. I did check and my account can sudo. I am pretty sure there is a good explanation.

Sorry your already having these strange issues (i have not experienced these). Perhaps the password you typed during setup was using the czech layout, and now when typing the password it appears wrong to the system. I would try changing the password if possible or reinstall the OS and make sure your keyboard does not have a stuck key cap or ghost inputs
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by lostdog »

eyedrop wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 2:12 am Running PopOS here. I used to have a lot of the same issues you described, where special work was needed to get broadcom drivers working, gpu driver install, etc.. But I found pop already seemed to have proprietary drivers out of the box.

Not sure if their gui uses X11 but i have had no stability issues with it, the built in nvidia driver and my GTX 1060.

The gui seems to take some of the best queues from macOS and Windows but ultimately has a dumbed down file explorer and not a lot of built in system settings. I really do prefer Windows and its robust file explorer, window management system, clipboard history, window previews, the volume mixer, etc.. Windows has the best gui.

My old PC would not wake from sleep with popOS (AMD A8 Kaveri generation.) My new Intel 12th gen CPU wakes from sleep just fine. No audio issues with the built in audio engine unlike ALSA problems of past.

I keep things simple with the applications I use as in my experience, software from some smaller developers in linux can be buggy, or old apps wont run at all. compare that to windows still supporting DOS apps. Tough to write software that runs good on all distros. Plus, everyone wants to make new software. But nobody wants to fix bugs or usability issues.

At the end of the day, i find software with the highest market share to have the best stability and support. The world runs on Windows and Chrome which is kinda hard to avoid sometimes. But I cant say ive had much issues with Pop and it stays out of the way unlike Windows and its telemetry. I recommend running LTSC. W10 Enterprise iot LTSC has extended support until 2029.

I would not recommend macOS or iOS at this time due to stability and usability issues. Ive kept my mac on Montery and iPhone on iOS 15 for a reason. Never would have thought to see apple this bad with new releases and bugs but here we are.
+1

PopOS is the way. It's my daily driver and it's flawless.

I get better fps on my games compared to Windows. Linux gaming has come a long way thanks to Valve and it's Steam proton.

Flatpak is a game changer.

Checkout system76.com
Last edited by lostdog on Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by dirtlaw »

I've transitioned to using a browser for almost everything so I no longer see much difference between using windows and Linux, or even android or Apple tablets.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by backpacker61 »

Linux Mint 19.3 (32 bit)
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by ATTappman »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:19 pm Hi, I just install POPOS and is already stuck. First for some reason, the keyboard was set to Czech. After that was fixed, I can't seemed to sudo, it won't accept my password. I did check and my account can sudo. I am pretty sure there is a good explanation.
For the sudo issue, take a look at the /etc/sudoers file. Near the bottom of that file, you might have to uncomment the line that enables members of the wheel or sudo groups to execute commands. Use the groups command at the bash prompt to make sure you're in the wheel or sudo group, whichever you prefer.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

eyedrop wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:21 pm Sorry your already having these strange issues (i have not experienced these). Perhaps the password you typed during setup was using the czech layout, and now when typing the password it appears wrong to the system. I would try changing the password if possible or reinstall the OS and make sure your keyboard does not have a stuck key cap or ghost inputs
I thought of that, too, but then I realized that if that was the case, I would not have been able to login. I am able to login but not Sudo. Changing the password is a pretty good idea.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by JoMoney »

I use a Chromebook and an Android phone, both of which are built on Linux.
I don't own a Windows or Apple computer, but at work I do use a WIndows 10 virtual desktop that I connect to from a Dell/Wyse ThinOS desktop (that is also Linux.)
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by lostdog »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:04 pm
eyedrop wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:21 pm Sorry your already having these strange issues (i have not experienced these). Perhaps the password you typed during setup was using the czech layout, and now when typing the password it appears wrong to the system. I would try changing the password if possible or reinstall the OS and make sure your keyboard does not have a stuck key cap or ghost inputs
I thought of that, too, but then I realized that if that was the case, I would not have been able to login. I am able to login but not Sudo. Changing the password is a pretty good idea.
I hope Pop_OS works out for you. It got distro of the year.

https://fosspost.org/best-linux-distrib ... 04-review/

Also the system76 scheduler technology is a game changer for older computers.

https://www.reddit.com/r/pop_os/comment ... scheduler/
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Northern Flicker »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:16 am I notice that there are a number of diehard linux users here. How is it? Every couple of years I tried using Linux as a daily driver, and everytime I eventually get annoyed by the problems. On the plus side, things have improve considerably.
What problem are you trying to solve, or this a solution looking for a problem?
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

Ok, I tried to change the password and got an error. Now I can't even login. I am thinking that something is corrupted with the install and I should probable start over.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by tibbitts »

badger42 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:42 pm As an old school Unix / Linux hack, I run Windows on my personal hardware and would not go back to Linux.

Linux still fails hard at, say, actual good support for my scanner. Multimedia support is also lacking, eg more complex audio and video hardware. Hardware support on modern laptops is always hit or miss.

If I want a decent command line, WSL2 does not suck, and can even run GUI apps now. This is the best of both worlds - all of my hardware works, my scanner works, and I can run any app from either ecosystem. Microsoft makes the best desktop Linux out there, it's called WSL2.
This is exactly my position, now that I don't have an incentive to run Linux on my laptop for work. WSL is amazing - even version 1 was. I just don't understand the appeal of using Linux for a personal desktop except purely as a hobby. It's like people are trying to make life as difficult as possible just for a challenge.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

Note that I have managed to get POP OS working, the reinstallation did not run into any problems. I will play around with it for a few weeks to see if it's any good. One reason I was looking into Linux is privacy. With everyone tryin to make massive revenue, I could use a OS that doesn't attempt to track me. I might need to see if PopOS actually does any tracking.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:39 am Note that I have managed to get POP OS working, the reinstallation did not run into any problems. I will play around with it for a few weeks to see if it's any good. One reason I was looking into Linux is privacy. With everyone tryin to make massive revenue, I could use a OS that doesn't attempt to track me. I might need to see if PopOS actually does any tracking.
This is a futile effort, if you send data or access network traffic outside of your home network, it is being folded, spindled and mutilated. There is no practical privacy on the Internet. The real question is what information are you willing to expose, then work backwards from there.

I have been a Unix/Linux user since the days of a BSD distro on a PDP-11/70 and I don't find any Linux desktop to be a suitable replacement for Windows or a Mac, while I still use Linux distributions on a daily basis.

If you want to try to maintain privacy, look at using Firefox and/or Brave in incognito mode via a VPN on a stripped down Windows installation, and refuse to sign up for any services from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Meta/Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, don't access any websites that provide advertising or require logins. Then you are only left with all the tracking done by the sites themselves. I am being facetious, but that is the point, the Internet is a massive surveillance engine and the browser is only a small part of the data collection effort.

I haven't even mentioned the various governments' significant information gathering activities.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by tibbitts »

retiringwhen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:23 am
gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:39 am Note that I have managed to get POP OS working, the reinstallation did not run into any problems. I will play around with it for a few weeks to see if it's any good. One reason I was looking into Linux is privacy. With everyone tryin to make massive revenue, I could use a OS that doesn't attempt to track me. I might need to see if PopOS actually does any tracking.
This is a futile effort, if you send data or access network traffic outside of your home network, it is being folded, spindled and mutilated. There is no practical privacy on the Internet. The real question is what information are you willing to expose, then work backwards from there.

I have been a Unix/Linux user since the days of a BSD distro on a PDP-11/70 and I don't find any Linux desktop to be a suitable replacement for Windows or a Mac, while I still use Linux distributions on a daily basis.

If you want to try to maintain privacy, look at using Firefox and/or Brave in incognito mode via a VPN on a stripped down Windows installation, and refuse to sign up for any services from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Meta/Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, don't access any websites that provide advertising or require logins. Then you are only left with all the tracking done by the sites themselves. I am being facetious, but that is the point, the Internet is a massive surveillance engine and the browser is only a small part of the data collection effort.

I haven't even mentioned the various governments' significant information gathering activities.
I completely agree with this; privacy is just not an OS consideration unless maybe you're willing to never use the computer for any conventional desktop activity. It's off-topic, but for a long time I would have appreciated the extended memory addressing capabilities you had with the 11/70 vs. the 11/45 I was using (first with ATT through V7, then BSD.)
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

backpacker61 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:11 pm Linux Mint 19.3 (32 bit)
Xfce
It's end of life sometime this year (Linux Mint 19.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023). What will you use afterwards?
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:42 am It's off-topic, but for a long time I would have appreciated the extended memory addressing capabilities you had with the 11/70 vs. the 11/45 I was using (first with ATT through V7, then BSD.)
I have a feeling we could play 6-degrees of separation and find a few colleagues in common :sharebeer
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Tycoon »

I've been using Linux for my desktop for years (started with Mandrake in the 90's). In fact, everyone in my house has been using Linux as their dailly driver for years. My technologically challenged spouse uses it. Heck, my 90 year old FIL uses Linux as his daily driver. MUCH less fustration than Windows.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

Tycoon wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:07 am I've been using Linux for my desktop for years (started with Mandrake in the 90's). In fact, everyone in my house has been using Linux as their dailly driver for years. My technologically challenged spouse uses it. Heck, my 90 year old FIL uses Linux as his daily driver. MUCH less fustration than Windows.
If they are 99% browser users, I can see that. Have you considered ChromeOS? What distro are you using?
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Tycoon »

retiringwhen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:10 am
Tycoon wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:07 am I've been using Linux for my desktop for years (started with Mandrake in the 90's). In fact, everyone in my house has been using Linux as their dailly driver for years. My technologically challenged spouse uses it. Heck, my 90 year old FIL uses Linux as his daily driver. MUCH less fustration than Windows.
If they are 99% browser users, I can see that. Have you considered ChromeOS? What distro are you using?
A few of us are heavy users. FIY is 99% browser. I don't use ChromeOS. Currently, I'm typing this in Arch Linux with a Cinnamon desktop. However, other computers are running Debian with Cinnamon, Debian with Xfce, Debian with no Desktop, FreeBSD, Alpine Linux, Puppy Linux, and more. They all serve different purposes. None of them have given me the driver nightmares that Windows did.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by tibbitts »

retiringwhen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:56 am
tibbitts wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:42 am It's off-topic, but for a long time I would have appreciated the extended memory addressing capabilities you had with the 11/70 vs. the 11/45 I was using (first with ATT through V7, then BSD.)
I have a feeling we could play 6-degrees of separation and find a few colleagues in common :sharebeer
Probably; it was certainly a smaller community back then.
TN_Boy
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

tibbitts wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:55 pm
badger42 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:42 pm As an old school Unix / Linux hack, I run Windows on my personal hardware and would not go back to Linux.

Linux still fails hard at, say, actual good support for my scanner. Multimedia support is also lacking, eg more complex audio and video hardware. Hardware support on modern laptops is always hit or miss.

If I want a decent command line, WSL2 does not suck, and can even run GUI apps now. This is the best of both worlds - all of my hardware works, my scanner works, and I can run any app from either ecosystem. Microsoft makes the best desktop Linux out there, it's called WSL2.
This is exactly my position, now that I don't have an incentive to run Linux on my laptop for work. WSL is amazing - even version 1 was. I just don't understand the appeal of using Linux for a personal desktop except purely as a hobby. It's like people are trying to make life as difficult as possible just for a challenge.
Agreed. (If I wanted Linux, I'd probably fire up a VM on my M1 Mac with Parallels). While I prefer MacOs, I think Windows 11 is not bad (I run that in a VM).

But my experience has also been that running Linux as my primary OS for non-work stuff (for software development, sure, a fine solution) is that it makes life harder. I have apps that won't run on Linux (Quicken, Adobe Lightroom, etc) plus I've also endured the "this device is not working with this version of Linux," and spending ... a lot of time trying to fix that. And then somebody sends me a Word doc, and at least it used to be the case that it is 50-50 that the Office-like solutions on Linux would actually render the doc correctly. That situation may have improved.

And sure, if I mostly browse the web, etc Linux will work great! But so will ... any operating system. I'd only run Linux to do software development or play.
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gavinsiu
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

I have a Chrome OS laptop. After playing with it, I feel that it's a rather locked down OS, a bit like MacOS, but even more restrictive. For example, I can't add an external fingerprint reader because Chrome OS policy is that it won't trust external fingerprint reader. For web stuff, it's pretty good with integration with google ecosystem. For local stuff, not so much. Yes, you can run android app, but it's not great. You can run Linux app and that seems to work pretty well, a lot better than WSL on windows. However neither WSL nor ChromeOS linux is all that noob friendly.

Chrome OS is pretty poor as a playback device. The built-in media player isn't that great. You can install a third party android or linux app, but they might not run all that well either because it probably can't access hardware acceleration. SMB support was pretty terrible a year ago, but recent update have made it quite usable now.

The lockdown nature on the other hand does make it better as a computing platform for the techical challenge. I have set my mom up previously with Windows and Linux Mint for a time, but the Chrome OS seems to work the best. All of her workflow is web based and she has a bad tendency to break stuff in very strange ways (for example, she somehow managed to move all of her phone's icon into a single spot), having your infrastructure in the cloud is helpful you can powerwash the computer and reconnect. What is also helpful is the remote desktop ability. The only downside is that peripheral support appears to be android based. I have to install the android app to scan from her brothers all-in-one.

Personally though, I think Chrome OS feels a bit more Frankinstein like and I might be better off with some other OS that is more desktop centric.
retiringwhen
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

My hierarchy of devices from technically challenged to those who most like a technical challenge goes like this:

iPad (really the best device for those who just read email, and browser the web, buy a decent keyboard and forget about it)
ChromeOS laptop
Android Tablet
Macintosh (are we still allowed to call them by their full name?)
Surface Tablet
Windows laptop/desktop
Ubuntu
Raspbian
Just about any other Linux distro, just keeping up with the options, regardless of their individual simplicity is a major cost.

Full disclosure: I personally have devolved to a Vanilla Windows 11 install with M365 (I live in several Teams eco-systems) and Chrome (I am a heavy Google Apps user/developer), then added WSL with Ubuntu for web software development.

It keeps my life about as simple as it can get considering my needs.

I use Android for my phone and I also have an iPad that I use outside my office pretty heavily. That iPad is brain-dead easy and requires almost zero skill to keep alive and useful, I wish it was all so easy.
TN_Boy
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:57 am I have a Chrome OS laptop. After playing with it, I feel that it's a rather locked down OS, a bit like MacOS, but even more restrictive. For example, I can't add an external fingerprint reader because Chrome OS policy is that it won't trust external fingerprint reader. For web stuff, it's pretty good with integration with google ecosystem. For local stuff, not so much. Yes, you can run android app, but it's not great. You can run Linux app and that seems to work pretty well, a lot better than WSL on windows. However neither WSL nor ChromeOS linux is all that noob friendly.

Chrome OS is pretty poor as a playback device. The built-in media player isn't that great. You can install a third party android or linux app, but they might not run all that well either because it probably can't access hardware acceleration. SMB support was pretty terrible a year ago, but recent update have made it quite usable now.

The lockdown nature on the other hand does make it better as a computing platform for the techical challenge. I have set my mom up previously with Windows and Linux Mint for a time, but the Chrome OS seems to work the best. All of her workflow is web based and she has a bad tendency to break stuff in very strange ways (for example, she somehow managed to move all of her phone's icon into a single spot), having your infrastructure in the cloud is helpful you can powerwash the computer and reconnect. What is also helpful is the remote desktop ability. The only downside is that peripheral support appears to be android based. I have to install the android app to scan from her brothers all-in-one.

Personally though, I think Chrome OS feels a bit more Frankinstein like and I might be better off with some other OS that is more desktop centric.
For what it is worth, I've been quite happy with having a reasonably muscular desktop running very mainstream OSes (MacOS, windows, etc) plus running virtual machines to try other things like Linux. My main setup is M1 Mac with Windows (and linux if I wanted) VMs. But that is not an especially cheap solution.

I have sadly not seen a good solution for the non-tech savvy. There is always ... something to goof up, because the person just doesn't have the "feel" for how operating systems work. At one point years ago I was trying to get my mom to use a laptop. Even using the mouse (she was a SAHM and never ever used a computer) was frustrating and non-intuitive for her. There are outfits that put a very high-level user interface on a computer (solutions targeted at seniors) but I've not tried any of those.
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gavinsiu
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

TN_Boy wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:18 am For what it is worth, I've been quite happy with having a reasonably muscular desktop running very mainstream OSes (MacOS, windows, etc) plus running virtual machines to try other things like Linux. My main setup is M1 Mac with Windows (and linux if I wanted) VMs. But that is not an especially cheap solution.

I have sadly not seen a good solution for the non-tech savvy. There is always ... something to goof up, because the person just doesn't have the "feel" for how operating systems work. At one point years ago I was trying to get my mom to use a laptop. Even using the mouse (she was a SAHM and never ever used a computer) was frustrating and non-intuitive for her. There are outfits that put a very high-level user interface on a computer (solutions targeted at seniors) but I've not tried any of those.
What are you using to run VM on a M1 Mac? I know that there is Parallel, but that is pretty expensive per month.

In my case, I had some success with setting up system for my mom that uses a click type interface. I decided to limit her devices to a phone, a tablet, and a computer. Each device is setup to have click menu. For her phone and android, they use a custom launcher that locks down what she can do and has pretty much the same options. The launcher allow me to maintain the same GUI even though she switches phone.

For the computer, I use a Chromebox so when she launches the screen, she gets the browser with an extension call SpeedDial2 that display large icon for each site she visits. A decade or two ago, she express that she can't use a computer because the mouse moves horizontally while the screen moves vertically so it's too hard to process. I pointed out that she does the same thing when she drives, but in reverse. In any case, she did managed to learn to use the mouse and keyboard but can't understand url, so the big icon compensates. On the plus side, this also means her chances of getting malware is low.

I also setup Teamviewer to remote to her phone and tablet and use chrome remote desktop on the computer.
backpacker61
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by backpacker61 »

enad wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:49 am
backpacker61 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:11 pm Linux Mint 19.3 (32 bit)
Xfce
It's end of life sometime this year (Linux Mint 19.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2023). What will you use afterwards?
Not sure.

I'm using very old hardware (32 bit processor). It may be time for me to refresh the hardware then, or just keep at it until the browser isn't able to properly render some web sites I need to use.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
TN_Boy
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:32 am
TN_Boy wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:18 am For what it is worth, I've been quite happy with having a reasonably muscular desktop running very mainstream OSes (MacOS, windows, etc) plus running virtual machines to try other things like Linux. My main setup is M1 Mac with Windows (and linux if I wanted) VMs. But that is not an especially cheap solution.

I have sadly not seen a good solution for the non-tech savvy. There is always ... something to goof up, because the person just doesn't have the "feel" for how operating systems work. At one point years ago I was trying to get my mom to use a laptop. Even using the mouse (she was a SAHM and never ever used a computer) was frustrating and non-intuitive for her. There are outfits that put a very high-level user interface on a computer (solutions targeted at seniors) but I've not tried any of those.
What are you using to run VM on a M1 Mac? I know that there is Parallel, but that is pretty expensive per month.

In my case, I had some success with setting up system for my mom that uses a click type interface. I decided to limit her devices to a phone, a tablet, and a computer. Each device is setup to have click menu. For her phone and android, they use a custom launcher that locks down what she can do and has pretty much the same options. The launcher allow me to maintain the same GUI even though she switches phone.

For the computer, I use a Chromebox so when she launches the screen, she gets the browser with an extension call SpeedDial2 that display large icon for each site she visits. A decade or two ago, she express that she can't use a computer because the mouse moves horizontally while the screen moves vertically so it's too hard to process. I pointed out that she does the same thing when she drives, but in reverse. In any case, she did managed to learn to use the mouse and keyboard but can't understand url, so the big icon compensates. On the plus side, this also means her chances of getting malware is low.

I also setup Teamviewer to remote to her phone and tablet and use chrome remote desktop on the computer.
I'm using Parallels. At the time I set this machine up, VMware was late getting the M1 version of Fusion going. I like Parallels better than Fusion, but I also do not like paying a subscription fee. It's possible I'll change back to VMware Fusion, which I had been using for years, if I'm convinced VMware is spending enough resources to keep Fusion competitive. Cost aside, for my uses, an M1 Mac with VMs is a great solution.

It sounds like you've done a great job getting your mom a usable system. I remember it did surprise me that my mom found using the mouse so difficult. Point and click seemed intuitive to me, but .... it was not to her. She was not motivated enough to really spend time on it and I didn't want to push the issue. Plus at the time I didn't live nearby, so I could not do in-person coaching except during occasional visits.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by nalor511 »

The people saying "I don't see the draw to using linux on a desktop" must not have had a windows desktop from the past year or two, because my newer (10+) windows machines randomly turn on in the middle of the night to try and update. It took me a long time to figure out how to break updates (scheduler) so that this would finally stop, and it was a messy process. Regular people should not have their computers turning on by themselves (from sleep, or shutdown, either one)

Ubuntu fixed these issues 5 years ago, and have not looked back. As I already said, the only thing you can't (easily) do is tax software, everything else has been fine, and not even a hassle. Certainly not a greater hassle than Windows. Updates are seamless. The computer doesn't start up without my permission. Chrome, firefox, and any other app (except tax software) I can download from the Discover app, and they work great. That said, I have hardware that's officially supported (dell latiude), so I never have driver issues.
rich126
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by rich126 »

gavinsiu wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 4:50 pm
rich126 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 2:55 pm Unless I missed it you didn't mention your reason for switching to Linux?

Cost?

Reliability?

As someone who started back before DOS, and used DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux and Apple's OS I personally would recommend Apple over Linux in most cases since it has been rock solid in my 20 years of using it at home. Linux is fun to play with if you are a tech person or want to do things that Apple makes more difficult or cost is a big factor but IMO having an iMac just made my life simpler. Sure there are updates and occasionally Apple does something that is annoying but having had 3 iMac and a couple of laptops, I've never had anything similar to the crashes/blue screens you get with Windows. Years ago I thought a system was messed up during a big updated but I left it alone and when I came back later it was fine.

My (late) father got one and he had no issues with using it despite not being a tech person and starting with it in his 70s.

Really depends on your needs. Personally I dread using Windows at home anymore.
Mostly because I want an alternative to Windows and MacOS. I like to be a bit OS agnostic. I want to be able to be able to switch back and forth because different OS so not to be tied to a particular eco-system. This is helpful because I tend to be the person that the family calls if there is a computer issue.

I often view Linux as the reverse twin of Apple stuff. With Apple, the idea appears to be to do it the Apple way. Linux is apparently the opposite where everyone can do it their way. This is both good and bad. This mean you can customize things the way you want, but it also means your desktop might not resemble your fellow linux users.
My only response to this is that an OS isn't really the desktop but what lies under it. Sure a user interacts with the desktop but often things are easier done at the command line (i.e., terminal window). If I want to write code in python, perl, etc. that can be done easily in Linux, or Apple OS.

Someone can know their way around Apple and Windows but if they aren't used to doing things at the command line, they really know know the OS or how computers work. In Linux while there are a lot of "pretty" desktops, often it is still easiest to just do it at the command line. If I"m going to install a package I'd be typing yum, apt-get, apt, etc.

A desktop just abstracts away with guis what the actual command is, in some cases it makes things easier and others times, it doesn't.
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btq96r
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by btq96r »

Linux is great if you're into computer stuff, and like to get curious about things. Staying close to the common distros like Mint and Ubuntu are recommended for beginners, and are generally friendly for most hardware. I tried Zorin and really liked it. I just lost a lot of time to enjoy it as a hobby when I took my current job about six years back.

Their version of a spreadsheet isn't bad, but I still stumble on charts and tables. For basic accounting it's just fine.

I use a Linux Ubuntu setup as my personal PC OS, and it's been running like a champ with the standard updates. Not as sleek or robust as Windows, but none of the headaches with Windows either. Give it a shot.
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LazyNihilist
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by LazyNihilist »

Linux is a great OS. I started using it 20 years ago. Started with early Ubuntu then onto Debian.
I experimented with FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Gentoo, gNewSense and a few other distros.
Eventually settled on Debian.

After a few years, I noticed I was only using my browser for most of the tasks. So switched to Chromebook. But if I need a Desktop these days, I use Google Cloud VM to fire up a Debian Desktop. Use it and destroy it. :D
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must -Thucydides
indexinvestor101
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by indexinvestor101 »

use Manjaro KDE Linux for many years now (after hopping across many distributions) and things have worked out well for me:
- brother printer has AUR packages for install/setup/configure
- KDE is nice visual candy
- Solid experience with brave if you have ample RAM when used for heavy browsing activities
- i use CPU with integrated graphics so no driver related issues (have used a haswell processor and 12th gen. both were solid).
- breakage of software updates have come down drastically over the years and cannot recall when i got an update that failed to restart
- less freezing on newer hardware.
overall happy with the setup for online browsing/productivity tasks
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

I first began experimenting with Linux around 1995 (back when it was distributed as floppy disk images via FTP), and began using it as my primary environment at home a few years later. I'm right now running Linux Mint 19.3 as my main environment, but will soon have to upgrade to a newer version as the 19.x series goes end-of-support soon.

Let's be clear at the outset: Linux won't run your Windows games, or your specialized Windows applications. It's not designed to. I know that there have been attempts to provide faux Windows environments (such as WINE) on Linux to run Windows applications, but I've never seen one work reliably, even for such simple apps as Notepad or Solitaire. If there is something you need that only comes in a Windows version, stay with Windows. Nothing wrong with that.

That being said, my Linux install supports 99.9% of my needs; I do web browsing, email, word processing, spreadsheets, and programming on it, and it has a handful of games that I find entertaining. The only times I have to switch back over to Windows (by way of dual-boot) is to access my Epson photo scanner via a Windows scanner application (I believe that Epson does provide Linux drivers for it, but I'm too lazy at the moment to research it and try to make it work) and to run SSA's AnyPIA application for Social Security projections.

Linux certainly is not for everyone. If you have expectations of transparently being able to run your Windows applications under it, don't bother, it won't happen. But if your needs are more general (web, email, office-type work, etc), you might download Linux Mint, burn the install image to a DVD blank or to a USB stick, boot it up, and see what you think. Linux Mint comes with all the essentials, it's just a matter of learning to access and make use of them.
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