Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

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

Post by gavinsiu »

rich126 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:54 pm 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.
In the case of lInux, unlike MacOS and Windows, there is no standard desktop but the desktop is dependant on what distro you use and even the distro might have multiple desktops. As for command line, Windows has Powershell, macs have Unix shell script just like Linux. It's a matter of learning how the gui and scripting works.

My issue typically is more with integrating with my existing eco-system. Can I connect to my synology server and backup to it. Can I print to my printer. Can I connect to my veracrypt containers.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:14 pm My issue typically is more with integrating with my existing eco-system. Can I connect to my synology server and backup to it. Can I print to my printer. Can I connect to my veracrypt containers.
Finding a daily driver is one of those areas where all talk, no action doesn't work. :) Just dive in and try a few distros -- maybe starting with several Ubuntu-based ones.

I remember when I made the switch from Windows, failure wasn't an option. I was highly motivated to dump Windows and would do whatever it took, however long it took, to find a substitute. Once you find something that is almost perfect, it can be a keeper for years, and you can, as time allows, fill in any gaps until it becomes more perfect. :)

So run a "beauty contest" of sorts of various distros/DEs in a virtual machine, or use a live USB. See how many boxes each allows you to check off.

The reason there is no perfect answer is not just that people's indivual needs are different, but different hardware has different degrees of support for Linux. Dell and Lenovo, and I've heard HP also, are good bets. I can't talk about the fancier machines since I always use low-end, but the low-end machines always work for me as far as Linux is concerned.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

roamingzebra wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:59 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:14 pm My issue typically is more with integrating with my existing eco-system. Can I connect to my synology server and backup to it. Can I print to my printer. Can I connect to my veracrypt containers.
Finding a daily driver is one of those areas where all talk, no action doesn't work. :) Just dive in and try a few distros -- maybe starting with several Ubuntu-based ones.

I remember when I made the switch from Windows, failure wasn't an option. I was highly motivated to dump Windows and would do whatever it took, however long it took, to find a substitute. Once you find something that is almost perfect, it can be a keeper for years, and you can, as time allows, fill in any gaps until it becomes more perfect. :)

So run a "beauty contest" of sorts of various distros/DEs in a virtual machine, or use a live USB. See how many boxes each allows you to check off.

The reason there is no perfect answer is not just that people's indivual needs are different, but different hardware has different degrees of support for Linux. Dell and Lenovo, and I've heard HP also, are good bets. I can't talk about the fancier machines since I always use low-end, but the low-end machines always work for me as far as Linux is concerned.
This is the core problem with Linux on the Desktop, it is a massive time sink for something that 95% of the population has no skill or interest in performing and a sufficient alternative can be bought at Best Buy for less than $500 with no real configuration. For the remaining 5%, the search is reward in itself. Unless the OP has that desire and will reap the emotional/intellectual reward for the search, it is just wasted effort.

If you find the search satisfying, by all means continue, but don't expect the effort to be minimal.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

retiringwhen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:01 pm This is the core problem with Linux on the Desktop, it is a massive time sink for something that 95% of the population has no skill or interest in performing and a sufficient alternative can be bought at Best Buy for less than $500 with no real configuration. For the remaining 5%, the search is reward in itself. Unless the OP has that desire and will reap the emotional/intellectual reward for the search, it is just wasted effort.

If you find the search satisfying, by all means continue, but don't expect the effort to be minimal.
I often wonder if the issue might be that you have to install Linux from scratch rather than have it pre-install. One would presume that if it comes with the laptop, a lot of the config issue would be resolved. Installing Windows from scratch isn't that fun of an experience. There are like multiple reboots and can take a long time. still this one was an improvement than in the past where you had to download your own driver for everything.

I keep coming back because I am curious if things have improved. The reward for me is of course to gain additional skills to be put on the resume.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Peculiar_Investor »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:41 pm Installing Windows from scratch isn't that fun of an experience. There are like multiple reboots and can take a long time.
Drifting a bit off topic but neither is installing a Mac from scratch. I inherited a Mac mini (Late 2014) that had been wiped. Repeated attempts to Erase and reinstall macOS - Apple Support (CA) ended in a reboot and then a failure without a bootable machine. Rinse and repeated a number of times. Eventually on the 7 or 8th attempt it finally offered Monterey OS and took over an hour on very fast internet to get the machine running. Not impressed in the least.

Back on topic, I have found installing/upgrading a desktop focused Linux distribution like Linux Mint very simple and straightforward.

I previously posted about my experience and thoughts,
Peculiar_Investor wrote: Thu Jan 12, 2023 6:28 pm From my experience having Windows 10, Windows 11, MacOS Monterey and Linux Mint on various desktops/laptops in our family, they generally are not that different.

You use a mouse to launch applications, interact with them and perform whatever tasks, i.e. browsing the web, working on a spreadsheet, working on a document or presentation, etc. Sure there are differences in the launcher applications, but if you can pick from Windows Start menu, you can use the MacOS finder, or the Mint menu system. Of course some applications are OS specific and can sometimes be challenging to find a Linux version or equivalent, such as tax software.

Software updates are performed through an application that advises that updates are available and applies the updates. The packaging of the updates differs, Linux updates should individual packages, not the January 2023 "Patch Tuesday" package. However at the end of the day, you get a message updates are available, you click "Apply" and don't sweat the details. After all, who looks at Microsoft's KBxxxxx for each "Patch Tuesday" to see all the detailed changes under the covers.

The only difference in my experience, and as others have pointed out, the Linux distributions tend to be less resource intensive and therefore can run on older hardware. I'm running the current version of Linux Mint (21.1) on an ancient HP 4510s laptop and it works quite well. Windows 10 is sluggish on the same machine.
On the HP 4510s Linux Mint is excellent and easy to use. Without a doubt Linux Mint could be my daily driver except for the fact that I need applications that are Windows specific, Quicken and tax preparation software the main ones.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

Windows 11 is about as easy as it gets these days. I reformatted the drives on two PCs in the last 3 months and it was up and running with only maybe two reboots in less than 45 minutes. A full build out of an Ubuntu desktop takes about the same amount of time and just as many updates, if not reboots.

I haven't reimaged a Mac in the lasts 5-6 years, but yes it was about the worst awful slow process I've ever seen.

Windows really has become a very simple operating system. The famed simple user interface of the Mac is actually more complex to my eyes than Windows 11. MS has finally modernized and all the normal user configuration into a pretty straight forward Settings menu hierarchy. It boots very very quickly, is mostly silent about updates/reboots and requires very little driver configuration unless you have some pretty esoteric hardware or network configurations. Printers are even getting straight forward!
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by beyou »

rich126 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:55 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.
I concur. While I started using Linux 20 years ago (and various flavors of unix over 30 years ago), for purely personal use, I prefer the Apple ecosystem. That said, I try to use mostly web based software on my Mac, so I could easily use Linux (or ChromeOS or even the hated Windows), but when I do venture away from browser based applications, Mac/iOS has much more to offer, and often well integrated. So depends what you do. When I was a developer, sys admin and DBA, I preferred Linux/Unix, but for personal tasks MacOS has been my favorite (and these days many developers use Mac OS as well).
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

backpacker61 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:17 pm
enad wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:49 am
backpacker61 wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:11 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.
Yes, browser support will eventually be a problem. I had 19.3 running on an old machine that ran Windows XP and I thought was a 32-bit processor but turns out its a 64-bit processor so now its running running 20.1 There is just something refreshing about being able to run old hardware with modern day operating systems. XP is running in a Virtual Machine on that same hardware. Best of luck.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by bh1 »

I've been using some version of unix/linux for 30+ years on my personal machines. Stuff mostly seems to just work, since I choose desktop hardware components that are known to do so. I currently run xubuntu (ubuntu w/ xfce).

Linux may not be for you. I am not an evangelist.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by backpacker61 »

enad wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:04 am Yes, browser support will eventually be a problem. I had 19.3 running on an old machine that ran Windows XP and I thought was a 32-bit processor but turns out its a 64-bit processor so now its running running 20.1 There is just something refreshing about being able to run old hardware with modern day operating systems. XP is running in a Virtual Machine on that same hardware. Best of luck.
I have a similar issue with an old iMac (8th generation; roughly 2008). The newer MacOS versions aren't being released for it.

I replaced it's hard disk with a solid state drive and added another memory card, and got it running the newest MacOS version that is supported for that hardware (El Capitan, I think). But there won't be any more updates. I don't know how long it's browser will be useful, but I hope to get as much useful life from the unit as I can. It's the Boglehead way. 8-)
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by dual »

Over the years, I have looked into running Linux on my desktop computer, but I’ve always been stopped by the following simple problem:

I prefer to use two monitors that I run in portrait mode. Windows handles this effortlessly, and it’s only a matter of a few seconds to set up a new system.

I’ve been unable to do this on Linux. Doing an Internet search, there are complex instructions for different pieces of software. Some handle multiple monitors and some portrait monitors but I’ve never seen one that does both.

The software also seems to depend on the distribution.

I have considered paying a computer shop to put together and configure a system, but I’ve never got around to it.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

retiringwhen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:01 pm
roamingzebra wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:59 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:14 pm My issue typically is more with integrating with my existing eco-system. Can I connect to my synology server and backup to it. Can I print to my printer. Can I connect to my veracrypt containers.
Finding a daily driver is one of those areas where all talk, no action doesn't work. :) Just dive in and try a few distros -- maybe starting with several Ubuntu-based ones.

I remember when I made the switch from Windows, failure wasn't an option. I was highly motivated to dump Windows and would do whatever it took, however long it took, to find a substitute. Once you find something that is almost perfect, it can be a keeper for years, and you can, as time allows, fill in any gaps until it becomes more perfect. :)

So run a "beauty contest" of sorts of various distros/DEs in a virtual machine, or use a live USB. See how many boxes each allows you to check off.

The reason there is no perfect answer is not just that people's indivual needs are different, but different hardware has different degrees of support for Linux. Dell and Lenovo, and I've heard HP also, are good bets. I can't talk about the fancier machines since I always use low-end, but the low-end machines always work for me as far as Linux is concerned.
This is the core problem with Linux on the Desktop, it is a massive time sink for something that 95% of the population has no skill or interest in performing and a sufficient alternative can be bought at Best Buy for less than $500 with no real configuration. For the remaining 5%, the search is reward in itself. Unless the OP has that desire and will reap the emotional/intellectual reward for the search, it is just wasted effort.

If you find the search satisfying, by all means continue, but don't expect the effort to be minimal.
I think you may have misunderstood my post. Trying out several distros is similar to trying on different types of clothes in a department store. Yes, time consuming, but fundamentally a precaution against buying clothes that won't fit. IOW, trying several distros gives a better chance of finding that one distro that does fit. Once found, it's easy coasting for the most part, or at least fewer annoyances.

The only major time sinks for me were when I first was looking for a distro and when I switched from 32-bit to 64-bit. The initial foray into Linux was harder for me than for most since my hardware was so ancient, it was practically from the floppy disk era. But once I got the system on my computer, the amount of time tinkering was the same that I used when on Windows. As much as I loved Windows XP, it never was perfect for me. I had to learn how to modify the registry and read a couple of books to understand the Control Panel settings. In other words, whatever OS one is using, there usually is a period of customization and learning. That is not unique to Linux.

And did I mention that I used the Mac before Windows?! Wow. That was a huge learning curve going from Mac to Windows. Windows to Linux was similar. Unless one just uses the browser, there usually is a learning curve regardless of operating system.

As an addendum, I'll cite a little history. Mac was always considered the easiest OS to use, but in the beginning, it supported very little software. That's really the main reason Windows became popular. It was hard to use, a bit convoluted and a bit techy, but people latched onto it because there was more software for it (and it was cheaper). Similarly, people now think Windows is easy to use since they're used to it and a key reason for switching to Linux is because Windows broke the sacred covenant: "The customer is always right". I.e., against fierce opposition, they made a radical change in the UI and shoved it down its users' throats. So, now some people are willing to go through a new learning curve, this time for freedom.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:41 pm I often wonder if the issue might be that you have to install Linux from scratch rather than have it pre-install. One would presume that if it comes with the laptop, a lot of the config issue would be resolved.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Right now, computers with Linux pre-installed are expensive...a bit ironic since Linux is free. But a mainline computer manufacturer -- HP -- is getting into the game, or at least getting their toes wet. I heard a podcast from someone who was able to test HP's experimental Linux machine and as I recall the results were good. I believe their experimental model was targeted more to the high-end, but I could be wrong. And in any case, if their experiment is successful, it could make itself available in different price points.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

I hate making multiple posts in a row, but whatever. :)

A lot of attention is given to the fact that many of us just use the browser or a few applications. But another feature we probably all use (maybe without knowing it) is the file manager. In Windows, it's Explorer. In Linux, it's generally unique to the distro/desktop, but one can choose to substitute or add a different file manager.

When I was using WindowsXP, Explorer was easy to use. Currently, I occasionally use a Win10 computer offline and the so-called "ribbon" at the top of the Explorer panel drives me crazy. I'm not sure if it's the default (because I added a customization program to help mitigate the awful UI), but the ribbon is very annoying and I don't enjoy using it. My point isn't to rant on Explorer but to point out that a lot of day-to-day work is done in a file manager and if one doesn't have a file manager they like, it can be a constant annoyance. In Linux, you have a choice of file manager. In Windows, maybe there is a way to customize Explorer and eliminate the ribbon?, but I haven't found it because Windows 10 to me is now a learning curve. :)
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

backpacker61 wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:38 pm
enad wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:04 am Yes, browser support will eventually be a problem. I had 19.3 running on an old machine that ran Windows XP and I thought was a 32-bit processor but turns out its a 64-bit processor so now its running running 20.1 There is just something refreshing about being able to run old hardware with modern day operating systems. XP is running in a Virtual Machine on that same hardware. Best of luck.
I have a similar issue with an old iMac (8th generation; roughly 2008). The newer MacOS versions aren't being released for it.

I replaced it's hard disk with a solid state drive and added another memory card, and got it running the newest MacOS version that is supported for that hardware (El Capitan, I think). But there won't be any more updates. I don't know how long it's browser will be useful, but I hope to get as much useful life from the unit as I can. It's the Boglehead way. 8-)
At some point if you want, you can install Linux Mint on a clean SSD in your iMac, then install the MacOS in a Virtual Machine so you can preserve it and you can turn internet access on/off to the Mac Virtual machine.
dual wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:34 pm Over the years, I have looked into running Linux on my desktop computer, but I’ve always been stopped by the following simple problem:

I prefer to use two monitors that I run in portrait mode. Windows handles this effortlessly, and it’s only a matter of a few seconds to set up a new system.

I’ve been unable to do this on Linux. Doing an Internet search, there are complex instructions for different pieces of software. Some handle multiple monitors and some portrait monitors but I’ve never seen one that does both.

The software also seems to depend on the distribution.

I have considered paying a computer shop to put together and configure a system, but I’ve never got around to it.
I set up dual monitors for my daughter and my wife and both are running Linux Mint 20.1. I am sure this is doable in other distributions as it's Ubuntu under the hood
roamingzebra wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:22 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:41 pm I often wonder if the issue might be that you have to install Linux from scratch rather than have it pre-install. One would presume that if it comes with the laptop, a lot of the config issue would be resolved.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Right now, computers with Linux pre-installed are expensive...a bit ironic since Linux is free. But a mainline computer manufacturer -- HP -- is getting into the game, or at least getting their toes wet. I heard a podcast from someone who was able to test HP's experimental Linux machine and as I recall the results were good. I believe their experimental model was targeted more to the high-end, but I could be wrong. And in any case, if their experiment is successful, it could make itself available in different price points.
I took a brand new Dell Laptop purchased late in July of 2022 that had Windows 11 pre-configured. I replaced the SSD with a blank one, installed Linux Mint 20.1 (no hiccups) and then created a Windows 11 Virtual machine (ran a command line in Linux to extract the COA string from the BIOS). There was an option to purchase Ubuntu as an OS for another $50 but this way I put what we all run and all my scripts will run w/o issues.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by dual »

Enad:
I set up dual monitors for my daughter and my wife and both are running Linux Mint 20.1. I am sure this is doable in other distributions as it's Ubuntu under the hood
Thanks for the response, but my problem is having both monitors in portrait mode.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

dual wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:48 pm Enad:
I set up dual monitors for my daughter and my wife and both are running Linux Mint 20.1. I am sure this is doable in other distributions as it's Ubuntu under the hood
Thanks for the response, but my problem is having both monitors in portrait mode.
yeah, that sounds .x11config voodoo.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

dual wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:48 pm Enad:
I set up dual monitors for my daughter and my wife and both are running Linux Mint 20.1. I am sure this is doable in other distributions as it's Ubuntu under the hood
Thanks for the response, but my problem is having both monitors in portrait mode.
I haven't tried this solution, but it may help you, see here

If I get some time I may play around with it down the road
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

So I tried to install PopOS into virtual machine, but the machine had a crappy CPU so the experience was less than optimal. I decided to repurpose one of the boxes as a PopOS box.

1. The box is being used for itune backup, so I had to move it to another machine. This takes forever since I have to do it over usb2. Why don't I do this on my Mac Air? I can't afford to waste storage on my Mac Air. itune takes up 700 Gb.
2. Backup the box using AOMEI Backupper. Ran into a problem where the recovery media does not work, so if I roll this back, this will be extra work. I probably have to do a windows install, and then restore from backup. Note that Backupper is way more reliable the build-in Windows image.
3. Download POPOS into a USB drive. POPos suggested using a product call balena to copy the ISO to the USB key drive. Unfortunately, balenea trash my usb key drive completely to the point that I can't even reformat. It kept saying that the drive was locked. I couldn't even use a partition manager to fix it. I eventually fixed it by formatting it on the Mac and then use a different product call Rufus to create the install media.
4. Install the PopOS on the machine, which was completelly uneventful. I decided to use disk encryption.
5. Update the configuration. Setup new hostname and setup netBIOS so I can get naming for my SMB and windows machines. Installed fingerprint reader, password manager, LibreOffice and Visual Studio Code. I am logging this into a script so I can use it to provision new boxes in the future and if I need to reinstall.

With the restricted extra, all of the media file works. The Netbios worked great so I can reference server by name instead of IP. There were no issue accessing the synology server as SMB. The fingerprint reader software is clunky but at least we have a fingerprint reader. All of the printers were automatically install.

Performance-wise the machine works about the same or better. The browser is noticably faster for some reason. I still feel that this is not something an average joe will be able to setup without some help, but once setup, the box seems to work, so it might be doable for your parents who never make any changes to the box because they don't know how. I think a lot of stuff has greatly improved since I last play around with Linux desktop.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by FlyingMoose »

I used to use Windows up to XP. I switched to Mac and found that I no longer pounded my desk in frustration at the boneheaded design decisions. From what I’ve read it’s only gotten worse.

I occasionally use Terminal for work-related stuff (manipulating data and files with scripts) which is nice to have available. It’s the best of both worlds.

I just ordered a MacBook Air which will arrive Wednesday. My 2013 MacBook Pro still works perfectly but I want something thin and light for travel and to have on my lap, and having something new and snappy will be nice. Also use iPhone and love AirDrop.

MacOS does have some annoyances but not many. I’d say it’s the worst OS, except for all the other ones.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

gavinsiu wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 9:36 am 3. Download POPOS into a USB drive. POPos suggested using a product call balena to copy the ISO to the USB key drive.

POPos originally was sold with System76 computers. I was surprised when I heard it was available for anyone. Though it's gotten decent reviews, I personally would start with an older system, maybe Xubuntu for something relatively light and Mint.

Never heard of Balena! The standard is Rufus, though I personally have never used it. Once you have Linux installed, the program called "Disks" is super easy. Disks is not even intended specifically for ISO installs but it has that feature. It's called "Restore Disk Image". That was a cool trick I learned down the line.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

Balena Etcher is a nice utility that I have used many times to create bootable USB drives. This article contrasts Balena and Rufus USB utilities and mentions that if you are not careful you can run into a problem with Balena Etcher (which sounds like the issue the OP had). Per the article, Rufus is a Microsoft application and only works on Windows (which helps explain why I never heard of it), whereas Balena Etcher works on Mac, Windows and Linux. I have not tried Easeus's program which the article states is a 3rd alternative. I have never heard that any one of these is the "standard" and whichever one you use you should be able to get it to work. I can say that Balena is awesome in the 4+ years that I have been using it.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

I am thinking that certain hardware and software combo might cause Balena etcher to wipe out a drive

https://forums.balena.io/t/usb-flash-dr ... tcher/4846

My guess is that the partition table or boot info is damaged. When I try to fix it by formatting the drive in windows, it tells me the drive is write protected. I deleted the partition using disk part but the problem persisted. I think running clean in diskpart might fix the issue.

On another note, the fingerprints is not reliable so I have turn it off. Everything seems to work now. I am sticking with it since browser video doesn’t stutter under Linux.
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enad
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:48 am I am thinking that certain hardware and software combo might cause Balena etcher to wipe out a drive

https://forums.balena.io/t/usb-flash-dr ... tcher/4846

My guess is that the partition table or boot info is damaged. When I try to fix it by formatting the drive in windows, it tells me the drive is write protected. I deleted the partition using disk part but the problem persisted. I think running clean in diskpart might fix the issue.

On another note, the fingerprints is not reliable so I have turn it off. Everything seems to work now. I am sticking with it since browser video doesn’t stutter under Linux.
running clean in disk part is a great way to make a drive look like it was never used and therefore able to initialize and format. To be on the safe side, run disk management in Windows to find the drive number of the USB or other device that you want to clean, then open up a command prompt with elevated privileges, in fact its always best to start that way with a USB drive before using Balena Etcher or any other similar utility. Hope you like Linux. Many of the tools you installed are already built in to Linux Mint.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by whodidntante »

Linux is good if you’re interested enough and knowledgeable enough to set it up and maintain it. Otherwise it is not ideal.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

whodidntante wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 3:32 am Linux is good if you’re interested enough and knowledgeable enough to set it up and maintain it. Otherwise it is not ideal.
Well, but good for what? I like it for software development, but for my daily uses now, no amount of interest makes it able to run Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, or Quicken etc. Or even MS Word and Excel, though I now have much less need to correctly read Office documents sent to me (okay there are ways now to use Office on Linux though not quite as good as just installing the software on a windows or Mac box).

Most users should do what corporations do -- figure out what applications are needed and use the "right" operating system to run those apps. I run Mac for the Apple ecosystem (and some admitted preference for the OS) and the apps I need either run on a Mac, or I have a couple running in a Windows VM.

But for daily use I just don't want the Linux potential hassles with devices and well, it doesn't run some of the apps I want.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by lostdog »

gavinsiu wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 9:36 am So I tried to install PopOS into virtual machine, but the machine had a crappy CPU so the experience was less than optimal. I decided to repurpose one of the boxes as a PopOS box.

1. The box is being used for itune backup, so I had to move it to another machine. This takes forever since I have to do it over usb2. Why don't I do this on my Mac Air? I can't afford to waste storage on my Mac Air. itune takes up 700 Gb.
2. Backup the box using AOMEI Backupper. Ran into a problem where the recovery media does not work, so if I roll this back, this will be extra work. I probably have to do a windows install, and then restore from backup. Note that Backupper is way more reliable the build-in Windows image.
3. Download POPOS into a USB drive. POPos suggested using a product call balena to copy the ISO to the USB key drive. Unfortunately, balenea trash my usb key drive completely to the point that I can't even reformat. It kept saying that the drive was locked. I couldn't even use a partition manager to fix it. I eventually fixed it by formatting it on the Mac and then use a different product call Rufus to create the install media.
4. Install the PopOS on the machine, which was completelly uneventful. I decided to use disk encryption.
5. Update the configuration. Setup new hostname and setup netBIOS so I can get naming for my SMB and windows machines. Installed fingerprint reader, password manager, LibreOffice and Visual Studio Code. I am logging this into a script so I can use it to provision new boxes in the future and if I need to reinstall.

With the restricted extra, all of the media file works. The Netbios worked great so I can reference server by name instead of IP. There were no issue accessing the synology server as SMB. The fingerprint reader software is clunky but at least we have a fingerprint reader. All of the printers were automatically install.

Performance-wise the machine works about the same or better. The browser is noticably faster for some reason. I still feel that this is not something an average joe will be able to setup without some help, but once setup, the box seems to work, so it might be doable for your parents who never make any changes to the box because they don't know how. I think a lot of stuff has greatly improved since I last play around with Linux desktop.

system76-scheduler tecnology is a game changer for older computers. This is most likely why your browser responds faster:

https://www.reddit.com/r/pop_os/comment ... scheduler/

"There will soon be an update for Pop which adds a new system service — system76-scheduler. This service will automatically optimize Linux's CPU scheduler based on battery status. If on AC, the CPU scheduler will use low-latency scheduling parameters for improved desktop responsiveness. When on battery, it will revert to the default scheduling latencies.

This means that desktops and laptops connected to AC will be more responsive to keyboard and mouse inputs, especially when the system has a lot of activity in the background. This would be most noticeable when using a low end system like the Raspberry Pi 4, a high end system compiling software in the background while watching videos on YouTube, and of course improved latency for inputs in PC games.

I'll be researching additional ways to improve desktop responsiveness with this service in the future. Including potential for automatically tuning process priorities based on activity, and searching for ways to identify and separate foreground processes from background processes."
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Marseille07 »

TN_Boy wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 10:06 am Well, but good for what? I like it for software development, but for my daily uses now, no amount of interest makes it able to run Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, or Quicken etc. Or even MS Word and Excel, though I now have much less need to correctly read Office documents sent to me (okay there are ways now to use Office on Linux though not quite as good as just installing the software on a windows or Mac box).

Most users should do what corporations do -- figure out what applications are needed and use the "right" operating system to run those apps. I run Mac for the Apple ecosystem (and some admitted preference for the OS) and the apps I need either run on a Mac, or I have a couple running in a Windows VM.

But for daily use I just don't want the Linux potential hassles with devices and well, it doesn't run some of the apps I want.
If you need applications that don't support Linux then Linux is off the table.

For MS Office though, I don't really need it to be MS Office; LibreOffice works just fine for my needs. I can also access the Google office suite online.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by sandan »

Its a no go for me for a few reasons.
-It can never be my standalone due to lack of support for devices.
-Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
-I'm 100% certain that falling behind on what's going on in the Linux world will not affect my job outlook.
-I rather spend my free time on home maintenance.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:23 am
TN_Boy wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 10:06 am Well, but good for what? I like it for software development, but for my daily uses now, no amount of interest makes it able to run Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, or Quicken etc. Or even MS Word and Excel, though I now have much less need to correctly read Office documents sent to me (okay there are ways now to use Office on Linux though not quite as good as just installing the software on a windows or Mac box).

Most users should do what corporations do -- figure out what applications are needed and use the "right" operating system to run those apps. I run Mac for the Apple ecosystem (and some admitted preference for the OS) and the apps I need either run on a Mac, or I have a couple running in a Windows VM.

But for daily use I just don't want the Linux potential hassles with devices and well, it doesn't run some of the apps I want.
If you need applications that don't support Linux then Linux is off the table.

For MS Office though, I don't really need it to be MS Office; LibreOffice works just fine for my needs. I can also access the Google office suite online.
Another way of stating that is that if your only use of the computer is surfing the web, email, etc, then Linux is fine, as is pretty much any OS. Use Linux if you find it interesting and don't have hardware needs that complicate your life.

In a previous life several years ago (but not like decades ....) I was, for various reasons, wanting to get email and at least read MS Office docs on a Linux VM. I tried Libre Office and one other, I forget which. It was an epic fail. Almost the first Word or Excel documents I got could not be rendered properly by either program. This is not an issue with the functionality of various Office program substitutes; it was my need to read Office documents sent by others at work and .... I couldn't. I suspect the situation is better now, and I receive relatively few MS Office documents in my personal life, but it was an example of a Linux complication that was difficult to work around. I also suspect that MS Office is less ubiquitous than it used to be.

Similarly, back a few years ago a few diehards at my company would run their laptop on Linux, but most of us (system software developers, etc so a technical crowd) would run Windows or Mac on the laptop. It avoided having to solve problems that had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish at work. But if I wanted to play with some code now, I'd likely spin up a Linux VM.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Marseille07 »

TN_Boy wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:51 am Another way of stating that is that if your only use of the computer is surfing the web, email, etc, then Linux is fine, as is pretty much any OS. Use Linux if you find it interesting and don't have hardware needs that complicate your life.

In a previous life several years ago (but not like decades ....) I was, for various reasons, wanting to get email and at least read MS Office docs on a Linux VM. I tried Libre Office and one other, I forget which. It was an epic fail. Almost the first Word or Excel documents I got could not be rendered properly by either program. This is not an issue with the functionality of various Office program substitutes; it was my need to read Office documents sent by others at work and .... I couldn't. I suspect the situation is better now, and I receive relatively few MS Office documents in my personal life, but it was an example of a Linux complication that was difficult to work around. I also suspect that MS Office is less ubiquitous than it used to be.

Similarly, back a few years ago a few diehards at my company would run their laptop on Linux, but most of us (system software developers, etc so a technical crowd) would run Windows or Mac on the laptop. It avoided having to solve problems that had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish at work. But if I wanted to play with some code now, I'd likely spin up a Linux VM.
Increasingly, the office applications are moving to the web. I mentioned Google office suite but MS Office 365 is also offered on the web.

I'm not suggesting you should switch today, but the issues you ran into in the past are less of a problem today.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by wander »

I've used Ubuntu last few years and it is very reliable if your drivers support it. Initially, I had troubles with my video driver causing the display eventually turned black but it had nothing to do with Ubuntu. After replacing the video card, it was a trouble free system since. I switched from 18.04 to 20.04 t0 22.04 on the same set of hardware without issues. My could deal with Windows problems so it was not biggy but I hated all the windows updates and didn't want to deal with situations when Microsoft failed to update some software packages. There were a numbers of people get online to find a "how-to" to update a certain fix package after unlimited times getting errors. OTOH, my spouse has been happy with a Mac Air.
Last edited by wander on Sat Jan 28, 2023 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:15 pm
TN_Boy wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:51 am Another way of stating that is that if your only use of the computer is surfing the web, email, etc, then Linux is fine, as is pretty much any OS. Use Linux if you find it interesting and don't have hardware needs that complicate your life.

In a previous life several years ago (but not like decades ....) I was, for various reasons, wanting to get email and at least read MS Office docs on a Linux VM. I tried Libre Office and one other, I forget which. It was an epic fail. Almost the first Word or Excel documents I got could not be rendered properly by either program. This is not an issue with the functionality of various Office program substitutes; it was my need to read Office documents sent by others at work and .... I couldn't. I suspect the situation is better now, and I receive relatively few MS Office documents in my personal life, but it was an example of a Linux complication that was difficult to work around. I also suspect that MS Office is less ubiquitous than it used to be.

Similarly, back a few years ago a few diehards at my company would run their laptop on Linux, but most of us (system software developers, etc so a technical crowd) would run Windows or Mac on the laptop. It avoided having to solve problems that had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish at work. But if I wanted to play with some code now, I'd likely spin up a Linux VM.
Increasingly, the office applications are moving to the web. I mentioned Google office suite but MS Office 365 is also offered on the web.

I'm not suggesting you should switch today, but the issues you ran into in the past are less of a problem today.
Right, a lot more is/has moved to the web and many of those issues are lessened or even gone. Which is good. MS Office 365 was starting to become common at the point I retired. Some frequent travelers did want to be able to work on docs while on airplanes, in terminals and such without worrying about non-existent or flaky wireless though, so online only had limitations.

For personal stuff today for me, there is no doubt that Linux would merely be a hobby, not something I'd want to either inflict upon the spouse (change how this is done just because) or that would make anything I'm doing easier. Well, okay, technically I AM running Linux on my little pi-hole server (I love the hardware, cute little box about the size of a pack of cigarettes). Hence I am using Linux, just behind the scenes for background ad killing. Thus I am running Mac OS, Windows (in a VM) and Linux on a dedicated little server.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

sandan wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:43 am -Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
Getting hardware with windows/iOS is cheap?! Many people turn to Linux because windows/iOS is not cheap and they have old computers around they want to use rather than buy a new PC/Mac.

I think a pivotal time was when Microsoft ended support for WindowsXP. People using XP had a decision to make: (1) Buy a new computer since Windows 10 wouldn't work on their existing one, or (2) Use their existing XP box and put a different, but supported system on it. Linux being the only supported system for the older hardware.

I think putting Linux on older hardware is probably the best way to get started in Linux since you don't have to consult your wallet for sufficient funds.

And the absolute best way is if you have more than one computer so you can reserve one for trying out Linux and use the existing one in the meantime, though lack of security updates could eventually become a problem.

On another matter, it was mentioned upthread that one of the obstacles to using Linux is inexperience with installing an OS on a computer. As an average computer user myself, it wasn't until one day my XP machine was apparently hosed that I ventured to re-install Windows and learned about partitions and all that scary stuff. With that under my belt, when the time came, it made the transition to Linux easier since I had already experienced the scariest part of computer ownership: those dreaded partitions.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by TN_Boy »

roamingzebra wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:50 pm
sandan wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:43 am -Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
Getting hardware with windows/iOS is cheap?! Many people turn to Linux because windows/iOS is not cheap and they have old computers around they want to use rather than buy a new PC/Mac.

I think a pivotal time was when Microsoft ended support for WindowsXP. People using XP had a decision to make: (1) Buy a new computer since Windows 10 wouldn't work on their existing one, or (2) Use their existing XP box and put a different, but supported system on it. Linux being the only supported system for the older hardware.

I think putting Linux on older hardware is probably the best way to get started in Linux since you don't have to consult your wallet for sufficient funds.

And the absolute best way is if you have more than one computer so you can reserve one for trying out Linux and use the existing one in the meantime, though lack of security updates could eventually become a problem.

On another matter, it was mentioned upthread that one of the obstacles to using Linux is inexperience with installing an OS on a computer. As an average computer user myself, it wasn't until one day my XP machine was apparently hosed that I ventured to re-install Windows and learned about partitions and all that scary stuff. With that under my belt, when the time came, it made the transition to Linux easier since I had already experienced the scariest part of computer ownership: those dreaded partitions.
If your hardware is really old and slow then yeah, running Linux might be a way to coax more years out of it. Though, that assumes

1) that you are on a tight budget and cannot spend less than $1,000 on a desktop that has reasonable power (and likely years of life until IT runs out of steam) and
2) you don't need to run apps that cannot run on Linux

If your hardware is not at end of life, you can also try Linux in a virtual machine; VirtualBox is free I believe. The nice thing about using a VM on a working Windows or Mac box is that you try out installing, the various commands, etc and see if the OS and packages available would work for your needs. While having a working Windows or Mac box. And if you make a mess of the Linux setup/install, just .... delete the VM and start over.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by tibbitts »

roamingzebra wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:50 pm
sandan wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:43 am -Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
Getting hardware with windows/iOS is cheap?! Many people turn to Linux because windows/iOS is not cheap and they have old computers around they want to use rather than buy a new PC/Mac.

I think a pivotal time was when Microsoft ended support for WindowsXP. People using XP had a decision to make: (1) Buy a new computer since Windows 10 wouldn't work on their existing one, or (2) Use their existing XP box and put a different, but supported system on it. Linux being the only supported system for the older hardware.

I think putting Linux on older hardware is probably the best way to get started in Linux since you don't have to consult your wallet for sufficient funds.

And the absolute best way is if you have more than one computer so you can reserve one for trying out Linux and use the existing one in the meantime, though lack of security updates could eventually become a problem.

On another matter, it was mentioned upthread that one of the obstacles to using Linux is inexperience with installing an OS on a computer. As an average computer user myself, it wasn't until one day my XP machine was apparently hosed that I ventured to re-install Windows and learned about partitions and all that scary stuff. With that under my belt, when the time came, it made the transition to Linux easier since I had already experienced the scariest part of computer ownership: those dreaded partitions.
Since you mentioned cost, honestly I don't have any idea how much I'm actually paying for Windows when I buy a new computer. It's been what, decades, since anybody paid for an update? I don't know what Dell or HP pays for Windows or what the internal cost of MacOS is to Apple. But it's inconsequential, and just a hobby to avoid that cost; in that sense it's like all the thrashing about we go through to pay $5 less for tax software every year. I did somewhat pride myself on keeping Linux laptops as my work computers for a very long time, really well past where it was practical to do so, but it integrated well with my career. Now that I'm retired, I'd be crazy to do that, vs. just periodically replacing hardware and software and enjoying all the benefits that come with that. I guess my point is that rather than suggest there's such a thing as when "the time [comes]" to switch to Linux, my inclination is that for all normal circumstances, that time never comes. There's just no practical advantage to it for the the vast majority of users.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by sandan »

roamingzebra wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:50 pm
sandan wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:43 am -Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
Getting hardware with windows/iOS is cheap?! Many people turn to Linux because windows/iOS is not cheap and they have old computers around they want to use rather than buy a new PC/Mac.
Dell refurbished (office computers, OptiPlex, latitude, etc) are fairly reliable and can be purchased for $200-300. Some go for $100.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by wander »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 4:43 pm
roamingzebra wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:50 pm
sandan wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:43 am -Getting hardware with windows/iOS is quite cheap, so Linux isn't going to save me money, time, or a headache.
Getting hardware with windows/iOS is cheap?! Many people turn to Linux because windows/iOS is not cheap and they have old computers around they want to use rather than buy a new PC/Mac.

I think a pivotal time was when Microsoft ended support for WindowsXP. People using XP had a decision to make: (1) Buy a new computer since Windows 10 wouldn't work on their existing one, or (2) Use their existing XP box and put a different, but supported system on it. Linux being the only supported system for the older hardware.

I think putting Linux on older hardware is probably the best way to get started in Linux since you don't have to consult your wallet for sufficient funds.

And the absolute best way is if you have more than one computer so you can reserve one for trying out Linux and use the existing one in the meantime, though lack of security updates could eventually become a problem.

On another matter, it was mentioned upthread that one of the obstacles to using Linux is inexperience with installing an OS on a computer. As an average computer user myself, it wasn't until one day my XP machine was apparently hosed that I ventured to re-install Windows and learned about partitions and all that scary stuff. With that under my belt, when the time came, it made the transition to Linux easier since I had already experienced the scariest part of computer ownership: those dreaded partitions.
Since you mentioned cost, honestly I don't have any idea how much I'm actually paying for Windows when I buy a new computer. It's been what, decades, since anybody paid for an update? I don't know what Dell or HP pays for Windows or what the internal cost of MacOS is to Apple. But it's inconsequential, and just a hobby to avoid that cost; in that sense it's like all the thrashing about we go through to pay $5 less for tax software every year. I did somewhat pride myself on keeping Linux laptops as my work computers for a very long time, really well past where it was practical to do so, but it integrated well with my career. Now that I'm retired, I'd be crazy to do that, vs. just periodically replacing hardware and software and enjoying all the benefits that come with that. I guess my point is that rather than suggest there's such a thing as when "the time [comes]" to switch to Linux, my inclination is that for all normal circumstances, that time never comes. There's just no practical advantage to it for the the vast majority of users.
I'd like to put together hardware myself and use professional versions of Windows (if a CPU is fried, new license is required). When new windows came out and my hardware was not compatible for upgrade, I was "done with Windows". I hate losing programs/applications, which I bought, that run well on previous windows and now am forced to "upgrade".
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 4:43 pm Since you mentioned cost, honestly I don't hoave any idea how much I'm actually paying for Windows when I buy a new computer.
The point is that you have to buy a new computer to get an OS if your current OS is no longer supported.

For example, my Windows XP computer lasted me 16 years before I had to replace it. In the last 8 or so of those years, I was using Linux so I could keep getting security updates...from Linux now rather than Windows. During those 8 years, many people would have bought a new Windows or Mac computer since that's what they always do -- they buy a new computer every couple of years whether they need to or not.
But it's inconsequential, and just a hobby to avoid that cost; in that sense it's like all the thrashing about we go through to pay $5 less for tax software every year.
Funny how I was thinking about all the credit card strategies people are doing, or signing up for Equifax breach payouts, etc. etc. which all amounts to a lot of effort and little cash. Whereas my typically $400-500 computer lasts for 16 years and allows me to put more money into VTI each year and continue to grow my long-term nestegg. :)

Basically we're talking apples and oranges though. People who bought a new computer long before Windows XP lost support can keep their computer and just upgrade. It's those of us who hang on to older computers because they still support our workflow that have a different path and can save a lot of money by shifting to Linux at the appropriate time.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

retiringwhen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:03 pm
dual wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:48 pm Enad:
I set up dual monitors for my daughter and my wife and both are running Linux Mint 20.1. I am sure this is doable in other distributions as it's Ubuntu under the hood
Thanks for the response, but my problem is having both monitors in portrait mode.
yeah, that sounds .x11config voodoo.
Not sure this is what you're looking for, but I just did a test here on my Linux Mint 19.3 box running Xfce, went to Settings -> Display and changed "Rotation" from "None" to "Left", it forced a portrait display on my monitor. (I had to turn my head on its side in order to get this setting set back to normal.)
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gavinsiu
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

Keep in mind that while one can think of Linux as a low end window replacement, I tend to think of using it as a workstation. When I think of Linux, I don’t think of it as a replacement for a machine for mom, I think of it as a hardcore work machine.

Your software and workflow should guide your software need. If you have something that requires windows then get a windows machine.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:35 pm Keep in mind that while one can think of Linux as a low end window replacement, I tend to think of using it as a workstation. When I think of Linux, I don’t think of it as a replacement for a machine for mom, I think of it as a hardcore work machine.
In my eyes, this is the only reasonable way to look at Linux. It will never be a platform for non-nerds/geeks or whatever they are called.
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by chris319 »

jebmke wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:11 am I am also tinkering with ReactOS which is a Windows clone. Crude, but interesting.
How is ReactOS doing these days? I was following it a few years ago. They had to pause development for a long time because some copyrighted code supposedly snuck in. The last time I tried it, it wasn't very functional and a lot of stuff was broken. Development seems to move at a glacial pace. I may yet give it another look. A Windows work-alike without all the telemetry, spyware and advertising would be wonderful, and one which doesn't require the purchase of new hardware as Windows 11 does.

Linux has web browsers and an office suite which run natively and make Linux functional for everyday use. Tax preparation software (Tax Act) sort-of runs with Wine but it won't update, so that's a show stopper.
Financial decisions based on emotion often turn out to be bad decisions.
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enad
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

A user on a Linux Mint forum had this to say about another user who was frustrated about not being able to do something that should be simple:

"Linux, any distribution, is not an operating system for people that insist they need to be handed answers, either in person or via "documentation". Such is how it is and hopefully how it will for large part always stay. Can't stand entitlement syndrome..."

That about sums it up. No mater what GUI is put over Linux, it's not going to be perfect and it'd be rare to be able to find a manual similar to books written about a particular Windows version, and keeping one up to date would not be easy.

Linux is good if you are somewhat savvy, can use a terminal window and can write scripts and make it work for you, or if you are a casual user who does nothing more than browse the internet with a browser. Microsoft did me a favor when they started forced upgrades to Windows 10 just to gain market share. For Windows 7/8 users they also started rolling up all the updates into one big update. This made it easy to part ways with Microsoft which I still have running in Virtual Machines but use less and less as time goes on. It's a daily driver for me, but may not be for others and that's fine. When I need it, I have it in a Virtual Machine (a Windows 7 license upgraded to Windows 10, then Windows 11) and this was still possible in Q4 2022.
What Goes Up Must come down -- David Clayton-Thomas (1968), BST
roamingzebra
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by roamingzebra »

gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:35 pm Keep in mind that while one can think of Linux as a low end window replacement, I tend to think of using it as a workstation. When I think of Linux, I don’t think of it as a replacement for a machine for mom, I think of it as a hardcore work machine.
But isn't one of the arguments on this thread that that since the average person is largely using web applications, Linux is fine?

I put my parents on Linux long ago. They had so many problems with Windows updates that they even had to have a repair guy spend the entire day trying to figure out what was wrong. It turned out to be one of those .Net framework add-ons. The repair guy had to make it so that update would never re-install.

None of that craziness with Linux. Updates go smoothly, the web and email go smoothly. Those are the main things many of our parents use these days.
Swift
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:03 pm

Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by Swift »

I earlier said that I couldn't deal with Linux and went back to Windows, because Linux requires too much tinkering. I gave it more thought and did a little research. I discovered that Dell is now selling my exact laptop with linux on it, so I decided to try again, this time installing that same version of ubuntu that dell certifies. Works great, and so much happier. Only a tiny bit of tinkering required, and I think I will stick with it as my daily driver. Now I just have to figure out how to file taxes this year since I only use TurboTax desktop, but that is literally the only reason I can now think of to keep a windows machine handy.
retiringwhen
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by retiringwhen »

roamingzebra wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 7:35 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:35 pm Keep in mind that while one can think of Linux as a low end window replacement, I tend to think of using it as a workstation. When I think of Linux, I don’t think of it as a replacement for a machine for mom, I think of it as a hardcore work machine.
But isn't one of the arguments on this thread that that since the average person is largely using web applications, Linux is fine?

I put my parents on Linux long ago. They had so many problems with Windows updates that they even had to have a repair guy spend the entire day trying to figure out what was wrong. It turned out to be one of those .Net framework add-ons. The repair guy had to make it so that update would never re-install.

None of that craziness with Linux. Updates go smoothly, the web and email go smoothly. Those are the main things many of our parents use these days.
The next time they have a problem with their Linux box, there won't be any Geek Squad repair guys who will touch it. You got the tar baby.
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gavinsiu
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by gavinsiu »

A popular Linux desktop will never become a reality unless someone preload it on a machine. Imagine how well windows or Mac will be received if you have to format the drive, install the os, and install the drivers.

Even though Linux prebuilt do exist, they will likely remain a niche item. Windows boxes are there because everyone uses window so you have no choice. Mac is about to get by because apple’s marketing makes the computer cool. People think you are cool because you own a Mac. No one thinks you are cool if you pull out a dell laptop because every other person has one. Chromebook manage to exist because Google marketing caused them to be adopted in schools. No one really market Linux. They exist because people want to use them, which is a small number. Linux vendors like canonical don’t have the marketing prowess.

I am less concern about how popular a platform is and more interested that if it will fit my workflow.
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enad
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by enad »

Swift wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 7:42 pm I earlier said that I couldn't deal with Linux and went back to Windows, because Linux requires too much tinkering. I gave it more thought and did a little research. I discovered that Dell is now selling my exact laptop with Linux on it, so I decided to try again, this time installing that same version of Ubuntu that dell certifies. Works great, and so much happier. Only a tiny bit of tinkering required, and I think I will stick with it as my daily driver. Now I just have to figure out how to file taxes this year since I only use TurboTax desktop, but that is literally the only reason I can now think of to keep a windows machine handy.
You could run TurboTax desktop in a Windows Virtual Machine on your Linux laptop
What Goes Up Must come down -- David Clayton-Thomas (1968), BST
chris319
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Re: Linux Desktop today how is it as a daily driver?

Post by chris319 »

As of today I was able to update TaxAct under Wine, at least it says it's updated. I had to download an update .exe file for my version from the TaxAct web site. The update program ran OK, but when I try to run the main TaxAct program it crashes.

Can't win 'em all.

I like the easy way TaxAct accepts data from the user. There is a program, Online Taxes, but its data entry is pretty fiddly compared to TaxAct.

www.olt.com
Financial decisions based on emotion often turn out to be bad decisions.
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