My year with Linux

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Balthazar, Dec 27, 2013.

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  1. Balthazar

    Balthazar Registered Member

    Nov 8, 2013
    The year is almost over and I think I can finally say that I managed to
    find my Linux-distro with which I feel at home. I guess I must have
    tried out almost a dozen of distros before I came to a decision which I
    liked best. I did install all distros in multiboot in order to see &
    feel the whole thing (e.g. installation process and how I'd get along
    with the different commands and so on).

    With almost every distro I ran, I had the feeling that my old laptop got
    along much better with Linux than with Windows. It's easy to notice
    because my fan is making a lot of noise when running Windows, especially
    with HD movies and stuff. To cut a long story short, the winner is...

    Parabola GNU/Linux-libre

    On the one hand the installation process has been a bit of a challenge
    for me but on the other hand I also learned the most about how things
    work in Linux the past few weeks. When I got to the point where I could
    start the XFCE desktop environment the hardest part was over. I had to
    buy a new Wlan stick because there were no free drivers for the one I
    used but otherwise I couldn't complain. I tried everything manually so I
    learned some valuable lessons like setting up my network without a
    network manager (which in the end I did install because of ease of
    everyday use). I struggled a little with finding a good theme and nice
    fonts because everything looked a little ugly at first. I found out,
    that I had to enable display compositing in Window Manager Tweaks. Now I
    am very happy, because the look and feel is not inferior to other Linux
    distros or Windows.

    I like all the ice-stuff like Icecat and Iceweasel browsers and the mail
    client Icedove. There have been a few discussions here in the forum
    about browser fingerprinting and how to measure it. Although I am not
    exactly sure how accurate (and logic [as mentioned in the thread]) this
    method is, I am getting a much better result with the Panopticlick test
    now (one in 11,000 browsers have the same fingerprint as my browser).

    I imported my firefox bookmarks and I did the same with my keepass
    database. I had to change the password from OTP to a static password to
    work with my Yubikey. When watching HD movies my laptop fan is not very
    loud anymore so I guess it has something to do with Linux being more
    frugal than Windows.

    I still have a lot of things to do (my card reader is not functional at
    the moment) and I don't know if everything is working as planned but it
    certainly seems so at the moment. The system takes about 3 seconds to
    boot up and about the same to shut down.

    With regard to another thread here in this forum
    I can say that I do like the philosophy of the GNU Project (the
    articles I read so far) and that using free software has been a reason
    for installing Parabola. I found the wilders security forums while
    keeping myself busy with Linux. Thanks to a lot of encouraging articles,
    comments, threads and links I delved deeper into the matter and I can
    almost leave Windows behind (for the most part, I will still need it for
    a few programs)

    Edit: Sorry for the formatting, looks like I still have to get used to working with some browser addons.:D
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    Interesting thanks.

    And I like the formatting. Narrower
    paragraphs are easier for me to read.
  3. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    Nice to read other's experiences in the Linux world. I started using Linux back in August, almost 6 months ago. The reason was probably a combination of Snowden leaks, Windows 8 flop and other bad moves by Microsoft in how they treat their loyal customers.

    The hardest part for me was getting my trackpoint to work. It was an absolute must, I refuse to buy a laptop without a trackpoint and Linux doesn't support trackpoint out of the box. Took me about 2-3 weeks just to get that to work on Ubuntu and another 2 months to get it working on Debian. My biggest frustration was probably lack of community support towards trackpoint and lack of proper documentation.

    Getting Wifi to work at school and finding the proper certificate was an adventure of its own that took me another 8 weeks.

    Besides trackpoint and WiFi, Linux still feels to be more crash prone than Windows, so many things can go wrong and I have simply no idea why. Maybe I will end up installing Cento OS... And doing just about anything in Linux is harder...

    So why do I use Linux? Because there is no other privacy friendly open source OS. Because my computer does run faster and smoother. And because I will do anything to not pay my hard earned $$$ towards corporations that sell out their user's data to the highest bidder and bend over left and right to the NSA.
  4. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

    May 17, 2012
    I am particularly impressed with mint.My computer runs better now and network connectivity is better.

    It literally takes 5 seconds for mint to shutdown.I still have a long way to go for better understanding of how this distro works.
    Its a definate keeper and i doubt very much i will return to a windows system.

    Linux has everything i need and it works perfectly to suit those needs.
  5. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

    Jul 9, 2011
  6. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Québec, Canada
    Did you try Manjaro?
    It's also based on Arch, and it's very good.
  7. Balthazar

    Balthazar Registered Member

    Nov 8, 2013
    Happy New Year everyone!

    Thanks. You're right, it's easier to read. At first I was a little
    shocked because I wasn't expecting a different formatting because I did
    nothing different than before. Don't know how this post turns out.

    I didn't do much with Linux at the beginning of the year either, a little reading
    here and there and some linux live cds. Snowden's revelations and a few
    documentaries have been the reason to finally not only think about what I
    can do to protect my data and privacy but to act at last. Until then I
    liked Windows and despite not liking the big companies (I've never used
    facebook in my life and I only have a non-personalized Google account
    without gmail from back in the day when Google wasn't the giant they are
    now), I did not mind very much. Now I don't use flash anymore (on
    Parabola). For live sports I use another distro.

    I have been worried about data security for a longer time because I lost
    private data by accident and although it wasn't something useful or
    sensitive information I didn't like the feeling at all. It made me a
    little sick and I began using password safes and Yubikeys. The
    information Snowden was leaking to the press made me angry but I was
    more furious with most people not reacting at all („I have nothing to
    hide") including politicians. I decided to try out a VPN and to finally
    move away from Windows.

    I've never been using a trackpoint and I also made some frustrating
    experiences but all in all it has been very interesting and not as hard
    as I thought. It's simply a matter of getting used to something new and a
    little different. I don't miss Windows anymore! On the contrary, now I
    am irritated when using Windows because it is like you say: Linux does
    run faster and smoother on my laptop as well.

    I supported several petitions in my country and I want to support those
    developing free software. Prism-break has been and still is a great
    source of information in finding alternatives to proprietary software.

    Of course, there's more to it than the above mentioned. It's actually a
    lot of fun working with Linux and learning a little every time. I set up
    a raspberry pi and I am loving it. You can do so much with this thing
    and everyone can afford it.

    @ The Red Moon
    I read your thread about ditching Windows. Hats off to you! Compared to
    you, for me it has been a (relatively long) process of getting used to
    Linux until I felt comfortable enough to working with it every day. I
    still have several systems in multiboot just in case something doesn't
    work as planned. I have some expensive programs that don't work on Linux
    and I want to be able to use them in case I want to. Happy for you that
    everything is working fine for you on Linux

    Yes, I tried it and still have it available in multiboot (together with
    Crunchbang, Mint Debian, Parabola and two Windows systems). It's been
    very easy to set up and I like the look of it. Very stylish. I decided
    to use Parabola because of the philosophy of using free software only
    (there's also a nonprism repository).
    It would be too time-consuming keeping all these different distros up to
    date but it also has its advantages being able to boot up a handfull of
    systems. I don't need a network connection for every distro.
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