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Tender Peaches

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Anyone here uses Linux on their personal computer? I'm looking to migrate away from Windows to Linux/Unix. I used to know why Linux was an improvement over Windows especially in the developement/networking industry, but now I'm getting my hands dirty again and slowly unearthing a growing list of reasons to make the switch. Unrelated, Windows has just been going downhill from 7 and shoving touchscreen UIs down my throat doesn't exactly titillate my loyalty factor. Add questionable privacy policies for Windows 10 and a diminished interest in gaming has left me with very few aruments to sticking with Windows - it's mostly just force of habit at this point.

 

So, what distribution are you using? Were there any you tried you wouldn't recommand?

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Ubuntu or one of its derivatives is fine if you just want things to work out of the box (Mint, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.).

 

If you want something a little slower moving (not as up to date software, but doesn't change major versions every 6 months) you can try Ubuntu LTS or Debian's stable branch.  Debian's testing branch is nice as well.

 

If you're going to be working in industry, theres a good chance you'll run into a company using RHEL, so if you want experience with those systems you can use Fedora (bleeding edge) or CentOS/Scientific Linux (stable).

 

If you like KDE, OpenSUSE has one of the nicer implementations of it out there.

 

If you want to get your hands dirty and do a lot of manual configuring and tinkering, Arch Linux is good for that.  No matter what distro you choose, the Arch wiki is a great resource.

 

If you hate yourself you can always use Gentoo and spend your life compiling things.

 

I've used all of these at various points, and they all have their pros and cons.   Really depends on what you're looking to do with it.

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Linux on the desktop is terrible. The video DF posted is higher quality than any linux desktop environment I can think of. You can completely separate the window manager from the rest of the OS conceptually, and it's built from the ground up as a command line OS. Run it on a home server if you want to learn linux. OSX, Windows, or ChromeOS /w crouton (full debian/ubuntu chroot in a browser tab) are all much better choices depending on your price range/build

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What exactly makes it terrible in your eyes? 

 

I don't need a fancy UI, my desktop has always been completely empty and I use the taskbar to launch whatever I have to use. If anything, I'd much prefer having an unspectacular desktop that doesn't hog much too much memory. I'm not entirely opposed to working in a command-line environment either - I'll be learning the Linux jargon anyway.

 

OSX - I'd rather stick with Windows.

Windows - Ugh. I'm used to it so it'll always be tolerable, but it still frequently annoys the shit out of me on a regular basis. If I'm unimpressed with whichever distros I end up trying, I'll come back to Windows because it's the default, but I'm hoping that won't happen.

ChromeOS - Completely forgot that was a thing. After a bit of looking around, it seems like it might folding into Android next year, Not sure I'd want to invest time on an OS with such a cloudy (!) future and mobile isn't really my thing.

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You said it man, the point of an OS is pretty much to launch programs and show them to you, so who needs bells and whistles.  The issue with Linux DEs is that the whistles are fundamentally broken.  Shit breaks all the time, especially things that you take for granted like your sound and display brightness.  Windows is the leader by far for standard desktop OS, OSX is probably best if you're doing development.  The new Gnome does look amazing aesthetically, but Linux on the desktop has such shit execution that it's a 100% ironic idea to a lot of people

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I've used Linux on both desktops and laptops for years and have had much different experiences than you, particularly over the last 5 years or so.  I haven't really used GNOME 3 much at all so I can't speak to that.  KDE 4 and XFCE have both been nice and stable for years and Unity is perfectly fine despite the massive amount of hate it gets.  If you don't want the bells and whistles just run Openbox with a simple panel like tint2 or fbpanel and be done with it.

 

The problems you're describing were certainly common 5-10 years ago, but not anything I've experienced in several years.  I'd imagine buying some $350 laptop at Walmart and trying to get Linux working on that may not work out well, but you can find plenty of well supported laptops.  I've never personally had a problem with any desktop hardware.

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