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Thread: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

  1. #1
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    I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Looong time Windows Power user here. Now one might think a computer techhie might be the ideal guy to try moving to Linux, right? The problem with that, is that this very type of person is also doing a lot of perhaps interestingly off the wall things with their computer. These things often CAN be done in Linux, but success depends on the amount of time and determination the person has to find all the workarounds.

    In fact, I would say that Linux might be better suited, in it's current form, to light, average users.

    Ok, here's my deal. Ryzen 5 3600 on an x570 board. GTX 1060 3GB. 16 GB. Several drives, but booting Linux off of a 500g SATA Samsung SSD. (Kubuntu.)

    There are many interesting things in Kubuntu that I really like! Not the least of which was pulling 20W less from the wall... for some reason... all the time. Liked the interface.

    Here are the things that led me to going.. BACK to Windows!!! I WAS gonna duel boot, but I HATE rebooting. Anyway, perhaps this information will help the community.


    • Used VMWare Player to run Win10 to do the stuff I couldn't do in Linux. (The Zoom Linux app has fewer features. Sucks.)Also, Fusion 360 for 3D modelling. I know there are Linux alternatives, but they all seem SO different, unlike, for example, video editors, which all follow a generally common principle. Now VMWare is GREAT, Better than Virtualbox by MILES if you want to pass through USB devices, but I seemed to often get a total system hang when shutting down or saving the state of VM's. Even the mouse would freeze. At times I thought it was a video driver thing, based on log peeking, but still not sure.
    • Sound. It's rather confusing. Pulse? Jack? Alsa? Not sure how these all relate to each other, but I muddled along, but one settings seemed to be tucked away in a config file. The sample rate! And if I changed it, I couldn't tell if it was any different on the screen anywhere. I use several audio devices. Frustrating. Just a guessing game, but I got tired of guessing. Again, if comes back to the time and determination of the user... I must say, the pulseaudio setup seemed pretty dang advanced. Still nothing like EqualizerAPO on Win though.
    • Multi-Monitor stuff... Even for the same app, one dialog would be on the far left edge of the left screen, then the next would be on the far right of the right one.... Windows apps struggle with this too sometimes, but it's nearly like Linux developers are trolling the users.
    • The 'Discover' software installer in Kubutu has a search algorithm that is screwier than steel wool. I can type an exact title for something I need, and the right one will be 10 or 15 down on the list. What the heck?
    • I love that a lot of games are working via Steam now, that's pretty cool. TONS don't though. And like I said, I hate rebooting.. This is scraping the bottom I guess..
    • I like to play with SDR. The software for Win is all open source or free, but there sure seems to be a lot less for Linux!
    • Seems like there are so many broken dialog boxes with fonts that don't show properly... And I am sure there are other things...


    I understand that the foundation under the distros, The Kernal, gets "honed to a fine edge" by a LARGE community of developers united in that direction, and that foundation certainly seems very awesome, but a big part of me wishes a similar thing was happening with the Distros & Window Managers. If that many minds were focused on honing these areas to as sharp of an edge, (Less distros, or maybe a tiny number), Linux would be a seriously reasonable option for new PC buyers! AS it is, it seems like there are too many bad ideas in some windows managers, for example, that just don't show the same amount of thought or refinement. There just doesn't seem to be enough in common between them. An experienced tech in one distro could be put in another, and just not know where ANYTHING is, or how ANYTHING is organized. (I guess the command like can make up for that a lot of the time, but that doesn't help newer users.. the example still stands.)

    Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE that Linux is there. I am AMAZED by the hard work done by SO many, and I would definitely recommend it to some users! But I am pretty sure the market share is important, so this information might help get more, even if I don't move. (My Octoprint instance on my Pi 3B rocks, and I will continue to learn on my 8G Pi 4.. once my health starts allowing for it!)

    Open Source in General? I think of all these developers as the cream of humanity.

    Interesting to hear comments..

  2. #2
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Quote Originally Posted by phuzzyday View Post
    and I would definitely recommend it to some users
    That sums things up for me. But for the most part I don't go around recommending Linux to anyone. I figure the ones who'll take to it will probably find out about it and come around to it on their own. The others will use something else, everybody's happy, Life goes on.

  3. #3
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Quote Originally Posted by phuzzyday View Post
    In fact, I would say that Linux might be better suited, in it's current form, to light, average users.
    Like virtually 100% of supercomputers, the lion's share of the internet backbone (95% of the top million web servers), 50% + or corporate servers, most of the world's cell phones, automobile electronics, the IoT, most routers, automation controls, smart TVs, DVRs, private space vehicle avionics, smart homes - and users ranging from grandmothers to super-tech guys like me. The number of the world's devices using Linux out strips by at least an order of magnitude anything coming out of Redmond or Cupertino.

    If I had a dime for every post like yours on these forums ...

    But use what works for you. That's what is important.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines

    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  4. #4
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    You gave it a shot! Linux isn't for everyone. At least you know now.

    I just hope you didn't bring too many ideas from Windows expecting those to transfer to a Unix-like OS. There are very different philosophies. Power Users, if they have the flexibility, generally love Linux for all the capabilities that you can create yourself, without waiting for some SW developer who doesn't have the same itch to solve.

    The people with the most problems switching are those who use point-n-click for nearly everything. I suspect there are too many Windows-converts programming on Linux these days. They never read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy and have brought more and more and more and more and move bloat.

    WM likes and dislikes is very personal. There's no accounting for taste, right?

    People with decades of time spent learning all the weirdness that is MS-Windows forget all that time spent doing it. Linux needs that same level of time commitment to get to a similar skill level. People using only the GUI are getting only about 20% of the power that computers offer. It is all the non-GUI things where Linux/Unix shines, especially automation. But OS-tourists will never get to that level. Nothing wrong with tourists. Their money spends too.

    When I'm forced to use Windows (I was a "power user" for a long time), I find it very frustrating. There's just so much is doesn't do.
    I don't hate rebooting, but it isn't usually necessary. Here's 3 different systems, two are storage servers and run stuff like Calibre, Plex, NFS, and a few VMs. The last system is pretty busy

    Code:
    $ uptime 
     11:07:25 up 44 days, 18:09,  2 users,
    
    $ uptime
     11:06:52 up 30 days, 23:41,  1 user,
    
    $ uptime 
     11:18:22 up 23 days, 16:27,  4 users,  load average: 12.29, 12.06, 8.41
    And a raspberry Pi running OSMC (Kodi) connected to the Plex Server:
    Code:
    $ uptime
     11:10:35 up 21 days, 15:59
    These systems are from 2010, 2015, and 2019, so a mix of hardware. One was $45 all in. The NFS/Plex/Calibre server was $126 (MB+CPU+RAM) + storage. Everything else was reused from an old machine. The busy system is a Ryzen 2600 w/ 32GB RAM running 10 VMs and batch transcoding some video processing. About 50% of the RAM isn't being used. Because I don't game on normal computers, the most expensive GPU is a fanless nvidia 1030.

    A newer Ryzen will have some bleeding edge issues, based on my research. Many motherboards have moved the 2.5Gbps networking, which have really bad drivers at this point, included the Intel NIC drivers. I've been looking to replace 2 of those older systems with a newer Ryzen, but decided against using any Realtek NICs. I prefer Intel for a number of reasons. Been pretty happy with the i211 and i210 NICs, but those don't seem to be in the newer Ryzen motherboards, unfortunately. I'll probably end up with a B450 or X470. Generally, I have 3 NICs in a system for physical network separation and risk management. For people new to Linux, they will likely learn that vendor support is spotty for any hardware that isn't hugely popular, mainstream, and loved by Linux people. That can be scanners, printers, and sometimes even USB storage. This can be extremely frustrating. Even if you buy something marketed with "Supports Linux", that doesn't necessarily mean it works with a current kernel. I was burned by a HW-RAID card with that claim. The Linux kernel the card's drivers supported was 4 yrs old. Same for many video recording devices - like a Haupauge 1212 and 1515.

    If you will only have 1 box and are tied to multiple Windows programs still, I can see where Linux could cause a hardship. At this point, I use 3 Windows programs. One is a video editor and the other 2 are financial software related. The video editor use has dropped drastically this year - now it is used maybe 30% of the time. I don't see the financial tools ever being gone completely, but at least I don't need Windows running, which drastically reduces all sorts of security risks.

    Again, at least now you know that KDE isn't for you. Have you tried Mate or Cinnamon or being completely crazy - fvwm? These really aren't something for a Ryzen 5, unless you just prefer cleaner desktops, like me. Then your system should fly. Windows open before you bring you fingers up for many non-bloated applications.
    Last edited by TheFu; January 5th, 2021 at 05:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Quote Originally Posted by phuzzyday View Post
    Looong time Windows Power user here. Now one might think a computer techhie might be the ideal guy to try moving to Linux, right?
    Nope. Absolutely not. Windows power users have by far the hardest time. All their instincts are completely wrong, and finding out that you know very little about computers, even if you know quite a lot about Windows, is very uncomfortable for the ego.

  6. #6
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    One more thing - lots of users are running into problems with Canonical's Snaps, though many people are not. There are lots of distros that don't use Snaps which might remove that pain-point. Linux Mint is very Ubuntu-like, but without snaps, for example. You can add snaps, if/when you decide that's a good idea, but the GUI software installer won't trick you.

    I think Debian is the same, but they really want to remove brands - so there isn't a "Firefox" browser. The different names for things are almost Apple-like where Apple changes the names of common things for reasons only they know. This can be frustrating to some users, like me.

    SuSE is a nice distro too. Worth checking out.

    I wouldn't suggest Fedora, Arch, or Slackware to anyone new, unless you have a close friend willing to help get over the multiple humps.

    People often forget that the GUI isn't the OS. There are 20 popular GUIs for Linux. Try some out. Check out a few youtube videos of each. Remember the Next computer? You can run that GUI on Linux.

  7. #7
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    People often forget that the GUI isn't the OS.
    Except that in Windows it is. First you build a GUI and then try to kludge together an OS under it.

  8. #8
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    If Linux is suitable for light, average users, how is that suppliers when they sell their laptops with Linux pre-installed it is expensive developer version laptops that they offer and not cheap machines for the light and average users? They market Linux machines for the power user.

    I wish they did sell less powerful machines for the average user with Linux pre-installed. I might be tempted to purchase one. More ordinary users might purchase them to avoid the stresses of dual booting with an OS that does not play nice.

    By the way, what is the latest Zoom version? Some sites say 5.4.7. That is exactly the version of Zoom client that is presently installed on my Ubuntu 20.04. Funny that. Is it not?

    Regards
    Last edited by grahammechanical; January 5th, 2021 at 10:59 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  9. #9
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    Cough ... Chromebooks running ChromeOS (linux) and MS-DOS as a MSFT non-GUI OS that Windows is built onto.

  10. #10
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    Re: I think my Linux experiment is... Over.

    All i know is that In Linux, Zoom has no background replacement feature.

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