I will begin by saying, “I am one very happy Linux user!”
How long have I been using Linux?
I have been using Linux exclusively for six years.
By the way, my Linux journey has not always been a smooth one and I am going to tell you all about it.
I Jumped On The Linux Bandwagon Because I Wanted Nothing To Do With Windows 10
No offence to those of you that use Windows 10.
If you are okay with Windows 10 and it works well for you, I am happy for you.
In my case, I want nothing to do with Windows 10 because of all the unnecessary telemetry (Windows 10 is always phoning home to Microsoft).
Back in 2015, I said, “Sorry, Microsoft. I own my computer; not you!”
That same year, I installed Linux on my laptop computer (And, I have not returned to Microsoft Windows).
Ubuntu Was My Proverbial Doorway Into Linux
In a past blog post, I mentioned that the first distribution of Linux that I ever used was Ubuntu.
At the time, I used Ubuntu because there was a lot of documentation pertaining to that particular distribution of Linux online (My family, relatives, friends and colleagues were using either some version of Windows or macOS and I knew that I would have to battle those Linux-related issues on my own if I ran into technical difficulty).
Ubuntu was interesting; back then, it came with the Unity desktop environment and it was just as resource-intensive as Windows 10.
Today, Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop environment (And, it is quite the RAM-eater).
On a positive note, Ubuntu has many official flavours ― versions of Ubuntu with different desktop environments; such as:
- Xubuntu (Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop environment; which is ideal for older computers).
- Ubuntu MATE (Ubuntu with the MATE desktop environment; which is fairly lightweight and is superb for both old and new computers).
- Lubuntu (Ubuntu with the LXQt desktop environment; which has a reputation for adding new life into very old computers).
- Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE Plasma; which is quite modern-looking).
- Ubuntu Budgie (Ubuntu with the Budgie desktop environment; which is modern and highly configurable).
- Ubuntu Studio (A version of Ubuntu that comes with preinstalled programs for writers, artists and musicians and is available in Xfce and KDE Plasma).
There is a version of Ubuntu for almost everyone; therefore it is not imperative that you use Vanilla Ubuntu (The flagship version of Ubuntu that utilizes the GNOME desktop environment).
In spite of Canonical going in a direction that I do not like, I will not discourage anyone from using Ubuntu and its official flavours.
Linux Mint Has A Special Place In My Heart
When I got tired of using Ubuntu, I jumped on the Linux Mint bandwagon.
Back then, Linux Mint had four desktop environments:
- KDE Plasma
The Linux Mint developers eventually dropped KDE Plasma because they did not like the direction in which the KDE Plasma developers decided to take it.
I used Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop environment for quite a long time; I ended up switching to Linux Mint with the MATE desktop environment because Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop environment used to crash a lot (Thankfully, Linux Mint have perfected their Cinnamon desktop environment; today it is rock-solid as ever).
Linux Mint is worth having on an extra computer at home (Yes, it is very reliable).
By the way, if you do not want to use the version of Linux Mint that is based on Ubuntu, you can always use the Linux Mint Debian Edition.
I Used My Fair Share Of Ubuntu Based Distributions
There are numerous Ubuntu-based distributions of Linux to choose from.
In my case, I experimented with:
The truth is that they are all good and in spite of those Ubuntu-based distributions working rather well, I tend to get bored of them (And, when I get bored, I tend to move on to another distribution of Linux).
I Dabbled With Debian For A While
Okay, I will be brutally honest by saying, “Debian is stable and is utterly boring!”
By the way, I am referring to Vanilla Debian (And, not some distribution of Linux that is based on Debian).
Vanilla Debian is ugly as hell!
Hey, since I am the one who has to look at the computer and use it, I have to make the extra effort to change the various things on Debian:
- The wallpaper.
- The icons.
- The theme.
It is a good thing that I am in the habit of changing all of those things whenever I use any distribution of Linux.
The problem that most people have with Debian (myself included) is that all of the packages, including the kernel, are old.
In order to acquire newer packages, a user will need to switch to the testing or the unstable branch of Debian.
Setting Debian the way that I like it requires a lot of work.
Arch Linux-Based Distributions Are A Lot Of Fun
For me, Arch Linux is where all of the excitement is.
I am a hardcore tinkerer (And, Arch Linux allows me to tinker to my heart’s content).
Please be warned, that if you tinker too much with any Linux distribution, it is going to crash!
My three favourite Arch Linux-based distributions are:
ArcoLinux taught me a lot about Arch Linux.
EndeavourOS allowed me to install Arch Linux without any hassle (It is the closest thing to Arch Linux).
Manjaro Linux follows an entirely different philosophy; in spite of being an Arch Linux-based distribution, it has its own repositories and they test everything that Arch Linux releases before adding the various software to its own repositories (Manjaro Linux likes to play it safe).
If you want to take baby steps in the direction of Arch Linux, I highly recommend that you try out an Arch Linux-based distribution.
I Used To Be A Solus Fanboy
Solus is one of those distributions that is not based on any of the other distributions of Linux (Solus is its own thing; it was built from the ground up).
Solus comes in:
- Solus Budgie (Solus with the Budgie desktop environment).
- Solus GNOME (Solus with the GNOME desktop environment).
- Solus MATE (Solus with the MATE desktop environment).
- Solus Plasma (Solus with KDE Plasma).
I have tried all four flavours and they work okay.
My pet peeve with Solus is that they do not update Google Chrome automatically; unfortunately, that is something that Solus users need to do manually.
And, the worst part is that a user does not get a notification on their system informing them of a new release of Google Chrome.
That is unsatisfactory!
Your Linux system will be vulnerable if Google Chrome is not updated.
All of the other Linux distributions notify their users (those who have Google Chrome installed on their computer) about a new version of Google Chrome that they can install.
I had to speak out because I have many friends that use the Google Chrome web browser (I never tell them to use another web browser because they are entitled to use Google Chrome).
For the record, most Linux users are known to utilize Mozilla Firefox or some other type of Chromium-based web browser.
I have tested Solus extensively and I must admit that it is a fast and stable rolling-release distribution (If you are like me ― a person who loves to tinker with their Linux distribution a lot, you run the risk of making Solus somewhat buggy).
I am currently using Vanilla Arch Linux; I intend to stay with it.
A lot of people who used ArcoLinux ended up using Vanilla Arch Linux.
I would also like to add that it is not imperative for you to install Arch Linux on your computer and use it as your daily driver.
As far as I am concerned, it is quite okay for a person to use an Arch Linux-based distribution like EndeavourOS.
Hey, if you like using Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions, I am fine with that too.
My advice is to use a distribution of Linux that makes you happy.
The most important thing is that you are using Linux, my friend.
And, do keep in mind that every person who uses Linux will have a unique Linux journey.