Playing Around With Linux

Tux the Linux mascot

I have been using Linux exclusively since 2015 (It does everything that I want it to do).

I am also proud to admit that I am a very happy Linux user.

Hey, as far as I am concerned, Linux is amazing!

The Dreaded Windows 10

It All Started With My Blatant Refusal To Use Windows 10

Back then, I was using Windows 8.1 on my laptop computer and I remembered that Microsoft was prompting their users to upgrade to Windows 10. I remembered thinking to myself, “No way. I am not using that thing!”

At the time, Microsoft was forcing people to create a Microsoft account for login purposes and I wanted nothing to do with that.

So, that meant, looking for another operating system to use.

Ubuntu’s New And Improved Logo (Photo Credit: Canonical)

Ubuntu Was My Gateway Into Linux

Since I was aware of Ubuntu’s existence, I thought to myself, “I have to find out more about this operating system.”

So, how did I go about learning more about Ubuntu?

I watched Ubuntu-based tutorials on YouTube from a small handful of content creators.

Ubuntu was strange-looking; it had a vertical dock to the left side of the screen and it had that tasteless wallpaper; I was not into the bright crimson colour and I knew that I was going to change the weird-looking wallpaper whenever I decided to use Ubuntu.

I also remembered learning a whole bunch of terminal commands (I wanted to be fully prepared for using Ubuntu).

Back in 2015, Wiley Werewolf (which was the codename given to that version of Ubuntu) came with the Unity desktop environment; I thought that it was a heavy mess.

Today, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (codename Jammy Jellyfish) comes with the GNOME desktop environment; which is one of those desktop environments that use a lot of system resources.

The only time I dabble with Ubuntu is whenever Canonical is about to release a new version of Ubuntu (And, that is solely for review purposes).

Linux Mint’s Official Logo (Photo Credit: Linux Mint)

Linux Mint Was The First Distro That Ever Impressed Me

Ubuntu did not impress me; so, I went in search of another distribution of Linux. After I weighed my options, I went along with Linux Mint (Back then, the version number of Linux Mint was 17.1 [codenamed, Rebecca] and it looked refined).

In 2015, the Ubuntu-based version of Linux Mint was available in four different desktop environments; they were:

  • Xfce
  • Cinnamon
  • MATE
  • KDE Plasma (They eventually dropped the Plasma desktop because the Linux Mint Team did not like the direction in which KDE was heading).

When I was tired of using Linux Mint with one desktop environment, I would switch things up by using Linux Mint with another desktop environment.

Thanks to the experience that I gained with using the various desktop environments that were provided by Linux Mint, I settled on using the MATE desktop environment (I am still a huge fan of the MATE desktop environment up to this day).

Today, Linux Mint is even more refined and the latest version, Linux Mint 21 (codenamed, Vanessa) is available for download on Linux Mint’s website).

Linux Mint is akin to a reliable friend ― a person whom you can trust and be there for you in times of need (A wonderful analogy that depicts that whenever your Arch Linux distribution breaks due to a faulty update, or fail to boot up for some reason, Linux Mint will be there to pick up the slack).

If you are a Linux user with an extra computer lying around somewhere, I highly recommend that you install Linux Mint on it.

Penguin At Computer

I Did My Fair Share Of Distro-Hopping

Distro-hopping is a term that is used a lot among people within the Linux community; it simply means: moving on to another distribution of Linux.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the chronological order of when I left Linux Mint and began my distro-hopping quest.

What I certainly remembered was trying out all of the different flavours of Ubuntu.

There were also a lot of other Linux distributions that I dabbled with (And, they are way too numerous to mention here).

My knowledge of Linux began to grow at a rapid pace when I tried out the following Linux distributions:

Distro-hopping is not a bad thing because it allows you to further your knowledge about Linux and it also allows you to figure out if you like or dislike a particular distribution of Linux.

Arch Linux Logo (Photo Credit: Arch Linux)

I Eventually Settled On Arch Linux

If someone said to me, “Renard, you will be using Arch Linux as your daily driver,” back in 2015, I would have laughed at them.

Hey, I did not see that coming; I thought that I would try Arch Linux, use it for a while and leave it like all of the other Linux distributions that I have tried before (But, that did not happen).

Using Arch Linux is easy (Which is something that eventually happens when you get the hang of it).

I enjoy getting the latest of everything; kernel and software included.

However, there is a downside to using bleeding-edge software ― the occasional breakage of packages.

Anyone who chooses to use vanilla Arch Linux should make up their mind to fix things whenever they break (And, in all honesty, that sort of thing is not all that difficult to do).

Final Thoughts

I have no regrets about jumping on the Linux bandwagon; my only regret is that I did not do it sooner.

Linux allowed me to do computing my way and it also allowed me to customize my Linux system to my liking (Full customization from top to bottom).

Linux is fast, smooth and privacy-respecting.

If you are curious about Linux and would like to give it a try, I recommend giving Linux Mint a shot.

I would also like you to have a look at the Linux Mint Installation Guide.

I kindly ask that you give Linux a try (And, you can do that by installing Linux Mint on one of your older computers; the nice thing is that you can run it on a USB flash drive to see if it is compatible with your hardware before installing it).

I am hoping that you enjoy using Linux as much as I do.

28 thoughts on “Playing Around With Linux

    1. “over my head … not using Windows!”

      You have a dilemma, John. Not using Windows is a good start, not having an alternative to fall back on, is not a solution. Enter Linux. Linux Mint is the best start. Don’t let the many available desktops and window managers confuse you, neither other distributions. You’ll find that stuff on your own. First you need to install Mint on a spare machine and get your head wrapped around its intricacies.

      You curiosity will make you find the rest, it happens automagically.

      Like Renard my journey started on Mint (I left the Ubuntu shit out) and ended on Arch. I feel very good and think everybody should use Arch. Or Debian. Or … grrr, you see? It’s not necessary. I know many old salts, total geeks with the wisdom of millenia, and they are happy on Mint. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really? You have totally, completely misunderstood my comment. I used to use that OS and despised it, hence, I switched to the Apple platform and the BS ended right away. I have zero interest i these other systems. Cool your engines…

        Liked by 2 people

    2. “Talking over my head” is the biggest reason so many people recommend Linux Mint over even Ubuntu (and all it’s flavors). It’d very easy to learn and has a great support community. While it’s based on Ubuntu, it has far less of Ubuntu’s snags and difficulties.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. You are talking Greek to me since I have only used Apple and Windows. You seem very pleased with the Linux system, though. Thanks for visiting my blog anyway! LOL Have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. πŸ™‚ Linux is not all that difficult to learn.

      In my blog post, I recommend Linux Mint for beginners.

      Also, there are tutorials on YouTube that will teach you how to install and use Linux Mint.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.


  2. I ended up installing ubuntu for my son and he loved it for a while… but later realized that there are many features that were missing.. so, whenever he lands on something that does not work, all he gets from his prof is to install a proper linux on his windows…!!! Using linux on windows laptop is surely a long winded journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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