I had a great chat with the Yesterweb crew on Discord, and it had me thinking: why don't I talk about my misadventures throughout my time as a Linux aficionado? It's quite the road, so I hope you'll stick with me through this.
My first taste of Linux, Ubuntu 12.04 was one of the sleekest operating systems out there, and quickly outclassed Windows XP on my Dell Dimension and Windows 7 on my graphics accelerated HP potato, EVEN WITH its contentious Unity desktop environment. However, as I should've expected, it was not to last, as Canonical went for beefier software to catch up with beefier hardware. In my honest opinion, this was THE best experience with Ubuntu I've ever had, period.
I was initially surprised when I found that Ubuntu came in a few flavors like Xubuntu. When Windows 10 freaked out on me, I was lucky to have a spare of the same caliber that I had installed Xubuntu on. Xubuntu was FAST in the 17.04 era and easily accommodated my time in TF2, even with a wimpy GT card. I just wish I had enough hard drives.
Now to something more esoteric. Arch Linux is an almost barebones Linux distro save for the Pacman (don't confuse it) package manager that allows you to heavily customize it to your liking. I used this to make a dedicated Amiga emulation install using FS-UAE and AmigaSYS4, and it was a fun ride diving into it as a relative noob, as I was also a Commodore Amiga NUT back then. Mistakes were made, and lessons were learned, and I thank Arch for that.
One of THE cleanest Linux distros I have used so far, everything about it was optimized to FUNCTION with a good chunk of STYLE added in. In the short time I've used it, I ended up in some dependency hell but broke out very easily, ending the terminal's yelling at me about broken packages. If I need a distro that just WORKED, I'd go for Linux Mint.
The origin point of Ubuntu in the first place, Debian, was next in my exploration of Linux distros, and while I did realize there were differences here and there, it was largely familiar and I got used to it, what with my familiarity with both Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but there was one thing I realized: Debian is best used for server stuff, for example a Minecraft or private server (say GunZ the Duel), and thus it wasn't very suited to me tooling around with it as a consumer user.
When I heard about the Budgie desktop, I was intrigued, and found that an Ubuntu distro was already made for it, so I gave it a whirl. However, this was during the 18.04 era, when the bloat REALLY started to pile up, and my laptop was soon unable to handle it, being a 2012 model with a 3 core HD-7340 on tap. However, the desktop environment itself is quite pleasing and comes with some nighttime improvements like "redshift", a daemon that'll change your screen's hue closer to red during a set period of time.
Linked here because it's a bit hard to find now
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was the vanguard of single board computers with their first Raspberry Pi. Years later they made their PIXEL desktop available in an easy to install Debian Jessie distro. Note, this was released before those shady Microsoft repositories were shoehorned in. Its origins really showed, as the environment itself was ludicrously light on the resources. My toaster spare currently can run with it just fine and I can bet that if I get a cheap GPU on it, I can do some more TF2 just fine.
Heh, they don't pull their punches with the names. This is a geared up Arch Linux distro packed to the gills with everything you need to start gaming on Linux, from Proton to Wine to emulators to games that were indeed ported to Linux like Rexuiz, a Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament spiritual successor. However, due to it being ready to throw down, my laptop wasn't exactly up to the task, and it was a short while before I switched to my current main. However, it does show promise, so it'll be a tough choice for my single hard drive dual boot setup I have planned for my rig.
"BunsenLabs Linux" kinda sounds like a classroom oriented Linux distro, but it isn't. It's a Debian based distro that aims to provide a more lightweight Debian experience, coming with quality of life improvements along the way, such as detecting your hardware and installing drivers accordingly during install. This has been about as painless as Linux Mint without the Ubuntu repositories, and I like it. The desktop environment is a customized Openbox with the ability to open a variety of common items like the file manager, media player and terminal through super key hotkeys, which is a plus. Currently, this is my main distro on the laptop and it has been a blast. Even Discord works nicely alongside Ungoogled Chromium with the usual combo of Adblock Ultimate and Ublock Origin, Youtube Redux, Dark Reader and Violentmonkey, which takes up some room, but not much.
As you can see, I've been around the block, and I don't think it's gonna end there. I've heard good things about the new distros like Void Linux, so expect another journal here in the blog.