Linux as your Daily - A Guide and Journal

Discussion in 'Linux Compatibility and Software' started by Gumwars, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. dmanti

    dmanti Notebook Enthusiast

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    To get things like keyboard backlight color control working, I needed to mess with the
    acpi_os_name and/or
    acpi_osi kernel boot parameters. I think acpi_osi=Linux ultimately worked the best on my Powerspec 1530 (Clevo PB50DF2). Depends on your BIOS/UEFI, afaik.
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  2. jclausius

    jclausius Notebook Virtuoso

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    Been using VMWare Workstation on Linux Mint for going on 3 yrs now. It is the recommendation I make to all who ask.

    At the time I needed a new system 30 months ago, I also bowed out of the Laptop DTR market. I had VMWorkstation working well with Pop_OS! at the time on a x7200 Clevo system from AVADirect. But decided a small portable Mini-ITX build would better suit my needs than a laptop with ever so decreasing features.

    Moving to the mini-ITX build was a bit of an adjustment, but I've had ZERO regrets with the decision to move to Linux/VMWare, even though this current machine is dual boot capable. I haven't booted into the WIndows side in 10 months.
    Gumwars, Mr. Fox, Vasudev and 2 others like this.
  3. Rokobo

    Rokobo Notebook Enthusiast

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  4. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Its better not to persist or add startup service for undervolt since you can't revert or reset the service. I had black screen issue on startup due to insufficient voltage after uCode update and had to restore old image and remove undervolting service from starting up.
    tuned-gtk has a daemon and the power profiles persists until you change it.
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  5. Gumwars

    Gumwars Notebook Consultant

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    76 I'm returning with my head hung low in utter defeat. I gave this, what I think was, a fair shake. As I pointed out at the start, this experiment was an attempt to move over to Linux as a daily driver and find out if it could serve as a stand-in for the big W or M in terms of stability, functionality, and usability. Here are my findings:
    • Linux is a stable platform, depending on what hardware you bring to the party
    • Windows is a monster in the marketplace. So much of what we do daily on our machines runs through applications made for that ecosystem and the end result is that if we attempt to move away from that place, we must sacrifice some degree of compatibility, functionality, or both in order to do so
    • My plan of using Windows in a VM to access more detailed functions of Office (like VBA) resulted in a very buggy mess. The version of Office365 that I have a license for would not install in any version of Windows 10 VM that I set up (Pro or Home, which I both have licenses for). Just to try it, I installed KMSpico and whatever 2019 Office I could find via any torrent site. This did work, but the performance was horrible no matter what resources I allocated to the VM
    • Adobe products fared about as well, which I use extensively at my office (InDesign and Illustrator specifically) both of which benefit from hardware acceleration that was not immediately available through VMWare, Boxes, or Virtual Box
    • Gaming has improved significantly on Linux...but it still isn't comparable to what you can do on Windows. Steam is the furthest along in establishing compatibility with most titles installing but not all running without serious tweaking, and some not even after that. Other launchers like Epic Games, EA Origin, and Ubisoft Uplay install (sort of) but aren't very usable beyond that. Standalone titles like DCS, Star Sector, and IL2 don't work, period. You might get the launcher to load, or the game to install, but that's about as far as you'll get. Any money you've spent on titles through Microsoft like MSFS2020 or Astroneer, forget about it; that ecosystem is closed to Linux
    • Any game or program mods that you're used to using will either be extremely difficult to get working or won't work in Linux. It goes without saying that running a program in a compatibility layer like WINE or Crossover and then trying to run some kind of modification to that program in the same layer is tricky. I tried and was entirely unsuccessful
    I am not an expert user. I am not afraid to dive into the mechanics of how things work, even to the point of breaking stuff in order to figure out how to fix it. I think I can say with certainty that if you move from Windows to Linux, you'll need to sacrifice a very tangible amount of functionality to make that transition. What that amount is comprised of will vary depending on what your workflow is and what options are available on the open-source marketplace. What I can say, decidedly, is that my workflow has holes in it that cannot be immediately filled on the Linux side of this equation. The only way to make this work properly would be to dual boot (which is still an option) or have two systems. Having two systems begs the question, which would I use more? I believe I already know the answer - because of my work, I'll be on the Windows machine more.

    Linux has been in development for thirty years. I'm sure it works very well as a daily driver for network admins or developers. If you've grown up in the Windows or MacOS ecosystems, this might be a tricky transition for you. There will be gaps in your workflow that will require you to use new tools (and relearning how to do things) or having to deal with not being able to perform specific tasks. I'm sure for some, leaving behind purchases made in whatever other OS you're coming from won't be that big a deal. For me, that represents several hundred dollars in licenses that either don't work, or don't work well under Linux.

    This isn't to say that Linux is bad, or not as good as Windows. It's better in almost every conceivable way than any other operating system that's on the market currently. No telemetry, far fewer bugs, consistent updates (that you are not forced to install), and what I believe is a far more secure method of finding and installing software puts Linux ahead of its competitors. Where it falls behind is with other, mainstream software developers, be it for gaming or productivity. Because Linux users are still in the minority, vendors aren't interested in porting over say Acrobat Pro or developing solid driver support for Nvidia GPUs when they have a flourishing customer base on Windows.

    I may try this again in a year or two as we get closer to the 2025 go stale date for Windows 10. Right now, Linux can't reliably serve as my daily in the current state of what software is available to it.
    Vasudev likes this.
  6. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    Some things come to mind with your post above.

    • ESXI as your baseline and build containers on top of it for both OS's
    • Take an image of your setup w/ O365 and then import it into a VM environment w/ all of your apps pre-installed
    VM's mean more resources to run smoothly for more than just small asks from the VM. Biggest # of cores on the CPU / RAM side will make a difference int he traditional VM setup. vSphere on the other hand would be less noticeable as they're shared not segregated per instance.

    As a network head *nix does come into play daily with how you configure devices. As far as common / best software though it's easier to use Windows w/o finding work arounds for things as often. Srue some apps have dual OS capability w/o getting WINE involved or some other compatibility layer that can be a pain when it errors out. I have a bit of a fluidity between the 2 OS because it's just how life is to make business / performance synergize. Being able to meld the 2 makes things easier. If there's a simpler way like WSL the merges things a bit more than one over the other it might be feasible. It's a preference thing as well as to not feeding MSFT more $ in licensing or having to deal with the malware aspect of it all due to bad coding.

    Apple though is a bit of a hybrid of the common place GUI / linux underlying tones when opening a command window. The issue there is that it's a locked ecosystem and it's a helluvalot pricier when it comes to everything from HW / SW. I had one job a few years back where they issues a macbook for use and it threw me for a loop even though I had used MacOS in the past. The layout is kind of like having a touch of Dyslexia trying to get things done that are virtually hardwired from other systems placements. it performed fine and I added a VM to it for W based programs to be used and it ran fine as well.
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