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.

    https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.14/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.html
     
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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.
     
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  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 Evangelist

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    So...wow. 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.
     
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  6. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    @Gumwars

    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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  7. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    This is a great thread, and your summary here is articulated in a highly effective and accurate manner. PC users are hog-tied and in bondage to Windows 10/11 trash OS for no reason other than the your sentence. That is 100% where I am at. To the extent that I don't want or need to rely on software that I use in Windows, Linux is superior and excels by every measurement. The sad reality is, there is too much that I want to do that becomes too complicated and unrealistic, even futile, to pursue on a Linux-powered system. No amount of effort is capable of rectifying that situation.

    Unfortunately, the Redmond Reprobates have made a mess of things by making it all about the OS. The OS should be seen, but not heard. I love Linux and it would replace Windows for me entirely if it could. It's all about the software. Windows 7 was awesome, but almost everything they have done to it since then sucks.

    My contempt for anything and everything crApple make it not an option; undeserving of the even slightest acknowledgment that it exists. I foresee a day approaching that I will have to make some hard decisions because Micro$lop is bending over backwards to earn similar status in the technology hall of shame. At the end of the day, the prospect of replacing Windows with Linux all boils down to the question of what you are willing and/or able to sacrifice and do without. It truly sucks to find yourself in that situation, but it is what it is.

    upload_2021-12-1_1-59-25.png
    This video is an excellent common sense gut check, from a expert Linux junky.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  8. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    Sadly, your experience also mirrors my attempts at Linux too. There are too many compromises that I need to make to completely abandon Windows, and if I'm forced to still use Windows why bother with Linux.
    Unfortunately, I don't see things improving much for Linux in the near future. As it sits it pretty much seems to exist as an OS for enthusiasts, or folks that only need the bare minimum (I know this is a pretty vague generalization on my part). Until there is a major endorsement from 3rd parties like Adobe, there just won't be nearly enough money/brain power to push it fully mainstream - remember that Apple was nearly dead until MS agreed to port Office over to Mac (along with a s-load of "investment" cash)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
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  9. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I think I might have covered a bit of this and if not then here it goes.

    I use *nix for my server which serves a multitude of purposes that MS would never cover.

    1st is making a PC into a touter/switch/firewall/access point - this allows for expansion / contraction as needed vs buying a new "router" for $600 every time something is improved upon. If WIFI switched from 5 to 6 then it's $250 vs $600+ or when 6E becomes more available from an OE release standpoint it's not that big of a cash output to upgrade just that portion of the network.

    One thig I do miss about using the QNAP card for WIFI is the only thing you noticed were wifi antennae coming out vs an AP sitting on a shelf for WIFI.

    2nd/3rd/etc - Since the "server" is already up and running for networking it's easy to add functionality and incorporate different features such as.... DVR / NAS / etc. There's a wintv 1609 quad tuner for OTA that can record from 4 stations at any given time for $110. Of course if you're going to be recording / storing things you need storage since the typical raw TS MPEG2 files are 5-6GB/hour / show. It just made sense to roll a NAS into the mix with a few 8TB drives and implement a Raid 10 to speed things up and have a backup if a dive failed. The DVR portion is handled by the tuner card + Plex to manage things.

    Of course with Windows I can get some of these features like DHCP / ICS but, it all ends there for the most part. With this implantation you can get as granular with the FW as you want as if you would in an enterprise environment or as little as rejecting non-originating traffic from being processed. The 1 perk of adding a traditional AP to the mix is the the 8 SSID's per Radio to allow splitting / prioritizing traffic and/or QOS/FW rules per SSID / subnet if wanted.

    Now, using Windows / MacOS for simplicity of daily tasks at this point is still the way things get done. From a set it and forget it standpoint though there's *nix and all of its flavors to make the rest of the world work behind the scenes. *nix runs everything besides your PC in most cases. It's in your phones, car, ISP, gadgets, and everything else besides your PC in most cases. If you can sever the ties w/ mainstream apps and use their GNU counterparts it's easy to make the switch. There's an app that mirrors anything MS has released it's not as polished and you don't pay up for it but, the same functionality is there.

    The problem with converting over from the junk we've grown to hate is it's what's a reflex at this point and retraining our clicks takes time to get used to again. It's like spending your first 25 years of life being right handed and then being forced to use your left instead. Or driving on the right and being forced to the left. The problem with Linux is that it's free and there's no incentive to promote it if no one is getting paid for it other than RHEL of course. You can probably list ~20 OEM's that offer it as an OS OOB. The in between is MacOS as a hybrid GUI / *nix base but has a high stupid tax attached to it.
     
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Yeah that really is the bottom line. Free comes with a cost for the end user. The price is living with limited functionality. What it does do, it does extremely well.

    One could argue that Windows is also free to use for most people, but Windows isn't the final product. The people who get to use it are the product, and pay for it with their personal information and data being harvested, so the hidden costs are less obvious and not recognized. You put up with a lot of crap for the privilege of trading something of greater value for something of less value. Most are oblivious to it.

    Many of us could do with a lot of what keeps us in bondage to Windows, but we don't want to do without. There is an old saying, "necessity is the mother of invention" that would be more accurately said as "necessity is a matter of perception."
     
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