Deciding on a Desktop Linux Distribution⁠🐧️
Updated 2021-November-29

I’ve soft launched⁠[1] this article because it is very much a work in progress. I have a lot to learn before I can write coherently about this!

 

Page contents

News

2021-November-2  Published this evolving⁠[2] article.

Introduction

I’m in the process of deciding on a Linux distribution to put on one (or more) of my computers. This article contains my ongoing notes about this process in reverse chronological order. This is basically a note to self, but hopefully it will be interesting to others.

 

Reverse chronological timeline

2021-11-29: Taking a break from distro shopping

Since…

  • this process is overwhelming and time consuming,

  • and I’ve decided I don’t yet want to (accidentally or on purpose) remove Windows 11 from this computer,

… I’m going to take a break from this decision-making process.

 

2021-11-28: EndeavorOS

EndeavourOS, which is based on Arch, is a maybe but I have a lot to learn before I can decide yay or nay about this distro.

💡
Using a USB 2 drive is significantly slower than a USB 3+ drive (both when burning the ISO and when launching the distro).

 

2021-11-18: Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri)

I like that it’s called “Impish Indri” (which has the initials ii😃) but probably I’m not going to use this. Details about this Ubuntu release are at discourse.ubuntu.com/t/impish-indri-release-notes/21951.

 

2021-11-14+: Play with my new laptop

OMG Windows S Mode⁠[3] is a PITA⁠😱. As of 2021-11-18, I’m trying Linux distributions on this new laptop and I don’t care if I destroy all remnants of Windows 11 that are on it.

BTW, it took me a couple days to figure out that F10 was how to get into the BIOS.⁠[4] I finally got F10 to work by pressing it repeatedly during boot (rather than holding it down).

 

2021-11-13: Bought USB keys

Before I started using my new computer, I decided I better buy a bunch of USB keys to use for a Windows recovery disk and Linux distribution ISOs. So I went shopping again.

 

2021-11-12: Bought an inexpensive Windows 11 S laptop

Since this Costco HP Windows 11 S laptop was on sale for $379.99 (instead of $499.99), I bought it with the plan that I would 1) try Windows 11 and 2) use this laptop for Linux.

 

2021-11-03: Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Cinammon Edition

This version of Linux Mint is my current first choice for a Linux distribution I might use on my computers.

 

2021-11-03: Elementary OS 6 “Odin”

Nope because it’s a macOS clone and I dislike Apple even more than I dislike Microsoft.

 

2021-11-03: Solus 4.3 Budgie

Solus is lovely but I had to do a lot of fiddling to get a configuration I liked, for example I want:

  • a maximize button on each window

  • a light theme

 

2021-11-01: Pop!_OS 21.04

My first test was Pop!_OS by System76. I carefully followed the instructions on these pages:

The second page above recommends etcher.io for burning an image to a USB drive. I used this and I was shocked and disappointed to discover that it includes two things that are forcing me to leave Windows:

  1. advertisments

  2. default auto update (aka phones home)

Despite this disappointment, I tried Pop!_OS and, after sleeping on it, decided this is probably not the distribution for me, mainly because of Etcher, which reminded me that “Oh yeah, system76.com is a for-profit company and probably they are getting a cut of those (and other) ads.”

 

Reference

See also

Endnotes


1. An Infinite Ink article that is soft launched is not listed on Infinite Ink’s Hugo-⁠generated sitemap or home page.
2. Many Infinite Ink articles, including this one, are evergreen and regularly updated.
3. According to Microsoft, S Mode is “designed for Security and performance” but to me it means Stupid Mode.⁠🤣
4. Nowadays most computers use an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) rather than a BIOS firmware interface. For details, see wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface.

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