My First Year With Linux on Desktop
A year ago, after a couple months of head scratching and intense distro hopping, I settled with Manjaro with Gnome. But it didn’t take long for another Arch based project get my attention!
With their motto “a terminal-centric distro with a vibrant and friendly community at its core”, EndeavourOS sounded perfect.
First, as I began my journey with Linux on the server side, terminal is my natural choice to manage things. And more, EndeavourOS promised: a lean installation, close to a vanilla Arch experience; a user-friendly installer, with a dozen options between desktop environments and windows managers; and a great community.
I took my time with Manjaro, but a couple of months later I moved to EndeavourOS, and it didn’t disappoint! It was my home for months. First with Gnome, but mostly with KDE Plasma.
After my initial choice of Gnome, I got bored and decided to give Plasma another shot. At first it felt bloated with its large array of settings and customisation options. I had to fight that initial overwhelm feeling and increase my understanding of those settings to get my way with it.
KDE Plasma is powerful, pleasant and fulfilled my needs. But with the changes and hype around the release of Gnome 40, I couldn’t resist getting back to it.
At the end, I think the look and feel of Gnome is more at my taste. Although, to be honest I cannot point a distinct favourite. They’re both capable desktop environments that I can adapt to my workflow.
By the time I made plans to get back to Gnome, with the knowledge I acquired over the year, I felt that moving to Arch Linux would be a natural step. And so I did!
Meanwhile, I looked for a distro that I could install on my parents laptop. Something with a fixed release model, that I could forget for a few months. I tested Fedora, Elementary and Zorin, but my favourite keeps being Linux Mint. One can agree or not with their view about Snaps and its implementation on Ubuntu (I do!). But is indisputable the great work they keep doing, putting together a stable, predictable and user-friendly distro.
From the events of last year, there was one that made me think the most. The refocus of CentOS. I didn’t use CentOS or any distro from Red Hat, but was alarming seeing how much people/business relied on a project that an enterprise could change/end with the snap-of-a-finger.
I recognise the importance of those enterprises on the development and adoption of Linux, and I’m not against the use of their products. But keep in mind that enterprises will always behave according to its interests. So, if you rely on an enterprise developed product, have a backup plan.
Personally, I plan to migrate my server to Debian 11 once it’s released.
Furthermore, I hope Linux Mint keeps developing a version based on Debian instead of Ubuntu. And would like to see other projects, such as Zorin and Elementary, replicate that same strategy.