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|OT| GAFs big house of Linux |OT| for gamers, ricers, newbs and greybeards - because it's free as in freedom!

Bitmap Frogs

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Does any of this sound appealing to you?

- Do not trust MS or Apple to always have your best interests at hand
- Go beyond the mandated corporate owned walled gardens
- Want to PC game but don't want to be under Microsoft's watch
- Rehabilitate and repurpose "outdated" hardware
- Want a user interface that works for them and are willing to tinker to get there
- Are interested in extreme desktop/ui ricing
- Are curious about becoming more familiar with a tool used in IT environments
- Experiment with new form factors
- And so on.

If so, this is is the thread for you!


SECTION 1 - NEWCOMER FAQ

What is Linux?

That's a big question with a big answer, but for now Linux is an operating system you can install on a computer. You will get a desktop, menus, windows, you can run applications: just like you can do using windows or macs. And yes, Linux also is the operating system that keeps the world wide web running, a lot of corporate software, Android runs on it and so does Chrome OS. And many other things - but that's beyond the scope of this thread.

Why should I care about Linux?

Linux is created by the community to work for the community and because it's free and open source anyone can look at the source code, learn from it, change it and redistribute it. It represents computing freedom.

All right, all right, what's the official website? I'll check it out.

Well that's the funny thing, because of these freedoms, there's tons of "flavors" of Linux created by the community that you can use, each one with it's different interfaces and so on. They're called distributions, or distros for short. Here's a short list of distros that often recommended to newcomers:

Ubuntu:
https://ubuntu.com/ is the big daddy of desktop Linux right now. It's a general purpose distro with official variants that run different user interfaces (or desktop environments, as they're called). Ubuntu uses Gnome, Kubuntu uses KDE and so on.
Pop!_OS:
https://pop.system76.com/ is an unofficial Ubuntu derivative known for excellent hardware support, specially Nvidia graphic cards. In fact they offer two variants, one for computers with Intel/AMD cards, another for computers with Nvidia cards.
Elementary OS:
https://elementary.io/ these fellas use their own custom desktop environment focused on simplicity and ease of use. It's less customisable than other interfaces on purpose to let the user focus on their work. When you go to the download page, you can click on "custom" and set it at 0 to get it free of cost.
Linux Mint:
https://linuxmint.com/ this distro is designed with an interface that resembles Windows as much as possible to ease the transition into Linux.
Manjaro:
https://manjaro.org/ manjaro is a more, uh, adventurous choice for those that want to "dig in".
Puppy Linux:
http://puppylinux.com/ is one of many distros optimised for low resource usage. Perfect to revive those machines that people insist are obsolete.

How can I see those distros in action before I commit to installing them?

You can always create a virtual machine inside your windows machine and run Linux there. It's going to be very slow and not representative of the full Linux experience, but it's a way to have a quick taste. Here's a handy tutorial


I've heard that I need to learn keyboard commands to use Linux?

All these recommended distros ship with fully functional user interfaces that allow you do what you normally do in a computer without touching the terminal (that's what the command line interface is called in Linux). If you do experience technical issues however, and google for answers or ask here, you're likely to be told to use it and what commands to use. That being said, speaking as someone who started using Linux full time six months ago, it's not really scary and it's very useful. Let's say you want to install htop which is a tool to monitor computer resource usage. These distros come with "app stores" that allow you, using mouse clicks, to install htop. Or you can open the terminal and type "sudo apt install htop" and the system is smart enough to download, install, create the menu entries, and so on. Or imagine Firefox froze and want to close it - in Windows that requires a trip to the Task Manager. On Linux, you can open the terminal and "killall firefox".

Alright, alright... sounds interesting... what are you not telling me mr. Salesman?

Ah! Well, Linux doesn't have billion-trillion corporations behind like windows or mac os X so it's less polished. That is a thing. And it's behind in some aspects, like touchpad support (although that's being worked on now and the new Elementary OS 6 release is looking mightily interesting in that regard). The other sore spot is upgrading your OS: distro upgrades can be tricky and sometimes they fail. Remember when they always tell you that you should backup your data? You're gonna want to start following good backup habits if you plan to go all Linux all the way.

SECTION 2 - PC GAMING ON LINUX FAQ

Yeah, tell me about it!

Well, a few years ago Valve decided they needed a backup in case Microsoft went hostile on them and decided to make PC gaming on Linux good.

Doesn't it rely on emulation? as non-native software? doesn't that run slow?

That's what Valve did -they forked Wine and made Proton which is uh, pretty nice.

Do you have a list of what's available and runs well?


Proton is built into Steam and is used by games on Steam.

Anything else for stuff that's not Steam?

https://lutris.net/ is an open source game platform that let's you run games with script tweaks for improved compatibility. The wine script tweaks greatly improve Wine performance

Is it as smooth and troublefree as PC gaming on Windows?

It is not. It's good, but not that good. Yet!

Why should I care?

Some people just aren't comfortable with Microsoft and Windows being essentially the caretakers and what's at the center of PC gaming. You have to trust them to not be malicious about it. Remember Xbox Live for Windows Vista? Or the Windows Store and the plans they had for it. That's an example of what corporate decisions at Microsoft might end up doing for us, the end users.

SECTION 3 - LINKS AND RESOURCES

Gaming on Linux:

https://www.youtube.com/c/GardinerBryant/featured *general Linux youtuber that also covers gaming on Linux*
https://blog.system76.com/post/641571610853326848/the-system76-guide-to-gaming-on-popos *a Pop!_OS centric guide to gaming on Linux*

General Linux resources:

https://www.youtube.com/c/TheLinuxExperiment/videos *general Linux coverage*
https://www.youtube.com/c/tutoriaLinux/videos *advanced Linux topics focusing on coding and sysadminstuff*

Free as in Freedom (2.0): Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution


History of Gnu, Linux, Free and Open Source Software (Revolution OS)​

 
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Bitmap Frogs

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And my computer looks like this:



full res size: https://ibb.co/fnLdV3Q

This is my list of enabled Gnome extensions:

ArcMenu
Cafeine
Clipboard Indicator
Freon
Frippery Move Clock
Hide Dash Forked
Native Window Placement
OpenWeather
Remove App Menu
Screenshot tool
Screenshot Window Sizer
User Themes
Alt Tab: Raise First Window
Always Show Workspaces
Desktop Icons NG (DING)
Pop Shell
Pop Shop Details
System76 Power
Ubuntu Appindicators
windowNavigator
 
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mango drank

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I've got a laptop dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows. I usually run Mint, but I needed Ubuntu 20.10 for its kernel version (5.8+), for the Intel Xe GPU in the laptop. I still don't like Ubuntu even with lots of tweaks on top. Mint is so much nicer to use IMO. Anyway, I found out Mint 20.1 Cinnamon Edge has kernel 5.8, so I wanna try that out. Is it pretty straightforward to pave over Ubuntu and install Mint using the default installer, when I've already got a dual-boot setup?
 

Bitmap Frogs

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I've got a laptop dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows. I usually run Mint, but I needed Ubuntu 20.10 for its kernel version (5.8+), for the Intel Xe GPU in the laptop. I still don't like Ubuntu even with lots of tweaks on top. Mint is so much nicer to use IMO. Anyway, I found out Mint 20.1 Cinnamon Edge has kernel 5.8, so I wanna try that out. Is it pretty straightforward to pave over Ubuntu and install Mint using the default installer, when I've already got a dual-boot setup?

How do you have your dual boot setup?
 
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mango drank

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How do you have your dual boot setup?
The laptop came w/ Windows only. It's got a single physical drive. I partitioned the drive, creating a new partition for Linux. Then I used Ubuntu's installer and followed a guide online to make sure I didn't accidentally nuke the Windows install (I hadn't dual-booted in like 10 years). It had me also create a small extra partition for swap, which I found out later I probably didn't need to do according to the internet. Either way, that's how it's set up. GRUB is the bootloader.

edit: found this after some more searching, gonna try it later
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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The laptop came w/ Windows only. It's got a single physical drive. I partitioned the drive, creating a new partition for Linux. Then I used Ubuntu's installer and followed a guide online to make sure I didn't accidentally nuke the Windows install (I hadn't dual-booted in like 10 years). It had me also create a small extra partition for swap, which I found out later I probably didn't need to do according to the internet. Either way, that's how it's set up. GRUB is the bootloader.

edit: found this after some more searching, gonna try it later

Oufff GRUB.

I don’t think I can help you mate.

I went the simple way and use bios to choose which OS to boot into (which I am not sure how it happened tbh...). Besides I use POP and that one doesn’t use GRUB.
 

Makariel

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I like this thread, here have some penguins:



I've been using Linux on and off since late 90s early 00s, trying various flavours of SUSE, RedHat and later Debian and Ubuntu. That was before I turned into an Archlord, just to swing around after getting tired of the bleeding edge. Few years ago I started to use Mint, and now got into Manjaro. It's nice to have a system that just works :)

As general rule of thumb for beginners: it helps to use a distro that some linux nerd you know also uses, because that means you get free tech support ;)
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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Obligatory:




It's true, though...

I don’t know man.

I resist the idea that using Linux is sort of a progression into sysadmin tier user. Not everyone needs nor wants to live inside emacs all day creating custom LISP scripts to make their coffee.

Think how many people daily use a mac or pc to do whatever they need to do and none need to or want to become msft certified.

To me someone using Ubuntu or Elementary to do their jobs/hobbies is A-ok in my book and the community could do with a little less elitism while at the same time respecting the graybeards whose code we execute on a daily basis. Just me tho
 
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Hudo

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I don’t know man.

I resist the idea that using Linux is sort of a progression into sysadmin tier user. Not everyone needs nor wants to live inside emacs all day creating custom LISP scripts to make their coffee.

Think how many people daily use a mac or pc to do whatever they need to do and none need to or want to become msft certified.

To me someone using Ubuntu or Elementary to do their jobs/hobbies is A-ok in my book and the community could do with a little less elitism while at the same time respecting the graybeards whose code we execute on a daily basis. Just me tho
I fully agree. But my hypothesis is that out of those who do use Linux, most are related to some form of IT work, be it straight up computer science or software engineering or administration work. And many of these people will get sucked into the whole "Linux user life cycle" thing for sure. Happened to me as well. I started out with Ubuntu due to my university using it as well. Then I came into contact with some more hardcore people who used Debian and Fedora for whatever reasons...then in my second semester I had one of many operating systems courses and suddenly I found myself compiling shit on Gentoo. At a certain point I was wasting more time maintaining my computer and babysitting my OS than getting actual shit done. I had a short stint with the BSDs, which I found more elegant in design but rather useless because no drivers and no software (for my purposes). So I ended up with Debian Sid and that's that.
 
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Makariel

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I fully agree. But my hypothesis is that out of those who do use Linux, most are related to some form of IT work, be it straight up computer science or software engineering or administration work.
I wonder if there are some actual stats on that. I'm not related to IT in whatever form and use linux. I just think it's neat and am peculiar about privacy. My wife on the other hand did computer science and is now teaching programming, but she uses windows for much of her stuff.
 

Unknown?

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The laptop came w/ Windows only. It's got a single physical drive. I partitioned the drive, creating a new partition for Linux. Then I used Ubuntu's installer and followed a guide online to make sure I didn't accidentally nuke the Windows install (I hadn't dual-booted in like 10 years). It had me also create a small extra partition for swap, which I found out later I probably didn't need to do according to the internet. Either way, that's how it's set up. GRUB is the bootloader.

edit: found this after some more searching, gonna try it later
I couldn't do that. I had the max of four partitions already and couldn't convert to GTP PR whatever it's called so I just did a full install on a flash drive.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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So I know it’s Linux and the terminal is there so a lot of y’all would rather talk oh my bash/alacritty and stuff like that but when it comes to de’s what’s your jam?

So far I’ve used gnome and whatever raspberry os uses.

I have to say the gnome extension ecosystem is NEAT!
 

zaanan

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Cool thread! Back in my early days of swearing off Windows, I ran Mandrake and loved it. I remember getting all the Descent games running on it and having a blast. Loved KDE, never liked Gnome so my interest started to wane after Mandrake went away (tried SUSE but didn’t like it as much). These days I just use Mac, but seeing this made me check on Steam and Proton and I’ll be damned if you can’t play HALO on linux now! That almost makes me want to buy a PC and try it. Almost! ;)
 

RoboFu

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So I know it’s Linux and the terminal is there so a lot of y’all would rather talk oh my bash/alacritty and stuff like that but when it comes to de’s what’s your jam?

So far I’ve used gnome and whatever raspberry os uses.

I have to say the gnome extension ecosystem is NEAT!

Using gnome 3 right on all my Linux systems. I can just set the app bar to bottom throw on a dark them and call it a day.
 
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Makariel

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Recently I've been mainly using KDE so Konsole is my usual suspect. Once there was a time where I didn't like KDE very much (it does use quite a bit of memory) but I got around to it. Before that I was using mainly Gnome (also not shy on the memory front tbh), might go back to that at some point. I don't use XCFE since I don't use any computers from the stone age. And Cinnamon is for people who don't care how their OS looks like as long as it looks like Windows.
 
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Raploz

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So I know it’s Linux and the terminal is there so a lot of y’all would rather talk oh my bash/alacritty and stuff like that but when it comes to de’s what’s your jam?

I use KDE. I like it because it's full of features, and also because it's almost like Windows workflow wise.

It's been a while since I last used it, but I also used to like Cinnamon.

Gnome for me is okay, and I'd say it's prettier than KDE design wise, but I don't like how limited it is by default. For it to be functional I have to install a bazillion extensions.
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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I think it’s interesting lots of folks disagree with the way gnome is evolving and yet it’s so widely used. And then on top of that from things I’ve seen on Twitter they seem to be as a group of people sorta well, bit pricklish and stand-off ish.

They just got done with a round of user research in some sort of cost sharing way with the system76 folks and there were some flameouts lol.
 

Hudo

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No cool like old school cool!
But I do admit that the Pantheon Desktop from elementaryOS looks beautiful. I think there are packages for it in the Debian repositories as well. The only thing that I don't like about elementaryOS is that they have chosen to base their distro on the LTS releases of Ubuntu. Sometimes I just need libraries that require newer kernels or other Linux underpinnings and LTS releases are, by their definition, "stable" in that regard. But on the other hand, that choice fits their goal quite well: A distro "that just works".

I recently got into NixOS because I find the whole philosophy of a functional operating system quite interesting. That you don't mutate the current state but rather each change is another layer, which makes it easy to roll back if something goes wrong with your configs or so. However, the nix language is awful, IMHO. They should've gone with Haskell or Scheme (I know that Guix is a thing that uses Scheme but it's a GNU project, so it's a pain to use non-free/non-open source software).
 
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Bunker Hosted

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The laptop came w/ Windows only. It's got a single physical drive. I partitioned the drive, creating a new partition for Linux. Then I used Ubuntu's installer and followed a guide online to make sure I didn't accidentally nuke the Windows install (I hadn't dual-booted in like 10 years). It had me also create a small extra partition for swap, which I found out later I probably didn't need to do according to the internet. Either way, that's how it's set up. GRUB is the bootloader.

edit: found this after some more searching, gonna try it later
Just some quick info in case you are unsure what SWAP storage space actually is; Essentially it is using a chunk of your hard drive as memory but only on an as needed basis. Things generally get stored to SWAP space if they are hardly ever used OR if your system runs out of actual memory, writing data to SWAP will ensure your computer doesn't immediately crash (or kernel panic in the Linux world)

If your system is constantly using SWAP space, this will cause whatever kind of hard drive you are using to fail much sooner than it normally would.
 
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mango drank

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Just some quick info in case you are unsure what SWAP storage space actually is; Essentially it is using a chunk of your hard drive as memory but only on an as needed basis. Things generally get stored to SWAP space if they are hardly ever used OR if your system runs out of actual memory, writing data to SWAP will ensure your computer doesn't immediately crash (or kernel panic in the Linux world)

If your system is constantly using SWAP space, this will cause whatever kind of hard drive you are using to fail much sooner than it normally would.
Yeah, I knew the basic idea, but I've heard people say you don't need to manually create a separate partition for it--that the OS will take care of designating and managing swap space on its own.
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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But I do admit that the Pantheon Desktop from elementaryOS looks beautiful. I think there are packages for it in the Debian repositories as well. The only thing that I don't like about elementaryOS is that they have chosen to base their distro on the LTS releases of Ubuntu. Sometimes I just need libraries that require newer kernels or other Linux underpinnings and LTS releases are, by their definition, "stable" in that regard. But on the other hand, that choice fits their goal quite well: A distro "that just works".

They're doing beautiful things with a Linux desktop and bringing a level of polish that is sometimes undervalued by oh so welcome. I am very, very excited for the Odin release, might even switch to it. They have their own ecosystem of apps that are compliant with their design guidelines too they're trying hard to go the extra mile.

I recently got into NixOS because I find the whole philosophy of a functional operating system quite interesting. That you don't mutate the current state but rather each change is another layer, which makes it easy to roll back if something goes wrong with your configs or so. However, the nix language is awful, IMHO. They should've gone with Haskell or Scheme (I know that Guix is a thing that uses Scheme but it's a GNU project, so it's a pain to use non-free/non-open source software).

lol a versioned OS? sounds awesome as a concept. I know redhat lets you do some shenanigans in the package manager to freeze versions and stuff but this nixos seems to be in a league of its own.


that was so troll when I saw that benchmark you posted... nice fps for emulation eh? stallman master race memes incoming.

Yeah, I knew the basic idea, but I've heard people say you don't need to manually create a separate partition for it--that the OS will take care of designating and managing swap space on its own.

i'm a very newbie user but bios swapping is still an optioatn. It's not elegant as having a menu grub style, but if you create a partition to serve as boot for the linux install so you end wth 3 partitions: linux boot, linux swap, root partition. Mashing F12 isn't as nice as grub but that's an option?
 

Makariel

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Anyone having experience with any of those System 76 linux laptops?
 
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Bunker Hosted

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Anyone having experience with any of those System 76 linux laptops?
No experience with System76, or even any other laptop manufacture for Linux. With that said, I have saved 4+ "older" dying laptops simply by just installing non-bloated Ubuntu. I don't get the marketing behind trying to sell optimized Linux systems, when its runs fantastic on a vast majority of hardware.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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Anyone having experience with any of those System 76 linux laptops?

They're Clevo designs but they go the extra mile, like replacing the UEFI with open source firmware and I think they ship by default with the intel management engine in "government mode", or at least offer an easy way to flip that switch through the OS, that kind of thing. LTT occasionally review their hardware. S76 also maintains their own distro, Pop!_OS that one yours truly is using ATM. Generally they're responsive people, specially on social media, I even got their CEO on twitter to pop on my timeline when I tweeted that the nvidia driver they pushed was doing weird stuff.

 
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Godzilla Emu

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Bitmap Frogs Bitmap Frogs Thanks for making this Linux OT on GAF, mate :messenger_beermugs: . It's an OS that I really want to invest more time in and this will be a good passive resource.

What distros do my fellow GAF members prefer?
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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Bitmap Frogs Bitmap Frogs Thanks for making this Linux OT on GAF, mate :messenger_beermugs: . It's an OS that I really want to invest more time in and this will be a good passive resource.

What distros do my fellow GAF members prefer?

I use Pop!_OS because it has excellent out of the box integration with nvidia hardware, because it's ubuntu based so you have huge repositories available and the user interface is alright, gnome can be fairly extensively customised with the extensions.
 
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