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Thread: The year of Linux on the desktop

  1. #1

    The year of Linux on the desktop

    2020 is the year of Linux on the desktop... for me anyway.

    Giving it a try in an attempt to move away from macOS. I'm not thrilled with the direction the platform is going, or the price of the new hardware.

    I'm giving Gnome a try currently, and other than HiDPI scaling being a little wonky, things seem pretty good!

    Since this is the place that got me into Linux, I thought I'd check in to see what you all are running.
    gbk is 50 probably

    MB IS FAT

  2. #2
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    I've also got problems with hidpi, but I'm using ubuntu 18.04 still. I was using the cinnamon desktop manager for a long time and I really liked it. It doesn't do anything weird like try to mac-ify your desktop like the default ubuntu desktop. However, sometime about 6 months ago it started "skipping" or pausing for about half a second every few minutes. I haven't been able to figure out what is causing that so I just switched back to xfce, which is fine, but not as nice. For example cinnamon would automatically change my resolution when I switched from the 4k laptop screen to my 1080p external monitor. I have to manually do it in xfce. But xfce lets me just disable the laptop screen when I connect external monitor so I just do that (I use it in clamshell mode most of the time).

    Some things I really love about (my, ubuntu-based) linux on the desktop is focus-follow-mouse, alt-drag windows, configurable keyboard shortcuts (any keyboard shortcut, nothing is "reserved"), the way updates are handled, ease of software installation, the various available terminal emulators, etc. I really like the fact that xfce seems stable. Like on windows and mac things change all the time for no good reason. I think they do that with gnome as well but xfce, cinnamon are a lot more stable, feature-wise.

    Some things I don't like about it: it's slower to boot up than my work mac. Performance, once running, also isn't quite as good (like programs take a bit longer to launch). Some features I use with mac/iphone aren't available (or I don't know about them), for example, airdrop to transfer photos from my phone to my computer, I use that a couple of times a week.

    I would strongly recommend installing steam and playing Axiom Verge, it worked great on my linux laptop But... oh yeah I had to install some external driver for my xbox one controller, and it seems to need reinstall when the kernel changes

  3. #3
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I’m also running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. I will probably upgrade to 20.04 when it’s done.

  4. #4
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    I strongly recommend checking out KDE. It handles HiDPI wonderfully. You just set your font DPI in the settings and everything is adjusted around it.

    There is a scaling option but it makes some things look blurry so the font DPI approach is a lot better and more consistent.

    For me 2012 was the year of the Linux desktop, I've been using it as my daily driver since then. I went from Mint to Arch in about 2014 and never looked back.
    Last edited by Ni; 03-16-2020 at 03:25 PM.
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  5. #5
    I heard Gnome handles mixed DPI better, though. My solution is still to just set my HiDPI screen to HD resolution. I hope it will be better with 20.04.
    Sorry for the lousy German

  6. #6
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I will run whatever has the best Git and C++ build scalability.

    So I guess that rules out Windows and OSX.

  7. #7
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    I hate my "new" touchbar mac (work computer). The keyboard sucks, the touchbar sucks, it crashes (when waking from sleep) about once per week, the "full screen" when you press the green button is just horrifying, the lack of ports sucks. It just sucks.

  8. #8
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I hate my "new" touchbar mac (work computer). The keyboard sucks, the touchbar sucks, it crashes (when waking from sleep) about once per week, the "full screen" when you press the green button is just horrifying, the lack of ports sucks. It just sucks.
    I got given one of those toys by work too. ( It was either that or a tiny 13" HP, which is way too small for me to do any real work on). Are you running linux on yours? Despite difficulty in getting it installed, it's a much nicer experience than the terrible user interface that MacOS has.

    The keyboard is the worst keyboard I have ever used. My fingers get tired after a couple of minutes because of the ridiculously short key travel, it's almost like typing on a touch screen... £199 chromebooks have better keyboards.
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  9. #9
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    No, it's still running macos as dictated by the company. I work from home and 99% of the time it's used in clamshell mode with 2 external monitors, external keyboard, external mouse. Agree about the keyboard, it's trash.

    My personal computer is a lenovo "flex 15" from a few years ago that I got at costco. Didn't have any problem getting linux up and running on it and the keyboard doesn't suck. It's heavy compared to more modern/expensive laptops but I don't carry it around often so that wasn't really a concern. I switched from a thinkpad x1 carbon (can't remember the generation) because of how crappy the screen was at the time (just really dim and washed out looking). Oh, also it has a bunch of ports on it, like multiple usb, hdmi, card reader, headphones, usb-c, etc. I don't understand the port-minimization fetish.

  10. #10
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    To give apple a little credit, there are some practical benefits to USB-C everything. Because it uses USB charging rather than a dedicated charging port, it doesn't matter where the socket is relative to me, I can plug the charger in either the left or right side of the laptop and it works. Ditto with a monitor.

    Having said that, until all peripherals and displays support it, there's no reason to omit dedicated ports, there has to be some middle ground.
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  11. #11
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Confirmed, portable workstation that spends 99% of its time plugged into 2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse is the only legitimate use case for a MBP.

    They’re thin and light and have pretty good battery lives, they’re nice for business travel. They’re also hot as **** and have terrible keyboards and window management.

  12. #12
    Human Computer
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    I've been using either Debian or Ubuntu, almost exclusively for several years now, and haven't regretted it one bit. I was always curious about Linux and have toyed with it on and off since Mandrake launched, but it wasn't until I could no longer update macOS on my iMac that I began using it regularly. I'm certainly not a power user, but I enjoy using the Terminal, and what little programming I do, I prefer doing in Emacs -nw. I've recently been upgrading old laptops that my employer was going to recycle, by doubling the RAM, throwing in SSDs, and installing Ubuntu Server. The first one I did became a Plex server, where I've found enjoyment from learning to SSH in to it for various purposes and using SCP to transfer files. I'm planning to explore SFTP and SSHFS a bit too, and I might even learn to automate some tasks in Bash or Python.

  13. #13
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Confirmed, portable workstation that spends 99% of its time plugged into 2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse is the only legitimate use case for a MBP.

    They’re thin and light and have pretty good battery lives, they’re nice for business travel. They’re also hot as **** and have terrible keyboards and window management.
    Isnt that every workstation now? Except you can do that with a Dell laptop and save quite a bit.

  14. #14
    Admiral of Awesome
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    From what I've seen of PC laptops you have to pick two: performance, build, portability. MBP is the only one I know about that offers a decent compromise.

    Like, you can get better performance out of a much cheaper gaming laptop, but the thing will fall apart if you try to fly with it. Or like the MBP's aluminum unibody's not as strong as the cast alloy frames in Thinkpads, but Thinkpads are twice as big and heavy. Beyond just size, Macs also have extra large multitouch trackpads. Mission Control and trackpad gestures make it way more tolerable being confined to a single laptop screen without a mouse.

    I'm not recommending anything. More just, well, there's a reason so many people switched a few years ago.

  15. #15

    "Has it won yet?"

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    But dat keyboard clit.

    The recent Thinkpad workstation laptops do have throttling issues but it's not as bad as Apple's MBP's problems (or so I've heard). Also they have been soldering on RAM now in most of the T-series, if that bothers you guys. I do wonder if Lenovo's AMD offerings have better heat solutions.
    SnailIracing:n(500tpostshpereline)pants
    -----------------------------@%

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ni View Post
    Having said that, until all peripherals and displays support it, there's no reason to omit dedicated ports, there has to be some middle ground.
    The laptop I purchased a couple years ago and mentioned here a few times came with one USB-C port, A VGA port, HDMI, SD card, ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and a DVD drive. The USB-C (which doesn't support charging the laptop) is the only port I've never used.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  17. #17
    The company I work for has been using Ubuntu 16.04 as workstations for the past 4 years. Believe, the year of Linux on the desktop is still not here...
    Taton Qek, The master of masterfully inspired levels that never get released.

  18. #18
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    This crappy macbook pro sucks. This morning it prompted me to install an important security update. When it came back up one of the 4 usb-c ports was dead. Kaput. Nothing I plug into it works (charger, multi-function hub, external monitor). The other 3 still work but one is dead.

  19. #19
    Probably rationing so you don't use them all up during this time of crisis.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


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