• NotNotMike
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    352 months ago

    In the spirit of these kinds of changes, I’d love to hear some honest Linux distribution recommendations. I’m leaning towards Ubuntu because it is the most widely advertised and UX focused from my perspective. But I’ve also heard good things about Arch. Any others I should be considering?

    I’ll probably not go full Linux any time soon - I want at least one Windows OS to play games on - so whatever option it should be dual-boot friendly.

    • @[email protected]
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      592 months ago

      You’ve heard good things about arch solely because you’re on Lemmy. Using arch means you’ll be dedicating about 50% of your working time towards tinkering and making it fucking work, which is fun don’t get me wrong- unless you have actual work to do.

      Ubuntu is solid but a little sluggish, I’m personally an advocate for Mint as far as something you can drop a windows users in and they’ll generally figure it out.

      • NotNotMike
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        222 months ago

        Seems like the general consensus in this section is Mint, so I’ll give that a look over for sure

      • just some guy
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        152 months ago

        I don’t get this. For each of my devices running arch, the only tinkering I’ve encountered were for nitpicky customizations I wanted, which I have to do on another distro. After the arch installation completes it’s given me a fully functional desktop

      • Your opinion about Arch is outdated at best. I run Arch, and I don’t think I needed to do any tinkering in the last few months. For first time Arch users, I’ll recommend them to just use EndeavourOS. I have it on my laptop, and it’s basically Arch, but with a hassle free installation process.

        • @[email protected]
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          72 months ago

          Same for me, installed arch with archinstall, it installed faster than windows does, and I haven’t had to modify anything or tinker with anything. Even Steam games work out of the box with compatibility mode

      • @[email protected]
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        72 months ago

        50%?? Been daily driving for over a year and system maintenance is nowhere near the levels it’s hyped up to be. Every once in a while the update requires manual intervention which can be solved by reading the email arch sends out before any of these atypical situations (register to be on the mailing list). Other system set up tinkering is well documented in the arch wiki.

        Anyone interested in playing games on Linux should be exploring a rolling release distro even if for nothing more than access to updated GPU drivers as soon as they come out.

        Don’t forget the utiltiy of the AUR.

      • @[email protected]
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        52 months ago

        EndeavorOS might also be a good option, from what I’ve heard. It’s Arch based, but easier to install and use. I recently switched to Garuda, also Arch based, but focused more on the gaming community.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        Manjaro is an okay middle ground. It’s got the benefits of Arch but a bit more stability. It still breaks, but maybe once a year. I get work done on it.

        • @[email protected]
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          12 months ago

          Manjaro fell out of popularity a few years ago – in addition to some drama with the handling of community donations, they do some weird stuff like hold back all Arch package updates by 2 weeks for “additional stability”… But really it’s just an extra 2 weeks where you don’t get potentially critical security updates. I also think the way they handle the AUR is reckless and leads new users to install unstable or poorly maintained packages without realizing it

          It’s still a viable distro, but generally I think Garuda beats it in every category: still based on Arch with a focus on gaming, but without the useless delay or the other issues that Manjaro has.

          • @[email protected]
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            2 months ago

            The AUR was disabled by default on my install. I use flatpak for a lot of stuff so I’m probably pretty up to date with my most used programs. Where did you hear about this community donation scandal?

            All the petty downvotes makes me think Lemmy has become a bit too much like Reddit. The whole “downvote everyone’s opinion that isn’t my opinion” is pathetic.

            I don’t really care about what’s popular. With all my installed programs I use to get shit done, I can’t distro hop every other month like some people.

      • voxel
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        12 months ago

        I don’t really like mint’s desktop environment

      • @[email protected]
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        02 months ago

        That’s a big exaggeration. Is Ubuntu a better choice for a newb? Yes. Do some people gravitate toward Arch because of the freedom in tinkering it offers? Also yes. But Arch has had simple graphical installers for years now, not to mention the wraparound distros like Endeavour that bundle extra software for a more complete OOTB setup. Arch is a viable choice for a new Linux user and really doesn’t require tinkering for a working setup.

    • @[email protected]
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      272 months ago

      Linux Mint. That’s always the answer. It’s lightweight, it’s simple, it’s easy, it does what you need. Even gaming. SomeOrdinaryGamers did a vidso on YT about installing it, it’s pretty easy!

    • Onno (VK6FLAB)
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      Given that this is in a thread about Microsoft Server, I’d recommend using Debian as the distribution to replace Microsoft Server.

      If you want a desktop, I’d start with a LiveCD version and familiarise yourself with the various available distributions on offer.

      The intent of a LiveCD is essentially to boot into Linux without modifying your hard-disk and keeping your existing OS unchanged.

      I’ll note that many of these images are available for DVD or USB. Some will offer a mechanism to store data on your existing drive without wiping anything.

      With USB drives being fast and cheap, you can also often use a LiveCD to install onto an external drive.

      Finally, you can install a virtual machine on your computer and use it to run your Linux tests.

    • @[email protected]
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      2 months ago

      Are you looking for a Windows, server, replacement or desktop replacement? Your experience will differ depending on which one you’re trying to replace.

      For instance, if you’re trying to replace Windows active directory services with a single Linux server, might have a bad time. I’m in the process of migrating from AD to FreeIPA, PowerDNS, and isc-dhcp (or something similar for DHCP).

      • NotNotMike
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        122 months ago

        Sorry, forgot to specify in the post. But I’m looking for a desktop replacement. We thankfully don’t use Windows Server anywhere at the moment.

        • @[email protected]
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          02 months ago

          Oh, in that case you have a much easier job ahead of you, haha.

          All of our Linux servers are running Ubuntu, except the FreeIPA system that runs a Redhat derivative.

    • @[email protected]
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      132 months ago

      I wouldn’t recommend arch as a first distro imo. I don’t see what the advantage would be for a newbie.

      Personally I would recommend Fedora.

      • NotNotMike
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        52 months ago

        Most people recommended Mint so far. What sorts of things do you like about Fedora?

        • @[email protected]
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          Like Ubuntu, I like that Fedora is backed by a big company. Fedora is quite good at pushing the Linux ecosystem forward and often adopts and pushes new technology before other distros (flatpaks, Wayland, pipewire, btrfs etc.) that all Linux distros eventually benefit from.

          Ubuntu on the other hands seems to want to be the Microsoft of Linux… which is not a compliment. I’ve been put off by things like their pushing of snap packages.

          I personally like the stock gnome (on a laptop) or kde (on a desktop) desktops over the cinnamon mint desktop (but mint is closer to windows). Fedora is pretty close to stock (gnome by default).

          Fedora has great flatpak integration for installing apps (think App Store) which is my preferred way to do it. Mint has this as well.

          Fedora also has semi rolling releases and constant updates, which I prefer over Linux Mint’s 2 year release cycles (this doesn’t matter for any software you install from flatpaks).

            • @[email protected]
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              Red Hat burned all the bridges when they pulled the rug on CentOS. I admire and commend the open source community on Rocky but they still depend on Red Hat source code, which has been apparently harder and harder to grab.

              I’d rather move to Debian, thank you very much. Which we have and went very smoothly. Only a couple of servers left!

    • @[email protected]
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      122 months ago

      “Dual boot friendly” means installing Linux on its own hard drive, just so you know. If you don’t do that, it’s likely the next Windows update will screw up the Linux bootloader. Maybe that’s gotten better, but it’s what I’d recommended from past experience.

    • lemmyreaderOP
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      112 months ago

      In the spirit of these kinds of changes, I’d love to hear some honest Linux distribution recommendations. I’m leaning towards Ubuntu because it is the most widely advertised and UX focused from my perspective. But I’ve also heard good things about Arch. Any others I should be considering?

      Depends on your needs and preferences. If you want an easy Linux distribution Linux Mint is a good choice. Arch Linux is indeed good but default Arch is not that suitable for new Linux users unless you’re willing to read documentation. You can go for Garuda or EndeavourOS to have Arch with easy installers and GUI.

      • @[email protected]
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        32 months ago

        I would top off with this advise: don’t stress too much about the first distro you pick. It will likely not be the right for you anyway. You don’t know what you like yet…

        You’ll learn a lot about Linux along the way and eventually you know what you like and don’t like, therefore choosing the right distro for you at your second attempt.

        That being said, I don’t recommend Arch Linux for the first timers haha

    • @[email protected]
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      2 months ago

      Linux Server Distros:

      • Ubuntu Server = easier but with more bullshit out of the box (eg. snaps)
      • Debian Stable = a tad bit harder because it’s cleaner out of the box.
      • Fedora Server = clean and easy, documentation may be a bit harder to follow, less community tutorials.
      • Arch & others = Just no. You don’t want a rolling release for a server. You want older and thus stable, tested, software and drivers.

      If you want a distro for general use:

      • Linux Mint = easiest of the bunch, but it has old packages that may not offer the best environment for gaming.

      • Fedora Based distros = middle ground between ubuntu based distros like Mint, and rolling release distros like Arch.

      • Arch based distros = bleeding edge drivers and packages (for better or worse), best for gaming. Manjaro could work for you, as it is not fully Arch.

      • Bazzite OS = It’s an immutable Fedora based distro but with Arch customized to make it work like Steam OS all inside a container. It’s unbreakable, easy to use, and game-ready. Has AMD & NVIDIA images ready to go.

      My recommendation is to flash Ventoy on a thumbdrive load it up with all the recommended distros, and proceed to test drive the ones you think might work for you, and only time will tell which one is the best for your specific needs.

      • @[email protected]
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        12 months ago

        I use arch on a proxmox lxc in order to handle apps which does not have a debian repo. Using AUR saves me from manually recompiling/downloading on new releases. Wouldn’t use it for a server at work though.

      • @[email protected]
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        12 months ago

        I would replace Manjaro with Garuda in your recs, Manjaro will lead a new user into several thorn patches (way too easy to install from the AUR mostly, but the package update delay is also a pain with little justification)

    • @[email protected]
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      72 months ago

      Don’t move to Arch. It’s a great distro don’t get me wrong but it’s not for someone who isn’t quite familiar with Linux. You need to choose every package on your system and configure it all… Give yourself some time to know Linux.

      Ubuntu is a great distro with a great out of box experience. The company behind it though has been making some choices I don’t much care for so I’ve moved away from them. (They created a pretty crappy new packaging system, then started making the old, reliable packaging system use the new one without user consent)

      OpenSuSe Tumbleweed is a great option. It has sane defaults, and nice versions of KDE and GNOME (two popular types of desktop environments, I’d recommend KDE if you’re new to Linux - it’s closer to the desktop philosophy you’re used to. GNOME is great too but it’s very opinionated and non-traditional, not for everyone.) It’s also a “rolling release” distro, which means there’s no big releases it just gets updated over time and provides you with very up to date packages. It’s known to be quite stable which is unusual for a rolling-release distro (like Arch, for example).

      Fedora is also a great choice - just follow a guide on how to get some media codecs on it (Fedora is big on not including software that isn’t 100% open, but it’s easy to add the few things you’ll need). But it provides a great package manager, great KDE and GNOME versions, and all around very sane and stable. This is a traditional release distro with new versions every 6 months. You’ll still get security and minor software updates between releases.

      Whatever you choose, I think you’d be very surprised at what you CAN play under Linux with no problem. Outside of a few games (mostly due to anti-cheat which unfortunately rules out some - but not all - of the more popular multiplayer competitive games) there’s really not much that doesn’t run on Linux already nowadays.

      • @[email protected]
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        02 months ago

        You do not need to “configure every package on your system” with Arch lol, that sounds more like NixOS. Arch is a totally fine distro for a new user who’s willing to read a bit of documentation now and then.

    • @[email protected]
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      62 months ago

      I would go with Linux Mint if you don’t want to tinker with it much, but Arch will allow you to be in the bleeding edge easily if you install things from the AUR but you could stay in the stable channels as well.

      Regarding games, I’m mostly a Single Player kind of guy and basically everything I have tried so far just works if it’s installed from Steam, for others you can use Lutris or Heroic Launcher but tinkering might be needed.

      All of this just to say: I use Arch btw. It’s been practically 2 years already since I haven’t boot into Windows for gaming.

    • @[email protected]
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      52 months ago

      If you want something a little more fresh, I’d maybe avoid Arch as your first go and try openSUSE Tumbleweed. It strikes a balance between bleeding edge and stable (they call it “leading edge” I believe). Everything is tested before release and isn’t too stale like Ubuntu/Debian flavors. I personally like KDE for the desktop environment but the installer lets you choose.

      If you want to stick with Ubuntu or something similar, I’d recommend Linux Mint. I used it before switching to openSUSE.

      Most options should be dual boot friendly but I’d recommend installing Windows first to avoid bootloader issues.

      • @[email protected]
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        12 months ago

        Personally I think a new user will actually have an easier time with Arch, because when they inevitably do need to look up help, it’s much easier to find relevant forum posts (not to mention the excellent wiki) for Arch then openSUSE. Their documentation is good, don’t get me wrong, but they have a far smaller community. I also found the package ecosystem more confusing than most – the package manager is very powerful, but at the cost of intuitive functioning.

        • @[email protected]
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          12 months ago

          I do agree that the Arch wiki is amazing. I even consult it from time to time. However, a first time user may struggle with a lot of configuration and tinkering that’s required. Many people direct users to the AUR. While also great, it can be a huge risk when things are done without extreme caution.

          Also, openSUSE is setup with btrfs and snapper for easy rollbacks in case any updates break anything.

    • @swordsmanluke
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      52 months ago

      If not vanilla Ubuntu, I’d still suggest trying an Ubuntu derivative like Linux Mint or POP! OS. Ubuntu has a huge community, so in the event you run into issues it’ll be easier to find fixes for it.

      What you’ll find is that Linux distros are roughly grouped by a “family” (my term for it anyway). Anyone can (theoretically, anyway) start from a given kernel and roll their own distro, but most distros are modified versions of a handful of base distros.

      The major families at the moment are

      • Debian: A classic all-rounder that prioritizes stability over all else. Ubuntu is descended from Debian.

      • Fedora: Another classic all-rounder. I haven’t used it in a decade, so I won’t say much about it here.

      • Arch: If Linux nerds were car people, Arch is for the hot rodders. You can tune and control pretty much any aspect of your system. … Not a good 1st distro if you want to just get something going.

      There are many others, but these are the major desktop-PC distro families at the moment.

      The importance of these families is that techniques that work in one (say) Debian-based distro will tend to work in other Debian-based distros… But not necessarily in distros from other families.

      • capital
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        22 months ago

        Debian: A classic all-rounder that prioritizes stability over all else. Ubuntu is descended from Debian.

        And Zorin. I don’t hear much about it but it’s what I switched to from Win 10 and I’ve been liking it.

        That + Steam Proton has me playing my old Windows-only games.

        • @swordsmanluke
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          22 months ago

          Yup. Zorin’s another great Debian-based distro. I’ve been running it on my laptop for awhile now and I’m a fan.

    • @[email protected]
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      42 months ago

      Debian stable on servers. Debian testing on the daily driver.
      Gives you a rock solid server, that will pull absolutly no suprises.
      And your daily driver gives you a playground for what comes in the next upgrade.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      The most important answer seems to be missing:

      You don’t need to do any distro hopping or even care. Unless you picked a dead one or need something really obscure. They all have the same things and you can install anything on anything. Mostly. Difference is who’s doing your installer and packaging and security and how.

      You can, if you want to. And live systems are handy. Try what your like. Learn to change what you don’t. All the tools and docs people have are out there for you and tens of thousands of people are busy making more.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      Install Steam’s Proton and just run whatever windows games you want*, no more need to dual boot.

      *unless they have kernel-level anticheat and isn’t Linux compatible

    • Possibly linux
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      22 months ago

      Probably avoid Arch if you don’t know what your doing and are unfamiliar with the risks.

      Are you looking for a server OS or a desktop consumer OS?

    • @[email protected]M
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      12 months ago

      ThinkPads allow to use two M.2 SSDs (other one via WWAN card slot), so check laptop options like that. Business grade machines will always be your best bet, no matter how worse they get, since they have to be superior to consumer grade machines.

      Use my guide, you will be successful in transition. https://lemmy.ml/post/511377