Loving the Linux Distro you use

I have tried many distros over the past 5 years or so, but keep coming back to openSUSE KDE Plasma. I just love the stability and their choice of preinstalled software. I have tried Tumbleweed on numerous occasions but with my primary laptop having an Intel/NVidia hybrid gpu setup I have found that updates can sometimes cause the system to become unstable or crash. LEAP has been rock solid. I do admit that there is a steeper learning curve with openSUSE than some other distros. I also must admit that I do like the challenge. :slight_smile: YAST is a great control center. I can find everything I need in one place in the YAST control center.

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The first time I used Ubuntu from a PC Magazine CD and I installed it on and old leftover Pentium II in 2005. I had a look at it for a month and I liked it. In 2008 I bought a new laptop with a very slow HDD and Windows Vista and that started a dual boot with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

Since retirement on 1-1-11 I only have been using Ubuntu LTS releases. However I had to skip the first Unity release (due to HW support), so during half a year I used Xubuntu and the same happened in 2017, when I used Ubuntu Mate for some time. Since 18.04 I boot Ubuntu from ZFS, first using a long “How-to” prescription and after 19.04 by using the Ubuntu experimental boot feature of ZFS. Especially at that time purging the Ubuntu specific add-on zsys for generating a useless plethora of snapshots.

Currently I run Ubuntu 21.04 Beta for its support of OpenZFS 2.02. I use a 128 GB SSD as SSD cache for my HDDs. It now looks like:

  • L1ARC (4 GB) serves the nvme-SSD (512 GB) and the L2ARC (128 GB) and
  • L2ARC (90 GB) serves two striped 500 GB partitions on 1 TB and 500 GB HDDs and
  • L2ARC (30 GB) serves one 500 GB partition at the end of the 1 TB.

L1ARC is the memory cache and L2ARC is the read SSD cache, write caches for synchronous writes use the remaining 5 GB and 3 GB of the SSD.

I love Ubuntu, because the $25 for the sata-SSD is the reason, that my ancient HDDs are almost as fast than my nvme-SSD. As an example VM boot time of Xubuntu from nvme-SSD is 9 seconds, while the L2ARC takes 11 seconds :slight_smile:

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So after few months of dabbling with a few distros that go off the beaten path (NixOS, Alpine Linux, rpm-ostree based Kinoite (Fedora Silverblue but using KDE Plasma instead of GNOME Shell)), I’ve returned to my second love: Solus Budgie :sunglasses:

So let me explain why. NixOS is a very nice concept in which you write a declarative document to describe what you want executed (install software, configure it and whatnot). This makes it very easy to recreate on different machine, because basically you run an install script, but you don’t pull in device specific drivers etc.

It went belly up twice (luckily) while in the VM stage. Whilst trying out NixOS I also tried out Alpine Linux in a VM. I never managed to run a graphical environment, but just like NixOS you can install it with an install script.

Then I found the Kinoite project. This one was Breeze to install and use. It was very liberating to install software without elevating privileges, but it was painfully slow to actually use (everything from booting the system to running programs).

So I wanted to see if my previously performant distro Solus was still any good. In order to stay with my renewed interest in Qt I firstly tried out their Plasma spin. Because I also use my laptop as digital music sheet viewer, having a functional autorotation was crucial. Installing iio-sensor-proxy wasn’t enough for the X11 session, so I managed to install the Wayland session. Autorotation actually worked, but the key modifiers (Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Super) were broken.

So now I’m back to Solus Budgie; autorotate and the mod-keys work, but I’m no longer on Qt or Wayland :sweat:
Oh well ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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