I have defected...

Hii Guys,

As you guys should know by now, I have been a big supporter of Linux (I know it's "GNU/Linux" or "GNU+Linux" but let's keep it a bit simple shall we?) for a few years now.
During these years, I have tried quite some major (and some smaller) Linux distros.
Although I have not done as extreme of a "distro hopping" journey as some of my fellow Linux users, I have gone through some major changes here and there.

My first Linux experience

It all started back in like 2012 when I met somebody during my time at Waterscouts "De Geuzen" in Oosterbeek.
One of my scoutleaders was using Linux and after I noticed he was into computers as well (though I was only 14 at the time and not great with computers... not like much has changed in that perspective...), I started to talk with him and eventually, he had a (albeit friendly) laughter at me for still using Windows.
He told me I should give Linux a try but since I, obviously, never used it, I didn't know where to start.
So next week, I asked him whether he could help me to get started and he told me to have a look at Ubuntu.
So I did, and besides the need to get used to it, it was pretty fine.
Back then, I was using Ubuntu 12.04.

To OpenSUSE (and back)

Not long later, I noticed there where quite some Linux versions, so I asked him whether he also used Ubuntu.
Again, he laughed and told me Ubuntu sucks and that he uses OpenSUSE.
So naturally, I gave OpenSUSE a try.
However, I didn't like it as much... mainly because I was used to Aptitude.
So, back it was.

Fuck, my laptop is slow

Because I used a simple Samsung netbook (which my parents had bought for me for schoolwork), I only had access to a single-core Intel Atom (N270 to be specific) running at 1.6GHz.
I still own the damn device today but it's running HaikuOS for funs and giggles (albeit, the thing is fairly snappy while using it, I have to give HaikuOS that credit).
Anyways, my laptop was so slow, I couldn't really work on it nicely...
So I hopped onto Google and probably searched something like "Ubuntu 12.04 slow".
After a small search, I came by a flavor called "Lubuntu".
So again, I installed it and actually have ran it for many years to come (seriously, in late 2016 or so, I still installed it on my Latude e6410 that I fished out of the dumpster - That I actually still use).
Lubuntu was also the first Linux experience my girlfriend had.

Though later in 2018, I have switched to Ubuntu Budgie for a while because, honestly, it felt a lot nicer and more comparable to Windows 10 (Seriously, if there's one thing I love about Windows 10 it's the start menu and task bar).
Later, when my girlfriend bought her new laptop, she wanted Linux on it and that became Ubuntu Budgie.
I knew Arch was getting pretty big and a friend of mine sworn by Arch.
But no, I shall not join the "btw, I use Arch" meme (also, I heard Arch is a pain to install - which it is, when not taking things like "Zen Installer" in mind and that it was unstable... something I just could not afford to deal with as a daily driver).

Hail the Sail!

In Early 2019, I realized that Ubuntu was getting slow and resource hungry, so I wanted something faster.
After a little search, I came by ClearLinux (which is made by Intel) but this didn't fare for me really nicely, though, after a little bit of searching, I came by SolusOS (previously known as "EvolveOS").

It ticked most of the boxes for me personally:
- It was fast
- It had *most* of the commands I liked with Aptitude
- It looked clean
- It was stable (seriously, over my time of abuse with SolusOS, I only ran into one single issue, which was caused by my particular UEFI, not SolusOS)
- Rolling Release (I personally am a big fan of Rolling Release since now I can keep a single system as long as I want)

My dad also wanted his laptop to be re-installed because his laptop was slow, so I recommended him Linux.
He agreed and I slapped SolusOS on it (which he actually kinda likes, outside of missing Windows-only stuff like Garming Basecamp)

The ship is on fire

I ran SolusOS for quite a long time on every machine besides my servers and main desktop until I started to actually get quite annoyed by it.
- A lot of packages where missing (and I hate compilling them myselfes)
- Budgie wasn't really suited to a heavy multitasker that has 4 Firefox windows open (lack of Window preview like Windows 10 has)

But the most important thing to me wasn't SolusOS itself, it was their pretty egoistical devs.
Don't get me wrong, they made quite a nice product but they valued their branding way to heavy over their user base.
To me, Linux is all about getting things right for your individual needs.
I'm not much of a hardcore tuner that compiles their own kernels 24/7 and keeps track of every single package on their machine being Libre... but I don't really like bloat that somebody else has put there.
The Solus devs, however, had a completely different view on Solus.
They wanted a single system for everyone, going as far as to only have 3 "supported" Window Managers:
- Budgie (their in-house WM)
- Gnome (3)
- MATE

However, after getting annoyed with Budgie, I decides to give other WMs a try (AwesomeWM in particular), but here's the thing, I can choose between two scenarios:
- I can choose any of their official releases and decrapify it manually before installing another WM
- I can just keep the bloat

Neither of which was something I'd be happy with.
So I went on the forums and asked whether it would be possible for them to release a "core" version that has only the bare neccessities so I could slam on the packages and configure everything as I wanted.
You know... like pretty much every major Linux distro does?
However, I got the "No, either manually decrapify or suck it" response (not their exact words, just a summary).
After asking why, it appears that people had previously gone around with modified SolusOS's and claimed it as their own.
While I understand their point, I think that this shouldn't be the reason to not provide something like a "core" version.
They are so protective of the Solus branding that they literally have gone as far as making SolusOS itself closed source (at least, I cannot find anything on the source code for the core so I could build it myself).
After a little bit of a discussion with them, I realized they weren't going to budge even the slightest.
As such, I gave up and decided to look for a new distro.

The search for a new distro

Now that I wanted to leave Solus, I had to find a new distro...
I thought about going back to Ubuntu, but again, Ubuntu is resource hungry and it isn't Rolling Release...
OpenSUSE? Nah, Still no fan os Zypper.
Fedora? Honestly, haven't considered that...

So I asked a few friends of mine what they recommended...
One of them recommended Debian, which I gave a try but instant hate since a lot of utilities where locked behind the root user (sure, for security, it's theoretically better but cba at logging in as root just to find the IP address of my device from the terminal).
She gave me a huge rant on why it's the best and how I just suck at it but I just shrugged and moved on (she's a little bit of an elitist in that way tbf but w/e).
Another of them recommended me two:
- Trisquel
- MXLinux

However, both of them weren't for me.
Trisquel is aimed at this "Libre" thing, and while I understand the appeal of that, I didn't care about it so rather just use a more generic distro.
MXLinux did look appealing at first but it didn't offer Rolling Releases...
And while that isn't a major issue, since they offer "simple upgrades", I'm not a big fan of that (but I could be wrong).

So that leaves...

Oh dear...
I don't have much options left now do I...
Maybe...
Just maybe...
I could...
Wait...
Why is there satanic music starting to play in the background as if I'm going to start a dark ritual?
Oh dear...
Am I really going to...
Guess I'm going to give it a try...
Seriously, could you stop with that music already!?

I hopped online and downloaded the latest version of Manjaro Linux (which is based on Arch)...
At first, I tried the AwesomeWM version, but I didn't like the tiling too much after having tried it so I instead installed the XFCE version.

Here we are now

After toying around with it a bit, making stuff look and work more as I want it (dotfiles coming soon), it was finally done...
I switched to Manjaro Linux and am here to stay... or, at least... for the time being.
So far, after about a week of use, I'm pretty okay with it honestly.
Outside of having to get used to Pacman and the AUR, it's fairly decent, haven't had any issues so far.

I feel like Manjaro gives me everything I need:
- A decently stable system
- Every package I could ever dream of
- Rolling release
- An intuitive UI (thanks to XFCE)
- Not too much bloat off the bat (just a bit)
- A fairly fast system

I'm currently using about 2.3GB out of 8GB on my Latitude e6410, of which most usage (1.5GB) is actually Firefox.
So there's that.

I guess I have defected to an Arch-based system now.
I hope you guys enjoyed this little blogpost, it's been a while since I've made something this big.
If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts, feel free to post a comment down below or hit me up on my subreddit .
But for now...


G33k Out!

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