Distro choice for a future designer

Hey guys, as I am bored of Microsoft bullshit I have considered getting a GNU/Linux distro as my main OS, while keeping a little W7 VM or partition for programs I will need to use during my university course or the ones I used to use for my drawings/designs such as Adobe Suite or Clip Studio.

I pretty much just play light and old games, as with the years I find myself not interested so much in videogames and more in learning some other OS functionalities or programs (I would like to get myself into animation and Blender soon, as well as a little bit of music production). That´s why I started trying distros this week such as Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, Apricity, Openartist, Linux Mint... To make a quick summary my choice is between Ubuntu Studio and Manjaro XFCE. I love XFCE desktop environment and minimal themed interfaces (not distracting colours, just plain matte coloured windows).

I liked Ubuntu Studio because I am not able to take my PC to a fast source of internet yet, and it comes packed with some useful apps. However, Manjaro´s theme seems appealing to me, but I would like to change those green accents (I am not into Linux that much, just started reading about GTK customization and i´m quite lost) and download some useful programs like video editors (Kdenlive, Cinelerra, Openshot, Lightworks, Shotcut) , drawing and sketching programs (Inkscape, MyPaint, Gimp Paint Studio and Krita) alongside with Blender and Wine.

I use a Wacom Intuos tablet supported by both distros and a R9 280X which I haven´t tested yet in Linux, as the only experience I´ve had is live sessions.

Finally, would you recommend me any other thing as a Linux beginner? I am not very familiar with the terminal and have to look up commands for doing some things. Also, is the download from repositories obligatory or could I store packages in a thumb drive and then install them when I am back in my home? I know it sounds stupid but I live in a rural area and the only connection I have is my monthly-limited phone data, so I guess I could download some programs, but no games for now unless I take it to some friends house. In that case, what should I do to future proof my OS? Thank you very much


1 Like

is a good start it has some stuff already preinstalled.
After much debate with myself Fedora is a good starters Linux (and some of @Eden input).

1 Like

So (obviously) I highly recommend Fedora.

What the config like in XFCE for Wacom? I've grown to actually really like GNOME (i really didn't like it, but it works well for me now)

Its interface for tablets is the best ive seen

Sounds like you have no physical phone connection to your house at all? What kind of limitations are we talking?

The issue is going to be updates and packages with your lack of internet, the repositories are not small and your best option is probably to create a local repository.

In Fedora the easiest would seem to be to mirror the repos on an external drive (rsync seems to be the best option, you can just update it periodically) and plug it into the computer and point the .repo files to it (the files that say where to look for packages for each repository). A thumbdrive wont cut it though, you'll likely need 500-1000 GB of space. Many people do this, theres a little initial configuration but it should be fairly straight forward after. You obviously just need somewhere where you can download updates for your local repo on some portable storage.

The process should be somewhat similar for other dsitros, you'll have the same size issue.

For your 280X, it works well with the open drivers, this is another case of the most up to date distros work best as the graphics stack is always moving fast and more OpenGL features are added often.

On the application side, I highly recommend Krita (for anything 2d art, sketching, drawing, painting, etc) and Blender (if you do 3d or for video editing). Both are exceptional.

edit: glad imgur has edit capabilities.

What kind of designing are you going to college for?

This is one of the latest distros I gave a try. It seems cool but that tile program searching doesnt appeal me at all. Might give it a try these days and see if I really should keep GNOME

"Install Gentoo" -Richardo Stalmanu

Seriously, tho...
Any Linux with good long term support is probably what you want. Ubuntu and Debian would be my distros of choice. Debian has over 20 years behind it, and Ubuntu, throws a bunch of money at a Debian spin-off.

Fedora is a little edgy for me... but you might like it. Mint, SUSE, Arch, etc... are all just meh IMO.

I do trust Gentoo, but that's because I'm pretty familiar with it. I realize not everyone wants to build every package.

I sadly don´t know how to quote in these forums but I will try to keep an order.

Yes, Fedora Design Suite looked good to me, but with a 1080p display I would prefer a list with the programs instead of those tiles. It looks like GNOME is a interface designed for touchscreens instead of desktops.

I haven´t messed up a lot with the tablet yet, mine is the most basic model (Intuos Draw) with just pen control (no touch) and 4 ExpressKeys or buttons that were configurable on Windows. I will check the same menu that appears in your image and then post a screenshot.

No, I dont have a physical phone connection. The only access to the internet I have is a SIM card with 5GB of data every single month, which I share with my PC for basic things, apart from using it on my phone for IG, Reddit, etc...
The signal here is not even HDSPA , so got 50kb/s at the best. I always download my stuff from a familiar´s house, that of course, might be tired of me coming and going to his house every single time I need to download heavy stuff, and ocassionally take my whole desktop there if I just reinstalled the OS or need to get some Steam games, whatever.

I think I can live without updates if the system is stable enough, as I have been using Windows 7 SP1 no updates for a few years now and it worked good for me, no need to get the bleeding edge security updates as I wont be doing heavy stuff aside from some GOG games, a few hours of CSGO when my connection leaves me and university stuff. Downloading a full repository won´t be possible, but I might just take my desktop every month for updates and new important packaged

Thanks for your help Eden :D

PD: I forgot telling why I got no internet connection. The town hall called some technicians to install fiber in my neighbourhood and the mother******* didnt do the whole town, leaving me without internet once again

PD2: Your theme looks great, you run a 4K display don´t you?

1 Like

I am going to make a Creation & Design career which incluides Sound/Image laboratory, art and sculpture, so probably video editing, sound production, illustration and then at the 3rd year we specialize in comics, clothing or what you prefer doing. Mainly 2D designs, but I am not sure if we will do some 3D during the course

Like this

I never use the tile icon menu thing. Actually I dont even use the applications menu often. What I usually do it press the meta key (Win key) and just start typing what i want (e.g. "ch" + enter starts chrome. Just typign c in fact is enough)

And of course, you can always just install another desktop environment. Your not stuck with it because its default.

Youd likely want a local repo for installing things without issue when you need to. But if you were to go with the Fedora Design Suite, or the Ubuntu variant youd have no issues. Then later you can setup a local repo. It shouldn't be to hard (at least not on Fedora)

Fyi, for quoting, you can highlight the text you want to quote and it should give you a "quote" box to press.

1440p with a default dark theme using gnome-tweak-tool (allows you to install extensions (application menu is on), and themes etc. more easily)

Uh, I got a 144hz monitor recently and thought about shipping it back and getting a 1440p display, but now that I am used to the high refresh rate 60hz feels choppy. It is bad because TN doesn´t have the colours of an IPS display, but I might get away with the XL2411Z as I am doing B&W designs for now

I will look that dark theme up when I try Fedora again, I saw some really cool extensions

Wow, that capture looks gorgeous, I like the applications menu feel in your screenshot though. What is the dock on the left side called? Is it another extension? Personally, I love your setup so I would be glad if you guided me a little bit on how to make my Fedora D.S look a little bit like it. It reminds me of Logan´s setup I just saw on a Tek Linux video

1 Like

Applications menu https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/6/applications-menu/ (usualy comes in the OS as well as a switch in gnome-tweak-tool)

The dock is default, but can be extended and customised with Dash to Dock https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/307/dash-to-dock/

I use these as well

Weather (the weather info beside the time in my screenshot) https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/750/openweather/

transparent top bar https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/857/transparent-top-bar/

The dark theme, is a switch in gnome-tweak-tool for Adwaita's global dark theme

Okay so I just installed Fedora DS, looking good and running just fine. I might go to sleep now as it is late here and do some stuff at the morning tomorrow, thanks for the help Eden. I need to check why my tablet isnt recognized by Fedoras Wacom Tablet settings but im sure I will find a solution for sure. Thanks guys!

EDIT: I found a cool theme I really like (https://www.gnome-look.org/p/1013481/), the thread also contains a matching theme for Firefox and an icon pack. Im struggling with the terminal just to install the gnome tweak tool but I guess Ill have to learn soon or later. Also, the refresh rate of my monitor resets every time I reboot the computer, and setting it again with the xrandr -s 0 -r 144 command is the only way to restore it

EDIT 2: sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool returns package not found error, and as Fluendo MP3 codec is not freely distributable I have to add a repository and then download it. As you said, it is pretty tough to run a GNU/Linux based OS without a proper internet connection, fml :(
Cannot really figure out what the hell is wrong with my tablet though, if I cannot fix it tomorrow I might be going back to Ubuntu Studio

EDIT 3: Okay, back to Ubuntu Studio. I think it is the best way to start creating without requiring a fast connection, as it already comes with a lot of useful software installed by default. Sadly, the XFCE All Settings menu doesn have a Wacom Tablet submenu, which leads me to another quest on finding how to bind all 4 buttons to certain keystrokes (CTRL+Z for example).