I’ve tried using Linux at a few points in time. I like the idea of it, I’ve used computers all of my life (including DOS and Windows 3.1, Macs in school computer labs when I was a kid), and I was the de-facto small-town IT guy for most of my developmental years. When we had LAN parties I would be the one to fix the network (usually setting static IPs or just running ipconfig /release, /renew, /flushdns), and when people had a virus, I would run Spybot, try a utility, or if all else failed reinstall Windows for them.
Basic stuff, but just being willing to try things meant I had the chance to learn and practice that sort of thing.
I never tried using Linux until after I was more comfortable (and lazy) with using computers, and now it’s hard to work through road blocks just because I have a limited number of spoons. If there’s an issue I don’t understand keeping me from doing something that “would just work” in Windows, I tend to get frustrated and go back.
Windows manages to frustrate me every now and again, though. Like, last night, my computer apparently needed to restart without my permission… There’s other reasons to get off of Windows, and I respect them, I’m just usually too lazy to re-learn a lot of things.
With that in mind, I am planning to build a new system and I want to try Linux again. But, I want to do everything I can to make it as comfortable and seamless of a transition as possible. I’m hoping you kind people can help me figure out where and how I should start, and maybe help me take the first few steps into Linux. The goal is, from Day 1, I’ll be able to use my computer the way I am used to–and from there I can slowly start to peel layers off of the onion when I have time and effort for lessons and projects.
Day 1, I’d like to have a Windows 10 VM that works at “near-native” performance and is easy to launch and close (or, pause/unpause?) that I can use for gaming and general computing if I’m getting frustrated because I broke something in Linux. I’ve actually gotten most of the way on this one, though my Nvidia GPUs would act up and usually I needed to restart the computer if I shut the VM down and wanted to use the video card again.
From here, these are some things I’m interested in learning/doing:
- Learn how to navigate and use Linux, of course.
- Play around with DIY desktop environments. (UX/UI design)
- Learn Python - re:Automate the boring stuff with Python.
(I know, I can do this in Windows. But installing Python in Windows is a little aesthetically ugly, and that managed to turn me off of the project last time I sat down to do it.)
- Play with Recurrent Neural Networks - Especially related to Magic: the Gathering
There are random creative and school projects I need to work on using programs like the Adobe suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere) or Ableton Live, am I able to run any of these programs natively in Linux? Or, do they work fine inside of a VM?
So, that’s an idea of what I’d like to use the computer for. I’m in the process of shopping for parts for this system, and I think I want to use an ITX (possibly DTX) AM4 motherboard. The idea is that, this year, I’ll buy the cheapest parts that are an upgrade from my laptop (Ryzen 1600 is similar single-thread but double the core count, RX ~580 is similar to a 1060 but would have a proper cooling solution) and then look for a stronger CPU and GPU once the next one or two generation of parts come out. My monitor is a 4K TV, and I don’t really feel like buying a ~$700+ GPU to drive it, so I’ll settle for turning settings down right now. Some hardware questions:
- Are there any “best” ITX-style AM4 boards for Linux?
- Will any Ryzen CPU be fine, or do some work better in Linux than others?
- Are any (consumer-grade) GPUs better or worse for working with VMs? I’m under the impression AMD does less to get in the way of users doing this kind of thing.
So, yeah, that’s where I am. Any input or suggestions would be appreciated!