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I'm Thinking Of Switching To Linux From Windows

Ever since I got into pcs back in the early 2000’s, I have been using Windows as my daily driver os & experiencing all the changes Microsoft has made to Windows along the way has been quite enlightening to say the least. But I kind of want to take a break from Windows (for a while as a trial basis) & try out Linux which I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. [To be clear, I’ve never even used Linux before, but I have done my research & watched a good number of videos on Youtube. So I wouldn’t call myself a Linux expert by a longshot, but I do know a few things.]

Mainly, I’m just your average pc gamer, but there are times I might use the pc for other projects like creating an occasional document once in a while or something along those lines. The pc I have been rocking for a little more than a year is my 1st-custom build I did. For any of you who are interested, you can view the parts/components I used for my build here: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/78xFnL Now considering that I’m wanting to switch to Linux for a while, I have given some careful consideration as to which distro I believe would be the best choice for my needs. I have decided on Manjaro as I’ve heard it’s a great option overall. [Also, I think I heard somewhere that it will like automatically have all your necessary drivers downloaded & installed right out of the box. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me on that.]

But if I’m going to make the switch, I have a few questions to be answered.

1.) I know Linux has gotten a bit better for gaming over the last few years, but how good is the RGB support overall? :thinking: I know it will probably depend on what exactly you have, but I’m curious nonetheless. In my search, I stumbled upon a link that’s a few years old, but I want some other opinions just the same. RGB and Linux? : linuxquestions (reddit.com)

2.) The software I normally reinstall myself after doing a fresh install of Windows includes: Armoury Crate, Corsair iCUE, GeForce Experience, Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion 2.0, HWMonitor, Intel Driver & Support Assistant, MSI’s Gaming OSD, Origin [& any of the games from my library], & Samsung Magician. I’m wondering if any of this software listed will have any issue running on Linux or not?

3.) As for gaming, I only use 2 pieces of software for that- Origin for my Origin games & Steam for my Steam games. Now, running Steam on Linux shouldn’t be an issue if you know what you’re doing or know how to do it. But regarding Origin, I’m wondering if my best option would be Lutris or WINE, etc?

So, those are mainly the questions I have about making the switch. I hope someone here can help me out & inform me on anything else I should know since this will be my 1st time trying out Linux. If any of you happen to have any questions for me about this or need more details, feel free to drop me a line & I’ll get back with you!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help! :slight_smile:

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404 - RGB not found

Most definitely, yes. The better question is if you really need those. Luckily driver issues are not really a thing, you just kinda plug stuff in and it works out of the box. The one exception is video cards, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue these days.

Steam will work just fine on most distros. If you enable beta features you can use their Proton software, which works with most Windows games. You can check to see if your game will work on the ProtonDB site.

Good luck.

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It’s all over the place. Usually it’s reverse-engineered projects that barely work, not user friendly in any way. You can control some devices, but it’s very dependent on what RGB thing it is. You’d be struggling, if that is really important for you.

Gaming is definitely still getting better, only very Windows tied-in games could have me installing Win on another SSD (that hasn’t happened yet). Though, you must be vigilant, not everything runs still. MMO games usually don’t, because anti-cheat does not like Linux at all, and will get you kicked/banned, or it just won’t run outright.

Steam works OTB, as mentioned. Origin can work, I’ve needed it for some games, but it is wonky, as it must be run through Wine. Forget about the rest of the software you mention, pretty sure none of them would work… Nvidia does have a control panel on Linux though, that might stand in for the Experience for some things. You will be challenged to reduce your dependence on proprietary software.

Actually, the only thing you’d need to install at all is the Nvidia GPU driver. If you’d have Radeon (my case) or Intel integrated you wouldn’t even need to do that, I haven’t installed a driver in years probably (very liberating). Everything else if OTB, 95% of the time.

And since it’s your first time, always try a distribution on a VM, get a hang of things a little bit. Try finding all the software replacements that you might need. Else you risk jumping in the deep end not knowing how to swim. I’d suggest something easy for a first - Ubuntu, or better yet Pop!_OS (it does some things very well, it’s recently become my work machine OS on a ThinkPad, which I want to be stable and not update too often).

Well, for the RGB, the only things I really want to control are the Corsair ML Pro RGB fans, possibly along with the Corsair keyboard , & the G.Skill ram I have. [For a while, I was able to control my ram’s RGB either via RGB Fusion 2.0 or via Armoury Crate. Just recently, Armoury Crate, doesn’t seem to properly recognize the ram even though it is aura-compatible & yet I didn’t really have this issue before. Not sure what’s been up with that, but I seem to think it might be software-related or something. Asus support hasn’t been of much help even though I’ve been playing email tag with them for the last week.] :unamused: But if you know whether those components can be controlled in Manjaro or any other Linux distro, do let me know! :+1:

I’ve considered running Linux through like a vm if I had one, but I don’t. I’m pretty sure I’d be able to make it on my own if I chose to wipe Windows from my system drive & just install Linux. Sure, there might be a little bit of a learning curve, but I’m sure I could handle it.

Regarding Origin, I saw a video on Youtube just a day or 2 ago mentioning you could use Lutris --[Hence why I asked.]-- but from what I’ve seen & heard, people seem to say/think/believe WINE is the better option, but what do I know since I hardly know Linux? But yeah, it seems like that’s 1 topic right there where I’m not sure which side is right. Hopefully someone here can clarify or just better explain for me. :slight_smile:

Windows serves you well, since most of the features you care about are only managed by vendor-specific apps.

Manufacturers have only gotten serious about exposing those controls in a documented and meaningful way recently. This is also somewhat of a Windows problem as well, since there aren’t many alternatives to the vendor apps there, either.

OpenRGB is probably the most mature set I’ve seen. Devices supported there will be among the best supported under Linux.

Finally, you can test out Linux on your hardware without installing it. Almost every distro can be written to a USB key and used without overwriting your Windows install.

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Very helpful. Thanks for the link! :slight_smile: Now if someone here can just explain which would be better for Origin games on Linux: WINE or Lutris & more importantly- why.

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It really isn’t whether wine is better than lutris(or other way around). Lutris is platform for comunity to post simplify installation process for Win only games.
You will find that a lot of ‘fixes’ on lutris do use WINE. If i’m not mistaken steams proton does use at least portion of wine.

Anyway if you don’t know if game will run (that is not from steam) check lutris, sometimes there is more instructions than one, sometimes none.

For gaming I heard PopOS is good distro, and stable.

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I’ve only ever been able to get Origin to run successfully on Fedora through Lutris using the Lutris version of wine (has additional libraries and compatibility fixes that wine doesn’t ship with) but for some reason after a few flawless games of star wars battlefront 2, it seems the Anti Cheat no longer likes my PC and Origin gives me a blank white screen with nothing on it.

I can tell from your questions that you’re not going to have a good time on linux.

If you want to switch to linux, you need to throw out everything you know and do with computers and start over. If you go into it expecting linux to be like windows then you’ll end up frustrated and end up hopping back to windows in no time flat.

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I was just about to comment that you should just get the basics working and work you way into it. Just like Adubs said it’s a different way to interact with the OS and with different strenghts compare to Windows.
Maybe RGB should be the last thing to worry about on Linux, but it got way better out of the box. So just make sure of that first: if you have a wifi card, for example, make sure the drivers are available for it. Check if audio is supported and so forth.

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Gaming on Steam is usually pretty good at this point but expect to hunt for off brand builds of proton for some edge cases I am looking at you, synthetik. Origin has been an absolute nightmare for me though so expect not playing anything EA in the future.
Honestly I’d just tell you to start using it in any capacity that doesn’t just wipe your windows install because you are going to find things difficult and/or annoying you didn’t even know about like the wonders of system themes for GTK and Qt or standard filepickers not going away, the sound system being in all states of not or partially working and so much more.

MIght be better to just dual boot and compartmentalize your desktop experience:

Linux - for web browsing, doing privacy sensitive stuff, office work
Windows - solely for gaming and controlling RGB
Windows VM - Specifically for MS Office.

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Don’t be put off. Give it a try. Dual booting is a great way to get a feel for how to use Linux. You always have that safety net if you need to do something time sensitive (dont have time to figure out how to do it in Linux). My experiances have been great. It is a steep learning curve, but once you get the feel for it and recognize most of what you need is there and modifiable by you the user it becomes really fun. If you can try to use the CLI (Command Line Interface) for everything you want to do to learn as fast as you can.

If the games are stored on a local drive you should still be able to access them by adding the library to steam. Usability of the distribution you choose will be diffrent depending on its lineage (IE-Red Hat Enterprises, Debian, Arch etc.- Some allow for more freedom of what programs they can run based on if they are entirely open source or allow paid programs-there’s a lot of history here about this) Usually solving a compatibility issue is only a few commands away with google. Just watch what code you cut and paste, try to understand it a little first. That’s my advice from a fairly novice perspective.

There is also Proton which has come a long way too to help gaming with Steam. I just started messing with that but havent made too much progress.

I’m probably about a year ahead of you in my exploring Linux journey. On 3 or 4 occasions I would install Ubuntu, setup Steam, and start start gaming. After a couple days to a couple weeks I would backup my saves and switch back to Windows 10. Libreoffice wouldn’t work quite like excel, my audio download apps wouldn’t work, I would customize grub and break something.

This time I have dual booted Ubuntu/Windows 10 and am loving the setup. The biggest change has been my expectations. I am not expecting it to do everything windows does. My keyboard is now red instead of the RGB I want, some software I like I no longer use, and most changes to my system require a bit of research ahead of an install.

My best advice is setup a dual boot and pick a popular distro that will allow you to find guides and support. I’ve had a lot of success googling stuff like “Install Sims 4 Ubuntu 20.04” and working through the guides. It takes time to find that new approach to computing. It’s just clicked for me in the last two months and I’m still in Windows once a week when I don’t have time to learn something new in Linux.

PopOS is a good distro for anything you just have to keep in mind PopOS does use Binary Blobs which alot of the open source community does not care for. The ideal behind open source is to be able to review the code AKA audit so they can tell if anything is going on in the background, which Binary Blobs do a good job of hiding. There is so much Paranoia behind the though of this there is an open source BIOS for some motherboards. coreboot is one of the most popular along with Libreboot. NOW the cool thing about linux is you can find just about any project you want to work on. It would not suprize me there some one working on an open source Nvidia Driver somewhere. Yes there are people at different levels and yes distros are designed to do different things. Linux is more of a choice. I choose to give Microsoft the finger and say no more I will not be your free beta tester. I will not let you spy on me. I will not pay $300.00 for a software that 1/2 ass works LOL.

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Ok, first off, like others have mentioned; Linux is not a drop in replacement for Windows (and neither is MacOS for that matter), and trying to approach it that way will only lead to a lot of pain that could’ve been avoided.

With that disclaimer out of the way, welcome, glad to see you take an interest in other operating systems.

RGB is a proprietary shitshow at the moment, mostly due to non-standardized interfaces. It’s slowly getting better over time, but for now I’d either stick to known Linux-friendly brands, keep a Windows partition available that sets up RGB addresses the way I want it, or both. Chances that you can fix this through Wine is very small.

  • Armoury Crate, Corsair iCUE, Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI’s Gaming OSD, Intel Driver & Support Assistant, Samsung Magician - All of these are driver utilities. Linux tends to not have or need these, instead opting for centralised configuration and standards.
  • GeForce Experience - Also a driver utility but the only one I would personally install on a Windows system. Except I make sure to buy AMD wherever I can because Nvidia nowadays treats Linux like a second-class OS while AMD treats it as a first-class OS. Since I primarily run Linux I want hardware that works great with Linux over better Perf/Watt, your choices might be different. :slight_smile:
  • HWMonitor - Plenty of alternatives exist for this, plus you can access all of this directly through well-defined APIs.
  • Origin - See below.

You can install Origin through Lutris - however, it is not very good. Right now you should consider all competitive multiplayer via Wine/Proton to be broken, and if it somehow works, that is just temporary. If you really are into heavy competitive gaming then only the titles Native to Linux, like CS:GO, will work reliably.

If you really want to try out Linux I recommend buying a separate 256 GB SATA SSD for like $30 and run from that. That way, you will not harm your Windows install in any way, shape or form, and can keep the gaming and hacking projects separate. Of those 256 GB, only 30 will be used for the system, the rest you are free to install games and whatever on.

Personally I don’t see any reason why you should make the switch permanent as-is though, Linux is great for programmers, network administrators and people doing some hardware hacking / DIY but the PC Gaming Master Race? Not yet. :slight_smile:

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The better quesion is would you still want to give EA any money after something like the year of our lord 2014?

As far as RGB goes… Maybe weigh it over and compare it with the advantages you are looking for in Linux.

I rarely fall back on W10 by booting it from the BIOS since it is far saner to have it on a seperate SSD. Messing with bootloaders/grub/whatnot is not really worth it.

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Before you dual boot, or get another SSD, or anything else, download Virtualbox, and install Ubuntu 20.04 in a virtual machine. Try it out there. Play around with it, break it, reinstall, get comfy with it. From your use case, and the things you’re interested in using your computer for, it’s likely just not going to work out well.

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AMEN to that. Just helped my wife and sister-in-law to set up a dual boot single hard drive configuration (she’s an engineer-in-training). First one took me five reinstalls before I got it working properly, second one six tries. And then I consider myself fairly competent when it comes to boot managers.

If you are dual booting use two separate drives. I can’t stress this enough. Also, death to all 50 MB UEFI partitions!

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