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Linux for college


I used Arch for my first year, and Gentoo for my remaining years of College. You’ll be fine.

The only time you’re going to run into issues is Programming. depending on what your professor prefers to teach you with. And maybe some Database stuff. But overall… If I could give you a rating on how you’ll do using Linux for college. A good 8.


Solid recommend to another OS to swap to is POP_OS. Very new user friendly, but also extremely powerful in being a workstation environment.

In college I had a couple problems running linux that mostly had to do with the way that Unity looked in ubuntu. My one feminist teacher thought it was a game even after I showed her it was literally just an OS. Nope, not having any of that shit. She was also a massive cunt in general but she loved to make my life hell. Be aware of that. You might be good off to put yourself on KDE or gnome now and just get used to them (trust me I hate them too ;P).

Using linux for classes won’t be too terrible of an issue depending on the school, really, and depending on what all you need to be able to use on your machine. Are there proprietary apps your school needs you to run? (our college made us run keyloggers on windows machines and if it wasn’t running you wouldn’t get internet. Of course the bug in that was connecting to the network all the TV’s were connected to and having all the bandwidth to myself at night top kek) Is there certain printer software you need from windows? Otherwise… No, I doubt you’ll have issues at all. Again, I recommend POP_OS, or at least a ubuntu, as the software available for you in the software “store” is ridiculous.

Arch is nice, sure, but my reason for running it was up to date kernel so I had the latest drivers (was bugtesting and benchmarking AMDGPU while it was being made), and the availability of software. Now ubuntu is on the latest LTS kernel, which is 4.14, and snaps / flatpak makes arch shrivel in whats much much easier to install and whats available. Sure, you can’t install lumina in a few keystrokes, but you want banking software? Its in there. Game from the 80’s? That too. I’m finding apps that I would have killed for in school. If anything you should swap OS’s just to go through the software client and see what is there.


He could run any Debian variant and get the same features from the Software Center. This is something that comes from the Debian base platform.


Ah, but theres alterations to POP_OS that make gnome not terrible out of the box.

Theme is gud
Wifi menu doesn’t disappear
POP_SHOP is probably my favorite package manager for its layout
you can search for packages in the GNOME search.


I use the Debian spin and do not have any of the issues mentioned.

Just as a note, you can also customize gnome manually or go to and download the extension that you want. You also have the option of using gnome classic from the login screen of gdm.

I would just caution you on suggesting a distro based on personal opinions and beleifs as this tends to start holy wars in the other communities that I have been in.


Hi, Guy 's I thought you might be interested in in this Youtube video I came across, which explains how to get Windows 10 Home and Pro for free with a few limitations. I have been running Windows 10 Pro unactivated for the last six months on all kind of virtual Machines, and I never had any problems running it unactivated.


Or gnome could not be a pile of garbage out of the box.

I advise on this as well. Personal taste is all the more to each person, OP. Hell, maybe you’ll end up on bunsenlabs or slackware. Who knows.


I do not have issues with Gnome out of the box. Prior to 2014, that was a different story.
I personally prefer the MS Metro and Gnome UI because I rarely use a mouse. It is conducive to my workflow. For some people it is not. That does not make it garbage. It just does not work for you.


Shhh those are fighting words to him.


Your entire post pissed me off lol. Mad jealous, my dude. My first year was C++ using Visual Studio. Next year was platform agnostic, I used Linux for Java, C, and Assembly.

After that it was primarily math heavy, turning in work online. My last few semesters were Java and SQL, doing work primarily with virtualization and AI.

I moved schools a lot, so I missed out on the “harder” stuff, which is what I started with :confused:

No MATLAB or Python in school for me.


I’ve been using Linux for school for 1.5 years now (and counting). Not as bad as people above say, but I could be lucky. Professors often give assignments in docx files, but all of mine so far accept pdf files without complaint. I can’t really email files back and forth with Office users, but group projects are done exclusively through Google Docs where I’m from.

Most CAD programs (SolidWorks, Matlab, AutoCad, etc) don’t run on Linux, but I can use them through my school’s remote desktop system. Getting Remmina to work took a little fiddling but I like it more than the Windows client now that it works (if you have to do this too, try turning off SSH if you’re having problems). Setting up wifi was also an adventure—picking Linux from the setup page gets you an executable that is hardcoded for Ubuntu, but “Other OS” gets you the cert files. The only thing I haven’t been able to finagle is my personal network drive; the software only runs on 32-bit Linux because it’s crap, and I don’t have the networking chops to hack it and make it work. I boot up Windows if I ever leave anything important on it.

In my C programming class, we had to set up an Ubuntu VM to run Eclipse with gcc. That was funny. I laughed at the plebs with 3GB/3GB as they waited hours for Eclipse to load…jk.

Anyway, I’d say go for it. You’ll figure out the small problems, and for anything you can’t, just grab a lab computer.


I came to the same conclusion, I have a crappy ex-enterprise dell laptop for notes in lectures and for odd bits of work, and then a nice Linux rig for play. It’s actually worked out quite well, as I’m not in a blind panic when I lose my laptop at lectures, the keyboard is good and it’s built like a tank, and at the end of the day if worst comes to worst I’ll get another one on eBay for 30 quid


So Thanks for the great advice, I found out I will have to switch to summer classes so I have more time to think about it. All of what has been said will still help me and others out.( i hope)

After sleeping on it, i feel like i may just dual boot/VM windows. I have for a few months and it seems pretty good. Use Linux for everything I can and windows when i must just for privacy and freedom reason.

I will look into this, if my profs are okay with that I could just use pdf.

Most of my first classes are going to be general edu for the first semester. Yeah i think i will be fine with Arch after all I feel more comfortable with it than any other distro.

I have seen good things about POP_OS. I may try this.

Oh, I did not think about that holy. I use i3wm most times so i have no idea how teacher would react to that. Thanks for that tip first I have seen that may use Gnome or XFCE.

Will look into this first as well. Thanks for the information, and really a keylogger, I guess I could see why, but that seems a bit over kill.

I will strongly consider POP_OS! or atleast switching from Arch, I have time after finding out I have to switch to summer I have time to play with a few different OS, POP is on the list for sure.

I did not know that.

I need to look into that. May play with both versions Ssnce I will have time.

See I like Gnome, great for touch screens and great overall, just something about it feels wrong I may need to give it another chance it has been nearly a year and I only used it on Ubuntu GNOME.

ayyyy Sounds like VM may be an option, But I will look into getting it from my school I think they offer it for like 30ish$ to students.

Hell yea, time to install Gentoo for my second time. :slight_smile:

I may have some CAD but I do not think so. My schools seems to have a remote desktop system of it’s own, i need to find information about it just found out about it today.

Damn that C class.

I have alot of information to think about and lots of peoples ideas, but leaning to Linux with a VM of windows

See I may get an older thinkpad like a x220 or t430 for a similar idea, One i just want one the other is if it is stolen it wasn’t too much I have local store that sales them for pretty cheap 100$ or a bit more. would rather loss that than my (nice) dell.


Linux for college student??? OSX - duh!


I had a professor require .docx for a UNIX class which was bizzaro since he encouraged using Linux.
But it actually did work out for me in the end with LibreOffice.

Now, for Embedded System Design, my teacher requires me to use Atmel Studio although recently I learned how to program AVR using avrdude (terminal) and integrate it into CodeBlocks with the avr-gcc compiler.

This and Video games is why I have a secondary machine running Windows, it’s a crying shame though that Microsoft grabs schools by the balls like that though. At least Visual Studio was fun to use for C# I admit.


That’s enough but it ain’t plenty.


It varies wildly, most of the classes I have taken I would be fine on Linux although I needed a hint of Windows for things like finalizing my format before printing.

Although my last semester, I needed Windows more than usual since my teacher required me to use Atmel Studio (plus I didn’t know how to set up AVR in CodeBlocks yet nor what avrdude was, turned out it was way easier to set up avrdude and AVR in CodeBlocks than it was to do the actual AVR programming).


Use Brackets or Atom. I garuntee you’ll be better off lol.


Sounds like you had a solid education to me! I didn’t touch C and C++ until my second year. First year was Assembly, Python and Java, and Java was the main language for assignments throughout my degree, which was fine at the time but man I hate it now.

Python is definitely a good first language to learn when people are completely new to programming. We use it to teach the first year students outside of CS, to electrical engineers, engineering mathematicians, etc. and it seems to work really well. My only gripe is they touch MATLAB and get hooked, because it makes their work so easy (which is great, of course, it’s what it is designed for…) but they quickly forget that programming is itself a discipline to be studied and practiced.


Honestly do not think I have ever used a Apple device other that calling someone off an a friends Iphone.

Dude that is super weird to require .docx in UNIX class.

I have been thinking about just a second computer with windows like my desktop at home

I have had quite a few programing classes, but thinking of picking up python now that I have a break till summer classes. See alot of jobs in my local area for python Jr. devs.