This is a repost of an original response I made here which I hope will help people learning Linux be more productive & recover from broken desktop issues more easily.
I’ve run various different flavours of Linux over
16 years so here are my experiences & what just works for me. I too do not have time to tinker & fix things.
You don’t mention which flavor of Linux you were using but it sounds like Fedora if you felt like a beta tester (or maybe vanilla Arch or Debian Testing) - I’ve run them all & more besides. When you are new to Linux it is natural to try everything. It’s also the best way to learn.
As always there are pros & cons for each solution. If you want a system that just works you should consider:
Stable Linux distributions:
Xubuntu LTS / Debian Stable (but old software versions can be a nuisance if you use your system for development or gaming) - the same goes for Centos 7. Your desktop will never break & they are great for servers but not so good for gaming.
For me Manjaro just works. The testing they do before moving packages into the stable repos catches most problems. It’s a
rolling releasetoo so software is always up to date & you never have to reinstall your system. It makes a great development workstation. Fedora are planning to move to a similar model to improve stability. Steam works & I sometimes use this for Linux native games but I mainly use a Windows 10
kvmwith GPU passthrough.
Ubuntu / Linux Mint are good choices for new users (good forums) but are not a rolling release so you may have to reinstall every 1-2 years or so if a
dist-upgradedoes not end well (in Ubuntu this is replaced by
do-release-upgrade). This shouldn’t however be a problem if you partition your disks correctly with a separate
Stable Desktop Environments:
XFCE - I cannot remember any major show stoppers in 15 years. Manjaro use it for their flagship edition for this same reason. I am probably a bit biased but it’s low memory footprint & default apps I’ve always found to be good enough for day to day use. This stability is also why
xfceis the top rated DE for developers.
I never liked
kde- shiny but too slow & often changing & breaking.
If you are new to Linux it is probably a good idea to also install a 2nd desktop environment so if you have a broken desktop you can login to your secondary desktop & fix it. I use to also install
fluxboxfor this very reason alongside
xfcewhen I had more time & ran Debian Testing. I don’t remember
fluxboxever breaking & it is a tiny install. It just takes a bit of time to configure.
Terminal choices, choices, choices:
- I’ve tried lots of different terminals & nowadays I just use pacmanager. Tabbed
ssh/ remote sessions &
keypasssupport are great. Being able to run commands on multiple machines simultaneously is also sometimes useful. The
xfce4-terminalis a good alternative & backup terminal with tabs.
Nowadays a broken grub is usually fixed with a simple
rootfrom a live cd or usb stick after you
chrootinto your broken installation. Having a Linux live usb stick is always handy. If you dual boot Windows it needs to be installed before Linux at the beginning of the disk.
Broken desktop logins are often due to corrupted session data which are fixed by
CTRL ALT F2& logging in as
root& deleting the appropriate desktop manager
user session data& forcing the logout of your user session. Alternatively login to your secondary desktop as mentioned above to fix things.
For gaming fiddling around with
proton& Steam on Linux for each game is a little tedious so I have a small SSD for a Windows 10
KVMvirtual machine & I also passthrough an AMD Rx 570. I get around
95%of bare metal speed & I no longer dual boot. I run dual monitors with either
2for Linux &
1for Windows gaming running on the
2ndinput of the
2ndmonitor. I have some
The Arch Linux wiki has the solutions to most problems (whatever Linux distribution you run). If you have a secondary desktop manager or Linux live usb stick (as mentioned above) it is simple to fix a broken system. The other advantage of running an Arch system is you can downgrade broken packages to a previous version while waiting for a bug to be fixed.
Disk space is cheap - running a dual boot system is sometimes useful if you are new to Linux (& do not keep a Linux live usb stick handy). I no longer boot into Windows due to my
vmperformance being good enough to play The Division on high settings.
Linux inside Windows:
Years ago before I setup
KVMGPU passthrough with
VFIOon my gaming machine I ran Linux inside
vmwareon Windows. This worked quite well with the
vmbeing a full screen window I could minimize & maximize like any other application.
The downside of this solution are the privacy issues from Windows & the less than ideal performance. If you have
8or more cores available virtualization with
kvmin Linux makes much better use of your hardware if you use
real-timeschedulers for the pinned
cpucores is the secret sauce with vfio performance.
You also lose flexibility with your networking configuration. It is much simpler to run multiple
vpn'ssimultaneously in Linux for instance.
As always YMMV.