Switching from Ubuntu to something else [Solved]

I have been daily driving Ubuntu for over a year now and am thinking that I want to change distros to get my feet wet with something else. What are the recommendations?

I am using this as my primary desktop. Fedora is attractive to me but thought I would welcome some suggestions.

As far as migrating my user data (pictures, documents, etc.) what is the “best practice” for accomplishing that?

I like fedora.
If you have a server, you can backup your files there and then download everything you need.

I see a lot of stuff about partitioning your /home directory. Can I just copy that to my secondary ssd and then pull it when I am done installing fedora?


I do this.

I have a small array for /home/user/ and just mount it over whatever OS I’ve installed.

It is not perfect; Canonicle has messed with Gnome and will leave some settings in the user directory that might look a bit odd on other distro’s.

but it’ll work.

In the mean time, you can install the mate or xfce desktops ontop of the existing install, if you were gonna burn it away anyway, and give them a go in place?


you can also use a NAS/SAN for a mapped /user directory.

Honestly though, just install a new distro and play. Personally I like arch flavors.

I have messed around with a fedora VM which is why I am wanting to start trying to DD it. I am also considering just installing proxmox and then running VM’s for everything but maybe that will be down the line.

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Try Manjaro. I’ve just came from there and had a really good time. Suprisingly less breakage than what you’d expect because it rolls a bit slower than most Arch-derived distros. I moved on because I want to try distros now in a long term kind of way.

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Thing is, when you distil it all down, every Linux distro comes down to a few basic blocks: the kernel, a tool-chain to support a basic system and a DE (desktop environment) for non-server use., Those DE’s (like Gnome, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon and XFCE) are/look basically the same across all distro’s.

So, what makes a distro stand out over others are choices from the dev’s on kernel version, rolling vs point release, selecting basic apps in the DE and package management.

In summary: it doesn’t really matter which distro you use, they pretty much all adhere to the same basic template. (see above) Effectively, distro picking comes down to personal preferences. Your choice is as good as mine :wink:

Distro’s to investigate: Debian, Devuan, Funtoo and if you want in on the deep end, Slackware and Linux from scratch (LSF).


Personally, if I were to dip my toes into something new, I would use a user friendly graphical Arch install frontend and then use that “Arch” moving forward. Don’t have a good direction for that though.

I’d also do it on an all AMD (advantage) system like the MSI Delta 15.

Fedora and Arch both are AMD GPU preferenced.

Good to know. My system is all AMD.

TBH, you don’t really dip your toes by just switching distros. If Ubuntu works well for you, I see no reason to switch (even if I personally have a beef with it). I hate ditro-hopping personally, I don’t really care what others do.

Being at the beginning, I’d recommend Fedora and staying away from Manjaro. I have had Manjaro installs malfunction in unexpected ways more than Arch installs. Sure, YMMV, but from my experience and from other online complaints, I’d say stay away from it.

You can try Arch if you want to see how the Linux desktop works at a high level (services, DE, display servers, login managers etc.), following the Arch wiki is not hard if you have patience to read everything and not between the lines. If you want Arch, but with an easier installer, try EndeavourOS, it’s basically the spiritual successor to Antergos (just “Arch with a GUI”), but it has a closer base to Arch than Antergos did.

But again, your desktop needs to be functional, so distro-hopping and testing stuff on your daily driver is… not recommended to say the least. Stick with Ubuntu or Fedora and if you really want to learn, try installing Arch in a VM, poke some AUR packages, let them compile and after you get used to it, dip your toes into either Gentoo or LFS (Linux from Scratch). Or, you could try to see alternative inits and service managers, but still keep the (now familiar) Arch base, by using Artix first (I’d recommend OpenRC, because that’s the default and it’s also Gentoo’s default).

At some point, when I stop using low-end hardware, I’ll probably try both Gentoo and LFS. I most likely won’t daily drive them, I’ll keep them in VMs or LXC containers (well, at least the former), but they are on my list of things to try out. I’m kind of impressed by myself, that in 10+ years of using Linux, I used to distro-hop a lot in the early days (mostly between Ubuntu, its flavors, Arch and its forks), but with my growing distaste for distro-hopping, I managed to never even touch a Gentoo iso. Well, better late than never.

I appreciate the input and basically came to the same conclusion about Manjaro. I have spent the last 2 hours messing around with it and am currently installing Fedora. I think that Fedora will be a better choice as the stability and compatibility is much better out of the box. I need to be able to use certain programs related to school and business and Fedora is great in that department.

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eh I daily drive KDE Manjaro and its been great, but I dont generally try to run modern AAA games.

It was more to do with software compatibility for a few things I need for school and work. I would have had to compile them from scratch on Manjaro vs supported releases for Fedora

im spoiled, I have a 5900x so installing and compiling take about the same time.

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Maybe one day :pleading_face:

I ran Manjaro KDE too. No proprietary software, for that matter, not even the AUR. Everything was from Manjaro’s repo and I was only using Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Dolphin and Konsole. At some points, either KDE would freeze up and require a kill of sddm through SSH (because changing TTYs didn’t work), or Manjaro would freeze and require a hard reboot, or when trying to reboot or power off, Manjaro wouldn’t unmount my /home partition (nothing fancy, just ext4), or systemd would not timeout services for more than 30 minutes and would not turn off without forcing it to. I lived with such issues for about a year, then I just distro-hopped, because I couldn’t forgive it anymore. Yes, despite all the issues, I lived with Manjaro for a year (total of 2 years, the first year it was fine), because I was too lazy to distro-hop. And I checked for updates almost daily, but updates in Manjaro came at 1 or 2 weeks and it came with 2-3 GB, which is insane, which is another reason why I distro-hopped.

Oh, funny stuff. I ran Windows 10 VM in KVM inside Manjaro, with GPU, SSD and USB passthrough. When KDE would freeze, SSHd would not respond and I couldn’t switch TTYs, KVM was still working! Windows was chugging along just fine, which was insane, how could a Linux distro freeze and fail so hard, but the kernel still work? Again, I had absolutely nothing fancy on top of Manjaro.

If you really want to try something different, then give one of the BSDs a go! Such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Dragonfly, GhostBSD, etc.


wow, that is crazy. I would have been just as frustrated.

I will say on the rare case where I need it not having multiple TTY’s is annoying.

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Definitely for All AMD systems. Not quite so for Nvidia since it’s a rolling release for Nvidia.

But when you’re fully ready, a Arch Graphical Installer like Calamares would be the best distro where you don’t have to worry about updating major versions.

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