How I Switched to Linux


I've used Windows from XP all the way up to 10. For roughly 15 years of my life, I've been in the Windows ecosystem. While Windows 10 isn't terrible, Linux is way more customizable and really great if you're curious about how your computer hardware and software works. There are many more reasons than just that, (as I will explain in a future blog some day ;)).

I've used Linux before when I tried to run Steam games on my Chromebook (it seems like Debian is now just natively supported on ChromeOS), but my first time using full-blown Linux was when I installed KDE Neon on my desktop PC. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I spent at least 2 or 3 days just messing around in the settings. For the first time in a long time, I was having fun with my operating system. This feeling of discovering things in my system is something I used to experience a lot as a kid learning about Windows XP/7, and that feeling was the exact same as I went through the unlimited number of ways I could change the way my desktop looked. Features like having whatever I wanted in my taskbar were so cool and really made me wonder, "Why doesn't Microsoft allow you to do this?"

Not everything was sunshine and rainbows, though. The second I booted into KDE Neon, my second monitor was flashing like crazy, and I had to spend about 20 minutes doing internet research to fix it. This was a recurring theme with any little issue I had. On top of that, it just made sense for me to do my schoolwork and use certain applications like Photoshop and Sony Vegas while I had limited time to do things. Since I dual-boot Windows and Linux, I would naturally use Windows whenever I wanted to do pretty much anything.

For some dumb reason, I thought that it was the fault of Linux and not me as to why I kept crawling back to Windows, so I did what any Linux user who gets bored of their system would do: distro hop.

Arch Linux is considered to be one of the best distros for many valid reasons, but it is hard to install, especially for beginners. At that time, Garuda Linux, which is based on Arch Linux, easier to install, and optimized for gamers, was starting to become popular. I really liked how it looked, so I installed it, thinking that it would truly convert me into a fully-fledged Linux user. It was somewhat successful. My need to use applications like Sony Vegas and Microsoft Teams forced me to stick with Windows for a little longer, but around the middle of summer, I started to really appreciate some features on Linux. That's when I had the bright idea of distro hopping once more to a more minimalist distro. The problem with Garuda Linux is that its performance is only slightly better than Windows, but I knew that I could do way better.

I then used Debian 11 Bullseye. It's considered the "Granddaddy of 'all' distros" (it is what Ubuntu is based on, along with many other distros, not to mention that it is one of the oldest active Linux distros). Ubuntu is the most mainstream distro and is normally what people think of when they think of Linux, so naturally that's the only option that's ever listed whenever I need to install some application. With Debian, I had the ability to do mostly everything someone on Ubuntu is able to do.

In the weeks between the end of Cadets summer training and the first day of school, I really familiarized myself with the KDE desktop environment and the terminal. I also started using FOSS (free and open-source software) alternatives to proprietary software, such as GIMP and open-source versions of Chrome (ungoogled-chromium) and VSCode (codium). Doing little things like that and also having a really cool and aesthetically-pleasing rice solidified my stay. (Also, I made that wallpaper; the center features a manga panel from Samurai Champloo.)

my really cool setup

Update 2023: I still distro hop :)

Update 2024:

After almost 3 years of consistent usage, I'm able to exclusively use Linux. The distro I decided to stick with was Fedora. Currently, it's serving me well enough to use as someone who has a powerful PC to run anything and as someone who needs their PC to just work. Gnome is pretty comfy too and it makes ricing very easy, especially compared to KDE 5.