Author Topic: Linux, Mac, Windows Switchers Guide (A.k.A. “Switchin’ Ain’t Easy”.)  (Read 10440 times)

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Offline Leslieann

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I think it comes down to what you are used to, in this case it probably is used more in Vi and VIM and/or using a desktop environment. I use either as little as possible.
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Offline MrMen

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What a dumb !

I do the same in terminal… automatism makes me forget it's Insert key  :p

Offline csmertx

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Most of the automagicalification on my desktop was written or configured by me, so yeah, definitely my own dumb fault. I could avoid the insert key but after a few years it's become a habit.

tl;dr: just use Ubuntu (well, if MS buys Canonical and absorbs Ubuntu into Azure.. then perhaps try something else)
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...Especially the Florida cousins, who obviously can't take a hint.

Offline MrMen

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Making all by yourself leads to natural behavior.

I’m not a huge fan of Ubuntu ecosystem. But I should give it a try after these years.

Offline iri

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I used to get longer battery life on '13 Macbook Pro with Linux Mint on it.
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline nathanchere

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Nice basic summary for those wanting to dip their toes in foreign waters, but have to strongly disagree with some points on Linux:

Support… While it has gotten better, in fact TONS better (you can thank Ubuntu for that), it’s not as good as Windows support. There is tons out there and the problem is no longer jerks telling you to RTFM and flooding the search results with just that, the problem now is fragmentation. I’ll give an example, remember I said there is lots of D.E.’s and you can change between them, I once did this going from Cinnamon to Gnome which I wanted to try, the problem is that no one mentioned that since Cinnamon was based on Gnome and shared files, that installing Gnome on top would effectively kill Cinnamon. While an easy fix for me now, at the time it was easier to just re-install.  Yes, you can switch, just not back and forth like you can if you install say, LXDE, KDE and Cinnamon. If you can search and are willing everything you need is there, you just can't call MS or Apple for help, not that either I or they would want me to (let's just say there is a history and leave it there).

Hardware support is a bit odd.
Linux does support more hardware than Windows out of the box, what many don’t tell you though is that much of that hardware it supports is outdated and your new shiny part may not be. 10 years ago I setup a server and the network card was no longer supported by Windows but was by Linux, in fact they had done a driver update less than 2 years prior, the card however was almost 20 years old at the time. At the same time a wireless card needed some downloads just like Windows to get running. So while Linux users brag about driver support, especially out of the box being better, just tell them to shut up because the support isn’t really better for real world parts you are going to use. Would you rather have support for a 20 year old network card or would you rather it support the new wireless card you just bought?  You can get most anything working in Linux, but it may take some work. Windows, you buy something it probably has a Windows driver. Yes you have to install it, but at least you know it will work and if it doesn’t the manufacturer will fix it. So again, Linux users need to shut up about this because it’s BS.

And driver support changes depending on what distribution of Linux you used. Take for instance my Macbook Air, one Linux distro HATES my screen backlight, another hates my wireless card, and another hates both, and while fixable, finding those fixes are not easy and you never know if the information is too old to even work anymore, or the person who created the fix still makes the necessary files available, much less up to date. Mac users are already here and Windows10 users are just starting to really have this issue, which is pretty bad when you consider how young Win10 is by comparison. People if you do a support article, PLEASE DATE IT. Linux has a problem of too much info and at the same time, too little. Linux is also terrible for battery life and heat, it can kill batteries in no time. Though this is mostly fixable it means more time invested. This means laptop support is also not always great, as battery life is usually about 40-80% what Windows usually gets and about 30-70% what Mac will get. However some tweaking can get you up to about 80-90%. I’ve managed about 90-95% on my last few laptops.

It depends on your distro and level of expertise really, but I'd say Manjaro and Arch have community support that far exceeds anything out there for Windows or Mac for personal use - Arch for those not afraid to get their hands dirty with the details, and Manjaro which piggybacks off a lot of what the Arch community offers and adds more mainstream-friendliness. My 'tech support' duties have gone down so much since I started setting friends and family up with Manjaro. For commercial support I've been quite simply blown away by how good Red Hat have been both in terms of depth of knowledge and short turnaround time resolving issues. Microsoft's enterprise support is an absolute joke even when you have a lot of friends inside various MS departments, and Apple seem to be even more blatant in their arrogance and disregard for corporate customers.

Hardware - can't compare OSX as you've already mentioned with hardware lock-in, but Linux support really does blow Windows away. Just a couple days ago I installed both Windows 10 and Antergos (basically Arch Linux with a GUI installer without any trade-offs) on a last-generation Lenovo X1 Carbon. Antergos had WiFi, Bluetooth, graphics, audio, trackpad etc all working out-of-the-box. Windows 10 couldn't even get WiFi or USB-C ethernet adapter working. I needed to download the wireless card drivers from the Linux install then install that in Windows to be able to download anything else. Display was locked in 640x480 resolution until I installed Intel display drivers. Graphics and WiFi aren't exactly niche functionality, and Intel parts aren't particularly obscure either. I was amazed how woeful the Windows 10 out-of-box experience still is. Don't even get me started on how many reboots and hours spent waiting for updates to install... Similar story on the 9350 and 9360 XPS-13 laptops I installed both Win10 and Linux on (Antergos and Fedora). Yes there are exceptions - if you're putting together a top end gaming machine you are going to get better cutting edge video card support on Windows every day of the week - but in general "So again, Linux users need to shut up about this because it’s BS" - no, your call on hardware support (based on a Macbook?) is BS to use your own wording. It's not just 20 year old hardware where Linux excels.

"Linux is also terrible for battery life and heat, it can kill batteries in no time" -  nonsense. Even on my old Surface Pro 3, Windows 10 would get around 4 hours from light use while from Fedora I could get 5 1/2 - 6 hours. (It admittedly couldn't wake from 'sleep' without a full reboot for the first few months until later updates but still impressive battery use difference). I'm sure I could have fairly easily stretched this out even further with tools like TLP but the Surface Pro was a piece of crap overall so I found 6 hours at a time were more than enough. On my XPS 9360 I was getting around 8-9 hours on Windows 10, anywhere up to 15 hours on Linux. Similar workloads, totally different result.

One more odd thing - I've had Cinnamon and Gnome installed at the same time and easily switched between them on login. For that matter also had Mate, KDE, Budgie, Openbox and more tiling WMs than I have fingers all at once, and the only problems I had were from my own ignorance with xsession permissions, no conflicts. Not doubting you ran into issues because these things can be fickle, but I would not think your experience would be the rule if you were installing them with a sane package manager (i.e. not apt-get).

Differing Linux-specific experiences aside, nice write-up overall.

Offline nathanchere

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"Ironically, the Chinese government edition of Win10 may actually be the best Windows, but who knows if it will leak or be able to be translated or run here, and would you want to use it knowing it was mandated by the Chinese gov.?"

I'd recommend getting hold of the 2016 LTSB edition which has all the same key advantages of the Chinese version without the additional limitations like not being able to set the system language to English. I would not use a non-LTSB build at all.

Offline Blaise170

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I use Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro. It is barebones Win 8.1 and it's perfect for me. I use it on both my desktop and laptop.
I proxy anything including keyboards (キーボード / 鍵盤), from both Japan (日本) and China (中國). For more information, you may visit my dedicated webpage here: https://www.keyboards.es/proxying.html

View my current and past keyboards here: https://deskthority.net/wiki/User:Blaise170

Offline csmertx

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I use Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro. It is barebones Win 8.1 and it's perfect for me. I use it on both my desktop and laptop.

Welcome to the thread :)
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 / another 3d keyboard model thread / BSD thread / github / falotalt
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...Especially the Florida cousins, who obviously can't take a hint.

Offline Blaise170

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Welcome "back" to the thread.  :))
I proxy anything including keyboards (キーボード / 鍵盤), from both Japan (日本) and China (中國). For more information, you may visit my dedicated webpage here: https://www.keyboards.es/proxying.html

View my current and past keyboards here: https://deskthority.net/wiki/User:Blaise170

Offline csmertx

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Oh dang. That's what I get for posting before my fourth cup of coffee. :))

Well, my Mom wants to 'switch' because of Win10 updates. I have a persistent/live Slackware on my keychain, surely a persistent Linux Mint usb drive would be much easier to setup (to be fair: Slackware wasn't THAT difficult). I'm thinking persistent/Live instead of a full usb installation for performance purposes. RAM is faster blah blah.
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 / another 3d keyboard model thread / BSD thread / github / falotalt
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...Especially the Florida cousins, who obviously can't take a hint.

Offline Leslieann

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"Ironically, the Chinese government edition of Win10 may actually be the best Windows, but who knows if it will leak or be able to be translated or run here, and would you want to use it knowing it was mandated by the Chinese gov.?"

I'd recommend getting hold of the 2016 LTSB edition which has all the same key advantages of the Chinese version without the additional limitations like not being able to set the system language to English. I would not use a non-LTSB build at all.
I have.
It still has a TON of Telemetry*, remove that and forced updates and it's good. It's what Win10 should have been.

*MS says you can disable it but last I looked that option either didn't exist or I couldn't find it.
Updates I can disable anyhow, but Telemetry causes the OS to complain if you disable all of it, usually in the form of unable to find drivers.
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Offline Leslieann

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It depends on your distro and level of expertise really
And there's the crux of it.

This was aimed at people who do not have experience with other OS's. Not people with loads of it. Windows users will argue some of my points, Mac users will argue some Mac point and Linux users will find things wrong as well, as well as point out their favorite os's strong points. You know how to deal with all these annoyances but as a new user to these systems it is an issue which is why I pointed them out the way I did.

With Windows anyone can get the help they need pretty easy, worst case, they can call MS and get the help. Ever call Red Hat and speak to a developer? I have with MS, well, my friend who I was helping did when he had an IRQ conflict that was unresolvable.

My point wasn't that support for Linux was bad, only that as a noob, you cannot beat support on Windows, if not because of the phone, but also because it;s the dominant platform, you can get help from people anywhere on anything . Okay, almost. No one really had an answer for how to integrate Win8.0 ACPI system into Win10, but that's not something a normal person would ever try to do.  :))



Hardware - can't compare OSX as you've already mentioned with hardware lock-in, but Linux support really does blow Windows away.
Show me a modern Intel or AMD desktop or notebook that doesn't have a full set of Windows drivers. Yes, you may have to download the drivers which can be a hassle, but EVERYTHING has a driver the day it's released. The same applies to Mac, if it's there, it has a driver. The same cannot be said for Linux.

I'm not saying it's fun or easy, but that brand new part always has a windows driver. A perfect example is Optimus... How long did Linux support for that take? Support is still not great but it works fine on Windows. Linux hardware support is fantastic and often does have more drivers out of the box than Windows and when it works, it works great, but there are a lot of times where you simply cannot get things to work well without a heck of a lot of effort on Linux (like the Macbook Air backlight or wifi on some models, ask how I know). Does that new HP printer have a Linux driver? You can bet they have one for Windows. That new Wifi card have Linux support? You know it does on Windows. 

Fun fact, when Core2duo systems came out, it was easier to install Hackintosh than it was to install Windows or Linux because Apple had already shipped an OS with the drivers embedded.



"Linux is also terrible for battery life and heat, it can kill batteries in no time" -  nonsense.
"CAN". I did not say it always does.
Your results go against everything I have seen and read. Maybe you got lucky, or maybe it's because first thing we both do on a new system is do a  fresh uncluttered install of the original OS and tweak it.

I suspect your numbers are post TLP because out of the box Linux does almost not throttling on battery while Windows does 50% and Mac does 30-35%. There is no way for Linux to get better battery without tweaking unless Linux devs suddenly found the holy grail.


One more odd thing - I've had Cinnamon and Gnome installed at the same time and easily switched between them on login. For that matter also had Mate, KDE, Budgie, Openbox and more tiling WMs than I have fingers all at once, and the only problems I had were from my own ignorance with xsession permissions, no conflicts. Not doubting you ran into issues because these things can be fickle, but I would not think your experience would be the rule if you were installing them with a sane package manager (i.e. not apt-get).

A lot of this problem has been fixed, this is why you have Xed instead Gedit, they were cross contaminating, same for Budgie. The devs ported off their bits to avoid conflicts, but I believe some still remain, they may not be obvious or immediate so I stand by what I said.

Differing Linux-specific experiences aside, nice write-up overall.
Thanks, glad you liked it.
Again, you have to look at it from a new user experience, they aren't going to know the proper terminology for good search results, and they certainly are not going to to compile a driver from source just to try out a new OS.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)