Linux Newbie Blog – Since 1996 was started on January 6, 2019 ‘n now rolls into Year Four.

This *IS* the ‘Year of Linux on the Desktop‘!

I started tinkering wid Linux in early 1996 ‘n it was absolutely terrible when compared to Windows 95 or OS/2. Linux has improved a lot since then, but the Linux Desktop OS is still terrible when compared to Windows 10 or Windows 11, and I believe part of the problem is that too much focus is placed on the Linux Enterprise OS.

Sure, there is always lots of ‘Lip Service‘ about “Desktop” Linux, but mostly talk, and the real “Desktop” OS remains the Enterprise Linux OS made for Technical people like Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.

Linus Torvalds has said: ‘For the last 20 years, I kept hearing how Linux on the Desktop would go mainstream in five years. One of the problems Desktop Linux has is it’s not made for normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people.

2021 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop:

No, really. Walk into any school now, and you’ll see millions of Linux machines. They’re called Chromebooks. For a free project launched 30 years ago today by one man in his spare time, it’s an amazing feat.

Chromebooks!?! That’s not what nontechnical normal “Desktop” Linux users like Orca or Renard or Neo or commenters at OMG! Ubuntu! want to hear. However, Google has proven that Linux can be a popular ‘n successful Desktop/Laptop for “normal people.”

Is that a Light at the end of this Tunnel?

Or is that the light of a Train in this Tunnel wid me!? 😉 This Tunnel is about 36-months long ‘n I’m about 17-months into it, so hopefully that light ain’t no Train! 😬

I believe some of the reasons for Chrome OS’s fairly quick success can be attributed to security, stability, compatibility, ease of use, and just one password request (at login) during a computer session.

I’ve been ‘Dumbing Down TOP 10 requirements’ for over 16-months now, to a point where I’m just searching for Linux OSes that don’t require annoying “Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords’ (beyond maybe one root password at the login Welcome Screen – sorta like Chrome OS), have an automatic install of NVIDIA drivers – *OR* – at least a simple graphical utility to do so, and maybe a Cinnamon DE option.

Have ‘Dumbed Down‘ to just 3 4 requirements now for a Linux ‘Desktop Duty‘ OS:

  1. No annoying “Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords’.
  2. Easy installation of NVIDIA drivers.
  3. KDE Plasma DE option.
  4. Cinnamon DE second option.

Almost every time I think that I’ve found a Distro that makes a good ‘Secondary‘ OS, something changes and the Distro stops working. Exceptions would be: 1) Fedora Cinnamon has been fairly reliable, but it had new issues show up in the new 34 & 35 versions. 2) Puppy Linux is my favorite ‘Portability & Rescue‘ Linux OS, but a good ‘Secondary‘ OS requires a stronger ‘Desktop Duty‘ ability since it will be the Linux OS I use most often. I just don’t like the Puppy DE enough, when compared to the Cinnamon DE, to use it as my main Linux ‘Desktop Duty‘ OS.

Had thought the RHEL-based AlmaLinux & CentOS Stream OSes would be great backup ‘Desktop Duty‘ OSes for Fedora, in case something changed in Fedora. However, the new GNOME on those two OSes stopped working wid Dash to Panel extension. I want my main Linux OS to have a Windows look, like Dash to Panel offered, and offer some long term stability wid that look.

Can’t remember if I tried installing Cinnamon DE on either, but the Dash to Panel was so easy. Besides, their ISO’s are huge @ about 7.5 to 8.5 GBs each. May try them again in the future, if needed.

From RHEL-based back to Arch & Arch-based

Distros that offer the Root User option one month may not offer that same option the next month. Things can change suddenly wid Linux, just like it did to two of my favorite Distros – AlmaLinux & CentOS Stream…granted, you were still able to login as root, but the GNOME DE is just not my taste.

On October 19, 2020 I wrote the EndeavourOS – ‘Root Login + Cinnamon DE + *NO* Pesky Passwords!’ post. A few days ago, I discovered that EndeavourOS didn’t offer the ‘Root Login‘ option anymore. At one time, Manjaro didn’t offer the ‘Root Login‘ option, but it did a few day ago; however, it broke during tests (along wid some other Nvidia or AMD issue), and I didn’t get back to it.

I’ve had other Distros that offered ‘Root Login‘ at one time, but then stopped. Right now, I am going to check out Arch ‘n Arch-based Distros, and see if any are as good as Garuda Linux Cinnamon has been for the past week.

What is ‘Desktop Duty‘?

For me, wid Linux, it is a main Linux OS that I use in helping me test other Linux OSes. A category term I created in order to rank the Distros on the Karmi’s Top 10 5 3 4 Linux Distros page. There is a ‘Portability & Rescue‘ category, a ‘Portability & Privacy‘ category, and 2-3 more. Lots of GParted use, some browsing – especially for info on the Distro being tested, some word processor stuff, some picture stuff, and some video stuff. Printers ‘n scanners don’t normally work wid 99+% of Linux OSes, so no use there. I don’t play games other than some Windows Chess ‘n Hearts games – Winaero, so no use there either. Linux is a ‘Secondary‘ OS for me, since I am no highly Technical user.

Windows 11 Pro is a perfect OS for ‘Desktop Duty‘ and much more. Most everything computer wise is made for it – both hardware ‘n software. I use lots ‘n lots of open source software that was created for use on both Windows ‘n Linux. Easily downloaded (from the app’s site usually) ‘n installed onto Windows. That open source software was probably created wid the Enterprise focused Linux OS.

One of the best methods of testing a computer’s Desktop performance is the UserBenchmark testing app. It also includes the test results for Gaming ‘n Workstations, in wid the Desktop performance test. Eliminates the Brands pushing their products wid bogus tests, e.g. AMD.

Tests both hardware ‘n software…not Linux OSes, but some opensource stuff.

Conclusion

Still early, but Garuda Linux Cinnamon has been an impressive Linux OS! It seems to consider what “normal people” might be looking for in a Desktop OS, and I haven’t used the terminal’s CLI at all.

There are others I have checked over the past 17-months or so, and I will be getting back to them at some point in Year Four.

  • Think – More graphical interface ‘n less command-line interface. No annoying “Authenticate” popups ‘n lots less ‘Pesky Passwords‘. Home computers ‘n not Enterprise computers. Google’s Chrome OS Desktop/Laptop *Individually* thrashing some 2-3,000 Linux Desktop/Laptop OSes…again, in 2022!

Will add this post to the Progressions of the Linux Newbie Blog page.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!