Linux

You may ask yourself, "Why Linux? It seems like it is more work to use Linux than to just keep using what I already have." In short, you may be right. It all really depends on what you do with your computer. For some, yes, it will be a greater challenge to use Linux and for others, not at all.

For me Linux has made my life much easier and management of my information much more reliable. It allows for a lot of freedom in how you work and how you consume entertainment. At this point, I find Windows and Macintosh OSX to be far more frustrating and difficult to do some of the simplest of tasks.

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Entertainment


There are many "flavors" of Linux referred to as "distributions". There are many great Linux distributions, I just happen to find that for my purposes, openSUSE works the best for my use cases.



My primary distribution of choice is openSUSE Linux. Most of my Linux experience has been with openSUSE so most of my

guides will be for this distribution.

There are three variations of the distribution:

Leap, a "regular-release" version that has a 12 month release cycle;

Tumbleweed which is a rolling release, you get the latest stabilized version as it rolls out and

SUSE Linux Enterprise aimed at businesses and this one is not free. At this time, I use Leap, it is free as I need to ensure system stability and I'm a little slow to accept change. The kernel (core of the operating system) is the same as is used for the Enterprise version so has had more time spent on ensuring its stability.

My primary concern for computing is that I have a tool that works consistently yet remains flexible so I sit in the middle of the openSUSE road with Leap.



The great thing about open source projects is that there are so many options. The downside, there are so many options and it can be overwhelming. Rather than give you ALL the options, I will give you my "go to" applications that I regularly count on. In no way am I saying that these are the best applications, there may be better options out there but these work well for me and is a starting point. Should my choice of application be lacking in some sort of feature, it is likely there is something similar that would work better for you.



The fun... or maybe confusing... part of Linux are the options. This includes your Desktop Environment (or DE). I personally prefer the KDE Plasma Desktop but on lower powered systems LXQt is probably a better fit. There are several others to choose from and should at some time really be explored as to see which works best for you.

The beauty of openSUSE, it is one of few distributions that allows you to install multiple desktops, try them out and see what works best for you. The robustness of this distribution is great for those that really want to explore their options.




Do you use any other Distributions?

Yes! Yes I do and I have used several. Some I have liked a lot and others work very well for it's designated purpose. One such distribution that just works well with old PowerPC Macintosh hardware is Ubuntu-MATE. I am not actively using any other distributions then what is listed below.



https://ubuntu-mate.org/
Ubuntu MATE is a great light-weight distribution. Not my preference but it is the other distribution that I use for a PowerPC machine. This variant of Ubuntu is built around the MATE desktop environment. This distribution is easy to install but does require booting to a live image first and install from a desktop icon. This is not my preferred method to install but would be good for those that wish to take Linux for a spin before committing to it.


GeckoLinux

Here is a great openSUSE derivative that I have done some extensive testing on and really like a lot. It comes in a Live USB version that can be given a test drive. This is built on openSUSE Linux Leap but has multimedia codecs installed by default and has other desktop environment options.



Linux Machines
Dell Latitude D630 -- Still a rock solid machine 9 years later

Over the years I have had struggles and great success with installing Linux on various machines. Some hardware I like to work with more than other bits of hardware. Here I will discuss specific issues with bits of hardware and machines and how to overcome challenges.

Although, Linux will run on just about anything, some hardware is better suited to it than others. I'll give you my recommendations here.


Entertainment

If Linux is a hobby, than you might be excited to know that there is Linux based entertainment out there. Here is a list of podcasts that I subscribe to so that I can further my knowledge and learn of new and interesting tools.