Until a few weeks ago, I had used nothing but Windows for my whole life. My dissatisfaction had been steadily growing for years, but I finally made the switch to Linux in mid-May, and have been growing a library of good software since then. This page is for anyone like me who always resented Windows, but needed a push to get going.
Distributions I like
I currently use Arch Linux because of its incredibly good wiki, its versatile package management, and its lightweight but not inscrutable initial install. It is not as impenetrable as it has a reputation for being, as long as you are reasonably technically-minded and willing to follow a tutorial to the letter.
However, initially, I used Linux Mint for a few days. The transition to Mint from Windows was so seamless that I was sort of shocked. I would highly recommend Mint, or something like it, to a fresh Linux convert who wants minimal fuss or adjustment period.
Some distributions I want to try on my aging laptop include:
- Void Linux for its extreme light weight and different package manager.
- Alpine Linux for its light weight and use of muslc, which I'd like to get more familiar with
Software I like
This includes productivity apps, desktop environments, window managers, whatever.
- vim. This document was written in vim. I am not a vim supremacist; for the record, I think that most of what vim can do can be replicated with a QMK or software extend layer. The advantage of vim, for me, is that it's unified across machines and is very lightweight compared to every other text editor. My extend layer requires obnoxious configuration per keyboard layout, but vim was always designed for compatibility between different strange keyboard configurations. Also, it makes me feel cool when I use it, which I can't say for, e.g., VSCode.
- KDE. I currently use KDE on my desktop computer. While it is notably more bloated than other apps listed here, it gets points for effectively being the smoothest possible transition from Windows to Linux (unfortunately along with the inexplicable bloat). I am investigating tiling window managers to use on my desktop, but have not yet made the switch; until then, KDE is on the forefront of bundled desktop environments, as far as I am concerned.
- dwm. I currently use dwm on my aging laptop. dwm and other suckless software have reinvigorated the joy of programming for me, and suckless's philosophy on technology aligns fairly closely with mine. While their definition of bloat borders on comedy at times, I think their hearts are in the right place, and they have an extremely good point about the web that led to this website being the way it is.
- tridactyl. I like being able to navigate the web using the keyboard! tridactyl's single-key commands generally feel a lot better than the chorded commands that usually come with web browsers. Also, it's novel to find how many apps you can wrangle into using a vim-like interface. tridactyl is pure fun to me; maybe I have a strange definition of fun.
- TODO :^)