The state of Linux on desktop (2020)
I got fed up with macOS. While the new hardware(Apple Silicon) got amazing feedbacks, the OS itself is so lag behind.
I got a Windows 10 desktop at home and heck, it was event much more pleasant to use than using macOS.
- As a typical user (web browsing, mail and office stuff), Windows 10 is very good.
- As a developer, it’s getting a lot better with WSL/Microsoft Terminal/etc…
I decided to give Linux another evaluation test. I pick Manjaro - an Arch-based over an Ubuntu-based distro this time after hearing all kind of praise from its users. But I also don’t want to configure everything I need to use, hence Manjaro.
Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system. Within the Linux community, Arch itself is renowned for being an exceptionally fast, powerful, and lightweight distribution that provides access to the very latest cutting edge - and bleeding edge - software. However, Arch is also aimed at more experienced or technically-minded users. As such, it is generally considered to be beyond the reach of those who lack the technical expertise (or persistence) required to use it.
So looks like it got the best of both worlds right?
The test setup
I built a new mini PC recently. It’s the Asrock Deskmini X300W that use AMD processor. If you prefer Intel, you can choose the Intel version of the box.
I went with AMD because I like their Zen offering and I would love to support them.
I just throw a 6 cores AMD 4650G processor, 32GB of 3200Mhz Crucial memory, 512GB Samsung NVME drive for OS and other stuff plus another 1TB 2.5’ SSD for storage.
For OS, I went with Manjaro KDE variant because I like the look of it.
Almost everything works out of the box.
The graphic works right. I do not have an Intel GPU so it’s much easier for me but I hear terrifying stories from other side of the world.
WiFi works. Zero complaints here.
The bluetooth is almost ok. Most stuff I throw at it works, except an old Xbox One controller of mine. The one came with Xbox One S works with 1 minor additional step (disable ERTM). I tested with 4 bluetooth mouses, 2 keyboards, 1 speaker and 2 Xbox controllers.
Since I pick KDE, it’s a bit troublesome to use setup i3 wm. After reading several tutorials, I decided not to bother with one. Instead, I settled with krohnkite plugin for KWin. It works really well for my needs , given that my needs are pretty basic.
I do gaming once in awhile and Manjaro even came bundled with Steam (LOL). One might say it’s so bloat but I’m ok. Storage is cheap these days.
Developer experience is awesome. Linux is usually first-class platform for open source projects. Everything just works. Docker is so fast because no VM required. It’s the best platform for developers, hands down.
So far, I’m loving it. It does everything I need and works with all the peripherals I have, with the exception of the Xbox One controller (wired connection still work though). I’m gonna stick with Manjaro for now. I don’t see myself moving to Arch since my love for tweaking the system is long gone. I just want something that works and Manjaro does work very well for me.