Since Window 8.0 has been released I thought about switching to Linux due many different reasons, whichever I won’t cover in this article. However, the idea to try Linux was always present and the desire to do so, grew from day to day.

Long story short, due

  • Driver problems
  • Nearly none-existing games
  • Lacking productivity tools
  • Missing .NET Development support

Linux was never an option for me. But time did pass and things may have changed.

So, today, 18.10.2017 I finally grew some hair to completely uninstall Windows and switch over to a Linux distribution. Mint 18.2 KDE Plasma 5.8.

My objectives:

  • Install Linux without Windows as a dual boot option
  • Demand the „same“ feature set as I expect from Windows (Games, Tools,…)
  • Expect the same functional and non-functional behaviour

This article recapitulates my impressions and difficulties while switching over. Based on possible occurring usage barriers (e.g.: I am not able to complete my daily tasks), the point in time is unknown when I have to switch back to Windows.

Setup

  • SSD 256GB2200/900 950Pro M.2 SAM
  • 2x D416GB 2133-13 Vengeance LPX rd K2 COR
  • Intel Core i7-6700K 4000 1151 BOX
  • EVGA4GB D5 X GTX980 SC ACX 2.0 R
  • Asro Z170 Pro4S Z170
  • Razer BlackWidow X Chroma Mercury White
  • Razer Taipan

18.10.2017

I am on Linux! The installation was less or more „ok“. I did select „German“ as the default language, but still, most items had an english description. Furthermore, the installation window did crop of many labels. The good news: The driver installation was unexpected easy.

After some package installation I did notice something strange

After a reboot the font behaviour was normal. I will keep that in mind an keep tracking the issue.

  • Razer Chroma Device Support is available for Mint. Even thought it is not running yet.
    • https://openrazer.github.io/
    • https://openrazer.github.io/
  • My Image editing tool „Affinity“ is not supported. I guess I have to try it with Wine or PlayOnLinux
  • Steam: 58/136 games in my library are available for Linux. Impressive!

19.10.2017

Since 3 hours I am (trying) to install the most essential software.

  • Office 2016, not supported, need to downgrade to Office 2013 (PlayOnLinux)
  • Office 2013 in PlayOnLinux has many graphical render issues.
    • Switch to LibreOffice (for the moment)
    • Installing Thunderbird, accepting several trade-offs.
  • I was able to connect via SMB to my NAS after 1 hour. (Guess that was my fault)

All in all it took me hours for some installations. (And I am not even close to finish) Obviously because of my lacking experience with Linux. However, most installations processes are too circuitous. The package manager does his job, even if the UI leaves a lot to be desired.


  • The Explorer (compared to Windows) has no delays due connected external HDDs or SMB drives. The utilization is, by far, better than on Windows. I do really enjoy the explorer.
  • FTP integration and inline editing does not require any additional package and works like a charm. AWESOME
  • Mad Max (Steam) performs on Linux as good as on Windows.
  • My Printer was deteced immediately and worked out of the box
  • The Windows button sporadically triggers the start menu to pop up. Bothersome
  • Hitting „restart“ or „shutdown“ does nothing. To restart or to shutdown, I do have to wait till the 30sec. countdown reaches the 0.
  • As a OneDrive user several additional installation steps were required. (Such as compiling the source by myself and configuring the service on the terminal, without any UI support)
  • XBoxOne and 360 controller does not work wired or with the wireless adapter
  • Switched the OS language from German to English, resulting in an inconsistent User Interface. German and English labels are mixed up.

Shortcuts can be defined but I would prefer a pre-Command binding. Such as win+r,+e, +c to show up the terminal and the explorer. At this point, I think, I have chosen the wrong desktop environment.

KDE Plasma does not allow me to configure the size of the open applications in the taskbar. Moreover, while hovering an application in the taskbar, a huge icon pops up.

20.10.2017

Args… Installing Development tools requires a lot of time and effort. For MonoGame development in Linux I had to follow this article, which isn’t anything official. The article leads to several other pages to install pre-essentials. Once done, other essentials are required as well

The dependencies in the screenshot are already [Found] because I did install them before I thought about a blog post update. Besides the pre-essentials in the article, another 5 dependencies need to be resolved before I can even install MonoDevelop.

Well, ok… once everything is done, the MonoDevelop IDE doesn’t show up. It seems like it crashes immediately after the startup. Only assumptions can be made. (Version mismatch? Still Missing dependencies?)

After 2 hours the IDE is up and running. But C# 7 is not supported. A huge cutback as a C# developer. My last hope: Visual Studio Code for Linux. Unfortunately only .NET Core is supported.


  • I start enjoying the packet manager philosophy. Adding external repositories, fetching and installing updates is stable and very convenient. UI support is given, although the design is ancient.
  • Switching the outgoing audio interface has to be done in the system settings.
  • OneDrive doesn’t work anymore. A service or OS restart doesn’t help either.
  • The Font Bug (18.10) started to reoccur.
  • The unpredictable Windows Button behaviour starts to bother me. Extremely
  • A default global shortcuts accidentally lead to a system reboot without any confirmation dialog.
  • The CPU cooler noise intensity is a way louder than on Windows.

21.10.2017

It is time to sum things up. I recognized tearing in videos and I am still not able to fix it.

Also I did play arround with the Nvidia X Server Settings with no positive result. The Linux community refers me to another Distribution (Ubuntu) in order to fix my technical issue. Besides the fact to switch to another distro, a point in time has been reached to sum things up and switch back to Windows.

Summary

In order to start this project I invested several hours to find a Linux Distribution and Desktop Environment whichever fits my needs. Hence, my whole experience the last days is based on my decision and things may have been different with another selection. However, due lack of time I am not able to try out every possible combination.

 

 Games
 Drivers
 Productivity Tools
 Development Tools
 Peripheral Drivers    
Customizability    
Explorer Features  
Package Manager  
Usability  
 Community Support
Learning-curve    
 Stability

Linux is still no option for me due following reasons

  • Variety of Development Tools for the Windows Platform is missing
  • Controller and Peripheral support is not given
  • Non-Functional misbehaviour
  • Lack of daily used productivity software
  • Complicated installation and configuration of software

While using Linux, especially when installing and configuring software, online articles and installation guides are indispensable. I haven’t read so many tutorials within such a short timespan. I can only assume that normal PC users would have a hard time till their whole software setup is complete.

Running a Windows in a Virtual Machine under Linux would solve most of my problems. However, running Windows on Linux would be a contradiction in terms and makes no sense for me. Therefore, today I will switch back to Windows and looking forward to retry Linux in some years again.