Linux isn't just for nerds anymore...

CameraMan

POTN Refugee
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I started dabbling in Linux in 1994. It was kind of nice to see an alternative to Windows for the PC. But it was far to young and had many issues coming out of the gates. But I kept my eyes on it. It seemed very promising.
In 2006, I tried out Ubuntu. I ran it for about a week and a half on my computer and it wasn't too bad. Gnome looked really nice and I thought that it might be something I could get used to. But I had a photo scanner that wasn't compatible with Ubuntu (probably any Linux platform it wouldn't be compatible) and I really needed to scan some old photos. So I went back to Windows and stayed there for a good bit.

I would continue to check out Linux in Virtual Machines under Windows. Linux worked rather well in Virtual Machines only needing maybe 1GB of RAM. It was running pretty good in a VM. Finally, in 2018, when Microsoft was pushing Windows 10, I bought a copy of Windows 10, installed it on my computer and it just bogged down the whole system. It ran painfully slow. I loved Windows 7 and was pretty excited about 10 but it was a complete let down. I couldn't keep running 7 either because eventually, Microsoft would drop support for 7.

Since 10 was a no go for me, I explored the option to just build me a new computer. But I just wanted to try one more thing. Yep, I put Linux on that machine one more time. I selected Linux Mint 18.3 with the Cinnamon Desktop. It looked nice. It ran really well on my machine and it worked with my scanner and everything else I had plugged into that machine. It ran beautifully! Then not too long after that, Mint 19.0 came out and I upgraded to that. 19 was really a great improvement over 18.3 I thought. It ran quicker than Windows ever did on that machine and it didn't use a whole lot of RAM. I had 32GB in there (primarily for Windows 7) and if it used 4GB of RAM, I was doing quite a bit with it. But it barely went over using 2GB of RAM. It was REALLY good on memory!

About a year and a half later, I'd heard some people talking about this thing called Arch Linux. It seemed intriguing. I watched a couple of install videos and I installed it into a VM. It worked the first time. Even though it was a command line installation process (not a GUI installer) I had it installed in the VM on the first try. I played around in it for about 2 hours. I setup a GUI Desktop environment but I didn't want to run Cinnamon on Arch. It would have pretty much defeated the purpose of installing Arch in the first place. So I started looking at different desktop environments (DE). Nothing jumped out at me. I was following this Arch Linux guy on YouTube and he was talking about the GUI he was using. Basically a tiling window manager (TWM). So I was intrigued. This guy actually did a review of the top 10 TWMs available. One that really stood out was the Awesome Window Manager (Awesome or Awesome WM). I really liked the layout of it. I also loved that you could use hot keys to load programs. I also liked the virtual desktops it had. Awesome by default had 9 different virtual desktops per monitor which was pretty cool! I've got a desktop for Internet browsers, one for games, one for file management, one for the terminal (a command prompt program you use to send commands to the system through a command line like a DOS prompt), one for programming software, one for the office suite, one for virtual machines, one for music, one for photo editing (there's some pretty good photo editing stuff now in Linux that reads the camera raw files... I LOVE THAT!!!), and one for videos. I know that's more than 9 but I added a couple more virtual desktops because... well, you can and I needed them. So, I found the TWM I wanted to use.

So the way this works is, if you have multiple monitors like I have, you can have all of those virtual desktops on each monitor. So I have 3 of everything. 3 Browser desktops, 3 file manager desktops, etc. So, 10 desktops per monitor gives me 30 virtual desktops!!! Do I use them all? Heck no! I've used about 10-15 at one time. But not all 30. And you'd think having 3 screens with a dedication to a file manager would be a little redundant, no... not really. So if I'm doing something in a browser on screens 1 & 3 (usually the case for me... I usually have 2 browsers open) and you want to upload a photo somewhere using the drag and drop feature, you can have the browser open on monitor 3 and a file manager opened to your photo directory that you want to share the photos from on the second monitor, and just drag the photos you want to upload over to that other browser. Then you can go to a different desktop on monitor 3 while those photos are uploading and do an update from a terminal or listen to some music on Spotify, or whatever. And you can do all of that without having 3-4 programs on one monitor at the same time bumping into each other. Every program has it's own desktop. BRILLIANT!!!

So, I know many of you probably wouldn't want to try install Arch Linux your first time out but Linux Mint Cinnamon Desktop edition is perfect for anyone who just wants to try out Linux on their PCs. If you're comfortable installing an Operating system like you would with Windows then Linux installation should be pretty easy for you to do. I would highly recommend using it on a spare hard drive. Leave the Windows hard drive in tact just in case you don't like Linux, you can always just switch back to Windows and not lose everything. This is what I did in 2018. But, that Windows drive never went back into my computer except to back stuff up from it. I've been running Linux ever since. I switched to Arch Linux in February 2020. Been using it ever since with Awesome WM. I LOVE IT!!!!
 
I've been using only linux since 2003, started with redhat 7 and mandrake 7 and tried everything over the next few years but always back to mandrake/mandriva/mageia 'cause their tools are the best. Actually using mint at the moment for a change. Darktable and Digikam for photos and kdenlive for video. If you're not a up to date gamer, although steam has made that much better, or don't care about adobe products linux has been ready for the masses for a long time IMO.
 
Mint is what I use. I have a PC I have configured to dual boot into Linux and Windows.
When I decided I was done with Windows, I was quitting cold turkey. I bought a brand new 1 TB SSD and put it into the computer and installed Linux Mint on it. Other than backing stuff up like documents and photos from the Windows drive, I've never touched Windows. I kept that drive on a shelf for about 1 year and a half (also a 1TB SSD Drive), then I took it down and put Arch Linux on it. That's where I am now. Arch Linux and I absolutely love it!
 
I can’t, at least for now, free myself from Lightroom.
I've never used it so can't reliably pass judgement but I don't feel my photos are lacking when comparing pp results from lightroom users with my own using darktable. You would tell me otherwise, wouldn't you? ;):laugh; But I certainly do understand that using the familiar is a much easier option whichever package it is you've become used to, there has to be some tangible benefit to offset the pain of learning a whole new set of processes, at least for me anyway. :shrug: :)
 
I certainly do understand that using the familiar is a much easier option whichever package it is you've become used to
That's it exactly, Sid. I tried getting away from Adobe, but couldn't. I mean, Affinity Photo? Really? Capture One? Seriously? Even Darktable gave me a headache. So I caved and I now have a subscription. Which I hate. Not because I can't afford it, but the principle of the thing.

Learning Lightroom was easy but Photoshop not so much. I spent weeks, months watching one-on-one tutorials on Lynda.com. That was 15 years ago. I would need to invest as much time in something new and I'm not prepared to do that again, so I stayed with the familiar. :cloud:
 
Mint is what I use. I have a PC I have configured to dual boot into Linux and Windows.
I dual booted Windows and Slackware Linux for years. I loved Linux, the options, the security, the ability to adapt it to exactly what I used it for. What kept me from going full on Linux, like the others, was LR. Then I switched to Mac, still had a Linux machine, but life took over and the Linux machine died a quiet, lonely death, sadly.

For those interested in Linux without going through the install, however, Knoppix is always an excellent option. Runs off an external drive, and nothing gets installed. It gives you a really nice experience into the World of Linux.
 
I can’t, at least for now, free myself from Lightroom.
I'll tell you what... That was the hardest part about switching from Windows to Linux. Giving up Lightroom and Photoshop. It's probably one of the reasons a stopped shooting RAW photos back then. But now I've discovered some great alternatives.
GIMP is pretty close to Photoshop that I can find. It opens and makes editable my Canon RAW files.
The Lightroom equivalent I've found that Darktable is pretty close. You're presented with all of the images in a folder and you can click on one and do a quick edit of it changing exposure, color, etc. And when you're done, you can select the images you want to save as jpg, png, bmp, or whatever. There's many formats to choose from. I like it. It's pretty useful I think. And both GIMP and Darktable are free and open source. So, you won't have to spend a dime on either program.
 
Its been so long I totally forgot about GIMP!!!! All y'all are making me want to put a Linux box together again.....

I also forgot, unless something has changed, there are NO malware issues with Linux.
 
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Its been so long I totally forgot about GIMP!!!! All y'all are making me want to put a Linux box together again.....

I also forgot, unless something has changed, there are NO malware issues with Linux.
I use Firefox and It has a great blocking feature and doesn't let anything in that looks like it could cause issues to the computer. As far as malware and viruses are concerned, I know there are viruses but you really have to dig deep in order to be affected by them. Same with Malware. I've never experienced anything that does something I wouldn't expect it to do like pop up ads or anything while I'm using it. Everything I use is 100% safe!
 
Its been so long I totally forgot about GIMP!!!! All y'all are making me want to put a Linux box together again.....

I also forgot, unless something has changed, there are NO malware issues with Linux.
Things have changed. There's less malware in Linux than the more popular operating systems, but is is still out there. The user doesn't see it, but our chromatography products run on Linux. The user only sees the user interface. We are sending an update to mitigate Polkit exploits.
Here's one example of malware: https://arstechnica.com/security/20...alware-served-for-3-years-and-no-one-noticed/
 
Things have changed. There's less malware in Linux than the more popular operating systems, but is is still out there. The user doesn't see it, but our chromatography products run on Linux. The user only sees the user interface. We are sending an update to mitigate Polkit exploits.
Here's one example of malware: https://arstechnica.com/security/20...alware-served-for-3-years-and-no-one-noticed/
I think all that needs to happen is for the many people who were/are afraid of Linux is for them to download and try Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition and they'll be immediately not afraid of Linux anymore. It's very Windows like but it's not Windows. It's what pulled me away from Windows entirely in 2018.
 
I think all that needs to happen is for the many people who were/are afraid of Linux is for them to download and try Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition and they'll be immediately not afraid of Linux anymore. It's very Windows like but it's not Windows. It's what pulled me away from Windows entirely in 2018.
I'm not sure how that applies to my comments about malware, but a GUI environment works for many people.
 
That's it exactly, Sid. I tried getting away from Adobe, but couldn't. I mean, Affinity Photo? Really? Capture One? Seriously? Even Darktable gave me a headache. So I caved and I now have a subscription. Which I hate. Not because I can't afford it, but the principle of the thing.

Learning Lightroom was easy but Photoshop not so much. I spent weeks, months watching one-on-one tutorials on Lynda.com. That was 15 years ago. I would need to invest as much time in something new and I'm not prepared to do that again, so I stayed with the familiar. :cloud:
Yum update…

I’ve been an IT guy for many years…. But yet, windows, capture one and photoshop for me. Tuned PS with actions the way I work, can literally edit in minutes what took a half hour to an hour years ago.

I found capture one essential for how I shoot - in studio or outdoors. Tethered, basic raw edits and round trip to PS and back.

All my output is handled by capture one
 
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Yum update…

I’ve been an IT guy for many years…. But yet, windows, capture one and photoshop for me. Tuned PS with actions the way I work, can literally edit in minutes what took a half hour to an hour years ago.

I found capture one essential for how I shoot - in studio or outdoors. Tethered, basic raw edits and round trip to PS and back.

All my output is handled by capture one
I’m sure Capture One is excellent. But it’s not a very intuitive application, meaning I would have to invest time in learning how to use it and that’s not something I want to do right now. After 15 years of Photoshop it’s hard to switch.
 
I’m sure Capture One is excellent. But it’s not a very intuitive application, meaning I would have to invest time in learning how to use it and that’s not something I want to do right now. After 15 years of Photoshop it’s hard to switch.
Agree C1 is way different. Then suddenly, I got it. Now use the best of C1 and PS. Both get intuitive after a while. Now I end up liking both so much for what they do.
 
I've been on Linux Mint for maybe a decade. Fedora before that. I have Windows computers and Photoshop but almost never use them. All my photos are handled in Darktable. I have heard that Darktable does things Lightroom took a long time to implement, Parametric masking being the main one. My biggest complaint with the Linux ecosystem are help files. Programs don't automatically install them a lot of times. You don't know until you try to use them.
 
I worked on unix/linux severs for 25 years, and every few years I'd build a linux box with a gui interface just to see how they worked. The last time I tried it (3 or 4 years ago), I tried Mint and Cinnamon, I think, but I never found anything as robust as Windows. That's my go-to client OS.

My biggest beef with Windows was the command-line interface. DOS is and has always been brain dead. When they came out with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), that solved that problem. I can now write shell scripts there, completely integrated with the Windows OS, which is where the Linux OS shines. No more need for a separate Linux box to drive personal databases and such.

MacOS has a Unix back end (BSD port I believe) and comes with shell scripting by default. That was enough to make me buy a Macbook Air back in the 2010s, but not enough to keep me there. That was my only true experience with Macs. Went back to Windows for my next laptop.

My biggest complaint with the Linux ecosystem are help files. Programs don't automatically install them a lot of times. You don't know until you try to use them.
Unix has a long history of letting whoever wrote the code write the help files. I suspect this carried over to Linux. As you might expect, the quality of the help files varies quite a bit.
 
My biggest beef with Windows was the command-line interface. DOS is and has always been brain dead.
My niece brought over her new laptop the other night with Windows 11 on it. She was having difficulty downloading an app from her workplace website so she could do the things she needed to do from home. Problem was, it would download 2MB (of a 16MB file) and then stop and throw up an error. I'm pretty sure there is some sort of security thing set that isn't allowing her to download stuff with Microsoft Edge (YUK!!!) onto HER computer. I couldn't figure out what to turn off. I tried installing Firefox and same thing, it wouldn't install it. I tried installing it with the app store but Firefox wasn't in there. So, Windows 11 doesn't allow you to add things on your PC anymore? That's kind of garbage to me. I couldn't go back to Windows if that's what it's become.

I'm sure they're trying to cut down on the spread of viruses but, that's a terrible way to do that.
 
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