Better part of 6 months has passed from my last report and I sure do feel it. Now my last report was about distribution and how I'm cozy in Fedora. Fedora is a fantastic distro, it lets you do anything to it. Even if you want to shoot yourself in the foot, it will hand you the gun and watch you do it. I highly recommend using it if you want to learn the in & outs of everything Linux has to offer with fairly fresh updates to pretty much everything.
Which brings me to my next point, I'm using Linux Mint 18 on both of my machines.
Why the flip flop around distros? Because I'm still learning and also I'm realistic.
To further elaborate, I'm not completely aware of how all of the gears work in Linux so when things break it takes me a bit of time to check everything. While Fedora is quite stable overall, lots of little things would pop out or something handy with a GUI breaks so I have to command line it (for instance the GUI for dnf was broken and figured it was my fault somehow but nope, recent update broke it). While I do enjoy fixing things or finding out something new about the thing I use every day; I've got shit to do.
Just to bring this all around, here are a few things I've discovered while using Fedora in the widest case possible.
- SELinux is fantastic to make sure your system is nice and secure, however it prevents a lot of games from steam and some other games from launching, so had to disable it most of the time anyway.
- Over time I was getting worried about executing a 'dnf upgrade' command as something would be fixed but then something else would break in turn.
- Installing Nvidia drivers. Biggest pain in my ass, no matter how many guides I looked up and following to the letter.
- I'm used to old guides from other versions not working on my current version of whatever, but Fedora with it's 6 month cycle makes it hard to dig up information about that "one" thing only you seem to have a problem with.
- Fedora out of the box is not very usable with multimedia support and have to cram it full of non-free repos right away to get started with anything.
- Most companies that supply software support for Linux only package for DEB and not RPM, making the pool of software available to you smaller.
- All of your pulseaudio underruns are belong to us.
While it may sound like I'm picking on Fedora, I'm not, I learned quite a bit in the few months I used it and better for it.
So Linux Mint. This was pretty much my pick after deciding to switch over (again) mainly because it's based off of an LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu 16.04 which is supported until 2021. The only downside to an LTS is that some programs don't receive even fairly fresh versions in the repository of that LTS version for a long time (if ever). But if the program in question is something you want updated quite often then you have 2 good options; Build it from source or PPAs.
As I'm a lazy person who wants to get things done, 99.9% of the time I use PPAs.
PPAs (Personal Package Archive) are pretty much someones tiny repo to plug into your own, it's not as secure but it's better than downloading a random deb package from the net and hoping it's the real deal.
I'm sure there are more experienced Linux users who will call me out on some detail or how pumping my distro full of proprietary libraries and software hurts my digital freedom. However where I was at the start of this year compared to now is vastly improved, recently received my final email from Adobe about how my Creative Cloud subscription has run out. Even though I cleaned out everything adobe months ago, it's just refreshing to see something that I had to sign a EULA and pay a bill on top of just be done with.
Recently I had a good chance to really push my photography in my new world without Adobe software, here are some Flickr album links of two countries and the photos taken there. Just about everything was done in Darktable, anything else that required touching up I popped into GIMP.
While the learning curve to new software has been fairly close to ripping duct tape off of a hairy leg, I will say there are features I never knew to think about. To many little details to mention them all here but one in particular really sticks out. The watermark, now the Iceland photo has this website while isn't a tricky detail but it's able to pull meta-data from the photo and include it, which I find just fantastic! No extra step required on my part, just needed to make an SVG vector file with some text tags that darktable knows about and done. You'll notice that the Scotland one only has the website, this is because it's an HDR photo and meta-data for shutter speed, ISO, ect. is blanked out after it's exported.
Overall I'm very pleased with how everything worked, and to make note I was working on my laptop, an Intel i7-4600U with 8GB of ram. Did just fine editing photos while traveling. For HDR and panoramic I'd recommend something a bit more desktopy unless you like the sound of a laptop fan on high in a small room for hours on end.
My choice to go full Linux has really come through, the more I keep reading, the more options I keep finding on how to do something better and faster than before. Just recently I looked at my Steam library, a total of about 700+ games and when I first started this it was around 200+ Linux/SteamOS games, now it's 383! Thats a huge jump and quite frankly I wasn't expecting that number to grow quite so fast but you can be I'm happy about it.
UPDATE: I found a nifty website to check your steam library for Linux compatible games.
One thing I forget about when counting my number is that once I feel I'm pretty much done with a game, it goes in the hidden section of my steam library so the numbers above are actually fairly inaccurate however keep in mind I did see a few bits of DLC in the quick and dirty linux checker site.
So in total, 1041 games, 471 of them on Windows, 493 on Linux/SteamOS and it also lists 77 of them as unknown, there were a couple of linux games in that unknown list but just as many windows titles as well. Overall I'm even more delighted to know these numbers! 47.4% for Linux, 45.2% Windows & the 7.4% of unknown.
It's been a while sense I've cleaned my library list and backlog, will be going into that at some point.