Memory shards

Do something lively!

Last year, Microsoft announced Windows 11. It was around that time I decided to switch to GNU/Linux. I did that for multiple reasons.

First, I didn’t want to fight with my own operating system anymore. Privacy issues, pushes toward online accounts, inclusion of ads… I had enough of playing whack-a-mole against Microsoft, trying to find new workarounds in their operating system at every turn. Another reason to move to GNU/Linux was my experience with it. At that point, I was already quite comfortable with GNU/Linux and free softwares in general. I installed Debian on my laptop in 2015 and I’ve been using it for programming and casual web browsing ever since. Running another distribution on my desktop wouldn’t be that hard and I could learn more about operating systems along the way. Lastly, using programs with a command-line interface is a pain on Windows. It gives the impression that it wasn’t designed around it or any kind of automation (Windows PowerShell was added much later and doesn’t seem as powerful as GNU core utilities). Switching to GNU/Linux could help me to set up command-line programs and automate some tasks more easily.

For years, I didn’t want to make that jump because of one main obstacle: gaming. But, with the improvement of Wine and Proton, I felt ready to at least try.

The first step was to pick a GNU/Linux distribution. As I wanted to test the viability of GNU/Linux gaming for only a few weeks, I chose a simple Debian-based distribution: Pop!_OS. Then, I installed Steam as a flatpak and Lutris from the Pop!_Shop. Finally, I tested a bunch of games and I was happily surprised: almost all were working perfectly or worked with some tweaks; Steam games or not. Now, I was sure I could comfortably move to GNU/Linux. But, I wasn’t happy with Pop!_OS: the shop was slow, buggy and crashed a lot. Flatpaks, especially the one for Steam, made tweaking more difficult. Packages were also quite old.

So, two months later, I switched to an Arch Linux-based distribution: EndeavourOS. It being a rolling release distribution meant that I would get the latest version of packages more quickly. I also installed i3 as my tiling window manager because I wanted something lightweight and centered around keybindings. Everything was fine with my games library and I could finally enjoy a customizable operating system. The hardest thing about it was probably the maintenance. Running an Arch Linux-based distribution also meant I had to update quite often like once a week or every two weeks. But I got used to pacman quickly and learnt a lot with the help of the manual and the ArchWiki: how to update packages, managing .pacnew/.pacsave, ignoring package updates or even rolling back.

Back to the present, I’m now quite satisfied with my system. I can play games with the least amount of proprietary softwares. I also have fun messing around with scripts and powerful command-line programs and I’d recommend anyone with a decent knowledge of computers to try it.

See you again, have a nice day!