Posting this here since the PC forums here seem to be a ghost town.
The only things that kind of prevent me from jumping into Linux wholesale nowadays is the comfort of everything in my Windows 10 setup being as perfect as it is right now, (outside of Windows 10 not exactly allowing me to be as private as I'd prefer to be) and the many Linux distros to choose from.
Essentially, the needs for my PC nowadays are that I want it to be a gaming PC first and foremost, HTPC when I want to watch movies, anime, TV shows,what have you, listen to music, and maybe type stuff here and there for work, and be able to easily access any file I want and conveniently be able to make changes to said files as necessary. So while GamerOS would be kind of convenient on the gaming side of things, anything to do with setting something up that doesn't use RetroArch would be dead in the water, and I need it to do more than just game in the first place!
I'm not worried about the system requirements. I have an i7-8700k, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a GTX 1080, and running all SSDs with no HDDs, so I think I'm all set on the hardware side of things. It's just a matter of what should I go with at the end of the day?
I've had my experiences with a few of these from a month ago when I pieced together an old PC of mine from unused parts lying around and decided to make it my sort of "Linux guinea pig" that wouldn't affect anything from my main build so I could just do stuff without having to worry about accidentally formatting an SSD that has my most up-to-date stuff on it! Here's some impressions based on what I could find. The reason I'm posting this is sort of to help those of you who wish to make a recommendation for a Linux build based on my experiences with the following OSes.
Ubuntu - The one I've had the most experience with, but I remember running into some issues when it came to specialized hardware (think HORI RAP4 Kai specialized). I had this idea from watching an ETA Prime video and seeing all of these Arcade1Up cabinets in the electronics department at the Walmart I worked at to make an "arcade PC" that would put those to shame while also being easy to swap things in and out in a very "we just put this thing into this thing here, set up these sticks to PC mode, configured everything to "just work", and put in a fully powered PC that boots into Big Box at launch" kind of PC build. Nothing too technical, but unfortunately, that was what had me doubting how flexible Ubuntu could be at times when it comes to hardware that isn't as common as an Xbox One controller.
Manjaro - This is a popular one alongside Ubuntu, and while I remember the RAP4 Kais working fine, I remember there being some problem I don't remember. Maybe it was something to do with the interface? I couldn't remember, though.
GamerOS - Like I summarized above, probably one of the easier ways to get SteamOS installed (because I was honestly curious to see how it held up in 2020), and while Steam Buddy is a cool piece of software, it's just too limiting if you want to add something like RPCS3 to launch with Steam. I'm sure there's a way to do it, but some things are just made easier when you have a GUI as opposed to having to navigate a Terminal. I know, that's a thing that you have to get used to with Linux in general, but when you literally have to craft your entire OS around a commandline, you get...
Arch - I've heard that, once this is fully setup, its a godsend. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. All I know is, and maybe this is because I spent an entire week spending entire days trying the above out (and I think Mint was in there somewhere) and solving the various issues with all of the above, but something just being missing or running into a brick wall in the process, I was not in the mood to commandline my way to setting up a GUI just so I can have access to the Arch User Repository (AUR).
I mean, if I had to give a tl;dr of the above, all of these would work fine, except it'd be like there'd be a missing piece of the puzzle from what I have on Windows 10 atm that just makes the experience fall apart for me personally. And I should say, a lot of the more portable files (think RetroArch remaps, save files, shaders, RPCS3 configurations) are stored on external SSDs for easy retrieval in the event that my PC's motherboard bites the dust like it did on the build from which I extracted the CPU and RAM to make my "Linux-test-that-could-be-used-as-a-secondary-PC-for-System-Link-Multiplayer-And-Other-Projects" PC. So I'm not worried about formatting the M.2 on the motherboard for a single OS.
In the end, I want to know what Linux distro do you recommend? Or should I just stick with Windows and use tools that may or may not work given how often Windows 10 updates and how said updates can break said programs that solve the privacy problems that Windows 10 introduced?
You need to be logged in to comment