Notes on trying Linux in 2020

Earlier this year: Ubuntu 20

Here's how it went:

  1. 2020-05-23: Chrome, while using Notion.so, crashed.
  2. 2020-05-25: Firefox, while using Slack, crashed.

And when I say "crashed", I mean: no response. Even if I would wait for 1 hour. It froze. Hard.

The first freezing happened while I was using the version 440 of the NVIDIA driver for my video card. The second freezing happened while I was using the default one (can't remember but it was not far from the 440, but it was the default while installing the system).

The third problem that manifested itself a few days later has to do with the fact that I encrypted my home folder. There was the following error while booting:

cryptsetup: waiting for encrypted source device /swapfile
[...]
Initramfs unpacking failed.
Decoding failed.

That ended for me that latest experiment with Ubuntu.

Which us me to my...

Latest experiment (July 2020): Debian with KDE

I think I'm having more success now.

I installed Debian 10, the one that comes with KDE.

Some things I had to do that helped me:

1. Keyboard shortcut to display the Desktop

I use CTRL-ALT-D. This post showed me the way to do so.

2. Make Joplin work.Faire que Joplin fonctionne:

The normal installation didn't work on my setup. According to This thread Debian 10 changed something recently that brought some compatibility issue with apps like Joplin.

To get around this, I had to modify the desktop shortcut I use for starting Joplin, and modified the command to add the --no-sandbox option at the end.

3. Redshift: to avoid blue light in the night (helps to sleep faster)

It's like f.lux, but Open source and works on linux. The funny thing is: I just realized while writing this post that f.lux was actually compatible with Linux.

So anyway, I grabbed Redshift and it does the job. And no need to pass longitude & latitude when starting it. It figures out by itself (according to my experience, at least).

4. (Only if dual booting with Windows) Avoid breaking the time on Windows

For some reasons, Windows and Linux don't manage time the same way. So unless you're lucky enought to live in the GMT time zone, you might want to take a look at that video that shows what changes you have to do in your system's registry (using Regedit.exe).

Conclusions

So far I'm happy.

I don't boot on Debian very often, but at least it's there. And it never crashed on my like Ubuntu did. Maybe it's due to the different desktop environment that uses my video card differently. I don't know.

But I figured I would try this more conservative approach, with a less bleeding edge distro, that is reliable and stable.

So far, I got Zoom working out of the box with my Logitech webcam (no driver installation needed), and my laser printer worked out of the box as well. That's pretty good already.

So far so good.