New user, a bit overwhelmed, seeking advice

I'm a windows user since 1999. I'm looking to make the switch to Linux, to get away from the dumpster fire that is Windows. But I'm finding it difficult to actually land on a distro. I've decided that I for sure want to use KDE. I'm just not a fan of the others, but I really like the Plasma DE. Stability is paramount for me since I am a professional writer and illustrator, and my paycheck essentially comes from work I do in my OS. Like so many of you here.

I'm going to be using Libre office, Gimp, and Krita. But what I can't have, is some kind of crash or hard lock in the middle of work. Cause maybe I've been writing for 3 or 4 hours when it happens, and then I lose that much work. We all forget to hit the save button sometimes. Unless those programs have an autosave feature I'm unaware of? That would be awesome and then I wouldn't need to worry so much about the stability of my OS. Maybe it would save every 5 minutes or something like that. I'll be switching over from M$ office and Photoshop, to these FOSS alternatives. It looks to me like they'll do what I need just fine.

Anyway if I can't get some form of autosave, then I need stability. So I'm wondering if I should just use Debian stable instead, with Plasma DE. I've been reading the forum a bit and it looks like you have some people who have been using Manjaro (stable) for years and have never had any problems. Then other people who had an update that somehow managed to uninstall all the Kernels. That would be bad news for me. I've already installed Manjaro on a spare computer and set up Timeshift to take system snapshots once a day.

That should work for restoring it, but it wouldn't restore hours of potentially lost work. So what do you guys think? Should I go for Debian stable? I've been researching Canonical and I don't think that I really want anything to do with that company. They've generally fallen out of favor with the linux community and I can see why. Most people tell me to head straight for Ubuntu, but I just don't want to use Ubuntu given that it's canonical's flagship. I'd sooner just use something like Solus instead.

I love the idea of how up to date manjaro stays, but I just don't know what to think about the stability. As I said I'll be using the stable version with KDE. So I'd like to hear what you guys think. Not wanting to have anything to do with Ubuntu cuts out a whole lot of distributions. That's why I'd just go ahead and go straight to Debian for stability. Anyway I look forward to hearing your recommendation.

My recommendations would be Centos, MX Linux or Linux Mint if your priorities are ease of use and high stability.

It seems like you have already read the other thread from earlier today so I won't rehash that all here.

updates that cause problems are not going to cause you to lose work unless you're running updates WHILE you're working. finish working, save and close, then run updates. they're not auto-applied.

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Libre office has auto save.

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I'm on the testing build and except for an occasional issue I find the rolling release of Manjaro KDE far more stable, and reliable than the static releases of other distros.

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Hi, A lot of good info in the post above as I use just about everything I would have to suggest. ( In no given order )
Debian stable, MX Linux and Linux Mint
I also would have added Centos stable but there is a little more learn curve with it.
Good Luck.

Just a word of caution - Debian doesn't install proprietary drivers, so you might run into a little trouble when you install, if it doesn't have the drivers you need.

Using my computer as an example I need to download the wifi drivers beforehand, to have ready during installation, which can be a hassle for new users.

So I'll put in a vote for the two others.
Everybody seems to love MX Linux, so maybe try that, otherwise I think Mint is great for new users.

Manjaro is stable as a rock I have found, but once in a blue moon you'll have some hassle with an update, and that doesn't mix well with deadlines, so I agree to not use that.

GIMP doesn't have an auto-save, but I tried this script and found that it works - but it's totally bare bones and has no user interface, so you'll have to start gimp from the command line if you want to see its output. Just save it and copy it to the GIMP plug-in folder (something like ~/.config/GIMP/2.10/plug-ins/), make it executable (chmod +x filename) and you'll have an "Activate autosave" in the file menu that saves every ten minutes to a file in /tmp. The file is named gimp-randomstring.xcf, and is deleted when you close the image, but remains if you close GIMP, so you might get a lot of old backups over time. The best thing about the script is that it's simple - so you might get a pytonic friend to improve a bit on it :slight_smile:

This is an older script with a GUI - it creates an Extensions menu in GIMP and complains that it can't find an icon file, but seems to work. I haven't tested it properly, though.

Good luck and welcome to the wild wonderful world of Linux :slight_smile:

Perhaps you could consider KDE neon.

IIRC, Linux Mint has dropped it's KDE edition and MX Linux comes with Xfce (you could install KDE afterwards but it has it's tweaking and tinkering I guess).

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Not Linux Mint as the OP doesn't want Ubuntu and Mint is based on Ubuntu... I agree with CentOS, never used MX Linux.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also: Manjaro isn't bad if you take a Crash-proof Backup and stay on the LTS (currently 4.19) kernel and don't buy the latest and greatest new hardware. @bennylava

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You can set up the repositories during the install to non-free. They also have an ''unoffical'' non-free edition:

https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/

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Debian is great for servers. However, for a desktop, you may find the lack of up-to-date software frustrating with time. Also, as another user alluded to above, they have a strict policy on the kinds of software available in their default repositories.

Seeing as we're on the Manjaro forums, although Manjaro's Arch-based, it's surprisingly user-friendly. I've come to find it more convenient than Ubuntu. Everything you want will either be in the main Manjaro repos or the Arch User Repository. For instance, I use RStudio (a GUI for R). On most distributions you need to keep this up to date by manually checking the website, downloading a package, and installing it. With Manjaro, I can install and update it via yay.

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You are going to have no more issues with Manjaro than you would any other distro. Regardless of the first line you wrote above your second line makes it sound like other distros are more stable than Manjaro. As for MX Linux I thought 19 was a pile of you can guess what. If you want as close to windows out of the gate then Mint Cinnamon. If you want something that you can make similar to or complete emulate windows then any Distro With KDE, but personally I go with a rolling release.

If ubuntu based Kubuntu is far superior to Neon.

Manjaro works great on the latest kernels, as for the latest hardware most distros won't handle the most bleeding edge hardware.

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Hehe, I guess my experience is that all the main distros I have tried are very stable. Updates are a source of potential hassle though - more of a change issue than a stability issue mind you - and can give some grief from time to time.

Therefore, although the Manjaro installations I have had has been rock solid (very much more so than M$ Windoze at any rate), I do recommend the OP, being heavily dependent on a functioning computer, to use another distro.

That said, I have to admit my two brain halves doesn't quite agree - I love Manjaro :slight_smile:

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Completely disagree with you.

Dual-booting, if you will find the time and are willing to maintain another system, could also be an option. You could have one as a fallback system if things go awry with the other.

In my experience (two months), as a rolling release there will be surprises from time to time with Manjaro with updates, and if you change to newer kernels.

Suddenly resume from suspend doesn't work any longer, audio may act unpredictable or not work, clipboard functionality may not work, and so on.

I never experience these on my Debian based computers.

For a new user, this can be overwhelming if he/she has no idea about where to begin.

Not saying I'm going anywhere, I love Manjaro. Just stating my experiences.

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There's an unofficial Debian ISO with non-free wireless drivers

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Manjaro doesn't crash like that. Within days you will notice how much more stable it is compared to Windows. When we are calling Manjaro an 'unstable rolling-release distro', we are referring to the updates that come both thick and fast (but only when you request them!). It is very simple to defend oneself against the consequences of foul updates:

  • Taking laptop on your travels? Don't update the night before.
  • Deadline for filing tax documents online approaching? Wait to run your updates until documents filed.
  • Tight work schedule, busy life, wife? Leave updates until you have some unclouded days ahead of you.

Saying that, I can't remember when last time was that an update caused issues to a Manjaro of mine. Besides that, Manjaro has some really easy to use tools to fix the computer when an update goes awry.

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SPOT ON all the suggestions any sane person would do in windows or any OS.

We call this Distro-hopping. Given you are new to Linux, don't look for it to end any time soon. It's normal.

Try on all the distributions so far mentioned. Then try some others. Only you can decide what fits you best--for now.

Welcome to The Bazaar! :smiley:

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