Likely to Be my Permanent – and my Only – Linux OS

This one bears repeating even though it’s a couple of years old now. I must have had a flash of common sense once, but then soon wandered off. And look where I ended up – right back here again!  So I’m changing the date of this post just to show ehere I keep coming back to.

I have kept Linux Lite and MX-Linux around for a long while, mostly to help introduce new users to Linux. Many of them got started because the Microsoft OS they were used to is such a freakin’ resource-hog that you have to buy a new computer every three years or so just to keep up! Why let a perfectly good working machine go to the landfill because Micro$oft has decided not to support it anymore, right? So, Linux to the rescue, right?

Nope, not nearly as much as it ought to be. A trip to the Swap Shop finds a dozen or so vendors offering refurbished computers for $40 or so, but they still have Windows and they’re slower than snails. When I used to brag about how Linux could make them run better than new, and without any need for the dreaded terminal, I won a few “converts,” and a few more by cleaning up and donating old computers with a lightweight “newbie-friendly” distro pre-installed. Of allllllll those people I helped, guess how many are still using Linux?

One. Just one. As far as I know, anyway, we lost touch when I moved away. So maybe none! All of them – and we’re only talking a dozen or so – have since traded up to new computers and – one guess – they’re Windows or Mac.

So, my OS is gonna be for ME, not for anyone else. Not to “show off” to others in hopes of winning them over; not on my computer so I can walk others through the steps of configuring, fixing, tweaking, and installing software. Not for the coolest, awesomest, most thrilling visual effects and eye candy I used to care about. No more of that now… my ‘puter is my own, and it’s just for me, and it’s gonna be what I want: Blazing fast, graphical, simple, uncomplicated, and basic. No systemd. No bloat. Nothing I don’t need or want. One application per task, faithful to the old Unix ideal, quaint and outdated as that might seem to others who like the bleeding edge, eye candy, and super gaming capability. Does anyone know of a Linux distro that offers just that, without all the busy bovine excrement that has to be included in the OS just to make this-or-that other thing work that you actually want? One that is still supported and up-to-date without the instability of the Big Major desktop distros? I can think of one. It’s an old faithful standby that has kept my ancient spare 32-bit Dell out of the landfill for over a year now, with no issues. And it’s mind-bending fast on my higher-end 64-bit desktop and laptop.

I’m so disheartened by the fact that all my enthusiasm, “evangelism,” and newbie support for Linux hasn’t actually changed anyone’s mind for more than a temporary short period, that I think I’m pretty much done with all that now. I’ve got better things to use my computer for than just writing about computers, OSes, software, and why these things should matter to people. In fact they don’t matter to most people, and desktops and laptops have largely been replaced by smart phones and tablets now anyway. You like your Chromebook? Cool. Does it matter to most people that it’s Linux-based? Prob’ly not. Does it matter that it’s a Google gadget and it’s likely spying on you and reporting back to the Mother Ship for targeted ads and to predict what you’re likely to spend money on and where you go every day? Apparently not.

Well, it matters to me. And to maybe 2% of all desktop computer users on Earth. The other 98% are content to be carried along, captive to a single vendor and subject to it’s whims. Fine, fools.

I’m moving on.

14 thoughts on “Likely to Be my Permanent – and my Only – Linux OS

  1. You try.
    For a while.
    Then you see they don’t want to spend the least little bit of attention to their computers and even less to their OSes. Then you observe them using their computers. Very hamfisted, complicated, stupidly. They are treating their expensive IT machines like household appliances. Without knowing the first thing about how they function. And you suddenly don’t even want those brutes to work on a good Linux system that’s far too good and precious for those barbarians.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙂 I have encouraged a friend of mine to try out Linux without getting rid of his Windows installation. He has more than one computer and he experiments with various types of Linux distros.

    The best thing to do is to let them see it on your computer; which I find is more effective than actually telling them about Linux.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. More effective? Actually, showing it to them was why I had the fancy dancy distro on my laptop to begin with. To demonstrate how far Linux has come, how easy it is, and how simply gorgeous and elegant even a lightweight DE can be. They saw and experienced the speed, the beauty, and the security of Linux using it on Live DVDs and USB keys. Was it effective?

      Pft. Only for one out of a zillion and twelve.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 Part of the problem stems from the types of software that they are accustomed using; for example, if they rely on Microsoft Word, you could let them know about the Free and Open Source alternative — Libre Office Writer.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yessir. I thank you for the advice, but this ain’t my first rodeo. It’s my last. I did 100% of my college coursework (so far) on LibreOffice, I helped edit some classmates’ papers (kids can’t spell and don’t know grammar, and even Grammarly gets it wrong sometimes) using LibreOffice, and most of the folks I showed already use or know about Firefox and Thunderbird.

        I have been a “Linux Evangelist” for many years, and learned a lot about “effective” ways to preach and demonstrate the power and beauty of the Gospel of FOSS. I healed the sick (rescuing lost data), cured the lame (restoring old computers), and even raised the dead (literally digging computers out of the trash and bringing them back to years of useful life)! I have been an Apostle of FOSS for a lonnnnnng time, in spite of my well-documented fear of technology.

        I’m simply “retiring,” my friend. Getting on with more important and effective things. No more “casting pearls before swine,” if you will.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Understand completely your desire to move on for the reasons you’ve given.

    Having said that, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your posts. I am a “Linux only” person now, using MX Linux.

    If you decide to keep writing or to start writing again, there are quite a few of us who care about the things you do.

    Best to you!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You didn’t wanna stop blogging about Linux, do ya?

        Many of us Xers are so smitten, so completely in love with the power and elegance of (some) Linux distros, we need to let the world know about it. In that regard we Xers are like vegetarians and xtians. Nothing wrong with that. I guess many of us also need some sort of creative outlet to accomplish our mission.

        A blog is perfect, as a pseudo-creative outlet in some aspects even better than a YouTube channel, because reading doesn’t come easy for many people anymore, and comprehending what they just have read is even harder for most. So I guess a blog reading audience is much better than a video-watching one. They read our shit word for word, analyse and take us apart point by point. This is very good.

        And even if nobody reads my shit anymore, it was always, from the first minute on, my credo to continue writing my weird blog even when I’m the last living person on the globe. I’m doing it for me, first and foremost. When you adopt that mindset, Robin, you can never reach the point of “last rodeo” and will be much happier.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, I haven’t decided yet, but likely the blog will expand, actually, to include other stuff besides just “Linux stuff.” I appreciate your remarks of encouragement, and I’m glad the blog has been helpful at least to some few people. However few, it’s worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Actually, out of sheer boredom, I revisited Linux Lite, an old Xubuntu-based favorite. I might have just did Xubuntu like the good ol’ days, but I’m mad as hell at Canonical for making snaps the default for package management for cry’n out loud. So I toyed around with my other old favorite that still uses Ubuntu’s software repositories with snaps disabled, plus their own repos. Verrrrry nice “general purpose” distro, equal and in some instances better than even Linux Mint, long may it live.

    Today, September 5th, I expect the latest SalixOS to be released. Kinda a “niche distro” I guess, but it has none of the cruft and bloat and duplicate stuff to fill up the hard drive and multiply the likelihood of an update breaking something. It’ll still probably remain my go-to distro, at least on the old Dell Dimension (32-bit) that was my very first computer!


    1. Hi Robin,

      How difficult would you say it is to switch to Salix/slackware from a Debian based Linux system (MX with fluxbox)?

      I’m happy with MX Linux at this point, but am not happy with the “expiration” model of Debian, and so am always open to systemd -free systems that get good reports as Salix has from you!



      1. Hi Alec,
        “Straight” Slackware is for advanced users. I like SalixOS because it offers some cool graphical tools very similar to the ones you enjoy in MX-Linux. Like Debian, there’s the Stable branch, released whenever it’s ready – often a long time between releases, and “Current,” which is akin to Debian Testing / Unstable (“Sid”). Salix is built from, and fully compatible with, Slack Stable.

        “Slackel” is sibling distro to Salix, built on Slackware Current. It has all of the Salix tools as well. The two projects share some developers and forums.

        But “under the hood,” Slackware and Debian are very close. Except that Slackware remains free of systemd. They’ve softened up a bit, using Elogind as a get-around, to the disappointment of the anti-systemd purists.


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