Various distributions I used and a general history of my computing practices.

Date: July 21 2021


For most of my life, I used Windows products, I would classify myself as a Windows 7 Home Edition person, I have nostalgic memories playing Purble Place and other games. I never grew up with Linux, Windows XP or Windows 95/98/2000/ME.

I first became aware of Linux when an ex-friend talked about it being superior to Windows, and at some point in 2019 I installed Pop OS on my gaming computer. It was a good distro since I was just starting out and I felt comfortable. I occassionaly switched between Ubuntu and Pop OS whenever I experienced problems since I didn't know how to fix them. I didn't have to worry about Linux at school since my school lends computer to students for a year until summer holiday and those computers used Windows, but at some point I eventually brought my own laptop for the following reasons:

  1. It was more flexible, I could bring my laptop home where as if you use the School laptops you HAD to leave them at school
  2. It was more free, I controlled the system myself and I could make sure that no foreign software was spying on me.
  3. It was more customizable, If my school doesn't want me to download Tor or a VPN to circumvent blocked websites. Well, too bad! I am gonna do it anyway!
  4. The school computers were faster than mine, but since I run Linux, It was (mostly) as fast as the proprietary computers.

At first, I used Xubuntu and that worked for a while before I discovered "Garuda Linux", it was a Arch Linux Distro that was supposed to make Arch easier and more accessible, I tried it but it sucked.

  1. I installed the Xfce4 Lite edition which claimed to be minimal and simple, it wasn't... it was super bloated.
  2. It also had third-party mirrors and repositories installed.
  3. There are also some "garuda" packages, customized for the distro itself.
  4. Garuda Linux had firefox addons installed without your permission and it was super hard for a normal user (like me) to uninstall them. (Hint: They are built-in Arch packages, search the AUR for firefox extensions and then remove them using a command.)
  5. The Calamares Installer desktop shortcut didn't work so I had to edit the file myself... (I also think the Installer itself didn't work due to some errors but I installed Garuda Linux successfully)

Garuda Linux was way too bloated for me (even when I used the Lite edition) so I switched to Xubuntu. And then the pandemic got worse and our school switched to online teaching. I was suddenly spending so much time inside with my Ubuntu Gaming PC and I would often run into problems and search for solutions to them online and learn more about how Linux worked.

At home I would experiment with desktop setups on my laptop, the same ex-friend told me about a combination of openbox + nitrogen + lx-panel, which sucked. It had no volume management, no brightness changer, it just plain sucked. But I started experimenting with other combinations, I couldn't find a desktop setup I like and after a long time of using Xubuntu, I switched to Debian with Xfce4, it worked a little bit better but I kept experimenting.

After several months of learning, I could fix a lot of problems by myself and I was even capable of launching my own server, which I did, I first installed Ubuntu Server on it, it worked, after 2 weeks of using Ubuntu Server, I switched to Debian on my server.

Eventually, I switched to Debian on my gaming pc and I found a decent desktop combination for the laptop. Currently Debian is my favorite distribution, I tried installing Arch but I was still inexperienced. Anyways here is my laptop setup:

I generally like to keep my computer minimalistic which means I install Debian with nothing except for Standard system utilities and then I install a Desktop Environment manually (I use scripts to install packages but I copy configuration files manually)


Copyrigt (C) Abdul Karim Kikar 2021