A few weeks ago during a time-sensitive 350GB book transfer, Windows 10 rebooted afterwards warning. Aback the OS restarted I was greeted with an infuriating dejected awning that had become all too familiar. No, not that infuriating dejected screen. The one that declares “Working On Updates.” It was, as they say, the aftermost straw. Afterwards two decades of relying on Windows I assuredly absitively it was time for the nuclear option.
RELATED: 5 Reasons To About-face From Windows To Linux
For abounding years my abhorrence of Linux outweighed my grievances with Windows. In the aboriginal 2000’s I experimented with distributions like SUSE, Redhat and Debian because I was alert with seeing “the added side” of a desktop PC environment. I capital to tinker. I became an able at googling for disciplinarian solutions and abstruse basal Terminal commands by necessity. But now I’m beforehand and acquire beneath patience. I aloof appetite my arrangement to assignment out of the box.
So aback I’d deathwatch my XPS 13 from beddy-bye alone to acquisition the WiFi disciplinarian had chock-full alive and couldn’t ascertain any networks, I told myself “simply rebooting is easier than ambidextrous with Linux.” Aback I was disconnected by connected nags, reboots and Windows Updates I consoled myself with thoughts like “just acquire it, you’re adequate with this and it’s aloof the way things are.” Aback I bare to install or displace Windows 10 alone to be met with a acutely amaranthine array of bureaucracy screens, I reassured myself that this was easier than managing the headaches Linux would introduce.
I apprehend there are workarounds to all of these issues, and that best of Microsoft’s actual advancing aloofness defaults can be disabled. But article aloof put me over the bend recently, and I craved an operating arrangement that was lightweight, distraction-free, bare of balloon and backward out of my way.
Linux Mint: Fresh Look, False Start
So afterwards abetment aggregate up and again consulting the acceptance rankings at Distrowatch.com, I downloaded Linux Mint to an 8GB USB stick and took a apathetic aboriginal footfall against authoritative Linux my circadian driver. But aboriginal I capital to see how it would run, which is what makes the “Live” options of abounding Linux distributions so attractive. Aloof cossack from your USB stick and see if it plays nice with your hardware. Play about with the desktop environment. Get a feel for things.
I absitively I enjoyed what I was seeing and hit the Install icon. Mint’s accession accepted couldn’t acquisition a drive to install the OS to. Bye-bye!
What, you anticipation this would be dark acclaim for Linux? Not quite. Perhaps I bare to “mount” the XPS 13’s centralized drive, or affair a Terminal command, or adapt article in the BIOS to accomplish it clear by Mint. But I was asleep set on absent article chimp-simple, which included installation.
Ubuntu: The Aftermost Stop
Canonical’s Ubuntu seems to command a lot of mindshare aback it comes to desktop Linux, so that was my abutting stop. I went through the aforementioned paces: download to a USB stick, cossack up to the “Live” adaptation of Ubuntu 18.04 (which includes 5 years of aegis patches and updates), acquire a attending around, bang “Install.” Ubuntu presented me with several options for administration the centralized SSD, including announcement the absolute drive. Tempting! I was activity advantageous so I took the plunge.
By the way, years ago I bethink accepting to manually baddest and admeasurement the drive’s partitions for /swap, /root and /home folders. What a abatement to see this is an automated advantage now!
My surprises began with the acceleration of Ubuntu’s installation. It took actually four account from alpha to finish, including selecting my region, a username and a WiFi arrangement to download updates in the background. Four account you guys! That’s extraction, installation, setup. Within four account I was accessible to log in and get to work.
Beyond that, no added drivers were needed. Ubuntu appropriately detected all of my XPS 13 accouterments including WiFi adapter and the attractive 4K touchscreen. Function keys, touchpad, webcam, yep. On my aboriginal appointment to the Gnome-based desktop environment, I alike noticed that chantry ascent was set to 200% to atone for the display’s aerial resolution. And there was a “nightlight” advantage for abbreviation dejected ablaze in darker environments? Awesome!
Bonus points: on aboriginal boot, Ubuntu presents a awning to opt out of abstracts collection.
The Beauty of Centralized Apps
Were this Windows, my abutting stop would be installing a acceptable web browser. Firefox was already there in the favorites dock, so syncing my bookmarks and passwords was as accessible as logging in. LibreOffice is there too, and while not actually as glossy as Microsoft Office it has the account of actuality actually anatomic and best of all free. Now I’d charge to install being like VLC, Spotify, Telegram and Slack. Meaning visiting assorted websites, downloading the bales and again installing them while dispatch through the assorted authorization agreements and bureaucracy options for anniversary allotment of software.
Except that the Ubuntu Breeze Store and included Software Center were the alone destinations I’d need.
The across of software you can install with a distinct bang is outstanding, at atomic for me. Discord, Spotify, Skype, VLC, Telegram, OBS, Slack, GIMP, Audacity, assorted eBook readers and bags added to explore. I acquire to say, however, that the astronomic alternative of software actuality can be daunting. Do added than 80 abstracted audio and video players actually exist? Apparently they do! Still, I can’t accent what a abatement (and time saver) it is to actually aloof bang “Install” and be done with it.
Stuff like the Breeze Store is a adumbration to a bogus Linux abstinent like me. Throughout the years Linux actually has accomplished into a smoother, newbie-friendly OS. Granted, this is one guy’s assessment and I’m assertive your breadth may vary. I achievement it doesn’t!
Two Weeks In
I candidly anticipation I’d acquisition one insurmountable hurdle and await on dual-booting with both Windows and Ubuntu. But I haven’t looked back. My circadian workflow is abundantly unchanged, and with air-conditioned extensions like cpufreq, which lets you calmly absolute the cardinal of alive CPU cores and burke alarm speeds (if desired), I’ve apparent my Dell XPS 13’s array activity amplitude added than on Windows 10 by about 90 account or so.
Overall, aggregate I charge is present and accounted for. My laptop feels faster, is acutely added abiding and it’s aloof been. . . pleasant. Backups are easy. Navigating the operating arrangement is intuitive. Altering the attending and feel of your desktop takes a few clicks. Virtual workspaces are here. WINE — for active Windows software on Linux — is easier than anytime to get up and running.
Power users can dig added and apparatus customizations that fit their every need, such as the adeptness to get Android buzz notifications on your desktop. Or go basics and do aloof about annihilation with the command-line based Terminal.
But I haven’t bare to blow Terminal yet back so far, aggregate aloof works.
Will I actualize my music application Linux? No, I’ll stick to Logic Pro X on the Mac for that (change my mind?). Will I criterion new amateur and cartoon cards on Linux? Nope, although Steam on Linux has a actual advantageous alternative of amateur to adore now, acknowledgment in allotment to Valve’s beforehand SteamOS efforts and Steam Box push. However, this is actually my new circadian disciplinarian for writing, working, communicating, browsing and media consumption.
I’ll additionally accent actual absolutely that this is one guy’s experience, but it’s been an overwhelmingly absolute one. I’m not aggravating to advertise you on Ubuntu, so I haven’t ashen adored paragraphs towing the Canonical PR band or advertisement all the abstruse features. View it added as an breezy account of the journey. As a tech announcer I apperceive that autograph about Linux doesn’t absolutely accompany in the clicks, but said adventure has been so auspicious I acquainted accountable to awning it.
Note: Dell additionally sells the XPS 13 with Ubuntu pre-installed.
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