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How do you use Linux?

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Another topic inspired this one. The feel of a system in terms of performance can vary widely according to not just the hardware but what software is running and what the user is doing with it. It might be interesting to see how we use our systems, therefore. Feel free to submit whatever information you're willing to share on how you use your system or systems but here are some prompters. Just pick one or several.

I know that many people here use multiple systems but I bet you have a favourite that you spend the most time on. But if not, just pick one.

What programs do you often have running at the same time and are you working them hard? For example, if you have Firefox open, how many tabs are usually open? Or are you more of a one-thing-at-a-time kind of guy running just one program and then closing it when you open another?

Do you normally have a terminal program going (as most smart Linux users do), a file manager, a photo editor? Do you have a word processor going?

Do you have any background activities or programs that you are running but rarely see like backup programs?

Is your PC (or Mac) doing anything in the background on a regular basis, like backups, compiling code, etc. Or do you watch a tv show or movie while doing something else or listen to music?

I know a lot of these are general and you might find it hard to even define what your typical usage is but you could give a range from light use to heavy use, too. These answers might give others an idea of how much of a multi-tasker we are and how much we push our systems.

Another thing I'm fascinated by is how much RAM do you use when you are working your system to the max and how does that compare to how much your system has? You could give the RAM usage as a percent.

Have you hit a wall? In other words, have you reached a point where your system started crawling probably because it was almost out of RAM but maybe because you're doing something that is just a lot of work for your processor or graphics sub-system? And what were you doing when that happened?

Those things matter more than what distro and desktop environment you're using (if you have the option of more than one) but feel free to mention that, too.

I'll talk about Ubuntu 21.04 on my 2019 i5 iMac. In general I would say I'm not a demanding user in terms of heavy programs or number of programs open. I typically have 2-5 programs open at a time: my browser (Firefox), my email client (Thunderbird), a word processor or spreadsheet (typically LibreOffice but sometimes MS Office 2010 running in Wine), and a calendar program (I'm using MineTime). When I have the browser open, I typically have 2-5 tabs; almost never 10 at a time. Right now I have open Thunderbird, LibreOffice Calc, FoxitReader (PDF reader), Firefox (3 tabs) and a terminal. I have 8 gb RAM on this Mac and 3.2 are being used. Closing everything but Firefox (one tab) and the terminal shows 2.9 gb RAM being used. I also have 2 gb swap, and almost none of that is being used.

My iMac feels very fast in Ubuntu (or the Mac OS); much faster than my older (2011) iMac, and the video card on the 2019 (AMD Radeon rx 470) seems pretty capable. The internal SSD (500 gb) is super-fast. Ironically, the older iMac is a better match for Linux because Linux runs all of its components, whereas my wifi card, internal mic and internal speakers of the 2019 do not run in any distro I have tried.

Honestly, I gave up on Linux as a desktop environment over a decade ago. 

As a server, it really has some merits.... especially for businesses where it can offer performance and save on licensing.

As a desktop (by that I mean Linux distros, not offshoots like Android, Chrome OS, etc), it has routinely failed to meet my needs.  I grew tired of the bugs in front facing software.  I HATED power management issues.  Of course, everyone has unique needs, and I don't suggest that I can transplant my problems onto another user.

What I've found is that I need the compatibility of a commercial OS, yet I use a lot of FOSS utilities and applications to round it all out.

Having said that, my daughter LOVED tooling around with my Raspberry Pi 4, and it was a lot of fun to watch - she was intersted; and Linux provided that. 

There is still value in Linux, but I think most of the distributions are missing the mark.

Gmiller wrote: "Honestly, I gave up on Linux as a desktop environment over a decade ago."

Well aren't you the brave one! I have defended Windows for ages, but that's just because of specific needs.

I think the Linux of a decade ago is not the Linux of today. It might be worth trying. Our best computer runs Linux, and it's now Marilyn's, and I doubt she would notice what the underlying OS is. Some years she's in Windows, some years in Linux. In most cases the software is identical for her. I set up all her computers to look basically the same no matter what the OS. Our Linux seems to have no bugs with the software she uses. Probably have more upgrading issues with Windows, but neither is a big deal.

I do suspect you might be looking for an argument  :) . ( Jason will jump in here soon no doubt. ) I might be enticed to argue that crunchy peanut butter on toasted raisin is the best breakfast that it is possible to make, you know, something important in life. But I am happy generally with Mac, Windows or Linux.

Mac, Buster? When have you used the Mac OS?


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