My first experience with linux

Last week, somehow, I had the urge to give Linux a try. Maybe it was all the AI coming to both Windows and Mac soon that caused this desire. I’m not against AI, but I don’t know if I want it built into my OS.

I have an old Surface 3 Laptop that I’ve been using while on the go. I decided to install Linux on it. I use my laptop for the browser, Obsidian, and Visual Studio Code. All which should work great on Linux.

I first tried Ubuntu. After finally getting it setup on a bootable USB drive, I was prompted with the lovely warning that I can’t install while Windows Bit Locker is active. I could either boot into Windows and disable it, or wipe the whole drive, which was my intention anyway.

The Ubuntu install was pretty simple.

Unfortunately, Ubuntu didn’t work well with my Surface Laptop 3 resolution. I tried adjusting the fractional scaling, but everything was blurry and not usable.

I then gave Linux Mint a go. I set it up on a USB drive (which was easier to do from a Linux machine) and booted up.

Linux Mint worked flawlessly. I did have to adjust the fractional scaling, but after, everything is crisp and scaled to the right size.

The first software I installed was 1Password, for obvious reasons.

I then installed Vivaldi, which was my Chromium-based browser of choice. It installed fine, but kept crashing randomly. I found it was an issue on some Linux machines.

So, I switched over the Firefox. I haven’t used Firefox in a few years. It looks great and works without any issues. I then set it up on my phone and everything is good to go.

What’s next?

This Surface Laptop 3 is working quite well, but I have some problems with it.

  • I’m not crazy about the keyboard.
  • The touch pad keeps getting in my way.
  • The material is faded and ugly.
  • The pads on the bottom are missing (I could probably fix this).

I intend to use this machine primarily for browsing and writing, so a great keyboard and touch pad are a must. I did temp myself to getting a laptop that can run games, but the sensible part of me thinks that’s a bad idea.

I can’t say for sure I’ll stick with Linux long-term until I’ve used it for at least a few months. None of the nagging notifications, or bloatware that comes with Windows. It feels clean and simple.

I’ll check back in in a few months with an update.

June 2, 2024
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