About two years ago, in order to experience the Linux desktop environment and satisfy my desire to learn (and show off), I reinstalled my computer with Kali and did not keep the original system, intending to completely abandon Windows. However, after the freshness of the first few days passed, one problem after another arose, and I had to spend a lot of energy dealing with these problems, which seriously reduced my user experience. Therefore, after suffering from not having a dual system and not having a system disk, I had to use some magical operations to reinstall Windows and have been using it ever since.
After that, I tried many Linux distributions, but had to give up using them for various reasons and continue to return to Windows. Two years have passed, and on a
bored and idle afternoon, I recalled this matter and inexplicably had a desire to tinker with it. Today, two years later, what kind of experience will I have using Linux on a new device? With this in mind, I reinstalled the system as Linux and started a few days of experience.
Because I couldn't forget about Arch and still remembered the tedious installation process, this time I specifically chose Manjaro, which is also an Arch-based distribution but with a more convenient installation. With the graphical wizard, the installation was completed in a few minutes.
At the moment when it was just installed, the familiar KDE desktop appeared before my eyes. The first time I used KDE, I was not sure if it was due to optimization reasons or if my computer was just too slow, but there would be a period of lag when entering the desktop. However, this time there was no lag at all. After a routine customization, I got a desktop like this:
At first glance, the classic dock bar + status bar at the top gave me an immediate feeling of macOS. Personally, I think KDE's desktop is much more beautiful than Windows, and it looks much more comfortable. Of course, the playability is also much higher than Windows. As long as you are willing to tinker, you can customize a lot of things. But I think it already looks good enough.
Writing Bugs in Daily Life#
As a programmer who writes bugs all the time, Linux is naturally the commonly used system. For me, it is indeed the case. Since I mainly focus on Java and Python, I can develop cross-platform without considering compatibility issues. The IDEs I commonly use are also cross-platform. Moreover, using Linux for development eliminates the need for cloud testing and allows me to test locally. And software like Docker, without the WSL2 environment on the Windows side, can fully release its performance and significantly speed up the image building process.
Since I don't have performance testing, I can only rely on subjective judgment, so I can't clearly point out the performance differences between the two systems. But if the subjective feelings are not much different, then this performance gap is already negligible. Overall, switching systems has not caused any trouble in this regard, but has actually improved efficiency.
Light Office Work#
Can Linux be used for office work? Of course it can, otherwise how could I have written this article? When I first started using it, WPS Office had already released a Linux version (a pure version without ads). Although it is a bit regrettable that there is no Microsoft Office suite, there are many similar alternatives, such as LibreOffice, OnlyOffice, etc. (but they don't seem as good-looking as Microsoft's). As for OneDrive, although there is no official client, it can be completely replaced by tools like rclone and OneDrive, and combined with them, it is equivalent to Microsoft Office (approximately).
After testing, the compatibility of most files is very good, and there are no issues such as being unable to open or misalignment. Although occasionally there may be some problems when opening documents edited here in Microsoft Office, for me, it is already sufficient. After all, I have long been troubled by word processing and have completely switched to using Markdown several years ago.
As for other office platforms, I don't use them much, and I use Telegram to receive both QQ and WeChat messages, so I don't have a strong perception. However, there is a Linux version of Tencent Meeting, so the only essential requirement is also met.
Overall, I think there is no need to worry about office work. With the support of domestic indicators, commonly used domestic office software will definitely release Linux versions under pressure. For me, the current options are already sufficient, and I won't encounter the problem of having to use the Wine version like a few years ago.
Although there are not many native games for Linux, compared to a few years ago when you could only play Windows games with Wine, Steam provided another solution a few years ago: Proton DXVK. I don't know the specific details, but the principle is simple: convert Microsoft's DirectX API into Vulkan for execution. This alternative solution significantly improves compatibility. In the past, when using Wine, there were often issues such as lag, frame drops, and blocky fonts, but now they no longer occur.
As for performance, although there is some noticeable loss, it is not to the extent that it seriously affects the experience: CSGO has over 200 frames on the Windows platform, but only 100 to 120 frames on Linux (I'm not sure if CSGO has a native Linux version). As for War Thunder, it performs more than 50 frames worse than Windows, which is a bit excessive. I haven't had a chance to test other large single-player games, but the results are probably similar, and there will definitely be some loss. Overall, the gaming experience on Linux can only be considered passable at the moment, and there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Switching Operating System from Linux to Windows#
If you only look at my previous comments, most people may have the misconception that Linux is already good enough and Windows is no longer needed. However, what I mentioned above are just evaluations of daily use, and I haven't even praised it excessively. Such one-sided comments will definitely be misleading. What I am about to talk about are the shortcomings of Linux, and these shortcomings are the reasons why I switched back to using Windows:
The major bugs are gone, but the minor bugs are constant: Sometimes there will be some lag on the desktop, and I couldn't find the reason even after searching for a long time. The keyboard shortcuts sometimes fail, and I can't adjust the volume or control the media. The Wi-Fi connection is frequently interrupted.
Desktop application scaling always has problems. Linux's support for high-resolution screens is not very good, and I happen to use a 2K screen, so small application fonts, small icons, and blurry fonts are common issues. Although they can be solved by forced scaling, problems like small fonts in Steam and blurry fonts in Telegram have yet to be resolved.
Although Proton has good compatibility, there are still stability issues when using it. For example, War Thunder frequently crashes (although it's probably because the tank exploded again), and CSGO has the issue of automatically switching weapons while walking.
Even Java programs developed on Windows have the problem of "debug everywhere" and it is even worse on Linux. I have been frustrated by cross-platform issues countless times.
Due to being troubled by the above problems many times, I, who was overwhelmed, had to switch back to Windows again
and found that several files were not backed up, which made me even more frustrated.
Although the Linux desktop is already quite complete overall, the loose community cannot compete with big companies like Microsoft. Even though some people have repeatedly said that Windows has "too much curry flavor," compared to Linux, the Windows experience is truly incomparable. Even after several years of development, the Linux desktop still has a considerable gap compared to Windows. At present, if you want a smooth daily experience, Windows is still the first choice.
Although I really want to support the open-source community, even after several years of development, the current Linux desktop does not satisfy me. I look forward to further progress in the Linux desktop and hope that one day the open-source community can compete with commercial companies like Microsoft and bring more choices to users.
How long has it been since the last time I wrote an article? When I realized this question, I found that it had been half a year since I last wrote an article, and the promised article has yet to be published. The followers of this site
if there are any might have thought that I had disappeared. Here I respond: these past few months have probably been the busiest time for me, so it is normal not to have time to update. In a few days, I may talk about what has happened in these past few months. This site will not be permanently discontinued, and after that, I will maintain at least one update per week, with a higher proportion of technical content.
It's been a long time since I wrote an article, and my skills have declined a lot. I don't know what else to say, so let's leave it at that.
March 22, 2023