Review Commentary: Opensource for the Desktop
TL,DR: For now Linux Mint is the 'winner' but the question is if this is going to be forever, since i don't expect this to be the case.
As many of you know I'm a proud enthusiastic user of a Opensource Desktop.
I balance my life between BSD and Linux.
So a new Desktop, this means... "the fun" starts again.
Acer ASPIRE C27-962-51016G27MGI/T002 All in One with external Acer monitor Nitro Gaming VG270bmiix (IPS 75Hz) good dual screen 27" power for a reasonable price. I did drop the keyboard and the mouse that came with it quiet rapidly I'm not that fan of a Bluetooth based gettytab. I had a logitech usb keyboard and mouse laying around decided to use these for my desktop.
I like all major ones (Free, Open, Net) and to be honest i actually tried 2 of them on the desktop but OpenBSD on a desktop and particularly if you also do virtualization there isn't the most appealing choice. I know there will now be the OpenBSD enthusiasts whom go VMM to the bone. Well... unluckily for me i do sometimes need to-do something with Linux or even worse Windows in a lab environment which i do sometimes create on my desktop, easy, quick etc.
So I tested the following BSD:
- NetBSD 9.1
- FreeBSD 12.2
I like all distributions, got to be honest Linux has a big community and that's great but however i do tend to go to the Beastie side of life by preference about this i'll write a bit more.
So I tested the following LINUX:
- Pop!OS 20.04
- Linux Mint 20 Ulyana (Cinnamon)
The first Operating System (OS) i gave a chance was Linux flavor OpenSUSE (after 20 years, let's say this one wasn't on my shortlist). I wanted to try Tumbleweed as i would've expect it to break from the gecko but it didn't and was stable from the beginning and zypper is a very good add-on (please drop yast2, it will make the world a better place - still traumatized). Total runtime 2 weeks.
During this time i got compliments from SUSE folks whom have their desktop still running on Microsoft Windows because they need teams and skype, well guess how I was communicating with them through Teams and Skype and it just worked. It worked out of the box with little to none mention able work to be done to get NVIDIA to work then it was around Christmas and everything broke my audio after the latest dist upgrade wasn't working the kernel wasn't booting (reverted to old kernel DUH) but this wasn't a pleasant experience so i jumped from Tumbleweed to LEAP by doing magic.... landed in leap, but darn most of the packages are from the middle evil ages, ok guys I'm kidding but coming from Tumbleweed this wasn't where i wanted to be.
So downloaded Pop!OS 20.20 but for some obscure reason their installer didn't work for me, so downloaded 20.04 and this worked.
Pretty decent GUI and they build the NVIDIA drivers into their ISO so kinda saved work there.
However i felt the urge to install NetBSD 9.1 so installation was rather simple and straightforward and xfce4 could be installed as a package, however trying to get any form of resolution higher then 1024x768 was impossible... i also failed to get nouveau working for my NVIDIA driver... so this wasn't a success and everything i found on the Internet about BSD in combination with NVIDIA was primarily FreeBSD so i jumped on that horse, installation easy... however no Window Manager. Xorg -configure with the x11 nvidia binary package or without didn't give anything else then a black screen with a 'white cursor'. So nope, that wasn't it either for 'straight out of the box working and happy' or with minimalistic amount of commands being able to procedure a working set.
So, next on the list Linux Mint which is another Ubuntu clone. I have run Ubuntu many versions as my desktop but for reason I didn't want Ubuntu itself but still have the power of the Ubuntu under the hood i guess.
Installation is simple even NVIDIA worked out of the box with nouveau by default as user your then asked to change your driver to the proprietary driver of NVIDIA and this is fine of course, one thing I find annoying is that my monitors are swapped still at every reboot until now so left becomes right etc.
This is annoying but workable. I don't reboot every day, I'm not on Windows anyways.