My biggest gripe with Linux is that it isn’t as reliable as macOS. I’ve spent 30 minutes today trying to fix Bluetooth headset issues on my wife’s laptop. No luck - she has to reconnect every time to make it work. On the other hand, macOS stopped working with my Dell U2713HM after an update. Another recent update broke compatibility with my DVD recorder. I’m tempted to give FreeBSD or OpenBSD a try!
I’ve found OpenBSD to be more reliable than FreeBSD, but using a less popular OS will not, overall, improve your odds.
Give them a try but don’t expect salvation. There’s no bluetooth support on OpenBSD at all, for example. Don’t start using these systems on hardware that is not known to be supported well already.
@bitemyapp, @stsp - thanks for recommendations!
In your experience, what’s the most reliable distro? I’m considering switching back to Debian but I’m also thinking about Slackware due to its Unix-like nature.
I use arch but I consider Debian testing to the but “just works” distro.
I use whatever the current Ubuntu LTS is (currently 16.04) because it’s popular as all hell and therefore gets a lot of rattles shaken out.
I know people don’t like unity or whatever, fair enough, I don’t use it! I use Xmonad. My entire dev setup lives out in the open here: https://github.com/bitemyapp/dotfiles
And I do mean lives. It stays updated because it’s how I share my config between my machines.
I know people don’t like unity or whatever, fair enough
For those who are hankerin' for a more old-school, and yet still quite polished desktop experience, I can recommend Ubuntu Mate (https://ubuntu-mate.org/).
It’s basically keeping the Gnome2 desktop flame burning.
Different strokes for different folks, but I wouldn’t recommend Slackware for most people, unless it’s as a learning exercise (and I say that as someone who has a soft spot for it as it was the first Linux distribution I installed). Its package management is weak, certainly when compared to most other Linux distributions.
I’d recommend Debian (yes, it has some issues and systemd grates) but it does just work. I’ve heard good things about Linux Mint if you want something more desktop focussed and Ubuntu-like, but I’ve never used it.
Mint’s security policy leaves much to be desired, by holding back updates and their careless disregard for the security of their website.
I have never used elementary OS so I can’t give any anecdotal input but according to some folks over at Reddit it may not be the best distro to switch from macOS to. My recommendation for newcomers has always been to just use Ubuntu. Also, if you really hate Unity that much use Gnome. There’s even an official flavor of Ubuntu called Ubuntu Gnome.
Ubuntu Gnome is always what I suggest to beginners just because Unity is all kinds of slow on basically every configuration I’ve ever run, and Gnome 3 is easy enough to figure out and work in.
I used ElementaryOS for half a year. It is extremely simple as to say that there is very little actual UI. You’ll notice in the built-in apps that there are few or no preferences at all.
The good thing about that: it is easy to learn and anyone could master it
The bad thing: It is very boring and way more restrictive than macOS.
Elementary is very polished and fast and they have actual designers working on the project which is better than almost all Linux GUI projects.
I like the look of elementary OS but I’m not so convinced about it being based on Ubuntu. It would be nice if it was a set of packages (ala GNOME, KDE, XFCE, etc) that could be added to an existing OS, whether that’s Linux or something else.
I think they’re convinced that to create the whole experience that does the “just works” feeling, they have to develop the system as a whole unit that you can download, not just tell people “apt-get install pantheon-desktop.” Ubuntu seems to work fine enough has a base.
apt-get install pantheon-desktop
For what its worth, I think AUR and maybe Suse have Pantheon (their desktop environment) in their packages.
Yes, true, and I can see the value of having a whole OS that’s nicely integrated. Installing GNOME or KDE or any of the others can leave one with a mishmash of packages that don’t work well together.
Thanks for the pointer to Pantheon - I see there are unofficial packages for Debian too.