I'm a life long Windows user planning to move over to Linux for all the usual reasons. I'm looking for something newbie friendly, modern, and visually appealing, with the possibility of playing games. Although my expectations for gaming are low and I plan to dual-boot with Windows 10 for any games that won't run on Linux.
I spent all weekend testing out different distros on VirtualBox, making sure I can install everything I need, and getting familiar with Linux in general. I think I've settled on Garuda KDE Dr460nized as the distro that's closest to what I'm looking for. I love the way it looks, the rolling updates means I can keep everything up to date easily, the AUR has everything I need, and the snapshots will be good if I mess anything up while I'm learning about Linux.
The only thing I'm a little concerned about is I've read that Garuda being an Arch based distribution is not the best choice for beginners and can be easy to break and difficult to maintain. I'm not completely new to Linux as I have used it via the command line to manage a personal web server a few years ago, and I also have some experience using Whonix in a VM. This will be the first time using it as a desktop though.
I consider myself fairly technical, I have a computer science degree and I've worked as a software dev for 12 years so I'm fairly confident I can figure things out. But there's always the worry that I don't know what I don't know. When people talk about maintenance are they talking about installing updates or is there more to it than that? I guess I'm just looking for some confidence that I'm not getting too much out of my depth.
Hi Kobrakai and welcome to the forum
Your research beforehand speaks volumes (pun intended). As for problems and so on, I'm a noob myself, but have no fear - Timeshift and Snapshots are here! Add the great Devs and Team here, who fix problems from upstream quickly, you'll have few worries.
Enjoy your stay and Garuda, most of all - enjoy the GNU/Linux journey.
Thanks and Hi! I'm one of those rare people that does their research before jumping in
Just to clarify though as I see a moderator has moved this to the introductions section. My question was about what is involved in maintaining an installation as I haven't found much information about it besides people saying it's difficult for a beginner due to being Arch based.
Don't worry, there's no "maintenance" required. They are much old things.
Just keep in mind to update Garuda once every quarter of year, at least.
And welcome to forums.
Don't do that on the same drive as Linux.
I've had countless bad experiences with windows destroying the linux partition or some other windows voodoo which the users never gets to see.
One time my windows decided he cant read an ext4 drive and tried to 'fix' the partition table.
Without me asking to do so.
Just like, Hey new drive here, I cant read lol, let me try to fix it for you..
Sorry I dropped it.
I just spend 80€ to get another NVMe SSD with 1TB space to separate both.
Never had issues since then.
Default boot to linux and only boot to windows if I tell the BIOS to.
Just in case here is the doc:
I would take that with a grain of salt. Arch is leading-edge while Garuda is bleeding-edge, may be a truer statement. The Garuda developers have taken all the tinker toys available throughout the Archlinux Kingdom realm, added their own, and assembled them into a super-duper racecar distribution.
If one learns to maintain this distribution--and you certainly sound eager to do so--there is plenty of information available and the tools within the distribution, plus the Wiki, yada, yada--you should do okay.
But remember what I said about bleeding edge? That means you may get a little bloody. It happens. But that's no reason to panic. Use the tools--Timeshift, as an example--use the forum, google, whatever. Protect your data and you'll be okay.
We happen to have a lot of forum members with more than a little experience in Linux. You already know, from your Windows experience, especially supporting what you've developed, that nobody gains this experience overnight. So we will always try to point you in the right direction when you run into problems. But we know and you know how important it is for you to do the work that leads to you becoming proficient with Linux, and especially with Garuda.
And it is always a state of becoming, LOL!
my best regards
Edited for content.
I am probably the one who spends the most time on the forum cautioning new users that Arch based distros involve an expenditure of time and effort learning and maintaining the system. The reason I do this is to prevent unrealistic expectations from totally inexperienced Windows users looking to convert.
Windows users with no intention of doing any research or learning how an Arch based system works are not going to have a good experience (in the long run) if they think Linux is the same as using a smart TV. Point and click it's not, (at least not yet).
Anyone willing to learn the basics of how their system works will be fine, Those unwilling to do any research or learning would probably be better sticking to Windows or at least start off with a static Linux distro. From what you have written you will do just fine with Garuda. With your level of expertise you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
My cautionary warnings are more intended for those with zero level of knowledge and zero desire to ever learn. For those type of Windows users the cautionary warnings are simply like you'd give a four year old not to run with scissors.
You can figure it out, no question about it. Linux is actually much easier to use than windoze, the only difficult thing is unlearning what you already know. Linux is just very different.
Many windoze "power users" get frustrated with Linux because they are used to knowing "everything" about their OS and now this knowledge is suddenly useless. You'll just have to endure this relatively short period of frustration until you get used to Linux.
It's much easier if you do not dual boot. My advice is to switch to Linux cold-turkey style, for at least a year. Otherwise, there will always be temptation to boot up windoze every time you need to do something you don't know how to do on Linux. You'll tell yourself "I just need Photoshop to edit this one picture, it's urgent, I have no time to mess with GIMP now, but after that I'm back to Linux, honest!", and the next thing you know, a month will pass without you booting up Linux once.
Remember, learning only happens outside the comfort zone.
That's the only advice I have for "power users" switching to Linux.
When Rumsfeld said this, people mocked...yet it is true, as we know 'unknown unknowns' are our greatest worry. Well said!
Don't worry too much. You possess THE most important thing that is required for a noob. The willingness to learn. You'll be fine.
To answer your question about maintenance, yes Arch-based distros require relaively more work, compared to say Debian-based distros. But once you get the hang of it - in a few months maybe - you'll love it.
I'm quite opposite to you in the sense that I rarely do any research - relevant research - beforehand. I usually research something totally irrelevant ( but interesting, like Hawking Radiation )
First time I installed Linux was a few months after MS ended XP support . I borked the system twice in 3 days and this was Debian Stretch - as stable as they come. But I learned and so will you. Good luck. Live long and prosper.
Which resources do you recommend start reading to get a general idea about Linux? system files, what I can do, what I can't... I am on the point of installing, being a Windows user with 0 experience on Linux.
I've been reading about btrfs and so on, but before deciding which partitions I need, I really want to know what I'm doing. I arrived here by recommendations and because I always wanted to do this change (learning Linux in general).
I've been watching a installation video on youtube but still some things are not completely clear for me, besides your wiki, do you recommend any books / youtube channel / courses as a general approach
- To Linux
- To what can be done with this distro ?
Many thanks in advance!
- What can you do with this distribution?
The maxim in Windows is: "Never change a running system"
In Linux, the opposite is philosophy. That is the difference!
You can tweak Linux and optimize it for you and the community.
the thing is I don't have the creativity or ideas haha
I am just following some youtube channels and tutorials to learn and to know which things are optimal or nice to have ( having a different version of ls with more details and colours... how to configure everything, how to manage installations... ) So I'm basically trying to replicate some ideas.
Some people told me there are easier distros for me, but well, I have time and am not afraid of this (I'm using an external SSD, so in worst case, I would need to just flash it again xD )
Linux is a book with the cover made for you.
The rest is up to you, white pages to be filled in with your copy-paste from stackoverflow to destroy the system
You get the freedom but also every responsibility.
Just using Linux is not that hard but when it comes to modifying the system, let me give you this advise.
Backups, Backups and did I mention Backups?
The Arch Wiki will be your guide in need.
Many things will make no sense at first, but you will gradually understand more and more.
And also, the community behind Linux and FOSS is very forgiving when you show the effort, and when you reach out for help, they almost always respond. (not always in the nicest way, since they maybe seen this question for 50x time, but they still respond to help out.)
Oh and let me add this PDF
linux pocket guide by
The best way to learn about Linux is to use it. Everyday.
And don't be afraid of making mistakes. Once you make a mistake, you do research and apply/come up with the solution yourself and thus, end up learning a thing or two ( or a hundred ).
No one can avoid failures and new installations.
But you learn from mistakes. If you, as a newbie (I am one of them), deal step by step with the pages linked by @BrutalBirdie, you will soon see first successes and familiarizing yourself with the subject is more fun from day to day.
Thanks so much for the replies people!
And thanks a lot for the pocket guide, this looks a really good starting point. I want to document myself well before starting to touch everything.
I hope I don't have to ask you that much again (having st. google, some references + stackoverflow xD)
As said, thanks for the support. The newbies of today will be the masters&teachers of the future! (or I hope so :P)
As a noob myself, I waited for the more knowledgeable to post with their recommendations.
All I can say is, when you get a problem, (and you/we will) do this:
Stop. Think. Research. Think some more. See if their are other subtle symptoms/pointers to aid you, that you may have overlooked... most noobs tend to panic, which is not the Linux way. Document your steps, for later reference.
Always have a USB with the distro on it, regular bulletproof backups, too. (Disaster Recovery 101)
That's the sum of my 'wisdom'
Talking about Backups - The OVH Fire
We recommend to activate your Disaster Recovery Plan.
how can we activate the disaster plan? from where?
Don't be like that, please.
Failure to plan, is planning to fail.