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    1. My experience switching to Linux and the need for guidance

      Hello everyone, This will be a long post because I want to give my post the proper context. I apologize in advance for taking your time. About five months ago, with the help of relatively high...

      Hello everyone,

      This will be a long post because I want to give my post the proper context. I apologize in advance for taking your time.

      About five months ago, with the help of relatively high ceiling of Windows 11's system requirements, I finally pushed myself to use Linux exclusively on my desktop. It was a decision between using Windows LTSC or Linux and I went with the better long term option.

      I am not a programmer but I'm also not unfamiliar with the Linux world. I believe I've used one distro or another on a spare computer for shorts period of time since at least 2008. But those use cases have always been to satisfy the curious side of my brain as I am always interested in technology. So after installing distros ranging from Ubuntu to Arch, my curiosity waned enough to never look deeper into how these systems work. They were, after all, a hobby project on a spare computer that was often gathering dust.

      When I decided to switch exclusively to Linux, the next decision I had to make was to pick a distro. Naturally, I looked for the established players first. Ubuntu was the obvious choice because it has long been the distro for newbies and there are a lot of guides on the internet if I ever needed help, which was inevitable. But then I read about snaps and thought that was a deal breaker. I was moving to Linux specifically because I don't want things shoved down my throat. I had no intention to relive that1.

      So Ubuntu was a no go, but I was certain I wanted a Debian based distro as their support and software availability was unmatched, maybe save for Arch2. At this point, why not Debian right? It's known for being rock solid and it's Debian itself, not some derivation. Well, because I had various issues with Debian before. These issues were always fundamental and not very specific too, so I didn't want to risk wasting a lot of time fixing things I didn't understand, only for them to break again after a couple of days. Then I came across Pop!_OS, which seemed like a perfect fit. It was Ubuntu without its worst parts, came with Nvidia drivers and it had a company behind it that seemed to be committed to Linux. I installed it and everything just worked. I had zero issues.

      But then I started getting that FOMO itch again. GNOME 42 was out and it looked great, but Pop!_OS was two versions behind. I also found out that they're working on their own DE, which might end up being great (it looked nice) but I didn't want to leave an established player like GNOME behind, including all the benefits you get from its wonderful extensions. I started looking for other distos again and Fedora caught my eye. I was obviously aware of Fedora, I even used it once back when YUM was still a thing, but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me. The fact that it wasn't a Debian based distro was also a disadvantage because that meant something different and at this stage of dipping my toes into Linux, I didn't think different might be the best way to go for me. Still, despite my best judgment, I installed Fedora on a USB and used it live. When my gut feeling was confirmed by my research about how Fedora leaves things as stock as possible and is ahead of the curve in terms of upcoming technology (btrfs, PulseAudio, Wayland et al.3) without sacrificing on stability, I was hooked.

      After renewing my Timeshift backup, I formatted my Pop!_OS system and installed Fedora. The installation process could use a facelift, but it handled everything perfectly. I didn't even have some of the issues I had with Pop!_OS right after installation. It was literally problem free. I'm now on day #3 of using Fedora and the experience remains the same. The only issue I had to deal with was trying to get Timeshift to work (apparently it doesn't play nice with btrfs on Fedora), but instead of wasting my time with that, I just installed Déjà Dup and I'm good to go again. Barring any drastic issues, I don't plan on changing my distro again.

      Now, onto my plea for guidance.

      I'm looking for comprehensive resources that will teach me how Linux works under the hood. Considering my non-programming background, I'd appreciate it if the language is approachable. The reason why I want this, for one thing, is to learn more about the system I'm planning to use probably for the rest of my life (in tandem with macOS) but also, I want to do some cool stuff Linux allows users to do.

      Just to give a quick example. Yesterday, I installed Rofi, which is, besides many other things, an app launcher. I got it to work just fine, I even got a configuration of my own with a theme of my choosing, but when it comes to using some scripts, I just couldn't do it. Every video I watched on YouTube told me how easy it is to use scripts with it as if it's a self-explanatory thing, but I was simply clueless. There was a lot of lingo thrown around like environment variables, setting up $PATH, making the scripts executable with chmod etc. I have very little knowledge of these things. I want to learn what they are, why they exist, and how they all tie together. I want to learn how /etc/ is different than /usr/ and the difference between X11 and some DE (or if they're even in the same category of things). Now, at the risk of sounding impatient and maybe even worse, I also don't want to go way too deep into these things. I am not, after all, trying to become a kernel developer. I just want to be better informed.

      There are a lot of information on the internet but most of this information is scattered and out of context. If I try to learn more about one thing, I'm bombarded about other things that I don't know, so in the end I learn nothing. In short, I'm looking for a comprehensive, entry level video series or a book about Linux written in an easy to understand language that assumes no prior knowledge.

      Additionally, I'd appreciate any website, YouTube channel and what have you to keep up with recent developments in Linux. I already found a couple as there are plenty of them, but I'd like to learn more about how people here keep up with this fast changing environment.

      Thank you for reading and sorry for being so verbose! 😊


      1: I know you can remove snaps, but I didn't want to deal with the hassle of any possible issues deleting a core system functionally might bring about.
      2: Despite finding its approach fascinating, I had no intention to get into Arch because it's a rolling distro and I didn't want an advanced system that can break at any moment in the hands of a novice like myself.
      3: To be clear, I don't know how most of these technologies are better than alternatives, but the Linux community at large seems to think they're drastically better than alternatives and are the future.

      21 votes
    2. Is there an open-source version of the Garmin Connect app for Android?

      I am considering the purchase of a Garmin GPS watch, but I don't want to run the bloated Garmin Connect app on my phone. Really all I want, is the ability to pull coordinates from my watch (.gpx...

      I am considering the purchase of a Garmin GPS watch, but I don't want to run the bloated Garmin Connect app on my phone. Really all I want, is the ability to pull coordinates from my watch (.gpx files) and put them on my phone or computer. Does a privacy-respecting app like this exist?

      6 votes
    3. Ask Tildes: What alternative apps/webapps do you use to browse Reddit?

      For all its flaws, Reddit is still a great news source, especially for niche areas. Unfortunately, more and more dark patterns are being added to Reddit's official site and apps. I'm reaching a...

      For all its flaws, Reddit is still a great news source, especially for niche areas. Unfortunately, more and more dark patterns are being added to Reddit's official site and apps. I'm reaching a saturation point and thinking I should probably switch to an alternative way of browsing it. I see a lot of apps aimed at browsing images/GIFs. I'd like something more similar to old/compact Reddit, optimized for text without distractions, but ideally less buggy. Any recommendations?

      Edit: thanks all for your answers!

      16 votes
    4. Open source alternatives to Slack, Google Drive and Google Docs

      So I recently started working at a company that uses Slack (free tier), Google Drive and Google Docs. Being a privacy conscious person I decided to do some research to see if we could transition...

      So I recently started working at a company that uses Slack (free tier), Google Drive and Google Docs. Being a privacy conscious person I decided to do some research to see if we could transition out of at least 1 of these tools.

      For Slack I thought about Element. However I have a question: is it possible to create a closed channel (meaning no unauthorized person has access to or can discover the company chat) on Element with only the free tier (it's easier to convince my boss to transition if it doesn't add to the cost structure)?

      For Google Drive I don't think there are other free options that offer the 15GB of storage we have. 10GB would probably be enough. But I am also open to paid solutions.
      I found out about CryptPad. They offer cloud storage but one has to pay to be at the same level of Google (which is totally understandable). They also have productivity tools integrated with the storage solution which is great.
      Maybe there is some cloud storage solution that doesn't have integrated productivity tools and offers more storage. I would like to know.

      I'm open to suggestions and thoughts. My functions at the company have little to do with all this, I am just interested in open source and privacy. EDIT: I am not interested in self-hosting.

      26 votes
    5. Riff.cc, a torrent website for creative commons and free culture

      Riff.cc is a private tracker torrent site that is completely focused on works distributed with creative commons, public domain, gpl or other free culture licenses. It has some plans to allow...

      Riff.cc is a private tracker torrent site that is completely focused on works distributed with creative commons, public domain, gpl or other free culture licenses.
      It has some plans to allow tipping creators and seeders using digital currency.

      You can use this invite to signup (I believe there is a limit of 90 people who can use it).

      https://u.riff.cc/register/fb4dc3bf-af81-43f4-94fb-5afc6b24b159

      17 votes