Switching to Linux – Part I – Introduction


Switching to Linux

Some of you might know – i switched to Linux with all my devices at home, in the office and the mobiles as well. Running servers based on Ubuntu, CentOs, Debian for more than ten years now it was time to proceed to the next step. There were two, three things which hold me back to Windows for years – Photoshop gaming and test-driving. At least gaming has – because lack of time – beeing reduced to the absolute minimum, so this argument remains just a small but existing one. Photoshop could be replaced by Gimp or started by wine (Windows emulator software). In the end fear and gaming were left, this allowed me to start using Linux as my main operating system by using an additonal ssd for a secondary Windows installation.

Which DIstrubition to choose?

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubunto Gnome Edition, Debian, good old openSuse, Fedorra or even Gentoo? I downloaded plenty distributions iso files and started them in live mode, installed them, tweaked, optimized, destroyed, reinstalled and tested those distributions. As i finished my Ubuntu Gnome installation runing on a encryped 512GB ssd while using luks/crypsetup everything was running fine, fast, smoothly and secure.
There was my basic system with all hard disk encrypted and protected by a very strength password. I had Libre-Office installed as office solution for table-calculating, writing, etc.

Thunderbird for the private- as well as the company e-mails.
Owncloud as a secure self-hosted cloud-solution for calendar, contacts, files, etc.
Chromium as my favorite web-browser.
Nemo es my favorite local-file-manager with nice plugins, like for raw-file-thumbnails and a tortoise-svn clone for git / svn / hg called „rabbitvcs“.
My self-compiled nginx webserver environment with implemented pagespeed-module.
The hhvm as php replacement.
MariaDB10 as a faster, but compatible mysql-replacement.
Gimp for learning, Photoshop via wine as a temporary bridge.
Some other minor tools, tweaks, etc.

While building an optimized kernel (for responsiveness) with an optimized scheduler (BFS – Brain Fuck Scheduler) and an increased tickrate from 300 to 1000hz i was reading a lot of documentation and i ended up watching some Youtube-clips about Arch Linux. People who know me…… If i know there is something more powerfull, better, more current while having a higher difficulty it just takes a short amount of time to make another step. So i did then.

Going the arch way was a big challenge with a steep learning-curve. Now i am using Linux / Gnu in its rawest dress. Linux from scratch (LFS), Linux as it is. Everything is controlled by me and not by some software-companys with some dollar-signs in their eyes. Whatever is running or booting automatically is installed and configured my me, which gives me the ultimate power to have full-control over the system. Installing arch was like going back to the roots. Manually choosing keyboard-layouts for a german keyboard, set timezones and format your harddisks by command-line tools. Chrooting into a newly mounted system and install a basic cli-based system only using some megs of space. I want to describe several subtopics as soon as i ll find the time for it.

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