The JeroenHD blog
The JeroenHD blog

I think I'm starting to prefer Xubuntu...

I've noticed over the past weeks I've been using Xubuntu more than I have been using Windows. Why though?

It's very strange. When I installed a Windows/Xubuntu dual boot, I intented Windows to be my main OS and Xubuntu to exist alongside it. Most of my programming was done in C# or PHP so Windows was the perfect match.

But then last December my Windows install died. Windows disk cleanup had decided that Windows system files were junk and after running the built-in cleanup utility, Windows would no longer boot. Luckily I still had my desktop computer and my Xubuntu install so I could still do most of the things I needed to do. At the time I was busy with an AI class so I did not have a lot of free time to waste on recovering Windows.

I've tried. I've tried at least 6 different ways. I've looked through MSDN. I've looked through stack exchange. Recovering the installation was impossible. So I made a disk level backup (using SystemrescueCD, because the Windows recovery environment lacks support of disk imaging tools) and formatted the SSD.

After a few days of downloading software, resetting ACLs and wiping old directories, the fresh Windows install was working like the previous one. Everything was the way it used to be.

Yet I didn't boot Windows as much as I did before. For the AI course I had to use Python, so Xubuntu was the perfect match. Even though the Xubuntu setup is slower than Windows (Windows is on an SSD, Xubuntu is on an HDD), Xubuntu is easier to work with. Why?

For starters, I noticed Xubuntu doesn't have as much services as Windows. Many Windows services are set to boot with the system but provide no benefit to me as a user. Sure, if my laptop were connected to a printer that's being shared over the network, the printer spooler service is great and easy to use. But my laptop isn't connected to a printer. So why start this service by default?

I have to admit that getting Windows set up was a lot easier than getting Xubuntu set up. Like most Linux installations, getting all of the drivers to work took some time. I still lose my WiFi after resuming from sleep and I still can't use the dedicated graphics card. Bluetooth doesn't work as well as it does on my phone and sometimes I need to reboot in order to get any connectivity back.

But after fixing all of these driver issues, Xubuntu is a treat to work with. It's based on Ubuntu so it has a large repository of available software. It's UI is lightweight and customisable. It's not too hard on the battery life. And somehow, Android Studio runs better on it than on Windows, even though Windows is on an SSD!

I still don't recommend desktop Linux to friends and family. The performance is just not worth the hassle: from the moment I help someone install Linux, I will be called every time there's a weird message. But for people working in IT (who don't mind a little debugging to get everything right), Linux on your desktop is a treat.

So, my recommendation to all of you nerds is: try Linux sometime. Sure, you won't be able to play many games, but any programming work will be done so much quicker! That gives you more time to reboot to Windows and play some games :)

Written by Jeroen on February 9, 2017

Permalink - Category: rant - Tags: rant, operating, systems, linux, windows