My Linux Dilemma


As a Linux user, I can tell you there is a love-hate relationship with Linux. Although I love Linux for its versatility, customizability, and open-source nature, there seems to be a dilemma when it comes to being a Linux user. What inevitably ends up happening is you turn on your machine that you’ve got just the way you want it. Then all of a sudden, bang, your beautifully customized Linux distribution goes awry, and you are left wondering, what am I to do now? This happened to me recently. I turned on my Linux machine and went to run much-needed updates and ended up receiving a boatload of error messages.

To be fair to Linux, many of the errors in Linux are actually due to the operator or user. Linux is customizable and configurable by design, and if you are not fully aware of what you are doing, eventually, it will bite you in the arse. I have no one to blame but myself, but it still makes for a pretty frustrating experience. I was running a rolling distribution based on Arch Linux. A rolling distribution receives much more frequent updates; in rare situations, these updates will break things. However, that is not the situation that happened to me. What caused my pain was that I was diligent with running my updates. Since Arch and Arch-based distros get such frequent updates, ignoring these updates for more than a couple of weeks can get your system so out of data that things can and do break when you process system updates. That is what happened to me. I neglected my updates for over a month, and the system puked when I finally ran them.

I resolved to back up the data I had to my cloud drive and wipe the drive clean. Then, the search for a new distro started. Right now, I have my old standby loaded on the computer. It’s called MX Linux, and it is stable and very usable. The version I installed is their advanced hardware support version that works well with my desktop. The one thing I am not a fan of is the default desktop environment, KDE Plasma. This DE is good, but it is not a DE that I feel comfortable using. Another plus of Linux is the ability to choose from many different user interfaces for the operating system that can be further customized in most cases. If you put in the work, you can end up with a computer experience that is finely tuned to your workflow. I can tell you from experience this adds to the efficiency of any work you do on that system.

So, right now, I have a decision to make. Do I keep MX Linux and just customize it, or do I look for a different distro to install and play with? This is a common question Linux users have to ask. It’s like going to an ice cream shop. Do you stick with what works, try a new flavor, or go nuts and put a bunch of flavors together to create something that could be great…or it could be awful. I will keep you posted, but for now, MX Linux is what I have installed, and all I can say is that, as usual, it’s as good as it has ever been.