Committing to Manjaro Linux completely after a small journey

For around five years, I have known about Linux as a viable alternative to Windows. The knowledge for many years was primarily patchy. I used it on my HP laptop during university, four years ago. It wasn't Manjaro, though, it was Fedora and then later Ubuntu. I had a major problem with the wireless network adapter, as the adapter was of some obscure make and/or it didn't allow for drivers to be easily made for it. That's when I started learning a little bit about proprietary software versus FOSS. It still was an alien concept to me, for the most part, and I would just continue using Windows on my main desktop computer as a daily driver for years to come.

Then, yesteryear, I started getting progressively more interested in Linux once again. That was due to a multitude of factors. For one, I purchased a brand new computer worth over 1000€ to get my gaming groove on. How would that get me more interested in Linux? Well, the thing is that I purchased an SSD for the first time to put my operating system on. I thought my computer would be blazingly fast, then. It was not all that significantly faster. Faster, to be sure, but the results were underwhelming. Windows 10 seemed to need a massive amount of resources, and that would become more and more obvious as time went by.

Then I purchased a used Lenovo ThinkPad for a pretty reasonable price. I specifically picked the laptop to make sure all of its hardware component would be readily compatible with Linux. It didn't take me long to realize Lenovo ThinkPads are a revered line of hardware in the Linux community, so I didn't even hesitate in getting one.

So, once I got the laptop, one quite poetic thing immediately happened: the Lenovo ThinkPad was designed for Windows 7 back when it was a new machine, but, by the time I purchased it from the seller, it was the era of Windows 10. Forced upgrades and all that, you all know the saga. In a hilarious juxtaposition to my first paragraph, the laptop had a problem with the network adapter's drivers. "Isn't Windows 10 supposed to get all the latest drivers automatically?" I thought to myself. Evidently not. To be fair, there was a Windows 10 specific driver on Intel's website, and, after getting it, the adapter worked properly. Still, the point is that Windows 10 doesn't even properly get all the right drivers, which is one of its main advertised features during its release. You still have to spend large amounts of time to get everything working properly. That is not even mentioning that Linux has been doing that (correctly) long before Windows 10, but I am preaching to the choir here. From this point onward, I would get progressively more and more disillusioned with Windows. I installed Manjaro on the laptop. Never looked back.

Some time after that, I started seeing rumours on the Internet from users talking about Linux gaming. Up until this point, I was always of the impression that running games through a compatibility layer on Linux was a massive chore that barely anybody would reasonably want to put up with. That is, until I decided to see what the rave was about, and started learning about Valve's Proton. I also watched some videos about Linux gaming on Chris Titus Tech's YouTube channel.

That really made me consider switching to Linux, because games were the only thing left that prevented me from switching from Windows to Linux as a daily driver on my desktop computer. Linux was already performing well as a workstation on my laptops. Windows 10 started to overstay its welcome, I thought. Manjaro becoming a fully fledged German company boosted my confidence in using Linux as well. I never liked Ubuntu/Debian based distributions. I know distros don't ultimately matter, but I don't have the skill or patience to tailor a Linux install to my needs exactly, and Manjaro seemed like the closest to the perfect OS for me, especially with mhwd.

For me, there was still the concern of Adobe software alternatives, since I used those extensively for various tasks. I still thought it was worth switching my main computer's operating system to Linux. Inkscape and Scribus are more than adequate alternatives to Illustrator and InDesign for hobby use. I actually wasn't aware of Kdenlive until after switching to Linux. Generally, there would be many pleasant surprises just like that for me after already having had switched.

Ultimately, after December of last year, I parted with Windows 10 and installed Manjaro. There were no problems. The computer booted up extremely quickly, as it always should have. No longer have to wait for telemetry to do its thing and wait for I/O to be freed up. No more malware. No more backdoors. No forced updates. The operating system is no longer slower than a kitten drowning in molasses. All software is in one place. Almost all of my favourite games work, with some exceptions, such as ArmA 3.

Overall, beyond all the positives, I notice very few differences between using Windows 10 and Manjaro. I am still able to play all of my favourite games, make the videos I want, make the vector drawings I want, updating whenever I want, all while enjoying the benefits of free, open source software. Both free as in free beer, and free as in freedom. The idea of any company having remote access to my computer is appalling to me, to say the least. I don't have to worry about that anymore. After months of using Manjaro and researching Linux-related topics, I am now a complete advocate for FOSS, because that is the moral thing to do.

Thanks, Manjaro team.

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