Thursday, October 20, 2016

Moving from Windows 10 to Ubuntu Linux

I've been using Windows 10 since the  anniversary update, i tried to use it since it was released but I always had issues.

Since I'm a persistent fellow, i was able to install it but I always had the feeling that i was using an unfinished, buggy and inconsistent product, something that i didn't experienced with Windows 8.

Since i'm not able to install the tons of Windows updates after a fresh Windows 8 install ( for some reason they fail to install)  i decided to try Linux. Since I don't have any experience I went the easy path with the most popular Linux distribution: Ubuntu.

Prior installation steps


Backups

Just plugged an USB hard drive and copied my personal files.
Although this is a simple and basic step, sometimes we just forget it.


Download Ubuntu

Just go to Ubuntu website and download the latest LTS version.
Since I'm a beginner, LTS would be the safest choice.
At this moment, the latest version is 16.04.

Download Rufus

Since I have USB flash drives I prefer to install Ubuntu via USB.
Rufus allows you to create an usb bootable device in a very easy way.
You can download it here 

Installation

We're now ready to perform the installation.
Just plugged in my usb flash drive and booted from it and started the installation.
The setup process is very easy, I swept my entire sdd and choose automatic partitioning. The rest of the process is very straightforward.
After rebooting you'll be ready to start using Ubuntu.

My Ubuntu Desktop

First Impressions

It's fast as hell! I can boot to desktop in 6 seconds.
Every device works out of the box. I don't need to install a single driver. Even my backlit keyboard and shortcut keys work.
Standby and resume work great and my laptop doesn't wake by itself as it did with Windows.
A like the fact that we can apt-get install <appname>, although is not as discoverable as installing windows software, it's easier and faster to do so.
It sounded like the perfect marriage but i had some issues.

Power Management

The battery was draining like crazy. To be honest, i bought this laptop in 2013 so the battery had better days. Still the drain was way faster than on windows.
To solve this i installed TLP and used powertop to see which devices or invalid configurations were causing this issue.

Powertop detailed information
Things are better now, but i still need to take a better look into this to understand Linux power management.
Hibernation is also disabled, need to look into this as well.

USB Devices

I have an iPod nano 7th generation and a TomTom Runner watch.
As far as i know there's no way to sync my iPod in Linux (it's better than having to use iTunes!).
For the watch i usually sync by Bluetooth with my Android so no issues here.
I can't blame Linux since when i bought these devices i knew there was no Linux support for them.

Learning, Learning, Learning

This is all new to me so i need to make an effort and learn some things.
The power management part was a bit of a surprise, since there's so many people with this issue (just google) it should probably be solved by now (tlp installed by default and a powercfg --calibrate after distro install ?).

There are additional things that i want to do but i don't have a clue on how to do them.
Ex, i have two hard drives, i want to format the second hard drive and mount /home on it so i can perform upgrades or even change distro in a easier way.

I'm also a .Net developer so i need to change my workflow and understand how Microsoft technologies are working on the open source world. I might have interesting posts in the future about this.

Interesting times ahead

I wanted to do this for a long time, i find Linux a very interesting operating system in terms of exploration. You can explore it for hours and still have a lot to learn.
I'll update later on how this experience went and if it was worth it.