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Why don't I just switch to Linux?

·524 words·3 mins
Chris Herborth
Author
Chris Herborth
My job? Computer Sisyphus. I work on cryptography. I like videogames and books.

Why don’t I just switch to Linux?
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I like Linux. I feel more comfortable in Linux. So why am I using Windows 11 on my laptop?

This post was originally here.

(This was originally published on GitHub as a Gist; I’ve mutated it here as a proper blog post.)

Must-have software
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Most of the apps I use day-to-day are portable or have Linux equivalents that are pretty decent. There are a few things that I “need” that don’t:

  • Backblaze backup client - Yeah, I know I can access B2 easily from Linux, but I haven’t found a fire-and-forget backup client that works as well as Backblaze on Windows or macOS.
  • Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer - Granted, I don’t use these much, and I could probably get by with Krita and Inkscape, but I just bought these. Sunk cost fallacy!
  • The critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV - XIVLauncher supports running the Windows version on Linux, but I’ve had a lot of trouble with keyboard support. I swap CapsLock and Ctrl on all my systems, but XIVLauncher’s Wine seems to treat it as a CtrlLock, which is not useful. I don’t remember having this problem with City of Heroes.

Sync.com would’ve been on this list util very recently; Filen.io seems to fit that niche, although I’m still testing it.

All of these things work well under macOS, and those Apple Silicon devices are nice (I use one for work). It’ll be 2-3 years before I upgrade my laptop though…

Updates
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2022-10-11
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Potential backup software (targeting B2, using restic):

2022-10-24
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Solved issue:

  • The critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV - XIVLauncher supports running the Windows version on Linux, but I’ve had a lot of trouble with keyboard support. I swap CapsLock and Ctrl on all my systems, but XIVLauncher’s Wine seems to treat it as a CtrlLock, which is not useful. I don’t remember having this problem with City of Heroes.

Root cause and solution:

  • Under X, Wine uses a very low-level API for getting keyboard events. In Mint and KDE, they keyboard configuration I used to map CapsLock->Ctrl happens at a higher level… after Wine already got the event.
  • Fix is to remap using a lower-level tool: https://github.com/samvel1024/kbct

2022-11-01
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I was going to try Duplicati for backups, but it doesn’t work on systems that use OpenSSL 3.x, like Kubuntu 22.10. So I guess I’ll write some shell scripts and use restic?

I use Bvckup2 on Windows for local (and NAS) backups and Backblaze Backup for cloud backups. I’m a little surprised at how extremely primitive the “end user” backup software is on Linux… the headless, do-it-by-hand stuff like restic is fantastic though.

2022-11-06
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I’ve got scripts backing up locally, to my NAS, and to B2 via restic scripts. They fire off regularly (hopefully) via user systemd units. Not the modern GUI I was hoping for, and not the flat-fee unlimited backups, but the per-month fee for B2 is going to be cheaper until I upload my music collection (then it’s roughly the same).

So, I guess I’m using Linux now for my daily driver?