I’ve been running Linux on my laptop for a little over a week now, and so far I’m really impressed with it! It’s probably almost a decade since I last used Linux (outside of Windows Subsystem for Linux and accessing remote machines) so I wanted to see how well it works as my main OS.
I moved to Windows from macOS in 2020 because it gave me more hardware options (I wanted a laptop that was more repairable), gaming options (a lot of games that I want to play run on Windows), and it still let me do my design work. Windows meets all my needs to be honest, but it makes me uncomfortable to use an OS made by a surveillance capitalist so I’m curious about an alternative and I wanted to see if Linux would work for me.
I downloaded Fedora and installed it on my Dell XPS 17.
Thunderbolt works as expected. It looks gorgeous on my 5k LG Ultrafine monitor, and I’m able to run both the built-in 4k display and the 5k external display at the same time. That’s a lot of pixels! My Wacom tablet just worked out of the box. I didn’t have to download anything for it to work which was really impressive. Bluetooth and WiFi work flawlessly. I can use my Bluetooth mouse with no issue.
It unfortunately wouldn’t let me install the Nvidia driver from the app store, but I believe all I had to do was run
sudo dnf install akmod-nvidia in the terminal to fix it. I can now right click on an app and run it on the Nvidia GPU.
Fingerprint reader doesn’t work, so I still need to figure that out.
I downloaded Steam, enabled the Windows-compatibility option, and installed DOOM Eternal. It wasn’t working at first—it said that I didn’t have enough memory in my video card. So I lowered the quality a bit and it ran perfectly. I played 4 hours of it in Nightmare mode, so I’m pretty impressed with the speed as well! I have yet to try other games, but I’m hopeful based on the reports that I’m seeing about the Steam Deck. I’m really amazed to see what Valve has done to make Windows games work.
I expected to have some issues with the available software, but it wasn’t actually that much of a hassle for me. Maybe I just don’t use that many apps to begin with. For 1Password, Zoom, Spotify, digiKam, Mini vMac, Telegram, Thunderbird, Sublime Text, and Signal, they work the same way as their Windows and macOS counterparts. Figma doesn’t have a desktop app, but there is an unofficial Linux version that works just fine. For Dropbox, I’m using an app called Maestral.
There’s a built-in app in GNOME for recording the screen, but it doesn’t record it in GIF format. A little app called Kooha is able to do that though. I’m also pleasantly surprised that Fedora also comes with a simple backup tool that I’m using to backup to my Rsync.net account.
I do wish there was AutoHotKey. And Excel. And Krisp. And Em Client.
What I’m most impressed with is that Fedora comes with virtualization software and it’s super easy to use! So I’ve been running Windows on there when I need it.
I’m not sure if I want to go Linux full time yet, but I’m excited that I’m actually using it! I think it pretty much meets my needs, but it does take a bit of work to get things working. I’m hopeful, so we’ll see what happens!