The Switch to Linux Desktop pt.2

It has been a few weeks since I have began using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as my primary desktop at home and so far I do not have an intention to turn back although there are a few hiccups I have had to overcome along the way. In this post I am going to talk about a few of my experiences thus far.

 

VMware ESXI Management:

I knew managing an ESXI server would be one of the most difficult parts of running the Linux desktop as you cant install the vSphere client for windows and from what I have read its a pain to get it working in Wine. I decided to start out just using the web client for managing the ESXI server and using the VMware remote console application if i needed direct console access. I must say the remote console application is fairly nice and runs well, but when using the web client to manage the ESXI host and guest operating systems I feel the features just are not there. I found creating new hosts sometimes would fail and other how to articles online were of little help to do many things so I determined that I would need vSphere so I could go 1 of 2 routes, attempt to get it working in Wine which I didn’t want to or install Virtual Box and install a Windows7/10 guest and use it only for the vSphere application. I decided to go with the second option, so all I did was install virtual box, install a VM running Windows 7, installed Firefox and vSphere on the Windows 7 VM and it works great. The reason this was not a huge deal and I do not mind using a VM for this is because I do not need to do things in vSphere that often and my laptop is powerful enough for me to give 2 cpu cores and 2 gigs of ram to the Windows 7 VM.

 

Custom Scripts:

Some of the first things I did with my Linux install was write custom login scripts and file sync scripts. For the average person who wants it to ‘just work’ this may not be a pro but for me it was as I could control exactly what I wanted to happen at login and how I wanted my file sync program to work based on my environment. Now I am sure there are GUI tools to do the things I have done but for me I enjoy writing Bash scripts, it is what I am most fluent with in terms of scripting, and it allows me to do exactly what I want so I see it as a major pro.

 

Software Management:

As a person who has an Android phone and being familiar with the Google Play Store It was second nature using the Ubuntu Software application to acquire software. Not only does this make things very easy, there is almost any software you can want on there that will allow you to preform what you need to do. When looking at this I envision someone who has a smart phone but not a computer being able to catch on very quickly. And the last plus here, its pretty much all free!

 

Software Availability:

I have to say WOW. The best example to demonstrate what I mean is to talk about video recording/editing tools. For some reason I always found it difficult to find a decent screen recorder for windows that was free, I always thought for something so simple they are probably a dime a dozen but that was not the case. Coming over to Linux I had one installed in less than 10 minutes that had a ton of features. It was easy enough to use apt-get or the Ubuntu Software application to install, and plus you have multiple video editors that are very feature rich to choose from, again free, and once again able to install by apt-get or the Ubuntu Software application. Now don’t get me wrong, these video editors are no Sony Vegas but for a guy who is editing some screen captures or if someone were doing a school project these will get the job done no doubt. Just about any piece of software you may want seems to be available or have a “next best thing” available on Linux these days.

 

Customization:

Now this is something that I have heard all the time about how you can “make it look how you want” or “don’t have to be locked in to how Microsoft does it” and I was always thinking “yea Windows is not so bad whatever” and other than Windows 8 and 8.1 I do still generally think that. But after using Linux for a few weeks and just watching videos or seeing screen shots of other peoples desktop your like “ohh that looks interesting I might like that” so you download and install what they have and begin using that, and if it turns out you don’t like it then you un-install it and go back, and like anything that just snowballs until your install is custom to your liking. This is also not something that happens overnight and if I were to relate it to building something, painting, or making music it’s just small little things one at a time and then before you know it its something very different from what you started with. Now I’m seeing myself in the position that I am much happier with my GUI looking like it does and I am more efficient with it than when I go to work and use Windows 7/Windows 10 and often find myself going “I wish I could make this more like my Linux install”

 

All and all these are just a few things I wanted to jot down about my experience thus far. It has been very pleasant and I have only been happy with the move so far. If any new things come up that I think would be interesting to share I will be sure to make a pt 3.

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