Is Mint still the best user-friendly desktop?

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How is running Windows inside a VM running under Linux these days? Can a single system GPU be passed through or does the system need to be running two GPU's?

Used to daily Arch but have not used Linux on my desktop since building this machine in 2018. If running Windows in a VM is feasible nowadays I'd prefer to do that! :)
 
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How is running Windows inside a VM running under Linux these days? Can a single system GPU be passed through or does the system need to be running two GPU's?

Used to daily Arch but have not used Linux on my desktop since building this machine in 2018. If running Windows in a VM is feasible nowadays I'd prefer to do that! :)
As far as I know, if you want to pass through a GPU, it has to be dedicated to the VM. The only exception is if you use a "professional" GPU designed to be used in the data centre.

As for running a Windows VM in general I have never had any problems but if you want to play games inside the VM I've never tried that.
 
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Win 10 theme to make everything familiar
The suggestion i have for you is: kde plasma. Because that has good theming support for both windows style themes, and also many others. It's in a pretty good place now, as it has gotten reliable enough. With much fewer bugs / crashes than previously. So is suitable as a daily driver.

interested in something that updates a little more often
This is why nobody should be on mint. Because it updates worse than even the ubuntu LTS (which is already "not good enough").

So my suggestion (as things stand these days) is simply to switch to ubuntu's every 6 monthly releases. So (for example right now) that is 23.04... and then with those increments coming every 6 months. That will provide a very familiar and similar general environment (to mint). And also with relatively good balance between fewest adjustments required. But also access to modern software.

To make things more easy to deal with: can also install the topgrade, and deb-get tools. For installing packages and updating the system. Makes those things a bit easier to manage.

don't want any spyware like Canonical puts in Ubuntu (one of the reasons I tried leaving Windows in the first place)
There just simply isn't enough hard evidence to claim that there is any such spyware on ubuntu (and never has been). The whole matter has always been entirely overblown and exaggerated.

There is an option to enable some good (honest) telemetry, during install time. Which is fairly simple and straightforwards to switch off (unlike windows). Since it is actually opt-in in the 1st place. During the installer setup questions. But it does not really? Seem to extend past installation phase?

I would like to be clearer on the telemetry specifics. However there does not seem to be "enough" good information out there at this time. What you can say: is that there are certain additional optional services and crash reporting tools. That you can voluntarily opt into. And there are also snaps.

Overall the difference is significant enough (worlds apart between ubuntu and windows), to not consider those 2 organisations into the same basket as each other here. Since with windows it will sneak things back on. And do things behind your back in a variety of different and difficult to ascertain ways which are not very transparent. And that is microsoft corporation (similar to google, or apple, amazon etc.). Wheras Canonical is ruled as a sort-of benevolant dictatorship of whatever Mark Shuttleworth (single private individual, with motivations other than corporate multinational interests).

I'm not going to defend Canonical for some of it's other recent specific decisions, which some are objectively bad. And that I don't personally agree with. However ATM those other recent changes in ubuntu have not impacted user usage of ubuntu to the extent to make it a terribly worse option than before. And mostly that is because snaps can still be switched off / disabled entirely. The only thing you will need to install via other mechanisms is firefox browser.

There isn't really much else to say on the matter. But if you are still concerned about telemetry then I recommend you research / goole further on the ubuntu option. Since other distros would involve a more significant level of upheaval, when switching away from mint to something else entirely. It's just a lot more work than googling "ubuntu telemetry" and properly looking into that individual aspect.

which distro has the most welcoming community?
That's a tough one, but i would say in my experience FreeBSD. If you want a linux based distro however, then you are in fact are intentionally choosing to trade that plus point in favor of the other benefits to being on linux... (which is exactly what I already intentional did here myself, by switching from FreeBSD to linux).

As far as I am aware, most linux communities comes with negatives (or baggage) which is a thing that is inherent to linux more broadly. So it's hard to shake off. Having said that some communities and distros are overally better than other ones. In terms for what you are asking about here. I would instead suggest / focus on the following different strategy:

* Rely on arch wiki for general "distro agnostic" documentation
* Rely on stack exchange / stack overflow* for technical questions / answers
* Fallback are Reddit pages when the above options isn't working.
* Using google for anything else that isn't covered by the above ^^

And that tends to cover most of your general support needs. Being part of a broader linux community is more valuable than being a part of a distro-specific community. Whatever the distro happens to be.

However:

If your distro has a FreeBSD style ports system, then Github can also be a good place to participate and find support. Or to contribute back fixes, bug reports etc. Onto upstream projects. So as can launchpad bug tracker be, or any major upstream community bug trackers, such as the KDE Bug tracker too.

There is nothing wrong in also joining a distro specific community, except it may then lower your broader participation in those other ^^ ones. Which is to say: better to keep interactions specific / relevant to each specific community. And not lean too heavily on your chosen distro for everything support wise. It's mostly only matters around packaging, system level configuration etc.
 
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Linux Mint is a well made distro, with a good combination of features. If you are coming from Windows, the transition should be pain free. Know what you want to do with your computer and give thought to the software you will use, as that seems to worry people I know - much more than concerns about the system being stable or where to get help with specific things.

FWIW, I have recently been running Peppermint OS (Debian 12 base) on a test machine, and it is really good, maybe even more polished than Mint. They both contain "mint" in their names, but they are not from the same people. If you hear anyone complaining about Debian 12 not having the freshest software, know that you can still go bleeding-edge on a great many apps, especially if you're open to Flatpaks or AppImages.

The bottom line is that the recent leading distro releases are really good, each with their own nice features. Install what is closest to what you want, then add or remove apps and change the eye candy to really make it your own. If you have a special usage in mind, there is probably an expert community out there somewhere. If a community happens to be filled with unhelpful dicks, just move on to a better group of people.

Hope this helps..
 
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This is why nobody should be on mint. Because it updates worse than even the ubuntu LTS (which is already "not good enough").
Linux Mint is built on Ubuntu (other than LMDE) and gets generally the same updates Ubuntu does on the LTS, other than snap.
Linux Mint is a well made distro, with a good combination of features. If you are coming from Windows, the transition should be pain free. Know what you want to do with your computer and give thought to the software you will use, as that seems to worry people I know - much more than concerns about the system being stable or where to get help with specific things.
Agreed. Been using it for years now and have no complaints. I don't actually care that it doesn't necessarily have the latest version of a piece of software. If I need a newer version that's got a 'must have' feature there's nothing stopping me adding a PPA or grabbing the latest DEB installer / Flatpak / Appimage etc from the provider, which I do for a couple of bits of software I use regularly.
 
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I chop and change very frequently, but still prefer Arch (or Arch based distros) and KDE Plasma.
I still usually use a window tiling manager such as dwm rather than Plasma though when coding.
 
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LMDE 6 should be going beta in the next few months and they are looking at what else they can align between LMDE and the Ubuntu version.
 
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Found an older SSD lying around so added it into my gaming PC and did a Mint install on it. I've then since messed around swapping Cinnamon for KDE and installed all sort, then realised I have no idea what I'm doing or what exactly I want to achieve. I think I'll just do a clean install of Mint and just run it for a while :D


Did I do the right thing in partitioning half the drive off for /home? I haven't saved anything yet, but I guess going forward if I want to be messing around with distros and new installs, I can just wipe the other partitions and keep /home around to preserve documents?
 
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Found an older SSD lying around so added it into my gaming PC and did a Mint install on it. I've then since messed around swapping Cinnamon for KDE and installed all sort, then realised I have no idea what I'm doing or what exactly I want to achieve. I think I'll just do a clean install of Mint and just run it for a while :D


Did I do the right thing in partitioning half the drive off for /home? I haven't saved anything yet, but I guess going forward if I want to be messing around with distros and new installs, I can just wipe the other partitions and keep /home around to preserve documents?
Having a separate partition for /home is definitely a good idea, although I prefer having it on a separate drive if at all possible.

As you say, you can then preserve that drive / partition and change the /home mount point on any new distro you install.
 
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I actually do it a different way. I leave /home on the boot drive but then just symlink the settings I want to preserve to another drive. That way it's a lot cleaner when I reinstall but I don't have to reconfigure a whole bunch of applications.
 
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