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Windows 11, need a Linux alternative recommendation

1786 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  enorbet2
I don't dislike Windows 10 or 11, but I'm considering an alternative. I've had some weird issues the last few months and have reinstalled 10 (and 11) a few times now due to issues that.... cannot be solved lol.

Anyways, it's been at least 5 years since I even messed with Linux. Xubuntu and Mint were the last distro's I used. So I'm not going in 100% blind but still.

I'm going to be using this for mainly gaming / just daily use. Steam, Origin, Epic and the occasional Forza 7 (I know, Windows only tho...).

5600X
32GB
X570
RTX 2080
SSD etc

What do you guys recommend? I was thinking SteamOS because I mainly use that compared to Origin, Epic etc but it seems to be kinda dead in the water?

Thanks.
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· Overclocking Enthusiast
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If you have used mint before. I would recommend using it again. It is one of the easiest to learn. And one of the best for beginners.
 
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· Old and Crochity
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+2 for PopOS. It's so easy I stopped using Windows for everything except cheat detection games. AS soon as proton for steam fixes the cheat thing I'm totally on POPOS! Been using Windows for 30 years! Did start on Dos in 1989, but quickly switched to Windows 3.1 (and 3.11) and had only tinkered with linux since.
 
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I'd say go with Mint again, if you've used it previously.

I don't like Pop!_OS or "vanilla" Ubuntu, but that is largely because I absolutely loathe Gnome Shell.

For a "pretty" desktop, I'm a fan of Cinnamon. For a less demanding desktop, MATE or XFCE. For speeeed... Openbox or i3wm (both of which will take a bit of learning)...
 

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Switched the whole house over to Mint Cinnamon everyone is loving it.
Desktop & 3 Laptops all running great.
 

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Ubuntu or it's derivatives. With a careful use of PPAs you can have a very good and capable system. Canonical has been doing some stupid stuff lately, but no big deal. Since you are using nvidia, I would avoid rolling release distros like Arch since those can be a nightmare with proprietary binary modules.
Steam will work no problems and most games can be made to work with Proton. Other launchers you can easily get them to work with Lutris. Anti-cheat will be your biggest problem without resorting to some complex hacks, but there is some work being done in that area from Valve and Epic.
 

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This will probably start a fight, but who are these people who want to game in Linux and why? I've personally fooled with Linux going back to the old 3.5" floppy "Red Hat" days and was never impressed. I even went as far as to install Mint on my big gamer and ran some games under Wine. After I did all of that I wondered to myself why in the H--- I even bothered, as performance was atrocious. And here's where the fight starts: Linux is hard to use. I'll bet a nickel to a hole in a doughnut that the average user keeps a "cheat sheet" near by just to get their word processor up and running. But, Linux users take heart, as Microsoft is here to the rescue. No more Debian woes as the boys in Redmond have your backside now. (LOL) and more (LOL).
 

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Ubuntu or it's derivatives. With a careful use of PPAs you can have a very good and capable system. Canonical has been doing some stupid stuff lately, but no big deal. Since you are using nvidia, I would avoid rolling release distros like Arch since those can be a nightmare with proprietary binary modules.
Steam will work no problems and most games can be made to work with Proton. Other launchers you can easily get them to work with Lutris. Anti-cheat will be your biggest problem without resorting to some complex hacks, but there is some work being done in that area from Valve and Epic.
I largely agree, although to be fair, I've had less trouble with nVIDIA drivers running Arch than with Ubuntu derivatives - they're well behaved until you have a big update (like moving from 18.04 to 20.04, or 20.04 to 20.10, or Mint 20 to 20.1) then things tend to go to hell in a handbasket. I run a couple of Arch systems at work and they're always well behaved. The only times I've had major issues with Arch is when I've not updated it for a very long time (I'm talking 9+ months here, because I stuffed a laptop in a cupboard and ignored it for nearly a year).

But the potential for things to go wrong with a rolling release distro are higher than one with a more stable base. Given that the Steam Deck will apparently use Arch, Valve must be fairly confident they can make it more approachable for non-technical users...

Easy Anti Cheat and BattlEye have announced Linux support coming.
This will probably start a fight, but who are these people who want to game in Linux and why? I've personally fooled with Linux going back to the old 3.5" floppy "Red Hat" days and was never impressed. I even went as far as to install Mint on my big gamer and ran some games under Wine. After I did all of that I wondered to myself why in the H--- I even bothered, as performance was atrocious. And here's where the fight starts: Linux is hard to use. I'll bet a nickel to a hole in a doughnut that the average user keeps a "cheat sheet" near by just to get their word processor up and running. But, Linux users take heart, as Microsoft is here to the rescue. No more Debian woes as the boys in Redmond have your backside now. (LOL) and more (LOL).
not-sure-if-serious.jpg

You're either trolling, biased for reasons undertermined or haven't used Linux since Red Hat Linux became Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Thanks for the laugh, though. :ROFLMAO:
 

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I largely agree, although to be fair, I've had less trouble with nVIDIA drivers running Arch than with Ubuntu derivatives - they're well behaved until you have a big update (like moving from 18.04 to 20.04, or 20.04 to 20.10, or Mint 20 to 20.1) then things tend to go to hell in a handbasket. I run a couple of Arch systems at work and they're always well behaved. The only times I've had major issues with Arch is when I've not updated it for a very long time (I'm talking 9+ months here, because I stuffed a laptop in a cupboard and ignored it for nearly a year).

But the potential for things to go wrong with a rolling release distro are higher than one with a more stable base. Given that the Steam Deck will apparently use Arch, Valve must be fairly confident they can make it more approachable for non-technical users...

Easy Anti Cheat and BattlEye have announced Linux support coming.

not-sure-if-serious.jpg

You're either trolling, biased for reasons undertermined or haven't used Linux since Red Hat Linux became Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Thanks for the laugh, though. :ROFLMAO:
For the record, the last time I trolled anything was for walleye.
 
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I largely agree, although to be fair, I've had less trouble with nVIDIA drivers running Arch than with Ubuntu derivatives - they're well behaved until you have a big update (like moving from 18.04 to 20.04, or 20.04 to 20.10, or Mint 20 to 20.1) then things tend to go to hell in a handbasket. I run a couple of Arch systems at work and they're always well behaved. The only times I've had major issues with Arch is when I've not updated it for a very long time (I'm talking 9+ months here, because I stuffed a laptop in a cupboard and ignored it for nearly a year).

But the potential for things to go wrong with a rolling release distro are higher than one with a more stable base. Given that the Steam Deck will apparently use Arch, Valve must be fairly confident they can make it more approachable for non-technical users...
Valve will probably curate updates. Sort of like Manjaro. I doubt they will just latch on to Arch repos and update their devices just like that. It will be an Arch based distro maintained by Valve.

Arch really is not that difficult a distro. The only major hurdle for newcomers will be the initial setup. Once that is done you only have to learn some pacman syntax. Both can be alleviated by using any of the Arch distros that have installers and use graphical package managers like pamac or octopi. The biggest issue I see is users not being responsible enough not to do dumb stuff like unattended updates and/or liberal use of the AUR.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone! I'm gonna side by side Pop OS and Mint and bounce back and forth between the two to get a solid refresher on LInux.

And just to clear things up, I don't hate Windows. I grew up on dos then Windows once that came out. I'm just looking to try something different, learn a new skill set etc.
 

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I’m an arch user, but I’ve played around with Manjaro and I think it’s worth looking in to. If you want an experience close to what you’d get on Windows oob, then Ubuntu is probably your best bet.
 

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If you're going to do a bunch of linux gaming, you should spend the time to properly install the nvidia drivers. Depending on which distro you choose, the process will be slightly different, but it can either be painless...or a little finicky. Be prepared to spend an hour in the worst case going through the process and verifying that it works correctly (it's mostly an issue when there's a dedicated iGPU, but it can take a little tinkering). Also, make sure you have the latest proton selected in steam, as well as the option checked to load games anyway even if they aren't officially supported.

Some games with anti-cheat (like league of legends) are still playable on linux - and you can get them up and running pretty quickly via lutris, which is an application specifically designed to install/load games.
 

· Newb to Overclock.net
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Thanks everyone! I'm gonna side by side Pop OS and Mint and bounce back and forth between the two to get a solid refresher on LInux.

And just to clear things up, I don't hate Windows. I grew up on dos then Windows once that came out. I'm just looking to try something different, learn a new skill set etc.
If you like to look under the hood, customize, optimize, and use a single toolbox to do everything, roll up the sleeves and start compiling Gentoo. With Portage, you get a very robust dependency resolution system and slotting, so you can always be sure of what you installed and what you didn't. I myself came from the old days of DOS, hacking expanded memory to play the likes of Ultima 7 and 8.
 
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· Registered
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If you like to look under the hood, customize, optimize, and use a single toolbox to do everything, roll up the sleeves and start compiling Gentoo. With Portage, you get a very robust dependency resolution system and slotting, so you can always be sure of what you installed and what you didn't. I myself came from the old days of DOS, hacking expanded memory to play the likes of Ultima 7 and 8.
I like Gentoo (my favourite distro for RPi) but recommending it to someone who is not already comfortable doing things 100% in a terminal is... just a touch enthusiastic. Even Arch is more user friendly than Gentoo (particularly with the new install scripts which can get a working GUI up in a few minutes during install). While some people will relish a challenge and rise to the occasion, most people will struggle with a sink-or-swim start where the start is in the middle of the pacific ocean. :ROFLMAO:
 

· 10 year OCN Vet
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Recently I watched a YouTube video about the "best gaming distros" and the top 2 were Manjaro and PopOS!. So, naturally, being an avid gamer and a 20 year veteran of Slackware (and quite proud of my customizations) who keeps partitions around just to test out other distros for a few weeks, I had to see for myself. Long story shorter, I ran Phononix Test Suite, Heaven, and SOTR Benchmark on Ultra... all installed on a dedicated NVME partition shared between them all.

I hated PopOS! immediately because it does not setup a root account for the installer and disables things like kdesu, but it did OK gaming. Manjaro was much more to my liking 'cuz I'm a nuts 'n bolts kinda guy but I had some problems trying to build a custom, low-latency, realtime kernel for speed, response and smooth consistency. That's mostly my fault because I prefer a truly vanilla kernel direct from source tarball off kernel.org. I don't like waiting around for repositories to catch up or offer solid alternatives and I simply must be able to enact a multi-user cli runlkevel to install the latest nvidia drivers from nvidia's excellent .run installer. That was a PITA on Manjaro and basically far too many hoops to jump through in Pop.

So my Slackware Current system had an advantage because of the kernel and a few other features but the average scores for all 3 benchmarks was oiver 9% better in Slackware and was as much as 12% on average better in SOTR benchmark. So I won't be dual booting to eoityher Manjaro or Pop... BUT I am seriously wanting to install SteamOS v4 once it's available. I'm quite excited by SteamDeck for numerous reasons.

For someone new to Linux I'd recommend trying Manjaro or anARCHy and also try the live Slackware iso since it is all human readable/editable confgigs, is a full OpSys with Persistence not a skeleton trial, and you can see for yourself that Slackware is not as hard as many make it out to be... and most of all, it's worth the effort. If you're really just non-technical then PopOS is getting a lot of play lately, even on LinusTechTips, so it might be for a more general linux newbie who especisally wants gamer features out of th box..
 

· 10 year OCN Vet
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If and when the new SteamOS, based on Manjaro, becomes available I will istall it immediately as a multi boot option. I'm sadly confidant it won't be released until after SteamDeck hits the market though, but I have my eyes peeled. :)
 
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