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What do you do with Linux?

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Thinkpad4by3
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What do you do with Linux?

#1 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:20 pm

I'm a Windows person and I'm just curious, what do you Linux for, and is it Linux only?
"Its not what screen ratio you have, it is what you do with it." -me

Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

-Thinkpad4by3, or 3:2, or 16:10, or 16:9, or 21:9.....or whatever.

axur-delmeria
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 am

Pretty much what I used to do on Windows, I guess?

Web browsing, typing documents, listening to music, watching videos, etc.

Sometimes I go exploring the software repository in a "what does this program do?" mode, or try to look for alternatives for the default programs.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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What do you do with Linux?

#3 Post by Omineca » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:06 am

Almost everything: browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, Skype, music and movies....

The only exceptions are for a few proprietary programs (BlackBerry Link and autoloaders) and interfaces that won't work with anything but Windows. I've been trying not to buy anything like that for a few years now, but it seems almost inevitable that you'll bump into the odd program you need that requires Windows (like my tax software). I just keep a copy of Windows ready to dual boot in those cases, because I can't be bothered to fiddle around with Virtualbox USB connections, etc.
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:05 pm

My Roland/Boss recording software requires windows (or osx) as does my blackberry. Everything else that I do -not all that much nowadays - is covered by linux
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#5 Post by mydreamlaptop » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:53 am

Pretty much almost everything... I started switching over after it became clear around Windows 8/8.1 time that Microsoft wasn't going to make a stable desktop operating system.
Large corporations rarely admit mistakes. They never went back on the Ribbon even though screens got shorter.

So if I have to learn a completely new OS anyway, might as well go Linux.

Then the whole AdvertisingID/Cortana/Keylogging/Telemetry issue came out, for pretty much everyone, not just Insiders as previously expected and that pretty much sealed the deal. (Now every large corporation is getting hacked, even the credit bureaus are not immune. The kind of data MS could collect with W10 has the potential to be a major disaster once even a little of it leaks. Or they could use it themselves for whatever.) I was shocked and appalled.

Of course you will never get 100% with any single operating system, so it pays to have a plan ready for when the Windows security update period ends. Keep your options open.

I imaged my W7 install, took the free W10 upgrade offer on the last day, imaged W10 and then restored W7. So I have the license for W10 in case of need for software that doesn't support W7.

If you need to use proprietary things, virtualization and/or a dedicated, air-gapped cheap computer for each workflow helps to keep things isolated. If it needs an internet connection then things get way more complicated.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:15 am

Since many people have more than one computer nowadays, run your preferred OS on your main machine and the rarely-needed OS on your old-timer.
A usable W7 can go down as far as T43/p.
The same (and any newer and many older) machine(s) can run Linux.
My suggestion for still up-to-date: X230 and/or T430/T530 with the classic keyboard mod.

My only Linux (currently Debian Jessie) machine so far is an X200s with WXGA+.
Everything else runs W7 with one exception: my T23 still runs XP and is only used to remove Supervisor passwords and Computrace.
It never goes online, even though it can.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#7 Post by shawross » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:35 pm

All my machines are on Windows 7 but eventually I intend to start exploring Linux.

I will probably dual boot a machine and then go from there.

Yes I like to keep my options open also and being under the control of big corporations like MS makes me ill.

I worry MS will inject EOL bugs to W 7 but we can wait and see.
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:48 pm

shawross wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:35 pm
I worry MS will inject EOL bugs to W 7 but we can wait and see.
Lock the system down by disabling WU and you'll have nothing to worry about IMO...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

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Thinkpad4by3
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:50 pm

Until they create their own EternalBlue 'bug' in a new update disguised as a security patch, then use it install the EOL crap.

The new Microsoft motto should be: We only did it to screw you!
"Its not what screen ratio you have, it is what you do with it." -me

Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

-Thinkpad4by3, or 3:2, or 16:10, or 16:9, or 21:9.....or whatever.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:50 pm
Until they create their own EternalBlue 'bug' in a new update disguised as a security patch, then use it install the EOL crap.
I might have not been clear enough: *any* and *all* Windows-related updates from M$ are to be avoided. My systems running W7 have all been locked down for quite some time now, ever since the first signs of telemetry and other nonsense getting pushed through WU. Nothing bad has happened as a result of this policy, and I don't believe that it ever will.

Obviously, YMMV.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#11 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:03 pm

Ahhh, OK. That makes sense. No patches what so ever.

The other problem comes in when they find the next 'EternalBlue' exploit that they will use against unpatched machines, and implement through patched machines using WU.

Only time will tell to see how evil the programmers at Microsoft really are, which they have proven to be quite so with Windows 10 spying and the free upgrade annoy-a-tron.
"Its not what screen ratio you have, it is what you do with it." -me

Now stop complaining and get back to work with your "wrongly configured" box of pixels.

-Thinkpad4by3, or 3:2, or 16:10, or 16:9, or 21:9.....or whatever.

shawross
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#12 Post by shawross » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:26 pm

I think MS are fairly busy trying to perfect Windows 10 and its tentacles at present.

Also there have been some ransom-ware patches this year and such but yes disabling all updates is definitely an option.

Currently I only install security updates but in truth I am concerned about Google, MS, Intel and Lenovo. YMMV
Active --- Love the X series
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#13 Post by micrex22 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:52 pm

shawross wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:26 pm
I think MS are fairly busy trying to perfect Windows 10 and its tentacles at present.

Also there have been some ransom-ware patches this year and such but yes disabling all updates is definitely an option.

Currently I only install security updates but in truth I am concerned about Google, MS, Intel and Lenovo. YMMV
I guess the answer is a T40/41/42/43 with ArcaOS ;)

IBM hardware with an IBM OS, no brain-dead microsoft or lenovo problems that those two companies generate due to their lack of R&D and stupidity.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#14 Post by edik » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:34 pm

I use Linux primarily for running the IDEA IDE and developing Software (Kotlin and Java)... it means I can use a terminal (xterm) which is a bit like the DOS Box on a Windows machine, and from that xterm I do huge amounts of work.

Downside is the battery management nowhere near as good as Windows as no Lenovo Battery/Power Management drivers, and for me no native OneNote (need to use it over the web browser) which I like to use.

Have run Linux ever since 2005 on ThinkPads, now about the same experience except Suspend/Hibernate/Resume are far better supported and work out of the box.

1997-1999 Windows NT4, 1999-2005 Windows 2000 Workstation and its Beta's (was a great OS!), so the 760XL, 760XD, 770, T30, X31, T40, 600 were all Windows.

Oh yes, after 2005 I always have run Fedora (FC4 back in 2005) now F26!

2018: T550/16/IPS 3K Touch/72Wh
2007-2018: T450, T520/i7-2760QM/8GB/320GB, WSXGA+, X200s, T500, A31p, A30p, T42p, X60s, X32, X31
Gone but not forgotten 1998-2006: 2006 T43p 2668-H2G (2GB/60), T22 2648-8EG (128/20) 2005 X40, X31 2004 T30 SXGA+, 600X, 2003 770 P233+DVD Card, 760XD 1998 760XL+104MB

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#15 Post by rumbero » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:18 am

edik wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:34 pm
Downside is the battery management nowhere near as good as Windows as no Lenovo Battery/Power Management drivers,
Maybe this helps a bit: linrunner.de/en/tlp/tlp.html.
There are packages already available in both Debian and Fedora.
Works like a charm for me in Debian.
Broken T23 2647-9RG | A few 14.1" T61 Frankenpads | Two 15" Frankenpad T61+ with UXGA IPS Display

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#16 Post by edik » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:19 am

I have started running tlp... will see if improvements... :)

Only problem no cycle count available but I fix this by booting from an external USB SATA drive with Windows 7 and Lenovo Power Manager to view cycles if I need.

It seems the BAT1 discharge stops at 5% before switching to BAT0... this is good.. it doesn't 100% deplete the external battery.

2018: T550/16/IPS 3K Touch/72Wh
2007-2018: T450, T520/i7-2760QM/8GB/320GB, WSXGA+, X200s, T500, A31p, A30p, T42p, X60s, X32, X31
Gone but not forgotten 1998-2006: 2006 T43p 2668-H2G (2GB/60), T22 2648-8EG (128/20) 2005 X40, X31 2004 T30 SXGA+, 600X, 2003 770 P233+DVD Card, 760XD 1998 760XL+104MB

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#17 Post by evening_hunger » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:49 am

Alternative route - which, again I can confirm only for Debian as that's what I use - is to use smapi packages, such as tp-smapi-dkms. This is not strictly the same as tlp others are using. Anyhow, running this I see (by grepping from lsmod) following kernel modules loaded associated with Thinkpad power management: thinkpad_acpi, tp_smapi, hdaps.
This way, without de facto having tlp, I can easily see battery cycles:

Code: Select all

$ cat /sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT0/cycle_count 
72
x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:10 pm

Another suggested package for tlp is acpi-call-dkms (in Debian, at least).
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#19 Post by edik » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:08 pm

tp-smapi-dkms
acpi-call-dkms
I think both of these modules work only on the T430 and X430 series and lower, on any newer machines they either don't load or don't report battery cycle information...

2018: T550/16/IPS 3K Touch/72Wh
2007-2018: T450, T520/i7-2760QM/8GB/320GB, WSXGA+, X200s, T500, A31p, A30p, T42p, X60s, X32, X31
Gone but not forgotten 1998-2006: 2006 T43p 2668-H2G (2GB/60), T22 2648-8EG (128/20) 2005 X40, X31 2004 T30 SXGA+, 600X, 2003 770 P233+DVD Card, 760XD 1998 760XL+104MB

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#20 Post by thinkpadgeek91 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:15 pm

I run ubuntu and use it 90% of the time for home use. I still haven't switched over entirely to linux but I will say this, my X61 has ubuntu on it as the sole OS, and my primary laptop has more resources dedicated to a ubuntu VM than to Windows 10. I use Windows 7 more on my T500 than I run Windows 10 on my E570. :D
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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#21 Post by tom lightbody » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:32 am

I've been using Linux since the old days of kernel 12c in 1991.
The graceful power is appealing, of hooking together the special purpose
programs sed, grep, awk and the rest, for data/text processing.

and of course there's always "(g)cc" for heavy duty work.

as time went by, more and more utilities became available until now,
except for the odd bank that insists on "internet explorer," or the
sea navigation program "cmap," I am M$ free and happy to be so.
the way up and the way down are the same (heraclitus)

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#22 Post by edik » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:52 am

I always though battery life (even with tlp) sucked under Linux.... I take that back...

With the 6-cell extended battery 72Wh (Actually reports 74Wh 104%...) on the T450 I am achieving what seems like 12 hours+ battery life under quite heavy usage.

Amazing!

2018: T550/16/IPS 3K Touch/72Wh
2007-2018: T450, T520/i7-2760QM/8GB/320GB, WSXGA+, X200s, T500, A31p, A30p, T42p, X60s, X32, X31
Gone but not forgotten 1998-2006: 2006 T43p 2668-H2G (2GB/60), T22 2648-8EG (128/20) 2005 X40, X31 2004 T30 SXGA+, 600X, 2003 770 P233+DVD Card, 760XD 1998 760XL+104MB

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#23 Post by farmall » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:55 pm

I do everything I'd do with a Windows box with much greater convenience, control and stability. If I want to run Windows-only applications I run them in a virtual Windows machine using KVM. I don't dual boot and dislike it. Before VMs were convenient I used hard disk swap racks instead or selected my boot drive in BIOS. Linux makes a fine VM host and VMs mean you can try or keep many or any operating systems. I don't believe in "switching" since I can have every option conveniently at the same time at no cost. VMs are better than a bare metal install because it's so convenient to reboot into a previous snapshot when trying different applications. I haven't done GPU passthrough yet because I don't game but apparently it works well.

I began with Corel Linux (and love the old KDE visuals) then used various distros before settling on Xubuntu several years ago. I prefer Debian-based distros for convenience and Ubuntu-based distros for driver support and user base but get along well with any.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#24 Post by decaba » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:31 pm

Web browsing (Firefox), music listening (Cantata and Spotify), Skype, some word processing (Libre Office Writer), remote server administration (Konsole -- my distro is Kubuntu 16.04), Windows-only apps (iTunes and Topofusion) in a VM (VirtualBox), and the photography apps Darktable and digikam.

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#25 Post by MustardOrMayo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:35 am

GNU/Linux (or "Linux as a desktop and server OS" if you want to call it that), in my opinion, provides what is essentially a level above Android-level customisability, on a desktop-class OS, and Android's level of customisability is already higher than Windows Phone and iOS.

Most people usually use Windows because:
  1. it's easier to use
  2. is preloaded on almost every desktop and laptop available to consumers (+ varying degrees of bloatware pre-infestation depending on manufacturer and price point
  3. they wouldn't really know about the existence of any desktop OS besides Windows and Mac OS
Technically speaking, Linux is just the kernel, but most people refer to it as the OS itself, because it's easier to just say that, and I'm fine with that. From what I know, there are 2 main kinds of Linux-based operating systems, which are Android (a mobile OS) and GNU/Linux (a desktop and server OS). Both of them run their own applications and are usually not directly compatible with one another.

Like with Android device manufacturers having their own take on how the Android experience should be like, there are vast varieties of Linux distributions to choose from, each with their own combinations of visual styles, applications, and desktop experiences, but Ubuntu seems to be the most popular, although I do warn users in advance that Ubuntu generally tries to simplify the GNU/Linux experience a bit, by bundling certain Bash add-ons (in the command-line), and having a modified desktop experience.

When it comes to actually using Linux-based OSes on desktops, I classify myself as a Linux intermediate (neither beginner nor expert). I primarily use Debian, as most of the packages for commercial apps (like Discord and Spotify) generally have their Linux packages built with Ubuntu in mind, and indirectly after comparing Linux kernel versions on DistroWatch*, I found that packages built for Ubuntu 16.10 will usually install on Debian 9 without any issues, but I would first check to make sure a package built for the latter exists first.

*DistroWatch.com is a great website to go to if you want to find which Linux or BSD distribution is right for you, but I recommend not getting into using BSD if you're a beginner.

There is the problem where I can't correctly add Ubuntu PPAs to Debian, unless I not only install the software-properties packages, but also modify APT to install "unauthenticated" packages (a security risk), so I usually just poke around on Canonical's Launchpad site (where Ubuntu PPAs are hosted), until I can find a package for Ubuntu 16.10. Sometimes, there are other packages those packages would "depend" on, which usually are already in Debian's repository, but some are only available in Ubuntu's (and derivatives) repository, so I would go directly into Ubuntu's archived repository (as support for 16.10 had ended) and manually browse the APT pool (as APT servers usually have Apache Web Server's "autoindex" module enabled), and find the packages I need.

As an intermediate, I usually use APT and DPKG in the command-line for package management, but for beginners, there are beginner-oriented tools, like GNOME Software, Ubuntu Software, and Plasma Discover, in GNOME, Ubuntu's modified GNOME, and KDE Plasma respectively.

I am also working on pages (on my own website) that would detail how to customise the Linux desktop (and command-line) experience, but it'll be ages before I ever release them. These pages include, but are not limited to: Old KDE resources repackaged for customising Trinity with, some Linux terminal commands (and tricks specific to BASH which is the default command interpreter), and adding the command-line "quote of the day" (which is a feature normally unique to Slackware (a distro mainly intended for advanced Linux users) and its derivatives) to non-Slackware distros.

As nice as GNU/Linux is, I do still keep a Windows-based system (my 2009 custom built PC, that was given to me by a cousin a few years ago) for the small number of applications I want to run that aren't available on the former, like the official desktop clients for Evernote** and OneDrive, Paint.NET (but it'd make sense that it's Windows only, as it was written to use Microsoft's .NET Framework) and VideoPad (a video editor, but I'm trying to find a better one that doesn't have too steep of a learning curve).

**I can make do with the Evernote web client (they licenced some really nice fonts to use in their web interface), but it has a bug (at least in Pale Moon) where it'll end up duplicating a note many times over while I'm typing large amounts of text into it, however, I have learned to work around that issue.

With the software I use, some of the stuff I have been using on Windows, like Audacity, GIMP, and LibreOffice, as well as other apps I usually use, such as Pale Moon, as well as the official desktop clients for Discord, Spotify, and also, a bunch of KDE apps. namely Kate, KCalc, and Gwenview.

For the desktop environment, I usually use Trinity, but depending on the system, I use other desktop environments like KDE Plasma (KDE Neon; on my Dell laptop that was intended to be my secondary PC, but became my main due to unforeseen circumstances), MATE and XFCE (Debian 8; in addition to Trinity, on my ThinkPad R51 which I use as my Linux experimentation laptop).
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R52 | R51 | R52 (parts) | 760ED (Asian) (unbootable/parts) | 760ED (North American) (semi-functioning) | 760EL (North American)

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#26 Post by Arc » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:10 am

I mainly use GNU/Linux on everything but my desktop, for everything that isn't video games and Autodesk AutoCAD. If Autodesk had a release for GNU/Linux I would probably be using GNU/Linux at work, maybe retaining Windows at home for when I get desperate and want to play something that doesn't work in Wine. I have two big reasons for using GNU/Linux on my ThinkPads. For one, I just want to get away from Microsoft and their decisions with Windows. Second, Windows by itself takes up a decent amount of memory, and you wouldn't be running Windows 7 to 10 on a machine with 2GB of RAM without massive problems. I can run an GNU/Linux system with Xfce and have it take up, what, 300MB of RAM? And if I go to Windows XP, sure it's light on the RAM but there's no more security updates for it, and more and more common programs are dropping support for XP. I think what makes GNU/Linux systems perfect for oldish ThinkPads and other computers is that most of the time, you install a distro and you are good to go. No having to download half a dozen drivers. If any, the only driver you'd get is a proprietary driver for the GPU - but most distros include a non-proprietary driver that works great anyway.

X60 Tablet is getting up there, but I am pretty comfortable with 2GB of RAM and an ancient dual core. Like everyone else has said, I use it to browse the web, use LibreOffice, watching videos (X60 can handle 720p fine), and playing some old games, some through Wine. So I bring my X60 to my college library or cafe and work on assignments on it. I also have a HTPC that I run Ubuntu Server and Plex on to stream shows and movies to as well. I tried Windows Server on the same PC and it would chug when transcoding video, and start going haywire after a couple of hours of being powered on. I don't know if I was missing some driver or something, but with Ubuntu Server it worked perfectly day one.

So, as long as you don't want to play video games, you can totally do most things you want on Windows on GNU/Linux, and usually with more wiggle room in terms of RAM usage.
Lenovo "Classics" [ X41t | X60s | X60t SXGA+ | T60 | X301 | X200s WXGA+ | X201t ]
ThiccPads [ A21m | X22 | R52 ]
[ Lifebook P1620 | P1630 | T902 ] [ iBook G3 Snow ] [ BRIX GB-BXA8-5557 ]
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ThinkPads are nice yeah 👌

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Re: What do you do with Linux?

#27 Post by MountainX » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:20 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:20 pm
I'm a Windows person and I'm just curious, what do you Linux for, and is it Linux only?
I do all my work and all my personal computing with Linux and that's all I have used for around 10 years.

teamde78
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Amherst, MA

Re: What do you do with Linux?

#28 Post by teamde78 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:42 pm

Web browsing, code editing, etc... pretty much everything that you do on Windows but on Arch Linux with dwm :)
Thinkpads: T470 (daily Driver), T430, T60, Z61, T410

tagumcity
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: What do you do with Linux?

#29 Post by tagumcity » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:09 pm

What do I do with Linux? I Live as free individual with no concerns for viruses or other malware. The software available for Linux has development effort of free individuals that reside in a worldwide community.
x60 (T7200), 3.2GB ram & X200s (L9400), 8GB ram, both are using Samsung 850 EVO 250GB drives with bios flashed to Libreboot & Arch Linux

teamde78
Freshman Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Amherst, MA

Re: What do you do with Linux?

#30 Post by teamde78 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:13 pm

tagumcity wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:09 pm
What do I do with Linux? I Live as free individual with no concerns for viruses or other malware. The software available for Linux has development effort of free individuals that reside in a worldwide community.

Very well put - forgot to include this in my post as well :)
Thinkpads: T470 (daily Driver), T430, T60, Z61, T410

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