Switching to Linux

I have done many Linux servers over the years, but I have never gone full Linux on my desktop. It is something I have been thinking about for years but a few things have always held me back. One being that my job is windows based and the other is PC gaming.

Linux Tux

But about a month ago my frustration with Windows hit a tipping point. So like a crazy mad scientist I decided to make the switch to Linux on top of the crazy storm my life has been the last month.

It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. When things are going well it feels awesome. I feel like the computer is truly mine and it seems way more responsive than when it was running Windows 10.

But when things don’t work it takes me twice as long to fix it then it would have on Windows. But sometimes learning through immersion is the best way to go. Despite the frustrating points.

Software Alternatives for Linux

I thought I would document and share my journey into finding Linux alternatives to the windows software I use. Maybe it will save someone else some time who is on the same journey!

Game Development

I like to make computer games as a hobby. But when it comes to Linux there is not a lot of options or tools to program games. The big engines like Unity and Unreal do not have Linux development environments or they are super buggy.

I do not have the time to code my own engine. I just want to get in and play. So I found this engine called Godot. It is open source and a lot of its developers run Linux so it runs very well in Linux. It can also export games to all the other big platforms.


Gaming has become a lot better on Linux. At this point, Linux can run just about any Windows game with the help of Wine, Lutris, and Steam. Some games may take a little more work to get running but the Lutris community normally already has a configuration figured out.

Robocopy to rsync

I use robocopy a ton for backups. So i had to find something like that on Linux. They have something called rsync. The syntax and options are not very close to robocopy so it has been a bit of a learning curve. But rsync may be even more powerful then robocopy based on all the options I see.

I also had to install samba so my Linux OS could read and mount a windows network share.


I started using LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office and to tell the truth I think I like it more. It is a lot less bloated. The installer for Microsoft office is about 1.3GB while the installer for LibreOffice is 285MBs.

LibreOffice is also doing everything I need and of it to do. I assume Microsoft Office can do more but nothing stands out to me and I am not missing any functionality.

I have even started installing LibreOffice on family members computers who run Windows.

E-mail Client

For Linux the go-to e-mail client is Thunderbird. For people coming from Outlook, it takes a bit of getting used to but I had it up and working and customized the way I wanted in less than an hour.

Software Versioning

I used to use TortoiseSVN but I have not found a GUI SVN client for linux. But SVN, Git, and many other versioning tools were developed in linux so they work just fine if you are not afraid of the command line.

It did take a little getting used to but I am using the SVN command line like a pro now and connecting to my SVN server that is also running on Linux!

Remote Desktop

Linux has a program called Remmina that is said to be able to connect to windows remote desktops. I had some trouble getting it working in Manjaro. Then I found out I had to install freerdp before I install Remmina. Remmina uses freerdp to connect to Windows RDP sessions.

I don’t remember having to do this in the past but maybe the Windows remote desktop protocol was built in back then.

Windows Only Software on Linux?

Just like with gaming I have been able to get Windows only software running on Linux with Wine. The last example of this was the software that came with my 3D Printer.

It took me a minute to figure out were the Windows software was saving files. It turns out they were inside a Wine folder with the same folder structure as Windows.

Beyond that, I can not tell a difference. But of course, if there is a Native Linux version I always go for that.

To Be Continued…

I had to stop my research for now due to a lot of other things going on. It is not the best time to be moving to a new OS. But hopefully, I will pop my Linux drive back into my computer soon.

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