Why I switched from OpenSUSE Tumbleweed to Kubuntu to Fedora

I’ve been doing this awhile – installing Linux on my computer is my hobby. By “awhile” I mean I first started using Linux back in the 1990s. I ran RedHat Linux before it went public!

Let me tell you about my journey from stable point releases to full-rolling distros back to point to point distros and now to Fedora.

Everybody, and I do mean everybody in the Linux world has a million opinions about which Linux OS or desktop environment is best. You can see people arguing this stuff intensely online! I have no intention to try to convince you which Linux to run. I’ve run a lot of them over the years. No sense in naming them.

For stability, I settled on “point to point” distros for years. These included Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE Leap – the list will go on and on, trust me.

The problem is that most of these require you to do a reinstall of the OS when there comes along a major upgrade every six or twelve months or so.

It occurred to me, then to move from Ubuntu Studio (which I was using a year ago) to something completely different. I went with Manjaro Linux, a rolling distribution based on Arch. From there I went to Antergos and stayed there a long time.

Then I switched, just to be different, and went with OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling distribution that worked great for me. I used it for an exceptionally long time – a few months I believe.

Now, as a Linux hobbyist, I’m always fiddling, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken my Linux and had to reinstall! What ultimately happened, though, is that my Tumbleweed system broke all by itself with just a simple upgrade. Then it happened two or three more times and I got frustrated. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed began to look unstable and frustrating to me.opensuse_tumbleweed_01

Said I to my wife (who tolerates me – she runs Windows on her computer), “That’s the problem with rolling distributions. I’m going back to something more stable.

So I went with Kubuntu and was very happy for a long time.kubuntu

After some time, however, I did start to notice that online videos from sources like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, started to get “choppy,” which was very annoying. I reinstalled and it fixed it, but not completely. You could still detect a slight jerk in the video every 5 seconds. Oh how annoying that became. On top of that I started thinking about that selling point of the rolling distros: “Once you install a rolling distribution of Linux you will never have to reinstall it again.”

Well, I know that’s not completely true, because it can break, but it’s still a good selling point.

Then I started thinking about Fedora, the upstream distribution to RedHat Linux (a commercial version of Linux).


Fedora is a point to point distribution. There are minor security system and other updates, but the base system changes once every six months. And…. get this… you don’t have to reinstall to upgrade from Fedora 27 to Fedora 28 (for example). The whole thing can be upgraded simply from a command line interface.

So here I am. Fedora. (Also I’m using KDE these days, but that’s another journey to tell you about sometime.)

And guess what? The “jerking” of the videos? It doesn’t happen anymore! I didn’t expect that, but my video experience has improved many times over.

Of course, learning things like “dnf” instead of “apt-get” and getting things like kdenlive or ffmpeg working for me took some fiddling, but nothing too difficult and always easy to find help online.

That’s why I’m now using Fedora.

Disappointment in Manjaro Linux

I’m really disappointed by Manjaro Linux. Not the distro, but the people. The forums.

The problem with rolling distributions of Linux is they can break. The cool thing about rolling distributions of Linux is you always have the latest greatest software, even if it doesn’t work.

Let’s take a look at Arch and the Arch derivative Manjaro. Manjaro is steady.

Take another look. Manjaro Linux forums are as unfriendly as the Arch forums. The entire line suffers from antagonistic people who, if they look at other derivatives they are scorned.

You may think a distro, or derivative, community is not important, but eventually, if you settle somewhere, you’ll need to talk to people who run that derivative.

Look away.

Arch people hate non-Arch people. Manjaro people hate non-Manjaro people.

Go with Antergos.

It’s a derivative. It’s solid. It works. The forums are small, but non-critical.

Manjaro – getting volume up/down to work on your Linux system

I’ve been having a problem getting my volume up/down/mute keys on my keyboard to do anything at all with the volume level of my Manjaro Linux computer.

After much research I came up with a solution that works for my computer, and I will document it here for my future reference and anyone else in the Linux world who needs this information.

Originally, on askUbuntu.com someone asked, “When I press the volume up/down keys on my keyboard, the volume changes too much. How can I make the step size smaller so that I have finer control?”

This topic was close to what I needed. In my case I needed the keyboard volume up/down/mute to do something to the sound. It wasn’t.

I found the solution way down in the discussion. This solved my problem and even after repeated reboots still works.

This easy solution works and does not require CCSM.

You will not have on-screen volume bar action when you use the keyboard shortcuts, but you will have however fine-grained volume control as you wish.

  1. System Settings > Keyboard > “Application Shortcuts” tab
  2. At the bottom click the “+ Add” button
  3. The “Shortcut Command” dialogue pops up. Where it says “Command” type
    amixer set Master 2%+

    Experiment with the percentages. You may ned to go more or less than 2% at a time. The “+” increases the volume by that amount.

  4. Assign a key or key combo: Select a shortcut and press the desired key on your keyboard (volume up).
  5. Click OK and follow step 1 -3 for each of the following two set of commands:
    Name: Volume Down
    Command: amixer set Master 3%-
    Name: Volume Mute
    Command: amixer set Master toggle

After this, when you use your keyboard volume controls you should have whatever volume increments you specified. You can always go back to the original behavior by disabling your custom shortcuts and re-enabling the premade ones in the “Sound and Media” category.

Beautiful Desktop – Very Pretty

I have installed Manjaro – a Slackware descendant of GNU/Linux – and am enjoying a beautiful and highly functional desktop.

Linux was first developed in the early 1990s and has expanded into several families. My entire 17 years of using Linux as a member of the RPM or .Deb family. These refer to the package management systems.

RPM stands for Redhat Package Management and begins with Redhat Linux itself, followed by great distros like Fedora and Mandriva.

Then there is the Debian family which includes Debian intself and followed by the largest branches in Linux, like Ubuntu, Mint and SolydXK (from where I just came).

There is Android, as in Android phones, and the many variants that run on cellphones. Other devices such as your router and modem also run versions of Linux under their hoods.

Then there is Slackware, which is a whole different beast and packaging system starting with Arch Linux and various descendants like OpenSUSE and Manjaro. I have never tried a Slackware distro before, but now I have and I find it secure and safe.

Externally mostly it seems the same. I’m using the same DE (Desktop Environment) which in my case is called XFCE. There are other DEs like KDE, Mate, Cinnamon, Gnome 3, Unity and so on. Lately, I’ve taken a like to XFCE and am very comfortable in that environment.

I haven’t posted much in the last 24 hours because of all this fiddling and fussing, getting my computer just right. It’s getting close now. Very pretty.