Rebooting My Love Affair with Linux
767 words · 4 minutes
As I noted in a recent post, I have been planning on migrating from macOS back to a Linux-based OS. I am happy to say that I have finally completed my migration and am now stuck in the wonderful world of Linux again.
My decision to leave macOS really came down to just a few, important things:
- Apple Security (Gatekeeper) restricting me from running any software I want. Even if you disable Gatekeeper and allow a software to bypass the rest of the device installation security, you still have to repeat that process every time the allowed software is updated.
- macOS sends out nearly constant connections, pings, telemetry, etc. to a myriad of mysterious Apple services. I'm not even going to dive into how many macOS apps have constant telemetry on, as well.
- Lastly, I just really missed the customization and freedom that comes with Linux. Being able to switch to entirely new kernel, OS, or desktop within minutes is a freedom I took for granted when I switched to macOS.
Now that I've covered macOS, I'm going to move on to more exciting topics: my personal choice of OS, DE, and various customizations I'm using.
After trying a ton of distros (I think I booted and tested around 20-25 distros), I finally landed on Fedora Linux. I have quite a bit of experience with Fedora and enjoy the
dnf package manager. Fedora allows me to keep up-to-date with recent software (I'm looking at you, Debian), but still provides a level of stability you don't find in every distro.
In a very close second place was Arch Linux, as well as its spinoff: Garuda Linux (Garuda w/ sway is beautiful). Arch is great for compatibility and the massive community it has, but I have just never had the time to properly sit down and learn the methodology behind their packaging systems.
Basically everything else I tested was unacceptable in at least one way or another. Void (
glibc) was great, but doesn't support all of the software I need. Slackware worked well as a tui, but I wasn't skilled enough to get a tiling window manager (WM) working on it.
One of the reasons I settled on Fedora is that it comes with an official i3 spin. Being able to use a tiling WM, such as i3 or sway, is one of the biggest things I wanted to do as soon as I adopted Linux again.
I will probably set-up a dotfile repository soon, so that I don't lose any of my configurations, but nothing big has been configured thus far.
The two main things I have updated in i3wm are natural scrolling and binding my brightness keys to the
You can enable natural scrolling by the opening the following file:
40-libinput.conf file, find the following input sections and enable the natural scrolling option.
This is the
"InputClass" "libinput pointer catchall" "on" "/dev/input/event*" "libinput" "NaturalScrolling" "True" EndSection
This is the
"InputClass" "libinput touchpad catchall" "on" "/dev/input/event*" "libinput" "NaturalScrolling" "True" EndSection
Enabling Brightness Keys
Likewise, enabling brightness key functionality is as simple as binding the keys to the
To do this, open up your i3 config file. Mine is located here:
--no-startup-id brightnessctl --min-val=2 -q set 3%- XF86MonBrightnessUp exec --no-startup-id brightnessctl -q set 3%+ XF86MonBrightnessDown exec
Instead of using the default
i3status bar, I have opted to use
polybar instead (as you can also see in the screenshot above).
My config for this menu bar is basically just the default settings with modified colors and an added battery block to quickly show me the machine's battery info.
Not much to say on this part yet, as I haven't configured it much, but I installed
alacritty as my default terminal and am using
zsh and the shell.
Again, I'm not going to say much that I haven't said already in other blog posts, so I'll just do a quick rundown of the apps I installed immediately after I set-up the environment.
- uBlock Origin
- Privacy Redirect