Distro Hopping

First Post!

This is the beginning of an experiment where I write a short post every day. The goal is to build up a log of what was at my mind at various points in time so that I may spot trends or re-visit states of mind from the past. The average post will likely be shorter and less specific than this one, but if I do it right there will be one per day.

I’ve configured this site so that daily posts will appear at /daily. They may optionally contain a title (as this one does).

Distro Hopping

I’ve been spending a long time over the past few weeks experimenting with FreeBSD and OpenBSD, and even went so far as to install FreeBSD on my laptop (replacing archlinux) to see if it is viable as a daily driver (so far so good!). Every now and again I flirt with the idea of moving away from archlinux to something even more minimal. Setting up FreeBSD was mostly painless once I worked out how to get the trackpad on my Lenovo T470 to work (which was harrowing (if you’re having trouble with this too, read this)).

There’s nothing about arch (or linux in general for that matter) that I find particularly problematic. Hating on systemd has become something of a meme at this point, but I haven’t done enough research to have strong feelings one way or another.

A phrase I’ve found myself repeating recently is “archlinux was a good OS for my twenties”. I’m 28, and I’ve been using arch for at least 6 years as the main operating system on all my computers. Being on the bleeding edge hasn’t been as chaotic as one might think. Notable exceptions include gnome2 being upgraded to gnome3 (a completely different desktop environment) with no warning, and pixel font support being pulled from almost all applications (it was really just pulled from harfbuzz), which was a blessing in disguise as it led me to discover st which I’ve been happily using ever since. It was fun and exciting and it taught me a lot. The wiki is by far the most reliable and comprehensive source of unix knowledge I’ve found, and I’m sure I’ll continue to rely on it regardless of which OS I run in my thirties.