I am switching from Mac to Linux.

This is how the adventure started to find the best linux distro, with a seemless user experience and minimum maintenance.

In the past months I experimented with various distros:

  • bare debian
  • Pop!_OS
  • Ubuntu
  • Elementary OS
  • Manjaro

I didn’t even want to get my hands dirty with bare Arch. To each their own, right?

Read below to read my experience and to which distro I settled using.

Experience recap

with bare debian

Driver support for WiFi and Bluetooth were absent out of the box.

Still too much to adjust and tweak to get a decent user experience.

Not for me.

with Pop!_OS

Seemed like a fresh approach to the linux distro landscape, but I had major hiccups when it comes to display drivers.

Weird issues like blank screen after switching to HDMI external display. Troublesome boots when display was attached.

Weird glitches and graphical artifacts when resizing windows.

No issues with drivers.

I bet it works great on System76 machines though.

with Ubuntu

Glitches when working with external monitors.

Blank screen after booting connected via HDMI.

Weird behaviour when putting laptop in clamshell mode. Either not turning on, or shortly showing the login screen and then going to sleep.

No issues with drivers.

Recurrent issues with the confusing Software center versions not compatible with the applications on it.

Amazon EKS keeped popping up as a “promoted” application, without the possibility to remove it.

Bye Ubuntu.

with Elementary OS

No issues with drivers.

No issues with external monitor. Wake and sleep with HDMI works like expected.

No blank screen when booting from external monitor.

Decent software center (with donations built in), also using snap was great.

Slight issues when disconnecting the external monitor and using the laptop, works after a few tries.

The user experience is stunningly similar to what I was used to with a Mac.

Switching windows is intuitive.

If you forget a shortcut, just press <SUPER>.

With snap it almost feels like using brew and brew cask.

Using it in clamshell mode works like a charm.

The system even wakes up from sleep using a Bluetooh logitech keyboard with mouse (namely the Logitech k400 I think).

Still need to find a better Terminal emulator, because I’m not really fond of the one built-in. Perhaps time to try Alacritty?

dottorblaster.it suggested Tilix, and I can relate: it’s pretty awesome and provides a similar experience to iTerm.

with Manjaro

No issues with drivers, external monitor, sleep/resume working great.

Using Pamac/pacman + snap for installing software, works like a charm.

KDE Plasma is slick! Love it so far.

Settled with Manjaro

Been using it for a few weeks, and it’s working very well!

Applications

Terminal

Using Konsole, the default KDE terminal emulator, works fine.

Browser

Brave (coming from Firefox + Brave)

Editor

VSCode + vim