Steve Litt on 12 May 2016 13:54:19 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Suggested distro for a new Dell 2-in-1? Anyone heard of "MX Linux"?

On Thu, 12 May 2016 13:41:26 -0400
Greg Helledy <> wrote:

> I use Linux Mint 17 on my main desktop at home, and in a VM at work. 
> I've been a KDE user since forever and Mint has put effort into
> making KDE work well (unlike on Debian, which I used for many years
> despite KDE being an afterthought there).
> I'm quite happy with it but am not sure what to put on a piece of new 
> hardware I've treated myself to.  The two reasons Mint isn't the 
> automatic choice are:
> 1.  In order to have any chance of having all the hardware work (like 
> automatic screen rotation), I'm going to need a very recent kernel. 
> Mint 17 has me on a 3.19 kernel, which I know won't be new enough.
> The kernel installer (I do love the Mint tools) does offer 4.2 and
> 4.4 releases I could try.

I've been happily using Void Linux for 5 or 6 months:

[slitt@mydesk ~]$ uname -a
Linux mydesk 4.5.1_1 #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Apr 13 02:54:58 UTC 2016 x86_64
GNU/Linux [slitt@mydesk ~]$

It's a rolling release, so I always have a relatively new kernel[1]

> 2.  To a lesser extent, I'm concerned about the spread of systemd,
> which Mint includes, from Ubuntu and Debian.

Not only does Void Linux not have the tiniest vestige of systemd (unless
one counts udev or dbus), but its init system is runit, which is, in my
opinion, much easier, faster and more reliable than either systemd or
the antiquated sysvinit.

[snip MX Linux stuff and PC-BSD misfortune]

Void is a rolling release, which implies one day an upgrade might
render my computer unuseable. Backup is essential. That being said,
Void has *never* trashed my computer. The worst that's happened to me
is failed updates or installs that were cured by waiting a few hours,
or doing a slightly off the beaten track command. I no longer feel
paranoid about using this rolling release.

Void Linux has a learning curve. The first two weeks you're going to
hate it. If you're anything like me, after 8 weeks you'll wonder how you
could have ever lived without it.

I don't know how well Void does KDE. On my desktop I use OpenBox +
dmenu to give me full keyboard control. On my laptops I use LXDE +
dmenu to give me full keyboard control, but to use the mouse if needbe.
I don't know what benefits KDE gives you, but if you're a touch typist,
I'd imagine you'd get a pretty fast and efficient interface. If you
like drag and drop, investigate running rox under Void.

This might be a moot point, because in a later post you mentioned you'd
found a way to put kernel 4.4: Problem solved. That being said, if it
ever turns out that the 2 in 1's RAM and processor cause a Mint/KDE
environment to be laggy, I can confirm that Void/LXDE+dmenu+rox is
snappy on anything with 2GB RAM or better, and it's pretty snappy at
1GB if you don't open many apps. I have Void/LXDE+dmenu+rox running on
a couple 10 year old boxes with 2GB of RAM, and they're still very

[1] However, on one of my many notebook computers, the 4.5.x kernels
don't work, so I have to run with 4.4.x kernels. I need to report this
to the kernel developers.



Steve Litt 
May 2016 featured book: Rapid Learning for the 21st Century
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