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Ubuntu is now my main OS
08 November 2017
Posted in Linux

I've been experimenting with Linux for about a year and a half by now, and on my main PC for close to 5 months by now. In those 5 months I've learned a lot about Ubuntu and Linux in general and am finally ready to say my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 install goodbye - well, sort off...

First things first though...

The reason to shift from Windows to Linux were numerous and I'll recap them quickly:
  - Windows 7 is on it's 'end of life' cycle
  - Windows 10 (I can upgrade) violates my privacy BIG TIME
  - Since owning my PS4 Pro I'm no longer gaming on my PC
  - SECURITY in general (virus protection and hacking are close to non-existant on Linux)
  - Coming from OS/2, I never really liked Windows in the first place

The main problem with switching to Linux was my programming efforts though. With the Unity3D engine already being in beta for about a year (and still is in beta BTW), I figured that hopping to Linux would be easy.
     How wrong I was! 
Yes, the switch itself was easy - just import the projects in the new (Linux) version of Unity3D and it works. It's all those 3rd party tools that I've been using for the last 4 years causing problems. A lot of them are available for Mac OSX (and not even all of them ), while only a handfull are available for Linux

For the tools that don't have a Linux port (yet) I tried WINE, but that was a big no-no because of the nature of most of these tools. Yes, most did run, but all with a big BUT. Almost all had problems with loading and saving the projects (most likely from the different Linux file systems), and a couple had odd quirks where graphics would not load correctly, while even one (the flowchart tool I use) ended up with totally different results.

So WINE was not an option, and I searched for alternatives and ended with virtual machines. There are half a dozen available for Linux and I tried two of them (VirtualBox by Oracle and VMware Player by VMware) to check for the differences, and they are HUGE.
  VirtualBox is completely free, and as usual, you get what you pay for meaning that it WILL run virtual machines, but the support for DX11 is just bad. The same thing goes with a lot of other hardware calls that are handled oddly. Big PLUS for VirtualBox is that it doesn't run so heavy on my machine compared to VMware Player.
  VMware Player is my main choice right now. Reason being the perfect integration of (virtual) hardware calls and handling - I was even able to install the Elgato HD Game Capture device with it (though streaming handling sucked for it). VMware Player also runs 95% of the applications flawlessly, and those that it doesn't run mostly use direct hardware calls. There are 2 problems though with VMware Player:
  - It runs extremely heavy on my machine, at times using 100% CPU power - even when only 1 core is assigned.
  - It's commercial software with a free license for non-commercial use (allowing 1 box) and purchase of a full license is 275

Sadly though, even with VMware Player there is still 1 tool that's not running under Linux/VM. And while it's not a tool I use a lot, I still have my Windows install (set to a minimum) on my system just in case I need it. I only hope that this last tool will be ported to Linux though...


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