the website of dither8

What I Use: Jan 2021 Edition

Published on 2021-01-26

I am thinking of doing a (bi-?)yearly report on the stuff I use. Just to give any reader a good perspective on how I use Linux/Computers.


Desktop OS: Artix Linux

Artix Linux is basically Arch Linux but without systemd. The Arch base gives me the latest and greatest packages, and the expansive AUR lets me get source packages for nearly anything. The Artix changes blend in very well, you often forget you run Artix and not Arch.

For desktops which I need batteries included, like on computers used by non-techs. I choose Manjaro Linux: KDE edition. Manjaro is also based on Arch, but much less involved in regards to setup. KDE looks like Windows, which is what most people I know like. I choose the minimal Manjaro ISO, and would suggest everyone do the same.

Server OS: Alpine Linux

For server-side I prefer to use Alpine Linux, but I don't mind Debian (or Ubuntu even).

Graphical Environment: Sway

I am not a big fan of complex Desktop Environments (see Windows/Mac/GNOME/KDE). I think you should try and get by with a simple window manager. On my Linux systems, I use sway which is a Wayland compositor/window manager.

Wayland is a new display protocol. It's more appropriate for modern graphical workloads than the old X11 protocol. It isn't 100% ready yet, but you can get by with most things. The guys behind sway are really pushing Wayland forward, with their wlroots base.

Terminal Emulator: Alacritty

A fast terminal emulator that supports Wayland. Good defaults, I barely touch the config, except to change font size.

Web Browser: Firefox and Brave

I found out about Firefox back around 2007-2008, and have been using it ever since. I can't exactly remember how I found out about it (a computer magazine would be my only guess).

Sadly I feel it is a shadow of it's former self. Mozilla have laid-off much of the technical team responsible for pushing the browser forward. Meanwhile the executives, who go on schizo blogpost rants about how the internet needs to be controlled/censored, have only gotten pay rises.

I have also been taking a look at Brave. It's based on the Chromuim engine, making webpage compatibility no different to Chrome. But unlike FF, they have been pushing interesting features, a lot of them focused on decentralization. Look at Tor, WebTorrent and IPFS support as an example.

I am not a big fan of the way that the Android app automatically sends daily notifications about the privacy stats feature without any obvious way to disable them (you need to turn them off under "Other" in the notification settings in Android).

Thankfully, Brave has shown that they can take criticism and make change.

Mobile: Moto G7 Power

Not a big fan of mobile phones, but I really like the battery life on this one. Haven't rooted or used custom roms yet, but I have used the ADB debloat script I mentioned in another guide.