The Distro Switch: Part 1—Preparation

A blog about Linux, POSIX scripting, Computer Hardware, Cars, and Anything In-Between

For a while now, I have been wanting to switch over to Artix Linux, and lay waste to my over-bloated Arch system. My current system is very slow, has over 1700 packages installed, it uses KDE, and it’s home folder is so over-bloated it physically hurts to ls -la. This is why I have a LARBS sticker in the footer, because I have been using it for upwards of a month now and with my modifications I have zero issues with it.

The main issue holding me back is my configuration files: specifically SSH and GnuPG, but also with other programs. But I cannot just throw my .config into a tar file and call it a day. I actually don’t have a NAS (but might create one soon if we don’t fall into a bottomless abyss) so sadly I pay Google $2.99/month now. I’m a poor kid, I’m not gonna pay $15/month for 1GB of storage on a privacy-respecting cloud provider, when I could just pay 3/month at Google, for now anyway. When I build a NAS, that should all be taken care of.

But its not just a distro switch I want (really need) to do. I dual boot Windows, for school and other purposes, and that install is also getting heavily bloated, by the day (that I use it, which is like 2 days/week). Do I wish that I had to dual boot Windows? Absolutely not! But LTSC isn’t too bad. Sure, its a closed source peice of junk, but I do not have the money (see above) to pay for an extra discrete AMD gpu. “Why AMD?” the one person reading this probably asked, well, the reason is because I need (want) to virtualize macOS to use certain programs (AltStore, also some development stuff, macOS is pretty clean as a desktop). I would buy a MacBook Air, which is a dcent laptop but I could probably just buy a FrameWork laptop that would perform much better, although I do like the Apple Silicon.

Going off topic here for a bit, but I do like what Apple is doing with the M1. Its really powerful, but it seems a bit overused, or lacks originality. The MacStudio is… good at best. It’s basically just a double MacBook Pro (no, this isnt a burger) in the sense that its two chips hooked together without a screen. But don’t worry! You can spend $5,000 on a monitor directly from Apple! Apple seems to be way over-using the M1 and when they want a more powerful processor. For goodness sake, its in the iPad and yet the iPad doesn’t have macOS. When Apple releases the M2 and people want the Mac Pro to be Apple Silicon, Apple is just going to be like “Oh yea, lets just add more of the… cause, you know, thats how it works.” Which, I mean fair on the engineering aspect and the fact that they are recognized by the OS as 1 single chip (but could this just be a single if statement? We will never know), but the same principle applies to Starlink, you can just keep adding more and more chips, just like with Starlink that you cannot just keep adding more and more satilites. That philosophy is a pretty bad way to run a business.

The next issue is all my SSH and GnuPG keys, which are scattered across VMs and home folders and in random archives saved on my 2TB HDD (which I can’t even write to on Linux, thanks Optane). Just to add to the confusion, Google Drive has a tendency to rename any file you come across that doesn’t have an extension with .txt (yes, even executables too, don’t ask me how they did that). This can easily be solved, all you have to do it archive it (I prefer .tar.xz or .tar.gz because Google is absolutely retarded and can’t read DRM content if its in the XZ compression format…) and then ship it off to Google Drive, which in some cases is easier as it takes (probably placebo) less time to upload. However, it just adds one more step to the already complicated process that I wish I didn’t spent this much time on.

Passwords are another issue. Frankly, I’m torn. I want to use Passky because you can easily self-host it, but the only thing that I can really use to self-host is a Raspberry Pi that does no backing-up in any sort and I’d rather not lose all of my passwords to a hardware failure. This is what is pushing me towards Bit Warden but because you have to pay for certain functionality that should just be included in the vanilla plan (I’m looking at you, Emergency Access) it just seems off. I get it, companies need to make money; but basic features shouldn’t be locked behind a paywall, thats mobile-game territory.

A smaller, but more recent issue I have is that when I was installing my Arch system I foolishly (kinda) split up my /home and / partitions. This is useful in some cases, mostly where your system breaks and you do not want to lose all of your files, but when you have really big files you want to install (ISOs, games) and then your home folder fills up faster than a Shelby GT500. 500GB was a great size for an SSD that I bought, but the fact that I cannot dump a lot of things onto my NTFS drive (thanks again, optane) I am forced to use Windows.

Windows is not the complete bane of my existence, however. I use LTSC, which is basically de-bloated Windows by Microsoft, and then de-bloat it some more, thanks ChrisCitrusTech. If I ever get a CDN up (which I probably will) I will totally not upload the ISOs I use because they totally aren’t illegal. But Windows LTSC is so efficient that it uses 3% cpu after Windows does all its starting up stuff that doesn’t even work most of the time. I have this issue where my clock is always five hours ahead, and I HAVE to run w32tm /resync every time I need to sync my clock, which is a whole issue because I need to set my terminal as Administrator and it just takes so many GUI’s to do. I might install the sudo applet but I’m not too sure if that would change much. I do not know exactly how it works and might be too little for much effort.

Well, thats my first real blog without any resolution to any problem, should be more soon!

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