A long blog post or: How I Learned to Stop Hopping and Love Elementary
This post is inspired by @firstname.lastname@example.org's blog entry on Elementary OS. Do check out his blog for tips and app recommendations for Elementary.
My tryst with Linux started when a friend of mine showed how Compiz flew with all the myriad effects on Ubuntu on his old desktop while Windows Vista barely ran with the minimum hardware spec. Later I learned that Canonical shipped free Ubuntu CDs to anybody who requested it. All over the world! Being a sucker for free stuff, I ordered every possible configuration from them and had fun exploring what a live CD could do. I didn't have a computer back then and used to run the live CDs on friends machines and learned whatever little I could about this amazing free operating system that could run just from the RAM. When I did buy a laptop of my own, I installed a pirated version of Windows XP first. Barely a month went by and it was infected with malware and that's when I started dual booting Ubuntu and Windows XP. Everything that I wanted to do with a computer, Ubuntu could do faster than Windows. And everybody knows what happens next. Lurk long enough on forums and you will need to scratch that itch. It all starts with customizing the desktop to look exotic. Then you obsess over the performance. Then you obsess over which distro is better for the hardware you have. Then comes a string of affairs with various distros. Personally I have tried Slackware, puppyLinux, Debian, Slax (when it used to be based on Slackware), openSuse, Fedora, Arch and its children, Manjaro, Antergos, various flavors of Ubuntu, and some others which escape my mind right now. Some have been discontinued.
I eventually came back to vanilla Ubuntu because it was much less stressful to set up with dual boot. When Elementary came on the scene, I wasn't very eager to try because they weren't on the latest version of Ubuntu. I tried Freya when it was released with much fanfare but didn't stick long. I switched to Pop!_OS soon after (when it released) and would try Elementary once in a while but never settled on it. The current Dell laptop that I am on came with Windows 10 which I formatted and did a clean install with dual boot of Windows 10 and Pop!_OS. I was happy with Pop!_OS till December last year when I had to reformat everything and decided to dual boot with Elementary Hera instead of Pop!_OS.
Elementary is running smoothly and something has changed in me this time around towards it. I love Pop!_OS but I am now kinda sold on Elementary's way of doing things. There's a beauty and consistency to it. The apps built for elementary have an approach to simplicity unlike any other. Their point updates are always thoughtful and focused on making personal computing easier for everybody. Accessibility is not an afterthought here. It's part of their design process. It gives me exactly what I need and gets out of the way. Without doing any tinkering. The only customization I have done is to opt for dark mode via Elementary Tweaks and to use Jetbrains Mono font instead of monospace. They look fantastic. I even went ahead and used Elementary's color palette on this blog.
I do have my eye on Zorin OS but not interested enough to try booting with it. Maybe in virtualbox. I am looking forward to Odin (next release of Elementary). I don't have a separate home partition but that's ok. I prefer to do a clean install anyway. I can't wait to see how they enhance this beautiful operating system.