Linux - DIY Freedom Computing

Well, I’ve moved over to Linux. Sick and tired of my laptop being so slow on even just Windows 10. After hearing about 10 being obsolete next year and the mess associated with Windows 11 I made the move.


You won’t look back. I’ve been on Linux for almost 20 years and these days, it’s far better than Windows.

Take the time to learn how the system actually works, and don’t give up when you get frustrated. It’s a learning curve sometimes, but well worth it. Linux is the DIY freedom computer, like woodgas is the DIY freedom fuel.


It’s fine so far, only issue I’m having is I use a Creality Ender 3 V3 KE and it really only does well using the proprietary slicer. I can run it on Wine but it wigs out when trying to maximize the window for some reason. Also randomly crashes.

Using Linux Mint Cinnamon at the latest stable version.

This might make me go to a whole other brand of printer that can use Cura.


windows Vista was the reason for me to switch to Linux.
never looked back.

Linux boots up in 10 seconds on my laptop. ))


I’ve been wanting to switch for years but being a computer moron I have not taken the leap even though I have the app bookmarked. All I use a computer for now is going on-line. Would I lose all my bookmarks? I hate windows with a passion. The bookmarks are on Firefox.


Firefox can save bookmarks in a file and restore from that file.
menu > bookmarks > manage bookmarks > import and backup > backup > choose filename and location
then the file can be stored somewhere - on sd card or usb dongle for example.


I too would like to get out of the Windows swamp (even if only to give the finger to Bill Gates). Do older programs port well to Linux? I hate the thought of having to re-install all my programs, but I’ll do it if porting the data isn’t too bad and if I don’t have to update the programs. Big issue though is the wife. She hates anything new and complains about changing interfaces between Windows versions.


Sounds like its time for you to leave her with the old computer and set one up for yourself.


Linux Mint is a GUI like Windows, it is fairly intuitive. You can get a super lightweight version of it that works with older hardware.

As far as running windows programs you can, using an application called Wine.

You could also just run a Dual Boot. Save the windows side for running just those apps and the Linux side for everything else.

Edit: Dual Booting is even better if you can add a second hard drive to the computer.


Just got my new desktop back, not even a year old and getting the same frustrations as with my laptop. Laptop was free upgrade from W10 to W11 and then the problems started. Ok, old (6 years) laptop. Buy a new desktop only for the shop. And now within a year the same problems are popping up, 5 sec waiting to switch aplications :worried: :rage: . I dont have any patience so this is enough to give it a free flying lesson. Haha, maybe a good moment to have a look at Linux. Played a little with raspberry and domoticz on a small pc but this is way out of my comfort zone. On the other hand paying someone for doing maintenance on a computer??? Every year??? Maybe my apps can run on linux…


Another approach is to run Windows on a virtual machine (VM) inside the Linux machine. This needs a little more horsepower from the host computer since you’re literally running two systems at the same time. But it can work remarkably well if you have the hardware for it. I do this for the few Windows-only applications I need to run, like TurboTax or Quickbooks. However more and more stuff is moving to online applications, which run in the browser - all browsers are 100% supported on Linux.

I think you’ll find in the Linux community there are a lot of similar DIY minded folks pursuing Linux as are woodgas. Definitely more high-tech geeks out there, but the underlying motivations are similar.

Another major benefit to learning Linux is the job-skills. You can easily get a job being a system admin or an IT person if you know these systems well. Nearly all commercial computing is done on Linux servers. Windows is really only for home users and corporate desktops, but the backend is all Linux.



For anyone looking to get started with Linux, here are my top recommendations.

1. Pick a mainstream distribution. There are lots of “flavors” (distributions or distros) of Linux, just like different gasifier designs. Getting started I recommend going with one of the following:

  • Ubuntu. Easily the most popular and well documented.
  • Linux Mint. Looks the most like Windows, makes the transition easier. Based on Ubuntu.
  • Fedora. Best for cutting edge features, but still really solid. Looks great, based on Red Hat

Use the LTS (Long Term Support) version to start, they are usually good for 10 years.

2. Learn some basic commands. All these distros have pretty graphic user interfaces (GUIs) but underneath that is a text based terminal. Some of you older folks remember DOS or UNIX, it’s very similar to that. Instead of installing programs by downloading from random websites and running installers, you just type something like this:

sudo apt install myfavoriteprogram

sudo is how you ask for admin privileges, apt is the package manager (on Ubuntu and Mint), you are telling it to install, then the name of your program. It will ask for your password (to be an admin), then print a TON of output lines while it goes out, finds the program for you, installs it, also installs anything that program needs, checks for issues, then exits. Then you can either run the program by typing its name, or find it in the pretty GUI menu somewhere. It’s really fast and easy when you get used to it.

There are tons of other useful command line interface (CLI) tools and commands, I recommend whenever you Google-search on how to do something new, add “command line” or “cli” to the end. You will probably find a very simple tool that does the job with just a little typing.

3. Updates are up to you. Windows forces your hand, and will update (and restart) itself whenever it wants to. Linux will happily run forever without restarting or updating anything. That’s good and bad, because now that updates are your responsibility, you have to periodically decide, “today I will update my computer!” and type something like this at the terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

You should recognize the “sudo apt” part of that, but instead of installing we’ve asked apt to update (go fetch the list of updates that are available) then upgrade the system. Which it will happily do, and all your programs and packages will be fully up to date, no reboot needed. Sometimes things can break during updates, but usually these LTS releases are pretty stable and updates are safe.


What programs are you guys using specifically? If you post a list of them I’ll try and find out the compatibility.


Snelstart (not important, can stay on laptop)
Mwa, that is all.

Maybe rearrange the laptop too, very happy with it, only not with W11
It runs plc software from Siemens, Schneider and Mueller. And a lot I forgot off course

Edit, office 365,

1 Like

No good. There have been requests for years to port to Linux and Mac, and they’re not willing.

Not much info online, is that browser based or an actual installed program? I don’t see anything about system requirements. If it’s browser based then yes, otherwise probably not.

Can’t even find this one. What is it? Website?

The PLC software is probably going to be Windows only. It may work with WINE but probably not.

Office 365 can run either online or at the Windows desktop, the online version is available on Linux in the browser but for some reason Microsoft has no interest in making it work on the Linux desktop. Go figure. :smile:


:grinning: :grinning:Mwa, is meaning, jee, not much

Thanks Chris, I am domed to windows then. Snelstart is browser based but more important Ironcad…no go then, thanks again for your effort


I would try it in a windows VM. And learn something cheaper like Freecad. :slight_smile: You used to be able to get away with running the vm off your current drive, which is a huge performance gain, or you can also clone the whole drive to a file that the VM can launch.


Freecad is not interesting for me, Ironcad is bought and payed for and spent to much time to build my library. And I dont know how Freecad is with sheetmetal. CAM is possible with it, so for a new start it is a good choice.

And VM I dont understand. As far as my experience is, W11 is to busy in the background. Isnt it doing the same as VM?


Joep in things such as “Wine”, or “Bottles” or other Windows simulators it isn’t running the entire operating system.

People use Bottles to play windows only video games so it works for graphics intensive applications.

I have to use Wine to emulate for Creality Print which is the only slicer program that works wirelessly for my Ender 3 V3 KE printer. The Linux version of Print is a dud so I emulate the windows release.

Now in something like Virtual Box it is emulating the entire operating system.


Are you all speaking English? :face_with_spiral_eyes: :man_shrugging: