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The archive.

Is 2023 the year of the Linux desktop?

I bought a new SSD recently. Prices are pretty good these days, and there was some sort of special offer that ultimately meant that you could pick up a Samsung 980 Pre PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD for £100.

The last time I bought an M.2 SSD for my desktop was back in 2015, when I paid £72 for a 128GB Samsung SM951 M.2. So in 6 years, we’ve gone from £0.56/GB to £0.10/GB, and gone from a PCIe 3 to PCIe 4 interface. According to UserBenchmark the 980 is not-quite twice-as-fast, so this is a pretty decent rate of progress.

Why Windows?

I’d previously been running Windows 10 on my desktop, and was starting to run into a few issues. Doing big gradle assmeble tasks caused lots of stuttering (something something IO scheduling), the sound card drivers just dropping out periodically as well as plain running out of space - 128GB is not really enough.

I run Arch Linux on my Thinkpad T480s using KDE, and it’s a pretty nice experience. Given that I’ve got some slightly weird hardware on my desktop, I thought it’d be a fun experiment to see if it worked here.

After a couple of false starts where I couldn’t get one of the three monitors working (turns out, it helps to plug it in) I’ve now got everything configured and… it works great!?

FC disks, steam, SMB mounts, audio - all of it works. Better still, it doesn’t fall over when I do a big project build.

Maybe 2023 really will be the “year of the Linux desktop”?