I thought it would be worth writing this up and sharing.
Last week was, for me, at least, time for another Windows update. With this one, my mouse stopped working – or to be clear, it started becoming unusable. The x coordinate speed was 1/3 of what it should be. With three monitors, it was pretty painful. I was also frustrated that the update reset some of my settings, pinned items to my taskbar without asking me, re-enabled disabled services, and basically did too much stuff that I thought it shouldn’t do.
So I gave up.
Most of my work is / can be done in a web browser. There are a few exceptions (more on these later), but I was willing to try something new. So, I installed Ubuntu 18.04, and for the past week, have been using it as my main home machine (also note I’ve been working from home 4-6 hours a day since then).
So far, it’s been nearly perfect. Of course, all of the browser apps I use daily (jira, gmail, google suite, etc.) work perfectly. I was also quite happy to see that just about all of the native apps I use have versions that run on Ubuntu (like Audacity, Slack, Spotify, and Zoom). With a bit of finagling, I was even able to get Open VPN working so I can access Unity resources. Overall, the app experience has been perfect for me.
Hardware support is also good (or great, with one exception noted below). I believe the Ubuntu installation queries my windows installation for some hardware, as it detected the wacom tablet I have that is not currently plugged in – but everything that I do use (bluetooth headphones, audio, logitech camera) work perfectly.
The ONE annoyance remaining is that once a day or so, I’ll lose a monitor. I have a Geforce 1060 driving three 24″ monitors. The card is (obviously) capable of driving all three, but once a day, one will drop, and no longer be detected by the OS. I’ve tried forcing it via tools (xrandr), but nothing short of a reboot brings it back. This behavior happened with both the nouveau drivers, and the latest generic drivers from nvidia. I’ll see over time how much this happens and how much this bothers me.
I built this machine for games, but I’ve drifted back to doing most of my gaming on Xbox, so I think it will continue to work out, but will be interesting to see if Ubuntu works out as a daily machine for the long term.