Rebooting My Love Affair with Linux

· 765 words · 4 minutes

Leaving macOS

As I noted in a recent post, I have been planning on migrating from macOS back to GNU/Linux. I am happy to say that I have finally completed my migration and am now stuck in the wonderful world of Linux again.

My decision to leave macOS really came down to just a few, important things:

Now that I've covered macOS, I'm going to move on to more exciting topics: my personal choice of OS, DE, and various customizations I'm using.

Fedora

After trying a ton of distros (I think I booted and tested around 20-25 distros), I finally landed on Fedora Linux. I have quite a bit of experience with Fedora and enjoy the dnf package manager. Fedora allows me to keep up-to-date with recent software (I'm looking at you, Debian), but still provides a level of stability you don't find in every distro.

In a very close second place was Arch Linux, as well as its spinoff: Garuda Linux (Garuda w/ sway is beautiful). Arch is great for compatibility and the massive community it has, but I have just never had the time to properly sit down and learn the methodology behind their packaging systems.

Basically everything else I tested was unacceptable in at least one way or another. Void (glibc) was great, but doesn't support all of the software I need. Slackware worked well as a tui, but I wasn't skilled enough to get a tiling window manager (WM) working on it.

i3

i3wm

One of the reasons I settled on Fedora is that it comes with an official i3 spin. Being able to use a tiling WM, such as i3 or sway, is one of the biggest things I wanted to do as soon as I adopted Linux again.

I will probably set-up a dotfile repository soon, so that I don't lose any of my configurations, but nothing big has been configured thus far.

The two main things I have updated in i3wm are natural scrolling and binding my brightness keys to the brightnessctl program.

Natural Scrolling

You can enable natural scrolling by the opening the following file:

sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf

Within the 40-libinput.conf file, find the following input sections and enable the natural scrolling option.

This is the pointer section:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "libinput pointer catchall"
        MatchIsPointer "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "NaturalScrolling" "True"
EndSection

This is the touchpad section:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "NaturalScrolling" "True"
EndSection

Enabling Brightness Keys

Likewise, enabling brightness key functionality is as simple as binding the keys to the brightnessctl program.

To do this, open up your i3 config file. Mine is located here:

nano /home/<my-user>/.config/i3/config
# Use brightnessctl to adjust brightness.
bindsym XF86MonBrightnessDown exec --no-startup-id brightnessctl --min-val=2 -q set 3%-
bindsym XF86MonBrightnessUp exec --no-startup-id brightnessctl -q set 3%+

polybar

Instead of using the default i3status bar, I have opted to use polybar instead (as you can also see in the screenshot above).

My config for this menu bar is basically just the default settings with modified colors and an added battery block to quickly show me the machine's battery info.

alacritty

Not much to say on this part yet, as I haven't configured it much, but I installed alacritty as my default terminal and am using zsh and the shell.

Software Choices

Again, I'm not going to say much that I haven't said already in other blog posts, so I'll just do a quick rundown of the apps I installed immediately after I set-up the environment.

Flatpak Apps:

Fedora Packages:

Other: