Given the latest rights to my computer which Microsoft reserves for itself, I am very seriously considering making the switch to Linux. I have had some experience with the OS in the past. I used Ubuntu (pre-Unity), SimplyMepis (helped translate a bit of documentation, thought it was pretty great at the time), Linux Mint (endless trouble with sound drivers, should be ok now) and a few others I don't remember.
My current setup includes a pretty decent if not-brand-new desktop pc (I5 3570k, 12gigs of Ram, Gtx670, ssd) and a Thinkpad running an I5 2520, 4 gigs of ram and a ssd. The Desktop is running Win10 (working nicely) and the Thinkpad has Win7 on it.
There are a few issues which so far have prevented me from switching from my "just works" Windows setup. Let me make it clear: I like Linux. I really want to make it work for me.
1) Configuring certain stuff is hard. On my previous Thinkpad, the screen had a distinct yellow tint. I was able to correct this to an acceptable degree within seconds in Windows just by playing with some sliders in the driver software. Turns out, there are no such sliders in Linux. Several hours spent searching for alternative tools or procedures only produced semi-acceptable workarounds or arcane hints about how maybe possibly config file soandso might be treated with the arcane arts to provide a different color production.
Then there is my Thinkpad's trackpoint. Windows: Open settings, select trackpoint, move slider to set sensitivity. End.
This is the Thinkwiki page detailing how configuration of the trackpoint may be achieved on Linux. Several of the techniques detailed are marked as "soon to be deprecated" or already obsolete, which also goes for the graphical frontend which used to be available. Instead, I'm supposed to use Xinput (I think?!), except the page doesn't tell me about which values for sensitivity are actually accepted by that tool?/command?/magic?. I also don't have the slightest idea if the distribution I'm going to use (and I'm not sure which one that will be) actually uses that method or if it expects me to "just write a startup script" for a task like this. Apparently methods of configuring things also don't work anymore after a while, at which point I assume that stuff is going to break after an update. I am afraid about such an accident happening when I need my machine to work for actual... work.
I realize this isn't Linux's fault but crappy vendor support. I also realize that things just work different in Linuxland and that it's me who needs to learn exactly how they work. But the kind of effort which goes into changing my screen colors and trackpad speed in 2015 doesn't fill me with confidence.
2) Getting competent enough to actually fix stuff when it breaks feels comparable to learning a programming language (which, I'm sure, is in reality a huge exaggeration.) Taking my example from above, a typical command might look like this:
- sed -ne 's/^[^ ][^V].id=\([0-9]\)./\1/p'
If I'm going to, in the spirit of linux, be my computer's master, simply copy/pasting of commands isn't going to cut it. So, ideally, I would like to eventually be able to know what tools to use, how they work together and what their parameters mean.
xinput list... sure, I get what that does. while read id... hm, not sure, but I'm sure i can look that up. But that middle part? 's/^[^ ][^V].id=\([0-9]\)./\1/p'? Really? I just have a really, really hard time imagining ever being able to know that 's/^[^ ] needs to go before .*/\1/p'. For all I know, it's a fancy way of telling my pc to rm -rf /.
3) Games. I used to be a huge gamer when I was younger. I don't play games often anymore, but leaving behind my favorites (which don't have a linux version and don't work with wine) still seems like something that might eventually convince me that I still need Wintendo in my life. But if I dual-boot, chances are that after a few hours of wrestling with some linux problem, booting into "shit just works"-OS might seem like an attractive idea. I'm speaking from experience, here.
I'm also having some trouble finding the right distribution. I'm torn between Elementary OS and Linux Mint at the moment, but of course there are countless alternatives out there. A distro for me should offer healthy repositories, an active community in case there's trouble and a track record of not releasing updates which break stuff. I assume that both my machines should be powerful enough to run almost everything which I could throw at them.
Well, anyways, can you guys maybe recommend a good starting point? Or, more importantly, explain to me how I should deal with those 3 issues I mentioned above?