Now I have used a Linux operating system as the daily driver for my home computer. LMDE, Linux Mint Debian Edition to be more precise.

In short, it works really well.

I have been exploring Linux for a few years, not at least Linux Mint and LMDE, so I have gotten familiar with Linux well before having it as my daily driver. My Linux competence development has also included reading magazines like Linux Format, Linux Magazine and Linux Journal, some books, articles on the internet, forums in particular Mint international and Swedish and several podcasts like Mintcast and Distrohopper's Digest.

On the error side, I can report that once those weeks the Cinnamon desktop crashed and needed a restart.

Backup is important and has been a focus area to early setup. On macOS I used Apples proprietary Time machine plus my own manual backup of home catalog.

I configured TimeShift for system backup on an external drive. TimeShift is included in the LMDE installation. System backup can save a lot of time and troubles when something occur.

My own data is the most important to backup. Linux Mint incl LMDE has a backup tool for intended for easy home catalog backup included as well. So while pondering for my longer term solution I created a backup with that tool on an external drive. On Linux I have earlier used the popular DejaDup for home catalog backup. Now I wanted to try something else, more advanced.

I decided to try BorgBackup and added Vorta as a graphical interface (GUI) to the command line interface from BorgBackup. I choosed Borgbackup for several reasons, beside that it is free and open source: I can have multiple backup profiles, end-to-end encryption, it supports backup to an external drive as well as to a cloud drive, compression, scheduled backup and of course that new backups are built upon differencies to the older backups so not all is needed to backup every time. My Vorta BorgBackup has now been running for a week or so. It has logged some warnings and errors at some baclup occasions (code 1 in the backup report). I can see there are warnings about missing cashe-files related to Firefox and error related to Wifi. But as far as I understand from log file nothing critical in the meaning that my backup is not generally working.  But I should follow and follow up. In meantime maybe a new backup with Mints own tool, or any other method. I run it daily on an external drive. My plan is to add a profile for a backup to another external drive - a drive that I do not have connected all the time but connect e g every week or month for additional safety. Finally I really consider to add a cloud backup from a service like Borgbase or Hetzner, both supporting BorgBackup. With Borg, the backup will be encrypted on my conditions so it should be safe to use cloud and still that nobody on the line or at the provider can read any of my data.

Like WhatsApp in my previous report, I have installed Element (Matrix client) with the Mint webapp manager rather that as a separate application. It works well.

I have installed Signal messenger. I installed the software and added their own repository to the repository list, with help of the commands they state on their website. It is best to be very conservative to execute commands/scripts found on the net that I do not understand in detail myself - bad scripts can of course be directly harmful. In this case, I trusted that the Signal web site had not been hacked nor that Signal want to do anything harmful.

For my photos I have installed RawTherapee and done a few photo raw image processing with it. It works faster than on my macMini. I have also installed GIMP although not used this installation yet. GIMP is the big free and open source image manipulation software.

I have also installed VueScan. It is a very good, non-free, software I pay for to scan negatives, positives, photos and other prints. Like most softwares mentioned above it is multiplatform and I have used it before. It is probably the best scanner software on market for private persons, in particular for anyone who want to use same software for multiple scanners from different manufacturers, including older that are not maintained any more by the manufacturer.

Furthernore I have installed Crossover from Codeweavers, a software to run my Windows applications on Linux. Crossover is a commercial software I pay for. It is built on the free and open source Wine, the open source software, but more user friendly. Codeweavers supports Wine in various ways, so to purchase Crossover will also give support to Wine.

I have installed one additional panel software: CPU temperature. I can always monitor the CPU temperature. It is a good measure to get a hint that the hardware works and that no software runs crazy. More addons exist and I likely will install more. It is updated via the ordinary update manager.

It is worth to mention again that LMDE as well as standard Linux Mint installations comes with a very good set of software for normal daily usage of the computer.

Henrik Hemrin

8 January 2024

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