Hi! It’s my first post on this forum, I hope I’m not doing anything wrong or any bad practices.
I’ve switched to Linux since November 2021, but I’ve been struggling to find out a distro that works for me. I was mostly a Linux Mint user, but their ancient packages were holding me back quite a lot to a rather frustrating degree, which made me wish to switch to a distro with newer packages. I’ve experimented with Fedora and EndeavourOS, and I liked both of them due to having expansive package repositories, but Fedora did a lot of things that I personally disliked which Endeavour didn’t, so I chose to go with Endeavour.
However… I’ve been really regretting that choice. Maintaining an Arch system is incredibly frustrating and torturous, because every time I so much as look at it wrong, something decides it no longer wants to stop working, and it’s a nightmare to fix it. I have a chronic history of having terrible luck with computers, plus I deal with very severe anxiety and depression, so trying to maintain EndeavourOS has been extremely unhealthy for me. I’m considering switching back to Fedora because I really want something that just works and gets out of my way instead of demanding constant attention and maintenance like Arch does, but… there’s still the issue of the things I experienced in my previous Fedora run that put me off from the distro:
- Both the KDE and Cinnamon spins, on their default installation settings, used systemd-boot without asking me if I wanted it; I strongly prefer GRUB due to its better-looking stock appearance plus its ability to be visually customized.
- It shipped without kernel headers; although I’m lucky enough to have an AMD GPU and thus don’t have to rely on Nvidia nonsense, I’m still unfortunately saddled with a Realtek Wifi USB that only works with their proprietary and closed-source drivers, meaning I need to make use of dkms, which requires kernel headers to work. When I installed Fedora earlier, I attempted to install the driver with dkms, but it errored due to not having kernel headers and they were not available in dnf’s repositories, meaning I had to go to a third-party website offering seperate kernel headers as .rpms. And then a new kernel version dropped and that website did not have headers for it, forcing me to stay on an outdated kernel for quite a while. I do not want to go through that again.
- Passing a kernel parameter for my AMDGPU driver (by appending
/etc/modprobe.d/amdgpu.conf) on Fedora did not unlock my AMD GPU’s parameters for tweaking and clocking, whereas it did for me on Endeavour. I heard that it was specifically a bug with Fedora’s 5.15 kernel drivers and that it’d be fixed on 5.16, but I’d like to hear confirmation that it works at least, because my GPU’s default clocks aren’t very good.
- Certain applications, like Discord, completely ignored any and all custom icon themes and only used an icon baked into Discord itself. This has not been an issue on Endeavour.
- Fedora just straight-up booted much slower than Endeavour did. It takes about 10-15 seconds for Endeavour to boot into the display manager’s login screen, while Fedora would remain on a loading screen for upwards of one minute. Likewise, it also took an eternity to shut down; Endeavour shuts down very quickly, while I’ve had Fedora sometimes take five minutes to power off.
- Fedora also uses a lot more RAM; on a cold boot, it used over 1.8 GBs of RAM on Cinnamon and would often idle at over 5 GBs, while Endeavour always cold-boots around 800 MBs and idles around 4.7 GB at worst.
Is there any way to solve those issues? I really wish to move to something that’s actually stable instead of running into computer-breaking issues every other day, but I also don’t wish to deal with those problems either.
Other than those issues I had, I’ve also had some other questions:
- It seems that, whenever a new kernel is installed on Fedora, older ones are stored and still show up on the boot menu. How exactly does it work? Does it only apply for generic Fedora kernels and thus custom-compiled kernels do not retain old versions? Does it only store up to a certain amount of kernels, or do they just continue indefinitely piling up with no upper limit? Are you able to change/set a specific limit you want, and/or manually delete specific kernels that are already installed?
- What exactly are the default functions enabled out-of-the-box for btrfs? In my system with two drives (a boot SSD and a secondary HDD which uses ext4), am I able to create a small btrfs partition on the HDD and store all my btrfs snapshots in the HDD, or does it have to be on the boot drive or on an entirely-btrfs drive? Am I supposed to use a terminal command to set up the snapshots, or am I able to use a GUI tool like Timeshift for it? Would another GUI tool work better than Timeshift for btrfs snapshots?
- Is there any way to make dnf’s search option better and more descriptive? I’m used to pacman and apt letting me know what packages I have installed when I search for them (by appending
[installed]after the package’s name), while dnf does not tell me that at all.
- Will Fedora Workstation and the Spins continue to be maintained in the future, or will they be abandoned in favour of Silverblue/Kinoite and their immutable OS model?
- For those of you who play games on Fedora, have you had better gaming performance on it than on Arch? Part of the reason I’m being driven to switch is because several games have been acting extremely unstable (CP2077 sometimes runs at 47 FPS, and other times tanks hard at 16 FPS) or just outright break (FH5 events never load or the game straight-up crashes when opening or closing the in-game map; and CoreCtrl’s overclocking feature spontaneously decided to stop working, too), and I’m really hoping that using a more stable distro will yield better results.
- People say that, on a point-release distro like Fedora and Mint, you have to “re-download” the entire distro when a new major update (like Fedora 36) is released; does that mean I actually have to download the F36 ISO and install it on my computer (losing everything in the process), or is it functionally just a really long system update done with
sudo dnf update && sudo dnf upgrade?
I’m sorry in advance for the huge wall of text… I hope that people are able to shed some light on those issues and fears of mine, and I appreciate any help in advance.