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My Linux journey: Debian

It’s been quite a while since I made a post about my Linux journey. The truth is, I moved into Linux Mint for a period of 3 months (January-April), but I don’t make a new journey post because, well, I’ve reviewed Linux Mint in the past. Anyway, you might be wondering why I somehow ended up on Debian. Here’s my journey, if you want to read it.

Everything went fine in Linux Mint, because everything works flawlessly. But, Cinnamon start to make me felt like Windows 7 user, and I want to try something new. I could use VM, but there is this great feeling about tweaking a new system to my preference, and seeing how far Linux can actually be functional in real case.

Borked installation of wine broke my Linux Mint. The theming is now all black, and I can barely install applications without having to zooming in the screen just so I can see the black text under the black background. Also, that installation had a lot of residual configs because I install-then-uninstall apt package in it.

I am convinced by a nerd I found on the internet, that KDE is better. Well, I had experienced KDE apps, and they were all good. So, with a fit of braveness, I download Debian SpiralLinux.

What is SpiralLinux? Well, it’s a niche Linux distros, that basically just use Debian (without any additional repos) but add some hand-made tweak to make the system better out of the box. For example, they put kernel 5.18 instead of 5.10, because it supports newer hardware. The devs also enable Backports repo, so we wouldn’t get confused tweaking with /etc/apt/apt.conf to enable it.

The iso image is surprisingly small, weighing on 2.0 Gigabytes. I wonder how they can do that, maybe they apply some good compression on the image file. With pure Debian 11, I can’t boot into desktop because it stuck in black screen.

SpiralLinux KDE default desktop

Admittedly, it is ugly. I don’t know why they decided to use 2000-ish “green watery” wallpaper for the default desktop. It looks unappealing. They use custom Numix icons, instead of Breeze because all of their releases on different DE uses the same icons. (they had GNOME, XFCE, Cinnamon & more edition)

The installation process is pretty straightforward because it uses Calamares installer. There is a stage where the installer look stuck, on a process called “removing 7 packages”. It takes about 3 minutes, before finally continuing to initiate bootloader & other things that I don’t understand. As usual, after the installation done, I was asked to reboot. Things went smooth and fast for the reboot process.

The first thing I do after that reboot is to change that ugly wallpaper into something more promising. KDE default were good, so I chose it. I went to konsole to do some update, and after one more reboot, surprisingly I got even newer kernel (6.1).

I installed my usual stuff, like wine and Virtualbox. SpiralLinux default file system is BTRFS with automatic snapshot configure, so you’ll be able to revert installation of software that is done by APT at any time. Neat. It also doesn’t take as much space as I thought it would be, because of how the way BTRFS work.

Flatpak is preconfigured, so installing Zoom & GNOME Boxes is a breeze. KDE Apps were so old (Plasma version 5.20, released in 2020), but it’s fine, because we can just use flatpak, or cope with it.

I moved my data from external hard drive, and I start to do some “basic newbie KDE ricing”. Here’s how my desktop look like now:

My current desktop

I’m happy with it for now. I can’t wait to experience the nightmare of upgrading to Debian 12 once it’s released 1 or 2 months from now. If it does break, well, I will install another distros. But if it’s not, then woah, that is the pinnacle of Debian.


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