No desktop Linux for me for the time being…

As a lot of people know about me, I’m a big Linux user. I’ve used it as both a desktop and a server OS, with the recent emphasis being much more on as a server OS. When I put together the most recent incarnation of my main PC, I had briefly toyed with the idea of dual-booting Linux and Windows. In the end, though, I decided to instead make it an entirely-Windows machine, as my two 320 GB SATA hard drives were linked together in a RAID 0 configuration, and to my knowledge the current Linux distributions didn’t support my RAID controller yet. Recently, though, I found that at the very least Fedora Core 7 (and possibly Ubuntu) could support my array via dmraid. So, I ended up doing some research recently on the feasibility of putting Linux back onto my main PC. Unfortunately, I eventually decided against it, as I found more than one stumbling block towards migrating to it, especially on a full-time basis.

  • While I’m sure a generic driver might work, I’d prefer to use ATI’s official video card driver for Linux. As of right now, ATI’s current released driver package will not work with Fedora Core 7. It’s not that big of a deal, for the most part, but if I want to do any gaming (like DOOM 3, Unreal Tournament 3, or anything that might use Cedega), I’ll need the official driver’s 3D support.
  • I use iTunes for listening to my music library. While standard music players for Linux can be made to have MP3 and AAC format with little issue, some of the CDs and tracks in my collection are protected AAC files from the iTunes Store. I’d have to figure out a way to get iTunes to run under WINE or some variant like Cedega.
  • My keyboard and mouse are a Logitech MX5000 Bluetooth desktop. It’ll be a bit of a pain in the ass to get them working with Linux. It’s not impossible, mind you, but it will involve a lot of messing around that I really don’t feel like doing. Bah.

Granted, only one of the three reasons is a true show-stopper. Still, they’re big enough hurdles where I really don’t feel like messing with it right now. (The days of messing around with my machine at home are gone, for the most part. I want my machine to Just Work.) My Windows XP install is working fine, and I don’t see a real need to change it yet. It’s not like there’s anything out yet that requires an install of Windows Vista, and most things I would do in Linux have a Windows equivalent anyway. Ah, well… I suppose when the time comes to swap out the main PC, I’ll bite the bullet and get a Mac of some kind (either a Mini or a MacBook with a docking station). Until then, I’ll just stick with what I have.