New year, new Linux workstation

Not counting IoT devices and the Raspberry Pi in my PiDP-11, I haven’t had a Linux machine at home for more than 10 years. End of last year, I decided to get a dedicated Linux box under my desk again so I can enjoy the full Linux experience when I do software and infrastructure engineering.

I got my Linux machine today, a Tuxedo Core One midi tower. I installed it with Manjaro, my new favourite distribution. The process took only a few minutes because I came prepared with a USB SSD that manages a selection of ISO install images using Ventoy. With the OS installed, I only had to go through my well-maintained Linux Setup checklist. A few hours of setting up projects later, the machine was pretty much ready for prime time, and so far, I’m very happy! Having everything I need for setting up a Linux machine stored in the cloud, for example on Gitlab or in Dropbox, made the whole affair a very streamlined experience. Compared to my Ubuntu installations in the past, Manjaro made things much easier as well. The AUR is an amazing package repository. As someone used to living in PPA hell, it blows my mind how much software is available from the Arch User Repository.

I did have a short panic moment, though, when I realised that I managed to order the box without a Wifi card. Somehow, these “Oh, so you actually have to…” moments keep getting more frequent for me. Maybe I’m spoilt by too many all-in-one Apple machines. Fortunately, I remembered that I still had a Netgear Wifi client “access point” in storage that I hadn’t yet put up for sale. I’m going to replace it with a more modern access point in WPS bridge mode to build an office LAN.

Even though I now have to switch monitor, mouse and keyboard between Linux box and Windows laptop, being able to quickly do so is going to make my work (and spare time) more efficient and fun. And two years into the pandemic, having more fun is important.