... and so one day I finally decided that I would just rid myself of any other operating system than Linux on my laptop. I had to have a backup plan though so I downloaded an iso of Windows 10 and copied that onto my external backup. If anything ever happened I could always return lol.
I had made the decision to make the leap, but what would I put on my laptop now that I was fully committed to Linux? I searched and read about dozens, probably hundreds of different Linux distributions, and I was smitten with the possibility that I could have several of them at my disposal, all right on my simple little computer.
I had interest in Kali but was quick to note the warnings of installing it on hardware vice running a live version. I wasn't yet familiar enough to feel comfortable trying to operate what sounded to be a fairly complex and potentially destructive operating system. Kali was out, but I still wanted the option, so I made a live USB with persistence so I could always boot it up and play if I wanted but it wasn't living on my laptop.
Ultimately I had a ton of choices and wanted to try them all but I wanted to be sure that I had the OS that I wanted. I also wanted to partition my hard drive with other operating systems as well. I was fascinated with disc partitioning, and still am to a point. I thought it was so cool that I could have all these different options. And then I stumbled into Grub and became fascinated with that and all the options it provided me.
Virtual machines were also an option and an obvious answer to my need to try so many different things. Plus they allowed me the opportunity to virtually build different computers. I tried to build servers, and super-secure boxes, and embedded type of stuff, and whatever I could find. I even managed to figure out how to build a Windows 10 VM and clone it onto a USB so I run a live Windows environment to access stuff for school. I thought this was handy because it afforded me the luxury of having what I feared I would lose (Windows programs such as Office Suite), and I wouldn't even have to have it occupy a partition on my hard drive.
So I decided on Zorin and Fedora and I would mount a common /home drive to share files between the two. Zorin was chosen because it had great reviews, was user friendly, and was constantly compared to being similar in nature to Windows. I still was not fully prepared to leave that comfort zone. Fedora was chosen because I thought I would try to operate something that was similar to Red Hat. If I was going to get into this thing as a possible administrator someday, I should get to used to the operating structure and Fedora offered something close.
A plan was developed with a partitioning scheme for my hard drive and everything. I thought I had all my bases covered all the way down to the boot loader I wanted. Boy was I wrong. There were times when I would get the boot sequence I desired and then the next time it wouldn't boot at all. I tried several different things, but nothing ever seemed to the be the certain fix.
I also started to distro hop at this point. I was over Zorin. It's not that it's a bad OS, I just didn't care for it. Can't really say why other than I didn't know about online forums and wiki's at this point. Had I found a community to join, or sought one out, I may have fell in love like I did with Manjaro. I went through probably 6 or 7 different setups with dual-boots between different distro's and everything else and I came to settle with have just one operating system on my computer.
Arch had long been a distro I read about and held in high regard for what constantly read to be an efficient, and technically dependent distribution. I wasn't sure I had the ability or patience to install it just yet, but Manjaro kept popping up in articles I would read. An Arch based distro that was user friendly and fully customizable. I couldn't go wrong!
I'll go more into Manjaro at another time, but let me just say, it's an operating system that I think every Linux user should give a try. The friendly online community is what sucked me shortly after I found the operating system to be far above my expectations. It's my go-to recommendation to anyone looking to switch over with ease.
And here I am now. With my final, personally-optimal, hard drive partitioned for my single distribution of Manjaro running the xfce desktop with an optional i3 window manager for my session. I have learned the power and need of the backup and I utilize that tool often now that I know what it take to completely rebuild a computer several times over.
I have a couple books that I am reading on the basics of computers and their language. I have also enrolled in a master's program for computer science. The Manjaro community is a great learning tool for me and I try to contribute there where I feel I can. And I write on here to try and keep track of it all. I have found that I learn best with a community of like minded people. If I get nothing more than a place to write my thoughts, that's completely fine with me. If I find friends who want to learn and experiment and share just like I do, that would be incredible as well.
I look forward to continuing my writing on this. Computers are becoming more and more exciting to me every day. The more I read, and comprehend, the more I want to know, and the deeper I want to explore!