Wall of text incoming with some strong opinions.
To call the Linux desktop landscape “simple” is overselling it. It’s anything but simple and very often you have to fight idiosyncrasies for a while until you stabilise it to your liking.
Many of the hardcore Linux users I was acquainted with could never properly gauge – and even admit the existence of – the huge initial effort it takes to roll a good 100% personal-tailored Linux desktop environment because they did it years ago and are now religiously protecting it so they don’t have to start over.
The discussion with these people usually goes like this:
- “Oh, you have to use Manjaro / Ubuntu / whatever. It’s the only way!”
- “Use i3 / XFCE / that-WM-you-have-to-customise-for-weeks, everybody else is misguided”
- “Yeah, don’t forget those 10 PulseAudio settings splattered over 3 files in your entire filesystem, both in root’s files and your user’s”
- “Ah, also do this…”
…and they quickly forget the whole thing can easily take you 5 weekends which you don’t spend with your wife, kids, bike, or any hobby or happy activity in general.
Again, they did it long time ago and it’s very easy to underestimate how awfully hard it can be to make your own garden from scratch and fine-tune it so well that you can’t live without it.
I am not saying Linux is bad. I used Debian for years about 10 years ago when things were much worse than now and still loved it times more than Windows. And, as said above, I always use it for servers. And always will.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and pretend there are no issues. Freedom and openness don’t necessarily buy you ergonomy and convenience.
Here is something most Linux users simply refuse to accept: even professionals often do not want to allocate that time and effort just to find a good environment. I have a happy personal life, a job that I love and want to be very efficient and good at, hobbies I like doing occasionally, I do light workouts and a lot of cardio, I periodically ride a bike for hours together with my wife, and try to maintain a well-taken-care-of flat (hygiene, working tech, and a ton of other stuff).
I simply can’t justify a weekend (or several) of tinkering with a desktop environment… and then completely dump it and start over. And then do that several times until I find the perfect one.
Sorry, not going to do it. It’s not such a small and light cost as many Linux users pretend it to be.
That’s factually very, very, false in my practice and experience. I’ve had Debian, Ubuntu, and even the almighty-I-only-do-stuff-if-you-tell-me Slackware peace out on me by the mere virtue of rebooting a machine after installing 5-6 package updates. Most times I had to fight with the damn thing for 1-2 hours before X11 feels like starting again… and that’s if the kernel update didn’t remove my SSD’s drivers for no reason (that I know of) and if I can even get to a shell session with a working storage.
I appreciate that my experience is rather dated – I am talking between 2007 and 2012 here – and I am pretty sure things have been getting better, but Linux as a generic desktop machine lost my vote a long time ago. There’s always something more to surprise you behind the corner.
I have a lot of work to get done and personal life to enjoy. I am not willing to get subjected to daily anxiety attacks whether my otherwise rock-solid PC (at least under Windows 10) is going to kick me out to a textual console on reboot with no idea why the graphics or the storage drivers failed to start.
…and none of that even touches the fact that Ubuntu has 2-3x more daemons working on the background on a vanilla installation compared to Windows 10. Are you completely sure it doesn’t send your personal info somewhere? They got busted once btw.