Took a (small) jump to Linux! A short review and my tips for a better experience.

So after all the issues I had with my computer, I decided I had nothing to lose and set up a dual boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu. After tearing my hair for a couple of days i am now more comfortable. I´s alot better than when I tried it last (mayb e 5-6 years ago) but there are still things that make me groan. Anyway…

I wasn´t totally put off by the Unity desktop but it didn´t feel entirely right either, so I installed Docky and disabled the unity launcher. i like that you still can open the search window by pressing the windows button. I also disabled the Amazon thing. Not because of the tinfoil hat but more because the advertisements annoyed me visually, lol.

I like the top panel, and that you can chose to have the application menu show up either in the unity top panel or in the application itself. Saves a bit of space, even if a 1080p desktop isn´t really cramped.

Docky is a really neat launcher that you can customize to your own liking (yes, you can even make it look like the OSX dock). I tried the cairo dock first, but I disliked the menus that kept popping up in the top left and right corners that duplicated Unity´s own.

I try to keep my desktop as light on the eyes as possible, but rather than just have a plain color background, I found some really nice, simplistic and eyepleasing wallpapers on not just Linux related, but anyway.

One nice piece of customizability is to be able to install more than one desktop environment, that you can switch between at the logon window. I tried LXDE, XFCE, Openbox, Mate and Cinnamon. And although some of them certainly felt snappier, they all had aspects that didn´t appeal to me. I probably could have customized more, but I stuck with Unity. If you have less ram they are definitely appreciated, though. I am wondering though, if Blender might run a bit faster in Openbox without the snazzy UI effects since my Graphics card isn´t the greatest (geforce 405)

As for Blender, I tried the good ole BWM render benchmark and got about 20% speedup when compared to in Windows so that was definitely a boon! :slight_smile: No surprise though, since Cycles was created on the GCC compiler.

I also installed Krita (of course), Mypaint and the Gimp.

All in all, I spend more time in Linux right now, as I get more comfortable. There still some software that warrants keeping Windows around (yes, I will give Wine a go too)

That´s all :slight_smile:

Ps. does anyone know how to pin blender to the Docky launcher when not installed but just unzipped into a folder?

Well done on making the leap. Now to convince you to use a tiling window manager to turn you into a real nerd… (I use i3wm, a tiling window manager. No more shuffling icons or windows. About two weeks learning curve, but then you get the joy of no-one else knowing how to use your computer!).

Our family was entirely Linux-centric, and I used windows at uni and school. When I got my own laptop, I though I could finally use the same operating system as ‘the rest of the world.’ A week in and I was frustrated as easy things became hard. Back into linux I went. I have exactly one program on my windows partition: solidworks, which I needed for a uni project. I haven’t booted windows since about 2 weeks ago.

I’ve never used docky, so I’ve got no idea of the specifics, but here’s what I would try:

There may be some other methods that pop into my head, so if neither of them work, let me know.

(This works for me under default Ubuntu everything, I hope it works for docky)
(This is all coming from notes, I didn’t check to see that everything works)

In a terminal, type (it will ask for password):

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/Blender.desktop

Copy and paste into the editor:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName="3D Content Creation"
Comment="Official 2.7x"

In the Exec line point it to the blender executable where you unzipped everything.
Save and exit. (nano: Ctrl-X saves, press y to confirm, and enter for the filename)
In a terminal again, type:

sudo cp /home/user/blender-2.72b-linux-glibc211-x86_64/blender/icons/48x48/apps/blender.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/blender

Save the blender.png with no extension as typed above.

After that, I believe you should be able to look up the Blender application in your launcher and drag it in place, or open /usr/share/applications/ and drag the Blender.desktop icon there. (Dragging the blender executable from within the unzipped folder instead of either of these two won’t keep it there).

Anytime you download a new version of Blender, you need to point the .desktop shortcut to the right place.
This can be done in two ways:

  1. Edit the Blender.desktop file (with sudo) and change the blender-2.72b-linux-glibc211-x86_64 to the new extracted folder’s name (essentially point it to the right path)
  2. Symlink blender-2.72b-linux-glibc211-x86_64 to somewhere and rename it to, for example, blender_main, and always have Blender.desktop point to that symlink. After that, you can replace that symlink with one for the more updated Blender. (I won’t go into symlinking, but it’s a piece of cake)

(I used nano above, but you can use any text editor, gedit leafpad geany, it just needs sudo to save the file)
(Whenever Blender starts, you may wish to keep the terminal window open after Blender closes by going into the terminal properties and setting “when command exits” to “hold the terminal open.” Or, to keep the terminal window from appearing, either set Terminal=true to false, or delete the line entirely.)

Hey, BrillianApe,

I’ve tried Linux a few times and always went back to Windows. But, I’m always open to trying again, depending on how things have progressed.

One thing I really missed while using Linux was Windows Explorer and the Mystic Thumbs addon for it. The amount of information I can get about files plus the ability to preview practically every image, video and document format ever conceived (except MS Word for some reason) is something I don’t want to live without.

Any good news on that front?


I’m also curious how much trouble is was to install the latest version of Blender… Or did you stick with the unpacked-but-not-installed thing? Did you ever figure out how to put the icon on your “whatever the taskbar is called in Linux?”