Rocky 9 on desktop? I have a couple of hardware choices

Well it sounds like a good candidate for moving to Rocky, and the hardware should easily cope with creating virtual machines inside Rocky if needed.
We had three desks set up today with Rocky, Ventura and Windows 11, and the Windows 11 didn’t score well at all.

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I have great success on my Asus ROG Ryzen 5900 with Nvidia - I use KDE Plasma for the Desktop so far so great! Running 2 HP 27 monitors and the Laptop for 3 active monitors. At present I am running Rocky Linux 8.6 however I setup the same on a VirtualBox with Linux 9. It works seamless.

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:slight_smile: That’s very encouraging, Thanks! Now I just need to find a few hours …

If you want to replace an M$ Desktop OS like Windoze 11 with RockyLinux, I wouldn’t recommend that.
Rocky is base on RedHat Enterprise, & that OS is mainly meant for Servers & only in a limited way for Desktop use. Although it should work, It will take a lot of effort to get everything running the way you want.

If I were you I’d go for a Distro that was built for Desktop use, & that is Ubuntu. Besides, Ubuntu comes in different flavours, Xubuntu, Kubuntu etc. I’m sure your shutdown issue can also be solved with some help from the Communities. There is also a tool around to install other kernels, only at the moment I can’t remember it’s name. Besides that I would recommend MakuluLinux, but I haven’t had much experience with the newest versions. Most of them are based on Debian Testing. These are real desktop Distro’s.

If you want to test them out, they boot into a Live iso (via USB Stick), so at first you don’t need any installation & you can test some basic stuff together with your hardware (although Rocky as far as I know doesn’t offer such a live-boot iso).

Then I wouldn’t install it directly on Hardware but rather use a HyperVisor like VirtualBox that was mentioned above, or the Built-In Hyper-V of Windoze. That way you can get used to the OS, find out if the options you need are available etc. For that you can also wait for the open Windows when you get time to work on the PC, & your Wife can use it without much delay.

Once you have decided on a Distro, I would get an extra HD (or probably NVMe SSD which your PC probably uses anyway), replace the disk & install the OS to that new disk. Then you can easily replace the disk when your wife needs the PC, & you have time to finish it’s installation without loosing the M$ stuff.

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You make assumptions about “desktop use”; needs do differ.

Besides, some effort now that can yield almost a decade of unchanging use experience sounds a bargain.

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@rindi I want to address your misconception that Rocky doesn’t have live images. See this post: [Start Here] Rocky Linux Resources and You that shows live images for Gnome, KDE and XFCE downloadable from the Alternative Images section on the Rocky website.

Debian and Ubuntu are also just as much server OS’s, as they can be desktops. Debian, just like RHEL doesn’t have the latest and greatest software. Ubuntu in some respects can also be by using the LTS releases.

All distributions can be utilised as desktops, including RHEL, Rocky of which it is based - there are additional repositories that can be used. Just because they don’t have the latest software, doesn’t mean a decent desktop cannot be made and used. Plenty of people do that already without any issues whatsoever. Those who wish for the latest and greatest software - or bleeding edge, use distros like Fedora, Arch, Gentoo if they wish to compile everything themselves, and other similar distros.

People choose what fits their situation best, and that doesn’t mean that RHEL or Rocky cannot be, or should not be used as desktops. That’s purely something of a personal viewpoint.

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Debian Testing does have almost the latest Software. It’s just the “stable” branch that doesn’t. It still is stable enough for general use. I wouldn’t recommend Arch & Gentoo for general users, those are for experienced Linux Geeks. Also Fedora probably isn’t stable enough (but the users don’t have to compile things themselves, the packages are ready for install from the repos).

Ubuntu was built from the ground to be user friendly, which other distro’s aren’t. It can also be used for servers, but that’s not what it was built for in the beginning. That is different with RedHat.

Ubuntu & Debian also has the larger community. If you need help on an issue, you will probably get answers quickly there, & most instructions you can find usually have help for Ubuntu & Debian first. Help for RH is usually harder to find, & less easy to understand for newcomers.

I’m not saying Rocky isn’t OK, it just normally won’t suite Linux newcomers. It needs experienced users & Admins.

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I guess you haven’t used Fedora. I’ve used it every day and it’s totally stable. Some of your arguments are completely flawed.

Help for RH isn’t hard to find at all, sounds like you are inexperienced in that area since Red Hat has their own documentation for pretty much everything you may wish to do. Not only that, there are plenty of people who post howto’s on their own sites, which are also easy enough to find via Google. I’m curious why you are here on this forum then since you seem to prefer Debian Testing/Ubuntu?

It certainly doesn’t need experienced users to run it either. RH and CentOS were some of the very first distributions I used before I even knew as much about Linux as I do now. Linux in general back then was more problematic with hardware than it is now. In which case RH, Rocky are certainly some of the easiest distros you can use.

Rocky has been out abour a year or so, Debian and Ubuntu for about 15-20 years or even more. That’s why the communities are bigger. Size isn’t everything. Rocky has just started, it will get much bigger here as well.

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If size of “community” matters, then MS Windows should outpace everyone hands down. Alas, quantity does not ensure quality.

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Well, I’m gonna try installing Rocky9 ‘KDE’ on this ancient-ish HP desktop first ( so I can mess around with setting up a more familiar ‘windows-7-like’ desktop experience for my wife’s workstation). I have Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on it now, and don’t like the Gnome desktop extensions mess (which blew up a while after I got it set up more or less to my liking). And I found that a LOT of the bundled ‘ubuntu store’ software doesnt run anyway ( after installing ‘ok’)… and the snap store is awful, in my experiences so far. So, limited or not, it can’t be too much worse than what I have now :slight_smile:

Well, well, well… ROCKY 9 is running like a dream on my old HP ELITEDESK (i7 quadcore) :smiley:

Operating System: Rocky Linux 9.0
KDE Plasma Version: 5.23.4
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.90.0
Qt Version: 5.15.2
Kernel Version: 5.14.0-70.30.1.el9_0.x86_64 (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: Wayland
Processors: 8 × Intel® Core™ i7-7700T CPU @ 2.90GHz
Memory: 15.0 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: Mesa Intel® HD Graphics 630

It boots fast, and shuts down properly! I have just about everything I actually need loaded now (Chrome, Opera, RealVNC, FileZilla, Remmina RDP client)… and I am very pleased with how smooth things are running. If I can get Veeam agent installed, all will be golden!

And right out of the box, KDE Plasma has pretty much normal ‘Windows 7-ish’ desktop, start menu in the right place, etc etc. Network shares, audio, bluetooth, everything behaving very nicely. Should be an easy transition for my wife’s machine (coming one day very soon).

Many thanks for the good advice here

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I used Rocky 8 with Cinnamon desktop coming from copr registries, that’s really nice desktop too. Also has the bottom left start menu equivalent if you like. I’m also not a Gnome fan, although Cinnamon is based on Gnome, it’s far far better looking as well as I feel cleaner to operate and use every day.

I’ve yet to try it on Rocky 9 though, but will do soon.

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Apparently you don’t like Rocky, you don’t like Fedora, you don’t know anything about them but you believe you are allowed to spit on them here and there.
So do us a favour: Back off and let us alone.
I am personnaly on Fedora since FC4 - about 20 years and more recently Centos- and never had to complain or regret.

I never said I didn’t like any of those distro’s. I have also used all of them. But you, like me are a Linux veteran. But in my opinion those distro’s just aren’t suited for Linux newbies. They are more for the pro’s. For the rest you need something that is as easy to use as possible.

While I don’t disagree, one must differentiate between user and admin.

A user does not care what they have as long as they can easily run the applications that they need.
The admin has to tune the system for the user(s).

I user is the admin, then difficulty of setup does matter. In this thread the OP is a the admin, but not the main user. The difficulty can still matter, but not necessarily as much. The main question is whether distro Y can provide good UX or not. IMHO, EL can.

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I’m not sure he can. An experienced Linux Admin probably wouldn’t need to ask this Question (I don’t want to offend the Asker, but that’s the impression I got). Inexperienced Linux Admins will have to invest a lot of time to learn the important things, & maintenance of the system can then also take up a lot of time.

In my point of view if he installs Rocky on his PC to get to know the things, that is fine, but not on someone else’s.

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@rindi The OP asked for advice before he hosed the machine and installed it. He said he doesn’t have a lot of time to erase it and install stuff without knowing if someone has used similar specs to his. Valid question. Doesn’t need to be advanced user for that. Save him time from erasing it, installing, and reverting to Windows if something doesn’t work. A day or so lost.

I know someone who had a wife using Windows on a laptop, no end of problems due to infections of viruses, etc, etc. Constant questions on using it. He took the laptop, removed Windows and installed Linux on it. Didn’t show her how to use it other than here is where you find the programs. Zero questions during the next year or two after this, and zero problems as well.

If all you are going to do is click through a graphical interface to run apps for office, browsing the internet, etc, you don’t need to know much at all to use Rocky as a desktop, or any other distro for that matter.

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Since RHEL 8, there’s only one RHEL. Server vs desktop depends on what you load.

Ubuntu default is server as well. Ubuntu Workstation comes as a distinct iso. Kubuntu and Xubuntu are kindof forks and I believe they’re focused on use as workstation.

I agree that using a live iso to test drive is a good first step. This will help identify hardware issues, and let the user test drive the applications and DE.

HyperV is not available on Home versions, so that may not be available. VirtualBox is simple to set up and build a VM. An advantage of this is that you can run it full screen and it seems like the base OS of the system. This will NOT let you confirm compatibility of the hardware, since that is abstracted in a VM.

Not sure how the system will work, with bitlocker and such, when you remove the m.2 and later insert it back in. It’s possible the encryption key will be lost in the shuffle and the data will become inaccessible, permanently.

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:slight_smile: Just to clarify, I have been running production CentOS webservers for the last ten years, and I set up and continue to manage an entire local office with a Debian file server, two Ubuntu servers running as domain controllers, (serving Windows workstations exclusively - the business uses custom workstation software that only runs on Windows) … an Ubuntu backup repository (rsync of Debian to cloud backup that only runs on Ubuntu!), a local Centos intranet web server running custom PHP and Python apps that serve from our (Windows) Oracle database, and another Centos server running ZoneMinder security camera network. So I am something of an intermediate linux admin - just never use them as workstations, but I know that hardware driver details can sometimes be a deal breaker. (So far, not the case with ROCKY)

As @iwalker mentions above, the whole point of this thread was just to see if anyone happened to have experience with similar hardware. And now I can vouch that it’s smooth sailing to install ROCKY 9 on an HP ELITEDESK 800 G3 Mini … if anyone in future googles for that and finds this thread