Rocky Linux As A Desktop For Home Use?

Was wondering if anyone was using this for there personal home computer? I know people say that its primarily for servers but so much proprietary software only officially supports Rocky Linux for a linux distro (DaVinci Resolve, Nuke etc.). I also was curious if anyone is running this on a laptop and if so how is battery life? Given how flatpaks and snaps can be installed on any linux distro, I can’t imagine why Rocky would not be a viable choice as opposed to Ubuntu for instance?

Yes, there are plenty of people on the forums running it as a desktop/workstation be it on a normal computer or laptop. I wouldn’t expect battery life to be a problem on Rocky Linux or worse than any other Linux distro to be honest.

The easiest way to find out is install it and see for yourself :slight_smile:

Can you clarify a bit more about this. Are you saying there are big commercial software titles out there that only support Rocky as the o/s?

I am daily driving Rocky 9 right now. Just migrated to the Davinci Resolve pre-built distro that had Rocky 8, and then followed a guide to upgrade to Rocky 9 and then fixed a problem building the decklink kernel module

I am coming from Manjaro which has been my main grab since 2018 give or take.
I have 2 other Debian machines, one is a headless server and the other a dual boot windoze10 for 2 games that don’t have proton/wine support (RUST-facepunch, and Battlefield 3/4 with anti-cheat enabled servers). I also run a QubesOS laptop that uses debian guests for everything possible, and also dual boots Debian because qubes doesn’t pass android devices properly for fastboot/adb commands.

I do have many complaints and problems with Rocky 9 right now, and cannot imagine any typical user putting up with the hoops I’ve had to jump to make this work as a daily driver so far. I’m working through them slowly but it’s been a huge hassle, and usually I’ve quit a distro hop by now with this much difficulty, but I want hassel-free support for Resolve Studio and really have been wanting to give a redhat/fedora RPM/yum/dnf based distro a try again, so I’ve been pushing through the challenges as hard as I can.

The biggest problem is the shortage of packages for sure. To make it worse the difficulty to overcome that with flatpaks and snap.d so far has been breaking my brain and where I’d expect most people would give up.

The USB drives are fooling flatpak into thinking I’m attempting to pass my root folders to my sandboxed apps and that is preventing me from launching apps now unless I unmount the drives. The problem is that’s like Local Storage: total: 48.21 TiB used: 24.61 TiB (51.0%) all but 3TiB of that. 2tb SSD is the current home folder which is basically empty and 1tb SSD that has my old manjaro installation that I migrated from. I need to access those USB3.2 DAS hardware RAID-1 drives for my video footage, games, pictures and documents.

Being new / coming back to the yum/dnf package manager I’ve also broken my package management which I’m about to start a new thread for but got side tracked by this thread… haha

Anyway - Can’t speak to battery life for this distro, but I’d agree with @iwalker, it looks the same as any other linux distro, and would be extremely dependent on how/what you install, and how you use and configure your system.


Yeah, specifically DaVinci Resolve is only supported on Rocky Linux. While it has been proven to work on Debian based operating systems (convert the run file to a deb), it is not officially supported.

Interesting, I tried Rocky 9 but I actually downgraded with 8.10. It seems to be a lot more stable for me and I don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon.

Most of the professional Visual Effects and Animation world is (was?) running on CentOS and most studios are migrating to Rocky Linux. The VFX Reference Platform strongly recommends Rocky Linux as the preferred distro for VFX studios.

DaVinci Resolve, Foundry Nuke/Mari/Modo/Katana, Autodesk Maya/Flame, SideFX Houdini (and a bunch of other pro software) list Rocky Linux as their (often only) supported Linux distro. (You can get most of these apps to run on other distros like Ubuntu… but then you’re on your own if you need support regarding install/os issues from your software vendor).

I’ve recently built a Rocky 9.4 box and it seems to be running fine so far for desktop/VFX use once everything is configured… but definitely the desktop experience out of the box is less polished than Ubuntu (or even Fedora). You really have to tweak Rocky to make it a good desktop daily driver.

I’d say the main sticking points:

  • The Anaconda installer is not intuitive AT ALL. It’s probably the worse UI I have seen in years. (“Done” in the top LEFT?!, Press “Done” twice to confirm an error message?!). The latest Ubuntu 24.04 installer looks like science fiction comparatively. :slight_smile:

  • The default proposed partition layout is overkill for a desktop user and the GUI doesn’t make it easy to setup a simple 2 partition layout (i.e. EFI+EXT4 or EFI+XFS without LVM, SWAP etc…)

  • Installing third party drivers is a pain. Need nvidia or broadcom wifi drivers? You’re on your own buddy! Time to Google-fu because the installer/settings app won’t give you a single clue! (Install Nvidia DKMS drivers from the Nvidia repo, install broadcom-wl from RPMFusion non free). The ‘Additional Drivers’ app of Ubuntu handles this much better.

  • The older kernel without recent Nouveau drivers is a huge pain for VFX because we tend to have high-end recent Nvidia cards. The Rocky Workstation Live ISO will fail to boot to graphics on 4060/4070/4080 Nvidia cards. Hopefully you have an Intel or AMD iGPU to fallback on otherwise you get to type commands in a console to install your system. No GUI for you.

  • Unlike Fedora, ZRam is disabled by default. It’s pretty easy to enable but I wish there was a ‘one click’ setting in the settings app somewhere. Same for configuring a swapfile.

  • While Flatpak is installed by default, it would be nice to have the Flathub remote installed by default (or a one-click option in the Software app).

  • Installing the EPEL repository really should be a one-click option in the Software app.

  • Installing common third-party repos (like RPMFusion Free/Non Free) should be a one-click option in the software app.

  • The default wallpapers could be upgraded… The current ones don’t really scream professional digital content creation. (Small detail… of course it takes 2 seconds to change the wallpaper… it’s more about making a good ‘first impression’ to new users).

These issues are just annoyances when you install your system though. Once you figure out all the quirks, intstall a few GNOME extensions like dash-to-panel / just perfection / dash to dock, etc… Rocky is fine and the system should run similarly as any other distro using a similar kernel version and desktop environment.

Flatpak is a good idea for some applications that may not have package equivalents. With that said, repositories like EPEL and rpmfusion (free and non-free) will provide many desktop oriented packages that you may want.

I used to run Enterprise Linux on a desktop a long time ago, and EPEL and rpmfusion were absolutely my go-tos before flatpak.