My current switch from Microsoft to Linux, de-googling my life and what it takes.


Posts: 5,120   +6,746
I plan on turning this into more of an article format later, but for now this going to read as a rough draft. The intention of this article is explain what it takes to move over EVERYTHING from Microsoft and Google into Open Source and privacy centric software.

For last few years I have been getting angrier and angrier at Google, Microsoft, Samsung and even Apple. It really started with Windows 10. At first I thought Windows 10 was great but even though I "own" a license but I don't feel I really own my computer when I run it. I say this because I have very little control over updates and security updates often come with forced "features" I don't want. I can't stand the advertising on the start menu, the constant switching of the locations of options in "control panel" and now the tracking of user data. I'm aware there are work arounds for this, often fairly simple ones, but that isn't the point. This lead to 2 things. 1) me working to move to Linux and 2) me starting to noticed the same problems with android on my phone. It's my computer and people shouldn't tell how I can use it.

Lets start with my move to Linux because that's where I started to see how much control these people really had over our lives. Not only that, but how difficult they make it to move away from their software eco systems. It was 2017 when I switched to Linux Mint. I had been using Linux since the early 2000's bust mostly as a novelty. I'd try out a distro for a few days and move back to Windows. Linux Mint was ideal for me as a new user determined to be a 24/7 Linux user and I still use it to this day. And I successfully moved to it for a few months learning a good bit of about Bash and VM's in the process. My goal was to run Windows 10 in a VM so I didn't have to dual boot.

At the time Linux gaming was not even close to what it is today so down the rabbit hole I went. I learned about PCI-e passthrough and how I could give a VM direct access to GPU resources with very little impact to performance. This would solve the dual boot problem and my Windows problem. I could apply all those pain in the ARSE fixes to Windows 10, have control over how it connects to the network through a hypervisor and do weekly image backups to my NAS just incase Windows tried to do something stupid, I had multiple restore points. Sounds great, right? Well let me tell you something, F*** YOU NVIDIA!

I had a 1070ti at the time, PCI-e passthrough was only supported on quadro series cards at the time. There were no opensource drivers for nVidia GPUs and their Linux drivers were trash. It is my understanding that this is changing, PCI-e passthrough is required for external GPUs used by Thunderblot and USB 4.20.69. can we just have a naming scheme that makes sense? Please? But, I digress. PCI-e passthrough is still not supported on consumer nVidia GPUs in Linux. Guess I'll continue to dual boot because around this time Valves Proton support on steam really started to take off and do well. Enough of the games I played ran really well in proton but in some cases, nVidia drivers would cause crashes or artifacts that made some games unplayable. Well, so be it, I'm an adult and I don't really game very much anymore anyway.
The real problems started when Google removed google services like password managers for browsers other than Chrome. I had no idea how dependent I was on google services until this change. I looked at my phone, got pissed and then went, "well, I guess I have to switch Windows so I can use Chrome for Google services"

This wouldn't have been a major issue but I use my phone extensively for work. We had a basic custom app that only ran on Android and iOS, had to be signed through the app store and I couldn't side load anything on my phone as I had a samsung. Currently I have an S21+. Now, I love the hardware on this thing but the same anger I had towards windows 10 I started to have towards Android. I cannot jailbreak this phone and everytime I use it I'm constantly reminded of how I don't own it. A recent update was the absolute last straw with devices I can't own and proprietary Android OS's

Okay, so what do you plan to do about it?
Well, I'm ditching Samsung and buying a Google Pixel so I can run GrapheneOS. Oh, the irony. I'm buying a google phone so I can de-google my life with to run a custom ROM. So how difficult is it to de-google your life? Well, actually very easy. Having to move back to Windows I decided to find a Linux replacement for everything. This started with the browser, I had to replace chrome and I needed something to act as a password manager, this was the largest thing google held over my head, I needed a password manager that would would run in Windows, Linux and Graphene OS. I decided to give Firefox a try. I use to hate it because it was slow and always went with chrome. I installed Firefox and, to my surprise, it imported all my password information to an account and linked it to my Linux and android devices within just a few minutes. Seconds on my phone, all I had to do was scan a QR code.

With that out of the way, I use AutoCAD for work and was provided a license by my employer. It's not Linux compatible. Some people say they've gotten it to work, I haven't been able to. Well, as it turns out, many of the engineers actually prefer FreeCAD because they don't have to worry about licenses across multiple computers. Our Company provides 1 license per person and many of the Engineers I work with have multiple computers in their house. If you're anything like me, I have 7 computers in my house and if you consider all the VMs I run in my server room, I have 23 operating systems running. Well many of the Engineers are nerds like me so everything they do they do in FreeCAD. Problem solved.

So what about my Personal software? Well I have a copy of CS6 I've been holding onto for dear life because F*** YOU ADOBE, I WILL NOT SUBSCRIBE TO CREATIVE CLOUD! I'm into photography but also do some light video editing. Well, it turns out the Davinci Resolve is free and linux compatible. It's a lot easier to use than the built in CS6 video editor. I'm actually pretty mad I haven't switched to it before because of HOW MUCH BETTER it is. That was solved. I already had some experience with GIMP because I tried switching over YEARS before I had a Photoshop License. Took me a few weeks to get as good with GIMP as I was with photoshop but that's mostly because of re-learning hot keys and having to go through menu's to find said hot keys. I still hit a CS6 hotkey from time to Time. Then I found Dark Table as a free alternative to light room which I'd argue is better and more feature rich. So With these concerns out of the way, what's my next move?

I bought a 6700XT and so far, the driver support has been fantastic in Linux. I'm sure there is a performance difference in games but I certainly don't notice it. Recently I've been playing CP2077 "natively" using Steam/Proton. Nearly everygame I play I can play on Linux without a noticable performance hit. Running the CP2077 benchmark in Windows and Linux I'm getting about a 3% reduction in performance. I don't really care about 3%.

So for the games I play, This is essentially my Linux results

EvE Online - zero issues
AOE2 Definitive edition - Microsoft wont let me connect to their multiplay servers on Linux because DRM. I hate you....
Elder Scrolls Online - It took some playing around with, but I managed to get it to work, without issue, using Proton 6.3-8 through steam and all addons work, I even got Minion, The mod manager for ESO, to work. No issues
All Valve Source games work - No issues with CS:GO, Alienswarm or Left for Dead 2.
ARK - it "works" but there are graphical artifacts and some C2D'S, but it's play able. To be fair, that game has never been known for it's stability
RuneLite for OSRS - Most addons work, it's really just the graphical addons that don't work. I honestly like the retro look of OSRS but I know the GPU support and graphical upgrades are important to people so it is something to consider.
GTAV - Uhm, it "runs" but I get a 90% reduction in performance and online play is impossible because DRM.
Witcher 3 - Works fine running on proton through steam, no noticable performance issues.

If there are any games you'd like me to test post in the comments or message me directly
GAMING Conclusion
Enough of the games that I play work in Linux that I'm not really in any rush to get back to working on PCI-e Passthrough in a VM. I did buy an AMD card because it is support PCI-e PT is supported on their consumer cards and their Linux drivers are orders of magnitude better than nVidia's. I'm sure many of you who are interested in moving away from Windows and Google want to run PCI-e PT in a VM. I will update this later with my results. I've spent the last week moving everything over to Linux from Windows 10 and I'm want to play CP2077 on Linux. I know it might be Gimmicky for me but it really feels like an accomplishment. I want to have atleast a basic guide on running Windows 10 in a VM with PCI-e PT using an AMD card by Christmas. I will post it here when I'm done

This is not complete, I will be editing, adding to and updating this over the next couple of weeks. Please post in the comments anything you'd like me to add, questions or just general suggestions on how to make this better. Also, I'd very much appreciate it if you pointed out Grammatical errors and Type-Os. I will also be adding screenshots and images over time but I already spent a few hours writing so so I will come back to it in a day or two.
In the future I will be adding what it's like switching from Android to GrapheneOS, VM content, AMD Driver experiences, general issues you might find and how less tech-savvy people can solve those problems
Last edited:


Posts: 50   +4
Thanks for this, this is a really informative post for other people also looking to move to Linux and/or GrapheneOS. I look forward to any updates on the Android migration :)


Posts: 5,120   +6,746
Thanks for this, this is a really informative post for other people also looking to move to Linux and/or GrapheneOS. I look forward to any updates on the Android migration :)
Thank you, I've been busy with real life so I had to put this on hold. I look forward to finding time to even edit it. It is a work in progress and I hope it helps anyone that reads it even if this rough draft gives sandpaper a run for its money