I got my Framework laptop three months ago. I am based in Switzerland but bought the laptop in Germany and brought it to Switzerland myself with a German keyboard. Framework support was not happy about that but I decided to proceed anyway. But of course there was a snag with the invoice as already discussed there: How to get an invoice?
Anyway, the laptop works!
I configured the keyboard as Swiss-German and it works well because my muscle memory is strong. It doesn’t matter that not all key labels are right (German keyboard layout).
I installed Arch Linux on my laptop and use swaywm as my window manager. Yesterday I configured the twelve F-keys to be bound to a workspace each but with different scales. I am getting old and sometimes I would like to browse without my reading glasses. I let swaywm scale like Retina (scale 2), this gives nice big, crisp and easy to read texts. For development I use scale 1, this gives a very dense development environment, but it is easy for me with reading glasses. I found correcting sunglasses the best and even use them the night. My eyes feel rested.
I had a six years old Macbook Air before.
Framework laptop pros:
With Linux a lot more freedom in configuring
One thing I am especially proud of: I can tinker with BIOS without shutting down thanks to hibernation. Just hibernate, then press F2, configure and un-hibernate and continue.
This said, there are some downsides. But I knew that anyway:
Touchpad is a bit off even after enabling kinetic scrolling for Firefox ([SOLVED] Kinetic Scrolling on Linux?), still trying to find a way to lower touchpad sensitivity, sometimes I click even before touching the pad, and also the cursor sometimes jumps when doing precise pointing, but this is a different subject
Some other quirky behavior, for example Signal scales texts badly (scale 2, however I see unneccessary blurring)
@Peter_Kropf1 strangers don’t let strangers Manjaro, try EndevourOS instead. EndeavourOS is essentially Archlinux + Theming nothing else. Manjaro is Archlinux + Delayed Updates (which actually cause breakages) + Poor Security Practices + Snaps + whatever they want to add without telling you. Once upon a time over 5 years ago it was a good distro, now it is just a semi commercial vehicle, with no real community.
@nadb - I switched from Pop!_OS to Manjaro after some hassles with an upgrade. So far so good, fingers crossed. I’ll take a look at EndeavourOS. I have Manjaro set up with Gnome and Wayland. Getting things configured with an encrypted drive, encrypted swap, hibernation, a partition for VM images, and so on was enough of a hassle that I’m not in a rush to migrate. I did just set up thermald and dptfxtract based on your comments in the 3.06 bios thread, so thank you for that. I’m always learning something new here. Have a great day.
For what it is worth, I use Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on mine. If my wife wanted Linux on her FW, it is what I would give her. To date, it is the distro with the least issues for the user to solve. While I enjoy the challenges sometimes, I’m also using my computer to get work down. So I appreciate this more than others with their differing use cases.
That said I think Gnome is probably going to work best for a Chromebook user, in that all of the DEs are going to have a learning curve, as there isn’t a DE that I aware of that is like Chrome OS.
All depends on the wife, no? My own gf is happy in Linux because it’s the best system for her to work on code targeting Linux infrastructure (and avoids the horrors of Windows, which she’s force to live with at work)…
She used Manjaro earlier, but has now switched to Pop because Manjaro’s kernel management took her system for a ride. (Basically: system updates are fine, until you’ve forgotten to change from an old Kernel because that’s separate, and suddenly the system fails to boot.)
If talking about a distro for a non-techy person I would probably suggest Pop. Ubuntu, as mentioned by 2disbetter, is probably also a good choice. (I just wish they’d calm down with having packages installed with apt sneakily be snaps. But that’s just my own neckbeard worries.) Things work out-of-the-box, UX in default (Gnome) DE is very good and doesn’t rely on you “knowing things”.
Also agree with 2disbetter about Gnome for a Chromebook user. It’s great for everyone, really, though on laptops I prefer my trusty BSPWM, mainly because I just can’t bring myself to like touchpads. (But my Arch gaming desktop uses Gnome, since there I have a mouse.) If nothing else, i find that Gnome on Linux is the absolute best and most reliable in handling Bluetooth among all OSes I’ve tried (Windows on previous gaming desktop, Mac on work laptop, and obviously my OpenBSD install doesn’t support it at all). A DE/OS combo that actually behaves well with Bluetooth is some sort of achievement.
The one worry could be RAM usage in Gnome, if a system is starved of that resource. But it’s usually quite doable to bring it down to near XFCE4-levels of RAM usage, just look through the relevant package group (or equivalent on non-Arch systems) and find all the various social media daemons and so on that you might not be using - and remove them. Manual intervention from someone that knows what they’re doing - but at least only a one-time operation, assuming the Distro doesn’t go reinstalling things you have removed on upgrades.
I decided to fire up gnome-boxes and test EndeavourOS with Gnome.
Some keys of her Asus Chromebook failed. She admitted to some drops of coffee. Now she is using a USB keyboard with her Chromebook but it’s a hassle. We will get an used Windows laptop soon. The next laptop after that will be a Framework one, however only if Switzerland is officially supported. My Framework laptop is a German one. I ordered it to an address in Germany then fetched it myself. This worked out to be fine but my wife would love a Swiss-German keyboard layout.
My wife is happy with EndeavourOS and Gnome, and so I am. Thank you for the suggestion.
We got an used Windows laptop. When I was told that I couldn’t add a different user, I immediately booted EndeavourOS and ruthlessly formatted Windows away. That was very satisfying. Two hours later my wife had a laptop she could use.
But this laptop is not really great. We impatiently await the Swiss edition of the Framework laptop.