Slimbook Titan, Kubuntu, applications, games

Updated: March 15, 2023

OK, here we are, at the start of the third article in my Slimbook Titan series. Just recently, I received the namesake laptop, and promptly (well, sort of) configured it for day-to-day use, with Kubuntu 22.04 as the operating system of choice. The things hadn't gone amazingly well early on, but so far, the results are quite decent.

In the first article, we talked about the laptop spec and ergonomics. In the second, I focused on the installation and setup, hardware compatibility and such. Now, we will examine the software side of the experience. After all, an operating system is only as good as its everyday usability. My primary driver for buying and using this hefty machine is to prepare myself for the inevitable switch away from Windows, sometime in the future. To that end, everything must pop pop pop. Everything must be super-green. Now, let's talk.



I was able to achieve quite a bit. To wit:

Firefox extensions button

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of skypeforlinux:
skypeforlinux depends on gnome-keyring; however:
Package gnome-keyring is not installed.

Kerkythea setup KompoZer icon

Application annoyances

There were some, yes. Surprisingly, not so much on the extras side. I mentioned in the previous article Kate losing its sidebar if you use the default session to save your work, and GwenView is nude of menus and toolbars. The Steam UI is a bit small, and you can't enlarge it. Other than that, things were largely okay. But we will talk about some other application niggles and issues in a bunch of fresh articles in the coming weeks. Some of these warrant their own tutorial, believe it.

But in the end ...

By and large, I was able to accomplish most of the tasks on my Windows migration software checklist. And much sooner than I expected. There are still some tiny rough edges here and there, and I'd like to test a few more programs. But overall, solid progress.

Category Windows Linux compatibility Current status
3D design Blender
Browser Firefox Y Old profile reused, 100%
Data backup Replicator N WIP
Emulation DOSBox Y 100%
Encryption TrueCrypt
Y 100%
FTP client FileZilla
Native alternatives available
Gaming Steam Y WIP (see below)
Image suite GIMP Y 100%
Image viewer IrfanView WINE 100%
Mail client Thunderbird Y Old profile reused, 100%
Media player VLC Y 100%
Office suite Microsoft Office
Unknown for now
PDF software Foxit Reader Unknown 90% compatibility
Full screen UI artifacts
Windowed mode works 100%
System imaging Acronis True Image N CloneZilla
Text editor Notepad++ Works with WINE 100%
Text processor LyX Y 100%
Virtualization VirtualBox Y 100%
Y 100%
VoIP Skype Y 50%, camera does not work
WYSIWYG editor KompoZer Y 100%

Games, games, games!

Super critical. After all, the ONLY two things truly blocking me from going Linux 100% right now are Windows games and Microsoft Office support. So I will focus a huge deal on gaming in the coming weeks and months and subsequent articles. For now, I wanted to give you a brief overview of what I've accomplished so far.

The Steam Proton support is getting better, every day. Amazing progress. If you look at my article about the state of this technology from two years back, you will see there's a steady, constant improvement. It's not just the fabulous, legendary GTA: Vice City, which I got to run again, it's the whole range of other titles. Me, happy. Speaking of Vice City, I will write a wee tutorial, showing how to import old game saves into this brand new Linux Proton setup, after having converting them to the new Steam format, that is. Soon, soon.

GTA: Vice City thumbnail

GTA: Vice City works

Do not forget to mark "widescreen" in the options, otherwise the game will look stretched.

Another gem, Wreckfest. Works like a charm. The launcher came up, I was able to select the right resolution and detail level, and the game started with all of my settings and options. I then tried a couple of races, and things were spiffy. We're talking full 165 FPS, no stutter, no problems. The GPU didn't scream or overhead. Very elegant.


Wreckfest, photo

I have also began the ArmA 3 setup. It will take a while, as the game, with all its DLCs and mods weighs at about 110 GB for me, plus there's roughly 10GB worth of maps that need to be ported over from a Windows machine, worth ten years of playing. Again, a critical game for me. Should be an interesting experiment.

ArmA3, experimental

And there will be many more, of course. 'Tis but a teaser.


Well, there you go. Looking at my own table, I'm almost done. There's a lot more work to do, of course, but the basics are covered. Now, I will focus on the games, and data backups. As you may have noticed, I've not yet even formatted the second NVMe inside the Titan. I'm still contemplating the best option there.

Then, once that's sorted, I'll need to figure out the best data layout, best data backup mount points, do some testing with Rsync and Timeshift, play with disk encryption. In parallel, I'll keep on burning my bandwidth, set up a dozen or so Windows-only titles through Proton, and see whether I can enjoy a good and seamless gaming experience on my Linux machine. So far, the results are extremely promising. Stay tuned for more.


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