Sunday, August 30, 2015

Switching Linux Mint on Thinkpad T61p

I've been wanting to try and switch to Linux full-time on my home desktop/laptop machines for a while, and the amount of spyware / tracking / report back in Windows 10 is pushing me to make a real effort this year.  So, I'm taking my old Thinkpad T61p and putting Linux Mint 17.2 on it.  My requirements were:

  • Full disk encryption
  • Virtualization for a Win7 or Win10 guest
  • Running as much as possible inside of Linux
  • 64bit OS
A lot of my day-to-day software is already multi-platform or open-source.  For instance:
  • Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome for web browsing
  • Mozilla Thunderbird for email
  • SVN or git for version control
  • GPG for encryption
  • Pidgin for instant messaging and IRC
  • Audacity, Handbrake, VLC for multimedia work
  • About half of my Steam games are Linux / SteamOS
  • OpenVPN
  • pgAdmin III
  • Synergy
The troublesome applications will be:
  • Microsoft Office is iffy under WINE
  • Microsoft Access does not run under WINE
  • Skype might be a problem
  • ODBC connections for use with MSAccess
  • The half of my Steam games that are not cross-platform
  • Cisco AnyConnect VPN client for access to my virtual servers
Because I'm doing this on my old laptop (until the T550p comes out later this year), I'm not too worried about video games that won't run under Steam for Linux.  The only games that this old Core2Duo system will support are the lighterweight / older games that don't need much CPU or video graphics performance.

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