Switching from Mint or MX Linux to Pinebook Pro
#1
Hi everyone, my first thread ... whoowhoo ...  Big Grin

Switching from Winblows after 18 years to Linux in 2009, I've been utilizing primarily Linux Mint with the XFCE Desktop as well as MX Linux, also with the XFCE Desktop. Both of these more or less based on Debian, MX Linux moreso than Mint. I use the terminal when I have to, feel perfectly comfortable with it, but really prefer to just point 'n' click as much as possible.

Now I'm seriously considering making a switch from my current Linux over to the upcoming PINEBOOK Pro. My concern of course being whether or not such a switch is even possible since I'm a hobby photographer who uses Gimp almost daily (with reduced image sizes below 2000 px width per image), as well as LibreOffice / OpenOffice (since 2003), Komodo Edit (not IDE) for Webpage stuff, and Thunderbird for all of my email accounts (for the past 15 years or so). There's a ton of other software that I utilize as well, but nothing that I couldn't easily switch away from. The ones that I just listed are really important to me. I'm not a gamer, could care less about all of the gaming junk, but I am seriously hooked on the XFCE desktop environment (Mate is alright too, but I prefer XFCE).

So if I were to get a PINEBOOK Pro, how difficult would it be for me to continue using those mentioned items that I really don't want to do without (Gimp, LibreOffice, Komodo Edit, Thunderbird, XFCE Desktop) ??? Are these already available within the ARM architecture? Is it difficult or even possible to port current Linux apps such as the ones mentioned, over to a PINEBOOK Pro Linux Laptop?
Do ARM based versions of Linux also have Software/Package managers with click to install apps?
Is it possible to utilize 2TB external drives on the PINEBOOK Pro USB ports?
I would sincerely appreciate some helpful input on these questions. Thank you, everyone.

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#2
Almost all the software you want is available and will work just fine on the Pinebook Pro, including XFCE or MATE. The only exception is Komodo Edit, which seems to be only available on x86. Most of the other software you may want also has a strong chance of being available too, assuming it's open source. The Linux ecosystem on ARM(64) is pretty healthy at this point. I'm not aware of Linux Mint builds for the Pinebook (Pro), but Debian, Ubuntu, and several others are available so I'm sure you could find something which would satisfy you. They all work the same as they do on x86, package manager and all.

Your USB external drives should work just fine too. Smile
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#3
Wow, that sounds really great. Will the PINEBOOK Pro be as functional as any othern "Non-ARM" laptop by being able to connect an external LED display, multiple drives with a powered USB hub, and the ability to simply remove & store the battery when it's not needed i.e. when the user wants to run the laptop as much as possible on the powered cable connection? We have our own home office, so our laptops almost never leave the house.

I'm asking because my wife and I switched to laptops for our computing needs quire a few years ago. But we do attach external devices to them such as display, keyboard, and mouse, as well as primary & back disks via USB. Our displays usually have VGA or HDMI connectors on them. Will the PINEBOOK Pro be able to handle all of that?
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#4
(07-08-2019, 07:26 AM)LinWinux Wrote: Wow, that sounds really great. Will the PINEBOOK Pro be as functional as any othern "Non-ARM" laptop by being able to connect an external LED display, multiple drives with a powered USB hub, and the ability to simply remove & store the battery when it's not needed i.e. when the user wants to run the laptop as much as possible on the powered cable connection? We have our own home office, so our laptops almost never leave the house.

I'm asking because my wife and I switched to laptops for our computing needs quire a few years ago. But we do attach external devices to them such as display, keyboard, and mouse, as well as primary & back disks via USB. Our displays usually have VGA or HDMI connectors on them. Will the PINEBOOK Pro be able to handle all of that?

External display -- The Pinebook Pro can do Displayport out via the USB-C port. There is no HDMI or VGA. If you really need to use those, adapters exist.

Drives on powered USB hub -- no issue, should work just like any other laptop.

Battery -- the battery is not designed to be removable, and to do so requires taking the entire bottom panel of the laptop off and carefully peeling the battery off double-sided tape. I would not recommend doing so.
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Don't plug 12V into a Rock64 -- ask me how I know
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