Windows 11: Dare I say I like it?

I dual-boot Windows 11 with Solus Linux on my primary laptop PC, and I used to do the same on my desktop until something changed, and the OS reported that it needed to be ‘Activated’ (I think I made a mistake when I cleaned out a few old OS listings from my Microsoft account). When I discovered that a license would cost around $200.00(US), I decided that my desktop would do just fine being a Solus box (I originally installed Windows 11 using a Windows 7 product key on that machine, and according to Microsoft, those keys are no longer valid since Windows 7 has reached EOL).

I think Windows 11’s O.K., but I don’t like how all-in Microsoft seems to be with integrating AI into nearly every app they include with the OS, so as of the 2024 fall release, if they do what I think they’ll do, I’ll probably be a Solus only user on all my PCs - even my older Dell laptop that runs Windows 10 now (its CPU isn’t supported by Windows 11).

FWIW, AI isn’t my only reason to dump Windows. I’m just not comfortable with the direction Microsoft has been taking recently. I’ve been seeing hints of the Microsoft of old resurfacing, and I don’t like it any more now than I did then. Fortunately, I have a choice today that I didn’t have earlier in my computing life, but I won’t elaborate because that’s a different topic.

Ernie

2 Likes

I was a Windows user forever (back in the beginning) and still have 2 machines running Windows in a dual boot mode. One is 10 and one is 11. I ran a shop for a non-profit where we refurbished Windows machines and gave them away to social services agencies to give to their customers. I was the person that selected the software we used to setup the machines and make them usable for the people that got them. We were a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher. We gave away over !000 machines in about 8 years. From XP to Win 10. I still keep up with Windows because I help people at my local senior center with problems with their computers running Windows.
I primarily run Mint and all my Mint machines are running 21.3. Both machines running Windows are dual booted with Linux Mint.
If you are new to Windows 10 or 11 you need to realize that Microsoft is monitoring everything you do, and If you are a Home user you are restricted in what you can do with your own machine. If you must use Windows you really should be using PRO and even PRO is being restricted in what you can do.
You should download and run an app called OOSU10 ( O&O ShutUp10++ – Free antispy tool for Windows 10 and 11 (O&O ShutUp10++ – Free antispy tool for Windows 10 and 11)). It will show all the settings that Microsoft uses to monitor your machine and suggest and let you turn off the settings that invade your privacy. I suspect that you will be shocked at the number of settings that are in Windows. You get a hand full when you set up the machine for the first time and there are others that are easy to find, but these are a small fraction of the total. There are many other issues I could point out, but that would make this post rather large.

5 Likes

That is important, and new (to me) information.
It puts Windows in the same category as Google.
Use but with caution.

2 Likes

And what is the point!!! Have not had MS or the FBI kicking my door down to retrieve any of my computers and what data they have they can keep.
If one buys into this theory, then just do a Hillary Clinton and use a ballbat!!! MS gathers no more data than does Linux

Linux distros like Debian gather usage info if you tick the box to let them when you install. Not sure if you can alter it afterwards.

It depends what you keep on your computer. There is nothing on mine that I would care about.

OH!!! Better get all that black-web data off, pronto!!!

1 Like

Pretty much the same for me… I wouldn’t even care if they spotted the completely legal “risqué” content with lots of flesh toned moving images and still imagery :smiley:

1 Like

Two items:
First, I should have included in my previous post that if you install OOSU10 you need to run it every time you install a system update from Microsoft as these updates can and do reset settings that were set by OOSU10 and when you run it, it will provide a list of changes that were made and let you restore them to what they were before the update. You should occasionally check OOSU10 for updates as it is updated to keep up with Microsoft settings changes.
Second, My data is MY data and if anyone is going to make money off of it it should be me.
Linux distributions do not collect data on users use of their machines. Ubuntu tried that and although it was only on what apps users were downloading from the repositories the outcry put an end to that.
Why would it be that Microsoft collects data and Linux doesn’t? Microsoft’s business model is to monetize your use of Windows, buy selling your data and presenting adds, that they get paid for, to users to entice them spend money. Their business model is the same as Google’s. The Linux business model could be described as providing a computer OS that is open source that can be examined and modified by the user to allow the user to see actually how their data is used. Data related to errors are forwarded to the maintainers of a distribution (distro) only if the user allows it. If a bug is found by a user it gets reported to the maintainers by the user. There are approximately 260 distros. The communities of people that maintain a distro do not get paid for their work related to the distro.
Let’s take a look at Linux Mint as an example. It has a kernel and a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The kernel is updated and maintained by a different group that the GUI. If two systems are running kernel 6.0.1 then they are using the same kernels except for some peripheral modules that might me installed (i.e. one system has Bluetooth dongle and the other doesn’t). The Mint group that maintains the GUI actually provides multiple versions for the user to select from such as Mate and Cinnamon. They also decide what applications are installed with the distro. I would define Linux Mint as a kind of generic easy to use distro designed to give the average user a system that will have all the applications a wide segment of users need. Additional applications can be easily added if needed. Again the people that maintain the Mint distro don’t get paid for their work. If you could monetize this distro how would compensate the people that volunteer to maintain it. There is no corporate structure to pay employees or do any of the money/tax management things a business has to do.
Microsoft’s position is my data is their data and Linux’s position is my data is my data.

2 Likes

OK - not Windows 11 - but Server 2022…

Going to hijack this thread rather than start a new one to rant :smiley:

I’ve installed it 3 times (Svr 2022 in VirtualBox) - what I’m trying to do is setup an Active Directory DC (domain controller)… But even when I setup a new tree - it won’t run 'cause it’s not activated - pezzo di merda!

Why I hear you ask? Because I really need to get my head around SSSD (System Security Services Daemon) - because it invariably almost always never works when I try to get it working from scratch on garbage like RHEL 8 and 9 servers (I really kinda hate them - would prefer a Ubuntu or a Debian for a server O/S).

I managed it once on RHEL7, and once on Ubuntu 18 (server) - in other environments. In both cases, once I got it working - I created VMware (vSphere / vCenter / ESX) templates to deploy new servers from. In both cases, I did so many things, I don’t actually know for sure, what I did to make it work - it just worked.

It’s one of those things that are so fiddly - when it works it seems like black magic (and you don’t know how you got it to work in the first place)… And when it doesn’t, “bad juju” (I used to use that analogy for Bluetooth on Linux too - but - I must say BlueTooth on Linux - so long has you have a decent chipset [e.g. Intel and not that RealTek garbage] is vastly better than it was say 5-10 years ago!).

I think it’s all the things like pam.d and oddjobd that need to be tweaked - mostly pam.d.

The guides at Red Hat are zero use - they just assume (e.g. here Chapter 1. Connecting RHEL systems directly to AD using SSSD Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 | Red Hat Customer Portal) :

update-crypto-policies --set DEFAULT:AD-SUPPORT
then :
yum install samba-common-tools realmd oddjob oddjob-mkhomedir sssd adcli krb5-workstation
then :

realm discover domain.org
realm join domain.org

In my case it might be :

realm join -U myDomainAdminAccount domain.org

(and the account I’m using is a Domain Admin)

In my recent experience, customer was DEMANDING AD integration for a pair of consultants to some RHEL 8 virtual servers I’d stood up (and to make matters worse, there’s at least 3 other companies, besides the customer itself in the mix, and my company didn’t do the detailed design and that design made zero mention of AD integration - something that has NEVER been done (AFAIK) at this customer. The no doubt, high paid “architect” of the detailed design didn’t even include any of the networking information - just IP address (no DNS information, no gateway, no netmask).

So I don’t even know if the pre-requisites have even been done in AD to allow this :

Prerequisites

  • You are logged into AD as a user who can edit group policies.
  • The Group Policy Management Console is installed on the computer.

Procedure

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Right-click Default Domain Policy, and select Edit. The Group Policy Management Editor opens.
  3. Navigate to Computer ConfigurationPoliciesWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsLocal PoliciesSecurity Options.
  4. Double-click the Network security: Configure encryption types allowed for Kerberos policy.
  5. Select AES256_HMAC_SHA1 and, optionally, Future encryption types.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the Group Policy Management Editor.
  8. Repeat the steps for the Default Domain Controller Policy.
  9. Wait until the Windows domain controllers (DC) applied the group policy automatically. Alternatively, to apply the GPO manually on a DC, enter the following command using an account that has administrator permissions:

C:\> **gpupdate /force /target:computer**

And they had me busting my balls trying to get this done ASAP super urgent - and then I find out by accident - two of the VMs are in the DMZ and “there is NO AD in the DMZ!” Faahk! - civil servants and numpty “management consultants”…

Seriously - worst environment and customer I’ve worked with in 10+ years or so…

I agree SSSD is a bit fiddly and there are tweaks to be made in pam.d and oddjob.

I got this all to work like I wanted under Ubuntu. Then had to try the same thing in Alma. It took some fiddling, predictably.

This was all in AWS with W2016 AD servers.

1 Like

That’s in Chris Titus’s Script and it keeps Microsoft’s evil eyes off of me. Wish they’d make Windows without all the bloat, it would be a good OS to use, but Microsoft always wanted to have ultimate power over their users.

1 Like

Agree - that Windows XP “Stripped to the Bone” ISO image with SP3 worked for me for years… i.e. back when I dual booted…

Imagine a stripped to the bone Win10 or 11 - with WSL… and a decent terminal app for BOTH PowerShell and WSL (that new MS Terminal app is an improvement - but still needs refinement - i.e. its still not on a par with MacOS iTerm, iTerm2, Gnome Terminal or MobaXterm [those are the main terminal emulators I use] - can’t comment on all the others like Konsole or Tabby or Guake).

1 Like

I have the 14" version of the same computer, though with the 5500u processor,20Gb of ram, and 1TB SSD. I don’t hate W11, in fact I have it in a VM for those rare occasions when I may need it. I run Fedora 39 on it and like you the only thing that doesn’t work is the fingerprint reader. It’s a great laptop with plenty of power, runs Linux phenomenally, and is a steal for the price!

2 Likes

Could you clarify which computer model?
There were a couple of models mentioned in this topic

Thanks for joining in
Regards
Neville

I have the 14" Lenovo IdeaPad 3 with the AMD 5500u CPU.

3 Likes

And none of them are as comfortable as XFCE or LXQT.

1 Like

I love ThinkPads. About 10-12 years ago, I wiped a then decade old ThinkPad with Xubuntu, installed Skype, and added a cheap webcam for a friend of mine to video chat with his grandkids. This was before everyone had FaceTime/Facebook Messenger on every device. It worked well for a few years before he upgraded to an iPhone and used that.

I agree this machine was a steal. I jumped all over it like a fat kid on cake. :grin: So far, this IdeaPad seems to be pretty sturdy. I have big heavy hands that usually flex laptop keyboards. There’s no sign of flex on this KB. The key throw is pretty decent. Key travel is a little short but not too hard getting used to.

Having a backlit keyboard is great too. After buying a gaming keyboard for my desktop to get backlighting I won’t buy a laptop or standalone keyboard without backlighting.

My only regret is I didn’t notice the non-user replaceable battery. Well, it may be replaceable after unscrewing the bottom casing. I haven’t looked into yet, but it certainly won’t be as easy as the old unlock and slide out laptop batteries.

1 Like

I set Edge as default across the board (Windows 10, 11, Linux, iOS, and Android). I still use Firefox and Vivaldi when I need to login to the same sites with different accounts.

Edge’s rip off of Firefox’s Multi Account containers misses the mark as it doesn’t separate cookies between containers making it useless for logging into 2 or 3 different Google accounts, etc.

Bing isn’t too bad. I prefer it to Google for some searches, but I wound up setting Google as my default search engine.

I use Safari from time to time on my iPad but they missed the mark on extensions. They do have extensions, but it seems very few people develop for it. Perhaps if they brough Safari back to Windows it would be more popular.

Me too. Except for iOS, because my fingers burst into flame if I touch anything made by Apple. :wink:

Anything but Google for me. It’s a last resort and seldom do I need to resort to it.

DuckDuckGo makes a dandy browser that works in IOS, Windows, and Android, so I use it on my phone. Sure wish they’d port it to Linux.

1 Like