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I had been using windows my whole life, started using nlite to reduce windows xp, moved on to using ntlite for windows 7, used winreducer for 8, 8.1 and finally 10. No matter how well my wccf file or other config files were tweaked I always had some type of issue slimming down the ISO small enough where I was satisfied and having everything I needed to work properly. I had used linux off and on as a hobbie since the late 1990's and as of two years ago I have completely switched to linux exclusively. I must say that at first when you install your OS and set up everything you need/want it is a tad bit more tedious than windows. That being said, all our computers work flawlessly, have been working flawlessly and I have added multi-function printers, bluetooth devices and storage devices MUCH more easily than I have ever been able to when using a reduced windows install. Additionally I have converted many of my extended family to using linux along with other friends and these people are NOT computer savy. I installed linux, set everything up that they needed and that was that. Recently I just bought a new laptop for my wife and I was shocked to see that with a factory install it had used up 39.5 GB just for a standard windows install; I couldn't believe it. Needless to say I wiped the laptop and installed Arch Linux and everything my wife would need/want on her shiny new powerhouse. After all was said and done I had used up just 6.3 GB. 

Some of the useful packages I have installed are as follows: iwd connman cmst cups cups-pdf gutenprint system-config-printer gtk3-print-backends openvpn openssh mtpfs gvfs-mtp sshfs plasma-desktop dolphin qterminal lximage-qt sddm pulseaudio mousepad chromium bleachbit brasero vlc qbittorrent xarchiver p7zip bzip2 tar unrar unzip xz zip zstd easytag, ocrfeeder gscan2pdf jellyfin

I have also installed wine and lutris for gaming, asunder for ripping cd's to mp3 and youtube-dl so that i may downloaded and convert entire youtube playlists to mp3's automatically in minutes. I have found that using linux has far more useful and usable software packages than all the decades of pirated software I had to search and crack and download and install for windows. The best thing about using linux aside from how well everything has worked (and continued to work) has been everything is free and open sourced. Using Arch I can download packages from the official repository or find aditional packages in the Arch User Repository (AUR). I can access my files from anywhere in the world using SSHFS (securely) and stream any movie/show from my home PC using jellyfin from the other side of the world if I so chose. I could NEVER even imagine doing any of that with windows. I had always kepts windows as secure as possible and never used any type of remote access, I just didn't trust it.

I'm writing this because I am thankful to people like Winterstorm2050 for all his hard work and dedication through the years to give people like me a means to customize and debloat my countless windows installs. I am thankful to all the community help on this site and others that have in the past helped me pinpoint those critical errors that wasted countless hours of my life. The people on this site are intelligent and computer savy enough to dump windows and make the switch to linux. You all are far more capable of switching to linux as a full time OS than the many friends and family members I have converted. I encourage all of you to at least try it out and see what I'm talking about. It's really not nearly as intimidating as you all may think.

I would recommend trying Manjaro or AcoLinux are both are based on Archlinux and use the Arch repositories. Both are extremely easy to get up and running and have a graphical installer. I would also recommend installing the linux-lts kernel as it receives just stability and security updates as opposed to new features as well. I have had NO issues while using the LTS kernel. For any help feel free to reach out to the Arch communities on (download the element chat client and create a matrix account). I wish you all the best whether you choose to continue using windows or take that plunge into the world of linux. take care and thank you all again!

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

hi goyim
 Linux is an exellent operating system
But !!!
A Lot of software of all kind is available for windows and apple
and much less for Linux, that 's really a pitty


descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

Thanks for the reply icy, you ae actually the person that gave me the idea to write this post. You and the other very knowledgable people on this site obviously love IT and are deeply embedded. I understand you may think windows has more software but linux has come light years in just the past 5 years from where it started off. IF there is a windows program you absolutely need to use and it doesn't have a linux equivalent then you simply install wine (sudo pacman -Sy wine) and then run the windows program as if it were running on a linux system. 

You yourself are concerned about windows spyware and the tracking and reporting of installed software titles by microsoft to disable any unauthorized software. Using linux I don't have to worry about anything reporting back to any company because it simply doesn't have any spyware. Reading through your posts is what made me share this info. Your concern about privacy, security and your ability to use the software you want without microsoft recording your every move, THAT is why I wanted to write this. You are clearly computer savy enough that within two months or so you'd be doing things on linux you never thought you'd be able to. But I understand users' hesitance but I'm just here to say if I could have made the switch any on this site can. Happy computing and thanks for inspiring me to share icy, that was all you boss!

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

Hi goyim

I feel very honnored and very flattered thank You
I am glad i am not the only one that is not trusting microsoft
Mayby there are more people interested ??
mayby we could investigate together all the spying & payed software protector in windows
and send the outcome to European paliament & Russian autorities
My belief is that microsoft works together wit US & Cninese goverment     
and that thy are spying onto a lot of companies worldwide,
verything they  need is onto American and Chinese servers


descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

Hi goyim,

For many of us, using Linux is simply not an option, unfortunately. I'm in professional audio, and virtually nothing is coded for Linux. I've seen people ask the developers if they can make a Linux version, and the answer is always the same: basically, no, it's not worth the time. Only a tiny fraction of their customers use it, so why put in the trouble to code, test, de-bug.. (as an aside, many developers are abandoning Mac as well. Especially if the software was originally made for Windows, it's not so easy to just "make" a version for Mac. Typically it ends up being full of bugs, frustrating their customers and giving them a bad reputation. Remember, with very few exceptions these companies are small, often just one guy. So imagine trying to make three versions available when they're realizing that even offering Mac doesn't make sense anymore.) So I'd love to use Linux myself, and even looked into it a few years ago, but the risks are too big - what if one of my critical pieces of software doesn't play nice with WINE? Do I spend time trying to figure out the problem, or give up and try to find something else? And I've always thought that adding extra layers (WINE, JACK..) just so anything works seems like it's defeating the purpose of a more "streamlined" OS... 

That's just my (maybe unique?) perspective anyway, but I suspect it's similar to many people working in other professions (video, graphic design, architecture..) who just can't make the switch for practical reasons. But like you I'm grateful to people like winterstorm and icy who at least make it possible to get the most out of our Windows machines!  WHY NOT LINUX? 1f600

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

I agree with Crack Dog on everything, but it misses icy007's point about Windows telemetry. goyim rightly pointed out that Linux does not have this problem. If Linux is not the way to go for other reasons, the question is how to solve the Windows telemetry problem. Icy tries a radical way of which I fear that it will entail disadvantages with the compatibility.

It would be in the logic of Winreducer to remove the telemetry. But although I activate this
Element Category="Remove - Network" Name="Telemetry" Selected="true" /
%winroot%\system32\diagtrack.dll is still present and thus any telemetry.

I would like to point out that the German Federal Office for Information Secuity (BSI) issued a detailed analysis of Windows telemetry in 2020. Unfortunately, the report is only available in German, but maybe you can translate it with Deepl:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Various ways are described how telemetry can supposedly be completely disabled. It would help us all a lot if winterstorm could add this to winreducer.

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

Absolutely, I would also like to get rid of Telemetry. It is not removed, but still remains. I think Microsoft wants to make it impossible for us to remove that function.

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

I disabled telemetry like described here:

And I deleted %winroot%\system32\diagtrack.dll  afterwards. No issues so far.

I don't know how to verify that no telemetry data is flowing out at all now. I'm afraid that's not all it took to stop MS.

descriptionWHY NOT LINUX? EmptyRe: WHY NOT LINUX?

I have similar thoughts as goyim - in the idea of a transition from MS to Linux. Haven't committed to it as a full time OS yet - but have been testing the various "flavors" or distro of Linux for a while and it definitely has come leaps and bounds from several years ago.  Fortunately for me I don't see any issues from the trade-off of apps that may not be compatible, most can be substituted or else be managed through wine.  I am currently looking to give a media center build a shot with Linux soon and apply it through a long term use, if not permanent.  Then go along from there. And thanks for the tip(s) - I will look into the Archlinux options as well.

Has been quite interesting and challenging over time with MS - many countless edits, tweaks, reducing/building of Windows itself - then too the hardware/program challenges - yet especially in dealing with establishing "true" security mainly by means of removals of embedded invasive elements loaded with telemetry - no doubt there.  Also as icy007 has pointed that out numerous times (appreciated by the way) within his deeper digs into Windows - seems to discover even more within. Linux has a few hurdles of its own but within a learning curve that can be established and move on at least without these same woes to tackle. Plus the HUGE difference in bloatware and storage space ratios are night and day.

Anyway I am up for a break out of the usual routine in the ongoing hurdles within MS - and take the Linux approach in being free of it for a while - get back some steady and stable OS use/confidence altogether really.  A change of pace that is worth it in how things currently stand - if not where headed in time ahead. Who knows - May yield a bit more free time to boot. Ha, more beer time! Very Happy  Yep - another reason to make the switch - can't leave that out.

Always thankful for winterstorm2050's work and the ongoing project as a valuable editing resource - and everyone here altogether with various input and pointers in the pursuits of OS customizing.
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