I wanted to upgrade to Linux Mint 17.1 because of the long term support. But when I did there was a regression bug and my laptop wouldn't shutdown properly. I took it as a sign that I should move on to a different distro. After all, I'm all for new experiences and trying something new.
As I was searching for a distro... I had a vague idea of what I wanted. I definitely wanted a distro that shipped with KDE because KDE is the ultimate desktop environment. I left Ubuntu after using it for 5 years when they decided to introduce Unity. Then I started using Mint and stumbled upon KDE and my mind was blown. KDE is just so amazing. It's quite magical what you can do with just your keyboard.
I initially wanted to stick to a debian based distribution because deb files are widely available and you can easily install 3rd party programs by downloading a precompiled deb. But then... I was tired of having to constantly upgrade my operating system. Maybe it was time for me to take the leap of faith into a rolling distribution.
After much searching I decided on either Korora which is based on Gentoo or KaOS which is based on Arch. I tried out Korora first because the website looked slightly more polished and I think it would be an easier user experience. The installer was broken because I think the 32 bit flag was hard-coded. =_=. Well, time to move on and try out KaOS.
The KaOS install went smoothly. Everything worked out of the box - wifi, touchpad, hdmi. I then went to install Synergy. Synergy is probably my most used software. It lets you share a keyboard and mouse between multiple computers as long as they use the same wifi. A software based KVM solution that is magical. And it works by joining your screens together seamlessly. So I use the same mouse to control my Windows desktop and my Linux notebook.
As I go to download synergy. There isn't a prebuilt file since arch... linux is for intermediate to advanced users with a focus on customization. Blargh. So I start reading the notes on how to compile and install the program. It's actually quite simply, you just gotta run a few commands. I try to run the build command... there's no cmake installed. Sigh. Well, time to go and get cmake. The built in package manager was broken and I couldn't install cmake. Actually... it wasn't broken but I didn't know how to use it properly at this point because the UI/UX is poorly designed.
So I browse the internet and download cmake from the official website. Once again, there is no deb and I gotta compile cmake myself. It's only a couple of commands and everything goes smoothly. Life is good. After cmake is installed... I build synergy and it magically works. Holy fucking shit. I'm a linux badass now. lol.
Synergy gets compiled to the /bin of the source code. And you're supposed to put it into the proper location. The funny thing is... after all my years of using Linux I still don't know where compiled binaries go. It's fucking black magic to me. There is /bin and there is /usr/bin. I decided to just put it into /usr/bin. After moving the program there... and adding synergy to my startup programs. I reboot to see if everything is working.
After a reboot... I notice that there are two synergies running. WTF!? That's weird... does everything in /usr/bin get run on startup? Is it because I moved it to /usr/bin so it gets run on start up in addition to the autostart that I added it to? So I move synergy from /usr/bin to /bin. There's *still* a dupe. WTF?! I should've looked up what actually happens instead of just trying shit out. Oh well. Turns out KDE remembers all your running programs and automagically restarts them on boot / shutdown. So, no need for autostart of synergy as long as it was previously running. Boom.
I now have a fully functioning arch linux distro. It took me awhile to figure out how to update the thing because pacman or octopi was not that intuitive to use. And then when I tried to do an upgrade there was a conflict. I decided to YOLO and just use -Syu --force which is generally frowned upon. I love to use --force when available... because star wars?
I'm all synced and updated to the latest repo and life is good now. I see myself using arch / gentoo for the long term because I think it's good to learn more in depth about the linux operating system and because I've always wanted to be able to put 'compiled my own linux kernel' on my resume.
tl;dr - moved from linux mint to an arch distro called KaOS and compiled synergy from source. i feel badass