Using Clear Linux As A Desktop Linux Distribution - It Works Well But With Some "Papercuts"
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 19 February 2019. Page 2 of 2. 41 Comments

The Clear Linux desktop experience overall has been going smooth, but the most prominent area for improvement would certainly be with the polishing / "papercuts" on the desktop. There have been a number of small blemishes following the initial setup. These papercuts/nuisances include the opening HTTP(S) URLs from GNOME Terminal -- the default behavior was to open the URLs inside of Gedit rather than a web browser -- and other application defaults not being as expected. There have also been some other minor annoyances around image thumbnails not appearing within Nautilus and just some basic rough edges encountered during the time thus far with this Intel-developed operating system but it basically boils down to a few small annoyances and nothing that inhibited my accustomed workflow.

What some may also find annoying for desktop (or particularly laptop) installations is that installing Clear Linux using its conventional installer does require a wired Internet connection, so in the case of most laptops/ultrabooks/hybrids that go without an Ethernet port, you must first be using a USB network adapter for the Clear Linux install. But post-install or from the live desktop image, WiFi support is great, just no integrated wireless network management from within their text-based installer.

Fortunately, none of these papercuts have been show-stopping and generally easy to workaround/address quickly, just something that is already done out-of-the-box on most of the desktop-focused Linux distributions and unfortunate such papercuts/annoyances exist with any Linux distribution in 2019. Understandably though, desktop is far from their only use-case but hopefully with time they'll invest in more polishing to their Linux desktop offering. If you are a novice Linux user, it could be a bit intimidating or lead to a sour taste, but for experienced Linux users the Clear Linux platform shouldn't be challenging at all to adopt.

I'll certainly continue running Clear Linux on my main production system with it fulfilling all of my needs and no real problems or serious shortcomings encountered. For any experienced user, it's certainly worth something considering especially if wanting a high-performance, bleeding-edge development workstation.

For those that haven't tried out Clear Linux, below are some videos recently produced by them that explain more of their architecture and approach to Linux OS development:

There is also a lot of documentation available from

Stay tuned and I'll likely do another update in a few weeks with any additional thoughts on Clear Linux as my main desktop OS.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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