What can I do to just keep my elementary OS Freya running smoothly and not freeze, not break (requiring new install and losing data and installed software)? It has been frustrating to say the least, several reinstalls. I want to know what might be a simple question: how to keep the install well oiled and not jamming (freezing) up, not breaking.

For example I mistakenly used synaptic to change display managers as I wanted to change the Greeter. I changed the video driver to binary Nvidia (proprietary) because Lightworks demanded that-- yup, my mouse moved at a crawl, had to reinstall. What I am saying is, should I just not change the graphics card driver, not change the Greeter, not change any wifi driver, not change the desktop manager (Pantheon)? Should I NOT install any updates once it is running, I mean I want to do whatever it takes to just have a working system for a few months, so frustrating doing reinstalls of the OS, then software, then data. All I need elementary OS to do is: Firefox, email, text editor, music player, MEGA cloud storage sync, LibreOffice, and Fade In Pro screen-writing software-- and I have all that working now. Plus I have the login Greeter wallpaper and desktop wallpaper I like. So what to do now so nothing breaks, Linux runs smooth and I can just be productive? At this point I am concerned about doing any software or even security updates, I don't want anything to disturb working installation. Thoughts, advice?

2 Answers 2


elementary is meant to be stable. Only to those who want it stable. You have complete freedom to have your OS work like you want it to.

Just forget about doing the maintenance yourself, and touching the command line to install any software or tweak your system if you want stability. But it does provide a security risk, therefore just simply update system once in a while with the default software updater.

You also took the risk yourself. Got your hands under the hood and hence dirty, therefore before trying anything new, DO research about the topic.

In the world of Linux, there is no pain no Gain. Even I deleted my whole Ubuntu partition the previous year and had the rigorous experience of fixing it up. So, If you Indulge in the Not so simple part of the Linux environment, You do need to take risks, but in the end you do get a immense experience.

But the choice is absolutely yours. Don't look for new features, install security updates frequently, don't mess up the system settings and have a beautiful stable system running.

Do the opposite and have a bleeding edge cool, and crashing distro, with a rich experience about Linux.

I do feel that if you like stability you can try Debian.

  • See my recent post after this issue--reinforces my thesis that even installing software updates can create a grievous unpleasant situation for a stable system, sigh. I swear I am ready to just toggle security updates but NOTHING else. And as pointed out, never change video driver, display manager, greeter, wifi driver. elementaryos.stackexchange.com/questions/1164/…
    – Coder Joe
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 23:30
  • To be true every person breaks his system in starting. I installed ubuntu multiple times and now I am here with elementary os since april. After breaking it sometimes you exactly get to know what you did and how to repair it. I suggest you you use time machine app to restore your system back to the time it was working perfect and I really recommend first try to repair it and if it doesn't work then restore it. Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 15:23
  • Don't try to change display managers, desktop managers, or greeters. They're an intrinsic part of your system, you would be better off picking an OS that uses the one you want.
  • Drivers for Video or WiFi can obvusly break those things if selected wrong. Do plenty of research, and have a backup you can roll back to.
  • Do install updates.
  • Change your wallpaper in the settings, and if you want your login to match (if it doesn't already) then use the steps here.

On a more personal note, don't trust MEGA. Consider hosting a solution with a more reputable company, or self-hosting it.

  • Awesome all, reinforces some thoughts. Yeah, I have to learn to leave well enough alone (don't touch settings for display manager, wifi, greeter, video drivers especially. I wanted to install OpenShot video editor today but it would not, messed up dependencies I think because I installed a .deb piece of software (i had to, screenwriting software, Fade In Pro); I tried aptitude which presented a solution but only if I agreed to two changes-- I chose quit, declined, no wish to break a working system and the video editing is not important; better to instead install a second distro to do video.
    – Coder Joe
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 22:04
  • A little off topic-- but your comment about MEGA concerns me, I will look into it. Just recently signed up with MEGA. 50GB free cloud storage, encrypted (allegedly); if my data is going to be used by bad guys at MEGA I certainly do not want my stuff on mega servers. I know in the past they had issue, maybe okay now though?
    – Coder Joe
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 23:32
  • I personally do not trust companies that trick their way out of the law applying to them. Why would they have to honour an agreement with you? And, based on their past, there is no guarantee they will be here tomorrow.
    – Lewis Goddard
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 7:43

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