Author Topic: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]  (Read 10584 times)

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Online RoGeorge

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The TL;DR
- as a desktop user, I didn't liked the Windows 10 trend from the last years
- my old Win10 was somehow completly compromised (virus) somewhere between Christmas and the New Year.


The Tail
A bunch of malware was the last drop that made me switch to Linux.  I don't blame Microsoft for the viruses, but a clean install was needed anyway, so why not giving Linux a try?

The hardware is good enough (32GB RAM/i7-4790K/nVidia760 GPU/SSD/HDDs/Intel GPU/Creative soundchip onboard/4 different types of monitors in total), and it will be used as a dev desktop.  Main requirement is to be a home desktop, with EDA/CAD and Programming tools, occasionally playing a movie or so.

Gaming - not much.  I use to play big titles for single user 3D shooter, maybe once or twice a year.  Probably will boot from an external HDD with Win10 for gaming, will see.


The Facts
I looked for these main types of GUI:
- Gnome 3
- KDE Plasma
- Xfce
- LXDE
They are all OK,  I won't describe what I like or I don't like for each of them.  In the end, settled to Gnome.

Also tested a lot of on-the-shelf distros in the last two weeks.  Unfortunately, CentOS and OpenSUSE doesn't boot, probably anything else with "dracut" won't work on my PC.  That narrowed down the choices to Fedora and Ubuntu.

I'm not new to Linux, so I'm comfortable to any of them, but so far I used Linux only at office, or in industrial environments.  Never used Linux much as a home desktop.

It was a big and unpleasant surprise to learn that after more than 20 years, Linux still struggles with multiple displays or video tearing.  I know nVidia is not the best choice for Linux, but still, playing a movie without video tearing should've happen without any tinkering by now, yet this was not the case for my setup.


The Questions
There are two main candidates:
- Fedora 29 Workstation:  rpm packages, based on Red Hat repositories
- Ubuntu 18.10 Desktop (don't want 18.04 LTS):  deb packages, based on Debian repositories

1.  Which one would you choose as a home desktop?
2.  Is there a big difference in the software availability between the two?
3.  I don't like to reinstall too often, yet I want the latest gimmicks, too.  Which one to pick for the long run, Fedora 29 or Ubuntu 18.10?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 07:38:20 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 03:42:44 pm »
I just thought I would mention that I am running Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya with Cinnamon and it works reasonably well for me. I have found it to be the simplest because Most Linux distributions are not particularly user-friendly. For me Mint is the least bad and has a forum where I can get some support. Still, it is not Windows. I also hated and hate the evolution of MS Windows so I am still using XP on all my computers.
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Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 04:11:50 pm »
I would recommend LinuxMint 19 Tessa Xfce or Cinnamon. Gnome lovers usually hate Mint because it's quite similar to Windows. If you need a stable system that works out of the box, go for it.
PS: why you don't like 18.04 Lts?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 04:16:17 pm by HoracioDos »
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 04:35:32 pm »
Mint seems to be about the most popular distro just now, and it's a good choice. Gnome and KDE are too bloated for my liking (I'd consider them the ones similar to Windows 10 in that respect!)  LXDE is good, the only thing I don't like about it is that creating desktop shortcuts is a tad awkward. xfce is another good option.

Use Debian with LXDE here. Looks much like Mint but is more streamlined as I don't particularly want all the heavyweight office stuff that's in Mint.

KDE I gave up on years ago after they made a sudden wildcat change in the design of the whole platform, which broke just about everything.  :--
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 04:37:46 pm by IanMacdonald »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 05:00:15 pm »
Out of curiosity i took a look at linux mint just now.

I am wondering : why on earth three different user interfaces ?
and on top of that :
Cinnamon   : The most modern, innovative and full-featured desktop
MATE :   A more stable, and faster desktop
Xfce   : The most lightweight and the most stable

So cinnamon is cool , but you are better of with mate as it is more stable, but then again XFCE is even more stable than that. Which leads me to wonder : is there anything more stable than XFCE , and, if yes : what is more stable than that. In short : what is the 'stablest' one...

And then : if we go with one UI : what limitations does it have in terms of application compatibility ? What can run on what ? (and i am NOT going to recompile my applications. i expect a one-click installer. it's 2019 , not the dark ages)

Linux is hopeless. It's a contraption of half finished stuff stuck together with duct tape.
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 05:20:02 pm »
One can change between interfaces (even without a reboot), or install more than one on the same Linux, upon wish.
Well written programs works under any GUI with one click install and no tinkering.

It's 2019, after all.   ;D

 
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 05:28:51 pm »
Personally I use Arch Linux. It does have a reputation of being the OS of choice for those insufferable people you find on Reddit showing you their dwm customizations (he says, kicking his desktop screencaps under the carpet).
I find that it has INCREDIBLE documentation  on almost every facet, and if you've spent any time working on Linux, you'll probably know exactly what I'm talking about, the Arch Linux wiki is probably the single best resource for Linux information, of any sort, even if you don't use Arch, but it is of course tailored for that.

I find its minimal install environment to encourage directly understanding the system. It can also be incredibly tight and fast, with nothing you don't want on there. The package ecosystem is one of the most efficient and easy to use ones I've known as well, with pacman being a really nice tool for package management, with the only thing that may annoy you (it very rarely does to me, but I've learned to deal with it), being the AUR.

If you're currently debating between Debian derivatives, my personal suggestion is to just use Debian. The differences are so absolutely minor, and I could skin even Arch Linux to look and operate like any of them, since it's all Linux at the core. Debian does have some minor driver woes, as it only includes completely free and open source drivers, whereas Arch will include some proprietary firmwares and drivers within it, which can be helpful.

As for window managers, I would strongly recommend staying away from Wayland, for various reasons. I've found it to be chunkier than X, and when it comes to running X programs through XWayland, they are woefully inefficient and will just burn system resources. My wm of choice is Window Maker, which I think is one of the most easily and intricately configurable window managers I've ever seen, and it's an absolute pleasure to use. The only minor bother is that there is a rather poultry system for inserting .desktop links into the application menu, but this is easy enough to fix since you can /really/ configure that menu, and almost any other part of the system. It's also really lightweight, a fully loaded wmaker install running on 4 heads only takes around 4MB of system memory to run.

Regardless, the great thing about Linux is that you can dump your window manager and use a different one at a moment's notice, and just toy around with them. I still do that, and regularly try out different things and experiment. Good luck!
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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 05:43:12 pm »
Gaming - not much.  I use to play big titles for single user 3D shooter, maybe once or twice a year.  Probably will boot from an external HDD with Win10 for gaming, will see.
There's actually quite a few titles that were released for linux (on steam) a few years ago at least. But a backup windows installation is probably a good idea.

It was a big and unpleasant surprise to learn that after more than 20 years, Linux still struggles with multiple displays or video tearing.  I know nVidia is not the best choice for Linux, but still, playing a movie without video tearing should've happen without any tinkering by now, yet this was not the case for my setup.
You shouldn't have a problem with multiple displays and video tearing.
Have you installed the proprietary nVidia driver? It's not installed by default because of licencing problems but it's kind of required.

There are two main candidates:
- Fedora 29 Workstation:  rpm packages, based on Red Hat repositories
- Ubuntu 18.10 Desktop (don't want 18.04 LTS):  deb packages, based on Debian repositories

1.  Which one would you choose as a home desktop?
I'm going to say Ubuntu because that is what I'm familiar with, and it's supported by everyone. I hear mint is also good.
However, I really think you should go with a LTS version (Long Term Support). The 18.10 version is more like a beta-version, it's not very stable and you will have to upgrade to a new major version sooner.

2.  Is there a big difference in the software availability between the two?
Ubuntu uses Debian as a base so it uses the Debian packet manager. Fedora uses its own.

3.  I don't like to reinstall too often, yet I want the latest gimmicks, too.  Which one to pick for the long run, Fedora 29 or Ubuntu 18.10?
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS unless you have some software that requires 18.10.

And it's better to stay away from gimmicks, that is how new Linux users get burned in my experience. The latest hyped bling is usually unstable and has limited support and requires a fair bit of hacking to get it to work. Whenever there's a choice, go for stable imho. Linux lets you do just about anything you want, that's is part of why it's so powerful, but it also means you can wreck your system if your not careful.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 05:47:46 pm »
It was a big and unpleasant surprise to learn that after more than 20 years, Linux still struggles with multiple displays or video tearing.  I know nVidia is not the best choice for Linux, but still, playing a movie without video tearing should've happen without any tinkering by now, yet this was not the case for my setup.
Use Debian because they do more testing of whether software is actually compatible. nVidia is a great choice for a videocard. In Debian you can install their propietary driver from the non-free repository which works well.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 05:50:39 pm »
I use Ubuntu LTS with XFCE on a couple machines and have been pretty happy with it. Ubuntu seems to be the most widely supported desktop Linux and it generally works well. There's no one right answer though, just find one you like and stick with it for a while. It's fairly easy to change the desktop environment later if you wish.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 05:57:52 pm »
Keep in mind there is a learning curve. So many get burned and give up after a week.

You are used to your old trusty Dacia (windows) and you probably know it inside out.
Now you want to upgrade to a space shuttle (Linux). It takes a bit to get used to, and one need to resist the urge to press all the buttons. But it's a lot nicer ride once you get the hang of it.
 

Online Bud

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 05:59:02 pm »
Linux is hopeless. It's a contraption of half finished stuff stuck together with duct tape.
:-+ Could not say any better.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 06:04:33 pm »
One can change between interfaces (even without a reboot), or install more than one on the same Linux, upon wish.
Well written programs works under any GUI with one click install and no tinkering.

It's 2019, after all.   ;D
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Offline james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 06:06:21 pm »
Linux is hopeless. It's a contraption of half finished stuff stuck together with duct tape.
:-+ Could not say any better.

Ironically I find that describes Win10 almost perfectly.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 06:12:54 pm »
Keep in mind there is a learning curve. So many get burned and give up after a week.

You are used to your old trusty Dacia (windows) and you probably know it inside out.
Now you want to upgrade to a space shuttle (Linux). It takes a bit to get used to, and one need to resist the urge to press all the buttons. But it's a lot nicer ride once you get the hang of it.
That is true. Linux isn't Windows so some things just work different. OTOH a lot of hardware runs out of the box on Linux. Printers and USB devices just work without needing drivers. Installing an HP network printer on Debian takes longer to open the menu then to detect & install the printer.
I've switched to Linux 3 or 4 years ago because most of the stuff I do runs better on Linux. Recently I bought a new CAD package (Orcad) and low & behold the PCB tool runs on Linux as well.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 06:15:53 pm by nctnico »
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Offline 0culus

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2019, 06:20:48 pm »
Once you get used to the whole ecosystem, another great (and minimalistic) window manager worth trying is i3. It's also highly configurable via scripting and primarily keyboard driven, if that's your thing.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2019, 06:23:20 pm »
Once you get used to the whole ecosystem, another great (and minimalistic) window manager worth trying is i3. It's also highly configurable via scripting and primarily keyboard driven, if that's your thing.

I tried i3, and liked it a bit, it had a lot of admirable features, and I'm sure if I had configured it a bit more it would have been nice, but I can't see a case outside of text editing where tiling wm's make a whole lot of sense, although the tabbing is a nice feature.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2019, 06:24:23 pm »
Ironically I find that describes Win10 almost perfectly.

I hate them all equally :)

Windows is definitely easier to use and has much more software. I am still using XP though because I refuse to go to the new model where they let you use their software in exchange to knowing everything about you. No thanks. Not going that way. (Google is the same BTW)

So I set up a machine with Linux Mint and it definitely is better than other Linuxes but it can still be a pain. It does have a feel sometimes of something that still needs to be polished. It has things which are just unforgivable. Maybe small things but annoying all the same. Like you put an object on the desktop and it is moved to somewhere else and you have to go and move it again.  In Windows installing support for Asian or other languages is a breeze. In Linux it is torture and it might work or it might not. To the point that I have been looking into some specialized Chinese versions of Linux. I could go on and on.

Most things in Windows can be done with a GUI but in Linux you better get used to arcane, obscure command line commands. It can be frustrating and time consuming.

And same in Windows as in Linux, I do not understand why they change everything around with each new version. Can you imagine if each car brand, model, year, had different controls? This year's BMW's come with the brake on the steering wheel! Get used to it! Next year we will move the brake somewhere else and have the accelerator on the steering wheel! Have fun learning!
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2019, 06:27:08 pm »
You fool, @OP, you've brought Linux to the forums. This is like a lit match to a pile of dry brush, now people will be arguing about things that nobody, including themselves, cares about for ages. Myself includes.  :popcorn:
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Offline German_EE

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2019, 06:28:00 pm »
Add another vote for Linux Mint with the MATE desktop. I have two pieces of equipment in the workshop that insist on using MS Windows but everything else is done in a Linux environment. Once these two manufacturers get their software act together I will finally dump Microsoft.

Note: I installed MS Windows 10 on a separate hard drive, installed the software for my test gear and ran Windows Update ONCE. I then disabled the network drivers. The result is a stable MS Windows environment that drives the test gear and nothing else, if it gets unstable for some reason I have a bit-level copy of the drive and I can be back up and working in half an hour.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2019, 06:45:50 pm »
I am a heavy user of Ubuntu due to work and both 16.04 and 18.04.1 have been working quite well. At home I dual boot between Windows 7 and Ubuntu 16.04 and it works ok, although several utilities still keep me on Windows for the most part (Notepad++, FreeCommander, WinRAR, Vegas, Altium).

My biggest beef with Linux these days is dealing with Proxy servers - the configurations are all over the place, depending on the program used. However, this is not a problem in a home environment.

As others have said, it is reported that several games work well in Linux, although I only did a short exercise on this front. 

I use Mint at home in an ancient Netbook (Atom 520 with 2GB RAM) that works well, provided I keep the opened windows at a minimum. That same netbook has a running copy of Vista that also works well, thus I may be too lucky. The main use for this netbook is to browse datasheets and schematics at my lab area (where space is at a premium).

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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2019, 06:50:05 pm »
I'm on Mint 18 myself.  Cinnamon I think, I can't remember and not sure how to check.   I know it's not XFCE, there's a few things I don't like about that one such as the "explorer" interface, I find it's very limited, can't even search (at least it's not intuitive), there's no thumbnails etc.

It does have it's quircks though. I have  yet to see a Linux distro do multi monitors properly (ex: make sure windows, dialogs, menus etc open on the monitor it was launched from, hate this BS of stuff opening where it wants).  To be fair even Windows sucks at this

There's also weird stuff with certain applications where dialog boxes are too small and you have to stretch them to see all the buttons, really annoying.  Only does it in certain apps, like Audacity, which I don't use a lot.

Overall it is nice to be liberated from Windows once you learn to live with weird quircks or find ways to fix them.  It's also much faster in general.  Like any time I have to use windows I feel it's so slow and clunky.  Win8/10 are also horrible, I find Linux is actually easier to use than that garbage Redmond put out.

Next time I'm due for a clean install I might look into running straight Debian, since Mint is based on Ubuntu which is in term based on Debian.  I wonder if so many layers is what causes the weird quircks like the dialog boxes.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2019, 06:57:13 pm »
I installed Windows 10 on a test computer a month or so ago, just to see how bad it really was. Funny thing is, what ticked me off the most was not the privacy issues, but the extent to which they try to take over the machine. There are a ton of "Windows apps" that want to be running all the time and despite being mostly useless. Oh, and they all want to be sniffing at your data and sharing it between themselves all the time. I could find no way to remove them completely and literally almost threw the computer at the wall out of frustration. Dangerous stuff that Windows 10, bad for your health. Just that one incident probably raised my blood pressure 20 points. I unplugged the machine and haven't started it up since.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 06:59:25 pm »
I could find no way to remove them completely and literally almost threw the computer at the wall out of frustration.

PowerShell can remove them. If you are really that up to that, you can even remove Windows Store.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2019, 07:11:59 pm »

Now you want to upgrade to a space shuttle (Linux).

that's a really good analogy ... a contraption made from 20 million different pieces , all from different vendors that all bid for the lowest price ...

I'll stick to one vendor... and even then... i hamstered a bunch of win7 - 64 bit licenses. i hate windows 10. What idiot decided we need a start menu where it is easier to type in the name of the program you want to launch than to find it ... If i wanted a command line i would install dos or cp/m ...
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Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2019, 07:33:08 pm »
- Ubuntu 18.10 Desktop (don't want 18.04 LTS):  deb packages, based on Debian repositories

Why not LTS? Out of curiosity.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2019, 07:35:15 pm »
It's a contraption of half finished stuff stuck together with duct tape.

Have you used Windows in the era post-XP? You just described every single change they've made in the last decade.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2019, 07:42:19 pm »
Install Virtualbox or any other virtualising and you can run any other OS inside a window. For older stuff Dosbox works well, and funny enough old DOS games work well enough there, while the machine outside is still barely noticing it. nice thing about Virtualbox is that making a backup of a VM is easy, and you just keep a golden copy and clone it as needed. Yes there is a copy of XP on there, but you can simply disable networking, or use a much better firewall with it, plus the whole thing can be wiped with a single click and start again from the original master.

LTS even though you only get stable updates, and update to the latest kernel when installed, as by default kernel updates are pretty much hidden from immediate view, as that is about the only thing that will need a reboot. Yes you don't get the bleeding edge of mostly stable, but it does work. If you are needing the newest version it is easy enough to install anyway. Snap is now working, so makes it much easier to update things you want anyway. Got the latest version of VLC that way, so now just have to remember which icon to click, as it is not the default player Totem.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2019, 07:45:43 pm »
Windows is definitely easier to use and has much more software. I am still using XP though because I refuse to go to the new model where they let you use their software in exchange to knowing everything about you.
Yeah, windows XP was the last windows version I used regularly. Windows XP is two decades old. :-DD

If I boot into windows 10 that this laptop was shipped with I won't be able to reboot it back into linux until earliest sometime tomorrow because it's going to insist I install a bunch of updates which will literally take a day during which I can not use my machine. Windows is a bloody joke. (no, there is no way to postpone it.) I can't believe people put up with that crap.

Most things in Windows can be done with a GUI but in Linux you better get used to arcane, obscure command line commands. It can be frustrating and time consuming.
You need to get used to the command line interface (CLI) if you want to administer a Linux machine. That is an advantage, it's because the machine can run without a GUI and you need to be able to do everything important from the CLI. it's just one of those things you have to learn that is different. Like all things that are worth doing it takes a bit of effort. It is like learning to speak a new language, it's frustrating at first.

Configuration is either done with GUI if it's GUI related or it is done by editing a text file (text files for non GUI programs, which is also easier and more flexible once you get used to it).
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2019, 07:50:25 pm »
I'll stick to one vendor...
Then go with Apple for everything. At least Mac OS is a proper UNIX operating system.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2019, 08:22:32 pm »
You need to get used to the command line interface (CLI) if you want to administer a Linux machine. That is an advantage, it's because the machine can run without a GUI and you need to be able to do everything important from the CLI. it's just one of those things you have to learn that is different. Like all things that are worth doing it takes a bit of effort. It is like learning to speak a new language, it's frustrating at first. 
This attitude, this mentality, is the main reason Linux is a minority OS and will remain so. And, frankly, I do not understand it. It baffles me.

If you have a bunch of files in a folder, do you find anything wrong with the OS listing them for you so you can choose? Or should the user remember all the files names and type them in?

So if I am giving a command why should I remember all the switches and variables when the OS can present all the choices to me in a GUI and let me choose? The result is exactly the same. Each time I use a command I do not like to have to study the manual and all the possible switches and choices; I would rather the OS do that for me. After all, computers are supposed to relieve me of work, not to make me work.

Is it better to have to remember that switch -x admits the values 1, 3, 5, 9, 27, 53 and 73? Or is it better to be presented with a list from which to choose?
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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2019, 08:44:20 pm »
So if I am giving a command why should I remember all the switches and variables when the OS can present all the choices to me in a GUI and let me choose?
On Linux the GUI is optional. All the tools and programs that doesn't require the GUI can't use a GUI for settings.
Apache web server or MySQL for example. Those are usually run on servers without GUI so you have to be able to configure them without a GUI. You just edit a file which is usually not harder than a few lines of "property=value" and store it in a default location. It's crude but effective.

For programs that are GUI only you use a GUI window for configuration just like people are used to from windows. But for administration, to set up a web server for example, you have to learn to use the CLI.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2019, 08:47:19 pm »
Most things in Windows can be done with a GUI but in Linux you better get used to arcane, obscure command line commands. It can be frustrating and time consuming.
You need to get used to the command line interface (CLI) if you want to administer a Linux machine.
Not true. In a modern Linux distribution you can control as much with the GUI as with Windows. You just need to look up how. And yes, many forums will show a command line option for a quick fix but there usually is a better way through the GUI.
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Offline Circlotron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2019, 09:08:35 pm »
East fix for screen tearing with nVidia. I’ll post it later when I have time.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2019, 09:12:46 pm »
I went through exactly this changeover from Windows to Linux almost a year ago in this thread: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/migrating-from-windows-to-linux/
Windows 10 is just awful. I'm forced to use it at work.

I've settled for a combination of CentOS and Fedora Workstation on my desktop machines and Fedora Server for servers. I absolutely love them both. I personally use the MATE desktop environment.

I'll stick to one vendor...
Then go with Apple for everything. At least Mac OS is a proper UNIX operating system.

Which they've completely buggered up and forced onto sub-standard, overpriced hardware. No thanks.
Comparing MacOS to UNIX is like comparing a shit heap Subaru to a MacLaren... yes they are both cars.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 09:20:45 pm by Halcyon »
 
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Offline bingo600

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2019, 09:13:11 pm »
I'll put in another vote for linux mint , but i prefer the Mate edition.

Just installed Mint 19 - Mate on 2 laptops yesterday.

For servers i prefer "Pure Debian".

/Bingo
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2019, 09:20:53 pm »
Most things in Windows can be done with a GUI but in Linux you better get used to arcane, obscure command line commands. It can be frustrating and time consuming.
You need to get used to the command line interface (CLI) if you want to administer a Linux machine.
Not true. In a modern Linux distribution you can control as much with the GUI as with Windows. You just need to look up how. And yes, many forums will show a command line option for a quick fix but there usually is a better way through the GUI.
You are right, these days I believe you can configure about as much from a Linux GUI as you can do in Windows.

But there are more advanced things you can do on Linux, but for that you often need to use the command line, so if you don't learn how to use it you are missing out. And some programs are CLI only, like gcc, although I suppose there might be IDEs that hide that for you.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2019, 09:25:36 pm »
if (it_runs("Altium Designer 19"))
    {nuke_windows();}
else {;}
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2019, 09:53:02 pm »
Most things in Windows can be done with a GUI but in Linux you better get used to arcane, obscure command line commands. It can be frustrating and time consuming.
You need to get used to the command line interface (CLI) if you want to administer a Linux machine.
Not true. In a modern Linux distribution you can control as much with the GUI as with Windows. You just need to look up how. And yes, many forums will show a command line option for a quick fix but there usually is a better way through the GUI.
You are right, these days I believe you can configure about as much from a Linux GUI as you can do in Windows.
Depends on the distro. Ubuntu's GUI configuration is pretty scant.

if (it_runs("Altium Designer 19"))
    {nuke_windows();}
else {;}
Does Altium 19 work well on a VM under Linux?
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2019, 10:00:11 pm »
Does Altium 19 work well on a VM under Linux?

I don't like VMs. Windows 10 requires constant update. If I power it up only once a month, it will hog the CPU all the time installing updates.
I don't design boards everyday. More likely, I turn out two or three designs at a time, once a month.

Either no Windows, or Windows as main OS.
 
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Offline jpb

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2019, 10:14:53 pm »
My daughter has just switched to Linux Mint from Windows 10.
What made her switch (having not liked Windows 10 from the beginning but using it for games etc) was the last Windows 10 "update" not only wiped her hard drive with Windows on it, but also completely wiped an entirely separate 2TB hard drive! (This was the Pro version of Windows 10 on a Dell Workstation - supposedly professional software.)
She has managed to get most her games working which quite surprised me.

I use both Windows and Linux, mainly Centos at work and Windows 7 at home but I'll probably go all Linux when the support for Windows 7 ends next year, I'm not going anywhere near Windows 10 if I can help it!
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2019, 10:20:26 pm »
Either no Windows, or Windows as main OS.
Ok, I think I now understand your snippet of code: don't get Altium 19 as it only works on Windows 10.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2019, 10:32:19 pm »
Either no Windows, or Windows as main OS.
Ok, I think I now understand your snippet of code: don't get Altium 19 as it only works on Windows 10.

I'm still okay with Windows 10, but I have no idea when I will just vent.
Another reason I still use Windows is b/c I use OneDrive. GDrive doesn't cope well with AD.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2019, 10:39:13 pm »
The Questions
There are two main candidates:
- Fedora 29 Workstation:  rpm packages, based on Red Hat repositories
- Ubuntu 18.10 Desktop (don't want 18.04 LTS):  deb packages, based on Debian repositories

1.  Which one would you choose as a home desktop?
2.  Is there a big difference in the software availability between the two?
3.  I don't like to reinstall too often, yet I want the latest gimmicks, too.  Which one to pick for the long run, Fedora 29 or Ubuntu 18.10?
1. I chose Lubuntu (LXDE) because it is lightweight and I love the text fonts for reading.  Unlike you, I have free or $10 PCs, hand me down, dual core systems and Lubuntu runs really well on them.

2. Not really.  All the major apps are available in each ecosystem.

3. Neither Fedora or non LTS Ubuntu will be suitable if you don't like to "reinstall too often".  Both are meant for leading edge people and usually only supported for 9 to 13 months depending which you choose.  If reinstallling annually to the next version is acceptable,  then either will do fine.

For me, Lubuntu LTS is reinstalled every 2 years on my main desktop.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:56:59 am by retiredcaps »
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2019, 11:04:37 pm »
You don't *have* to use the command line in Linux, although some things are certainly done more easily from there. A year or so ago I switched my computer illiterate mother to Linux as her ancient laptop was getting flaky. So far it has been almost entirely a success, once she got through the teething pains of learning a new interface (which she'd have had to do going to Win10 anyway) it has just worked with no problems at all. I don't have to worry about antivirus, I don't have to worry about malware, I don't have to worry about Windows Update screwing things up or adding/removing/changing features so she calls me in a panic the night before she needs to send out her newsletter after trying all afternoon to figure out the problem herself.

Where Windows went seriously wrong is lumping security updates in with feature/cosmetic updates and making it all mandatory then making the system restart itself. It is just completely ridiculous, very rarely does a presentation at work go by without some kind of update notification popping up over the presentation slides while the whole room collectively groans and giggles rolling their eyes. Security updates are a good thing, but they should install painlessly and provide ample scheduling abilities so that the computer is *never* rebooted without the user's express permission. Feature updates annoy the hell out of me, I hate it when something changes on my PC that I didn't explicitly change.
 
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2019, 12:34:33 am »
I don't like VMs. Windows 10 requires constant update. If I power it up only once a month, it will hog the CPU all the time installing updates.
I don't design boards everyday. More likely, I turn out two or three designs at a time, once a month.

Either no Windows, or Windows as main OS.
What about a Windows VM with either no networking or a very restricted network connection?
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Online langwadt

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2019, 01:40:29 am »
I don't like VMs. Windows 10 requires constant update. If I power it up only once a month, it will hog the CPU all the time installing updates.
I don't design boards everyday. More likely, I turn out two or three designs at a time, once a month.

Either no Windows, or Windows as main OS.
What about a Windows VM with either no networking or a very restricted network connection?

I'd think you can just tell it you are on a metered connection
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2019, 01:44:43 am »
Ubuntu or other debian derivation for me, perhaps historical but rpm systems never seemed very good to me, "rpm hell" was certainly a saying in common with "dll hell" from windows in my younger years, very seldom in the last... hmm... 20 years of deb based system usage have I had any dependency issues that apt-get could not sort out.

I think Ubuntu probably still has the better "it just works" experience in terms of hardware than Debian, certainly that is why I switched to Ubuntu back in the day.

Actually, I use Kubuntu, because I prefer KDE over Gnome (actually, I prefer the current KDE over the current Gnome, but it wasn't always this way... that is a different debate though), but whatever, either way, it's the same under the hood.
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Offline OwO

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2019, 01:50:14 am »
Video tearing is mainly the fault of the video player. I've found mpv to be the best performing video player on linux. Also I would steer clear of nvidia at all costs. If you have intel graphics then all you need to do is remove the graphics card.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2019, 02:22:17 am »
Video tearing is mainly the fault of the video player. I've found mpv to be the best performing video player on linux. Also I would steer clear of nvidia at all costs. If you have intel graphics then all you need to do is remove the graphics card.
Nvidia works very well with the binary blob, but if you're looking to avoid that, AMD is a fine choice that's not underpowered. That said, I have no experience with high quality upscaling on anything other than a Nvidia GPU.

Here's my mpv config:
Code: [Select]
# This is a config file for mpv, an open source media player.
 # Optimized for high video quality on a 4K display with a GTX 970 GPU.
 # Version: 20181225
 # Content used for subjective testing/tuning provided by CaitlinV3, Joanne Chiang, Naomi Wu, Nerdphilia, and TastyPC.
audio-device=alsa/iec958:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
audio-stream-silence=yes
audio-wait-open=1
hwdec=nvdec
hwdec-codecs=h264,vc1,wmv3,hevc,vp9
force-seekable
framedrop=decoder+vo
vd-lavc-dr=yes
vd-lavc-threads=6
vo=gpu
scale=ewa_lanczossharp
cscale=ewa_lanczossharp
dscale=mitchell
tscale=oversample
correct-downscaling
deband
sigmoid-upscaling
opengl-pbo
scaler-resizes-only
interpolation
interpolation-threshold=0.01
swapchain-depth=8
video-sync=display-resample
video-sync-max-video-change=3
dither-depth=auto
gamma-factor=1.1
cache=500000
audio-channels=stereo
force-window=yes
ontop
autofit=1920x1400
geometry=1920:200
video-align-y=-1
It defaults to opening a video in a window, but I press 'f' if I want it fullscreen. It uses high quality scaling when applicable, with the common case of upscaling 1080p to 4K using about 30% of the GPU. That's roughly 1 TFLOPS so an Intel GPU (other than the oddball that's actually AMD graphics) will not work, a Ryzen 5 APU might but I have not tested it.
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Offline fsr

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2019, 02:36:59 am »
I'm using Lubuntu 18.04 LTS right now. It's lightweight, using LXDE. Doesn't comes with all the stuff Ubuntu has installed by default.

Or just install Ubuntu which has more stuff installed by default, and that probably makes it easier to use in some circumstances. If you don't like the desktop environment, you can do "apt install lxde" to install LXDE, and then you can choose it at login, instead of the default (gnome 3).

Most Linux distros also have a GUI software store, you normally don't need to use the command line at all, if you don't want to.

The only problem is with hardware manufacturers and software makers that don't provide support for linux, but as an OS, it's much better done than Windows.

IMHO, Windows fuck'd up when they merged the home products (95, 98, Me) with the office branch (NT). I used NT 4, and if you had a blue screen, the most likely cause by far, was a hardware problem. It was very stable. Then, they added a lot of crap that didn't needed to be installed by default. What good does the media center do in an office pc? We don't even have the option to choose what to install anymore. Up to Win 98 at least, you could choose what components to install! You didn't needed to install the calculator, if you didn't wanted it!!
In Windows Vista and then in 8 and later, the OS went to shit. Look in Windows 10 the unbeliavable amount of crap that is running on the machine from boot! And then, GBs of updates, and a stupid amount of time to install them, without even getting to the login screen!
Also, why the hell do i need to have all that tiles (advertising) on the start menu, and have the OS spy me, if i buyed the goddam OS? That's crazy.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2019, 03:41:55 am »
OP: Do it only if you are willing and able to learn a new tool. If you just need a tool that works like Windows but isn't Windows, don't bother: the switch will just aggravate you.

These are my observations over the last twenty years of helping people do the switch:

It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.  Twice the effort, really.  The same applies to using expensive software packages: not being a paying customer does not work for people who need proper customer service to do their job.

Those who use computers as tools, and pick up new tools fast and easy, especially the tinkerer types, will love the full control of their own workflow, if they can afford spending the time to optimise their own workflow.  Those who use computers as tools for performing specific jobs that do not change, will be aggravated by the change, and the time needed to learn the new tool for basically no gain.

There is no right or wrong about the switch; there is no right or wrong in choosing which tools you use.  Just note that Linux is not a singular tool, but a collection of modular tools that are designed to work together.  It is not a single environment provided by a vendor like Windows or Macs are.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2019, 04:07:13 am »
OP: Do it only if you are willing and able to learn a new tool. If you just need a tool that works like Windows but isn't Windows, don't bother: the switch will just aggravate you.
I think the problem is that the latest version of Windows is not very good, so the only alternatives are to use an older version of Windows that will become unsupported at some point or use some other OS altogether.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2019, 04:08:22 am »
It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.

As someone in that Windows power-user camp, I actually disagree. I found that my knowledge of DOS command line and batch files translated very well into Linux. I didn't view it as previous knowledge going to waste or having to un-learn anything, I found my previous expertise complimented Linux well.

Having taught Linux to users as well, I find those who know DOS/Windows command line will pick up Linux very quickly and are much more comfortable with it than those who just use Windows to play games.
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2019, 04:16:37 am »
It was a big and unpleasant surprise to learn that after more than 20 years, Linux still struggles with multiple displays or video tearing.  I know nVidia is not the best choice for Linux, but still, playing a movie without video tearing should've happen without any tinkering by now, yet this was not the case for my setup.
The following fixed the screen tearing problem for me. Using Mint 18.3 Mate
---------------------------------------------
NVIDIA Xserver settings app
X Server Display Configuration
Advanced button
Save to X configuration file
Show preview

Under section "screen"
change

Option         "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0"

to

Option         "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceCompositionPipeline = On }"

Then save.
This will save to /etc/xorg/xorg.conf that previously didn't exist
---------------------------------------------
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2019, 04:41:16 am »
It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.  Twice the effort, really.  The same applies to using expensive software packages: not being a paying customer does not work for people who need proper customer service to do their job.


That was exactly my situation when Win8 and later Win10 came out. A good deal of my existing Windows knowledge was no longer useful, I found myself having to learn a whole new way of doing things so I started making the transition over to Linux and I haven't really found it to be *that* much harder. I still use Win7 on my daily driver because it's still my favorite OS of all but I'm about at the point where I could use Linux for almost everything.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2019, 04:49:45 am »
As someone in that Windows power-user camp, I actually disagree. I found that my knowledge of DOS command line and batch files translated very well into Linux.
In my experience, that group is different to the one I tried to describe.

For most who are used to the command line (be that DOS or Unix), they find their knowledge useful in Linux.  The batch language might be different, but the underlying logic is the same.  I believe they also tend to treat the machine as a modular tool.

The minority (in which I include the Mac OS 7.x.x to 9.x AppleScript power-users) has integrated the understanding of the GUI as the real part of the operating system, with the command line as a supplementary tool.  They seem to see the machine in terms of the UI, and have difficulty understanding the modular architecture where the GUI is a completely optional part of the system.

(A typical example is someone describing everything a script does in terms of what a human might do in the graphical user interface.  AppleScript was really geared for that.)

Having taught Linux to users as well, I find those who know DOS/Windows command line will pick up Linux very quickly and are much more comfortable with it than those who just use Windows to play games.
Absolutely agreed.

Another group that surprised me was those who had used both Windows and Mac machines for "real work" (I mean, to allow them to accomplish or save them effort in some task, as opposed to having fun).  They were already aware of the differences, and instead of learning which buttons to click by rote, had learned the underlying logic of the operations.  (As in, "umm, I think there must be a menu here somewhere that lets me change that...  oh yeah, that looks like it", rather than getting frustrated because an option is in a different place or under a different name or icon in different systems.)

For a similar reason, kids are rather fast at picking up Linux skills.  The main reason being they have no prior expectations, and are fully willing to experiment.  All you need is a parent that does not try to scare them with "breaking the computer", and someone who shows them useful stuff and explains the ideas if they ask.

I've always found laziness a good motivator.  When I teach or show a way to efficiently do a particular task, I show how my way saves time and effort.  I also explain the conditions when that works, and when it is likely to not work.  People rarely want to listen for longer, but if they want, over a coffee or so, I tell them (usually in story form) why it works, and why I chose that solution for now.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:53:42 am by Nominal Animal »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2019, 10:28:37 am »
OP: Do it only if you are willing and able to learn a new tool. If you just need a tool that works like Windows but isn't Windows, don't bother: the switch will just aggravate you.
I think the problem is that the latest version of Windows is not very good, so the only alternatives are to use an older version of Windows that will become unsupported at some point or use some other OS altogether.
I agree. Windows XP (in a VM) is still my go-to Windows. I can't even use Windows 10 because the font anti-aliasing (causing me an instant headache) can't be disabled.
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Offline Kalvin

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2019, 11:01:31 am »
At home I have used Linux Mint (64-bit LTS-version with MATE desktop) as the main OS for quite many years now, and have used Virtualbox to host Windows 8.1 and Windows XP environments for those applications that are not supported by Linux. I have also another Virtualbox for a stable Linux embedded development environment with specific compiler settings etc.

At work I am using Windows 10 as the main OS due to company policy, but use Linux Mint inside Virtualbox as my main working environment. The Windows 10 is used only to host Virtualbox and provide connection to the network servers etc. I am also using Microsoft office tools in Windows 10 out of necessity if needed.

Both combinations work pretty well with 16 GB of RAM and 8 CPUs. The USB peripherals (like embedded flash-tools etc.) map automagically into Virtualbox very nicely after creating some rules for the Virtualbox.  The system with Windows 10 as the main OS has an annoying habit of rebooting from time to time after Windows update process, and thus requires some baby sitting. Other than that the Windows 10 doesn't bother me that much at all. For the best virtual OS performance one may want to allocate at least two CPU cores for each OS running inside Virtualbox. I am not using any applications requiring optimized video performance, so I do not have any suggestions or comments on the video performance.
 

Offline zucca

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2019, 11:05:50 am »
The only thing which still hook me at windows is Total Commander.

but one day:
https://krusader.org/

Still finishing to jump off the Google/Gmail boat... (I am so happy... finally I can control my mail for real....) in the future I am considering to leave Microsoft behind me as well.

There is so much outside the box.
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Online wilfred

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2019, 11:24:40 am »
Out of curiosity i took a look at linux mint just now.

I am wondering : why on earth three different user interfaces ?


The freedom to make such choices is the reason Linux exists. It's a lifestyle choice and not for everyone. I use Linux Mint and I just use Linux because I want to.

As to the post by the OP, I think frustration with Windows is a poor reason to use Linux. It may be just another OS but it isn't a homogeneous entity like Windows. Linux gives you freedom of choice and Windows gives you freedom from choice.


The good the bad and the ugly of Linux is this:
The Good, you get lots of choices.
The Bad,    you get lots of choices.
The Ugly,   you get threads like this one when requesting advice on Linux V. Windows choices on internet forums.

My advice to the OP is learn to deal with Windows and use Linux when you just want to.I have found Linux Mint XFCE to be well supported with help readily available and it has been reliable. It would be a good choice.
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2019, 11:35:47 am »
The only thing which still hook me at windows is Total Commander.

With "Midnight Commander" you don't even need X-Windows
http://linuxcommand.org/lc3_adv_mc.php
http://klimer.eu/2015/05/01/use-midnight-commander-like-a-pro/

Code: [Select]
apt-get install mc
~~~
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2019, 03:03:53 pm »
OP here   ;D
OMG, what have I done, what have I unleashed!
So many pros and cons, and so many use cases. 


First, thank you all for the help.
It will take a wile to reply to so many advises and questions, so please don't get mad at me if I can not reply to each, as I should.  :-[

Briefly:
- tearing is happening with or without proprietary nVidia, with or without Vsync.  In fact, Vsync is possible on only one monitor at once, and only in full screen.  So, if not full screen, or if I move the movie to another monitor, will tear the video.  So far I tried the nVidia blob (both stable and latest beta drivers) from nVidia website (with Ubuntu, manual install), and nVidia proprietary, but installed from the Fedora repository (with Fedora, install from GUI).
- about tearing again, the nVidia drivers (all 3 I've already tested) have two check boxes in the GUI for Composition Pipeline.  There are boxes for each monitor, yet Composite Pipeline can fix tearing on one monitor at a time, the one driving the Vsync.  Tear will still happen on another monitor.  Need to look further into this, maybe if I write the parameters in the config file, than it will work with all of the monitors at once.  Mainly I tested with VLC, but YouTube videos (Firefox) seems to be even worst, and ignore any settings.


- about tearing, the last thing to say, I noticed when there is only one monitor enabled, and the video is full screen, then the BLIT mode written in red by the driver changes to FLIP mode written in green.  This watermark with the video mode is slapped on the video by the driver, and it does not appear in a full screen YouTube video, yet the driver video mode stamp appeared in a very unexpected place like the Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE (under Linux, installed from repo's GUI, not Wine).  I read Visual Studio was running like a webpage, but I don't really know.  No idea why an IDE like Visual Studio running in a window will invoke a video mode from the nVidia driver (thus the driver watermark stamp), but a YouTube played in full screen with Firefox will not.  :-//


- about repository of each Fedora and Ubuntu, I understand there is not much difference between the packages in each repo, which is good news.  In practice, there seem to be some stability issues, didn't dig into that yet.  An example:  If I install Meld from each distro (Meld == a GUI interface for the GNU diff tool) in order to diff a huge pile of files (I am in the middle of saving and recovering parts of personal data from the former C:\ of the Win10) the Ubuntu Meld crashes, the Fedora Meld works.

- again, I am not new to Linux and loved it since I can remember.  Was using Linux over the years at work, but only in embedded or industrial environments where a SSH terminal was more than enough.  No one cares about sound, or video, or stanby/power features for a headless industrial device.  Yet, I didn't used Linux as a day to day (multimedia) desktop at home.  Periodically, let's say at each 3-5 years, I am giving Linux a try as a home desktop, in order to get rid of Windows.

- never completely switched to Linux until now.  Maybe because of occasional game playing, and also because of the daunting task of cleaning/saving personal data that piled up over the years, then migrate all kind of settings, setups and habits.

Let me give some examples:  There are 2 stereo speakers (with amplif) and a headset connected to the onboard 7.1 sound card.  They are all connected, all the time, and I was redirecting the sound from one to another from software (under Windows, the Creative sound drivers comes with their own gui that can redirect the sound).  There was no need to unplug the physical jack connectors.  With Linux, the default sound driver doesn't have such an option from GUI.  I need to dig for new drivers or customized settings, or find some workaround.  For now, I don't even know if the sound server is with PulseAudio or something else.

Same with video:  There are 3 monitors connected at nVidia, and a 4'th one connected at the onboard Intel GPU with a DVI cable that is going to the other room, for the movies only.  For movies on the 4'th monitor, there is another wireless keyboard and mouse, in the same room with the 4'th monitor.  Wireless keyb and mouse still works under Linux, yet the keyboard's mutimedia buttons for volume UP/DOWN doesn't work.  Need to tinker with that one, too.

Another one with the wireless sound:  There is a CSMR wireless audio and a wireless headset that I use to listen while doing something else around the house.  The wireless sound doesn't works either.  It doesn't detect the CSMR transmitter at all.  Need to tinker with that one too, or live without it.

Small commodities like that piles up, and take a lot of time to set them properly.


TL;DR again
1. I'm not going back to Windows 10, no matter what.  WinXP was great.  Win10 is horrible, and yes, it made my blood boil way too often.  The trend with Win10 is not for me, no reasons to look back.  I'm almost thankful to that malware I got last year.  It made me switch to Linux at home.
2. Since I'm not in a hurry, and don't need to commit to a certain distro, I decided to go for plan B:
Level1 hypervisor + ZFS filesystem + hardware passthrough  :box:
It will be a pity to have a processor that supports virtualization and not use it.  I'll go ahead and aim for a personal cloud, with distributed storage and multiple VM.  Will probably go for ProxMox, which is KVM based but comes nicely bundled with ZFS file system and WebGUI for administration.  ProxMox is the "ubuntu of level1 hypervisors".  I tried Xen once, and needed to tinker a lot to make it work, and there was no free GUI for Xen at the time.  I also read AmazonAWS plans are to switch from Xen to KVM, too.
3. Can hardly wait to tinker with hardware pass-through, GeForce760 might need a hardware unlock to allow hardware pass-through.  If got it right, the the chipset can do that, GTX760 is a Quadro locked down, just waiting for a hack.  The GTX760 unlock will also suppose to enable the 10bits/each color over HDMI (30 bits color depth is another Quadro feature locked down in the low end GTX760).  The main monitor can do 10bits/4K/60Hz.

I am very curious if the difference between 24 and 30 bits in color depth is visible to the eye, or it is just a marketing thing.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:46:12 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2019, 06:39:30 pm »
if (it_runs("Altium Designer 19" , and "solidworks" and "Photoshop" and "Premiere" and "Illustrator" and "Indesign" and "Rhino3D"))
    {nuke_windows();}
else {;}

there. there's a list of stuff i use daily (and have the licenses for). As long as Linux can't run any of that, it will not be my prime OS.
I do use Linux , but not on desktop (fileserver) and not installed by me. (factory install). I have no gripes ,as long as it works.
But on a desktop install.. There are just too many flavors , different installers, this runs here but not there ... urgh ...
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Offline Gribo

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2019, 06:49:10 pm »
I am on the same boat as Free_Electron, as long as Linux doesn't run Altium, 3DS Max and Photoshop (It runs GIMP, so bye bye Photoshop) I stick to Windows.


Also, did anyone try Elementry OS? https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/a-tour-of-elementary-os-perhaps-the-linux-worlds-best-hope-for-the-mainstream/
 

Online Bud

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2019, 06:58:44 pm »
Thanks but no, thanks

Quote
There's really no way to change the look and feel of elementary OS, and little way to customize the behavior of its default apps. It's a take it or leave it operating system—you either like it or you don't, and if you don't you're better off using something else than trying to tweak elementary OS to suit your whims
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline jimdeane

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2019, 07:01:38 pm »
If you want a single option, chosen for you by people who are much more knowledgeable (according to them) about what you want and need than you are, then you should choose Mac or MS Windows.

If you want options and can make a choice between flashy cutting-edge and established reliable options, and are willing to decide what's best for you, then choose a Linux distribution. The easy one is Ubuntu, in that you can just go with the default and be OK.

(Note: this is intended only to address choices in the OS configuration, not use cases.)
 

Online Bud

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2019, 07:08:52 pm »
That did not work for me either. I woke up one morning just to see to my horror the last ubuntu update TOTALLY has changed (read:screwed up ) the complete interface, because some ubuntu  morons thought they know better what i need. 
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2019, 07:15:17 pm »
That did not work for me either. I woke up one morning just to see to my horror the last ubuntu update TOTALLY has changed (read:screwed up ) the complete interface, because some ubuntu  morons thought they know better what i need.

I woke up one morning to find out the future of Windows is as a tablet OS.

How is this any different?
 

Offline jimdeane

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2019, 07:20:31 pm »
Did you update to 18.0x without reading about the changes to the 18.0x series?

I mean, the shift away from Unity and back to Gnome was pretty huge news.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2019, 07:29:58 pm »
If you don't like Linux then don't use it. Why do people have to comment about how they prefer windows whenever someone talks about another OS than windows?  :-//

(Unlike windows, it's not as if anyone is forcing you to use Linux.)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:31:29 pm by apis »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2019, 07:52:37 pm »
I hadn't heard that Ubuntu was dropping Unity, that's good news, I've hated Unity right from the start to the point that it almost drove me away from Ubuntu altogether. It was only the widespread support and the fact that it's fairly easy to configure it to use Mate that kept me around. 
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2019, 09:31:10 pm »
I am on the same boat as Free_Electron, as long as Linux doesn't run Altium, 3DS Max and Photoshop (It runs GIMP, so bye bye Photoshop) I stick to Windows.

Who needs application software if you can play with five different distros and three different desktops on each of them?  :P
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2019, 09:54:27 pm »
Who needs application software if you can play with five different distros and three different desktops on each of them?  :P
Yeah, I think sometimes some people lose sight of what consumer products are supposed to do. Grandma does not care if it is Windows or Linux or Apple or Android; she just wants to press the button and video chat with the grandkid.

These days, for better or for worse, there is much more software for Windows than for Linux.  I wish that would change but that is the way it is. I wish they made multiplatform versions so you could move to Linux easily but, no, you have to learn everything all over again. For instance, Firefox and Google Earth work well on both platforms. If more programs did this people could shift more easily. I wish Irfanview worked on Linux.

I cannot find some pretty basic software for Linux. These days I do not use videoconference that much on the computer but I would still like to have a simple program which did just that. In Windows I have VSee but it does not work on Linux so I am stuck with Windows. You would think that a simple video conference program would be a pretty basic thing but I could not get any one to work well. They all had problems of one type or another. Forget about it.

Yes, it seems the Linux crowd are so entertained with their OS that they have no need for applications.

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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2019, 10:34:27 pm »
Yeah, Linux is a joke because it doesn't even support Internet Explorer. Who need an internet browser when you can play with three different desktops!
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2019, 11:01:49 pm »
Well, to be honest, even Windows doesn't support Internet Explorer. :)
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2019, 12:14:32 am »
I remember some attempts to port KDE to Windows in order to get a decent desktop environment and still be able to use Windows apps. The problem? Not many KDE developers actually cared enough about Windows to do that.
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Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #77 on: January 19, 2019, 12:26:02 am »
Hopes for not ditching paint or the notepad :P maybe IE will become an easter egg in future releases..
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Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2019, 12:28:48 am »
Ubuntu forces updates on you like Windows? I put Debian on one machine and about six months after installing it I figured it might be a good idea for it to check for any important updates. It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to make it do that.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2019, 12:56:19 am »
Ubuntu forces updates on you like Windows?
Nope

Most Linux distros have a so called package manager that lets you install most popular applications with a single command. The package manager on Debian based systems is called "apt" (advanced package tool) and has been around since 1998.

To take an example from before you would type:
Code: [Select]
# apt install mcto install midnight commander. Then you could run
Code: [Select]
# apt updatewhich updates all the installed software on your system, not only the OS.

Of course, you can configure that so it updates automatically if you want, but it's optional and not enabled by default. You could configure it to install all security updates automatically for example. I believe the default Ubuntu behaviour is to check regularly and notify the user (using a GUI) when there are important updates available and ask the user what to do.

But windows update doesn't run on Linux and that might be a dealbreaker for some, which might also be for the best.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 01:23:02 am by apis »
 

Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2019, 01:05:14 am »
Yes, it seems the Linux crowd are so entertained with their OS that they have no need for applications.

That's not how Linux users think. They think that if an application doesn't run on Linux it is because it is not worthy to run on their desktops.
 
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2019, 01:10:43 am »
If you want a single option, chosen for you by people who are much more knowledgeable (according to them) about what you want and need than you are, then you should choose Mac or MS Windows.

If you want options and can make a choice between flashy cutting-edge and established reliable options, and are willing to decide what's best for you, then choose a Linux distribution. The easy one is Ubuntu, in that you can just go with the default and be OK.

(Note: this is intended only to address choices in the OS configuration, not use cases.)

see, the problem with that is that you only consider the operating system.

It's like having a choice of 500 different cars that all have one thing in common : they use square wheels.(the linux kernel)
when i raise the issue : you can't really drive those the feedback is : but you can change the color and steering wheel and all other features.

People don't use an 'OS'. An operating system is there to manage storage and to load and run applications and give applications access to files and peripherals( printers, screen , mouse, keyboard etc ). Otherwise it should stay out of the way.

I run windows as an OS .
Do i use any other microsoft supplied tools ? No. Apart from the built in file browser of the OS i never run anything. not even notepad or minesweeper.
Do i ever change the UI scheme ? no. Not even the background image.
The computer boots and runs applications that i launch
- Chrome , Acrobat, Altium , Solidworks, and many many other programs. The only microsoft programs i use are separate tools( non-os bundled) : Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access

I don't need/want 25 different UI managers, color schemes and presenters. All i want from the operating system is that it controls my hardware and provided the required I/O channels for applications to run and the programs can get on the network and read/write data. It does everything i expect from an operating system : run applications and provide machine access to them.

Program install always work. There is never an issue that flavor x uses a different package manager that is incompatible with my flavor-du-jour. Many many times i find out in the linux world that program x does not run on distro y because there is no pre-packaged installer. 'but you have the source'. sure here is a stack of bricks and some cement. build your house yourself. no thanks... i have work to do. I don't have time to tinker with the guts of my machine everytime.

It's the same thing with 3D printers. There are 2 groups of people. Those that want to tinker with the machine , and those that want to print something. The latter group is constantly complaining about the deplorable state of the machines. bed leveling , filament clogging , print adhesion , print interruptions, sdcard problems , data starvation.. The latter group does not want to deal with that. They want to PRINT something.

Same with linux : there is a group of people that like to tinker with code and operating system guts. Linux is great for those. IF you want to get work done ... not so much.



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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #82 on: January 19, 2019, 01:29:39 am »
If you want a single option, chosen for you by people who are much more knowledgeable (according to them) about what you want and need than you are, then you should choose Mac or MS Windows.

If you want options and can make a choice between flashy cutting-edge and established reliable options, and are willing to decide what's best for you, then choose a Linux distribution. The easy one is Ubuntu, in that you can just go with the default and be OK.

(Note: this is intended only to address choices in the OS configuration, not use cases.)

see, the problem with that is that you only consider the operating system.

It's like having a choice of 500 different cars that all have one thing in common : they use square wheels.(the linux kernel)
when i raise the issue : you can't really drive those the feedback is : but you can change the color and steering wheel and all other features.

People don't use an 'OS'. An operating system is there to manage storage and to load and run applications and give applications access to files and peripherals( printers, screen , mouse, keyboard etc ). Otherwise it should stay out of the way.

I run windows as an OS .
Do i use any other microsoft supplied tools ? No. Apart from the built in file browser of the OS i never run anything. not even notepad or minesweeper.
Do i ever change the UI scheme ? no. Not even the background image.
The computer boots and runs applications that i launch
- Chrome , Acrobat, Altium , Solidworks, and many many other programs. The only microsoft programs i use are separate tools( non-os bundled) : Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access

I don't need/want 25 different UI managers, color schemes and presenters. All i want from the operating system is that it controls my hardware and provided the required I/O channels for applications to run and the programs can get on the network and read/write data. It does everything i expect from an operating system : run applications and provide machine access to them.

Program install always work. There is never an issue that flavor x uses a different package manager that is incompatible with my flavor-du-jour. Many many times i find out in the linux world that program x does not run on distro y because there is no pre-packaged installer. 'but you have the source'. sure here is a stack of bricks and some cement. build your house yourself. no thanks... i have work to do. I don't have time to tinker with the guts of my machine everytime.

It's the same thing with 3D printers. There are 2 groups of people. Those that want to tinker with the machine , and those that want to print something. The latter group is constantly complaining about the deplorable state of the machines. bed leveling , filament clogging , print adhesion , print interruptions, sdcard problems , data starvation.. The latter group does not want to deal with that. They want to PRINT something.

Same with linux : there is a group of people that like to tinker with code and operating system guts. Linux is great for those. IF you want to get work done ... not so much.

And you rant on and on and I spend more time unfucking your beloved Windows than I ever have dealing with Linux.

Give me a call next time the licensing tool for your software causes the machine to hard reset shortly after boot with no error and nothing in the logs, absolutely nothing to indicate where to start looking, and tell me how it 'always works'.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 01:31:22 am by Monkeh »
 

Offline radioactive

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2019, 01:30:12 am »
Been using Debian at work and home since the 90's.  It has served me well.  In turn, I have open-sourced my projects whenever it is possible.  "Giving back" not only helps others, but it serves to protect your IP. 

I no longer try to convert anyone to use Linux (for more than a decade).  If you see then benefits, then try it out.  You might find it very liberating.  While it may not be for everyone, you shouldn't listen to anyone saying you can't do serious work with it.  That is ludicrous on so many levels.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #84 on: January 19, 2019, 01:41:44 am »
Why restrict yourself to one version of Linux. Try one; if you don't like it then changing to another is trivial. Flip back and forth with ease, if you prefer.

Put all of the /home on one mount point (1). Have another for everything else(2),  and have a third for an alternate o/s(3).

Install the one you suspect is your favourite on mount point (2) and during installation state mount point (1) is /home.
Install one you are trying out on mount point (3) and during installation again state mount point (1) is /home.

Then at boot time, decide whether which you want. Your directory and data will be accessible and in the "right" place no matter which you boot.

Or, of course, there are live CDs.
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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #85 on: January 19, 2019, 02:06:44 am »
It's the same thing with 3D printers. There are 2 groups of people. Those that want to tinker with the machine , and those that want to print something. The latter group is constantly complaining about the deplorable state of the machines. bed leveling , filament clogging , print adhesion , print interruptions, sdcard problems , data starvation.. The latter group does not want to deal with that. They want to PRINT something.

Same with linux : there is a group of people that like to tinker with code and operating system guts. Linux is great for those. IF you want to get work done ... not so much.
Wow, yeah, Linux users doesn't get any work done, all they do is configure their desktop day out and day in. :palm:

3d printing wasn't invented yesteryear. There have been additive manufacturing methods since the 1980's and there are plenty of commercial 3d printers that need no tinkering to print reliably. But they cost a few million bucks per machine. What a couple of "tinkerers" from the university of Bath managed to do was build an open source and dirt cheap 3d fdm printer that could print most of its own parts. That made the technology available to a lot more people.

Just like Linux, if you can't figure out how to use it then don't. It's not for everyone and that's fine.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #86 on: January 19, 2019, 02:10:21 am »
If you want a single option, chosen for you by people who are much more knowledgeable (according to them) about what you want and need than you are, then you should choose Mac or MS Windows.

If you want options and can make a choice between flashy cutting-edge and established reliable options, and are willing to decide what's best for you, then choose a Linux distribution. The easy one is Ubuntu, in that you can just go with the default and be OK.

(Note: this is intended only to address choices in the OS configuration, not use cases.)
see, the problem with that is that you only consider the operating system.

It's like having a choice of 500 different cars that all have one thing in common : they use square wheels.(the linux kernel)
when i raise the issue : you can't really drive those the feedback is : but you can change the color and steering wheel and all other features.
Yeah we already know you can't use Linux because you don't want to. Just stop the nonsense :horse:
If Linux really was that bad then half of the engineers wouldn't be using it. One of the reasons I switched to Linux is because I got sick & tired of dealing with Windows issues which are such an enormous time sink at the worst moment. And Windows is very slow too due to the poor memory management and poor network stack. The same project takes 20 to 30 times longer to compile on Windows compared to Linux.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 02:15:53 am by nctnico »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #87 on: January 19, 2019, 02:31:19 am »
It's the same thing with 3D printers. There are 2 groups of people. Those that want to tinker with the machine , and those that want to print something. The latter group is constantly complaining about the deplorable state of the machines. bed leveling , filament clogging , print adhesion , print interruptions, sdcard problems , data starvation.. The latter group does not want to deal with that. They want to PRINT something.

Same with linux : there is a group of people that like to tinker with code and operating system guts. Linux is great for those. IF you want to get work done ... not so much.

Not the same as Linux at all. It seems like you haven't given Linux a serious chance lately.

Sure, back in the day, you basically needed to be a programmer to use Linux on a workstation. Those days are long gone and many distros are designed to be easy to use right out of the box. Ubuntu is a great example of this. So is Mint, CentOS, Fedora Workstation etc...

I understand where you're going with your argument, after all, I'm basically a Windows guy. I've used every version of Windows and I know it inside out. Yet I find Windows 10 hinders my productivity. Even on decent enterprise workstations, Windows 10 is flakey. There are glitches throughout and I spend half my time trying to find settings and options which aren't in logical places. Why do I need three different places where I can find printer settings!?

I gave Windows 10 a solid chance for about 6-12 months and for every one thing I liked about it, there were five other things I hated. Windows 7 is the last version of Windows I will use at home, unless Microsoft miraculously do a huge back flip (which is highly unlikely). In my opinion Windows 10 is the single worst operating system I have ever used (and I'm including Apple Mac OS, Windows Vista and Windows Millennium Edition in my consideration too).
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #88 on: January 19, 2019, 03:00:43 am »
Yes, it seems the Linux crowd are so entertained with their OS that they have no need for applications.
That's not how Linux users think. They think that if an application doesn't run on Linux it is because it is not worthy to run on their desktops.
Yeah, I keep a masturbation shrine next to my machine.  Every morning, when I wake up, I rub one off to Linus Torvalds.  With my morning coffee, I recite a prayer to Awk of Seds, and hope I get to proselytize the heavenly light of Linux to the unbelievers.  Then I go and round up some neighborhood kids for breakfast; they taste better than bacon.  Next I have to wipe my floors, because I keep drooling, the mouthbreather that I am; and I just can't get the hang of not defecating randomly everywhere.  :-//

i have work to do.
So, you need a hammer, because the only problem you have is nails.  Use Windows then; problem solved.

If you use a Linux machine, and do not configure it to your needs, then you are essentially using a screwdriver to hammer in nails.  If you want to get shit done, you configure the machine to work for you, or you pay someone else to do it for you, or it will suck.  That is the cost of free/open source software; deal with it.

You'd be surprised how efficient you can be, when you have a well-configured workstation that has the tools you need.
 

Offline particleman

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #89 on: January 19, 2019, 03:42:23 am »
I have used Debian since 2006. I have used Gnome shell for many years now and it seems to do what I need. I tried Arch and KDE for a few years on a laptop it was really nice but life came up and I got too busy to constantly tinker so I went back to Debian. Linux is awesome. Not having to worry abut anti-virus is pretty cool along with no system crashes, awesome up time and installs that dont really creep up in size over the years. My current install is from 20011 and is using under 19GB. Still rocking my AMD 8150. I wont upgrade until something dies beyond repair.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2019, 04:10:05 am »
If you use a Linux machine, and do not configure it to your needs, then you are essentially using a screwdriver to hammer in nails.  If you want to get shit done, you configure the machine to work for you, or you pay someone else to do it for you, or it will suck.  That is the cost of free/open source software; deal with it.
Windows also needs to be configured to work the way you want it to work.
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #91 on: January 19, 2019, 05:18:18 am »
Windows also needs to be configured to work the way you want it to work.
Can you, in general?

I do admit that the cost in time, effort, and knowledge is high, but with Linux, I can.  It is never about whether something is possible for me, it is always just a question of balance: whether something is worth the effort.  Because I do prefer programming over administration, I tend to over-amortise the development costs (because of the modular approach, and the assumption that if useful and done well, it will be useful for others/later on as well). I do have submitted patches all over, from the C library to the kernel to userspace applications, and can write a new kernel driver, service daemon, or an UI application if needed; that is the high cost part. Paying someone else to do it can cost a lot of money.

When I maintained Windows and Mac machines (granted, almost two decades ago), customization was very limited.  Most useful/efficient solutions I implemented ended up having at least one part that worked around implicit assumptions in the OSes.  Even visual customization was limited.  Nowadays I do my own bootsplashes and for fun (my favourite being Tux, my avatar, rolling its eyes during bootup).  It's the equivalent of other people putting stickers or decals on their machines, I guess.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #92 on: January 19, 2019, 05:45:54 am »


24 fps seems rather low. If vsync is on, confirm that the big Acer B326K is not forcing everything to run at 24 fps. Some combinations of video card, display and cable may end up operating at a much reduced refresh rate. If so, I'm not surprised you're getting tearing.

The canonical program I use for testing if acceleration works is glxgears. With vsync turned off and the default window size, I get ~18000 fps on my Fedora 28 box with an NVIDIA GTX950. With vsync on, it's fixed at 60 fps. I haven't noticed any tearing when watching video, although my display is 'only' 1440p.
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2019, 07:51:09 am »
24 FPS is the movie frame-rate (23.976).  My monitors are all 60Hz.  Vsync also works at 60Hz, I guess.

This needs a framerate conversion from 24.976Hz to 60Hz.  What I noticed is, when only one monitor is active and video is full screen, then the BLIT changes to FLIP.  BLIT means a bitmap image is copied at a certain location in the video screen RAM (asynchronous, I guess), while FLIP means a full image is built in a buffer, and the buffer is flipped to display during a vertical sync, synchronous with the monitor's frame rate.

BLIP or FLIP, a framerate conversion is still required from 24 to 60fps.

When properly implemented, the frame-rate conversion must be done (on the fly), and with frame interpolation.  Without frame interpolation, the image will stutter here and there, because 60Hz is not a multiple of 23.976Hz.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 08:04:03 am by RoGeorge »
 

Online Siwastaja

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2019, 08:04:38 am »
As a whole, both Windows and Linux tend to suck horribly in multiple ways, but the ways they suck are surprisingly different. You can take advantage of this.

I have very little issues now; I have found the dualboot system to work best for me. My Linux still doesn't run Altium or Solidworks, but my computer does, because it has both systems. On Windows, I need to run CAD behemoths - this often means flow of 12-hour working days for weeks, just running said CAD tools (+ web browser and a PDF viewer) and not doing much else.

For everything else, I boot in linux, which is my default boot since 2014. Mint was a fairly good choice for someone like me who would have agreed to free_electron's view about the "typical linux enthusiasts" and didn't like the idea of configuring the shit out of basic OS blocks to get it usable. XFCE Mint indeed worked out of box acceptably, unlike, for example, Red Hat, Mandrake, Debian, and Ubuntu installs I had tried over the preceding two decades (just to give them a shot; they never did fly for me; yes I'm lazy, and I didn't really need them enough to warrant the learning curve back then).

The tools I run most on linux are, approximately in this order: web browser (for both work and fun), text editors, gcc/make/binutils/etc. firmware/software development tools, my own custom development tools, spreadsheets, octave, multimedia players for freetime, and a large bunch of small stuff. Some of the software I use is clearly compromised compared to what I could get on Windows (compare Gimp to Photoshop, for example) - this only works when you use Gimp for such ridiculously simple tasks, and at such low duty cycle, that it doesn't even warrant booting into Windows (or acquiring a Photoshop license). So, in the end, I boot into Windows to run Altium only.

If my work consisted of multitasking between many Windows-only applications, of course there would be no point running linux for web surfing only.

Most of what I do can be done on Windows, and I had a similar workflow years back, on Windows XP + Cygwin. But it's clearly better on linux, the difference is large enough to warrant the hassle of occasional rebooting into Windows. This is especially true on a laptop, I really appreciate predictable bootup and shutdown times of about 5 seconds and 3 seconds, respectively, compared to randomly varying 20 seconds to half a freaking hour; this prevents me from doing work, and working on small tasks on the road. When running a 12-hour marathong on Altium, half-an-hour shutdown time on Windows is not such a big issue. I also get longer battery lifetime on Linux when running lightweight tasks, which is a plus. But this comparison is kinda irrelevant; I need to run Windows to run Windows-specific applications, to get the job done, and I don't "idle" the computer on Windows. I do that on linux.

If you look at the number of different software I use, 99% run on Linux. But if you look at the time spent, it's only about 80% on Linux.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 08:19:54 am by Siwastaja »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2019, 08:26:44 am »
This needs a framerate conversion from 23.976Hz to 60Hz.
And because 23.976:60.000 = 999:2500, that means that every 999 source frames need to produce 2500 output frames. No matter what you do, you get either jitter (from consecutive source frames being displayed for different durations) or ghosting (from displaying a mix from two consecutive frames), or you do some really fancy video processing that probably generates some odd visual perceptions and must be somewhat tuned for the source material.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.
Depends on the entire pipeline used.  Proprietary graphics drivers tend to restrict the rest of the options a lot.  For myself, the jitter (each frame being visible for 0.033333 to 0.050000 seconds, instead of the proper 0.041708 seconds or so) works, although it does show up in slow pan type shots as unevenness.

I also get longer battery lifetime on Linux when running lightweight tasks, which is a plus.
That can depend highly on hardware. Although the Linux device subsystems do support power saving states and such, they may not have as good settings as they do in Windows, because most laptop manufacturers don't care even a little bit, and the laptop mode defaults are rather generic.  Having less stuff running obviously helps a lot in any case.

That said, when I first built a nice little software-RAID (RAID0 for OS, media, and similarly recoverable data, and RAID1 for more important personal stuff) in late 00's for my own home workstation, I really wondered why that was not the norm.  At the added extra cost of $150 or so, I had a two-terabyte RAID setup that just made everything go faster. (I had two Samsung HD103UJ 1TB drives that were not only cheap, but darned reliable; it was a pity the division was sold to Seagate. I don't touch those with a pole anymore; too many bad experiences.) Of course, I tend to move a lot of data myself; a few gigabytes is typical for a dataset.  Later, I got access to a laptop with a fast Samsung SSD. (About five years ago?) Now that was seriously snappy; hibernates and wakes up in literally a couple of seconds. Bootup from poweroff to completely loaded steady state does take almost half a minute... If you use a desktop computer, and you do anything that involves large amounts of data, use a good SSD for your OS, user profiles, and your swap (for hibernation!); and a nice little software RAID array for media storage.  No matter what the OS.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2019, 09:31:06 am »
Wow, yeah, Linux users doesn't get any work done, all they do is configure their desktop day out and day in. :palm:

I haven't touched mine in at least 4 years.
If I don't like my desktop (think flattie GUIs where there are too few clues as to what can be clicked and what the state is), I can change it.

Windows users don't get any work done: their machines are too busy running ineffective anti-virus software, and the users are too busy rebuilding their machines that have been borked by the latest forced MS Windows "update".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2019, 10:34:47 am »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%
Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.

A backhoe is a great tool if that is what you need but it makes a very unsatisfactory mode for family transportation. Linux can be great for whatever but the public at large do not consider it user friendly enough, in spite of it being free. Most people would pay money to have something easier to use and which saves them time.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2019, 11:26:52 am »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%
Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.
These numbers are very skewed. A while ago there was a poll on this forum. It turns out 60% of the people here use Linux regulary. And that also agrees with what I'm seeing at customers. I have several customers where the engineering departmant runs Linux on their computers.

Besides that: Android technically is Linux.
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #99 on: January 19, 2019, 11:54:22 am »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%
Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.
These numbers are very skewed. A while ago there was a poll on this forum. It turns out 60% of the people here use Linux regulary. And that also agrees with what I'm seeing at customers. I have several customers where the engineering departmant runs Linux on their computers.

Besides that: Android technically is Linux.

And "Apple" is technically BSD unix.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2019, 01:59:08 pm »
When properly implemented, the frame-rate conversion must be done (on the fly), and with frame interpolation.  Without frame interpolation, the image will stutter here and there, because 60Hz is not a multiple of 23.976Hz.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.
The fractional frame rate rubbish is one that really needs to die. (And interlacing as well, but support for that is still needed for legacy content.) Mpv can speed up 29.97 or 59.94 FPS to an even 30 or 60 exactly synchronized to the display and the amount of change is so small that it's unnoticeable.
https://mpv.io/manual/stable/#miscellaneous
The option you probably want is to set video-sync to display-resample. Then there are a few other options to play with, I suggest using the config I posted earlier as a starting point.
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #101 on: January 19, 2019, 02:40:09 pm »
I do not think it will gain significant market share
Why should it?  Linux desktop market share is completely irrelevant to me, and the majority of Linux devs agree.  Only the systemd folks care, and they produce crap anyway.

Most people would pay money to have something easier to use and which saves them time.
They do, and I've done that.  Why don't you?  Oh, you're willing to pay what you pay for the crappy one-size-fits-all thing, but not customized stuff.  No, sorry; I have no intent on becoming your personal servant.

The difficulty in the business model of making a paid distro for former Windows-users is user retention.  If you do it right (and I do understand there are distros that do that), you basically always lose your customers to the more Linux-native distros, sooner or later.  If you try to keep your existing paying users, it'll be a crappy distro, among many crappy distros trying to do the same.

What works, is designing a distro, or at least the workflow (including UI customizations and choosing the applications), for a specific set of tasks.  But unless you have lots of employees doing the same task, it is hard to reach exactly that niche, and even harder to get targeted individuals to pay for your new distro.

The fractional frame rate rubbish is one that really needs to die.
Aw crap, I completely forgot about that, even though I actually used to do that a lot. I can't tell the 29.97 to 30.00 speedup, but the 23.976 to 30 is similar to Youtube 125% playback speed, except frequencies shifted up a note or two.  The 23.976 to 25.00 speedup for my old PAL TV was a very minor shift up in frequency, and the 104.27% speed felt utterly natural.  I kinda liked that.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #102 on: January 19, 2019, 06:01:42 pm »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%

Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.

Android only account for 41% because it is used on a bazillion cell phones and, indeed, it may show up as a high percentage of web clients.  I'm not aware of it being used on a desktop.

In terms of actual 'desktop' usage, the topic of this thread, Linux accounts for less than 2%
http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/worldwide/

I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux and I sometimes use them at the command line for software development.  I don't use them for the more common email, web and office applications.  In general, I don't find Linux applications anywhere near as refined as Windows applications and it's the applications that matter, not the OS.

I also use the Bash shell under Win 10.  This gives me a nice place to do command line kinds of things like building software.

Linux has been around for 27 years or so.  If it was ever going to be more than a bit player in the desktop arena, it would have done so by now.  It does have a commanding lead in the server arena; people like free servers.  I haven't used Windows Server in over 15 years but, back then, it wasn't all that easy to set up.  It has probably improved...

I guess somehow it makes sense to walk away from the most popular desktop OS and migrate to the backwaters but I sure don't see it.  It always sounded like an ego trip to me.  "Look at me!  I use Linux!  I'm smarter than you!".  Ok, sure, I see that...
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #103 on: January 19, 2019, 06:13:00 pm »

The difficulty in the business model of making a paid distro for former Windows-users is user retention.  If you do it right (and I do understand there are distros that do that), you basically always lose your customers to the more Linux-native distros, sooner or later.  If you try to keep your existing paying users, it'll be a crappy distro, among many crappy distros trying to do the same.

For many years, Redhat Enterprise Linux was the platform of choice for developers targeting Linux.  It is a for-pay distro but it provides a stable target for developers.  The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.  For the most part, they simply ignore Linux and target Windows and OS-X - that gives them coverage for 90% of desktops, who cares about the 2% share of Linux?

Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?

 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #104 on: January 19, 2019, 06:18:06 pm »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?

That's not how things work and I think you know it.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #105 on: January 19, 2019, 07:05:45 pm »
I find it interesting they consider Chrome OS as separate from Linux and "unknown" is a surprisingly high percentage. I wonder if the majority of "unknown" are browsers designed to defeat tracking.

The poor state of Windows nowadays is only going to accelerate the adoption of Linux on the desktop. The main barriers for ordinary users appear to be games, but even that has improved by a lot.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #106 on: January 19, 2019, 07:13:26 pm »
I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux
I had to look it up to confirm:
Quote
incantation, noun: incantation; plural noun: incantations

    a series of words said as a magic spell or charm.
    "an incantation to raise the dead"
    synonyms:   chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell, magic formula, rune; More
    abracadabra, open sesame;
    hex, mojo;
    makutu
    "he muttered some weird incantations"
        the use of words as a magic spell.
        "there was no magic in such incantation"
        synonyms:   chanting, intonation, recitation
        "the ritual incantation of such words"
It describes Linux perfectly :)
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #107 on: January 19, 2019, 08:08:55 pm »
I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux
I had to look it up to confirm:
Quote
incantation, noun: incantation; plural noun: incantations

    a series of words said as a magic spell or charm.
    "an incantation to raise the dead"
    synonyms:   chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell, magic formula, rune; More
    abracadabra, open sesame;
    hex, mojo;
    makutu
    "he muttered some weird incantations"
        the use of words as a magic spell.
        "there was no magic in such incantation"
        synonyms:   chanting, intonation, recitation
        "the ritual incantation of such words"
It describes Linux perfectly :)

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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #108 on: January 19, 2019, 08:36:22 pm »
But, how did we get from 24.000 fps -> 23.976 fps, after all?  And played back at 60 fps.  Not to mention here the mains is 50Hz, not 60Hz.  ^-^

Because eye imperfection, and expensive celluloid, and cinema, and television, and interlacing, and mains power frequency, and color television, and radio bandwidth, and NTSC, and PAL/SECAM, and backward compatibility, and now video games, and virtual reality, and 3D movies, and stuff.



 :phew:

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #109 on: January 19, 2019, 09:13:50 pm »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?
Sorry but this is utter nonsense. There is lots of commercial software available which runs on Linux. Think about Cadence Allegro, Xilinx FPGA tools, Altera FPGA tools, Sonnet Professional (EM solver), etc. Each of these cost several $k at least.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 09:17:53 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #110 on: January 19, 2019, 10:42:11 pm »
The poor state of Windows nowadays is only going to accelerate the adoption of Linux on the desktop. The main barriers for ordinary users appear to be games, but even that has improved by a lot.

I have been running Win 10 since it came out and it is a vast improvement on Win 7 and that was darn near perfect.  Among other things, installing printers is vastly simplified:  Win 10 scans the network, finds the printers and offers to install them from drivers it already has.

Under one version of Linux, I have to remember a particular port for a browser to connect to localhost and with some amazing amount of effort, I might get a printer to install.  If a driver exists...

The big problem with Linux is that it is darn difficult to get it running.  Try using minicom as a normal user.  Just try to get access to the serial port.  How many Google searches before you find out you're not a member of the group allowed to use the serial port.  How many more searches until you find out that you need to be a superuser to add yourself to the serial port group?  And on it goes.  Same with USB ports, and how come I have to write udev rules?  How am I supposed to know that the reason my gadget doesn't connect is because there isn't a rule?  I don't have to do that with Windows.
Quote
Rule files and semantics. When deciding how to name a device and which additional actions to perform, udev reads a series of rules files. These files are kept in the /etc/udev/rules.d directory, and they all must have the .rules suffix. Default udev rules are stored in /etc/udev/rules.d/50-udev.rules.
Truly helpful - not...  I haven't done this but I imagine you need to be su to do it.

Remember when we had to deal with printcap?  Those were the days!

Nobody wants this crap!  That's the big reason that Linux is nowhere in terms of desktop penetration after 27 years.  It is terribly difficult for the casual user to set up.  And, having set it up, so what?  It's just an OS, not an application. 

And then you have the Unity desktop for Ubuntu where the arrogant developers moved the system buttons.  Originally they allowed the user, with even more Google searches, to move them back where they belong.  Now that is impossible!  The shear arrogance is astounding!

Mint with the Cinnamon desktop is pretty decent.  I have it on a couple of machines and use it from time to time.  I use it because it closely approximates what I know - Windows.

Just remember:  Linux has less than 2% desktop market penetration after 27 years even when they give it away free!  They can't even give it away!
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #111 on: January 19, 2019, 11:27:55 pm »
Same with USB ports, and how come I have to write udev rules?  How am I supposed to know that the reason my gadget doesn't connect is because there isn't a rule?  I don't have to do that with Windows.
Oddly enough, on Windows, you have to use a tool like Zadig to allow libusb to work, so not so straightforward for "unusual" devices like certain test and measurement hardware. On Linux, if you have the permission, it just works...

I also wonder how many remember that it was Linux that made home use Windows as reliable as it has been for nearly 2 decades. That was when Linux was beginning to become ready for desktop use so Microsoft had to neutralize one of its big advantages  - namely not crashing very often.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #112 on: January 19, 2019, 11:34:11 pm »
@rstofer: Fortunately my experiences are the complete opposite. Where installing a printer on Windows is a major pain getting it going on Debian Linux takes almost no effort at all. But then again I've been using Linux commercially for almost 25 years already so I know my way around. Back then I recognised Linux is different compared to DOS/Windows so I took a training to learn the basics.

Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #113 on: January 19, 2019, 11:55:12 pm »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%
Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.

Linux market share worldwide is up around the 1.5 to 3.5% mark depending on where you look.

While still small compared to Windows, it still represents a significant number of users with take-up rates steadily climbing. Users who are looking to Linux as an alternative to Windows 10 is becoming fairly common. 5 years ago I wouldn't have ever entertained the idea myself, but now, I only run Linux at home (with Windows 7 in a VM for the few applications that don't run on Linux).

As more users get sick of Windows 10 and all its problems, they will look to alternatives. I know a handful of people who have made the switch and their partners/spouses have picked up Linux quite easily. It's not a difficult operating system to get your head around, it's just different.

As for "smug superiority", I think that's largely made up. I certainly don't see it from where I'm sitting. Most people couldn't give a shit.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 11:57:07 pm by Halcyon »
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #114 on: January 20, 2019, 12:12:13 am »
24 FPS is the movie frame-rate (23.976).  My monitors are all 60Hz.  Vsync also works at 60Hz, I guess.

This needs a framerate conversion from 24.976Hz to 60Hz.  What I noticed is, when only one monitor is active and video is full screen, then the BLIT changes to FLIP.  BLIT means a bitmap image is copied at a certain location in the video screen RAM (asynchronous, I guess), while FLIP means a full image is built in a buffer, and the buffer is flipped to display during a vertical sync, synchronous with the monitor's frame rate.

BLIP or FLIP, a framerate conversion is still required from 24 to 60fps.

When properly implemented, the frame-rate conversion must be done (on the fly), and with frame interpolation.  Without frame interpolation, the image will stutter here and there, because 60Hz is not a multiple of 23.976Hz.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.

Hmm... my preferred media player (VLC) doesn't even show the FPS counter so it must not use openGL for rendering. I did find that turning off 'Allow Flipping' in the NVIDIA X server configuration induced some tearing, which makes sense since no matter if vsync is enabled or not, unless you do page flipping (have two frame buffers, render to one while the other is visible, then exchange buffers) you are pretty much guaranteed to see tearing at some point.

Frame rate conversion is handled by the media player.
 

Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #115 on: January 20, 2019, 12:56:56 am »
I have been running Win 10 since it came out and it is a vast improvement on Win 7 and that was darn near perfect.

What is interesting to note about Windows users, observing them justify their choice, is that they always say that the current version of Windows is a vast improvement of the previous version, and that the current version is perfect. I've been reading this kind of comment in forums for the last 20 years or so.

Well, if the current is perfect and is a vast improvement over the previous, then the previous version sucks.

If Microsoft releases Windows 11, this version will be a vast improvement over the previous version, which is Windows 10, of course this means that Windows 10 sucks.

Which is exactly what everybody else is saying about Windows 10 now.

So this Windows perfection is just a myth.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #116 on: January 20, 2019, 01:10:52 am »
Regarding Linux graphics driver issues: often the Arch Linux wiki is a good place to look for help.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Nvidia#Multiple_monitors

Quote
If you are using TwinView and vertical sync (the "Sync to VBlank" option in nvidia-settings), you will notice that only one screen is being properly synced, unless you have two identical monitors. Although nvidia-settings does offer an option to change which screen is being synced (the "Sync to this display device" option), this does not always work. 

Eep.  I have working vsync across multiple monitors, but I run the open-source radeon drivers.  I remember the fun that was the proprietary (FGLRX/Catalyst) drivers for Radeon, glad I don't have to use those anymore. 


OP: Do it only if you are willing and able to learn a new tool. If you just need a tool that works like Windows but isn't Windows, don't bother: the switch will just aggravate you.
I think the problem is that the latest version of Windows is not very good, so the only alternatives are to use an older version of Windows that will become unsupported at some point or use some other OS altogether.
I agree. Windows XP (in a VM) is still my go-to Windows. I can't even use Windows 10 because the font anti-aliasing (causing me an instant headache) can't be disabled.

Thankyou thankyou thankyou.  I'm not the only person in the world.  Windows 7 font rendering causes me repeatable headaches.  I have not spent much time on 10, but I agree my first choice is XP in a VM.  Faster, easier on the eyes, etc. 

A few years back freetype (font renderer on Linux) changed its hinting to be more Windows like, so fonts suddenly became a lot blurrier.  I found some environment var exports that reverted these changes in every app except Firefox and Thunderbird.  Yay, the two things I use the most ignore my preferences.


Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #117 on: January 20, 2019, 01:11:45 am »
Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.

The problem with industry and Linux is the multitude of license Terms and Conditions.  Where I worked we wouldn't even consider Open Source  or any similar offerings.  We bought site licenses for everything and we only bought Microsoft.  There was a movement early on to transition to Apple but the only people who wanted to go that way worked for IT.  The end users were happy with Microsoft and the legal department didn't see a problem.

If you have to run software in a VM, is it really Linux software?  I wonder if Wine is the most used Linux application.

Linux tries to remain chaste, no proprietary software.  If you want a driver for your nVidia board you first have to learn how to add third party repositories to the search list.  More time with Google, I suppose.  It used to be that I had to recompile the driver every time there was a kernel upgrade and it seemed like that was happening monthly.  It was a huge PITA.  This was with RedHat Enterprise Linux, I don't know how it affected other distros.

It does seem like Linux finally got WiFi to work.  It was a gigantic PITA a few years back.  My most recent installations have been seemless.

 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #118 on: January 20, 2019, 03:10:42 am »
Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.
The problem with industry and Linux is the multitude of license Terms and Conditions.  Where I worked we wouldn't even consider Open Source  or any similar offerings.
Again: you don't have to run open source software in Linux. I'm running quite a few closed source applications.
Quote
If you have to run software in a VM, is it really Linux software?  I wonder if Wine is the most used Linux application.
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).
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Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #119 on: January 20, 2019, 09:38:57 am »
I'm amazed that anyone can say Windows 10 is good with a straight face. My experience has been the exact opposite. It is easily the worst Microsoft product I have ever tried to use.
 
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #120 on: January 20, 2019, 09:56:55 am »
What is interesting to note about Windows users, observing them justify their choice, is that they always say that the current version of Windows is a vast improvement of the previous version, and that the current version is perfect. I've been reading this kind of comment in forums for the last 20 years or so.

Well, if the current is perfect and is a vast improvement over the previous, then the previous version sucks.
Does not follow. At all.
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Offline rdelpellegrino

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #121 on: January 20, 2019, 11:07:08 am »
Most Linux distros are the same OS wrapped up differently and most are very easy and quick to install these days.

Try them all. It is purely a matter of personal preference - at least at home.

As a Windows user, perhaps some may initially be easier to get along with, but the wonderful thing is - you can change your mind any time you like! Quite easily.

I think its reasonable to suspect that you know how to protect your data through such transitions. It isn't all that hard, considering the tools most Linus distros have to offer.

So far I have luckily not been seriously bitten like you have by Window 10. But I will say that the single totally good thing about Windows 10 is Bash Shell.

Now that's irony for you...

« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 11:11:00 am by rdelpellegrino »
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #122 on: January 20, 2019, 11:24:23 am »
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).

I use Wine for LTspice, works like a charm. Hyperterminal can be replaced with it's Linux counterpart Cutecom:

https://gitlab.com/cutecom/cutecom/



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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #123 on: January 20, 2019, 11:53:06 am »
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).
I use Wine for LTspice, works like a charm. Hyperterminal can be replaced with it's Linux counterpart Cutecom:

https://gitlab.com/cutecom/cutecom/
Most software I tried doesn't work in Wine. Wine basically needs to be fixed for every piece of software.

And no, there is no replacement for Hyperterminal. Hyperterminal has a unique combination of features: it can open/close the port with a click on a button, it has file transfer protocols and you can adjust the timing for lines and characters. I have not found a replacement which can do all these things.
edit: tried Cutecom. Doesn't look like a real terminal emulator and it doesn't adhere to the system settings for disabling font aliasing (so I can't use it).
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 12:44:19 pm by nctnico »
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #124 on: January 20, 2019, 12:01:39 pm »
In my experience WINE will work only with very simple programs which have little or no hardware interaction. MS Paint, notepad work well. Irfanview sort of works. I will try LTSpice and I expect it to work.  But even something as simple as Outlook Express, which I still use with Win XP, will not work with WINE.  Forget about using WINE for anything but the very simplest programs. The again, why would you use WINE to use Notepad when Linux has its own equivalent?
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #125 on: January 20, 2019, 12:29:12 pm »
In my experience WINE will work only with very simple programs which have little or no hardware interaction. MS Paint, notepad work well. Irfanview sort of works. I will try LTSpice and I expect it to work.  But even something as simple as Outlook Express, which I still use with Win XP, will not work with WINE.  Forget about using WINE for anything but the very simplest programs. The again, why would you use WINE to use Notepad when Linux has its own equivalent?

WINE works well with more than that, e.g. DesignSpark PCB schematic/layout. But it is indeed hit and miss.

Outlook Express is designed to be entwined with MS Windows "features", so I would be amazed if it was useful in anything other than Windows. Ditto any other MS program, since their business model is based on keeping you paying for more of their stuff.

OTOH, if you want an email program, choose something that is based on MBOX files, since they have been around for decades and will continue to be around for decades, and are operating system independent - and to a useful extent they are application mail client independent.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #126 on: January 20, 2019, 01:45:57 pm »
I'm amazed that anyone can say Windows 10 is good with a straight face. My experience has been the exact opposite. It is easily the worst Microsoft product I have ever tried to use.
Not as bad as Windows ME, but that's a low bar...
And no, there is no replacement for Hyperterminal. Hyperterminal has a unique combination of features: it can open/close the port with a click on a button, it has file transfer protocols and you can adjust the timing for lines and characters. I have not found a replacement which can do all these things.
edit: tried Cutecom. Doesn't look like a real terminal emulator and it doesn't adhere to the system settings for disabling font aliasing (so I can't use it).
My favorites for serial port terminals are GTKterm for Linux and Realterm for Windows. And apparently Realterm works on WINE.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #127 on: January 20, 2019, 02:36:35 pm »
I also dislike Windows 10, but saying it is the worst product MS has released... You clearly haven't used other incarnations of their OS, web browser, text editor...
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #128 on: January 20, 2019, 03:04:53 pm »
The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.
No, I've never had any issues with that.  Sure, there is a few hours of work to verify the package dependencies for each root distribution and write the package scripts, but it isn't a big deal at all.

The people who have trouble with that, are the ones who cobble together particular versions of particular libraries, and write code that only works with those.  They need Snap or similar, because "modularity" is not something they grasp.

Now, if you had written "You need better developers to do that", I would have agreed.  There is a literal gigaton of programmers good enough to write poor quality Windows/Mac GUI apps, and a lot fewer programmers that can build something robust, and can afford to research how to do things right.  That sort of stuff bites into the profit margins, after all.  Ship early, and ship often, right?

The above isn't intended as snarky, by the way.  It is an observation over the last two or three decades.  In my experience, the quality of software is increasingly dual: you have a small number of brilliant tools -- and that includes both proprietary stuff like Adobe Photoshop, and open source stuff like GCC --, but the median quality is going down.  Code is increasingly buggy and wastes resources.

that gives them coverage for 90% of desktops, who cares about the 2% [desktop] share of Linux?
True. The same can be said for anyone trying to do HPC on Macs or Windows: they're laughed out.  Heck, even Microsoft prefers Linux servers on their Azure platform.

On the other hand, Adobe as a company rejected Linux outright, for reasons they never stated publicly.  They even refused to port Macromedia Software browser plugins to Linux, after they acquired it, and did an utterly piss-poor job with their Flash browser plugin.  That is similar to how Microsoft pumped millions into a couple of HPC clusters, just to get them into the Top-500 list; they knew nobody doing HPC would be fooled by their efforts.  Some things are just political/personal to the business leaders.

A major reason why the device driver situation on Linux has become better, is the efforts by the kernel developers (the Linux driver project and the Linux Foundation efforts), allowing the manufacturers to spend or risk very little to get Linux support for their devices (by contacting developers to do it for them.  The true underlying problem has been that companies are unwilling to treat Linux developers as equals, like they would another business, but insist on treating them as end users.

A very similar problem is occurring with the various Right to Repair movements.  Manufacturers and sellers are not treating themselves as sellers, but as licensors, and their customers licensees, who do not really own what they buy.  This is a business culture problem.

I am all for competition, and businesses making profit.  What I do not like, is when politics (especially personal politics by the CEOs and other nitwits, who only really know money) is mixed in with it.  Software patents, and a lot of the patent system mess, is one of those.  (That might start a flamewar, but fact is, the purpose of the patent system is to ensure new innovations are marketed; not to stop competing products from entering the market, as they are predominantly used today.)

A large part of opposition to Linux, the belief that you cannot sell software on Linux, is based on the decade and half of expensive propaganda by Microsoft.  They spent a lot of money to make people believe Linux is a communist anti-market anti-business trick.  Unfortunately, many people who have never tried to sell Linux software, still believe it today.  (I see the effects of this daily even here in Finland, the birthplace of Linux.  It is like a huge magic trick pulled over the general population.)

I have sold Linux software myself.  A friend does so still, and has done it for a few years now.  If you haven't, but think it cannot be done, just shut up: your belief has no basis in reality.  If you have tried, but failed, then we can talk (why it failed, and how it could have worked).
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #129 on: January 20, 2019, 09:38:29 pm »
The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.
No, I've never had any issues with that.  Sure, there is a few hours of work to verify the package dependencies for each root distribution and write the package scripts, but it isn't a big deal at all.

The people who have trouble with that, are the ones who cobble together particular versions of particular libraries, and write code that only works with those.  They need Snap or similar, because "modularity" is not something they grasp.
In my experience this is not something so simple. We have limited resources and, given the Linux version comprises about 10% of our total downloads, we cannot simply spend "a few extra hours" per distro and per version when the general public is using a wide combination of tools out there. We simply choose the most popular (Ubuntu in our case) and let the customers figure out how to install in their distro of choice.

Having to also support Windows (7 and 10, both 32 and 64-bit) and macOS (Sierra, High Sierra), there's no way to fully appease to the entire Linux crowd. Of all these, macOS is the one that has been giving us the most grief lately, as people tend to update their OSes without thinking and several munor changes come to bite us - although all three had shown issues before.

Regarding usability, *nix can be made quite easy to use, as macOS and ChromeOS can show. IME the biggest issue going agains MS and Linux is to properly support the widest range of custom HW arrangements in the marketplace. That is why the procedure to do proper HW setup or obtain a given graphics performance is so much harder.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #130 on: January 20, 2019, 10:02:28 pm »
The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.
No, I've never had any issues with that.  Sure, there is a few hours of work to verify the package dependencies for each root distribution and write the package scripts, but it isn't a big deal at all.

The people who have trouble with that, are the ones who cobble together particular versions of particular libraries, and write code that only works with those.  They need Snap or similar, because "modularity" is not something they grasp.
In my experience this is not something so simple. We have limited resources and, given the Linux version comprises about 10% of our total downloads, we cannot simply spend "a few extra hours" per distro and per version when the general public is using a wide combination of tools out there. We simply choose the most popular (Ubuntu in our case) and let the customers figure out how to install in their distro of choice.
The easiest way to support many different kinds of OS configurations is to link all libraries statically OR supply the binaries with the binaries. Not depending on any libraries installed on the system has served me very well regardless the OS. BTW Windows 10 has caused me some grief as well because it seems quite a few things have changed under the hood where it comes to scheduling the user interface events and how serial ports are handled.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #131 on: January 20, 2019, 10:24:52 pm »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?
Sorry but this is utter nonsense. There is lots of commercial software available which runs on Linux. Think about Cadence Allegro, Xilinx FPGA tools, Altera FPGA tools, Sonnet Professional (EM solver), etc. Each of these cost several $k at least.

and why ? because solaris and sun workstations disappeared , became underpowered and more expensive than commodity pc hardware.
So those guys wanted a simple port ... unix ( solaris / bsd ) -> linux . done. adapting to windows was too difficult. but now the point is moot as those packages also run on windows.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #132 on: January 20, 2019, 10:31:41 pm »

And you rant on and on and I spend more time unfucking your beloved Windows than I ever have dealing with Linux.

Give me a call next time the licensing tool for your software causes the machine to hard reset shortly after boot with no error and nothing in the logs, absolutely nothing to indicate where to start looking, and tell me how it 'always works'.
My current laptop hasn't been rebooted in at least a year. Last boot was due to a power-cycle to install new hardware ( more ram and a quadro 5100)
Win7-64 bit Enterprise. Stock install.
And what licensing tool ? None of the software i use is dependent on a license tool.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #133 on: January 20, 2019, 10:39:44 pm »
The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.
No, I've never had any issues with that.  Sure, there is a few hours of work to verify the package dependencies for each root distribution and write the package scripts, but it isn't a big deal at all.

The people who have trouble with that, are the ones who cobble together particular versions of particular libraries, and write code that only works with those.  They need Snap or similar, because "modularity" is not something they grasp.
In my experience this is not something so simple. We have limited resources and, given the Linux version comprises about 10% of our total downloads, we cannot simply spend "a few extra hours" per distro and per version when the general public is using a wide combination of tools out there. We simply choose the most popular (Ubuntu in our case) and let the customers figure out how to install in their distro of choice.
The easiest way to support many different kinds of OS configurations is to link all libraries statically OR supply the binaries with the binaries. Not depending on any libraries installed on the system has served me very well regardless the OS. BTW Windows 10 has caused me some grief as well because it seems quite a few things have changed under the hood where it comes to scheduling the user interface events and how serial ports are handled.
Nico, that is an alternative we have for specific components of our software, but there are many other libraries that, when statically linked, still showed incompatibilities with certain untested distros.

Another issue is download size: I wonder how much adding absolutely everything would add to an already hefty 1GB package.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2019, 12:30:25 am »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?
Sorry but this is utter nonsense. There is lots of commercial software available which runs on Linux. Think about Cadence Allegro, Xilinx FPGA tools, Altera FPGA tools, Sonnet Professional (EM solver), etc. Each of these cost several $k at least.

and why ? because solaris and sun workstations disappeared , became underpowered and more expensive than commodity pc hardware.
So those guys wanted a simple port ... unix ( solaris / bsd ) -> linux . done. adapting to windows was too difficult. but now the point is moot as those packages also run on windows.
The point isn't moot. You just fail to see that there are a lot of people who prefer to use Linux for engineering tasks. Enough to make it worthwhile from a business perspective to support Linux. Why would these companies bother to support Linux if they have a working Windows port? That is a rethorical question: because they will lose sales (and money) if they don't support Linux. And don't underestimate the effort which goes into supporting a Linux build. It is not a matter of taking some old source code which worked on Solaris from the 90's and compile it. Take Cadence Allegro for example. This is build onto the cross platform Qt framework which is relatively new and didn't exist when the old Unixes ruled the CAD world. Cadence made a clear to choice to support Windows AND Linux for their PCB Layout software product. I'm seeing some changes in Orcad Capture as well which may hint they are porting it to Linux.

Even Altium is feeling the heat:
https://www.altium.com/solution/linux-pcb-design-software
Do you need to design a printed circuit board, but are having difficulty in finding Linux PCB design software? Well, look no further, because Altium has a solution for you.

This page is pushing Altium's browser-based PCB design solution so probably meh but the sign is clearly on the wall.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 01:11:06 am by nctnico »
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #135 on: January 21, 2019, 01:13:33 am »
there's no way to fully appease to the entire Linux crowd.
Appease?

Look. The situation is simple. You have a product. Either the users want that product, or they don't.  It is not a matter of appeasing to the crowd, unless your product is so shit its sales depends exclusively on marketing.

IME the biggest issue going agains MS and Linux is to properly support the widest range of custom HW arrangements in the marketplace.
No, that's crazy talk.  I mean, the idea that you tune your software to a specific graphics hardware.  On Linux, you use one of the GUI toolkits (the two most common being Qt and GTK+; if you use either one, your application can run in any desktop environment), and OpenGL for acceleration.  You do need to compile the binaries for x86-64 and at least one or two ARM variants, but if your codebase is sensible, it would not require any code changes.  If you target specific hardware, you're doing it wrong.  If your programmers are those who assume int and pointers are the same size, you fire them and hire better ones.

If your team is one of those who create a really nice-looking thing, that when run on different graphics hardware crashes instantly, it is your task to fire them, and get a team that can do it right.  If not, you're just complaining that this business is too hard for stupid people to run, and that Linux devs are nasty if they don't make it easier so we can make a better profit easier.

I am perfectly aware that that approach means it is hard to implement high-budget games on Linux, because their main attraction is visuals, and optimizing for main graphics hardware types.  For Windows games, the game engine developers all co-operate with the driver implementers.  For Linux, the proprietary game engine developers are not allowed to, not on the up-and-up, with Linux graphics drivers devs, for company-internal reasons.  (Steam folks were the first ones I am aware of, and they don't seem to have any major issues now.)  There are quite a few Linux games, so the technology itself cannot be a problem; it can only be a problem with how one operates their business.

If I were harsh, I'd say your complaint boils down to "butbut Linux is not Windows".  We all know that.  Demanding that Linux becomes more like Windows is not a sane one. Trying to base it on "then you'd get much more desktop users" or "then it would be easier for existing businesses to make money on Linux software" does not make sense either. Neither is a positive for Linux users and developers.  The users prefer it to be non-Windows-like.  If they didn't, they'd use Windows instead.

The same applies to Mac. (Or rather, Apple is even more insular than Microsoft is, even if their operating system otherwise looks like an Unix machine.  They have their own graphics stack, Metal, and are stopping OpenGL support altogether.)

Look.  It is perfectly possible to make lots of money selling Linux software.  You claim you cannot.  I am saying that that can only be because you do not know how to do profitable business on Linux.  You claim there are technical obstacles.  I say those technical obstacles are of your own making, and not inherent in Linux at all.

Claiming that you cannot do business in Linux is just like claiming you cannot do business in Japan or Korea or Germany, because their business rules are completely wrong; my United States business just cannot work there.  So they must change, because that way I could do business there too.  But, they refuse to, so they are stupid and anti-business long-haired smellies who hate money and love Stalin, bloody commies.  Right?
 
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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #136 on: January 21, 2019, 01:27:39 am »
Another issue is download size: I wonder how much adding absolutely everything would add to an already hefty 1GB package.

Easily offset by things like printer, graphics, and sound drivers not being the size of an entire OS unto themselves on Linux..
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #137 on: January 21, 2019, 02:52:08 am »
there's no way to fully appease to the entire Linux crowd.
Appease?

Look. The situation is simple. You have a product. Either the users want that product, or they don't.  It is not a matter of appeasing to the crowd, unless your product is so shit its sales depends exclusively on marketing.
Yes, appease. Whenever a version is released, several questions still pop up as to why distro "X" is not supported, with the occasional complaints. It used to happen a lot more in the past, but nowadays some more Linux savvy developers adapt it to their distro, which is not very difficult but we don't officially test it and therefore do not promise support. It is what makes financial sense to address a minority of our customer base.

IME the biggest issue going agains MS and Linux is to properly support the widest range of custom HW arrangements in the marketplace.
No, that's crazy talk.
No, it is not. The context is when comparing to the HW available to Chrome OS and macOS, which is locked. Don't cut quotations to cater to your narrative.

I mean, the idea that you (ZZZZZ....zzzzzz....zzzz...zzzz....) business.

If I were harsh, I'd say your complaint boils down to(ZZZZZ....zzzzzz....zzzz...zzzz....) use Windows instead.
I am impressed - you could extract so many vitriolic reactions and wrong assumptions from my small post? Don't worry in your guessing; you are being harsh all around - fortunately for me this is entirely irrelevant as not everyone is making games or creating beautified GUIs locked to feature "Z" of adapter "X".

Look.  It is perfectly possible to make lots of money selling Linux software.  You claim you cannot.  I am saying that that can only be because you do not know how to do profitable business on Linux.  You claim there are technical obstacles.  I say those technical obstacles are of your own making, and not inherent in Linux at all.

Claiming that you cannot do business in Linux is just like claiming you cannot do business in Japan or Korea or Germany, because their business rules are completely wrong; my United States business just cannot work there.  So they must change, because that way I could do business there too.  But, they refuse to, so they are stupid and anti-business long-haired smellies who hate money and love Stalin, bloody commies.  Right?
Stop putting words in my mouth and get rid of your frivolous assumptions to try and prove your narrative. Repeating what I wrote above and before: financially for us it makes zero sense to "spend a few hours" with each distro, validate and properly document and provide continuous support for absolutely everything on the marketplace.

Your post can be barely taken seriously when compared to what I posted - it only showcases a typical Linux fan that cannot take criticism for someone that lives a different reality than yours. Anyways, all this is going off topic.

Another issue is download size: I wonder how much adding absolutely everything would add to an already hefty 1GB package.

Easily offset by things like printer, graphics, and sound drivers not being the size of an entire OS unto themselves on Linux..
I agree with the ridiculous sizes of certain support packages for peripherals, but that really does not help in my case as I don't provide them. I don't work for any of the HPs, Epsons, Nvidias, etc.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 03:39:49 am by rsjsouza »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #138 on: January 21, 2019, 03:21:06 am »
1.  Which one would you choose as a home desktop?
2.  Is there a big difference in the software availability between the two?
3.  I don't like to reinstall too often, yet I want the latest gimmicks, too.  Which one to pick for the long run, Fedora 29 or Ubuntu 18.10?

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Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #139 on: January 21, 2019, 03:21:26 am »
Does anyone here use virtual containers ?
I would think that pc hardware these days is so powerful you could just spin up a bunch of VM's , drop whatever OS you need in them and run them parallel.
i'm talking a vm that does not require a host OS for itself. (XEN )

Then you can just run whatever OS is needed for whatever apps you want to use. run that on one box and simple setup Remote desktop connections to the different os's running.

Then again for graphics intensive stuff that may not work very well...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 03:26:48 am by free_electron »
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Offline edy

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #140 on: January 21, 2019, 03:42:22 am »
I want to reply back to the original post... regarding my foray into Linux after also ditching Windows 7 just around the time Win 10 was being crammed down our throats. I am not an expert in all the Linux distros and features of each. However, I burned a bunch of Live DVD's at the time and then Live USB's (for my newer machines that allowed USB boot) to experiment... and here's what I found.

I ended up settling with various Ubuntu distro's depending on the hardware. For my older computers that the kids are using, I used Lubuntu (https://lubuntu.net/). I am up to the latest Lubuntu version (and continue to update/upgrade to every new release). My kids are still using an old Dell Latitude D820 laptop made circa 2006 with Lubuntu. I have also an old PC upstairs that the kids use, also Lubuntu. Lubuntu is very lightweight and uses LXDE, yet you can add on whatever you want after if you choose. Very capable on older hardware.

My newer more capable laptop and PC desktop are running Ubuntu Studio (https://ubuntustudio.org/), also I keep up to latest version. I like Studio because it also has a nice clean desktop XFCE and pre-installed with tons of graphics, office, video and audio apps. I install tons of extra things on it and it is my "daily driver" on my ASUS Core i7 laptop.

My wife has a regular Ubuntu install on her 5-6 year old HP machine but I don't like whatever desktop they put on there at the time (I think it was Unity). I think they moved on to Gnome 3 now, which I like much more than Unity. I would much rather install Ubuntu Studio from scratch and have the cleaner and faster XFCE desktop environment and all the packages preloaded than start off with a default Ubuntu install... So my preference is still either Ubuntu Studio, or Lubuntu for older hardware, or Ubuntu if they moved away from that aweful Unity Desktop environment.

I also occasionally run a Tails Live USB when I want to boot up and leave no traces (https://tails.boum.org/). Currenty I am reading through the book "Linux Basics for Hackers" (https://nostarch.com/linuxbasicsforhackers) and it provides tutorials through the use of Kali Linux (https://www.kali.org/) so I am trying to get some experience with security and penetration testing, network sniffing, etc. I run this in a VirtualBox machine on my Ubuntu Studio machine.

Speaking of VirtualBox, I also run Windows 10, Windows XP Mode, Mac OS High Sierra, and have tried a few other OS's all in VirtualBox on my Ubuntu Studio-running laptop with no issues. So as far as ditching Windows, I have not had any regrets. I managed to still install a few fun but older PC/Windows games under WINE.

I don't want to fan the flame war between Windows vs. Linux... but whatever you find useful for your needs, all the best to you!  :-+  At home for my family's needs and my needs, I have found Linux to be a wonderful replacement for Windows and have taken advantage of some very old hardware, saving it from landfill. I am not as worried about them getting viruses and malware, and as far as all the major productivity and connectivity tools are concerned, they are not lacking one bit. I can sleep better at night knowing I can handle their IT issues, and I have all the tools, install disks/USB's required to manage their systems in case something goes completely to hell. I don't have to go scrambling for licenses and figure out whether it was registered, how many machines I can use the license on before issues occur, or stick to some old version. I can pick the latest version and keep updating and I can make sure we are patched up to the latest releases.

At work, I have no choice but to use Windows 10 because the specialty software used for our industry is only available on Windows, and requires a Server-Client setup (Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer with SQL and workstations running Win10). For a while I tried virtualizing Windows on Linux (with VirtualBox) and I had it working, but it made no sense since it would just run slower in VirtualBox than if I was running it straight. Also these machines do not need to be running Linux at all, the office machines are strictly using this Windows software and very little else. I spoke to our software vendor and they have no plans to make a Linux version available. So I have no choice but to be in a Windows environment at work. Do I love Windows? No... but since my software vendor doesn't support anything else, I have to invest a pile of money on it because I need to upgrade my entire office every few years to keep running the latest version of Windows and Windows Server!

Meanwhile, if I take some of those office machines home and wipe them and put Linux on them, I can extend their usefulness another 5-10 years!
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Online BravoV

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #141 on: January 21, 2019, 07:22:18 am »
Does anyone here use virtual containers ?
I would think that pc hardware these days is so powerful you could just spin up a bunch of VM's , drop whatever OS you need in them and run them parallel.
i'm talking a vm that does not require a host OS for itself. (XEN )

Then you can just run whatever OS is needed for whatever apps you want to use. run that on one box and simple setup Remote desktop connections to the different os's running.

Then again for graphics intensive stuff that may not work very well...

Have you seen this ?

Created by our local moderator Gnif -> KVM Virtualization under Linux

Set the video below to start at 4:30 for the demo action.

https://youtu.be/1MI1s4hZ_yE?t=270

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #142 on: January 21, 2019, 08:39:31 am »
I'm not clever enough to run Windows 10. I wouldn't know how to deal with this kind of problem, which floated into my inbox last night.

Quote
I came in this morning to the dreaded Windows 10 update. After waiting just under and hour, unfortunately the Fall Creators Update has been re-applied for some reason.

I attempted re-installing the driver (with driver signing disabled) to no avail. It appears something in that update blocks what ever that driver is interfacing with. I didn't have any further time to get into it after already burning time waiting for the update to apply.

So it is not working in it's current state. Perhaps someone who has looked this before can have another stab. Otherwise we are going to have to roll back again but it seems Windows 10 updates cannot be disabled indefinitely.

There are videos of important presentations being scuppered by Windows updates.

How can people deal with being stopped in their tracks like this? Why do they put up with it?

EDIT: apparently the fix is
Quote
the trick was to uninstall the hidden drivers through registry, reinstall everything and to place the missing dll it complains about in the root folder.

Obvious, isn't it. And editing the registry is much simpler and less error prone than editing an application's config text file or deleting its directory. Isn't it?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 06:13:41 pm by tggzzz »
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #143 on: January 21, 2019, 01:18:01 pm »
Financially for us it makes zero sense to "spend a few hours" with each distro, validate and properly document and provide continuous support for absolutely everything on the marketplace.
That is a fair statement I can accept.

However, I don't understand how that ties in with your other statements.

As a practical example, when your users clamor for a Linux version, or a package for a particular distribution, you tell them how much it would cost to produce, and how many units you'd need to sell for that to be practical, in rough numbers.  There is no appeasing needed.  If that is a regular question, I'd put it in a FAQ section for that product.

Your post only showcases a typical Linux fan that cannot take criticism for someone that lives a different reality than yours.
Criticism?  I missed that.  All I saw was demands for change for your particular business to be easier.

(I also would not label myself as a "fan", more like developer.  And please do bear in mind that I did run a successful IT business, part of which was developing, customizing, and installing Linux stuff, for almost a decade.  It did break me -- not the Linux part, I still do that for fun; the business part did.  I am too much of a problem-solving-junkie rather than a business person to be able to run a business successfully without damaging myself.  Nevertheless, the business was profitable up to the year I broke, and was shut down in an orderly manner, not via bankrupt or similar.  I think I've described this in detail elsewhere on this forum.)

The problem I have with a few businesses is that they refuse to make profit when it comes to Linux, because they are unwilling to change their business practices to match the sector.  I do not understand why they refuse to make a profit.  It does not compute.

I have that same problem with many, many other business fields.  Media, and their insistence on "protection" (which is not), is a good example.  I thought otherwise until I read Baen Books' Eric Flint's essays about the effect of Digital Rights Management, and how getting rid of it increased their sales (for some authors, like 5×).  The same observations match my own experiences in other media fields.

Consider, for example, the fact that even now, there is no officially licensed way of playing Blu-Ray discs on Linux.  That is, you cannot buy an officially licensed player for Linux.  The reasons for this are not technical (if you disagree, I can explain exactly how a player strictly licensed for one combination of hardware can be implemented, and how to implement the surrounding licensing in a way that keeps the users well "appeased"), so they can only be political.  And I do not understand why a company would refuse to make money;  I am surprised why their shareholders are not putting the executives to task.

The only explanation for that political stance I have, based on my discussions with people in Finland who make large-scale software choices and invariably lean towards Microsoft or other large firms (that have as low as 33% success rate with large-scale software projects in Finland, but which does not seem to have any effect in their business), is that the untrue statements spread by Microsoft between 1997 and 2015 or so, have been integrated into the minds of the nontechnical decision-makers.  That annoys me.

From your (rjsouza) description I understood that your business counted among those.  That the profit margin would be there, except that you see it as "wrong" to provide packages for individual distributions, because they "should" instead provide one package format that worked for every Linux distro; that Linux being fragmented to a number of distributions is harmful, because it does not work for you.

If I misunderstood, and providing localized/distribution-specific packages is simply non-feasible financially, I do apologize: I know that situation as well, and it can be very irritating; but it only applies to rather small/low-cost software projects.  It is, also, not nearly as common as the profit-exists-but-we-refuse case, the examples for which I've listed above.

Thus far, I have not encountered a single business that does the cross-distribution packaging right.  I do count my Canadian friend selling proprietary Linux stuff in this category; he too does not have the resources to do it right yet.  I have discussed the matter with him, but providing it as a simple encompressed tar archive works for him for now.

TL;DR:

If the problem is that packaging the software for different distributions is too expensive (there is not enough profit to do that), there are better ways of lowering that cost than demanding the business sector change, or lambasting Linux users or developers as difficult.

One way to do that is to put a call out for users/developers to repackage the software and/or port the documentation for their preferred Linux distribution, with the express intent of finding out how expensive it would be to verify and maintain those.  Some businesses have a separate section for community-maintained packaging/documentation; that could be an option.

Another way would be to pay an one-off fee for a proper Linux consultant to package and document the software for the top five widely used distributions.  This is a business risk, but a very simple and easy to manage one.  This would be my suggestion.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #144 on: January 21, 2019, 01:24:30 pm »
How can people deal with being stopped in their tracks like this? Why do they put up with it?

This is why I don't like Windows 10. You can't freeze it once you get it working the way you want. It's no longer an operating system. It's a service designed to make money for Microsoft and they're going to be changing it frequently. And every change basically resets the system to the way Microsoft wants it to run. Your preferences are irrelevant.

Here is something interesting to read.

Why Windows 10 Sucks or
Everything Wrong with Microsoft Windows
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #145 on: January 21, 2019, 01:31:54 pm »
I don't want to fan the flame war between Windows vs. Linux... but whatever you find useful for your needs, all the best to you!  :-+
My sentiments exactly!



I wanted to point out that the Linux business sector does differ from the Windows/Mac one, and to do it profitably, you must adopt different business practices.  It has been done by myself and others, and isn't harder or easier than others, just different.  And that there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about that.  Some even claim it cannot be done, because it works different to Windows/Mac/Android marketplace, and therefore it must change.

My intent was to point out the errors, that many people are still in the throes of the old Microsoft-funded anti-Linux propaganda (whether they know it or not), and that instead of thinking as software as one business sector, they really need to see Linux as a different business sector to Mac/Windows/Android/iOS/etc. with its own characteristics, and adjust their business practices to make a proper profit in it.

I would be very happy to discuss the details and practice of maximizing profit and minimizing costs when selling multi-distribution Linux software, and help others make a better profit and a better product; but thus far, the discussion has been more like "oh how hostile to business the Linux fanbois are".
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #146 on: January 21, 2019, 02:56:21 pm »
Just my 2 cents: for over a decade it has been clear to me that you should develop an application cross-platform even if your primary target audience are Windows users. It is very likely a good business opportunity comes along which requires your software to run on Apple or Linux. Porting an application later on will be a costly nightmare or even impossible.

Altium seems to be going through such a rewrite  process to support OSX (and later on Linux):
http://www.techdesignforums.com/blog/2017/12/18/altium-designer-18-multi-board/
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 03:05:02 pm by nctnico »
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Offline jmelson

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #147 on: January 21, 2019, 04:51:58 pm »
Most Linux distros are the same OS wrapped up differently and most are very easy and quick to install these days.
Well, I've had pretty good luck with Ubuntu (although I hate their newer user interfaces, but you can select which one you prefer.  I choose Gnome Classic.)  You have to add in a package of video players to view all the new video formats for web browsing, but that is just one command.

As for reliability, I just had to reboot my main desktop after 540 days of uptime when diagnosing a dying scanner.
My server (web, mail, DNS, etc.) has been up 323 days, and is constantly attacked by hackers trying to break in.
So, Linux is certainly reliable.

As for Windows software, there are only a couple packages I need.  I run the old (but very good) Protel 99 SE electronic CAD package under Windows XP, using VirtualBox, and my annual tax program under Windows 7, also under VirtualBox.  I used to use VMWare, I don't mind paying for a really amazing program, but their tech support is absolutely the WORST in world history!  VirtualBox has a few TINY little nits, but I've never even NEEDED tech support for it.

So, even my kids and my **WIFE** run Linux, and think it just works fine for their needs.  (Two of my kids have Apple MacBooks, but that is pretty close to Linux also (BSD UNIX-based).  My kids were amazed when I drpooed into the command line level and used standard utilities to diagnose a network issue on their Mac.


Jon
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #148 on: January 21, 2019, 05:05:25 pm »
Just my 2 cents: for over a decade it has been clear to me that you should develop an application cross-platform even if your primary target audience are Windows users. It is very likely a good business opportunity comes along which requires your software to run on Apple or Linux. Porting an application later on will be a costly nightmare or even impossible.

Which drove the interest in Java.  I wonder how much interest there will be next year when the license terms change?  I haven't read through all the details but it seems they want clients to buy the runtime.  I'm sure it will be a nice revenue stream - if anybody cares enough to sign up.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #149 on: January 21, 2019, 05:28:46 pm »
For new graphical user interface application without huge amounts of data processed through the UI, I do recommend a Python3 + Qt or GTK+ user interface, on top of (possibly proprietary) C libraries used via ctypes or gi.

It allows easy modification of the user interface as necessary (and both Qt and GTK+ support theming, so with a little care you can make it pretty close to native, if desired), but keep the business "secret sauce" in clearly separate binaries.  These proprietary libraries, although "proprietary blobs", are pretty much accepted as par for the course for proprietary applications.

I do mean the UI code is provided in readable Python, not as python object code.  The UI code should not contain anything business-sensitive, but allows end users to try and fix glitches themselves, rather than have to rely on the vendor to provide every little fix.  (Look at your own internal bug database, and see what fraction of all fixes are UI/UX fixes.  The main objection Linux users have to proprietary blobs is that they are a black box, take it or leave it -type deals; separating the user-facing, no-secrets-holding part into a form that allows users to suggest fixes is a big deal.)

The downside in Python is that only one thread will execute Python code at any given time.  (The default CPython interpreter does support multiple threads, it is just that for a thread to execute Python code, it must hold the Global Interpreter Lock.) For the user interface, this should not be a real drawback.  A typical interface will have a couple of Python threads: the main UI one, plus one or more for data event handling between multithreaded library code and the main UI thread via Python Queues for example.

(If you do have objections to this, or experiences where this has failed for you, do let me know, please.)
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #150 on: January 21, 2019, 05:32:00 pm »
This turned into another OS holy war. Who would have thought?
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #151 on: January 21, 2019, 06:16:46 pm »
Just my 2 cents: for over a decade it has been clear to me that you should develop an application cross-platform even if your primary target audience are Windows users. It is very likely a good business opportunity comes along which requires your software to run on Apple or Linux. Porting an application later on will be a costly nightmare or even impossible.

Which drove the interest in Java.  I wonder how much interest there will be next year when the license terms change?  I haven't read through all the details but it seems they want clients to buy the runtime.  I'm sure it will be a nice revenue stream - if anybody cares enough to sign up.

There will be two options: use the open versions, or bend over and pay Oracle.

I'm sure quite a few (but not enough for Oracle's liking!) will pay. Many won't.
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Offline edy

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #152 on: January 22, 2019, 01:00:49 am »
Even just yesterday I installed Linux for someone....

A friend of ours had an old HP Pavilion a1324n (Pentium 4 machine with 1 GB RAM and 300 GB HD) running Windows XP. The machine is ancient! I popped in an Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS DVD and booted it. It asked if I wanted a dual-boot menu (WinXP, Ubuntu Studio). The machine had a Belkin WIFI USB dongle to connect to the internet. It worked no problem, that's how I got internet access to download the latest Chrome, LibreOffice and a few other packages I like to install.

After Ubuntu Studio installed, it wanted to upgrade to 18.04 and proceeded to do so! All smooth and easy!

So now the machine has options to boot WinXP and Ubuntu Studio. I can access WinXP partition from Ubuntu so all the Documents can still be found and worked on. The machine runs fast and on the latest software with more current security patches.

Going this route with Windows would have been impossible... Win7 would not have run on this WinXP machine, and Win10 forget it. While most people would laugh at this old hardware, it is now saved from landfill and this family can enjoy new life out of this computer which they thought was otherwise useless.
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #153 on: January 22, 2019, 01:38:08 am »
Even just yesterday I installed Linux for someone....

A friend of ours had an old HP Pavilion a1324n (Pentium 4 machine with 1 GB RAM and 300 GB HD) running Windows XP. The machine is ancient! I popped in an Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS DVD and booted it. It asked if I wanted a dual-boot menu (WinXP, Ubuntu Studio). The machine had a Belkin WIFI USB dongle to connect to the internet. It worked no problem, that's how I got internet access to download the latest Chrome, LibreOffice and a few other packages I like to install.

After Ubuntu Studio installed, it wanted to upgrade to 18.04 and proceeded to do so! All smooth and easy!

So now the machine has options to boot WinXP and Ubuntu Studio. I can access WinXP partition from Ubuntu so all the Documents can still be found and worked on. The machine runs fast and on the latest software with more current security patches.

Going this route with Windows would have been impossible... Win7 would not have run on this WinXP machine, and Win10 forget it. While most people would laugh at this old hardware, it is now saved from landfill and this family can enjoy new life out of this computer which they thought was otherwise useless.
Windows XP is dead. Windows 10 requires less resources than 7.
 

Offline thermistor-guy

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #154 on: January 22, 2019, 01:53:20 am »
... While most people would laugh at this old hardware, it is now saved from landfill and this family can enjoy new life out of this computer which they thought was otherwise useless.

I keep my family's PCs running for as long as possible, by doing simple repairs and cheap h/w upgrades, often using spares from my junk box; then wiping Windows and installing Linux. My everyday home admin PC is a 2007 Dell laptop running a Linux Mint LTS distro. It can't run games, but it can run movies. Older h/w can have a high build quality, well worth preserving. In a jam, when your main machines are down, e.g. because Windows has upchucked over your disk, you have a work-around.

One of our Win7 PCs crashed the other day and wouldn't boot. Windows stalled for hours in a repair attempt. So I booted a Linux Mint live CD, and used GParted to do some partition repairs on one of the drives. The system booted and tested fine after that. My kids saw this; they don't want to use Linux, because their friends don't, but they now think Linux is pretty cool. <Sigh> slowly, slowly ...
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #155 on: January 23, 2019, 02:59:38 pm »
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.  So far it was very helpful for me.

Now, I'm in the process of freeing up the SSD in order to make room for a clean install.  Very time consuming this sorting out of what to keep and what to delete.  Also, keep moving chunks of folders from the SSD to all the other storage places (NAS, USB sticks, external HDDs, internal HDDs, cloud storage, even SD cards) almost made me completely loose track of what I copied and where.

Being the kind of data hoarder I am, it all ended up buying a 8TB disk, and calling it a delayed Santa and not hoarding.  ::)


Questions
- Inside the PC's case, there is a 512GB SSD.  I will ask about this one later.
- The 8TB HDD will most probably stay outside the PC's case (the motherboard has an external SATA connector, with power).

1. Already decided to use GPT, and don't bother with MBR any more.  How to partition an 8TB HDD?  A single partition, or many?  Or just made one reasonable big partition for now, and let the rest for future partitions or resizings?

2. What file system to use?

3. I am planning to drop NTFS completely for the 8TB disk, yet most of the old data that will populate it is coming from NTFS partitions.  On Windows, there was only one user, so I am not concerned with preserving the Windows access rights.  Is there any good reason to still keep using NTFS for the new 8TB?

Later edit:
I would like to preserve the file date, thought, at least the creation date.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 03:41:54 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Offline stj

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #156 on: January 23, 2019, 03:31:15 pm »
long term computer users learn to keep stuff they want/need in specific named folders.
it makes things a hell of a lot faster for backups or upgrades.

of course Linux helps by having a "home" root-folder.
unlike winshit that scatters everybody's stuff all over the damned place.
my documents? my files? everybody's files????
what satanist came up with that storage plan???
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #157 on: January 23, 2019, 03:43:05 pm »
- The 8TB HDD will most probably stay outside the PC's case (the motherboard has an external SATA connector, with power).
Would suggest not doing this. Over time, I found eSATA connectors' latches get flaky and cause attached disks to generate ATA errors. I prefer to have my drives internally mounted and if I care about the data at all, with a 2-disk mirror (using mdraid or btrfs).

1. Already decided to use GPT, and don't bother with MBR any more.  How to partition an 8TB HDD?  A single partition, or many?  Or just made one reasonable big partition for now, and let the rest for future partitions or resizings?
No partitions necessary. This artificially imposes limits on what you can do, and has no benefit on modern filesystems. When using btrfs, you can instead use subvolumes with quotas so that, for example, you won't end up with a root filesystem with no space left.

2. What file system to use?
btrfs would be my pick. It has its flaws, for example it has bugs in the raid5 code but works very well for a single disk or a mirror. One of the better aspects is how you can 'attach' a mirror to an existing single disk, and detach it later if needed. Another really cool feature is copy-on-write, which lets you snapshot ('freeze') the filesystem while making backups.

I use this to periodically back up my btrfs filesystems to a network drive. Once the initial copy is finished, you only send the changes which can be quite fast. I have a cron job set up to do the incremental backup once an hour. I also maintain snapshots the last 48 backups (on the remote disk) in case I screwed something up and want an older version of a file (similar to Apple's Time Machine).

3. I am planning to drop NTFS completely for the 8TB disk, yet most of the old data that will populate it is coming from NTFS partitions.  On Windows, there was only one user, so I am not concerned with preserving the Windows access rights.  Is there any good reason to still keep using NTFS for the new 8TB?
Nope. NTFS drivers in Linux had to be reverse-engineered, unlike native ext4, btrfs etc. You also lose the ability to store file permissions.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 03:47:33 pm by radar_macgyver »
 

Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #158 on: January 23, 2019, 03:55:00 pm »
1. Already decided to use GPT, and don't bother with MBR any more.  How to partition an 8TB HDD?  A single partition, or many?  Or just made one reasonable big partition for now, and let the rest for future partitions or resizings?
At least two:
a) OS
b) /home (It allows to update your linux version or distro keeping your personal data files out of trouble)
Some additional:
c) /virtualbox for VMs
d) Swap. I still like a swap partition instead of a swap file.
e) FAT32 for backups

2. What file system to use?
Ext4 should meet your needs

3. I am planning to drop NTFS completely for the 8TB disk, yet most of the old data that will populate it is coming from NTFS partitions.  On Windows, there was only one user, so I am not concerned with preserving the Windows access rights.  Is there any good reason to still keep using NTFS for the new 8TB?
Later edit:
I would like to preserve the file date, thought, at least the creation date.
If there's only one user, it seems there's no reason to keep NTFS. I would make some disk image for your old windows system and I would keep it in a FAT32 Partition.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 04:00:24 pm by HoracioDos »
 
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #159 on: January 23, 2019, 04:08:58 pm »
No partitions necessary. This artificially imposes limits on what you can do, and has no benefit on modern filesystems. When using btrfs, you can instead use subvolumes with quotas so that, for example, you won't end up with a root filesystem with no space left.

I was not aware about the btrfs capabilities.  I thought only ZFS can easily to snapshots and thus have "time back" features.  Will read about btrfs.  Thank you.

About the mirroring, that will come later.  I couldn't afford another 8TB for the moment.  The one I bought is pro-sumer/small-business grade, so there is a big chance it won't let me down.

Until then, I will just avoid storing on it any valuable data, personal photos and projects.  For that kind of things I have a RAID5 NAS, very slow (about 10MB/s at most), but very reliable.  For now, the NAS is filled with lots of junk data that will be moved to the 8TB, and from now on, I'll keep the NAS only for personal data.

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #160 on: January 23, 2019, 04:14:11 pm »
@HoracioDos
The 8TB is for storage only.  The OS will stay on a SSD.

I won't use Windows in the future.  This is for sure.  Even if it would to temporarily need a Windows machine, most probably it will be a VM, or a temporary install on another old external drive.

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2019, 04:30:32 pm »
long term computer users learn to keep stuff they want/need in specific named folders.
it makes things a hell of a lot faster for backups or upgrades.

of course Linux helps by having a "home" root-folder.
unlike winshit that scatters everybody's stuff all over the damned place.
my documents? my files? everybody's files????
what satanist came up with that storage plan???

In the most popular Unix of the 1980s, Microsoft's(!) Xenix, the user foo's home directory was /users/foo.

I believe with Win10 Microsoft has gone full circle and, via a tortuous route, returned to putting much (but far from all) of a user's stuff in /users/foo.

I guess the Windows registry is still the horror story containing whatever anybody wants to put in it this year.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #162 on: January 23, 2019, 04:31:36 pm »
@HoracioDos
The 8TB is for storage only.  The OS will stay on a SSD.
Upss I'm sorry I missed that! Do you already have a partition for personal data on the SSD?
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #163 on: January 23, 2019, 06:08:07 pm »
I got sick and tired of NTFS years ago. More trouble than it's worth. Ran into far too many instances where I couldn't do something because of convoluted permissions. Now use it only on a small boot drive for the OS only and keep everything else on other drives with FAT 32 or XF 64 or on the NAS with ZFS
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #164 on: January 23, 2019, 06:55:23 pm »
d) Swap. I still like a swap partition instead of a swap file.
Don't setup a swap partition. It will be too slow before it does you any good. If swap is on an SSD all it will do is trash your SSD sooner. Buying more memory is cheaper. It puzzles me why an OS still sets up a swap partition nowadays. I guess old habbits don't die easely.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #165 on: January 23, 2019, 07:18:55 pm »
d) Swap. I still like a swap partition instead of a swap file.
Don't setup a swap partition. It will be too slow before it does you any good. If swap is on an SSD all it will do is trash your SSD sooner. Buying more memory is cheaper. It puzzles me why an OS still sets up a swap partition nowadays. I guess old habbits don't die easely.

If I remember correctly,  hibernating requires a swap partition with a size >= RAM.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #166 on: January 23, 2019, 09:29:12 pm »
d) Swap. I still like a swap partition instead of a swap file.
Don't setup a swap partition. It will be too slow before it does you any good. If swap is on an SSD all it will do is trash your SSD sooner. Buying more memory is cheaper. It puzzles me why an OS still sets up a swap partition nowadays. I guess old habbits don't die easely.
If I remember correctly,  hibernating requires a swap partition with a size >= RAM.
That seems to be the case for Linux but you can disable using the swap space for swapping. However Linux won't touch swap space unless all memory is really in use. Windows always uses the swap space whether there is enough memory or not.
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Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #167 on: January 23, 2019, 10:08:53 pm »
Don't setup a swap partition. It will be too slow before it does you any good. If swap is on an SSD all it will do is trash your SSD sooner. Buying more memory is cheaper. It puzzles me why an OS still sets up a swap partition nowadays. I guess old habbits don't die easely.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't care too much. My notebook has 8GB RAM and a low swappiness threshold = 10. It should start swapping when 90% memory is full and it never did.
swapon --show
NAME      TYPE      SIZE USED PRIO
/dev/sda4 partition 3,8G   0B   -2
I guess I could create a 1.6Gb swap file (20% RAM size) and save some disk space.

This is an article from REDHAT blog about swap.
https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/do-we-really-need-swap-modern-systems

PS: Swap and SSD Trim
From Arch docs: "If using an SSD with TRIM support, consider using defaults,discard in the swap line in fstab." but in other Arch document you can read "Note: Continuous TRIM is not the most preferred way to issue TRIM commands among the Linux community. For example, Ubuntu enables periodic TRIM by default [5], Debian does not recommend using continuous TRIM [6] and Red Hat recommends using periodic TRIM over using continuous TRIM if feasible. [7]"
From Debian Docs: "Alternatively, and often not recommended: Set "discard" mount option in /etc/fstab for the ext4 filesystem, swap partition, Btrfs, etc.
The "discard" options is not needed if your SSD has enough overprovisioning (spare space) or you leave (unpartitioned) free space on the SSD."
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:36:41 pm by HoracioDos »
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #168 on: January 24, 2019, 03:38:58 am »
There's also the option of swap on zram.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zram
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Offline Karel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #169 on: January 24, 2019, 07:33:53 am »
Regarding SSDs and TRIM, I apply manually this command once a week:

Code: [Select]
sudo fstrim -av
It searches and takes care of all your partions on SSDs.
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the difference between theory and practice in practice.
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #170 on: January 24, 2019, 10:38:43 am »
For the external storage file systems, my choice was was between btrfs and ZFS.

Red Hat will discontinue further development for btrfs, while SUSE made btrfs their official choice.  This, and a few extra gimmicks listed as ZFS features made me commit to ZFS.

At first, reading about all ZFS can do, makes it intimidating.  Classical disk arrays can be complicated to setup or to operate.  On the contrary, ZFS was trivially simple to install, setup, and use:
Code: [Select]
# install zfs (Ubuntu)
sudo apt install zfsutils-linux

 # create a zfs pool named 'WD8TB' on the disk /dev/sdc, and mount the new pool as /WD8TB
sudo zpool create WD8TB /dev/sdc

 # create a new file system named '2019', it will be visible on the file system as /WD8TB/2019
sudo zfs create WD8TB/2019
That's all.  /WD8TB/2019 will be available for use like any other folder on the file system.  Creating a pool does not require disk partitioning and formatting.  All was ready instantly.

After copying the old files from the Windows 10 SSD to the new ZFS pool, I tested to see if I can read the ZFS pool disk on another machine (a Fedora 29).
Code: [Select]
# scan all disks for ZFS pools (scan will complete instantly)
sudo zpool import

 # from the listed pools, import (mount) the wanted one in the home folder of user 'abcdef'
sudo zpool import WD8TB -f -R /home/abcdef/

 # export (unmount) the pool 'WD8TB'
sudo zpool export WD8TB
And it was all working great, and very fast.
I'm sold for life to ZFS.  ^-^


Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #171 on: January 24, 2019, 11:52:34 am »
I'm sold for life to ZFS.  ^-^

If you ever need to set up a NAS, take a look at FreeNAS.
It uses ZFS and works pretty good. I've had it running for a couple of years now.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #172 on: January 24, 2019, 02:22:33 pm »
I'm sold for life to ZFS.  ^-^
I am too, I love it and use it on a couple of 24-disk arrays at work. However it is out-of-tree, and as of kernel 5.0, has been explicitly dropped.

At home, I set up a 4-disk raidZ6 array using FreeNAS, and it works very well . FreeBSD takes a little getting used to for me. Bummer that RHEL dropped support for btrfs.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #173 on: January 24, 2019, 02:35:26 pm »
I'm sold for life to ZFS.  ^-^
I am too, I love it and use it on a couple of 24-disk arrays at work. However it is out-of-tree, and as of kernel 5.0, has been explicitly dropped.

Some symbols were changed. That's not the same thing as dropping support for, uh, something never supported to begin with.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #174 on: January 24, 2019, 02:44:14 pm »
Some symbols were changed. That's not the same thing as dropping support for, uh, something never supported to begin with.
True, but gkh and a couple of other kernel developers are actively trying to make life hard for ZFS-on-Linux devs. There's a workaround, but it comes with a significant performance hit.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #175 on: January 24, 2019, 02:45:43 pm »
Some symbols were changed. That's not the same thing as dropping support for, uh, something never supported to begin with.
True, but gkh and a couple of other kernel developers are actively trying to make life hard for ZFS-on-Linux devs. There's a workaround, but it comes with a significant performance hit.

Again, reading too much into it - they just don't care if they cause problems.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #176 on: January 24, 2019, 03:19:08 pm »
Some symbols were changed. That's not the same thing as dropping support for, uh, something never supported to begin with.
True, but gkh and a couple of other kernel developers are actively trying to make life hard for ZFS-on-Linux devs. There's a workaround, but it comes with a significant performance hit.

Again, reading too much into it - they just don't care if they cause problems.

No, they don't give a damn about ZFS and will not care to support it... It's a licensing thing with Oracle/Sun.

begin quote :
"
This ZOL + Linux 5.0 issue stems from a set of functions used by this ZFS Linux port for vectorized file-system checksums no longer being exported. The kernel developers don't want to re-export the functionality since as Greg Kroah-Hartman put it, "my tolerance for ZFS is pretty non-existant."

Since that Phoronix article last week, Greg KH followed up on the mailing list with, "Sorry, no, we do not keep symbols exported for no in-kernel users." Longtime Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig also suggested users switch instead to FreeBSD if caring about ZFS.

Greg KH also commented on Tuesday that Oracle/Sun are the ones to fundamentally blame for the license by which they put out ZFS as for upstream kernel developers not caring about the support. "ZFS could be the best filesystem ever to grace this planet, that's fantastic, but given that the creators of that code placed it under a license that was specifically designed to not be compatible with Linux to prevent it from ever being used on Linux, well, you can see why I really don't care about it. Why would I?"

"
end quote

from : https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ZFS-On-Linux-5.0-Workaround

ediit: clarified quoting
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 04:08:27 pm by 2N3055 »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #177 on: January 24, 2019, 03:21:24 pm »
but gkh and a couple of other kernel developers are actively trying to make life hard for ZFS-on-Linux devs.
Is that what
Quote from: gregkh
Sun explicitly did not want their code to work on Linux, so why would we do extra work to get their code to work properly?
says to you?  Funny.  I thought it says that Linux kernel developers are not willing to do extra work to get ZFS to work on Linux.

The Linux kernel codebase is one of the most actively modified codebase in the world right now.  Demanding that developers retain support for out-of-tree features is demanding that they tie one hand behind their back; that they freeze part of the development ... so that those who do not want to cooperate can keep up.  It is not "actively trying to make life hard", no matter how often it is repeated; it is just refusing to stop for stragglers.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #178 on: January 24, 2019, 04:17:37 pm »
but gkh and a couple of other kernel developers Is that what
Quote from: gregkh
Sun explicitly did not want their code to work on Linux, so why would we do extra work to get their code to work properly?
says to you?  Funny.  I thought it says that Linux kernel developers are not willing to do extra work to get ZFS to work on Linux.
No,
Quote from: gregkh
My tolerance for ZFS is pretty non-existant.
This is.

Read the full thread. Gkh turned an inlined function into a regular one, and while doing so marked it GPL-only. I don't see this as 'doing extra work' as much as giving the finger to modules that used that function. In any event, my plan is to switch to FreeBSD for my ZFS servers and I don't use it on workstations anyway (memory hog). We are going way off-topic again.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #179 on: January 24, 2019, 08:09:59 pm »
Gkh turned an inlined function into a regular one, and while doing so marked it GPL-only. I don't see this as 'doing extra work' as much as giving the finger to modules that used that function.
Re-read the first message in the thread that quotes the original patch submission that explains the change.  There is a sound technical reason for the change, and it involves the kernel internal pre-emption mechanism and the use of FPU registers (which can be slow to save and restore, and therefore are avoided if possible).   The change to GPL-only is at the core of it, because it ensures that the kernel developers only need to worry about in-kernel users in the future, and have their hands free regarding pre-emption and FPU register state maintenance mechanism.

You, like Stephan von Krawczynski, are looking at the matter purely from your own emotional standpoint.  You hate the Linux kernel developers -- Krawczynski even claimed this is a moral issue, not a license or a technical one! --, because it makes your life more difficult.  You are even switching to FreeBSD because of this.

Yet, the matter is simple.  The kernel developers do not want to limit their future options just to appease a group of developers who do not want to co-operate with the Linux kernel developers.  That, the maintenance cost and limitation of future options, is the cost you refuse to acknowledge.

The ZFS developers, and their choice of license, is at the root of this problem.  You, as an end user, do not care, because you do not distribute ZFS code, so the license is irrelevant to you; to you, it is just fine and perfectly good license -- because its restrictions and limitations do not apply to you.

If the ZFS developers wanted their code to be included in the Linux kernel, they would grant a GPL-2.0 license to the code, and ZFS would be included in the Linux kernel lickety spit.  Some posters in that thread claimed that SFLC or others have deemed the ZFS license already compatible with GPL-2.0 -- but if so, why won't the ZFS developers just dual-license their code?  If the licenses are compatible, what harm would it do?  Linux kernel developers do that constantly, dual-licensing various drivers to BSD, so that the BSDs can reuse the same code.  Are the ZFS developers some kind of übermensch, who are not to be subjected to the same ethical and moral rules as everyone else?

Essentially, you are saying that Linux kernel developers are bad people, because they don't do like you want them to do, and you refuse to look honestly at the reasons, instead claiming they are just being unreasonable.  Boo-fucking-hoo.  Get over yourself.



Before you jump to any conclusions about me, do note that I have no particular love for the Linux kernel developers either.

I respect some of their technical ability, and call their antics as I see them.  Stuff like adding an ioctl() to do the exact same thing that a write() already does to for the uinput character device driver, with the idea that "perhaps we might wish to extend this interface that hasn't changed at all in the last decade", like Benjamin Tissoires did in 2015, is idiotic and wasteful.

In 2015, gregkh tried to push the horrible kdbus abortion into the kernel, but at that point the Code of Conduct didn't ban calling a turd a turd, so it was rightfully dropped like the smelly little pile of poo it is.

And I've made it particularly clear that their response to bug fixes from outside their clique is atrocious.  They just don't seem to bother checking them, even when the dev that introduced the bug is CC'd.  This bug still exists, as does this one here as well.  It is a trivial bug, easily fixed; and unless fixed, an executable with a backslash-n in its name, looks exactly like an executable with a similar name except with a linefeed instead of blackslash-n in kernel-provided pseudofiles (used by top and other tools). A crafty little nastybin can fool both human and automated checks on the binary it actually executes.  Leaving that simple bugs unfixed is just stupid.
 
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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #180 on: January 24, 2019, 09:56:46 pm »
LMAO at the kdbus thing. So true. So true. Nice to see some FreeBSD / ZFS love in the wild in this thread  :-+

Going back to the original point. I'm a lame ass. I'm sitting here as a Linux developer / admin / architect and what am I using? Manky old Thinkpad running windows 10. I couldn't switch to Linux myself. The hypocrisy!  :-DD
 

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #181 on: January 25, 2019, 03:34:06 am »
I ditched windoze when the latest version started booting into a screen with Blue Tiles of Death.
I couldn't even find a normal "start" menu, and I had such an aversion against being forced into somebody elses Idea of a UI that it was the final straw.

For people curious about Linux, I can highly recommend Mint (although I use plain old Debian myself currently)
Just download an image from:
https://linuxmint.com/download.php
Burn it onto an USB stick and boot from it.

If you're more serious, but don't want to give up your current OS yet, Just invest USD25 in a new SSD and put that in your PC solely for Linux.
No need to change even one bit on the disk drive of your current OS.
You can select from which drive to boot on startup of your PC. They all have this selection as part of their Bios / Uefi.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #182 on: January 25, 2019, 04:13:51 am »
If you're more serious, but don't want to give up your current OS yet, Just invest USD25 in a new SSD and put that in your PC solely for Linux.
No need to change even one bit on the disk drive of your current OS.
You can select from which drive to boot on startup of your PC. They all have this selection as part of their Bios / Uefi.
Yup, and you need less than 32 GB for a Ubuntu 18.04 install, so you don't need an expensive disk. Mint probably uses something similar.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 04:15:40 am by apis »
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #183 on: January 25, 2019, 04:19:27 am »
... lots ...

Thanks for the information. Please refrain from making claims about whom I hate however. I don't 'hate' anyone, they made a change, it makes my life as a sysadmin harder but I have a plan which coincidentally some kernel devs themselves advocated. I will continue to use Linux on the desktop however. Right tool for the job, or something like that.


Back to the original topic.
 

Offline OwO

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #184 on: January 25, 2019, 05:24:36 am »
I'm looking at it from a purely practical point of view: ZFS and BTRFS are the only two filesystems on Linux that do data checksumming. If you ever encounter bit-rot (and you will because commodity HDDs are not reliable) the rest of the filesystems will silently corrupt your data without you having any way of knowing. md-raid, lvm, etc also have NO mechanism to detect bit-rot, and one bad drive in a RAID array WILL corrupt the entire array when data is read and written. I don't know why people still recommend putting your valuable data on ext4 or on a RAID array because you are going to be in for a nasty surprise. I've never used BSD or any variants (unless Mac OS counts) and not a ZFS fanboy of any sort, but I think Linux really lacks a good filesystem with proper multiple device support and have a good track record w.r.t data integrity (btrfs is almost there but not quite).
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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #185 on: January 25, 2019, 05:32:10 am »
I believe modern drives have error correction codes built in, the disks will detect and correct bit errors by themselves. So bit rot is less of a problem than what the ZFS marketing says. The world managed without ZFS for a long time. That said, I don't mind the extra layer of data security and ZFS has many other nice features as well.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #186 on: January 25, 2019, 05:48:40 am »
According to my own experiences ZFS will have silent corruption due to bugs (they did in the last year) or if you don't use ECC Ram.
BTRFS won't have silent corruption, if something gets corrupted you will get errors and will be unable to ever recover the filesystem (for example hard shutdown -> corrupt FS and no recovery tool/fsck).
Just had a power outage and all my btrfs VMs are unusable now.
The VMs using ext4 I just did a fsck and it threw away the journal and it works again, but everything written in the last few seconds before the outage is lost now. Had to restore all the BTRFS VMs.

Conclusion: Use ZFS only if you follow all their recommendations (16 GB ECC Ram etc.) and do regular Scrubs.
Also if you use one of these filesystems you absolutely have to have good working backups. You will have to restore from backup every time there is corruption.

With BTRFS you will have to restore everything sometimes. Make sure you can do so in an acceptable timeframe.
 

Offline technix

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #187 on: January 25, 2019, 06:52:23 am »
Just throwing this out here: if you are okay with buying a second hand AMD RX 580 graphics card (should be around the US$100 mark now,) maybe put Hackintosh into consideration?
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #188 on: January 25, 2019, 07:14:37 am »
According to my own experiences ZFS will have silent corruption due to bugs (they did in the last year) or if you don't use ECC Ram.

I couldn't agree more!, also note that if you have an overclocked CPU, no amount of EEC ram will save you from errors if your overclock isn't 100% stable. In short I would never run an overclocked system with ZFS, I have been burnt by this before.
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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #189 on: January 25, 2019, 07:31:35 am »
I'm jumping in at the tail end here but I wanted to switch to linux and gave up. Linux is a funny old world. Free is not free. You get the code for free and if yau can't make it work screw you or pay people for support. So you will have to on you own:

Figure out how it works
Get any device younger than 10 yrs old to work
forget wifi adapters
forget 4K screens
have no software support for commercial packages and hope you can make them work.

Linux was never meant to be free to the everyday user. It was meant to be free to the nerds to do with it as they please and as a consequence there is no high level standardization and unless you are an initiated nerd you get nowhere.

I pay £10 per month for a cPanel licence on my server because while there are plenty of so called free solutions out there they come with no assistance and the only way to get any real help is to pay someone an hourly rate to fix something they have probably fixed a ton of times before. With cPanel I pay a predictable amount for for a well tested product that has most things sorted, but even then they try to get you to part with more money by claiming that their version of linux is more secure when no doubt it is the same centos linux that is the only one cPanel runs on with some tweaks.

I hate windows and microsoft but they are far less painful than the so called open source world. I don't care for getting to read the code that I don't even understand I just want the damn thing to work rather than have to rely on some one with potentially no commitment doing it in their spare time.
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #190 on: January 25, 2019, 08:08:04 am »
Wow, every reply since my last post was a bummer.   :scared:
To summarize:
1. ZFS won't be usable with Linux 5 kernel expected this year.  Didn't know that, thank you for pointing it out.
2. ZFS can have silent corruptions, especially on non ECC RAM machines (or, silent corruptions due to ZFS bugs even if the machine has parity RAM), while btrfs will almost certainly become corrupted at a power outage or a hard shutdown.  This disqualifies btrfs for my usage.


Questions:
- Will the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Long Time Support up to 2023) keep the Linux kernel at v4 for the next 4 years, and not silently upgrade to v5?
The LTS wiki doesn't mention about kernels, so I'm not sure: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS.  My hope is to use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead of 18.10 I have now, therefore stay with a v4 kernel for the next years, so I could still use ZFS until ZFS will be able to work with v5 kernels.  I don't think ZFS and Linux will diverge forever.

- Do I still need backup with a mirrored ZFS?
My hope was to use mirrored disks with ZFS + snapshots, and never bother with backups.  It's a home setup, with ZFS only for long term storage.  The worst damage that can happen would be to lose family pics or personal projects, nothing enterprise level or time critical.  My plan was:  If one disk become corrupt, just use the mirror one, and later restore the integrity of the array.
Also if you use one of these filesystems you absolutely have to have good working backups. You will have to restore from backup every time there is corruption.

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #191 on: January 25, 2019, 10:16:00 am »
A failed attempt as well when I upgraded my desktop to new Ryzen system, when it was new, got failed miserably, as the distro it self pushing a legit recommendation update for the newly Ryzen chipset, as noob, blindly followed as the standard installation image didn't have that new chipset support yet, and yielded an instant lock down and failed booting even from cold boot, it just left me as linux noob scratching head.  :(

Luckily I still have my Windows SSD drive image.

Offline rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #192 on: January 25, 2019, 11:27:14 am »
I have never heard of these ZFS issues. I've only heard that it was an enterprise grade file system and was relatively drive agnostic. The FreeNAS recommendation was 8GB of ECC RAM minimum, so for my personal NAS (1user) that is what I use. The machine, which needs less than 50 watts power, is on a UPS just to be safe.

I have 4 drives. I started with two WD Blue 2 TB mirrored. I upgraded last year and added two 4 GB WD Red, also set up as a mirrored pair. I copied all the data on the blues over to the reds. For now, I keep the two pairs synced.

I also make occasional back up syncs to my old WHS 2011 machine which has a WD Green 2 TB backed up to an external WD Green 2 TB. So I essentially have six copies of everything, most of the time.

It doesn't seem that I need to worry much about data loss. I think the only thing lacking is some kind of "off-site" back up.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #193 on: January 25, 2019, 12:31:37 pm »
I'm jumping in at the tail end here

With the same old nonsense.

Quote
Figure out how it works

There's lots of documentation.

Quote
Get any device younger than 10 yrs old to work

Not very problematic, I don't own much stuff that old, and it all works..

Quote
forget wifi adapters
forget 4K screens

Rubbish.

Quote
so called open source

'so called'? Just because you don't care doesn't mean it isn't.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #194 on: January 25, 2019, 12:34:26 pm »
while btrfs will almost certainly become corrupted at a power outage or a hard shutdown.  This disqualifies btrfs for my usage.

Having had several power outages and an SSD which simply vanishes after a random period of time running btrfs and having no corruption, loss of data, or other issues, 'almost certainly' is rather an extreme exaggeration.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #195 on: January 25, 2019, 01:57:01 pm »
I'm jumping in at the tail end here

With the same old nonsense.

Quote
Figure out how it works

There's lots of documentation.

Quote
Get any device younger than 10 yrs old to work

Not very problematic, I don't own much stuff that old, and it all works..

Quote
forget wifi adapters
forget 4K screens

Rubbish.

Quote
so called open source

'so called'? Just because you don't care doesn't mean it isn't.

Well thankyou for the insults. I have tried linux from time to time and every time it has been simply too much effort. Most people who advocate linux are hardcore users and well if they love linux and tinkering with it that is fine but you can't just choose to use linux as an operating system as it is NOT designed for the casual user which is evident from the virtually no control panel but for some very basic options most things are done on the command line. Windows is designed to be intuitive to a degree and most (the absolute vast majority) will get by without command line interventions.

This is of course added to the fact that most commercial software does not have a linux version and never will as there are so many versions that no comercial outfit in their right mind will even attemp to service all of them. We really need a ubiquotus linux like we have a one and only windows which for better or worse is just one flavour of an operating system not dozens with everyone claiming that theirs is the best.

So pray how does the average user get any wifi adapter working and a 4K screen to work? this is trouble enough on windows.
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #196 on: January 25, 2019, 02:03:41 pm »
So pray how does the average user get any wifi adapter working and a 4K screen to work? this is trouble enough on windows.

In the majority of cases, they don't have to do anything. Install a desktop distro, things work. 4K is just a high resolution - it's no different to driving any other monitor. And wifi mostly just works.
 

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #197 on: January 25, 2019, 02:15:03 pm »
So pray how does the average user get any wifi adapter working and a 4K screen to work? this is trouble enough on windows.

In the majority of cases, they don't have to do anything. Install a desktop distro, things work. 4K is just a high resolution - it's no different to driving any other monitor. And wifi mostly just works.

Never happened for me. The only time wifi worked was when I used it on a laptop and when I used some cheap chinese adapters that probably had older and very generic chips but it's luck of the draw. buy a new 5GHz adaptor and wish yourself luck!

4K monitors, sure they are just another resolution but as it happens there is more to monitors than pexil count but pixels per inch. So far pixel density has been pretty constant and it never mattered but with 4K things change, the pixel density is usually doubled and the OS/graphics needs to know about it and handle it. Windows is only just getting to grips with this with mixed results for programs not specifically written for high dpi.

Sure I can set my 4K monitor to HD but that is the monitor offering support to linux not linux supporting 4K. I live to live this side of the millenium if that is not too much to ask.
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #198 on: January 25, 2019, 02:20:43 pm »
So pray how does the average user get any wifi adapter working and a 4K screen to work? this is trouble enough on windows.

In the majority of cases, they don't have to do anything. Install a desktop distro, things work. 4K is just a high resolution - it's no different to driving any other monitor. And wifi mostly just works.

Never happened for me. The only time wifi worked was when I used it on a laptop and when I used some cheap chinese adapters that probably had older and very generic chips but it's luck of the draw. buy a new 5GHz adaptor and wish yourself luck!

I don't need luck, I have the Internet. I am capable of researching things to make sure I don't buy a turd (ps. there are lots of turds for Windows, too).

I have PCI, PCIe, USB, and SDIO (or was that one UART? eh..) wifi interfaces from every major manufacturer going back to the dawn of wifi, and all of them work.

Quote
4K monitors, sure they are just another resolution but as it happens there is more to monitors than pexil count but pixels per inch. So far pixel density has been pretty constant and it never mattered but with 4K things change, the pixel density is usually doubled and the OS/graphics needs to know about it and handle it. Windows is only just getting to grips with this with mixed results for programs not specifically written for high dpi.

Wow, I mean, in 20+ years of using computers, I never knew that. Oh, wait..

Linux is pretty good at that now - and it has room to be improved without waiting on certain uncaring organisations.

Quote
I live to live this side of the millenium if that is not too much to ask.

I like people to use the resources this side of the millennium provides, if that is not too much to ask.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 02:23:55 pm by Monkeh »
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #199 on: January 25, 2019, 04:11:19 pm »
Anecdotes don't substitute for evidence, but here goes. In my day-to-day, I've had to support a couple of ZFS and btrfs filesystems. The ZFS file systems (data storage for radars) are on large servers (Supermicro 15 or 24 disk chassis) and I followed the advice of the ZoL community and did the following: large amounts of ECC memory, CPUs with lots of cores, not using SATA interposers with SAS backplanes, use nearline or enterprise grade SATA or SAS disks, use raidZ6, periodic scrubs. The file systems range from 8TB to 48TB, all of which have been running 24/7 for many years (at least 7 in one case). The drives get a lot of sustained writes while the radars operate, and lots of reads when folks want to analyze data from them. When drives fail, they will email me a warning and I go swap them out. At least once, one of the large arrays caught a case of 'bit rot' (ZFS reported a CRC error during a scrub even though the drive itself did not). I preemptively replaced the drive anyway. I've had multiple drive failures (approximately one every 2 months) but never lost any data. By comparison, commercial systems we had previously used (EMC, Sun Microsystems, Coraid) have all ended up losing the array and having to restore from backup.

On a trial basis, I set up a NAS at home using FreeNAS. Once again, I followed the advice on FreeNAS forums and got a Supermicro Mini-ITX Xeon E1540D board, 16 GB ECC memory and four nearline 4TB SATA drives (rated for 24/7 use). It's been going for about a year now with no trouble, but it doesn't see nearly as many reads and writes as the ones mentioned above. After kernel 5.0 ZoL would either stop working or have a significant performance hit, so I might migrate some of my work servers over to FreeNAS (they are currently on CentOS).

As for btrfs, I use it as the root FS on various workstations so that I can make snapshots and back them up hourly. In this case, the workstations don't do parity striping (raid5/6), so I'm not worried about the btrfs write hole bug. Once again, across about a dozen filesystem instances, I have never lost any data yet due to an FS bug; I have lost data to hardware errors but the backups meant it was painless to recover. I've occasionally used btrfs' ability to expose copy-on-write at the filesystem level (cp --reflink=always) when making a copy of a source tree that I wanted to modify, and not take up more disk space).

I am forced (thanks to Solidworks and Altium) to use Windows on a couple of boxes, these use rsync for backups and every so often I get the 'file disappeared' messages because I couldn't snapshot the FS before backup (yes, I should figure out how to use VSS for this).
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #200 on: January 25, 2019, 04:18:31 pm »
Linux is a funny old world. Free is not free. You get the code for free and if you can't make it work screw you or pay people for support.
Yes, this is absolutely true.  Good or bad, that's how it works.  Me, I like it; I can work with that.

Linux was never meant to be free to the everyday user. It was meant to be free to the nerds to do with it as they please and as a consequence there is no high level standardization and unless you are an initiated nerd you get nowhere.
I dislike the "nerd" and "initiation" there as much as radar_macgyver disliked my use of "hate" earlier, but other than that (and the claim about lack of standardization), that is correct.

It was never about helping other people, or giving them something for free.  It was, and still is, about developers being free to do what the heck they want, without any kind of artificial barriers.  The way how the licenses are completely irrelevant to end users, and only affect how and what developers can do with any given piece, should be a dead giveaway.

(Initiation is an incorrect term, because it implies that you need to be accepted.  No, you don't, you do not need to be accepted in any way.  If you want, you can fork the Linux kernel codebase, and go in your own direction.  It is only when you want to work with other people, or use their work, that you need to talk to them.  I'm definitely not "an initiated nerd", yet I do whatever the heck I want with Linux.  So, you only need to be "initiated" if you want the already "initiateds" to work with your code, like accept your bug fixes or additions.)

(Lack of standardization is plain wrong here, because basically all of the internet standards we use are a result of those "nerds" doing standardization work; in particular, IETF and the RFCs.  Rather, you're just complaining that the devs don't bother to provide you with an uniform User Experience you have grown to expect, across all the variants.  That is not standardization, it is complaining that nobody herds the cats.)

(Also, while I was tempted to write "Users just do not matter" above, that is not true either.  They do matter to the developers who have users who pay them to do that work.  The kernel developers also know that without userspace, the kernel is useless, so the userspace is definitely important.  That has lead to pretty strict enforcement on backwards compatibility in the binary userspace-kernel interface, as well as on things like /proc and /sys pseudofiles; and in general, the idea that kernel changes must not break userspace.  Those are surprisingly hard rules.  Now, the issue with ZFS is that it isn't userspace, and any accommodation kernel developers make to let ZFS work within the Linux kernel is non-reciprocal with the onus on the Linux kernel developers only, and that flies against the idea behind the GPL license they use.  The BSD variants, with their permissive licensing, are not nearly as interested in reciprocality, which means that community works with one-sided ZFS developers much better.  It is funny to see how rare it is for anyone to make the most rational suggestion, which is dual-licensing the ZFS codebase to GPL-2. Somehow, it's always the "Linux nerds" that need to bow down and change.)

I don't care for getting to read the code that I don't even understand I just want the damn thing to work
Yup; free/libre/open source is clearly not for you.  Nothing wrong in that.  You get more shit done with commercial proprietary software, and that's that.

Yet, that's not universal.  I'm in the completely opposite boat.  It is trivial for me to fix and change things I don't like, so working with Linux to me is like being a kid in a candy store, or a mechanic who is given a full fledged machine shop or two for free, and given a free reign to do whatever they want in there.

The way I see things, is that the demands, elsewhere (but including in this thread), that Linux must become this or that to gain desktop market share, or the developers must do this or that because X, is like claiming that privately-owned machine shops must all be completely automated because I don't know how to operate a manual Bridgeport mill.

As to FreeBSD and OpenBSD, I do recommend taking a look.  Monoculture is dull and uninspiring, and variety always helps; and the differences may give you new ideas on how to solve your problems; similar to how learning completely different programming languages helps you write better code in any of them.  If you can afford the maintenance effort, you can even use the variety as a sort of a security barrier, so that any security breach would only affect a portion of your servers.

They are just frigging tools, not your family members.  Don't get angry when someone uses a different tool, or because you don't have the time to learn to use that nice free tool yourself and everybody else seems to be having fun with them. Only get angry when people try to use the wrong tool for the job and expect others to clean up their mess.
 

Online RoGeorge

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Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]
« Reply #201 on: January 25, 2019, 07:35:13 pm »
I feel guilty for all the discord.  It was not my intention.  Maybe the word 'ditching' in the title of the topic was not a good idea.  My bad, sorry.  Title changed.

- for the external storage,  decided to keep the ZFS.  After all, my ZFS will be used only rarely, almost like a write only.  The motherboard has a nice feature, it can disconnect 2 hard disks (from BIOS) by powering them down (cutting the +5/+12V).  My external storage disk are only rarely powered up.  There is no better protection than an air-gap separation.  Therefore, a v5 kernel and ZFS will not be a problem.  If it were to reboot in order to power-up the storage disks, then I can reboot into a v4 kernel.

- for the OS, will keep Ubuntu.  Fedora is very nice, too, but it's moving too fast (i.e. in 2 weeks Fedora updated 3 minor version for the kernel, Ubuntu has a ZFS package in repository, while Fedora doesn't, because Fedora is moving too fast, small details like that).

- for a Hypervisor, it was between Xen and ProxMox.  Probably neither.  For now, I'll just keep a bare metal install of Ubuntu Workstation, and use KVM.  After all, ProxMox is just a minimal Debian with KVM on top, and a nice web interface for remote administration.  Will see.  The main reason to have a hypervisor would have been to have a gaming Windows 10 machine, but then I will contradict my main principle, the air-gap separation.  If it will be to need a Win10 for gaming, then I'll power down all the internal disks, and install a bare metal Windows on an USB disk.  For anything other than gaming, Wine will do it, or a Windows VM in Ubuntu, at most.

Installed on the SSD, Ubuntu 18.10 boots up in about 15 seconds, 20 if you count the POST and the BIOS splash screen, too. 
^-^

Thank you all.

One more thing:  Remember the complains about Linux being unstable, and sometimes freezing or crashing apparently with no reason?

I think this is why:  All the tests and all the Linux installs were made on a 15 years old HDD.



With the current SSD install, all works great.  So far, no OS freezing and no crash reports.  Will keep an eye on that.

About the 4K monitor scaling, there is no need for it.  It can scale, but then the fonts rendering will become foggy, like in Windows.  There is a setting in the dconf, where the fonts can be magnified at any scale, integer or float.  This Gnome magnification will render all the fonts crystal clear.  Much better than monitor scaling.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 07:37:12 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Online RoGeorge

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I was fiddling with the next step, virtualization and type 1 hypervisors, when I bumped into this:  QubesOS



It is pretty close from what I was aiming for, except Qubes OS is doing that at a professional level, upto the point where their OS is good to use for journalist, sysadmins or other people actively targeted by crackers.

Pros:
- very easy installer, no need to fiddle with the command line
- everything is configured and ready to use
- based on Xen
- dom0 is Fedora
- it has template machines, disposable machine, secured machines and vault machines (vault are also isolated from net)
- it has a dedicated firewall machine that can also isolate traffic and route it through VPN, Torr, etc. to disguise the location or to anonymize the Internet traffic
- nice GUI (Xfce), each window bar is colored accordingly:  red for disposable machines, blue for work machines, green for secure, and so on
- has protection against malicious USB devices (user confirms and decides to which machine a plugged USB will go)
- can open malicious webpages, mail attachments or PDFs into a disposable machines, then save them as a picture, thus sanitizing any possible malicious content for other unprotected users
- a secured common clipboard between machines, so one can securely copy/paste between machines with different security level
- allow to run any OS, including Windows
- can save, update or backup specified machines
- can encrypt disks
- can wipe the RAM before shutdown/reboot, so no cold RAM remanence data leaks between reboots
- can make a USB template with selected machines (e.g. for a journalist going into a difficult location)
- free as in freedom and as in beer
- etc.

Cons:
- needs VT-d/VT-x (hardware virtualization) capable processor and plenty of RAM
- a SSD is a must, since disposable machines are created and booted each time i.e. a disposable Firefox browser is opened
- no GPU passthrough out of the box, so no heavy Windows 3D gaming
- requires attention from the operator
- requires understanding of the idea of multiple machines running in the same time on the same hardware (virtualization), and a little understanding of the dataflow between the nachines and the Internet traffic, also requires understanding of what Torr or VPN can do and can not do, and so on.  Nothing sysadmin level, but requires a technically aware user in order to benefit from what Cubes OS can do.

I gave it a try for about a day, and I'm very impressed.  Rock solid, stable, has all I was needed and much more, dead simple to install and to use, no command line required.  The only thing I didn't understood was why sometimes the HDD was crunching for minutes, apparently with no reason, while I was doing nothing, i.e. just reading a webpage.

Overall, I was very, very impressed.  Everything just worked out of the box, for free and no string attached.   :-+

Offline edy

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If you are concerned about security and leaving traces behind, why not just install Tails on a USB stick and make it persistent (persistent storage). Apparently Snowden used something like this. I've tried it, works great. You boot it up on your machine, runs off the USB completely (live USB OS), has all sorts of firewall and Tor-Browser and other anonymity and encryption related tools set up already:

https://tails.boum.org

As far as being an "initiated nerd", I agree there takes some effort to learn Linux, no doubt. However this would also apply to Windows if it weren't already pre-installed on almost every PC you buy and you have been using it for decades. Let's face it, if I gave someone a bare-bones hardware with nothing and told them to install Windows 10 on it, they would probably also stare back at you with a blank look on their face!

Even with Windows you need to go download a Win10 ISO and burn it to a DVD or to a USB stick. What machine are you doing this on? What software do you need? How do you go about doing it? Yes most people will have no clue. What about booting it? Changing BIOS settings if secure boot is on, or if the DVD or USB doesn't have boot priority or is even in the list (some BIOSes have strange menus and sometimes need other workarounds). Anyways my point is that if most people had to do that to use Windows they would also be having trouble.

Because Linux needs an effort and some knowledge to get installed and set up it does require "initiative" but it is not only in the realm or domain of the "initiated". I have found modern Linux distros to be quite user friendly when it comes to install and use. You can be a "light" Linux user without getting under the hood and still be very productive.

YouTube: www.devhackmod.com
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline stj

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tor is not anonymous, governments control the nodes.
 

Offline Whales

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- needs VT-d/VT-x (hardware virtualization) capable processor

Sidenote: That's normal for all virt software in my experience (excluding very slow full-emulation modes).  Everything in the last 10 years *should* have this, although it's often turned off in the BIOS by default (for who-knows-why reason).

Online bd139

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Some of the ass end consumer SKUs don’t have VT-x for some reason. I bet they do but intel decided to play market segmentation games.
 

Online BradC

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Some of the ass end consumer SKUs don’t have VT-x for some reason. I bet they do but intel decided to play market segmentation games.

Of course they do. Same die, different fuses.
 

Online RoGeorge

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Indeed, some of the recent CPUs doesn't have virtualization.  As an example, my former i3 doesn't have it: https://ark.intel.com/products/77488/Intel-Core-i3-4160-Processor-3M-Cache-3-60-GHz- That i3 is not so old, it was launched in 2014 and discontinued in 2017.  During the same period of time, and with the same socket, its biggest brother i7 have VT-d/VT-x capabilities.


A small introduction to virtualization

It is all about the idea of running many OSs (Operating Systems, e.g. Windows or Linux or BSD) on the same computer, and they can all run simultaneously.  This can be done in many ways.
  • 1.  The simplest way is to have a disk for each OS, and each time the computer boots, you can choose if you want Windows 10 or Ubuntu or whatever.  This is not virtualization.  It does not run both in the same time.  This is a bare metal install, or Type 0, like any ordinary Windows 10 or Ubuntu or MacOS install.
  • 2.  Once the computer is up and running the preferred OS from point 1., we can still running some other OS to run on top.  For that, one can install a program called VirtualBox, or VMWare (both are free for home use).  These programs can create a whole new virtual machine, with everything from BIOS, to disks and processors.  These is virtualization.  It is known as Type 2 virtualization.  Note that Type 2 is built on top of an existing and running OS we choose at point 1.
  • 3.  If we want to get rid of the OS loaded at point 1., and run virtual machines without Windows/Ubuntu + VirtualBox/VMWare, then we will call this a Type 1 virtualization.  To run many OSs at once, obviously we need some kind of arbiter between the many OSs, an arbiter capable keep the many OSs separated and without conflicts between each other.  This "arbiter" is called a Hypervisor.  The Hypervisor itself is installed on bare metal, sometimes the hypervisor it is referred as dom0.  The hypervisor is usually not a full OS, like Windows 10 or Ubuntu.  One can think about a hypervisor as a small OS, having only very basic functionality, without web browser or things like this (if one insists, one can have a dom0 with web browser, but we let this aside for a while).  Examples of hypervisors are ProxMox or Xen.  ProxMox is based on KVM, but these details are just adding confusion.  For now, we will let the details aside.
  • 4.  All the above examples:
    • Type 0, or no virtualization == choosing between Windows and linux at boot time, only one at a time, each installed bare metal
    • Type 2 virtualization == multiple Windowses/Linuxes running simultaneously inside a VirtualBox/VMWare which was installed on top of a bare metal Windows/Ubuntu
    • Type 1 virtualization == multiple Windowses/Linuxes running simultaneously inside a Xen/ProxMox/KVM hyperviser
      have the same purpose, which is to run various OSs on the same machine, without these OSs interfere or conflict with each other.
    To complicate things even more, sometimes we don't need/want to have another full OS running.  Sometimes we need just a particular program to be isolated and self-contained.  For this, there is another concept called containerization, as an example Docker containers and snap installs.
To recap, 1. is a normal install, 2. and 3. allows us to run Virtual Machines (VM), and 4. is used to isolate and contain only programs, not full machines.  The details about how on Earth one can e.g. reboot a Windows VM, and see the BIOS screen, while other Windowses and Linuxes are running just fine on the same computer, are very interesting, but quite complicated.  Won't go into details for now.


The next video will try to roughly explain how virtualization works.  It's the most intuitive and non technical explanation I've seen so far.  Worth a look from those new to virtualization.
...
Aaaand I can not find that video anymore, bummer!  :palm:
 ;D
 
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Online bd139

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Worth reading this on virtualization as well at a lower level: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popek_and_Goldberg_virtualization_requirements
 

Offline eugenenine

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1.  Which one would you choose as a home desktop?
Slackware

3.  I don't like to reinstall too often, yet I want the latest gimmicks, too.  Which one to pick for the long run
Slackware
 

Offline technix

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Indeed, some of the recent CPUs doesn't have virtualization.  As an example, my former i3 doesn't have it: https://ark.intel.com/products/77488/Intel-Core-i3-4160-Processor-3M-Cache-3-60-GHz- That i3 is not so old, it was launched in 2014 and discontinued in 2017.  During the same period of time, and with the same socket, its biggest brother i7 have VT-d/VT-x capabilities.
I think you can find used Xeon E3-1230v3 and Xeon E3-1231v3 out there. Those chips will work on most motherboards that supports your i3-4160 and support VT-x. That was a popular chip for upper mainstream builds in 2014-2015, being almost equivalent to i7-4790 non-K but costs just slightly above i5-4690K. You will need a graphics card though since that Xeon chip does not have integrated graphics, but as of now used RX 480, RX 580 and GTX 1060 6GB card are fairly cheap, since cryptocurrency miners are dumping them after the cryptocurrency crash.
 

Online RoGeorge

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I found there is a running service called Firmware Update (fwupd) on my Ubuntu10.18.  Fedora should have fwupd, too, but didn't checked. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fwupd)

If I understood it right , this service seems exactly the kind of thing that I don't like, don't need, and don't want.

Updating firmware online is the last thing I wish to be possible from the OS level.  Even worst, some updates are NOT DIGITALLY SIGNED, and NOT VERIFIABLE.

Just a random example (for my Logitech wireless mouse):
https://fwupd.org/lvfs/device/cc4cbfa9-bf9d-540b-b92b-172ce31013c1
That LVFS web page states clearly that there is NO security and NO possibility to check the firmware for that wireless receiver.  This is what the Security section for that mouse firmware update is saying:
- Added to the LVFS by Logitech
- Update is not cryptographically signed
- Firmware cannot be verified after flashing
- Virus checked using ClamAV

Other way said, there is no security whatsoever.  Not only that it trust online updates from a 3rd, but there is no way for me to check if that firmware blob really is from Logitech or not.

This looks to me like a big security flaw, just waiting for the shit to hit the fan.

Did I got it right?  Is fwupd a running service, installed by default, that can reach all my hardware, and change firmware inside various pieces of hardware without letting me know?  And those changes can be pushed from the Internet, by default? And are not digitally signed, and not even verifiable in any way?

This can not be true, what am I missing here?  :-//

Online bd139

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AFAIK fwupd just checks for firmware updates then puts files in the right place. UEFI secure boot takes care of the signing stuff. From a user perspective PolicyKit controls access to specific updates as well.
 

Offline HoracioDos

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AFAIK in order to update firmware you must pull them manually.
sudo fwupdmgr update

if you want to check available firmware updates
sudo fwupdmgr refresh

This is fwupd service status by default in linux mint.
● fwupd.service - Firmware update daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/fwupd.service; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead)
     Docs: https://fwupd.org/
 

Offline rdl

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Why in the world would you need to update firmware in a Mouse ?
 

Online bd139

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The “ship buggy shit early” culture of the 00’s and onwards.
 
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Online RoGeorge

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Will lookup the details, thank you. 

Need to dig more.  My current skills with systemd:


 ^-^

Online bd139

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On Systemd, I don’t fix it now. If it goes bang, then the node, which is usually on AWS, just gets redeployed. Not having any of that shit to deal with.

As for the unit files, they’re pretty easy to push out with ansible. Until you get to dealing with LXC etc.
 

Offline stj

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The “ship buggy shit early” culture of the 00’s and onwards.

lol
i buy mice from poundland.
they even have spaces on the board for a 100ohm resistor and an led to light the wheel!  :-+
btw, they work without any firmware updates.  :-DD
 

Online bd139

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I had a conversation a week ago about those Poundland mice. They’re easy to patch a rubber ducky into. We thought it might be fun to do that to a couple and put them back on the shelves in the shop  :-DD

They’re actually pretty decent mice.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Some of the ass end consumer SKUs don’t have VT-x for some reason. I bet they do but intel decided to play market segmentation games.
Almost all of the Intel consumer chips are the same silicon. I think there's two, maybe three designs covering the entire range. Of course you're going to get dies consuming more or having outright broken parts towards the edges of the wafer, but most of it is pure segmentation.
 

Offline jmelson

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A small introduction to virtualization

Yes, I run Ubuntu 12.04 for my main desktop (never run the latest, the bugs haven't been found yet), and then use VirtualBox to run several Windows guest OS's in it.
I let VirtualBox set up the generic Windows file system, but then map the user directory to a Linux subdirectory.  That makes it easy to move files back and forth on the Linux system, even when the Windows guest OS is not running.  Doesn't seem to be any performance issues, either.

I use XP for the older apps (like Protel 99 SE) and now they need Windows 7 for my tax software.  That is about all that's left that I need Windows for!

Jon
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]
« Reply #223 on: February 01, 2019, 05:11:28 am »
I use XP for the older apps (like Protel 99 SE)
99SE works well under wine.

* Set wine version to Windows 2000
* Set odbc32 and odbccp32 to native in winecfg
* Install MDAC 2.8 SP1 & Jet 4.0 (SP8) using WINETRICKS

* Run Protel Setup. In the Setup Type screen choose Custom and uncheck NT Drivers
* Install SP4
* Install SP6
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]
« Reply #224 on: February 01, 2019, 10:11:30 am »
This morning Ubuntu 18.10 (w Gnome) did an upgrade update.

- Grub decided to chain other independent Grub installations from other disks, disks that have their independent Grubs, and that were never chained before.  Of course, it did a complete mess.  This won't be easy to untangle.
Why Grub, why?  :palm:

- All desktop icons are now loosing their position at each reboot, aligning themselves in the most upper left place, in a position where there is no active monitor.
Why is it so hard for Gnome to remember icons' position relative to each monitor, and not relative to "X screen 0"? :horse:
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 12:10:13 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]
« Reply #225 on: February 01, 2019, 11:47:02 am »
You can install timeshift to make system snapshots before upgrading. If something goes wrong you can easily revert changes. That's why I like Mint. It is already there and it works like a charm
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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