Author Topic: Installing linux  (Read 14008 times)

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Online SimonTopic starter

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Installing linux
« on: November 02, 2019, 03:22:44 pm »
I thought I would take the plunge. I can do most of whati need with Linux and i am getting more frustrated with windows. So i thought I'd just go with the worlds number 1 and ut ubuntu on my machine.

Well I don't think the graphics card was playing ball as I got random coloured pixels on the boot up screen and it failed to boot. On restarting my wifi dongle would not work so I had to power off and start again so it was obviously trying to do something wit the wifi dongle that did not work.

Is there a Linux distro out there that can boot on most machines without hardware issues?
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 03:53:51 pm »
I take it that was using a Live USB stick?

I think your computer has a relatively new Nvidia graphics card, which means that your Linux experience will be fraught with driver issues.  Not fun.

I would recommend you try Ubuntu 18.04 LTS first, using a fast-ish USB stick; booting to a Live version without installing.  If it does not work, it is unlikely Linux supports your hardware, and it is better to stick with Windows.  The proprietary Nvidia drivers are not worth the effort, even if they work fine for some.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 03:55:30 pm by Nominal Animal »
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 03:58:30 pm »
It was a Live DVD, I would boot to the live disk first to see that it would work on my machine, obviously not, if it had of worked I would have initiated the install from the live DVD.

My card is a Quadro P400.

Do AMD cards work better?
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 04:46:29 pm »
For AMD, support varies.  Ubuntu LTS versions ought to have good support, but switching to a non-LTS version or a different distro is harder, as you may have to recompile the drivers yourself.

Due to a few posts elsewhere (people doing Tensorflow and such), I thought that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS did have Quadro P400 support via the proprietary drivers.  It could also mean your EFI BIOS (motherboard) is one of the "uh-nuh, I don't like Linux" versions, with incorrect ACPI tables and whatnot that their Windows drivers just ignore.

Keeping strictly to the latest Ubuntu LTS version, and upgrading the Nvidia proprietary drivers whenever released) would be the only way I would use it, if I had to do some Cuda stuff, so if the Live DVD wasn't the 18.04 LTS version, you could give that a try.  Any other distro versions are iffy, because Nvidia drivers are binaries, and tend to only work well with a specific kernel version.  (So, trying say Ubuntu 19.10 tells you nothing about how the Nvidia drivers work in 18.04 LTS.)

I am hesitant to suggest using Linux on that hardware, though, because I only run Linux on hardware that has no gotchas or proprietary drivers.  I want my tools to work well, so I tend to pick the hardware I know works with Linux.

I used to have an AMD 780G a decade ago that worked better with the proprietary drivers, but they were nasty enough (overwriting Mesa stuff etc.) that I switched to the then slower/less efficient, beta-quality open-source drivers, and kept updating at least once a month, just to avoid crashes.  Nowadays, the x86-based machines I have all have Intel integrated graphics (this laptop here has Intel HD 620), so I have no first-hand experience on the current state of either the original open-source drivers for AMD, nor the state of the now-opensourced AMD "proprietary" drivers.

Testing with a Live DVD/USB stick/SSD via USB3 is the only way to be sure.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2019, 05:06:08 pm »
Uh, right forget it. I will stick with windows like many others that just want an OS to do work not an OS for the sake of tinkering with the OS.
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2019, 05:10:44 pm »
What I do recommend, however, is to install a virtual machine, and run Linux in that.  I occasionally use VirtualBox, and with the Guest Add-ons, even the graphics work fine in that.  Given your hardware, it's the second best choice.

Although you cannot switch right now, you can use the virtual machine to see what to expect, if you were to switch to hardware that works with Linux.  It does not do what you initially wanted to do, get rid of Windows, but if you spend some time with your typical tasks using a Linux virtual machine, by the time you get new hardware, you'll know if you'll want to stick with Windows, or get something that runs Linux well.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2019, 05:22:09 pm »
Yea I could do.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2019, 05:30:21 pm »
Pick your hypervisor with some care though. Some will allow Linux to run much smoother than others. The performance difference isn't huge but the frustration level using it can be.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2019, 05:38:53 pm »
what do you advise?
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2019, 05:49:19 pm »
what do you advise?
I've had issues with Hyper-V. It works but responsiveness is off the mark and I think sound is an issue or even a no go. Apparently VMWare should be better but I haven't experimented enough with the combination to say anything useful about it.
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2019, 05:58:12 pm »
I haven't used Windows in over a decade, so I don't know which supervisors work well in Windows.  I don't use VMware because of the way they ignore GPL.

On a Linux host, VirtualBox works well, and I haven't had any issues with the VMs running Linux.  Maybe try that?  But remember, I don't know how well its hypervisor works in Windows.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2019, 06:17:45 pm »
All of a sudden migrating to Linux does not look that great anymore? By running it in a VM you still using Windows which you have to continue to maintain.
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Offline Twoflower

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2019, 06:30:55 pm »
Not sure but I don't think that the non-GPL drivers are used in the live versions. I think they're only installed after agree to do so during installation.

Probably it's best to install Linux on an external drive and run it from there. But be careful to not install the boot-loader on your system (windows) drive but only on the external drive. This way you can really test the compability of Linux on your system without interfere your windows setup and an easy 'undo'.

And running Linux in a VM does not reveal any compability issues with the system below.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2019, 06:35:55 pm »
Uh, right forget it.

Why bother starting something if you have no intention of actually putting any thought or effort into it?
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2019, 06:36:59 pm »
All of a sudden migrating to Linux does not look that great anymore? By running it in a VM you still using Windows which you have to continue to maintain.
I honestly never understood the "just virtualise" crowd. Instead of saying goodbye to your Windows troubles you now add Linux and virtualisation troubles. That's not progress in my book.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 06:38:55 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2019, 06:38:20 pm »
Why bother starting something if you have no intention of actually putting any thought or effort into it?
What's wrong with evaluating something until you realise the net gain is negative? If more people did that at least half the hairbrained projects on Kickstarter wouldn't exist.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 06:41:17 pm by Mr. Scram »
 
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2019, 06:40:36 pm »
Why bother starting something if you have no intention of actually putting any thought or effort into it?
What's wrong with evaluation until the point you realise the net gain is negative?

He hasn't evaluated anything - he's encountered an issue and given up. If I did that with every piece of software, OS or otherwise, I wouldn't have a single tool to use.

I'm now waiting for the "But Windows just works" argument - which the last 20 years of my life tells me is a complete, total, and utter crock.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2019, 06:50:07 pm »
He hasn't evaluated anything - he's encountered an issue and given up. If I did that with every piece of software, OS or otherwise, I wouldn't have a single tool to use.

I'm now waiting for the "But Windows just works" argument - which the last 20 years of my life tells me is a complete, total, and utter crock.
Disagree. He wanted to simplify things and found his plan wouldn't. Accepting the sunk cost and moving on isn't the worst thing to do. Let's not make this in another one of those Windows vs Linux threads because we already have too many and nobody is going to walk away any wiser. Use whatever suits you best.
 

Offline hermit

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2019, 06:59:21 pm »
I generally put a new system together with older hardware because it's cheaper and I figure it will be Linux compatible by then. ;)

Isn't there an option for 'no FB'?  No frame buffer to start the system?  Then add the drivers?  Been a long time since I've run into non compatible hardware.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2019, 07:41:29 pm »
All of a sudden migrating to Linux does not look that great anymore? By running it in a VM you still using Windows which you have to continue to maintain.
I honestly never understood the "just virtualise" crowd. Instead of saying goodbye to your Windows troubles you now add Linux and virtualisation troubles. That's not progress in my book.

Depends, if you're using a type II hypervisor hosted by another operating system then, yes, you are multiplying your troubles. On the other hand if you're using a type I hypervisor such as VMware ESXi or Xen hosted on bare metal then it's a very different story. I have VMware ESXi here and I can run Windows, MacOS, and Linux side by side with no problem and it takes minutes to spin up a whole new virtual machine (sometimes seconds if it's a prepared clone) and, thanks to virtualised networking too, can connect them up in whatever fashion suits. I can also snapshot and backup whole machines in next to no time. Snapshots in particular are a life saver (if you remember to take them). You can mess about with a machine and if it all goes wrong, just roll back the whole machine to the state it was in before you started messing about.

Type II hypervisors can still deliver a lot of the same benefits (snapshots, limited virtual networking, etc.) but need adequate resources (read extra cores and LOTS of memory) and are never going to be as fast, flexible or responsive as type I hypervisors. I've had good results running Virtual Box on Windows, Macs and Linux and it has the advantages of being free and having a short learning curve. Most people can figure out Virtual Box if they are just stuck in front of it - type I hypervisors like VMware ESXi or Xen on the other hand need a bit of homework before you'll get to grips with them. VMware's type II hypervisors (Fusion for Macs and Workstation for Windows) are not as user friendly as Virtual Box and cost real money too.

I tend to treat type I hypervisors as something to get real work done (nowadays almost all of the 'servers' you encounter on the net or in the corporate world are really VMs running under some type I hypervisor) and type II hypervisors as something to use for experiments or fallbacks when I'm too far away (in access or bandwidth terms) from a pukka type I machine.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2019, 08:03:13 pm »
All of a sudden migrating to Linux does not look that great anymore? By running it in a VM you still using Windows which you have to continue to maintain.
As long as your hardware is supported by Linux, out of the box, the transition is fairly painless.  The Mint distro, for example, works a lot like Windows.  It was intended to.

OTOH, if you wireless dongle isn't support you need to buy another.  WiFi has been a weak spot in Linux for the last 10 years.  Before that, it didn't work at all.

NVIDIA graphics cards are just about out of the question.  There are some proprietary drivers, like NVIDIA, that need some post-processing to match up with the Kernel headers.  Every time the kernel changes, you lose graphics.  This was a gigantic problem years back when the kernel changed weekly (Red Hat Enterprise Linux circa '04).  I think it is still a problem.  And, given that it has been a problem for at least 15 years, you can bet it isn't going to be solved any time soon.

Telnet or SSH will be your best friend when graphics doesn't work.  Make sure the daemons are enabled.

So, try the Live version and if it works, you are good to go.  If not, you are likely out of luck given your hardware.

I always replace the HDD when I transition such that I can always move back.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 08:05:06 pm by rstofer »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2019, 08:44:36 pm »
Depends, if you're using a type II hypervisor hosted by another operating system then, yes, you are multiplying your troubles. On the other hand if you're using a type I hypervisor such as VMware ESXi or Xen hosted on bare metal then it's a very different story. I have VMware ESXi here and I can run Windows, MacOS, and Linux side by side with no problem and it takes minutes to spin up a whole new virtual machine (sometimes seconds if it's a prepared clone) and, thanks to virtualised networking too, can connect them up in whatever fashion suits. I can also snapshot and backup whole machines in next to no time. Snapshots in particular are a life saver (if you remember to take them). You can mess about with a machine and if it all goes wrong, just roll back the whole machine to the state it was in before you started messing about.

Type II hypervisors can still deliver a lot of the same benefits (snapshots, limited virtual networking, etc.) but need adequate resources (read extra cores and LOTS of memory) and are never going to be as fast, flexible or responsive as type I hypervisors. I've had good results running Virtual Box on Windows, Macs and Linux and it has the advantages of being free and having a short learning curve. Most people can figure out Virtual Box if they are just stuck in front of it - type I hypervisors like VMware ESXi or Xen on the other hand need a bit of homework before you'll get to grips with them. VMware's type II hypervisors (Fusion for Macs and Workstation for Windows) are not as user friendly as Virtual Box and cost real money too.

I tend to treat type I hypervisors as something to get real work done (nowadays almost all of the 'servers' you encounter on the net or in the corporate world are really VMs running under some type I hypervisor) and type II hypervisors as something to use for experiments or fallbacks when I'm too far away (in access or bandwidth terms) from a pukka type I machine.
I don't disagree with you but I don't think the hypervisor is the issue. When you run Windows and Linux next to each other as an alternative to going full Linux when the goal is to eliminate Windows there's no gain. You just add a new set of problems to your old ones as you now have multiple OSs to worry about.
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2019, 09:17:39 pm »
Uh, right forget it.

Why bother starting something if you have no intention of actually putting any thought or effort into it?

Why use an OS that can't even handle any hardware even if in a non performance basic driver mode? I wanted an OS that just works. I am not in the game of messing with OSes, I use them so that I can run software not for the sake of the OS
 

Online SimonTopic starter

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2019, 09:20:24 pm »
All of a sudden migrating to Linux does not look that great anymore? By running it in a VM you still using Windows which you have to continue to maintain.
I honestly never understood the "just virtualise" crowd. Instead of saying goodbye to your Windows troubles you now add Linux and virtualisation troubles. That's not progress in my book.

I just get slightly pissed off when I update windows to discover it have removed my settings and programs have vanished not to mention changing stuff just for the sake of it. I don't know how feasible it is to use it as a VM host but me worth at least seeing what Linux can do.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Installing linux
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2019, 09:20:41 pm »
Uh, right forget it.

Why bother starting something if you have no intention of actually putting any thought or effort into it?

Why use an OS that can't even handle any hardware even if in a non performance basic driver mode? I wanted an OS that just works. I am not in the game of messing with OSes, I use them so that I can run software not for the sake of the OS

Of course it can handle hardware.. Congratulations, you found some sort of bug somewhere. Do you want a medal?

There is no such thing as an OS that just works, because they're all written by humans.
 


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