Author Topic: Linux OS for a new user  (Read 8970 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pcdroid13

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 8
  • Country: in
Linux OS for a new user
« on: August 30, 2019, 08:45:21 am »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?
 

Online ledtester

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2373
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 10:00:19 am »

Linux will not be appreciably any faster or slower than Windows.

Why do you want to run Linux? It is possible that the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) might be good enough for what you want to do.

 

Online tunk

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 682
  • Country: no
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 10:17:22 am »
Is this your only computer? If so, I'd stick to windows as I guess it will be a quite steep
learning curve starting with linux. If you want to learn, install e.g. virtualbox with
ubuntu 18.04 LTS. If it's your second/third/etc PC, by all means install linux.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 677
  • Country: hk
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 10:19:37 am »
Why don't you do exactly what I've done this week?

Install Windows but when partitioning the hard drive leave half or 30% of the space empty (for example in a 256GB create a partition of 150GB and leave the rest unused).

Install Windows, configure everything you need, and then restart and install any Linux Distro (I'm using Fedora 30 currently).

That way you can test whatever you want, and if you don't like the distro you are using you install another one.

In the last 5 years I only use windows only for gaming and some programs that I don't have equivalent on Linux, other than that I'm forcing myself to use Linux. Even If you f**k up the installation, I can always return to the Windows one and search how to fix it.

Linux is somewhat a learning curve for people who never used or are starting, specially when most of the deepp config are made via Terminal (same as the CMD or Powershell on Windows) and what is shown in most help forums are command lines. Some programs only run on Terminal, they don't have a gui like in Windows (NordVPN is one that I use currently that in Linux is basically only terminal available) but it's starting to change.

But I'm probably not the best to help you in Linux, I'm not that deep into it. Most of the IT Support I've done was always in Windows Server machines and Active Directory, with sporadically some in CentOS.
 

Offline xmetal

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 10:26:51 am »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.
 

Offline Ampera

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
  • Country: us
    • Ampera's Forums
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 11:22:23 am »
Linux will not be appreciably any faster or slower than Windows.

Baldercrap.

Linux can be configured to have considerably less chunky garbage than Windows. Boot times can be optimized way faster, drivers are often tighter, implementations for most things are just nicer. Across the board I've noticed improvements when using Linux over Windows, especially on hard drives where modern implementations of Windows are pretty much unusable compared to even the chunkiest Linux installs.

Now that's out of the way.

Linux has a range of options for users who want a simple solution, and for users who want a solution better tailored and optimized for what they want out of their computers. Notice I didn't say new users. I am under the personal opinion that Ubuntu isn't particularly good for new users just because it's simple. It's good for people who want a more polished Windows-like experience they don't have to worry about getting to work. This comes with advantages and tradeoffs. Tighter and more optimized systems to which you install the components of yourself tend to be faster, more secure, easier to fix when things go wrong (since you'd have built the damn thing!), and usually more efficient to your workflow.
Distros like Ubuntu, on the other hand, are simpler to use, for people who want something that's /not Windows/ but also not complicated, which I can totally understand. You tend to get more pluggable and "just works" options, where things are tailored for an easier user experience, and to where documentation is more suited for people who don't want a kit OS.

So, my answer is it's up to what you want out of Linux. If you are alright with spending time on configuring your system, learning the inner workings, and don't mind reading manuals if it gains you a better system, distros like Arch Linux, Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo are all good options with different strengths and weaknesses.

If you want an environment that is plug and go, then Ubuntu would be my first pick. It has the most people behind it, it's the most popular, the most polished, and the most supported (in documentation, app support is pretty much the same across distros). Other popular options are Kubuntu and Lubuntu, which offer different pre-installed desktop environments, Linux Mint, which is a sort of mixed up Ubuntu, and Manjaro, which has the excellent Arch Linux Wiki for documentation, but isn't as perfectly polished as the other options.

BIG NOTE: Ensure your computer is expendable if you intend to start messing around with it. You are replacing and modifying core system software, if this is something totally new to you, previous suggestions of using VMs (I suggest VMWare Player myself) for experimentation is definitely not a bad idea to start off with.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 11:24:41 am by Ampera »
I forget who I am sometimes, but then I remember that it's probably not worth remembering.
EEVBlog IRC Admin - Join us on irc.austnet.org #eevblog
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike, MyHeadHz

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 12:36:44 pm »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?
There will be a steep learning curve and lots of reading on fora. A lot of things work different on Linux and settings are in a different place.

I'd suggest to start installing Linux in a VM (virtualbox) and move more and more tasks over to Linux. Dual boot sucks because that will hold you back to boot to a different OS. At some point you can install Linux as the primary OS and run Windows in a VM.

Depending on the task Linux may be faster compared to Windows. If I compile software on my PC Linux is 5 to 10 times faster compared to Windows.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:53:51 pm »
Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Use? No.

Understand? That depends mostly on whether you can accept that many things work completely differently, even if some things work the same.
If you expect your Windows experience to carry your efforts in Linux, you will be disappointed.

The community is not a company, so you are not a client or a customer.  If you want help, you must show your own effort first, and be willing to follow the advice.  Usually this means finding a repeatable test case, extracting log files, and so on.  If you demand anything, you will be laughed at.  Even commercial distros like Ubuntu rely on volunteer community efforts.  The community is only interested in getting the tools and programs they use to work well, so they really do not care if you use Linux or Windows or something else; threatening to go back to Windows if nobody helps will be met with derision.  You only matter, if you contribute yourself.  (Finding a bug, and reporting it well enough so devs can reproduce and analyse it, is an excellent way to contribute, though.  All non-asshole developers really do appreciate those.)

If you start with the understanding that Linux is fundamentally (structurally, design-wise) different, and want to learn how it works, and how to make it conform to your own needs (instead of the opposite), I believe you'll have an interesting time.  There is lots to learn, so it'll take time, but it isn't hard/difficult; just different.  Often, things that seem to work the same on the surface, have quite important differences in how they are actually implemented.  For example, there is no single Linux (or GNU/Linux) graphical user interface; I personally use Gnome, Xfce, and LXDE, but there are also KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, Unity, Mate, and a few others to choose from.

(One fallacy I see often is a claim that Linux is based on command line.  That is not true: even terminals are just userspace services. gettys for console terminals, openssh etc. for network terminals, xterm/gnome-terminal etc. for GUI terminal windows.  When you get a terminal, you can use any shell ("command line interpreter") you want, although Bash is the most common one.  You can even replace the entire userspace with your own program or shell script, by writing your own init.  This means that even "command line" is optional!)

In my own experience, those who expect computers and applications to work like Windows does, will have problems.  Those who have an open mind, only need time and effort.  It is just a tool that anyone can learn (given time and effort), nothing secret: everything you wish to know is publicly available on the net.  If you have used Mac OS or other non-Windows systems, you are likely already aware of the differences at the subconscious level, and it will be easier to adjust.

This also means that if you don't really have the time, and just want things to work like they do in Windows, you'd better stay with Windows, as you can be more productive there.
 
The following users thanked this post: Kilrah

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 08:39:30 pm »
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.

I am running Linux Mint on one of my desktops and I am satisfied BUT Linux requires time and effort and it has quite a few things that seem half baked. I have spent quite a few hours troubleshooting things.

Mostly I am still running my old programs on Win XP and a few like Firefox, Google Earth, on Mint.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
The following users thanked this post: MyHeadHz

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 11:29:53 pm »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.

Yes, dual booting is the best way to go IF you can get a contiguous partition for Linux.  If the machine already has Windows, you can tell it to compactify the disk and there is a way to partition it without losing a bunch of files.  I don't recall the method, look it up.  I'm sure there will be videos on dual-booting Linux and Windows.  BTW, if you  can install another drive, it is possible to leave Windows and the newly installed Grub loaded on the primary drive and install all of Linux on a secondary drive.  My Windows drive is a 1 TB SSD and my Linux drive uses 1 TB for Linux and a 2 TB partition with Windows games (Steam).

I like Linux Mint and, in fact, I was using it this morning just to work with Fortran.  I do that a lot.  Everything else is done on Windows and, no, the Windows Subsystem for Linux is NOT a good substitute.  Among other things, you can't really move files between Windows and Ubuntu.  I have yet to figure out how to print.  It MAY be possible but I can't get the recommended programs to install.  Without file transfer and print, what good is it?  I have it installed but I don't use it much.

There is a hell of a learning curve with Linux because the developers know what's best and provide some functionality, but not all.  They are absolute demons about "open source" so any closed source drivers won't even be offered without you going on Google to find out how to add repositories.  What a PITA.  Don't even get me started with the Ubuntu Unity desktop where they put the system buttons on the wrong side and, unlike earlier version, the position can't be changed.  A huge PITA!

You will spend hours (likely days) getting the system set up.  Google will be your best friend!  At the end, you will realize it wasn't worth the effort.

So, why do I have it?  I write a LOT of Fortran and Linux provides the best compiler/editor combination for my needs.  That's about all I use it for.  But it compiles code like a scalded rabbit on an Intel I7-7700K.

Windows is a lot easier to set up and to use.  Some people are really sold on the "open source" idea or they simply hate Microsoft's success.  Microsoft got so successful because they make sure that user problems are minimized.  The system installs itself including drivers and particularly print drivers.  There's no hunting around, everything just works.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 04:10:24 pm by rstofer »
 

Online ledtester

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2373
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2019, 02:59:02 am »
You will spend hours (likely days) getting the system set up.  Google will be your best friend!  At the end, you will realize it wasn't worth the effort.

That's why I recommend trying out WSL which allows you to run Linux binaries within Windows. It basically "installs" Ubuntu, so you can start using "apt get" to install software right away.

 

Offline wilfred

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1060
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2019, 03:15:49 am »
I use and recommend Linux Mint for new users. I wanted a windows look and feel so I choose XFCE rather than Mate or Cinnamon. I also have a Core2Duo so something lighter weight was appealing.

I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.

Linux Mint has been good to me with available help online. It works for me. There is no perfect Linux distribution so just pick one and deal with it's issues and then later on you might have your own reasons to change.

I still have Windows on a laptop for when I completely stuffed things up.

 

Offline Ampera

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
  • Country: us
    • Ampera's Forums
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019, 09:50:59 am »
That's why I recommend trying out WSL which allows you to run Linux binaries within Windows. It basically "installs" Ubuntu, so you can start using "apt get" to install software right away.

Unfortunately WSL has some pretty killer problems when it comes to learning things important to running a Linux desktop environment. For one it has no native X support, unless you send all connections to Xming, which defeats the point of learning how to operate desktop Linux on something like WSL, where X and X applications will constitute the vast majority of the things you need to learn to configure and understand for a desktop environment (that is unless you use a distro that does everything for you). Other issues like the limited selection of "distros", no 32-bit binary support, the requirement to use the Windows Store, and how all of this could be fixed with a VM or just another computer, makes WSL pretty boo in my opinion.

When I was using Windows 10 last (on my tablet) I found that MSYS2 provided a much much nicer Unix-like experience compared to WSL, in that it actually is comprised of binary ports to NT coded for that environment. So if you want something that's not a VM but is sort of like Linux without pretty much any X support, that is I think a better option.
I forget who I am sometimes, but then I remember that it's probably not worth remembering.
EEVBlog IRC Admin - Join us on irc.austnet.org #eevblog
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2019, 11:25:34 am »
I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.
This is by far the least productive approach. There isn't a Linux alternative for some software and some tools work better on Windows. MS Office for example but also simple programs like Hyperterminal. Running both OSses at the same time (one in a virtual machine) is the most productive way to switch to Linux because you can take small steps at a time. Also what works well on Windows doesn't really need replacing.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline wilfred

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1060
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2019, 12:00:52 pm »
I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.
This is by far the least productive approach. There isn't a Linux alternative for some software and some tools work better on Windows. MS Office for example but also simple programs like Hyperterminal. Running both OSses at the same time (one in a virtual machine) is the most productive way to switch to Linux because you can take small steps at a time. Also what works well on Windows doesn't really need replacing.

I'll stand by what I said. It suited me. But I do agree there can be times when something is available only on Windows. 

For the OP I don't really see a point to abandoning a Win10 install for Linux if the goal is just to have another OS. In the end it is a lifestyle choice and that is inherently a personal choice.
 

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2019, 12:23:43 pm »
Quote
I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.

Exactly what i did 15'ish years ago due to constant blue screens of death,Linux (ubuntu) was a final test before i trashed the machine,it worked,it was stable so it stayed and has been my main os since then.Yes i've had a few issues,but so has windows.I hated the new desktop thingy with the side menu,  a quick online search, a few magic incantations in the terminal and my desktop is back how i like it,don't like the layout in win 10? Tuff microsoft knows best and that's what you want. Wine lets me run older software that win 10 refuses to play with,and a win 10 virtual box for the odd occasion when i need a laugh to use software that doesn't have a Linux alternative or doesn't play nicely with wine,i also have the option to boot into windows,i think the last time that happened was just  after i installed it.
Quote
The system installs itself including drivers and particularly print drivers.  There's no hunting around, everything just works.
Strange ive found the opposite,on the last 2 machine builds ive had to install drivers for certain motherboard functions  to work under windows,most notable the network,however with Linux everything has worked out the box.
Quote
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.
Install windows first,then Linux and all will be good. Instead of wasting a drive for the o/s use it for your home partition, that way you can reinstall the os  without losing your files settings etc.

 if you want to give linux a try  download one of the live discs,you can then run linux  without touching your hard drives,it will be slower but gives you and idea of what its like.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 12:26:24 pm by themadhippy »
 

Offline HoracioDos

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 344
  • Country: ar
  • Just an IT monkey with a DSO
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2019, 12:25:50 pm »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.
I agree! but if your hardware is good enough you can create a VM first and learn in this environment. Once you have acquired some minimum skills you can switch to dual boot. The most frustrating thing for a newbie is losing grub config and do a manual recovery.
Linux Mint is the most friendly distro out there. Timeshift allows you to take system snapshots and restore them if you mess up your system. This tool is already installed and it is very easy to use it.
You can also install Paragon Backup and Recovery 17 free in Windows to make backups (ntfs, ext3, ext4) and recover the system using a pendrive and a external harddrive. It's very powerful and it includes a partition manager too.
Take periodic backups while you are a novice. When you become more skilled you will be able to solve many problems without them. This will save you a lot of headaches.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2019, 02:01:56 pm »
Quote
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.
Install windows first,then Linux and all will be good.

All will be good until your next Windows update. You can find lots of sad stories in the Linux Mint forum.

Hard disks are dirt cheap and I would rather have each OS on its own disk, And, as a bonus, if one disk dies or is messed up, you still have another perfectly well working OS. And back up data from one disk to the other. Really. HDD are dirt cheap.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2019, 10:36:36 pm »
Nowadays forget about hard drives. Use SSD instead; a virtual machine will also run faster from an SSD compared to a hard drive.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline malagas_on_fire

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 591
  • Country: pt
  • Kernel Panic
    • Malagas Lair
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2019, 10:57:16 pm »
Although Linux is non-invasive to windows with grub but sometimes it windows decides to get rid of it, so dual boot is not a great stuff, as mentioned by Soldar. Try out the Linux OS in a virtual machine to check if GUI is easy to use to perform a full install. Either try one of the easy distros available on distrowatch.com:

https://distrowatch.com/

There is a top list and a image preview for each distro, eg MX-linux:

https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mx


If one can make knowledge flow than it will go from negative to positve , for real
 

Online NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8183
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2019, 11:08:33 pm »
simple programs like Hyperterminal.
There's GTKterm and minicom on Linux. On Windows, the best serial terminal in my experience is Realterm, which also works on Linux with WINE.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2019, 11:36:08 pm »
simple programs like Hyperterminal.
There's GTKterm and minicom on Linux. On Windows, the best serial terminal in my experience is Realterm, which also works on Linux with WINE.
None of these have the combined features and ease of use like hyperterminal. What I use often is the connect/disconnect button because I have the debug CLI and firmware programming interface on the same UART.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 677
  • Country: hk
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2019, 12:21:52 am »
The one I use in the windows side for hyperterminal and SSH, Serial, Telnet and others are SecureCRT from VanDyke Software.

I have an old account for that software. Now they also have a Linux version.

https://www.vandyke.com/
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2019, 12:33:01 am »
The one I use in the windows side for hyperterminal and SSH, Serial, Telnet and others are SecureCRT from VanDyke Software.

I have an old account for that software. Now they also have a Linux version.

https://www.vandyke.com/
Seems interesting. Unfortunately no demo download without registering first.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline bingo600

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1696
  • Country: dk
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2019, 09:52:25 am »
I'm using Putty for telnet/ssh/serial on linux if Gui is needed (Free for linux & M$)  , and use minicom if commandline.

/Bingo
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4819
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2019, 09:54:01 am »
Linux will not be appreciably any faster or slower than Windows.

I have to disagree with this comment also. I find Linux *much* more responsive than Windows 10. We run Windows 10 at work on $10k+ workstations and it's still garbage (that's mostly due to the GUI). It spends most of its time with silly window transitions, spinny ball things and faffing about.
 

Offline Ampera

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
  • Country: us
    • Ampera's Forums
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2019, 10:37:24 am »
I'm using Putty for telnet/ssh/serial on linux if Gui is needed (Free for linux & M$)  , and use minicom if commandline.

/Bingo

I was about to go off on about how saying there are no good TTY utilities on Linux is absolute bullshit, considering how Unix has been doing TTY stuff of one form or another since The Beatles were still singing.

Linux is here if you do not want windows, and I am still amazed at the number of people here who don't seem to get how that might work. Not being Windows means not having Windows tools all the time, and having Linux tools and solutions instead. This is going to be a tradeoff, nobody would argue otherwise, but there are all too many concepts and tools Linux absolutely destroys Windows implementations with, particularly in concepts like fs management, transparent block device access, simpler user/group management & permissions, considerably nicer and more versatile remote access options (ssh, xpra, vnc, rdp are all supported, and can all operate with X, and some can even work together), on an order of magnitude more impressive package management solutions, with most distros offering incredibly complete repositories of software, and managers allowing you to in a matter of a few minutes completely update entire systems and all user software, etc. etc. The point being for a lot of people having to use LibreOffice instead of MS Office is not that much of a deal considering the plethora of benefits you get.

tl;dr - If you want your Windows tools, then why are you talking here in a thread about Linux?
I forget who I am sometimes, but then I remember that it's probably not worth remembering.
EEVBlog IRC Admin - Join us on irc.austnet.org #eevblog
 

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2019, 11:29:02 am »
Quote
allowing you to in a matter of a few minutes completely update entire systems and all user software, etc.
And 99.9% of the time those updates take place in the background,even a with a full os upgrade you tend to still be able to carry on using  the machine.No staring  at a blue screen with "buggering up updating  your software  67% completed"
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2019, 11:40:43 am »
I have to disagree with this comment also. I find Linux *much* more responsive than Windows 10. We run Windows 10 at work on $10k+ workstations and it's still garbage (that's mostly due to the GUI). It spends most of its time with silly window transitions, spinny ball things and faffing about.
Your company must not know about SSDs. Can't think of another reason, since I've got W10 running perfectly fine with no slowdowns on $300 machines.
Launching apps can be slow, but it's just as slow on linux since, well, the CPU is what it is regardless of the OS.

It's been a long while I've been able to see a responsiveness difference between Windows and a linux distro.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2019, 02:18:05 pm »
I'm using Putty for telnet/ssh/serial on linux if Gui is needed (Free for linux & M$)  , and use minicom if commandline.
But when you have to close the serial port you have to restart Putty to reconnect. And no making changing to the settings afterwards as well. From all serial terminal emulators for Linux Putty is probably one of the lesser choices (also because Putty starts to draw 100% CPU power if the port dissapears and you want the UI to remain). All in all Putty is not a well written program.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 02:21:05 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2019, 02:20:01 pm »
tl;dr - If you want your Windows tools, then why are you talking here in a thread about Linux?
To show that there isn't a Linux alternative to every tool and even seemingly simple tools which just have a good workflow might not have a Linux counterpart. Ergo it makes a lot of sense to keep Windows around in a VM so you can use both at the same time.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 02:21:35 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Karel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1894
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2019, 02:50:07 pm »
The closest equivalent for hyperterminal is Cutecom.

(make sure you install the latest version, 0.51 at this moment, via your packagemanager)


 

Offline Ampera

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
  • Country: us
    • Ampera's Forums
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2019, 03:18:44 pm »
To show that there isn't a Linux alternative to every tool and even seemingly simple tools which just have a good workflow might not have a Linux counterpart. Ergo it makes a lot of sense to keep Windows around in a VM so you can use both at the same time.

In the entire time I have used Linux there is only one program type I have found which is not done well on Linux, and I cannot get a Wine or native working environment for, and that is 3D CAD, specifically for making 3D printer models. Every single other thing I have ever needed to use is available on Linux, showing that your experiences are distinctly your own, and do not apply to Linux as a whole.

Your company must not know about SSDs. Can't think of another reason, since I've got W10 running perfectly fine with no slowdowns on $300 machines.
Launching apps can be slow, but it's just as slow on linux since, well, the CPU is what it is regardless of the OS.

It's been a long while I've been able to see a responsiveness difference between Windows and a linux distro.

Baldercrap x2

I've noticed a plethora of performance and usability improvements on the same hardware, on the same drive, with Windows compared to Linux. Linux to reach it's fullest efficiency has to be optimized (as I said before), allowing things like far superior boot and system loading times (due to lighter programs and environments), but even without any specific tinkering, updating is faster, programs tend to be smaller and lighter on Linux, especially drivers which tend to be far more efficient (games are a good example, where titles using Proton often outperform the same exact code on Windows, despite having syscall translation, and sometimes even graphics API translation).

The sheer fact that you /need/ an SSD to have a usable Windows environment is exactly telling to how chunked up and bogged down Windows is, even in the most light of configurations. I've run Linux on many a hard drive, and while SSDs are indeed faster, it's not the difference between being able to reasonably use your computer or not.

But when you have to close the serial port you have to restart Putty to reconnect. And no making changing to the settings afterwards as well. From all serial terminal emulators for Linux Putty is probably one of the lesser choices (also because Putty starts to draw 100% CPU power if the port dissapears and you want the UI to remain). All in all Putty is not a well written program.

I've never noticed much of this on PuTTY despite the config menu closing upon connection (which I believe can be disabled in a setting, I don't recall), but regardless of that, there's an insane plethora of alternatives and different programs. Wine is also more capable than ever now, and programs nobody ever dreamed of being able to use now work perfectly with often no confliguration required.
I forget who I am sometimes, but then I remember that it's probably not worth remembering.
EEVBlog IRC Admin - Join us on irc.austnet.org #eevblog
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2019, 03:47:05 pm »
but regardless of that, there's an insane plethora of alternatives and different programs.
Quantity ain't quality.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
The following users thanked this post: Kilrah

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2019, 04:26:38 pm »
I have to disagree with this comment also. I find Linux *much* more responsive than Windows 10. We run Windows 10 at work on $10k+ workstations and it's still garbage (that's mostly due to the GUI). It spends most of its time with silly window transitions, spinny ball things and faffing about.
Your company must not know about SSDs. Can't think of another reason

Really ? from grub to  to firefox  home page appearing without any spinning pointers, ubuntu 17 seconds. win 10 with latest updates  (that took over an hour of unusable machine) 24 seconds.Both on the same ssd .Not very scientific,no optimising anything,just both systems set  up  how i likes em.And dont even  start on shutdown times.,or powering down after a beer or six without  waiting  shut down to finish.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2019, 05:03:18 pm »
just both systems set  up  how i likes em

allowing things like far superior boot and system loading times (due to lighter programs and environments)
That's more of the key and a difference in philosophy, on Windows it is standard to have a number of programs that autolaunch for convenience, while the linux standard is "lean" with none of that so of course it will boot faster.
I have a dual boot on the machine I'm on, and yes Windows "how I like it" takes a few seconds more to boot, but that is with my 10 common programs starting automatically. If I set up the linux system to do the same it's no better, or even worse. Also my Linux install has at some point (after an update  ::) ) decided to hang for 20-30 seconds on some random thing during every boot and I never managed to figure out what that is... Windows hasn't done that to me for more than a decade on multiple computers.

updating is faster
And dont even  start on shutdown times.,or powering down after a beer or six without  waiting  shut down to finish.
Don't agree, and it does so at less convenient times. Windows does most updates unnoticed in the background without needing a restart, and for those that occasionally do I couldn't care less that it takes 30 seconds more on shutdown (I don't wait for my machine to shut down, I tell it to do so and walk away so it can take all the time it wants) nor start up since that's always short, but on linux the pesky unattended-upgrades run on startup and often hog 50% CPU for more than 5 minutes, while also locking apt so if you want to install something you can't and have to wait for a frustratingly long amount of time while retrying repeatedly to find when it's finally done.

The sheer fact that you /need/ an SSD to have a usable Windows environment
I've had SSDs in my machines since 2010, an HDD is unacceptable regardless of OS. Firefox/whatever program will do as many I/Os on either.

I don't understand people mainly quoting boot times. My PC takes 20 seconds to boot at the start of the day, then I spend 8 hours on it. I don't care about 10 seconds at boot time, I care about the performance while I'm working and that's basically same-same on both.

 

Offline Ampera

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
  • Country: us
    • Ampera's Forums
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2019, 05:35:29 pm »
Quote
That's more of the key and a difference in philosophy, on Windows it is standard to have a number of programs that autolaunch for convenience, while the linux standard is "lean" with none of that so of course it will boot faster.
I have a dual boot on the machine I'm on, and yes Windows "how I like it" takes a few seconds more to boot, but that is with my 10 common programs starting automatically. If I set up the linux system to do the same it's no better, or even worse. Also my Linux install has at some point (after an update  ::) ) decided to hang for 20-30 seconds on some random thing during every boot and I never managed to figure out what that is... Windows hasn't done that to me for more than a decade on multiple computers.

Huh? I've tried from hell and back to get Windows to start as fast on a hard drive as Linux is capable of, using Server 2016 with almost no programs installed, and pretty much everything turned off, and I can't even get to a login screen in the time it takes my Linux install to reach the desktop (and start however many programs you'd want). This isn't a philosophy thing, this is a, Linux is faster than Windows.

I think the one and only valid point you've made is that, for the untrained user, Linux has a habit of being more volatile than Windows. I personally have never had anything particularly break after an update in Linux, (besides GNOME, but that's a load of shit anyways), though I have had things break, not work right, or have issues, mostly on niche hardware like my Surface Pro 3, which has minor issues with the wlan implementation which was intended for laptops that don't get suspended every 10 minutes. This just comes from Linux's more open and modular nature, which is precisely why the majority of its users enjoy it so much.

Quote
Don't agree, and it does so at less convenient times. Windows does most updates unnoticed in the background without needing a restart, and for those that occasionally do I couldn't care less that it takes 30 seconds more on shutdown (I don't wait for my machine to shut down, I tell it to do so and walk away so it can take all the time it wants) nor start up since that's always short, but on linux the pesky unattended-upgrades run on startup and often hog 50% CPU for more than 5 minutes, while also locking apt so if you want to install something you can't and have to wait for a frustratingly long amount of time while retrying repeatedly to find when it's finally done.

I think this is the most full of shit thing you said. I'm glad to inform you that my installation of Linux doesn't automatically update itself, doesn't take half the CPU to do so, and will manage to download and install updates for every single program on the computer in the time it takes Windows sometimes just to /discover/ new updates. I don't even have apt nor dpkg on my system, since it's not Debian based. I'd imagine you're using Ubuntu, with a configuration designed to /just work/, and, as I said previously, at a tradeoff of efficiency and performance. Almost every single complaint you have had about Linux does not apply to me whatsoever, and I use Linux on almost every PC compatible I own.

You are taking your one, personal experience with one distinct variant of Linux and applying it to the entire concept as a whole.

Quantity ain't quality.

Fair enough point, but the idea being there might be something better, since there are so many alternatives of varying quality. The program you are using might just not be as good for how you intend to use it as something else.
I forget who I am sometimes, but then I remember that it's probably not worth remembering.
EEVBlog IRC Admin - Join us on irc.austnet.org #eevblog
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2019, 05:56:18 pm »
Huh? I've tried from hell and back to get Windows to start as fast on a hard drive as Linux is capable of, using Server 2016
Server 2016 is a server OS designed to be booted once every few months - no point optimizing boot times  :palm:
Many server-grade machines this is supposed to run on will take several minutes just to run their BIOS self-tests anyway.

I'm glad to inform you that my installation of Linux doesn't automatically update itself, doesn't take half the CPU to do so, and will manage to download and install updates for every single program on the computer in the time it takes Windows sometimes just to /discover/ new updates. I don't even have apt nor dpkg on my system, since it's not Debian based. I'd imagine you're using Ubuntu, with a configuration designed to /just work/, and, as I said previously, at a tradeoff of efficiency and performance. Almost every single complaint you have had about Linux does not apply to me whatsoever, and I use Linux on almost every PC compatible I own.

You are taking your one, personal experience with one distinct variant of Linux and applying it to the entire concept as a whole.
Well yes, but you're doing the same thing. And your context is NOT the one discussed in this topic, it is the one of the OP of this thread. A Windows user looking to move to linux for their daily tasks. A configuration designed to "just work" is exactly what they're after, and none of your customizations apply since that's nothing they want to be faffing about. If they have to be faffing about to get a good experience they are NOT going to even consider switching.
That's the majority of the people for you, and the reason Linux is a small minority in desktop use.

I use Linux for many purposes it's absolutely great at, have several computers and devices running it 24/7 at home - but no way I'd be able to use it for desktop use.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 05:58:47 pm by Kilrah »
 
The following users thanked this post: james_s

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2019, 05:56:53 pm »
Typically for people coming from Windows I recommend trying Mint or Ubuntu, these are both very well supported and nicely polished distros that attempt to be somewhat familiar to Windows users. If you're not ready to commit, you can burn a live DVD or USB flash drive and boot up from that to use it without altering your existing install. For the most part Linux can do anything Windows can do and it is like a breath of fresh air to not have to deal with constant reboots due to forced updates and mountains of crapware getting automatically reinstalled. If you have some software that requires Windows then you have little choice but for more casual use Linux is ready for prime time. I switched my mom over to it a couple years ago and it has been mostly smooth sailing since then, I spend way less time troubleshooting and fixing her computer. My own primary PC is still running Win7 but all of the secondary machines have since been moved to Linux and that is all going fairly smoothly. I plan to switch my main PC over to Ubuntu if Win7 ever becomes non-viable but for now it's working well so momentum is keeping me on it. I will never run Win10, it is banished from my household.
 

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2019, 05:58:07 pm »
Quote
Don't agree, and it does so at less convenient times. Windows does most updates unnoticed in the background without needing a restart, and for those that occasionally do I couldn't care less that it takes 30 seconds more on shutdown
so what am i doing wrong? ubuntu politely puts up a box listing the latest updates with options to ignore,cant be arsed i'll do it later or install,click install and off it trundles  into  the background whilst i get on using the pc,maybe a " i need to a reboot"pops up but you can ignore it. Meanwhile with auto updates turned off windows might bring up a pop up if its feeling generous,or more likely do it anyway,first thing you know about it is when you get a nice blue screen appear with a "reeboot now, or i'll do it anyway" or when you go to shut down and  it says "hang on im installing updates you didn't ask for  don't turn off,i know the pubs calling but tuff shit"  then when you start the machine the next day and your greeted with "installing updates 3 of 3 please go for an extented breakfast"
 
The following users thanked this post: james_s

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2019, 06:01:02 pm »
Meanwhile with auto updates turned off windows might bring up a pop up if its feeling generous,or more likely do it anyway,first thing you know about it is when you get a nice blue screen appear with a "reeboot now, or i'll do it anyway" or when you go to shut down and  it says "hang on im installing updates you didn't ask for  don't turn off,i know the pubs calling but tuff shit"  then when you start the machine the next day and your greeted with "installing updates 3 of 3 please go for an extented breakfast"
You seem to be talking of Windows 2 years ago.
And again why the heck are you waiting in front of your computer when you shut it down? Go to the pub and forget about it, it cares just fine for itself.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2019, 06:02:53 pm »
I have to disagree with this comment also. I find Linux *much* more responsive than Windows 10. We run Windows 10 at work on $10k+ workstations and it's still garbage (that's mostly due to the GUI). It spends most of its time with silly window transitions, spinny ball things and faffing about.
Your company must not know about SSDs. Can't think of another reason

Really ? from grub to  to firefox  home page appearing without any spinning pointers, ubuntu 17 seconds. win 10 with latest updates  (that took over an hour of unusable machine) 24 seconds.Both on the same ssd .Not very scientific,no optimising anything,just both systems set  up  how i likes em.And dont even  start on shutdown times.,or powering down after a beer or six without  waiting  shut down to finish.


I have never understood the obsession some people have over boot time. 17 seconds, 24 seconds, who cares? I boot my laptop maybe once every 3 months, the rest of the time I close the lid when I'm done using it and it goes to sleep, open the lid and it wakes up where I left off. Whether it takes 10 seconds or a full minute to boot is hardly of consequence.

Now where it does get incredibly frustrating is when I do need to shut down and/or restart a machine for some reason and I'm forced to wait an hour for some stupid update to finish. When I had a Win10 work laptop I found myself so annoyed by that situation that I'd just hard power-off when it refused to shut down without updating. Not advisable but I hated that thing so that I kind of wished it would crash and burn.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2019, 06:10:02 pm »
You seem to be talking of Windows 2 years ago.
And again why the heck are you waiting in front of your computer when you shut it down? Go to the pub and forget about it, it cares just fine for itself.

Most often I wanted to put the damn thing in my pack and head home, or I was low on battery and not near a place to plug it in, or I was trying to get work done in time for a deadline and needed to reboot for one reason or another. There are countless other situations too and unfortunately it seemed that MS had your attitude and not even the slightest consideration that what is no problem for you may in fact be a very big problem for someone else.

Today my work PC is a Mac, it is not without faults but I didn't spend my own money on it and for what I use it for I've never been happier. No unwanted updates, no baked in ads, no crapware getting repeatedly reinstalled, it just works. I've never even once been unable to do my job because the computer rudely demanded it had something more important to do.
 

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2019, 06:56:30 pm »
Quote
you seem to be talking of Windows 2 years ago.
nope  i sat through the windows update wait routine earlier today
Quote
And again why the heck are you waiting in front of your computer when you shut it down? Go to the pub and forget about it, it cares just fine for itself.
personal choice,id rather wait and turn the power off at the wall rather  than leave it on standby whilst im out
 

Online NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8183
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2019, 07:36:46 pm »
None of these have the combined features and ease of use like hyperterminal. What I use often is the connect/disconnect button because I have the debug CLI and firmware programming interface on the same UART.
Realterm has that as well.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Online ledtester

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2373
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2019, 07:49:45 pm »
I surprised no one has mention Tim Bray's venerable terminal program for Windows:

https://sites.google.com/site/terminalbpp/

Designed specifically for controlling and capturing low-level serial communication.

Maybe it's only well known among software devs.



 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2019, 07:50:12 pm »
There are countless other situations too and unfortunately it seemed that MS had your attitude and not even the slightest consideration that what is no problem for you may in fact be a very big problem for someone else.
Well on my laptops I have auto-updates disabled through GPO, takes 2 minutes and no such issues...
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2019, 08:27:22 pm »
An OS that requires auto updates to be disabled by GPO in order to be usable is broken by design. I expect my computer to work out of the box with minimal tinkering. For it to be so user-hostile as to require hacks like that is ridiculous. I never had to touch GPO in Win7, the older OS offers a clearly superior user experience.

I'm not sure I'll ever grasp what compels some people to be such corporate apologists.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4819
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2019, 08:30:02 pm »
I have to disagree with this comment also. I find Linux *much* more responsive than Windows 10. We run Windows 10 at work on $10k+ workstations and it's still garbage (that's mostly due to the GUI). It spends most of its time with silly window transitions, spinny ball things and faffing about.
Your company must not know about SSDs. Can't think of another reason, since I've got W10 running perfectly fine with no slowdowns on $300 machines.
Launching apps can be slow, but it's just as slow on linux since, well, the CPU is what it is regardless of the OS.

It's been a long while I've been able to see a responsiveness difference between Windows and a linux distro.

We run 1TB PCIe SSDs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disk throughput.

Maybe you're just used to Windows? I find Apple MacOS/IOS just as tedious. Once you've used a good, well-configured Linux distro, everything else feels sluggish. This is coming from a Windows veteran.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2019, 08:35:08 pm »
None of these have the combined features and ease of use like hyperterminal. What I use often is the connect/disconnect button because I have the debug CLI and firmware programming interface on the same UART.
Realterm has that as well.
But not all kinds of file transfer protocols. I didn't list an exhaustive list of features I need. I'm going to try SecureCRT.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2019, 09:11:11 pm »
An OS that requires auto updates to be disabled by GPO in order to be usable is broken by design.
So the linux distros that are likely to be adopted by people migrating from Windows are also broken by design since you need to get to command line shenanigans to disable the unattended upgrades.

Maybe you're just used to Windows? I find Apple MacOS/IOS just as tedious. Once you've used a good, well-configured Linux distro, everything else feels sluggish. This is coming from a Windows veteran.
I don't want to spend hours setting up my OS so it works right, and breaks with some package update later (been there, done that).
I've extensively used all 3 systems, and both Mac OS and Linux have, for a desktop setup like mine which is still somewhat unusual with a very large 4K60p display too many limitations to work properly for me.
One thing that I use a LOT and neither comes up close is... the very basic Windows Explorer.
I spend a significant amount of my time on a computer organizing and managing files and folders, and Windows' explorer is by very far much more practical and efficient at that  for me than any of the offerings I've tried on both of the other major systems, third party tweaks included.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 09:12:56 pm by Kilrah »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2019, 10:53:07 pm »
So the linux distros that are likely to be adopted by people migrating from Windows are also broken by design since you need to get to command line shenanigans to disable the unattended upgrades.


Which distro would that be?

I have 5 or 6 machines running various flavors of Ubuntu and I've never had to muck with the updates or do any sort of command line tricks. During install I set them to check automatically and notify me when updates are available, they do that and when it's convenient for me I click the button to update now. When it's done it sometimes tells me a reboot is necessary for some of the changes to take effect, it has never once forced an update or a reboot when I was in the middle of something or forced me to wait through an update to shut down or reboot. If you can find an example where this is necessary please share, but I have yet to run into it, ever. Updates wait patiently for days, weeks, even months and when they do happen, they are non-intrusive, they never, ever install freaking Candy Crush or other useless bloatware on computers I use as tools.

On the other hand I had to use Win10 for just under 2 years at a former job and it was a constant struggle. In 30+ years of using PCs I have never experienced an OS that is so user-hostile, it made my blood boil. I was able to work around most of the crap but it felt like it was constantly fighting against my wishes, it was wearing me down, very slowly destroying my soul. I finally left that toxic relationship and I do not miss it one bit, although it makes me sad that Microsoft, the company I started my career at and once loved has gone down a path that has turned me to loathe almost every one of their products. They still have some very bright people working there, I still know quite a few of them, but something has changed and it's not for the better.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 01:32:35 am by james_s »
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike, Halcyon

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2019, 10:56:32 pm »
But not all kinds of file transfer protocols. I didn't list an exhaustive list of features I need. I'm going to try SecureCRT.

SecureCRT is quite good, I used it at a former job where the built in scripting was very useful.

These days I don't need any of that stuff so I just use PuTTY or SSH.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4819
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2019, 11:02:16 pm »
On the other hand I had to use Win10 for under under 2 years at a former job and it was a constant struggle. In 30+ years of using PCs I have never experienced an OS that is so user-hostile, it made my blood boil. I was able to work around most of the crap but it felt like it was constantly fighting against my wishes, it was wearing me down, very slowly destroying my soul. I finally left that toxic relationship and I do not miss it one bit, although it makes me sad that Microsoft, the company I started my career at and once loved has gone down a path that has turned me to loathe almost every one of their products.

I couldn't have put it better myself and I'm in the exact same situation as yourself. Not a week goes by where I don't hear someone utter similar feelings towards Windows 10.
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike

Online NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8183
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2019, 01:03:37 am »
One thing that I use a LOT and neither comes up close is... the very basic Windows Explorer.
I spend a significant amount of my time on a computer organizing and managing files and folders, and Windows' explorer is by very far much more practical and efficient at that  for me than any of the offerings I've tried on both of the other major systems, third party tweaks included.
In my experience, it's an ancient dinosaur without even something as basic as tabs like every modern web browser does. Have you tried SpaceFM?

I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2019, 01:36:55 am »
I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.

I think the Windows 7 GUI is quite nice, it's very polished and I have few complaints. About the only thing that bugged me enough to make me go out of my way to customize it was the worthlessly clunky calculator app and mspaint and wordpad that were redesigned to have a stupid ribbon instead of a proper menu. I replaced those all with the versions from Vista and have been happy ever since.

10 was a major regression in terms of GUI, it's like they hacked together a half assed wireframe and just called it good. It has that same crusty half baked inconsistent feel I remember from FOSS back in the mid 2000's.
 

Online ledtester

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2373
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2019, 01:47:28 am »
I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.

Speaking of file managers that require a GPU...



Inspired, of course by...


 

Offline MyHeadHz

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 165
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2019, 03:53:00 am »
Well, deciding which distribution to try can be overwhelming.  Personally, I recommend starting off by just installing Linux to a USB drive live install (or live DVD).  You don't have to configure or commit to anything as your current OS/HDD's remain untouched.  You can try out a few different distros to see what you like before committing to installing it to a hard drive.  It is worth noting, though, that live installs are only recommended for basic testing and familiarity.  Once you decide on which one you like, you should install it to a hdd/ssd.

To directly answer your question, I recommend the MATE version of Linux Mint for users coming from Windows.   Just pick the latest 64-bit LTS (long-term support) version (19.2/Tina).  Link: https://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=35

How it fits into the GNU/Linux family: It is an Ubuntu-based distro, which itself is Debian-based.
 

Offline ebclr

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2306
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2019, 09:47:33 am »
It's worth check this link

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10

You can have both worlds together at full speed
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2019, 03:39:32 pm »
What's the point? If you really need Win10 for something, run it in a VM so you can isolate it from everything else.
 
The following users thanked this post: MyHeadHz

Online ledtester

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2373
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2019, 04:47:13 pm »
What's the point? If you really need Win10 for something, run it in a VM so you can isolate it from everything else.

But maybe you don't want them isolated. Being able to run Linux apps and utilities directly on Windows files and vice-versa can be a powerful combination.

Here's some testimony from WSL users. Many mention they use WSL to avoid having to set up a virtual machine:

https://www.reddit.com/r/bashonubuntuonwindows/comments/cwii0w/what_cool_things_does_wsl_enables_you_to_do/

 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2019, 04:50:54 pm »
WSL is Windows' equivalent of Wine for Linux, and certainly has its problems.  It is definitely not a replacement for a Linux system, just a compatibility layer that lets you run some Linux applications.
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2019, 05:38:01 pm »
Then there is cygwin.  I use if specifically for the gcc and gfortran compilers.  These are the underlying tools for eclipse with the CDT tools and Photran (Fortran add-on).

Cygwin also uses the X-11 package for a graphic interface but I have never used it.

https://www.cygwin.com/faq.html

I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.

Here's another off-the-wall idea:  The new Raspberry Pi 4 is quite a powerful desktop machine.  I have one running on my desk at the moment and it's fun to use.  All it needs, besides the Pi itself, is an HDMI monitor (or TV set, I suppose), and some kind of USB based keyboard and mouse.  I bought a couple of the high dollar kits simply because they include a suitable power supply (5.1V 3A USB C connector with switch) and a fan with heatsinks and a ventilated box.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product

So, if a monitor or TV set is laying around, $100 plus a keyboard/mouse will provide a complete Linux environment.  It's not bad, faster than you might expect and clearly fast enough for my little command line Fortran projects.  It compiles and links in a blink of an eye and the output is even faster.

I know, everybody is chuckling at the old guy promoting a Pi, but this is a pretty serious machine.  No, it's not as fast as my I7-7700K but it doesn't need to be for most command line stuff.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2019, 05:56:47 pm »
I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.


I just don't see it. I've been using Linux pretty heavily for several years now and while it's not free of problems, it doesn't have any of the crap that irritates me (and many, many others) about the current version of Windows. The only reason I'm not using it on everything is that Win7 is still viable and I still quite like it but if the only version of Windows that existed was 10, the choice would be dead easy, Ubuntu or Mint wins hands down, no comparison. Win10 runs fine in a VM for those rare times when one really needs Windows.
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2019, 06:17:20 pm »
I just don't see it. I've been using Linux pretty heavily for several years now and while it's not free of problems, it doesn't have any of the crap that irritates me (and many, many others) about the current version of Windows. The only reason I'm not using it on everything is that Win7 is still viable and I still quite like it but if the only version of Windows that existed was 10, the choice would be dead easy, Ubuntu or Mint wins hands down, no comparison. Win10 runs fine in a VM for those rare times when one really needs Windows.
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8: Permission denied'.  Oops, have to add the user to a special group which can be easily discovered by, again, Google.  Then we're back to the command line and sudo.  But first, I have to log in as root to add the user to 'sudoers'.  And on and on it goes.  What's with udev rules?  How come I can just plug and play on Windows but Linux wants to argue about it?  Don't even get me started on Broadcom WiFi or Nvidia graphics.  How do you find out which repository to use?  The distro creators won't include them because the drivers aren't open source.  Off to Google again.  Google becomes your best friend.  What's with the Unity desktop with the buttons on the wrong side?  You used to be able to change the locations but the developers decided they knew best and removed that capability.

Seriously, I think of Linux as a major PITA for anything off the main path.  OTOH, I like using the terminal window and the command line tools.  So I use it anyway.  I use Linux quite a bit but I don't think it is within a mile of the convenience of Win 7 or Win 10 for the user.

But, hey, that's just based on my use case.  The vast majority of users will never need minicom.  Or any other USB devices that are a bit off the path.  Maybe they'll have the good sense to skip over Nvidia graphics cards.



« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 06:37:53 pm by rstofer »
 
The following users thanked this post: CatalinaWOW, Kilrah

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2019, 06:27:03 pm »
Raspberry Pi 4 takes 0.237 seconds to compile and execute this program:

Code: [Select]
      program Popul8

      double precision lambda, p0, p1, t, pop
      integer i

      p0 = 3929214
      p1 = 5308483
      lambda = log(p1/p0)/10.0
      print 20, p0, p1, lambda

      do 10 i = 0,100,10
        t = float(i)
        pop = 3929214.0*exp(lambda * t)
        print 30, i+1790, pop
  10  continue

  20  format('!',10x,'p0 = ',f12.0,/
     +       '!',10x,'p1 = ',f12.0,/
     +       '!',10x,'lambda = ', f7.5,//)

  30  format('!',10x,i4,f13.0)

      end program Popul8

!          p0 =     3929214.
!          p1 =     5308483.
!          lambda = 0.03009


!          1790     3929214.
!          1800     5308483.
!          1810     7171916.
!          1820     9689468.
!          1830    13090754.
!          1840    17685992.
!          1850    23894292.
!          1860    32281887.
!          1870    43613774.
!          1880    58923484.
!          1890    79607349.

This was an exponential growth problem from my grandson's Differential Equations course.  Just for giggles, I coded it in Fortran.

This new Pi 4 is a pretty sweet machine.  I have a second kit as linked above plus another board-only in transit.  Given a spare monitor and keyboard/mouse, it's easy to come up with a Linux machine at a very interesting price.



« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 06:39:48 pm by rstofer »
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2019, 08:58:38 pm »
Then there is cygwin.  I use if specifically for the gcc and gfortran compilers.  These are the underlying tools for eclipse with the CDT tools and Photran (Fortran add-on).

Cygwin also uses the X-11 package for a graphic interface but I have never used it.

https://www.cygwin.com/faq.html

I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.
Again very bad advice!
First of all Cygwin sucks bad and has many flaws. It tries to emulate a Unix environment under Windows but there are too many differences in the designs of both OSses to make this impossible (for example Windows doesn't care about uppercase and lowercase characters in filenames). If a program is compiled using Cygwin I avoid it because it will have a problem as some point.

Using an old computer or dual boot is going to suck. Dual boot takes too long to start (and you need to close down all your programs) and an older computer will (usually) be slow (besides using extra electricity). A virtual machine really is the best way to use both Linux and Windows because you can use both together (*) and get the strong points from both.  Any other way is just a crutch.

* For example: I can copy the advertisement at the top of this page from Firefox running on Linux and paste it into a Word document in a VM running Windows. Again; wirtual machines are more than just a way to run one OS on top of the other; virtual machines are a way to use multiple OS in a way the result is greater than the sum of the parts.

Quote
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8:
I think this is more due to that you know how to use Windows and have much less experience with Linux yet. People tend to forget that they have decades of experience with solving Windows issues. Finding drivers for Windows can be just as daunting as it is for Linux. Try to install a driver for a scanner or printer on Windows for example.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 09:05:32 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2019, 10:09:45 pm »
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8: Permission denied'.  Oops, have to add the user to a special group which can be easily discovered by, again, Google.  Then we're back to the command line and sudo.  But first, I have to log in as root to add the user to 'sudoers'.  And on and on it goes.  What's with udev rules?  How come I can just plug and play on Windows but Linux wants to argue about it?  Don't even get me started on Broadcom WiFi or Nvidia graphics.  How do you find out which repository to use?  The distro creators won't include them because the drivers aren't open source.  Off to Google again.  Google becomes your best friend.  What's with the Unity desktop with the buttons on the wrong side?  You used to be able to change the locations but the developers decided they knew best and removed that capability.

He, he, I just went through this with GTKTerminal. Pretty much the same PITA. Found out if you run the program as plain user then it does not have the credentials to open the serial port. Yeah, everything requires searching and finding out. It took me a while to find out the launch command line needs to be :"gksu /usr/bin/gtkterm". I find myself replicating lines, commands and parameters I do not understand and hoping I do not make things worse.

One thing I find annoying is that in Linux the files of a program are strewn all over the place. In Windows you pretty much have all the files in a folder in the "Program Files" folder but in Linux you can't find anything. I install something and I like to know where it went. Try to find the icon files and they can be anywhere. A disorganized mess.

Part of it may be that I do not know Linux as well as I know Windows but, Linux is definitely much more complicated!
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2019, 11:10:43 pm »
It's all a matter of what you're used to. I can't count the number of times I've gone poking around in the Windows registry or done other tricks and hacks to get things working, the only reason it's usually not too hard is that I've been using Windows for decades.
 
The following users thanked this post: nctnico, MyHeadHz

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2019, 01:51:22 am »
First of all Cygwin sucks bad and has many flaws. It tries to emulate a Unix environment under Windows but there are too many differences in the designs of both OSses to make this impossible (for example Windows doesn't care about uppercase and lowercase characters in filenames). If a program is compiled using Cygwin I avoid it because it will have a problem as some point.

I install only the gcc and gfortran tools from Cygwin.  It's either that or install the equivalent from MinGW.  One way or another, the Eclipse IDE has to know the location of a native compiler/linker to build native applications.  Of course, it also needs to know the location of avr-gcc and avr-libc for AVR cross-compiling.  Same for ARM and Python, etc...

I have only used Cygwin as Unix a couple of times.  It more or less works but I have a version of 2.11BSD running on my PiDP11 consoles.  That is real Unix, by definition.   FreeBSD and all the other 'BSDs are derived from 4.3BSD (and possibly 4.4) and 4.3 is very close to 2.11.  So close you can use the same manuals.

Cygwin is no better or worse than WSL except that it is possible to interchange files between Cygwin and Windows.  It is not recommended between WSL and Windows.  You are not to copy and paste into the WSL directory structure.

The nightmare that is minicom is still with us.  I just tried it with Linux on a Pi 4 and, sure enough, you have install it and when you do you don't have permissions to use it.  Kind of odd as the user 'pi' is a superuser.  But not a  uucp user...

Just keep Google open when using Linux.
 

Offline scatterandfocus

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 165
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2019, 07:55:36 am »
pcdroid13, if you can, install your Linux distro of choice to it's own drive.  It could be an old drive or whatever you like.  Windows tends to be hostile toward other operating systems in a dual boot setup, so don't be surprised if you having problems booting down the line in a dual boot setup.

On distros, two popular ones aimed at people who use desktop computers to do desktop things rather than for development or tinkering with and customizing are Ubuntu and Manjaro.  And there isn't anything wrong with tinkering and customizing, but you'll probably want fewer os issues to deal with in the very beginning.  Ubunutu is based on Debian.  Debian tends to have good stability but stays behind the cutting edge as a tradeoff.  Ubuntu is less stable than Debian in my experience, in trade for a little more cutting edge.  Manjaro is based on Arch.  Arch is always riding the cutting edge and can be as stable as anything else, depending on how you choose to configure it (you configure most everything to your liking in Arch) and how you choose your updates, but it would be tough going for someone who is spanking new to Linux.  Manjaro is pretty much a pre-configured Arch distro that is much easier to use as a daily driver, especially if you are new to Linux.  And Manjaro is only some weeks behind the latest and greatest that is available in Arch.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Ubuntu for various reasons.  Part of it is choices made by Canonical over the years, and part of it is bugginess that I have experienced in Ubuntu.  But Ubuntu has a good community.  I am a fan of Debian, but it intentionally stays behind the latest and greatest for stability.  Debian also has a good community, although not as exciting as what you might find elsewhere.  I am a fan of Arch too, but not so much the Arch community.  And I am a fan of Manjaro, which has a good community.   Personally, I would recommend Manjaro to anyone new to Linux.  It has the benefits of following rapid Arch development, having the latest packages available (software) as well as the AUR (Arch User Repository of user created packages).  It is pre-configured as other begininer friendly Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Mint.  And I think stability tends to be better than Ubuntu.

Whatever distro you choose to try, just keep in mind that the Linux environment is a collective of professional and hobbyist developers and tinkerers of all sorts.  There will be some rough edges along the way.  Linux distros tend not to be as polished as Windows and Mac OS.  But in most cases, you also won't have to deal with the sorts of privacy issues you see on operating systems such as Windows.  And Linux distros don't try to keep you in the dark, as in Windows.  If anything, you are over-encouraged to dig in to find out how something works, configure things to your liking, and tinker as much as you want.  And much of the native Linux desktop software tends to be less polished than commercial desktop software available on Windows.  This isn't an absolute, and there is some polished desktop software on Linux (and commercial software), but it is generally true.  So before complaining about something being not to your liking, remember that the guys/gals who developed it might just be someone like you, who decided to go a step further and get involved in development for personal interests, or a company who developed something just enough for their own needs.  Also keep in mind that many Linux users tend to love Linux for the power of the commandline enivronment, which absolutely wipes the floor with Windows in that respect. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 08:04:19 am by scatterandfocus »
 

Online edy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2341
  • Country: ca
    • DevHackMod Channel
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2019, 05:05:32 pm »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?

I'm coming in late on the discussion so I'm sure some of my answer will have already been posted, as I didn't bother to read the entire thread. First of all, welcome to trying out Linux! It will be a bit of a learning curve but at the end of the day, you will come out better for having the knowledge even if it doesn't become your "daily driver". Although depending on your use case, like many of us on this forum here, we use Linux for often all our personal, and some even our work computing needs.

>  Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?

Yes and no.  :-DD

Initially it will be tougher but fortunately there are plenty of places to check. Get used to Googling questions, pick up a Linux book, and learn. Installation can be fairly EASY these days with many distributions, if you can manage to make yourself a bootable USB key. That may be harder for you to do than the actual install... just getting to download the proper ISO and using a number of different tools to write to make a bootable USB key, and making sure you get past your BIOS settings to let you boot it!

You will need another computer to be able to do this, so you need to buy a few USB keys, at least 4 GB each, download a few distros and make yourself a few LIVE USB bootables... then you can try a few different Linux distros out and see which you like more.


> Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?

Yes and no.  :-DD

Generally I find Linux to be faster but that is because I am using it on slower machines and I am customizing the Linux distro to one that has very little overhead. For example, I may use a desktop environment that is very "light" and there are Linux distros that are efficient, slim, take up little HD space, and will run much faster than say Windows 10.

However, that is not ALWAYS true, and it also depends on what you mean by "faster"? Does that mean gaming on Linux will be faster? Not really... You still have to push the same amount of calculations through your processor for graphics, etc... Sometimes you will not have optimized drivers for Linux, but you will for Windows. Will it calculate Fractals any faster? Again, this may have nothing to do with the overhead of the system. Windows 10 I have found to be fairly efficient and I have it running on older computers.

You may find Linux "faster" and more responsive if you are using a light desktop environment on an old machine. The advantage of Linux is that you can run it on fairly old hardware but be current as far as your software technology/patches and functionality, whereas Win10 may choke on the older computers simply because of lack of resources. Your old computer may run WinXP perfectly fast but it is not updated and will have vulnerabilities and problems running certain new software. Your Linux machine will still help you take advantage of your old hardware but on the latest bleeding edge of the software development, although you will still need to have minimal levels of RAM to do certain things.

ANYWAYS....

Welcome to your initial embarkation on Linux. I would recommend you start off as I mentioned with simply creating a number of LIVE USB's of say the most common/easy 4 or 5 distros, get your computer and BIOS to cooperate, and then spend some time booting those and trying them out. I did this and I even have a few "persistent" USB's which let me write files, so I never touched the hard-drive in my computer. When you are ready to commit to one distro, you can always dual-boot it on your Win10 machine and you have flexibility for a while, until you are ready to completely drop Windows completely.
 
I would AVOID... setting up a bunch of VM's. You won't necessarily feel the speed of the system this way. You also wouldn't feel the speed with Live USB keys as the read/write rate on those might be fairly slow also, but the VM's would add a lot more overhead. I would make persistent Live USB's if you really must save files (or just plug another USB key to save to and keep your Live USB untampered). You won't be able to really config and install apps to your Live USB, nor would you want to. This is just to play around and see if it will run and you can function in there. Then I would set up a dual-boot machine, and finally one day abandon Windows.

PERSONALLY: 

I use Ubuntu Studio as it comes with a whole bunch of productivity stuff built right in. Then you can install other packages as needed. I have WINE in there configured so I can run tons of Windows games no problem. It has been my main daily driver for years now. Although I've but Lubuntu my kids older computers, and I have bootable USB's of Mint, Tails, and a bunch of others.

https://ubuntustudio.org/



« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 05:17:09 pm by edy »
YouTube: www.devhackmod.com LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@winegaming:b Bandcamp Music Link
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline scatterandfocus

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 165
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #72 on: September 03, 2019, 05:53:59 pm »
pcdroid13, to clarify a point of my last post of installing Linux to it's own drive, I should have also said to install the Grub bootloader (or whichever bootloader your chosen distro uses) to the same drive as Linux.  So then you will have to use your computer's boot options menu for choosing which drive to boot from rather than choosing which os to boot from a single bootloader as when using a dual boot setup from a partitioned/shared drive.  In other words, Windows will still have it's own bootloader and your Linux distro will have it's own bootloader, which eliminates common dual boot issues where one or both operating systems end up not being able to boot.  And you might need to enable the legacy boot option in your machine's bios/uefi in order to get Linux to boot.  I'm sure further details are out there if you need it.

One other thing is is that Windows and Linux tend to use different time systems by default, and no matter which way you set up the two operating systems on the same machine, you may see time difference issues from the getgo, such as when switching between operating systems the time is off.  The easiest way to deal with this is to set your Linux distro to use local time.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 06:05:04 pm by scatterandfocus »
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #73 on: September 03, 2019, 06:38:19 pm »
I would AVOID... setting up a bunch of VM's. You won't necessarily feel the speed of the system this way. You also wouldn't feel the speed with Live USB keys as the read/write rate on those might be fairly slow also, but the VM's would add a lot more overhead.
In part this is a misconception. The biggest problem of a VM is that it needs to emulate a hard drive from a file. For good performance you'll need to use an SSD but it is not like a VM is useless without an SSD. I'm using CAD software in a VM all the time and there really aren't any performance issues. However you have to make sure to disable the swap (virtual memory) on Windows in a VM.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2019, 07:22:59 pm »
I'm writing this on a Rasberry Pi 4.0 so it's not like I don't use Linux.  I have it on at least 4 machines, not counting a half dozen Pis.  I USE it all the time but I don't recommend it to casual users.

When you opt to use Linux for your daily desktop you will be joining a group that represents less than 2% of desktop users worldwide.  The folks that promote Linux like it a lot, no doubt!  The thing is, after 25 years, Linux has not even made a dent in desktop usage.  The market has spoken!  Windows costs money, Linux is free and they can't even give it away.  You would think FREE would garner more than 2% of the market.  There are reasons why it doesn't!

Linux is worth knowing but the best way to play with it is on a left over machine.  Everybody has at least one machine sitting in the corner, gathering dust.  Although my fastest workstation does dual-boot, I'm not convinced this is a safe way to go.  I may just reinstall Win 10 and move Linux elsewhere.  I have it on 2 leftover laptops, maybe that's enough.

BTW, this Pi 4.0 is a pretty sweet machine!  I already had a 27" HDMI display for use with my Surface Book so it's no big deal to use the Pi as a desktop.

 

Online themadhippy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1195
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #75 on: September 03, 2019, 08:23:13 pm »
Quote
The market has spoken
And that market is  the back handers and profits shared out amongst manufacturers  and retailers.Linux being free has no profit margin for the distributor so they gain nothing ,meanwhile windows cost  money ,might only be a few pounds to the computer manufacture,but they can add a bit on when the sell it,same for distributors and retailers ,their all getting a little bit of the pie so why promote something that wont get them a slice.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #76 on: September 03, 2019, 08:49:29 pm »
When you opt to use Linux for your daily desktop you will be joining a group that represents less than 2% of desktop users worldwide.
Not necessarily true. In engineering you'll find a much higher percentage of Linux users. According to a poll earlier on this forum 30% uses Linux as their primary OS and 60% uses Linux regulary. There is a good reason CAD vendors have or are working on Linux versions. Orcad's PCB design tool already works on Linux and judging from the changes in the Orcad schematics tool it is likely to follow. Altium is also working on a Linux version. And then there are the major FPGA vendors. Their tools have been available for Linux for at least a decade. These companies are not going to support two OSses if this only serves 2% of their user base.

Your idea that there is no real serious use for Linux is completely wrong. I have several customers where the entire engineering department runs Linux as the primary OS.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 08:54:42 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #77 on: September 03, 2019, 08:50:10 pm »
The market has spoken!
Popularity and quality are not causally linked.  They aren't even strongly correlated.  That is, popularity is not a good indicator of quality.

Remember, Linux developers and maintainers are not looking to get a larger market share.  We are perfectly happy just making it better for ourselves.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #78 on: September 03, 2019, 09:07:33 pm »
With the exception of Microsoft and Apple, Linux is the prevalent desktop OS used in most of the major tech companies. At my last job the entire development department ran Linux, and at my current job most of the back end developers are on it with the remainder on Mac and a small handful of Windows machines that run Linux in a VM to run the dev environment.

Windows is the majority of the consumer market because most consumers just walk into a store and buy a computer with whatever comes on it and in the vast majority of cases that is Windows. At one point Windows was quite good, and it was marketed with a heavy hand that practically forced PC makers to offer it and nothing else and now it has momentum. It's the same reason a majority of cars sold these days are those silly "crossover" fake SUVs, it's not because they're good, in fact by most measures they're terrible, having all the disadvantages of multiple vehicle classes with few of the advantages. They are popular because people don't know any better so they buy what dealers are pushing and now it's hard to find anything else. The same thing happens with consumer electronics, the best selling stuff has always been the bottom of the barrel junk you can walk into Costco, Walmart, K-Mart, etc and buy.
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #79 on: September 03, 2019, 10:42:56 pm »
Your idea that there is no real serious use for Linux is completely wrong. I have several customers where the entire engineering department runs Linux as the primary OS.

Sure, an engineering department can be self-supporting.  They will have a good deal of collective experience with Linux and none of the startup problems will concern them.  Besides, they're likely to be pretty smart folks and have lots of problem solving skills.

I said I don't recommend Linux to 'casual users' and I maintain that point of view.  Absolutely NOTHING works right out of the box other than the desktop.  Everything else is going to be a PITA to install and how much pain that is will depend on how much experience you have.  The casual user simply won't know how to get the thing to work without spending hours on Google.  As a learning experience, it's great!  If you have no attention span (that'e me!), it is beyond unendurable.

Do you really expect a 'casual user' to want to build packages from source?  Most of the canned packages install correctly but there are still some things that require building from source in order to link to the header files and libraries.

I used Red Hat Linux as my primary (and only) desktop for several years starting back around '03.  Those were not the enlightened years for Linux and things have improved greatly.

The 'casual user' CAN get the system installed and the desktop functioning with very little effort.  As long as that satisfies their needs, it's all good.

Yes, the population of Linux desktop users is skewed to the high end.  But that doesn't alter the overall percentage, it just points how of uncommon it is for the 'casual user'.

 

Offline pcmad

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 84
  • Country: gb
    • module web design
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2019, 11:18:02 pm »
liux mint i use  ad if i will widows app i fire up a virual mechine

Online NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8183
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #81 on: September 04, 2019, 12:47:25 am »
Chrome OS and Android are Linux (even if very different from a traditional Linux distribution) and most certainly have a lot more than 2% market share.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Online Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5579
  • Country: ca
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #82 on: September 04, 2019, 01:48:39 am »
I said I don't recommend Linux to 'casual users' and I maintain that point of view.  Absolutely NOTHING works right out of the box other than the desktop.  Everything else is going to be a PITA to install and how much pain that is will depend on how much experience you have.  The casual user simply won't know how to get the thing to work without spending hours on Google. ...

Do you really expect a 'casual user' to want to build packages
:-+ Well said exactly to the pain point
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7498
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #83 on: September 04, 2019, 01:57:39 am »
I said I don't recommend Linux to 'casual users' and I maintain that point of view.  Absolutely NOTHING works right out of the box other than the desktop.  Everything else is going to be a PITA to install and how much pain that is will depend on how much experience you have.  The casual user simply won't know how to get the thing to work without spending hours on Google.  As a learning experience, it's great!  If you have no attention span (that'e me!), it is beyond unendurable.

Do you really expect a 'casual user' to want to build packages from source?  Most of the canned packages install correctly but there are still some things that require building from source in order to link to the header files and libraries.

What packages does the 'casual user' need to build from source?!
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #84 on: September 04, 2019, 02:11:02 am »
liux mint i use

I really like the Mint distribution,  it is very well done!  Many years back I used to use Fedora - it was visually striking.  I can also deal with Ubuntu and any of the desktops other than Unity.  The sheer arrogance of moving the system buttons just staggers me.  Then doubling down and not allowing the user to reposition them?  Inexcusable!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 02:33:34 am by rstofer »
 

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6413
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>???
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #85 on: September 04, 2019, 02:13:51 am »
I really like the Mint distribution,  it is very well done! 

Me too, I just recommended it to a member in another thread. I have a Ryzen 7 running it for the Seti@Home project and it just chugs away with all 16 cores day after day.  :-+
[hp] Hewlett . Packard
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #86 on: September 04, 2019, 02:30:13 am »
What packages does the 'casual user' need to build from source?!

The 'casual user' by my definition is the one who browses the web and handles email.  They don't need anything.  A Chrome Book would do as would a cell phone.  The trouble starts when they have hardware issues or start to venture into programming.

Among other things, the Nvidia drivers used to have to be built and linked to the libraries.  It wasn't exactly 'source', it was more like binary blobs.  I never did understand the process, I just got forced into it by having bought a machine with an Nvidia card.  A 'do-over' was required with every kernel upgrade.

I'm pretty sure mpfr still needs to be built from source.  There's another similar package that also needs to be built but I have forgotten what is is.  I think mpfr is still required for some projects using gcc?  Same story with mpc?

The one positive thing that I always note:  I will not be the first person to discover some problem.  Somebody else will have fixed it and posted a tutorial.  Google becomes your best friend and there's a lot of help out there!
 

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7498
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #87 on: September 04, 2019, 02:41:37 am »
What packages does the 'casual user' need to build from source?!

The 'casual user' by my definition is the one who browses the web and handles email.  They don't need anything.  A Chrome Book would do as would a cell phone.  The trouble starts when they have hardware issues or start to venture into programming.

.. So the 'casual user' does not need to do anything, then..

Quote
Among other things, the Nvidia drivers used to have to be built and linked to the libraries.  It wasn't exactly 'source', it was more like binary blobs.  I never did understand the process, I just got forced into it by having bought a machine with an Nvidia card.  A 'do-over' was required with every kernel upgrade.

Yes, the nVidia driver still needs to be dealt with because nVidia are a gigantic sack of cocks. I'll give you that. Unfortunately a near impossible situation to resolve: They won't supply drivers under an acceptable license or documentation allowing practical writing of said drivers.

Quote
I'm pretty sure mpfr still needs to be built from source.  There's another similar package that also needs to be built but I have forgotten what is is.  I think mpfr is still required for some projects using gcc?  Same story with mpc?

I cannot imagine any distribution where mpfr and mpc (both LGPL libraries) require any special treatment, at least for the host OS. Toolchains for embedded systems are, of course, just like the embedded systems themselves, a complex and specialised subject.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #88 on: September 04, 2019, 03:37:31 am »
I said I don't recommend Linux to 'casual users' and I maintain that point of view.  Absolutely NOTHING works right out of the box other than the desktop.  Everything else is going to be a PITA to install and how much pain that is will depend on how much experience you have.  The casual user simply won't know how to get the thing to work without spending hours on Google. ...

Do you really expect a 'casual user' to want to build packages
:-+ Well said exactly to the pain point

Why would a casual user *ever* have to build a package? Only power users do that, everyone else uses the app store or package manager. I can count on my fingers the number of times I've built a package from source in the last 10 years and none of those were really necessary, they were hack-y stuff I was playing with like RTL_433.

I put my computer illiterate mother on Ubuntu Mate 2 years ago and it's been smooth sailing. If I hadn't told her it was Linux she'd have likely just assumed it was just a new version of Windows. For the casual user the OS is all but irrelevant these days and getting more so all the time. If it runs Chrome and a word processor that's all most casual users need, millions of casual users have ditched the PC entirely in favor of mobile devices.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:40:10 am by james_s »
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #89 on: September 04, 2019, 04:26:00 am »
What packages does the 'casual user' need to build from source?!

The 'casual user' by my definition is the one who browses the web and handles email.  They don't need anything.  A Chrome Book would do as would a cell phone.  The trouble starts when they have hardware issues or start to venture into programming.

.. So the 'casual user' does not need to do anything, then..

Not until they stray from the path...  Of course if that is all the user wants, email and browser, it doesn't matter which OS he picks.

Quote

Quote
Among other things, the Nvidia drivers used to have to be built and linked to the libraries.  It wasn't exactly 'source', it was more like binary blobs.  I never did understand the process, I just got forced into it by having bought a machine with an Nvidia card.  A 'do-over' was required with every kernel upgrade.

Yes, the nVidia driver still needs to be dealt with because nVidia are a gigantic sack of cocks. I'll give you that. Unfortunately a near impossible situation to resolve: They won't supply drivers under an acceptable license or documentation allowing practical writing of said drivers.

Quote
I'm pretty sure mpfr still needs to be built from source.  There's another similar package that also needs to be built but I have forgotten what is is.  I think mpfr is still required for some projects using gcc?  Same story with mpc?

I cannot imagine any distribution where mpfr and mpc (both LGPL libraries) require any special treatment, at least for the host OS. Toolchains for embedded systems are, of course, just like the embedded systems themselves, a complex and specialised subject.

I don't know why I ran into that complication, I wasn't compiling anything special but some part of the toolchain needed the libraries and wouldn't quite bitching until I downloaded them and built them from source.  I don't think mpfr or mpc are available as installable binaries.  I tried apt-get install mpfr with no success.  The package wasn't found.

ETA:  Now I remember!  I was building gcc from source to create the ARM cross-compiler.  The compiler needed the libraries in order to compile itself.  These days there may be an installable package.

There are other aggravations but I have struggled through all of them with no particular talent.  Google knows everything!  In every case, I was a little off the path of email and browsing.  Except for the Nvidia thing.  Dell sold me a Red Hat Enterprise Workstation with the Nvidia card installed and working.  It worked right up until the kernel got upgraded.  Then the postgraduate course began...

« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 04:29:30 am by rstofer »
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #90 on: September 04, 2019, 04:06:53 pm »
One more vote for Linux Mint. I have resolved the NVidia issue temporarily by taking out the NVidia card and using the on-board intel video which is supposedly worse but it works.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #91 on: September 04, 2019, 05:41:45 pm »
On Debian the proprietary Nvidia drivers work out of the box. There is a tutorial to install them somewhere but these are a few simple steps.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #92 on: September 04, 2019, 05:46:41 pm »
A casual user is screwed if they stray off the path with any OS. The OS is virtually irrelevant to casual users, they have no idea how to fix anything that breaks or isn't working as expected.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #93 on: September 04, 2019, 06:55:24 pm »
I recommend not to use hardware that requires proprietary drivers, especially for new Linux users, because proprietary drivers makes problem-solving futile.

The reason is that kernel drivers have full access to internals, but without the proprietary driver sources, nobody can tell exactly what happened -- even if the proprietary drivers are not in the crash dump call chain: the error could have occurred much earlier, for example a critical kernel structure was damaged due to inappropriate modification.  For completely new bugs, one must first reproduce it without the proprietary drivers loaded (not just "unloaded"; not loaded at all, since last boot).  This makes bug-reporting a complete horror show for new users using proprietary drivers.

Some Nvidia cards work acceptably using the open-source Noveau drivers, as do some AMD cards using open-source Radeon and AMDGPU drivers. Integrated Intel graphics have open-source drivers.  I personally won't touch Nvidia, and prefer Intel or AMD hardware.  The only real sure way to find out, is to test your candidate Linux distributions using an USB stick or removable hard drive, on the actual hardware.

(There are ways to find out, but it involves checking pages and compatibility matrixes that I would rather not ask a new user to look through.  Practical testing works.)
 

Offline Jookia

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 15
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2019, 07:54:12 pm »
Windows is fairly good if you don't care about your OS that much.
The moment you need customization or tuning Linux turns out to be a much better choice.
 

Offline pcmad

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 84
  • Country: gb
    • module web design
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #95 on: September 04, 2019, 09:47:29 pm »
liux mint i use

I really like the Mint distribution,  it is very well done!  Many years back I used to use Fedora - it was visually striking.  I can also deal with Ubuntu and any of the desktops other than Unity.  The sheer arrogance of moving the system buttons just staggers me.  Then doubling down and not allowing the user to reposition them?  Inexcusable!

indeed i use ubuntu up untill 10.04 then moved to mint and desktop envirument mate  use to ubuntu redesign thing for the worst the  desktop envirument mate is very much like the gnome 2 which was layed out perectly and very easy to use  also ubuntu unity suck as it does not support multi screen

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #96 on: September 04, 2019, 10:02:42 pm »
I recommend not to use hardware that requires proprietary drivers, especially for new Linux users, because proprietary drivers makes problem-solving futile.

I agree!  It just turns out that the Nvidia card was included by Dell when I bought the Precision Work Station and the board worked fine until the first kernel upgrade.

Let me ask a serious question: Is the a Qualified Hardware List for Linux?  Is there a single site I can visit that either provides a list of hardware known to work or, at least, a list of hardware known to be problematic?

Microsoft used to have such a list but it seems like with Win 10, they check the hardware before installation but that is useless:

https://www.technorms.com/45229/check-windows-10-compatibility

So, what list do I take to the store when I am shopping for parts?  My last machine was built from bits and pieces from Amazon and it works for both Linux and Win 10 using the Intel graphics on the Gigabyte motherboard.  Just luck I guess!

The deal with Win 10 where they test during installation doesn't help much when your buying pieces.  By the time you find out it won't work, you already have stuff you can't use.  The good news is that nearly everything works with Win 10.  It would be highly unlikely to buy a current product that didn't work.  Now, that leftover '98 machine may not be up to snuff!
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #97 on: September 04, 2019, 11:24:37 pm »
Let me ask a serious question: Is the a Qualified Hardware List for Linux?  Is there a single site I can visit that either provides a list of hardware known to work or, at least, a list of hardware known to be problematic?
No, there is no such list.  Several distributions have tried to provide one, but manufacturers have shown zero interest, and since they often change the hardware without changing the version number or product name, it is basically impossible for volunteers to maintain such lists.

So, what list do I take to the store when I am shopping for parts?
You first collect a list of candidates to choose from.  Then, you check the LKML and bugzillas (using a web search) for support and issues on each part, and reject the ones that have an issue reported more than once.  Start with the motherboard.

Current motherboards with integrated Intel graphics should be well supported in Linux, but the very newest models often need tweaking -- for example, the temperature sensors may not be supported yet.  So, the best bet is to look for established models, and look for problem/success reports.  In general, only "gaming" motherboards tend to have issues, and those mostly dealing with graphics and overclocking-related features.  Dual graphics chipset motherboards are particularly quirky, since the motherboard manufacturer decides their wiring, and they do not always bother to tell Linux devs how to do that.  For AMD chipsets, check if the support is already upstream, or whether you need to download stuff from AMD's website (which is not tenable in the long run; you want upstream support for Things To Just Work).  I've built a few machines using Gigabyte, Asrock, and MSI motherboards, but keep away from Asus for various personal reasons.

All motherboard manufacturers have qualified vendor lists (QVL) for recommended memory.  These are by chip, and usually include the wait states etc. details.  Just remember that "almost the same" is not "the same".  Linux uses unused memory as an I/O cache, so more memory means a larger part of your working set stays in memory; with SSDs, that is less of an issue.  In fall 2019, I'd look at using all lanes with 16 GB of RAM at least.

If you intend to just stripe or mirror drives, use softraid.  It is faster and portable across hardware.  Never use motherboard-integrated RAID features, they suck and leave you in a bind if you migrate the machine.  If you need just additional ports, look for JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) support on the card.  If you are building a server with proper NAS, there is darn good support for server iron (because almost all clusters run on Linux).  The drives themselves are compatible, but their reliability differs A LOT.  For example, I will not trust any Seagate spinning-disk drive with my data, and for a good reason.  For SSD, I like Samsung, obviously, but I have much more experience with the spinning disk variety.  (Funnily enough, Samsung manufactured some really good but cheap 500GB and 1TB HDDs before they sold the unit to Seagate.)

USB devices are the nastiest to deal with.  Many physically different devices can be sold as the same device, and unless you check the actual USB vendor and product ID (VVVV:PPPP in hexadecimal), you won't know.  It is never printed on the package, though; you need to connect it to a computer and run lsusb to find out.  And, when you do that, it's less work to just test it as well.  (But do do a web trawl to see if the device is a dud, though.)

Graphic cards' ostensible support status you can find out by doing a web search, but only real-world testing will actually tell.  I don't like 'em, except for GPGPU use.  Yeah, I simulate a lot of stuff, and only play old-style HTML5 platform puzzle games.

For other extension cards you might need, for example extra network cards, do a web search like on the motherboards, or find out the exact chipset.  Basically all will be supported, but the quality varies. This is particularly true with wireless networking.  USB is easier for wireless networking, but is limited to 480 Mbit/s (about 45 Mbytes/sec in practice), as you can use up to 5m long USB cable. For PCIe cards, you may need extra antenna cables to move the antennae to somewhere sensible.

After you have the above sorted out, it is time to pick the chassis and the power supply.  I personally go for silencing, and spend quite a bit of time adding vibration and noise dampening, and extra fans to control the airflow.  I like having a 4-way fan and temperature controller in the front panel, just in case; with at least one of the temperature sensors measuring enclosure air temperature via a string-mounted heatsink.  I've thought about building a separate double box for my optical drive -- old backups and such --, to silence the darn thing.  I like making custom cases.  Heavy cases are easier to silence than lightweight ones.

So, overall, you do need to do a lot of extra work to build machines fully supported in upstream Linux without proprietary drivers and hassle. You need to trawl through web and mailing lists to find out possible problems in each component beforehand.  Most stuff is supported; you just don't want to get stuck with an important component that isn't.  This is why I recommend testing with a USB stick or external hard drive with ones preferred distro, instead.

After a couple of years of actual use, I can recommend HP EliteBook 830 G3 and 840 G4 laptops for Linux use, though.  But that's just because I happen to be writing this on one, with the other nearby.  I don't have current desktop or server hardware at hand to recommend.
 

Online rstofer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9200
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #98 on: September 05, 2019, 02:14:12 am »
Pretty thorough response!   ^^^

As a result, you should plan to stay away from the bleeding edge of hardware.  It takes time for the volunteers to get around to adopting new hardware and coming up with drivers.  The WiFi mess of several years ago is one example.  It took forever to get WiFi working without a lot of twiddling.  I find that most distros of Linux and *BSD will run on my older Dell laptops.  The hardware is so old that it is well understood.

It doesn't help the process when manufacturers won't release driver source code.  Even Windows code would be a step in the right direction.

One way to test an existing system is to use one of the Live CD distros.  They are slower than molasses but if the Live CD runs, it is very likely the install will work as well.

I always pull the existing HDDs, label them and put them aside in case I want to come back.  Replacement drives are cheap (except for the very fast SSDs).
 

Online edy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2341
  • Country: ca
    • DevHackMod Channel
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #99 on: September 05, 2019, 02:47:38 am »
I said I don't recommend Linux to 'casual users' and I maintain that point of view.  Absolutely NOTHING works right out of the box other than the desktop....The 'casual user' CAN get the system installed and the desktop functioning with very little effort.  As long as that satisfies their needs, it's all good.

I can share that sentiment and I did up to a few years ago before I dropped Windows, but not anymore. I had tried various Linux distros over the years and always came crawling back to Windows. It was a pain to install, a pain to configure, things would break and I'd spend hours looking for solutions which often required changing parameters in config files.

Then came a huge jump in "friendliness" several years ago. All of a sudden, we had Live USB's, Live DVD's, automatic dual-boot installation, all graphical environment, a Software Store, printers and WiFi and other stuff would just work, etc... The "casual user" could actually make a productive system based on one of the friendlier Linux distros and survive and thrive in it! Yes it may take a bit of learning but it wasn't the unsurmountable steep climb it had been in the past!

These days, I have introduced numerous "casual users" to using Linux and they wouldn't know the difference because things work. They just want to browse the web, watch videos, photos, email, do some office stuff (LibreOffice), edit some videos, play a few games, you know... "casual user" stuff. The Software Store is easy to use and find apps, they install and you can uninstall from there. WiFi is easy to use and connect for internet. They are shocked by the speed of Linux and lack of advertising or other popups, constant updates and reboots and the need for these virus-scanning tools that bog down and slow the system.

I also find installation is a breeze for the "casual user"... I have a USB key with Ubuntu Studio on it. Plug in and boot, and within a few minutes it is installing on the machine. It gives you practically one-button idiot-proof option to set up a dual-boot system with your old OS or simply wipe the drive and go all in with Linux. After a few minutes you are ready and you can start downloading stuff. It's no different than Win10 and I have set up a pile of machines with my Win10 USB key also. It's probably harder for the "casual user" to set up a bootable OS key than to use it.

Why is Linux barely scratching the market share percentage?

I agree... popularity is not necessarily a sign of superiority of technology. BlackBerry 10 is all but dead, but the OS was built on a surprisingly efficient Unix-like real-time operating system called QNX. I was one of the first developers for BlackBerry Playbook and then when BB OS 10 came out. I was thoroughly impressed and I still use my Playbooks and BB10 devices to this day. Sadly, the market could not handle a 3rd ecosystem so late in the game and BlackBerry had other corporate cultural issues and marketing problems that eventually doomed it. But it wasn't for the quality of BB OS 10 that it failed.

The number of Linux distros fractionates the market... There are so many players, it can be confusing to casual adopters, especially those that do not know where to start. While some people like Mint, others like Red Hat/Fedora and others like Ubuntu.... each has it's particular flavour and Desktop Environment, the fact that there are so many options for the "feel and look" also can paralyze some new users.

I've also talked to many people and told them about Linux, how fast it is, and that it is FREE, including free software like LibreOffice, VLC, Audacity, KDenLive, Blender, GIMP, and the list goes on and on and on.... and they always wonder "what is the catch?", or that if it's free it must be garbage. They simply CANNOT believe or wrap their minds around the fact that it is free!!!! There is a psychology behind this that seems counter-intuitive but it is happening!
YouTube: www.devhackmod.com LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@winegaming:b Bandcamp Music Link
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2019, 03:17:47 am »
I'm reminded of years ago when I tried for a week to give away a sofa on Craigslist. Then I reposted it for sale for $10 and it was gone that afternoon. 
 

Online NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8183
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #101 on: September 05, 2019, 03:26:15 am »
I've also talked to many people and told them about Linux, how fast it is, and that it is FREE, including free software like LibreOffice, VLC, Audacity, KDenLive, Blender, GIMP, and the list goes on and on and on.... and they always wonder "what is the catch?", or that if it's free it must be garbage. They simply CANNOT believe or wrap their minds around the fact that it is free!!!! There is a psychology behind this that seems counter-intuitive but it is happening!
They're probably used to the "app store" on their smartphones and how a large percentage of (free) stuff on it are junk.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #102 on: September 05, 2019, 10:28:27 am »
What packages does the 'casual user' need to build from source?!
That can start with a simple Goggle for an equivalent to some nice helper tool you're used to having on your usual OS.

That's one of the main things for me. Yes on linux all the basic stuff works, but I've got many little tools on Windows that make my life easier, and there are no equivalents or they are more frustrating than helping.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #103 on: September 05, 2019, 03:02:36 pm »
The number of Linux distros fractionates the market... There are so many players, it can be confusing to casual adopters, especially those that do not know where to start. While some people like Mint, others like Red Hat/Fedora and others like Ubuntu.... each has it's particular flavour and Desktop Environment, the fact that there are so many options for the "feel and look" also can paralyze some new users.

I've also talked to many people and told them about Linux, how fast it is, and that it is FREE, including free software like LibreOffice, VLC, Audacity, KDenLive, Blender, GIMP, and the list goes on and on and on.... and they always wonder "what is the catch?", or that if it's free it must be garbage. They simply CANNOT believe or wrap their minds around the fact that it is free!!!! There is a psychology behind this that seems counter-intuitive but it is happening!

I use Linux Mint and can say many good things about it but I can also recount tales of woe. Yes, It works out of the box ... Sort of. it has many wrinkled edges that need a bit more cooking. You drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.  You need to run a different version of [Nemo] with admin privileges and this version cannot remember its own settings. It is crappy in the most basic ways. Free but crappy.

My wife is Chinese and we need Chinese input. Good luck with that because it is an ordeal. Something that in Windows is done with very few clicks requires a lot of time and investigating and no one in the forums can really offer simple help. And once I had installed Chinese input in one computer I could not replicate it in another because I had tried so many paths and steps I could not remember how I got to where I was. And once it is working in one computer it works in some programs but not in others (like Firefox). And it means hours Googling and hours testing and trying things.

And much of my favorite software does not run on Linux.

Again, I am satisfied with some aspects of Linux but it is far from easy or perfect. It is for geeks. If you have a geek in the family who maintains the system then yes, you can do basic stuff like you can do it in Windows. But when you run into any problem, and you will, often, then you better be knowledgeable and patient or have someone do it for you. And even then you can ask in the forums and come away without an answer.

All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
The following users thanked this post: Kilrah

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7498
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #104 on: September 05, 2019, 03:05:37 pm »
You drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.

This is called snapping and most people appreciate the assistance in keeping things orderly. You just need to learn where the grid is (yes, it could perhaps draw you one).
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #105 on: September 05, 2019, 03:22:43 pm »
You drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.
This is called snapping and most people appreciate the assistance in keeping things orderly. You just need to learn where the grid is (yes, it could perhaps draw you one).
You can call it whatever you want but it is a known issue with Linux Mint. It does not snap to the grid like in Windows; it jumps half way across the screen and you have to look for it. I have not heard of anyone who appreciates this known fault. 
YMMV.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7498
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #106 on: September 05, 2019, 03:24:22 pm »
You drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.
This is called snapping and most people appreciate the assistance in keeping things orderly. You just need to learn where the grid is (yes, it could perhaps draw you one).
You can call it whatever you want but it is a known issue with Linux Mint. It does not snap to the grid like in Windows; it jumps half way across the screen and you have to look for it. I have not heard of anyone who appreciates this known fault. 
YMMV.

Then there may be an actual bug. Perhaps you should see into why it hasn't been fixed.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2019, 03:32:19 pm »
Linux [...] is for geeks.
Call me a geek or a nerd to my face, and you'll get hurt. >:D

However, I fully agree with the underlying sentiment: you definitely should have someone to configure and tune it to your needs.

It does not need to be a family member or a friend, either.  For example, any organization considering switching to or using Linux, should first get someone to analyse their existing workflow and tools, and prepare a design or plan for the workstations.  It should include user interface details, like pre-prepared default templates in word processing and spreadsheet programs, uniform font selection and defaults, and obviously application choices considering interoperability and all work-related tasks; maintenance details like updates and upgrade policies; and infosec features like firewall configs, tripwires, remote logging, and stuff like fail2ban (I love fail2ban).

I wished more people understood that that is part of the actual cost of switching to Linux.  If you don't do it, you'll be working with an unsuitable tool, like a dull kitchen knife.  You can learn to do it yourself, but it takes time and effort.  If it is done right, you'll have a customized tool near-perfect for your needs.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2019, 04:00:00 pm »
I use Linux Mint and [...] you drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.
Nemo defaults to auto-arranging icons.  To control how the Desktop icons are arranged:
    Right-click on the desktop, to open the desktop context menu
    In the Desktop submenu, untick Auto-arrange
    Optionally, in the same submenu, untick Align to grid, to keep icons exactly where you want.

In Nemo (file explorer), folder icon arrangement options are slightly different.
    In the View menu, there is an Arrange icons submenu.
    That same submenu is available in the folder context menu, when you right-click on the folder background.
    You can place icons Manually, or By name etc.
    The default layout is quite sparse.  You can choose Compact layout instead.

This is exactly the kind of difference between desktop environments (not just Windows/Mac/Linux, but KDE/Gnome/XFCE etc.), that throws users off.
However, in all Linux desktop environments, there is a sort of a context menu where these options are managed.  You just need to be aware of its existence.

The entire approach to UX is fundamentally different, you see.  In FOSS DEs, the underlying idea tends to be "if you don't like it, change (configure) it to be more to your liking", instead of "this is how it is, take it or leave it".  (GNOME is a weirdo, because its developers are going down the we-know-better-than-users path, and are removing configuration options.  Which is why I don't like it much.)
This kind of mind-twists abound, and make it difficult to move to Linux, unless your mind is willing and able to do the shifts.
Which is also why I believe Linux is easier for complete newbies than it is for those with lots of Windows experience (unless they are proficient with other OSes as well, as then their minds are more aware of those shifts I mentioned).

There is nothing Linux-specific in that, by the way.  I first saw this phenomenon in 1999, when I created and taught an introductory IT workshop/course; basic stuff like email, web browsing and search engines, fundamentals of word processing, spreadsheets, and scanning and photo editing.  The machines happened to be Mac OS 7.5.3's, with all material as web pages, and attendance optional.  The exam was a set of practical tasks, graded pass/fail only.
Users with Windows experience, and especially users who had learned Word on their own, had the most difficulty.  (Well, scratch that; the ones with the biggest difficulties was a small fraction who insisted on being shown where to click, as they did not want to think about all this computer stuff, and because that workshop/course existed to ensure the students had the necessary skills to participate in the studies, you couldn't learn that stuff by rote and pass.)
The single biggest technical hurdle was undestanding the purpose of styles in word processing, and how they are used to produce indexes and tables automatically.  Some had learned to use Word in a way that they managed everything by hand, from fonts to hand-editing page numbers on the bottom of the pages.  Unless they learned how to use the styles for formatting, they failed, because the test required the construction of a structured text of a few dozen pages, with "lorem ipsum" content; they just didn't have time enough to create a document of that size in the time allotted.  (Using styles as the web pages explained, you could do it in fifteen minutes or so.)

I had observed both students and teachers at that time, and knew that to be the case; which is why I approached the word processing part from a "this saves you oodles of effort and time" viewpoint.  Funny thing is, I don't remember anyone failing the word processing part twice in the year I did that. :D
(Also, although the material included screenshots and the machines had Microsoft Office, it explicitly explained that all word processing programs have a similar logic.  By design, it was called "fundamentals of word processing", instead of something like Basics of Microsoft Word.)

I hope this unnecessary background anecdote shows that my advice originates from the wish of people using their tools efficiently and without undue pain or effort; there is nothing ideological in it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 04:05:55 pm by Nominal Animal »
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #109 on: September 05, 2019, 04:44:38 pm »
I'm reminded of years ago when I tried for a week to give away a sofa on Craigslist. Then I reposted it for sale for $10 and it was gone that afternoon.
Epic! I have the same experience. I never give stuff away for free. I always 'sell' it. But it has happened to me that people left without paying (around 10 euro) when I wanted to get rid of a large amount of concrete tiles. They did take all the tiles though so I was happy.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2019, 05:01:03 pm »
I use Linux Mint and [...] you drag an icon to the desktop and instead of staying where you put it it moves a few spaces to the right and down.
Nemo defaults to auto-arranging icons.  To control how the Desktop icons are arranged:
    Right-click on the desktop, to open the desktop context menu
    In the Desktop submenu, untick Auto-arrange
    Optionally, in the same submenu, untick Align to grid, to keep icons exactly where you want.

In Nemo (file explorer), folder icon arrangement options are slightly different.
    In the View menu, there is an Arrange icons submenu.
    That same submenu is available in the folder context menu, when you right-click on the folder background.
    You can place icons Manually, or By name etc.
    The default layout is quite sparse.  You can choose Compact layout instead.

I spent some time in the Linux Mint forum searching for answers and all I got was that they were known issues.  This was some time ago and maybe workarounds have been found since I last looked. 

For instance, regarding the problem that Nemo as root does not remember preferences I now find https://github.com/linuxmint/nemo/issues/1676 So a workaround seems to have been found but it will take me quite some time and effort to implement this and see if it works. This is an issue that never should have happened in the first place.

Regarding the Nemo desktop, it has quite a few deficiencies. Icons jumping around is just one. Icons sometimes overlap. Icons seem to have different grids and the only way to get them all on the same grid is to select them all and move them down and then up again. That seems to put them all in line. It is really shoddy work. (Yes, I know, I got what I paid for.)  These things in Windows work flawlessly. I get the impression the developers of Linux are more interested in moving forward with fancy, geeky things than in making something stable and solid. And it could well be that I am in a minority when I want stability and reliability rather than flashy novelty.

There might be solutions and work-arounds for all these problems but they are so basic they should never have happened in the first place. I could go on and on.

I am not close to my Linux box so I cannot go into details but, believe me, anyone heading into Linux better have a lot of time and patience or have someone do it for them.

And yet I am moving into Linux Mint because I refuse to use Windows 10.

I am reminded of a joke. A pastor was in a new church and officiating a funeral for someone everyone hated. As he personally did not know the dead man he asked if anyone would say some words of eulogy but there was an awkward silence while people looked at each other. The pastor insisted, there must be someone who could say something good about the deceased. After a long, uncomfortable silence a man timidly raised his hand and the pastor asked him what good words he could say about the deceased. The man blurted "his brother was worse!".

Ok, so if I am asked to say something good about Linux I would say that, on the whole, Windows is worse. :)

All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline eugenenine

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 865
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #111 on: September 05, 2019, 05:08:37 pm »
I have found that Windows 10 needs a geek with a lot of time and patience to keep it working, my wife and kids have had multiple issues that I've had to spend time fixing with their windows 10 systems and my Linux systems I never need to mess with.
So I have the opposite experience than a lot here.  But I got tired of fixing computers because I did it at work so I didn't want to at home, would rather spend time on other hobbies nd found that linux takes less work than windows.
 

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7498
  • Country: gb
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #112 on: September 05, 2019, 05:14:32 pm »
For instance, regarding the problem that Nemo as root does not remember preferences I now find https://github.com/linuxmint/nemo/issues/1676 So a workaround seems to have been found but it will take me quite some time and effort to implement this and see if it works. This is an issue that never should have happened in the first place.

Because, for a start, you never should have run it as root.. but that's a whole argument we'll not get into.

Quote
Regarding the Nemo desktop, it has quite a few deficiencies.

Nemo is not a desktop, it is a single tool in the environment.

Quote
I get the impression the developers of Linux are more interested in moving forward with fancy, geeky things than in making something stable and solid.

Your impression is entirely incorrect. The developers of Linux are much more interested in making a kernel than anything else. Your desktop environment is not developed by them, for them, or for the majority of users of the OS.

You really must remember that there is no single group of developers for your desktop experience (or for most of the OS, to be fair). The primary goal of the overall system has nothing to do with your desktop environment. This is not Windows, this is not Mac, this is not any regular development model of a single system.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #113 on: September 05, 2019, 05:38:30 pm »
Because, for a start, you never should have run it as root.. but that's a whole argument we'll not get into.

Except when I need to run it as root to do something or I can't do it.  This is just a silly argument. There is a known bug in the software and your answer is to not use it.

The developers of Linux are much more interested in making a kernel than anything else. Your desktop environment is not developed by them, for them, or for the majority of users of the OS.

Fine but I don't care about the reasons. I am a user who needs a desktop that works. If Linux is aimed at super-duper users who do not have much use for a desktop then it is not for me because I am not a super-duper-command-line-user, I am only a lowly, non-expert user.

This way of thinking and this attitude is what has kept most people away from Linux. And it is definitely keeping me away to a certain extent because I have no interest in learning the deep language of the command line, I just want a computer that works easily and simply. Like most casual users.

When I say Nemo has a bug and the reaction I get is one of derision it does not exactly encourage me to move to Linux.

It seems Linux fulfills the need of some people to feel superior to the rest of mortals who just want a computer that works. That is something that has pushed many people away.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Online edy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2341
  • Country: ca
    • DevHackMod Channel
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #114 on: September 05, 2019, 06:30:43 pm »
You really must remember that there is no single group of developers for your desktop experience (or for most of the OS, to be fair). The primary goal of the overall system has nothing to do with your desktop environment.

Yes I can relate to that... I was having some terrible times with a particular configuration a few years ago. For some reason after I upgraded to a new major version of Ubuntu I lost the ability to load my old Desktop Environment. The only thing I could do was drop into another non-graphical shell (Ctrl-Alt-1) and install other environments. After a bit of work, I ended up being able to start a graphical desktop again but it was Gnome. My old one was listed at login but wouldn't initialize properly. Then I started playing with Extensions, which led me to record the video you see below:



Soon after, the entire thing experienced a major meltdown and I ended up backing everything up and reinstalling the latest Ubuntu Studio from scratch which reverted all back to my original Xfce desktop environment. Since then I have chosen *NOT* to venture into anything else for the time being, although I have other distros I have used with Gnome and they play nice. I try not to mess around with desktop environments but stick the one that defaults with the distro and try not to modify it too much.
YouTube: www.devhackmod.com LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@winegaming:b Bandcamp Music Link
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2019, 07:44:15 pm »
I spent some time in the Linux Mint forum searching for answers and all I got was that they were known issues.
The desktop environment (DE) you use is called Cinnamon. It is a fork of Gnome 2, and is not "just" Linux; you can use it on e.g. FreeBSD, too.  Nemo source is in the Linux Mint Nemo Git repository at GitHub.  Nemo (all of Cinnamon) uses GTK+ for its widgets, and GTK+ uses OOP in C, which may look a bit odd the first time you see such code.

In a very real, very practical sense, Nemo is just another application that runs as yourself/the user, and is nothing special, even if it does happen to use the root window ("desktop" or "wallpaper" in X11/Xorg).  It has no extra privileges or hardware access.

Desktop environments and such utilities don't get as much attention from developers as say the kernel or device driver, because that kind of eye-candy doesn't seem to interest most developers.  Because of the long history, and the very interactive and asynchronous nature of such apps ("signals" for updates) means the codebase takes a while to get used to.

GTK+ apps can have user-specific preferences that you can access via e.g. dconf-editor.  For example, /org/nemo/desktop/ contains some relevant knobs, like horizontal-grid-adjust and vertical-grid-adjust, where you can adjust the grid spacing between 50% and 150% (0.5 to 1.5).

Just out of interest, I took a look at Nemo.  The icon arrangement stuff is in src/nemo-icon-view-container.c.  After a quick check, I think that the cases where dropping a new file onto desktop or into a folder "jumps" the icon (and it is not just a case of auto-arrange being enabled), is actually a race window. If so, the solution is to swap the second and third if clauses in src/nemo-icon-view-container.c:nemo_icon_view_container_move_icon(), so that snap_position()/nemo_icon_container_icon_set_position() is called before nemo_icon_container_redo_layout().  However, without seeing and understanding the issue, and reproducing it for myself, I am not sure, and this is just a guess.
 
The following users thanked this post: soldar

Online Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5579
  • Country: ca
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #116 on: September 05, 2019, 08:06:23 pm »
The developers of Linux are much more interested in making a kernel than anything else. Your desktop environment is not developed by them, for them, or for the majority of users of the OS.
Thank you very much , finally a clear explanation why Linux is such piece of shit from user perspective.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #117 on: September 05, 2019, 08:24:00 pm »
Thank you very much , finally a clear explanation why Linux is such piece of shit from user perspective.

Sorry I'm just not seeing it. I've been using it on several machines regularly for the past 5 or so years, and on servers before that. I moved my mom's laptop over to Linux a couple years ago after I got tired of fixing Windows all the time and it's been smooth sailing, it just works. Your comment sounds like someone who played with Linux 15 years ago and never touched it again.

As has been mentioned multiple times there are many different groups, the kernel developers focus on the kernel but there are multiple distros focused on making a polished package for regular people and they have done quite a good job. The Ubuntu and Mint releases from the past few years are every bit as polished and functional as Windows, actually they're a lot more polished than what Windows has turned into. As long as you have supported hardware, which is not particularly hard to find, they install and work like any other modern OS and can be used "out of the box" without any command line hacking whatsoever.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #118 on: September 05, 2019, 09:37:40 pm »
The desktop environment (DE) you use is called Cinnamon.

Nominal Animal, thanks so much for your explanations which I find very helpful. I will look into several of the things you mention.

Having said that, to a casual user the desktop, the GUI, is the OS. I do not accept the premise that I should like the OS even though the GUI sucks just like I don't accept a company representative telling me "don't blame me, I only work here". No, to me you are the face of the company and if you disclaim responsibility for what your company did to me then get me someone with authority and responsibility.

So telling me the interface by which I interact with the OS sucks but the OS is great makes no sense to me because I need the GUI to work flawlessly. It's like if you tell me you are selling me a great car, it has a great motor but, unfortunately, no steering wheel.

Your explanation helps me understand why Cinnamon is buggy but it does not resolve the buggyness.  If I assign you a job, you getting the job done well and you giving me a very valid explanation of why you couldn't do the job do not have the same value to me.

Pros may interact with Linux mainly via the command line and have little use for Cinnamon or Nemo but that is not my case nor the case of home users. We are used to Windows GUI and want something similar. Home users are not going back to the days of DOS.

So you explain well why the Linux community have little interest in optimizing desktop and file manager but that, in turn, explains why many home, non-pro, users are discouraged. Most of us would rather have a product built as a unit than a product built in several parts by different companies and the parts don't always work together perfectly.   

I have been using Linux Mint for over three years now and will continue to do so and learn but I have to say it takes time and effort. 

Thanks again for a very interesting explanation.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #119 on: September 05, 2019, 09:48:53 pm »
Then there may be an actual bug. Perhaps you should see into why it hasn't been fixed.
That's what a dev/enthusiast will do, but again for a casual user it's none of their business. They couldn't care less and probably don't understand at all what bug trackers etc are, for them they just expect the thing to work in a commonly recognised standard way and if it doesn't "it's just broken".

The entire approach to UX is fundamentally different, you see.  In FOSS DEs, the underlying idea tends to be "if you don't like it, change (configure) it to be more to your liking", instead of "this is how it is, take it or leave it".  (GNOME is a weirdo, because its developers are going down the we-know-better-than-users path, and are removing configuration options.  Which is why I don't like it much.)
And that is actually the problem in many cases. The vast majority of people don't understand how things work or should be, when presented with options they don't understand them and have no idea whether or why they'd want one or the other, they'd much rather be given something that they just learn to use and hope it'll never change so that they aren't thrown off and have to relearn. That's why Apple is so popular even if I find a lot of stuff frustratingly limited, and Linux is such a minority in desktop use even if you can do anything you could want with it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 09:50:31 pm by Kilrah »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #120 on: September 05, 2019, 11:17:30 pm »
Having said that, to a casual user the desktop, the GUI, is the OS.
True, unfortunately.  Thing is, Linux has several good GUIs that are completely separate.

I, for example, like XFCE and LXDE more.  I do keep using Cinnamon, because I like to volunteer my help to faculty of science students at an university, using this same Linux distribution and hardware.  Others prefer KDE Plasma, and so on.  Many distributions, like Ubuntu and Mint, allow one to pick their DE (Desktop Environment) at login time.

It would help everyone, if we could push people to use more precise terms, however.  For casual users' problem reports, the desktop environment and the distribution names are the key.  For example, starting by stating "I'm using Cinnamon desktop on Linux Mint", or "I'm using KDE desktop on Kubuntu".  The main benefit would be that doing a web search would point one to the right set of developers to talk to.  It would also make it easier to compare desktop environments before using them, and even to find whether a bug is in the application (it happens in all DEs) or in the DE (it happens in only one).  If they all are called "Linux", the problem space is too vast for anyone to help!

(When I was an IT support person when I was young, I remember getting the most unhelpful problem report of all time, once.  It was a post-it note on my office door: "One of the computers has a problem! Please fix."  That is a literal translation.  The computer was not specified, and there were two possible classrooms with dozen in each (based on the signature in the note).  Neither was there any help as to what kind of a problem it was.  Because I was young, and prided myself for keeping the machines in working order, that "problem report" bugged me for days.. I think I might have reimaged the machines anyway, just to be sure, the next Monday. I still remember this, and not fondly.  Communication failures may feel like unimportant minor issues, but they are the root cause to most problems!)

(Around the same time as above, when I worked more with HTML and various types of people, I played with the idea of writing a guide: HTML to Humanists. The key is the concept of container: each document node being a bucket, with the attributes being its lid, and the child nodes being the content in the bucket. The entire document is a tree (in the graph theory sense), and can be visualized as one big bucket with specific other buckets in it, with their contents and order defining the visuals.  I used this analog to explain how web pages work, structurally, to several very non-technical people.  Successfully.  Now, the reason I bring this up, is to show that sometimes, correctly expressing certain concepts, and getting them right and well defined, makes everything else orders of magnitude easier.  It acts as a sort of a trigger, starting a cascade, where things start slotting into place almost effortlessly.  These concepts, and how they change our viewpoints, are crucial here.  I wish I knew how to viral-meme these!)
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3950
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #121 on: September 05, 2019, 11:36:00 pm »
In FOSS DEs, the underlying idea tends to be "if you don't like it, change (configure) it to be more to your liking", instead of "this is how it is, take it or leave it".
And that is actually the problem in many cases. The vast majority of people don't understand how things work or should be, when presented with options they don't understand them and have no idea whether or why they'd want one or the other, they'd much rather be given something that they just learn to use and hope it'll never change so that they aren't thrown off and have to relearn. That's why Apple is so popular [.]
Yes!  And that is why many Linux communities may feel hostile for such users.  And that is why I do not recommend any existing Linux distributions for such users.

Apple in particular has done a lot to fine-tune the user experience for their users. If one is looking for a computer/OS that does not need tuning out of the box, and has an approved/recommended way to do stuff, Mac is a good choice.  In the balance, you lose some upgradeability (because of Apples hardware choices), and the hardware cycle is relatively fast, so you do pay for it too.

My own efforts are geared more towards people using their tools efficiently, saving time and effort.  For scientific and engineering use, to show them powerful enough ways of combining tools that nothing is a question of "is this possible?" anymore, and become questions like "do I want to spend that much time (or processing power) to solve this this way?" instead.  I cannot care about "casual" users who mostly use a browser and email, because that sort of use is outside my ken; my suggestions would be like a trucker giving advice to a bicyclist.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #122 on: September 06, 2019, 12:12:33 am »
Just a thought. What is interesting is that Apple, Google, Microsoft have 'application stores' nowadays where you can find all kinds of applications. Most Linux distributions have had this for decades. About half an hour ago I wanted to mess around with some audio files. Google for recommended Linux audio editors, copy the name of one of the top 3 programs into the package manager and a few seconds later I have the software installed (from a trusted source) ready to go.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike

Online edy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2341
  • Country: ca
    • DevHackMod Channel
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #123 on: September 06, 2019, 12:15:44 am »
Thank you very much , finally a clear explanation why Linux is such piece of shit from user perspective.

Sorry I'm just not seeing it. I've been using it on several machines regularly for the past 5 or so years, and on servers before that. I moved my mom's laptop over to Linux a couple years ago after I got tired of fixing Windows all the time and it's been smooth sailing, it just works. Your comment sounds like someone who played with Linux 15 years ago and never touched it again.

As has been mentioned multiple times there are many different groups, the kernel developers focus on the kernel but there are multiple distros focused on making a polished package for regular people and they have done quite a good job. The Ubuntu and Mint releases from the past few years are every bit as polished and functional as Windows, actually they're a lot more polished than what Windows has turned into. As long as you have supported hardware, which is not particularly hard to find, they install and work like any other modern OS and can be used "out of the box" without any command line hacking whatsoever.

True, I concur. I remember installing Ubuntu maybe 10-15 years ago on an old Dell Inspiron laptop that was as thick as a brick. I got it to work, no USB booting back then, had to put it on a CD or maybe DVD. Either way, it was a headache but I managed to get the system to work. No easy installation back then, no automatic setting of dual-boot options, it all had to be done manually. So for many years I dabbled with Linux here and there but never made it my main OS.... I used WinXP, then got a laptop with Win Vista just before Win7 came out, so I took advantage of the free upgrade and was on Win7 for years.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when Microsoft decided to push Win10 down our throats. Remember the Win10 upgrade? Downloaded to your computer without your knowledge as an "update" sitting in the background, using up 4 GB of space? Remember when it started to give you two options... YES INSTALL NOW, and YES INSTALL LATER?  :-DD

I decided at that time I would revisit Linux again more seriously and discovered to my surprise that things advanced quite well. I was happy to see LIVE systems and USB keys that could be booted and that had either "try" or "install" options. That meant it was easy to download a few distros, set up a bunch of keys and play around. I decided to go with Ubuntu Studio as it had a fairly "lean" desktop environment and came pre-bundled with a ton of creativity/production software. Today I may have gone a different path, knowing how to install things from repos and such... but back then I was a Linux noob and Ubuntu looked like it was a fairly widely used distro with user friendliness in mind.

For 6 months I had Win7 and Ubuntu Studio set up as a dual-boot system. Sometimes I would boot into Win7, and sometimes into Ubuntu Studio. I still needed to work on all my office documents so what I did was just mount my Windows partition whenever I was booted in Ubuntu and used LibreOffice to work on the files. I *DID NOT* have a duplicate set of files. All my documents were in one location, and it didn't matter whether I edited them with Microsoft Office or LibreOffice, they seemed to work interchangeably without messing up anything. Over time I found myself booting Ubuntu Studio more and more... For one, it was faster than Win7 on my machine. Secondly, I started to see that I had alternatives to my Windows programs that I could use in Linux. Video editors, audio, graphics. I even found that I could run some Windows programs under WINE.

Fast forward to today, and I have been using Ubuntu Studio almost exclusively at home (and installed it to all my kids laptops, some have Lubuntu which is even leaner) for 2-3 years now. It was not always a smooth ride. I had some difficulties upgrading through Xenial Xerus (16.04) through to the latest versions. It wouldn't jump directly and by the time I wanted to upgrade they already took Yakkety Yak (16.10) out from the repos so I had to change my download locations to BACKPORTS and then work my way through some tenacious upgrades, at which time I had a meltdown of one of my systems!  |O  Fortunately I got myself out of that mess. Most of my laptops upgraded fine, but one of them had a problem with the desktop environment and I decided it was easier just to reinstall the latest Ubuntu from scratch and restore my backups. I reinstalled the apps fairly quickly as I had made lists of what I was using.

Keep in mind all of my laptops and computers are at least 2-3 years old, if not older. They range from maybe 3 years old to 10 years old now. Perhaps the newest computer with the latest graphics card and chips may not work with Linux because of drivers not being available. But my older laptops all use established and I guess relatively common hardware, onboard Intel graphics, etc, so they are supported. Also I use Brother and HP printers/scanner multi-functions and they all work as well. These printer companies now have support for Linux drivers. So while there are still perhaps some people who may have trouble, I think the vast majority of users who are not tied-in to some specific need for Windows can function in Linux. HOWEVER... would it provide them with any advantage??? … An advantage worthwhile enough for them to go through the hassle of switching? It is not that Linux would attract them... it is more that Windows would aggravate them so terribly to REPEL them that they would go seeking out an alternative (like I did).

I'll give you another example.... iPhone....

So people with BlackBerry or Android should be able to plug their phones into a Linux machine no problem, it mounts the internal memory and/or SDCard as a drive and then you can transfer your files back and forth no problem. People with iPhone cannot use iTunes, as it is only available for Windows and MacOS and is a bloated piece of crap anyways.... but I digress.  :-DD  I found that with older iPhones I had to install some special software from a repo that would let me mount it and access the files. Newer iPhones I found will be detected and show up. So I can transfer files back and forth (mostly photos, videos). These days I don't even bother physically connecting the phone to the computer... I either use CLOUD-based transfer or using certain apps on the phone (like Documents on iPhone for example) I am able to just connect to my computer through WiFi and it gives me access if I need to transfer files.

I also agree that Linux is *NOT* for everyone. The reason my family is using it is because I am the "Tech support" guy for everyone. My son's laptop has Win7 dual-booting with Ubuntu because he still plays a lot of games that need Win7 (e.g. Roblox only works on Windows). Many of the other games he has COULD work on Linux using WINE, and so I do multi-player games with him where he is running it in Win7 while I am next to him using WINE to run it in Ubuntu!  :-+  For example.... latest game we have been playing together is LFS:  https://www.lfs.net/ , which recently popped up in the Ubuntu Software Store, although installing it from Ubuntu's Store is problematic. You have to follow directions I made in this video to install the Windows EXE through WINE:



The game runs like a beast, is incredibly fun and fast with HD full-res resolution on my Linux machine (while I capture it with Voko Screen Recorder as you can see in the video above), even though it is a Windows program! He runs it in Win7, I'm in Ubuntu. But with the Software Store LFS version messed up, the average person probably will be frustrated that it doesn't work even though the software runs fine on Ubuntu. It is the fault of whoever wrote the configuration files for the Software Store setup (I'm not sure why it doesn't work but it installs as a "Snap" which has something to do with it, rather than through WINE).

The average JOE who goes into a store and buys a computer with Windows on it will NOT bother (or perhaps even know) how to set up a bootable DVD or USB key, they will not bother to explore Linux or even know it exists. From my experience talking to friends, people who venture into Linux will typically be more advanced computer users. And for most people who use computers and just want to be able to use Facebook and copy their phone pictures and chat with their friends, they will stick with Windows 10 because it works and they don't know any better. Also, Win10 is actually not that bad.... I installed it recently on a few machines that are about 8 years old and it runs fine. I am not a Linux evangelist... it suits my needs and if it retains small user-adoption I am fine with that as long as we continue to have developers who are committed to it (and I thank every one of them for that).  :-+
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 12:35:35 am by edy »
YouTube: www.devhackmod.com LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@winegaming:b Bandcamp Music Link
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #124 on: September 06, 2019, 03:29:57 am »
Having said that, to a casual user the desktop, the GUI, is the OS. I do not accept the premise that I should like the OS even though the GUI sucks just like I don't accept a company representative telling me "don't blame me, I only work here". No, to me you are the face of the company and if you disclaim responsibility for what your company did to me then get me someone with authority and responsibility.

There are some in this group who possess a degree of pedantry unlike anything I have encountered anywhere else in life, perhaps engineers are just more likely to be like that, I don't know. Whatever the case I think it's perfectly reasonable to consider the whole package to be the "operating system", I mean Windows also has a kernel, a command line shell, a desktop GUI, etc. The fact that these components are not available separately nor do you have a choice of reasonably replacing any one of them individually does not change the fact that they are separate components.

When most people speak of "Linux" in the context of a PC it is implicit that one is referring to the whole distro unless stated otherwise.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #125 on: September 06, 2019, 08:13:57 am »
"Normal" people don't care about the nitty-gritty technical details and the countless sub-components an OS is made of and how they all work together. To them, the "OS" is the "experience" they get from the visible part of the iceberg all that stuff results in them seeing.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #126 on: September 06, 2019, 08:14:40 am »
Just a thought. What is interesting is that Apple, Google, Microsoft have 'application stores' nowadays where you can find all kinds of applications. Most Linux distributions have had this for decades. About half an hour ago I wanted to mess around with some audio files. Google for recommended Linux audio editors, copy the name of one of the top 3 programs into the package manager and a few seconds later I have the software installed (from a trusted source) ready to go.

Yes, up to a point. Look what I posted upthread:

One thing I find annoying is that in Linux the files of a program are strewn all over the place. In Windows you pretty much have all the files in a folder in the "Program Files" folder but in Linux you can't find anything. I install something and I like to know where it went. Try to find the icon files and they can be anywhere. A disorganized mess. 

You can "install" something and be in the dark as to what to do next. Often it involves a slow whole-disk search for the name of the program and see if I can find something that might be the executable. In Windows I get a shortcut on the desktop and another in the start menu. And pretty much everything is contained in one folder in the Program Files folder.  In Linux Mint just finding an icon is a long adventure.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #127 on: September 06, 2019, 08:25:31 am »
Just a thought. What is interesting is that Apple, Google, Microsoft have 'application stores' nowadays where you can find all kinds of applications. Most Linux distributions have had this for decades. About half an hour ago I wanted to mess around with some audio files. Google for recommended Linux audio editors, copy the name of one of the top 3 programs into the package manager and a few seconds later I have the software installed (from a trusted source) ready to go.
The package manager is trash to find something though, and far from the experience you get with a "store" where you can search for things, get multiple results, check one out, see related items that may have something more relevant... and so far most attempts on linux have been subpar.
 

Offline wilfred

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1060
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #128 on: September 06, 2019, 09:49:22 am »
The developers of Linux are much more interested in making a kernel than anything else. Your desktop environment is not developed by them, for them, or for the majority of users of the OS.
Thank you very much , finally a clear explanation why Linux is such piece of shit from user perspective.

What's clear about it? Developers of the kernel are the kernel developers. There must be half a dozen (probably more) desktop environments and the distributions do their customisations and package selection.

If you started a thread about just what constitutes "Linux" Oh Boy, hand me the popcorn. Is it a kernel, or kernel and filesystem or kernel, filesystem and desktop or a distribution with all the packages which gives you a choice of countless permutations of the above.

If you're referring to linux as a new user I'd say it is the distribution. But for me after several years as a user it is a lifestyle choice and Windows is not. Therefore Linux isn't a replacement for Windows. Windows gives you freedom from choice and the vast majority of Windows users are happy about that. Linux gives you freedom of choice and therein lies the font of internet forum squabbling.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Country: es
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #129 on: September 06, 2019, 09:58:09 am »
... it is a lifestyle choice and Windows is not.

Most people do not want to join a cult; they just want a computer that works simply.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
The following users thanked this post: nctnico

Offline Karel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1894
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #130 on: September 06, 2019, 10:17:52 am »
... it is a lifestyle choice and Windows is not.

Most people do not want to join a cult; they just want a computer that works simply.

Unfortunately, such a computer doesn't exist. At least not one that can perform the usual tasks.
 

Online edy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2341
  • Country: ca
    • DevHackMod Channel
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #131 on: September 06, 2019, 02:22:13 pm »
For me the decision to start using Linux was a matter of (a) making optimal use of my older hardware, (b) not wanting to be stagnating in an old Windows version, and (c) wanting to use free software/open-source (FOSS) as much as possible. It was worth it to me to climb whatever learning curve I had to go through to save money which I would have otherwise had to work for to pay for everything I needed to stay on the latest version of Windows.

I get hand-me down laptops from friends, typically who use Windows and find the machines so sluggish after a few years they are ready to chuck them and buy a new computer. Saving these computers from landfill is one objective, but also my kids need computers for school and I want them using the most secure and speedy systems. How do I do this with computers that range from 5-10 years old, that originally shipped with Windows XP, Win Vista or maybe Win 7?

The answer is to install some Linux distro on these machines. It speeds up the system tremendously. I can be assured to be on the latest patched machine and I keep updating to catch any potential vulnerabilities. I have tons of FOSS that gives myself and my kids productivity tools, and it is preferable to using a ChromeBook where they need to constantly be online or use cloud-based apps for everything, and hand over their privacy to 3rd parties or get ads.

Could I put Windows 10 on these 5-10 year old machines? Yes probably. I recently upgraded all my office to Win10 using many of the original computers that are close to 10 years old. Clearly I need Win10 at my office because of proprietary software I need to run that is only available on Windows. Previously for a while I had Linux on the office computers with WinXPMode in a VM to run the software. It was time to update for security and other reasons, and I was pleasantly surprised that Win10 was fairly easy to install and the machines didn't take much of a performance hit. I was not going to try and run Win10 in a VM, then it would have been very sluggish.

But if Linux works faster with less resources needed on my home and kids laptops, and we can do everything we need to do, why not? But this is not a debate as to the superiority of one OS versus another. It is to point out how important it is that we DO HAVE a choice! Let us not take this for granted! In a world dominated by Microsoft and Apple, I say HURRAY to having a free 3rd party OS that has many iterations, customizations, versions, desktop environment options and huge library of software that gives people freedom to do their computer work any way they want!  :-+

[EDIT:]
Not to mention whenever I install Win10 on a machine it nags me to buy a license or else I have to find some old Win7 or 8 key to register it and hope it is not being abused out in the wild (and Microsoft could pull the plug on the "free" upgrade path anytime, it was supposed to already be pulled). Most machines these days don't even have a sticker, they are OEM installed in the BIOS so good luck with that. Yes I can use Win10 with the water-mark but it is annoying otherwise ads galore, lack of customization or else fork over money.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 03:18:26 pm by edy »
YouTube: www.devhackmod.com LBRY: https://lbry.tv/@winegaming:b Bandcamp Music Link
"Ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain" - Scotty
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #132 on: September 06, 2019, 04:01:17 pm »
I don't really find Linux to be appreciably faster or less resource intensive than Windows, I mean you can strip it down to make it faster but Win10 is already rather stripped down and barren, and certainly you can load Linux up with all the fancy eye candy if you wish to. What I like most about it is the freedom, no license keys, no activation, no telemetry or other BS, no lock-in, no baked in marketing, it is far more resistant to malware and viruses, and perhaps best of all, the updates are for the most part painless and non-intrusive while in Win10 they are a huge pain point and often precisely what they do is obfuscated. I do not trust Windows Update anymore, in my mind is is on par with random sketchy software downloaded from China or Russia.
 

Offline bsfeechannel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1613
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #133 on: September 06, 2019, 04:50:13 pm »
Windows is a virus with a login prompt.
 

Offline ElektroQuark

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1242
  • Country: es
    • ElektroQuark
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #134 on: September 06, 2019, 04:53:11 pm »
Windows is a virus with a login prompt.

You can ALWAYS turn off the login.

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4819
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #135 on: September 07, 2019, 01:12:39 am »
Win10 is already rather stripped down and barren

I wouldn't exactly call 25+GB for a clean install "stripped down". I actually find Windows 10 quite bloated.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #136 on: September 07, 2019, 01:46:15 am »
Just a thought. What is interesting is that Apple, Google, Microsoft have 'application stores' nowadays where you can find all kinds of applications. Most Linux distributions have had this for decades. About half an hour ago I wanted to mess around with some audio files. Google for recommended Linux audio editors, copy the name of one of the top 3 programs into the package manager and a few seconds later I have the software installed (from a trusted source) ready to go.
The package manager is trash to find something though, and far from the experience you get with a "store" where you can search for things, get multiple results, check one out, see related items that may have something more relevant... and so far most attempts on linux have been subpar.
When it comes to selecting Linux software packages Google does that for you. It finds pages with reviews of tools including pros and cons and some hands-on experience. Selecting the tool which suits you most is very easy that way. Works for me every time.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #137 on: September 07, 2019, 07:03:47 am »
Not to mention whenever I install Win10 on a machine it nags me to buy a license or else I have to find some old Win7 or 8 key to register it and hope it is not being abused out in the wild
Or you could just buy a repurposed transferrable Win10 Pro volume key, which sells for $3-5 on eBay. Got a good dozen of PCs using that.
 

Offline olkipukki

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 777
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #138 on: September 07, 2019, 07:58:51 am »
Not to mention whenever I install Win10 on a machine it nags me to buy a license or else I have to find some old Win7 or 8 key to register it and hope it is not being abused out in the wild
Or you could just buy a repurposed transferrable Win10 Pro volume key, which sells for $3-5 on eBay. Got a good dozen of PCs using that.

Did you install the latest update 1903?  >:D

I noticed that the activation was revoked for Win 10 Ent (legitimate version!) after the update and need to do it again. I will not be surprised if MS ask to call a customer service next time  ;D
 

Offline Jookia

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 15
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #139 on: September 07, 2019, 09:18:45 am »
Not to mention whenever I install Win10 on a machine it nags me to buy a license or else I have to find some old Win7 or 8 key to register it and hope it is not being abused out in the wild
Or you could just buy a repurposed transferrable Win10 Pro volume key, which sells for $3-5 on eBay. Got a good dozen of PCs using that.

The only legitimate way to get a Windows 10 key is through buying it retail or OEM with a computer build at designated Microsoft resellers.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #140 on: September 07, 2019, 09:25:56 am »
Did you install the latest update 1903?  >:D
Yes all of them are current, and some were activated with 1903 already on.

The only legitimate way to get a Windows 10 key is through buying it retail or OEM with a computer build at designated Microsoft resellers.
The resale of transferrable keys from decommissioned machines has been happening for multiple years, if MS didn't like it it would have been stopped long ago.
 

Offline Jookia

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 15
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #141 on: September 07, 2019, 09:30:31 am »
The only legitimate way to get a Windows 10 key is through buying it retail or OEM with a computer build at designated Microsoft resellers.
The resale of transferrable keys from decommissioned machines has been happening for multiple years, if MS didn't like it it would have been stopped long ago.

It's a gray area, but not something you want to play with if you need to have legitimate software on your machines.
 

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1852
  • Country: ch
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #142 on: September 07, 2019, 09:39:00 am »
I know no home user who cares about that, as long as they have an activated copy they're happy.
I'm not talking about professional environments, neither is this thread.
 

Offline tinhead

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1918
  • Country: 00
    • If you like my hacks, send me a donation
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #143 on: September 07, 2019, 09:51:25 am »
That's why I recommend trying out WSL which allows you to run Linux binaries within Windows. It basically "installs" Ubuntu, so you can start using "apt get" to install software right away.

Unfortunately WSL … no 32-bit binary support

there is support for 32bit in WSL2 out of the box and in WSL via this trick -> https://github.com/microsoft/wsl/issues/2468#issuecomment-374904520
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter ...
I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 23192
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #144 on: September 07, 2019, 01:40:42 pm »
The only legitimate way to get a Windows 10 key is through buying it retail or OEM with a computer build at designated Microsoft resellers.
The resale of transferrable keys from decommissioned machines has been happening for multiple years, if MS didn't like it it would have been stopped long ago.
Microsoft doesn't like it but it is perfectly legal in many places.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline MyHeadHz

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 165
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #145 on: September 07, 2019, 03:16:16 pm »
When you opt to use Linux for your daily desktop you will be joining a group that represents less than 2% of desktop users worldwide.  The folks that promote Linux like it a lot, no doubt!  The thing is, after 25 years, Linux has not even made a dent in desktop usage.  The market has spoken!  Windows costs money, Linux is free and they can't even give it away.  You would think FREE would garner more than 2% of the market.  There are reasons why it doesn't!

Linux was stagnant for many years in the 2-3% range, up until the last 2-3 years.  Since then, Microsoft has been losing desktop OS market share steadily; mostly to Mac, but also to Linux.  Recent figures (as of early this year) show it at around 6% and gaining.
 

Offline Karel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1894
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #146 on: September 07, 2019, 03:54:24 pm »


https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2019#technology-_-developers-primary-operating-systems

It shouldn't surprise me to see something similar in an electronics engineering environment.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 03:59:07 pm by Karel »
 
The following users thanked this post: MyHeadHz

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17920
  • Country: us
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #147 on: September 07, 2019, 04:02:58 pm »
Win10 is already rather stripped down and barren

I wouldn't exactly call 25+GB for a clean install "stripped down". I actually find Windows 10 quite bloated.

True, I was thinking from a visual/eye candy standpoint. The Win10 UI has always looked to me like they made a wireframe/quick proof of concept and then just shipped that. It is the most visually bland OS on the market in at least the last 20 years.
 

Offline Karel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1894
  • Country: 00
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #148 on: September 07, 2019, 04:08:17 pm »
Not unimportant:

 

Offline Jookia

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 15
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #149 on: September 08, 2019, 04:35:04 am »
I know no home user who cares about that, as long as they have an activated copy they're happy.
I'm not talking about professional environments, neither is this thread.

Yes, most users don't care about EULAs or legality of the software they use, but it becomes a problem when providing support or recommendations to them professionally.
If someone's on Windows 7 and it's going EOL it's a headache to tell them they need to shell out ~$180 AUD for Windows 10.
If someone loses their OEM key for Windows it's another headache to tell them they need to buy a new copy of Windows 10.
If someone builds a computer it's a headache to tell them they have to buy another copy of Windows too.
Often the solution is 'buy another computer that comes with Windows'

Linux is a lot more liberal when it comes to licensing, especially if you want to run older versions.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4819
  • Country: au
Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #150 on: September 08, 2019, 08:06:28 am »
I know no home user who cares about that, as long as they have an activated copy they're happy.
I'm not talking about professional environments, neither is this thread.

Yes, most users don't care about EULAs or legality of the software they use

I think it's important for those reading this thread that a EULA or any sort of agreement isn't automatically legally binding. In fact, in most countries, EULA's mean absolutely nothing until a court decides their terms or any part thereof are actually valid.

I wouldn't be surprised if they are rarely enforced by a court.
 
The following users thanked this post: NiHaoMike


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf