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Fun Stuff => CLIKC => Topic started by: ankhtahr on 19 Mar 2013, 08:55

Title: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 19 Mar 2013, 08:55
Hey everybody,
since some of us were derailing another thread about this topic, I thought, why not open a thread of our own!

I'd like to use this thread for “power users” like me, to discuss software and distros, and for Beginners to ask questions without being harassed about being “noobs” like in some of the Linux forums out there. If you have a question, or want to get some tips, feel free to ask, I'm willing to help!

I'm currently running Arch Linux on my Notebook and my Desktop, my server still runs Debian. I use XMonad as Window Manager, with a XMobar as status bar. I like to perform tasks using a terminal, if possible, and my favourite text editor is vim.

-- Ankhtahr
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: cesium133 on 19 Mar 2013, 08:59
I use Ubuntu 12.04 (I think... might be 12.10) on my MythTV computer at home and Debian (specifically, Raspbian) on my Raspberry Pi. I have OpenSuSE installed on my laptop, but I almost never use it (it's flaky on my laptop's hardware, plus I have some software that only runs on Windows).
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 19 Mar 2013, 09:23
I used to use OpenSuSE as the first Linux I've tried.
I barely even remember, which Distros I used… I started off with SuSE, tried Ubuntu and didn't like it at all, tried PCLinuxOS and didn't like it, switched over to Mandriva, which I liked, but I had some huge trouble, as my mouse cursor was displayed about 5cm away from where it really was. Then I used Fedora for a while, switched over to Debian, switched over to Sabayon, and lastly I ended up with Arch Linux, and am now so happy that I don't even feel the need to try different distributions anymore.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 19 Mar 2013, 09:29
My first Linux was Slackware 3.0.  The one I got a support certification on was Redhat 6.1.  I run a firewall with OpenBSD  :-P.  I have still not found a *nix that I want on my desktop.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: cesium133 on 19 Mar 2013, 10:29
I used to use OpenSuSE as the first Linux I've tried.
I barely even remember, which Distros I used… I started off with SuSE, tried Ubuntu and didn't like it at all, tried PCLinuxOS and didn't like it, switched over to Mandriva, which I liked, but I had some huge trouble, as my mouse cursor was displayed about 5cm away from where it really was. Then I used Fedora for a while, switched over to Debian, switched over to Sabayon, and lastly I ended up with Arch Linux, and am now so happy that I don't even feel the need to try different distributions anymore.
I'm not really a fan of the Ubuntu user interface, but it's fairly easy to set up MythTV on it, so I set it up and then basically ignore that computer and access MythTV from my laptop through the MythWeb interface.

As for the distros I've used... I started with Mandrake (don't remember the version number, but it was the last version to use the 2.4 kernel). I then switched to Slackware, which I used for a while, then I switched to Ubuntu, then I got tired of fiddling with Linux and for the most part I currently use Windows 7.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 19 Mar 2013, 10:37
I am currently running Mint 13 on my desktop.  My wife is using Ubuntu 10.4, and my son is using Mint 13.  I am currently running Mint 11 on my laptop, but that's because I haven't gotten around to upgrading yet. 

I have used a large number of distros  (http://www.celticgeek.com/distros.html) in my time (it should be noted that this list is not up to date).

I spent a couple of years teaching Linux, using Redhat 6.1-6.3 during that period. 

I have been using Linux pretty consistently for about 10 years.  I do have Windows XP on a separate hard drive, which I only use to download digital media from my camera, since I can't find GNU/Linux drivers to do it. 

My current computer is known as gaidhlig, by the way. 

I use LibreOffice for any office programs that I need, I use GIMP for working with images, I use gftp for file transfers, I use simple scan for scanning documents, I use SoundJuicer for ripping CDs (and I rip them all to .flac), I use Audacity for recording my music, I use Movie player for playing music and videos, I use gedit for text editing, I use Firefox for a browser, and I have Thunderbird mail that I use with my ISP's mail system. 

There, that should qualify for TMI.

Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 19 Mar 2013, 11:06
I am currently running Mint 13 on my desktop.  My wife is using Ubuntu 10.4, and my son is using Mint 13.  I am currently running Mint 11 on my laptop, but that's because I haven't gotten around to upgrading yet. 
That's what I like so much about Arch Linux. I don't really see the advantages of releases, as the rolling releases system of Arch is working fantastically for me. Most of the big bugs get caught before the packages switch over from [testing] to the ordinary [base]/[extra]/[community] repositories.

I simply type "pacman -Syu" after reading the Arch Linux homepage to make sure there were no gigantic changes in the current packages, and have a nice, up-to-date system.

My notebook is currently called bifrost (I would have called it Bifröst, but I prefer to not use UTF-8 in hostnames…), and I use LibreOffice as well, mainly for school stuff. Whatever I can do using LaTeX I do with it. I much prefer LaTeX's Beamer class over PowerPoint or LibreOffice/OOo Impress. And for ripping CD's I use abcde (http://www.andrews-corner.org/abcde.html) (a better CD encoder). I insert the CD, type abcde in a terminal, and it downloads all the tags for me, and rips it to FLAC. When I put the music on my mobile I convert it to ogg though. Ogg-Vorbis 320kbit/s still sounds quite good, and takes much less space.
Audacity's a great program, and mplayer is my media player of choice. For listening to music I use a mpd (music player daemon).
For browsing I switch between luakit and Firefox with the Pentadactyl plugin. Luakit is much smaller and resource efficient than Firefox, but it has some trouble rendering some webpages. Well, and emails I usually do using the webinterface of my mail provider or using K 9 Mail on my Android phone, as I have never found a mail client which really works great for what I need. I tried Thunderbird, but it was too big, and I never had the nerve to learn all the hotkeys of mutt. What I really want is a terminal mailclient which can display HTML with w3m (that's something mutt can do at least), which uses a keylayout like vim (and not like nano or such), and is easy to learn.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: MisterHeal on 20 Mar 2013, 22:43
I've got Arch Linux on my laptop and #! on my desktop. I've used Linux for a couple years, and its used exclusively at my University in my Computer Science program so I wont be leaving it anytime soon. That is a semi-lie because I'm going to throw PCBSD on my laptop during the summer, but I'll be switching over to Mint on my desktop.

My laptop is called Gaben. I'll agree that Arches rolling release is nice, but its not enough to make me stay. I also use LibreOffice, and I'm going to checkout adcde because ripping my Dads cd collection into FLAC would be awesome.

I'm still looking for a good cross platform calendar system so I can keep track of my courses, and when assignments are due etc.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: de_la_Nae on 21 Mar 2013, 00:21
Jesus I'm out of the loop. I can understand just enough of the conversation to realize how behind-the-times I am.  :psyduck:  I'm lazy so stick to Windows. And truth told even though I don't use my system to play games as often as I used to, I'd still need to keep a drive or partition for it.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 21 Mar 2013, 08:43
Lots of people keep a Windows partition around just for gaming.  Although Steam is helping to close that loop. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 21 Mar 2013, 09:16
Even Steam won't help with all these DirectX based games. OpenGL games are relatively easy to port, but DirectX isn't. The co-founder of id software even said that it's probably easier and better for the game developers to start working on making wine work better, than on porting the games to Linux directly.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Carl-E on 23 Mar 2013, 10:41
I feel like I did in High School (which was in the 70's) and hung out at the university's computer lab.  I have only a vague idea what you're all talking about, but know that I really want to do it myself, and have no idea how to start. 

So... I have a Toshiba Satellite, AMD V410 processor, 2.3 GHz, with 4 Gig Ram.  I partitioned a hard drive once on an older laptop in an attempt to make a dual boot machine, but that was years ago and I never got to the point of installing the other boot...

Any advice on where to start? 


Or should I leave well enough alone? 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 23 Mar 2013, 11:23
My recommendation for starting would be downloading Linux Mint 14 with Mate Desktop from here (http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=120). Burn the ISO image onto a DVD (using Nero, CDBurnerXP, or whatever CD Burning suite you use. The Windows tool can't do that afaik.), leave it in the drive, and reboot. Depending on the configuration of your Notebook it should boot from it, or ignore it. If it ignores it, you should look for something like "Boot Menu" or something comparable during the POST messages (these white on black messages which are displayed before Windows starts booting). In this menu you should be able to select your CD drive as boot device. If there is no boot device selection menu at all, you need to enter your Notebook's BIOS setup screen (usually invoked with "DEL" or "F2", and look for something like "Boot device Priority". Move the CD drive to the top of the boot devices and reboot. Most BIOSes display a little help on which keys to use for changing properties.

Then Linux Mint should start booting. You can try it, without changing anything in your current system. Everything should work, but it's rather slow, as everything needs to be loaded directly from the DVD.

If you want to install it, you just need to start the Installer which you can find on the Desktop in the Live environment. The installer is pretty much self explanatory. You need at least two partitions to run Linux. One contains the main file system (the so called "root directory", which is denoted as "/"), the other to be used as "swap". The swap partition, which serves as virtual RAM, should be a bit bigger than your RAM, as this partition is where your RAM is being saved to if you put your system into hibernate.

Well, and a friend of mine had some trouble with the Installer once, as it complained about "unmounting" the partitions before changing them. If you happen to get such a message, open the file manager, and press the small eject buttons next to the partitions in the panel on the left side. Then it should work.

Good luck, and have fun!
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: cesium133 on 23 Mar 2013, 11:32
Burn the ISO image onto a DVD (using Nero, CDBurnerXP, or whatever CD Burning suite you use. The Windows tool can't do that afaik.),
It depends on what version of Windows he has. XP doesn't burn ISO images, 7 does. I don't remember whether Vista does or not.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: snalin on 23 Mar 2013, 19:35
The easiest thing is to do the same, but boot/install from an USB drive (if you have a big enough usd pin - depending on your distro size, 1 or 2 gigs should often be more than enough). Don't have to do the DVD-burning hassle. My newest computer doesn't even have a DVD drive, and since I got it changed to that a couple of months ago, I have never missed it.

On using Linux for the first time; I'd not go straight out and install it, but run it from an USB/DVD - you usually get a working version with Firefox installed, so you can play around with it without having to commit a re-partitioning of the hard-drive. If you decide to go for it, depending on what you are using it for, you'll want to get lightly to moderately familiar with the workings of the command line. With many distros (Ubuntu amongst others), you'll have any open source (and maybe free, depending on setting) program available for instant download from a command line install command - no more having to bother going online and finding an install file :D. It's generally easier to install stuff either through the bash command line or though an download/install manager than the way you are used to from other OSes (double-clicking the .exe, following instructions).

There's some things you should be aware of from the get-go. First of all, you can choose what graphical user interface (like Mate Desktop mentioned above) you want - try a couple before you decide. Secondarily, if there's any Windows software that you must have, use Wine ("Wine Is Not an Emulator" might be the best looping acronym ever).
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Jimor on 26 Mar 2013, 18:51
My laptop died from some kind of HD corruption where it wouldn't load in the OS (Windows Vista), and the DVD drive was iffy enough I couldn't get the Windows Install disc to fully function. So I used a rescue linux distro on a USB stick to successfully pull the files (it was a secondary computer, so nothing important was on it, I just want the opportunity to check through the files to make sure), then used the USB stick to successfully install Mint Linux on the original hard drive. The HD is probably slowly dying, so I'm still not going to have anything important here, but at least I can web browse and futz around with Linux a bit when the main desktop is in use by others or rendering video files. If this HD does completely die, I have an old HD installed in a USB interface box I can reload the OS onto and run it from that.

I've installed WINE, but haven't put it through any tests yet. I bought this laptop in 2007 and really worked it hard with video work until I got the new desktop last year, so any extra time I get with it is definitely bonus time. I'll probably also install DOSBox and play some classic games, and test drive some other open-source programs, particularly video/media software.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 30 Mar 2013, 09:09
I finally installed Mint 14 on my laptop.  It seems to be pretty nice, although when it comes back from "sleep" mode (as in when the computer shuts down the screen after a period of time) the "screen" does not come back.  The cursor shows up, but the desktop does not come back on, and I have to shut the computer off and restart it.  This is kind of a pain, although I have not checked to see if there is anything that will help this problem. 

Anyhow, I like Mint 14. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 30 Mar 2013, 22:49
i've been meaning to put mint on my computer as a dualboot. have the ISO on my desktop and everything. just can't seem to get around to it.

i had a ubuntu dualboot for a while but never really got into it, wiped it to try out the windows 8 previews.

just need to find a good UI for linux, cuz neo-gnome and unity suck.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 30 Mar 2013, 22:53
I'm using KDE, but I understand that cinnamon is pretty good, too.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 30 Mar 2013, 22:55
i've been wanting to try cinnamon...

i tried KDE for a while. it feels like a throwback to XP or older, but i think i would've adjusted if the freakin windows key had opened the start menu! if it works on something as different as Unity, it should work on KDE!

Also, has anyone seen Ubuntu Touch For Mobile? Thoughts?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 31 Mar 2013, 05:23
I'm a fan of the Mate desktop. It's a fork of Gnome 2.3, which is still being developed further. Gnome 3 sucks, Unity sucks as well. Cinnamon is a Linux Mint only project, which makes it little unsympathetic to me. KDE4/Plasma is too big imho. I prefer lightweight software, and KDE is pretty much the opposite. XFCE is nice too, as is LXDE, so it's hard to decide which is better. XFCE is more self containing, while LXDE is more modular. I prefer XFCE, if it's about having a complete Desktop Manager, but LXDE utilities work great on other WMs too. On all my PCs I use XMonad as window manager. Getting used to it is pretty difficult, but then it's a absolutely amazing concept; also it's written in Haskell.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 31 Mar 2013, 10:22
I'm not familiar with XMonad...

*googles*

Interesting, so it's like the ill-fated cornerstone for android?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 31 Mar 2013, 10:29
I don't really understand what you mean by this. XMonad is very lightweight, and is a tiling window manager. This means, that it organises the windows for you. You just have to choose the tiling mode, and the windows are arranged. Maybe changing the ratio between the Windows with Mod+J and Mod+K, but then everything is fine. No moving windows around all the time. Though you can set some windows to be floating, which is good for popup windows and such.

Here's a screenshot of my current layout. The blue border shows which window has the focus currently, the other terminal windows have a slightly reduced brightness when they're out of focus.

Edit: wait, maybe I should have included the screenshot (doh!):
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 31 Mar 2013, 10:36
Cornerstone for android, a brilliant 3rd party android OS level mod that provides android with true multitasking:

http://www.onskreen.com/cornerstone/

Was absolutely amazing until Google shut them down, saying it "corrupted" the android experience. Windows 8 &  Samsung's Multi-Window then proceeded to rip them off.

This looks a lot like that to me, at first glance.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 31 Mar 2013, 10:50
Well, as far as I can see, Cornerstone has only this one fixed layout, while with XMonad you can configure various layouts, see here (http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Xmonad/Screenshots#Layouts). Also XMonad is nearly purely keyboard driven, and it also has a great support for multiple monitors. Working with XMonad on a three monitor setup is absolutely amazing. Also you have 9 workspaces, between you can switch easily by pressing Mod-1 to Mod-9 (you can configure, which key to use as modificator. In the standard configuration it's Alt, but many configure it to use the Windows key. As many of my keyboards lack a Windows key I still use Alt). These workspaces can be configured any way you like. You can configure it, so that special windows get pulled to a workspace immediately (which is what I do. I pull my network manager and htop to workspace 9 automatically on boot), or that specific windows automatically set the workspace to a specific layout. That was usually done some time ago, before GIMP introduced the One-Window mode. If you started Gimp without any further configuration, it usually divided into the panel as main window, the workspace and the layers window as small windows on the right. With a few configuration tricks you could set XMonad up, to automatically arrange the windows in a three panel layout, divided vertically. Worked great, but it's unnecessary now.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 31 Mar 2013, 10:58
Cornerstone was a bit more versatile than what you think, but I'm seeing how XMonad works now. Not for me I'm afraid. I need me a good GUI,  command line is something to be used occasionally, not always in my book.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 31 Mar 2013, 13:25
I love my z-shell. I consider commandline applications to be more efficient for many tasks. I work a lot faster with my keyboard, than with my mouse. I like my keyboards. That's why I have so many of them!

 And XMonad works great for most GUI programs as well.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software
Post by: Eternal_Newbie on 05 Apr 2013, 08:37
I'm still looking for a good cross platform calendar system so I can keep track of my courses, and when assignments are due etc.

I haven't used it recently, but AFAIK the nearest thing to that I have found is the Lightning plugin for Thunderbird and Mozilla Seamonkey. You should be able to sync it with Google Calender or any or calendering system that supports CalDav

I dual boot and Win7 and  Slackware 13.37 but spend most of the time in Win 7 these days. Haven't gotten round to updating to Slackware 14. Used Slackware since 10.1 .  My main reason for using Slackware is that it was the only Distro that would actually install on my PC at the time. Apparently USB keyboards were too revolutionary a concept for the Debian, Ubuntu, SuSe and Fedora installers of the time.

EDIT clarification, spelling
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Pilchard123 on 12 Apr 2013, 11:54
So I was downloading Ubuntu when the phone rings and my dodgy ADSL filters drop the connection, ending and corrupting the download at T-1m30s of a three-hour download. >:(
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 12 Apr 2013, 13:22
Oh god. Ouch.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: snalin on 13 Apr 2013, 03:44
yeah, torrenting it is probably a much better idea.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 13 Apr 2013, 03:54
Is that even an option? I know a lot of US ISPs throttle or even disconnect your service if you touch a torrent....
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Pilchard123 on 13 Apr 2013, 04:02
Virgin seem to be okay with it, but then I'm in the UK and my connection is poor enough that throttling would probably improve the speeds I get.

Also, another pet peeve (I'm like a crazy old woman with hundreds of cats, but with peeves) is people that seem to think torrenting ≡ piracy.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: snalin on 13 Apr 2013, 04:03
Is that even an option? I know a lot of US ISPs throttle or even disconnect your service if you touch a torrent....
Oh God your country is so stupid at times it's baffling.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: mtmerrick on 13 Apr 2013, 04:17
No arguments there. Seriously, look up Six Strikes, its downright shameful.  :psyduck:
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 13 Apr 2013, 10:31
Virgin seem to be okay with it, but then I'm in the UK and my connection is poor enough that throttling would probably improve the speeds I get.

I'm in the UK and wouldn't touch Virgin with a bargepole.  Where does the money you pay them go?  Well, I have cable outside the house but not connected, so they send me a multi-page full-colour brochure and begging letter by mail about every two weeks, year in, year out.  And sometimes one to my wife as well (we have different names). 

I have an FTTC connection via Zen Internet, which is admittedly not cheap, but I get a lot of things for the money (£35 a month - but in the past I've paid more for a slower service, so things are going the right way); sadly I'm at the very end of the line from the cabinet, so I "only" get 55Mbps (unthrottled under any circumstances).  I also have limited downloads (currently 200GB/month, but uploads are unlimited); most competitors these days have unlimited downloads, but subject to a "fair usage policy", which in practice means means that they can throttle or limit you at their convenience.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Pilchard123 on 13 Apr 2013, 11:32
I don't like them either. We have really cheap mobile contracts (we're probably the only ones still on them) because we've been with them so long and we have an Internet connection through them, but I've been trying to persuade my parents to switch to Infinity (BT's the only fibre provider that I know of in the area). Due to various shenanigans on Virgin's part, this has become more likely over that last few months, but inertia is proving difficult to overcome.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 13 Apr 2013, 11:40
BT's Infinity advertising makes it seem they are the only fibre provider - but in fact any ADSL supplier which uses BT Openreach as their carrier can offer the FTTC connection (e.g. Zen); but BT's Infinity deal is pretty good for most people (it's missing stuff I use, though, like the multiple routed IP addresses which I use for servers)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Pilchard123 on 13 Apr 2013, 12:29
I did not know that. Thanks! :-D

EDIT: So the download finally completes successfully. The installer fails four times and when it eventually gets through, Compiz won't work. I'm inclined to blame VirtualBox, but this is not going well so far. To Debian (yes, I know Ubuntu is based on Debian).

All I wanted was to be able to test (and compile, if possible) stuff in Linux without having to reboot each time...
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Bluesummers on 13 Apr 2013, 17:29
I used SuSE 9.3 for a short while, but when I realized the wine emulator sucked ass, I went back to my microsoft confort zone.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Bedrock on 22 Apr 2013, 14:33
Hey folks... late to the party. I'm a Linux/Unix System Administrator so I've used a few distros over the years. I currently work with CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise 4/5/6 at work, but I use Mint 14 on my desktop, and fedora 18 on my work laptop. I prefer the look and feel of KDE over most desktops, but Mint's cinnamon is not too shabby as others have stated. I do look forward to the Linux Steam client, but I rarely play games anymore to be honest.  :angel:
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 22 Apr 2013, 15:11
KDE's Plasma seems too bloated to me. I've started my Linux “career” with KDE 3, but even that was rather big. On the other hand, I guess I'm slightly biased. Can't get much more lightweight, than with a WM without any menus.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 22 Apr 2013, 15:32
I'm out of touch with Linux.  A bit over ten years ago I was a Red Hat Certified Engineer (got the certificates and badges to prove it), but I've not actually used it since.  I do run an OpenBSD machine at work, but that's just a firewall, not doing anything more than that - all the rest of my servers run Windows.  At home I'm planning, but never quite getting around to, building a machine with Fedora and Planet CCRMA (http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/) for some specialist audio work using some programs (http://kokkinizita.linuxaudio.org/linuxaudio/tetra-pict.html) that require that environment.

However, in about 10 days I will take delivery of £150,000-worth of Dell equipment for a project in the department, which I will have to install and keep running.  It's based round a blade chassis containing a cluster with 256 cores with 8GB of memory each, and a number of ancillary machines, all connected with Infiniband 40Gbps networking.  There's a 200TB Raid storage, which will be connected using 10Gbps iSCSI (four parallel links are available, so 40Gbps again overall).  I'm pretty sure we'll be installing CentOS throughout, but maybe actual Red Hat, if the uni's licence is felt to cover it.  Oh, and there's a 50TB Raid with a control machine in a different part of town for off-site backup of critical data - the connection to that is limited to the 1Gbps of connections to the University's backbone.   We had to add new capacity to the computer room's air conditioning to accommodate this lot.  The data being analysed is genomes - not genes, but whole genomes.

I think I need to do a little revision later this week...
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Masterpiece on 22 Apr 2013, 16:55
Supercomputers sound wonderful.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Friendzoning Misandrist on 22 Apr 2013, 19:24
I'm currently running Xubuntu 12.10 as my main OS on my desktop, although I do boot into Win7 pretty often because I find game performance in WINE to be meh.
In the past I've used Fedora, Mint, and Ku/Lu/Ubuntu.

I recently installed Arch Linux on my notebook, I haven't used it enough to form a real opinion on it, but it seems nice and I like the concept of a rolling release system.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: bhtooefr on 24 Apr 2013, 03:30
Personally, I'm not a fan of most *nixes on the desktop (NeXTSTEP and its descendants being the sole exception), but they are quite effective for servers.

Just spent the weekend (well, and a little bit yesterday) migrating things from an old Pentium III box running Ubuntu Server 10.04, to a Dell CS24-SC (dual Xeon L5420 - basically, dual Core 2 Quad 2.5 GHz) running FreeBSD 9.1.

I would've stuck with Ubuntu, but I wanted to move to ZFS, and I didn't want to take the chances that come with ZFS root on Linux. And, while I liked OpenSolaris, that whole universe has become a wasteland of nearly abandoned software (for the Illumos side of the fork) and paywalls for security updates (for the Oracle side of the fork), it seems.

(I would've liked a rolling release model, although that comes with downsides too... then again, Ports has those same downsides (have to check the UPDATING file before updating) plus having to compile everything to keep up to date...)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 24 Apr 2013, 13:53
What are the reasons for wanting ZFS so bad? I'm quite happy with ext4.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: bhtooefr on 24 Apr 2013, 14:15
Let's see...

RAIDZ is like RAID 5 but integrated into the filesystem (reducing overhead (although ZFS is rather notorious for being a RAM hog for other reasons), increasing safety (no write hole), and reducing rebuild time of a degraded array if the pool wasn't entirely full)
The storage pool system makes for much greater flexibility in how the filesystem is managed (I want a new filesystem that's compressed and with certain security options enabled? Just make it, no partitioning required, and set a mountpoint) Yes, I know, Linux does have LVM, but it's nowhere near as flexible, and requires much more planning ahead. (Although, ZFS on FreeBSD requires more planning than it does on Solaris - a boot partition and a swap partition have to be outside of the ZFS pool (you COULD put swap inside the ZFS pool, but there's apparently a race condition in the FreeBSD kernel, that means that swapping to ZFS can freeze the system. Still, a tiny boot partition with the ZFS bootloader, and a swap partition, isn't that much outside of ZFS.)
Snapshot support is nothing short of excellent (major system change? Take a snapshot of your root filesystem beforehand, and then if the shit hit the fan, just boot from the snapshot). I don't think you can do that with a LVM snapshot?

Here's what I've got now:

Code: [Select]
[email protected]:/home/bhtooefr # zfs list
NAME                          USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
zroot                        36.4G  1.69T   192K  /zroot
zroot/ROOT                    383M  1.69T   383M  /
zroot/home                   13.2G  1.69T  13.2G  /home
zroot/srv                    18.1G  1.69T  2.76G  /srv
zroot/srv/torrent             597K  1.69T   213K  /srv/torrent
zroot/srv/torrent/downloads   192K  1.69T   192K  /srv/torrent/downloads
zroot/srv/torrent/watch       192K  1.69T   192K  /srv/torrent/watch
zroot/srv/www                15.3G  1.69T  15.3G  /srv/www
zroot/tmp                     485K  1.69T   485K  /tmp
zroot/usr                    4.15G  1.69T   366M  /usr
zroot/usr/local               975M  1.69T   975M  /usr/local
zroot/usr/obj                 192K  1.69T   192K  /usr/obj
zroot/usr/ports              2.24G  1.69T  1.86G  /usr/ports
zroot/usr/ports/distfiles     387M  1.69T   387M  /usr/ports/distfiles
zroot/usr/ports/packages      202K  1.69T   202K  /usr/ports/packages
zroot/usr/src                 615M  1.69T   615M  /usr/src
zroot/var                     568M  1.69T  3.43M  /var
zroot/var/crash               197K  1.69T   197K  /var/crash
zroot/var/db                  560M  1.69T   551M  /var/db
zroot/var/db/pkg             9.15M  1.69T  9.15M  /var/db/pkg
zroot/var/empty               192K  1.69T   192K  /var/empty
zroot/var/log                3.08M  1.69T  3.08M  /var/log
zroot/var/mail                202K  1.69T   202K  /var/mail
zroot/var/run                 464K  1.69T   464K  /var/run
zroot/var/tmp                 202K  1.69T   202K  /var/tmp

You might notice that they all have the same available space - they're sharing the same storage, and grow and shrink on demand. I could constrain any of them as needed, but don't see the need right now. (The torrent directories aren't populated, mind you.) Some of them (/var/log, for instance) are compressed at the filesystem level, and it's almost as easy to make a filesystem on ZFS with custom attributes as it is to make a directory.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Bedrock on 24 Apr 2013, 16:34
I have not messed with ZFS much to be honest so I may do that as a project soon just to see the difference between the two and if there is a benefit in an enterprise environment over ext4.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 03 May 2013, 12:04
I'm about to order a Samsung Chromebook for the fall. It won't be my main computer, my giant Windows 7 laptop will still have that, but I'll use it for travel/notes in class, etc. The reason I bring that up here is I was thinking of putting Linux on it. Does anyone know anything about Chrubuntu?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 03 May 2013, 14:34
Comments about the Acer C7 and ChrUbuntu. (http://blog.laptopmag.com/chrubuntu-transforms-199-acer-c7-chromebook-into-a-cheap-linux-laptop)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 03 May 2013, 14:58
Well I ordered the Samsung one, but there's probably some stuff that's relevant to both in there. Thanks!
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 03 May 2013, 15:10
I've read a little bit more negative comments about the Samsung one though. Also the software selection is a bit more limited, you know, because ARM.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 03 May 2013, 15:39
Yeah, but solid state and longer battery life pushed me towards it. Also Linux isn't the primary goal, just something I might mess around with.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 06 May 2013, 15:53
It arrived today, set up the wifi and signed it, then turned it off. For some reason my SD card shipped separately and won't be here until tomorrow or Wednesday. I'll install Chrubuntu then.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software
Post by: MisterHeal on 24 May 2013, 21:03

I haven't used it recently, but AFAIK the nearest thing to that I have found is the Lightning plugin for Thunderbird and Mozilla Seamonkey. You should be able to sync it with Google Calender or any or calendering system that supports CalDav

I dual boot and Win7 and  Slackware 13.37 but spend most of the time in Win 7 these days. Haven't gotten round to updating to Slackware 14. Used Slackware since 10.1 .  My main reason for using Slackware is that it was the only Distro that would actually install on my PC at the time. Apparently USB keyboards were too revolutionary a concept for the Debian, Ubuntu, SuSe and Fedora installers of the time.

EDIT clarification, spelling

Thanks for the suggestion, I thought about it but I'm not sure I wanna install Thunderbird just to use a plugin for it.

I ditched Arch Linux on my laptop and #! on my desktop for Linux Mint 14 xcfe on both. I don't really have time to mess around with Arch Linux anymore, mint provides an easy solution. Really I haven't touched it since I installed it because schools over and I started work.

I keep telling myself I'll step up a apache web server on my raspberry pi "this" weekend but I never get around to it...

@Method Of Madness did you ever get Chrubuntu on your Chrometop?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 May 2013, 21:16
I did, but I had issues with the SD card. I eventually just took it off and returned the card. I think I'm just gonna use Chrome OS, it's strictly a travel/note-taking secondary laptop anyway.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Jimor on 04 Jun 2013, 17:27
Had to reinstall Linux Mint 14 to my laptop after it failed to boot. Most likely caused by a degrading HD, so not an OS issue except that I'll need to get a checkdisc program to identify and isolate bad sectors. Nothing lost as I'm strictly using the laptop to get online when the desktop is in use and maybe play some old games via DOSBox.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: bhtooefr on 04 Jun 2013, 18:06
Run shutdown -rF now, that'll trigger a forcefsck.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 04 Jun 2013, 18:16
That just sounds wrong.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 05 Jun 2013, 06:11
what's wrong about a forcefsck?  :mrgreen:

no, but seriously, a fsck (filesystemcheck) is probably the way to go. Maybe installing smartmontools and running smartctl to readout the S.M.A.R.T. data of the HDD would be a good idea too.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Jun 2013, 06:34
That's what it stands for? Why not call it an fsc then? :psyduck:
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: bhtooefr on 05 Jun 2013, 06:37
unzip | strip | touch | finger | grep | mount | fsck | more | yes | fsck | fsck | fsck | umount | sleep

That command sequence isn't valid, but it consists entirely of commands that you could expect to find on any given modernish *nix box.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 05 Jun 2013, 06:38
Longer Version. (http://www.wanderings.net/notebook/Main/UnixCommandsForSex)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Loki on 05 Jun 2013, 13:06
unzip | strip | touch | finger | grep | mount | fsck | more | yes | fsck | fsck | fsck | umount | sleep

That command sequence isn't valid, but it consists entirely of commands that you could expect to find on any given modernish *nix box.

There was a guy on a browser game website who was an admin. Apparently, he and his wive were highly verbally abusive to staff, including the website owner, but held all the strings, so to speak.

The guy had this as his signature. I learned at some point from some moderator that had a normal user used this, they would have received a warning at the very least.

The website eventually got rid of both of them, but there was a lot of manure-hitting-the-windmill involved.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 10 Mar 2014, 12:29
So apparently our Fachschaft has made it to planet.debian.org. The article on March 5th about creative usage of Screen Message is about us.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Loki on 11 Mar 2014, 03:58
Link for laziness and posterity (http://planet.debian.org/#http://www.joachim-breitner.de/blog/archives/642-Creative-use-of-screen-message.html)

Link to original post (http://www.joachim-breitner.de/blog/archives/642-Creative-use-of-screen-message.html)

Congratulations!
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 11 Mar 2014, 11:37
Hehe, thanks. Funfacts: The Developer of the Screen Message script we're using for it is working at our University, and Ive met the developer of the also mentioned "Infobeamer", as he's member of our hackerspace.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 14 Mar 2014, 16:34
Here's to hoping that the dist-upgrade goes through without difficulty and whatever the new version of KDE is that it doesn't do anything too strange to my UI (I did the upgrade on my laptop last night, but since I use LXDE as desktop on that machine, I don't know what if any KDE strangeness will happen).
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 14 Mar 2014, 16:59
pff, dist-upgrade. I prefer rolling releases. At least for machines that aren't servers.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 14 Mar 2014, 17:09
I've tried rolling distros before, and they aren't really my thing.  It's not like the actual upgrade process is that difficult, since I have a bash script to disable the old repos, change the version number, and enable/refresh the new ones before performing the upgrade operation.  Arch certainly has its advantages, but I'm pretty content with my current setup.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 14 Mar 2014, 17:12
I wasn't criticising. That's the goodthing about Linux, you can just choose what you like better. Except for systemd. Not much of a choice there sadly.

Edit: I just noticed that my currentpostcount has my birthdate if you read the 9 twice in ddmyy
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 14 Mar 2014, 22:13
Oh, I know you weren't.  And distro wars are essentially obligatory for *nix users.  I think I'm the only person I know who favours OpenSuSE strongly, though.  Most people I know are using *buntu or Mint.  A couple on Arch.  I've tried all of the above as well as Cent OS, and some of the non-Linux *nixen (OS X, *BSD, Solaris).  Mainly just 'cos for general computing, I like something that's bloody easy.  If I ever get around to running a server again, though, it's going to be CentOS or FreeBSD for sure.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 14 Mar 2014, 22:15
Mint, of course.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 15 Mar 2014, 01:53
My choice for anything not a server:
(http://cinderwick.ca/files/archlinux/artwork-official/src-pkgs/archlinux-artwork-1.7/wmlogos/archlinux-wm-xmonad.svg)

Edit: Eh, I was originally going to press preview, but I hit "Post" instead. Well. Anyway: Arch Linux with XMonad is my way to go. On my servers I currently have Debian. I am considering to try FreeBSD, so I currently have it in a VM, trying to figure out how to do stuff with it. There are some programs I need to run on my servers which aren't available for BSD, so that might actually take some work.

And by the way, I don't have anything against OpenSuSE. It was my starting point to the Linux world. I used it for four years I think. But then at one point using YaST became too annoying and I tried other distributions. About a week with Kubuntu, then Debian, Aptosid (called sidux at that time), Sabayon, OpenSolaris for a year, Debian again and then Arch.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 15 Mar 2014, 03:06
There's a very good reason that I only use YaST for stuff I'm too lazy to do "properly".  That said, I don't touch it for package management.  I have always used zypper instead.  Same goes for a lot of other things really.  YaST is essentially just a front-end for stuff anyhow, and there are some Novell goodies thrown in that I like.  Of course, I'm also a KDE junkie who loves emacs, so YMMV.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: rschill on 15 Mar 2014, 09:55
I love mint like I used to love Ubuntu and for the same reasons. 

I'm have no tech cred at all.  I stick with it for the fact that it just works 99% of the time and almost all the programs and applications I'd want are in one place, just a click away. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 21 Mar 2014, 13:50
You aren't the only one.  Mint works great, and does more (IMHO) than any other *nix distro out of the box for users.  I actually know an older guy who switched (mostly, still keeps a Windows partition around) to Mint after getting computer VD for the last time, and does everything on Linux that isn't Windows exclusive. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 15 Apr 2014, 12:43
Interesting.  It looks like my pet distro will soon have an option for a rolling repo for all the KDE stuff:

http://www.muktware.com/2014/03/opensuse-offer-rolling-release-kde-software-experience/24829

I wonder if they're testing the waters for moving to a full rolling-release distro, or expanding the option to other repos.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 17 Apr 2014, 17:53
spent a while with a FreeBSD VM this evening. I quite enjoyed it. I'm not advanced enough to say anything about the Kernel in comparison with Linux, but I like the userland. I might try to do more with FreeBSD, and when I'm comfortable enough with it, switch all my servers over to it.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 19 May 2014, 13:40
Tried out KVM today. Thought it was much more complicated than Virtualbox, but it's actually easier using qemu.

Also I spent a short time yesterday with my MPD (music player daemon) setup. I now have my cubietruck at home stream it's output via Icecast. So now, wherever I am, I have access to my music collection, as long as I have internet access. Streamed in q8.0 Ogg Vorbis (256kbit/s), and with listener authentication via htpasswd (so it's non-public and I don't have to pay internet radio fees). It's really neat. And now I've discovered, that my Android MPD Client has support for streaming, so when using Android I don't even need to use two separate apps for controlling and playing Music from my mpd.

I just have to remember to turn off the ALSA output when I'm not at home, because otherwise my flatmate will hear my music as well. Kinda bad when it's around midnight.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 24 May 2014, 01:10
I am starting to love having Netflix again.  Although this reinstall of pipelight was not anywhere nearly as painless as the last two times I did it (same machine, and on also on my laptop running an older version of the OS).  For those who don't have it yet, and want an easy install

http://software.opensuse.org/package/pipelight

(they have supported versions for all new(ish) versions of OpenSUSE, CentOS, and Fedora as well as Debian 7.  Only posting this 'cos a lot of folk I know, even ones who know way more about this stuff than I do hadn't heard of it (and had probably given up hope).
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 24 May 2014, 11:41
sometimes I seriously wonder, whether some admins wonder what's going on with me, based on my GeoIP locations. I tend to use VPNs, so it can happen, that I'm visiting from Germany, then I'm visiting from Sweden, and now from Iceland, all within the same hour. But I guess people with access to such logs know about the existence of VPNs.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 25 May 2014, 07:14
VLC isn't working at all, but kaffiene is, despite uninstalling the former (and reinstalling), and I got all the codecs before I even installed VLC in the first place.  I'm actually contemplating a restart just to see if it actually fixes things.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 25 Jul 2014, 22:23
derp.  Who would have thought that switching Wine over to the current snapshots instead of the stable release would break Pipelight?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 25 Jul 2014, 23:05
well, as pipelight heavily depends on Wine, no wonder
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 25 Jul 2014, 23:42
Obviously.  But I have to be able to laugh at myself for being such an idiot.  Odd thing is that the issue that I've been getting (I had to switch Pipelight providers after it broke w/ wine stable, and *that* repo required a higher version than stable) lately with Netflix is a "DRM issue", rather than Silverlight not working. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 26 Jul 2014, 02:53
I've never gotten anything depending on Silverlight working. Not even on Windows. On both my notebook and my PC. Well, no Amazon Prime video for me. Their selection sucks anyway. So I uninstalled pipelight because it was only giving me trouble, even when I wasn't using it.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 26 Jul 2014, 12:42
TBH, I didn't have much of a problem to get it running under Win7 Pro on my old laptop, but I don't know if the issue right now I'm facing is with Silverlight qua Silverlight, or maybe there's something else in my WINE install that isn't providing the DRM libraries that Netflix requires.  It's rather annoying to switch video inputs on my display and then be stuck with the tinny laptop speakers (it appears that the audio-out port on that thing is fscked), and I'd really rather be able to watch stuff on my (*nix only) desktop.  Further proof, I guess that DRM is evil and having that shit stripped is a pretty legitimate reason to pirate stuff IMO.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 26 Aug 2014, 12:03
Hey all.  Running Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon here.

My only complaint about it is the backup software that comes bundled with it sucks.  Really bad.  Will only get through part of a backup then just hang.  Nobody likes it.

Every backup software I've tried has an incredibly bad interface, not clear how to use it, or just doesn't work.

Anybody have any recommendations for something that's easy to use and works?  Keep in mind I'm not a coder. 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: celticgeek on 26 Aug 2014, 12:13
My approach has been to use an external hard drive (i use Thermaltake BlacX dual bay docking station (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/thermaltake-dual-bay-docking-station-for-most-internal-sata-hard-drives/9419596.p;jsessionid=28274B525E70E027E7FB7E143DBEED15.bbolsp-app02-142?id=1218102199901&skuId=9419596&st=thermaltake&cp=1&lp=11) for this purpose) and do a complete backup of my data every couple of months).   

The data that I back up is about 450 Gbytes, and it takes a while, but is relatively easy to do, just copy everything over to a folder on one of the external hard drives.

I am using Mint 14 at this point.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 26 Aug 2014, 16:20
Okay, so I am currently fighting with Asterisk. I have no knowledge about telephony, so this is a little bit difficult to me. What I want to achieve is have all the 14 phone numbers I have arrive on my Cisco phone at home. I have the SIP firmware on the phone, so that won't be a problem. What could be a problem is running this asterisk behind the NAT of my router, but I don't think that should be such a big problem because I only want clients from the LAN to be able to use that server. What will be a problem is creating a dialplan and config for Asterisk, because those config files are kinda confusing, and Asterisk is such a big piece of software that there's far too much config for what I need.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 26 Aug 2014, 19:12

Anybody have any recommendations for something that's easy to use and works?  Keep in mind I'm not a coder.
How comfortable are you with the command line?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 28 Aug 2014, 23:38

Anybody have any recommendations for something that's easy to use and works?  Keep in mind I'm not a coder.
How comfortable are you with the command line?
I don't mind it just as long as the instructions are in English.  People tend to say something like "That's easy, just do a ...." and then lapse into obscure codese.  Or they skip steps assuming you know stuff. 

This reminds me, the new edition of Linux for Dummies was supposed to come out in June, I should see if the book store has it.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 29 Aug 2014, 01:34
I was just asking since it's pretty easy to do an automatic, versioning backup using rsync, and it doesn't really take much coding, just messing with one's crontab a  bit.  I'll try to dig up the actual script (it's not very long).  I'm not much of a coder either, but when I used to have a Mac, I had to get friendly with the terminal in order to actually *do* anything, since Apple locks-down the interface so much to keep the window-lickers from causing too much damage.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: cesium133 on 09 Sep 2014, 12:30
So my advisor is having me write as an appendix to my thesis an instruction manual for a computer program I wrote a while ago. The instruction manual is supposed to be able to introduce an experimental physicist who may not be familiar with a lot of details of computational physics to the program. One problem I just noticed, though, is that a new user may not be familiar with the Linux command line interface that the program runs on. I'd rather not add another section to the appendix that would be irrelevant to people who are already familiar with Linux and distract from the purpose of showing how to use my program. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a really good tutorial for the Linux command line that I could link to along the lines of "If you're not familiar with the Linux command line, read this."
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 07 Dec 2014, 15:47
I'm keenly interested in this tablet.  Based on Linux, respects privacy, good specs (except for the battery looks like).  Can use Android apps.  Raised $1.2 million in the first two days of their Indiegogo campaign.  Wow.

http://jolla.com/tablet/ (http://jolla.com/tablet/)

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet)

Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: cesium133 on 22 Jan 2015, 19:45
I love how PulseAudio was supposed to fix all that was wrong with audio on Linux, but on every install of Linux I've done since then I've run into audio problems where the solution turned out to be uninstalling PulseAudio...
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 23 Jan 2015, 09:32
PulseAudio is practically my arch enemy. I hate it with burning passion.

ALSA works perfectly fine, so I don't really see why I'd need pulse to replace it. Okay, there are some neat features in it, but mostly it feels just like bloat.

And it resamples all your audio, which sucks huge donkey balls.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 23 Jan 2015, 10:20
And it resamples all your audio, which sucks huge donkey balls.

What?!  Are they trying to be Microsoft?
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 23 Jan 2015, 10:49
Pretty much. Well, it's Poettering software, so what else would one expect.

I still resent him for bringing shame on my first name…


I once tried to get used of that resampling. I spent a few hours on it and ultimately ended up uninstalling pulse. I'm glad I'm using Arch Linux, so I never even installed Pulse in the first place.

And if I ever need more features than ALSA I'll just use JACK.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 03 May 2015, 11:06
Alright, I just updated my server to Debian Jessie (the current stable branch). That was relatively painless. I had to change a few Apache settings, but apart from that the update just went through.

Sadly that means that my server is now also running systemd. But well. At least that's Poettering software which actually has some advantages. I don't like the whole systemd package, but at least the init part of it is relatively practical.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: pwhodges on 03 May 2015, 11:53
I've been bitten by systemd as well, going from Scientific Linux 6.5 to 7.  But it's here to stay so... <shrug>

The screen built in to my rack at work is seven years old, and is 800x600.  It's a pain these days, but it's still OK to run a Windows install on, or to use when necessary.  However, the current Scientific Linux starts its install with a 1024x768 graphical screen, so even though I want a non-graphical setup, I can't install it without plugging in a spare monitor, which is pretty inconvenient in the server room.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 03 May 2015, 12:04
I'm actually very intrigued by uselessd, a fork of systemd which reduces it to its bare core, the init system. That would be a real improvement over sysvinit in my book, and it cuts away all the magic I don't want.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 11 May 2015, 05:40
Things I've already done today:


Seriously, I'm starting to love FreeBSD. It feels so much more clean and structured compared to the chaos of the GNU/Linux userspace. I mean, of course that's kinda the point with BSD, but still, amazing.
Also: Ampache is the best thing ever, and together with Syncthing I now have my music wherever I want and synchronised on all my devices. And I can share music with people without having to use external hosters! It's amazing!
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: katsmeat on 14 Jun 2015, 15:49
My everyday, carry-everywhere machine is an Eee 1000h netbook I found in a university dumpster some months ago - XP refused to boot. So I put Crunchbang on it and upgraded it both with a small SSD and some memory I  had spare.  I now use if for email and light Matlab development, even though the resulting numbers from the Matlab 'bench' command are somwhat painful.

The only real downside is the machine has a Norwegan keyboard - someday I'll get round to binding the Æ Ø and Å keys to something useful.

Of course, Crunchbang is no more. Disappointing as I really really liked it.   Any suggestions as to where to go now? What's lightweight and similar? The SSD is big enough for several small Linuxes.

 
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 08 Jul 2015, 23:16
I upgraded to Linux Mint 17.2 on Saturday.  It works fine enough on my laptop, but for some reason it's slightly flaky on my desktop.  I'm currently doing a backup to downgrade my desktop back to 17.1.   I should have done a backup BEFORE I upgraded to 17.2.  Hindsight is 20/20.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 08 Jul 2015, 23:42
My everyday, carry-everywhere machine is an Eee 1000h netbook I found in a university dumpster some months ago - XP refused to boot. So I put Crunchbang on it and upgraded it both with a small SSD and some memory I  had spare.  I now use if for email and light Matlab development, even though the resulting numbers from the Matlab 'bench' command are somwhat painful.

The only real downside is the machine has a Norwegan keyboard - someday I'll get round to binding the Æ Ø and Å keys to something useful.

Of course, Crunchbang is no more. Disappointing as I really really liked it.   Any suggestions as to where to go now? What's lightweight and similar? The SSD is big enough for several small Linuxes.
My old netbook eMachines 355 running an Atom N455 processor and 1GB RAM ran Linux Mint 17.1 32 bit no problems before it died.  It's ever so slightly better performance-wise than your machine, but your machine is a lot more energy efficient.

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/710/Intel_Atom_N270_vs_Intel_Atom_N455.html

<shrug>
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: katsmeat on 16 Jul 2015, 15:58
My everyday, carry-everywhere machine is an Eee 1000h netbook I found in a university dumpster some months ago - XP refused to boot. So I put Crunchbang on it and upgraded it both with a small SSD and some memory I  had spare.  I now use if for email and light Matlab development, even though the resulting numbers from the Matlab 'bench' command are somwhat painful.

The only real downside is the machine has a Norwegan keyboard - someday I'll get round to binding the Æ Ø and Å keys to something useful.

Of course, Crunchbang is no more. Disappointing as I really really liked it.   Any suggestions as to where to go now? What's lightweight and similar? The SSD is big enough for several small Linuxes.
My old netbook eMachines 355 running an Atom N455 processor and 1GB RAM ran Linux Mint 17.1 32 bit no problems before it died.  It's ever so slightly better performance-wise than your machine, but your machine is a lot more energy efficient.

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/710/Intel_Atom_N270_vs_Intel_Atom_N455.html

<shrug>

A slightly depressing thing somebody pointed out to me is that his phone is at least an order of magnitude more powerful than the nebook.

But it's still useful enough for me to solder a appropriately sized plug onto a spare 12v power brick a couple of days ago, to replace the Eee's own psu which died on me.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 09 Sep 2015, 14:49
I had been doing dist-upgrades on OpenSUSE for the past several versions, and had been dealing with quite a number of annoyances for some time now on my desktop.  Instead of just doing a clean install and clearing out most of the dot files in ~/ , I decided to give Mint KDE a shot.  I figured, "what the hell, should be easier to get the proprietary NVIDIA drivers, and maybe Pipelight will actually work properly"…  I should have taken the installer as a bit of a warning, but pressed on.  After a full backup, I even nuked the HDD that has ~/, and went through the pain of restoring everything.  I am finding myself missing many of the features already.

Since then, I'm seriously considering the switch back, doing the clean install that I should have done in the first place.  Probably will require another restore from backup.  I can compile the gfx drivers myself.  I'll keep giving Mint a try until next week, just to let myself get used to a different way of working, and see if I can overcome my habits and see if my "problems" from habituation can be overcome.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Stoon on 06 Jan 2016, 19:29
The problems I was having with Linux Mint 17.2 only my desktop apparently were caused by my NVIDIA video card.  They seemed to have fixed it with 17.3.  Works great.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 07 Jan 2016, 14:01
Odd.  I've never had a real problem with the Nvidia cards on Mint.  And I'm actually in the midst of the computer chugging away dding a backup to switch back.  Partially because IME, KDE isn't just an afterthought, and the Build Service.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 08 Jan 2016, 13:35
I had to give up on an old notebook yesterday. The partner of my mother wanted to have Lubuntu on his old Notebook. So far so good, but X only ran with the VESA driver. I looked into lspci to discover that the notebook had a GPU from SiS, a SiS 671Gx to be precise. There is no xserver-video-sis package in the Ubuntu repos, so I found an article describing the driver availability for this hardware. Long abandoned by the manufacturer, not common enough for people to write an open source driver for it, the only way to get it running was supposedly to install the driver RPM from Mageia. After fiddling with alien a while I got it installed. As the driver was named differently from the name X expects I had to create an xorg.conf with a full Device, Monitor, Display and Screen config. Rebooted, and it froze long before the X server was even supposed to start. In the failsafe mode it booted, but the screen was really glitchy and unusable. I looked into the logs and found out, that the ABI version of the xorg server was too recent. It seems you can only use this driver on Ubuntu up to version 12.04.

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/x11.png)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 12 Jan 2016, 20:26
I just made the switch to OpenSUSE Leap, in hope that drivers for my Wacom tablet will land before they do on Mint.  Well, that last bit didn't work out so well, save that they'd actually compile, but hope springs eternal.  It *is* however my first experience with Plasma 5.  Now I had been a KDE 3 holdout until a couple of years ago, and now that I had finally stopped complaining about 4, now 5 has a few things that are already driving me spare.  The top of the window menubar failing to work as of now is one of the big ones.  It's not as critical on my desktop where I have two large screens, but the Mac-like menu is pretty much needed on a laptop.  Oh well, I can wait.  Most distros are still using older versions of KDE.

The good: Very clean, very stable, fast even with all the eye-candy.

The bad: Much of the desktop is less configurable, and more than a few things had to be done to make it stop looking completely flat. 

Oh well, back to trying to get that tablet to work.

Edit:  Wacom tablet is now working quite well.  Now I just need to configure the thing.  Sadly, with all the time I have spent trying to find an "easy" way to do it, I could have just fixed the config file.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Rhodderz on 23 Feb 2016, 00:32
I, to this day, still despise SiS with a passion. (also love the graph)
I use linux mint as my main distro on a Lenovo x220 which works really nicely (and play on windows works flawlessly with SWTOR).
Got 2 Jump vms at work with CentOs 7 (shell only) and Ubuntu 15 which has OpenBox installed (got really into OB)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 23 Feb 2016, 01:17
Hopefully that wasn't a recent install of mint  :evil:
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: osaka on 23 Feb 2016, 03:09
I heard it only affected versions taken from the web, not torrents.

This reminds me tho. I finally got around to set up my Debian partition into "user accepting" state (that being with a proper sudoers file and all). Installed the thing like 8 months ago, might be time to dist-upgrade next time I boot it up.

On the question of "why Debian", used to have #! and thought I'd need more VM stuff in my degree. On the question of "why 8 months without using it", I didn't need more VM stuff in my degree. On the question of "What desktop manager are you using?", I chose Cinnamon for two reasons:
1.- Installed Mint (also forever ago) on my sis' laptop (it's old, circa 2004) so I thought that having a similar desktop would help for phone customer service.
2.- Installed Mint on my sis' laptop and the interface was so beautiful (http://cdn.frankerfacez.com/emoticon/83453/1)
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Rhodderz on 23 Feb 2016, 03:15
I had mint installed before Christmas and just upgraded. Also Cin is very beutifull and just nice to use. that combined with Guake :3
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: osaka on 23 Feb 2016, 03:32
Ofc, guake (or any dropdown terminal really) is a must once you first use it. Even if you don't do much console stuff, it just makes life that much easier.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 23 Feb 2016, 12:02
Agreed.  I'm ashamed to admit that having used some *nix variant since 2001 (Mac), and Linux since 2008 that it wan't until last year that I actually discovered Yakuake.  I find myself using terminal applications *more* now than I did before[1].  Far less clutter on the second display, and not having to muck around with a bunch of GUI apps to do the same thing.


[1] Right now, I have 2 terminals split in each tab.  shell/rootshell, emacs/mc, pine/yast, htop/iftop, and irssi/finch
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Rhodderz on 23 Feb 2016, 23:21
ah good old irssi. might make an IRC server if im bored again now.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: ankhtahr on 26 Feb 2016, 15:25
Once you start using tiliing WMs, you don't need dropdown terminals anymore. Mod + Enter opens a new terminal immediately on most, and if you need to switch back and forth between a terminal and something different, you just switch to a different workspace.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 26 Feb 2016, 17:35
If I was able to tile display 2, but not for the other, I'd try it, since it'd make life easier.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: Rhodderz on 28 Feb 2016, 09:11
I used guake alot that i find it oddly nicer. Also i may of got bored. Built an IRC server (which people are free to use) and then started building a irc bot called Zuth.....which has a command !pintsize...........

Quote
<Rhodderz> !pintsize
<Zuth> I'm always naked!

i have a list of quotes but if you have more that should be added im willing to add them.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 25 Apr 2016, 01:21
Hmm.  A good idea.

So this evening, I found yet another attempt to recreate all the functionality of Opera 12.x, Otter (otter-browser.org).  It's not as polished as Vivaldi yet, and doesn't support extensions (both a good and bad thing).  But I never *needed* extensions in opera since there was already built-in popup blocking, and the option to only load plugins on demand.  It looks like when it's finished, I won't *need* addons.  Always a plus in my book.  It's also much snappier than Vivaldi, so I'll probably switch when it's complete.
Title: Re: The PT410X thread: Linux/BSD and Open Source Software for users and beginners!
Post by: hedgie on 23 May 2016, 22:51
Using a rolling version of *nix now (Opensuse Tumbleweed, instead of it's versioned Leap).  I'm impressed so far.  Now I just need to get the system to a "normal" state for me.

Tumbleweed Diary the first:
On day two, there was a *massive* update.  I already knew going in it that I'd have to rebuild my nvidia drivers, but I had time to do that before bed.  Oh gawds, the black screen (after bootloader, after unlocking drives, before a login prompt).  Me:  Oh fuck.  Conveniently, the bootloader allows me to go back to a system snapshot.
 
Unfortunately, that meant a fair number of numbered but unnamed snapshots which I had to do a split-search through in order to find the most recent working one.  From now I'm probably going to name 'em before a major update.  I have three naming conventions to choose from: pleading, pleas to the gods, and swearing.


Additional: 
After about a month, I'm quite liking TW.  I haven't had any issues that I wasn't forewarned about, and even those were pretty minor.  Everything is quite stable, especially for being so close to the bleeding edge.

Edit again:  new laptop arrived, and is now dual-booted b/n TW and ugh, I hate to type this, but Win 10.  it may come in handy at some point.  Still, the dual-boot was easy enough to do now that I know what I'm doing, and I don't expect to be using windows much, but it may come in handy for some of my Steam games.