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Getting Started with Linux


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#21 minibutmany   Members   -  Reputation: 1618

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

I'll second Mint.

About a ten minute installation, makes the new partition for you.


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#22 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6121

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Yeah I think overobsession with having a "stable" version is not needed for most open source programs, as it most likely just means old version without the newest bugfixes. The bleeding edge svn version would then often be more stable (possibly minus the one new bug where you then just revert to second newest version).
 
Can someone explain a bit more detailed what the real difference between all these many desktops is besides fancy looks? Are there incompatibilities when you use the "wrong" desktop?

The stable versions get bugfixes, they don't get new features so there is less risk for new bugs sneaking their way in (Which makes those branches more stable over time), the important packages maintain several branches, apache for example has 2.4.x 2.2.x and 2.0.x that all get bugfixes (all new features go into the 2.5/2.6 version that you can get from the SVN), the kernel has 2.6.x 3.0.x 3.2.x 3.4.x 3.5.x 3.6.x 3.7.x and 3.8(rc).

For less important applications that don't have professionals working at maintaining old releases it might be worth using the latest version but for the OS and big server components (Apache, mysql, etc, etc) Where quite many companies are pushing in tons of resources to fix issues you will get a far more stable system by sticking to the versions that has had most of the flaws fixed allready.

When it comes to different desktops they are mostly compatible(If you install the required libraries) and it is primarily a question of workflow, some of the more advanced desktop enviroments(the ones using hardware acceleration) can however have issues with some OpenGL implementations or with some multimonitor configurations.
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#23 Chad Smith   Members   -  Reputation: 1137

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:42 AM

Well tonight I thought I'd go ahead and install Ubuntu.  So I went to their website to read about the download/installation.  I am running Windows 8 on my laptop and I saw that they recommended to use a 64 bit version.  I also was pretty positive that I was running a UEFI Firmware.  After downloading I created a bootable USB even following instructions on their site.  I rebooted and told it to reboot from the USB Drive and Ubuntu started up.  Giving me the choice to try it or install.  I went ahead and tried it for about 20 minutes trying to find my way around it and see how everything was setup.  It seemed very interesting to me so I decided I'd install it along side Windows 8.  When choosing to install it said I choice install inside Windows 8 and that intrigued me.  Computer restarted and next thing I know I was back at the Ubuntu start asking me if I wanted to try it live or install.  What the?  I again chose install.  This time I chose the option to allow me dual boot.  When I went to chose the empty partition for Ubuntu it gave me an error on the drive.  Something about that it wasn't root.  Seemed odd to me.  I then read the instructions about the Boot.Repair.  So I ran that like it told me to do.  Upon restart giving the same option and trying to install it again gave me the same error and wouldn't install inside Windows 8 either.  

 

I finally decided I'd boot back into Windows 8 to do a little more research, maybe I had made a dumb mistake (was at work all day, possible).  Windows Boot Manager came up giving me an error that it couldn't boot!!!  I tried telling it to boot from my hardrive thinking it was trying to boot from something wrong.  Nothing.  Same error message.  I even then told it to boot from the USB!  Same error message, it wanted another reboot to even boot up the installation for Ubuntu.

 

I grabbed my Windows 8 recovery disk I had made when I first installed Windows 8.  It actually took 2-3 times for it to even load up the recovery disk without giving me and error.  Now finally I am back into Windows 8.

 

I have looked at the installation instructions many times just to make sure I didn't make a dumb mistake.  Don't see where I did.  It seems to me I did everything it said, which seemed pretty close to what I'd do installing some other OS for a dual-boot.  I can't figure it out.  If I put the Ubuntu bootable flash drive in it will no longer boot into Windows 8 without the recovery CD.  That seems weird as Ubuntu has yet to even install anything on my drives!

 

Anyone have any suggestions?  According the Ubuntu's website I have done everything like they said, but the installation won't ever start and Windows 8 won't boot without the disk...



#24 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1757

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:14 AM

I guess they didn't fix the problems the installer had since some time ago... To install Ubuntu I pretty much had to use the minimal installer from my USB drive and completely nuke the partition table, because anything else would simply result in a complete failure of the install (and after that I had to fix the configuration of the swap partition since the installer had swapped sda and sdb because it booted from the USB drive instead of the hard disk). That's probably the least friendly part of Ubuntu -_-'

 

Does anybody know why the installer can fail like that?


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#25 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8947

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:09 AM

This is why I use Mint This is why I tend to physically disconnect the other drives when doing OS installations, when I cannot afford to lose the drive's contents in case I type in the wrong disk or there's a configuration/software error. I could always grab backups but that is tedious. Sounds a bit excessive but sometimes you just cannot trust the software.

 

As for the problem above, I think it might be when the BIOS dynamically adjusts the drive order (last letter in sd..) based on boot order, in which case the installer probably shouldn't rely on absolute drive labels but on UUID's to identify and store drive identifiers across reboots.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

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#26 Net Gnome   Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

The ubiquity installer imho is fairly good. Its just not psychic and relies on the BIOS to a degree for some of the info. It'll tell you exactly what you are doing if you know where to look. For me it hasn't been a large issue since i just check the size of the drive i'm installing to in order to know which drive i'm using. Other ways to figure things out is to use the partition tool, and read the partition information to figure out what to do next. And as always with any side-by-side install with windows... Install windows 1st, then linux. Windows gets greedy during partition time.



#27 jjd   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2077

Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:42 AM

Sorry, I don't know enough about the ubuntu installer to help diagnose your situation. However, an alternative you may wish to try is to install the distribution on a virtual machine running on windows. The beauty of this approach is that if you screw up, you just delete the VM and try again. It does not address issues like dual-boot with windows (and I have no idea what that is like with Windows 8), but it does give you a forgiving approach to getting started. 

 

I run gentoo on Windows 7 through "virtual box" and I have been pretty happy with the result -- especially because I screwed up the installation several times ;-)

 

-Josh


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#28 Katie   Members   -  Reputation: 1339

Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

"Can someone explain a bit more detailed what the real difference between all these many desktops is besides fancy looks? Are there incompatibilities when you use the "wrong" desktop?"

 

Underneath they're all just X11. When your app asks X11 to open a window, it just opens a window. Doesn't have a titlebar or resize handles or anything like that. It just gives you a drawable surface back. The desktop is a window handler -- it also is given your new window to be decorated; to have close buttons and title bars added by the manager. In olden days, the window manager was a separate program that people might not choose to run or would swap depending on what things they wanted to do. And you can kill them and restart them without the running apps caring...

 

Unix in general, X11 certainly, has a philosophy of replaceable parts. It doesn't want to dictate how window resizing operations work, because people want it to happen differently. So they can, and very deliberately unless your application chooses to, it's not bothered by how the desktop is managing its windows. You *can* make your app not function with certain window managers, but you have to try. Because an app which conforms to the standards will work on all the compliant desktops.



#29 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1726

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

Sounds as if a window manager is just like any other program, just that it only fills the unused screenspace with a few buttons, clock, background, taskbar and then translates your key/mouse input a bit and sends it back to X but doesnt even communicate directly to the other running programs? All that buzz about people loving/hating these things made me think there must be something more to it, but I couldnt think of anything.



#30 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1757

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

As for the problem above, I think it might be when the BIOS dynamically adjusts the drive order (last letter in sd..) based on boot order, in which case the installer probably shouldn't rely on absolute drive labels but on UUID's to identify and store drive identifiers across reboots.

That's exactly the problem, it's using the Linux partition name instead of the actual name (i.e. the UUID). I have absolutely no idea why the installer chooses to do that. In fact, a better question would be why Linux allows using anything other than the UUID for defining the swap partitions.

 

Sounds as if a window manager is just like any other program, just that it only fills the unused screenspace with a few buttons, clock, background, taskbar and then translates your key/mouse input a bit and sends it back to X but doesnt even communicate directly to the other running programs?

Yep, it's exactly like that. In fact, even X itself is just another program, which is why you can have multiple instances of X running all at the same time in the same system.

 

All that buzz about people loving/hating these things made me think there must be something more to it, but I couldnt think of anything.

Pretty much it's along the same lines as "this program rocks" and "this program sucks" =P Each window manager is quite different, some try to gimmick pre-Metro Windows, the blackbox-like UIs... just look up bbLean on Windows to get an idea (I was using that before switching to Linux), GNOME is in-between those two, Unity seems to be something between OSX and a tablet-oriented interface (Metro does a much better job at the latter, honestly). You get the idea, there are all sorts of interfaces around. I wonder if somebody will come up with a Metro-like window manager eventually.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#31 jjd   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2077

Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

Sounds as if a window manager is just like any other program, just that it only fills the unused screenspace with a few buttons, clock, background, taskbar and then translates your key/mouse input a bit and sends it back to X but doesnt even communicate directly to the other running programs? All that buzz about people loving/hating these things made me think there must be something more to it, but I couldnt think of anything.

 

Well, it manages all of the screen space, but yeah that's the gist of it. Personally, I do most of my work in terminals so I used a tiling window manager called 'awesome' which makes it easier to organize multiple terminals and navigate with the keyboard. 

 

-Josh


--www.physicaluncertainty.com
--linkedin
--irc.freenode.net#gdnet


#32 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 876

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

Some info on The Reg today: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/18/picking_a_linux_distro/

I use Ubuntu which is easy to use. Others recommend Mint as an alternative without the recent Ubuntu UI changes.

And it's easy to try any distribution you like out with a Virtual Machine. (Indeed, if you will still be using Windows a lot, using Linux via a VM may well be better anyway - although I have a dual boot, most of my Linux time is spent in a VM, as it's so much easier to manage, and avoid rebooting. I only need a real installation for things like some 3D stuff.)

I don't know what happened with your installation - another benefit of VMs is not having to worry about partitions and boot options, and risk of damaging existing OSs. (Also my dual boot setup is on an entirely separate drive, and I set the BIOS to have that as the primary drive when I installed, so that the Linux boot menu wasn't overwriting anything on the Windows drive - so I can either boot from the Linux drive and have a menu to choose the OS, or switch back to the Windows drive, and boot Windows as normal.)
http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux




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