Everytime I try Linux, I don't last a day.

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
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I'm generally curious about software, and want to experience new things.

But good dog am I running into the same stuff each time I try Linux.

I'm giving it another shot because I want to have the option on my Chromebook.
There are guides out there that explain how to use Crouton to have ChromeOS and Linux running side-by-side. I have the basics working, and it's pretty cool.
I installed (what I believe is called a "flavor") of Ubuntu called Elementary OS... just because it was on the tutorial I followed.

- I installed Firefox and am running that now (on a Chromebook... :) ) Easy.
- I wanted to change the wallpaper on the machine. Non-trivial.
- I installed Steam (on Linux, cool!) Steam alerts me "We recommend installing package repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates for best video driver performance." I click "Add". I'm brought to a "Software Sources" dialog (Other Software tab), with a list of ~ a dozen packages(?) that I think I'm supposed to use. It's amazingly unintuitive what I'm supposed to do. These packages are ticked - there is no option "Install". I'm at a loss.
-I want to use an SDCard as external memory ( and have Steam install games on it. ) I've been on 3 or 4 websites trying to format the card correctly and ensure it has correct settings and still fail.

I'm bitching. I know. But I *really* want this to work... which is why I'm bitching but also asking for help.
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
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When trying to use my SD card as storage, the error I get is "New Steam library folder must be on a filesystem mounted with execute permissions"

Google returned a couple threads on this, neither of which clearly walked me thru it.
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,498
144
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man mount
noexec Do not allow direct execution of any binaries on the mounted filesystem.
...
user Implies noexec
users Implies noexec
This is a security feature. Worms had relatively easy access to MS Windows, when executing autorun.inf from every media was the default.

Whatever (auto)mounts the card in Ubuntu probably sets the noexec. You either modify that configuration, or change the option after mounting. Something like

sudo mount -o remount,exec /carddir
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,445
126
man mount
This is a security feature. Worms had relatively easy access to MS Windows, when executing autorun.inf from every media was the default.

Whatever (auto)mounts the card in Ubuntu probably sets the noexec. You either modify that configuration, or change the option after mounting. Something like

sudo mount -o remount,exec /carddir

I think that this is kind of the OP's point. He doesn't want to have to drop to the command line to fix things all the time, which has always been a weak point in the various Linux GUI interfaces. The second you make a user go to a command prompt, you've scared off millions of less tech savvy end users.

Mac OS seems to get this right, as I almost never have to drop to the UNIX command line to fix something.
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,498
144
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I have no idea how Desktops do their automounting, but I'm pretty sure its not tuned from command line. Its all loathsome clickety clack GUI crap from my viewpoint.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
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I think that this is kind of the OP's point. He doesn't want to have to drop to the command line to fix things all the time, which has always been a weak point in the various Linux GUI interfaces.

It is also a strong point when you want to force configurations and then have them just work.

Personally I would mount the storage via fstab and then use symlinks for the games. That is easier than trying to change default install paths.
 

zoiks

Lifer
Jan 13, 2000
11,787
3
81
It is also a strong point when you want to force configurations and then have them just work.

Personally I would mount the storage via fstab and then use symlinks for the games. That is easier than trying to change default install paths.

Yep. That's what I did a long time ago. In fact all my applications are on a separate storage with symlinks. I routinely upgrade to newer linux distros on different ssd's on my machine and I'm able to launch/use my applications/games without any trouble.
I got tired of that microsoft registry bullshit a long time ago. Glad that more and more games are coming to Linux. Soon I won't have a reason to start Windows.
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
136
I think that this is kind of the OP's point. He doesn't want to have to drop to the command line to fix things all the time, which has always been a weak point in the various Linux GUI interfaces. The second you make a user go to a command prompt, you've scared off millions of less tech savvy end users.

Mac OS seems to get this right, as I almost never have to drop to the UNIX command line to fix something.

A large issue for a beginner as myself is terminology - the number of terms used in this simple thread of which I have no knowledge of is already large.

An example here is "mount" - I have an idea what this means, but I could be wrong.
I think what I'm being told is that "Unix, by default, doesn't allow executables to run from any mounted drives."
 

ControlD

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2005
5,440
44
91
A large issue for a beginner as myself is terminology - the number of terms used in this simple thread of which I have no knowledge of is already large.

An example here is "mount" - I have an idea what this means, but I could be wrong.
I think what I'm being told is that "Unix, by default, doesn't allow executables to run from any mounted drives."

Almost, but not quite. Your hard drive that Linux is installed on is also a mounted file system. You can run executables from several areas of that mounted file system. I believe in this case it is more due to your using removable media. In this case, the default behavior (which is also distribution specific) for such media is to not allow execute permissions for security reasons.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
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Almost, but not quite. Your hard drive that Linux is installed on is also a mounted file system. You can run executables from several areas of that mounted file system. I believe in this case it is more due to your using removable media. In this case, the default behavior (which is also distribution specific) for such media is to not allow execute permissions for security reasons.

Exactly.

So the best solution (IMHO) is to permanently mount the removable card via fstab:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Fstab
 

agfkfhahddhdn

Senior member
Dec 14, 2003
318
2
81
The command line is scary when you're brand new, but it's extremely powerful, and you can find pretty much any command you need to run via Google (or just by asking in places like this). I use Linux so intermittently that I always forget various commands and have to look them up anyway. That said, Linux as an every day desktop OS still has some glaring flaws that some of its proponents are too willing to overlook. Installing packages, for example, is incredibly easy, but installing different sources for packages is much more difficult (as you've discovered). Installing something like Spotify is a huge pain because it's not in any approved source (or at least wasn't when I was trying it).
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
136
So, if I understand those instructions ( and I might now ), I'm creating a folder which will be the "mount point".

I have an SD card in my notebook, and it shows up as
/media/removable/SDCARD

So, I mkdir'd a folder in it called 'mount'.

sudo 'blkid' listed all paritions.
/dev/sdc1 was the label for the partition.

So, I edited my /etc/fstab file to this:
/dev/sdc1 /media/removable/SDCARD/mount auto exec 0 0

When I run
sudo mount -a

I get
mount: Too many levels of symbolic links

I see a few results that suggest i don't "chown" the folder, so I
/media/removable/SDCARD: chown username mount

Still fails.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
what file system is the card formated as? If you as using Ext4 the correct line in the Fstab would be:

/dev/sdc1 /media/removable/SDCARD/mount ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1

I would use ext4, it works well for SDCARDS with those options. To format it to that:

sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdc1
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,498
144
106
I have an SD card in my notebook, and it shows up as
/media/removable/SDCARD

So, I edited my /etc/fstab file to this:
/dev/sdc1 /media/removable/SDCARD/mount

Still fails.
Summary:
Something automounts your card to /media/removable/SDCARD
Then you mount the same card to /media/removable/SDCARD/mount
Fail

It's like saying that the entire contents of C:\ is in C:\Users. Since C:\ has 'Users' and 'Windows', there will be C:\Users\Users and C:\Users\Windows.

Invent some other currently unused path. Say /mnt/steamcard
mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/steamcard
Even if something would still mount the card in /media/removable/SDCARD/mount, it should not matter that much.

There is a tiny problem with static fstab mounts: system probably loves to see the /dev/sdc1 during boot. Booting without card can cause panic (unless Ubuntu is smarter than some of its brethren).

Auto-mounter, automount, autofs, etc is a separate service that can be told that IF the user attempts to access something in /foo/bar, THEN mount volume X to /foo/bar (and unmount, "eject", when unused). Lacking card during boot is then no error.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
There is a tiny problem with static fstab mounts: system probably loves to see the /dev/sdc1 during boot. Booting without card can cause panic (unless Ubuntu is smarter than some of its brethren).

It will warn you, then let you hit a key to continue boot.
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
136
Not at the machine now, but you've laid out two (obvious?) issues.
The card isn't formatted correctly and I'm mounting it incorrectly.
I'll update this later.
Thanks guys.

what file system is the card formated as? If you as using Ext4 the correct line in the Fstab would be:

/dev/sdc1 /media/removable/SDCARD/mount ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1

I would use ext4, it works well for SDCARDS with those options. To format it to that:

sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdc1

Summary:
Something automounts your card to /media/removable/SDCARD
Then you mount the same card to /media/removable/SDCARD/mount
Fail

It's like saying that the entire contents of C:\ is in C:\Users. Since C:\ has 'Users' and 'Windows', there will be C:\Users\Users and C:\Users\Windows.

Invent some other currently unused path. Say /mnt/steamcard
mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/steamcard
Even if something would still mount the card in /media/removable/SDCARD/mount, it should not matter that much.

There is a tiny problem with static fstab mounts: system probably loves to see the /dev/sdc1 during boot. Booting without card can cause panic (unless Ubuntu is smarter than some of its brethren).

Auto-mounter, automount, autofs, etc is a separate service that can be told that IF the user attempts to access something in /foo/bar, THEN mount volume X to /foo/bar (and unmount, "eject", when unused). Lacking card during boot is then no error.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,603
9
81
You know why you dont last a day OP? Because linux sucks :colbert:

Its harsh but true and it remains a disjointed shambles in some areas. The problem is nobody is working on making it any easier, people are creating new distros and new pretty desktop environments with the same problems every other distro has.

Basically if you want to do anything semi technical that was easy on windows you're in for a tough time! When people say linux isnt windows what they mean is linux isnt easy. The guides ive looked at are all either far too simple (this is the mouse, this is the keyboard durrrr) or far too complex or extremely outdated. If there were one big linux wiki with all the important linux programs and wtf they do it would help. Archwiki is okay, bit complex but so is arch so makes sense I guess.

With that said it is getting better all the time... slowly. Ive stuck with it on my server the past 4-5 months. Im hoping the extra interest in gaming on linux from valve and cryteks cryengine running on linux gives it a much needed boost in the user experience department. It installs easily, internet works easily (on most distros), installing essentials like browsers/office software is easy enough. But if you want to share files, auto mount drives, sort out remote access, semi technical stuff like that is a PITA.
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,498
144
106
If you claim that GNU/Linux sucks because anything semi technical isn't easy on it, then I claim that Windows sucks because anything semi technical isn't easy on it. We have simply learned to use different systems.


@Mike: I forgot to mention:
Having "/dev/sdc1" in the mount rule is error-prone. Device names like that can change. You want to identify the filesystem with some more permanent identifier. Most filesystems (can) have "UUID" and/or "LABEL". blkid should show them.

See chapter "The device indication" in http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/en/man8/mount.8.html
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
If you claim that GNU/Linux sucks because anything semi technical isn't easy on it, then I claim that Windows sucks because anything semi technical isn't easy on it. We have simply learned to use different systems.


@Mike: I forgot to mention:
Having "/dev/sdc1" in the mount rule is error-prone. Device names like that can change. You want to identify the filesystem with some more permanent identifier. Most filesystems (can) have "UUID" and/or "LABEL". blkid should show them.

See chapter "The device indication" in http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/en/man8/mount.8.html

Completely agree with this, UUID is better if possible. I always use UUID for FSTAB mounts, but only after I confirm the line works with the /dev/ mount.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
It installs easily, internet works easily (on most distros), installing essentials like browsers/office software is easy enough.

And it has been that way since 2006. For a basic user Linux has been "there" for years. Heck Chrome OS is the commercial proof of success in that market.

It is not the best desktop OS for more advanced users, but it doesn't need to be as that market is dying anyway. Like many *nix fans I switched to OSX on my primary desktop back in 2006 so I don't even use it like that anymore. Desktop OSes are the old battlefield, and many in Linux (like Ubuntu) have quit running that race as much and are focusing on the next frontier of computing (mobile).

But Linux still has a real place in everyone's lives. In my own house I have six Linux systems running 24/7- my two Unraid servers and my four Xbmcbuntu HTPCs. I love Linux on these because I get an appliance-level stability and ease of management (via SSH).

That is what is great about the OS- you can mold it to your own needs!
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,044
543
136
I lasted 2 days.
I've probably spent, in total, 4-6 hours trying to install a game on an external USB hard disk and failed.
I appreciate all the help here. Maybe I'll try again another day.
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
6,657
2,042
146
Sounds like you tried to do the one thing you really can't do on Linux. Gaming.
On top of that you tried to install it to a usb HDD. yikes...

You really should re-consider running Linux. For everyday computing it really is a delight to use. Every time you use the terminal to get something simple done like getting your OS to recognize Fat32 when you slip a sd card in your card reader....Ah well it really does bring a smile to your face.