I want to mess around with Linux again, recommendations for a noob?

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lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
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Dunno. I assume this is from Windows. Give Yumi a try...


I only mention this cause I sorta recently used it in wine to make a multiboot drive. I couldn't find a native tool to do it at the time, but this worked. Not sure it would fix your problem though.
 
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Hotrod2go

Senior member
Nov 17, 2021
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Dunno. I assume this is from Windows. Give Yumi a try...


I only mention this cause I sorta recently used it in wine to make a multiboot drive. I couldn't find a native tool to do it at the time, but this worked. Not sure it would fix your problem though.
Yep, setting it up in windows then installing to permanent storage on another system.
Thanks for the heads up with that link. I tried it, but same problem again. Btw, I'm looking to install Qubes R4.1.0 with it, so think there is something going on with that particular distro. But going to try another distro like openSUSE for the time being.

Update: I can't believe how useless these open source tools are for putting a bootable .iso file on to a USB drive! Even openSUSE is not seen by either Rufus (just updated to v3.18) & Yumo 2.0.9.4. No wonder folks like using Windows!
Lucky I have some DVDs with bootable linux distros on them already!

Quick note; the openSUSE for Leap version installation system is FANTASTIC & easy to use. Very well put together!
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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For those wanting snappy performance on old or limited systems a small distro is the answer.

Puppy and Fat Dog are small enough to run entirely in RAM which makes them so very fast, like a poor man's SSD. I'm not at all sure why other distributions are so huge. There must be something better in those huge distros but I'll be darned if I know what it is.
 

Triloby

Senior member
Mar 18, 2016
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There's also balenaEtcher if you want an alternative to Rufus and Yumi. It's available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I've used it to make bootable USB drives of several Linux distros and it works perfectly fine for me.

Give it a try if Rufus or YUMI doesn't seem to work for you.


For those wanting snappy performance on old or limited systems a small distro is the answer.

Puppy and Fat Dog are small enough to run entirely in RAM which makes them so very fast, like a poor man's SSD. I'm not at all sure why other distributions are so huge. There must be something better in those huge distros but I'll be darned if I know what it is.

Most distros include a bunch of software (and probably certain dependencies, multimedia codecs, etc.) preinstalled by default like LibreOffice, Okular, Firefox, etc. Maybe because they want to expose more people to FOSS software, or to make it more convenient for users to not have to waste time installing those apps themselves. I don't really know lol
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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Fat Dog includes VLC which can play just about anything, there is SeaMonkey instead of Firefox, however Firefox is easily available in the package manager and yep Libre Office is in there too. What is Okular?
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,283
7,436
126
Okular is a pdf viewer. I haven't tried them in awhile, but my experience with light distros is they're somewhat "unfriendly" for casual users that are more knowledgeable than absolute dummies. Those users are adept enough to want to change things, but light distros tend to be more hands on with the changing, and have fewer helpers and polish. There's also the support question. If you're running ubuntu, you've got it made getting your question answered. You're more on your own with puppy, never mind the various ultralights that are out there.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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... never mind the various ultralights that are out there.

I wouldn't recommend any of the ultralight distributions because they are as Puppy is assumed to be, lacking in features. However Fat Dog I'd not trying so hard to be so small. It includes a pretty fantastic number of apps with more still in the package 📦 manager. I'm sure it will read a PDF although I'm not sure which exact program it would use to do so.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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In fact I've found some of the bigger distros lacking, presumably because of concerns with licensing/legal issues.
 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,713
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Yep, setting it up in windows then installing to permanent storage on another system.
Thanks for the heads up with that link. I tried it, but same problem again. Btw, I'm looking to install Qubes R4.1.0 with it, so think there is something going on with that particular distro. But going to try another distro like openSUSE for the time being.

Update: I can't believe how useless these open source tools are for putting a bootable .iso file on to a USB drive! Even openSUSE is not seen by either Rufus (just updated to v3.18) & Yumo 2.0.9.4. No wonder folks like using Windows!
Lucky I have some DVDs with bootable linux distros on them already!

Quick note; the openSUSE for Leap version installation system is FANTASTIC & easy to use. Very well put together!
I'm pretty sure the only tool necessary is dd.

 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,524
244
106
There's also balenaEtcher if you want an alternative to Rufus and Yumi. It's available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I've used it to make bootable USB drives of several Linux distros and it works perfectly fine for me.

Give it a try if Rufus or YUMI doesn't seem to work for you.
I second the use of Etcher for making a bookable USB stick. Calling it balenaetcher threw me off for a bit. Didn't remember the Balena part...

Worked perfect for me. Easy to use no matter what you call it.

Beats typing into the CLI for sure.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,271
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There's only really a few options when it comes to Linux and it's mostly related to picking your core system and the commands you're comfortable with.

Debian flavors are more common than some of the others due to the community / ease of answers.

There's 2 major bases though DEB or RPM for handling the packages / installables. These are the equiv of the EXE in Windows. DEB makes it simple if you're using the GUI it's point / click / done.

RPM's (at least in the past) were a bit more involved Looking at the install guide now though it's pretty much the same as using dpkg on DEB based systems. The bigger / memorable issue came to the install though being a bit more complicated but, looking now it's a lot like Ubuntu.

I guess things have changed considerably since I started playing with Linux back when you practically needed to be certified to keep it working. Going from a hobby / casual user to using it daily can be daunting at first. Once you figure out what's under the hood though it gets easier. The limitations for most though is finding options for Windows software alternatives. A lot of vendors still don't make Linux versions for some reason.

Linux does run the internet though behind the scenes. I've encountered it on so many different types of systems with the biggest names in the networking business. They take it and put their custom overlay on top for branding but, if you crack through the façade it's all the same stuff.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
15,332
7,787
136
Ugh. Kubuntu is turning into something of a disaster. I love KDE, but dumb stuff keeps happening. Was having trouble getting Rsync working with a remote NFS share, despite trying several solutions given by what have so far been reliable sites. Installed Wine 7.0 for a couple of Windows Apps I use often. Kindly was one of them - but it turns out that only an older version of the Kindle PC software works with Wine, with a bunch of config changes. Finding a trustworthy site to download past versions of Kindle is, uh, not so easy. Then, after a small 'security' update and reboot - my entire network stack and interfaces seem gone. So far, not luck getting it back, haven't even been able to identify the root cause. Plus, a few bozos say 'sudo apt install somenetworkdebugger' uh, I have NO network - duh. Finally, reading up on some KDE experts, they say Kubuntu is sh*t - lol!

Not sure what I'm going to do. 3 weeks of setup down the tubes atm. Next time, I get Rsync working FIRST! Starting to think of just buying VM Ware Workstation, really good performance for the 30 trial I did, and I can just takes snapshots or clones and toss them over onto my NAS.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,271
1,085
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@Ajay

What kind of NIC are you using?

I've had instances of mine not working w/ certain kernel releases. I have an RTL that needed to be blacklisted to use the correct driver on my ADL board. I also have an Aquantia based NIC that didn't like certain releases but now seems resolved using 5.17.x

I always keep a livecd boot USB handy for making changes and a txt doc on the OS drive with shortcut commands to revert things when they don't go right. It was so common with 5.15 / 5.16 it just made sense to put it there. Also, I have had instances of downloading to my phone, copying to the flash drive, and putting on the PC. Always give yourself options.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,728
559
126
Mint has this thing called TimeShift that has saved me a couple times and made me more aggressive with changes. It saved me from a black screen after nvidia driver update and the time I somehow managed to create a virt-manager passthrough XML config that hosed the whole machine (still can't figure that one out).
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
15,332
7,787
136
@Ajay

What kind of NIC are you using?

I've had instances of mine not working w/ certain kernel releases. I have an RTL that needed to be blacklisted to use the correct driver on my ADL board. I also have an Aquantia based NIC that didn't like certain releases but now seems resolved using 5.17.x

I always keep a livecd boot USB handy for making changes and a txt doc on the OS drive with shortcut commands to revert things when they don't go right. It was so common with 5.15 / 5.16 it just made sense to put it there. Also, I have had instances of downloading to my phone, copying to the flash drive, and putting on the PC. Always give yourself options.
Yeah, realtek NIC. Stupid MSI. Wireless/Bluetooth is Intel, but RealTek for the NIC. I think that there is a boot up option in Grub to select the older kernel, I'll try that.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,271
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@Ajay

Older kernel defeats the patches implemented in newer releases.

If you blacklist the offending module it will search for a different one if available and use it instead and fixes the issue.

For instance by default mine wants to use the rtl8168 module which doesn't work with the 2.5GE port but the rtl8169 does. I add the 8168 to be blacklisted and reboot and the port comes up. If I'm recovering from a bad update with the livecd the port is down since the livecd uses the non working module by default.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
15,332
7,787
136
@Ajay

Older kernel defeats the patches implemented in newer releases.

If you blacklist the offending module it will search for a different one if available and use it instead and fixes the issue.

For instance by default mine wants to use the rtl8168 module which doesn't work with the 2.5GE port but the rtl8169 does. I add the 8168 to be blacklisted and reboot and the port comes up. If I'm recovering from a bad update with the livecd the port is down since the livecd uses the non working module by default.
Not exceptionally clear for a newbie, but thanks. Turns out that selecting additional options from the grub menu gives me alternative kernels AND recovery modes. So I went back one kernel rev, enabled networking and did a package update. Then zi rebooted into the default (current kernel) and all was fine again! Lol! So simple.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
15,332
7,787
136
Eh, not simple. Came back, couldn't figure out why it kept happening. Kind of got sick of dual booting, so I bought VMware Workstation Pro 16. Have enough CPU power and RAM to run both Windows and Linux at the same time right now. Switched to Debian KDE; screw Kubuntu. Some basic KDE settings are different of missing - getting it together bit by bit.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,271
1,085
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Ubuntu seems to be more comprehensive of a build to get things working. From there you can switch the skin to your liking from the apt repo's. Easier to get a working system and then focus on the overlay.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
15,332
7,787
136
From what I've read, Debian is just a more solid, reliable distro - hence my choice. My long term goal was to run Linux as my main OS and run Windows under KVM for Winders specific apps. So, for now, I'm just doing the opposite. I'll just have to see how things go.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
17,395
8,848
136
Despite my earlier comments about Debian and usability, after Ajay casually mentioned switching to Debian I thought I'd give it another try.

One significant reason IMO not to go for Ubuntu derivatives this days is the snap packaging for apps. I simply cannot believe that Chromium when run natively on my PC off an SSD is slower to start than Chromium installed in a Debian VM on my machine when the VM is being hosted on a 5400RPM hard drive. The mind freaking boggles. And no, it has nothing to do with my Chromium setup, it's always been this slow.

Another reason why I'm thinking of switching to Debian is because MTP has suddenly stopped working on my Kubuntu install.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,271
1,085
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snap packaging
I disable / remove / purge and banish SNAP to HELL. I don't trust it nor do I like it in how it runs things.

There's just something about snap vs normal apt packages that doesn't sit right.

So, i ordered a new laptop and scavenged one of my 2 SN850's from my server to use as the Gen 4 on the new laptop. Well, Linux balked at switching drive ID's and required some intervention to get it working again from emergency mode / initramfs / livecd prompts / procedures. LCD worked easiest to patch things up with changing the UUID's in fstab / update the kernel again / change the network NIC names as they change when you change PCI device counts. Spent a good half hour swapping drives around / fixing the issue. Just goes to show rsync backups don't quite work 100% when moving things around but, less complicated than a reinstall / reconfigure everything from scratch.