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Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 02 Jul 2019, 10:09
by Kellemora
I agree Yogi - I jumped over to a gamers website mentioned on one of the cluster websites to see what they had to say.
A Cluster only has a single purpose, not beneficial for much of anything, hi hi.
If you tried to use one, it would be slower than molasses in the dead of winter, not faster, hi hi.

About ten or so years ago, I went to a couple of Linux LUG meetings.
One guy there had built a simple metal rack to hold a dozen internal HDs, two stacks of six.
He had three black boxes with four drives plugged into each black box, this was on top of the tower.
And underneath the tower he had three old computer power supplies, painted black.
And on the back a stack of exhaust fans, also from computers.
A wire from each of the three black boxes plugged into a loose USB hub which plugged into a computer.
Somehow he had these set up in some type of RAID array, something I was unfamiliar with at the time.
But I don't remember if he said all 12 HDs made the array, or if only 6 did and the other 6 were a backup.
The drives themselves I think were 250 gig drives, but I'm not sure about that. He did brag about having over 2 terrabytes of storage. Which back then was impossible, I thought, because machines could only recognize a limited amount of storage.
In any case, he was really proud of it, and it didn't look half bad either.

At another meeting of that same group, two guys working together had converted a metal filing cabinet into a larger server computer system. Although it had four separate motherboards, they were independent of each other, not a cluster. Each computer had four HDs associated with it, and those were mounted side by side right under the mobo.
So you had a mobo, 4 drives under it, another mobo under that with 4 drives under it, etc.
None of the wiring was fancy like you see in server farms, and the bottom of the cabinet had doors that were closed, and probably where the power supplies were at.
I don't remember what they said they built it for, but they said something about the ability of taking on something like 80 more clients. Which they were elated about, hi hi.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 02 Jul 2019, 16:29
by yogi
The Silver Yogi was built for Windows 7. It was assembled a few days before Microsoft's official release and the guy who put it together for me had copies of the yet to be released new OS from Microsoft. I brought it home to my newly remodeled office the day Windows 7 was put into the wild and it has never been retired since. The OS in this ASUS behemoth is the exact same Windows 7 that lived in the Silver Yogi for so many years. As of January 20, 2020, Microsoft will pull life support for this OS, the best they ever built in my opinion. After that it will be a zombie until I can decide what will be the default system in this tower. I don't think I'll actually remove it when I make that decision. It may sit unused on a drive of its own until towers and OS's become obsolete, or until I personally become obsolete. I ran Windows 98 that way for many years.

There are four slots for hard drives in the ASUS tower; three of them are occupied. The fourth slot probably will be the place I put the new default OS. In the meantime I installed a copy of a GNU Linux called Trisquel. I swear that if the wallpaper didn't say Linux (my choice there), it could be mistaken for some version of Windows. It made me realize how far desktop environments have progressed when I had to take three steps back to navigate through Trisquel. I think it works just fine, but I'm lost when it comes to finding things. There is no search box to query and start up a program. I have to use the popup menu in the lower left corner of the desktop to browse for what I want. It's a bit like Cinnamon, but not as pretty. I had this same problem when I tried KDE desktops. They were simply too retro for my taste and nothing was where it should have been. I can say this, however, Trisquel is probably the fastest of all the Linux distros I've tried lately. It's nice in that regard, but I can't see myself using it every day.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 03 Jul 2019, 11:04
by Kellemora
I saw a list the other day of over a hundred different Linux or BSD style Distro's, don't remember if it was one of your links or one on Quora. I only visit Quora if I get an email on a topic or group of keywords I have set up over there.

I tried several a number of years ago, and most were either built on Debian, Ubuntu, or BSD, not so many on RedHat.
I didn't really like the way BSD did things, so normally looked at Distro's built on top of Debian.
I like Linux Mint Mate much better than Cinnamon. But as you discovered, Mint does not play well with UEFI.

I don't remember the name anymore, but when I as active in trying out Linux Distro's and subscribed to a website about them, some of the members started raving about one of the new Distro's.
I installed it, but didn't see what they found so great about it. I thought it was awkward, but still gave it a run for its money, used it daily for about a month. There was just so much it couldn't do, and the logic behind where they put things was strange also. They only connected to their own repository, and most of the programs I normally use were not a part of it. Then when I did add a repository that had them, I found they wouldn't work right on that Distro.

I'll tell you, when I first started using Linux the second time, it had become even more confusing than it was back when RedHat was free. I didn't know much at all about Linux but figured since RedHat was king, I used the free version CentOS. It used RPM, which for me was the downfall of trying to use CentOS. Nearly everything you had to do yourself.
I almost quit on Linux again, until I tried Ubuntu, and learned there truly was a turnkey system for dumb folks like myself.
Once I got familiar with Ubuntu, I tried other flavors of Ubuntu, and is how I ended up playing with Edubuntu for a short time.
When I got my next computer, I figured since Ubuntu was built on top of Debian, I would go with Debian so I could try all the other distro's that ran on top of it easier. Such is not really the case, but I had learned enough to be able to get Debian up and running the way I wanted it to run, and have been using that way ever since.
Nearly everything for Mint or Ubuntu will run on Debian without problems, and the gDebi package installer lets you know if there are any conflicts that might not make it work so you can abort the install.

There are so many features about Linux Mint I do like, but it won't install on all of my machines.
I keep Linux Mint running on my KVM 2 port so do use it. I check it every day to see if they had an upgrade.
If so, after running the upgrade on there, I jump over to the Silver Yogi on KVM 4 and open a terminal and upgrade Debian. Using LInux Mint is about the only way I know instantly if there is an upgrade to install. Debian doesn't seem to have a program that lets me know, or if they do I've not found it.

I've also played with Puppy Linux, and a few other lightweights, but they are not for me. Mainly because some of the things I use my computer for simply don't work on the light Distro's.

Oh, I've been trying out a few of the lesser known web browsers that work on Linux.
Opera works great, but Vivaldi hangs up way to often. A new one called Brave will become fee based if enough donations are not forthcoming. But it does look good and seems to run OK. No ads for sure, hi hi. It is interesting how they handle websites that demand their ads be shown. They have a pool that will tip websites you visit most often with a little revenue from the pool. The pool of course is funded from your own wallet that you replenish.
For now, I'll keep using Chrome because it has features I almost can't live without, and Firefox don't have them.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 03 Jul 2019, 12:11
by yogi
The Windows environment keeps getting better and better -- in terms of what Windows does best anyway. For a very long time Microsoft went through a lot of trouble to make it's OS's backward compatible. But, alas, you can only do so much with 16 bits and even they had to move on. What I'm getting at is that Windows is relatively stable in architecture. When they hurriedly jumped into Windows 8.x, all that changed. They had to do it in order to stay in the mobile device marketplace. None of the above is true for Linux. There is no giant corporation behind Linux promoting an agenda, and some folks see that as an advantage. Free and open source means developers feel Linux is free to be bastardized. Thus we end up with an infinite variety of OS's that can't even come up with a standard desktop. Again, there are people who thrive on that kind of diversity. Guys like me who just want things to work go nuts when some versions of Ubuntu have the 'X' to close the window in focus on the left side while others have it on the right side. :rolleyes:

I need a go-to computer that I can rely on to do what I expect it to do. That's going to be the difficult part when us Windows 7 geeks get put out to pasture. Yes, Win7 has it's quirks, but I don't have to learn what they are. Windows 10 is looking good, but only if you are doing what I'm doing with their beta testing. I expect the unexpected. That's what beta is all about. But the ordinary folks like yourself (your Frau) are being victimized by the flaws built into what is termed as their stable release. It's not really stable, and Microsoft knows it. My preview editions are not always stable either, but that's why I am testing them. I like that unpredictability. When the time comes for me to do something serious, however, it's Windows 7, hands down. I've not yet found anything in Linux that is comparable. Ubuntu LTS used to be close and reliable, but even they can't deal with my video cards. So, it looks as if for the foreseeable future, it's I'll be going down with the Windows 7 ship. :crazy:

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 04 Jul 2019, 12:23
by Kellemora
When you buy a Ford, you don't try to use parts made for Chevy on them.
Same holds true for parts for Windows computers, those parts won't necessarily work on Linux machines.

If you bought a graphics card designed for Linux ONLY, then you would complain it doesn't work on Windows.
And therein is the Key to having a great running machine, whether it be Windows or Linux, you buy what is compatible with it. There's a lot of hardware that does not work on MACs either.

For the things I do, Debian works much better than Windows and a whole lot easier too!
What you do is most likely more suited for the Windows environment.

At least on Linux, you can pick what desktop you want, and how you want it organized.
Windows is only just beginning to add some of those features.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 04 Jul 2019, 14:02
by yogi
It doesn't take much exposure to see the different approaches to computing taken by the major OS developers. To some extent you are correct to say that an OS goes hand in hand with the hardware it is run on. For example, the only reason Apple can brag about its performance is due to the fact that its OS is designed to work only on it's brand of hardware. The complete package of hardware and software is under Apple's control.

Windows took a different approach and didn't limit itself to specific hardware. After all was said and done, Micorsoft was, is, and always will be a software company. It has failed miserably when it attempted to lock in hardware too. I will say, however, that some very good reports are coming out of the wilds regarding their Surface Pro. Windows can hardly be cited as being open sourced but it is open for any and every developer that wants to jump onto the cash bandwagon. The engineers in Redmond went out of their way to adjust their OS for maximum compatibility with software and hardware. As we know, it didn't always work out that way, but it does show a much different intent than what was going on over at Cupertino, CA.

Linux took a third approach to OS development. Their FOSS philosophy embraced the concept of openness as well as being cost free to the consumer. This was more of a slap in the face to the existing norms than it was innovative, but many people liked the idea of software being open sourced.

Android, and the plethora of mobile device operating systems seems to be a hybrid of them all. The greatest attraction to that line of OS's is that developers of any skill level can cash in on the app development aspects. This ends up giving the consumer a huge variety of software that works on any brand of mobile device which is reminiscent of what Windows attempts to do. While Android isn't exactly free and open, it is accessible enough to adapt to a wide variety of hardware at no or low cost.

I'm not unique because I choose to use nVIdia hardware in my computer configuration. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of video card manufacturers. The market nVidia is pursuing is mostly resident in the Micorsoft Windows world of OS's. Linux developers are between a rock an a hard spot when it comes to adapting to the chaos in the graphics card world because some of the circuitry is not intended to be free and open source. It so happens that one of those is very popular, the nVidia brand. There have been efforts by the Linux development community to live side by side with nVidia, and I'd not be the first one to congratulate them for doing so. I understand how and why the problems I'm seeing with Linux originated. I won't get into UEFI here,, but that's another area that Linux apparently needs to get more involved with. If they are intent on killing giants, they will have to find a better way to do it.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 05 Jul 2019, 09:12
by Kellemora
Before we get started, I forgot to tell you this a couple of days ago.
It is taking anywhere from 30 seconds to over a minute for pages to load here on bfchat.
I figure since no one else is on now, it gets rolled way back on the access queue of your provider.
But it could be something else too you may want to check into.

From the viewpoint of hardware manufacturers, they are going to design their equipment to work with what OS is the most prominent in the marketplace, which of course is Windows.
Most of the initial hardware for computers were simple devices that worked on an Apple serial port.
I wonder if Mickey$oft would have included a serial port on their computers, had it not been for hardware manufacturers jumping on the Apple bandwagon first. Apple was nearly two years ahead of Mickey$oft.
But Mickey$oft had a better marketing plan and more financial supporters behind them than did Apple.

Over my early years, I often found it very hard to find things that worked with my Apple computers, once Mickey$oft became dominant. Most of the hardware manufacturers jumped on their train.
We see the same thing today with companies like Amazon. For a small company to make it, they almost always have to cow-toe to Amazon distribution to get recognized.

Almost all of my machines have had Nvidea cards in them, or on-board graphics by Nvidea. And they all work just fine with Linux. I'm sure most of the specialized Nvidea cards are made to cater to Windows users, so have no drivers for Linux based systems, which by the way, in many cases, will also knock out MAC users too.

If I really wanted a high-end graphics card for my computer, I would buy one I know is made for Linux.
And if I use a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux, I would make sure the one I buy is made to work with both.
That solves the problem from the git-go!

Not too many people expect Delco parts to work in place of MoPar parts. Same difference!

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 05 Jul 2019, 15:42
by yogi
Bill Gates offered to go into partnership with Jobs and Wasniak early on in the game. They refused to license their OS so that outside developers could build boards and software that work with their systems. This was a deliberate marketing choice and designed to keep things friendly for the average everyday user. Well, you know Apple almost went out of business because of that strategy. It was only due to the benevolence of Bill Gates (again) that Apple made it through dire straits and changed their business plan, somewhat. Microsoft knew what they had and was intent on fully exploring the entire marketplace by allowing any developer and his brother access. While Apple may have had a superior product, they refused to sell it to just anybody.

nVidia does not exclude anybody from using their hardware. Their drivers work well in every Linux system I've tested. It is Linux who chooses not to support nVidia, not the other way around. The choice was made to keep in the spirit of Free And Open Source, which nVidia is not. The default neavou graphics driver included with the Linux kernel crashes when it tries to use the advanced technology developed by nVidia. I find it odd that Linux would not be able to come up with a compatible driver while Microsoft does. Like Apple with their idea of limited licensing, Linux and it's FOSS philosophy is shooting themselves in the foot.

.And, by the way, thank you for alerting me to the slow site response. It's been going on for a few weeks now and I have in fact put in a trouble ticket. By the time they got around to reading the ticket the problem went away. It is a recurring issue. In the past this slow down would occur just before midnight. These days it seems to be happening around lunch time. Several years ago when the same problem appeared we ended up migrating to a new server. One of the other web sites on this shared server was doing something to hog CPU cycles. Apparently it was perfectly legal and within the TOS so that I had to deal with it or move. The only permanent solution would be to get a static IP setup. That would mean a lot more money for our own server, and while I enjoy your company very much, I don't think that kind of expense would be in my budget. I'll get in touch with tech support again and see what can be done. They will send me to marketing to choose some other plan, or perhaps move again to a yet not fully occupied shared server. Truth is with just the two of us, I probably could host this place on the ASUS tower. LOL

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 06 Jul 2019, 10:52
by Kellemora
Now wait one minute here Yogi. Microsoft NEVER disclosed much of anything to software or hardware developers. What they did was provide DOORS for developers, and gave what access codes were in use so they could make their software or hardware work on Windows machines. Microsoft still controlled what data went where, and the outside developers had to write their code in such a way it was in full compliance with what Microsoft told them how to do it.

The point here is Microsoft did provide access points to developers, where Apple did not.
Also, for newly invented hardware, which required some changes to Windows to function, it was the hardware manufacturer who requested the types of changes required. Microsoft would study the situation, come up with own solution and way they wanted to handle the new programming, and then told the vendor how the data must be present for their new feature to work with their hardware. So Microsoft was always in control of their ports and doors, and if a developer did not know the exact codes to use to make their software work, it simply would not install.

Now things have changed a little over the years, but not by much from what I've heard from other developers comments.
Microsoft now publishes its access points and parameters, so any developer can get their programs to work on Windows. But it is still Microsoft controlling those parameters, not the developers.

Servers and Hosts...
A couple of years ago when we were talking about servers on our own computers, I was tooling around Comcasts website packages. I only have a personal account on Comcast, where my websites used to be hosted until they discontinued personal website. In any case, if you are on Comcast for Internet access, this does not mean you can direct your visitors to your own server computer through them, without buying a commercial account with them, even if they are not the ones doing the hosting.

After Comcast shut off all of us personal web site users, I hunted around, asked tons of folks, including you, about what host I should look at. Most of those who responded to me told me a list of those not to use, and they didn't like who they were with either. But they told me the things I should look for, even if I didn't need it at the time.

I've been with 1&1 ever since. I didn't take their very cheapest package, even though that was all I've every really needed, so far. I went up one level to get their 1&1 Unlimited Plus account for 120 bucks a year, first year was free or only a dollar.
I recently checked into my contract, because it always says Expires On. But the contract does not expire if you pay for the next year before the expiration date. I was worried about this because 1&1 merged with Ionos, which was higher priced than 1&1 and didn't have the same features.
For my 9.99 per month, you won't believe what all I get.
I use my own domain name, but can have 2 through them included in that price.
But dig this:
Subdomains - UNLIMITED
Webspace - UNLIMITED (but pages must be accessible on-line to prevent using space merely for storage)
Unlimited Traffic - YES
MySQL databases - UNLIMITED
FTP accounts - UNLIMITED
SSH accounts - 1
Python - YES
Perl - YES
Mailboxes - UNLIMITED
Etc. Etc. Etc. the list just keeps going.

It's only a shame I've not made use of all the features they have offered.
They also have WordPress for those who prefer WordPress.
And you can select whether you want to be on a Linux or Windows server. I'm on Linux.

I've sent a few people over to them, and if they use my account number to get a discount or not, I will get a small credit.
So far, everyone I've sent has been more than happy with their service. Although I've not sent anyone since they merged with Ionos, so don't know if all the packages I was offered are still available.
I do know my websites load fast, from any computer I've not connected to them with yet. Else the index page is stored in your computers cache I think so will load fast because of that too.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 06 Jul 2019, 13:57
by yogi
The company I am dealing with to host this website is charging me a dollar less per month than what you are paying. Almost all the features you mention are available to me as well. I am limited as far as the number of FTP accounts, but who needs more than one? The number of SQL databases is also limited to five. Other than those minor differences we are both dong the same thing with different companies.

To be honest I don't know what the rules are over at Spectrum, but I was able to host my own website on my own computer with Earthlink. I didn't do that for any length of time so that maybe they simply didn't figure out I was breaking any rules. LOL I don't think I'd have a problem with Spectrum, but I do think I'd have a problem with hackers if I did host my own site. I wouldn't even care if they only hacked the site. My concern would be them going beyond that and disrupting my LAN. I won't go broke paying the $9 a month for this website, but it is irritating that we must experience slowdowns.

Microsoft, and everybody else who does not offer open sourced software, uses what is called an API (Application Programming Interface) to give developers access to the innards of their OS's. Yes they maintain control over what that API allows them to do. It would be insane to do it any other way. Look at Linux as an example. Anybody can go so far as to change the kernel in Linux, which might suit some folks but gives up any possibility of having a stable and universal software environment. Developing apps for Linux is a nightmare at best and very restrictive (to certain distros) in the worst case. I know you like to put iOS and Android in the same basket as Linux, but both of them use API's to give developers access exactly the same as does Microsoft. Not so with Linux.

None of the above matters to us end users. It's just something developers have to deal with, and you know as well as I do that the dev's of this world follow the money.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 07 Jul 2019, 09:07
by Kellemora
I think LInus Torvolds controls what goes into the Linux Kernel.

If Linux is so hard to work with, why are the top 500 supercomputers running Linux, which is all command line.
And almost all server farms run Linux, but provide a few Windows server options for those who desire same.

Microsoft does have some nice programming tools which are preferred for some things.
But if I understand correctly, nearly every programmer writes their programs on Linux based computers, and/or installs Linux programs on Windows computers to do so. Mainly to make use of a couple of Windows programs which are more user friendly for programmers than the Linux counterparts.

As far as WHO they write the programs for initially is naturally for Windows users since Windows dominates the marketplace. That being said, I'm seeing it change drastically in current years. More apps are being created for cell phones, most of which are Linux Kernel based, than for any other use.

We've been through the reason why any OS running on Linux is called Linux, even though none of them are compatible with each other. I know of only one exception, and that is MAC, because they have their own Linux kernel not controlled by Linus Torvolds.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 08 Jul 2019, 11:05
by yogi
Linus Torvolds is a super hero. LOL Yes, he is the guy who invented the Linux kernel. It's a masterful piece of work in it's original form. You will have a hard time convincing me his work is the same kernel you find in super computers, Linux web hosting servers, mobile devices, or even the one in Purism. Linux supporters call this chaos flexibility and taut it's customization attributes. :rolleyes:

Microsoft, as well as everyone else who solicits third party software for their systems, offers what is called SDK's -- software development kits. The SDK's are used to create apps and are specifically designed to work natively with the targeted machine. So, if you're writing programs for Microsoft, you would use their SDK on the appropriate operating system. Can you install that Microsoft SDK on a Linux machine? mmm ... I dunno. I guess you can make a virtual machine inside of a Linux OS, but the development is done inside the Windows environment for obvious reasons. I'm sure Linux OS's also offer SDK's to their developers. If you want to write something to be part of the underlying (Windows) OS, then I can see a Linux workstation being a possible choice. But apps and general usage programs are most likely done in the appropriate SDK environment.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 14 Jul 2019, 15:18
by Kellemora
You're way over my head here Yogi.

All I can say is the top 500 supercomputers use the Linux Kernel because it is customize-able to the needs of those who build and use the supercomputers. They remove the parts they don't need to make it lighter and faster, and/or add something special for their unique system, while still keeping it light.
The whole point here is they CAN modify the Linux Kernel to suit their own specific needs.

I could pull hundreds of quotes as to why Linux is #1 choice. Here are a couple.

"Microsoft Azure runs entirely on the Windows kernel. It’s a stripped-down version of the OS that requires no reboots due to its support for live updating of drivers, live kernel patching, and no need for a core graphics stack. If you have a massive workload that needs thousands of CPUs and InfiniBand FDR-level of network speed/latency, Azure can absolutely do that nowadays. It won’t be as fast as a purpose-built supercomputer because of the Azure virtualization layer (i.e. your Windows or Linux nodes won’t be bare-metal), and unless you’re buying the really big VMs, you could be sharing physical hardware with others. Oh yeah, and then there’s the $$$. Maybe as a short-term project it’s faster to provision in Azure, but long-term? No way.
So…. there you go. Windows can do it, but it’s just not feasible."

“Why isn't Windows the most used OS on supercomputers? Isn't the NT kernel much more sophisticated than Linux?”

“Why isn't Windows the most used OS on supercomputers?”
"FAR too expensive per node. Even at $10 each, the cost is too much when there are now 10s of thousands to millions of nodes."

“Isn't the NT kernel much more sophisticated than Linux?”
"Nope. Microsoft WISHES it were. The NT kernel has too many security failures, and is too inflexible for the various supercomputer vendors. The other problem is that it is FAR too slow, and too complex."

"One point that you are not getting is that since Linux is open source, you can pull out all of the unnecessary stuff in the kernel and build that kernel with only the code necessary for that system. In fact, the custom kernel would be optimized to that particular supercomputer. Windows NT is closed source and proprietary, so to get something similar, you would need Microsoft’s assistance along with a lot of money. That’s if Microsoft is willing to help you. From a programmer’s perspective, remember that UNIX/Linux is designed to make things easier for the programmer; Windows is designed to make things easier for the end user."

No matter where I look and read about the differences between Windows and Linux, in the business world of supercomputers and server farms, Linux is what is normally used, due to flexibility. All the things you cannot do with Windows.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 14 Jul 2019, 19:10
by yogi
Read those quotes carefully. In just about every example the Linux kernel is stripped down, added to, and/or modified for a specific purpose. It's called customization flexibility. The truth is that it's designing a new kernel without starting from scratch; you and I would call it copy-and-paste. I've not looked into the supercomputer blurbs, but I'd be VERY surprised if any of them are stock Linux kernels, or even vaguely resembling what Linus Torvolds had in mind. This would be akin to the same fallacy often heard that Android and iOS are Linux. Maybe to some people it is so, but the departure from the original is too great for me to see it that way.

I could concede that Microsoft sucks at running servers; well, they did in the past. But, in the same breath I'd add that Linux sucks at running client side computers. It's apples and oranges and was designed from the onset to be that way. Giving the kernel away free is the only thing Linux can do that Widows cannot. As I've said often enough in the past, in my experience you get what you pay for.

I did not intend to snow you over with tech talk. The SDK's I am talking about are software packages given to developers so that they can write program code in the appropriate environment. The Bootstrap framework you used to create HTML for some of your web pages is a close approximation. SDK's go one step further and may include a compiler so that the output is binary instead of some high level language such as HTML. It's just software and probably can be run on any computer be it Linux based or Windows based. It just makes sense to use a Windows SDK inside a Windows OS so that the developer can be assured everything is working as expected. I am speculating that it is technically possible to write Windows specific code on a Linux based machine; it just makes more sense not to.

I have some good things to say about Linux. But not in this reply. :mrgreen:

Mageia 7

Posted: 14 Jul 2019, 20:03
by yogi

While you were away I decided to try out yet another Linux OS. This one is called Mageia and they are on version 7 at the moment. They say this is a fork of Mandriva Linux which means nothing to me. It did spark some curiosity in that I had visions of this being something new that I've not seen before.

One of the attractive points of Mageia 7 is that it is now UEFI compatible. Where have I heard THAT before? LOL Well, I had this one partition left over on the MSI laptop and thought it would be a good test to see if I can actually install three different Linux OS's on that Windows dominated computer. I can. It was surprisingly easy and while I've barely been at it for a whole week now, I've not had one boot problem; nVidia notwithstanding.

The iso is huge, 4.1GB or so, but it will fit on a standard DVD. It can be copied to a USB memory stick and installed that way too but I did not want to push my luck the first time around. I turned on the MSI laptop and it immediately booted into the DVD where a nicely worded message told me how to go about installing. The install routine is similar to all the other Linux installers I've seen, but this one makes a lot more sense. Their partition editor in particular was masterfully created. I didn't have to think at all about where I'm going to put Mageia or if I'll overwrite anything important in the process. I got a graphical representation of all the choices and it was intuitively obvious what to select.

Being a huge source file it took a bit longer than Ubuntu, for example, to install. I still have to go through the Windows boot loader in order to get to the Grub menu for Mageia, but for now that is just a minor inconvenience. I already have instructions how to modify Microsoft's bootloader so that the system boots from Grub all the time. Anyway, they claim you have a choice dozens of desktops that can be used; nothing new there. I went with the default KDE Plasma desktop and spent most of my time learning about that instead of the OS. Plasma is a royal PIA, but I figured it's worth giving it a try since it was the default. Navigating is a lot like Windows 7 or earlier. That's not what is cool these days, but it was not confusing. A vast majority of the programs are things I never seen before. KMail, Konqueror, Konversaiton, Konsole, etc., etc., etc.. It turns out Konsole = terminal in most other Linux distributions, but this OS has its roots in Europe so that I understood perfectly why it was all K-crazy. KDE, and all.

The big attraction to Mageia so far is it's messaging. When something goes wrong, or something needs to be explained, it's done in a very conversational way. "We are now going to install <program_name>. Here is a list of dependencies. Here is a list of new programs that will be installed. If this is OK with you, press Enter. I had to laugh that it went out of it's way to be friendly, but that fit right into simplifying the partition editor. This OS is trying to be powerful, but easy to use.

Some quirks that really bug me are not lacking. The username, for example, is case sensitive. That's not true in most other OS's I've evaluated. The password of course would be, but the username? Also, the default login is a regular account. No root privileges at all, not even in the "Konsole" app. However, when it's appropriate for root to do something, it will ask for the root password. No 'su' or 'sudo' in this OS. Well, 'su' is there but not really needed. Me, being me, I made a second account called root. When I logged in there I got some messages warning me that I am root and it's best not to be, yada, yada, yada. As root the taskbar has no apps in it. If I want Firefox there, I have to put it there when being root. The list of apps available also changes between root and regular user. I suppose that all makes sense, but it also requires two different desktop sessions to do a lot of root type things.

As root there is no Pulse Audio function. I found tons of documentation on how to turn it on, but none of that worked as root. There also is no documentation telling me that root must remain muted. So, reluctantly, I went to the Mageia Community Forums to see if I could find an answer. I simply asked if it is normal for root to not have audio. One guy wanted me to clarify what I meant by being root. Huh? Typical help from Linux experts, indeed. Well I explained it step by step and he pointed out I have a choice of "switching" users or logging out and relogging in as a new user. He suggested doing the latter, which I did, but still no audio. After about a week one of the two guys to reply to my post tried what I was doing and said yeah, no audio. Maybe I should send a bug report. He didn't know if no audio for root was normal or not, but he figured it was worth reporting it to the guys who wrote this code.

In spite of the little quirks, Mageia is looking pretty good. It suffers from the same problems as other Linux distributions do, mostly related to not being able to run Windows game programs I happen to use. But, if I had to forego Windows for any reason, I'm liking what I see here in Mageia 7. I think I'd dump the Plasma desktop for something nicer, like Cinnemon, but that depends on what I have yet to discover about the OS in general. So far so good, but it's still early.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 11:43
by Kellemora
My son bought a new Windows10 laptop for his daughter. I don't know all the specs for it, but it does have 16gigs of memory and a 1 terrabyte SD drive instead of a HD. She hated Windows10 so much, even though she had this fancy new computer, she went back to using her old Windows7 computer.

While I was there, we used the Windows program to shrink the Windows partition down to 2/3 of the drive. Then made a 200 gig partition for Linux. Using that same computer we downloaded Linux Mint Cinnamon and burned it to a USB stick.
During the first part of the install, it asked if we wanted to install as EFI so I selected that. The install went smoothly. Good thing I was there to help her do it, because it asked questions during the install she had no idea what they meant, hi hi.
One thing I wanted to add for her was the System Monitor like I have in my upper panel. I have it on my Linux Mint 17 Mate and it works great, but apparently on Linux Mint 19 I think it was, the System Monitor was not available in the repository. I snagged it from another repository and when I went to install it, got a warning it was not compatible with the OS and could possibly crash the system. So, I decided not to install it. It does have a different System Monitor to see how things are going if you open it, but not one that displays what's going on up on the panel.
These kids want to run programs, some of which I've heard about but never used myself, like Instagram and Snapchat. I looked for them in the repository and couldn't find any of them, only to learn they are online programs accessed with a web browser. I still installed an Instagram helper application from the repository which added some features she loved.
She watches lots of different videos, and they were a pain on Windows10 for her. She also seems to have lots of tabs open with each doing something heavy.
The main thing she hated about Windows10 was when she wanted to do something, or was late getting out the door, she couldn't shut down the computer because of an upgrade being downloaded or installed. Even while I was there, when she got it out for me to work on putting Linux on it. Windows decided to install not one but two upgrades, one took about 20 minutes, the next one a half hour later less than ten minutes. I figured the first was because she had not used that laptop on a long time, but the second came as a surprise.
In any case, after I got Linux Mint loaded and running, I was not familiar with the Cinnamon desktop, but she took to it like a duck to water. She ran it through all the things that normally ran super slow on Windows10 and was amazed at how fast everything loaded and ran on Linux.

OK, next stop, my wife's son's house on the way home. His girlfriend had two laptops she used. I offered her a copy of each of my short-stories in their original doc formats. She wanted me to put them on one of the laptops. Believe me, nothing on that laptop worked as it should. All I wanted to do was copy from my USB stick to a folder on her desktop.
After about a half hour of trying to figure out even how to get my files into her computer, the only way possible was by downloading them into the download folder. But the I could not move them to the desktop. Right Click brought up no selection box. After over an hour of messing around trying to figure it out, I gave up. At least you could open the file from the download folder to read the stories. We tried everything including drag and drop and it would just go back into the download folder.
One thing she did do was open a short-story and copied the text from the document and pasted it to a word processor she had open, I assume in the cloud, and it did copy and paste that way using Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.
Turns out the laptop was a Chromebook and apparently does everything in the cloud.
Now I know never to buy one of those, hi hi.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 16:20
by yogi
I know of a couple people who own Chromebooks and they all have major problems. Google had a good idea when they figured there was no need for a desktop, but few people who buy those things understand what they are getting into. It is indeed all cloud based computing and the only way to get there is through Google Chrome. The Download folder, and all the rest, are not resident on the local machine. They are resident on the cloud computer. That means the normal drag and drop does not work anymore, You have to download the files from the Download folder on your Google drive in order to get a local copy. This would normally be simple if the Chromebook had a desktop environment, but it doesn't. So, you end up needing to download the Downloads to an external drive, if your Chromebook happens to have a port in which to plug in something external. Many don't. While all this seems convoluted, it's really sensible when you think about what is actually happening. The Chromebook is what we used to call a dumb terminal. All the action happens somewhere else. The confusion arises out of the fact that the Chrome browser looks like any other browser. Thus people think that's what it is. In reality the browser is the computer, and you are limited to only what browsers can do.

The good news is that Chromebooks are inexpensive. Did I ever mention that I firmly believe you get what you pay for?

Slow computers are probably the most frustrating thing a user runs into. Just think of all the fun we had when this site was running slow. If your computer is doing likewise, it's enough to make you want to pull your hair out. But, computers do not have to be slow. I have Windows 10 installed in a crappy MSI laptop and I would be willing to sit side by side with any Linux box and conduct a speed race. lI may not win all the time, but the difference would hardly be noticeable. But, then, that is MY box. I know how to keep things simple and efficient in Windows. Many people don't. I upgraded to 16 GB memory and replaced the 1 TB HDD that came with it with a 500 GB SSD. And yes, "Honey, I shrank the Windows 10 partition." Also contributing to the speed is that I replaced the OEM version of Windows 10 Home with Windows 10 Pro. I kept some of the OEM software, but not much and rarely use it. So why is your lappy crappy and mine isn't? It's not the software. LOL Well, part of the "slow" computer problem could be software that isn't necessary or is outdated. I can't say that I could fix any slow computer, but if you send the slow Windows machine to me I'll do what I can. If I don't increase the performance, I'll pay for the shipping. :lol:

In spite of my kudos to Microsoft, they are not perfect by any means. Updates are a particularly large thorn in the whole Windows 10 experience. Microsoft blew it BIG TIME with their update scheme. I've read stories where corporate networks were shut down because Microsoft froze them out during their update cycle. Worse than that, the last feature update scheduled for May, 2019, broke many machines. Some still can't boot and Microsoft is still trying to patch them. As F****d as the update process is with Windows 10, it can be managed. Update times can be set to occur when the machine is not being used; over night for example. While Microsoft goes to great lengths to hide the settings, updates can be turned off (using group policy) if you are clever enough to know how to do it. Actually, given the state of today's public network it's not a good idea to put off updates. There are often security fixes built into them.

I'm pretty sure I won't be switching to Linux Mint when I get tired of Windows 7. It is one of the few that will not install on UEFI even though they say it can. I can run it on a USB iso with persistence, but it's still not like installing it on a hard drive. From what I read Mint can be installed along side of Windows, but nothing else. Right now I have three versions of Linux running along side of Windows 10, and I am OK with what is going on. As mentioned elsewhere I prefer to do this multi-booty thing via Grub, but that will require me doing open heart surgery on the Windows bootloader. It's not for the faint of heart.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 16 Jul 2019, 14:34
by Kellemora
While in St. Louis I just installed Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon on a new Windows10 laptop in UEFI mode without a single problem.
However, that being said, now that I'm back home I've learned Mint 19 has some serious issues, which may rear their ugly head for my granddaughter and I'm not there to fix it for her.
I did show her how to boot back into Windows 10 though.
I wish I had known about those issues, because I would have installed Linux Mint 18 Mate for her. I use Mint 17 Mate myself on one computer and love it. But still use Debian 9 on all the rest. Mainly because I'm more familiar with Debian.

Windows may still have top billing in the desktop arena, but everywhere else they rank super low.

I'm sure you already know what is said on forums like Quora about Windows and server farms, supercomputers, etc.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 16 Jul 2019, 15:43
by yogi
I have a copy of Linux Mint/Cinnamon 19.1 LTS (Tessa) working just fine on this desktop. I'm now convinced more than ever that the fact that this tower is MBR formatted is why things are going so well. I don't boot into Mint very often so that I can't tell you if they are plagued with an unusual number of problems. But, I can say it's very likely to have bugs on a GPT/UEFI formatted drive. I suppose that while Mint is a very popular distribution of Linux OS, it does not represent everything that is out there in the wild. Ubuntu seems to have it's act together not only for UEFI but also when it comes to playing nice with nVidia. You might keep that in mind should your granddaughter have problems. Ubuntu comes with a MATE desktop if you download the right distro.

Re: Another Win For Linux

Posted: 17 Jul 2019, 11:40
by Kellemora
I have not tried out any of the last 5 or 6 versions of Ubuntu.
I was looking at the HD on my next oldest computer from the Silver Yogi, and it still has Debian 6, 7, and 8 on it, in partitions I've not checked in eons, hi hi.
Since I keep most of my data on external drives which are backed up to other external drives, I've never needed to use the space they are taking up.

It may sound dumb the way I do things, but it works for me.
I have a partition on the Silver Yogi for all of my current data files.
Whatever I'm working on, I pull the folder from my Data Partition and keep it on my desktop, sometimes for months on end if it is an ongoing project.
Each time I finish working on something in that project, I will copy the changed files back to the Data Partition.
At the end of day, or sometimes more than once per day if the data cannot be easily replaced, I copy the Data Partition to an External Drive.
About once a month, I will copy the External Drive to a portable external drive I keep down at the house. Been really lax about doing that lately though. I used to do it via Rsync, but after the frau got hit with the ransomware I no longer keep anything plugged up down at the house. The externals just sit on a shelf waiting for me to carry them up here manually.