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Time to get back to Linux


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#1 OFFLINE   rolanaj

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 04:45 PM

It's been awhile since I've been here, life gets so busy sometimes. How is everyone??

I was using PCLInuxOS full time but sadly my PC bit the dust. I have a laptop running Windows 7 and a new PC running Windows 10 which I've been using for awhile but I miss Linux. I don't like how Windows wants to connect everything, your email, your social accounts etc... Paranoid maybe but it just seems to me that its unnecessary.

Anyway my real question is what distro is everyone using? I see tutorials about dual-booting Ubuntu and Mint with Windows 10 but are they the best options?

Anything I should keep in mind before going ahead with this project?
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#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 04:48 PM

HI ROLANA! :clap:

#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 04:51 PM

Umm... I only use Slackware, as you may remember, so...

There's heaps and piles of wonderful Linux distributions out there in the wild. Grab yourself one and GO!

Ubuntu
Mint
Arch
OpenSuse
Debian
et cetera...

Put all the names on little pieces of folded paper into a bag and pick one. You might get lucky! You can't lose any way. :)

#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 05:02 PM

Hey Rolanaj, nice to see you back around these parts!!

As far as distros are concerned, perhaps LinuxMint or Fedora.
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#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 08:39 PM

I'm not much for dual booting anymore, but I have Windows 10 and I run Ubuntu with it in VirtualBox. It's pretty good.
As an experienced Linux user you can choose whatever you want. I use Debian, Arch, Linux Mint and MX-17 on various machines I have around here. No Windows on these.
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#6 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:00 PM

Hi Rolana! :flowers: :th_wave3:

I highly recommend MX-17 for a nice stable, functional distro with friendly and helpful developers who often post on their forums.
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#7 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 01:28 AM

Hi Rolana.

If you want to dual boot Windows and Linux systems I recommend Grub2Win.  It's also useful if you want to boot Linux ISOs while looking for a version to install.
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#8 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 01:32 AM

Lately, I've been thinking about how the distro(s) of choice can vary so much from one user to the next, and how each user will have some very sensible reasons for using a particular distro. I don't want to make any  recommendations.

I mostly use Debian Stable, and I prefer that over anything else I've tried. I've been running that one here for almost 11 years now. Also, I enjoy using Arch -- almost (but not quite) as much as Debian.

I don't use Ubuntu anymore, but I have a Kubuntu installation. Lubuntu is another one that has worked out quite well for me in the past.

Two other distros installed here: BunsenLabs and SalentOS, both based on Stable. I like those because they ship with Openbox, and I wanted to see what they were doing with that window manager.

And, I like having MX Linux and GParted Live on flash drives, although I don't boot up with either of those very often, only on those rare occasions when I want/need to do something in particular from within a live session.

Oh, almost forget, I also have an Antergos installation. I was attracted to that one because of the quick, easy installation; because it mostly uses Arch repos; and because the installer allowed me to choose Openbox for the desktop. I removed many of the default packages, and for the most part I treat it the same as Arch -- I mean, I use the same pacman commands for package management and so forth.

I've continued to use more than one distro ever since I realized that I could. I can't see myself ever going with only one distro, except perhaps Debian, sometime down the road. I kinda doubt that that day will ever come.

I haven't used Windows at home for several years now. Before I stopped running Windows altogether, I had some Windows+Linux dual- or multi-boot setups; then I decided to keep Windows and Linux on separate computers, and that seemed like a much nicer arrangement for me. This was back in XP days. But then I started to realize that I didn't need Windows for anything anymore, and that was the end of that.

Well, that's where I'm at these days. Lots and lots of excellent choices out there.

#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 07:10 AM

I haven't weaned myself off Windows for various reasons:
  • Many friends and family use it and I want to offer some limited tech support. I only support Windows 10 though.
  • The grandkids like some Flash-based browser games that for better or worse work with Windows best.
  • My Train Simulators only work with Windows.
  • A few things I do like income tax work best with Windows.
I run an instance of Linux on VBox Windows and an instance of Windows on VBox Linux, but I do not dual boot or chainload anymore. I have 7 working computers right now so it isn't all that necessary. I don't like all the secure boot / EFI nonsense when it comes to keeping Windows and Linux operating on the same machine. In the rare case where I need to use Linux and I am in Windows I just fire up VirtualBox.
My preferred way of doing stuff is in Linux. When I got my refurbished Thinkpad I got rid of Windows 10 and installed Debian.
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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:08 AM

View Postraymac46, on 08 July 2018 - 07:10 AM, said:

I haven't weaned myself off Windows for various reasons:
  • Many friends and family use it and I want to offer some limited tech support. I only support Windows 10 though.
  • The grandkids like some Flash-based browser games that for better or worse work with Windows best.
  • My Train Simulators only work with Windows.
  • A few things I do like income tax work best with Windows.
I run an instance of Linux on VBox Windows and an instance of Windows on VBox Linux, but I do not dual boot or chainload anymore. I have 7 working computers right now so it isn't all that necessary. I don't like all the secure boot / EFI nonsense when it comes to keeping Windows and Linux operating on the same machine. In the rare case where I need to use Linux and I am in Windows I just fire up VirtualBox.
My preferred way of doing stuff is in Linux. When I got my refurbished Thinkpad I got rid of Windows 10 and installed Debian.

Besides the train emulator, the rest can all be done via a VM. Have you tried running the train emulator via wine or see if there is one you like available in Steam?

Railway Empire is a nice one that runs on linux and windows  https://www.gog.com/.../railway_empire
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#11 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:11 AM

I agree with Saturn.  Everyone has different criteria and preferences, so it's really difficult, IMO, to make a recommendation to others.  I don't really like to make recommendations until I ask some questions, starting with their hardware; what they use a computer for; what programs they use the most; whether they have a unique hobby that they do on the computer (such as train simulators, which may make linux extra challenging); etc...

However, with that being said, I also remember MY attempts to start using linux, and the PLETHORA of choices available.  Coming from Windows, where everything was chosen for me, I was truly concerned with making a mistake and choosing the "wrong" distro.  It would have been helpful if a mentor was available and they had said "you're too focused on the distro, just start using linux and the rest will sort itself out over time."  When I'm bringing a new user into the fold, I provide my custom Lubuntu re-mix and inform them that "this is what I use, and this is what you're going to be using also.  at such time as you no longer like it, or it no longer works for you, or you're wanting to try something else, talk to me and we'll move you onto something else."  While a few moved on by themselves (kudos to them for assimilating the knowledge to effectuate their own natural progression), most are still using what I provided.  Most don't care, and it's just easier for me to support the quirks of ONE distro.

With all that said, I'd ask Rolana how she feels about PCLOS.  PCLOS is a perfectly fine distro with a large & friendly community to support it.  Unless something is not working to her criteria, there's nothing wrong with sticking with that distro!

#12 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:39 AM

The train sims I use need on the rails GPU power. In fact, the GTX 950 GPU I use is a little bit lightweight for the task, but I survive with it. I have the two most appropriate train sims right now. There is another which has higher realism but its system requirements are too high for what I have now.
I am not so fed up with Windows that I need to find alternatives. I do use mostly open source apps with Win 10 anyway.
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#13 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:46 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 08 July 2018 - 08:08 AM, said:

View Postraymac46, on 08 July 2018 - 07:10 AM, said:

  • My Train Simulators only work with Windows.


Railway Empire is a nice one that runs on linux and windows  https://www.gog.com/.../railway_empire

https://www.ranker.c...-list/reference

I had not realised there were so many train sims out there. :breakfast:
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#14 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:48 AM

Anyone I install Linux for is going to get Mint - either Cinnamon if they have the chops for it, or Xfce if they don't. I use Mint myself and I have experience with both desktops. A new user is coming from Windows normally, and if not they have no computer experience at all. Yes, this still happens with older folks. They are not about to give me grief over distro selection.
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#15 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:51 AM

View Postabarbarian, on 08 July 2018 - 10:46 AM, said:

View Postsecuritybreach, on 08 July 2018 - 08:08 AM, said:

View Postraymac46, on 08 July 2018 - 07:10 AM, said:

  • My Train Simulators only work with Windows.


Railway Empire is a nice one that runs on linux and windows  https://www.gog.com/.../railway_empire

https://www.ranker.c...-list/reference

I had not realised there were so many train sims out there. :breakfast:


Yeah, me neither. Of course, I have never played a train sim before.
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#16 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:52 AM

I have Train Simulator and Trainz. Train Simulator concentrates more on driving the trains, and Trainz is more about actually building your model railroad. Both are fun and challenging, but only if you are a train junkie.
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#17 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:04 AM

View Postsunrat, on 07 July 2018 - 09:00 PM, said:

Hi Rolana! :flowers: :th_wave3:

I highly recommend MX-17 for a nice stable, functional distro with friendly and helpful developers who often post on their forums.

MX-17 gets a vote from me too. It runs very sweetly of a usb 3 stick nearly as smoothly as running on a desktop. It has an easy to use persistence when run of a usb so with a 16/32 GB usb it could be used as a daily driver.
That Endless OS I mentioned in my Linux Fringe Distros thread would be a very easy to use os with hardly any input or maintenance needed. Though the lack of ability to fiddle with it may be a downside.
Something like Robolinux with its built in Stealth VM feature may be an alternative to dual booting with Windows. You could of course use a VM with any linux flavour but you would need to set it up manually.
Don't know about dual booting with Windows 10 but Windows 7 was easy to set up for dual booting on my UEFI set up and on my old MBR set up. On the UEFI set up I use rEFind as the boot manager and it works very well and is easy to set up with Windows and a penguin.

Back in time I had two hdd/ssd's on my desktop and installed Windows on one and Arch on the other and used the motherboard boot menu to choose which to boot into. This meant it took slightly longer to boot but there were no set up or maintenance hassles as there can be with dual booting. Mind you apart from operator error my present dual boot has been running for several years with no problems.

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#18 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 01:12 PM

Hi Rolana. I'm still hanging in with openSUSE which has always run without problems for me on my older hardware. I do use Xfce though--it's easy enough to choose it if you drill down a little when you set up the install parameters.
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#19 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:07 PM

I guess I'm ol' skool. I still dual-boot. :)

#20 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:53 PM

Not to hi-jack this thread, but has anyone who dual boots had any issues with corruption of the win partition? I'm looking at a couple of refurbished Thinkpads on Newegg, but would need to dual boot for a time so as not to void the warranty. I did dual boot most recently about 5 years ago, on laptop I took when I bought a new one for my mother. At that time, I didn't really care when the xp partition was eventually corrupted, because I almost never booted into it. I'm just wondering if others are having problems with Grub and dual boot.

Edited by ebrke, 09 July 2018 - 03:53 PM.

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#21 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 04:59 PM

I've dual-booted Win (XP, then 7) with Slackware since 2006 on 4 or 5 different machines... no issues ever on either side.

#22 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 06:39 PM

No problems dual booting Windows here. Used XP, 7, and 10 over the years.
One thing you need to do with Win 10 is disable Fast Startup which can leave NTFS partitions locked in a read-only state when accessing from Linux.
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#23 OFFLINE   mhbell

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:04 PM

View Postraymac46, on 08 July 2018 - 10:52 AM, said:

I have Train Simulator and Trainz. Train Simulator concentrates more on driving the trains, and Trainz is more about actually building your model railroad. Both are fun and challenging, but only if you are a train junkie.
HMmmmm I'll have to check into the ones for Linux. I retired from the SP railroad in 97. I won't play games in windows and I rarely use it. Won't have to use windows for income tax next year because I won't have to file. :clap:
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#24 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:36 PM

Quote

I'm looking at a couple of refurbished Thinkpads on Newegg, but would need to dual boot for a time so as not to void the warranty.

I didn't worry about the warranty, just got rid of Windows and installed Debian. I have had no issues with my Thinkpad T430. I am sure a dual boot would have been no problem as my machine was old enough to have a legacy BIOS.
My best results with Linux have been when/with:
  • I built my desktop and chose the hardware to be Linux friendly.
  • Old Dell desktops - they are always good Linux machines.
  • Thinkpads - the laptop of choice to install Linux.

Edited by raymac46, 10 July 2018 - 09:41 PM.

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#25 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 06:59 AM

View Postebrke, on 09 July 2018 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'm looking at a couple of refurbished Thinkpads on Newegg,

Do not go there, simply go to ebay and look up the business class thinkpads. Companies can only use them for three years (due to warranty) so you can get high end laptops for cheap that are mostly in great condition as most never left the docking stations. They will not come with an OS as they have been wiped but that is easy to fix.

For instance, a bunch of us at work have bought the HP 9470s from ebay. Mine came with an i7, 8gb ram and a 250gb ssd for $180. I bumped the ram to 16gb and added a 1tb ssd. So now I have a very powerful, thin laptop that costs me less than $300. Plus since they are business class, they are made much better and have accessories like docking stations easily available.
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