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Old 01-19-2014, 11:36 PM   #16
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H,Gunn View Post
Well, the reason I mentioned it is because the OP is a programmer. A person who can program a computer language certainly should be able to install OS like Arch. Besides, it was just a mere suggestion not a ultimatum.
Unfortunately that is often a non sequitur. Just because a person knows if, else, and endif etc has no relation to whether they know vi, grep, or even xorgsetup, etc. I think we have to take OPs at their word so that we encourage people to post thorough and honest posts about their abilities, limitations and desires which makes it much easier to provide real assistance. Yes, OP said he is a programmer but he also stated he has avoided command line, is not familiar with it, nor administration, nor configuring and customizing Linux. He could write programs 8 hours a day and never once even issue "sudo".

So even if he did manage to get the base install, what then? It seems doubtful he knows what he would need to use apt-get or pacman to get. Just 2 years ago it was possible to install X on Arch and not get a mousedriver if not explicitly requested, and I mention that as only an example of what Arch expects one to bring to the table. To minimalist administrators this is Heaven. To point and click users this is Hell.

From what I gather, maxreason, is a driver, not a mechanic, if you get my drift. He needs it "race ready" not "go buy the parts and lets tune this baby up!"

Nothing personal. Just something to think about that could possibly improve the value of your posts to others.
 
Old 01-19-2014, 11:45 PM   #17
jamison20000e
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Try them all (free to varying degrees,) or don't; some people won't get hurt feelings!?.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 07:48 AM   #18
maxreason
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Thanks for all the information and opinions. Interesting that the distro-picker web-page decided linux mint cinnamon is the best distro for me. It had PCLinuxOS very high until I selected a package-manager (to APT, which I think ubuntu has), at which point it fell way, way down.

I may not be quite as naive as I implied (based upon some of your messages). I know what sudo is, and find sudo in a terminal window necessary moderately often (mostly for cp, mv, ls -la, and other [very] basic operations). I also manage to follow directions to add repositories given accurate instructions, for example to keep codeblocks updated, and I think to keep nvidia drivers updated too. That doesn't mean I really understand what I'm doing in any serious way though.

My problem is... I have a terrible memory, and always have (not senile... or perhaps senile since birth). Which is why I prefer to have my computer "just work" in a sensible way, and only fiddle when I need to do something strange.

Often I'm quite [completely] ignorant just one level below what I absolutely need. I mean, I write entire sophisticated 3D simulation/graphics/game engines on top of xlib and OpenGL, but how to configure XWindows? No freaking idea (and don't want to have any freaking idea unless I must).

Also, even though I build my own [sometimes huge] applications, somehow it appears like I have discovered easier ways to do things (it seems to me), because when I see the incredibly hyper-complex actions others take to build from source, my head explodes! And that's just scanning their web-page, not even trying it myself! So... definitely don't want to build anything from source code (except my own applications and libraries).

Honestly, OPS (other people's software) is often just too much for me. For example, recently I was thinking about adding a GUI to a couple of my apps with GTK+ (to work in C and avoid C++)... but after scanning some examples, decided it would be easier for me to create GUIs out of... my own 3D application! Now, that's just sick, and I know it. But it shows how much I have to struggle to pick up OPS.

Though I work with codeblocks (which integrates C, gas, gdb, some linker or other and who knows what else)... once upon a time I actually created my own compiler, editor, debugger and interactive graphical GuiDesigner to avoid learning OPS. While that decision in particular was a monumental mistake (I love C now), it shows to what lengths I go to avoid learning OPS.

Which is just to say... I will struggle to learn to do whatever is necessary to accomplish my applications (like learn pthreads or xlib or whatever), but otherwise... I prefer not to deal with it.

Oh, and in case it isn't obvious from above, I find it infinitely easier to program with low-level libraries/packages than high-level packages! But that's programming! I don't want to know how linux works in order to program on linux or run firefox or thunderbird or a file-browser application.

I don't know if all this extra information about my strenghts, weaknesses and inclinations helps or not.

But so far it appears I am best off trying cinnamon flavored mint first. 64-bit of course, since some of my applications are too big for 32-bit, and I don't see much point in 32-bit any more. Plus, I write a lot of SIMD (and other) assembly-language, and I'm getting tired of also writing 32-bit versions of everything!

PS: If I didn't have such enormous quantities of programming to do, I wouldn't mind trying several flavors of linux. And who knows, if mint doesn't taste good, I might have to try one or two others.

Last edited by maxreason; 01-20-2014 at 07:49 AM.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 09:55 AM   #19
rokytnji
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Quote:
linux mint cinnamon is the best distro for me
Shucks, which is based on Ubuntu. From your description of your preferences

Quote:
When I learned canonical went full evil and is now spyware by default, I immediately knew I had to switch distros.
I am not savvy enough to know if Mint/Ubuntu is free of what concerns you. So at the risk of Stepping out on a limb here. For a turn key distro. Might I suggest the XFCE version of Debian based SolydX (they have a KDE version also). I run AntiX mostly but I do have one netbook with SolydX on it and it has been
rock solid since last summer. Investigate the versions to see what may fit your personality and needs best. I did say using the distro picker may help, or not.

I am not a fan boy. Just a practical biker.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=solydxk

Don't be misled by the Distrowatch Debian Testing description. There is a Business Edition Iso also
based on Debian Stable. Up to you as always on what fits your needs best.

Edit: Forgot to mention. I run the Debian testing based SolydX version.
No hiccups yet.

Last edited by rokytnji; 01-20-2014 at 09:59 AM.
 
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:33 PM   #20
DavidMcCann
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"Based on Ubuntu" means that Mint uses the programs in the Ubuntu repository, which start out in the Debian repository. It doesn't mean they use the Ubuntu-specific stuff that includes the spyware: they don't.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 01:32 PM   #21
enorbet
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Hello again
Well this seems to have turned out well. Since I hadn't considered the difference in package managers, although they are also labeled similarly for GUI, OpenSuse is not quite as good a choice as Mint, so you have chosen well.

I certainly hope you weren't offended by my assessment of your cli skills. It truly isn't "looking down". I have come to accept that there are some very good "drivers" who haven't a clue what a "camshaft" does. My cousin tests hardware and writes for a Mac magazine. He is very well versed in many areas of application and produces great output. When OSX came out he was showing it to me and I opened a terminal and he exclaimed, "What is THAT!" Different strokes heheh.

Best wishes for you and your new system.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 02:38 PM   #22
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
"Based on Ubuntu" means that Mint uses the programs in the Ubuntu repository, which start out in the Debian repository. It doesn't mean they use the Ubuntu-specific stuff that includes the spyware: they don't.
Based on Ubuntu means they use Ubuntu Binaries which are not, most of the time, compatible with Debian binaries. Ubuntu is based on Debian but it does not use Debian binaries yet Mint does use Ubuntu Binaries. Saying Ubuntu uses programs that start out in the Debian repository muddies the waters by indicating that Ubuntu does nothing to those programs. If that is the case we may as all use Debian and forget about Ubuntu and Mint.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 02:43 PM   #23
273
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I mentioned Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) because of that.
I can't really recommend Debian as a replacement to Ubuntu because the packages in Stable are so old and once one starts either mixing repositories or moving to Testing or Sid things can become a little less straightforward. LMDE ought to be an easier way of using Testing though I lack the experience to know whether it smooths the edges enough for somebody wanting hasle free use day-to-day.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #24
k3lt01
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If backports are enabled then there is no real issue with "old" packages, well the ones that people use and can see on their screens. There really isn't much of a lag anymore in Debian stable if you enable backports and keep it up to date. I am running backports on my wheezy installs and they have the kernel Debian provides in testing, LibreOffice 4.1.4.2.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #25
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I can't really recommend Debian as a replacement to Ubuntu because the packages in Stable are so old and once one starts either mixing repositories or moving to Testing or Sid things can become a little less straightforward.
Now, now Usually I happily work with Debian Stable up to one year after the release of the new version.

Besides, I think it is a bad habit for programmers to use a bleeding edge development platform. One the software is in production every user also has to upgrade to the latest version of libxyz-14.13.7-3

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I mentioned Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) because of that.
I second this. For someone coming from Ubuntu, being familiar with apt package management and GUI oriented this is the most logical choice.

I run LDME 14 in a VM and it is stable and easy to use. For what it is worth, I like a beautiful desktop, with nice colors, consistent fonts, look and feel and responsive. That is LDME.

I am not participating in the popularity contest. My main distro is Debian, which is obviously the best distro around. But not the best for everyone.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #26
jamison20000e
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I edited(\Add:ed to) my first post in this thread.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 01-20-2014 at 08:15 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 07:38 PM   #27
maxreason
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To all: I am not in the least offended because anyone made an effort to understand my strenghts and weaknesses, and possibly didn't hit the bullseye. I appreciate all comments, because even if they contain a false inference, I learn something, and that's good.

A few comments about all your messages:

I am definitely conflicted about mint. On the one hand, I worry that those guys might accidentally pull in some software from ubuntu that contains hidden evil. On the other hand, I so appreciate folks who invest the time and effort to create these distributions, I hate to "punish" anyone who might care just as much as me about avoiding predators like canonical, macroshaft, etc.

So... my willingness to consider mint is nothing more than me trying to make a rational judgement. I might be making a mistake, getting myself into another learning hole by investing the time to get used to mint. I am aware of that, and would not bother if not for the fact that mint seems to be a good distro, and fairly compatible with my inclinations, and certainly seems to be gaining respect in the past year two.

So... I'm conflicted... and haven't made my final choice yet.

To those of you who don't understand specifically what annoys me, I'll say it clearly. Anyone who distributes software that BY DEFAULT grabs information about me, tries to build databases about my personality, tries to sell me crap, tries to design software that makes attempts to search my computer into opportunities to SELL me something --- is evil. In my book, anyway. You are welcome to your own opinions.

Probably because I so value "good and benevolent" folks who make "great goodies"... I get especially angry when one of them turns to the dark side. Amazon was a great company... until they started lobbying taxation of all internet purchases - because they saw a way to turn that to their advantage over smaller firms. Canonical seemed to be a great company... until they decided to emulate google and become a private version of the NSA. Ditto for google, assuming they were ever benevolent in the first place. There is little "extraordinary" (in the good sense) in this world, I hate to see them go bad. It hurts, makes me angry, and I refuse to support evil. And when somone I thought was good turns bad, I know they were always bad, and I definitely feel betrayed. I regret feeling good about them before, and I very much regret pointing them out to others.

One other point... and you guys can correct me if I am wrong. All other things being [close to] equal, my assumption is, I am at least somewhat more likely to get help with my future linux problems and questions [in a place like this forum] if I am running a popular distro. So while I feel a little guilty arbitrarily favoring popular distros, I assume that will benefit me [slightly/modestly/considerable]. True or false?

An issue people can comment upon. I selected the APT package manager simply because I sorta half remember running apt-this and apt-that on ubuntu (following instructions from here or there on some web-page). I'm not fluent enough with any package manager to do anything but follow instructions (or run the GUI applications that let me choose software), so I don't know how important the package manager choice might be to me. But I figure I am at least slightly familiar with running those apps. I listed the software I depend upon, and I think they all give instructions for the APT package manager.

BTW, I am probably a little like your cousin. Though I mostly write software for several years, I used to be more of a hardware guy, and am ALMOST always more comfortable with low-level everything. The exception being IDEs for software development, which I got hooked on in 1988 after creating a compiler with IDE myself. OTOH, any good IDE lets you see the lowest levels too, so... I don't mind so much.

In fact, long ago, I designed my own CPUs. No, I don't mean solder a Z80 or 8051 onto a PCB (though I've done that plenty of times to create various kinds of devices and controllers over the years). I mean invent the architecture, invent the instruction set, draw schematic with hundreds of logic gates and MSI, lay out multilayer PCBs, get them made, prototype, test hardware, write and test microcode (sometimes), etc. And ditto for all the other elements too, from memory cards to hard disk controllers to video terminals.

So... the fact is, assembly-language is a high-level language to me! Not joking! And C is a very high-level language. Hahaha. Also not joking. In fact, I learned C++ before C, then one day after bitching and moaning for a long time, I stopped writing classes... which eventually left me writing C, which I love to this day. Gads, people are such suckers for arbitrary high-level nonsense! Woops... don't want to start a flame war about languages. Hahaha... just pointing out how low-level oriented I am.

I've done a lot of work in terminals over the years, and when I started, back in the dark ages, that was all there was (as in ADM3, if anyone remembers them). But I've spent so much time on window systems for the past 20+ years... I've gotten used to it. And I typically stay buried deep inside my own applications and thus avoid messing with endless system nonsense. I'd rather be figuring out how to control affinity for CPU-cores versus threads than dealing with package managers or configuring endless obscure OS issues.

I try to design my products to be utterly intuitive and easy to figure out and work with, and I really appreciate when other software works that way. I am one of those crazy folks who has always hated reconfigurability. I claim developers should figure out the best way for anything to work, then implement it that way. Then it is possible to document the damn software or device, because you know how it works. Software that is configurable is essentially impossible to document, since it looks and operates different for everyone (once they are finished screwing everything up by trying to configure what they don't fully understand).

But this might partly be because I have a terrible memory, so I can't remember endless commands, arguments, options, etc. Hence my desire for a "it just works" OS. And when that's not enough... usually I can find a system call or low-level library function that let's me control how the operating system works for my applications.

Here is one more comment that might be important for choosing an distro.

I don't care if most applications are automatically updated every day or not (like they are on ubuntu apparently)... unless they are fixing significant bugs (not super obscure bugs).

However, I do care whether my workhorse applications are updated on a fairly regular basis (weekly or monthly is fine). What do I consider my work-horses? Definitely codeblocks and all the gnu tools it runs (gcc, g++, gas, linker, gdb, standard function libraries), nvidia drivers, xlib, linux kernel.

And probably I don't need updates nearly daily - I'm not that cutting edge - but monthly or quarterly seems fine. What is most important is... it gets done automatically. I do NOT want to need to go searching to find whether ever freaking package I depend upon has been updated recently. I want it updated when anything significant changes, but I don't want experimental or developmental stuff appearing that causes problems that I then believe are bugs I wrote into my software (and spend 3 weeks trying to find).

I will try to learn more about LDME... though I welcome any further comments about that option here if anyone has the time and inclination to say more.

-----

At some point I will probably need to learn a bit more about Linux (or get my collaborators to learn and explain to me), because I will be spending years of full time effort on my current projects (which are all part of a super-project) --- and that will definitely never run on windoze, or on any linux distro that might have spyware aspects. In fact, at some point I'll need to find a collaborator who knows the deep aspects of linux to make 100% certain nothing nefarious is in the system, or can get into the system. Which probably means... a very barebones linux, and probably "real-time lite" type distro --- eventually. But we don't need to be barebones until we're almost ready to "set the application free" and let it run autonomously. That's still at least a few years away.

So I guess a final question, looking considerably forward, might be to ask what will eventually be best as a barebones platform for a highly capable autonomous real-time system? Now that I asked that question, I fear I know the answer. Someday I will need to bribe someone from this website to join our collaboration and make our own [private] distro. I sure don't want to do that myself, without help! Cuz I'd probably decide to write my own OS to avoid that. Not kidding... and I don't have time for that.

Thanks for all the opinions. They're helping.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #28
jamison20000e
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Last edited by jamison20000e; 01-20-2014 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #29
enorbet
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Re: Phoning Home Evil

It shouldn't be all that difficult in any distro to construct a set of firewall rules that would exclude outgoing connections to offending sites. Also, assuming Ubuntu is not going proprietary and is staying Open Source, it should only be slightly more difficult to rip out any "phone home" sections of any application. I'd wager the firewall rules are easier to learn than a new system.
 
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:36 PM   #30
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Thumbs up "Who checks the integrity of Linux distros?"

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