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sampctech 06-19-2017 12:43 PM

new to linux - issues from the start
 
I have recently decided that it was time to start looking for a Windows 7 replacement. I had used sometime ago, about 15 years, Redhat in collage, but afterward, never had a machine that I ran it on. I found Linux mint & have been playing with the live USB for about a month & am now trying to get it installed on this somewhat older machine I have.

I have quite a # of drives, mostly IDE, that have decided as well to use in the system so I'll still have my music & what not. I have been through some forums, even on Mints & am know concerned.

With the live USB, everything is fast, shut down, startup, opening apps, but from a drive, everything is slow from the start, painfully slow. I have tried now 3 different drives I have, 2 80G & a 120G [yeah i known there kinda small] & it doesn't make a difference. I know I need a newer system, but the machines only 5 years old.

How can I use mint to scan drives for error or just skip test to maximize the boot time so I can get into the system to further run diagnostics? & what shout I use to do that? Is there an app for checking the system components?

Laserbeak 06-19-2017 01:04 PM

Speaking in generalities, since I'm not familiar with mint, usually a UNIX/Linux machine, when shutdown or restarted properly syncs all its drives and doesn't automatically run fsck (the UNIX version of chkdsk or whatever from DOS/Windows) on startup. Just make sure when you turn off your computer, don't just switch it off, run something like:

Code:


shutdown -h now

or in SysV (like Solaris):

Code:


shutdown -i5 -g0


You can start in single-user mode and then run fsck manually if you want to before you start up in full multi-user mode.

wpeckham 06-19-2017 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sampctech (Post 5724389)
I have recently decided that it was time to start looking for a Windows 7 replacement. I had used sometime ago, about 15 years, Redhat in collage, but afterward, never had a machine that I ran it on. I found Linux mint & have been playing with the live USB for about a month & am now trying to get it installed on this somewhat older machine I have.

I have quite a # of drives, mostly IDE, that have decided as well to use in the system so I'll still have my music & what not. I have been through some forums, even on Mints & am know concerned.

With the live USB, everything is fast, shut down, startup, opening apps, but from a drive, everything is slow from the start, painfully slow. I have tried now 3 different drives I have, 2 80G & a 120G [yeah i known there kinda small] & it doesn't make a difference. I know I need a newer system, but the machines only 5 years old.

How can I use mint to scan drives for error or just skip test to maximize the boot time so I can get into the system to further run diagnostics? & what shout I use to do that? Is there an app for checking the system components?

Original IDE is pretty slow by today's standards. I hope those are EIDE drives and controllers. SATA performance is better, on par with pretty good SCSI FW.

A proper search (Distrowatch, google, or duckduckgo if you prefer) should turn up a few distributions made for hardware detection, testing, and evaluation. There are also commands used to display the hardware status, effective I/O speeds of components and systems, and related information.
A quick search found https://www.linuxhelp.com/tag/disk-performance/ and https://github.com/smxi/inxi and suggestions about 'hwinfo' and other commands. You may also want to look up "smartctl" and how to use it. It will interface with the SMART circuit on the drive controller and access the health/error reports for you.

Be warned, actual testing of the file systems or physical disk can take a long time. Do nto start an fsck event and plan to use your machine soon after.

dejank 06-19-2017 01:58 PM

Also, if your hardware is older and you want to bring new life to it, there are distros specialized in older hardware. For example Puppy linux is rather good in that. Or, if you want something more mainstream, Lubuntu. Though, 5 years old does not sound like really old. Mint should run pretty good on that, but it might be that your drives are simply near the end of life.

AwesomeMachine 06-19-2017 03:34 PM

How slow is slow?

JeremyBoden 06-19-2017 04:00 PM

I've got Linux running a GUI (slowly) on a 512MByte laptop that is 11 years old... :D

Laserbeak 06-19-2017 04:44 PM

Actually older hardware is better for servers not running a GUI, like a mail server that doesn't have a huge amount of traffic.

!!! 06-19-2017 05:04 PM

LinuxBBQ (DistroWatch.com/bbq) is THE ONLY (out of several dozen! 'common' ones I've tried) where the GUI 'worked' (on my 9yo).

I don't think it's the hdd; I'd guess it's some basic '?gui config?' that's (radically) different on an install (vs live), but I have no ideas on what's different.

Yes, tell us specifics on the PC model. Good luck; keep tryng;)

Barkester 06-19-2017 09:21 PM

Try Puppy. It fully loads onto the RAM and runs from there and is really really small. It was designed to work live. Fastest thing you'll find and downloadable in a minute.

lupu.iso is all you need (Lucid Puppy). Get it anywhere.

And enjoy Linux.

wpeckham 06-19-2017 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barkester (Post 5724620)
Try Puppy. It fully loads onto the RAM and runs from there and is really really small. It was designed to work live. Fastest thing you'll find and downloadable in a minute.

lupu.iso is all you need (Lucid Puppy). Get it anywhere.

And enjoy Linux.

Puppy is excellent, but designed as a Live image distro that is not normally installed to a hard drive. It can be, and when it is the best way is what is called "frugal mode" install where it literally loades from the disk as if it were loading from cd. (Upgrading amounts to replacing the image file. Neat, fast, and easy.)

Another in the same family is TinyCore. A different and powerful take on the same concept as puppy, from a different direction and with a different history, this grew out of the philosophy behind the Damn Small Linux project. Highly recommended.

If you do want to install to the hard drive but retain better performance, try something Debian based but running a very thin, efficient desktop like LXDE or LXQt versions. The combination of the very thin XWindows, thin desktop, and very recent kernel and kernel libs and applications without heavy cruft added to some Ubuntu based distros (and normal in KDE and GNOME desktops) should slow your system down MUCH less and use the hardware better. Sparky linux is recommended, but there are some other excellent options. (I love VSIDO, but it may be an acquired taste. Try before you dive in to make sure that you like it.)

I hope that this helps.

Ztcoracat 06-19-2017 10:47 PM

Sounds like LM may be to heavy for your older pc.

Try Anti-X it's designed for older machines.
http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Laserbeak 06-20-2017 03:23 AM

By "Live USB" does that mean you're actually booting from a USB CD/DVD?

JeremyBoden 06-20-2017 08:13 AM

USB or DVD

dave@burn-it.co.uk 06-20-2017 11:17 AM

Puppy can be used in both modes, though it is specifically designed to run in "frugal" mode and is both faster and supports more options in that mode.
I use Puppy in "frugal" mode from hard drives that are OLD IDE drives and find no problems with the speed.
One advantage using it in frugal mode is that it is completely portable between machines and may only need added hardware drivers if you want to make it even faster or use specific hardware.

DavidMcCann 06-20-2017 11:57 AM

This computer has an IDE drive and I built it in 2005. It doesn't seem slow to me, but perhaps my standards are not as strict! Using fsck and also doing a SMART check might be a good idea.

BW-userx 06-20-2017 12:11 PM

I bet is has to still be faster then Windows loading and updating ...
how fast is the CPU and RAM size is what? just a basic Linux/GNU running fluxbox or windowmaker or i3 that does not take up too much to show on screen. as far as shut down - I use my power button that is my fastest shut down instead of using the menu select or a cli shutdown command.

dave@burn-it.co.uk 06-20-2017 01:16 PM

Any drive will likely be only noticably slow if
a) there is a fault
b) there is a very large amount of data to transfer
c) buffering is not turned on.

Rickkkk 06-20-2017 04:28 PM

This (5 years) is not that "old" a machine. Similarly to JeremyBoden - I've run linux on some 18 year old hardware (PII 400MHz, 192 MB RAM, 6 GB hdd ... - Puppy in frugal mode).

I've currently got some 2008-2010 era laptops happily humming on the latest versions of both Arch and Win10 ...

Must be some particular issue with your hard drives if it's really unbearably slow with Mint.

Delorian 06-20-2017 05:18 PM

Lubuntu is a perfect distro for a 10 year old computer, ts lightweight and includes everything you need.
Works fine as a desktop pc, memory is more important then CPU.


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