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Old 09-18-2018, 08:34 AM   #1
Dontpanic
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What I know, looking for what I don't know I don't know


Hello all,

I have a short history with Linux (about 6-7 months). I have went from windows to mac and back to windows only to find myself really falling for the rabbit hole that is Linux. Truthfully I rather enjoy wonderland Alice.

Here's my issue, I have little experience. I started with Ubuntu (as I assume most do) and after a few months I wanted to try arch (I've been reading LFS) and I thought Arch would be close to that. I appreciate Arch simply because it forces you to learn what you are doing and why or it just won't work. Even still it might not work because of your hardware. I now am in Debian testing (I believe it's buster) and I find myself having some issues.

Hardware: I'm on a 2016 Razer laptop with and intel i917 (almost sure) with an Nvidia GtX 1060 15' i7-6700

ATM I did a fresh install after making a rookie mistake. The problem I had I was able to solve but now I can not find it after a full day of searching.

Problem: I cannot
'$ sudo shutdown now' or reboot or logout
without it hanging.
Also suspended/ hibernate doesn't work either

What I've tried: I've looked at solutions where people have acpi=off in the grub file along with
$ sudo update-grub

which works to stop it from hanging at the desk top but instead hangs on the Debian login: black screen after with 'halt ...' also it absolutely kills performances where loading a web page takes 100% CPU.
I have nouveau.modset=0 but no change. The was one solution that I found previously about a month ago but I can't remember for the life of me what it was. It was something to the effect of having the intel card run instead of the nvidia first to boot up the desktop and then have nvidia pick up the rest of the load I suppose.

I have also tried a fair few things but at the moment of writing this and passing through so many failed solutions I can not remember. If anyone has a good up to date solution I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, if not which Linux distro would best suit my hardware for the best lightweight performance. I'd like to have something that I can really learn Linux with without worrying too much about stability. I.e. I'm a first year computer science student and I really like to learn while not being left without a system. This is my daily driver. I have read up on the many distros out there but it seems that having a fairly newer laptop causes more problems than not. Most write ups on distros don't pair up with possible hardware.

I also understand that one should choose a distro and make it work with the hardware but I am not experienced enough yet to write my own scripts and programs to make things work although I would like to get to that level.

Thank you did not mean to make it this long but I've read a lot that detail isn't a bad thing.

Last edited by Dontpanic; 09-18-2018 at 08:47 AM.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 08:55 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Hi,

Welcome to the LQ forums.

I think the sticky thread at the top of this forum, Linux Newbies - How To Choose A Distro speaks towards a lot of members' feelings about a new user of Linux selecting a distribution.

Please give that a read, because a lot of what I'd say, or certain other members, is already included in that thread. Creating that was a collaborative effort.

My tendency is to live boot to verify a distribution will work on my hardware. I also recommend virtual machines. If you need a system to be your daily driver, then find the OS where you can have exactly that, be that Windows or a certain distribution of Linux, and then learn to experiment at low risk, such as the live boot or virtual machine options; as opposed to trying to install dual boot where you may find that your system becomes unavailable or needs to be re-initialized, due to some accident.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 12:02 PM   #3
DavidMcCann
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I know I'll sound a bit like the man who said "Well, If I were going there, I wouldn't start from here", but if I were you I'd reinstall Ubuntu or Mint! You need something that you can use and rely on. You don't need to have any specific distro to learn from: they all have the Linux kernel, the Gnu tools, and the shell.

Debian is a very good server distro — half the internet runs on it — but it's not really optimised for the desktop. Why else do you think so many derivatives exist? Arch is for experts: if doesn't often go wrong but you do need to be the sort of person who can cope it it does.

Some other observations:
1. Keep a "captain's log" recording everything you do to your system so that you don't end up knowing that there was a solution but you can't remember it. Keep it as a plain text file: you may end up needing to access it with no GUI.
2. Never edit a configuration file without making a backup copy.
3. If you are using the Gnome, Cinnamon, or Mate desktop, learn how to use "dconf dump" and "dconf load" so that you can repair configuration data without the GUI.
4. Go slowly and cautiously. It takes more than 6 months to be come an expert!
 
Old 09-18-2018, 05:12 PM   #4
Dontpanic
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Talking

Thank you both for the reply. Those where some very good advice. Easy to implement but not thought of without the experience.

I will change to those habits right away. Especially that captains log.

I have read the sticky about the distros along with personal views on blogs and YouTube. Being there are a lot of different setups between machines, I guess I was interested in knowing what people's experiences are with similar machines to mine. I know some distros work well with older hardware, some are big and bulky, some may or my not have software or codes that potentially spy on its users (may have read that on a wrong corner or the internet).

Either way thanks again for the advice, I hope to come across more tips like that.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 06:08 PM   #5
JeremyBoden
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You mention a lightweight distro - but your laptop would likely be called powerful (at least in a non-gaming usage).
You could try Mint or the "Mint-ised" LMDE if you require a distro closely based on Debian stable.

Certainly worth booting from a USB stick to test internet, graphics etc.
Note:- Live distro's often have minor bugs like not ejecting the USB stick and shutting down properly - although this no longer occurs after a full install to disk.

Provided you load the "uBlock Origin" extension in Firefox to reduce tracking cookies etc and decline any phone home options you should be well protected, especially if you sit on the local side of a modem-router (which will block connections which has not been requested by you).

Last edited by JeremyBoden; 09-18-2018 at 06:17 PM.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #6
Dontpanic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
You mention a lightweight distro - but your laptop would likely be called powerful (at least in a non-gaming usage).
You could try Mint or the "Mint-ised" LMDE if you require a distro closely based on Debian stable.

Certainly worth booting from a USB stick to test internet, graphics etc.
Note:- Live distro's often have minor bugs like not ejecting the USB stick and shutting down properly - although this no longer occurs after a full install to disk.

Provided you load the "uBlock Origin" extension in Firefox to reduce tracking cookies etc and decline any phone home options you should be well protected, especially if you sit on the local side of a modem-router (which will block connections which has not been requested by you).
Thank you for that. I will most certainly try a "Mint-ised" type distro.

I mentioned the lightweight destro because really I don't want to have a bunch of unnessary things. Granted they are necessary for the distro but I rather have the resources lean more towards performance vs just operation, if I can say that. I definately will my trying out a few distros on live boot to check them out. Thanks again.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 07:32 PM   #7
zeebra
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What I know, looking for what I don't know I don't know.

The answer to that is Slackware. If you truly want to learn to use GNU/Linux, but yet have a productive system quite easily, Slackware is the way to go. It is also lightweight.

Code:
shutdown -h 0
If you want to shutdown.

&&

Code:
sudo apt-get remove sudo
Please.

Last edited by zeebra; 09-18-2018 at 07:33 PM.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 05:06 AM   #8
JeremyBoden
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In general (on a desktop) removing sudo from your machine is a bad idea as you will need to sign-in to root to do anything "administrative".
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-19-2018, 10:01 AM   #9
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
In general (on a desktop) removing sudo from your machine is a bad idea as you will need to sign-in to root to do anything "administrative".
And? Isn't that better than letting your user be root?

Most people rarely need to do administrative tasks that needs root anyways, and if they do, they should know what they are doing.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 10:23 AM   #10
boombaby
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Hello, Dontpanic


Firstly, dont panic!


Background:

In Linux I feel I am a permanent newbie, or "pnewbie". The silent "p" means it is pronounced the same way as "newbie" - but means something quite different. I have been like this for years!!

I have shied away from using the CLI (Command Line Interface) and stuck to working in the GUI (Graphic User Interface - or Windows/Desktop).

When I first tried Linux it was Red Hat 3.2. I couldn't get the hang of it in order to produce any OUTPUT (ie work). I was still using MS-Windows back then, but in Linux (then done in CLI) I just could not remember all the abbreviated CLI commands and compiling and linking and...oh dear. It was a mess.

Then I tried Linux Mandrake 7.1. It kept hanging on the install - so I thought I was doing something wrong. However that was just a problem with the installation CD because later they released Mandrake 7.2 and my world changed.

Wow! What a beautiful, FREE desktop system. "Now I could do stuff."


Moving on:

I manage to acquire an old PC system to muck around on, and - over time - installed/tried hundreds of distros and versions. In this way I became acquainted with various distros and their nuances.

In particular, I wanted to find a distro that was suitable at the GUI level. So, I never became fully conversant with CLI. So, I'm a pnewbie.


RECOMMENDATIONS

So, to some recommendations...


1.

These days many distros are moving from 32-bit to 64-bit only setups.

Recommend you consider doing the same at some point. ("Now" is as good a time as any.)

2.

There is a split in Linux over system ops - new systemd, and "the alternatives".

Systemd is the modern shift. It has complexity, but some think it makes managing ops easier.

"Alternatives" (including the original methods) are still around - and doing well.

Suggestion: In a search engine type "systemd and alternatives" to find some details.

This is not strictly necessary - unless you eventually dig deep into the system, which - "strangely" - seems to happen a bit in Linux.

3.

There are two main "Linux" distros recognized as supported and stable in the interconnected computer world - Red Hat and Debian.

There are many Linux derivatives of these used to create workable Desktop systems, with appended software applications to make "work" (or "fun") happen.


For DESKTOP use try:

ROSA-10 (64-bit) - pretty solid, and does what it says. (Derives from the Mandrake/Mandriva fork/breakaway.)

MAGEIA-6 - (Also derives from the Mandrake/Mandriva fork - and has pretty good management via the GUI.)

MX - it is Debian derived but NON-systemd (with systemd also available). I currently use this distro. It's pretty darn good all round.

AntiX - a NON-systemd, Debian-dirived sister-distro to MX, and pretty good too. Has a lot of features to allow system management and tweaking at the GUI.

MINT - Ubuntu/Debian-derived and systemd, and solid. Has various desktop "flavours" or versions. You could pick one "flavour" and give it a try. In order - xfce, MATE, Cinnamon (or the other way around, if you like).

PUPPY (Linux) will install on just about anything, and give you a working comprehensive system - but it is quirky. It is NOT your "normal" linux. In older days when I botched things (ie my installation) I used Puppy many times to get me out of a jam. It is quirky. Knowing how it works and how to use it can be valuable info. In these modern times of other matured distros it may not deliver what you require.

Of these, I suggest MX and Mint because they deliver out of the box to a newbie (and a pnewbie) - and ROSA because it is rock solid. Antix and Mageia if you want a bit more hands on control, once you find your way around.

4.

Try to get your hands dirty on CLI.

I still struggle with CLI. However, today, I found this absolute gem...

https://www.rosehosting.com/blog/how...usly-in-linux/

(Don't laugh, but I never knew how to do that. If you don't know how to do that then you will never get the hang of CLI.)



Others may offer other distros to use, and give advice about them. Well and good. This was just my offering.


Regards,

boombaby
_
 
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:18 AM   #11
JeremyBoden
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On a desktop/laptop, most people would do the CLI stuff by opening a Terminal Window in the GUI.
It's not a true CLI but if you want to run several commands simultaneously, you just open a few extra Terminal Windows.

You might need to use sudo etc if you are not signed in as root - you should never be using a GUI if you are signed in as root!
 
Old 09-19-2018, 11:41 AM   #12
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dontpanic View Post
I mentioned the lightweight destro because really I don't want to have a bunch of unnessary things. Granted they are necessary for the distro but I rather have the resources lean more towards performance vs just operation, if I can say that.
This is Windows experience talking! There, the more stuff you have the bigger and slower the registry and the greater the risk of things getting in a tangle. With Linux, it doesn't matter how much is installed, provided there's room on the HD: stuff you don't use has no effect on performance.

I noted in your post that you are a computer science student. That's important: you want to learn the sort of stuff that gets used in the real world. Companies who need paid support use Red Hat (USA), SUSE (Europe), or (occasionally) Ubuntu Server. Companies with too many servers to buy support (internet) or who don't need it (computer industry) mostly use Debian Stable or CentOS. On the server things are generally similar, and Red Hat, CentOS, and SUSE are deliberately kept in line with each other. Things that are not based on Red Hat, Debian, or SUSE are non-standard from an industry viewpoint. That doesn't mean that Slackware and Arch are bad — they're very good — just that they are not what you are likely to find on a server or an office PC. Have a look at what's mentioned in the Unix and Linux Systems Administrators' Handbook and you'll see.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 05:41 PM   #13
Dontpanic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boombaby View Post
Hello, Dontpanic


Firstly, dont panic!

.....Try to get your hands dirty on CLI.

I still struggle with CLI. However, today, I found this absolute gem...

https://www.rosehosting.com/blog/how...usly-in-linux/

(Don't laugh, but I never knew how to do that. If you don't know how to do that then you will never get the hang of CLI.)



Others may offer other distros to use, and give advice about them. Well and good. This was just my offering.


Regards,

boombaby
_
Thank you for that reply and the link. That is very useful information rather than having 3+ terminals running. I do use the terminal a lot when navigating and starting processes. I rather enjoy it. I will look into those distros as well.
My concern was the ability to find working drivers for my hardware as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeebra
And? Isn't that better than letting your user be root?

Most people rarely need to do administrative tasks that needs root anyways, and if they do, they should know what they are doing.
_
I most certainly can see your point. Don't want users to screw things up when they don't know what they are doing. Let's be a bit real though, did anyone REALLY know what they were doing when things were invented? They knew what they where going for but how to get there was a bit a trial and error process... in windows I felt like I knew how to drive the thing not how it works.
"I didn't come to linux to be a little bit*h...." [A bit of humour there]

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann
I noted in your post that you are a computer science student. That's important: you want to learn the sort of stuff that gets used in the real world. Companies who need paid support use Red Hat (USA), SUSE (Europe), or (occasionally) Ubuntu Server. Companies with too many servers to buy support (internet) or who don't need it (computer industry) mostly use Debian Stable or CentOS. On the server things are generally similar, and Red Hat, CentOS, and SUSE are deliberately kept in line with each other.....
_
That Mr. DavidMcCann is some great advice I had not thought of. I believe I will start with that in mind and test out a few other distros for my own personal useage. Thank you lots.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 06:32 PM   #14
JeremyBoden
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A desktop version will usually provide a CLI + GUI interface.
A server version (of the same distro) won't have a GUI interface.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #15
AwesomeMachine
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I learned on SuSE. After you learn one distro the next one is a lot easier. The things I struggled with were

Finding individual files
Finding text strings within files (search for error messages and where they came from)
Where to look for different types of files (FSH)
How to use the tools
Where to find help (the Internet wasn't that great back then)
Finding out what hardware was on the system
Finding out what I could delete

My solutions were:

locate
grep
File System Hierarchy
man
/usr/share/docs
lspci
bleachbit

I now use both gui and cli. They're good for different things. I rarely use a gui text editor, because cli is 100x faster. But you have to learn the commands. I used to run 'ls /usr/bin | less' and in another terminal look up the man page for every command in '/usr/bin'.

I've also run 'zcat /usr/share/man/man*/* | less' to print out every man page in a scrolling list. You can also run 'grep keyword /usr/share/man/man*/* | less' to search all the man pages for a word or phrase.

I've compiled kernels for every installation I ever had. Sometimes I used the custom kernel, other times I switched back to the stock kernel. I used to make a disk image to a separate drive, so if the system broke, I could write the image back to the system drive and start over without reinstalling. See: https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...ommand-362506/

The other thing you can do is run different distros in virtual machines. But as has been mentioned previously, Debian forks are mostly of no professional value. If you want to really learn the Debian system, you're best to just learn Debian.

I consider Red Hat to be reference standard Linux. Although Debian is considered by many to the reference standard computer operating system. If you're using testing, try getting the system to work with stable first. And if you want a taste of Red Hat, try centos. Make sure to learn rpm like the back of your hand.

As far as drivers for your hardware, run 'lspci -vv | less' and look at the last entry for each device. That's the driver name. I also doubt that you have i917 graphics, since the i917 is a Samsung smartphone. There used to be Intel i915 graphics, but I doubt if you have one in your lappy.

Last edited by AwesomeMachine; 09-19-2018 at 07:52 PM.
 
  


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