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Linux OS

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Moliere
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Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

Now that my new gaming desktop is up and running I wanted to experiment with Linux (i.e., I don't want to buy another copy of Windows).

Any recommendations for how to go about doing this (e.g., here?) or things I should watch out for in the process? The desktop will be used for general internet browsing, email, etc. No fancy games or special apps.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Jeff V »

My brush with Linux was brief and pointless. Find out which flavor you prefer -- I tried Ubuntu. Download the ISO, mount it to some media, and install away. It will even install side by side with Windows. The problem was it did not have display drivers for my mainstream corporate laptop, so it looked like ass. After poking around a few minutes, I closed it and never went back to it. It eventually was annihilated when the drive was reimaged.
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RunningMn9
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Re: Linux OS

Post by RunningMn9 »

Moliere wrote:I wanted to experiment with Linux.
The easiest way to experiment is with a live image. I believe that both Fedora and Ubuntu come as a live image that you just burn to a DVD and then boot your computer off of that. The OS runs off the DVD without changing anything on the host system. That's as easy as it gets for experimentation.

I also have a variety of distributions installed into Virtualbox virtual machines so that I can run them from within Windows. That said, I don't use Linux as a default OS. I only use it when I have to for some work related tasks or some such.
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hitbyambulance
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

follow the tutorial in the linux.com link you posted for USB or DVD boot. if/when you actually install off the live image, it'll give you an option to dual boot with Win10 by shrinking the Windows partition to whatever you want to make room for the Linux install (at least, the Ubuntu installer will offer to do that.) it'll also install GRUB bootloader to take the place of Windows bootloader. (on my home machine, Windows 7 actually ate the GRUB bootloader, so i had to do a workaround using Windows bootloader...)

when it's installed, be sure to check out System Settings -> Software & Updates -> Additional Drivers to see what proprietary drivers are needed. Ubuntu should handle the graphics card drivers automatically on desktop machines. do you have nVidia or ATi?

i recommend also installing Steam and trying out at least one graphics-intense Linux-supported games. Serious Sam 3/Talos Principle, Borderlands 2/Presequel, Metro Redux, Witcher 3, Empire:Total War, XCOM 2...

i've done this a ton of times (with the latest being just last night) so if you have questions, just ask them. Ubuntu is a very good choice for a first time attempt (SteamOS is just a slightly modified Ubuntu, which itself is a derivative of Debian.) 16.04 just came out last Thursday, and it's a long-term supported release.

protip: pin the Terminal to the dock. you're going to use it a lot. learn to love it.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Max Peck »

If you are just going to use it for things like web browsing and email, I'd suggest going with a virtual machine (I use VMware Player, which is a free version of VMware that still has enough functionality to create a vmware image). With that you don't even need to create boot/install media, since the vm can mount the iso file as a virtual CD/DVD-ROM, and you don't need to worry about things like drive partitioning.
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

I downloaded Ubuntu 16.04 for the desktop and burned the ISO onto a DVD. I then booted the computer to the DVD and ran the install as a fresh install wiping out my old Windows OS. Everything looked good during the install and it even connected to the internet through the ethernet cable. When I restarted the computer for the first time it hangs on the Hardware Monitor screen after the Bios startup and just before the OS is supposed to start. I tried reinstalling Ubuntu with the same results. Are there some Bios incapable of connecting to Ubuntu? I am running a Biostar MB from 2011 and unfortunately my Bios hasn't been updated since then.
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hitbyambulance
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

does your machine have BIOS or UEFI? i assume the former.

i am guessing something went goofy with GRUB (bootloader). i take it it's freezing just before the actual boot process starts.

can you try downloading Ubuntu 14.04, install that and see if it has the same issue? also see if you can update the mobo BIOS.

just to rule out one suspicion: how big is the hard drive on your system - is it larger than 2TB? what is the make and model of your motherboard? some older mobos and very large HDs have problems that need to be worked around, but yours is new enough that i believe this is not at all the problem.
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

I have two different hard drives: 320MB and 80MB, so not very big. I think the MB was the Biostar TPower X79 from 2011. I tried installing Ubuntu on both drives as a fresh install wiping all previous data. Each time it stops on this screen during the boot-up:

Image
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

It could be another device you have plugged in, that has a higher boot priority than your HDs, that's interfering with the boot process, causing it to fail to boot from your HDs (e.g. a flash drive, a CD/DVD, an SD card, etc). Be sure to remove anything of that sort, and perhaps also try increasing the boot priority of your Linux HD in the BIOS.
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

Anonymous Bosch wrote:It could be another device you have plugged in, that has a higher boot priority than your HDs, that's interfering with the boot process, causing it to fail to boot from your HDs (e.g. a flash drive, a CD/DVD, an SD card, etc). Be sure to remove anything of that sort, and perhaps also try increasing the boot priority of your Linux HD in the BIOS.
The Boot priority is set to look at the Linux hard drive first.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Biyobi »

Moliere wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:It could be another device you have plugged in, that has a higher boot priority than your HDs, that's interfering with the boot process, causing it to fail to boot from your HDs (e.g. a flash drive, a CD/DVD, an SD card, etc). Be sure to remove anything of that sort, and perhaps also try increasing the boot priority of your Linux HD in the BIOS.
The Boot priority is set to look at the Linux hard drive first.
Have you tried booting with only the Linux hard drive plugged in?
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

Biyobi wrote:Have you tried booting with only the Linux hard drive plugged in?
No. I guess it was too much to hope that I can do a clean/easy install of Linux to replace my working Win7.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

to be honest, this is* kind of a weird issue and i am interested in finding out what the problem is.

16.04 just came out - i am still interested in seeing if installing 14.04 has the same issue.

if 14.04 worked, then i would either just manually update to 14.10, 15.04, 15.10, and then 16.04, or i'd reinstall 16.04 and try this:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

alternatively, you could try the boot repair first, if you're comfortable with following the instructions.

i also checked your mobo manual - you do have UEFI and not BIOS. i have not used UEFI before, but the manual assures me Linux is compatible and not locked out in any way.

so, checklist of things to try:
* attempt boot repair/GRUB reconfiguration (and at this point, i am 95% convinced something is screwy with the MBR configuration)
* install Ubuntu 14.04
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

After I used the Bios to disable the 350MB drive the computer completed the boot process. Ubuntu came right up and I was able to run a few programs, browse the Internet, and install Linux updates. I will have to investigate further if there was something wrong with the other drive or an issue with how they were wired to the MB. At least I have a working Linux box to play with now. Thanks for all the help!
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

congrats. Biyobi was on the case.

(and your hard drives are 80GB and 350GB each, not 80MB and 350MB... you could fit a bare-bones linux install on those, but not Ubuntu with Unity...)
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Biyobi »

hitbyambulance wrote:congrats. Biyobi was on the case.

(and your hard drives are 80GB and 350GB each, not 80MB and 350MB... you could fit a bare-bones linux install on those, but not Ubuntu with Unity...)
Lucky my quick Google aearch landed me on the right page. :ninja:

I never saw how they resolved the multiple drive problem though. SATA drives are supposed to be hot-swappable if your motherboard supports it. If it does, boot with one drive then connect the second after. You may have "mount" the drive in Linux via command line if it doesn't do it on its own.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

so how is the Linux experiment going?
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

hitbyambulance wrote:so how is the Linux experiment going?
No issues with the limited time I've experimented so far. That mostly entails basic web browsing. I haven't tried any Steam games yet. I was happy to plug and play a wireless USB NIC so I can move the second desktop to a different room.
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Moliere
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Re: Linux OS

Post by Moliere »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Moliere wrote: Linux is a pain to use even installing the most basic drdivers.
what drivers are you having trouble installing? bring it up in the Linux thread.
My previous post references the wireless NIC:
Image
While this worked it is so small that the signal loses a lot of strength when the router is in another room.

I then ordered this wireless NIC:
Image
It was supposed to have a better signal with external antennas and also be compatible with Linux. The problem is that the drivers are only available online. Then I found out the drivers provided by the company on their site are for a previous kernal. When trying to install it there was no single .exe install file. It required something like 10 complicated command line entries that were not intuitive at all. I finally gave up and returned it.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

Moliere wrote:[When trying to install it there was no single .exe install file. It required something like 10 complicated command line entries that were not intuitive at all. I finally gave up and returned it.
this was pretty common ten years ago for wireless adaptors on Linux. (Broadcom firmware, most notoriously) the situation is much improved these days, but i'm not surprised this happened.
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Re: Linux OS

Post by hitbyambulance »

i'm using Ubuntu (20.04.3 LTS) at work on a ThinkPad Carbon X1 notebook (pre-installed from Lenovo) since September, after a couple jobs and a few years where i was yanked away from Linux and forced to use Windows. my big quibble is with Microsoft and their sub-par Linux desktop clients - Teams is particularly not that great. really frustrating, and it's all on them. i'm dealing by using the web version (and in the new Microsoft-Edge-for-Linux browser, i kid you not). it's ok because a lot of other people at work do not like Teams (it's only used because the CEO uses it) and we've switched back to Zoom for everything not involving the CEO or Marketing. i use Brave browser for all other work stuff and Firefox for non-work.

i will say, in MS's favor, that the Evolution mail client is not nearly as convenient to use and clunker than Outlook, but i'm trying to deal with it - i don't want to use the Outlook web client, personally.

everything else is totally fine. i do have Steam installed on here, but not many games yet.
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