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johnhannibalsmith
08-08-2016, 01:52 PM
Technically, that's not entirely true as I used it briefly in the 90's and became somewhat familiar with basic terminal commands and the file structures. But, clearly a lot has changed and most of what I remember is more a result of spending the last few days reading and watching videos - mainly on the various popular new distributions, installations, and dealing with drivers.

The scenario boils down to a longstanding claim/gripe/whine of mine to at least try to not deal with Windows. Without beating a dead horse mercilessly, it isn't so much the software itself, though I still pretend to this day that I would prefer to still be running DOS over Win. The problem for me has been the trajectory of the company behind the software since the days of DOS and the sense that I increasingly need permission from Windows to do anything the way that I want to do it as opposed to the way that they want to, even when it comes to 3rd party executables.

I finally went ahead and decided to order components to piece together a replacement for what is a perfectly fine computer that I use now. But it is getting old by contemporary standards in terms of lifespan, not so much technology since I tend to try to buy what I hope will last. My goal here is to build the new computer and load a Linux distro from the outset and be able to work through getting it running to satisfaction without the pressure of needing to use that computer. I will still have this Win7 computer alongside to do what I need to do without interruption or pressure to get my shit together with Linux.

I've read a bunch of threads here at Pace Advantage (notably this among my favorites with good back and forth with Tupper, Delta, Sosa, Dave S, and DJofSD: http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101400&highlight=linux ) and since a few years have elapsed since that thread I'm hoping that some of the same guys or others that frequent this forum and have an opinion can chime in with pretty much any insight.

My main and most simple question revolves around selecting a distro. At the moment I am leaning towards Ubuntu. I have looked at a few of the derivatives (Mint, Zorin, etc.) and I think I'd rather not have it too easy making a transition from Windows. Mint and Zorin seem geared to make it as simple as possible with many things included in the distro and a familiar appearance. I think that I want a few growing pains and a need to interact with the terminal and hunt for some basic applications and don't really see any need to ditch windows in favor of an OS that resembles Windows.

But these are rudimentary conclusions. There are so many things to consider and so many various distros to investigate that I find myself spending hours looking at one of the most popular before making it to the next and then needing a break. So my progress is slow learning. I'm hoping that maybe others have recommendations or opinions or even some good reference sources to throw my way to facilitate a lot of these choices.

For the record, I'm not a 'power user' by any real definition. Most of my computer use these days is basic stuff. Browser running 200 open tabs and admittedly, even the occasional game. No, I'm not a hardcore Call of Duty type guy, but I do like to spin out with some strategy and simulator type games once in a while (Civ and the like mainly) so would probably install Steam. I've read where GPU driver support can be messy and am contemplating swapping my old GPU into the new build and using the new GPU in this computer for the time being if for no other reason than to be sure to test the new one on a stable system that I can run and be forced to eventually tinker with Nvidia drivers on Linux twice. :)

Alright, I'm all over the place with this thread and post. I had an idea what I wanted to ask about and then digressed so many times that I suppose it is more of a free-form advice solicitation for a new Linux tranny with some margin for error and some basic understanding of the principles.

Any comments, even ones calling me an idiot for making a political statement with an OS are appreciated. :D

xtb
08-08-2016, 04:19 PM
I dumped microsoft completely about a year ago and never regret it. I use Xubuntu, has the right look and feel for me along with performance. I would like to find a better file manager but that's it.

johnhannibalsmith
08-08-2016, 05:06 PM
...I use Xubuntu, has the right look and feel for me along with performance...

:ThmbUp:

Thanks. That's among the next things I really want to look into - the various *buntu distributions to see if I should go with the flagship or one of the other ones like X. I will start there now that it has an endorsement.

michiken
08-08-2016, 08:01 PM
I have been using PCLinuxOS with the LXDE desktop for years. The menu/layout is very windows like and it is easy on the resources.

At distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/) and you can see all the latest flavors of Linux.

You can always download ANY iso. and burn it to DVD or USB Stick.

If you change your bios so that the first boot device is the DVD or USB, you can run the whole distro for a test drive before installing it. Go buy a 10 pack of DVD's and give it a try.

I have tried at least 50 of the top distos and like PCLinuxOS the best because of the computer configuration center. This gives you more control over your hardware and settings.

Most distro's just set the configs once at install and your left trying to figure out what to change to tweak or fix something.

I also tried and liked:

Peppermint/Manjaro/Mageia/Solus and Puppy (installed on my old P4 laptop)

Ken

johnhannibalsmith
08-08-2016, 08:21 PM
...

At distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/) and you can see all the latest flavors of Linux.

...

Ken

:ThmbUp:

That's one of the 200 tabs that I've had open for days now trying to work my way down the list and learn about each. :D

I will definitely skip a few and get to PCLinuxOS - then the others recommended.

Thanks also for seconding the idea of running off of a USB to sample. As it will be a fresh format of the SSD once assembled and running (and the fact that I wasn't planning on installing an optical drive though i have one disconnected in this computer I could swap if needed) I had investigated the USB boots/installs as heavily as I could figuring that was my best option. I was rather pleased to learn along the way that I could do exactly what you describe as well. I'm thinking that my best option is to pick one off of advice and available resources for now and install just to get the system set up and then do exactly what you suggest once I'm sure that hardware is functional and I have half a clue what I am doing.

Thanks!!

reckless
08-09-2016, 12:14 AM
Found your thoughts quite interesting as I also went totally Linux about 18 months ago, first because Microsoft stopped supporting my great old Dell 2400 desktop with Windows XP, and then, later, I was constantly feeling harangued with a new laptop I had bought with Win 8.1 installed. I still get emails about upgrading to the 'free' Windows 10 system. :lol:

I also installed Linux on a now 13 year old Acer laptop.

I earlier tried many distros and all of them had some plusses and minuses, as usual.

I decided on Linux Mint 17 Qiana for mythen 'new' HP laptop, and it is still great! I haven't felt a need to upgrade and it is loaded to the gills with many applications we non-power users require and want.

My laptop has Linux Lite 2.4 installed and it is smaller, faster and equally loaded with all the applications I need and desire. The Linux Lite variant is the best alternative to install for older machines, IMHO.

When I was fiddling with Ubuntu, I got the feeling that the Ubuntu people are beginning to play the same game as those being played at Apple and Microsoft. It seems to me that they eventually want to totally lock users into their echo-system.

All in all, I am happy with my decision to go all Linux all the time, but I do wish that I hadn't wiped my hard drive clean off my Windows XP box. It was the best system ever and I never had a security problem, no blue screen, no lockups, nothing. Ahh, c'est le vie.

johnhannibalsmith
08-09-2016, 12:38 AM
Thanks Reckless!

I spent some time early on checking out Mint but as I kind of mentioned, it almost seemed too easy to transition when I first looked it over. However, in some of the hours since posting this thread, one of my study topics has been to try to get a gauge on which distro plays best with my GPU (as long as I bought a new one, might as well factor that reasonably heavily into the decision I suppose) and seems like Mint is a pretty common one with those users. Of course, that could just be that Mint is pretty damn popular in general apparently - and it's hard at times to distinguish between good advice in a specific context and merely distro fandom that seems prevalent - but I haven't read much to suggest that it is a bad combo aside from some of the pitfalls with the packaged drivers in lieu of the proprietary ones.

Short version I guess is that I had already decided to take a second pass at Mint just based on all of the positive endorsements it gets on a number of topics from a broad array of users. Given your similar transition from Windows and sentiments, I think I will definitely go farther than the skin deep look I gave it originally. :ThmbUp:

Parkview_Pirate
08-09-2016, 12:43 AM
I've been using Linux on my home system, at least part time, since 1999. Started out with Suse CDs bought at Fry's, back when downloading from the net took forever. With Linux Mint, about 8 years ago, Linux finally moved past a lot of the post-install tweaks for media, graphics and other hardware. It also seemed to pass a threshold of stability, and I've been full-time on the platform since then.

Built a new system last year, and Ubuntu Studio was one of the few flavors I could find that would work with the newer Skylake chip, but I think Mint has caught back up.

I don't think it matters much now what flavor you use - my preference for Ubuntu and Mint is simply because the access to the rest of the Linux software is relatively painless. If you're hardcore about security, then FreeBSD and custom built distros seem to be the way to go, though I've never had any issues with Linux - can't say the same for Windows for sure.

If your new hardware has the horsepower, you can look at running virtual machines under Virtualbox. It's slowly getting better, and will allow you to run other distros or even Windows flavors without affecting your "base" install of Linux.

There's only a couple of software applications I still prefer on Windows, but I'm not the heaviest user of apps either. I've always hoped that having all the free tools on hand would help motivate me a bit for more programming, but that's been a very slow process.

johnhannibalsmith
08-09-2016, 01:41 AM
Excellent, thanks PP. :ThmbUp:

I can't remember which one it was now for sure, dammit, but it wasn't long ago so guessing it was PCLinuxOS Mate Deluxe since I was checking that theme out after michiken's post... but I noticed it had VirtualBox installed in the distribution and thought maybe that would be at least one good reason to start there and just test some of the others out using that.

But, another semi-vote for Mint means that I know how the next few hours before bed will be spent. :D

Thanks!!

tupper
08-09-2016, 02:35 AM
@michiken made a great suggestion regarding test-driving liveOS versions. Booting from USB will generally run snappier than from DVD, as will using a liveOS that loads completely into ram.

If you decide to go with an Ubuntu or Mint (or Debian) derivative, try to pick an LTS (Long Term Support) version that is early in its life. Then, you won't need to reinstall after 6 months (which probably takes around 20 minutes) because the developers stopped updating packages.

I think that other major distros also have their versions of "LTS."

johnhannibalsmith
08-09-2016, 02:43 PM
Thanks Tupper. When I look on the Distrowatch it doesn't list the downloads for versions 17.x and 18 as LTS in the download descriptions but the 17.3 version is listed as based on Ubuntu LTS and in release notes it describes it as an LTS. The 18 notes from 6/30 basically do the same. If I do go with Mint, I was figuring that was probably my safest bet mainly for the reasons you mentioned but wasn't sure if I'd be better off going with the older 17.3 or 18 which doesn't appear to be out of beta for all that long. It's enough of a challenge differentiating the various distros but then parsing the pluses and minuses of the releases within each is a whole 'nother ball of wax. Not that it's a bad thing by any means. Having an actual choice is beyond refreshing. Just a lot to digest when you're more or less totally clueless and piecing it together on the fly.

tupper
08-09-2016, 03:46 PM
It appears that Linux Mint 18 (Sarah) is currently a "distribution" release, being out of beta as of 6/30/16. However, that doesn't mean that all the bugs have been eliminated (as with any OS release). There is an "End Of Life" row on the chart of the various releases, and Mint 18 shows an end of life of April, 2021.

By the way, the XFCE desktop version of Mint 18 was evidently released a few days ago.

It might be best not to agonize too much about it and try a few live versions and just go ahead and pick the one you like best. If your choice happens to be a new release, just update often in the beginning as bugs are fixed. Furthermore, if you change your mind after install, it usually only takes about 10-20 minutes to install another distro, if you already have all of your data backed up.

On the other hand, you could go with a rolling release distro, but sometimes those are cutting edge.

senortout
08-09-2016, 05:27 PM
Please I need a quick overview of the hardware you will be using, before making any recommends!...I like Ubuntu very much, indeed, for my own use, but perhaps you have very old equipment?


For example, will you be using an nvidia graphics card, and will you have plenty of memory, and what will your hard drive be?



Technically, that's not entirely true as I used it briefly in the 90's and became somewhat familiar with basic terminal commands and the file structures. But, clearly a lot has changed and most of what I remember is more a result of spending the last few days reading and watching videos - mainly on the various popular new distributions, installations, and dealing with drivers.

The scenario boils down to a longstanding claim/gripe/whine of mine to at least try to not deal with Windows. Without beating a dead horse mercilessly, it isn't so much the software itself, though I still pretend to this day that I would prefer to still be running DOS over Win. The problem for me has been the trajectory of the company behind the software since the days of DOS and the sense that I increasingly need permission from Windows to do anything the way that I want to do it as opposed to the way that they want to, even when it comes to 3rd party executables.

I finally went ahead and decided to order components to piece together a replacement for what is a perfectly fine computer that I use now. But it is getting old by contemporary standards in terms of lifespan, not so much technology since I tend to try to buy what I hope will last. My goal here is to build the new computer and load a Linux distro from the outset and be able to work through getting it running to satisfaction without the pressure of needing to use that computer. I will still have this Win7 computer alongside to do what I need to do without interruption or pressure to get my shit together with Linux.

I've read a bunch of threads here at Pace Advantage (notably this among my favorites with good back and forth with Tupper, Delta, Sosa, Dave S, and DJofSD: http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101400&highlight=linux ) and since a few years have elapsed since that thread I'm hoping that some of the same guys or others that frequent this forum and have an opinion can chime in with pretty much any insight.

My main and most simple question revolves around selecting a distro. At the moment I am leaning towards Ubuntu. I have looked at a few of the derivatives (Mint, Zorin, etc.) and I think I'd rather not have it too easy making a transition from Windows. Mint and Zorin seem geared to make it as simple as possible with many things included in the distro and a familiar appearance. I think that I want a few growing pains and a need to interact with the terminal and hunt for some basic applications and don't really see any need to ditch windows in favor of an OS that resembles Windows.

But these are rudimentary conclusions. There are so many things to consider and so many various distros to investigate that I find myself spending hours looking at one of the most popular before making it to the next and then needing a break. So my progress is slow learning. I'm hoping that maybe others have recommendations or opinions or even some good reference sources to throw my way to facilitate a lot of these choices.

For the record, I'm not a 'power user' by any real definition. Most of my computer use these days is basic stuff. Browser running 200 open tabs and admittedly, even the occasional game. No, I'm not a hardcore Call of Duty type guy, but I do like to spin out with some strategy and simulator type games once in a while (Civ and the like mainly) so would probably install Steam. I've read where GPU driver support can be messy and am contemplating swapping my old GPU into the new build and using the new GPU in this computer for the time being if for no other reason than to be sure to test the new one on a stable system that I can run and be forced to eventually tinker with Nvidia drivers on Linux twice. :)

Alright, I'm all over the place with this thread and post. I had an idea what I wanted to ask about and then digressed so many times that I suppose it is more of a free-form advice solicitation for a new Linux tranny with some margin for error and some basic understanding of the principles.

Any comments, even ones calling me an idiot for making a political statement with an OS are appreciated. :D

johnhannibalsmith
08-09-2016, 06:07 PM
Please I need a quick overview of the hardware you will be using, before making any recommends!...I like Ubuntu very much, indeed, for my own use, but perhaps you have very old equipment?


For example, will you be using an nvidia graphics card, and will you have plenty of memory, and what will your hard drive be?

I try to go all out with a fresh build and piece together something that should last under most scenarios for quite a while and require only minimal upgrades along the way. I want to put it to the test running Linux right away and keep all that Microsoft crap off the new build from the outset (as much as a person can anyway), so, long story short, I'll be working with something quite capable (overkill for my needs right now but that generally means a half-dozen years from now I will be thanking myself):

i7-6700 4.0Ghz processor
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO cooler
Gigabyte Z170XUD5 mobo
GSkill TridentZ 16GB DDR4 3000 mem
Crucial MX300 750GB SSD
WD Blue 1TB HDD
EVGA (Nvidia) GTX1070 GPU
EVGA 750W 80+ Gold modular PSU

Thanks for any insight! The case for this damn thing is the only piece holding up progress so I'm narrowing things down on the OS front bit by bit, moving like a semi-functional machine.

johnhannibalsmith
08-09-2016, 06:10 PM
...

It might be best not to agonize too much about it and try a few live versions and just go ahead and pick the one you like best. If your choice happens to be a new release, just update often in the beginning as bugs are fixed. Furthermore, if you change your mind after install, it usually only takes about 10-20 minutes to install another distro, if you already have all of your data backed up.

...

I appreciate it. More and more I'm realizing that this is probably the best advice. And as posted, part of the reason I'm doing it the way that I'm doing it - on fresh build with a perfectly fine Win7 machine running alongside - is so that I have plenty of margin for error and time to get things just right. Other than needing to test the fresh hardware before return periods expire, I can dink around with something new constantly and be under no real pressure to settle in or worry about data loss since anything critical will remain on this computer at least for the time being.

Thanks again.

senortout
08-10-2016, 12:50 AM
You'll run any version of Linux that ever came down the pike with that baby when you get it together. Am I correct in saying that you are 'foregoing' all versions of MS Windows? If not, make sure you install MS Windows first. That will most likely ease the job of adding the 2nd system(whatever version of Linux you decide upon)

So, if you DO include MS Windows (here, I advise Windows 10), fine. Then, add a software such as Virtualbox for testing the various Linux varieties. You can just download the .iso file for each online.

My personal favorite is the one I have been using for 2-3 years now. Ubuntu. It is a stress-reliever after dealing with MS all my adult life. I just took the latest update which came out this past April. Ubuntu 16.04. I waited to see if you would mention the brand of graphics card and when you listed nvidia, I knew you were good to go with Ubuntu 16.04. There are still problems using AMD graphics cards. Sure, they'll work those out but it's good to know you won't be starting behind the ole' 8-ball on that one. Best of luck whatever you decide. Oh, and do read how to dual-boot MS Windows alongside Ubuntu....simply stated, if you're using Linux more than you plan to use Windows, aportion your dd space accordingly....once again, you must read ahead before making this move. There's lots to read on the subject.











I try to go all out with a fresh build and piece together something that should last under most scenarios for quite a while and require only minimal upgrades along the way. I want to put it to the test running Linux right away and keep all that Microsoft crap off the new build from the outset (as much as a person can anyway), so, long story short, I'll be working with something quite capable (overkill for my needs right now but that generally means a half-dozen years from now I will be thanking myself):

i7-6700 4.0Ghz processor
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO cooler
Gigabyte Z170XUD5 mobo
GSkill TridentZ 16GB DDR4 3000 mem
Crucial MX300 750GB SSD
WD Blue 1TB HDD
EVGA (Nvidia) GTX1070 GPU
EVGA 750W 80+ Gold modular PSU

Thanks for any insight! The case for this damn thing is the only piece holding up progress so I'm narrowing things down on the OS front bit by bit, moving like a semi-functional machine.

johnhannibalsmith
08-10-2016, 01:48 AM
... Am I correct in saying that you are 'foregoing' all versions of MS Windows? ...

That's the plan and hope. I'm not so inflexible and cocksure that I won't allow for the chance that I'll just say the hell with it, I don't like this any better, give me back the MS overlord to keep tabs on me and tell me what to do for my own good.

I will keep this computer running Win7 as my primary toy until such time that I feel no reason to fire it up any longer. Or at least not leave it on 24 hours a day any longer. Though even then I will probably leave it Win7 as a backup of sorts that will likely be little more than devoted to streaming live feed from Turf Paradise to the television. But yeah, hopefully I'm making it as easy as possible on myself to switch and enjoy the switch and this is probably the only way I will interrupt my routine and finally make the plunge.

Your reasons for mentioning Nvidia is the main reason I was gravitating towards Ubuntu and it's derivatives. Though it seems as though there is some squabbling about which (16.04 v Mint 17 v Studio v etc v etc) plays best with proprietary drivers and the hardware, it seems that all of the established ones are as good as anything else available once you can get the driver loaded properly.

Glad to have another vote that aligns with what I've read, some of the feedback, and my deductions. I appreciate it! :ThmbUp:

johnhannibalsmith
08-16-2016, 11:55 PM
Just want to say thanks to everyone for insight. I finally got my last piece of the puzzle yesterday and put this thing together but didn't dare tempt a really late night by attempting to boot and see what kind of error codes it spit at me. So I got that this morning instead. After somehow realizing that the original BIOS that shipped with the mobo didn't support the RAM speed I had installed, I trekked for a long drive to locate some 2133 Mhz sticks to get it post, get into BIOS, update the BIOS to a newer version that supports 3200 Mhz, and finally reinstall the others. So now I have even more overkill.

After all that I almost took another night off before attempting to load Mint 18. Screw it... popped in the flash and literally five minutes later was surfing the forum here on Chromium. Couldn't have been simpler or faster. I'm still confusing myself bouncing from one computer to the other and trying to keep two keyboards straight while doing it, but I've been able to slowly but surely load up some applications and get a feel for things.

Still have a long road to familiarity and hopefully full-time use, but wanted to remember to thank everyone straight from the machine itself while it was fresh on my mind. So, thanks!

Parkview_Pirate
08-17-2016, 07:22 AM
Glad to see the new system is working, and your issue with RAM speed reminds me to revisit my system - I think I had to throttle it back to work initially.



i7-6700 4.0Ghz processor
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO cooler
Gigabyte Z170XUD5 mobo
GSkill TridentZ 16GB DDR4 3000 mem
Crucial MX300 750GB SSD
WD Blue 1TB HDD
EVGA (Nvidia) GTX1070 GPU
EVGA 750W 80+ Gold modular PSU



This set of hardware is very close to what I have, except I have a MSI graphics card, smaller SSD and larger HDD. Initially I wanted enough horsepower to run virtual machines, and then I ended up needing to get Windows 10 anyway, so I thought I might end up with a gaming system. Hindsight being 50-50, I could have bought a gen 5 CPU with 8 GB of RAM, and probably been fine. Like you, I've always purchased a "higher end" system, with the idea that it would last longer (got 9 years out of my last system). We'll see.

I'd suggest you try a few more installs, backups and system recoveries with the new h/w to determine how GRUB works, try out Virtualbox, and figure out whether or not you may want to go down the dual/triple boot route. If you have the OEM or recovery disk for W7, that might work installing too - but how it works with the newer CPU is uncertain. W7 will work fine in a virtual machine of course.

As far as backups go, I don't have a complicated enough Linux system to worry about the o/s. With Windows, this was bit more complicated, as it doesn't take long to get enough patches and s/w products installed, that an image backup becomes essential. I do run backups on my "data" folder on my SSD and copy to the HDD, as well as an occasional backup to an external USB drive. Anyway, my point is make sure you have a plan to recovery from each of the hard drives failing, or a corruption of the O/S.

I predict that once you achieve a certain comfort level with the new hardware, the old system with W7 on it will start collecting dust. With my old system, I'm leaving it off the network as an "air-gapped" backup system, running the original Vista. It's got a couple of games on it, and my scanner software, and thereby minimized the need for allowing Windows 10 native access on the new system. Now I'm just down to figuring out how to run the ThinkOrSwim trading platform on Linux.....

johnhannibalsmith
08-17-2016, 11:30 AM
...


As far as backups go, I don't have a complicated enough Linux system to worry about the o/s. With Windows, this was bit more complicated, as it doesn't take long to get enough patches and s/w products installed, that an image backup becomes essential. I do run backups on my "data" folder on my SSD and copy to the HDD, as well as an occasional backup to an external USB drive. Anyway, my point is make sure you have a plan to recovery from each of the hard drives failing, or a corruption of the O/S.

...

This was one of the things that I was playing around with last night. I've always been kind of bad about backups so I went the external HD route with a few different automated programs running different automated backups for some redundancy on Win7. And because I figure it's just my luck that one of the backups would fail or be corrupt itself if I used one.

With the bigger SSD and the fact that after about 7 years I haven't gotten close to filling up my 1.5TB HD and that's with Windows bloat and a whole lot of garbage I should probably have deleted/uninstalled years ago - I was going to partition and use at least part of the HDD as a backup for now. I did a little bit of it with Gnome Disk Utility but then decided I should probably be reading and learning rather than just diving in and poking around like I know what I'm doing. Not that it would be catastrophe if I accidentally reformatted the SSD already, but still. So that's on the agenda for today.

I had read so many horrible things about trying to get Nvidia drivers to play nice that I was a little worried there. I had already installed the new GPU into the Win machine to test it before my return period ran out so I started using the integrated graphics to get set up with Linux. Last night I popped the old GPU in from the Win machine and sudo got my Nvidia drivers loaded up in the manager and though it seemed to take an eternity to install it, that was the literal extent of any complaint. Easy as could be, not a single problem. Pretty sure the new GPU uses the same proprietary driver so the added benefit is that it's actually going to be more of a pain in the ass to switch them around on the Windows machine now.

Anyway, appreciate all your good advice and will take it all to heart and try not to mess this up. I'm already starting feel reasonably confident that it won't be too long before I can move the Linux box into the primary position here and relegate old Windows to some secondary duty that involves being off for the most part.

JimG
08-17-2016, 11:36 AM
Congrats on your Linux system. Sounds really good. I had a 2010 or so Win7 desktop that fried its had drive when upgrading to Win10. I put in another hard drive and installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Could not be happier. I did install virtual box with a 32 bit version of WinXP for those rare gems that will only work in Windows.

Happy computing.

Jim

johnhannibalsmith
08-17-2016, 11:47 AM
...

Happy computing.

Jim

Thanks! Great to read yet another positive experience. Seems as though the only people I read that just couldn't enjoy the switch are those that are intense gamers with vast libraries of contemporary AAA DirectX only titles.

tupper
08-17-2016, 01:03 PM
Now I'm just down to figuring out how to run the ThinkOrSwim trading platform on Linux..... I just installed thinkorswim on my Antix box. It's a somewhat effortless install on an Ubuntu/Debian based distro. Just requires Oracle Java 8, and the thinkorswim site provides an install script.

Evidently, I have to run it as the root user, but perhaps that is not the case on Ubuntu-based distros.

By the way, I generally prefer Dough for trading. Dough is made by the same people who created thinkorswim, and it runs in a web browser (Chrome/Chromium recommended), so I can trade on any computer. No fancy charting, no fancy tools and no current access to futures, but the Dough interface is much more visual and simpler/easier to use. There are also some unique innovations on Dough.

tupper
08-17-2016, 01:19 PM
I did a little bit of it with Gnome Disk Utility but then decided I should probably be reading and learning rather than just diving in and poking around like I know what I'm doing. Not that it would be catastrophe if I accidentally reformatted the SSD already, but still.If you want to play around, just have all of your data backed-up. No need to over-think things.

One practice that could help you in the long run is to make a separate partition for your home directory. That way, if you ever reinstall, you can instruct your new distro at install to mount your home partition, and all of your data will remain intact with the same directory/file structure.

Again, make sure all of your data is backed-up before any install, reinstall, repartition, etc.

Glad that you enjoying your new OS, and I would encourage others to try it, too. As you experienced, install time on a blank HD is generally around 5-20 minutes (with most of the major distros), depending on the size of the install and on how many questions are asked during the process.

Parkview_Pirate
08-19-2016, 07:26 AM
This was one of the things that I was playing around with last night. I've always been kind of bad about backups so I went the external HD route with a few different automated programs running different automated backups for some redundancy on Win7. And because I figure it's just my luck that one of the backups would fail or be corrupt itself if I used one.

With the bigger SSD and the fact that after about 7 years I haven't gotten close to filling up my 1.5TB HD and that's with Windows bloat and a whole lot of garbage I should probably have deleted/uninstalled years ago - I was going to partition and use at least part of the HDD as a backup for now. I did a little bit of it with Gnome Disk Utility but then decided I should probably be reading and learning rather than just diving in and poking around like I know what I'm doing. Not that it would be catastrophe if I accidentally reformatted the SSD already, but still. So that's on the agenda for today.

One of the nice things about Linux is the disk partitioning and formatting utility comes with the O/S (gparted), unlike some of the extra perks with Windows that require buying third party software. What I found with my old system when I rebuilt it from scratch about five years ago is I "over-thought" the complexity, and ended up with 8 partitions on three drives, with three operating systems. Virtualbox can make this a bit easier, though a VM isn't all a native o/s can be when it comes to the hardware. It's really worth your time to think about your software and data requirements to determine your system layout. This should drive your backup approach. I've simplified things, and don't spend as much time maintaining the system as I used to.

One thing I haven't seen for Linux is a continuous data protection tool which backs up files as they change. That's easy to find for Windows, and great for people who are coding, working on graphics or audio, spreadsheets, etc., throughout the day, and want to lose as little of work as possible or have the ability to restore older versions of a file as needed. I've puttered around a bit with Bacula and some of the other Linux backup tools including some image backups, but now simply copy files manually once per week. Not ideal, but workable.

One other suggestion is to browse out to all the web sites you frequent, and make sure your Linux browser works okay. This used to be a bigger deal, but I still find some odd things don't work, especially after adblocker and ghostery extensions are installed. For example, I can't get the "pass through" on TVG to work when accessing the handicapping store using Chrome. I need to use Firefox instead. Also, some news sites have Windows (or Apple) centric video players that don't always work.

Parkview_Pirate
08-19-2016, 07:36 AM
I just installed thinkorswim on my Antix box. It's a somewhat effortless install on an Ubuntu/Debian based distro. Just requires Oracle Java 8, and the thinkorswim site provides an install script.

Evidently, I have to run it as the root user, but perhaps that is not the case on Ubuntu-based distros.

By the way, I generally prefer Dough for trading. Dough is made by the same people who created thinkorswim, and it runs in a web browser (Chrome/Chromium recommended), so I can trade on any computer. No fancy charting, no fancy tools and no current access to futures, but the Dough interface is much more visual and simpler/easier to use. There are also some unique innovations on Dough.

I got that working yesterday. I think TOS used to include the java in their download package, but now the install script wants the Oracle version available. Initially I tried to just download the package from Oracle, and made little headway. Then I found some instructions on adding the repository instead, and that worked pretty smoothly. What I've found out in the commercial world is that java can get pretty thorny when certain apps require certain versions. Total pain.

As for the suggestion on Dough, I'd not heard of it so I checked it out. Looks like something for someone who knows what they want to trade, and has an iPad. TOS has the best chart analysis tools, and since I trade almost exclusively on technicals (and almost exclusively futures), that's what I need. I've also got some custom think scripts I use, and am too lazy to port them to anything else, at least for now.

This hasn't been a real high priority for me, as TA seems to have become far less effective over the last few years with all the distortions in the markets. But I think a major nose dive and the corresponding volatility is coming down the pike within the next couple of months, so I'm glad to have the tool working again.

johnhannibalsmith
08-19-2016, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the ideas Tupper and Pirate. Took the day off yesterday from stretching my shrunken brain, but had been trying to replicate my Win Chrome browser in Chromium for the reason you mentioned. Just to make sure everything works as I'm used to. I didn't get all that far but hit the main events. Amazing how much clutter I've acquired over the years in the form of regular reference sources and sites, yet almost none of it is anything I wouldn't want to have snappy access to if needed.

Ironically or something like irony, I had the first ever blue screen on this Win machine at some point in the last twelve hours. My best guess is that it was due to... drumroll please... a Windows update overnight! :D

I knew there was one pending and when I got up and done with feeding and whatnot went to wake the computer from slumber and it was off. Booted to nothing. Knowing the update had been pending, I assumed that maybe it had messed up my dual monitor config (again) and tried to force it to single monitor with no luck. Then worried my fancy new GPU had died. The just realized that I was still tired and not in the frame of mind to be doing triage on this thing and did the awful and just powered it down. Easier to do with a new computer sitting right next door. Booted up and it loaded this time, but windows kicking errors about shutting down improperly on load, Chrome the same, and the first ever dialogue box for a blue screen crash.

So yeah. Feeling a little better about spending a pile for a computer I didn't really need. :lol: Time to get back to studying and configuring.

DeltaLover
08-19-2016, 12:51 PM
See here for some free linux books that might by helpful for you:

http://www.onlineprogrammingbooks.com/linux/

johnhannibalsmith
08-19-2016, 12:56 PM
See here for some free linux books that might by helpful for you:

http://www.onlineprogrammingbooks.com/linux/

Wow, excellent. Thanks!

DeltaLover
08-19-2016, 01:27 PM
Some tools I am using all the time:

Try to learn git https://github.com/ and start use it for version control (yes even to text, spreadsheet or any other document aside from code).

Take a look in vagrant (https://www.vagrantup.com/) which is the way to go if you need VMs.

You might like Conky for easy system monitoring:
https://www.linux.com/learn/how-install-and-configure-conky

For file management similar to windows explorer:
https://konqueror.org/

twitter client: https://corebird.baedert.org/

DeltaLover
08-19-2016, 01:35 PM
As you are becoming a more experienced linux user you will discover that many times you can work much faster and better from the command line rather than rely on some kind of a GUI wrapper. To improve your interaction with linux is good that you become familiar with utilities like awk, sed and also have some understanding of regular expressions and their use in native linux programs like grep, find, vi etc

http://linux.iingen.unam.mx/pub/Documentacion/Shell-Bash/OReilly%20-%20Sed%20&%20Awk%202nd%20Edition.pdf

http://www.linuxnix.com/regular-expressions-linux-i/

https://www.princeton.edu/~mlovett/reference/Regular-Expressions.pdf