Building a New-to-me computer & want to move to Linux + virtual machine, any experiances?

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Texas_Ace
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Building a New-to-me computer & want to move to Linux + virtual machine, any experiances?

So Thanks to the generosity and some great deals from some members here on BLF I was able to trade my way to the parts to finally update both mine and my Moms work computers for the first time in 10 years (I was using a Q9550 and hers is an E6600).

I have been wanting to move over to Linux full time but both of us need windows only program for work such as Office, Adobe, DXO, sony vegas, solidworks ect.

I have been using virtual box for years and love most of the features it offers and it has been pretty stable as well. Only issue is the lack of directx support seems to cause issues with some programs and drivers installing. I hear VMware is better.

Does anyone have any experience running a linux base system (most likely ubuntu/mint) with virtual machine for windows as a daily driver / work computer under heavy work loads?

Also does a virtual machine support multiple monitors very well? Both of us run 3 monitor setups

Any tips would be great, first time updating anything computer related in 10 years so I am out of the loop to say the least.

Side note: I am still looking for a few computer items if anyone has some things you are getting rid of. In particular a small 12-14” laptop / tablet for my Mom, preferably with usb 3.0 and HDMI.

Also 8-12tb+ of hard drives, NAS, Video cards that support 3 monitors, Monitors themselves, these are 10 years old and well past their use by date, SSD for working/swap drive, USB 3.0 dock/hub with fast SD card reader, USB 3 PCIe card, 5.25/3.5” front panel USB 3.0 port/SD card reader among other stuff.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

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Agro
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I use VirtualBox. Never had any problems with it, but probably never used any DirectX software on it. I never needed multiple monitors, but a quick search shows that it’s possible:
https://superuser.com/questions/109485/virtualbox-to-use-dual-monitors

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As far as I know DirectX is proprietary technology of Microsoft, so any non-Microsoft implementation of it would be illegal. Not 100% sure though.

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Mike C wrote:
As far as I know DirectX is proprietary technology of Microsoft, so any non-Microsoft implementation of it would be illegal. Not 100% sure though.

Lol. Someone might want to tell the people over at Wine.

Anyway using Linux as a host for Windows VMs works very nicely. It makes administration easy as pie. You can have a fresh base install that is never modified and then overlay software installs. “Reinstalling Windows” is as simple as not loading the overlay. I haven’t tried much with multiple monitors.

GPU passthrough and virtualization instructions means little performance is lost. Though I use the VM as a last resort if Wine doesn’t work. It is scary how good Wine is. I’ve had games run faster under Wine than natively in Windows on the same hardware.

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Texas_Ace
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Mike C wrote:
As far as I know DirectX is proprietary technology of Microsoft, so any non-Microsoft implementation of it would be illegal. Not 100% sure though.

Yeah, that is how I understood it as well, I think they get around it by not implementing the directX themselves but simply building in the support structure so that directX can work.

I have been doing some research recently and have seen several people say that got directX to work in virtual machines, even enough to play full AAA games in virtual machines with GPU passthrough.

Linustechtips has a few videos running multiple virtual machines and games off the same computer using unraid.

Which brings me to another question, what is the best virtual machine software for a linux host? Virtualbox and VMware are both good but I have heard about another system that UNraid is based on but it has proven hard to find details on how to actually use it without unraid.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

Texas_Ace
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Parametrek wrote:
Mike C wrote:
As far as I know DirectX is proprietary technology of Microsoft, so any non-Microsoft implementation of it would be illegal. Not 100% sure though.

Lol. Someone might want to tell the people over at Wine.

Anyway using Linux as a host for Windows VMs works very nicely. It makes administration easy as pie. You can have a fresh base install that is never modified and then overlay software installs. “Reinstalling Windows” is as simple as not loading the overlay. I haven’t tried much with multiple monitors.

GPU passthrough and virtualization instructions means little performance is lost. Though I use the VM as a last resort if Wine doesn’t work. It is scary how good Wine is. I’ve had games run faster under Wine than natively in Windows on the same hardware.

Indeed, all the reasons you listed and more are why I want to move to a virtual machine. I LOVE save states as well, that way I can keep all the files and programs for a project open and simply save the state and come back whenever I need it again.

What VM are you using?

I have tried wine but found the learning curve difficult (keep in mind I have only used linux as a hobby/secondary system) course I was also trying to get Adobe CS6 to work which I hear is basically impossible.

How hard is the GPU passthrough setup? I was looking into that myself but virtualbox seems to have issues and VMware does not seem to officially support it?

Also, I am not married to a linux distro yet, I just prefer to stick with the big ones so that support is easier to find. Ubuntu and mint are the main ones I have used in the past. Any recommendations?

Also I might try swapping my family over to linux before long as well but they hate the “old, boring and ugly” desktops most have, any good modern and sexy looking desktops to consider?

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

matg
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I use Elementary os which is Ubuntu based but is much better looking. You can replace office with libre office and save to docx as default. The other programs might actually need a windows virtual box. With some research you can go fully Linux by finding programs that will replace the windows counterparts.

I also use openmediavault for a NAS and works really well.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
I have tried wine but found the learning curve difficult (keep in mind I have only used linux as a hobby/secondary system) course I was also trying to get Adobe CS6 to work which I hear is basically impossible.
How recently have you used Wine? Adobe CS6 version 13.0 has been tested with the 3.0 version of Wine and has a Silver rating (There are Gold and Platinum ratings above that). But, according to the test write-up, the only thing that didn’t work was reading camera RAW data. So, YMMV.

Quote:
How hard is the GPU passthrough setup? I was looking into that myself but virtualbox seems to have issues and VMware does not seem to officially support it?
Why do you need this? Virtualbox supports (well, experimentally) 3D accelerated graphics to the guest OS. If you need direct hardware access, you might be better of dual booting.

Quote:
Also, I am not married to a linux distro yet, I just prefer to stick with the big ones so that support is easier to find. Ubuntu and mint are the main ones I have used in the past. Any recommendations?
Ubuntu is still a reasonable choice for beginners. Depending how long ago you tried it, the interface may have changed from what you were using. But, it is actually fairly intuitive, so the learning curve shouldn’t be too bad.

Quote:
Also I might try swapping my family over to linux before long as well but they hate the “old, boring and ugly” desktops most have, any good modern and sexy looking desktops to consider?
If you want a really cool looking desktop, you may want Compiz Fusion installed. It’s a fancy 3D window compositor. I don’t know of any distributions that have it enabled by default, but several have it available, including Ubuntu, which uses Compiz Core (the stripped-down model LOL!) to render some of its effects.

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Texas_Ace
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matg wrote:
I use Elementary os which is Ubuntu based but is much better looking. You can replace office with libre office and save to docx as default. The other programs might actually need a windows virtual box. With some research you can go fully Linux by finding programs that will replace the windows counterparts.

I also use openmediavault for a NAS and works really well.

I think I considered Elementary at one point but was worried about the stability of the distro at the time (aka, if it would be kept up to date).

Yeah, I have tried the linux alternative to most of these programs but they just are not up to the same level last I tried them.

For office my Mom has hundreds of macros and settings setup exactly how she needs them, is it possible to transfer all of those settings and macros to Liberoffice? I have not looked if it supports office macros. I have wanted to switch her from office 2003 (anything newer is “too smart for it’s own good” and annoys her) for some time.

Adobe, DXO, Vegas and solidworks do not have competitors worth talking about on linux that I have seen (no, Gimp does not count for my uses).

Another issue are the little programs like an advanced file finder my Mom uses that allows her to rename files within the program itself like explorer, she refuses to use anything that does not allow that.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

Texas_Ace
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DavidEF wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
I have tried wine but found the learning curve difficult (keep in mind I have only used linux as a hobby/secondary system) course I was also trying to get Adobe CS6 to work which I hear is basically impossible.
How recently have you used Wine? Adobe CS6 version 13.0 has been tested with the 3.0 version of Wine and has a Silver rating (There are Gold and Platinum ratings above that). But, according to the test write-up, the only thing that didn’t work was reading camera RAW data. So, YMMV.

Quote:
How hard is the GPU passthrough setup? I was looking into that myself but virtualbox seems to have issues and VMware does not seem to officially support it?
Why do you need this? Virtualbox supports (well, experimentally) 3D accelerated graphics to the guest OS. If you need direct hardware access, you might be better of dual booting.

Quote:
Also, I am not married to a linux distro yet, I just prefer to stick with the big ones so that support is easier to find. Ubuntu and mint are the main ones I have used in the past. Any recommendations?
Ubuntu is still a reasonable choice for beginners. Depending how long ago you tried it, the interface may have changed from what you were using. But, it is actually fairly intuitive, so the learning curve shouldn’t be too bad.
Quote:
Also I might try swapping my family over to linux before long as well but they hate the “old, boring and ugly” desktops most have, any good modern and sexy looking desktops to consider?
If you want a really cool looking desktop, you may want Compiz Fusion installed. It’s a fancy 3D window compositor. I don’t know of any distributions that have it enabled by default, but several have it available, including Ubuntu, which uses Compiz Core (the stripped-down model LOL!) to render some of its effects.

It was still wine 1.x or maybe 2.0 had just come out last I tried, good to see they are still moving it forward.

I don’t need GPU passthrough but some of the programs I use like vegas and premire can use the GPU for rendering tasks and I was not sure if this is possible without it.

For me personally I can use anything, I look for the most compatible and widely supported version myself but for my family they want something that looks pretty. Mint has looked like the a good option so far since it also mimics windows to some extent.

Compiz Fusion is interesting but their larger complaint is in how basic and boring everything looks. Like the windows themselves just being grey featureless and non-transparent feels very 1990’s, which I do have to agree with. It reminds me of using computers about 15-20 years ago. I get that all the fancy looking stuff just uses more processing power but in the day of massive power left over, it is worth it IMHO.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

matg
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Elementary os has been pretty good and stable for me and I get updates every now and then with no issues. I dont think libre office will take those macros that were built on microsoft office.
I agree that most of the programs that are meant to replace other software that is expensive just isn’t up to par. They only have basic functionality it seems.

Running these programs from wine compatibility layer is a nightmare as well.

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Texas_Ace wrote:

It was still wine 1.x or maybe 2.0 had just come out last I tried, good to see they are still moving it forward.

I don’t need GPU passthrough but some of the programs I use like vegas and premire can use the GPU for rendering tasks and I was not sure if this is possible without it.

Yeah, that I’m not sure about. I haven’t ever had to try that.

Quote:
For me personally I can use anything, I look for the most compatible and widely supported version myself but for my family they want something that looks pretty. Mint has looked like the a good option so far since it also mimics windows to some extent.
There are a lot of distributions nowadays that “look pretty” actually. It’s a matter of taste, though. Maybe check out Distrowatch.com. Look at the ranking list on the right side of the page. Click any distribution name to be taken to the description page, which usually has a desktop screenshot you can look at.

Quote:
Compiz Fusion is interesting but their larger complaint is in how basic and boring everything looks. Like the windows themselves just being grey featureless and non-transparent feels very 1990’s, which I do have to agree with. It reminds me of using computers about 15-20 years ago. I get that all the fancy looking stuff just uses more processing power but in the day of massive power left over, it is worth it IMHO.
Compiz Fusion is what gives you transparency among other special effects. The actual window borders and colors can always be changed, but if you pick out a nice looking distribution from Distrowatch, then that part will have been done for you. IMHO, Ubuntu is nice looking. But, there are better looking desktops. You just have to look around to find what you ( and/or your family) like(s).

Quote:
Another issue are the little programs like an advanced file finder my Mom uses that allows her to rename files within the program itself like explorer, she refuses to use anything that does not allow that.
Ubuntu has you (and your Mom) covered. No need for another 3rd party app for “advanced file finder” functionality – it’s built right in.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
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It’s been a long time since I’ve had any virtual machine installed, so my experience if surely super outdated, but I remember performance of the virtual machine being prohibitive for anything other than light tasks. Of course, modern computers are many more times more powerful and virtualization is more efficient, so it might be feasible, my last computer upgrade made photoshop run like the wind, so who knows, you might not run into performance problems with it virtualized in your new hardware

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Texas_Ace
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I have looked through distrowatch in the past my biggest problem with it is you never know which distros will keep being supported down the road outside of the top handful. Once I pick a distro there is a good likelihood I will be using it for another decade so I want it to be supports naturally.

I actually liked the old ubuntu unity desktop more then the gnome they are moving to now. I tried the gnome version but was not very impressed which is why I have been considering mint this time around.

I will look into Compiz Fusion deeper, all I found in a quick google were videos from 2007 that looked like it just added some fancy alt-tab transitions and the like.

I will fully admit that linux file system is still one of the biggest hurdles I have with linux. I am used to seeing my hard drive and everything on it. With linux I just can’t seem to do that, everything in these funky folders that don’t seem to correlate with actual folder on the drive (If I type the folder into a terminal without fail it can not find it and I have to add a bunch of stuff before it by a copy/paste).

It just never made sense. I am very particular in how my files are organized and have some deep trees to keep it all sorted out.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

Texas_Ace
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Persechini wrote:
It’s been a long time since I’ve had any virtual machine installed, so my experience if surely super outdated, but I remember performance of the virtual machine being prohibitive for anything other than light tasks. Of course, modern computers are many more times more powerful and virtualization is more efficient, so it might be feasible, my last computer upgrade made photoshop run like the wind, so who knows, you might not run into performance problems with it virtualized in your new hardware

Even with virtualbox running in windows I have been impressed with the performance in the virtual machines. My biggest hurdle thus far has been lack of SSD storage and lack of ram.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

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I’ll try to not make this a book but no promises. I’ve been running primarily linux for many years now and for a few years with a VM for some things, I still have a windows install used for some games. For the VM I use QEMU with a pass-through, which I think the pass-through problems are the same regardless but you have to be very careful how you setup the graphics cards so they can be isolated. They have to be on different busses and depending on the drivers and card brands you use not all combos work. I use a Nvidia host and AMD guest and I know an Nvidia guest will not work at least with a Nvidia host, and I can’t use my CPU’s Intel because it’s on the same buss as other things and my host card has to sit in one of the X8 PCI-E slots because the X16 is on it’s own bus which I can separate out for the guest card. Oh and you can’t install any new versions of Solidworks (like past 2013) on a VM, or at least this VM during the install it just says you’re not allowed to install it on a VM. Honestly moving forward my plan might be just a second computer with synergy or a KVM. Using a VM for advanced applications is a delicate balancing game of convenience and cost. Sure a second computer cost more but I need to buy a 2nd GPU anyway for pass-through and that’s a big chunk of the cost with most applications, and also need a nice stack of ram in the host to run two OSes at once. So peripherals are easier to pass-through but you still need to switch the monitor since the pass-through has to have it’s own input. If very small amounts of lag aren’t an issue then synergy is pretty good, haven’t used it much recently but it’s pretty seamless. Because the first rule of any linux thread is to say what distro you use, I use Arch and while it’s probably decreasing my life span from stress related to updates breaking things I can’t really see myself using windows as my primary OS. That being said it really depends on the person, as much as linux fanboys like to think it, linux is not for everybody but if it is you know it.

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Texas_Ace
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Yeah, I have heard about those issues with the GPU passthrough as well, I was not sure if it had improved any.

I did the 2 computer thing with a KVM for many years and it just got really annoying since I only need the second PC occasionally and so I left it off most of the time.

Synergy is an option if I could find a nice low powered system that would not use a lot of power leaving it on 24/7.

I have been thinking about getting something like this to use as a media box but not sure if it can handle H265 @ 1080p.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/222923789749

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

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Yeah, I agree the Gnome desktop they’re using now isn’t the best (in fact, I said it above Wink ). Honestly, even more than the old Unity, I really liked the (now way long gone) Ubuntu Netbook Edition desktop, which was (visually, at least) a pre-cursor to Unity. I think it was my all-time favorite desktop layout. But really, the coolest thing about Linux is how customizable it is. You could literally have any look you want – even a Windows or Mac -like desktop is possible.

As far as longevity, I couldn’t promise you that ANY of the now-existing distributions will still be around in 10 years, but at least the larger ones should be. With that, I’d expect most of the mid-size-or-larger off-shoots of those main distributions should also survive at least that long. In fact, most of those still maintain backwards compatibility to their parent. So, even if you were using some off-shoot of Ubuntu and the group responsible for that distribution were to dissipate in the near future, you could merge your computer back into main Ubuntu without too much effort, even keeping the apps and desktop look/feel that you have been using. The reason this works is because of how Linux distributions do “package management”, which also makes updates and upgrades faster, easier, and safer, not only for the OS, but for your apps as well.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
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Yeah, that is why I have been sticking to ubuntu / mint as my first choices up to now, pretty sure they will still be around for quite a awhile.

I will be honest, I have never used linux through lifecycle, I always end up reinstalling it long before that and don’t even bother transferring anything but my data from my old install.

You also bring up why I have considered just using ubuntu and then modding it to feel like I want, although I could not find a desktop a year or 2 ago with near the refinement and prettiness to make my family happy (or myself to be honest). They are all just so basic and boring, it makes it feel like an industrial workstation.

I tried to switch to linuix for a few months about 2 years ago but it was flat out rejected on this basis by everyone else and I was not even trilled with the desktop myself. It just didn’t seem as refined as windows 7.

Anyone know of a windows desktop clone that actually works? Or heck even mac is better then anything I have seen from linux when it comes to visual appeal and refinement.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

scianiac
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Due to a development time required many of the “fancy” desktops are not always super reliable. Like in total I think KDE, or plasma as I guess they’ve now decided to call it is far nicer than windows or mac. So many nice features like the control over the windows, so for instance I have many programs that start automatically and they all have window controls so they are locked into a place on a monitor and that’s where they stay, while others are only semi locked or not locked at all. But with all these comes the fact it breaks a lot.

Depending on how much performance you need there are many small computers that can run advanced programs sufficiently and most modern computers use very little power in sleep mode and wake quite quickly. But if using synergy the host has to be on to use the guest but you can just make the host the one you use more, still will have monitor switching concerns, I always just did it by giving each their own monitor But with my VM I just hit the input switch button on my middle monitor and have the VM pass-through using the VGA input, it’s reasonably quick and easy and I can still use the other monitors normally in linux at the same time. No matter what it’s going to be complicated with linux and windows running at the same time in some way.

Co-owner/Engineer at STO Flashlights.

Texas_Ace
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Yep, that is the price with a lot of Linux apps, if they look good they generally do not work good. If they work good they generally don’t look good lol.

My number one biggest complaint with Linux is the iron grip it has with the terminal. I grew up using dos and could enter terminal commands with the best of them but boy when you are entering a new system and do not speak the language it is a royal pain since everything has to be just right. I wish they would make it so that you can do everything with the GUI and only use the terminal if you want to like Windows. It would make the learning curve way easier.

I am seriously considering that PC above, I figure worst case I could give it to my grandmother or find another use for it if it didn’t work for media streaming.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

ToyKeeper
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Texas_Ace wrote:
… file system is still one of the biggest hurdles I have with linux. I am used to seeing my hard drive and everything on it. With linux I just can’t seem to do that, everything in these funky folders that don’t seem to correlate with actual folder on the drive (If I type the folder into a terminal without fail it can not find it and I have to add a bunch of stuff before it by a copy/paste).

It just never made sense. I am very particular in how my files are organized and have some deep trees to keep it all sorted out.

Your personal files go in /home/texasace, and can be organized however you want. Compared to what Windows uses, Linux’s file systems have fewer restrictions and more capabilities, though you don’t have to use any of the extra stuff.

Outside of /home/texasace, you probably won’t have to care what goes where, but if you want to understand things better there is a well-documented filesystem hierarchy standard explaining what everything is. Here are some of the basics:

  • /home: Everything which belongs to users. Probably the only area you have to care about.
  • /tmp: Handy scratch area for temporary files. Gets erased each time the system reboots, or periodically, depending on how things are configured.
  • Stuff necessary for booting and basic system function:
    • /etc: Config files. Similar to the Windows registry, I suppose, but doesn’t need any special tools to access.
    • /boot: Generally just the bootloader config, kernel, and a compressed image of drivers needed to boot the rest of the system.
    • /bin: The most important utilities (binaries, executables) needed for basic system functions. Anything named “bin” contains binaries or executables, and form the command line’s primary vocabulary.
    • /sbin: Core system binaries, necessary for system tasks but not normally used by users.
    • /lib, /lib64: Core libraries. Non-core ones go in /usr/lib.
  • Applications and non-core stuff:
    • /usr: Where applications go, mostly. Programs which aren’t necessary for basic system operations, but are still useful for other purposes.
    • /var: Writable area for program data which doesn’t belong to any specific user. Like, system logs, database contents, package metadata, and so on.
    • /opt: A place for third-party stuff which doesn’t follow the usual filesystem conventions.
  • Hardware and kernel access:
    • /media or /mnt: Holds default mount points for removable media and other extra drives. USB drives and DVDs and stuff generally go here.
    • /dev: Raw access to hardware devices. Everything in Linux is a file, including your drives, peripherals, sound card, and so on. If you need to partition a disk, this is where to find the disk.
    • /proc: Realtime info about kernel internals, system status, and running processes. Take a peek at meminfo and cpuinfo, for example.
    • /sys: Realtime info about kernel internals and system status, V2.

If you have multiple hard drives, instead of giving them letters, they have mount points. They can be mounted wherever you like. For example, if you have a lot of games from third parties, you could mount a hard drive on /opt so you have an entire drive dedicated to that sort of thing. Or if you have a lot of videos, you could mount a drive at /home/texasace/videos. Or you could copy the Windows drive-letter method and simply mount extra drives at /d, /e, /f, and so on. Or under your home directory, at /home/texasace/d, /home/texasace/e, /home/texasace/f.

One handy tool for keeping things organized is symlinks. These are what shortcuts in Windows were trying to be. Basically, it lets things appear at two or more different parts of your file hierarchy. So you could have drives named /d, /e, and /f, and organize your personal files into games/, videos/, flashlights/, or whatever, and shuffle around the physical location independent of the logical organization. So maybe videos/ is stored on /e/videos, but you access it from /home/texasace/videos. And then /e runs out of space so you move it to /f, but the entry in your home directory can remain. Just point it at the new location.

Another way to use symlinks is to add multiple views of your data. For example, I have music/by_artist/ and music/by_genre/. Both contain the same songs, but they are organized differently. And there is physically only one copy of the song data. I use by_artist as the primary organization method, and by_genre contains symlinks to specific artists, albums, and songs which fit various genres. This doesn’t need to be a one-to-one mapping.

Kind of a tangent, but if you like to keep things organized, symlinks will probably be useful.

ToyKeeper
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Texas_Ace wrote:
My number one biggest complaint with Linux is the iron grip it has with the terminal.

That’s a big cultural difference which isn’t likely to go away. In Windows, pretty much everything can be done with a GUI but only some of that is available at a command line. In Linux OSes, pretty much everything can be done from a command line but only some of that is available through a GUI.

For the most part though, everything regular people use computers for can be done without ever typing into a terminal.

I use terminals for almost everything, but I’m weird. GUIs are usually easier to learn but less powerful, and I prefer the latter. GUIs also tend to require periodic relearning, since they change every few years as interface fads come and go, but command line stuff tends to last for decades. For things I only do once, or things which are visual in nature, I prefer a GUI. But for repeated tasks, in the long run, a CLI tends to be less work. I usually follow a rule of three… the third time I have to do a task, I write a script to automate it. Then I never have to do it again. And that’s something which isn’t usually possible in a GUI.

klrman
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Not what you asked, but I built my 64 bit Linux Mint pc years ago when I got a new motherboard from gigabyte for $19.00. This is my main machine I am using now for just about everything.  Total cost with SSD, 8GB ram and a G3258 was $170 usd.  Because of that, I built another cheap windows machine.  I like keeping them simple and separate instead of using a VM and they are both lightning fast.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
… file system is still one of the biggest hurdles I have with linux. I am used to seeing my hard drive and everything on it. With linux I just can’t seem to do that, everything in these funky folders that don’t seem to correlate with actual folder on the drive (If I type the folder into a terminal without fail it can not find it and I have to add a bunch of stuff before it by a copy/paste).

It just never made sense. I am very particular in how my files are organized and have some deep trees to keep it all sorted out.

Your personal files go in /home/texasace, and can be organized however you want. Compared to what Windows uses, Linux’s file systems have fewer restrictions and more capabilities, though you don’t have to use any of the extra stuff…Snip

Thanks for that, I never saw a nice breakdown of the file system like that before. It makes a lot more sense like that. /Dev is what I have been looking for it sounds like, I am just much more used to seeing the whole drive in it’s raw state. Plus most of the time I have been trying to work with windows drives and it has confused the heck out of me to not just see the drives like I did in windows.

Symlinks are also useful, I use them in windows a fair amount although only when trying to make something happen that normally should not. I am old school, I like to know exactly where my files are, what drive ect. I don’t even use RAID much for this reason.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

Texas_Ace
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Yes, the command line has it’s place and I understand it better then most having grown up with it. Although I think growing up with it is part of why I like GUI so much now, it gets really old always having to type in commands, getting 1 letter wrong and then having to start over.

Plus like you said, for things you do not do very often the GUI is much simpler since you can just click the button and don’t have to memorize the command.

For me it is more a question when will someone add the missing GUI commands to the GUI. Sooner or later it will happen if lunix is to ever move into the home computer market in any big way. I am a massive fan of Linux ecosystem, privacy, stability and security.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

Texas_Ace
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klrman wrote:

Not what you asked, but I built my 64 bit Linux Mint pc years ago when I got a new motherboard from gigabyte for $19.00. This is my main machine I am using now for just about everything.  Total cost with SSD, 8GB ram and a G3258 was $170 usd.  Because of that, I built another cheap windows machine.  I like keeping them simple and separate instead of using a VM and they are both lightning fast.

Yeah, I have done multiple systems for many years. There were times I have 5 separate computers running at my desk.

Now days I only need to use the other system when doing a few specific tasks and it makes more sense to use the extra horsepower of a single system on all of these. Worst case I will stick with windows and run linux in a VM like I am now.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

klrman
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Texas_Ace wrote:
klrman wrote:

Not what you asked, but I built my 64 bit Linux Mint pc years ago when I got a new motherboard from gigabyte for $19.00. This is my main machine I am using now for just about everything.  Total cost with SSD, 8GB ram and a G3258 was $170 usd.  Because of that, I built another cheap windows machine.  I like keeping them simple and separate instead of using a VM and they are both lightning fast.

Yeah, I have done multiple systems for many years. There were times I have 5 separate computers running at my desk. Now days I only need to use the other system when doing a few specific tasks and it makes more sense to use the extra horsepower of a single system on all of these. Worst case I will stick with windows and run linux in a VM like I am now.

 

Know what you mean.  I just couldn't resist some of those newegg deals with free shipping and went for them and started stocking parts long enough that I thought I should start building something.  I do like the simplicity of keeping the OS in separate machines instead of using a VW, but it's not for everybody.

DavidEF
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klrman wrote:

Not what you asked, but I built my 64 bit Linux Mint pc years ago when I got a new motherboard from gigabyte for $19.00. This is my main machine I am using now for just about everything.  Total cost with SSD, 8GB ram and a G3258 was $170 usd.  Because of that, I built another cheap windows machine.  I like keeping them simple and separate instead of using a VM and they are both lightning fast.


Yeah, I think dual booting in some form (either two OS on the same computer or two computers) will be the best choice for TA for now.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

Texas_Ace
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I found dual booting to be even more of a hassle then multiple systems personally. Worst case I will simply use a windows host with Linux virtual machine like I am now, I just prefer the stability and security of Linux for the host.

Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer , English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Texas Avenger Driver Series

My LED Test series - XP-L2 V5  - Nichia 219C 90+ CRILatticebright "XM-L"XHP35 & PWM efficiency - XHP50 - XP-L V5 - XM-L2 U2 - XP-G3 S5  - XP-L HI V2 - Oslon Square & direct comparison to Djozz tests - Nichia 319A - Nichia 219B 9080 CRI - Nichia 219C D320 - Nichia 229AT - XHP70.2 P2 - XHP50.2 J4 - Samsung LH351D

Easy comparison tool for all my LED tests

ToyKeeper
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Texas_Ace wrote:
/Dev is what I have been looking for it sounds like, I am just much more used to seeing the whole drive in it’s raw state.

I should probably clarify what “raw” means. It gives access to the contents of the disk as a stream of bytes. Not files or directories or anything like that, just bytes. To view the actual filesystem contents, this stream needs to be mounted somewhere.

So, /dev/sda (SCSI Disk A) is the first hard drive, totally raw. /dev/sda1 is the first partition on that drive, also raw. To access its contents, it’s typically mounted on “/”, the root of the filesystem namespace. This is basically the equivalent to drive C:\ in Windows.

Then the drive letters go up from there… /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, /dev/sdd, etc. If any partitions exist, they’ll be indicated by a number after the letters.

To see what is currently mounted, run “mount”. Or click on whatever GUI option is equivalent to the “My Computer” icon. Many GUIs put mounted disks on the desktop by default. (As a caveat, “mount” shows all sorts of stuff including internal bookkeeping filesystems, so to see only actual disks, one can do “mount | grep /sd” or “mount | grep ^/dev”.)

Texas_Ace wrote:
it gets really old always having to type in commands, getting 1 letter wrong and then having to start over.

Two things:

  • Up arrow. Previous commands can be recalled and edited by pressing Up.
  • Tab completion. Most things can be auto-completed by pressing tab. It also will often display a list of complete-able items by pressing tab by itself. Or after displaying a list, keep pressing tab to make the shell auto-complete the items one at a time in order, if you don’t feel like typing any more letters.

Let’s say I wanted to play some music. Here’s what I could type:

  1. Fn-Home
  2. cd mu<tab><tab>a<tab>
  3. <tab>
  4. In<tab><enter>
  5. mp -shuffle **/*

Here’s what each step does, and what I see onscreen:

  1. A terminal opens.
  2. Expands to:
    • cd mu
    • cd music/
    • cd music/by_
    • cd music/by_artist/
  3. Press tab one more time to display a list of artists.
  4. Expands and then changes directory:
    • cd music/by_artist/Infected_Mushroom/
  5. Tells my favorite music player to play all files below the current directory in random order. The actual program changes over time, but I can always access it, whatever it is, by running “mp”. It’s a shell alias.

Then let’s say I stop that and decide I want to play an album called “The Voyage”, but I don’t recall the name of the artist who made it.

  1. q
  2. ../*/*Voy*<enter>
  3. <up><up><enter>

What this does is:

  1. [Q]uit the music player.
  2. Search for the album and go to its directory. I could optionally press tab before enter, to make the shell expand it to its full name, “../Haywyre/2012.The_Voyage”. Also, normally there would be a “cd “ at the beginning of this line, but since changing directory is such a common operation, some shells allow the user to omit the “cd “ part entirely.
  3. Recall the “mp -shuffle **/*” command and run it again.

However, since this particular album is meant to be played in sequential order, I’d probably just run “mp *” to play everything in order. But if I wanted to recall the shuffle command later, I could do it without having to scroll through all previous commands, by hitting Ctrl-r then “shuf” to search command history for “shuf”.

I hope this gives a relatable example of how a modern CLI works for a common task, and how little actual typing is required.

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