Calling all Linux users...

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lake_wrangler
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Calling all Linux users...

Post by lake_wrangler » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:34 pm

When I first installed Linux on my main computer, I had already been using Linux on my laptop for a couple of years. At first, I set up my computer so I could have up to ten different Linux Distros side by side, so I could play around, experiment, and learn more about Linux that way. After a couple of false starts while trying a couple of distros, I ended up installing Ubuntu Studio 14.04 and scrapping the idea of multiple LInux distros. I had decided I just wanted something that worked, so I could go about my own work.

After the fiasco of my upgrade attempt from 16.04 to 18.04 (upgrading from 14.04 to 16.04 went just fine), I set up my partitions to accommodate three different distros side by side. It had occurred to me, that even better than being able to boot a Linux LiveCD to fix anything that might have happened while running the computer, was to have another installed Linux distro... (so it would run faster than a LiveCD on USB...)

So now, while I have a functional Ubuntu Studio 18.04 installation, I am looking to install one or two other Linux distros on my computer. I have a few ideas as to what I may end up installing, but I am open to suggestions...



So here's the question: which Linux distros and/or Desktop Environments have you used in the past, or do you use now, how did/do you like them, what did/do you like about them, and in the case of distro/DE combinations you no longer use, why did you decide to leave them behind?

(I am not trying to find out the "best" Linux distro/DE out there... I will not get near that can of worms... I am merely curious to hear what worked and didn't work for other people...)

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TazManiac
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by TazManiac » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:05 am

I've been plain vanilla Ubuntu since 9.x, but when they started diverging from the 'standard' desktop layout, I jumped full time to the Ubuntu Studio variant, prob around 12x or 14x, I ferget.

Its using XFCE and I don't really like a really an overly active desktop, crammed full of widgets & stuff.

I've been sticking w/ Studio and ver 16.04 for a long time now, tried ver 18.04/.10 a time or two, but didn't see a good reason to make the plateau jump.

I've tried Mate and some others, but not really much lately. I suppose it's time to branch out again some more...

Warrl
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Warrl » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:59 pm

I don't remember what distribution I used the first time I got into Linux. It didn't have a GUI. I used that box as a router and print server for our two Windows boxes. This was back in the days before wifi...

Now, I have Linux Mint (Cinnamon) version 18.1 on my desktop, and Debian with xfce running inside UserLAnd on my Android tablet. (There are two desktop programs I'd like to run on the tablet too, and one of them works in that environment.)

I have had Mint 18.3 and Mint 19 on the desktop, but had minor issues with 18.3 and bigger issues with 19 (installing the components needed for VirtualBox to be fully functional, damaged other things).

Two of the most essential programs I installed but rarely see are Backintime and Syncthing. I cannot recommend either of them highly enough to do them justice.

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Dave
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Dave » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:54 pm

I started out with Slackware, back when the kernel was somewhere around 0.99.3, running on a 4MB 486 system.

When I got around to installing a Linux system at home, I moved to Red Hat.

I moved away from Red Hat after a few years, since (at the time) it seemed to be next to impossible to successfully upgrade one major Red Hat release to the next "in place". Even the Red Hat gurus said "Don't bother trying; do a clean install in a new partition."

At that point I switched to Debian. It's been criticized for being slow to update packages, compared to other distros, and I occasionally install a backport or an appimage "on top" if I want something newer, but its stability has been very good, and major-version upgrading has usually gone quite well. I've had to make some manual edits to adjust to configuration changes), but I don't think I've ever had a Debian upgrade leave the system in an irrecoverable state which forced me to slag it down to ash and reinstall.

All of my personal systems run the Xfce desktop, with a minimal set of widgets (even less than the default for my wife's sessions).

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lake_wrangler
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by lake_wrangler » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Warrl wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:59 pm
Two of the most essential programs I installed but rarely see are Backintime and Syncthing. I cannot recommend either of them highly enough to do them justice.
Interesting... I already use dejadup, but I know of Backintime...

Syncthing, on the other hand, I had never heard of. Looking it up, I find it to be quite interesting. I had looked at solutions like Owncloud and its fork, Nextcloud, but they still seemed a little complicated, needing to actually set up a server, in order to function. Sounds like Syncthing might be easier to use.

Still reading up on it...

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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Warrl » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:23 pm

Yeah, I looked at OwnCloud, and its server wants to own a copy of the data that nothing else is allowed to touch. Which means that in a typical home installation, that computer has to store two "live" copies of the data and synchronize with itself. Never made sense to me.

OwnCloud also has the issue that every device syncs with the server, period - so if the server isn't accessible, no sync happens. I have three devices running Syncthing, and any two of them can sync.

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Bookworm
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Bookworm » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:23 pm

NextCloud seems to be slightly more to my taste than OwnCloud. My biggest issue with it is generally that it'll fill itself up completely _without purging old copies_.

(That is, OwnCloud will do that. I haven't tested it yet with NextCloud)
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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lake_wrangler
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by lake_wrangler » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:18 am

I haven't finished looking at it, but I think Syncthing might just be what I want... for a while, now, I've been wanting to talk my friend into adding another hard drive (which I would provide) on his server at his home, in order for me to have a place to do offsite backups. With Owncloud or Nextcloud, I would have had to have him install their server software, which would complicate things. Not only that, but I think their server software is only available on Linux, which would mean either a completely different machine, which i would have to set up as a Linux server, a machine which I do not have, or have it run inside a VM on his server. (My friend is strictly a Windows guy...) Either way, a big hassle.

With Syncthing, which has a Windows client, I could just give him the hard drive, and have him install the Windows client on his server, I set it up remotely, and boom, I'm done! I would finally have remote backup ability!

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AnotherFairportfan
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm

So far i've played with Mandrake {before it was Mandriva}, Ubuntu, Mint, Red Hat and a couple others i can't recall.

None of them ever showed me enough convenience/increased utility to lead me to make them my primary system, and i have to keep Windows, no matter what, to run a couple of programs i haven't yet seen real Linux equivalents for which can't run under WINE or any other such.

{Any number of Linux equivalents have been recommended - in attitudes running from "I genuinely want to help" to "This is FAR better than that, you ignorant Windoze fanboi" ... none of them actually have been what i actually need.}

Get me a distro/emulator/whatever that will run all my Windows software seamlessly, and i'd probably switch.
Proof Positive the world is not flat: If it were, cats would have pushed everything off the edge by now.

Warrl
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Warrl » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:48 pm

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
Get me a distro/emulator/whatever that will run all my Windows software seamlessly, and i'd probably switch.
If such a thing existed, Microsoft would alter Windows to make it incompatible.

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AnotherFairportfan
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:11 pm

Warrl wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:48 pm
AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
Get me a distro/emulator/whatever that will run all my Windows software seamlessly, and i'd probably switch.
If such a thing existed, Microsoft would alter Windows to make it incompatible.
That's fine - it would still run my legacy software, which is what i care about.
Proof Positive the world is not flat: If it were, cats would have pushed everything off the edge by now.

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Bookworm
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Bookworm » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:40 am

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
So far i've played with Mandrake {before it was Mandriva}, Ubuntu, Mint, Red Hat and a couple others i can't recall.

None of them ever showed me enough convenience/increased utility to lead me to make them my primary system, and i have to keep Windows, no matter what, to run a couple of programs i haven't yet seen real Linux equivalents for which can't run under WINE or any other such.

{Any number of Linux equivalents have been recommended - in attitudes running from "I genuinely want to help" to "This is FAR better than that, you ignorant Windoze fanboi" ... none of them actually have been what i actually need.}

Get me a distro/emulator/whatever that will run all my Windows software seamlessly, and i'd probably switch.
I use Virtualbox. The only things it can't run are high graphics (super speed games), and direct access to USB and serial takes some work. But most of my customer's one-off windows servers are actually virtual machines floating on a linux server.
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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Dave
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Dave » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:55 am

Bookworm wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:40 am
I use Virtualbox. The only things it can't run are high graphics (super speed games), and direct access to USB and serial takes some work. But most of my customer's one-off windows servers are actually virtual machines floating on a linux server.
"Virtualization... the internet's very own Level 5 Containment Field."

You still need a valid Windows licence to use that approach, though, and the virtualized servers are almost as vulnerable to malware of various sorts as if they were on "real iron".

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lake_wrangler
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by lake_wrangler » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:35 am

Dave wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:55 am
You still need a valid Windows licence to use that approach, though,
If you currently have a system running Windows (any version, really), there are tools to extract the serial number and product key from your current installation. So if you set up a Linux machine, you can use that serial number and product key to install and run Windows in a virtual machine.

Dave wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:55 am
and the virtualized servers are almost as vulnerable to malware of various sorts as if they were on "real iron".
From what I had heard, while the Windows installation inside the virtual machine can indeed become infected, the host itself is supposed to be isolated from all that. That's why there are many videos on YouTube of people scamming the scammers (or even just trolling them, wasting their time), from within a virtual machine so as to be safe from said scammers.

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lake_wrangler
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by lake_wrangler » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:47 pm

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
So far i've played with Mandrake {before it was Mandriva}, Ubuntu, Mint, Red Hat and a couple others i can't recall.
I'd ask which one you liked better, except that with the rest of your post... :P
AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
None of them ever showed me enough convenience/increased utility to lead me to make them my primary system,
In my case, it wasn't so much that I was seeking increased utility, as much as I was looking to "escape" from under Microsoft's yoke, so to speak. I was content with Windows for the longest time, and was merely curious about Linux, but not enough to actually jump ship... But with time, I was getting increasingly annoyed with MS, and the way they did things. I didn't like the direction they were taking, with Windows 8, much less Windows 10, later on. But I did jump ship long before Win 10 came about... I didn't like having to pay, for each new upgrade and new computer. I didn't have the money to spend on software I wanted. Then the support for Win XP expired, so I had to install something else, and Linux was it. That was enough to give me a taste. Enough for me to be interested in actually jumping ship.

Now, I like the versatility, the configurability, and the fact that if I don't like the direction one Linux distro is going, I can always switch to another distro. With Windows, you're stuck with whatever MS chooses to do, and whatever workaround someone eventually comes up with, whether that workaround is convenient or not. In most aspects, Linux works just fine. And there's much more software available (for free, to boot) which I can use, such as when recording myself (whether singing, or playing saxophone and others), or putting together videos and such.

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
and i have to keep Windows, no matter what, to run a couple of programs i haven't yet seen real Linux equivalents for which can't run under WINE or any other such.
I have the same problem... I have been programming an Access database for a friend for years. And try as I might, I just can't get MS Access to work right in Linux. That's why I dual boot. That, and the various video conferencing programs I have had to use for a weekly Bible study just won't work right in Linux (ooVoo, Skype, and now ZOOM... Actually, ZOOM works just fine in LInux, except that I can't share my screen with it, the way I can when I run ZOOM in Windows...)
AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
{Any number of Linux equivalents have been recommended - in attitudes running from "I genuinely want to help" to "This is FAR better than that, you ignorant Windoze fanboi" ... none of them actually have been what i actually need.}
Yep, that's about the gamut of Linux users out there... Some are helpful, some, not so much...
AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
Get me a distro/emulator/whatever that will run all my Windows software seamlessly, and i'd probably switch.
Depending on how often you use the incompatible software, dual booting is still an option. But only if you don't need them too often. Switching back and forth on a dual boot can be a pain. I only do it twice a week. If there's nothing in particular drawing you towards Linux, it might just not be worth it. Unless you do it for "philosophical" reasons (you know, the whole Free and Open Source Software thing...)

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AnotherFairportfan
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:02 pm

Actually, i use the incompatible software {Serif PagePlus X9 desktop publisher* and DVDFab more than i use almost anything else.

* sigh *

As to which distro i liked best, it would be any/all of the various -buntus - except Ubuntu after they went to whatever front end that was, though i understand they're backing off from that.

I tried to install Lubuntu 18.10 on my Linux partition the other day - apparently they've switched to another front end that works better than LXCDE and is well spoken of, but the install failed for some reason i haven't chased down yet.

====================

*...and it's not supported by Serif any more; they're developing a new line - "Affinity Publisher" - which, from the betas i've messed with, is just about as useless {to me, anyway} as a PP X9 alternative as, say, Scribus {which is the program most recommended by the Genuinely Helpful Linux Guys...}
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Warrl
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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Warrl » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:00 pm

I once found instructions on how to install Access2007 with PlayOnLinux, and at least some basic stuff worked but I didn't try anything complicated. I do remember it required some special settings such that Word and Excel (which install pretty easily and are apparently fully functional) supposedly would *not* run in the same emulator.

Unfortunately I'm having no luck finding those instructions again.

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Re: Calling all Linux users...

Post by Bookworm » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:51 pm

Dave wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:55 am
Bookworm wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:40 am
I use Virtualbox. The only things it can't run are high graphics (super speed games), and direct access to USB and serial takes some work. But most of my customer's one-off windows servers are actually virtual machines floating on a linux server.
"Virtualization... the internet's very own Level 5 Containment Field."

You still need a valid Windows licence to use that approach, though, and the virtualized servers are almost as vulnerable to malware of various sorts as if they were on "real iron".
Yes - the _virtual_ servers are vulnerable. That's because they're the same software as putting it on the hardware directly. The benefit is that you can create, delete, and merge snapshots. (faster than 'system restore') I have one called "Guinea Pig". That's what I use for browsing porn sites and warez sites to find viruses.

You _can_ give your virtual machine access to the DVD drives, and you can harden them so that the virtual system can't see the host at all (depending on how you set it up). Much faster than dual booting.
I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

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