Linux Discussion Megathread

(taking mental note at how ambitious the title is for this thread)

Note: This thread is NOT intended for discussion of problems/usage with Linux with Framework laptop.

I wish I can categorize it better, but this is not off-topic because it explicitly asked “need a break from talking about Linux … ?”
I wish fhere is a standalone Linux tag and not a Linux + Framework tag.

This thread is used for discussions among Windows/Linux comparisons and Different Linux Distros. Feature sets, and so on.

hmm the forum is throwing 403. Interesting.
(ok I found out why the forum doesn’t like when I type cmd . exe in plain text (without the spaces).

(attempting to continue discussion from elsewhere)

very funny. I actually kinda like this comparison.
Expanded toolset for expanded functionality. License sold separately.

Linux is, well, to my understanding, a very open set of tools/utlity that you can kind of allow you to kind of do whatever you want with the hardware. Since only the kernel is (mostly) consistent people have created different flavors of GUI, features and utility that expand from it. And why it is daunting to the user – sometimes, even for a avid computer user it’s not necessary to invent a (really) brand new interface that is 10% better than the “stock” one but is magically incompatible with 8% of the hardware. Having to choose between them and having to circumvent/solve the 8% is what that, well, I felt, for the most part.

(the following happened around Fall 2020)

I, for example, is instructed to use WSL (Windows subsystem for linux) for one of my programming courses so I can familiarize myself with command line interfaces and using g++.

I did that, but I first did it on another laptop, which I set up a frech Ubuntu install (clean SSD and everything).

I’m not against command line interfaces. I sometimes dabble in cmd myself. Mostly diskpart, because the gui doesn’t allow certain operations, but sometimes other things. such as chkdsk.

However the first task I am instructed to do is to, well, download(and install) g++. And I am instructed to do it with the linux package manager (APT I think). Through the command line interface. Weird, but ok.

However when I do that, it throws a random error (forgot exact details, but it went something probably like “can’t parse/access package”.
Why? And how?
I still don’t know, but I eventually figured that I need to update the package manager (from a fresh install). Why isn’t there like, I don’t know, a prompt to warn the user that the package manager might be outdated?

Anyhow I basically missed the assignment from the first week because of this. And also because the office hour queue is either unreachable or is filled with other students. Which is a big bummer, but ok.

Then comes the driver support. It’s a pretty old … Intel platform, I think. 2009, so 32nm or 45nm is the go-to. Basically first-gen or second gen intel mobile chip. Right alongside the Core 2 Duo times.
It come with … Intel graphics.(?: does Intel have integrated GPU by then? If not it’s a equally-ancient AMD one)
Anyhow. The system cannot find a proper driver for it (the basic display does work, just like on windows, but stuff like brightness control don’t work. As a result laptop have a run time of 2 hours)
I looked for linux drivers and it does seem like Ubuntu have a … group of people that have legacy Intel graphics drivers. However they don’t have the driver for this specific … Intel model.

The networking seems to be working out of the box, which is great. But that doesn’t really solve the problems.

The sound probably doesn’t work either. And the included minesweeper doesn’t even run well. (lol)

I can’t even play minesweeper! There’s no brightness control, sleep is completely broken (cannot wake from sleep), the system clock is broken, there is no sound… Terrible.

Now I get that with a somewhat more Linux-oriented hardware the experience is going to be better, and I cannot disagree. But it’s something the user have to be very clear of, and, as tech-savvy as I am, I’m not really making it work. Especially consider that this is from Ubuntu, the biggest (if not second biggest) Linux Distro. Now imagine smaller ones.

What Linux seem to be good at is everything that is not a personal computer. Linux server seem to be absolutely slapping, and many other things (atm? cash registers?) seem to run on linux as well. Mostly failt-free, too.

And I would love to give Linux another try. However I am well past the time of playing with computers (versus playing on computers).

Now, I have to say that this machine come pre-installed with Windows 7. So obviously the Windows experience is going to be absolutely fantastic. Windows Update grabbed the driver from Windows Update, WiFi is not working from the get-go but Ethernet is, and auto-update driver worked most of the time. I have brightness control, the speaker works, everything just turned out absolutely fine. Well, except that it’s a bit sluggish. But, well, it’s a 11 year old laptop, so there you have it.

First day with Linux was like yours in WSL, why doesnt the OS tell me this, or why do I need to select my favorite window manager (also, what is a window manager?).
Also, why cant I use my wireless device? (needed to grap the wireless firmware and add them to my filesystem, recompile (or let the installer) the kernel to include the right module)

Windows 7 felt so much easier, untill i tried ubuntu, alsmost everything just worked. looked fine and their graphical package manager had for now all the things i needed. And then, I broke it. Filesystem fault. with windows and BSOD i was used to give up at a certain point and just reinstall windows. But friends at a local hackerspace where able to tell me what I needed to check, filesystem checks, basic linux configs, read the right journal and interpret it to make sense of what went wrong. I was able to recover most functionality and Linux worked again. their suggestions however made me switch to Arch (almost choose Gentoo). I would advice against going full linux without a community to go back to for help. WSL2 is a great way to get a feel for terminal control of a OS. Windows has Powershell and also very very handy to get skilled in.

The distro you installed might be a influence on being able to tell you that you should have updated it. but I think the biggest thing, is the teacher/workshop leader should have guided you. sudo apt-get update is often the first thing you do, many tutorials first ask you to update the system, install a package and then follow some commands. its almost a default for many, to make sure your system is up to date. like nobody is asking you to check if your system has enough space, they asume you do.

Older PC’s may still work fine running Linux, but maybe not a distro like ubuntu that has to support modern systems and allow people to game. Maybe try Lubuntu, PuppyLinux or Tiny Core for older PC’s and still familiar packagemanagement and systemd (systemV or sysv being an alternative) is also making it easier for you to set things up according to tutorials made for ubuntu (being, the underlaying system, configs and such being similiar)

Debian is different and also good. Redhat same. Arch and gentoo are the “build your own car” variants and allow for much customisation from the start, but I guess also knowledge by the user. (they, Arch now also have a installer what might help) but overal, maybe stick with Windows (WSL) and learn how to mainatin the linux install a bit in there. maybe fully boot and install a linux in HyperV to get your feet wet. Multiboot if you want. School or courses like that ask a certain degree of knowledge before hand and sometimes skip steps sadly, i hope youll suceed. else, this community, discord or forums of your distro of choosing might be able to help.

if your truly gonna learnprogramming using GNU tools, the terminal is gonna be your friend. But for general computing, a desktop linux install is fine, get a nice terminal that makes you feel comfy and set a color sheme, select a nice font and learn to maintain your distro a bit (stable gives more peace, Arch is rolling release and can give pain if you forget to update for a while)

I wrote way too much. Im sticking with Arch as my main OS because is a pain in my … (and still love building it.
Debian on my servers (cause I dont want to update my server every week and maintain it)
Windows 11 for my games that Wine and proton dont want to run. Visual Studio Code on both Windows and Linux and I use makefiles and gcc everywhere. still learning new terminal command line commands every week (day would be lying).

I sometimes forget to:

  • before update, check distro news site for breaking warnings
  • update all packages
  • check for firmware
  • clear package cache
  • general filesystem cleanup

There are tools to do this, but I also realised, I used CCleaner on windows, nolong really need a antivirus program on both OS (they do excist for Linux, and Windows defender works ok). Drivers on windows can break mysteriously aswell, discord linux support can be way more helpfull. check : as a programmer and linux user to be. (sister sites also allowed)

no the WSL is actually quite straightforward because there is just a console and a kernel to run things on. You get the apt update (or something), install g++ (and clang) and good to go.

That is, the classic WSL. I dont know a thing about the new WSL2.

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I would not go classic WSL1 I think: Comparing WSL 1 and WSL 2 | Microsoft Docs

But i was only slightly comparing our experiences. Overall WSL(1 or 2) are a safe way of testing and experiencing Linux, and if the OS/hardware is not your own, borrowed or school/company property, WSL might be a good alternative to not being able to install your own OS on hardware (no trouble if you own the framework fully :smiley: )

My first day Ubuntu on “bare metal” wasnt a great one tho, and apparentlty ubuntu was preloaded with custom drivers that a fresh ubuntu install dint ship with (this was on a lenovo laptop back in 2013)
Arch linux lands you in a command line and hopefully internet, all the rest is up to the user to choose, install and configure. Fun puzzle I must add, if you have time.

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I think the fundamental difference is that WSL1 is not done via virtualization while WSL2 is. Or that it is integrated in such a way that make it difficult to manage as a traditional virtual machine.
The main upside is that the Linux Subsystem can read/write files on the local disk without needing to move anything around.
The WSL is mostly for, well, demonstration (of the capability for me to use a command line interface). The actual work they don’t care, and I did it in Visual Studio.
Visual Studio also have command line toolsets (which I have used). It’s just quite janky to have g++ (or clang) up and running on Windows (as they are not really written with Windows in mind)

You would expect Dell to offer these custom drivers for download (for my laptop; they offered ubuntu as an option)
But no! Not this time.

Unfortunately that laptop is fried and thus is now an expensive paperweight. i might consider spending $500 for a replacement motherboard with a i7 5th or 6th gen so I can have a good Win 7 machine.

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