Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
'; DROP DATABASE;--
Posts: 3284
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:38 am UTC
Location: Midwest Alberta, where it's STILL snowy
Contact:

Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:27 am UTC

This doesn't seem to fit in any of the computer forums, so I'll drop it here and hope. >_>

I finally got sick of Windows' bullshit and decided to install Xubuntu. Well, that was a while ago, but it was just yesterday I had the chance to do it.

It's ironic that I moved to Linux to get away from the stupidity of Windows, because so far it's been an even bigger pain. Most of this is ATI's fault.

First was moving everything off my hard drive, because I would need to make major changes to the partition table. This process consisted of copying most of it to my laptop and web server and the rest to several DVD-Rs.

As anyone who's ever tried to copy a lot of files in Windows would know, it's a real pain. You can't just select all, drag and hit copy. One error and the whole process stops. So I installed a program designed for large copying jobs and used that. There was of course an error partway through (not sure why; corrupt file or something). But this program is designed for large copy jobs, so it doesn't just stop. It gives me three options: try again (doesn't work), try again every 20 seconds, or abort the whole job. No "skip this file" option. Great. :roll:

So I decide to use xcopy to finish the job. Turns out xcopy is equally stupid. It has an option to copy only the files that do already exist in the destination, but not an option to copy only the ones that don't. It does, however, have an option to continue if an error occurs. Except for when it randomly runs out of memory halfway through and just dies. :evil:

So I try another mass copy program, and this one actually works, but it's slow as molasses. Bleh.

Once everything is copied, I boot the LiveCD and check it out. Very impressive actually, it supports just about everything in the system. Wifi works, the cheap sound card works, it even recognizes the TV tuner. Video resolution is a bit low though, apparently Radeon drivers aren't included, and to install them requires rebooting. Well I figured it shouldn't be a problem; install it, run the command, reboot, and set up the monitors.

Boy, was I wrong. At first most of the display was severely corrupted, but I fixed that by changing a setting in the BIOS that had been wrong to begin with. But it still wasn't completely working. After about 12 hours of fiddling, installing, reinstalling, reconfiguring, and downloading programs and drivers, running various commands, editing xorg.conf, and a lot of reboots, I've narrowed it down to a few choices:
1) Full resolution on both screens, but no hardware acceleration, a corrupted cursor, and windows randomly redrawing in the wrong spot.
2) Same as 1, but instead of a corrupted cursor, a software-rendered cursor that corrupts everything it touches.
3) The same resolution on both screens (which is no good when one is wide and one isn't), with no way to move a window off the screen it spawned on and no hardware acceleration.
4) One screen, presumably without hardware acceleration.

This is why I had stuck with Windows until now. I finally give up and go buy a GeForce 6200. So far, moving to a "free" OS has cost me $120. :roll: (And naturally, it was a long walk and extremely cold and snowy out. In mid-April. Seriously?) I haven't installed it yet because I'm still in the process of copying things back to the hard drive. Which brings me to the next part.
Word of warning: if you have an ATI video card, do not even think of using Linux.

Since Linux doesn't have an N64 emulator with a debugger, I have to still keep a copy of XP installed for certain tasks, and that means putting my files (that is, /home) on a filesystem accessible by both Windows and Linux. I settled on NTFS because it seemed the most stable (excluding FAT32 which has a 4GB file size limit), but of course that wouldn't work. I thought I'd just specify NTFS as the filesystem for the /home partition, since even the LiveCD could read and write NTFS, but it wouldn't let me do that. So I figured I'd select EXT2, then in Windows, use an EXT2 driver to copy everything, format it as NTFS, and copy it back. If it blew up, no big deal, reinstall it.
Of course something so difficult as formatting a partition is too much for Windows. The "format" option in the disk manager is disabled, and trying to format it by right-clicking the disk icon fails immediately. WTF? Fortunately this driver has full R/W support for EXT2.

So then I needed to copy everything back. Most of the files got moved to my laptop because it has a big hard drive and needed to be formatted anyway. So I formatted it, installed a fresh copy of XP, and copied them. When it came time to copy back, the desktop couldn't see the laptop at all, not even ping. This turned out to be because Windows Firewall was enabled. -_- Once I got that fixed I started up the copier program again. This program, for whatever reason, has to generate a list of all files to be copied before actually copying them, which takes ages, and then has to sort the list, which takes about a minute. Except this time, it just hung when it got to sorting.

So I thought I'd chance it with xcopy (no reason it should fail this time right?) and leave it as I went out to buy the new video card. I set it to not show the names of the files being copied, so that if anything did go wrong, the error messages wouldn't be buried in a flood of filenames. That, of course, failed miserably. Every now and then it prints "File creation error - Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service." But what file failed to be created? :roll: I won't even get into why it's failing...

I would like to take this time to cuss at the fresh XP install on the laptop I'm typing this on. It decided to add a Canadian keyboard layout in which symbols like ', < and > are replaced with accented characters and punctuation. (Right, because Canadians don't use apostrophes or math or HTML. :roll: ) The annoying part is how it keeps randomly switching to it. DFSGFADSFDAsdADASF.

Then there's the taskbar problem. I had kind of a strange setup in Windows; I'd post a screenshot, but my web server has randomly died and I don't have one on the system to upload. It's two screens, horizontal, with a vertical taskbar at the right of the left screen. This works fantastic in Windows - maximized windows behave normally on both screens, but you can drag windows right under the taskbar between the screens. The quick launch and system tray organize into a nice grid, the buttons a nice vertical column, the Start button at the top. It's very efficient. In Xubuntu? The buttons scale to fill the entire bar which is ugly. Worse, you really can't have a "quick launch" at all - rather than a grid of icons, the icons stretch to the entire width of the bar, and preserve their aspect ratio, so you get super-huge icons. Gross. And maximized windows go right under the taskbar, because you can't reserve space at the edge of a monitor, only the edge of the entire workspace.

And finally, guess what happens when your router goes down while copying files across the network with xcopy? Does it wait for it to come back up? Of course not! It errors out for every file until it's "done". But the server is working again, so here's that screenshot, just beware that it's 863.62 KB and NSFW.

Why did I ever buy a computer? I should have got into cars instead. :( (BTW, anyone want to buy a Radeon 9550?)
poxic wrote:You suck. And simultaneously rock. I think you've invented a new state of being.

User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:44 am UTC
Location: Melbourne

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Bruce » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Did you use the Radeon drivers that came with Xubuntu? I strongly suggest you try the drivers direct from ati.com, they have changed a lot in recent months.
COMFORT, n.
A state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor's uneasiness.

User avatar
DJorgensen
Posts: 1503
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:24 pm UTC
Location: A small reality, fractured from this one.
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby DJorgensen » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:37 am UTC

I learned 10 years ago to dislike ATI. Always been an nVidia person since.

That said I have big issues with running *nix on my main box. I just cannot do without Photoshop. I did look into running virtualbox so that I could run both, but I find little need to do that. Its rare that I really need access to linux apps, and I have them all available on my headless Ubuntu laptop. Then again I have access to a number of pcs across the world through ssh.... so I never seem to run short of options.

Then again, I'd also be quite scared to try running my new cintiq tablet / three display setup through linux. I really doubt that it would go over as easily as it should.
trap: a device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned.

User avatar
'; DROP DATABASE;--
Posts: 3284
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:38 am UTC
Location: Midwest Alberta, where it's STILL snowy
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:17 am UTC

Bruce wrote:Did you use the Radeon drivers that came with Xubuntu? I strongly suggest you try the drivers direct from ati.com, they have changed a lot in recent months.
With those it would just boot in "low graphics mode" and revert to Vesa.

Sure enough, the Nvidia didn't work either. Which really makes me wonder, WTF? ATI and Nvidia aren't exactly cheap no-name brands nobody's ever heard of. Why aren't both of these supported out of the box? :roll: This is precisely why I've been using Windows all this time: it works. It may not work well, but it works. Especially in Ubuntu, an OS designed for beginners, having to do a bunch of command-line-fu and edit config files to get a popular graphics card to work seems pretty silly.
poxic wrote:You suck. And simultaneously rock. I think you've invented a new state of being.

User avatar
Hawknc
Oompa Loompa of SCIENCE!
Posts: 6986
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:14 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Hawknc » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:24 am UTC

Nvidia should work, though I've had to twerk it a little. I've had the best success using Envy, which is an automatic installer for graphics card drivers. If you want to do it yourself, though, just get the latest version off the Nvidia website (if you didn't do that already). Generally I have no luck with the standard drivers Ubuntu tries to use.

User avatar
DuSTman
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:11 am UTC
Location: Lancaster, UK
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby DuSTman » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

ATIs drivers since about november have been derived from a completely new codebase than the old ones, and the rate at which drivers from the new codebase are improving is quite impressive, actually.

Frankly, given ATIs new commitment to releasing card specs to make open source drivers (whereas nVidia keeps this information secret - please do not buy nvidia products until they release this) lead me to give them approval: The new revision of the proprietary drivers arn't (yet) as good as the likes on Intel's, but they are improving fast.

Intel's GMAxxx chips are the best I've seen for linux driver support, due to Intel's policy of information release and funding development. Sadly, it seems you can't get these on add-in cards, though, and they often arn't quite as high performing as demanding users need.

But, yeah, ATI is my choice for linux.

User avatar
NieXS
Why's the rum gone?
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:10 am UTC
Location: Brazil

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby NieXS » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:42 pm UTC

Which version of Xubuntu did you try? The ATI free drivers that come with (X/K)Ubuntu 8.04 are way better than the previous ones.
By the way, I use a Radeon 9600PRO, and it's fast enough to use compositing.
she/her


User avatar
Rippy
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:27 pm UTC
Location: Ontario, Can o' Duh

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Rippy » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:22 am UTC

I've got an ATI Radeon HD 3650, a pretty recent card, and even it works under Ubuntu now without issue. See, they've improved it enough that you rarely need to do any command-line work anymore: it's called the restricted drivers manager. You open it up, and you'll see an unselected checkbox beside the ATI display driver, and it's just a matter of letting it download and install the driver. I've done this on a Radeon 9250 and the above mentioned newer card flawlessly.

So, my advice is to just not try screwing with any config files, because Ubuntu can now do that for you pretty reliably. I'm assuming Xubuntu works the same way (why would you be using Xubuntu anyway? It's intended for old hardware).

My point would best be summarized by a LOLcat image, but since I'm too lazy to find one I'll just say the caption: You're doing it wrong.

That being said, I still agree with you totally. I'm in Ubuntu right now, and Compiz has stopped rendering window borders, my background image is gone, and for the third day in a row I can't complete a large update because it returns 404 errors when trying to download the files. Linux has this wonderful ability of being an extremely easy OS to install, configure and use, but painfully hard to maintain and repair.

User avatar
niko7865
Posts: 536
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:47 am UTC
Location: All over washington state, USA
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby niko7865 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:44 am UTC

Rippy wrote:... I'm in Ubuntu right now, and Compiz has stopped rendering window borders,...

Try the command "$ emerald --replace"

my background image is gone,

I'm pretty sure nautilus controls the background (at least in gnome) run "nautilus" from a terminal and look at the errors

and for the third day in a row I can't complete a large update because it returns 404 errors when trying to download the files. Linux has this wonderful ability of being an extremely easy OS to install, configure and use, but painfully hard to maintain and repair.

You need to update your sources. "sudo aptitude update" or when you run Update Manager click "Check"
21/m/athletic/white&nerdy/washington/straight/???
Image

User avatar
Æshættr
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:47 am UTC

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Æshættr » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:54 am UTC

I'd also have to disagree with your statement about not using ATI in Linux. I have a three year old laptop running linux on an ATI 200M and it works well (but since it's an old card, no hardware acceleration.) The newer cards (as was already mentioned) have supported open-source drivers, so they're getting better all the time. If I were you, I would try Kubuntu or Ubuntu before giving up on your radeon entirely (also, if it looks bad on the livecd, try starting in safe graphics mode.)

As for the filetransfer problem, one neat thing about kubuntu is konqueror's fish:// protocol. It's essentially a GUI for sftp. If you run two linux boxes, it's very simple to back up files using fish.

cymon
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:56 am UTC
Location: 0x-1

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby cymon » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:59 pm UTC

Thank you for the warning, I will make sure to inform my Radeon X1800 that indeed, it IS running in linux, and that because of that, it should immediately stop doing hardware acceleration on both screens. Furthermore, I will inform X that because I have an ATi card, I should not be able to move windows between screens.

I guess Arch is just awesome in that manner.

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3712
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:01 pm UTC

I just wish someone would write some sensible documentation for Samba, specifically smb.conf since there's apparently no place that details the various parameters that can go there, what the default settings for them are, which are required etc.

I didn't have any problem getting my drivers to work on an nvidia 6800. And to get my files ont here I just put everything on a file-partition in windows and ghosted it to the new disk with gparted, though it helps to already have everything archived for easy back-up to an external HDD which should be performed weekly at a minimum.

it's amazing how many problems frequent, redundant back-ups solves.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

User avatar
AlwaysRelated
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:13 am UTC

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby AlwaysRelated » Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

I recently switched to Ubuntu, and I really like it. The only problem I have is that I can't dual boot Windows and Ubuntu (I have Ubuntu installed on one drive, XP on the other). Anyways, it doesn't really matter because I can do everything I need to on Linux.
Image

User avatar
rockintom99
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:28 am UTC
Location: Washingtonland!
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby rockintom99 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

Wait, $120 for a geforce 6200? Seriously? You got ripped off. I spend $90 on a 6800, and I got ripped off.
THIS IS A SIGNATURE.

User avatar
AlwaysRelated
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:13 am UTC

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby AlwaysRelated » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

rockintom99 wrote:Wait, $120 for a geforce 6200? Seriously? You got ripped off. I spend $90 on a 6800, and I got ripped off.


I spent 150 (with shipping) on a 7600...but it was agp :l Pci-e is so much cheaper
Image

User avatar
Rippy
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:27 pm UTC
Location: Ontario, Can o' Duh

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Rippy » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:38 am UTC

Oh, and just to clarify, all my errors seemed to be due to the aforementioned 404 errors, causing a partial update. I don't blame Ubuntu for not working if certain packages are broken/unupgraded, so I'm less frustrated now.

Everything is working fine now :D

I think that is one of the things that makes Ubuntu so potentially unreliable though... the fact that it updates itself every 20 minutes (it seems like). Though, I'm okay with things breaking once in a while considering they're cranking out feature after feature.

User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:44 am UTC
Location: Melbourne

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Bruce » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:52 am UTC

It might check for security updates every 20 minutes, but if you are running a stable release (are you?) that should be all.
COMFORT, n.
A state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor's uneasiness.

User avatar
bridge
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:24 pm UTC
Location: Zurich < x < Rome

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby bridge » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:So I installed a program designed for large copying jobs and used that...

Try rsync (requires cygwin on windows) i use it to do backups, move files around, synchronize music libraries, etc.
Works fine across different platforms.

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Then there's the taskbar problem.

This is fully customizable, you can have different panels of different widths and options (transparency, autohide, ...)
You can move the various widgets among those (windows list, main menu, virtual desktop selector, ...)
I don't think you can organize icons as a grid, but you could for example have a panel to hold most frequently used apps
if they become too much to be displayed in a row you can divide them into categories with drawers
Excuse my Super Mario accent

User avatar
'; DROP DATABASE;--
Posts: 3284
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:38 am UTC
Location: Midwest Alberta, where it's STILL snowy
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:43 am UTC

Well I reinstalled the system and got it working, I guess the ATI drivers broke something. You're definitely right about it being a ripoff though (big surprise, Future Shop); I think I'll return the card and buy the same one online for a sane price if possible (and just use Windows on the ATI until it arrives <_<). Now that it's up and running, I'm quite enjoying it (despite not knowing how to work Gimp :p). I'm doing that copy back over using cp and it's working just as it should: skipping any files that can't be copied (Unicode problems), and logging their name to the console so I can deal with it. :D To an NTFS partition, even.

Using Windows file sharing is actually easier in Xubuntu than it is in Windows! :lol:
poxic wrote:You suck. And simultaneously rock. I think you've invented a new state of being.

recurve boy
Posts: 353
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:48 am UTC
Location: Sydney Australia
Contact:

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby recurve boy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
Using Windows file sharing is actually easier in Xubuntu than it is in Windows! :lol:


Is that like the reward for figuring out how to install Xubuntu?

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6276
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: Windows -> Linux migration rant.

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:05 pm UTC

My "favorite" Linux story comes from when I tried to install Radeon drivers under Fedora Core a few years ago. The installer (from the Livna repository) very politely edited my xorg.conf to load up the ATI driver... and completely ignored the fact that said xorg.conf specified a color depth that was incompatible with the driver! Naturally that little tidbit was not particularly well advertised.

I am such a glutton for punishment that I will probably try to install the new Ubuntu next week. You might have noticed that the last Kubuntu release had a corrupted Start menu if you specified Canadian English as your language... and it was just downhill from there. It particularly did not like my ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 integrated graphics, but I didn't plan on sticking with that anyway.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 29 guests