I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby PM 2Ring » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:20 pm UTC

King Author wrote:I actually found a way to get the info while in XP...
intel wifi link 1000 bgn
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_0083&SUBSYS_13058086&REV_00\4&20975680&0&00E1

However, I already googled and apparently, it uses proprietary software so it simply will not work in Linux-Libre. Everyone on the FSF forums and such just says to buy a USB wifi thingy :/

I'm in the process of installing Puppy Linux to my live USB. I'll see if it auto-detects. It probably will.

Though even Trisquel Mini came with a large amount of software I'll never use. I may do Linux From Scratch after all, just because all distros seem to come loaded with tons and tons of programs I don't want. Sure I can delete them all, but if I don't know that there's a program on my machine, I can't delete it. If I hand-select what to install from the get-go, I'll know exactly what's installed.

(P.S. I googled and found out I can manually install IceWM with the following terminal commands...
tar xzf icewm-1.3.8.tar.gz
cd icewm-1.3.8
./configure --help
...I hope it works. Wish me luck!)


If there isn't a proper Linux driver for your wireless network card, it can (probably) still be used under Linux, using a thing called NDISwrapper which allows Linux to use your card's Windows driver.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, recent versions of Puppy Linux are pretty good with detecting & configuring wireless cards. And IIRC the Network Wizard will ask you if you want to use NDISwrapper if it can't find a driver for your card; you just have to tell it where it can find the Windows driver.

...

If you want to use IceWM on Puppy there's no need to build it yourself - it's available as a package, according to the Wiki. See http://puppylinux.org/wikka/WindowManagers

...

FWIW, the very compact distros like Puppy don't usually provide a compiler and the necessary header files to build packages from source code, at least, that stuff's not part of the standard installation, but it's easy enough to download and install, if you so desire. But really, it's best to steer clear of building your own software from source and to try to stick to pre-built packages from the repositories (aka repos), especially if your a newbie to Linux.

I like Puppy, and have been using it for several years, although it's not my main distro - I mostly use Mepis, a Debian distro that's kind of like a cousin to Ubuntu. But I have a couple of versions of Puppy on a USB thumb drive so I can have a familiar environment wherever I go. (I never really got into Windows - I can use Windows machines, to an extent, but I've never felt at home on them).

Puppy is unusual in that it uses a couple of packaging schemes, for historical reasons. It has its own native packages, but recent Puppies can also use Debian packages, which means that you have easy access to stuff in a much wider range of repos, not just the native Puppy repos.

...

I see that earlier in the thread you were concerned about Linux package management. IMHO, package management is actually one of the greatest advantages that Linux has over Windows. The official repos contain software you know you can trust, unlike downoading stuff from various sites all over the Net. As others have said, you can install or uninstall software with a simple command line. However, I rarely use the command line for package management - I prefer to use the GUI (although I do use the command line quite a bit for other things).

The Puppy package management GUI is very good for such a compact system. On Mepis, I use Synaptic. As well as letting you install or uninstall software, the package management software also gives you information about the software, eg a short description of what it does, how big the package is to download and how much space the installed software will take up on your hard drive, and any libraries etc it depends on. The package management software handles dependency issues for you, (mostly) automatically. When you try to install something that needs a library that you don't currently have, it'll tell you the details before you commit to the download.

So if you want to know what software is installed on your system, and what it's for, just go to the package manager. And if you decide you don't need it, you can easily uninstall it.

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:07 pm UTC

Ugh, Puppy Linux won't load, I get a missing file error. Official site says it's difficult to get PL booting from USB. Not worth the bother. Tried Damn Small Linux to test whether it'd auto-detect my Wifi. It did not.

*sign*

I'll keep trying distros, I guess, to see if any auto-detect my Wifi. I'll try Ubuntu next, even though I won't use it. It's supposed to be the most user-friendly, pick-up-and-play, so if any would auto-detect, it would. I just wanna see if it can be autodetected.

If my Wifi can't auto-detect...what do I do? What do I download or what commands do I run to get it to work?

EvanED wrote:Since you're building IceWM yourself (if you follow those instructions) I recommend installing to a different directory, as I mentioned above. You do that by passing --prefix=(thedir) to configure. So it'll look something like ./configure --prefix=/opt/icewm-1.3.8, plus any other options you want to pass.


I have no idea what other options I may want to pass. Other than the default help, I guess. So my entire thing would look like this...?

tar xzf icewm-1.3.8.tar.gz
cd usr/util/icewm-1.3.8
./configure --prefix=/usr/util/icewm-1.3.8 --help

Will 'cd'-ing to a nonexistant folder create it? Or would I have to manually create the folder first? Also, I downloaded the IceWM tar to C:/ How do I 'cd' to that in Linux?

Also also, how would I not build IceWM myself? The package manager? I'd love to, if I could get friggin' wifi working.

*sigggggn*

See, this is the crap that wore me out last time I tried Linux. While googling reviews of Linux distros, SEVERAL people mentioned using stuff like Puppy and Bodhi and others on an Acer Aspire One netbook, and they didn't say a thing about the internet not working. What gives? Is the universe conspiring to stop me from using Linux?

@PM 2Ring: Didn't see your post before I posted. Couldn't get Puppy Linux to work :(

Thanks for all the info, though.

Actually, you know what? My netbook runs Windows XP just fine. And it's the full OS, not a "Lite" version or something. I like the idea of a minimal install, but I'm sick of things not working. I'll give Mepis a try. And other non-Lite versions of things if I don't like that.

Tomorrow. I'm tired right now, and getting fed up with all these failed attempts. While I'm away, since you use Mepis as your main, can you tell me -- how thoroughly customizable is Mepis? I'm gonna install IceWM probably no matter what, but what about Mepis as far as you've used it? I posted some screenshots of my desktop and such a few posts back. Take a look at them. Think I can get something remotely looking like that on Mepis?
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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby phlip » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:08 pm UTC

King Author wrote:I have no idea what other options I may want to pass. Other than the default help, I guess. So my entire thing would look like this...?

tar xzf icewm-1.3.8.tar.gz
cd usr/util/icewm-1.3.8
./configure --prefix=/usr/util/icewm-1.3.8 --help

Passing --help to configure will just have it tell you what the other options are. So you'd run "./configure --help" to see what your options are, and then "./configure --prefix=/some/path --possibly-other-options" to actually run the configure script. Traditionally, the instructions on what to do are in a file called "INSTALL", or sometimes "README", in the source tarball.

If you decide on a distro that supports it, you should also look into checkinstall... this is a handy utility that you run instead of the final "make install" or similar command, and it automatically runs the install, and tracks all the files that get installed, and builds a package for you... so that if you ever want to uninstall it, you can do it cleanly through the package manager. That way you can manage all your installed software in one place, whether it's installed from your package manager or from source.

King Author wrote:Will 'cd'-ing to a nonexistant folder create it? Or would I have to manually create the folder first?

No, you'd need to create the directory first. The command to do this from the command line is "mkdir", or you can also do it in any file manager.

King Author wrote:Also, I downloaded the IceWM tar to C:/ How do I 'cd' to that in Linux?

Linux uses a single filesystem, and each drive is mounted to a certain path within that filesystem... as opposed to Windows, where each drive has its own root - C:\, D:\ etc. So, in Linux, you'll have one drive mounted as /, and then you could, if you so chose, have a different partition mounted as /home, and then any files inside the /home directory would be pulled from that second partition. If you run "mount" (without any parameters) in the command line, it'll tell you where all your drives are mounted... it's probably configurable when you install the OS, and definitely configurable afterwards, but by default your Windows drives are probably under /mnt or /media.

Unfortunately I can't help with your wifi problems, except to echo comments that I've heard it can either work out of the box or be a pain to get it working, depending on what wifi chipset your card happens to be using. I don't really have any experience with the matter, except to say I've heard good things about the aforementioned NDISwrapper, if you're not philosophically opposed to using the closed-source proprietary driver that the card manufacturer built for Windows (and noting that there may currently be no open-source alternative... wifi drivers are basically the one main area left where the OSS community hasn't been able to get on top of things yet).

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:18 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Ugh, Puppy Linux won't load, I get a missing file error. Official site says it's difficult to get PL booting from USB. Not worth the bother.

That's a shame. Which "official site" says it's difficult to get Puppy Linux booting from USB?

Running Puppy from USB is very common, however, the usual procedure is to create a bootable Puppy USB from a running version of Puppy (eg while running from a CD): the Puppy equivalent of the Start menu has a thing called the Puppy Universal Installer, which lets you easily install Puppy in a variety of ways to various devices / locations.

I assume you used Unetbootin to try to boot Puppy from a USB stick. It probably didn't work because one of the boot options in the iso file specifically says that Puppy is booting from a CD. Bootable Linux CDs commonly use a boot loader called isolinux, a related program called syslinux can be used to boot Linux from a FAT32 or NTFS device. These programs use a text file to specify the boot menu called isolinux.cfg or syslinux.cfg, respectively.

The actual boot commands in the isolinux.cfg in Puppy Linux lupu-525.iso are

Code: Select all

label puppy
kernel vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=cd


Unetbootin copies that info unchanged from the iso's isolinux.cfg file to a file called syslinux.cfg on the USB, so you need to edit it. Just change the last line to

Code: Select all

append initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=usbflash

and everything should now work properly. Make sure that the text editor that you use preserves the Linux line endings: Linux uses a single LF char at the ends of lines, MS-DOS/Windows uses a CR-LF pair.

King Author wrote:I'll keep trying distros, I guess, to see if any auto-detect my Wifi. I'll try Ubuntu next, even though I won't use it. It's supposed to be the most user-friendly, pick-up-and-play, so if any would auto-detect, it would. I just wanna see if it can be autodetected.

If my Wifi can't auto-detect...what do I do? What do I download or what commands do I run to get it to work?


According to http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/hi ... eless/1000 there is a Linux driver for your WiFi. And Debian agrees.

FWIW I have files called
/lib/firmware/iwlwifi-1000-3.ucode
/lib/firmware/iwlwifi-1000-3.ucode-128.50.3.1
on my Mepis system. So I'd assume they'd also be on a standard Ubuntu or Mint CD.


King Author wrote:@PM 2Ring: Didn't see your post before I posted. Couldn't get Puppy Linux to work :(

Thanks for all the info, though.

Actually, you know what? My netbook runs Windows XP just fine. And it's the full OS, not a "Lite" version or something. I like the idea of a minimal install, but I'm sick of things not working. I'll give Mepis a try. And other non-Lite versions of things if I don't like that.

Tomorrow. I'm tired right now, and getting fed up with all these failed attempts. While I'm away, since you use Mepis as your main, can you tell me -- how thoroughly customizable is Mepis? I'm gonna install IceWM probably no matter what, but what about Mepis as far as you've used it? I posted some screenshots of my desktop and such a few posts back. Take a look at them. Think I can get something remotely looking like that on Mepis?


I wasn't actually recommending Mepis for you, I just mentioed it so you know what I mostly use, but I guess it's worth a try. The Mepis community isn't as big as the Ubuntu community (of course) but it's pretty friendly and has a high level of expertise.

By default, Mepis uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment, which has a bunch of applet crap, but I ignore most of the applets. :) It comes with a variety of themes to try, with more available for download. And you can easily fine-tune themes to your own tastes, so I'd be surprised if you couldn't make it look how you want, but TBH I haven't played around much with the appearance, as I'm fairly happy with the defaults.

There's also a related distro to Mepis called Antix which focuses on older hardware with limited resources, but it also runs well on modern systems.

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:35 pm UTC

Sick as a dog. Didn't give up. I'll be back in a few days, hopefully.
*collapses*
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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:47 am UTC

Alright I'm back, and I'm a lot more sober! Unfortunately this is all so new and technical I forget half the stuff I learned in this topic, so I'm kinda starting fresh here.

Tried Zorin OS despite everything. (And learned that it's okay to have other files/folders on the USB you live-boot from, so I don't have to wipe the stick every time :) It's fine, I'd definitely use it to convert a "not-a-computer-person" off Windows, but it's not very customizable, which appears to be my big problem with every distro I try. I search through anything labeled "settings" or "config," but it's all so limited. I mean, I presume if I crack into some config files or open the terminal I can do a lot more, but...I really have no idea how to do any of that. The filesystem in Linux is so, so unlike the Windows one, I simply can't find anything and don't know where to look.

Ugh, with Zorin - and I presume this is part of the KDE or whatever desktop it uses, not specific to Zorin - when you open or close or move windows around, it has these funky animations (the window physically grows, or comes "through" the screen, or wobbles and shoots down, etc.) which I really, really, really dislike. I just want windows to appear or disappear like in Windows XP, no freaking hat-and-dance routine. I'm trying to browse files here, I didn't want a Vaudeville show.

Is there any general are where GUI or WM config files are kept? Because my choice of distro is basically gonna come down to A) whatever I can get wifi working on and B) whatever I can customize the most extensively, and since apparently every Linux GUI's customization options are hella limited, I'm gonna have to crack into the config files and see what more I can do.

PM 2Ring wrote:
King Author wrote:Ugh, Puppy Linux won't load, I get a missing file error. Official site says it's difficult to get PL booting from USB. Not worth the bother.

That's a shame. Which "official site" says it's difficult to get Puppy Linux booting from USB?


puppylinux.com I can't find the exact page with two minutes of searching and I'm too lazy to keep at it :p

PM 2Ring wrote:Running Puppy from USB is very common, however, the usual procedure is to create a bootable Puppy USB from a running version of Puppy (eg while running from a CD): the Puppy equivalent of the Start menu has a thing called the Puppy Universal Installer, which lets you easily install Puppy in a variety of ways to various devices / locations.


Ugh, that's dumb. Why would you possibly create a live USB while already running the OS?

PM 2Ring wrote:I assume you used Unetbootin to try to boot Puppy from a USB stick. It probably didn't work because one of the boot options in the iso file specifically says that Puppy is booting from a CD. Bootable Linux CDs commonly use a boot loader called isolinux, a related program called syslinux can be used to boot Linux from a FAT32 or NTFS device. These programs use a text file to specify the boot menu called isolinux.cfg or syslinux.cfg, respectively.

The actual boot commands in the isolinux.cfg in Puppy Linux lupu-525.iso are

Code: Select all

label puppy
kernel vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=cd


Unetbootin copies that info unchanged from the iso's isolinux.cfg file to a file called syslinux.cfg on the USB, so you need to edit it. Just change the last line to

Code: Select all

append initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=usbflash

and everything should now work properly. Make sure that the text editor that you use preserves the Linux line endings: Linux uses a single LF char at the ends of lines, MS-DOS/Windows uses a CR-LF pair.


Ooh! I'll go try that, thanks ^_^
Er, gotta download Notepad++ first. Man, when is Microsoft gonna quit being a douche and convert to the lf-only standard EVERY OTHER OS uses?

PM 2Ring wrote:
King Author wrote:I'll keep trying distros, I guess, to see if any auto-detect my Wifi. I'll try Ubuntu next, even though I won't use it. It's supposed to be the most user-friendly, pick-up-and-play, so if any would auto-detect, it would. I just wanna see if it can be autodetected.

If my Wifi can't auto-detect...what do I do? What do I download or what commands do I run to get it to work?


According to http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/hi ... eless/1000 there is a Linux driver for your WiFi. And Debian agrees.


Oh, whoa, sweet! If I end up using a distro that doesn't use Linux Libre, I'll be able to skip the "add non-free component" part, right? And those commands will work for any version of Linux? 'cause I took a look at Debian and ew, I do not wanna use it. I hate how so many desktop OSes are moving towards tablet-like interfaces.

Now, obviously, I can't connect online to download the driver. If I download the file now and save it on C:, and if I can find /mnt or /media like philip said (as I say, I have trouble navigating in Linux) and find the file while I'm running a Linux live USB thing, and then I open the terminal, what do I type to install it? Or can you double-click Linux packages in most GUIs to automatically install them, or maybe even drag-and-drop them into the package manager?

Edit: Son of a--! Puppy still won't work, I get the same error -- pup_420.sfs missing >_<
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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby Xenomortis » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:08 pm UTC

King Author wrote:I took a look at Debian and ew, I do not wanna use it. I hate how so many desktop OSes are moving towards tablet-like interfaces.

That's GNOME 3 - the desktop environment - not Debian (although it's the default DE).
And yes, it sucks and you'll want to change it - either go back to GNOME 2 or use KDE or Xfce.

King Author wrote:Er, gotta download Notepad++ first. Man, when is Microsoft gonna quit being a douche and convert to the lf-only standard EVERY OTHER OS uses?

Basically never. That difference didn't come about through any fault of Microsoft's.
CP/M (precursor to DOS) used CRLF and DOS was designed to be compatible (some really old things in Windows derive from that).
And back then, the majority of OS's did not use LF alone to denote a newline.

King Author wrote:Oh, whoa, sweet! If I end up using a distro that doesn't use Linux Libre, I'll be able to skip the "add non-free component" part, right?

Well the stuff from the Debian site is specific to Debian; although you could conceivably use the same package.
As for the "non-free" bit; Debian itself has a default set of "package repositories" and these do not include packages deemed to be "non-free" (like the wireless driver) - these are maintained in a separate repository that the Debian guys maintain.
You have to add the non-free repository yourself to allow your package manager to packages contained within.
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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:30 pm UTC

Hey! I'm posting from Linux Lite (running the Live USB, of course)! It auto-detected my Wifi :)

It's nice...not nearly customizable enough for me, of course, but since I'm online I'll look up XFCE and Thunar and see if I can't somehow access better configuration by poking around in files.

Super-annoyingly, there's no particularly advanced system color configuration -- trying to get black background with white text, there's no way to do that in any of the GUI menus.

Not sure if this is just because I'm running the Live USB, but everything's...jilty and slow :/ It takes like, five or ten seconds to open any given new thing, even just a new folder. Even though when I'm running XP, it's lickity-quick. It's probably just the Live CD.

Hopy shit! For some reason the netbook's trackpad is SUPER sensitive. It keeps mouse-clicking when I go to hit Spacebar. That doesn't happen in XP.

Hmm. Looks like if I went with this distro, I'd have to nix Thunar. I really like the look, but I googled and apparently, there's no way to disable auto-arrange/snap-to-grid. You can't move icons around freely, like in XP, and I absolutely want that in my window manager.

XFWM4. That's what it says when I alt-tab to "Window Manager" settings. Guess I'll google that and see if I can find a way to do super-advanced color settings, get a white-on-black setting going.

Alright, gonna go do some googling. Be back soon if I can't find my own answers.
(Ugh, I forgot how much I hate Firefox 29.)

Oh, one quick question, though -- what am I supposed to be pressing instead of Alt to snap my keyboard's focus to the menus at the top of the title bar? You know, how in Windows, if you press Alt by itself, the menu bar will be highlighted? Then you can arrow-key or letter-key your way through the menus?

(Oh, another question -- any way to change the mouse behavior? Instead of having a flat speed, it sort of speeds up slowly to its max speed. It's obnoxious.)

Edit: Another question. What's the difference between a file manager and a window manager? I was looking at this...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso ... vironments
...and notice how there's separate listings for the two?
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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby Zabaron » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:05 am UTC

A window manager is the thing that draws title bars and the close and minimize buttons on windows. It's also responsible for resizing and positioning windows. A file manager is an application that lists the contents of directories (like windows explorer on windows).

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:28 am UTC

Basically, for the Windows analogy: Explorer is the file manager. Aero (or, more accurately, DWM) is the window manager.

King Author wrote:Not sure if this is just because I'm running the Live USB, but everything's...jilty and slow :/ It takes like, five or ten seconds to open any given new thing, even just a new folder. Even though when I'm running XP, it's lickity-quick. It's probably just the Live CD.

That's pretty normal. Not only is a USB slower than a HDD, but in order to make everything fit, everything on there is stored in compressed form... so every time you open something, it has to unzip it first... and then it'll try to load some library, and it'll have to unzip that, and then it'll load some data file and it'll have to unzip that too... all in, it adds a lot of slowdown. Naturally, if you actually install it to a HDD, it does it uncompressed, so that it doesn't have to do any of that.

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Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:14 pm UTC

TF? I already posted a reply after you two, stupid post didn't post! Oh well.

Anyway, tried Lubuntu. I...liked it, sorta, I guess. I like how it comes with so few programs pre-installed. LXDE is way, way better than Xfce for sure, since Xfce is basically not customizable whatsoever. Not for an end-user, anyway. I could spend weeks learning how its Themes format works, but I'm not interested.

Couple probs with Lubuntu, though, and I fear this is basically a fundamental problem with Linux. Since everything is a different component (window manager, file manager, panel/dock program, etc.) there's no unified display settings, and many programs simply don't have configurable colors.

First thing I did when I fired up Lubuntu was open the "display settings" thingy (which turned out to be for the window manager) and set white-text-on-black-background custom colors. It's fine, it works fine (I really like the default Ubuntu text face). But then I open the file manager (pcmanfm) and the window contents are blindingly white with black text. Because, of course, the FM is different than the WM. Unfortunately, pcman doesn't have configurable colors :(

Neither does Leafpad, which is something I hadn't considered. In Windows, if I change the display settings to white-on-black, it applies to everything; the windows, the file browser, Notepad, etc. That's one major advantage to a monolithic OS like Windows. In presumably any Linux distro I use, I'll have to manually configure each...well, each everything. And unfortunately, most programs don't allow custom colors, or even customizable font at all.

I gotta find a way around this, because no custom colors is a dealbreaker and I really wanna try converting to Linux.

(Oh, and the internet worked fine on Linux Lite when I tried it, but not Lubuntu. Not sure why.)

Zabaron wrote:A window manager is the thing that draws title bars and the close and minimize buttons on windows. It's also responsible for resizing and positioning windows. A file manager is an application that lists the contents of directories (like windows explorer on windows).

--Zabaron


Gotcha. It takes a bit used to absolutely everything being a discrete, independent entity coming from the monolithic Windows.

phlip wrote:
King Author wrote:Not sure if this is just because I'm running the Live USB, but everything's...jilty and slow :/ It takes like, five or ten seconds to open any given new thing, even just a new folder. Even though when I'm running XP, it's lickity-quick. It's probably just the Live CD.

That's pretty normal. Not only is a USB slower than a HDD, but in order to make everything fit, everything on there is stored in compressed form... so every time you open something, it has to unzip it first... and then it'll try to load some library, and it'll have to unzip that, and then it'll load some data file and it'll have to unzip that too... all in, it adds a lot of slowdown. Naturally, if you actually install it to a HDD, it does it uncompressed, so that it doesn't have to do any of that.


Strangely, though, when I did the Trisquel Live USB, it ran super fast. Hmm. Maybe I'm remembering wrong.

Edit: I'm trying to figure out why my Wifi card works OOTB with Linux Lite's Live CD distro but not Lubuntu's...
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=lite
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=lubuntu
...and their package lists are identical!

So I don't get it. How could my wifi autodetect in Lite but not Lubuntu? @_@
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Mat
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:19 pm UTC

Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby Mat » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:37 pm UTC

What did you find difficult to customise with XFCE? I the settings menu is quite well organised and there's plenty of information out there if you google what you're interested in.

For example changing the colours - https://wiki.xfce.org/howto/install_new_themes - which explains the difference between window manager theme and toolkit theme

Keyboard shortcuts:
https://unix.stackexchange.com/question ... a-shortcut
http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-settings/keyboard
http://askubuntu.com/questions/210231/x ... -shortcuts

I would definitely recommend sticking with one of the major distributions for your first linux. Just because you can switch out components to your heart's content, doesn't mean you should. Don't undervalue documentation and stability. If you are having a problem with drivers, customisation, or programs on ubuntu for example, chances are someone will have encountered the same problem before and googling it will get you solutions from the ubuntu forums/wiki, askubuntu etc in the first few results, and they will be tailored towards your system. This won't be the case if you go for lesser known distros or packages. Have a look at http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major for a starting point.

Hmm. Looks like if I went with this distro, I'd have to nix Thunar. I really like the look, but I googled and apparently, there's no way to disable auto-arrange/snap-to-grid. You can't move icons around freely, like in XP, and I absolutely want that in my window manager.

Comments like this give me the impression you're trying a bit too hard to replicate your windows experience. Is this really important to you? Before giving up on the software, think about what tasks are made easier with this feature and look for ways you could do them differently in linux. Linux is pretty configurable, but so are you! You'll never find something that does everything exactly the way you want it to, but as long as you find something that is on balance better than windows for you, then the time you've invested will be worth it.

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King Author
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:30 pm UTC
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: I wanna try Linux. Again. (x4).

Postby King Author » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:44 am UTC

Posting from Linux Mint. Got the MATE distro. Obnoxiously, this one, by default, displayed two different desktops on my (broken) netbook screen and connected CRT monitor. The main screen on the netbook, unfortunately, and the panel didn't appear on the second desktop, so it took some doing to get into the Display settings to turn off the netbook monitor and make the CRT the main.

Anyway, same comments as every other distro -- it's fine, I guess, but I can't customize it enough. Granted it uses the same "Appearance" thing as the other distro. Which is funny since this is MATE and that was whatever else. Don't like the file manager one bit, same problem as all the others (can't drag-and-drop files, can't disable find-as-you-type, etc.).

Are panels part of the distro itself or can you install different panels? This Mint and/or MATE panel nicely automatically comes with a "press Super to open the panel" feature, which is not standard other panels, but I don't like the Windows 7-ish setup of the panel menu, and I definitely don't like the find-as-you-type thing (and again, crap customization). One of my major gripes about Windows 7, which I loathe, so I certainly don't want it in my Linux distro.

*sigh*

My search continues. I'm running out of options. Ubuntu no good, Mint no good, Trisquel no good, Linux Lite no good, Zorin no good. I guess I'll try the Gnome fork next ('cause I don't want ANY part of Gnome 3).

Mat wrote:What did you find difficult to customise with XFCE? I the settings menu is quite well organised and there's plenty of information out there if you google what you're interested in.


What did I find difficult?! There's no color customization! You literally cannot change the color of windows or text in XFCE! WTF is that crap?

And I spent two hours googling. The biggest thing I turned up?

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1002660

Someone with my exact complain - inability to change colors - about Xfce. He eventually gave up and went back to LXDE. Unfortunately, I even find that impossible to customize to my liking.

Mat wrote:For example changing the colours - https://wiki.xfce.org/howto/install_new_themes - which explains the difference between window manager theme and toolkit theme


*shakes head*

I don't want to pick from a theme that someone else designed. Go back a page (or multiple pages, depending on your thread display preferences) and see the images I posted of my desktop. I want that. Everything - everything - black background with white text. I haven't found a single distro that lets me do that. Not even close. Normally I can barely pick colors at all.

And as I said in my last post, unfortunately, even if I could customize the distro itself to my liking, any given individual program is going to be a separate thing and have its own appearance that I probably can't customize. Leafpad, for example, uses white background and black text; it doesn't inheret its colors from the WM, and there's no color customization options in Leafpad itself.

In other words, since I need blackbackground/whitetext, I can't use Leafpad. Or probably 99% of Linux programs, since apparently none of them obey the WM's color scheme, and obviously any given program doesn't have customizable appearance or colors.



That's the one thing I did like about Xfce -- a gigantic list of friggin' everything you could ever possibly want to tie to a key combo. But without display customizability, I can't use Xfce, so it doesn't really matter.

Mat wrote:I would definitely recommend sticking with one of the major distributions for your first linux. Just because you can switch out components to your heart's content, doesn't mean you should.


What kind of advice is that? I want my computer to look and behave the way I want it to, I'm gonna switch components like a fiend.

Mat wrote:Don't undervalue documentation and stability.


All I care about at this point is getting the computer to simply look the way I want it to, and I've lowered my standards to universal black-background-white-text. That's all I want. I can get used to anything else (though I shouldn't have to -- it strikes me as a travesty that Windows XP is more customizable than any and every Linux distro I've tried), but I absolutely, positively, 100% need my color scheme.

Mat wrote:If you are having a problem with drivers, customisation, or programs on ubuntu for example, chances are someone will have encountered the same problem before and googling it will get you solutions from the ubuntu forums/wiki, askubuntu etc in the first few results, and they will be tailored towards your system. This won't be the case if you go for lesser known distros or packages. Have a look at http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major for a starting point.


I've spent a lot of time googling for every problem I've had, and found no good solutions for any of my problems (obviously; otherwise I wouldn't be here complaining).

Mat wrote:
Hmm. Looks like if I went with this distro, I'd have to nix Thunar. I really like the look, but I googled and apparently, there's no way to disable auto-arrange/snap-to-grid. You can't move icons around freely, like in XP, and I absolutely want that in my window manager.

Comments like this give me the impression you're trying a bit too hard to replicate your windows experience. Is this really important to you?


Well, let's see. I said I "absolutely want that in my window manager" and that without it, I can't use that window manager. So yes. Yes it is that important to me. Granted, disabling the obnoxious little find-as-you-type box is a matter of annoyance and I could get used to it (though again, I shouldn't have to), but being able to physically and freely drag files around is utterly necessary to me. It's a vital and integral part of how I organize files.

Mat wrote:Before giving up on the software, think about what tasks are made easier with this feature and look for ways you could do them differently in linux.


None are made easier for me. I'm not knocking the features, I understand very well that features like these evolve because that's what the majority of people like, and a lot of people like them a lot. I'm not one of those people. These features are a hindrace and obstacle for me.

(Also note: Windows 7 took away the ability to drag and drop files. One of the many reasons I loathe W7 passionately. Objectively, Windows 8 is worse, but I don't personally and viscerally hate it the way I do 7.)

Mat wrote:Linux is pretty configurable, but so are you!


Again, this is miserable advice. "Adjust yourself to your computer." Hells to the no! I want my computer to adjust itself to me. Or rather, to be able to adjust my computer to my liking. I didn't mean to imply I wanted my computer to "predict" what I want and adjust accordingly.

Mat wrote:You'll never find something that does everything exactly the way you want it to, but as long as you find something that is on balance better than windows for you, then the time you've invested will be worth it.


That's precisely my problem -- every distro I've tried is, on balance, much, much, much worse than Windows XP for me. I love Windows XP, it's by far my favorite operating system ever. The reason I'm trying (and rapidly giving up) switching to Linux is philosophical -- free software, open source and all that. Also, I hate Microsoft itself. It's distasteful using a product of theirs, no matter how awesome it is.

But if I can't get any Linux distro to look or work the way I want, I simply won't be able to switch. Which is a shame, but is looking more and more inevitable with every deal-breaker I encounter :(
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