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linux is better than windoze or mac

 
pollinator
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While I use MAC in have used Linux before (I get my Mom's hand-me-down computers)



 
pollinator
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Thanks  for the thought, realtech wifi cards are a problem for linux and require use of a windows driver somehow integrated into the linux system--it has been a general problem with hp laptops. This particular one is about two years old  hasn't been used much, when I first bought it I started to do the windows install, and it had wifi working at that point, all I've changed was the hdd to a ssd although at one point I looked into replacing the wifi card with one more compatible with linux, but it never got any further than ordering the wrong card and then being forgotten by the supplier who promised to look for a compatible one.

I found one post on the mint forum that talked another guy with the same driver problemthrough to a solution that installed the windows driver as per the instructions, and I'm reasonably certain I did it right. but there are a couple variables that may be glitching the thing, one is finding the right antenna and the onter may be a slight difference from one real tech card to another, a matter of changing one letter in the commands, but like I said, it's a learning curve I'm still at the bottom of.

I do have a little usb wireless adapter, and theoretically have downloaded the drivers, but that is where my knowledge base ends.  I have no idea how to tell terminal to install the hardware or the driver, although the forum likely has that information somewhere, I just need to find it.

I'm a little like your friend, I'm happy with this wired connection and a long cord.  I may even take another cord into the other room so I can move back and forth--twt. In the meantime I'm also surveying the property, arranging for a forest mulcher so I can extend swales, and getting the place generally presentable so I can host Permaculture Classes.--not to mention gardens, perennials, fish.... what I mean is that this computer is way down on my priority list and I'll just do a little here and a little there--maybe I'll just get another computer with a friendlier wi fi card, put the other hdd back in this one , swap this ssd into the new one  and then rock on. I hear lenovos are pretty compatible.
 
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I'm all Linux here except for having to use a Macbook for work. If you're mostly doing browsing/document work/light photo work and not gaming, it's easy enough for the non-technical person. If something like a less-supported laptop, wine or VMs get involved, you better have a support person on staff or plan to pick up a new hobby of Linuxing. My partner got assigned a Windows machine for her work, she brought it into bed, I have to admit my skin crawled a little bit. It's part that I have a very long memory of very bad Windows experiences, reboots, re-installs, spyware, bloatware, and part that I'm a Linux supremacist.
 
pollinator
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Am re-booting this in hopes of getting an answer to something in line with the thread.  I would like to use my older Win7 laptop to test various Linux distributions.   But rather than holding down the F12 key during start-up in order to boot to the USB drive, is there a way to re-configure the boot sequence so that it *always*, upon start-up, boots to the 'choice' screen.....where it asks you to choose which drive you wish to boot from?  And additionally, is it relatively easy to go back to its original boot-to-Win7 sequence upon start-up if I wish to reverse course?  Thanks!.....
 
gardener
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John Weiland wrote:Am re-booting this in hopes of getting an answer to something in line with the thread.  I would like to use my older Win7 laptop to test various Linux distributions.   But rather than holding down the F12 key during start-up in order to boot to the USB drive, is there a way to re-configure the boot sequence so that it *always*, upon start-up, boots to the 'choice' screen.....where it asks you to choose which drive you wish to boot from?  And additionally, is it relatively easy to go back to its original boot-to-Win7 sequence upon start-up if I wish to reverse course?  Thanks!.....



I moved USB device (or maybe it said removable drive... media?) higher than the C drive in boot order. Now if I boot with my usb drive plugged in, I get the choice screen. Boot with it unplugged? Straight to windoze.
 
bob day
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I saw where this thread had a new comment, and since this was where I got the idea of linux mint, thought my experience might be useful

I had an older hp , and installed linux mint 19.3, and the main issue was the wireless drive wouldn't work. Spent time in the linux chat rooms, lengthy software craziness and still no luck, bought a couple random usb wireless drives with no real luck, although a bit more experience with installing drivers on the system might have yielded results, was told about a panda usb plugin (ebay for about 12$) and after a year using a network cable, finally have a laptop that works with wireless, that was a plug and play with no  hiccups at all.

Since that I bought a refurbished lenovo thinkpad t550 16g ram i7 processor, high definition screen, and after a bit of fiddling with the bios (lenovo bios screen is different so I had to watch some utube tutorials to figure out the settings. I also figured out the hard way it wouldn't boot from the sd card, so had to plug in the usb drive--as it was booting,before the system was even installed it had recognized the wifi card . I had replaced the 256 g  ssd with a terrabyte ssd, and the thing takes about 20 seconds to boot, seems much clearer to look at, and I installed the full version of the 2020 upgrade, so I can hardly wait to explore all the possibilities

So my experience would recommend Lenovo thinkpads the T series, and or the Panda adapter if you get caught in a trial trying to get LM to recognize your internal wi fi card.
 
John Weiland
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T Melville wrote:

I moved USB device (or maybe it said removable drive... media?) higher than the C drive in boot order. Now if I boot with my usb drive plugged in, I get the choice screen. Boot with it unplugged? Straight to windoze.



Will try it out this weekend.  Thanks!...
 
author and steward
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About six months ago I stumbled onto a page that lists all the people that have parted with real money to support linux mint.   A really short list.  It's amazing that such an excellent product is running on peanuts.  

And then I thought that if I wish to continue on this excellent path, I need to put something in.  

And today I stumbled across this page:  https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=4005

When I put my coin in, my impression was that I would be on the list and i would get a link.  So I decided to make a link to my "better wood heat" stuff.  Smooth!  

And then today's blog thing gave me a bonus link.  Nice.  I didn't know I would get extra.  

I'm in at the $20 per month level.  If anybody else wants to do that and they don't know what to link to, you could do the word "permaculture" with a link to https://permies.com

I'm just super glad that linux mint exists.  And somehow it fills something in me to support it.  And when I saw this today I need to point and say "look!  that's me!"

https://linuxmint.com/sponsors.php

 
pollinator
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Yeah, I like the idea of being a sustaining member of a free-of-charge FLOSS project such as a Linux distribution. That's cool that the developers can count on regular donations that way.
What I try to do - when I am financially able to do so - is when I see a proprietary project come out with a software product that competes with a particular free-of-charge FLOSS project that I am using and the proprietary company is charging a certain amount for it, I will donate that same quantity to the FLOSS project I'm using. So for example when Windows 10 came out for $139, I went and donated $139 to the Linux distro I was using.
 
John Weiland
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It seems even since this thread was started that there has been a sustained increase in offerings and possibilities with Linux-based systems.  I'm now even considering a jump to Raspberry pi OS as this would rope in a hardware platform to go with the OS/software offerings.  [see link below for a 'test drive' version for Mac/PC if you wish to run it from a USB drive.]  From reading and web-poking, it seems the newest Raspberry pi hardware is moving fast into devices and set-ups that could readily replace laptop/desktop PCs for *many* users, even if not *all* users.  At the very minimum, the comments in this thread and parallel discussions have allowed me and clearly others to put the brakes on discarding that 'outdated' laptop or CPU....much welcomed in the face of the "landfill it!" inclination of the mainstream culture.


https://www.raspberrypi.org/software/raspberry-pi-desktop/
 
gardener
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Yeah if you have hardware which still works, and you have a need for a dedicated standalone OS/device, Linux can fit the bill. I had a Raspberry Pi that cost $35, that I ran a build for TV- plugged into the back of the TV it had access to over-the-air stations, online stations, movies, radio, and more. I had speakers plugged in directly, so the TV wasn't needed for radio. My home desktop PC is running Ubuntu Linux, and works really well. I mostly use it for web browsing and games, lots of Windows games can be run on it.

If you install Linux on an existing Windows PC, it will usually allow a side-by-side install, and when the PC boots up you will get both options with Linux as the default:


Down the road if you decide you no longer need Windows, you can delete that partition and free up the disk space. I've found that unless you're after a very specific setup or using a certain hardware/OS combo, very little use of the command line is needed to get things working. Some distributions are easier than others regarding that, Ubuntu has been the most stable/robust for me.
 
John Weiland
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Posting this from within Raspberry pi OS running on a USB drive plugged into the old Win7/32-bit Gateway laptop.  The 'Chrome' browser was pre-installed and it's quite snappy.....for some reason the Chrome running under Win7 on this same computer  is rather slow to start, but seems fine otherwise.  Without putting it through exhaustive paces, I see no difference between this Linux Chrome and that written for Windows.  The downloaded package came with LibreOffice as well.    This testing of different distros is like being at a buffet!! :-)   Thanks for all recommendations to date...
 
master pollinator
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John Weiland wrote:Posting this from within Raspberry pi OS running on a USB drive plugged into the old Win7/32-bit Gateway laptop..


John, thanks for bringing Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop to my attention. I can't believe how snappy it is -- running from a beater USB 2.0 stick! And it has all the basic stuff I look for anyway:
- LibreOffice
- Chromium browser with DuckDuckGo as default search engine (!)
- VLC Media Player

Last time I played with Debian (years ago) it was a pain. This one looks like a keeper!

Now, of course, I have to try to find its limits (i.e., break it).
 
John Weiland
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@D. Alpenstock  Glad it's something you found new and improved.  Just so much out there to become acquainted with....mind boggling array!  (As I'm typing this, I'm having to switch between the virtual keyboard in Win10 and the actual laptop keyboard since I have not yet found a fix for 'dead' keys on the keyboard.)

So one general question for the Permie Linux users who may have need to go between Linux and Windows applications:  Does anyone have experience with 'Wine', the app that lets you run *some* Windows apps from Linux?  Although I suspect it will be all over the map as to which applications/versions will run and to what degree the run as well as they do on a native Win machine (I've seen the Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Garbage rating system in this regard), I was just curious about general use experience if using legacy or recent introductions of, say, MS Office or other popular apps that have not yet been built for Linux.  I'm already using LibreOffice for many things, but sometimes the original MS app is needed for certain circumstances.  Thanks in advance!
 
Mark Brunnr
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I haven’t tried Office using Wine, but I have installed a variety of games and used Wine, Winetricks, Lutris, and PlayOnLinux to get those games working. Mostly searching forums for working combos as I’m no good at manually tweaking Linux myself. With a few exceptions most games I play will work. I think if you stick to an Office version older than 365 you can probably get it to run. The current click to run version tied heavily into the cloud so it may have issues.
 
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I've used Linux my entire adult life. only the laptop I had in university was a mac, I was young and impressionable and just didn't know any better :) I've used Ubuntu and Mint mostly, with a few forays into Debian, OpenSUSE, and Raspberry Pi. You absolutely don't have to be a programmer to use linux, but it really helps to know a few simple bash commands to use the terminal effectively, something you can learn in 15 minutes.

I've never found Wine to be very helpful, and I usually end up finding a linux alternative to whatever program I originally planned to run with wine. The big exception is quickbooks. For some reason spreadsheets went out of style in the accounting world and you just can't seem to run a business without quickbooks anymore. I hate quickbooks with a passion, but I've learned to just hold my nose while I do the monthly bookkeeping.. on my wife's windoze machine. sigh..
 
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It seems to depend on the distro how well Wine works, but I've always found it to be a marginal experience.
On some distros it installs a whole suite of almost Windows programs. On some it just installs Wine and you fight with permissions and execution on a per-program basis. On others, it works without a second thought....and on some it won't work for love or money!
Better now than it used to be.

The easiest way is to keep a winx version on a separate hard drive. Hit F12 on boot (on Dell or HP, probably others too!) and choose to boot from your win drive if you don't have Grub list it in the boot menu.

Keep trying Wine, they're working on it all the time!
 
pollinator
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Mark Brunnr wrote:I haven’t tried Office using Wine, but I have installed a variety of games and used Wine, Winetricks, Lutris, and PlayOnLinux to get those games working.



Has anyone used this, or found other ways, to use photo-editing software with Linux?  That's probably my biggest hurdle with switching systems.  
 
T Melville
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Tom Worley wrote:Has anyone used this, or found other ways, to use photo-editing software with Linux?  That's probably my biggest hurdle with switching systems.  



I think most linux users prefer GIMP. Also nice that it has versions for windoze and mac too. That way you can use the same tool everywhere.
 
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Tom Worley wrote:

Mark Brunnr wrote:Has anyone used this, or found other ways, to use photo-editing software with Linux?  That's probably my biggest hurdle with switching systems.  



There are a few photo management / workflow tools for Linux - the one that was recommended to me by a serious amateur photographer is https://www.darktable.org and I found it quite good.

 
gardener
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What's the better OS is subjective. The best one is that which helps you get done whatever it is that you need a computer for. I like MacOS. (I also like Linux. I've used Linux Mint for a good while when I temporarily left Mac.) And you don't 'need money' for one; there are refurbished models that do quite well for a long time. Also, over the long run, the cost may even be cheaper as new Macs last longer than 'affordable' PCs. You may need to purchase several of them  over the course of the 9-10 years someone else would have a Mac.

Right now I'm 'wedded' to Mac as I need Scrivener and Scapple (neither of which are available for Linux and 'I don't do Windows.')
 
John Weiland
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Thanks for the helpful input regarding my question regarding 'Wine'.  Looks like it's a work in progress and might best be reserved for only those apps that one really *needs* at this point.  Great to know that it is out there, though.

Can't recall which one just now, but one of the Linux distros that I downloaded and tried had "Pinta" as a lower end, but still quite useful, photo editing program.  It has the "layers" function like a lot of higher end programs but seemed overall less unwieldy than a lot of the other packages.  Some of the reviewers from around 2014 - 2016 had noted a few glitches, but that was a few years ago now and I'm wondering if these have been cleaned up.   Because it seems like a useful tool for many tasks.  Really enjoying this as a good house-bound exploration with the continuing pandemic on us.....can't wait to do a full install and see how it feels as a Win/Mac replacement with the many positive testimonial's here.
 
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2007 MS support and I had quite a go-round. I had a not old XP system that crashed after one particular update. Every time. They had me try every trick they could come up with. After about a month they started telling me I needed new hardware. It wasn't old plus I'd taken it to a shop to see if there was anything wrong and if they could handle the update. Nothing was wrong with the hardware. I got pi$$ed and went looking for a Mac to try. No one had one that I could try for an hour or two. I finally decided to try that Linux stuff I'd heard about. I found distrowatch.com and OMG where to start! OK, start with the most common one, Ubuntu. I managed to burn it, then set the BIOS boot order and tossed the disk in. I tried it for an afternoon and was impressed. Everything had different names, different menus and different functions, but not THAT different. I took the plunge and installed Ubuntu wiping XP. My wife had to watch over my shoulder because all of a sudden I was working on the computer and I wasn't swearing every few minutes. She was impressed. She'd just bought a brand new Vista system and we were having 'fun' with it too. She's blind in one eye and has slightly distorted vision in the other eye so her desktop settings are critical for her comfort. Too bright, too much contrast and a couple other things can give her headaches. At least every other MS update reverted her settings to default. Microsoft know best after all. She wanted to try that Linux stuff too, so I dual booted her Vista.Two months was all it took. "I don't want Vista any more, can you get rid of it"? I moved her personal files over to the dark - I mean Linux side and made Vista disappear. We've been a Linux only household ever since.
A nephew had some old disks with his mother's poetry. He bought a new Win-7. He couldn't open the old documents because MS Office is not backward compatible. I got a panicked phone call; "Hey Unc, what can I do"? Install Libre Office and call me in the morning. Problem solved, LO is wonderfully backward compatible. An auctioneer friend had a string of troubles with each brand new MS computer he bought for his office. Each time he'd take it in for one repair. on the second crash he'd demand a warranty replacement. He called me up to vent and I asked him if he'd consider trying Linux if he had one of his old computers laid back. He was more than game so I installed Linux-Mint Cinnamon and helped him switch over. Then, trouble! His brand new HP office printer wouldn't set up. I found the driver, downloaded and installed it and his office was cooking! He's retired bow and still using that computer for his personal stuff. Our co-grandmother (son's mother-in-law) and a retired nurse, had a Toshiba laptop that started crashing. She took it to a shop and they got it going, for two days. She took it back and it worked for two days. Her daughter took it back and it worked - for two days. She was venting about it one day and I asked if she'd like to try something that might fix it? "Sure, if you can get it to start"! "I won't need to start MS". ?? She brought it over and I booted up several choices until she decided on Linux-Mint Mate. That old Toshiba just got upgraded to LMDE (Linux-Mint Debian Edition) this past fall.
When we first switched in 2007, both my wife and I were officers in our local chapter of the American Council of the Blind. We had no trouble doing our chores with Ubuntu. I'd also discovered Vinux, Linux for the Visually Impaired at about the same time. I collected quite a bunch of used computers from our local Rotary Club and our local electric supply office. I installed Vinux on every working computer and sent them all over Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania Council of the Blind members. BTW, the USPS has a free postal program for equipment that's prepared especially for the handicapped! All I had to do was box them, pack them, seal them and send them. I got several replies that amounted to "WOW"! Sadly, when Ubuntu went to the Unity desktop in 2012 and dropped the Gnome desktop, Vinux was abandoned as most of their settings depended on the Gnome environment and Unity wasn't compatible. R.I.P. Vinux.
Today, my wife and I use LMDE and we're very happy with it.
The usual questions;
What's Linux? The best answer? Here, I'll show you.
How do I get it? Easy, download it, burn it to disk, get your BIOS or UEFI set to boot from disk and/or USB before the hard drive. Huh? Here, I'll show you.
The hardest and scariest part is setting your BIOS or UEFI. I'll do that if you'd like, but the rest you'll do as I show you.
Holy cats! How many Linuxes are there? Which is the best one for me? (Pulls out the USB with Ventoy and several ISOs) Here, I'll show you then you pick. Ventoy is quite the slick stick trick, check it out.
Wow! And how do I do this? Here, I'll show you as you do it.
There is one thing I insist on after every fresh install, enabling the firewall which I feel is easiest done in the terminal with;
sudo ufw enable
That's really all the security a good desk/laptop user needs.
Here's something to remember - DON'T EVER EXECUTE A COMMAND YOU DON'T KNOW UNTIL YOU HAVE SEARCHED FOR IT EITHER THROUGH man ufw IN THE TERMINAL OR ONLINE. There we go again, how many of you know for sure what 'man' does?
 
Mark Brunnr
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Blaine, when you mentioned the visual impairment my brain starting thinking up the reply of "have you used ZoomText, WindowEyes. or JAWS?", and then you mentioned being in ACB so I'm guessing the answer is yes LOL! I used to be a computer instructor for the visually impaired, many moons ago. I never played with Vinux, we were Windows 95/98 back then. I still remember my concern when driving with 2 80-cell refreshable braille displays in the trunk, which at the time ran about $12K each, thinking "I'm driving a $10K car with $24K in the trunk!" At that time there was a "laptop" which was a device with 7 buttons, matching the 6 braille keys and a spacebar in the middle, and it was really fancy with a floppy drive in the back that could save Word-compatible files. These days I expect things are a bit further along!
 
pollinator
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Long time Linux user, Mandrake - Mandriva - Mageia.

While Wine is free and often works.  For software that you absolutely must use and no native Linux version exists check out Codeweavers Crossover Office. Not free but much more user friendly and what runs usually runs better and more consistent than under Wine. Great folks to deal with. (They contribute code to Wine) Recently logged in and can re-download and recover the license key to my last purchase which was seven years ago.

Regarding photo editing. Check out Gwenview. No where near Gimp in features, it does have Batch Processing which is extremely handy if you want to do something simple to multiple images. Use its Resize function frequently, even for just one picture.
 
Mike Kenzie
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John Weiland wrote:So one general question for the Permie Linux users who may have need to go between Linux and Windows applications:  Does anyone have experience with 'Wine', the app that lets you run *some* Windows apps from Linux?  Although I suspect it will be all over the map as to which applications/versions will run and to what degree the run as well as they do on a native Win machine (I've seen the Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Garbage rating system in this regard), I was just curious about general use experience if using legacy or recent introductions of, say, MS Office or other popular apps that have not yet been built for Linux.  I'm already using LibreOffice for many things, but sometimes the original MS app is needed for certain circumstances.  Thanks in advance!


Ever since leaving Microsoft and moving to Linux back in 2008 I have never once needed to use Wine. Instead, I check the website AlternativeTo.net: the crowd-sourced software recommendation site that is "a free service that helps you find better alternatives to the products you love and hate." I read the alternatives and choose free open-source software with good reviews. It's worked 100% of the time for me.
GIMP is a great alternative to photoshop; I know several professional photographers who have moved to GIMP after Adobe's move to "the cloud" (which is simply a catchy-sounding euphemism for your data stored on somebody else's computer(s).)
 
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John Weiland wrote:... one of the Linux distros that I downloaded and tried had "Pinta" as a lower end, but still quite useful, photo editing program.  It has the "layers" function like a lot of higher end programs but seemed overall less unwieldy than a lot of the other packages.  Some of the reviewers from around 2014 - 2016 had noted a few glitches, but that was a few years ago now and I'm wondering if these have been cleaned up.   Because it seems like a useful tool for many tasks.


Pinta is in available as a LInux Mint 20.1 package (which I believe mirrors the Ubuntu repository). FWIW.
 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

John Weiland wrote:Posting this from within Raspberry pi OS running on a USB drive plugged into the old Win7/32-bit Gateway laptop..


John, thanks for bringing Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop to my attention. I can't believe how snappy it is -- running from a beater USB 2.0 stick! And it has all the basic stuff I look for anyway:
- LibreOffice
- Chromium browser with DuckDuckGo as default search engine (!)
- VLC Media Player


A quick update, after a few experimental runs:

1. It has a "run with persistence" option, meaning it will save your settings and files on the USB stick. You don't even need a hard drive in the PC! This resurrects a lot of old machines that run fine but people yanked the hard drive (quite correctly) for privacy reasons. No surprise, since Raspberry Pi was designed to run off an SD card in the first place.

2. In the "run without persistence" mode, it operates very nicely with 2GB RAM but struggles to find WiFi with less RAM. This may be less of an issue in "with persistence" mode, but heads-up.

3. It will run in "without persistence" mode off a DVD. Way slower than a USB  stick though.

4. Chromium has an ad-blocker built in. These folks did their homework!

5. It logs into Permies.Com/Forums just fine!
 
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I'm still runing linux 18.3.  It is time for me to upgrade to 20.1.  And I'm ready for a clean start - so back up all my data and wipe the system clean.  I think the way to do it is to put 20.1 on a jump drive, then bounce the computer, right?
 
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@D.Alpenstock:   Yes to so many things that you have noted!

First, I checked my Cinnamon Mint (32-bit) distro and this version came with another graphics utility....can't recall which one at the moment, but not Pinta.  But my introduction to Pinta came through it being bundled with the LXLE Distro.  So many have mentioned the power of GIMP and I may just bite the bullet and try to learn it, but if the likes of Pinta, Paint.net, and a few others offer the 'layers' option of Photoshop with a reduced toolset, I'm fine with that.....don't really need anything more powerful.

Second:  'Persistence'.   It took some reading to realize what this was about and seems to be about being able to save documents and.....perhaps other app installations or no?.....on the same USB flash drive, assuming the drive is large enough to contain the US and the extra partitioned storage space.  I did test out and notice that with any of the distros I've tested (again, doing this on a Win7 laptop of ~2010 era) I can create files in the Linux applications (LibreOffice, files saved from the various web-browsers, etc.) and save them onto my internal hard drive.  When re-booting to Win7 I can open those files in Word or other appropriate applications.  With that in mind, I'm wondering if.....

Third: ..... I shouldn't just keep the set up as it is--- with the Boot Order changed now to boot to the USB stick first and, if absent, then to the HDD/Windows7....?  My legacy Win7 items would be preserved, but I could take advantage of the offerings on the USB stick at hand.  What I lose is some modification ability for that particular Distro since it's burned onto that USB drive (yes..?)  Will think about this option more in comparison to replacing Win7 with Linux or creating the dual boot situation which has been noted to have some issues.

Fourth:  For me *all* of the distros feel 'comfortable'.....there is enough similarity between these and the Win/Mac world to make navigation pretty much a snap.  The next analysis will be which serve my interests/needs in ease of installing OS/Application/Modifications and how a compromise may need to be struck between that and overall performance.  But so far, the whole endeavor has been quite satisfying and illuminating.

On perhaps more of an academic note, with the myriad distros now available and increasing, I wish a 'family tree' of the distros was available.  Starting with Linus Torvalds original creation, how did the subsequent distros come into being?   Perhaps there is so much sharing and borrowing of ideas and apps in the Linux world that the drawing of such a 'family tree' is not feasible, but it remains confusing to me the difference between, say, Debian....ArchLinux.... etc., which seem to operate underneath the different Distros.

Anyway.....great thread and very helpful information here that I hope others will find useful and encouraging for taking their own plunge.  Just to re-iterate, when you run a copy of one of these OS's from your USB stick, you really are not risking anything on your main drive as the operations are involving, and limited to (for the most part), the USB stick and the OS on that stick.  Hope I haven't put my foot into my mouth on that last one.... ;-)
 
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paul wheaton wrote:I'm still runing linux 18.3.  It is time for me to upgrade to 20.1.  And I'm ready for a clean start - so back up all my data and wipe the system clean.  I think the way to do it is to put 20.1 on a jump drive, then bounce the computer, right?


Yup, that's basically it. I prefer to double-back-up any files I care about (two is one, one is none).

If you're using the same hard drive, a wipe is not really necessary unless there are privacy concerns. When installing 20.1, you'll be given several options. If you choose a clean install of the new OS, it reformats the hard drive for you. I find that a clean install is generally more stable.

I just did a couple of LM 20.1 MATE installs on laptops I'm giving away to people who need them. I quite like it. It's actually snappier than 19.3, and they keep adding more graphical controls for system stuff (as opposed to sudo+alphabet soup).
 
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John Weiland wrote:@D.Alpenstock:  
I wish a 'family tree' of the distros was available.  Starting with Linus Torvalds original creation, how did the subsequent distros come into being?



Something like this?
distro-family-tree

As huge as it is, it appears incomplete and ignores mergers such as when Mandrake merged with Conectiva creating Mandriva.
 
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Re Linux Mint installations, three things I do:

1. Turn on the firewall, which is Off by default. In 19.3 and 20.1, it's in Menu > Control Center > Firewall.

2. Turn off screensaver. Menu > Control Center > Screensaver. On some PCs, it locks up the system.

3. Check if Wifi power management is On or Off. Open Terminal and type "iwconfig" to find out. Turning it off is a more involved process. But when On, it has a tendency to put wifi to sleep and then fail to wake up without rebooting (grr).
 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Re Linux Mint installations, three things I do:

1. Turn on the firewall, which is Off by default. In 19.3 and 20.1, it's in Menu > Control Center > Firewall.

2. Turn off screensaver. Menu > Control Center > Screensaver. On some PCs, it locks up the system.

3. Check if Wifi power management is On or Off. Open Terminal and type "iwconfig" to find out. Turning it off is a more involved process. But when On, it has a tendency to put wifi to sleep and then fail to wake up without rebooting (grr).



Yes to number 1! Just make sure that you're prompted for root authorization. I prefer to just open the terminal and use 'sudo ufw enable'. Three's no question.
Regarding number 2  I turn the standard screensaver off as well, then install xscreensaver and usually some of the additional libraries. I don't know it it's more stable but it's more fun and more customizable. I like to rotate the Star Wars with a text file of whatever I'd like to see scrolling, Pyro for one type of fireworks and fireworkx for standard firworks. I'm not sure if the Hibernation or Sleep settings have much to do with the locking up, but I disable them as well.
I haven't had a single wifi problem.
 
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So I'm pulling my hair out on a tangential problem.

All that I've gushed about above has been done on an old 32-bit Win7 laptop and booting to the USB has been flawless for all distro tests on USB drives of different sizes and from different vendors.

Our main house laptop has some wiggy keyboard and mouse issues right now....which may be due to hardware or drivers or maybe something else.  To rule out the drivers, I was hoping to boot to one of the Linux distros which I assume loads its own drivers for the hardware and testing for the wigginess from within Linux.   The problem:  This main laptop has Win10 which is updated regularly via the internet connection....so it's whatever the current upgrade of Win10 happens to be just now.  That may be irrelevant....  What *is* the problem is trying to get the USB to show up as a bootable device.  I've been able to access/enable the "Boot menu manager" as well as the "Boot order menu".  The Boot order menu has a lot of offerings including USB-FDD, USB-HDD, a network option, along with the main hard drive and the CD-ROM.  I've changed the order so that the priority sequence is 1. CD-ROM, 2. USB-HDD, and 3. Main HDD before the other options.  This does not enable booting to the USB drive and the system goes into Windows.  Additionally and unlike Win7, the USB bootable (Linux) drive is not seen in the Boot Option Manager so there is no way to simply select the drive and say "That one!....That is the drive from which ye shall boot!" :-/   I've been to several help sites on the internet, but the are many different fixes that seem specific for brands, Windows versions, and other variances.  As I type this now on this main computer, I'm having to use the virtual keyboard for the numbers 1 and 3 and the letter q.....have already tried the blown air and popped the keys off for cleaning underneath to no avail.  Any suggestions from those who may have encountered this would be welcomed.  Thanks! (hits virtual exclamation point key with frustration.... )
 
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Blaine Clark wrote:I haven't had a single wifi problem.


Good comments!

I install on a lot of old beater machines, the kind that were diverted from the chipper (because I'm funny that way). It's interesting to see if the installer turns Wifi power management on or off. I can't predict it; it's basically a crapshoot.

But it's a known LM "feature," with lots of help references to resolve it. I would be curious to see what your iwconfig turns up.

(Edit: I know that there are Linux folks on this forum who know much more than I do. I'm an amateur, surfing the wave, and reporting what I've discovered in practice. Wizards, wield your wands and school me!)
 
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John Weiland wrote:So I'm pulling my hair out on a tangential problem. ...Our main house laptop has some wiggy keyboard and mouse issues right now..., I was hoping to boot to one of the Linux distros which I assume loads its own drivers for the hardware and testing for the wigginess from within Linux. ... the problem is trying to get the USB to show up as a bootable device.


Pardon my ellipses; I hope I have not twisted your words.

Here's my amateur approach. The art of troubleshooting begins with eliminating the obvious. (The PICNIC approach -- problem in chair not in computer -- is valid, and dammit sometimes it's me!) :-)

First, I would work within Windows 10 itself. Love it or hate it (or switch hourly), the drivers are surprisingly capable, even for old hardware. Me, I would plug in an external USB keyboard and a different mouse. Try different USB ports; one will be native, the others will be an internal USB hub. No kidding. Does everything work properly?

If so, check the manufacturer for updated Win10 drivers for your particular model. This is a pain. If no new drivers, and if this was an upgrade, sometimes the Win10 installer lets you slide by because it has generic drivers that *should* work with your hardware.

If no new drivers, and the new external KB/mouse seem to work, it looks like a hardware failure. Or maybe an internal connection failure -- inside the laptop there are ribbon cables and connectors that stop connecting and memory modules that don't seat quite right. You can see how this goes down the rabbit hole in a hurry.

BOOTING: The issue of "other bootable devices" is likely not a Windows thing at all. Newer PCs use a secure boot mode in the BIOS, which does the initial PC startup. Supposedly this makes it harder to hijack the system upon startup before Windows even begins. EFEIEIO or something. It can be disabled in the BIOS (legacy mode), but that could be problematic. I don't know enough to mess with it; with one system, I couldn't go go back. Caveat emptor.

I hope this blather makes sense. Feel free to apply ellipses.
 
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John Weiland wrote:So I'm pulling my hair out on a tangential problem.
I've been able to access/enable the "Boot menu manager" as well as the "Boot order menu".  The Boot order menu has a lot of offerings including USB-FDD, USB-HDD, a network option, along with the main hard drive and the CD-ROM.  I've changed the order so that the priority sequence is 1. CD-ROM, 2. USB-HDD, and 3. Main HDD before the other options.  This does not enable booting to the USB drive and the system goes into Windows.  Additionally and unlike Win7, the USB bootable (Linux) drive is not seen in the Boot Option Manager so there is no way to simply select the drive and say "That one!....That is the drive from which ye shall boot!" :-/



Move your Main HDD all the way to the bottom of the list. I'd say just move the USB-FDD up, but cover all the bases and drop the HDD to the bottom.
 
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I'm surprised no one mentioned Manjaro Linux.

I use win10 since it is the best at managing the graphics card, obviously for playing demanding games. But my laptop is using Linux since ever. It's just for safe browsing and multimedia.

However, I ended up using my gaming pc for almost every task. Manjaro didn't upgrade properly one of the Linux cores, and I still have not fixed it, that's the time I am not using the laptop anymore. I plan to give it to kiddo, once he learns to read, then I'll upgrade it properly.
 
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Blaine Clark wrote:
Move your Main HDD all the way to the bottom of the list. I'd say just move the USB-FDD up, but cover all the bases and drop the HDD to the bottom.



Success doing this.... I would add an exclamation mark, but that key (along with the number "one") is dead.  So it may be recognizing it as the USB-FDD instead of USB-HDD..???  At any rate this worked and I'm much grateful for the suggestion.  I'm typing this response from within Raspberry Pi OS on the very WinTen laptop that is giving me the keyboard problem.

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:[....Or maybe an internal connection failure -- inside the laptop there are ribbon cables and connectors that stop connecting and memory modules that don't seat quite right. You can see how this goes down the rabbit hole in a hurry.



I am worried about this along with other things.  Because of "excitable dog traffic", this laptop has taken a tumble off the table on one or two occasions...kind of amazes me that it still runs.  It does have a SSD, but like you said.....RAM, ribbon connections, heat sinks,....so many things can get jarred loose.

What I have ascertained at this point is that (a) a wireless keyboard that we use on our TV/CPU set-up works just fine.  I plugged its USB transceiver into a free USB port on this laptop and the trackpad and *ALL* of the keys worked just fine on WinTen.  But (b) I've now discovered using Raspberry PI OS from USB that the keyboard built into the laptop still is not properly functional.  Additionally, the third party wireless mouse with scrolling wheel just isn't working up to par.....scrolling incurs a lot of 'bouncing' within the window and scrolling down and up is a real effort.  I am beginning to suspect some hardware problems in this regard and will investigate the mouse issue by borrowing a wired and wireless version from friends.

Thanks again for excellent advice here... (..exclamation point).  :-)
 
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