The Linux Thread - The Autist's OS of Choice

Spasticus Autisticus

kiwifarms.net
Can some distro autists guide a Wintard on what distros are a good choice for easy installation and setup that also allow for further expansion?

I really like the KDE Plasma DE, and from what I know Ubuntu is a pretty good overall base, so I find Kubuntu to be a nice choice. However there's also this Pop!_OS thing that's apparently very well set for gaming OOTB, though I'm not sure what's the overall consensus on it, since it is less community driven and overall seems a bit too hyped up.

Also as for distros for old computers, I only know Lubuntu, and again, I feel like times have changed and there might be better choices in that regard.
Linux Mint is always the one I recommend for people who don't want Windows but also don't want to change their workflows too much. The Cinnamon DE is quite nice IMO and I used to run it before succumbing to my autism and switching to dwm.

For old computers, I guess it depends on how old is "old". A 10-15 year old PC should run most current versions of distros just fine, though you might want to pick one with a lighter desktop environment (Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint with Xfce or MATE). 15-20 years old and it might not have a 64-bit capable processor, so your options are limited to distros that still have 32-bit releases, and even then you might run into issues with some instructions and extensions not being supported. You might give Puppy Linux a look, which isn't a distro per se, but heavily stripped-down customizations of distros (Ubuntu, Rasbpian, Slackware).
 

Aidan

kiwifarms.net
Can some distro autists guide a Wintard on what distros are a good choice for easy installation and setup that also allow for further expansion?

I really like the KDE Plasma DE, and from what I know Ubuntu is a pretty good overall base, so I find Kubuntu to be a nice choice. However there's also this Pop!_OS thing that's apparently very well set for gaming OOTB, though I'm not sure what's the overall consensus on it, since it is less community driven and overall seems a bit too hyped up.

Also as for distros for old computers, I only know Lubuntu, and again, I feel like times have changed and there might be better choices in that regard.
You can just try something like Pop! and if you think it's dumb then move all your files somewhere safe and install another OS. If you set up the partitions properly you wouldn't even need to move your files. Play it safe if you're even remotely worried about fucking it up or if you don't have a backup at all.

I've never used Pop! so not sure how good or bad it is for daily use, it's too bloated for me, but I think any popular-ish distro like that would be fine for you to figure out what you like and don't like which can steer you towards a specific distro later on. Distro hopping is easy since everything important is ideally in your home directory and most decent distros have easy installs now since there are a few installers they tend to use, creating a similar experience across the board.
I always try something in a virtual machine before making the full switch.

I like Manjaro for the lazy Arch distro but I used Mint and then Debian for awhile, both of which worked fine for what I do.

For older computers, Lubuntu I think is the most mainstream thing and it's what I'd recommend for most people, but you can do a lightweight Debian install , Xubuntu, or go further with things like Puppy Linux and TinyCore. There are lists of things you could try in VMs before settling on anything.
If it's ancient 32-bit stuff the options are more limited but I think it's fun we can save those old things.

------
While I'm rambling about distro stuff, I never liked vanilla Ubuntu. It was my first distro ever but it put me off because it just felt like it was trying to be different in ways that weren't necessarily better. I was fresh off of the Windows boat at the time so that likely played a part but even today I don't like it that much. Now I tend to use XFCE and threw Xubuntu on my laptop for a recent trip and it was nice.

I do enjoy how in the past few years or so it seems like distros are visually appealing enough to normies that they're more receptive to Linux in general. I think that is an underrated angle of attack for popularizing Linux.
 
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Kosher Dill

Potato Chips
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I just tried out Fedora LXQt and this looks like it checks a lot of my boxes.
It comes with minimal bloat without being a meme distro - pretty much just gives you a working GUI, a terminal application, and enough plumbing to let you go ahead and start installing your own preferred applications.
The repositories seem much more up-to-date than Debian's and have less custom weirdness. This may be a bug or a feature depending on your point of view, but as a desktop user I find the newer packages a plus.
The stock package management tools in Fedora are much nicer than the ones in Debian, though ideally you shouldn't have to be using them too often either way after you get your system set up.

If you're looking for something equivalent to "Just give me a fresh install of Windows NT", this seems pretty close. I think I'm going to go ahead and give this a try on real hardware. Like yeah, it's Red Hat/IBM, it's systemd, but maybe that's fine.
 

Ahriman

Vivere Militare Est.
kiwifarms.net

Seems like Arco Linux is the patrician choice these days. A solid choice if I weren't a lazyass running Win10.
Qubes OS isn't really a Linux distro but is an interesting OS that I've been meaning to play with and learn about. It seems perfect for use on my laptop whenever I'm moving around and on untrusted wifi networks or in a place where I may have a USB being whored around.

View attachment 2374643

As I understand it, you basically compartmentalize everything in such a way that it is exceedingly difficult for anything nasty to access data it shouldn't and this is done by spinning up many virtual machines to break everything up depending on the service/application.
It's not a multi-user system which probably isn't a problem for most personal devices, but is something to consider.
1627176416557.png


It's got Snowden's seal of approval so yea, I've heard good things about it. This is what I'd definitely run on a monster rig, 32Gb RAM paired to a Threadripper CPU. The emulation capabilities are endless -- having a dedicated Win98 VM for old DOS games, another Win7 VM with proper GPU virtualization extension for vidya that still doesn't run on Linux, SteamOS for Linux vidya, another one for torrenting, a whole bunch of throwaway VMs for shitposting, etc.


 
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Aidan

kiwifarms.net
View attachment 2377225

It's got Snowden's seal of approval so yea, I've heard good things about it. This is what I'd definitely run on a monster rig, 32Gb RAM paired to a Threadripper CPU. The emulation capabilities are endless -- having a dedicated Win98 VM for old DOS games, another Win7 VM with proper GPU virtualization extension for vidya that still doesn't run on Linux, SteamOS for Linux vidya, another one for torrenting, a whole bunch of throwaway VMs for shitposting, etc.


It seems great for the extreme security-minded at the cost of all the extra overhead, but I don't think it will do graphics card pass-through which would mean your graphics card can't work for the Windows 7 qube. I may be mistaken but I saw something about that and I know it uses virtual graphics for all the qubes as is.

It does seem great for being able to access Windows software seamlessly while having all of your favorite Linux tools immediately on hand and not fiddling with WINE or anything.
 

Ahriman

Vivere Militare Est.
kiwifarms.net
It seems great for the extreme security-minded at the cost of all the extra overhead, but I don't think it will do graphics card pass-through which would mean your graphics card can't work for the Windows 7 qube. I may be mistaken but I saw something about that and I know it uses virtual graphics for all the qubes as is.

It does seem great for being able to access Windows software seamlessly while having all of your favorite Linux tools immediately on hand and not fiddling with WINE or anything.
Yea, GPU passthrough / VFIO is the literal piece of the puzzle we are missing, in order for people to play vidya on VMs with zero overhead in performance, just like running on bare metal. In that video I've posted earlier Wendell explains how the feature has been available for enterprise solutions for quite a while, just not available for general public. He talks a lot about it, and for good reason.


1627198801779.png
 
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annoyingfuck

kiwifarms.net
Seems like Arco Linux is the patrician choice these days. A solid choice if I weren't a lazyass running Win10.
In my Arch days, I'd use ArcoLinux instructions to install it. So easy to follow, Erik's videos were and are an enormous help. Looking at everything again now, if I wasn't firmly anti-systemd, it would be really tempting to actually give ArcoLinux a whirl, I loved Arch, hated the attitudes of Arch users. I moved away from Arch because at that stage (it was years ago), they kept breaking shit, and were really rude to people who were just trying to find answers as to how to fix it.
 

XMassAllYearRound

It's probably still Christmass somewhere
kiwifarms.net
I know this may be an unpopular opinion but when exactly did Kali become such dogshit?

I started using it again for a certification recently after about three years and I cannot help but notice that:
The devs have done away with a lot of preloaded programs (E.g. I remember the 2018 version having 3 web crawlers, where here I only see one);
A ton of pre-installed programs don't actually work anymore because they no longer receive support and the devs have done away with packages in repositories necessary for them to work such as the versions 8-10 of the jdk; and There's now new small annoyances such as having to set the password of root manually and elements such as ASLR being enabled by default which make me question why I'm bothering with the distro since I feel I could be using any other Ubuntu distro and get the same or even faster results now.

I think I may be starting to get too old for this shit.
 

Aidan

kiwifarms.net
Yea, GPU passthrough / VFIO is the literal piece of the puzzle we are missing, in order for people to play vidya on VMs with zero overhead in performance, just like running on bare metal. In that video I've posted earlier Wendell explains how the feature has been available for enterprise solutions for quite a while, just not available for general public. He talks a lot about it, and for good reason.


View attachment 2377895
I mean Qubes OS doesn't intend to support it. Looking around, I see some "I got it to work" type of posts for Qubes OS but it's not something they intend to actively support and due to the nature of things it's extra layers of pain to get it to work since you need a dedicated GPU for dom0 and then to pass through a GPU to a dedicated Qube/appvm which the lady who I think is the lead says is a potential security problem (albeit ridiculously complex) on top of the extra complexity of it needing to be a temporary passthrough for the temporary appvm which is apparently a pain to handle properly? Not knowledgeable enough to know, I've never actually done a passthrough myself.

Of course, where there's a will there's a way, but I think it's entirely up to the community to figure out a nice way to do this that works generally enough to be worthwhile for most people. Plus you'd need one hell of a machine to run all of the overhead that comes with Qubes OS to presumably play your game, but that's not unreasonable for the people who would be doing passthrough anyway.

I've played around with it on my laptop a bit and it's definitely an intriguing OS and I am going to try to use it normally later on, but I run into the unprecedented "bottleneck" of 16GB of RAM being too little for actually having fun with Qubes OS since I am limited to 3 appvms before it says there isn't a enough memory. If anyone is familiar with it or figures out how to mitigate this I'd appreciate it. There's no way I'm actually out of memory as far as I can tell, as dom0 doesn't use that much and the total visible being used is more like 8GB and when I launch appvms they're not using they're full allotted amount. dom0 is supposed to manage the memory of the appvms if I'm not mistaken so that they use what they need and the max amount is a ceiling, not a chunk reserved for them on launch.

3 is realistically fine for me and I'll definitely use this if I'm traveling anytime soon again, but more appvms is more fun.
 

Butter

Byuutter
kiwifarms.net
If you want to try the vanilla Arch experience, but don't want to deal with the hands-on install, I would suggest using Anarchy Installer.

It will let you encrypt your hard drives, installs a DE/WM of your choice, etc. You know the drill. All you gotta do is choose the appropriate options. I absolutely recommend it. It's not as idiot proof as a Calamares based install, but it will work flawlessly if you know a bit about Linux and want to try Btw_OS.
 
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Dick Justice

If you say "normie" you are that which you condemn
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I've played around with it on my laptop a bit and it's definitely an intriguing OS and I am going to try to use it normally later on, but I run into the unprecedented "bottleneck" of 16GB of RAM being too little for actually having fun with Qubes OS since I am limited to 3 appvms before it says there isn't a enough memory. If anyone is familiar with it or figures out how to mitigate this I'd appreciate it. There's no way I'm actually out of memory as far as I can tell, as dom0 doesn't use that much and the total visible being used is more like 8GB and when I launch appvms they're not using they're full allotted amount. dom0 is supposed to manage the memory of the appvms if I'm not mistaken so that they use what they need and the max amount is a ceiling, not a chunk reserved for them on launch.
Are you sure that the VMs aren't just reserving N memory but only reporting how much of N is actually in use?
 

Some JERK

I ain't drunk, I'm just drinkin'
kiwifarms.net
I wish people wouldnt' get so caught up on distros.
Distro-snobbery is a clear indicator of someone who doesn't use Linux much beyond the desktop environment. Sure, there are gripes for any distribution, but to be shitty about one instead of the other is stupid. If you don't like Ubuntu then don't run it. Why do you even care if someone else does? You're not winning anything by using a "hard-mode" distribution that uses the same kernel as an "easy-mode" one.

That said, text editor and shell snobbery are completely fine and I will fight anyone who gives me that "Vim is better than nano" or "ksh is better than bash" bullshit.*


*This is a joke. Calm your pocket-protector, nerd.
 

Aidan

kiwifarms.net
Are you sure that the VMs aren't just reserving N memory but only reporting how much of N is actually in use?
No. Just going off of a loose understanding of how Qubes OS is supposed to work based off of reading some newbie documentation and skimming some more advanced stuff and questions people have asked and had answered. One of the developers answered a question somewhere explaining that the memory of each appvm is managed so that they don't actually reserve the entire chunk allotted. This seems to hold true as even when I handicap them and give them less than 1GB of memory I run into the same issue of it throwing an error about no memory to run another appvm beyond three. I'll play with it further probably tomorrow and if I figure out a solution I'll share.
One downside to Qubes OS seems to be the lack of community and so there's not an abundance of questions and answers out there outside of the documentation. Even tech-tubers are surprising lacking on exploring it outside of the initial basic setup as far as I can tell.
That said, text editor and shell snobbery are completely fine and I will fight anyone who gives me that "Vim is better than nano" or "ksh is better than bash" bullshit.*
I unironically agree with this because Vim is objectively better than nano. That said I don't care if someone wants to use nano for everything. but if someone uses the excuse that "vim is hard" or something as for why they don't use it then I am disappoint.
Shell 'tism has its merits too but I don't care as much for it.
 

Slav Power

dog
kiwifarms.net
Question: If I happen to install an older LTS distro, like Xubuntu 18.04 32-bit, does it get constant security updates way after it's lifetime ended or is it the same deal as with Windows?
 

Aidan

kiwifarms.net
Question: If I happen to install an older LTS distro, like Xubuntu 18.04 32-bit, does it get constant security updates way after it's lifetime ended or is it the same deal as with Windows?
Regular updates, including security updates, cease. I think Ubuntu has put out important stuff for versions no longer supported but might be misremembering.
Just don't count on shit, it really shouldn't be an issue unless you're using it on a server open to the internet for some reason.
 

Dr. Geronimo

Echo chambers are bad for your health.
True & Honest Fan
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So I decided to just put Mint on an old computer of mine and make it a dedicated living room PC. Sadly now the nvidia drivers seem to be shitting themselves. Whenever I try drivers 470 or 460 for my 1060 my computer defaults a 4:3 resolution and it can't detect my TV (it can on the open source drivers) and on top of that I can't choose 1080p or 4k. Any suggestions?
 

Car Won't Crank

My cars won't crank
kiwifarms.net
So I decided to just put Mint on an old computer of mine and make it a dedicated living room PC. Sadly now the nvidia drivers seem to be shitting themselves. Whenever I try drivers 470 or 460 for my 1060 my computer defaults a 4:3 resolution and it can't detect my TV (it can on the open source drivers) and on top of that I can't choose 1080p or 4k. Any suggestions?
Purge all drivers with
Bash:
sudo apt purge nvidia*

Reboot and then autoinstall the proprietary nvidia drivers with
Bash:
sudo ubuntu-drivers install
 

benutz

kiwifarms.net
For anyone doing audio or visual stuff, consider having a look at AV Linux which is now being built on MX which is the overall no.1 distro (according to Distrowatch).



I mentioned before I used MX quite a bit and also its little brother antiX for lesser capable machines. Both work fucking superb. I'm a long time Mint user, Debian LMDE as well, all the desktops - KDE/LXDE/XFCE...

It's based on Debian Stable.

antiX is no.16 and AV Linux is no.66. MX Linux is no.1.

I'm just about to put it on a VM myself to check it out (AV Linux). I already own a lot of the software it includes and I'm not really looking to switch to Linux for that. But it's getting better and better all the time what can run on either OS. There's Bitwig, Reaper, MixBus.

I used other older distros and it always worked good.

Mint was great in its day. It's what got me in to Linux in the first place. I'll always use a version of it here and there. LMDE was always slightly faster being Debian based, just a fucker to maintain which is why I had to give up in the end. Beyond my Linux skills. Good learning though.

I think there is a good reason why MX Linux and antiX are both very high ranking distros now. They work very very well. Great helper tools. Anyway, just found out that AV Linux did a distro based on MX, so I think that will be fun to play with. If you use Audio or Visual tools then give this distro a check.
 
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benutz

kiwifarms.net
So I decided to just put Mint on an old computer of mine and make it a dedicated living room PC. Sadly now the nvidia drivers seem to be shitting themselves. Whenever I try drivers 470 or 460 for my 1060 my computer defaults a 4:3 resolution and it can't detect my TV (it can on the open source drivers) and on top of that I can't choose 1080p or 4k. Any suggestions?

I'm not very well versed in Linux. I just hack about. I've got things like Knoppix (which is a live CD distro really) running Virtual Box which then runs Windows. All off a USB stick. So I like to play about.

I just say this because I don't want you to think I'm being funny here or messing you about.

But if you can try other distros, they might work better for you.

My experience with Linux has been: some things work, some things don't. Suck it and see.

You could probably very easily get that combination you just mentioned to work very well, but you might have to know a little bit about this or that. Mint has always been hit and miss with drivers. AMD/NVIDIA. Some of those combinations have been proven to work better over the years as the politics played out. Sometimes it was just a crap shoot. I don't know what the state of play is now at all. I'm just a noob.

What I will say is, take a look at other distros. It costs nothing. Except a bit of time. Don't mess with low-ranking distros, just try to use the ones in the top 10 at distrowatch.


Unless you are after something very specific, you probably don't care what distro you use as long as it works for your purposes. Trying something like MX or even Manjaro might work for you.

This really has been my experience with Linux. Don't try to get a square peg to fit in to a round hole. You can. But it's easier sometimes to just try different distros and if they work for you, eh, you are good to go. If not, try something else. From there you can see what works for your purposes and what distros are better for some things compared to others. Wanting to do audio and graphics and office and development stuff on one Distro is a tough call. But you may be able to compromise.

If there is a specific reason you need to use a specific distro, then go for it. You will get there in the end, but don't make life hard. Try something else, it might just work!


EDIT:
Sorry for the double post. I'm too fucked to go back and merge it all now.
 
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