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Author Topic: Caleb Learns Linux  (Read 3491 times)

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Offline Caleb Hansberry

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Caleb Learns Linux
« on: November 09, 2015, 11:28:29 pm »
So, I finally got around to installing Linux on my Netbook! It wasn't easy because I couldn't get the motivation to do it on my main laptop cause it ran Windows 7 just fine and I like Windows 7, but my netbook ran Windows 7 so poorly I finally got fed up with it. Then I tried to install Ubuntu but it was still slow, and it's layers of shiny graphics confused me because I wanted to understand what it was doing and how it worked, but then I installed ArchLinux and couldn't understand anything or even get it installed, naturally enough. XD And then my Ethernet port broke which was a problem for installing it since it had to be connected to the internet to install so I had to replace that. Finally I installed Antergos, which was recommended by some people here, and it's doing okay and I'm ready to try to understand it and try to run programs I need! I found it interesting that it gave me the choice of a lot of different desktop environments to choose; I chose KDE because it sounded familiar.

So here's what I have to do:
Change screen backlight level. The slider appears but the brightness never changes.
Connect to wifi. It was able to do that during installation, but just like Ubuntu, as soon as it's installed, it no longer can, its as if there's no wifi driver?
Use sleep mode so it can sleep when I close the lid and resume when I open, to save power. Right now it crashes every time I close the lid and reopen it - screen stays black and HDD no longer responds, and I have to restart the computer.

Learn to program *something* - my prior experience is only QBasic and TI-Basic and I need to try something new and I have decided to do it on this netbook, cause it's portable, powerful, and the battery should last several hours. Python has been recommended to me by basically everyone, so I plan to try using it - so I'll need help getting set up with that on the netbook and a suitable tutorial. My desire is to have control of 2D graphics on the screen eventually, not math or stuff like that except where needed.
And here is a list of every task I ever do on a computer. If Linux can do these you know I'm happy: IRC, Email, Google Chrome for synchronization, watching anime videos in .mp4 and .mkv, torrenting things mostly anime videos, Minecraft, Unreal Tournament (I don't have much hope for this one but I do play it a lot), communicatng with my Windows Phone and Android phones for putting anime videos on them, and composing or editing music with MuseScore or similar program, plus LMMS and Audacity. Also it'd be cool if it could speak the time like my old Powerbook cause that's awesome. :)


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Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 12:20:30 am »
Yay ! Getting it installed is the first step in learning.

About you choosing KDE, while it does indeed feel sort of familiar for a Windows user, it is also the most resource-hungry environment, so it's not really recommended for a netbook. The easiest way to switch is to reinstall, which you might not want to do. It's fine if you're not bothered by the performance.

If you need documentation, the ArchWiki is your friend, and since Antergos is basically Arch with an easier setup, all the information applies directly. Of course the Antergos wiki will be a good help as well.
 
For what you want to do: there are countless IRC clients for Linux, Hexchat is a great GUI client, if you want to look more like a hacker, WeeChat and Irssi run in a terminal and are great clients as well.
You can either check your email using the web interface your mail provider should give you, or through a client such as Thunderbird.
Chromium is available on Antergos, see here for the differences with Chrome.
For videos, VLC is available on Linux, though you might find that mpv will deliver better performance despite being more bare bones (it's actually pretty featureful, but you'll have to dig through the manual and edit the config file by hand to customize it).
For torrents, I recommend either Transmission which is a pretty simple client, or Qbittorrent which is designed after uTorrent and is my personal favorite.
Minecraft runs just fine on Linux but I wouldn't expect much on a netbook, it's Minecraft after all. :P I don't know for UT.
To connect a phone, see the MTP page. For the most part on KDE, install kio-extras and it should work (not mentioned on that page though).
For music, LMMS and Audacity are available, I don't know MuseScore but I'm pretty sure you can find an equivalent if it's not.
For the last one, I'll leave the research fun up to you, it's possible to do it. :)
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 12:25:33 am »
Great that you are using Linux now :)

While Linux is awesome I personally wouldn't ever use ArchLinux as my desktop OS as I tried switching to Arch before. It worked, yes, but even though I like the command line, it was too much configuring for me to work with it in any productive manner so I gave it up. It also messed with my UEFI which is probably the reason why I wrote the old EFI image back and abandoned that partition. I am glad still having Windows 10 installed.
Though I have Linux dual booted with Windows 10 on my Workstation and I end up using Linux (Xubutu) almost all the time there.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 12:31:06 am »
Yeah, Arch Linux is pretty technical, you need some experience with Unix systems and the will to troubleshoot problems yourself as well as carefully reading the docs if you are going to use it. It's not hard, just very technical. I use it as my main OS because I do have this level of experience and patience with computers, and I like tinkering with things in general.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 12:49:01 am »
Yeah, Arch Linux is pretty technical, you need some experience with Unix systems and the will to troubleshoot problems yourself as well as carefully reading the docs if you are going to use it. It's not hard, just very technical. I use it as my main OS because I do have this level of experience and patience with computers, and I like tinkering with things in general.
Same here, but my main problem was the UEFI, a component I never used before as all my previous computers weren't new and had an old BIOS builtin. It was my first time using an UEFI.
I do like Arch but I would prefer one that comes with everything needed preinstalled as I don't find that much time to deal with customizing my OS.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 12:50:50 am »
Antergos is pretty much Arch with an installer, so you don't have to mess with the uefi yourself and you get a GUI all set up right from the first boot.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 01:01:57 am »
Antergos is pretty much Arch with an installer, so you don't have to mess with the uefi yourself and you get a GUI all set up right from the first boot.
The problem is the horrible selection of uefi installers for Linux. They overwrite whatever they want which sucks. I had no issues installing arch itself.
About the desktop, I would have gotten this set up at some point, but it was the uefi which left me uninstalling it again.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 01:54:59 am »
I don't really mind installing Arch Linux by myself, it's actually a fun thing to do when you have enough time, at least for me who knows his way in the command line. It's more for those who want the most control possible over their Linux installation, without compiling everything yourself.

With that said, Linux is a great way to repurpose old computers beyond their end of life. I also have a fairly old netbook that ran Windows 7 so poorly it's almost unusable (seriously, an Atom CPU with 1GB RAM with Win7? You gotta be kidding me). So I installed Linux on it, works like a charm and it's currently sitting in my living room as a server, comparable to your average entry-level VPS.
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 12:03:03 pm »
MuseScore is available for linux.
ceci n'est pas une signature

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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2015, 12:28:40 pm »
I don't really mind installing Arch Linux by myself, it's actually a fun thing to do when you have enough time, at least for me who knows his way in the command line. It's more for those who want the most control possible over their Linux installation, without compiling everything yourself.

With that said, Linux is a great way to repurpose old computers beyond their end of life. I also have a fairly old netbook that ran Windows 7 so poorly it's almost unusable (seriously, an Atom CPU with 1GB RAM with Win7? You gotta be kidding me). So I installed Linux on it, works like a charm and it's currently sitting in my living room as a server, comparable to your average entry-level VPS.
Yup, Linux is great for that kind of stuff. It's also the main operating system for most ARM devices, most Raspberry Pi users run Linux on it as well besides the minority that runs windows 10 IOT, RISC OS, or do bare metal stuff. I have a Raspberry Pi 2 doing the job of an entry level VPS as well, running Arch (:P), and my old model B is running a bare metal application that should be superseded soon (see my GameCube thread for details on what it's doing).
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2015, 02:50:49 pm »
Yeah, Linux is the main OS for quite a lot of stuff except consumer-grade x86 desktops (running Windows and OS X of course) and Apple devices (such as the iPhone).
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2015, 05:26:31 pm »
Why not for x86 desktops? Did most Linux  distros drop compatibility with 32-bits computers or something?
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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 05:29:22 pm »
No they didn't, x86 usually includes both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions. What Juju is saying is that Linux isn't really widespread on these machines, since Microsoft is still keeping its monopoly on the market (and the only machines that ship with Linux have s***ty distros anyway, most Linux users prefer installing their favorite distro whatever the hardware).
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Offline Caleb Hansberry

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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 09:26:19 am »
Thanks for all the responses!

I'll make a full length reply when I have some time.
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Offline Caleb Hansberry

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Re: Caleb Learns Linux
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2015, 01:48:07 am »
Okay, so I've been working with Linux all of today, here's what I've got.

Wifi works if I enter "sudo modprobe brcmsmac". I've tried to make it run that command when it boots, but it hasn't done it yet - so for it just refuses to load the wifi unless I type that command into the terminal.

I have been able to change the brightness level if I modify the "brightness" value directly: "echo x | sudo tee /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness", where x is a number between 0 and 13046. Nothing else has worked so far, and the use of the Fn keys I have not succeeded in connecting to the backlight, despite that I see using "acpi_listen" it's reading them fine.

At this point, I suppose after some change I made, the laptop no longer function right. x_x I reboot it, but as soon as it reaches KDE again, it freezes. I can sometimes open Kickoff, sometimes not, but whether I select Konsole in it or press Meta+C for the console, the console never opens. If I try to open console, then after it fails to open it, it just sits there silently not responding to anything clicked or typed. It also cannot open other programs.
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: HP Portable Plus 110, Toshiba T3100, GRiD 1660, TI-99/4A, and much more than I can list here

 


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