Moving AWAY from Microsoft products IS very much possible for many people.

Discussion in 'Linux' started by smallhagrid, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    ^
    yep congrats dude :)
     
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  2. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    hmm this afternoon I should install Ubuntu 18.4.3 in dual boot with the W10 LTSC and make various comparisons about performance etc...
     
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  3. ipx

    ipx MDL Addicted

    May 24, 2017
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    i find that very hard to believe.

    man-jar-ohhh

    r.o.t.f.l.m.a.o.

    i could not agree more.

    b.t.w., have you tried ubuntu forums?
     
  4. ipx

    ipx MDL Addicted

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    if you are planning to compare ubuntu with 10 ltsc, i would suggest you do a minimal install of ubuntu. you can choose normal or minimal during installation.
     
  5. eemuler

    eemuler MDL Senior Member

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    https://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/booting-a-live-distro-from-pen-drive-on-usb-3-0.80315/

    On the face of it this looks like it should be a fairly common problem, but I haven't been able to find a solution. I could dig out my old laptop and just install Linux on it directly, but that is a switchable hybrid graphics model (Sony Vaio VPCZ1) that needs a modded BIOS and modded graphics driver to run Windows, so I'm afraid I'd encounter even more problems with running Linux on that. Thinking of getting my sister a new laptop so I can use her old Acer for this - that seems to be a fairly docile animal.

    I have even discussed it in this thread - post #99 onward.
     
  6. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Addicted

    Sep 14, 2013
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    To start with - one unhappy user does not make this an entire 'people' of some sort, and=>
    Most of these things you refer to as 'laptops' are cobbled together PCs specifically MADE to ONLY run windoze & it is a known FACT that the most Linux friendly company making such things is HP - whereas just about the WORST in all regards of the big names is Lenovo - given that 'recent' doesn't indicate whose name is on it - what is this thing ??
    All else aside, the biggest problems users have with booting live media seem to ALL revolve around these main factors:
    A. Windoze-centricity built not only into the s/w - but the h/w as well;
    2. UEFI - and all the added garbage, that is usually hidden - that goes right along with it;
    C. 'Secure Boot' which is yet another abortion that pretends to have lived;
    Q. That whatever machine it may be has been used already with all of the above active, which tends to firm up its hold on said PC.

    Trying via grabbing 'leventy-seven different distros to use on ONE bit of problematic h/w is likely to do exactly as has been described - barfing over & over & over.
    To me this suggests rampant 'original OS' & UEFI problems that the user does not know how to find or work around.

    Want all this stuff ??
    Great.
    Do the learning & write it for others who share your opinions please:

    When MOST folks make the win=>lin transition, they either accept whatever drivers the OS & distro chooses whilst doing it all themself - or, they have a more experienced friend helping them - OR:
    They have the patience to search to see if such problems & answers are already written about for their chosen distro.
    Need some different - maybe higher level or fancy driver ??
    Most likely you'll get labeled as a gamer or other overly demanding user who REFUSES to ride the learning curve, and either snarked at - or just ignored by the more knowledgable newbie haters.
    Yes, those exist - in droves actually - and I agree 100% that they need some SERIOUS attitude adjustments !!

    Quite frankly, my answer here is that I neither know, nor do I care even the tiniest amount about what anything these newer windoze things do:
    Easy answer: LEAVE IT AS IT CAME !!!
    If that is not acceptable - then ride the learning curve until you know what to do and IF it is even possible.

    Yes:
    And is distro-dependent to some degree also - some are FAR worse than others.
    These transitions DO need to be made easier somehow AND at the same time, for those who have ANY notions that they will get EXACTLY the same results with any Linux distro as with the so-called 'modern' windoze, well...
    Best to just stay with windoze because that ain't gonna happen.

    I have posted here before about what I do when it comes to 'laptops' - and I've done a BUNCH of them this year for friends with great results=>
    Buy 'em - clear off ALL the rubbish OS stuff that is on them WITHOUT EVER EVEN BOOTING IT ONCE, make sure that ALL the UEFI garbage is shut off - change the storage media to MBR - install Linux, trouble free.

    Disclaimers:
    - ALL these 'laptop' PCs have been made by HP - this choice has been quite deliberate;
    - Before learning that booting the originally installed OS caused endless troubles - I had those - ONCE;
    - All the desktop PCs I've helped with in recent years have been hand-built of known good components rather than bought off some store's shelves.

    As a career tech, I listen carefully to user's chosen verbiage;
    Anyone who persistently uses the incorrect term 'laptop' has their user level downgraded during any/all future dealings with me unless & until they are willing to realize that in the PC world, form factors are important.

    The word 'laptop' is what end-users say when buying their latest, greatest PC from Staples or such, and gaining for themself all the wonderful problems that go along with all the windoze-centric stuff that such retailers ONLY have on their shelves.

    I willingly apologize if what I've replied with here seems in any way offensive to Eemuler (or anyone).
    It is merely from the situation as I have seen it unfold & presented here as factually as I am able to do.
    Getting angry about any of this stuff is NOT going to make it any better, sadly.
     
  7. eemuler

    eemuler MDL Senior Member

    Jul 31, 2015
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    Thanks for your long and detailed reply, smallhagrid. I appreciate it because, unlike a lot of people who visit threads like these, I'm not a Linux basher. Far from it; I actually want to move to Linux but am finding it heavy going.

    Much of what you say about Windows and the BIOS creating a stranglehold on the hardware, effectively locking it to Windows is very likely to be true, and your recommendation that people install Linux without ever booting the laptop into any other OS but you'll have to admit that for someone wanting to move from Windows to Linux, that ship has already sailed.
    1. Most laptops (or portable PCs if you like that term better) come with Windows preinstalled.
    2. Even if it didn't, the first thing a Windows user will do is to install Windows, even if it is just to make sure everything is working.
    3. The whole point of a live Distro is so that Windows users can get hands-on with Linux before taking the plunge and wiping their HDD/SSD to install Linux. If the Live distro won't run at all, that kind of defeats the purpose.
    4. Many of us, sadly, will have to dual boot Windows and Linux. For instance, I use circuit simulation software tools that have no Linux counterpart. My laptop is capable of gaming, but I need that horsepower for my other stuff. I realise that dual booting further complicates matters, but I'm stuck with Windows in this matter at least.
    5. Unlike people with desktop PCs who can just add a separate HDD/SSD for Linux, laptops have limited options. Installing Linux on the main drive (or even the other drive for those who have two) is going to be disruptive, and that is really daunting for someone who doesn't know his way around Linux and will probably not be able to remove Linux from his system without wiping the main drive clean and starting over. For instance, I have dual booted different Windows versions in the past (now I'll just use Hyper-V) and have found it troublesome to get rid of the dual booting (bcdedit is not very user-friendly either, but at least there are decent guides for what you want to do).
    6. It is getting tougher, if not impossible, to install Windows 10 in MBR mode. The setup tends to automatically convert your drives to GPT and will try to enable UEFI in the BIOS.

    If you are interested, my laptop is a Clevo P957HR. - i7 7700, 16 GB RAM, GTX1070MaxQ with 8 GB VRAM, HM175 chipset.
    Incidentally, I gave the example of installing graphics drivers of my choice as an example of the kind of stuff I would commonly do in Windows. At this stage I'd be happy if the live distro just worked and got past the setup and gave me some semblance of a desktop environment. But it doesn't - it dies during setup and tells me stuff like mounting /cow on /root failed. What the.... I'm from India - trying to mount a cow here would very likely get me killed - for real. :confused::eek::D
     
  8. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Addicted

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    Greetings & thanks Eemuler.

    Frankly I'd never heard before of a brand called Clevo, so I did some searching & that is because it is sold in other parts of the world than the US primarilly - so then I searched on Clevo P957HR linux - and got lots of results;
    Have you done that ??
    Looks like your PC has Nvidia h/w in it - which Linux will take to quite well, usually (mine has it too).
    Do look into I7 CPUs & Linux though, as I'd read something about that someplace but it did n't stick as I use zero Wintel chips in my works.

    As to what I said being very likely correct - I can only add that I've spent too much time on this road to be giving bad directions !!!

    Aside of that, if you have a way to make media for your chosen windoze version - then make it, and also make bootable media of Gparted and/or Parted Magic as well as Boot Repair Disc.

    Then, if you want to try Linux the easiest way - shut off all the UEFI stuff - use gparted to clean off the disc, have it make an MBR, and go for it.
    You can always put that horrible thing back on afterwards if need be from the install media you have made.

    2nd choice:
    Pick up cheapie used HP PC and experiment on THAT !!

    3rd choice, if within your reach:
    Pick up a cheapie used SSD or HDD, pull that NB's drive - put in the cheapie, shut off UEFI...etc., then go for it !!

    I use mostly desktop h/w - have spare HDDs as well as a front loading SATA dock that takes both drive sizes - so getting into testing mode, for me, is very simple.

    The boot failures you keep seeing are really typical of locked down h/w & trying to accomodate UEFI, which brings on all manner of hellish scenarios that waste loads of time & frequently defy understanding.

    Now I can only say go forth in happiness - have great results - and be nice to cows !
     
  9. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Addicted

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    Wow - thassalotta baloney to go through just to change out a drive !!!
    Makes one wonder if their biz plan is to increase sales of replacements because folks would go to some lengths to AVOID all that.

    2 qualifications I prefer to adhere to in portable h/w are:
    - Easily replaceable storage;
    - User replaceable battery.

    I guess I've been spoiled as most notebooks I've worked on all had a simple side hatch with just a few very tiny screws to try not to drop & have vanish.

    Some of the really ancient ones did have such buried HDDs, but thankfully they usually died of other ills so I didn't do much other than junking them to the recyclers after data recovery (if any).

    Best Wishes in Your Journey to Linux !!
     
  10. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Addicted

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    Kindly DO NOT poison this thread with windoze E+E+E 'news' !!!
    (This is a pro-Linux thead, and that - is NOT pro-Linux info.)
     
  11. dreamydreamy

    dreamydreamy MDL Junior Member

    Dec 25, 2019
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    Moving away is indeed possible. Back in the day linux was just a curiosity for me. Now linux has come so far that i can run windows programs on it, although it takes alot of effort to do so. If i could run windows programs on linux with moderate effort, id ditch windows completely.

    Either way, linux is getting better, and windows is getting worse. The transition is inevitable, microsofts greed is turning away lifelong users. I no longer get the joy of installing/using the latest windows, as i did with 95, 2000, xp, 7.
     
  12. crayolaeater

    crayolaeater MDL Novice

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    #175 crayolaeater, Feb 10, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
    Well I can't say that I can answer your questions, maybe because I am not a Linux geek, just a user.

    1. Not much definite here, since I can't say that I've ever had major issues booting distros off my usb. A couple times I've had ones giving me a 'kernel panic' failure, and if I couldn't find any answers from the website/forum, I moved on. One I can suggest that has been trouble-free booting is MXLinux.
    Do you create them with Rufus, or Unetbootin? Possilbly an issue with secure boot and that other weird thing that computer bioses got some years back UEFI. On this one (Dell about 2-3 years old), the first thing I did in addition to clearing out Windows, was to go into bios and switch off all those things added to protect us, and keep us from running anything but Windows. However, most of the distros I see now have versions that should boot into systems with the new stuff. Never tried any obviously.

    2. I would have to say that most Linux geeks are probably former Windows users. The reason you don't see a Windows way vs. Linux way reference guide is because there are so many ways to skin a cat, that the guide would break the internet. My suggestion would be to forget trying to translate, and just try to get familiar with Linux. There are many beginner guides that will help you get you feet under you to the point that all that abracababra will start to look like something you know.
    Here too, it is best to find a beginners guide that is appropriate to the distro that has your fancy - so you learn how to do things right for the distro you have. Again, lots of distros, lots of ways to skin that cat, some of which do not Google-translate to Windows or other distros.

    2 & 2a Never had to play much with display drivers outside of an old laptop that had a Radeon chipset. Solution was easy. The driver that was activated by the kernel on boot worked, but lacked the feature I wanted for multiple screens. I went into the package manager for my distro, found a non-free driver, installed it from the point and click package manager, and it did all the work of installing the new, uninstalling the old, and setting it up. All I had to do then was learn how to use the features.

    3. Yeah, that part you are right about. But look at it from the point of the experienced user, who goes on the forums and is confronted by post after post from people asking the same question over and over again. There is one forum topic here that was started on Nov. 16, 2019, and as of today has 963 posts , with the vast, vast majority of them being posts that have been answered a couple hundred times. For those of us trying to follow the meat of the topic, they really get in the way, and are truly annoying. Why? Because the posters seem not to have done any due diligence or even make a effort to read through the posts to find the answer. Their first response is to ask for help, not seek help. The main moderator on that thread is a true saint in his replies, as he selflessly tries to help out each poster. Others are not so nice. It has been that way on the internet since I started visiting, what, maybe 30 years now. Back then the big response was "RTFM". There was also back then in Linux handy HowTo guides that came pretty much with the distros. They might not have been entirely up to date, but they were a great start. Most big distros now try to have a start-up guide that comes the first time you log in, or there are release notes in the iso, but sometimes they just seem to expect that you know what you are doing.

    I suspect that I didn't answer much, or possibly your post was just a rant to get your frustrations out and answers were not the prime desired result. But maybe I might have provided a push in the right direction somewhere..
     
  13. ktgrrl

    ktgrrl MDL Novice

    Feb 18, 2013
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    smallhagrid, I just can't understand why you didn't want to adopt poor, stupid Bob!!! :eek: I guess you didn't love Clippy either! Or those big bright blocks MS so generously handed out to all the kiddies in Win 8 (don't know about 10. I avert my eyes from it to protect my sanity.) :p

    Just adding my 2c to the points above:

    Some of the newer PCs have BIOS (or UEFI) that's "locked" against the owner being able to switch off so-called security (more likely it's a backdoor). Dell has been reported as one of the big names that do this, but maybe not on all their recent machines. Also, starting with some models of their Win 8 PCs, Dell (and maybe other brands) has also either broken or disabled some features in their BIOS that took away the options to switch from UEFI to "Legacy" mode and to turn Secure Boot off. Fortunately, most Linux distros no longer need us to make those changes. I have a Dell laptop that throws an "ACPI is non-compliant" error msg every time it starts any Linux distro I've run on it, and it does a poor job of power & thermal management. (It also has to be taken apart to remove/replace hard drive, memory, battery -- lots of tiny screws & easily broken little tabs!) My slightly older Dell laptop came with Win 7 and doesn't have the ACPI error, and Linux (I've tried several) runs well on it. Also the hard drive & battery are replaceable without tearing it entirely apart.

    An aside: In the past, Dell has sold PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed, but it was a bastardized version made to run with Dell's proprietary BIOS and drivers. Updates had to come from Dell because the official ones from Ubuntu didn't work. After a couple of years Dell quit offering their Ubuntu updates, so users were on their own to try to find a distro & drivers that would run on those PCs. The ones I knew about ended up buying & installing Windows. I wouldn't consider Dell to be Linux friendly, even if they had good intentions offering their version of Ubuntu on some of their PCs for a while. That's really too bad. I used to like Dell; now I don't want to buy another PC that comes pre-loaded with any OS. It;s easy enough to buid a desktop PC, but not so easy if you need a laptop for school or travel or limited space etc. I'm not a big fan of Amazon but I do read the reviews to see if some PC thing I want is reported to work with Liinux and which distro. But you can't trust the ratings & reviews, so I only buy it if I can return it.

    Most of what i've learned about using Linux is from having a problem I needed to resolve and searching the web until I figured it out. I also borrowed "Linux For Dummies" from my local library and renewed it a few times (That was before Amazon, and I didn't have much $ then to buy the book anyway!) I lurked on several Linux forums and only joined to ask for help if I couldn't find the info I needed. I know that method seems very inefficient, but in fact it taught me quite a lot about using Linux, almost by accident! It developed my Linux "vocabulary" so my searches soon became better focused. As I discovered new "gems" I copied & pasted them to docs on my PC so I wouldn't introduce typos that could lead to frustrating error messages or perhaps give unwanted or even disastrous results. I have a notebook with a variety of info I've gathered over several years. Most of it I don't often look at any more except to jog my memory, but some of it is still quite helpful; e.g., to optimize & customize a new installation or fix some problem wtih permissions or file sharing etc.

    I thik the best way to learn about Linux is to start right in using it! You won't get into trouble if you stick with ONLY your distro's official repository for programs & updates. Learn first to use the pre-installed point-and-click programs to do what you need (text editor, music & video player, picture viewer & basic editor, web browser, and so on). Search and read when you have a question or run into a new situation, keep notes on your PC or on paper, including links to the relevant info and solutions you find, read the user forums for your distro and if needed also others in the same family (e.g., Ubuntu, Mint, and several others are built on Debian but each pf them has some changes & enhancements that make it unique. That means in some cases the info in one distro's forum and the programs in its repository won't be entirely correct for another distro in the same family). Most of all, be especially cautious about typing (or copy-pasting) unfamiliar commands in the terminal!!! Do your homework first to find out what the commands do, and don't blindly trust the author.

    Just lke when you learned to use Windows or anything else, it gets easier with a little practice and patience, and it doesn't need to be painful or tedious if you keep learning as needed, a little at a time. After a little while you'll feel comfortable in Linux, and then you can help bring somebody else along!
     
  14. ipx

    ipx MDL Addicted

    May 24, 2017
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    lol, i really like the metro desktop with tiles & still use them on my 10 machine.

    that was how i was introduced to ubuntu. my dell netbook came with an ubuntu cd. it was the lts lynx if memory serves me right.

    dell has been my #1 brand since vaio shut down.

    likewise, be it desktop or laptop.

    hang in there, there will come a time when even laptops can be assembled / built, a la carte.
     
  15. ktgrrl

    ktgrrl MDL Novice

    Feb 18, 2013
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    IMO Metro was designed for touch-screen users. I have touch screens on my small laptop and one desktop (17" all-in-one HP I inherited last year), but I don't use touch so I never got excited about tiles and consider them a waste of resources and screen space. I know lots of people love it, and that's OK because I'm free to make other choices!

    I've had and maintained many Dells in the last 15 years or more, also a few HPs, and several of the older desktop models are still in daily use. Most of the oldies now run with some Linux distro or other and some also run Win XP or 7 in VirtualBox. Some are offline-only music and video machines now. (A few other folks took the Win 10 upgrade from 7, and I no longer maintain those because I don't like Win10). So that's all good. But IMO Dell's products (and maybe other makers) -- especially laptops -- aren't nearly as well made or supported as they used to be. The last 3 or 4 years I've seen hardware problems with every Dell laptop I've maintained for family, friends & colleagues, either out-of-the-box or else within about a month of receiving it. (Not many problems with Dell's desktop PCs, although I haven't set up a new one in the last year or so.) Customer service has been quick to have it shipped back for service, and tech support has been quick to replace parts with 3-5 day turnaround and overnight delivery, but a few times they've broken something else while changing out the faulty part and I had to return it for service again. Apparently they don't test the product before shipping it back to me, and they don't seem to be very savvy about their products when I contact them and eventually get to speak with a tech. I always get the same prepackaged responses on the phone or chat or email. I realize that's the usual business model these days when the shareholders come first. Parts are cheaply made and often unreliable, and employees aren't trained or motivated to think past canned responses. All this is largely because everybody loves low prices and the makers need to keep costs in line with what their customer base will pay.

    I know I'm old-school, but I'd like to receive a new laptop that's been tested before shipping and competently repaired while under warranty!

    Dell (and maybe others?) also has a history of messing up their proprietary firmware & drivers and not fixing them even when they acknowledge the problem. They also acknowledged the problems people reported who bought Ubuntu PCs and later couldn't update or re-install directly from Ubuntu when Dell quit offering their own updates, yet Dell offered no advice or offer to sell a replacement copy of the modified-Ubuntu CDs those laptops came with. That doesn't reflect well on a company's interest in their customers after the initial sale.

    There have been a few build-your-own laptop start-ups, but they didn't take off in spite of initial interest. Recently I casually looked into Pine64's laptop built explicitly for Linux users, but specs are low and I'm not currently in the market for another one. My 5 and 8 year old Dell laptops are still in almost daily use after initial returns/repairs, though I had to replace the motherboard and keyboard on the newer, smaller one not long ago. I'm glad I stockpiled some spare parts for them at low cost when the models went off the market and a few resale vendors bought up the back stock to part them out. I like both of my Dell laptops for different reasons, so I hope to keep them running as long as I can, one day at a time! When the time comes I'd really rather not buy another laptop from Dell or maybe any other big maker, so with luck we'll soon see a few good indy laptop vendors with hardware & BIOS designed & tested for the major Linux distros, and preferably at a price the average person on a modest budget can pay! I know that's asking a lot but it can be done. Or a vendor selling cases & quality parts to build your own custom-specs laptop. Wouldn't it be nice if laptop cases and motherboards came in a few standard sizes & shapes, and had connection ports in the same places?!?! I must be dreaming. But dreams do sometimes come true!
     
  16. eemuler

    eemuler MDL Senior Member

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    Take a look at the Clevo range. Fairly customisable, although the small and light range is considerably less so, since a lot of the stuff is soldered onto motherboards. The clunkier ones have CPUs and GPUs on sockets just like RAM and SSD, so they are about as upgradable as your desktop PC.

    Note: Clevo markets only through resellers who rebrand the laptops with their own name and logo and model number. You'll have to buy from one of these. I have one of the thin and light ones, bought from EUROCOM, which is totally refusing to boot using a Live USB distro. I have found instructions for installing Linux on one of the internal drives, which I will do at some future date when I can spare the time and don't mind potentially messing up my Windows installation and having to do a clean format and start over. The immediacy and reversibility of the LIVE distros is however not available to me. Sort of a Catch 22 scenario - I want to get better at Linux before taking the plunge and doing a bare metal install, but I can't get better at it because I can't run the LIVE distro.
     
  17. ktgrrl

    ktgrrl MDL Novice

    Feb 18, 2013
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    You may already know this, but just in case ...
    1. If you can't boot from a USB, look at your BIOS settings when you start up your laptop. To access the settings try F2 or F10 or maybe ESC key -- it varies from maker, but you should see the key-press info on the screen at start-up for a few seconds before your OS loads. If you're too late or press the wrong key it will start your OS as usual. No problem, just restart and try again.
    2. In the BIOS there should be a setting that allows booting from a USB device. Turn that ON, then reboot with your Live Linux USB plugged in. If your Live Linux was written correctly to the USB stick it should now boot and run. (If not, that's another thing to look into. When you made the Live USB, it should have been made bootable. Ask again if needed!)

    On one of my laptops the "allow USB boot" setting is only temporary for one re-boot. I don't share my laptops and I'm careful what's on any USBs I plug in, so I just leave Secure Boot turned off in the BIOS, but some new lappies don't allow that any more. (stupid UEFI specs were heavily influenced by Microsoft. Claims it's for your protection, but MS doesn't want you to install any other OS!) If that's true for yours, you'll need to do steps 1 and 2 every time you want to boot your Live Linux USB.

    Hope that helps!