Linux Adventures

A general chat area, here you can post anything that doesn't belong in another forum.
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Keening_Product
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Post by Keening_Product » Sat Jan 25, 2014 17:00

I installed Debain on my netbook as an experiment and actually really like GNOME 3. So much I'm tempted to switch to Ubuntu GNOME on my desktop when the next LTS comes around.

Does anyone who has had experience with both GNOME and Unity on a desktop have any advice? I know it's more a personal choice, but there might be some killer drawbacks I haven't come across yet.
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Post by MoffD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:57

Probably not as much of a change as updating to a newer version of whatever distro you are running, although I'm probably not the best person to answer that as I use an older LTS of ubuntu and the latest Raspbian (for Pi's)
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Post by Keening_Product » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:34

I'm on the limited support Ubuntu releases, so changes in the LTS should be minimal. But thanks for the reply, you make a good point for people moving up from a previous LTS.
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Post by candyjack » Sun Jan 26, 2014 17:15

Keening_Product wrote:I installed Debain on my netbook as an experiment and actually really like GNOME 3. So much I'm tempted to switch to Ubuntu GNOME on my desktop when the next LTS comes around.

Does anyone who has had experience with both GNOME and Unity on a desktop have any advice? I know it's more a personal choice, but there might be some killer drawbacks I haven't come across yet.
I only have limited experience with them, but here's my two cents. Both DEs are very limiting in that if you want to use one of their tools, you have to use the whole environment. If you want to use their notification daemon, you've got to use their window manager as well, whether you like it or not. If you don't care about the KISS philosophy, this won't be a problem.

As far as the decision between GNOME and Unity goes, both have their advantages. Unity allows for a lot more customizations that GNOME (ever installed ccsm?), but it's even more limiting in that it requires you to be using Ubuntu. If you ever need to switch distros, you'll have to get used to a completely different DE as well. I heard there's a port for Arch, but it's unsupported and you don't know if you can depend on it.

GNOME has less customizations, and it tends to completely hide whatever settings it does provide, but then again, it works pretty well out of the box. If you're sure you'll stick to Ubuntu for a long time, go for Unity. Otherwise, I recommend trying GNOME first.

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Post by Keening_Product » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:00

Thanks for the tips candyjack, I'm looking at ccsm now. Looks like an advanced tweak tool?

I'm surprised you think Unity comes with more customisation out of the box - at least GNOME ships with its tweak tool built in. Well, in the case of Debain at least (though screenshots on the Ubuntu GNOME site suggest that's the case for that distro too). You have to download the tweak tool for Unity. GNOME also ships with a decent set of extensions these days, though if what I've been reading is correct that's only a recent development for v3.

As for your first comment, I've never had issues running GNOME-based programs in Unity because they're pretty much the same thing. I had to install the KDE backend to run Kdenlive and a few other things, but they integrate well into the Unity system notifications and, with the exception of some menus not loving GTK themes, are indistinguishable from GNOME/Unity-based programs. What were you referring to? I feel I've missed your point.
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Post by Commander Spleen » Tue Jan 28, 2014 0:08

Linux Mint has been serving me well for my desktop computers for several years, and I'd still recommend that for most users. But lately I've been trying out antiX, which is basically Debian with a couple of modifications, and it's working out very nicely on some mid-range hardware such as my EeePC and a bunch of sub-2GHz/512MB Dells. Soon it will start making its way onto my main computer, possibly with Mint Debian Edition on the secondary PC.

The core image lets you build the system from scratch (reminds me of Arch but with less hand-editing of config files) and the snapshot tool allows you to quickly turn your system into an installable live image. Also I'm finding it uses much less memory than Mint for an equivalent Xfce setup. It can run at about a Win95 level of resource usage running the default IceWM/Rox image.

It was an interesting novelty running Cinnamon on my desktop for a while (especially given that dual-core + DDR2 + SSD = practically instantaneous bloatware), but it doesn't have any major advantage over Xfce, even in terms of eye-candy, so I'll be going back to running that on pretty much everything soon. LXDE used to be my preference, but it tends to break a lot in Debian Testing and I think there were some weird dependency issues trying to install it on Mint recently.
lemm wrote:For keen modding, I think it's best to have a win32 environment at one's disposal. Currently I use Windows 7 XP Mode for that, although I'm sure a running virtual PC in linux would work just as well.
I haven't particularly needed anything more than Linux with WINE and DOSBox for Keen modding for years. And WINE is almost redundant now that I have a custom tile and level editor (I should probably release that sometime.) Maybe there's some Galaxy or hardcore patching stuff that becomes more difficult away from Windows, but Vorticons modding is pretty much fully Linuxable.

I do keep an XP image around for compiling Windows ports, but I recently figured out how to cross-compile properly so even that should be unnecessary soon.

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Post by Keening_Product » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:14

AntiX sounds neat, I'll check it out when I get fed up with batter draw on my netbook. What are the security update cycles like?
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Post by Commander Spleen » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:50

I guess it varies, given that it's a rolling release distro. It's essentially raw Debian with an extra repository containing some slightly modified packages.

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Post by MoffD » Tue Jan 28, 2014 14:20

Commander Spleen wrote:I guess it varies, given that it's a rolling release distro. It's essentially raw Debian with an extra repository containing some slightly modified packages.
Thanks for the info Spleen, I'm going to give Antix a try later
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Post by Keening_Product » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:31

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We have an old computer my Dad uses which presently runs XP. I've been looking to put xUbuntu or lUbuntu on there before XP's expiry and wanted to give my Dad a shot at both before choosing which one to install, but haven't been able to get either live DVD to work.

Not sure what was going on, I reached for my collection of live CDs from last decade to see if it was simply the case the computer couldn't read a bootable DVD. Correct. The resulting romp into nostalgia* is detailed below.

*My memories of Linux as a child was never being able to get most distros working. This was no different. True realism.

First up, and how could I resist with the memories of mag articles about it being the future of desktop design (along with the then-named Longhorn 3D desktop):
Project Looking Glass 2.3a

Here's how it's supposed to look:

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My experience:

PLG was built off an xfce-based Slax distro. Check dat glossy Penguin:

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The all-important GUI options:

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This distro came with a big fat warning: it probably won't work.

It didn't.

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That's right, none of those boot options worked. One, I think it was XFCE, returned this:

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I'm sad this never worked for me. Here's the history of the project, from Wikipedia:

Looking Glass was first developed by Hideya Kawahara, a Sun programmer who wrote it in his spare time on a small Linux laptop. After demonstrating an early version to Sun executives, he was assigned to it full-time with a dedicated team and open-sourced the project. [1] It was first demonstrated publicly by Jonathan Schwartz at LinuxWorld Expo 2003 in San Francisco, and since then has gathered momentum in development.[2] After unveiling the prototype, Steve Jobs called Schwartz's office and told him that Apple would sue Sun if Sun moved forward to commercialize it. Jobs claimed that the project is infringing Apple's IP. [3] Regardless of the threat, Sun determined that the project was not of priority and decided not to put more resource to develop it further into product quality. The project thus had been continuing in an experimental mode. However, as Sun's financial situation became tighter and the management determined they had higher priority projects on their hand, the project became inactive (practically dead) since late 2006. [4]

FEATURES:

One of its most notable features is the creation of reversible windows. This capability can be used for features like allowing the user to write notes and comments on the windows' backs, or displaying application dialogs without risking their being detached from the application they relate to. All windows start by looking like a normal 2D or 2.5D window, but can be manipulated as thin slate-like 3D objects which can be set at any angle or turned completely around by the user.

Other features include tilting all the window to assist the user to pick up a desired window, provision of a panning virtual desktop, icons that reflect the live status of the window they represent and zooming of a window when it receives focus.

There are a few designs that Looking Glass implemented which appeared in other products in later years. One technique became popular by Apple's Dashboard widgets is configuration of an application (widget) by flipping its visual and performing updates on the backside of it. The visual of Apple's Mac OS X Dock became similar to Looking Glass's look when Leopard was released. [5] Microsoft Windows 7 implements a feature for window selection that hides other windows than the one that the user placed the mouse cursor on a thumbnail above the taskbar. It resembles Looking Glass's usage of transparency for window selection using window thumbnails on the taskbar. [6]

You can read and see more on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Looking_Glass



Mandriva One 2007: Gnome Edition

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For those wondering, this OS is now dead. I guess that's a "bummer".

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Chubby Puppy Linux 1.0.5

c.2005.

The boot loader. Paris would be proud.

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The less said about this one the better. From Wikipedia: "Puppy Linux has been criticized for running all users as root and for its lack of available applications."

Thankfully it turned out not to be a live CD so I could put Puppy down quickly.



Slax: Popcorn Edition 5.0.6

THIS ONE ACTUALLY WORKED!

Dat toor so l33t.

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Popcorn was Slax 5 for home theatres, IIRC. The following from Wikipedia: "Slax Popcorn was a minimalistic edition focused on browsing and multimedia playback. It featured Mozilla Firefox as the default web browser and the lightweight Xfce as a desktop environment instead of KDE."

And wow, Xfce really has come a long way since 2005:

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Firefox 1.0.4. Wow. I wish the computer had a net connection so I could see how badly everything worked.

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AbiWord hasn't changed a bit in almost a decade:

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BMwhat?

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Didn't even taste like popcorn.

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I actually quite liked this distro. Clean, usable, and made me wish I'd made the switch to Linux back when I was 13. Our net was never good enough to grab packages though.

Others

I've found a few other CDs since doing this, including DeLi Linux 0.8.0, Ark H20 2005.2 (not a live CD, I think), Slackware 10.1, DSL and Mint 4.1. I'll give those a run if people are interested. As it stands, I think this might be too dull for people except myself to enjoy. Let me know.

I might give PLG a shot in other computers too. I've always wanted to have a play with that one.


Also, I remember another distro which had tetris you could play while the installation took place, but I can't remember which it was and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a live image.
Last edited by Keening_Product on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Pokota » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:36

I stuck debian on my laptop and picked a live cd that started with ldxe instead of the default environment. Mostly because my first experience with linux was knoppix which also uses lxde.
There was something here, but my yorp ate it.

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Post by Keening_Product » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:49

I quite like LXDE too, though I've had limited experience with it. LXDE, JWM and IceWM all strike me as Linux desktops for people who don't want to learn anything new after leaving Windows.
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Post by MoffD » Thu Feb 13, 2014 14:16

Acer... Run away and bury it in a deep hole... Not even kidding :barf

Every run in I've had with acer turned out badly with horrible hardware problems :crazy
Edit: Good to see you got everything running finally ;)
Last edited by MoffD on Fri Feb 14, 2014 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Keening_Product » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:34

This Acer is a decade old so not quite as bad as modern Acers. Still not great though.
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Post by Roobar » Sun Feb 23, 2014 19:55

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Linux adventures.

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