I just ordered a new Laptop for Linux (with Linux content)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by unixfish, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The 10 year old Dell D630 has been slowly dying; I've posted about this before. This weekend, the whole bottom of the screen where Linux Mint displays the status bar went to static fuzz. The rest of the screen is fine. I had to finish a coding project with an external monitor, external keyboard, and my main monitor shut off. I usually use both monitors.

    I just ordered a new laptop - a Dell 17 5000. It has an AMD Radeon R5 M335 graphics card. All things being equal, I would have just preferred Intel graphics, but this may be nice. I found the Dell for $300 off with an on-line coupon.

    I have read there are some things to watch when installing this video - I will be re-installing Mint 17.3 (I may leave a Windows 10 partition to dual boot?). I hope I don't run into trouble. I read that lib32gcc1 and libc6-i386 may need to be updated for the graphics card to work properly while researching compatibility. We'll see. I may be back for some help if I run into problems and cannot Google the answer!

    Then comes the "fun" part - re-installing all the development tools, SVN Workbench, compiler packages, copying over all the ShrewSoft VPN settings, desktop, terminal and Emacs setup, then updating (higher resolution monitor on the new unit!), etc. All that fun stuff that is easy but takes forever.

    I suppose I could do some targeted backup / restores? I will probably set up an SSH link, or pull the old unit's drive and connect it to my USB adapter - who knows. I just am not looking forward to a ton of work to get right back to where I am today.

    I've had a few pixel-wide lines flashing red and green on the bottom of my display for over a year - I knew the screen would not last forever, I just did not want to spend the money until I knew it was "more terminal". And this weekend, it became just that.

    Looks like I need to ramp up my consulting efforts to pay for this too.

    I did look up this unit on-line for compatibility with Linux. Is it just me, or are the hardware databases not kept up to date? I could not find the Asus machine my daughter has, or a Lenovo I was also looking at. The Asus is a 2-in-1 which I don't need or want, and I found the Lenovo has a proprietary Wireless N card that needs to be manually updated after every version update. But still - the databases I found did not seem to list any "modern machines". Maybe I was looking at a site that is no longer updated.

    All for now. Just sharing / whining.
     
  2. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    The hardware data bases aren't keep up to date with anything linux. It's just to fast for the guys that do documentation. Linux has plenty of programmers and not enough people to do documentation. Linux works on any new computer the only thing you would have to worry about is if windows did something to prevent you from being able to install the os software you want on your computer. They have tried which is actually illegal. Should install fine. Linus uses a macbook he says because he likes the hardware. I think it's actually because he is trying to say to people anytime your feed up with globoapplecorp feel free to jump ship to linux anytime:D

    If they are just out of date video dependencies I wouldn't worry about it. Mint and ubuntu are always upto date you may have something on your update manager that says something like lib32gcc1 and libc6-i386 packages are no longer supported. Which I think basically means they replaced them already but somewhere down the line the code to remove the old packages skipped your computer. Linux is smart enough not to use those.

    Linux is always up to date on stuff like that . Its just somewhere down the line someone working on the kernel said screw it it works doesn't effect anything everything is up to date and its fun messing with people.

    Didn't you say you had to do some finagling with a printer. All my mouses and keyboards and everything has always just been plug and play?
     
  3. Honga Man

    Honga Man Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm posting this from a Dell D620 running Ubuntu 14.04. :D It was starting to run super-slowly on WinXP so I followed the instructions I found online and reformatted it with a USB flash drive. Works great now!

    I love the no-frills OS but no nothing about how to get "under the hood". Perhaps one of these days I'll come in here and beg for help from the many of you who post about Linux every so often, but until then, I'll keep reading and trying to learn from these threads.
     
  4. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I have an Epson XP-410. The CUPS package driver install would not work for some reason; I think I ended up compiling the sources from scratch. I have not done much C code in the last 15 years, but I know enough to usually get a package to work. My HP printer installed no problem, but it was expensive and noisy and ink was pricey and it failed after a few years. The Epson was a good price, and ink was much cheaper.

    The ShrewSoft VPN client was the same way. It seems to fall off the package list occasionally. I did compile this one in the past, and it was a bit of a bugger; I needed to install 15 to 20 pre-requisites for it to even be able to compile. No biggie, part of the fun. A few of my clients use / support Shrewsoft for their VPN, so I do what I need to.

    I am looking forward to getting back to coding and not configuring. The i7 and the video card should be fun.
     
  5. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Anyone tried Ubuntu 15?

    I'm looking into it now.
     
  6. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Who is this Linux person and why are you buying him a laptop?
     
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Beta tester! The new high performance filesystem looks interesting. I just cannot seem to get along with Unity; it doesn't work with the way I work / think.

    I am anxiously waiting for Mint 18.
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Watch for Ubuntu 16.04 that will be out in April - it will be the long-term-support LTS version that will carry you 3 years into the future and 5 years for security updates. 15.04 and 15.11 are on interim eighteen month cycles.

    If you want a non-unity interface, check out Lubuntu.net for the LXDE desktop version or Xubuntu.org for the Xfce desktop version.

    For OP: Dual boot the Win 10 OS that comes on it.

    (My Dell D630 just got a fresh update of Debian Stretch 9 yesterday from Debian Jessie 8.)

    For others that are curious, info on the major Linux distros
    Use a "LiveDVD" or "LiveUSB" to to test any flavor out. Also look for Libreoffice.org office suite. Another fun adventure is all the media and recording software in ubuntustudio.org.
     
  9. bigbean

    bigbean Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I like to read discussions like this once in a while. It reminds what a light weight I am in a realm I have to deal with a couple of hours of most work days.
    In the computer realm I'm like Mel bay book 3 level. The first four frets plus a pentatonic scale.

    If it doesn't have a GUI or a web server built in I can't participate.
    Lord save me from Python wrappers etc.
    Refer to qualified personnel.
    :D
     
  10. dleuen

    dleuen Tele-Meister

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    I would think your new Dell laptop would have both the Intel integrated graphics and the Radeon R5. If so it will probably detect and run the Intel graphics adapter by default. Through some mystical incantations and careful google research you can/should be able to run the R5 on demand using "bumblebee" packages. I have that setup running on an Asus laptop, Mint 17.3, and an Nvidia graphics card. With that setup you'll use far less power for normal use and can fire up the Radeon for games.

    Honga ask away and we can turn you into a full out nerd. Your wife and kids will be proud. You're half way there already. :lol:
     
  11. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    If you want longer term support with Ubuntu, the LTS releases are the way to go. I haven't used Ubuntu in a few years, but it was my main Linux from 2006-2011. I've been using Kali Linux 2.0 lately.
     
  12. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    If you don't like unity use what every Desktop environment you want. I use gnome flashback because it's the one I can get the computer to run the fastest with. Sudo apt-get install gnome. Then I log out. Switch Desktop environments in the log in screen and I am done. Instead of running linux mint you can just install Cinnamon or Mate right on top of Ubuntu:D

    Personly I am running gnome flashback because compiz fusion is a resource hog and useless.
     
  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    FYI.. the hospital breach in Cali was done on a linux box.
     

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  14. Honga Man

    Honga Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Shhh! You're gonna blow my cover! :lol:

    Actually this laptop is the second time I've reformatted a PC to Ubuntu. I did it a couple years back with one of those older Dell boxes that everyone seemed to have at one time. No, I don't know the model number or anything, but it went from s-l-o-w to perfectly adequate for my needs - web surfing, the occasional Libre Office work, and email with Thunderbird.

    I also really liked the game Sauerbraten when I first discovered that. It was like having Duke Nukem or something all over again, and it ran beautifully on this D620 laptop with a larger monitor plugged in. That reminds me, I never did beat that final single-player level.

    And speaking of plugging stuff in, everything I've plugged into this laptop has been immediately recognized and useable - my old Sansa Fuse 4GB mp3 player, my old flip-phone, a printer, wireless mouse, old PC speakers (they're so old that they're beige and say Gateway 2000 on them!), digital camera, digital video camera, and probably some other stuff, too.

    I would like to see what Ubuntu would do on a modern, fast machine, and I'd like to try home recording on a Ubuntu machine, too, or whatever the best Linux OS would be for that. I think it would be a big step up from my Fostex MR-8 digital 8-track recorder that's probably 15 years old. I've tried home recording on PC before with free software like Audacity (or something like that, I may have forgotten the name) but there was always so much latency as to make it completely unusable for more than a single track.

    Eventually I'll get there and I'll come ask for advice when it's time to do that. But I will be Joe Clueless for sure, sort of like the new Telecaster owner who might ask why the "input" jack keeps loosening up. Example: I asked a Linux geek (and I use that term respectfully!) about why my laptop no longer gets software updates, why I always get error messages about Flash being out of date at websites that use it, and why the Ubuntu Software Center crashes a couple minutes (at most) after launching it. He started telling me about line commands that sounded a bit like DOS to me, and that's what immediately exposed me as a Linux n00b - I haven't seen anything in this point-and-click GUI about line commands.

    But again, I'll get there when the time comes. I'm not asking for answers now, but we are talking about some additions in our basement, such as a large TV to replace an old 36" CRT, and I think that might be the time to look at Ubuntu machines with a HDMI output and then I'll get serious about getting things right, rather than simply working on a old machine that surely can't last forever.
     
  15. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Switching to Linux is like finding out that the nerdy girl who's into you is actually really freakin' hot when she takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. :D And she doesn't care that you buy her nothing, and she's really open minded and fair. She doesn't come with lots of baggage and she's great with personal hygiene.

    I'm considering Linux polygamy. One of each flavour!
     
  16. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    +1,000,000,000++!

    Although I have stuck to the Debian based distributions, FreeBSD has been calling my name for some time. It's more that my clients are all Debian based, so I use Mint for "compatibility".
     
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