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Author Topic: linux adventure part 2  (Read 105 times)

November 05, 2018, 10:51:50 PM
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brynn

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Hi Friends,
Well, after an extended interruption, I'm finally getting back to this project - switching over to Linux.  I didn't want to mine up the old topic, but this is where it started:  https://forum.inkscapecommunity.com/index.php?topic=426.0

The other day, I looked up some links I was given earlier.  Starting here:  https://lifehacker.com/5774997/getting-started-with-linux-how-to-install-linux-on-your-computer, I read at the top about the 5 best live CDs and DVDs.  But I don't have a cd/dvd drive.  So I went down to the Live USB Method section and followed this link to make the bootable USB:  http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/.

I made the bootable USB drive, and then followed instructions to boot to the usb drive (which didn't actually work, and I had to call Dell tech support to sort that out).  Anyway, I finally booted to the USB drive.

Unfortunately, I didn't get what I thought I was getting.  Whatever is on the usb allows me to install Linux.  But I'm not ready to install it yet.  When I do, I suspect I'll want to partition the hard drive - which looks like it might be an adventure all by itself. 

What I wanted, and what I thought I was getting, was the entire linux os on the usb.  I wanted to be able to see what the os looks like and how it works, and practice setting up the system with a browser and Inkscape and Libre Office and everything else, figure out what kind of....what's it called "environment"....I mean the xfce or cinnamon or there's a lot of them apparently.

Did I misunderstand something?  I thought there was going to be a way to use a linux os from a flash drive, and practice, and experiment, and figure out exactly which distro I want.  Then when I have it all figured out, I would actually install it.

Is there any such thing?  Or did I just misunderstand?
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November 05, 2018, 11:31:40 PM
Reply #1

Lazur

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Hi.

I vaguely recall it is possible but have no experience myself. On the other hand I had problems installing the first linux os I wanted -ubuntustudio. Turned out it wasn't compatible with the cpu? Or rather the problem was sitting in front of the screen...

November 06, 2018, 07:08:26 AM
Reply #2

Moini

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What OS did you put on the stick? Does it have a live mode?

November 07, 2018, 09:39:30 AM
Reply #3

brynn

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Using that Unetbootin program, the most current version available for Linux Mint was 17.  I figured I could just upgrade after I had it opened.

I don't remember seeing a Live option or Live mode anywhere.  But I'll go back and review the Unetbootin.  There was a choice there that I didn't understand (and I don't remember what it was now).  So I'll look at it again.  And I'll also boot to the the flash drive again.  There were 3 different options for how to install it, and an option about partitioning.  And then there was an "Advanced" option, which I did not look at, because, well, why?  I'm about as un-advanced as I could be!

It's a big pain having to change the boot sequence!  So the faster I can make a decision, the faster I can get it installed.  I just don't want to install something until I can narrow down all the options.

Thanks!
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November 07, 2018, 02:27:04 PM
Reply #4

brynn

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Ok, from the Unetbootin program, I downloaded "Linux Mint 17.2_Live_x64".  All the options have the word "Live" in them.  So that must mean there's some live operating system on it, right?  So I'll try to boot it again, and see if I can find something that says Live, that I don't have to install.  It doesn't make sense to me that it would be under that "Advanced" option that I saw.  But who knows.  I'll look around again.
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November 07, 2018, 02:42:12 PM
Reply #5

Moini

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Booting the stick should just give you a Linux environment. If you dismiss all the options and don't opt to install anything, there's probably already a Linux Mint behind.

November 07, 2018, 05:53:55 PM
Reply #6

brynn

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Well that's what I was expecting, but it's not what I have.

It starts with a 6 or 7 page....I don't know, I've heard it called a "wizard" before.  It takes you through many different options before it finishes whatever it's supposed to do.  You know, the first window you choose the language,  there's the Next button and the Back button.  The next window makes sure this or that (which is needed for whatever it is) is enabled.  And the 3rd window was giving me options for installing it.  That's where I cancelled out of the process.  I didn't see any buttons such as "Skip".

But I will try again, and try to go through them all without making something happen.

Thanks again.
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November 08, 2018, 04:55:48 AM
Reply #7

Moini

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Just close the wizard, if that's possible.

November 08, 2018, 05:16:30 AM
Reply #8

brynn

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Yay, I found it!  I don't know why it didn't show up last time.  Maybe because I was on the 3rd page of that process before I hit Quit.  But this time, I hit Quit on the first page, and the Linux Mint desktop popped right up.

The first thing I did was try to set up an internet connection, but it doesn't seem to be working.  Would that be disabled for using the live usb drive?  I found the little connections icon in the system tray, and opened a Network Connections window.  Clicked Add button, created a wifi connection using my SSID and password, and using the same security settings (WPA 2, I think).  Saved it.  But from there, I don't see how to connect.  I tried double-clicking on the new item in the list of connections, tried right-click but no context menu.  I don't see a Connect button anywhere.  If it's not disabled for the usb drive, then I'll just call tech support for my ISP.

Should I install a security system before I go online?  I've had the general impression that Linux systems are not targetted by the malware and malicious activity, but I guess I heard that about 15 years ago.  So maybe it's changed?  I'm not sure if I could actually go online without a security system.  It seems like I would feel naked, you know?  Haha  I mean, at least I should have a firewall, right?  I mean, you can be targetted directly, whether you have a browser open or not, right?

Hhm, maybe there's some internal security?  Could Linux Mint have its own firewall?  That'll be at the top of my list, next time I boot, to look for security options.

It turns out I have Linux Mint 17.2, 64-bit, Cinnamon.  And Cinnamon is the environment, right?  I'm not sure how I got it, but I'd like to try some others. But I couldn't find any way to change it from Cinnamon to something else, and because of the way it shows up in the system info, I'm guessing it gets installed with the os, and that there's no way to change it without installing the os again.

There are very few theme options available from what I can tell (essentially 3), although it looks like there is a way to download more themes.  But is there any way to change the environment, without reinstalling the os?

Thanks for your help, Moini.  Once I start making decisions about what to install, I'll switch over to a forum for whatever system I choose.  But for the moment I'm kind of a ship without a harbor.

As usual, you posted while I was typing  :-D
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November 08, 2018, 06:33:49 AM
Reply #9

Moini

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Don't know about the Wifi. Do you have cable network, too? I would try that until the other thing can be resolved. This is just for playing around, so I wouldn't invest too much into that right now.

Current Linux Mint is 19, you may want to use an up-to-date ISO file. Is 17 still supported, even?...

No additional security systems required.

Try Mate or Xfce if you need other configuration options. Or even KDE or Gnome. Or pantheon, if you want less ;-)

November 08, 2018, 07:51:59 AM
Reply #10

brynn

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Try Mate or Xfce if you need other configuration options. Or even KDE or Gnome. Or pantheon, if you want less ;-)

Yes, I want to try others!  But I can't figure out how.  Do I have to reinstall the os, to be able to change?

I have no idea if 17 is supported.  That's just the most current one they had.  I didn't download an ISO file, because that route looked more complicated.  So I just installed the most current of what they offered.  I guess I can upgrade it, but I also guess I would need to be able to go online, to get it.  No, I don't have cable.  But I'll call my ISP and ask for help.
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November 08, 2018, 08:09:47 AM
Reply #11

brynn

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Oh man!  I just booted back to the usb drive again.  But all the changes I had made were reverted back to defaults!  The wifi connection which I had configured was gone.  Not even the wallpaper image I chose was there.  Is there some process I need to do, to save my changes?  Geez, if it wasn't going to save changes, why didn't it ask if I wanted to save changes, before I shut down?

I guess it's time for a break.  I'll pick it up again this weekend  :)

Thanks again for your help!
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November 08, 2018, 03:14:38 PM
Reply #12

Moini

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Yes, it is expected that everything reverts. It's not writable, the whole system just runs in RAM and is fixed on the stick. It's how these ISOs work. Take a look around, then try something else. For Linux Mint, see

https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3597
https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3598
https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3599

for their three main desktops (downloadable ISO files).
Yes, you will need to put the ISO files on your USB drive(s).

Don't use that really outdated version from 2014 or 2015. Doing a multiple upgrade (from 17 to 17.1, to 17.2, to 17.3 to 18, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 19 and soon 19.1) isn't something I'd recommend... Just start with the current version.

November 10, 2018, 12:07:22 PM
Reply #13

brynn

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Oohh, ok.  I had the idea that it was possible to use the usb drive for potentially months and months, and it would be just like if it was installed, although I knew it wasn't recommended for long term (years).  That's why I thought I could just upgrade it.  I thought I would just customize it little by little, just like it was installed, and learning along the way, for a few months.  And by then I would know enough to make decisions on what to install.

You mean it's not possible to upgrade from 17.2 to current, except by going one version at a time?  Like if I had it installed somewhere, but I skipped a couple of new versions,  I couldn't just download the current version and upgrade in one step?

Well, if these live cd or usb systems are just for looking at, then it doesn't make sense to upgrade it at all.  It sounds like I better just erase what I have, and use the ISO option.

So each time I want to try a different environment, then I need to download a different ISO file?  Are they really very different?  From what I can tell with what I have now, I can't really identify which part is Cinnamon, or what it would look like either without it or with something else.  It really doesn't look much different from windows, from what I've seen so far (although of course I know it's very different, under the surface).

Honestly, it would be helpful if the community could make a decision, and say "Beginners, start here!  Install so and so, and grow from there!"

Ok then, Plan B, it is!

Thanks again for your help  :D
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November 11, 2018, 10:37:58 AM
Reply #14

Moini

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Linux is all about choice. So you need to find what you like, and choose that. Some distros have default desktops, like Ubuntu now uses Gnome (that looks a bit like Unity, which is discontinued - fortunately, in my opinion.)

November 12, 2018, 02:29:58 PM
Reply #15

brynn

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Well,

"Beginners, start here!  Install so and so, and grow from there!"

doesn't preclude choice.  It just allows beginners to get started without spending what looks like could take weeks or even months to look at several options.  You know it takes almost an hour to download one ISO file!  And if I need to actually compare 2 or more (I mean switch back and forth, rather than look at one and move on to the next), I'll have to get a whole separate USB drive for each one.

If Linux wants to attract Windows users, it needs to make it easier to choose.  Put some kind of just "test models" together, so that I don't have to install entire operating systems.  Put 4 or 5 test models on one drive, so we can just look at each one, easily switching between them without accessing the computer's boot menu before and after each test.

Honestly, if Windows 10 weren't absolutely deplorable, this selection process would send me right back to Windows.  Now I don't care about the cloud anymore, because it's better than doing all this work to find out which Linux system I want.  If I thought Windows 11 (or whatever they're going to call it) would be better than 10, I would just wait for it.  But it will probably be worse, if the trend continues.  Windows XP was the best, and it's gone downhill from there.

So for now, I'll keep trying to find a Linux system.  But if this gets any harder.....yikes, it might have to be a Mac!
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November 13, 2018, 08:23:18 AM
Reply #16

brynn

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Ok, yesterday I made the USB drive for Linux Mint 19 MATE 64.  I looked at it today, but can't tell any significant difference from Cinnamon.  Just a different wallpaper, some icons are different, and maybe a different font.  So rather than spend more hours to download other environments, I decided to search for articles which explain the difference.  From what I've read, the differences are mostly technical.....well, at least they are too technical for me to understand or care.

Based on what I've read, one article says KDE is good for ex-Windows users in transition.  (Another says the same of Cinnamon.)  But I can't find a Linux Mint 19 64-bit with KDE.  I found this page, but it doesn't look like there is a KDE for Linux Mint.  It looks like it only has Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce.  https://community.linuxmint.com/iso

Oh wait.  A slightly different search produces this article:  https://linuxhint.com/install_kde_linux_mint_19/  So that explains it.

Well, I want to try Ubuntu anyway, so maybe next I'll try Kubuntu, which as far as I understand is Ubuntu with KDE desktop.

Uh-oh....  Now I read that Plasma is KDE's answer for Aero.  I hated Aero.  I hope I can get KDE without Plasma....  Well, it does say "highly customizable"....but I didn't find any way to customize Aero into something I liked.  I was only happy when I disabled it.  Well, maybe it's not exactly the same.  We'll see.

Ok, off to find Ubuntu ISO files....  :vw:
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November 13, 2018, 04:56:55 PM
Reply #17

Moini

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KDE has just been renamed to Plasma on of the recent versions, you won't get an older version anymore. Ubuntu uses Gnome per default ;-)

And yes, for a user, the most evident difference is how it looks, and how much about the looks one can change, and how many cool graphical effects it has.

You can install any desktop on most distros. However, the amount of settings that are available, and how well they integrate, can differ. If it's officially bundled, then you know it will work well.

Downloading an ISO file takes about 2 minutes for me... You can download a couple over night, then you won't have to wait.

November 13, 2018, 06:12:33 PM
Reply #18

brynn

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2 minutes?  You  must have a really fast internet connection!

You mean leave the computer turned on and connected to the internet, all night and unattended?  I'd have to alter my power settings, I guess.  I have it set to turn off after no activity for something like 30 to 45 minutes (I don't remember exactly).  Not unless it would see the ongoing download as activity.  I always thought it meant using the keyboard as "activity", but maybe the download would keep it open?

Well anyway, I'm getting there.  I have Ubuntu installed on the usb now, and ready to look at tomorrow.  I guess it must have gnome desktop.  Then I'll try Kubunto.  And if I don't discover something else that needs looking at or trying, I can make a decision.  When you're used to not having a choice, a choice among 4 is plenty!  Then I can figure out how to partition the drive, or whatever needs to be done.

As far as I can tell so far, most of the "choice" is about technical issues which I might or might not learn about later, but I certainly don't know about now.  That's why I think it would not damage Linux's reputation for providing choice, to steer beginners in a certain direction and let them grow from there.  I'd be surprised, maybe even shocked if any beginner understands anything I've read so far about different distros or desktop environments.

Thanks again for your help!
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