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What flavor of Linix to install?

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#1 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:16 PM

So my new threadripper system is up an running on Win 10 Pro. After having to reinstall Windows 4 times, it seems like I finally have everything running stably. I have two system disk clone drives made just in case.

 

I'm getting pretty good performance in the PI benchmark test, but Linux seems to run PI substantially faster. So its time to consider installing it. I have a dedicated m.2 NVME drive to use for Linux. But what version to install? I am somewhat inclined toward Fedora, since we use RHEL at work, so there will be some familiarity. But its not a big factor, and Fedora is known more as a developers environment, with rapid turnover in supported versions of the O/S. Ubuntu seems to be referred to on CN so it seems to have a large installed base.

 

 

So, if you were going to install Linux in a Windows/Linux dual boot environment, what distribution would you choose and why? I'm all ears.

 

 

For reference, I have a Threadripper 3rd gen 3970x 32-core CPU, 128GB of DDR4-3600 RAM, a Samsung 1TB 970 Evo Plus m.2 NVME flash drive for Windows with another 500GB 970 Evo Plus drive for the Linux install. Also a  4TB SSD drive for data storage. Its all on a Gigabyte TRx40 Aorus Extreme motherboard. I pretty much pulled out all the stops for this system. It oughta be a screamer when its all set up.

 

My Win 10 PI benchmark yields:

Performance Indices
Total performance ...... 29515
CPU performance ........ 30199
Swap performance ....... 27133

 

Not bad at all, but from what I'm seeing, Linux can yield a 25 to 30% performance increase.

 

 



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:21 PM

There are several posts on the PI Forum that discuss this.  Also, Juan posted his recommendations.  Do a search.

 

Juan inputs...

https://pixinsight.c...p?topic=13963.0


Edited by Jim Waters, 07 February 2020 - 11:26 PM.


#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 12:26 AM

I did Ubuntu for the simple reason it has a large user base.  More people to consult.

 

I don't think there's any significant difference in performance between versions.

 

You might find one user interface more congenial, but that's not anything anybody else could tell you.

 

Bottom line.  Pick whatever you like.  There's no big difference here.


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#4 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:13 AM

There are several posts on the PI Forum that discuss this.  Also, Juan posted his recommendations.  Do a search.

 

Juan inputs...

https://pixinsight.c...p?topic=13963.0

Its late, but I'll follow this link tomorrow. Just the kind of hint I was looking for. Thanks Jim.

 

And it is comforting to know that the differences between Linux versions is not so crucial Bob. Months ago I surfed around looking at user interfaces. What you say rings true. That may take some trials to find what I like, but its a less consequential choice. I can change horses mid-stream on that one.



#5 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:20 AM

Well I went and followed your link Bob. It was a pretty short thread to read.  Boom.  Juan recommends Kubuntu and KDE Plasma for desktop environment. So I guess I'll spend some time this weekend reading up on them. The fact that the PI interface was best integrated on KDE Plasma carries weight. If you are gonna spend hours grinding on the program, you may as well enjoy the best visual experience.

 

I'm not sure what "best integrated" actually means but it sounds good. Actually I do get Juan's drift. And if he is running with that software I'm pretty sure he has fixed any annoying behavior on that environment.


Edited by Dan Finnerty, 08 February 2020 - 02:44 AM.


#6 Dave_L

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:36 AM

I have run a lot of Linux distros... a lot! I recommend Mint Linux, OpenSUSEm and PCLinuxOS. These distros do not disappoint. Mint is a no brainer. It comes with a bunch of drivers, is refined, has an easy learning curve, is easy to install, and has a very nice look and feel. 


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#7 Patrick Chevalley

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 04:32 AM

I use Kubuntu on my main computer for 15 years now and can only recommend it.

On less powerful computer like the one we use at the telescope a lighter desktop like LXDE is preferable, but I appreciate every day the power and versatility of KDE.



#8 Der_Pit

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 05:45 AM

But what version to install? I am somewhat inclined toward Fedora, since we use RHEL at work, so there will be some familiarity. But its not a big factor, and Fedora is known more as a developers environment, with rapid turnover in supported versions of the O/S. Ubuntu seems to be referred to on CN so it seems to have a large installed base.

If Fedora is too bleeding edge for you I can recommend openSUSE Tumbleweed, which is also RPM based and uses KDE/Plasma.  It's a rolling release, but runs through automatic Q&A evaluation, so tends to be quite stable, and has very recent software.

*buntu is indeed the choice if you look at installed userbase, also often binary packages are only prepared for deb based distributions, which makes your life a bit easier...



#9 jpcampbell

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:11 AM

I did Ubuntu for the simple reason it has a large user base.  More people to consult.

 

+1 to this. I've been using Linux for over 20 years and have used many distributions over the years. The first ten years I used the Redhat based distributions, and the last 10 years mostly Ubuntu.

 

For anyone migrating from Windows to Linux for the first time I always recommend Ubuntu stable releases and variants, which right now is 18.04.

 

Ubuntu has the largest user base so newbies have plenty of resources. Ubuntu is the way to go.


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#10 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 11:04 AM

Just for clarity.  Kubuntu is simply Ubuntu with the KDE user interface rather than Gnome.  Functionally, they're the same.  A bit more detail (although the recommendation about which to use is just a personal opinion of his):

 

"The only difference between is the graphical user interface that they use. Kubuntu uses the KDE (K Desktop Environment) that tries to imitate the look and feel of the windows operating system while Ubuntu uses the Gnome and doesn’t try to emulate windows in any way. For those who want to try linux and has the time or isn’t afraid to just try out a new system, then Ubuntu should be for you. It provides you with a new learning experience and when you hit a dead-end, you can always ask other people on the community. Kubuntu is perfect for people who want to try linux but is put off by the very different user interface. Kubuntu should make you feel a little bit at home and make your transition a little bit easier."


Edited by bobzeq25, 08 February 2020 - 11:05 AM.


#11 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 11:42 AM

A whole new world of terminology. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. This is already getting to be a bit of fun.

 

Your clarification on the K in Kubuntu is very helpful, Bob. Is it possible to try different user interfaces over time? Like swapping out KDE for Gnome? 



#12 Patrick Chevalley

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 12:43 PM

Yes sure you can install many desktop and switch between them at the login prompt.

 

The following meta-packages install all the necessary files:

- ubuntu-desktop  : the standard Ubuntu desktop

- kubuntu-desktop  : the KDE desktop

- lubuntu-desktop  : the LXDE desktop

- xubuntu-desktop   : the XFCE desktop

 

If you start with a standard Ubuntu installation you can try KDE with the command: sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop

 

Bob, this definition is old and biased. We can also say that KDE is for people that find Gnome too restricted in it's configuration options.

But this is all about personal preference and the good point is it is easy to try the different options.


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#13 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 04:54 PM

So I downloaded and installed Kubuntu 18.0.4. It boots up fine but I'm stuck without drivers. In particular I need a driver for the wireless chip. The motherboard is a Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Xtreme. The gigabyte site only has drivers for Win 10. The O/S can't update drivers until I have internet access. I see comments from people who did benchmark testing of this board in Linux, so there must be something available out there. Any suggestions anyone?



#14 Xeroid

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 05:26 PM

Dan,

 

This might work as I believe most Linux distributions can handle wired Ethernet connection.

 

If you have WiFi, how about getting this portable WiFi router that has an Ethernet port?

 

Configure the portable Wifi router as a range extender, plug a Ethernet cable between the router and motherboard. Reboot

 

If it doesn't work, you can always use the router to extend your WiFi distance.

 

Just a blue sky suggestion...



#15 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 05:37 PM

I have its baby brother, a TP TL-WR802N nano router. I'll give that a try.



#16 lphilpot

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 05:45 PM

This is being written on an Xubuntu desktop.  :)


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#17 Patrick Chevalley

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 04:30 AM

With Linux you not install driver from a manufacturer site, they are included with the Linux kernel.

 

The problem with the wifi is because this motherboard use a Intel AX200 chip that is only supported since Linux kernel 5.1 ( https://www.intel.co...networking.html ) but Ubuntu 18.04 default kernel is 4.15.

 

You need to connect to Internet with a cable, then update the system to the last level, and finally install the Hardware Enablement stacks for 18.04 as described here: https://wiki.ubuntu....EnablementStack

 

edit: another solution is to install the last 19.10 version that include the right kernel. From both 18.04 or 19.10 you can directly upgrade to the next long term release 20.04 when it is available in April.


Edited by Patrick Chevalley, 09 February 2020 - 04:50 AM.

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#18 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 12:41 PM

Patric, thank you so much for this information. I was brought to a halt by this problem. 

 

To update to 19.10, do I just download and install over 18 or is there a specific process to updating?

 

After years on windows only, this is a big education on how Linux works. Frustrating in the short term, but fun over the long term. Without the helpful hints on this forum it would take me months to figure it all out.



#19 Patrick Chevalley

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 01:45 PM

You probably not do too much with this version, so the more easy is to save to external media any file you want to keep, download the 19.10 installer and reinstall by formatting the 18.04 partition.

 

The different Linux distribution have all a different cycle of release and upgrade procedure.

Ubuntu use two kind of version, the interim release every 6 month and the Long Term Support every 2 years.

Interim version are supported for 9 month only, LTS are fully supported for 5 years and 10 years for security fix.

You can always upgrade from one version to the next, or from one LTS to the next LTS, but you cannot otherwise skip a version.

For more information: https://ubuntu.com/about/release-cycle

 

If you want to upgrade from 18.04 to 19.10 you need to upgrade to all the intermediate versions, 18.10, 19.04. This is good if you do it every 6 month because you like to use the latest software version. But this is frustrating to do in one step.

 

The next LTS is 20.04 and if you install 19.10 now you must upgrade to this LTS version between April and July because 19.10 end of life is in July. Then you can choose to keep this version for the lifetime of the computer, but upgrading every two years is not a big task and allow to use current version of the different software.



#20 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:56 PM

I am so frustrated I could smash this computer. But its not the computers fault bangbang.gif

IMG_1618.jpg

 

After being cut off at the pass by Kubuntu 18.04 not being able to use the wireless chip on my MB (thanks, Patrick, the Intel chip is a problem. I could not get wireless running on Win10 until I installed updated drivers for the Aorus board), I tried to make a 19.1 USB install drive. It failed to complete with a problem installing a USB Audio device. See the image above.

 

So I bit the bullet and dug out an old 25 foot Cat-5 cable from a dusty corner of the garage. Plugged it in, rebooted 18.04 and surprise, I had an interned connection. Yahoo! This is gonna work after all!

 

Not.

 

I googled up instructions for making updates: https://help.ubuntu....pgrades/Kubuntu

One way was to do command line through the terminal. Tried that. Unfortunately, it insisted on updating to 19.1 instead of 18.1. And it failed. Some comment about the update not being available for 7 hours and some odd minutes. What is that about? No idea whatsoever.

 

So the other option was to use Plasma > Discoverer. It had an option to look at updates. Did that, there were hundreds of updates. Clicked on update all and went away for a while. It completed. I rebooted. Exact same thing as with the attempted 19.1 install on the USB drive. Except this was on the Linux hard drive. Now I have a ruined 18.04 install.

 

The better part of two days entirely wasted. The only thing I've figured out how to do is make a wired connection to the internet. wahoo.

 

 

 

 



#21 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 01:08 AM

Further misadventures with Kubuntu. I recreated the 18.04 USB drive from iso image. It boots ok. I tried to install onto the Linux Sandisk 970 Evo Plus m.2 NVME disk. No joy. The installer now gives me an error message "GRUB Installation Failed 'grub-efi-amd64-signed' failed to install. Withouot GRUB bootloader, the installed system will not boot"

 

Tried this twice, same result. I'm done with Kubuntu. I've wasted 16 hours and gotten nowhere.

 

Time to take a look at Fedora. Too bad, I liked what I saw on Kubuntu.


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#22 bobzeq25

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 02:48 AM

FWIW I use 18.04LTS Ubuntu.  The native drivers have handled everything I own.  My wifi comes from the Threadripper motherboard.

 

I've used this kind of inexpensive wifi device with success.  I think they're pretty compatible, you do need one that's specced as linux.

 

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B0035OCVO6

 

I tried the KDE environment, not sure what it offers over Gnome.  Once you're in PixInsight, why would there be a difference?


Edited by bobzeq25, 10 February 2020 - 02:48 AM.


#23 Oleg Astro

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:39 AM

The installer now gives me an error message "GRUB Installation Failed 'grub-efi-amd64-signed' failed to install. Withouot GRUB bootloader, the installed system will not boot"

We can solve this problem with Boot-Repair



#24 Oleg Astro

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:02 AM

Dan,
you can try last version of Astronomy Linux 19.04 without installation.

astronomy-linux-19.04.0-amd64-2020.02.09.iso contains these programs:

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#25 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 10:05 AM

Thanks Oleg. Perhaps I'm not dead yet. I'll give Boot-Repair a whirl. And no harm in trying out Astronomy Linux.

 

Ultimately this all seems related to the newly released motherboard and related compatibility. Life on the bleeding edge.




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