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Updated: 15 min 17 sec ago

(rant) Just when I thought desktop Linux is getting really good, my mother proves me wrong (again)

Tue, 2018-02-20 23:30

TL;DR Desktop Linux is easy when you can maintain a powerful distro with fresh packages, but my mother has had trouble with pretty much all "normal" distros she's tried.

So, like many of us, I too have been running power user stuff like Arch Linux and now even Gentoo. On these distros, no system component or application has given me any proper headache, I just install and configure stuff how I want it and that's it. Occasionally manually fix or wait for an update, but never anything catastrophic. I can't even remember the last time when I had to troubleshoot something more complex, like more than 15 minutes of work.

However, with my mother, who I'm obliged to give tech support to, the story is so different. It begins with an Acer eMachines which ran Ubuntu pretty decently, just a bit sluggish and sometimes she got cryptic crash log popups from background services.

That machine eventually broke and we got her an used about 12" Dell Latitude laptop with 4GB and an SSD. I tried to install Ubuntu Mate (as it was getting praised by youtubers back then), but that was an incredibly bad experience, absolutely nothing was decent about it. I can't recall the details any more, but essentially, it was unusable due to bugs. Maybe it was audio, maybe display, maybe Flash support (thanks Yle, our local public broadcasting, for being ancient). Probably all of it, it was that bad.

Then I went wild and gave her the same stuff I was running, Arch Linux. First I tried GNOME3, but that didn't last very long and started to act up with some of her software (probably just the web browser? or audio, or display modes, again). So I just installed XFCE on the Arch and it was like brand new.

That lasted for as long as the laptop was usable, eventually it just got so dusty and dirty it started having thermal issues. I couldn't fix it due to it being a pain to disassemble, so I just got myself a laptop upgrade and gave my old one (14-15" Latitude with Sandy Bridge) to her.

Initially I set up Fedora ("It's what Torvalds is running!"), and after getting past the hurdles of multimedia codec repositories, getting a decent, stable and familiar X11 desktop (MATE?), Flash player (again) and some dnfdragora metadata bug which made it not pull in enough dependencies, it was smooth sailing for a while! After many months and a decent amount of updates, though, her Fedora started just acting up. GRUB didn't auto boot the first menu entry any more, sometimes her desktop wouldn't load (DM stuck?), and the system was just getting unbearably slow anyway.

So now we get to this day. I decided to give her one of my SSDs and install the least painful, most obvious choice, Linux Mint with Cinnamon. Considering it's a professional grade laptop with Sandy Bridge hardware, there is absolutely no reason any software should be incompatible. The installation went fine, local translations were good, and the home directory migration was painless. I removed the Intel DDX driver like the Linux Mint webpage suggested users to do, updated and tested everything working including audio, displays and Flash.

Then it was time to continue working on a "mixtape" of sorts, an Audacity project she needs to do for her school. Should be easy, right? Just sudo apt install audacity. Well, it was, until I got to the point of launching it. Only the splash screen, stuck for ever. killall audacity, kill, stop, etc from the GUI process manager, even kill -9 pid, and nothing happened, the splash was just stuck there. Running from the command line, it outputs nothing! I tried multiple methods of reinstallation, removing caches and dotfiles (by the manpage), installed Audacity build dependencies, even added the official Audacity PPA and installed a bit newer version from there, but it never got past the splash or put out any messages to the terminal.

I'm right now compiling Audacity on my Gentoo, and it'd be so ironic if it just works. (Edit: yup, it works.)

This does make me really worried about the state of desktop Linux for the masses, though. Linux Mint is, like it or not, pretty much the public face of desktop Linux, and even it left a bad taste in my mouth.

submitted by /u/luutifa
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Ubuntu (server) is underrated

Tue, 2018-02-20 22:47

A lot of people look down on ubuntu, but i have to admit that it is extremely convenient to set up a fully functional and stable ubuntu server with ~600 packages in less than 20 minutes.

submitted by /u/nextnextbaby
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Mageia Identity Security Breach

Tue, 2018-02-20 20:08

Cant Boot Linux Drive

Tue, 2018-02-20 18:16

I recently purchased a clevo/sager laptop (P650HS-G) and tried to install a dual boot setup with windows and Linux (specifically Debian) on separate SSDs over the weekend. But for some reason, after installing Debian and going through the mandatory process of restarting, I couldn't boot to the SSD with Linux installed.

While both SSDs were installed, GRUB would boot windows without a problem, but trying to boot Linux would give me a black screen with a small dialog regarding two errors: one about the current time being in the future and the other was a general grub error (can't remember what it was off the top of my head).

When only the Linux SSD was installed, I received a message asking me to insert a bootable device (same message you normally get when you don't have an OS installed).

When I went to the BIOS, the motherboard recognized the SSD with Linux installed, but it wasn't available as a selection in the list of devices that I can boot from. In addition, after installing Linux on the SSD through the laptop and having those problems, I inserted the SSD into an older desktop PC I have and Linux booted without a problem!

Does anyone know what could have been the issue? I installed Debian several times including with the windows SSD in the laptop and also without the windows SSD in the laptop, but still had the same problems.

submitted by /u/jhmthebest777
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SRT modules now in VLC 3.0

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:56

should I move permanently to linux operating system on laptop ??

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:28

Hey Everyone, it's been a while now since I'm thinking about moving to linux rather than windows as my main operating system. but always I hesitate. my main use is programming, reading, web, studying, program a lot on visual studio (one of the main reasons why I hesitate)

submitted by /u/westrox
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LAME is the definitive MP3 encoder on Linux, why is there nothing comparable for MP4

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:22

I know there are MP4 (aac) encoders for Linux, but there isn't one stand out winner. I know ffpmeg struggled to get a decent free/open encoder integrated for a long time. Is there something inherently more difficult about MP4 that we don't have a "great" encoder in 2018?

submitted by /u/scottchiefbaker
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How Linux became my job

Tue, 2018-02-20 16:04