Author Topic: Are we finally there with Linux?  (Read 1549 times)

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2021, 10:46:30 PM »
I've downloaded Mint so I'll probably give it a bash soon as it seems highly regarded, not just round here.  I also fancy trying elementary OS.

Nugget - no it's Lubuntu with the taskbar moved to the top, and then three application menus with customised xml and PNG buttons, and plank is the dock at the bottom which is absolutely tremendous.  I had to launch/install compton to get the transparency.  So it's LXQT but then I seem to have some KDE stuff too.  I don't really know what all that means yet.


Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2021, 01:36:04 AM »
I work in IT, so I have multiple machines running various OS.
It probably says a lot that I use Mint most often.
Pretty much every Linux nerd will say the same:  You use whatever OS works best for that situation.  But certainly desktop Linux is very usable nowadays, especially considering people are spending more and more time in their browsers rather than Wordperfect or whatever.

Puts pipes and slippers on and relaxes by the fire

Back in my day, we had to recompile the kernel to add in wireless drivers which you somehow had to download without a working wireless driver.  It was fun and we liked it.

I'd quite happily use Mint full-time at home if I could find a music player/manager that let me create and manage playlists from my bloated and disorganised music library, and then synchronise *selected* playlists with my Android phone in the same way that Music Bee does on Windows. It's a small thing but has kept me tied to Windows for years.
I wanted a similar thing, just a way of playing my mp3's and videos remotely with the minimum of fuss.  For ages I messed around with MPD and shoutcast streams, in the end I just use a combination of the following:

Wireguard running on a Pi plugged into the router to give me a VPN back to my home network.  It's a piece of piss to setup and seems to 'just work' with Android/Windows/whatever.  It even generates fun little QR codes so you don't have to fuck about trying to upload VPN keys to mobile phones, now you just take a picture.

MiniDLNA on the media server to serve up the files via UPNP.  Again piece of piss to setup, seems to work with just about anything, VLC on Android, my Sony Bravia media player, PS4 media player etc.

Note that this doesn't solve your playlist option, you'll still have to manually create the playlists on each client.  Maybe build a bunch of .m3u files and have the various clients load that?

I have just installed Lubuntu on my laptop in the last couple of days, and remarkably everything worked straight from the live boot.
You are lucky you didn't get to experience the hell that was installing Linux on a laptop in the early 2000's.  What's that?  My laptop just cooked itself because I didn't install the correct kernel driver for my CPU fan?  Awesome...

One of the reasons that I fully made the switch was because I was pissed off with the lack of verbosity in Windows error messages.  With Linux (in theory) I can see what caused the problem and maybe actually fix it.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 01:54:53 AM by Sonny_Jim »

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2021, 10:41:08 AM »
You are lucky you didn't get to experience the hell that was installing Linux on a laptop in the early 2000's.  What's that?  My laptop just cooked itself because I didn't install the correct kernel driver for my CPU fan?  Awesome...

One of the reasons that I fully made the switch was because I was pissed off with the lack of verbosity in Windows error messages.  With Linux (in theory) I can see what caused the problem and maybe actually fix it.

Yeah that sounds like a nightmare.  To be fair that's only a few years after Windows got far better regarding plug-and-play. I remember when installing anything was a long process, normally just involving installing/uninstalling drivers and devices until it worked. 

My main gripes are with pulseaudio (which I've fixed I think), and how Lubuntu settings work.  You pretty much need to go around the houses to change the appearance at least.  I suppose being picky, it'd help if it told you when you need to restart for changes to take effect.

I know you were joking about it being "fun", but it sort of is fun up to a point.

I suspect there is an element of vanity about all the different distros, which is a bit bewildering really.  Would it not be possible to create a Ubuntu (or whatever) based iso creator that basically created all the various distros?  I mean, to try out Feren, Mint & Elementary am I not going to download a bunch of packages I already have installed on Lubuntu?

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2021, 11:35:04 AM »
Pulseaudio is basically shit, getting different apps to play audio at the same time has been a bit of a struggle for Linux in the past and the current solution isn't fantastic.  When I'm using something like Mixxx I tend to close everything else that's using the soundcard and set it to use the ALSA driver.

WRT distros, just pick the one that suits what you're going to do, although to start it's always best to pick a widely used and maintained one.  Having lots of documentation and google hits on stackoverflow is a shit load easier than figuring out why the random distro you've picked isn't doing what you want.

If you want to get super freaky-deaky you can try Linux From Scratch, where you build your own Linux right from the bootloader to the desktop.  I mean, it's not much more than copying and pasting commands and there's much better ways of learning how Linux works, but I found it fun.[1]
 1. When I did it 15 years ago.....

Zetetic

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2021, 11:36:37 AM »
It's interesting how completely PulseAudio and systemd won their respective battles, for all their issues.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2021, 01:40:37 PM »
You guys will know better than me, but I'm not sure if the problem is pulseaudio or the default settings used by many Ubuntu distros.  It seems loads of other people have similar issues that are resolved by amending the config file.  I'm not sure if there's a reason why it's setup poorly to begin with.

The audio issues are now better than they were on Windows, although I think the latter was more related to the whole PC being overworked.  I seem to only have issues now if the laptop has been on suspend.  On that note, it'd be helpful if the swap file was by default large enough to allow hibernation.

Whoever created the WIFI drivers should have a look at pulseaudio.  It's hard to believe that it connects almost as quickly as it disconnects.  On both my WIFI devices too.  Staggering stuff.

It's so weird to forget that GIMP is open.  I'd previously have to almost close everything to use it.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2021, 08:17:32 AM »
It's interesting how completely PulseAudio and systemd won their respective battles, for all their issues.
Yeah it was weird.  You turn your back for one minute and Pulseaudio is the default, systemd is integrated even though it seems to be the opposite of the UNIX mantra (one tool does one thing but does it well), Microsoft embraces open source and Stallman turns out to be a paedo.

Funny old world, eh?

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2021, 08:25:29 AM »
I should have made clear - I think they won out in each case because they solved a bunch of major problems sufficiently well that their issues weren't sufficient to argue against them.

The monolithic-ness of systemd is overstated, even the bits of it are quite tightly coupled.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2021, 08:39:22 AM »
Yeah I just found the whole systemd thing a bit surprising.  I was fully into Linux 2005-2010ish, loved reading 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar', Slashdot, all that stuff.  Even went to a few Linux nerd conventions.  Kinda drifted away from it now and settled with the mindset 'whatever gets the job done is the right software to use'.

I'm sure systemd is fine, it just seemed complete opposite to what I was expecting.  I mean, wasn't a large part of the change driven by how poorly Linux handled lid closure events on laptops?

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2021, 08:58:39 AM »
I don't think so - I don't think either Red Hat or Debian would be that fussed by that in isolation - but I guess it's an obvious desktop-user-facing example of needing system services to respond to external events in a somewhat coordinated fashion.

Describing system services in config files[1] rather than (some dialect of) shellscript brought a whole bunch of practical advantages in itself, and then immediately allowed systemd to expose a bunch of novel/little-used Linux features that would otherwise have been a considerable pain for most developers/packagers and sysadmins to make use of (like all the security stuff).

I think it helped that the ideological arguments against systemd were undermined by 1) existing init and event systems already being something of tightly coupled mess in practice, but tightly coupled to bash and god-knows what else and 2) 98% of init and udev scripts and the like being copy-pasted from existing scripts that 3) arguably violated the Unix philosophy by being a rats-nest desperately trying to handle all the things involved in service startup and teardown (even if they were calling a bunch of tiny tools in the process).
 1. Like Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris already did. Noting also Upstart.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2021, 11:20:05 AM »
Quote
I guess it's an obvious desktop-user-facing example of needing system services to respond to external events in a somewhat coordinated fashion.
Yeah I think I read it in an article about how systemd was actually needed and a good thing.  Although I do find amusement in that he was responsible for both Pulseaudio and Systemd, reminds me of this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Midgley_Jr.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2021, 07:41:57 AM »
MiniDLNA on the media server to serve up the files via UPNP.  Again piece of piss to setup, seems to work with just about anything, VLC on Android, my Sony Bravia media player, PS4 media player etc.

Give me some commands to get these cunts* working via that software, and I'll sudo ping -f, anycunt you want, round the clock.
 

*Marantz M-CR612 + raspberry pi xubuntu 

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2021, 09:18:00 AM »
From memory, it's as easy as typing in 'sudo apt install minidlna' and edit /etc/minidlna.conf so that it has a media_dir.  You might want to do an incantation to get it to run at every boot (maybe 'update-rc.d minidlna enable').

Glue a bit of deluge in there and it's a great little torrentbox/media server.

MojoJojo

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2021, 11:12:43 AM »
I find that linux is still missing a couple of things that windows has.

None of the remote desktop options are as seamless as Windows RDP. This is frustrating, as it sort of had the idea a long time ago with X11, but X11 just doesn't work well with any latency and now it seems impossible to fix. Generally the video encoding (I use NoMachine) work better but no where near as seamlessly as RDP, which is good enough that I sometimes get confused about what machine I'm working on.

Secondly, no CodeWright. But that's more to do with hardware engineers outputting log files designed around the unique features* of an IDE that hasn't been updated in 20 years.

Perhaps minor, but the two niggles that have kept me using Windows at work.

(*namely, being able to handle very large files, very long lines, and do "selective display" - only display lines that match some reg ex)

touchingcloth

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2021, 11:26:35 AM »
RDP and enterprise-type stuff more generally really are handled better by Windows than any other OS. The most seamless remote access experiences I have had on Mac and *nix machines have been via things like Team Viewer, but those come without a lot of the native features which make Windows RDP so useful.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2021, 11:36:38 AM »
Which is weird given Unix had some VDI stuff in the late 90's/2000's that was not really any different to using a physical machine.

I'd really like to go back to that. Lugging laptops around is really quite primitive.

Blumf

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2021, 12:04:04 PM »
(*namely, being able to handle very large files, very long lines, and do "selective display" - only display lines that match some reg ex)

In vim

:vimgrep pattern %
:cwindow

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2021, 01:30:09 PM »
And stuff like this:
https://github.com/davidpeckham/sublime-filterlines

But I can't speak to very large files.

touchingcloth

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2021, 02:19:56 PM »
Which is weird given Unix had some VDI stuff in the late 90's/2000's that was not really any different to using a physical machine.

I'd really like to go back to that. Lugging laptops around is really quite primitive.

Windows enterprise stuff feels to me like it came out of nowhere. As a kid I used DOS through to XP, and it always felt a bit primitive. I started working for an IT company in 2006, and that was when my first experience of corporate Windows and things like RDP was, which was way more sophisticated than my consumer experience of Windows, yet by the same token feels like it hasn’t progressed one jot in the subsequent 15 years. Besides Powershell I can’t really think of a notable change which has come out with Windows (though there must be lots, of course), and RDP feels essentially identical.

Blumf

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2021, 02:37:40 PM »
I think the lower attention to RDP on *nix systems is that you can just use SSH and save bandwidth. It's not like Windows where you need to point and click even on technical/admin tasks.

If you do need the desktop, that stuff is there, RDP, VNC, X11 forwarding, etc. But why would you be using graphics intense desktop apps over a network connection?

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2021, 02:51:10 PM »
I think the lower attention to RDP on *nix systems is that you can just use SSH and save bandwidth. It's not like Windows where you need to point and click even on technical/admin tasks.

If you do need the desktop, that stuff is there, RDP, VNC, X11 forwarding, etc. But why would you be using graphics intense desktop apps over a network connection?

Graphical terminals are not a new thing though. They were a natural evolution of the client-server model and are much cleaner than the 'peer-to-peer' hybrid model where one peer is a local application (or fully fledged os) and the other peer is a server. I'd expect the way 'cloud computing' works these days we'd be moving back towards that, I suppose we are in some ways with the 'terminal' being the browser or an electron client to some web backend in a lot of cases.

I agree a terminal may be enough for administration. My memory is crap and I don't like making things harder than they have to, but I personally find learning a cli tool, even if it's difficult is easier because I only have to learn it once and it tends to stay the same where as guis change and move things around, sometimes to help but also to try and resell certification (hi Oracle!).

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2021, 04:14:04 PM »
It's not like Windows where you need to point and click even on technical/admin tasks.
I don't think this is particularly true. Even if there's not a proper PowerShell module, there'll be a C# API (which you can trivially call from PowerShell), and if there isn't a C# API there'll be a Win32 API (which you can also call from PowerShell fairly easily).

MojoJojo

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2021, 04:26:36 PM »
I have tried vim before, I think it struggles a bit with large files. I think I have tried sublime before, I can't remember why I didn't go with it. Cheers though, I'll check them out again when I next try to find a replacement for codewright.

I think the lower attention to RDP on *nix systems is that you can just use SSH and save bandwidth. It's not like Windows where you need to point and click even on technical/admin tasks.

If you do need the desktop, that stuff is there, RDP, VNC, X11 forwarding, etc. But why would you be using graphics intense desktop apps over a network connection?

Well, on obvious case is something like looking at large log files - technically yes you could do that over the terminal but GUIs are a good thing. When you've used Windows RDP a bit the question becomes why wouldn't you use the desktop? Why work differently on a remote machine.

Yes, there are alternatives but none of them are as a good as windows RDP. They all suffer some amount of lag which is irritating and distracting. I think the problem with Linux is X11 - it does what you want for remote desktop, with a client/server model built into the very basics of the WIMP toolkit, but was designed before people had to worry about latency, so just can't deal with it at all. But since it exists it's hard to fit in a new client/server model that can cope better with latency.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2021, 04:33:23 PM »
I suppose I really meant are we there for normal users.  If the staggering editors choice stats in the below article are anything to go by, it is more than there in respect of high-end server and supercomputer use.


https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/linux-statistics/#gref

Blumf

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2021, 04:41:46 PM »
I don't think this is particularly true. Even if there's not a proper PowerShell module, there'll be a C# API (which you can trivially call from PowerShell), and if there isn't a C# API there'll be a Win32 API (which you can also call from PowerShell fairly easily).

Well, it was true for a large chunk of Window's history, and still is in practice, particularly if you're managing third-party software that only presents point+click interfaces. And even now, you're talking about win32 calls!? That's stuff is horrible even in it's native C code environment, never mind at an interactive command prompt. A prime example of where Windows fails for admin tasks, if you're having to resort to cobbling together stuff with low-level C APIs (and even .Net stuff), you're environment has failed.

Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2021, 04:45:44 PM »
If you do need the desktop, that stuff is there, RDP, VNC, X11 forwarding, etc. But why would you be using graphics intense desktop apps over a network connection?

Excuse my ignorance, but are you referring to Teamviewer style connections, or also more generally to virtual machines over a network?  X11 forwarding sounds like the latter to me.

The latter has an obvious use-case for graphical environments, as they are used by general employees rather than IT people.  In an office, you can centralise computing power and use it more efficiently over a local network.

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2021, 04:48:58 PM »
And even now, you're talking about win32 calls!? That's stuff is horrible even in it's native C code environment, never mind at an interactive command prompt.
As far as I can see there's plenty of stuff in Linux that you can't manage without either 1) writing code yourself to interact with Linux C APIs or 2) extremely heavy use-case-specific end-to-end solutions. Cgroups and namespaces, last time I looked. (systemd notably being a significant step forward in actually making this stuff available to end-users, albeit again in a fairly use-case specific form.)

Edit: Or stuff where, at least if you're interested in doing hardware stuff across a slightly diverse set of setups, it's a crapshoot what the appropriate API will be and whether it'll be exposed via kernfs/vfs or something else for any given driver. GPIO control, for example.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2021, 04:52:10 PM »
I have tried vim before, I think it struggles a bit with large files. I think I have tried sublime before, I can't remember why I didn't go with it. Cheers though, I'll check them out again when I next try to find a replacement for codewright.

Well, on obvious case is something like looking at large log files - technically yes you could do that over the terminal but GUIs are a good thing. When you've used Windows RDP a bit the question becomes why wouldn't you use the desktop? Why work differently on a remote machine.

I find using less (or less +F to tail) way better than gui tools when it comes to handling large logs, on windows I've used baretail and reckon it's worse.

Have you tried running an RDP server on your linux machines to see if that performs better?

Blumf

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Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2021, 05:09:31 PM »
I have tried vim before, I think it struggles a bit with large files. I think I have tried sublime before, I can't remember why I didn't go with it. Cheers though, I'll check them out again when I next try to find a replacement for codewright.

How large is a large log file for you? In theory 64-bit vim should handle exabyte sized files, although how snappy, I've no idea. A quick check on my home dir and the biggest text file I can see is only 192MB, so not exactly pushing it. Loaded okay and vimgrep was near instant.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Are we finally there with Linux?
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2021, 05:12:31 PM »
Even in windows I've resorted to using gvim to open large logs when other more gui-based editors have baulked at the file size.

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