The Mental Militia Forums

Special Interest => Open Source Tech Gulch => Topic started by: mi6a2lm on March 20, 2012, 02:29:14 pm

Title: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 20, 2012, 02:29:14 pm
I tried updating from Ubuntu 9.10 to 10.04 LTS by 'net, CD and Kubuntu CD 10.04.  All couldn't talk to the screen - it booted up but everything was so distorted.

So, I have DVD/CD burning capability.  (HP Pavillion AMD 64x2)

Req's:

---
Broadcom wireless b43 thingy from the cmd line
---

Could care less about the distro - I've had RedHat/Gentoo/Slackware/Mandrake and a few others at one time or another.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Bill St. Clair on March 20, 2012, 03:42:53 pm
Slackware or Debian. Debian tends to have better hardware compatibility and more packages, but Slackware is a perennial favorite, though I haven't tried it in a few years.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 20, 2012, 10:06:33 pm
Tried Slackware 13.37 ISO install - nearly same result as the Ubuntu 10.04 upgrade from 9.10 - the screen was distorted like a weird resolution was default.

Put Ubuntu 9.10 back on and it works fine - except I can't find my b43 fwcutter for wireless and can't install flash.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: slidemansailor on March 20, 2012, 10:10:03 pm
I've had two or three failures to download/install Linux. I pay good clean FRNs (like ten bucks) for a DVD burned with a clean distro and it works every time.  An hour of download has too much opportunity for some key ingredient to be corrupted, IMHO.

P.S. I like Mint 11 a whole bunch more than Ubunto ... for cleanliness and responsiveness, though I admit Ubunto does more stuff for you.

Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 20, 2012, 10:23:20 pm
I've had two or three failures to download/install Linux. I pay good clean FRNs (like ten bucks) for a DVD burned with a clean distro and it works every time.  An hour of download has too much opportunity for some key ingredient to be corrupted, IMHO.

P.S. I like Mint 11 a whole bunch more than Ubunto ... for cleanliness and responsiveness, though I admit Ubunto does more stuff for you.



Well I've got a few blank DVD's left - haven't tried Mint.  ... a possible problem could be the lasers are dirty/dying but it reads the old Ubuntu 9.10 fine.  Worst case I do Win7 w/DAZ loader and Ubuntu 9.10 dual boot.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 20, 2012, 11:12:21 pm
D/l'd Mint 11 - same screen problems - back to Ubuntu 9.10 w/ethernet cable: 

Pics of screen for Mint:

(http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/1642/20120320205946.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/195/20120320205946.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/438/20120320210239.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/542/20120320210239.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on March 21, 2012, 08:20:47 pm
Try disabling compiz, or before you log in, make sure you install gnome-panel and run regular gnome 2.0 without effects (without compiz, that is) see if that helps.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 22, 2012, 01:34:29 pm
Try disabling compiz, or before you log in, make sure you install gnome-panel and run regular gnome 2.0 without effects (without compiz, that is) see if that helps.

THX.  I'll look into it.  The problem reminds me of the old days when choosing horizontal and vertical freqs when installing Linux - it sort of looked like what I got if you got the freqs wrong.  I might just do 9.10/Mint dual boot - and try Mint advanced setup if it has it - it seems all these 10.xx + distros are having problems talking to my laptop screen.


Other news:

On now-unsupported 9.10 got Flash 10 working.  D/L from Adobe website, did 'Extract Here', found libflashplayer.so and put it in /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins - restarted Firefox and it worked.

---
j@j:/usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins$ ls
libflashplayer.so
---

Also, got Adblock up and running.  Once you get to Adblock page try to d/l it - if your version of Firefox is outdated it will give you some choices of older versions.


Still working on the b43 wireless issue ...
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 22, 2012, 03:50:18 pm
getting closer on b43:

(http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/2499/screenshotwzd.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/28/screenshotwzd.png/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

don't know if can read it - this is 'hardware drivers'

---
fwcutter is a tool which can extract firmware from various source files.It's written for BCM43xx driver files.It grabs firmware for BCM43xx from website and install it.
---

I click 'activate' and it says it's getting from a 'website' - nothing happens then I rebooted twice and wireless is still off
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on March 22, 2012, 04:10:27 pm
got it (wireless)!

went to https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx#b43_-_No_Internet_access

did this (had to goto synaptic package manager and remove the other b43-fwcutter)

---
b43-fwcutter is located on the Ubuntu install media under ../pool/main/b/b43-fwcutter/ and patch is located under ../pool/main/p/patch/ or both in the official repositories online.

Note: In some versions (10.04 and 11.04 at least) there is not a /pool/main/p/patch/ If this file is missing then you don't need it. In this case you only need to install /pool/main/b/b43-fwcutter by following the instructions below.

Double click on the package to install
---

(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQZPvD7JYMt323jgRAS_aKE0-7aS95Pw7MRUyvRes2vm3OFcgrN)
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on March 23, 2012, 04:02:49 am
THX.  I'll look into it.  The problem reminds me of the old days when choosing horizontal and vertical freqs when installing Linux - it sort of looked like what I got if you got the freqs wrong.  I might just do 9.10/Mint dual boot - and try Mint advanced setup if it has it - it seems all these 10.xx + distros are having problems talking to my laptop screen.

It is also possible you may have one of those intel boards that dislikes the intel XXX whatever driver for video.  I ran into that on a Linux Certified laptop (that's the name of the company) which apparently makes 100% linux compatible laptops (not cheap, and they're indian sounding but they live in california, or did when I called their support, screwy accents good english language use.)  I forget the exact issue but an Ubuntu upgrade for the 10.04 LTS went screwy big time.

Frankly I'm not sure why you're messing with 10.04 LTS when 12 LTS is out in beta.  If you're that obsessed with LTS, just get the beta, and upgrade to full metapackage when it hits mainstream.  You do keep good backups, right?  I mean, you're not having to backup all your data each time you reinstall, right?  ;)

That said, I would migrate away from Ubuntu given the choice.  Mint seems solid.  Debian is still rock solid but many outdated package versions and their distro strives to be pure free software by default (and also reliable and fairly bug free, which it is) and then there's Fedora, which has come a LONG way in being not only Red Hat's testbed distro for experimental and new software, but also among the slowest patcher in the world.  50 patches out on release, and it takes a whole night to successfully pull them.  Suse is nice, and Kubuntu is breaking free from Ubuntu, especially since Canonical says they're getting cut loose on support, or some such deal, I didn't read the full details, something about Kubuntu being supported by the Kubuntu Alliance/Group/Council or whatever the head rabbis at Kubuntu call themselves.  There are choices, and quite honestly, if your system CAN run KDE 4 fast enough, it is a remarkable desktop environment, still not mature, but at least all the functionality hasn't been stripped from it, they're adding it, not pulling it, and while its cpu monitoring applets and other system monitoring applets aren't nearly as polished as those found in Gnome, you still get full functionality now, and more importantly, not only can you still install the disk utilities found in gnome and command line (Palimpsest is still among the best combination SMART montoring utility AND drive mount management utility I've seen) but KDE 4 brings a fantastic mounting and unmounting utility of its own.  All in all it is making progress.  What I miss is an easy to find way to type in where I want the file browser to go, and it seems all but windows have gone screwy on that issue.  (Sick, isn't it?  It seems many of the graphics environment and development environment people have gone to war with the userland as of late.  Grub2 comes to mind.  It used to be easy to use one removable drive to mount 15 different systems if you wanted to, and keep all the kernels on one easily removed and secured thumb drive.  That's no longer the case, as now, if you run grub update, you've just lost all the prior entries in your boot menu that weren't relevant to that system.  You can't just edit menu.lst anymore.  What a crock of shit.  The system went from being easy to administer to being a total pain in the ass!!  Instead of adding a one liner to menu.lst and not having to do a damn thing else, even being able to pull different kernels for different machines, your grub update now pulls only the localized stuff for THAT machine.  Not only that, but the last time I dealt with it, I wasn't able to find enough documentation to actually tweak it.  I can still run the original grub, but Ubuntu now forces grub2 by default.  Another point against it, in my book.  If they keep it up, I may have to go back to lilo.

I got into Linux because I liked having control over my system, but the way things are going, I hate to say this, but I'm finding that lately, all the companies behind linux are either trying to dumb down the last great information and work OS I've used, or they've taken a payoff from Microsoft or the Federales or SOMEONE who wants them to dumb down and make the OS uncontrollable, all the while Windows is making strides in the OTHER direction and actually cleaning up their act!!!  (Well, short of still having NSA/CIA back doors default in the system, and nobody but them knowing about it since their source code stays secret.)  We can say that it started with Gentoo's founder/creator/head guy taking a hugely paid job at Microsoft, and then quitting in disgust saying that they lied to him and weren't looking to interoperate with Linux but merely wanted an insider to help them sabotage and undermine Linux.  Nothing new.  Then a year or two later, Gentoo dumped the stage 1 install and became just another "we compile it for you because its too easy for you to break it if we don't" distribution, despite the fact that gentoo was a GEEK distribution for people who actually KNEW what the f*** we were doing, or at least more so than the average "I want someone else to think for me" user.  Quite a few of the ebuilds in the old days had lots of breakage.  If that's been fixed, it might be worth going back.  I don't know yet.  Lastly, as for the toolchain build, it was either Gentoo or LFS.  LFS is a bitch, though, especially the early steps of building your own from scratch.  Damn fun though.  That said, it seems it has become far easier to attain full control over Windows (and you can seriously pare down the install and what goes into it, if you install the right software and slipstream the install disk to only what you need/want, on there from the very beginning.)  Linux, on the other hand, is being slowly dragged into the majority's direction, and the majority doesn't value a secure, easily controlled system where all the options are at the user's discretion but the user has to know a little bit about his tools (sure, you have to su or sudo to do it, but that's a good thing) and is now, instead heading towards the "but we want all our options chosen for us, we want to ONLY have the ability to customize our desktops, which means we get to set a wallpaper, isn't that difficult enough?"  The latest Ubuntu feels as if I'm using a cellphone (and I hear that's exactly where the Canonical people are going with it, which means Ub 13 will be unusuable on any desktop of any serious power, but it will make your smartphone feel like it actually has an OS with options, sort of.))

The last ones left that are fairly powerful and offer some degree of control, are Slack (obviously), LFS (lots of work until you build a basic toolchain you can trust and then get to work on building the rest, including NEW toolchains.  LFS requires a build environment that is trusted for a trusted system, and usually requires you start with an already working and trusted system, and there are also the BSD's (not Linux, obviously also, and you may as well be learning a whole new OS, and I do mean OS, not just distro.)  I believe Fedora also has a "security" distribution that offers a lot more networking and security geek options (including supposedly a full suite of network hacking software, netmap, netcat, wireshark, etc, alongside the usual firewall and wireless options.)  Hope that helps.  Frankly I believe Ubuntu may deliberately be trying to get ditched.  Fedora, on the other hand, despite being a full graphical and KDE at that, desktop, is actually not only highly usable from both CLI and GUi, but the GUI offers the kind of control a user might, you know, WANT if he wants to actually fully control and administer his system, without having to go to CLI every 5 minutes to change a GUI option, presuming there's a config file for it that's in some sort of known, documented or guessable location, because the "preferences" or "options" menu only has one option "choose background picture" because we all know that's the most important option a desktop "options" menu should have, right?!

{end pissed off rant}
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: IrishPyroWolf1994 on March 30, 2012, 11:26:02 pm
I had a very similar problem. I used Debian linux (except for...questionable internet activities like reading and posting on here) until that stopped working...then I used OpenSUSE. I personally prefer OpenSUSE in KDE though that is a personal preference
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: defenestrate on March 31, 2012, 03:35:00 pm
The distribution of Linux that I use most outside of corporate environments is backtrack, but it is more of a security auditing distribution. Still the GUI is a bit less specialized so I will often use it as a live test disk. It can be installed and common packages installed from binary or source, so it can be plenty full-featured, and it lacks the bloat and overwindowification of many popular distos.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: lee n. field on May 19, 2012, 08:46:27 pm
I tried updating from Ubuntu 9.10 to 10.04 LTS by 'net, CD and Kubuntu CD 10.04.  All couldn't talk to the screen - it booted up but everything was so distorted.

So, I have DVD/CD burning capability.  (HP Pavillion AMD 64x2)

Req's:

---
Broadcom wireless b43 thingy from the cmd line
---


Ubuntu is to the next LTS after the one you're on now.  I'd go to that.

Upgrading version (vs. new install) can be iffy.  If you have your /home directory on a different partition, I'd wipe and do a fresh install.

(Be warned, the jump from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 is "disconcerting".   As in, nothing works the way you've gotten used to.   So much so, I'm not using it.  If you choke on the new Gnome, try Xubuntu.)

Quote
Could care less about the distro - I've had RedHat/Gentoo/Slackware/Mandrake and a few others at one time or another.

I've stuck with Debian (or it's polished up descendant Ubuntu) since about 2000, on account of it's package management.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: lee n. field on May 19, 2012, 08:49:02 pm
Slackware or Debian. Debian tends to have better hardware compatibility and more packages, but Slackware is a perennial favorite, though I haven't tried it in a few years.

You want a really, really old version of Slack?

I've got the Walnut Creek CDRom Linux Toolkit, a 6 CD set, dating from 1997. 

I'm tempted to load up Debian 1.2 on something, and see if I can apt-get my way up to current.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: lee n. field on May 19, 2012, 08:50:07 pm
Tried Slackware 13.37 ISO install - nearly same result as the Ubuntu 10.04 upgrade from 9.10 - the screen was distorted like a weird resolution was default.

Intel 910 chipset, by any chance?  If so, you may be stuck.

Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: lee n. field on May 19, 2012, 08:56:12 pm
I've had two or three failures to download/install Linux. I pay good clean FRNs (like ten bucks) for a DVD burned with a clean distro and it works every time.  An hour of download has too much opportunity for some key ingredient to be corrupted, IMHO.

I was going to say Ubuntu will send you a CD for the asking, but it looks like they don't do that anymore.

Go for a Debian net install (http://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst).  The CD image you download is competitively small.  This will install a basic system, and walk through a filewise download for further packages.  If you're having problems downloading a full sized iso file, this will likely work better.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on May 20, 2012, 12:45:39 am
As I said in my extremely long rant sometime ago, just get ubuntu 12.04 LTS now that its gone mainstream, and when you finish, if you dislike (or utterly hate) the new Unity Gnome desktop manager, simply "apt-get install gnome-panel" from a command prompt,  or search for gnome-panel from within aptitude, synaptic or software center (I prefer using the other two, I despise the software center, too much face bookish theme to it, I like a software manager that FEELS like a software manager, aptitude and synaptic both feel that way, aptitude runs from command prompt, and synaptic can be quickly installed from terminal via apt-get install synaptic once gnome is running (gnome being your standard ubuntu desktop, unity being the very specific "customized" ubuntu version of the gnome desktop.)

Anyways, hope that helps.  Just get the default install CD, or try their bittorent version.  I would get the alternate install since it gives more options and pull it via bittorent.  The reason for this is because instead of straight CRC corrected downloads, you can get fully SHA/MD checksumming of the data you download, so any bits that got corrupted are redownloaded until they check out.  Infinitely helpful.  I once had to use an encrypted file server on a home connection at a user's site because their network card was damaged and corrupted a few bits every megabyte.  With the inherent error checking present in encrypted (certificate secured) connections, we got to watch exactly how much of the data said user's laptop mangled right there from the FTP connection's status output.  A red failure line every few minutes.  All finished transfers were successful.  So use bittorent to pull the image file for your chosen linux and simply FORCE or REQUIRE encryption from the options menu (you may have to navigate a bit.)  You can also limit how much bandwidth the client uses while pulling files and uploading to the web.  Can even go into single digit kilobits with some clients.  UTorrent is good for the windows users.  If you already have a linux, gnome comes with Transmission and KDE comes with KTorrent default.  Those are self checking protocols (bittorent) so it should do the trick, though you may have to wait a few hours or a day to get it.

Good luck.  (If you had that many issues with firmware, remember that on the Debian side ALL of your proprietary firmware hardware will require installs be done by you, the user, Debian does not host anything that infringes on intellectual property or patents or anything of that sort.)
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on December 18, 2013, 12:03:02 am
Kubuntu 11.10 found wi-fi on a newer HP Pavilion Entertainment PC - dv4-1225dx, AMD Turion x 2 - apparently it has current support - used ethernet to connect initially with startup disk.  Selected third-party apps download and got the blue-wifi indicator.  Hooah.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on December 19, 2013, 02:37:56 am
Kubuntu 11.10 found wi-fi on a newer HP Pavilion Entertainment PC - dv4-1225dx, AMD Turion x 2 - apparently it has current support - used ethernet to connect initially with startup disk.  Selected third-party apps download and got the blue-wifi indicator.  Hooah.

They all do.

Also, a year or two ago, when I last checked, I was also VERY impressed with Desktop BSD.  It ain't Linux, but its still a POSIX compliant operating system (meaning Unix compatible, like Linux... and BSD IS unix, actually, in case you're curious.)  Course that's a whole new setup to learn, since the commandline toys are different.
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: mi6a2lm on May 04, 2014, 10:53:35 am
My bank must have recently changed one small thing on the 'Transfer Money between Accounts' page - everything else looks and acts exactly the same.  There are two drop-down bars for 'From Account' and 'To Account'.  You choose which 'From' account, then you choose 'To Account'.  Once the 'To Account' is chosen, a little Javascript drop-down rectangle shows up below showing choices like 'One Time, Send Now', 'Recurring' etc.  Once you choose then you can click on 'Continue' (which is previously unclickable until you choose) and go on to the next page.

This time it didn't show the 'One Time, Send Now' etc. and the 'Continue' button remained unclickable.  Well, it was a weekend so maybe they were doing maintenance or something.  Since I had changed nothing since the last time I decided to wait.  Tried several different things:  Waiting, making sure I had changed nothing (JavaScript on), calling bank ('Is your JavaScript on?' :angry:  'What browser are you using?'  'Mac or PC?'  'Ubuntu Linux w/Firefox.'  'OK, is that a Mac or PC?'   :angry: :angry:  'Have you tried another browser like Explorer?'  'Don't have one.'), I decided it was time to get some DVD+R's, burn some important stuff, make sure (twice) important stuff was burned and try to solve the problem.

I still had the Slackware 13.37 which distorted the screen but I decided to d/l latest Kubuntu and Ubuntu and try those (I had a 50 pk DVD+R from Walmart, $21.00).  Same result.

So, I went to Ubuntu Software Center, tried update (it failed being 9.10 and unsupported) but it gave me a chance to update to 10.04 LTS.  Forgetting that I had previously tried 10.04 with the same result (distorted screen), I updated thinking if this worked then I could take a chance and keep updating (10.xx to 11.xx to 12.xx to ???).  Of course, once I rebooted I got the distorted screen.

Back to 9.10 again, and getting wireless up and the few addons I use and a few other things (always d/l'ing 'older versions').  I decide maybe it's that my old 3.5.3 Firefox isn't cutting it with my bank anymore.  So I decide to install a browser or two.  [I previously tried to d/l Chrome but it wouldn't let me install because dependencies couldn't be satisfied.]  Googled and followed commandline instructions for Chromium.  Got it working but w/same results on 'Transfer Accounts' page.  OK, let's try Opera again.  [Just like Chrome I had tried to get it working before but my distro was probably too old.]

This time, just like with Chromium, I googled 'Opera Ubuntu 9.10' and got some pages with commandline instructions.  Copied and pasted.  I should mention both browsers returned numerous 'failed to fetch' / 'can't satisfy blah blah blah' but I continued anyway.  Turns out Opera worked on the banking site!  It also 'worked' with those sites mentioned in the 'websites I stopped clicking on' thread.

Additionally, I did the 'Inspect element' w/Opera in the area I was having problems with and it came up with 'Error:  something something keepalive something something.js' so maybe it has something to with that.

Anyways, problem solved.  Lesson:  Have two totally different browsers just in case.  FF for most everything but Opera for a few things.  I am thinking of d/l'ing BSD and Xubuntu and playing with them.  I installed FreeBSD way back when I had 10 or so distros to play with on an old eMachines 550MHz.  Haven't tried Xubuntu.

Only thing different now is the red error circle in upper right panel due to Opera install but so what.  Edit:  Click on thumbnail to see what I'm talking about - it's just the very top of a screen grab (43 KB).  I guess it depends on what kind of 'unmet dependencies' one has - as in
"Error!  Engine failed to download into your car."  versus  "Error!  Only three out of four hubcaps were downloaded.  Would you like to continue?"

(http://s21.postimg.org/v48szjdxf/Screenshot_2.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/v48szjdxf/)

Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on May 06, 2014, 10:32:19 am
Brother, that lesson about two or more browsers was valid even for those of us who are also MCSP's.  We use explorer for all server side activities on a windows server.  And occasionally we can't pull something up.  And we use firefox, or opera, or even *gasp* safari.

It happens.  Granted, when surfing the open web, its all firefox or opera with a massive amount of validated script blockers.  Its like having sex.  Internet explorer is like having skin on skin contact.  The web is like a disease ridden slut in many aspects.  So you validate input.  You validate scripts.  Is it harder?  Sure it is.  But saying "you don't know how" is like saying "I am not wearing a condom even if that chick's been around the entire town" or "I'm not going to wear a condom even if that guy has weird red things on his thingy." 

You get it.  Yeah.... its like that.  Scary too.  Thankfully unlike herpes and humans, this stuff, you CAN back up the machine, put it down, and reinstall it.  Most of us don't know the Resurrect spell yet.  And its lvl 7 anyways... most of us who aren't casters won't know it anyways. :D
Title: Re: need new Linux distro advice
Post by: rbryant on June 23, 2014, 10:33:17 pm
I think Netrunner looks very interesting, and plan on installing it on a little sub-laptop I've got laying around (as soon as I get a free evening).