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Zygomorphic
05-26-2013, 07:08 PM
Hello again, everyone. It seems that we haven't discussed LINUX here in a while. I thought it is about time to change that, since summer is here, and I am nearly done rebuilding my laptop. Considering what I said above, I figured I would go ahead and share my experiences with the system.

I had mentioned previously that I was planning on putting Windows in a VM, and going Penguin all the way. :)Well, my friends, that has happened, and I am running LINUX Mint 14 on my Seagate Hybrid drive (15 sec boot time :)). I have Windows 7 in a VM now, and it seems happy there, and is easier to manage than Windows on a drive with LINUX. I have to say, getting rid of Windows made things easier, since only Windows doesn't respect other people's bootloaders, and is arrogant enough to think that it is the only OS you want. :mad:

I did some research on the best partitioning scheme for LINUX, and which filesystems to use for which partitions, and so this is the partitioning scheme that I chose, given that I am planning on having multiple VMs on this machine, so the maximum storage is ideal.
/dev/sdb2 /boot 255 MB ext2
/dev/sdb3 Extended partition
/dev/sdb6 / 50 GB ext4
/dev/sdb7 /home 418 GB ext4
/dev/sdb5 swap 32 GB swap

I have 16 GB of RAM, and so went with the rule-of-thumb 1.5-2x RAM for swap space. I don't tend to hibernate my system, but if I ever do, I want the option of doing so. I could probably have gone with 16 GB, and if I were more pressed for space, I would have.

I've heard that some suggest splitting /boot and the / partitions, so I decided that it can't hurt, and it can keep some of my other stuff separate. If you guys don't think that this is necessary, I'd like to know that for the future.

I'm a firm believer in separating the /home partition from everything else, especially since I sometimes change LINUX distros, and this allows me to preserve all my files. :) For someone who just wants to try LINUX out, I go with the simple partitioning scheme of (/ and swap), but since I use LINUX for my daily tasks, I wanted a better system.

TODO:
* Install nVidia drivers to obtain better graphics performance and power management.
* Download LINUX kernel sources and learn more about building LINUX kernels.
* Try out other distros and configs in VM - more learning.
* Upgrade to LINUX Mint 15 when it comes out.

Any thoughts and/or suggestions? I'm happy to have feedback, and would like people's thoughts. I'm particularly interested in starting a flame war about distros, as well as filesystems. :cool:

sectionate
05-26-2013, 08:23 PM
You should probably find a hardcore *.nix forum, get better help. Best I can do is send you a Slackware 3.4 cd that I purchased (shipping) in 1996 and *****X

DaemonCantor
05-26-2013, 08:54 PM
Zygo, Good thoughts but I would suggest to have your Boot 250 to 300mgs, Swap 24 to 64gigs , and do a NTFS(just for windows BS that might need an easier rout to transfer) of 50 to 100gigs and a Single Home (the rest of your available) , Just because I like it simple. As to the VM's good fer you there plus with the NTFS Partition you'll find it's easier to work with Windows from the VM side.

Now as to Mint...It's got too much Spearmint in it for me I like the Jolly Green German Giant OpenSuse...It has more. plus a larger User/Developer Base than even Ubuntu(Which Sucks Donkey B**ls right now)...but in the past I've waded through the Hoops to gent Gentoo going and yes it was FAST even on the regular HD's but too much of a PAIN in the A** to have to compile everything just to get a Progie working... Most of the other Distro's are just a rehash of one of the Base 4 anyway so why the hell would you want to play with chance like that??? It's like playing Russian Roulette with an Automatic!

Gorman
05-27-2013, 06:30 AM
Addressing your swap and RAM probably won't fit in your CPU's cache and you will take a performance hit. Monitor your RAM usage and make sure you really need that much swap.

Zygomorphic
05-27-2013, 10:28 AM
Addressing your swap and RAM probably won't fit in your CPU's cache and you will take a performance hit. Monitor your RAM usage and make sure you really need that much swap.

Didn't think about that, and I will definitely reconsider. I have 6 MB L3 Cache (i7-2630QM). All told, I should have 48 GB of address space, which should be more than enough, considering that I don't use above 1/2 my RAM.

billyray520
05-27-2013, 01:48 PM
That's an interesting setup! I am more of a casual user of Linux, So I use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I have:

C: drive = 256 GB SSD Windows 7 Pro Boot disk and system files
D: drive = 1 TB hdd which is partitioned thus:

750 GB Windows Data etc.
10 GB Ubuntu swap
240 GB Ubuntu boot and / including Home



Because Linux boots from the second drive, I use <DEL> to go into Bios and then boot 2nd drive to start Linux. Otherwise, default startup is Windows 7. I like this arrangement since Windows is where my business stuff is, which I use during normal business hours.

The 10 GB partition is way more than enough swap for me, and I have 32 GB of RAM.

I use Linux primarily to maintain another platform's version of my business database which I have programmed in OpenOffice (now Libre Office in Ubuntu) It uses a local MySql server setup. But I also have a web based MySql server which mirrors whatever I have in Ubuntu. That way I have access to the same data from my Acer Aspire One Netbook which is also running Ubuntu 12.

Unfortunately for me, being a business that uses a desktop database system to manage their business, I continue to find Linux to be woefully inadequate when compared to Windows Access. I consider OpenOffice/Libre Office to be the best Desktop database system in Linux, and I've tried everything available. IMHO, Linux will never get off the ground until it can seriously compete with Microsoft Access. It can compete with every other Office Application, but LibreOffice BASE is just a ******* child that suffers more from neglect and mindless tinkering. :(

@DaemonCantor: Do you hate Ubuntu because of Unity? If so, I can understand that. :p

Nodens
05-27-2013, 06:43 PM
Zygomorphic, since you will be using a lot of VMs you should consider going the Hypervisor approach (Xen). It is much better performance-wise and allows passthrough of physical hardware (IOMMU)--provided the CPU supports VT-d.

Regarding swap partition 32gb is very excessive. For hibernation to work you need equal size to RAM. Linux is much better with memory management and swap usage will be probably very very low on a 16GB RAM system. You should monitor actual commit usage values:) All my 16GB RAM linux boxes operate with 4GB swap that is largely unused...

Regarding the partitioning scheme /boot is only suggested to be on a separate partition for recovery reasons (Redundant since proper recovery always needs you to boot external media to be on the safe side) and due to some limitations of GRUB and LVM. You're not using LVM though (neither I suggest you to) so there's absolutely no reason for /boot to be separate. I can tell you of a good reason for it to be on / partition though: Not having to worry about its size, amount of kernels you can have installed etc etc.
There was also a limitation of GRUB not being able to boot from ext4 partitions but that is not the case anymore. GRUB2 supports ext4 since version 1.97. There's really no point at this point in separating /boot (unless you have some very specific requirement).

Regarding file system performance, ext4 is the only thing you should use anyhow for a desktop. Other filesystems such as xfs, jfs, reiserFS have their place in specific scenarios where performance tuning for specific applications is required (eg databases).
There are also some performance related flags you can att to /etc/fstab for mounting ext4 (such as noatime). Some of them can be dangerous, but on a laptop (that always has a battery) they're rather safe!

Zygomorphic
05-27-2013, 08:07 PM
OK. Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I am going to shrink the swap space down to around 4 GB, since I never hibernate (takes too long with 16 GB of RAM), and that reclaims ~28 GB of space, which I will tack onto the /home partition (ordering). Since you guys say that having a separate /boot partition is no longer necessary, I will go ahead and change that too (merge with /). I don't plan on installing a bunch of kernels into the main system, since I'm trying to create a more stable system.

I hadn't much thought about Xen, but I had tried it when I had OpenSUSE installed on my computer, but never saw the need then. @nodens, what is the ability to run a native LINUX isntall with Xen? That would be a consideration. If the performance of the VMs increases dramatically, then it might be worth considering. Just a note, I have a powerful laptop...not a server. :)

For safety's sake, I probably won't set the /etc/fstab flags, but thanks for the advice anyway!

Slackware 3.4...lol! :) Talk about work to try to get that to install! ;) Might be a major historical learning exercise, but that is about it. @DC, thanks for the pointers, and I do have a shared NTFS data partition on the other drive in my laptop. As to Gentoo, I've thought about it, especially since I have a powerful computer (compiling the LINUX kernel goes pretty quick), and optimizing the performance (and learning more about the command-line) would be a fun exercise. Might have to try it, though not as my daily driver OS.

Arne Saknussemm
05-27-2013, 08:23 PM
Hey Zygomorphic...that's a nice thing your doing here. Starting a thread up in Greek just so Nodens feels completely at home.

This thread is in Greek right? 'cos I can't understand a word of it LOL :D

DaemonCantor
05-27-2013, 09:43 PM
lol Arne! your close but it's Geek not Greek and a language you should be able to understand quite well...:p Zygo just happy to be of some use somewhere other than the Whipping Boy!

And now on to Billyray's question...Hell yea I have many problems with Ubuntu starting with Unity which is a Total Gnome F-Up! next is Incompatibilities with a lot of things that used to work quite well in Ubuntu including what a Pain in the A** it's become to even use Samba Services. If all your looking for in Linux is Steam Compatibility then by all means get Ubuntu but if you want more then look elsewhere. Don't ask where I get this from considering I'm still on the Developers Mailing list here in Ohio as well as Nevada and used to be a big Ubuntu supporter but somewhere along the time that Karmic Koala came out I started losing interest because they dumped the Standard Gnome Desktop for Unity and then all of the other problems started coming up with software not running correctly so I switched to OpenSuse and never looked back. Now if I could get OpenSuse to run on the CHVF I'd be happy but it won't even load into the Installer Desktop but hangs at Kernel Loadup and yes it's the same with any other Distro I've tried...But my Backup System which is a heavily Modified Dell 531s does just fine...Go Figure!

Nodens
05-27-2013, 10:11 PM
Hahaha Arne!

Installing Xen is pretty straightforward at this point. It involves installing the packages and running the special Xen kernel. There's no special installation needed. Check this, it's for Debian but Mint is Debian based so it covers everything up: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Xen_Beginners_Guide

The difference in VM performance is very big. For the most part because you can actually passthrough hardware..the video card for example to the Windows VM and install native graphics drivers on it..You can run a game for example with almost native Windows performance.

The "noatime" flag is absolutely safe for ext4. All it does is not update the last access timestamps which reduces I/O usage by a lot. So it's a good performance boost with no strings attached (unless you actually need last access timestamps but who does on a desktop?). The rest of the optimizations can be risky indeed but this one is absolutely safe:)

See https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fstab



noatime - Don't update inode access times on the filesystem. Can help performance (see atime options (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fstab#atime_options)).


And I almost forgot! Great thread!

chrsplmr
05-27-2013, 10:51 PM
I have to admit this thread lost me when I read a Mod asking for Flames !!! ???
Then come to find out if you don't speak Linux you don't know Geek ??? That doesn't even rhyme.

I am always 'game' for a teachable moment .. but .. still lost.
I hope Nodens is at home here .. @ least he speaks in english .. not that I am opposed to Greek or
any other language .. not since GoogleTranslator.
I spent a few hours today reading background and founding of Minux/Linux ect .. and am more
confused than when I started.
Nothing points to 'The Best' .. lots of downloading, a trademark war .. some enthusiastic hobbyists.

I don't see this being 'mainstream' anytime soon though. Afterall isn't Apple's success based on
'you turn it on and it works' ?

My favorite 'disto' so far is Win7 Pro .. effortless, since virtually the lion's share of hardware and
software is built around windows.

No disrespect to the Linux Masters .. amazing .. and I do see serious usefulness in it (ie Nodens ServerBoxes, DC, Zy, Gorman and the rest.)
but mostly I see Geekery run amuck in 'Greek'.

Lastly .. I am a registered member of Geek.com .. does that count ??

Arne Saknussemm
05-28-2013, 08:08 AM
it's Geek not Greek and a language you should be able to understand quite well...:p

:o yeah, your right...only joking....just a dialect problem....something I'll have to investigate one day. Is there a "Rosetta Stone" for Geek?

Nodens
05-28-2013, 01:44 PM
Lol Arne! These were my personal Rosetta Stone back in the day:
http://www.amazon.com/Assembly-Language-Step---Step-Duntemann/dp/0471578142/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369744019&sr=1-11
http://www.amazon.com/Winn-Rosch-Hardware-Bible-Compatibles/dp/0131609793/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369744297&sr=1-5

@chrsplmr:

Nothing points to best because you were reading history of Minix and Linux, not an architectural analysis:) But even with history you should have read about Unix in general. Unix operating system architecture (Linux is a Unix variant) is superior.

So let's go deep into Geek territory now:P
Understanding operating system designs: http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~jacobsen/os/2007s/os-architecture.pdf

So the it boils down to Monolithic vs Microkernel design.:)
It is not by accident that wherever performance is critical a Unix variant is used!

Analysis of Linux Kernel Architecture: http://ssrnet.snu.ac.kr/course/aos2013-1/lecture_note/lect2-LinuxUnix%20Kernel%20Overview.pptx
Unfortunately I can not find a similar analysis for the Windows Kernel that's free (Several books and ebooks on the subject but nothing free..which brings me back to the point of being "open").

Now Unix variants were always extreme Geek (or business/IT) territory, If you want a mainstream Linux version go with Ubuntu because that distro aims at exactly that. Being mainstream (too much imo):)

Apple's OSX btw, since you mentioned it, is actually proprietary Linux. Apple just made a proprietary mainstream version of Linux (which is exactly the opposite of what Linux stands for: open/free software/ultimate power to the user/etc).

Lastly I want to say that I work with both operating systems, I develop for both (in the past I've worked with even more such as OS/2 and VAX/VMS) and I know their insides inside-out (pun intended:p). There are pros and cons with both but if I had to choose to only work with one, both as a developer and a power user, I would always choose to work with Unix variants. Ultimately the only reason I keep Windows on my main development system is one..games. If it were not for games, I could do everything else better on a Linux distro..even developing software for Windows..and I would test my software using VMs only (I already use VMs to test software on Win7 for example..and I still use a 32bit Win XP VM to do most of my Windows reverse engineering when I need to (due to issues with Ollydbg and 64bit Windows) unless it's something big that needs IDA instead heh) .

Myk SilentShadow
05-28-2013, 01:51 PM
Hey DC!!! what happens exactly when you try to install OpenSUSE and which version did you try? cos i had 12.2 running on my CHVF for a brief time.

Nodens
05-28-2013, 02:18 PM
Btw if you guys have any trouble loading the installation on cutting edge boards try using these kernel flags on boot: acpi=off nomodeset
After installation install update packages and problem will probably go away. The problem is that cutting edge hardware support takes a while to end up in Linux upstream due to the development and testing needed. Sometimes on cutting edge hardware you may have to pull beta update packages to make things work properly. My personal suggestion is to use Fedora for cutting edge machines as it's the distro that incorporates new hardware support the fastest (Fedora is Redhat's testbed..cutting edge hardware is added to Fedora, tested and debugged there and when they're absolutely stable they get implemented in Redhat Enterprise ;)).

Regarding Gnome: Well I don't like Gnome 3 as well but since development in now fixed in that direction, it's time to find another Window Manager if you don't like it. KDE is quite popular with lots of eyecandy (heavier than gnome though) and you can download a lot of distros that default to it upon installation (eg KUbuntu is just that). Almost every major distro has that option. Also you can switch Window Manager after a Linux installation (any distro) to any WM by installing the packages and changing the system default.
There are many WMs you could check out depending on what you need (usability/lightweight/eyecandy/etc etc):
Check these links out:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/30/how-to-picking-a-window-manager-linux/
http://l3net.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/a-memory-comparison-of-light-linux-desktops/
http://xwinman.org/

chrsplmr
05-28-2013, 02:31 PM
Now that's what I'm talking about .. teachable moments .. thank you. [i have some reading to do.].c.

billyray520
05-28-2013, 02:34 PM
And now on to Billyray's question...Hell yea I have many problems with Ubuntu starting with Unity which is a Total Gnome F-Up! next is Incompatibilities with a lot of things that used to work quite well in Ubuntu including what a Pain in the A** it's become to even use Samba Services.

Yeah, that's what I thought. I hate Unity too. In fact I think Windows 8 must be like it, forcing you to "search" for what you want to do. I didn't know about Samba, but I've given up on Samba a while ago, lol. Since I don't depend on Ubuntu for my daily productivity, I just bear with it. :( The few things I do in Ubuntu I've made desktop icons for! :) I started using Ubuntu back with Dapper Drake 6.06 LTS. I kinda liked Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS, but I found Precise Pangolin 12.04 LTS to be heavy handed and irritating. :mad:

When I'm traveling though, and using my netbook, Ubuntu is a much better OS than Windows 7 Starter (the default OS that came with it.) I can still use Firefox, my Ubuntu database application, and get my email (now with Thunderbird.)

I don't do anything as complex as Zygo or you other guys. :cool:

Arne Saknussemm
05-28-2013, 05:10 PM
Lol Arne! These were my personal Rosetta Stone back in the day:

Excellent! just what I meant...thanks as always Nodens :)

Nodens
05-28-2013, 08:03 PM
Unfortunately these books are a bit outdated nowadays:p (I think the Hardware Bible book has a current edition though;)).

Arne Saknussemm
05-28-2013, 09:04 PM
Hmmm I see a definite physical profile of rugged handsomeness to the Geek....;)
20968
20969

Zygomorphic
05-29-2013, 10:26 AM
@billyray520, I liked 10.04, and some of the preceding versions. Unity was horrible, and that's why I started hunting for a different distro. Mint seems good, as does OpenSUSE. I am definitely going to give Gentoo a try, just from the command-line optimization experience that it would give me. (I need it).

Nodens
05-29-2013, 01:11 PM
Gentoo is nice because it compiles everything on your system. Installing packages takes a while just for that reason (everything has to have a downside right? :p) but everything is optimized specifically for your system!

Gorman
05-29-2013, 03:33 PM
actually installing gentoo? lol.

billyray520
05-29-2013, 03:37 PM
@billyray520, I liked 10.04, and some of the preceding versions. Unity was horrible, and that's why I started hunting for a different distro. Mint seems good, as does OpenSUSE. I am definitely going to give Gentoo a try, just from the command-line optimization experience that it would give me. (I need it).

I'm still using 10.04 on one of my old XP dual boot desktops. :D

Zygomorphic
05-30-2013, 01:58 AM
I'm still using 10.04 on one of my old XP dual boot desktops. :D

That is out of support as of last month (April) for desktops. It is supported on the server variant until April 2015. I'd recommend upgrading to a different distro if you can, or potentially retiring the syste and getting a newer one.

Zygomorphic
05-30-2013, 02:15 AM
Hey Zygomorphic...that's a nice thing your doing here. Starting a thread up in Greek just so Nodens feels completely at home.

This thread is in Greek right? 'cos I can't understand a word of it LOL :D

Yes, I have lots of learning to do, just like @chrsplmr. That's why I'm here. To help and to be helped. Nodens to teach, and me to learn (<- from others as well, as others still have and learn from me).

@nodens, I'm probably going to have to try the Xen system, as that sounds really cool! Especially if you can get near-native performance out of it. That's the only thing that bugs me about VMs, is doing performance intensive work. Even if it doesn't become useful on my laptop, I will definitely consider it in the future when I have the space and money for a really nice (hopeful home-built) desktop computer to run it on. As to the noatime flag, which partitions should I set that for? Would it help to set it on the "/" partition and leave it off on the "/home" partition? I might actually use the access time for searching at some point. I'm not sure yet. If the primary performance gain comes from "/", I'll do that.

Nodens
05-30-2013, 05:06 AM
Yes the main benefit is on "/" since it holds files that are accessed continuously. /home holds small configuration files and whatever you save there so the performance boost would be negligible.:)

Zygomorphic
05-30-2013, 10:22 AM
Yes the main benefit is on "/" since it holds files that are accessed continuously. /home holds small configuration files and whatever you save there so the performance boost would be negligible.:)

Will do then! Going to download Gentoo today. Do you recommend starting from one of the live DVDs, or from starting from something else? (stages). I'm willing to go either way, but if I go "live", I still would want to recompile everything myself, since that seems to be the point of that distro. Thanks for all your help! :)

billyray520
05-30-2013, 02:04 PM
That is out of support as of last month (April) for desktops. It is supported on the server variant until April 2015. I'd recommend upgrading to a different distro if you can, or potentially retiring the syste and getting a newer one.

I like to walk on the wild side! :p I'm also running Windows 98 & Windows 95 desktops which are on the home LAN plus a MS-DOS 3.3 desktop. I revel in obsolete, discontinued, OS's. ;)

Nodens
05-30-2013, 02:11 PM
You can use either the stage3 install iso or the minimal install iso (the later absolutely needs a net connection from the start) and follow the Gentoo Handbook:). Stage1 and stage2 are for Gentoo developers mostly and they are used to create the stage3 iso/tarball. stage3 builds the toolchain needed for installation.
I've never done a Gentoo installation from a Live disc but I believe it's the same as using stage3, it should still build the toolchain and use portage to recompile every package. A quick look at the handbook says you'd just have to do things from terminal with su:)
Gentoo will squeeze every little bit of performance for that laptop!;)

A couple of pointers:

When you edit make.conf use these flags for the compiler:
CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"

If you plan to actually use a debugger (gdb) then omit the "-fomit-frame-pointer" flag. Otherwise use it because it provides a good performance boost:)

MAKEOPTS should be set to number of cores+1 (as per the handbook) for fastest compiling:)

Nodens
05-30-2013, 02:57 PM
I like to walk on the wild side! :p I'm also running Windows 98 & Windows 95 desktops which are on the home LAN plus a MS-DOS 3.3 desktop. I revel in obsolete, discontinued, OS's. ;)

Then you should also install OS/2, NeXTSTEP and BeOS/Haiku cause all 3 are fun :p

EDIT for Fun Fact of the Day:

In fact Win95 and Win98 are actually..DOS running a GUI much like Linux is running X!
If you check the "msdos.sys" file on the root of the boot drive you will see that it's actually a text file instead of binary like the previous DOS versions. So if you do this:

1) Remove hidden, system, read-only flags from it via "attrib -s -r -h msdos.sys"
2) Edit it with a text file editor and add/change "BootGUI=0" under "[Options]"
3) Restore hidden, system and read-only flags via "attrib +s +r +h msdos.sys"
4) Reboot.

You'll find out they boot into straight DOS. Then all you have to do to run the GUI is type "win" and hit enter. Just like previous versions of Windows that were running on top of DOS.
You can also use this trick to run older versions of Windows on DOS 7 (That's the DOS version number heh). ;)

Myk SilentShadow
05-30-2013, 03:40 PM
I always knew that 95 and 98 were just GUI's floating over the top of DOS, but, I don't remember DOS 7...the last one I remember is 6.6 or 6.22...even that number is hazy lol

Nodens
05-30-2013, 04:40 PM
DOS 7 is the version number 98 runs on, that's why you don't remember it. It was never sold or marketed seperately. DOS 7 is essentially Win98 heh

billyray520
05-30-2013, 06:06 PM
In fact Win95 and Win98 are actually..DOS running a GUI much like Linux is running X!
If you check the "msdos.sys" file on the root of the boot drive you will see that it's actually a text file instead of binary like the previous DOS versions. So if you do this:

1) Remove hidden, system, read-only flags from it via "attrib -s -r -h msdos.sys"
2) Edit it with a text file editor and add/change "BootGUI=0" under "[Options]"
3) Restore hidden, system and read-only flags via "attrib +s +r +h msdos.sys"
4) Reboot.

You'll find out they boot into straight DOS. Then all you have to do to run the GUI is type "win" and hit enter. Just like previous versions of Windows that were running on top of DOS.
You can also use this trick to run older versions of Windows on DOS 7 (That's the DOS version number heh).

Thanks Nodens! :cool: More ways to have fun with discontinued Windows! ;)

Sorry about derailing the Linux thread with nasty Windows. :p

Zygomorphic
05-31-2013, 01:41 AM
I always knew that 95 and 98 were just GUI's floating over the top of DOS, but, I don't remember DOS 7...the last one I remember is 6.6 or 6.22...even that number is hazy lol

MS-DOS 6.22 was the last version of DOS that was shipped apart from Windows. As to derailing the thread no worries. I forgot to get my Gentoo image today, so will try to remember to do it tomorrow, because I'm interested to see how fast it will run. I've also taken the advice of the people on here and removed the separate /boot partition as well as shrunk the Swap partition.

Myk SilentShadow
05-31-2013, 04:26 AM
DOS 7 is the version number 98 runs on, that's why you don't remember it. It was never sold or marketed seperately. DOS 7 is essentially Win98 heh


MS-DOS 6.22 was the last version of DOS that was shipped apart from Windows. As to derailing the thread no worries. I forgot to get my Gentoo image today, so will try to remember to do it tomorrow, because I'm interested to see how fast it will run. I've also taken the advice of the people on here and removed the separate /boot partition as well as shrunk the Swap partition.

Right, thanks guys...that explains why I forgot about 7 lol :p

Nodens
06-01-2013, 07:55 PM
Waiting for a review on your experiences with Gentoo, Zygo:)

Zygomorphic
06-01-2013, 08:43 PM
Waiting for a review on your experiences with Gentoo, Zygo:)

Got it downloaded...Going to try live DVD (USB) right now...I got it downloaded yesterday. :) Any recommendations on how to install it? Partitioning requirements and the like? I don't know how much free space I am going to need for the / partition (probably going to link my 400+ GB /home) partition, if that is safe. I used to think that I was decent with LINUX...then @nodens showed up. :p

Myk SilentShadow
06-01-2013, 08:43 PM
Waiting for a review on your experiences with Gentoo, Zygo:)

He probably slacked off and didn't download it yet :p lol

Zygomorphic
06-01-2013, 09:37 PM
He probably slacked off and didn't download it yet :p lol

And you posted that at the very same instant that I posted my response... LOL. :p My 4 GB flash drive didn't have enough space. :( Going to have to use my 32 GB one.

Nodens
06-01-2013, 10:44 PM
Same partitioning scheme as Mint will do mate:)

Zygomorphic
06-02-2013, 01:37 AM
Same partitioning scheme as Mint will do mate:)

I don't have as much space for Gentoo, but I'll see what space I can adjust. Depending on the time requirements, I won't be able to do it tonight. :( I will, however, get all the partitioning done tonight, so that I can do the real install tomorrow.

Nodens
06-02-2013, 02:17 AM
A word of notice...installing Gentoo will take TIME will capital letters as everything is compiled from scratch! The result will be worth it though heh.

Zygomorphic
06-02-2013, 11:36 AM
A word of notice...installing Gentoo will take TIME will capital letters as everything is compiled from scratch! The result will be worth it though heh.

I am discovering how much time it takes. If it is that fast, and I learn a lot, then it is worth the time spent...especially if it is fast. :)

DaemonCantor
06-02-2013, 01:00 PM
Remember Zygo as you build the Kernel your going to have to put a lot of thought into what options you want versus what you need because part of Gentoo's speed comes from the Kernel itself and not having a Bloated Kernel with Options that aren't needed or used. The first time I built a Gentoo Box I was stupid and thought a lot of options was needed and ended up with a slower system than my Windows System...

Nodens
06-02-2013, 03:20 PM
Indeed. The kernel supports things that are not used on PCs for ages and things that will probably never end up on someone's PC heh. Strip them all down. Just make sure you don't strip something that's actually used heh. And if in doubt, build something as a module if there's an option for it to be built as such:)

Myk SilentShadow
06-02-2013, 03:25 PM
Strip them all down? ~le gasp~ Nodens...surely you're not encouraging nudity on a PG Forum, now are you? :p

Nodens
06-02-2013, 03:27 PM
Hahahaha! Kernel strip club? lol

Zygomorphic
06-02-2013, 07:46 PM
Hahahaha! Kernel strip club? lol
Haha! :) Maybe we could havea "biggest loser" competition. Who has the lowest weight (in RAM/disk). That could be an interesting challenge. I always like to start with a "fatter" kernel, and then start disabling stuff as I go through, since rebuilding the kernel doesn't take too long (after the initial build), and I can remove stuff that I don't need. I did find out, however, that the LINUX kernel source tar (kernel.org) ships with every wireless driver option enabled except for Atheros :mad:. Guess what type of WiFi card I have... :D

As to installing Gentoo, I have a partition (75 GB) for it, and I am building the packages right now...it is running on the side while I am typing this...that's why I'm using a live USB, since I can keep on working while it is compiling away. It has been going for some time...
21075

Nodens
06-03-2013, 12:00 AM
Hehe that would make an interesting competition! As for the time..I'm interested to see how long it will take a full "desktop" installation (I see gstreamer plugins in that screenshot) heh. I've only setup Gentoo on servers and "embedded solutions" and that took a few hours..I'm curious how much it will take for your laptop (not sure what packages you've selected though).

Zygomorphic
06-03-2013, 12:55 AM
Hehe that would make an interesting competition! As for the time..I'm interested to see how long it will take a full "desktop" installation (I see gstreamer plugins in that screenshot) heh. I've only setup Gentoo on servers and "embedded solutions" and that took a few hours..I'm curious how much it will take for your laptop (not sure what packages you've selected though).

Don't count on this one, I'm still learning about everything. If I figure it all out, I will likely reinstall and let you know how long it takes. I am doing this from a live USB, which is not the common method (normally stage 3 tarball), which I may download this week and install this weekend (or an evening, depending on time constraints). I did fially figure out how to fix on the problems that was stumping me. I had two conflicting packages, and removed one of them. Learning new things every single day! :) Thanks for all your help, @nodens, I really appreciate it. For desktop installations, I will let you know approximately how long it takes when I know what I am doing.

Nodens
06-03-2013, 01:58 AM
Sounds good!:)

Zygomorphic
06-03-2013, 10:27 AM
Sounds good!:)

It appears that the guide I was using for the live USB is no longer valid. :( Guess I will download the stage 3 tarball today and see how things go with that! :)

Zygomorphic
06-07-2013, 01:20 AM
I have been working on getting a Gentoo installation in the evenings, though I haven't had much time to do that around work and lurking on these forums...LOL. @nodens, here is the information on timing so far, using the `time` command (user). There is some downloading, and I have a 1.5 Mbps connection.
unpacking stage3 tarball : ~30s
emerge-webrsync : 6m32s
emerge --sync : 1m9s
emerge gentoo-sources : 7m23s
emerge pciutils : 0m30s
make menuconfig : 0m9s - for "making" only, not selection.
make -j8 : 2m27s
make modules_install : 0m1s
emerge genkernel : 0m40s
genkernel --install initramfs : 0m35s
emerge syslog-ng : 0m50s
emerge vixie-cron : 3m2s
emerge mlocate : 0m11s
emerge dhcpcd : 0m8s
*** All times are `user` **

Nodens
06-07-2013, 02:36 AM
Not bad at all!:)

Zygomorphic
06-07-2013, 10:15 AM
Not bad at all!:)
Yup! My kernel bzImage is something like 5 MB compressed, and 15 MB uncompressed, according to the build output. :) That's nice and lean. Unlike my LINUX Mint image, which is something like 15 MB compressed. I haven't gotten X installed yet, but that will done in the near future. I must say, chroot is an awesome command. It doesn't seem to take that long to install, though there was a lot of learning going on. Thanks for all the help. I'll post screenshots when I get everything else working. To be honest, I am looking forward to building some more floating-point intensive apps and benching them, to see whether having the 2nd gen Core i7 optimizations turned on helps at all.

Zygomorphic
06-11-2013, 01:37 AM
Working on getting KDE installed via chroot from my Linux Mint 15 installation, we shall see how long it takes. I am timing it to see. Source: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/KDE

Installed it over night, and here are the times:
emerge --ask kdebase-meta
real 431m32.700s
user 337m15.420s
sys 51m17.228s

Nodens
06-11-2013, 02:00 PM
chroot is great and essentially mandatory for any linux "rescue" or forenscics operations heh.:)

Zygomorphic
06-12-2013, 01:33 AM
chroot is great and essentially mandatory for any linux "rescue" or forenscics operations heh.:)

Yup! I am working on getting Mesa installed right now, since there seem to be issues with the KDE (xdm) service. :( To be honest, I am wondering how fast the mesa drivers will be with the core i7 avx extensions enabled for GCC. That could provide an interesting performance enhancement.

emerge mesa
real 11m58.584s
user 8m36.632s
sys 0m55.928s

emerge xorg-server
real 0m12.443s
user 0m10.072s
sys 0m0.188s

Zygomorphic
06-23-2013, 07:29 PM
Restarting my installation. I am following this tutorial and timing all commands: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-x86-quickinstall.xml

Nodens
06-25-2013, 07:10 PM
Sounds great! I find sad though that there are not more people participating/interested in this thread:(

billyray520
06-25-2013, 07:33 PM
I'm interested, but not participating. :D

Zygomorphic
06-26-2013, 01:47 AM
Sounds great! I find sad though that there are not more people participating/interested in this thread:(

Maybe if we put together some guides on recommended distros and such, we could convince more people to switch. Especially with Windows 8 being the way it is.

Zygomorphic
07-06-2013, 02:17 AM
OK. I finally got over the hurdle of getting Gentoo to be registered in the GRUB2 listing. I didn't know that kernels had to be listed as vmlinuz* in order to be detected. Once I did that, I could boot the system! :) Now, I have to recompile some stuff, since the kernel didn't have a certain component of the tempfs. LOL.

Zygomorphic
10-30-2013, 03:25 PM
Tried to install Sabayon 13.08 (KDE), and it installs pretty much perfectly. :) After a few updates, the keyboard backlighting works properly, as does the screen backlighting. It runs pretty well, and I'm on KDE 4.11 already. :) Oh, and LINUX kernel 3.11 something. Just a distro to try since it has a live-DVD that can be copied to a USB key and then booted. Keep in mind that Sabayon does download loads of updates, since it uses a rolling-release model! :)

Nodens
10-30-2013, 04:36 PM
Never heard of Sabayon before! Rolling-release model sounds of an interesting feature to me. It takes huge efforts in maintaining that model, so I hope the maintainers will not get bored doing that heh. For the users it should be great due to not having to deal with upgrades. Is it debian or redhat based?

EDIT: Nevermind, I just saw it's Gentoo based which makes it even more interesting!

Zygomorphic
10-31-2013, 10:19 AM
@Nodens, I decided to try it since I wanted something similar to Gentoo, but could never get that configured. :( I'd love to have an all-source distribution, since it would allow me to compile everything that I want (and need) without the other stuff (so less bloat), and faster (since I have a recent i7 CPU).

Gentoo doesn't do a source-based configuration, though I'm going to check if it is possible to do that anyway. Sabayon ships an new set of base packages (install images) about twice a year. Other than that snapshot (which has a little testing, since its a live image), they do all rolling-release. It is pretty cool. Actually, I'm on kernel 3.10. Sorry for the misstatement.

billyray520
10-31-2013, 12:30 PM
Zygo, so what's your setup now? You're on your G series notebook with all this? Do you have dual booting? Or is Linux it?

Nodens
10-31-2013, 02:47 PM
If I remember right he's using only Linux!

Myk SilentShadow
10-31-2013, 04:26 PM
Indeed, Linux is all Zygo needs, wants and loves :D ;) :cool:

Zygomorphic
11-01-2013, 01:47 AM
Zygo, so what's your setup now? You're on your G series notebook with all this? Do you have dual booting? Or is Linux it?
I have the Windows 7 Home Premium installation that came with the notebook, because occasionally I need to run a Windows-only game or program that needs all the system's power. For 90% of my work, I use LINUX (various distros) exclusively. I also have a Windows installation in a VM for those people who will not accept Libreoffice files (Office only). Other than that, everything that I do is LINUX based. I write most of my software for and in LINUX.

Yes, I am still on the G53SX, as before. It's a great system, and giving me great service. I use it for a lot of intensive stuff. It holds up really well, and just mows down Macbook pro's from the same generation. LOL. :p It's a good feeling when you have a laptop that outruns some of the corporate workstations. :cool:

When I get my next computer, I am going to go LINUX all the way. Maybe Windows in a VM, but other than that, totally Penguin for me! :)

Boot configuration:
Sabayon 13.08 [Drive #1]
Windows 7 [Drive #0]
Ubuntu 13.10 [Drive #0]

That's down from what it was in the past. LOL. :p

billyray520
11-01-2013, 12:09 PM
Amazing what you have your notebook doing! :cool: I see you still have an Ubuntu! heh :p

Nodens
11-01-2013, 06:52 PM
When I get my next computer, I am going to go LINUX all the way. Maybe Windows in a VM, but other than that, totally Penguin for me! :)


I say just use Xen with VT-d and passthrough the video card to the Windows client. And the you have full performance games/3d acceleration. Although I expect Valve's push for Linux gaming will make soon Linux easily a viable option for standalone. For a great deal of users. ;)

Zygomorphic
11-02-2013, 12:57 AM
Amazing what you have your notebook doing! :cool: I see you still have an Ubuntu! heh :p
Yes I do. I need it for several programs that I use. I figure since it is well supported, it's worth using for those programs that ship Ubuntu repositories specifically. Also, it's a good test distro for live USB, since it has good hardware support. LINUX Mint works for the Live DVD's too, for that matter, so you could use that, it doesn't really matter, honestly.

Sabayon is quite interesting, though it ships more updates than MS Windows. LOL :p

Nodens
11-02-2013, 06:43 AM
Yes I do. I need it for several programs that I use. I figure since it is well supported, it's worth using for those programs that ship Ubuntu repositories specifically. Also, it's a good test distro for live USB, since it has good hardware support. LINUX Mint works for the Live DVD's too, for that matter, so you could use that, it doesn't really matter, honestly.

Sabayon is quite interesting, though it ships more updates than MS Windows. LOL :p

Fedora in a lot of cases has more cutting edge hardware support than Ubuntu since it's Redhat's testbed;)
Although I find very annoying the fact that Splashtop does not have .RPMs -- I currently use Nomachine NX for remote GUI access (the fedora server box is headless) but I'm annoyed also by the fact that the new version does not allow client only installation on windows. Granted that I rarely need GUI access, it does come in handy once in a while..eg when I have to diff 20 .rpmnew conf files manually every now and then (sendmail, dovecot, apache, samba, sshd etc etc)

That said, you should see the update packages my Fedora server box gets every day...but granted it has A LOT of packages installed in the first place hehe. I also have a rented VM server in Germany that I use specifically for apache/php/mysql and a few other minor stuff (eg a Teamspeak 3 server). It's running CentOS with the absolutely minimal required packages..it gets like 10 update packages per 6 months or so hehehe.

sikotik13
11-03-2013, 09:26 AM
Having just spent a glorious 15 minutes reading through this thread, I am excited to have actually found a forum outside of the Penguin world with Linux conversation going on! I relatively recently installed Fedora on my old laptop, primarily to begin learning as I am working towards a Software Engineering degree. While cutting through terminology was a very slow/read-15-pages-of-google-responses-to-figure-out-what-question-to-google experience, there was a definite satisfaction on just getting that sweet little f to pop up on the screen. Having now made my random jump-in to the forum, I retreat and begin attempting to read over some of the information found here-in.

*bow*

Zygomorphic
11-03-2013, 01:27 PM
@sikotik13, welcome to the forums! :) Yes, I know what that is like - still do it with LINUX a whole lot :p. There is a cluster of us here on the forums who are LINUX users, we're not very many (see my group), but we are trying to figure out how to do LINUX stuff on the ROG hardware. I'd love to see ASUS properly support LINUX, especially with Windows headed the way it is, towards everything tablet, which is a terrible desktop paradigm.

I've used Fedora in the past, and it (along with prerelease versions of Ubuntu) always ship boatloads of updates. CentOS, three updates in three weeks, please! :cool: Fedora is a pain to get the security policies configured to allow the nVidia drivers to run, since I want the performance that those provide.

billyray520
11-03-2013, 04:38 PM
I just noticed that my linux Rescue CD is a version of Gentoo Linux! :cool: I've been trying to save a disk drive on a Windows XP box that I use just for backups (the hdd that is), but according to Speedfan smart data, it has some pending sectors and some unallocated sector counts, which I was able to fix on another disk drive using the "badblocks -svn /dev/myharddisk" command in this Gentoo Linux boot CD. It ran for the entire weekend, Friday, Saturday and today. I just can't get some of the blocks fixed, so I'm partitioning off the badblocks (which are all at the end of the drive) since the whole first 650 GB is ok. The last 50 or 60 GB is where the bad sectors are. This is an almost new hdd too! :mad: But I got it real cheap on ebay and its too late to return.

Nodens
11-03-2013, 10:12 PM
Welcome sikotik13:) If you have any questions whatsoever feel free to ask!



Fedora is a pain to get the security policies configured to allow the nVidia drivers to run, since I want the performance that those provide.

This is not really true mate. It probably was some years ago but nowadays nvidia drivers are the simplest thing to install. I run them on my fedora box as well (although it's headless--there is the rare occasion that I actually connect a monitor to it and test OpenGL stuff). I have always used them on Fedora. All you have to do is enable the rpmfusion repositories and "sudo yum nvidia-akmod". That's it. No SELinux issues no nothing.

Do not try to install them with the nvidia .run script because that's a bad idea anyhow. The nvidia installer can never keep up with the fast changes in Fedora. nvidia-akmod will install directly the kmod package if it is available for your kernel and if it's not it will build one for you and install it properly.

It will also handle this process automatically whenever yum installs a new kernel;)


I just noticed that my linux Rescue CD is a version of Gentoo Linux! :cool: I've been trying to save a disk drive on a Windows XP box that I use just for backups (the hdd that is), but according to Speedfan smart data, it has some pending sectors and some unallocated sector counts, which I was able to fix on another disk drive using the "badblocks -svn /dev/myharddisk" command in this Gentoo Linux boot CD. It ran for the entire weekend, Friday, Saturday and today. I just can't get some of the blocks fixed, so I'm partitioning off the badblocks (which are all at the end of the drive) since the whole first 650 GB is ok. The last 50 or 60 GB is where the bad sectors are. This is an almost new hdd too! :mad: But I got it real cheap on ebay and its too late to return.

I use a bootable Knoppix USB flashdrive for any kind of rescue/recovery operations. It comes preloaded with everything you would ever need for these tasks.

Now regarding bad blocks/pending sectors. Due to the way hard drives work, something has to get written on that location for the drive to reallocate the bad block. The easier way to do this is using dd to create a file big enough to fill the entire empty space. Other methos is actually copying large files to the drive until its full. This is way faster than using badblocks too ;)

sikotik13
11-06-2013, 10:34 AM
@Zygomorphic

As Nodens said, the process for setting up nvidia was actually relatively painless. Granted, that laptop died within a week, but it was a bad toshiba build, from what i could figure out after the fact. It got me through two years in the Army, no worries. plus, it is still a sweet looking paperweight!

I haven't bothered plugging the newer laptop in for some time, but i'm considering popping in for however many new fedora updates there are now, lol. At some point, me and the interwebs are going to sit down for a little heart-to-heart on the lack of gaming options for linux. Personally liking the speed it gets out of my poor little laptop, i'd be impressed to see how streamlined it could be on my gaming rig. And all that with absolutely zero optimizations, as I didn't have the wealth of knowledge here at the time. I know it goes from power on to fully up and running about 6 seconds faster than this desktop.

When I have the funds, i'm planning on purchasing some more disks to fill up those sad and lonely slots, and definitely considering having a various linux builds exclusive drive or two in there.

Assuming I don't just end up building another rig, of course... perhaps more actual ROG components in it...

Zygomorphic
11-06-2013, 11:16 AM
That's good to know! :) Thanks, I'm definitely going to have to try Fedora out at some point, especially if Sabayon doesn't work out for some reason. Right now, it seems to be working, though I am having difficulty getting VirtualBox to run properly. Might have to do some configuration checking. I was able to get VirtualBox running on Fedora really easily.

One thing I don't like about Fedora: default desktop is Gnome 3 (which is probably worse even than Unity). KDE is much better, and Gnome 2 is good. This isn't a big deal, since there are other DE's that I can use.

Nodens
11-06-2013, 04:42 PM
There you go Zygo: http://spins.fedoraproject.org/kde/#downloads

You can install KDE only during installation but they have a KDE default spin available (I also hate Gnome 3..it's Win8 before Win8 was Win8 lol).

Zygomorphic
11-07-2013, 02:36 AM
There you go Zygo: http://spins.fedoraproject.org/kde/#downloads

You can install KDE only during installation but they have a KDE default spin available (I also hate Gnome 3..it's Win8 before Win8 was Win8 lol).
Definitely going to have to try it! :) Thanks for the link. I'm curious to see how it will perform, since Sabayon is pretty fast, but has graphical issues with the default nouveau drivers. Who knows how many distros I will have installed before I'm done. :cool:

sikotik13
11-07-2013, 02:00 PM
Having relaunched said old dusty Toshiba to check, I suppose Gnome could be why I find getting around... awkward. i believe that was also the DE used by the UbuntuStudio branch I was test installing when I bricked a hdd. A sad day that was. Swore of Linux for a whole 6 months until I went to a friends' place and saw the crap factory Windows had become... (he had 8 when 8 was new *shudders*)

billyray520
11-07-2013, 08:06 PM
I just had the latest version of Xubuntu break a Leadtech Winfast A250 Graphics card in a Windows 98 box. It cranked up the graphics card to its highest settings while it was booting up from the CD. I had to get another card. :mad:

Nodens
11-07-2013, 10:26 PM
Linux can not cause that, it's technically impossible. It was a coincidence. That card was destined to die at that moment.

To further elaborate. No software can actually kill a video card. You can kill a video card if it has faulty cooling and you load it to the max but that's about it. Booting linux or windows for that matter can not cause that. Running an intensive 3d application without frame limiting can. But always assuming the card's cooling is off spec (faulty fan/very dirty to the point it's building up temperature or rotating with less rpm). One more possibility is software that messes up with the cards fan control, bugs out and stops the fan from rotating.
That said, that was an old card and those fans should have been underperforming for a while now. They either died or something else died on the card (eg a capacitor).

Zygomorphic
11-08-2013, 01:21 PM
Having relaunched said old dusty Toshiba to check, I suppose Gnome could be why I find getting around... awkward. i believe that was also the DE used by the UbuntuStudio branch I was test installing when I bricked a hdd. A sad day that was. Swore of Linux for a whole 6 months until I went to a friends' place and saw the crap factory Windows had become... (he had 8 when 8 was new *shudders*)
Gnome 3 had become for a while really buggy, just an FYI. It's also really not intuitive. KDE is nice, and LXDE is a lot like the classic Windows environment (probably the best ever made) while being really fast! I'd use that instead of Gnome. KDE is really good, but it runs a whole lot heavier.

billyray520
11-08-2013, 02:15 PM
Linux can not cause that, it's technically impossible. It was a coincidence. That card was destined to die at that moment.

I'm not going to try again on my replacement card. :p BTW, I had replaced the fans with new ones before I installed the card into the Win 98 box (which has been working flawlessly for a couple of years). The new card (same kind) has good fans too. Maybe it was a coincidence. Still, VERRRRRRRRRRRRRY suspicious.

Myk SilentShadow
11-08-2013, 02:19 PM
You absolutely sure about that Nodens? I remember not so long ago, there was an exodus of Nvidia users reporting dead VGA's due to a release of their drivers.

billyray520
11-08-2013, 03:11 PM
It was interesting because I have the Windows 98 box connected to a 1024X768 LCD flat panel screen. While Xubuntu was booting off the CD, it changed the screen resolution to something higher than I ever saw before on that screen. The Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra (which is an Nvidia card) is capable of such high resolutions, but my flat panel (connected by VGA connector) was not (or so I thought) But during the boot sequence it got hung up in this ultra high resolution mode and I was forced to do a hard reset. I tried re-booting the Xubuntu CD one more time, but same problem. Then when I booted back into windows 98 there was all kinds of issues. It was resetting to absolute base VGA (safe mode type graphics.) I had to switch the graphics quick before it tried to load new drivers. So after I got the card sorted out with Windows, it was never the same again. It would hang on boot, usually right before it tried to switch to the 1024X768 resolution desktop. That's when I decided to just get another similar card (which it has working in it now.) There's probably a way to force Xubuntu to load with a limited screen resolution, but I don't know how that would be done. And since Xubuntu is a distro DESIGNED TO BE USED in older hardware, I didn't know it should be a concern.
Windows 98 Box: Pentium III @ 450Mhz, 768 MB Ram, CD-ROM, 2 hdd's, running Windows 98 SE (since 1999)

sikotik13
11-08-2013, 03:47 PM
Perhaps I don't necessarily understand what a driver is, please, feel free to enlighten me if I am wrong. Off the top of my head, since I'd rather hear it in terms that might make sense instead of poring over various tech docs right this moment, isn't a driver an extremely specifically coded set of instructions for how say, an OS would interact with a particular piece of hardware?

Assuming that's so, technically, if a bad Nvidia driver bricked some Nvidia cards, the fault would still lie with the coder (Nvidia) not the OS, as the OS theoretically is supposed to use the instruction set to interact with the hardware. Just in my mind, and again coming from a trying to ensure I am grasping things I think I know correctly, that would be akin to getting a bad LG driver for my LG Blu-ray drive that somehow bricked it, and saying it was Win7's fault. I understand the logic of the stating, Myk, but it seems to be out of context... perhaps my brain is too fried.

Need sleep! -.-

Nodens
11-08-2013, 09:24 PM
You absolutely sure about that Nodens? I remember not so long ago, there was an exodus of Nvidia users reporting dead VGA's due to a release of their drivers.

Yep. Absolutely sure. That incident you refer too had to do with an nvidia driver with malfunctioning fan control. The fans just stopped ramping. So some cards died when they were loaded with 3d stuff that would bring the card to 90C when the fans were actually working...


It was interesting because I have the Windows 98 box connected to a 1024X768 LCD flat panel screen. While Xubuntu was booting off the CD, it changed the screen resolution to something higher than I ever saw before on that screen. The Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra (which is an Nvidia card) is capable of such high resolutions, but my flat panel (connected by VGA connector) was not (or so I thought) But during the boot sequence it got hung up in this ultra high resolution mode and I was forced to do a hard reset. I tried re-booting the Xubuntu CD one more time, but same problem. Then when I booted back into windows 98 there was all kinds of issues. It was resetting to absolute base VGA (safe mode type graphics.) I had to switch the graphics quick before it tried to load new drivers. So after I got the card sorted out with Windows, it was never the same again. It would hang on boot, usually right before it tried to switch to the 1024X768 resolution desktop. That's when I decided to just get another similar card (which it has working in it now.) There's probably a way to force Xubuntu to load with a limited screen resolution, but I don't know how that would be done. And since Xubuntu is a distro DESIGNED TO BE USED in older hardware, I didn't know it should be a concern.
Windows 98 Box: Pentium III @ 450Mhz, 768 MB Ram, CD-ROM, 2 hdd's, running Windows 98 SE (since 1999)

No resolution change can kill a card, it's technically impossible. A display mode change can kill an old monitor though specially if it tries to apply a horizontal or vertical refresh rate that is not applicable to the monitor (CRTs are mostly affected by this). This was simply a coincidence. The card would die anyway.


Perhaps I don't necessarily understand what a driver is, please, feel free to enlighten me if I am wrong. Off the top of my head, since I'd rather hear it in terms that might make sense instead of poring over various tech docs right this moment, isn't a driver an extremely specifically coded set of instructions for how say, an OS would interact with a particular piece of hardware?

Assuming that's so, technically, if a bad Nvidia driver bricked some Nvidia cards, the fault would still lie with the coder (Nvidia) not the OS, as the OS theoretically is supposed to use the instruction set to interact with the hardware. Just in my mind, and again coming from a trying to ensure I am grasping things I think I know correctly, that would be akin to getting a bad LG driver for my LG Blu-ray drive that somehow bricked it, and saying it was Win7's fault. I understand the logic of the stating, Myk, but it seems to be out of context... perhaps my brain is too fried.


You are partly correct here. In order to understand what a driver is you first have to understand CPU modes. I will elaborate since you all seem interested in the subject.


Real vs Protected mode:

When the system is running in Real mode. Direct access to the hardware is possible. An application can directly access memory, hardware registers, I/O addresses. DOS is an example of an operating system running in Real mode and it is why for many years BIOS flashing was only being done under a DOS bootable disk. Because the flashing application had direct hardware access in order to flash an EEPROM.

Now let's see protected mode. This was not available prior to the 80286 CPU and it was enforced since Windows 3.1. This mode does not provide any direct access to the hardware. In protected mode memory addressing happens through virtual memory addresses and thus it enables certain features that allow proper multitasking etc (explaining all that would take too long and is beyond our scope here).
Now protected mode has kind of a security system that is called the "Ring privilege system" more info here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_%28computer_security%29). The ring system is responsible for "protecting" different layers of the running code. Normally all the later CPUs have support for 4 Ring levels (0-3) but both Windows and Linux use only 2 levels (0 and 3) in order to maintain compatibility with legacy hardware.

Ring 0: Kernel space. This is the most privileged ring. This is where the operating system kernel and most of the device drivers run (more on this earlier). Ring 0 allows true access to the hardware. Anything running at Ring 0 (kernel-land) is extremely powerful in what it can do and can crash the system because it can directly interface with the hardware and do several other stuff that are prohibited at Ring 3.

Ring 3: This is where all applications run, this is user application space AKA "userland". All Windows and Linux applications run here and are prohibited from interfacing directly with hardware. They can only be granted limited access to stuff running on Ring 0. But nothing beyond that. Certain device drivers also run in userland. Specifically drivers that do not require hardware access (what we call usermode drivers). For example if I make a device driver that created a virtual DVD drive to load iso images to, it doesn't require any hardware access. It has no reason to run in kernel space.

Now we're finally at the drivers. Kernelspace device drivers are essentially interfaces for usermode applications to access the hardware. When application A wants to draw something on the screen, it can't (it could in Real mode) do that directly. It can't access the hardware. It has to call an API (Application Programming Interface) function to do that. The API function (part of OpenGL/DirectX/GDI/etc/etc) then talks to the driver (that runs in kernel space) who in turn talks to the hardware through the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). So you get something drawn on screen.

The case of the video card: To understand a video card better you have to understand an abstract idea of the display structure. Whatever you see on your screen is whatever is actually set in the framebuffer. The framebuffer is a portion of VRAM that is actually a bit map for each pixel. Lighting a pixel on the screen on a certain color is a matter of choosing screen mode (resolution) which in turn sets an appropriate framebuffer (the framebuffer's size depends on resolution, color depth and palete size). So setting RGB values for a pixel in the framebuffer, lights that pixel up. This is how we used to do stuff when I was making assembly graphic demos for the demoscene in what now seems like the previous century.
Nowadays the graphic APIs allow you to use much higher level code. Instead of manually drawing a rectangle by writing color values in the framebuffer for each pixel one by one in asm, now you can call a function that draws a rectangle at your specified coordinates and size with any high level programming language.
This is the basic function of a video card. It gets more complicated when you start talking about concepts such as pre-rendered frames and actual GPU acceleration but this is essentially what a driver does. It translates API code to actual function on the hardware. And this is why it is actually impossible to damage a video card like that. A bad driver can crash a card, yes. By requesting stuff that the card can not do which cause exceptions that may or may not be handled in hardware but that's it. It can only get it stuck. Which in turn would cause the driver to malfunction and a Stop Error (BSOD) would occur on Windows, a Kernel Panic on Linux. That's it. It's technically impossible for the driver to damage the card. I hope you understand it better now.

What is technically possible though is for the fan controlling functions of the driver to stop or not ramp up the fan on the card. That would cause the card to overheat and if a heavy load is placed on it, it may or may not kill a card (same like overclocking a CPU with bad/malfunctioning cooling). This is what happened with that specific nvidia driver release. The driver would not ramp up the fan (beyond 40% if I remember right, and only on specific models). But even in that case for damage to occur you'd have to push a very heavy load to the card (EDIT: Meaning that drawing a desktop or scrolling boot text etc is not enough for a card that can operate at 90+C by design). AND also be extremely unlucky int he card not shutting down before temperature damage was done.

Hope all that clears it for you guys. I can't explain it an a more simplified way than that.

Zygomorphic
11-09-2013, 09:50 PM
I'd side with @nodens on this one. I could see how setting the card to a higher resolution would damage the monitor (as @nodens said), but not how it would damage the card. Most likely, the card was getting ready to fail, and the change in configuration (nVidia drivers under LINUX do things a little differently) could have been the final straw (or just coincidence). Scrolling text (when in that low-res mode) is actually done in a special BIOS video memory setup, where the BIOS places the text on the display, rather than the OS. This is used in the earliest stages of kernel initialization, before the system switches from ring-0 to ring-3. This mode can only be done in ring-0.

Nodens
11-10-2013, 11:17 AM
Indeed! That early scrolling output has to be done in a global compatibility way. There are no vendor dependent drivers involved, it's old school int 10h BIOS call based! I still remember when I was about 13 years old when I set out to experiment with int10h with a goal of making some bouncing vector balls. It took me about a weak trying to figure out why everything I wrote to VRAM was being displayed immediately on the screen making animation impossible, my timing code was being ignored. Waiting for vertical retrace was needed but that was entirely undocumented in all my asm books. And I only found out when I asked in a demo related IRC channel on EFnet..Times like these I feel old :p

Myk SilentShadow
11-10-2013, 11:31 AM
All that stuff is waaaaaay over my head!!! no wonder I never really got it with Programming, when I was 13 I had no idea what the heck a driver was, let alone how to mess with stuff like that. Wasn't til I hit 15 that I learnt a bit of Turbo Pascal, then some QBasic, Visual Basic and a bit of C++ in further years...all while in High School(C++ was learnt after High School). lol

Zygomorphic
11-11-2013, 01:29 AM
All that stuff is waaaaaay over my head!!! no wonder I never really got it with Programming, when I was 13 I had no idea what the heck a driver was, let alone how to mess with stuff like that. Wasn't til I hit 15 that I learnt a bit of Turbo Pascal, then some QBasic, Visual Basic and a bit of C++ in further years...all while in High School(C++ was learnt after High School). lol
I totally understand. I played with some of the BIOS stuff a bit just for fun (Operating Systems are a personal interest of mine). Never really took to assembly, or C++ much for that matter. I honestly preferred C, since I wasn't normally doing object-oriented stuff anyway, so the added complexity just bugged me. Never really got anywhere, though I did get stuff to display via int 10h call! :)

I mostly do higher-level languages at work (VB.NET, Python, etc.). I'd like to play around with operating systems and compilers more when I have time.

Nodens
11-11-2013, 11:14 PM
Heh My first programming courses as a kid, were GW-Basic, Turbo Pascal and DBASE IV.:) It was not in school though, it was summer classes in a private institute as I had a huge infatuation with computers since I was a kid heh.
I also preferred plain old ANSI C and still do when OOP has no benefit in what I'm doing. The first game engine I wrote with three other guys was Akkadia, an open source MUD game engine (text based, MORPG based on telnet) was a C beast of couple of million lines of code. That project would have benefited from OOP and although I was already pretty deep into programming at the time, I had absolutely no contact with OOP. I believe that you should always weigh down if OOP benefits your project or adds unnecessary complexion to it like Zygo said.
That said, I like interpreted and scripting languages such as Python or Perl for certain stuff where using them makes sense. I do absolutely hate though anything .NET, C# and managed code in general, for several reasons, performance being the primary one and certain limitations being the secondary. I'm also a strong hater of Java (I prefer writing C code full of #ifdefs instead of going that route for crossplatformness). And I also liked playing a lot with operating systems. In the past I had systems running OS/2, BeOS, NeXTSTEP and less exotic things like SCO Unix, Solaris, VAX/VMS :)

Myk SilentShadow
11-11-2013, 11:26 PM
Figured you would hate those Environments Nodens as they promote from what i've been told countless time, bad programming habits lol. 1st time I was exposed to computers I was all of about 7 or 8 years of age. I took some class as a kid and being so young, the 5.25" Floppy disk I had was bigger than my bloody hand hahaha. I kept that disk for years between not using computers(Dad was in Aussie Air Force, we got sent to Malaysia) and when I started using a computer again in the mid 90's I found the disk and put it into a drive, but the damn thing was empty. Either I wiped it after the last use, or it got wiped some other way haha.

Zygomorphic
11-12-2013, 12:09 AM
.NET isn't too bad, but it's second-rate to Java (cross-platform+web capabilities). It now has LINQ, which once you know it, becomes really, really cool. However, Python has list comprehensions that look like LINQ on roids. Python is a better high-level abstract language, and with the Numpy+Scipy combination, makes a pretty good substitute for MATLAB.

I need to get back into C/C++ more, especially since that's where all the action is. Now if only I had more time. :p I don't have the skills to be a LINUX developer, though I program a good deal. Given more time in the future, I'd like to join an open-source development team of some kind.

Given the discussion of programming, I thought I should ask. Anyone ever tried project Euler? That's a lot of fun, some of those problems are really slick!

Nodens
11-12-2013, 01:27 AM
LINQ is great and all but it still doesn't address my main issues with the .NET platform which basically boils down to performance oriented stuff. CLR execution is slow. Very slow. All kinds of VM based execution/JIT compiling is slow. Also it does not allow me to use inline assembly. Even in C/C++ there are cases where I have to do something in a very very fast performing way and I have to use inline asm for it. Or I have to do something that simply isn't supported without inline asm. To do that in C# for example I have to make an unmanaged DLL in..C++ lol and then link to that from C#. This is so much wasted time and I don't really need .NET's hand-holding in memory management etc. If I did, I would consider it but I don't. So, for me, managed code is a trade-off of performance vs strict compliance. If your coding practices don't have issues with compliance (memory management, security, etc etc), why would you ever consider using .NET which is inherently slower and limiting? Sure it offers many convenient methods but then again so does a native C++ framework library like Qt (which I use in RB)..not to mention that by using Qt, you also gain cross-platformness without the performance penalty/overhead of the CLR or JVM.
Another thing that bothers me greatly is the extra dependency on the "condition" of the user's system. .NET framework or JRE have to be present in the user's system AND in good condition. With .NET Framework's constant corruption issues that a lot of end users face or the very frequent update cycles of the JRE and it's constant exploits/holes that make it mandatory, it makes management of software development tedious. Once I made a character builder application for an RPG game in C# (in order to get a hang of it) as donationware. 70-80% of the bug reports I got were actually issues in the user's .NET Framework installation. Going through all the reports alone and figuring out what was a valid issue and what was not, was a task in itself. I do not plan on touching .NET or Java again unless it is a requirement of a commissioned work assignment. And in that case I will probably charge extra for that requirement depending on what exactly is the project and its target audience (corporate/business environment vs end users).

Python is just great! Also it's so widely used that you'll stumble upon it everywhere you go. For example I use IDA for disassembly and advanced debugging. It supports a Python plugin system that allows you to script anything you want with it. I have Python scripts for analyzing UEFI modules on IDA for example. In GIMP you can use script-fu for scripting tasks like RB does but it also supports Python for nearly limitless scripting. Blender uses it, even Notepad++ supports Python heh. Python and Lua are probably the most widely used scripting backends available. Not to mention that EVE Online is made with Stackless Python hehe. Another huge plus for python is that you can actually pack the python interpreter with your application. You don't have to rely on the end user installing it or maintaining it.

It's not hard to join a linux based open source project. Just pick one that you are very familiar with, examine bugtrack and sources and start submitting patches. Since you're into Python a lot, you could check out Anaconda (the Fedora installer) which is written in Python exclusively-- the pun is not lost in the name heh (I've contributed just a bit in the past regarding nforce chipset fakeraid detection in Fedora installation (anaconda/dmraid)-specifically leftover raid metadata on drives were breaking the installer's drive detection and partitioning stage).

Never heard of Project Euler before. Sounds very interesting, I'll check it out!

Myk SilentShadow
11-12-2013, 01:37 AM
Nope never have heard of Euler, might have to Google it :p

And since we're talking about Programming, I just dug this up...anyone remember these bad boys?
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_121855_zps3615fc0a.jpg

http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_121255_zps611738bb.jpg

That's right kids, back in the day before PDF's became a huuuuge thing. We had to do things differently, in that folder lays 486 pages of Programming education!! Surprisingly though, I didn't empty a tank of ink to print that all out hahaha.

This is the rest of my tiny and sad Programming collection
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_122753_zps5371e583.jpg

The HTML book was Mandatory for study that I did back in 2001 and the PHP was a store bought book, that I never bothered to actually look at haha...seem to have lost the included disk too :/

And since this is a thread all about Linux, here's my small collection of books I bought when I first was fascinated with Linux
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_122821_zpsf38d7d2a.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_123003_zps587ca814.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/TheVaempyrMyk/IMG_20131112_123015_zpsa0b211ae.jpg

:cool:

Nodens
11-12-2013, 01:47 AM
Dot matrix printing? Heh I need to eventually move the rest of my books from my hometown. Got some pretty interesting editions hehe. That php book looks awfully small. It must assume you're familiar with Perl:)

Myk SilentShadow
11-12-2013, 02:08 AM
Nah the pages are printed on regular paper, printer was an old HP Laserjet I think haha. As for the PHP Book, it's just what they termed a "Pocketbook" Intro level stuff, Oh and if anyone is curious, the Linux books came out when RedHat 6.0 and 7.0, Mandrake 7.2, Debian 2.2r2 were the "Kings". The latest Linux in the books back then had Mandrake 10.0 with Kernel 2.6.3

Nodens
11-12-2013, 03:38 AM
I have Redhat 4 & 5 and Slackware 3.3 on boxed versions.:) I also got SCO UNIX System V/386 3.2 floppies, no box though. Bought it at an auction of a company that had gone bankrupt for 5000 drachmas back then (equivalent to about 15 Euro, although considering the inflation of currency since then it was more about 60-80 Euro in actual value). About the price of a PC game at the time. I was really happy about that, considering this OS was priced at a 4digit dollar number at the time and I thought it was largely impossible for me to get my greedy little hands on it! Then of course came the pain of actually installing it which involved several weeks of me researching things as it couldn't detect my huge 30mb hard drive (lol) and I had to pass CHS values to the kernel on boot as I eventually found out..while every sane person around me was wondering about the kid's weird and obscure preference in toys :p

Myk SilentShadow
11-12-2013, 03:59 AM
Haha awesome, sounds kinda like a whole lotta nightmare and a bit of frustrating fun for you. I just bought myself a sealed copy of 98SE for 5 bucks lol and I got a copy of NT Workstation 4, years ago for like 50, though not sealed. RedHat 6 was my Introduction to Linux and my Uncle was trying to get me onto Mandrake, but eh, for some reason I preferred RH back then.

Zygomorphic
11-12-2013, 11:16 AM
Haha awesome, sounds kinda like a whole lotta nightmare and a bit of frustrating fun for you. I just bought myself a sealed copy of 98SE for 5 bucks lol and I got a copy of NT Workstation 4, years ago for like 50, though not sealed. RedHat 6 was my Introduction to Linux and my Uncle was trying to get me onto Mandrake, but eh, for some reason I preferred RH back then.
Was that the bit of passive rebellion? :p

Yeah, @nodens, I see your point. My programming can be pretty sloppy at times. However, at work, there are limitations on what we can use. :( Also, decisions were made before I joined the team, so we can't change it now. I used to be a big .NET fanatic, and as time has passed (and I learned more), I realized that Python is a better system for what the .NET framework is designed to do (and it's a lot smaller).

Yeah, I may look into getting involved in software development. I'd need to find something that primarily depends on Python, so the Anaconda installer may work. :) Thanks for the advice, I will definitely keep it in mind!

billyray520
11-12-2013, 02:32 PM
I'd side with @nodens on this one. I could see how setting the card to a higher resolution would damage the monitor (as @nodens said), but not how it would damage the card. Most likely, the card was getting ready to fail, and the change in configuration (nVidia drivers under LINUX do things a little differently) could have been the final straw (or just coincidence).

If I was just reading through this thread, I would side with Nodens too! But when it's your own beloved Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra graphics card, where you carefully replaced the fans with new ones, and made sure everything was just right, and it always functioned perfectly in Windows 98 without even a hint of problems, and then when trying a brand new distro of Xubuntu which sets the resolution to something higher than you ever saw before, AND the computer and boot up crash at that point. AND it does it a second time. AND when booting back into Windows 98 the card is all fubared, and NEVER works right again, frequently crashing during the boot process. Well, one has a different perspective. :p

I now have another Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra graphics card installed in the Windows 98 box. Do you think I'm going to try Xubuntu again!? :confused: Not on your life. I have marked the install CD with a skull and crossbones!


29636

Arrrr!

Myk SilentShadow
11-12-2013, 02:48 PM
Aren't you able to set the resolution during the installer process? I was able to when I installed OpenSUSE 12.2 earlier in the year.

@Zygo: lol yeah might have been mate :p

Nodens
11-12-2013, 09:33 PM
Not sure how Xubuntu behaves but some of them just switch to the native monitor resolution.

@Zygomorphic: Perfectly understandable. You can't always choose what to work with at work. And once you're employed to work with an existing infrastructure it gets even more limiting:/

@billyray: You know you can always install in text mode and setup X conf manually to whatever you want. It's a little more involved to do so but I get the impression that you like tinkering!

Zygomorphic
11-13-2013, 02:02 AM
Not sure how Xubuntu behaves but some of them just switch to the native monitor resolution.

@Zygomorphic: Perfectly understandable. You can't always choose what to work with at work. And once you're employed to work with an existing infrastructure it gets even more limiting:/

@billyray: You know you can always install in text mode and setup X conf manually to whatever you want. It's a little more involved to do so but I get the impression that you like tinkering!
I've never been able to get X.conf working manually. :( I need to tinker more. Should be something to do when I get time. :)

Nodens
11-13-2013, 02:45 AM
That conf file is a little tricky. Your best course of action is getting the latest default conf and edit that while reading the man pages for options. With nvidia driver installed it gets even trickier due to lack of proper and current documentation, specially if you're doing a two+ monitor setup. Sometime ago, autoconfiguration was working rather bad. What I used to do is edit default for screen modes etc, then install nvidia and let it tweak it and lastly fine tune any other options with the nvidia GUI tool. I have not done that in ages though on Fedora..I just install the akmod and I'm done.

billyray520
11-13-2013, 05:03 PM
@billyray: You know you can always install in text mode and setup X conf manually to whatever you want. It's a little more involved to do so but I get the impression that you like tinkering!

You got that right! ;) Now my Windows 98 computer can't get through the POST. It functioned normally for a couple of weeks after the Xubuntu debacle. Then one morning, I turned it on, and it gets stuck right before the fdd gets checked. IOW, the Post gets through the memory check, and detects the keyboard, mouse and 2 hdds and just when it would normally buzz the fdd, beep and load windows it is hanging. So I'm tinkering with hardware again. Arrrrr. :p

This is an Intel SE440BX-2 mobo with 768 MB of ECC Ram, Pentium III @450 mhz. All fans are working. The weird thing is that the BIOS isn't triggering any error messages during the POST. The screen works fine, sound ok, keyboard and mouse good. The fdd and cable are good (swapped both) I'm getting a POST card to see where it is sticking. It might be a mobo problem. (I'll blame Xubuntu for that too.. :o )

Nodens
11-13-2013, 05:22 PM
Lol! Try removing the fdd drive to see if it will post. Hard drives can also cause this behavior..I think that system is slowly telling you that it needs a retirement. Maybe it just had a voltage spike too many :/ Memtesting the RAM is also a good idea.

LVKILL
12-03-2013, 04:35 PM
Hello everyone, I'm G55VW with 12GB ram. I tried to install the OS and Sabyon elementary, but still can not choose the system after boot. So even Windows8 loads that came with the notebook. I will still insist on Linux. Liked the partitioning scheme suggested in the forum by super moderator zygomorphic:
/ dev/sdb2 / boot ext2 255 MB
/ dev/sdb3 Extended partition
/ dev/sdb6 / 50 GB ext4
/ dev/sdb7 / home ext4 418 GB
/ dev/sdb5 32 GB swap swap


But first I need to address this issue await the boot helps everyone. I would like to try the dual boot sabayon with the existing system on the notebook (Windows8 pro).
Tks for help.

Zygomorphic
12-04-2013, 02:26 AM
Welcome to the forums, @LVKILL! :)

OK, here is some advice. I was wrong about some of the stuff. Here is a better partition scheme:
62 GB / ext4
418 GB /home ext4
16 GB swap swap

The separate /boot partition is good if you are running a server (Can be mounted read-only for security), but since Sabayon ships newer kernels so often, that partition would quickly fill up, causing problems. It's better for most cases to leave it inside the / partition, since all your data resides on the separate /home partition.

Swap doesn't need to be so big, just larger than system RAM if you want to be able to hibernate. I never do with 16 GB of RAM, since LINUX boots so fast that it doesn't need it, and sleep lasts long enough for those times when I don't want to close out all my work. :)

All the best! :)

As to Sabayon, which version are you using, and have you disabled Secureboot and enabled Launch CSM? Oh, and when you install Sabayon make sure to tell it to install the boot loader to the appropriate drive if you happen to have two. It will enable dual-booting by default. :)

Nodens
12-04-2013, 10:30 AM
Not sure if its possible to do on Sabayon but with RPM based distros you can set a switch to keep n amount of kernels. Something to look up I guess:)

Zygomorphic
12-15-2013, 02:55 AM
I thought I should share that ASUS is now installing Ubuntu on netbooks! :)
http://www.ubuntu.com/partners/asus

billyray520
12-15-2013, 04:57 PM
Good for Asus! Ubuntu is very good on netbooks. I have an Acer netbook with Ubuntu. It originally came with Windows 7 starter edition, but no one seriously would consider that a viable option! :p

Nodens
12-16-2013, 04:32 AM
Great news Zygomorphic! That's a nice way to tap into the full performance of a netbook:)

Zygomorphic
12-17-2013, 12:28 AM
Great news Zygomorphic! That's a nice way to tap into the full performance of a netbook:)
Yes, with a light distro of Ubuntu (Lubuntu or Xubuntu, take your pick), that could be a pretty sweet system. I don't care for Unity much, but its better than GNOME 3, and Ubuntu isn't too bad on RAM usage ~500 MB.

billyray520
12-17-2013, 01:50 AM
My Acer netbook has the full Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with Unity and is operating very well. I have upgraded it to 2 GB of RAM. I think modern netbooks (Like the Asus one) can run full Ubuntu versions no problem.

I hope more vendors come out with Ubuntu (or Linux) netbooks. It's perfect for them!

SlackROG
12-23-2013, 04:34 AM
I'm a hardcore Linux Geek so I know the deal! :)

1. I've never made seperate partitions but that's me, / & swap is all I've ever done, so you don't really need it, It depends on what you want... But yes jumping around between distros and having a /home partition to keep things perserved might come in handy. So actually all you really need is just / & /home, two partitions.

2. With 16GB of ram you don't need swap

3. It seems like you're just starting out in Linux so I'd suggest checking out http://distrowatch.com and pick a distro you like.

4. For starting out I'd recommend Mint or Ubuntu

The only way you're going to learn is just start diving in there and going for it and when you need some help in real time join the Freenode IRC server, it's the biggest Open Source IRC server for most distros, Mint uses their own.

Cheers

Myk SilentShadow
12-23-2013, 12:03 PM
Zygomorphic is not a n00b when it comes to Linux

Zygomorphic
12-23-2013, 11:59 PM
I'm a hardcore Linux Geek so I know the deal! :)

1. I've never made seperate partitions but that's me, / & swap is all I've ever done, so you don't really need it, It depends on what you want... But yes jumping around between distros and having a /home partition to keep things perserved might come in handy. So actually all you really need is just / & /home, two partitions.

2. With 16GB of ram you don't need swap

3. It seems like you're just starting out in Linux so I'd suggest checking out http://distrowatch.com and pick a distro you like.

4. For starting out I'd recommend Mint or Ubuntu

The only way you're going to learn is just start diving in there and going for it and when you need some help in real time join the Freenode IRC server, it's the biggest Open Source IRC server for most distros, Mint uses their own.

Cheers
Welcome to the LINUX+ROG fold! :) Mating the best software with the best hardware...:cool:

Yeah, if you don't reinstall distros very often, getting rid of the /home partition doesn't make much difference - it is up to user preferences. However, I reinstall/install distros often enough that having a coherent /home partition is very beneficial.

I have debated on removing swap, but occasionally I do stuff that will saturate my 16 GB of RAM, so having that swap space can actually prevent a program from crashing. I'm aware of how slow it can be, but if space-hogging programs that aren't very active are paged out, you'll be okay.

SlackROG
12-24-2013, 01:56 AM
Zygomorphic is not a n00b when it comes to Linux

Glad to hear! ;)

Oh I also didn't mean that as any disrespect to anyone since I'm new around here, I was only pointing out that I'm a Linux geek is all hehe...

Cheers




Welcome to the LINUX+ROG fold! :) Mating the best software with the best hardware...:cool:

Yeah, if you don't reinstall distros very often, getting rid of the /home partition doesn't make much difference - it is up to user preferences. However, I reinstall/install distros often enough that having a coherent /home partition is very beneficial.

I have debated on removing swap, but occasionally I do stuff that will saturate my 16 GB of RAM, so having that swap space can actually prevent a program from crashing. I'm aware of how slow it can be, but if space-hogging programs that aren't very active are paged out, you'll be okay.

Thanks for the Welcome, hehe mating, we certainly could use some more of that with Asus & Tux! :)

Sheesh what are you doing that you're sucking up 16 GB of Ram?

Let's see now, I could be running a video in full screen on VLC, surfing in Firefox, playing music, playing a game in Steam, plus a VM running Windows, and I still wouldn't be using up 16GB hehe...

What distro and DE are you running?

One good reason I'd recommend swap is for anyone that might want to use VMWare Workstation...

Cheers

powerhouse
01-11-2014, 03:34 PM
...Any thoughts and/or suggestions? I'm happy to have feedback, and would like people's thoughts. I'm particularly interested in starting a flame war about distros, as well as filesystems. :cool:

Sorry for being a latecomer to this show. So here is my 7 cent:

1. /boot partition ext2
2. All the rest LVM with separate / and /home, both ext4, and unformatted LVs for your VMs (see below) - leave empty space so you can extend either / or /home, or make more space available to your VMs when needed. All LVs should be in the same VG (read on LVM if this is unfamiliar).
3. As Nodens suggested, install Xen (or KVM), use a second graphics card, and install your Windows VM with its own physical graphics card using VGA passthrough for bare metal performance.
4. Doing the above, you will NEVER ever have to dual boot:D. My Windows VM runs better on the Xen hypervisor than it would on bare metal, and I got the benchmarks to proof it - see http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=225&t=153482.
5. Backing up my Windows VM (70GB volume) to a compressed file or restoring it takes ~6 minutes. I keep a "golden image" plus some sequential backups just in case Windows goes sour, or when I test new software and want to completely rid myself of it.

If you need instructions for getting Xen and VGA passthrough work on Linux Mint, see http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=112013.

Nodens
01-11-2014, 07:48 PM
LVM is nice for messing up with volume sizes etc but I would not really suggest it to a Linux newbie as it can easily get complicated in case of any recovery procedures.

My favorite setup for Xen is this:

OS on SSD, with just /, /home (both ext4--no separate /boot partition) and swap if needed.

Then additional mechanical drives or SSDs either directly passed to the VMs, or big mechanical drive on LVM just for VM usage.

If you want go a bit overboard get an LSI RAID HBA. 3xSSD RAID5 with some space left for RAID0 Cachecade array (eg 80GB), 3xHDD Large drives on another RAID 5 array.

OS on SSD RAID5 array (root, /home, swap). Mechanical RAID5 array with LVM, used for storage and VMs. Mechanical RAID5array cached via Cachecade on the 3xSSD RAID0 array.

And you got everything. Super speed, flexibility, redundancy.

powerhouse
01-11-2014, 09:55 PM
Ok, you beat me, Nodens :). I'm just a bloody amateur.

By the way, how do HDDs/SSDs passed through to VM compare with LVM? Done any comparisons?

And how about LVM stripe versus RAID0?

Nodens
01-12-2014, 12:13 AM
Passing through the physical drive is always faster and it's a lot more noticeable in random I/O, hence a lot more noticeable in mechanical drives than SSDs. Considering the volume sizes you need to run a multitude of VMs, usually they end up on mechanical drives due to the cost of SSDs. The LSI Cachecade solution to cache a mechanical RAID array on an SSD array is as good as it gets performance-wise for this particular use (VMs). I use this particular setup I mentioned with an LSI 9260 soon to be replaced with a 9271:) I extensively use VMs for testing software I develop on different versions of Windows and sometimes different setups (saves a lot of time to have OS images preconfigured for various case scenarios).

mdadm software RAID0 is faster, again considerably on random I/O. LVM striping is more flexible though as you can do with LVM a lot of things that you can't do with RAID. This is why using LVM on top of RAID is a common practice in IT. You set up a RAID array and then do volume management on it with LVM (without striping of course). Hardware RAID is a whole other level because of cache and dedicated processor for XOR logic function (for parity RAID levels 5, 6).

Here, check this out. It's somewhat dated but it'll give you a perspective on the performance difference:http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7582/2/

powerhouse
01-12-2014, 10:07 AM
Thanks Nodens - very helpful!

Edit: I read the article you linked to, very informative, particularly the 1st section comparing LVM striped with RAID0.

My striped LVM data disks (currently 2x 2TB HDDs) hold files ranging from ~250KB (small jpegs) to ~20MB (RAW camera files) to ~60-80MB (TIFF). It seems that write performance doesn't suffer to bad when using LVM versus RAID0.

I think we both have totally different usage patterns:

1. Yours, from what I gathered through another post of yours, is that you run a business and replace/sell hardware regularly to fit new needs, or to make sure you don't run into troubles with old hardware.
Also, it seems that running multiple OSes will require your disk I/O to cope equally well with small and large files, and it's easy to see how you and your business benefits from a well-performing virtualized Windows test bench environment based on Xen.

2. My PC platform grows "naturally". When I built my current PC, I reused most of my drives from the old PC and added only a SSD (for Linux OS and the Windows guest OS) and another HDD for data (the second HDD in the striped LVM volume). In the meantime I had to add another HDD.
The advantage of LVM - to me - is that I can add HDDs and grow file systems when needed. NOT using RAID frees me from the need to get identical disks. So my PC holds a 120GB SSD, a 500GB drive, a 1TB drive, and 3x 2TB drives. Of course if I were to buy disks now I would go for 3TB drives (best price/performance ratio and - by now - mature technology).
The only thing that I'm not yet settled on is the backup method(s) - currently I use several different methods for different data and purposes: Backup on import of photos (Lightroom functionality), internal backup of OS and VM using LVM snapshot with dd and pigz, backup to external HDDs using the disk's backup utility under Windows, rsync-type backup to my media PC. It's a bit of a mess, I admit.

Considering the performance and ease of use, I will probably standardize on rsync for data backup (I use luckybackup with ssh for that), and move some disks to my media PC/server in the cellar.

Zygomorphic
01-12-2014, 11:16 AM
Me, I feel like a moron...Thanks @Nodens! :) Actually, I've played with Xen before, never got it running right, so I may have to try it again, just to see if I can get it working, since it looks like such a great idea. However, I'm on a laptop, so it may not be so useful. The other thing I may have to play with is LINUX on my Android phone...

Nodens
01-12-2014, 10:35 PM
My striped LVM data disks (currently 2x 2TB HDDs) hold files ranging from ~250KB (small jpegs) to ~20MB (RAW camera files) to ~60-80MB (TIFF). It seems that write performance doesn't suffer to bad when using LVM versus RAID0.


Indeed. You could still benefit a lot from a hardware RAID controller though due to cached writes and due to redundancy. Also hardware RAID doesn't have some of the limitations of software RAID. More on this below.



I think we both have totally different usage patterns:


Indeed:)



1. Yours, from what I gathered through another post of yours, is that you run a business and replace/sell hardware regularly to fit new needs, or to make sure you don't run into troubles with old hardware.
Also, it seems that running multiple OSes will require your disk I/O to cope equally well with small and large files, and it's easy to see how you and your business benefits from a well-performing virtualized Windows test bench environment based on Xen.


Considering I'm an indie developer, I run a very tight ship. Meaning I only upgrade when performance is needed and the cost is justified. Hardware for me is a business asset first and any recreational uses come secondary:) For example I would never buy a X chip as the additional CPU cache is not worth the double price for my particular usage. If I was building a render farm though, I would (although I would go with Xeons+Tesla in that case heh). As long as the hardware pays back, I'll upgrade. :)



2. My PC platform grows "naturally". When I built my current PC, I reused most of my drives from the old PC and added only a SSD (for Linux OS and the Windows guest OS) and another HDD for data (the second HDD in the striped LVM volume). In the meantime I had to add another HDD.
The advantage of LVM - to me - is that I can add HDDs and grow file systems when needed. NOT using RAID frees me from the need to get identical disks. So my PC holds a 120GB SSD, a 500GB drive, a 1TB drive, and 3x 2TB drives. Of course if I were to buy disks now I would go for 3TB drives (best price/performance ratio and - by now - mature technology).
The only thing that I'm not yet settled on is the backup method(s) - currently I use several different methods for different data and purposes: Backup on import of photos (Lightroom functionality), internal backup of OS and VM using LVM snapshot with dd and pigz, backup to external HDDs using the disk's backup utility under Windows, rsync-type backup to my media PC. It's a bit of a mess, I admit.

Considering the performance and ease of use, I will probably standardize on rsync for data backup (I use luckybackup with ssh for that), and move some disks to my media PC/server in the cellar.

Exactly this is the advantage of LVM. The flexibility I was talking about. Though do notice that quality hardware RAID controllers will let do you do a few tricks with disks. For example using 3 arbitrary drives like a 2x 1TB and one 500GB, you could build a 500GB RAID5 (on 3 disks) AND a 500GB RAID0 with the leftover from the 2 1TB drives, or you could use the extra space as JBOD. Quality hardware controllers give you a form of flexibility AND several other features such as RAID level migration, growing/shrinking etc etc. They are not as flexible as plain LVM but they're pretty close. The downside? They're expensive (at least quality ones..LSI, Areca/Tekram, etc).

And your backup "hell" brings me to the other great benefit of RAID. Redundancy. I do not use RAID0 as most people do. RAID0 for me for anything other than temporary/scratch disks or cache storage is useless. I am not interested in adding points of failure in my systems.
RAID is all about redundancy for me and the performance I also get out of it, is a bonus. Managing TB of backups is utter hell. RAID5 gives you a decent level of redundancy and 6 even more by sacrificing 1 or 2 drives. This keeps you "operating" unless you suffer a catastrophic failure. It's not a substitute for proper backups but it certainly reduces the amount of data you need to backup and the frequency.

Everything critical should be backed up with multiple copies. But non-critical data are fine with RAID5 redundancy. I will mind if I lose entire projects. But the space and resources required to backup those is minimum. VMs or OS and app installations etc etc, is nothing that can not be replaced. RAID5 though keeps you working even if one drive fails. RAID6 with 2. So you avoid downtime and backups of insignificant data. LVM striping is just as bad as RAID0 as far as I'm concerned. Any situation that results in complete data disaster in case of a drive going bad is absolutely horrible. I can not backup 12TB of data regularly just in the case that something like this may happen. I can backup 1-2TB and use RAID5 to make it really hard to fail. If the case happens that 2 drives simultaneously go bad without any previous signs of failure, which is statistically improbable unless you're operating a data center, then I have my critical data and can rebuild. But this will be a very rare case IF it ever happens. While having a single drive failing out of 3 is not that hard now, is it?


Me, I feel like a moron...Thanks @Nodens! :) Actually, I've played with Xen before, never got it running right, so I may have to try it again, just to see if I can get it working, since it looks like such a great idea. However, I'm on a laptop, so it may not be so useful. The other thing I may have to play with is LINUX on my Android phone...

Years ago Xen was much harder to use. Nowadays Zyg, it's very easy specially for an experienced Linux user such as yourself and with PCI passthrough (on a laptop that features an IGP as well) you can forget ever booting Windows on baremetal again ;)

Zygomorphic
01-15-2014, 01:46 AM
I agree, @Nodens, data backups are important. Loved the part about operating a data center (which, thank heaven, I don't). I keep backups of everything important, that I don't want to risk losing, and I don't bother with LVM, since it is just asking for more trouble than its worth.

Years ago Xen was much harder to use. Nowadays Zyg, it's very easy specially for an experienced Linux user such as yourself and with PCI passthrough (on a laptop that features an IGP as well) you can forget ever booting Windows on baremetal again ;)
@Nodens, I wish that I was as experienced as you think I am. I've used LINUX a bit, and I know my way around OS's in general, but as far as the nitty gritty of system configuration, that's not me.

I believe what you say is true, @Nodens, and I am going to have to try that, since it would be really awesome. :) Now can you run an existing installation that is on a separate partition from within Xen? That would be the first step towards cleaning the Windows...:cool:

IM2L844
01-19-2014, 12:59 AM
Today I put Precise Puppy 5.7.1 on a 16 GB SanDisk Extreme 3.0 that I found for $28 @ B&H and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with the speed. It loads to RAM in seconds and afterward everything is nearly instantaneous. We'll see if I'm still impressed overall after I drive it around for a couple of weeks. The jury is still out, but I really like the idea of being able to carry everything I might need around with me in my pocket if I want to.

Zygomorphic
01-19-2014, 11:22 AM
Today I put Precise Puppy 5.7.1 on a 16 GB SanDisk Extreme 3.0 that I found for $28 @ B&H and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with the speed. It loads to RAM in seconds and afterward everything is nearly instantaneous. We'll see if I'm still impressed overall after I drive it around for a couple of weeks. The jury is still out, but I really like the idea of being able to carry everything I might need around with me in my pocket if I want to.
I hadn't thought about using Puppy, but due to its smaller size, I might. I pretty much always have a USB flash drive with LINUX on it so that I can boot it wherever I go, but it takes a while to load, probably due to the larger distro coupled with the slower USB interface.

IM2L844
01-19-2014, 03:19 PM
I hadn't thought about using Puppy, but due to its smaller size, I might. I pretty much always have a USB flash drive with LINUX on it so that I can boot it wherever I go, but it takes a while to load, probably due to the larger distro coupled with the slower USB interface.

It's rockin' so far. Timed it this morning...16 seconds to load, but I don't know how much of that is due to the 3.0 flash drive. 2.0 might take a couple seconds more, but that wouldn't be anything to really ***** about. Once it's in RAM, it's freaky fast on my system. It's definitely worth giving a whirl. I like playing with new toys though and after a couple of years of using various distros I'm still not set in my Linux ways so maybe it's just worth it to me. ;)

Zygomorphic
01-19-2014, 08:28 PM
It's rockin' so far. Timed it this morning...16 seconds to load, but I don't know how much of that is due to the 3.0 flash drive. 2.0 might take a couple seconds more, but that wouldn't be anything to really ***** about. Once it's in RAM, it's freaky fast on my system. It's definitely worth giving a whirl. I like playing with new toys though and after a couple of years of using various distros I'm still not set in my Linux ways so maybe it's just worth it to me. ;)
Yeah, that's what I was figuring, based upon my booting taking closer to 30 seconds. I'm willing to be it's my older USB 2.0 flash drive that's causing it. My USB 3.0 is faster, but USB 3.0 is unstable on my G53SX (always has been).

Nodens
01-20-2014, 06:31 PM
I always carry a 2 usb flash drives with me. One with windows tools in general that also boots Free DOS (includes flashing tools etc etc) and one with Kali Linux (for on the fly security auditing) and Knoppix (for data recovery).

Zygomorphic
01-21-2014, 11:25 AM
I always carry a 2 usb flash drives with me. One with windows tools in general that also boots Free DOS (includes flashing tools etc etc) and one with Kali Linux (for on the fly security auditing) and Knoppix (for data recovery).
Armed and dangerous. @Nodens has both barrels out and ready for action! :D Good plans, I should start carrying a LINUX drive with me as well.