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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Linux learning curve

    So a fortnight ago my home media server (running Emby on Windows 10,) died. While the storage was all spinning rust I had an old sandforce based SSD as a boot srive that did what older sandforce chips sometimes do if disconnected from power and bricked itself.

    When I sourced a replacement drive I decided to take the plunge & do something I've been threatening to do for a while and make a Linux based pc having never got further than a live CD before. Especially with all the privacy concerns about windows 10 and the regular pointless changes they keep making to it.

    So thanks to the brilliantly detailed instructions on HTPCbeginner within 24 hours I had a functioning media server running Ubuntu 16.04 Server, emby and Samba all administered over SSH. Over the past couple of weeks I've been troubleshooting minor issues (such as the server transcoding to all clients even if they could accept native files passed through,) and now have it running flawlessly.

    Its gone so well that my main PC is now running a dual boot into Ubuntu 16.10 so I can learn the Gnome desktop before 17.04 LTS is launched. Although I'm a gamer so I'll always need to dual boot into windows for some games I'm impressed with just how many DO work under Linux.

    I still have much to learn but have a few observations:

    *the CLI commands seem alien but they're as good if not better than DOS ones we're, it's just getting to know them.

    *The BAD news is it doesn't "just work" like a lot of things for in Windows. And if it does need tweaking you will almost certainly need to use the terminal. The GOOD news is that if you choose a popular distro there is a wealth of help, support and documentation online from individuals who have run into similar problems.

    *It feels stable and solid.

    *The gnome UI didn't seem that alien. This may be as I never used the start menu under windows either. I prefer pressing win-key, typing name of program and pressing enter. That works just as well here.

    * Gaming on Linux is a lot better than expected. About 1/3 of my steam library and half of my GOG library work on Linux. YMMV as I lean more to indie titles and don't buy much EA/Activision AAA stuff. Even using a AMD graphics card (which used to be almost unusable under Linux) in a dual monitor setup with the Intel on board driving the second screen works almost fine. I'd only I could stop Pillars of Eternity loading on the 2nd screen and using its resolution.

    There are still things I need to learn, and a lot of choices you just don't have to make on Windows like there being more than 1 source of GPU drivers but overall its not as scary as I thought. If anyone is thinking about trying it I'd say that as long as you're willing to learn/Google and you choose a widely used distro you'll probably get the hang of it fairly quickly.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Good job making the leap, Linux is great, my only gripe is the various window managers all have their pros/cons and not one is as "nice" as, say, windows 10. Controversial, but my opinion.

    I spend 99% of my Linux time in SSH anyway, so it's not a deal breaker.

    I installed ElementaryOS on my dad's office computer, it hides all the difficult stuff really well and looks like OSX, been running happily for a few years where his windows 7 would get clogged full of junkware in a matter of days.

    You seem to have a better than average gaming experience, Windows certainly has a significant edge there. And probably will for a long time.

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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    You seem to have a better than average gaming experience, Windows certainly has a significant edge there. And probably will for a long time.
    Agreed, I put it down to a combination of low expectations going in, my choice of games, a district that any games for Linux tend to target, a reasonably new GPU (rx480) and blind luck.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    I work in HPC and am using Linux all the time, I really prefer it to windows and often find myself trying to type linux bash commands into CMD.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    I'm still learning and there ARE bugbears. A common one is that Linux/Steam/AMD GPU drivers (I don't know which is the culprit,) assume that my primary display is the one on the left, regardless of how its set in the graphics settings. As a result all of my games launch on my secondary monitor regardless of what I do and won't use my main monitor or its resolution.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaineoliver View Post
    I work in HPC and am using Linux all the time, I really prefer it to windows and often find myself trying to type linux bash commands into CMD.
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/about

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    Re: Linux learning curve


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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    I'm still learning and there ARE bugbears. A common one is that Linux/Steam/AMD GPU drivers (I don't know which is the culprit,) assume that my primary display is the one on the left, regardless of how its set in the graphics settings. As a result all of my games launch on my secondary monitor regardless of what I do and won't use my main monitor or its resolution.
    I'm wondering if I have been lucky on using the left monitor as primary display, but I'm sure I have had middle monitor as primary in the past. I do however use the KDE desktop which has its own hardware setup panel including monitor assignment so it might do things a little different. That was also using Nvidia proprietary drivers, whereas at home I use the AMD open source drivers even for playing games.

    You say in the first post that the Intel graphics are driving the secondary display, that could be confusing things. I always stick to a single driver, partly because the Intel driver is the worst source of instability I have found in Linux systems.

    Your comment about Steam/GoG is interesting to hear. I can usually find something to play under Linux, but if I want a specific game (like Elite) I will often have to boot into Windows.

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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I'm wondering if I have been lucky on using the left monitor as primary display, but I'm sure I have had middle monitor as primary in the past. I do however use the KDE desktop which has its own hardware setup panel including monitor assignment so it might do things a little different. That was also using Nvidia proprietary drivers, whereas at home I use the AMD open source drivers even for playing games.

    You say in the first post that the Intel graphics are driving the secondary display, that could be confusing things. I always stick to a single driver, partly because the Intel driver is the worst source of instability I have found in Linux systems.

    Your comment about Steam/GoG is interesting to hear. I can usually find something to play under Linux, but if I want a specific game (like Elite) I will often have to boot into Windows.
    Apparently I if I had 3 displays it would assume centre is the default. I have 2 and therefore its left only. I've no idea what GPU drivers I'm using, I'm assuming open source for Intel and AMD graphics. Would proprietary AMD ones be better?

    Steam/gog games will depend vastly on what your choice of games is. I play management games, turn based strategies and a lot of smaller indie games. If you're into big budget shooters (or space-trucking-sims like elite,) you might struggle. I was pleased that Rocket League runs native though.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    Apparently I if I had 3 displays it would assume centre is the default. I have 2 and therefore its left only. I've no idea what GPU drivers I'm using, I'm assuming open source for Intel and AMD graphics. Would proprietary AMD ones be better?

    Steam/gog games will depend vastly on what your choice of games is. I play management games, turn based strategies and a lot of smaller indie games. If you're into big budget shooters (or space-trucking-sims like elite,) you might struggle. I was pleased that Rocket League runs native though.
    I say middle display, they right hand one was actually on another machine but tied into the same keyboard and mouse using XtoVNC so really it was two.

    I just stick with the open source AMD drivers. They trade blows with the proprietary ones in terms of performance, but you don't get hassle of them getting out of sync with the kernel.
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...t-mesanv&num=2

    But if you have plugged the secondary display into the motherboard graphics, why?

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I say middle display, they right hand one was actually on another machine but tied into the same keyboard and mouse using XtoVNC so really it was two.

    I just stick with the open source AMD drivers. They trade blows with the proprietary ones in terms of performance, but you don't get hassle of them getting out of sync with the kernel.
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...t-mesanv&num=2

    But if you have plugged the secondary display into the motherboard graphics, why?
    I only game on the main monitor. So it seemed daft to have my gaming GPU splitting it's resources when the on board is perfectly capable of rendering the desktop apps on the other screen. Might have to reconsider

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Have been using Peppermint OS on my server for a couple of years now and find HTPCBeginner a great site too. Have installed Peppermint on some relations PCs at Christmas time. A good sign is I rarely have to teamviewer their machines so they must be getting on better with it than Windows

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    How did you find configuring, using, and the experience of sound under Linux, spacein_vader?

    The reason i ask is the last time i tried it many moons ago that was the biggest drawback on Linux for me, i prefer using a sound card and found the drivers and configuration of a SB X-Fi all very confusing what with different drivers, configuration programs, and settings.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    *The BAD news is it doesn't "just work" like a lot of things for in Windows. And if it does need tweaking you will almost certainly need to use the terminal. The GOOD news is that if you choose a popular distro there is a wealth of help, support and documentation online from individuals who have run into similar problems.
    Or Android, Mac OS or any other modern operating system.

    I've tried it multiple times over the years and long winded process to get stuff working has always put me off. Not to mention half the commands, folders and programs have unnecessarily shortened names. Autocomplete has been around an awfully long time now, there's no reason we should have to be dealing with names like blzx or cyptr.

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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    How did you find configuring, using, and the experience of sound under Linux, spacein_vader?

    The reason i ask is the last time i tried it many moons ago that was the biggest drawback on Linux for me, i prefer using a sound card and found the drivers and configuration of a SB X-Fi all very confusing what with different drivers, configuration programs, and settings.
    I only use the realtek onboard audio (effectively passthrough to an external amp) and it just worked our of the box. I've not tried to adjust anything more complicated than the volume however.

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Or Android, Mac OS or any other modern operating system.

    I've tried it multiple times over the years and long winded process to get stuff working has always put me off. Not to mention half the commands, folders and programs have unnecessarily shortened names. Autocomplete has been around an awfully long time now, there's no reason we should have to be dealing with names like blzx or cyptr.
    You try installing android yourself on a random device & troubleshooting it without using some pretty archaic commands.

    I've never met a CLI with autocomplete either. I'm finding them tricky to get my head around but it's not because they're any less logical than their windows counterparts. It's because I've already got 25 years of learning Windows internal logic, I've got 3 weeks learning Linux.

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    Re: Linux learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    I've never met a CLI with autocomplete either.
    Start typing something in bash, and press tab. Often works on pathnames as well as command names and their options. Unix users are lazy in a productive way

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