The Friendly Face of Linux

MRRSM

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We have many experienced Linux Users here at GMT Nation... and if you too have been clever enough to dig out one of those unused laptops or desktop systems sitting around that sport outdated, congested and bloated Windo$e Operating Systems and opt to experiment with any of the various flavors of The Linux Operating System, then this information is for you… Google and Youtube abound with enough information about the Linux OS to give you a decent comfort level with trying out this OS.

Having used Linux for over 20 Years now and tried and tested practically every single flavor of this amazing OS… I have finally settled upon Linux Mint 18.1 +> as being My Absolute Favorite! With a background in criminal computer mapping and crime information database management, I remember the struggles I endured when dealing in crashed and virus infected MS-DOS and every single version of Windo$e installed on machines that failed more times than I can count in professional settings. So discovering Linux during its early development as a bit of a clunky and difficult graphical Unix OOP-like (Object Oriented Programming) OS involved watching it advancing steadily from being a bit of a struggle to install and run… to becoming an absolutely sublime and powerful Operating System that is a breeze to get up and running.

Did I mention anything about all the software being free? Yup… all Free and unencumbered. Some of the Enterprise Based versions of Linux, such as that from Red Hat Enterprise are Turn-Key systems for big business that do charge for their software and services… but their Fedora Linux platform is used to prove out their commercial stuff first and THAT is free to use.

Right now… all of the original heavy lifting necessary to understand the Unix Clone command line and script based activities necessary to use this OS on any machine has become a thing of the past. The average person with the desire to try something new will discover something fairly surprising in the realm of a Non-Windo$e based OS that can do just about anything Windo$e can and get this OS for free by visiting any number of sites on line (Ubuntu, Debian, RHE-Fedora, Linux Mint-Debian based and many, many more).

Just download a boot-able or installable ISO of choice… and burn it on a DVD disc that will allow them to run their existing machines using Linux and play around with it harmlessly first, without doing one jot of change to their existing system. Getting your feet wet with this stuff will soon teach you that all of the money being spent upon the Merry-Go-’Round of having to play the game of unendingly buying more software and OS upgrades ...will come to a screeching halt.

With the exception of the death grip that Windo$e and Play Station have on the gaming industry… Every single thing that needs doing nested in Windo$e ...including running Windo$e applications using the Linux WINE application, can be done swimmingly well on a Linux Box. And for those wanting the most pleasurable experience as a new ...or even many experienced users of Linux... all will benefit from the Linux Mint ISO for the easy installation of a platform that goes seamlessly together with very few growing pains and big pay off in what becomes possible once you boot up the new OS. Here is where to download the appropriate 32 and 64 Bit “Minty Flavors”:

https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

I recently discovered a page that has the most outrageously cool “copy and paste” command line tweaks and even more sub-links for Linux Mint that will make the transition and improvement of its utility and performance that much more useful. If you can navigate and open The Terminal app… then you can cut and past in these exotic and clever command line tweaks and improvements and get even more use out of whatever machine(s) you install this OS into:

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/mint-cinnamon-first
 

HizAndHerz

Well-Known Member
Most folks I know are running Linux Mint or Ubuntu (maybe its just the techno-nerds I run with). We have 10 desktops and laptops in our household and all but two are running Linux Mint. Occasionally I find something I can't easily do on Linux even using Wine (listening to Audible books for instance), but its our go-to operating system.
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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Recently… I decided to investigate the possibility of extracting the audio streams from Automotive Diagnostic MP4 Videos which are becoming more and more available at GMT Nation in order to download and view them graphically as a Wave Form and see if anything visually “spikes” and is in disarray which might provide more clues to the underlying mechanical problems creating any aberrant engine noise. The problem of having to spend a fortune on a Video Editing Suite to get these features can be avoided by using the latest version of the Linux 64 Bit flavor of the Free, Open Source “OpenShot” Full Featured Video Editing Suite. It has also been ported for other Operating Systems (Windo$e, OSX), as well.

Of course, the value of doing this is being able to isolate the Audio Stream and more or less graph it in an “oscilloscope”-like fashion ...and try to spot anything that “jumps off the page” as having a repeatable, periodic sequence that can help to pinpoint the underlying mechanical issues that are ‘making all the racket’. I can’t swear that this idea will pan out… but for Linux Users interested in experimentation… it might be worth following the Command Line installation procedures at the link below to access the PPA and install the stuff and try this idea out. Besides that… it looks like a pretty decent all around Video Editor APP on its own merits:

http://openshot.org/download/
 

therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
I'm a lifelong Apple owner. If you're sick of "Congested, Bloated and Outdated" software, switch to Apple. We don't crash. We don't have as many issues with malware and our updates make our machines better, not slower. I've been running an Apple iMac 3.2 Core i7 with 8GB of RAM for three years and I haven't had a single hiccup with it. Like most of Apple's computers, the thing works.
Open Source Software is a really great thing, but it's a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish to most people, regardless of what's online for information.
If you're not a gamer, Apple is the way to go.
 

djthumper

Administrator
I'm a lifelong Apple owner. If you're sick of "Congested, Bloated and Outdated" software, switch to Apple. We don't crash. We don't have as many issues with malware and our updates make our machines better, not slower. I've been running an Apple iMac 3.2 Core i7 with 8GB of RAM for three years and I haven't had a single hiccup with it. Like most of Apple's computers, the thing works.
Open Source Software is a really great thing, but it's a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish to most people, regardless of what's online for information.
If you're not a gamer, Apple is the way to go.
Apparently you are just a casual user. Apple puts bloat on the systems as well. They do crash and they crash hard when they do. The malware is getting more and more Apple centric and if you are not running an anti virus you are a security risk waiting to happen. A lot of the updates bloat things and then get cleaned up.

I say this with some authority as I am one of the people that supports 35 Mac systems at work. I also do cyber security and have had malware hit the macs a few times.

Before you think this is a PC user talking this you are not correct. I run Windows, Apple and Linux.
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
With the idea in mind here that the Linux Operating System is a “Big, Friendly Tent” under which much fun stuff can be explored and appreciated… I’d like to suggest some interesting project(s) that I started doing quite some time ago with the idea of building something in the way of ‘Entertainment Centers’ that would be very inexpensive to cobble together… extremely robust and support functionality that would not sag and bog down under the load caused by running Blue Ray movies and concurrent applications.

I settled on scouring eBay for much of the theoretically, outdated and non-environmentally friendly commercial server and workstation hardware made by Mike Dell. At the same time… I wanted to fiddle around with almost all of the flavors of Linux… including their Server Software… just because I wanted to get a look inside of the hardware that “The Big Boys” were playing with at the time. In the order of their acquisition, I started with a few Dell Precision 690 Work Stations … mostly purchasing their parts and pieces and gradually assembling them...and settled later on with the Dell Precision T7400 Work Stations that I still use to this very day. Here is where to find them… but be sure and do your Intel Processor and RAM homework about the many and sundry different components they can come with that will make a very big difference in how they deliver their performances. Be advised that many of the 690 and T7400 components are NOT interchangeable... so you won't be able to "mix and match' these items... it has got be either one flavor... or the other:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw=dell+precision+690&_sacat=&_ex_kw=&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_sop=12&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_sadis=&LH_CAds=&rmvSB=true

These are the Best Intro Videos on the Dell Precision T7400 Box:

(TRUST ME... IT WILL NEVER BREAK)


Around that same time, my son’s interest in gaming evolved… and so did his need for more and more power and performance. This became an unending demand for better and more responsive hardware and so the ‘Moore’s Law’ theme here was to have to change out his computer platform about every six months or so. But on one occasion… when he came in and asked for the NBT (Next Best Thing) in hardware… I sat him down in the living room in front of the HDTV and asked him, “Scotty… How many videos can you open and view on your desktop right now without having them pixelate and crash or slow to a crawl?” He stared blankly at me and said... 'I don’t know Dad… maybe two... if nothing else in running...’ I pointed at the TV Screen and said, “Watch this..."

I opened (6) Six different MKV Movies... all at the same time and turned up the sound volume so he could observe and hear that all the movies scaled to fit on the wide screen were playing simultaneously and without so much as a burp... and all could be heard as a cacophony of mixing dialogue. He smiled broadly, laughed out loud and asked, 'Dad… How is that even possible?' I pointed at the Big Black & Silver Box next to the TV and said, “THAT is a Dell Precision T7400 Work Station running Dual Quad Top End Xeon Processors, Dual PCI-e nVidia Gaming Cards...and sports 128 Gigs of RAM on Risers with ECC Full Buffered Ram as an Experimental Machine for watching Multimedia... and all while I'm running an ungodly number of full-tilt background applications ...and not having anything crash."

I continued to mention, "This one is running on Fedora Linux... But if you want, you can have this one after we load a new, complete licensed Windows XP Professional OS onto it and then you install your programs and game away to your heart's content." He was brimming when he said… “I want THAT one…!” We both laughed and later when I got it set for him ... I reduced the RAM Footprint to having only 64 Gigs of RAM as the Machine can make a bedroom unbearably hot very quickly with that much ECC FB RAM cranking out the BTUs. And so for the next decade right up until the time he left home, he never needed another Hardware Upgrade... ever again.

So if you have Inquisitive Kids that want to toy around with a very powerful piece of computing technology and you don't want to go broke in making that happen… Getting or Building your own “Dell Box” is a very fun and instructional thing to do that everyone in the family can enjoy. Who knows… you might even spark their interest in Science, Technology and Engineering that can change their lives for the better in the future. ;>)

Here are some videos about the Dell Precision 690 Gaming Box being put together and demonstrating what it looks like inside and out... and just how powerful these Dirt Cheap Dell Machines can become:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dell+precision+690+gaming
 
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therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
I've been running Norton Anti-Virus all three years I've owned this computer and again, not a single hiccup.
Linux had it's place, but not in my life.
 

dkvasnicka

Well-Known Member
I switched to Mac from (Ubuntu) Linux back in 2009 and have been pretty happy since then (my primary motivation was that I wanted a UNIX that just works). However the Linux scene, together with PC HW manufacturers, have progressed quite a lot since then and I can imagine myself using Linux again (using it at work via CLI anyway). I have a retina MBP13 but can very well imagine living with a Dell XPS 13 and Fedora (especially with some of the HW design decissions Apple has recently made). I even bought a LG tablet, rooted it and installed Android 6 and I'm pretty happy with it.
However the main problem for me would be my lock-in into the Apple services ecosystem. My family is heavily invested in iCloud and associated services. Yes, you can go to iCloud in your browser and use that but the decrease in OS<->services integration and user experience would be drastic... The solution would be to go back to Google, full on. And I kinda don't want that because I think Google needs pressure from the competition. They're too big to fail.
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If your favorite flavor of Linux happens to be the almost trouble free version called Linux Mint... even under the best of circumstances, as the Kernels get updated over time... the mini-partition created when the Linux OS is installed will become clogged with too many older versions of the Linux Kernel. However... If you follow the instructions in the attached link below using GEDIT as your Text Editor in an open Terminal... you can copy-paste-save the involved simple script highlighted in pale green into your HOME Directory and then run the commands in the same open Terminal afterwards, you will be able to very quickly and easily Clean Up the Linux Mint System. Trust me... It'll Work Like A Charm!

https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/373
 
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6716

Well-Known Member
Fedora 25 is my daily driver.

I also work for a Linux-based software company.

If anyone can tell me how to forward afs logs to another machine, I'd be much obliged. Got that question at work yesterday, still haven't figured it out. I can get syslog forwarded from OS X, can't seem to find anything on afs, though. I didn't even know there was an afs until I got the question.
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Everything before the URL Link below is a Quote from that link:

This should work... on sender, modify /etc/syslog.conf like this

*.warn @192.168.0.1

on receiver, modify /etc/sysconfig/syslog; add -r to list of options for SYSLOGD_OPTIONS

https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/forward-system-logs-to-syslog-server-757592/

The Stanford University IT Department has an informative Q&A on the subject of AFS log forwarding and covers issues related to why Mac OS may have problems that can also offer more insights:

https://uit.stanford.edu/service/afs/learningmore/faq
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Instead of going through the usual rigmarole of having to use my One, Last Fresh Installation CD of Windows XP Pro SP3 for ‘Emergencies'… I’m considering just using the Linux Mint “WINE” Windows Emulation Application and set it up to recognize BOTH the USB Dongle AND the Standard Serial COM Ports and hopefully be able to designate both of them correctly to allow for a smooth and uninterrupted installation of the TIS2000 CD Software onto the coming “GYMKO” Tech-II.

In the past...what I’ve liked about the WINE APP on Linux is that it’s features allow you to install and run very old Windows CDs and run outdated dBase, DOS and Early Windows Games, etc. It has been a while now since I last used it, but I think it still lets you designate which early flavor of WinDo$e to choose from when doing so. I think I can designate either a near-to or post Y2K Flavor of “Windows on WINE” via Linux and simply bypass all of the usual “Bravo Sierra” of having to set up Windows on a Dormant Legacy Laptop with a dedicated HD having Windows XP Pro installed on it as a Virgin Drive...just to suit this particular situation for the install of the GM flavor of TIS2000 onto the "GYMKO".

What a PITA!.

For anybody interested in getting a good “One Over The World” look at all of the Hardware and Software inside of their own particular Laptop and Desktop PCs… Belarc Advisor will allow you very fast and complete access to your entire set ups... and it shows you all of the HW-SW inside. In addition... it includes listing any and all outstanding or problematic-missing Windows Security and Software Updates as well. A small Caveat Emptor here ...is that I only run this Windows based Investigative Application… on Linux Mint Machines… so I never have any occasion for running any Virus Checks, or Root-kit Checks or other danger checks on the SW. So… If you decide to install/use it on any of your systems… you are doing so at your OWN risk. :>)

The installation site for Belarc Advisor:

http://www.belarc.com/products_belarc_advisor

This is the “How To” PDF worth reading whenever using USB Serial Port Adapters while running WINE on Linux:

http://g8ogj.org/files/Using USB serial ports under wine howwto ipb.pdf
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
I recently encountered a very rare occurrence during the Boot Up Cycle of Linux Mint 18.2 where my Elderly “Square” Screen 15” IBM ThinkPad Model T60 (One of Two that I regularly use for all kinds of projects…) failed to pass the Automatic File Checking Phase… and simply stopped upon a Jet Black Terminal-Like Screen with an obscure, super-tiny green ‘intramfs’ Prompt….and nothing else besides. This problem would demand a “manual intervention”.

Never having encountered this problem before...EVER… in spite of my having a fairly thick glossary of Terminal Command Line responses inside of my Ancient Coconut, I had to fire up its 15.4” Wide Screen (Close to 16:9 Ratio anyway...) Cousin T60 and then plumb “The Internets” for what turned out to be more proof that “The Very Soul of Linux… Is Elegance and Simplicity”...when it comes to solving something this rarely encountered, but threatening nonetheless. I have many recently active files only on this particular machine that I will need very badly over the next few weeks while trying to help my son and his family purchase a home up in North Florida. Having this Box Crashing out now would have Drawn Blood, I can tell you!

And so… This Tiny Command Solution really is worth its weight in solid gold… but if you eschew anything resembling Old UNIX and DOS Commands and are new to Linux and would instead enjoy delving into a more “graphical” means of checking upon the health and stability of your Laptop or Desktop Linux Machines, the link at the bottom of this post is one worth Visiting, Bookmarking and Reading from top to bottom, when time permits… and hopefully you can get familiar with how to respond well before you encounter what I just went through.

In order to prevent damage to the File System at large... it will be necessary for you to Unmount the drive prior to working this next miracle. Here is the Command Line that also will require your SU (Super User) password to invoke the UN-mounting action first ...and Yes... it is spelled UMOUNT):

sudo umount /dev/sda1

...or if your Partition is designated /dev/sda ...UN-mount it thusly:

sudo umount /dev/sda

Here is “The Rescue Command ...at Hand”:

fsck /dev/sda1

Alternatively... The File EXT4 System will be examined via THIS variant:

sudo fsck -t ext4 /dev/sda1

Where... ‘fsck’ means ‘file system check’ and ‘/dev/sda1’ means… Your 1st Boot-able HD System Partition designated for initial system access by the Root User (or someone designated with root access) alone during Boot-Up. Incidentally… under most circumstances… the default occurrence for this file checking mechanism is for this to Invoke Automatically … but only after every 33 Boot Up Cycles… so it is not doing this action each and every time that you fire up the Linux Machine.

Once this simple line is manually invoked… Press down your “CAPS” button and just answer Every Single Question the On-Screen Prompts beg from you as replies using only the Capital Letter “Y” and allow it to scour the /dev/sda1 (or /dev/sda) Partition for anything and everything that it finds that might be wrong. Considering that my drive is a fairly new Hybrid SS/HD with 2 TB of Secondary Storage and a Large Boot Sector for the Linux GRUB and OS, it was only a matter of a few minutes before I was able to power off the machine, re-boot the thing… and find that my Old, Trusty T60 was up and running on all ‘partition cylinders’ once again.

https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/37659/the-beginners-guide-to-linux-disk-utilities/
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
For those of us relying upon various flavors of the Linux OS… If you have ever been frustrated when downloading a Video File created in the .MKV Format and had their various downloads crap out when they are almost… damned nearly … finished… there is a simple, cross-platform Drag and Drop application called “Meteorite” that when once installed… you can use it to solve this Busted .MKV Problem by simply going to the folder where the file(s) are located… and dragging-releasing the file(s) individually over the Meteorite Icon on your Desktop.

Meteorite will then silently repair, resize and then place (NOT Replace) the New File in the same directory or folder of origin with your original damaged .MKV file(s). Thus… eliminating the problem of losing partial videos when these are all that are available for download and no other options for repair-rebuild are at hand.

Since this program was originally written in C++ and might also be ported over to Java Script… you can avoid any of the usual Linux OS installation entanglements for say... the Linux Mint OS flavors ...by opening up a fresh Terminal and typing (or copy-pasting) one instruction line at a time ...in this exact code that uses Meteor ...to install Meteorite:

First Key In….

sudo apt install nodejs npm

Press ENTER... and WAIT... this part of the process does take a little while to complete...

...once that is finished... Key In…

sudo npm install -g meteorite

Press ENTER... and momentarily... You Are

....DONE...

Now ...view your Desktop and locate the Icon for the Meteorite App... then open your Video Folder... and Drag & Drop the broken .MKV file over the Meteorite Icon. It will take a few minutes for the corrections and re-write the smaller sized copy of the .MKV to finish. During Post-Processing... the name "Meteorite" will be appended to the first portion of the title to the copied/repaired file(s) making them easily distinguishable from the original(s)... but no matter... the viewing results of the rescued file(s) will be pleasing.

For Members who are Windows OS Users … You can also download this application in the MS flavor… from here:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/meteorite/

For anyone curious about what "Nodejs" is... Here is a WIKI on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Node.js

...and it follows on for more information about what NPM is as well:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Npm_(software)
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If you have grown tired of having to open Three Different Image Editors to Copy-Drop various formats of images… only to find that when it comes to “CROPPING AND DROPPING” any Modified Images between formats and with the area size adjustments needed to meet the requirements for the Right Sized Files acceptable for Uploading… Check this Method out that I recently stumbled across and found some blessed relief in making all of these problems just go away using the Word Processor alone from the ALWAYS Completely Free LibreOffice Suite.

Available for Windows Users as well... Here:

https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/

(1) Find the Image you want to work with and Right-Click Copy it.

2002-chevrolet-trailblazer0.jpg

(2) Then Open LibreOffice Writer and Right-Click Paste the Image on the Letter Sized Open Page.

HOW2CROPIMAGESUSINGLIBREOFFICE1.jpg


HOW2CROPIMAGESUSINGLIBREOFFICE2.jpg

(3) Move the the Cursor inside of the Pasted Image and Right-Click CROP the image, observing that Eight Red Border Rectangular Sizers will appear around the perimeter of the Image. Just GRAB & DRAG the Perimeter Segments inwards until you are satisfied with their dimensions.


HOW2CROPIMAGESUSINGLIBREOFFICE3.jpg


(4) Then Right-Click SAVE the image… BUT… Remember to Look-Down at the Lower Right Corner for selecting an Image File Type from the Look-Up Menu and select .JPEG as the tightest, smallest format with the least File Size in Bytes. The default is for the Bloated .PNG Format.

(5) Then Click Save As a Modified File… and Select the File Folder and Naming Convention you like… accept the default Image Sizing and Quality variables… or change them to something else more to your liking.

(6) That is IT!

HOW2CROPIMAGESUSINGLIBREOFFICE4.jpg

I think you’ll appreciate NOT having to Mess Around with any other Linux Graphics Apps that make these often slippery, PITA conversions difficult if not damned near impossible. With just a little practice... THIS Method will work wonders for you.

Disclaimer:

This Exemplar Image for this Post is publicly available on-line via a general Google Search for "2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer" at this Link:

http://zombdrive.com/images/2002-chevrolet-trailblazer-1.jpg

I am neither the Photographer nor the Owner of this image.
 
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TollKeeper

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