New Linux user has some questions

Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help

New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:57 am

Hi there,

I currently own 2 computers with Windows 7, a media PC and a laptop. My laptop is getting old so I decided to buy a new one this fall. Problem is, I don't like Windows 8, I especially don't want to pay for Windows 8 and my Windows 7 Pro is OEM, so I can't transfer it.

Truth be told, only thing I do on my laptop is surf the web, read my e-mails, use OpenOffice, use my accounting software and watch videos, either from a website or from my network hard drive. Putting aside my accounting software which I could put on my media PC and remote to it from my laptop, I could pretty much use a Chromebook to do everything else. Mind you, ChromeOS doesn't support network sharing, so I wouldn't be able to see the stuff on my network drive and it has lot more limitations. So I figured I could find a company that would sale me a laptop without Windows (I know Dell does it) and install Linux on it.

So I freed a 20GB of my Windows partition and started trying different distributions of Linux this weekend. Started with Xebuntu, too limited for a new user, nothing worked. I then tried Ubuntu, not since Windows ME I've I seen an OS with applications and file managing system that crash so much. Now I'm at my 3rd one, Mint KDE and so far so good, it's like a mix of Linux, Windows and Mac. Now I know that I'll have to live without certain things like not being able to use a Logitech software to remap all of my mouse buttons, but I guess it's to be expected.
There are however a few things that would need to be solved before I make the jump.

1- There's a general audio lag/skip. I say general because it can be with videos both online and offline or when playing MP3s. I tried all the media players that came with Linux Mint 16 KDE, all the same results. It's really random, I can't recreate the lags/skips and the same place twice. I can have nothing else running, simply watching a video and I get the issue. Any ideas on what the issue is? Codec? Drivers (I didn't install any, I used the defaults that came with the system)?

2- When booting in Mint, the other partitions don't seem to load immediately. I noticed this because my custom wallpaper, which resides on another partition with the rest of my files, didn't load at the start-up. I made a copy of it in the Linux documents folder and it solved that problem, but since I made the start-up section in Dolphin to be my file partition, I get an error when opening Dolphin saying that it could not find the directory and brings me back to the Home folder. I can go headed and click back on my partition afterwards and it will work, it's just a delay issue I guess, but this also means that redirecting the different folders such as music, pictures, etc... will not work. Any solutions this?

Anyway, those are my questions for now, sorry there was so much text.
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby Kalyk on Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:23 pm

As you mention your laptop is getting old I would advise trying Linux Mint 16 Mate.
It is a lot lighter then KDE and when coming from Windows I think it is very easy to work with.

And about mounting partitions when you startup:
Look at this tutorial:
http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1513

And if the lag of the sound persists post the specs of your hardware.
Add (Solved) to the topic-title of the first post when appropriate so others know they might find a solution here.
User avatar
Kalyk
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:16 pm

Kalyk wrote:As you mention your laptop is getting old I would advise trying Linux Mint 16 Mate.
It is a lot lighter then KDE and when coming from Windows I think it is very easy to work with.

And about mounting partitions when you startup:
Look at this tutorial:
http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1513

And if the lag of the sound persists post the specs of your hardware.


Well the computer is old in the sense that it's almost 5 years old. It's still ran Windows 7 without any issues and it is a Toshiba, not a cheap Acer. I'll backup my progress with KDS using Clonezilla and I'll try Mint 16 Mate this weekend.

Thanks for the link, I'll check out that tutorial. As for my laptop's specs, hope that's enough info :P

Operating System
Windows 7 Professional (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)
Installed: 7/20/2013 16:34:52
Boot Mode: BIOS (Secure Boot not supported)

System Model
TOSHIBA Satellite L450 PSLY0C-03D012
Enclosure Type: Notebook

Processor
2.20 gigahertz Intel Pentium Dual-Core
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded

Main Circuit Board
Board: TOSHIBA NBWAA 1.00
BIOS: TOSHIBA V1.30 11/13/2009

Drives
478.53 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
229.51 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633C [Optical drive]
XCHQD B0DQV0HUF SCSI CdRom Device [Optical drive]

TOSHIBA MK5055GSX [Hard drive] (500.11 GB) -- drive 0, s/n Y9HGT2C8T, rev FG001M, SMART Status: Health

Memory Modules
3934 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'M1' has 2048 MB
Slot 'M2' has 2048 MB

Controllers
Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller

Display
Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family [Display adapter] (2x)
DELL P2010H [Monitor] (19.9"vis)
Generic PnP Monitor (15.3"vis)

Bus Adapters
AC6V5XPY IDE Controller
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2934
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2935
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2936
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2937
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2938
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2939
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293C

Multimedia
Realtek High Definition Audio

Communications
Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller
Realtek RTL8191SE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC

Other Devices
Microsoft AC Adapter
Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
Microsoft Composite Battery
Chicony USB 2.0 Camera
Standard PS/2 Keyboard
PS/2 Compatible Mouse
USB Composite Device
USB Root Hub (8x)
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby Kalyk on Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:19 pm

This laptop will do Linux fine for the next 10 years I think.
Cinnamon will also do fine on that hardware.
But try Mate, you might really like it.
And perhaps it gets rid of your sound delay.
Add (Solved) to the topic-title of the first post when appropriate so others know they might find a solution here.
User avatar
Kalyk
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby DeMus on Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:40 am

I agree with Kalyk, this laptop is more than capable of having any version of Linux on it. I also have a 2.2 GHz laptop with 4GB ram en no problems whatsoever. I use the KDE desktop since I believe this is the only nice one, it is for me anyway. :D
KDE used to be large and heavy but lately it runs smooth on all hardware, so there is no need anymore to use a lightweight DE.

The sound problems you have are most likely not caused by the combination of "old" hardware and the use of a new OS. There must be something else going on here. What that is, I don't know. I hope for you somebody else can help you out here.

A five year old laptop is not old. Also, in the Linux world you hear that this OS is great for older hardware. It his is not the case then many websites have to change their texts, books have to be rewritten, etc.
No more Windows and Gates since Ubuntu 8.04, used 9.04, 10.04, then switched to Kubuntu because of Unity and Gnome 3.
After that it is Mint, used 9 till 17 all in KDE version and loving it.
DeMus
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:11 pm

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Hi guys,

I tried Linux Mint Mate but it ended with the same results. So I started thinking, what could be the possible cause.

Drivers? Maybe, but that would mean that anyone with the same audio and video chip sets would have the same problem in Linux since it's pretty much all the same drivers. This left out Mint itself, so I tried PCLinuxOS and it works great, no audio issues.

Anyway, I'll start exploring this distro and put it to the usual tests.


Thanks
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby Kalyk on Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:33 pm

I love Mint, so I think LM17 might be a good one to try in less then two months.
But PCLinuxOS has a few nice things also so good it works for you.
Add (Solved) to the topic-title of the first post when appropriate so others know they might find a solution here.
User avatar
Kalyk
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:19 pm

Kalyk wrote:I love Mint, so I think LM17 might be a good one to try in less then two months.
But PCLinuxOS has a few nice things also so good it works for you.


Probably will since I'm rather disappointed in the PCLinuxOS application manager, it looks like a freaking mess compared to everything I've seen so far in other Linux distros.
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby xerion567 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:01 pm

the_importer wrote:Hi there,

I currently own 2 computers with Windows 7, a media PC and a laptop. My laptop is getting old so I decided to buy a new one this fall. Problem is, I don't like Windows 8, I especially don't want to pay for Windows 8 and my Windows 7 Pro is OEM, so I can't transfer it.

... So I figured I could find a company that would sale me a laptop without Windows (I know Dell does it) and install Linux on it.

I had recently checked in with Dell, and they seemed pretty adamant about selling me a machine with Windows on it. If there is a way to get them to sell me a blank machine I'd be very interested in hearing about it.

Anyways, onto the problems:
the_importer wrote:Now I know that I'll have to live without certain things like not being able to use a Logitech software to remap all of my mouse buttons, but I guess it's to be expected.

I would say that it is definitely possible to customize your mouse in Linux, but it is also true it won't be as simple and straight-forward as the Logitech software. You can customize pretty much *everything* in Linux, given enough time to learn the details of the config files behind it.

the_importer wrote:1- There's a general audio lag/skip. I say general because it can be with videos both online and offline or when playing MP3s. I tried all the media players that came with Linux Mint 16 KDE, all the same results. It's really random, I can't recreate the lags/skips and the same place twice. I can have nothing else running, simply watching a video and I get the issue. Any ideas on what the issue is? Codec? Drivers (I didn't install any, I used the defaults that came with the system)?

That is quite the show-stopper bug. Be patient, this is going to take some explaining.

The audio system has 3 main parts: the Linux Kernel (the hardware drivers), ALSA (a software interface to the kernel drivers), and PulseAudio (a manager for ALSA). I suspect the problem you are encountering may be with PulseAudio.

PulseAudio is known as an "audio server", which means it allows lots of programs all running simultaneously to play or record sounds at once. It also has a reputation as a source of audio problems and as a resource-hog, but it is also married to some desktop environments like MATE. ( pun intended :D ) You mentioned in another post that you have gotten the audio to work properly using PCLinuxOS. From what I've read, some editions of PCLinuxOS do not have PulseAudio installed, and when it is installed the versions can vary.

To find out if PulseAudio is the culprit, you need to do some troubleshooting. Here are some ways to test it:

---Find out what versions, if any, of PulseAudio you've got running
To do this you'll need to go to a terminal (ctrl-alt-T, or run terminal from the menu) and type the following
Code: Select all
pulseaudio --version
. You should get a version number back or something like "command not found" if Pulseaudio is not installed. Compare the output for this from the setup that works to the one that doesn't. (You should be able to do this from a Live install environment, if needed.)

---Bypass PulseAudio in your application
If you can set your program to bypass PulseAudio and go straight to ALSA, you may be able to isolate the problem. I can't see a way to do this within Banshee or Amarok, but I do recommend QMMP (you can install this from the software manager, if you've ever used Winamp you'll be at home with this player).

In QMMP right click the title bar, select settings. If you have QMMP version 0.7+ you'll find the output settings under "Plugins". Scroll down to the "Output" section, click the "ALSA Plugin", then the "Preferences" button below. The dropdown menu "Audio device" lists what channels you can send the sound to. By default the ALSA plugin routes sound back through PulseAudio (*not* what we want), so pick another sound output, like hw:0,0 (that means first hardware sound device, first output). Under "Advanced Settings" you can also play with other settings like the Buffer time to try and fix problems.

---Play audio files straight from command-line
If you're comfortable with the command terminal you can use aplay <file> to play back a sound file. Beware that by itself aplay will only play files like .WAV, .AIFF, or similar uncompressed audio data.


Ok, hopefully you're still with me after all that troubleshooting! :D Once you can pin down the subsystem responsible for the problem, we can start looking for more specific solutions to the problem.
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux...viewtopic.php?f=58&t=164690
User avatar
xerion567
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:38 am
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:10 pm

xerion567 wrote:That is quite the show-stopper bug. Be patient, this is going to take some explaining.

The audio system has 3 main parts: the Linux Kernel (the hardware drivers), ALSA (a software interface to the kernel drivers), and PulseAudio (a manager for ALSA). I suspect the problem you are encountering may be with PulseAudio.

PulseAudio is known as an "audio server", which means it allows lots of programs all running simultaneously to play or record sounds at once. It also has a reputation as a source of audio problems and as a resource-hog, but it is also married to some desktop environments like MATE. ( pun intended :D ) You mentioned in another post that you have gotten the audio to work properly using PCLinuxOS. From what I've read, some editions of PCLinuxOS do not have PulseAudio installed, and when it is installed the versions can vary.

To find out if PulseAudio is the culprit, you need to do some troubleshooting. Here are some ways to test it:

---Find out what versions, if any, of PulseAudio you've got running
To do this you'll need to go to a terminal (ctrl-alt-T, or run terminal from the menu) and type the following
Code: Select all
pulseaudio --version
. You should get a version number back or something like "command not found" if Pulseaudio is not installed. Compare the output for this from the setup that works to the one that doesn't. (You should be able to do this from a Live install environment, if needed.)

---Bypass PulseAudio in your application
If you can set your program to bypass PulseAudio and go straight to ALSA, you may be able to isolate the problem. I can't see a way to do this within Banshee or Amarok, but I do recommend QMMP (you can install this from the software manager, if you've ever used Winamp you'll be at home with this player).

In QMMP right click the title bar, select settings. If you have QMMP version 0.7+ you'll find the output settings under "Plugins". Scroll down to the "Output" section, click the "ALSA Plugin", then the "Preferences" button below. The dropdown menu "Audio device" lists what channels you can send the sound to. By default the ALSA plugin routes sound back through PulseAudio (*not* what we want), so pick another sound output, like hw:0,0 (that means first hardware sound device, first output). Under "Advanced Settings" you can also play with other settings like the Buffer time to try and fix problems.

Ok, hopefully you're still with me after all that troubleshooting! :D Once you can pin down the subsystem responsible for the problem, we can start looking for more specific solutions to the problem.


Hi there, here are the results for typing the command line in both OS:

PCLinuxOS Mate: 4.0-6pclos2013
Linux Mint Mate: pulseaudio 4.0

They both run version 4.0 but that being said, there's "-6pclos2013" at the end of the PCLinuxOS one meaning it could be a BETA or modified version of 4.0. There's also a 5.0 that was released last month, think i could install it with the live CD mode of Mint Mate?

Thanks
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby xerion567 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:52 pm

the_importer wrote:Hi there, here are the results for typing the command line in both OS:
PCLinuxOS Mate: 4.0-6pclos2013
Linux Mint Mate: pulseaudio 4.0

They both run version 4.0 but that being said, there's "-6pclos2013" at the end of the PCLinuxOS one meaning it could be a BETA or modified version of 4.0. There's also a 5.0 that was released last month, think i could install it with the live CD mode of Mint Mate?

Thanks

You will definitely want to stay away from trying to change the PulseAudio version inside the system- as I mentioned it has intimate connections within the OS so changing it is no simple task (and way beyond the scope of my knowledge). The "-6pclos2013" says to me that PCLinuxOS has some sort of very specific patch it applies to PulseAudio for reasons we mere mortals probably can't understand. Just to be certain, the sound has no problems at all running under PCLinuxOS Mate?

I still want to isolate where the problem resides, can you try to bypass PulseAudio in Linux Mint using a program like QMMP, above? (You can install it via the software center, even when running a Live CD)
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux...viewtopic.php?f=58&t=164690
User avatar
xerion567
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:38 am
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:58 am

xerion567 wrote:
the_importer wrote:Hi there, here are the results for typing the command line in both OS:
PCLinuxOS Mate: 4.0-6pclos2013
Linux Mint Mate: pulseaudio 4.0

They both run version 4.0 but that being said, there's "-6pclos2013" at the end of the PCLinuxOS one meaning it could be a BETA or modified version of 4.0. There's also a 5.0 that was released last month, think i could install it with the live CD mode of Mint Mate?

Thanks

You will definitely want to stay away from trying to change the PulseAudio version inside the system- as I mentioned it has intimate connections within the OS so changing it is no simple task (and way beyond the scope of my knowledge). The "-6pclos2013" says to me that PCLinuxOS has some sort of very specific patch it applies to PulseAudio for reasons we mere mortals probably can't understand. Just to be certain, the sound has no problems at all running under PCLinuxOS Mate?

I still want to isolate where the problem resides, can you try to bypass PulseAudio in Linux Mint using a program like QMMP, above? (You can install it via the software center, even when running a Live CD)


QMMP seems to be an audio only player, got anything that will play videos? Although I heard the problem when playing MP3s, it's seems to be less frequent since the tunes end within less than 4 minutes Vs a 24 minutes video, so less chances to hear the issue.

Thanks
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby xerion567 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:42 pm

the_importer wrote:QMMP seems to be an audio only player, got anything that will play videos? Although I heard the problem when playing MP3s, it's seems to be less frequent since the tunes end within less than 4 minutes Vs a 24 minutes video, so less chances to hear the issue.
Thanks


Yep, VLC media player will do it. This program is a beast! You can get to the audio settings through Tools->Preferences->Audio. Change the "Output module" to ALSA and the "Device" to something other than Pulse.
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux a dull OS,
All work and no play makes Linux...viewtopic.php?f=58&t=164690
User avatar
xerion567
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:38 am
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby the_importer on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:54 pm

xerion567 wrote:
the_importer wrote:QMMP seems to be an audio only player, got anything that will play videos? Although I heard the problem when playing MP3s, it's seems to be less frequent since the tunes end within less than 4 minutes Vs a 24 minutes video, so less chances to hear the issue.
Thanks


Yep, VLC media player will do it. This program is a beast! You can get to the audio settings through Tools->Preferences->Audio. Change the "Output module" to ALSA and the "Device" to something other than Pulse.


Oh Good, VLC was the one I was using before, I'll give it a try.

EDIT:

The default setting was, well Automatic, no way of knowing if Pulse Audio was indeed the one that was used by default in VLC. I did set the audio to ALSA and then another option appeared to ask which device to use by default which was set to Pulse Audio, but I chose HDA Intel ALC272. Regardless of these changes, the problem still remains. I should also point out that in VLC running on PCLinuxOS, the setting was also at Automatic.

I won't admit knowing more than anyone here when it comes to Linux because I don't, but I am an IT who works for a software company and although I could be wrong about this, all signs are pointing to Mint being the problem. We're talking about the same audio drivers, using the same software, playing the same video on the same computer, the only diffrence is the distro of Linux (Mint and PCLinuxOS).
the_importer
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:29 am

Re: New Linux user has some questions

Postby deerpic on Thu May 22, 2014 12:45 am

Now I know that I'll have to live without certain things like not being able to use a Logitech software to remap all of my mouse buttons, but I guess it's to be expected.

I know this post is a little old now, but a little program called Easystroke enabled me to remap my Logitech mouse buttons with a bit of trial and error on Mint 16 Mate and KDE.....
User avatar
deerpic
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to KDE

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: blue_bullet and 3 guests