Old to *nix, new to Mint

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jaymot
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Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:31 am

Hi. Before I jump in and start posting Mint-newbie questions (after first searching the forum in case someone else has already asked and been answered) I thought it would be polite to introduce myself first.

My first experiences with Unix and Unix-like OSes, including Linux, go back to the late 1980s and early '90s when I worked for one of the Baby Bell telephone companies. I ended up being on the administration and internal support team and was the wrangler of a couple of boxes that ran what was then AT&T System V version 3.2 Unix, plus one server running HP-UX (affectionately called HP-SUX.) I wanted my very own Unix to put on my home computer. I almost bought Minix (I think it was) but I happened to stumble upon the various comp.os.linux Usenet newsgroups and got hold of Linux. Back then there were no such things as "distributions", there was just Linux which came packaged in various archives which you downloaded from ftp sites at 2400 baud if you had an Internet connection available, unarchived and wrote to floppy disks. You had to manually create the various system directories (/etc, /var, /dev, etc.) and copy their files into them from the correct floppy or floppies. A full Linux installation took around three or four boxes of floppies and gave you a command-line-only OS as not even XFree86, the free/open source clone of proprietary Xwindows, wasn't available yet.

My first actual distribution was (if I recall correctly) Slackware 1.0. A company called Morse sold Linux CDs and they had a new version coming out and only a small stock of 1.0 CDs left, so they offered to give them away to whoever asked for one until they were gone, and I got one. Man, it sure was nice to install from a single CD instead of having to flip floppies for hours. (You kids don't know what you're missing. In those days the very first thing you did after installing Linux was compile the kernel to tailor it to your hardware as everything was in the kernel itself, there was no such thing as modules. Then I'd walk to work every day in the snow, uphill both directions.)

While I traditionally used Windows as my main OS (because I supported it at work, being by then an on-site computer support tech/contractor, no longer working for TelCo) I always had Linux available in a dual-boot configuration as it was fun to play with and to keep my Unix hand in so I didn't forget it. I don't remember when it was exactly, but probably around 2009-2011ish I decided to cut the Windows cord and go to just Linux on my computer. In those days I was an Ubuntu guy but had done a lot of distro-hopping so I was slightly familiar with Red Hat (Dead Rat), SuSE, Mandriva and others. Then Ubuntu introduced Unity which I thought was a stupid idea as desktop computers lacked touchscreens which is what Unity was designed for, and it just made it difficult and annoying to use with a mouse and keyboard. So i went distro-hopping again and wasted a lot of blank DVDs until I found PCLinuxOS, which I've been happily using ever since- until last Monday night when it suddenly wouldn't let me launch any new apps. I closed those that were currently running and did a graceful reboot but the bloody thing wouldn't reboot. This was on top of a hard drive failure just a few days before, and Zulucrypt refusing to create a new Truecrypt or Veracrypt partition on the replacement drive.

Being old and grumpy I got fed up and decided to backup, reformat and reinstall. PCLOS, while an elegant, easy-to-use and well-supported distro which I still like, doesn't support full-disk encryption which I wanted, and after getting it reinstalled I began having several other issues including suddenly getting an error screen when trying to boot (I tell you, I haven't been having a very good couple of weeks here, and all I wanted to do was relax and use my computer!) I went distro-hopping yet again and tried Kubuntu for a few days, figuring that as fully half of Linux-related web searches returned results for the *buntus "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." It was nice at first but that honeymoon period soon ended when I found that it was missing a lot of apps that I was used to using and already had my own workflows built around, and Ubuntu's own instructions for getting them said to install various third-party .deb repositories which also loaded a bunch of other stuff in the package managers that didn't necessarily work all that well in Kubuntu, and I think messed up my installation. After finding that it wouldn't let me even mount my non-OS partitions in the GUI KDE partition manager (I could select a mount point but there was no OK or Save button, and mount was greyed out) forcing me to mount them from the command-line, and getting really tired of having to re-enter my password hundreds of times per day for sudo while trying to get their garbage to work, I got fed up again and went to distrowatch's site to see what was new there.

I tried Manjaro yesterday afternoon but it didn't even detect my external HD that contained my back-ups except as a corrupted volume which it prompted me to delete. My next stop was here at Mint Mate. Wow! It "just works!" Compared to the hell that is Kubuntu, Mint's like a breath of fresh air and sunshine! Full-disk encryption including root, swap and home; I can easily mount my external drive's partitions (which I thought Manjaro had ruined and destroyed all my data), almost everything I need is in the repository, the app menu is thoughtfully laid out so things are easy to find, I have yet to have a crash, and the color scheme is very relaxing to look at. For the first time in almost a week I'm actually able to do things on my computer, and even finished watching the movie last night that I'd started days ago then get to bed at a decent hour, instead of always having to work on the PC all bloody day long until 2 or 3AM. There's still some tweaking to be done and kinks to work out but I think I've found a winner. I hope so, anyway: I'm sick of working on computers (and I get to do it all again in a couple of weeks when an almost brand new Asus Zenbook laptop running Windows 10 I just bought comes out of the shop (failure of one of two cooling fans) and I take possession of it: my sister-in-law needed the money and I needed a new computer, this surplus desktop of mine being around ten years old.)

About me: I'm a 60 year old American from the Pacific Northwest currently living in the Philippines, where it's always summertime, almost everyone speaks English and the cost of living is low. My work and hobbies combined include caring for our six dogs and eight cats which is a full-time job, plus the cooking, laundry and housework. I'm married, no kids, and She Who Must be Obeyed is in Australia looking for work there as the rate of pay in Oz is an order of magnitude higher than that in the Phils for the same work.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

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lsemmens
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by lsemmens » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:51 am

Welcome. I think you'll stay. I've also played with various distros on and off over the years always returning to M$ however, this time, I'm not going anywhere. I've known many people from the Philippines over the years, (I lived in Darwin) but have yet to visit, It is certainly an attractive place to live. What is SWMBO looking for? Where? If she finds something worthwhile, will you be joining her?
Kernel: 4.15.0-24-generic x86_64 bits: 64
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Out of my mind - please leave a message

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jimallyn
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jimallyn » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:52 am

Besides all the wonderful things you mentioned about Mint, the forum is quite good also. There are some really smart people who can help you with just about any problem you might have.

Welcome aboard! I think you'll fit in just fine.
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catweazel
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by catweazel » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:53 am

jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:31 am
Being old and grumpy
Bah humbug! You ain't seen nothin' yet, young 'un.

Welcome aboard :)
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. - Max Planck

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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by kc1di » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:31 am

Hello jaymot and Welcome aboard Linux Mint Forums,
Good to have you here :)
Easy tips : https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
Registered Linux User #462608

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WharfRat
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by WharfRat » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:31 am

Hello jaymot Image

Welcome to Linux Mint and the Linux Mint forum :)
ImageImage

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JerryF
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by JerryF » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:56 pm

Welcome to Mint and the forum!
IF AND WHEN your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

jaymot
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:38 pm

lsemmens wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:51 am
Welcome. I think you'll stay. I've also played with various distros on and off over the years always returning to M$ however, this time, I'm not going anywhere. I've known many people from the Philippines over the years, (I lived in Darwin) but have yet to visit, It is certainly an attractive place to live. What is SWMBO looking for? Where? If she finds something worthwhile, will you be joining her?
While the Philippines is far from being paradise, it's a nice place to live. Being from the Pacific Northwest part of the US, the weather here is always like summer where I'm from, even at its coldest, and the cost of living here is very low,

My wife's currently working on getting her tourist visa converted to a working visa, and I don't really know just what kind of work she hopes to find after that happens. She's currently staying with friends in Queensland in the Sunshine Coast area and I think the best-paying jobs would entail a daily commute to Brisbane unless she finds something closer. Her background is in civil engineering, with experience in housing development (she can even run a backhoe and a hydroblock machine) as well as in commercial property management and facilities management at a supervisory level, including maintenance, repairs, renovations, janitorial and security services. She also has several years of experience working in call centers and helpdesks, both as an agent on the production floor and at a management level. Seeing as how the pay there is an order of magnitude higher than it is here for the very same work, I suspect that she'd be willing to take pretty much any job she can get such as retail. But the visa has to come first.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

jaymot
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 pm

jimallyn wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:52 am
Besides all the wonderful things you mentioned about Mint, the forum is quite good also. There are some really smart people who can help you with just about any problem you might have.

Welcome aboard! I think you'll fit in just fine.
Can they help me to become rich and good-looking? :D
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

jaymot
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:00 pm

One thing I should warn y'all about: I would like to see Linux become more of a mainstream desktop OS than it already is, something that your grandparents can use without calling you with questions or problems every day, so if I have to open a shell and do things in the cli because there's no other way I consider that to be a failing in the GUI for which I don't have a lot of patience. I'm the same way with having to hack the Windows registry. An OS should be simple to configure and use, and should then stay the heck out of my way and let me get my work (or play) done instead of interrupting me to give me a "user experience". The OS should be transparent to the user who just wants to run his apps and not be interrupted by superfluous alerts, having to troubleshoot and fix problems all the time, and so on. It also shouldn't elbow the user to one side and think it knows better than he does regarding what he's trying to do, or do things automatically that the user may not wish to have done at that point in time, such as automatic updates with no user input, slowing down the system and consuming bandwidth just when he needs to accomplish a task in a hurry (I'm looking at you, Windoze!)

In other words, if I post a "how do I do such-and-such in the GUI?" question and someone comes back with something like "a REAL Linux user uses the command line instead of all that point-and-drool GUI stuff, so type this, pipe it through that then recompile such-and-such (during a new moon and while waving a rubber chicken over the keyboard)" don't be surprised if I get a bit testy.

BTW I've reinstalled Mint, this time using the KDE version. I need to be able to open a terminal in whatever folder I'm in when using the file manager and I couldn't manage to figure out how to customize either caja or nautilis in Mate to do that. It would also be extremely helpful to add a Root Actions servicemenu to Dolphin, and since I've been using Plasma for a year and KDE4 for ages before that I'm already more familiar with those and KDE. It'll just make things easier. I went with Mate originally thinking that it would run better on this older machine and not use as many resources, but even though I like its look and feel it turns out that Mate's not for me.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

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JerryF
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by JerryF » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:01 pm

jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:00 pm
...
BTW I've reinstalled Mint, this time using the KDE version. I need to be able to open a terminal in whatever folder I'm in when using the file manager and I couldn't manage to figure out how to customize either caja or nautilis in Mate to do that.
...
In Nemo file manager (Cinnamon), it's quite easy. Just right-click and select "Open in Terminal"
IF AND WHEN your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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jimallyn
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jimallyn » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:07 pm

jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 pm
Can they help me to become rich and good-looking?
Yes, but you'll have to use the terminal and a rubber chicken. :D
jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 pm
In other words, if I post a "how do I do such-and-such in the GUI?" question and someone comes back with something like "a REAL Linux user uses the command line instead of all that point-and-drool GUI stuff, so type this, pipe it through that then recompile such-and-such (during a new moon and while waving a rubber chicken over the keyboard)" don't be surprised if I get a bit testy.
Nobody's likely to say all of that. (But some of them might think it.) I have turned a lot of people on to Linux, and I can't think of any instance off the top of my head where the command line was needed to solve problems. In fact, for the most part, the people I know haven't had problems. Three of my brothers are using Mint, and the only problem so far has been one missed a step in installing a printer driver. I don't recall the other two having any problems at all, not even the one who first started using Linux (Xandros) back about the same time I did in 2002. I did have to install a Windows driver in ndiswrapper for my sister, and she had a problem when Google changed something in their Earth program. I sent her an email telling her how to fix that problem, and she was able to do it herself. We do use the command line a lot around here to learn about somebody's system, specifically, have them enter inxi -Fxz in a terminal to see what hardware they have and what drivers are installed. If it takes terminal commands to troubleshoot and/or fix a problem, one of the experts here will give them the exact commands they need to use, all they have to do is copy/paste it in. So we make it pretty easy for them. And the moderators here have been known to issue a warning when somebody cops an attitude with a newbie. We try to keep it pretty friendly here.
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“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:03 am

jimallyn wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:07 pm
jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 pm
Can they help me to become rich and good-looking?
Yes, but you'll have to use the terminal and a rubber chicken. :D
So I need to recompile myself?

Code: Select all

make rich
make good-looking
make install
Problem: only my parents had my source code. Oh, well.
jaymot wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 pm
In other words, if I post a "how do I do such-and-such in the GUI?" question and someone comes back with something like "a REAL Linux user uses the command line instead of all that point-and-drool GUI stuff, so type this, pipe it through that then recompile such-and-such (during a new moon and while waving a rubber chicken over the keyboard)" don't be surprised if I get a bit testy.
Nobody's likely to say all of that. (But some of them might think it.) I have turned a lot of people on to Linux, and I can't think of any instance off the top of my head where the command line was needed to solve problems. In fact, for the most part, the people I know haven't had problems. Three of my brothers are using Mint, and the only problem so far has been one missed a step in installing a printer driver. I don't recall the other two having any problems at all, not even the one who first started using Linux (Xandros) back about the same time I did in 2002. I did have to install a Windows driver in ndiswrapper for my sister, and she had a problem when Google changed something in their Earth program. I sent her an email telling her how to fix that problem, and she was able to do it herself. We do use the command line a lot around here to learn about somebody's system, specifically, have them enter inxi -Fxz in a terminal to see what hardware they have and what drivers are installed. If it takes terminal commands to troubleshoot and/or fix a problem, one of the experts here will give them the exact commands they need to use, all they have to do is copy/paste it in. So we make it pretty easy for them. And the moderators here have been known to issue a warning when somebody cops an attitude with a newbie. We try to keep it pretty friendly here.
To be fair, I only had one person in another distro's support forum cop that attitude with me, and then only once. I'm not afraid of the cli or anything, it's just that I prefer a GUI interface: cli is so 1990ish and I no longer have enough patience to memorize commands and switches like I used to do. Plus as I said, I'm also thinking of the Linux newbies who've come from a Windows environment and who have never used DOS or old Unix, and if someone says that you have to be a command-line paladin or else you're not a REAL Linux user (the "no true Scotsman" fallacy) it just rubs me the wrong way. It just enforces the common preconception of Linux on the desktop being just a hacker's toy and not a valid mainstream daily-driver OS. If the guy had told a newbie what he'd told me, the newb probably would have gone back to Windows. I told the guy all this and he never responded: I expect he realized that I was right and he was feeling rather sheepish.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

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lsemmens
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by lsemmens » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:14 am

I'm with Jimallyn there. I've become active here because the natives are friendly. Other distros I have tried, the natives tended to be a little "superior" when you ask a simple question. Not a good advert for any product.

As to your missus, the Sunshine coast is a nice spot. My daughter lives in Brissy, though I do have many friends up and down the coast there, so am sort of familiar with the area. Most of them are retired, so cannot even consider hitting them up for work for your other half. For now, we are in South Australia, but I would seriously consider moving up there in a few years.
Kernel: 4.15.0-24-generic x86_64 bits: 64
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.7
Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara

Laptop T4500 Dualcore 3Gb RAM
Out of my mind - please leave a message

jaymot
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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by jaymot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:06 pm

I'd like to visit Oz someday, but it's a big country and I wouldn't know where to begin. Probably Darwin as the climate there is most like the Philippines and I'm already used to tropical heat and humidity. The only problem is that I've met a few Australians, and when talking to them in person I couldn't understand a word they said! It would take me a few months to be able to understand their accent (although to be fair, being Australians in Australia they don't have an accent, I do, or at least my ears hear with a Yank accent. But I've known Vietnamese and Koreans and Pakistanis in Seattle, and was able in time to understand them. It just takes time to get used to it.) I'd like to try a couple of your excellent beers and, if I'm feeling brave enough, maybe a meat pie floater. :D
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

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Re: Old to *nix, new to Mint

Post by deepakdeshp » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:08 pm

Welcome Jaymot
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
I am using Mint 19 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB

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