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Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:17 pm
by bobfunduro
If you want to skip my journey into Linux - go to the bottom line ! :arrow:

A bit of history. I've tried installing Linux in 3 different guises (Mint in particular) on 3 different laptops using new and used HDD's,SD cards and SSD's. I've quite a collection! I've been trying to get onto the Linux wagon for some two years off and on. Believe me I've spent a real lot of time on the issue. :?

I succeeded once - don't know how. I also, in desperation, paid my local computer shop 90 Euros to get it loaded.

I have often said that I wonder how many give up with Linux at this first hurdle? Has anyone in Linux circles ever tried to quantify the failure not success of Linux? I have got to know a few in my circle of friends " Love to use it, desperately want to ditch W10, but it's too complicated"

It appears to me (having done some computer courses - hardware and software, Ql's Speccys et al ) that a fundamental stumbling block is installing Linux (Mint). I bought the discs to get around the fact that there is so much messing around downloading and creating ISO's or whatever, creating partitions and god only knows what else, none of which worked, Narrowing that down, it appears to me that installation depends on the type and format of the HDD/SDD, again another minefield but I suspect a root cause of the issue.

I've had all the usual banter back on the Mint forum about how easy it is, and it has to be said, also some pretty useful determined help from individuals. My thanks to you. Alas, all to no avail.

SO - imagine my complete surprise when I bought a Raspberry PI to help my godson get into computing - I inserted the NOOBS SD Card and WOWWW! it worked first time! How neat is that!? I finally got Linux to work. :D No faffing around trying to get a computer degree to understand all the jargon. Blimey - I've even got it talking to my W10(spit) laptop and my Ipad!

Well, that's the route I'm going to use to get away from Microsoft and it's tentacles. :wink: I'll have to buy another Pi for my godson and his robotics, I'm keeping this one. Maybe I'll revisit "Mint" another day. Genuinely - thank you all for your constructive help.

But - literally the bottom line is - how strange is it that with all that worldly knowledge and expertise there is out there, trawling the pages of Google, forums, try this - try that , maybe this - maybe that, when it comes down to getting started with no fuss and spitting feathers:

the most simple and successful solution to getting on the Linux path is to buy a Raspberry PI and NOOBS !!
:D

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:25 pm
by rui no onna
Congrats. :D

Mind, only reason that works is because the Raspberry Pi hardware is the same. You're pretty much working off a copy/image of a pre-installed Linux.

The problem with Linux installation on PCs is most people have vastly different hardware (motherboard, CPU, graphics, sound, ethernet card, wifi card, etc) ergo any number of problems can crop up. Mind, if you don't have a complicated setup (e.g. dual boot, RAID, etc) and all your hardware is supported via open source drivers, installing Linux can be as simple as clicking Next (or OK) multiple times. I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was to install Linux on an Intel NUC (Baby Canyon/Kaby Lake). :) Alas, my parents insisted I install Windows on it. :roll:

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:53 am
by AndyMH
There are a large number of branded laptops where mint installs 'out of the box'. I'm a fan of lenovo thinkpads, every one I've bought (a lot) over the last decade have been ex-corporate machines second hand (ebay/amazon) = cheap = excellent value for money. There are others on this forum who will recommend Dell or Toshiba.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:50 am
by rui no onna
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:53 am
There are a large number of branded laptops where mint installs 'out of the box'. I'm a fan of lenovo thinkpads, every one I've bought (a lot) over the last decade have been ex-corporate machines second hand (ebay/amazon) = cheap = excellent value for money. There are others on this forum who will recommend Dell or Toshiba.
I have a Lenovo ThinkPad X131e and Mint 18.3 worked easily out of the box (did have to select bcmwl in driver manager which was trivial).

However, a few days later Mint 19 was released so I tried that. Boy, I had a ton of trouble with Mint 19 (v1) and *buntu 18.04. No matter what drivers I tried for wireless, it just wouldn't work properly. Now I know it was likely an issue with the v1 iso but if that had been my first and only attempt at a Linux install, I probably would've given up, too.

Unfortunately, the fix is either manufacturers improving support for Linux or releasing open source drivers (which they seem reticent to do) or selling computers already pre-installed with Linux. While there are computers pre-installed with Linux, they tend to be on the higher end of the performance and price scale.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:11 pm
by stephanieswitzer
I have 2 Raspberry Pi's that are able to run several flavours of Linux. However these distro's are specifically built to run on the Pi's. The issue of Mint not being able to run on every PC is evident from the posts here requesting help, or identifying problems. Luckily for me Mint 19 works perfectly out of the box on my MacMini. Unfortunately my MacMini's motherboard is now toast. I think one solution to those wanting Linux, is to buy a PC designed to run Linux, but then that depends on a persons budget.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:17 pm
by whm1974
stephanieswitzer wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:11 pm
I have 2 Raspberry Pi's that are able to run several flavours of Linux. However these distro's are specifically built to run on the Pi's. The issue of Mint not being able to run on every PC is evident from the posts here requesting help, or identifying problems. Luckily for me Mint 19 works perfectly out of the box on my MacMini. Unfortunately my MacMini's motherboard is now toast. I think one solution to those wanting Linux, is to buy a PC designed to run Linux, but then that depends on a persons budget.
Or simply build your own PC with known Linux compatible parts.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:21 pm
by michael louwe
bobfunduro wrote:.
.
You should have gone to the Linux Mint Store and bought a MintBox or Desktop/Laptop that comes preinstalled with LM 19 or 18.x. ... https://www.linuxmint.com/store.php

There are also similar devices that come preinstalled with Ubuntu, eg ThinkPenguin and Dell. ... https://www.thinkpenguin.com/

Or try ... http://www.linucity.com/Scripts/default.asp
.
.
P S - Fyi, in 2012, M$ mandated the OEMs to only sell UEFI computers with preinstalled Win 8 = no more OEM Windows BIOS computers for sale from 2012 onwards.
....... UEFI technology requires the Secure Boot feature, GPT disks and 64bit OS. Secure Boot when enabled, requires all non-Windows bootloaders to be certified or signed or approved, mostly by M$ or her agent, Verisign. Certification costs about US$80 per year. It is mostly this mandated M$ feature, ie Secure Boot, which has complicated the install process of non-Windows OS, eg Linux. Certain OEMs even have a "Select an EFI file as trusted for executing" setting in BIOS Setup, eg Acer.
....... Wait till you hear about WIM disk compression in Win 8, M$'s Connected Standby or InstantGo feature and Intel RST/RAID disk mode in some high-end OEM Win 10 ultrabooks, eg Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK and Dell XPS 13.

So, your installation problems with LM should mostly be blamed on M$ and the OEMs.

P P S - The Raspberry Pi is not a mainstream computer for the average users, eg only 1GB of RAM = laggy web-browsing, ARM processor = tends to overheat when put under heavy load, etc.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:38 am
by bobfunduro
Thanks for your replies.

Interesting to hear about the hard disc issue,


P S - Fyi, in 2012, M$ mandated the OEMs to only sell UEFI computers with preinstalled Win 8 = no more OEM Windows BIOS computers for sale from 2012 onwards.
....... UEFI technology requires the Secure Boot feature, GPT disks and 64bit OS. Secure Boot when enabled, requires all non-Windows bootloaders to be certified or signed or approved, mostly by M$ or her agent, Verisign. Certification costs about US$80 per year. It is mostly this mandated M$ feature, ie Secure Boot, which has complicated the install process of non-Windows OS, eg Linux. Certain OEMs even have a "Select an EFI file as trusted for executing" setting in BIOS Setup, eg Acer.


some of which I'll have to research as it's a bit technical. Can this be got around if I were to format the discs using the RPi?

Since buying a dedicated Linux machine is not an option, would it be relatively easy to piggy back say 4 Rpi's to spread the cpu load and aid the insufficient RAM issue that appears on the forums?
Regards

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:57 pm
by Moem
bobfunduro wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:38 am
some of which I'll have to research as it's a bit technical. Can this be got around if I were to format the discs using the RPi?
No, as it's not a harddisk issue... it's a bios issue.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:56 pm
by michael louwe
@ bobfunduro, .......
bobfunduro wrote:the most simple and successful solution to getting on the Linux path is to buy a Raspberry PI and NOOBS !!

Only for folks who are comfortable with just running a computer like a smartphone or learning to code(= non-intensive use), ie not for serious work/business/office, online gaming, watching Netflix in UHD/1080p, live-streaming sports events in HD/720p, video-editing, etc.

Desktop OS like Windows, Linux and MacOS mainly use the high-performing x-86 processors/CPUs, and not ARM processors; whereas Mobile OS like Android and iOS mainly use the low-performing ARM processors, and not the x-86 processors. The reason is because mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are designed to be mobile, small/compact, thin, battery-powered, fanless and Cellular(4G/5G)/Wifi-connected. If you use an x-86 processor to run a smartphone, it will soon overheat and explode. ARM processors are designed to be power-sipping = no over-heating of mobile devices and the battery lasts longer. It's quite pointless to use an ARM processor to run a desktop or laptop computer.

Nevertheless, in recent years, the upstream Linux distros like Debian and Arch Linux have begun to add support for ARM processors which may be useful to get Linux onto 2-in-1 tablet touchscreen PCs. The Raspbian OS is based on Debian, similar to the failed Ubuntu Touch and Mozilla Firefox OS. Problem is, Android is already based on Linux.
....... There are also a few new Win 10 S netbooks that run on ARM processors.

It's unlikely you can piggy-back 4 RPi's to quadruple RAM and CPU/GPU performance ... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... p?t=203016

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:00 pm
by rui no onna
michael louwe wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:56 pm
It's unlikely you can piggy-back 4 RPi's to quadruple RAM and CPU/GPU performance ... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... p?t=203016
Depends on the workload. Highly parallelized applications can benefit from RPi clusters. Granted, probably more useful as a learning experiment considering a single Intel or AMD CPU would likely trounce the performance of multiple RPi's.

An RPi cluster won't really speed up web browsing, though.

Besides, an RPi cluster is a complicated setup when a used $100-500 laptop from ebay will perform much better with little fiddling. There actually seem to be a number of refurbishers who already have Linux pre-installed on the devices they sell.

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:11 am
by bobfunduro
I'm a bit reluctant to spend anymore more on laptops and HDD/SDD in view of aforementioned experience.

What's a foolproof way (simple preferably) to format the drives I have so they accept a Mint installation. Any clues?

Regards

Re: Installation? Thanks Raspberry PI !

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:00 am
by rui no onna
bobfunduro wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:11 am
I'm a bit reluctant to spend anymore more on laptops and HDD/SDD in view of aforementioned experience.

What's a foolproof way (simple preferably) to format the drives I have so they accept a Mint installation. Any clues?

Regards
Let Mint do the formatting and allow it to use the entire drive. Don't dual-boot with Windows. Dual booting adds a degree of complexity which may cause problems. Personally, if I multiboot Linux and Windows, I'll put Windows on its own drive (my laptop supports mSATA + 2.5" 7mm).

Mind, if your existing computer hardware doesn't play nice with Linux, then you're bound to need to research in order to get the hardware working. Using compatible, well-supported hardware is key for a smooth experience unfortunately. The following just use Intel integrated graphics.

Mint 18.3 LiveUSB and install
Intel NUC7i3BNH: easy as pie
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e (Broadcom wifi): easy as pie
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e (Intel wifi): easy as pie

Mint 19 LiveUSB and install
Intel NUC7i3BNH: easy as pie
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e (Broadcom wifi): required research and futzing with terminal
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e (Intel wifi): easy as pie

Getting the Broadcom wireless to work was an even bigger headache on Kubuntu. For $5, the Intel wifi adapter was well worth the cost for getting rid of my connectivity problems.