Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

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rui no onna
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by rui no onna » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:17 pm

rambo919 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:19 pm
If you don't need any specific apps it can be very easy to stay out of a windows install.... the problem comes when wine just plain refuses to work or you get infuriated that the fullscreen video keeps playing on the wrong screen no matter what settings you use or whatever.... then you switch between windows and linux for a while like between two wives that are sisters.... annoying but needed sometimes if you have the energy to handle it.
Lol, I've been there before hence the decision to use a completely separate system for Linux. If I constantly have to switch to Windows when I haven't yet learned what to do on Linux to accomplish a certain task, then I'll just end up frustrated with Linux and not boot it at all.

We leave our desktops on 24/7 so if I encounter something on the Linux laptop that requires a lot of reading/research, it's easy to hop onto one of the Windows desktops to do the task quickly. Then I can take my time finding alternative software and learning how to accomplish my tasks on Linux.

shawnhcorey wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:05 pm
Yes, of course. When changing tools, you have to evaluate if the time you will save is longer than the time you'll spend learning/adapting-to it.
Oh, I expect I'll need to spend a lot of time learning/adapting. By doing it on a test box and not on production systems, I don't have downtime and it lessens the frustration while I'm learning. ;)

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by KBD47 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:28 pm

rambo919 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:14 pm
UEFI is the devil in a fancy suit (very fancy suit sometimes)... even TRYING to accommodate it leads to needless impotent rage.... And the various slightly deficient tutorials on how to do so does not exactly help... tried it recently think I'm just gonna format the thing in legacy boot mode and start again if I cant manage to find a way to switch win10 from gpt to mbr and actually have the damn thing boot.
Awhile back I installed a UEFI bios on a Chromebook without understanding what I was getting into. I guess the idea was so Windows could be installed on the Chromebook, though I was only interested in Linux for it. One of the most frustrating experiences I've had with computers. I finally got Fedora to work, but nothing else would, not Debian or Ubuntu or anything based on them no matter what I tried. Finally I flashed the bios on that machine with a legacy boot bios so I could use any Linux on it--such a huge relief to be rid of the UEFI mess. Will be happy if I never have to use that again.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:54 pm

Always partition the drive you are using for Linux with separate Root, Home, and Swap partitions.

This is a MUST for Linux. I know many will not agree with that assessment but I always see a forum topic such as Upgrade to Linux version failed or Lost all my data during upgrade or similar items. If you have a separate Home partition and do not format it during the install process, you will rarely lose your data. (Always backup -- that can't be said enough.) I have upgraded from 17 to 18 to now 19 and have never lost my data ever. For newbies, learn how to partition a drive and why because it will benefit you in the long run.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by lsemmens » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:46 pm

CaptainKirksChair wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:54 pm
Always partition the drive you are using for Linux with separate Root, Home, and Swap partitions.

This is a MUST for Linux. I know many will not agree with that assessment but I always see a forum topic such as Upgrade to Linux version failed or Lost all my data during upgrade or similar items. If you have a separate Home partition and do not format it during the install process, you will rarely lose your data. (Always backup -- that can't be said enough.) I have upgraded from 17 to 18 to now 19 and have never lost my data ever. For newbies, learn how to partition a drive and why because it will benefit you in the long run.
I agree! I just had a look, and my newly re-installed (as in yesterday) Laptop only had ONE partition. The Mint19 installer did all the work I just set it, and forgot it. So maybe we'll have to jump up and down on the Devs to change the default installer.
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rui no onna
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:10 am

lsemmens wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:46 pm
I agree! I just had a look, and my newly re-installed (as in yesterday) Laptop only had ONE partition. The Mint19 installer did all the work I just set it, and forgot it. So maybe we'll have to jump up and down on the Devs to change the default installer.
Some caveats, installing on a 500GB+ drive versus 32GB eMMC would necessitate different partitioning. Actually, you probably wouldn't want to partition the 32GB eMMC given how limited the space. Also, the question of how big the root and home partitions should be arises and might make things more complicated for newbies even if there are preset values.

It would be interesting if Ubiquity or Calamares allows for a BTRFS install option (without needing Something else and manual partitioning). By default, even if you install to just a single BTRFS partition, separate @ (/) and @home (/home) subvolumes get created which work like virtual partitions (only tried Ubuntu-based distros and Manjaro KDE, so far). BTRFS plays quite nicely with Timeshift, too (pretty instantaneous snapshot and restore). Unfortunately, most of the tutorials and utilities are geared towards ext4.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by all41 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:42 am

Best advice for newcomers:

ASK QUESTIONS--------HERE
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by rambo919 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:31 am

Typically I tend to stick to legacy boot and make a 50GB partition for everything except /home which gets the rest of the disk.... simplest way of doing it especially since now a swapfile is used rather than a /swap partition..... for anything too small one single partition is best though.... resizing a first partition that is "just this much" too small is a PAIN unless you basically clean the secondary/tertiary one's

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by JosephM » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 am

Moem wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:43 am
I don't know, I think there are plenty of people for whom a forum is a feasible option but IRC is just a bridge too far.
I don't spend much time in the Mint help IRC channel but the few times I have, it's a very busy place.
CaptainKirksChair wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:54 pm
Always partition the drive you are using for Linux with separate Root, Home, and Swap partitions.

This is a MUST for Linux. I know many will not agree with that assessment but I always see a forum topic such as Upgrade to Linux version failed or Lost all my data during upgrade or similar items. If you have a separate Home partition and do not format it during the install process, you will rarely lose your data. (Always backup -- that can't be said enough.) I have upgraded from 17 to 18 to now 19 and have never lost my data ever. For newbies, learn how to partition a drive and why because it will benefit you in the long run.
I one of those that won't agree this is a must. I never do this. Back your stuff up. I get the feeling sometimes half the trouble people have come from systems they've upgraded instead of doing reinstalls. I personally think upgrading is fine for .1, .2, and .3 but would never upgrade to the new full version. Far too many things change.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by lsemmens » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:30 am

all41 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:42 am
Best advice for newcomers:

ASK QUESTIONS--------HERE
AMEN! Of all the linux fora, I have found this one to be the friendliest, and most helpful that I have yet to inhabit. YOU RULE, Linuxmint.com!!!
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by Moem » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:52 am

JosephM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 am
Moem wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:43 am
I don't know, I think there are plenty of people for whom a forum is a feasible option but IRC is just a bridge too far.
I don't spend much time in the Mint help IRC channel but the few times I have, it's a very busy place.
I don't doubt it. But you'll never see my mother using it. You might, however, see her using this forum.
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by KBD47 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:51 am

In more than 7 years using Linux I've never used a separate home partition. I always put everything on the same partition and it has worked well for me. Anything I can't afford to lose gets backed up in the cloud and on separate portable drives.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by BenTrabetere » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:38 am

all41 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:42 am
Best advice for newcomers:

ASK QUESTIONS--------HERE
+1
This is one of the most welcoming, tolerant, patient and friendliest forums you will find, and most of the people here use and are familiar with Linux Mint. Since this is the official LM forum, it is likely the first place other newcomers will visit; posting your questions here will not only help you, but it could also help them.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by Portreve » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:36 pm

I don't know if I have a "rule" to add to this discussion, but rather the following is an observational opinion. Like it, hate it, or treat it with indifference if you like.

Not everyone should have a computer, regardless of how this may affect them in their ability to function in modern society. People who use computers need to be responsible and also sufficiently interested in technology to understand how they should function with it and comport themselves. Those who cannot do so are, philosophically at least, no different than someone who wants to own a car but cannot be bothered to care how to drive properly and safely, or can't be bothered to care a car needs to be refueled, or that it requires regular maintenance, etc.

Likewise, the GNU+Linux community does not need to have the whole of humanity shoehorned into its ranks. Assuming it were possible to do something like this, all we would wind up with is a highly dysfunctional community harkening back to the age of the "AOL user", amongst other things.

Yes, it would be great to rid the world of frankly both Microsoft and Apple, and along with them, any other business which chooses to comport themselves badly by exploiting humanity to bring them windfall profit and utter domination. Yes, absolutely I believe with all my heart and mind that peer-reviewable and independently auditable code is the best possible option. However, we have to be mindful that not everyone feels this way, or cares, or frankly is responsible enough to make use of what this community has long provided and improved upon.
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:45 pm

JosephM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 am
I one of those that won't agree this is a must. I never do this. Back your stuff up. I get the feeling sometimes half the trouble people have come from systems they've upgraded instead of doing reinstalls. I personally think upgrading is fine for .1, .2, and .3 but would never upgrade to the new full version. Far too many things change.
The advantages of separate Root, Home, and Swap partitions far outweigh any difficulties in creating and configuring them. The main advantage is you can either update to a new .x version or upgrade to a full version without having to really worry about your data. Yes, backup as you should. But when you have a separate Home partition, don't format it and the data is left alone. The only thing that changes is the Root partition. Yes, you will have to re-install any custom applications, but you should keep a list of those so you know just what to re-install after a full upgrade. I forgot who it was but someone on this forum just keeps a sudo apt-install command with all of his custom applications and their options listed so he can run it in a terminal after an upgrade. Everything gets installed in one fell swoop.

I know some of this is past a newbie. But as the sub heading on the Newbie Questions forum says, "All Gurus once were Newbies." You just have to learn it.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by JosephM » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:56 pm

The advantages of separate Root, Home, and Swap partitions far outweigh any difficulties in creating and configuring them. The main advantage is you can either update to a new .x version or upgrade to a full version without having to really worry about your data
That's personal preference. Which is totally fine. I personally see zero benefit to doing this. I don't want my old configs restored when moving between major versions. Things change. I'd rather move when I'm ready to reset things up.

You should also always worry about your personal data if it means anything to you. Using separate partitions isn't going to save you from things like hardware failure.
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by rambo919 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:14 pm

Neither "should" everyone have cars.... good luck convincing them of that. Probably also everyone "should" not have phones with camera's..... an even worse fight to attempt to win. Utopia's where only the "responsible" have specific assets they have been fit to be suited to by committee rarely end well when they are attempted all the more because it always involves abuse either on an institutional or fringe level.

Also remember that corporations are actually currently attempting to achieve this vision of yours where most people end up having things that are not computers but emulate them sufficiently. In new devices increasingly the battery cannot be removed so you can never really be sure that it's completely turned off, you as the end user can increasingly affect almost nothing of the software internals of the device leaving you at the utter mercy of OEM's, modularity itself seems to be on the fast track to disappearance with not even HDD's being replaceable any more in many devices (including notebooks).... your dream is becoming a reality and you fail to realize that as soon as this trend with "mobile" devices becomes set in stone then PC's which already have everything except the peripherals merged with the motherboard will be next simply because it will be the only target left to lock down..... with M$'s recent moves towards getting all aspects of software to need internet for use with stated goals of "cloud is the future" this last part is already well under way.....

Yes it may very likely be that most people will stop having their own PC's in the future but that will also be the death-knell for most of Linux because with the opening salvo being UEFI hardware OEM's have sworn their allegiance to their software OEM brothers and will at some point simply use copyright to make flashing the UEFI to something that can actually run Linux illegal because it will mean bypassing built-in DRM..... you would counter with "buy different hardware" well what if no non-DRM hardware exists because everyone at some point stopped making "those obsolete things" this is the obvious way things are slowly going and funny enough (slightly off as he is) is vindicating Stallman every step of the way. It's not simply tinfoil-hattery it's seeing that anything a corporation can do to cement future profits it will do even (as has been proven in the past) if it's own tactics are bordering or even outright illegal. You will have your utopia yes but it will last for 5min just like any other because that's about how long it takes for the propagandized populace to wake up to the devil they allowed into their homes.... then the denial starts.

Personally I also believe that there should be a 18 age restriction on the internet as a whole with all but that's currently only possible in communes and those also never end well.... having all "dirty mag type material" (the original word gets censored for some reason) burnt in giant burnings would also be nice we could make festivals out of it.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by rambo919 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:33 pm

JosephM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:56 pm
That's personal preference. Which is totally fine. I personally see zero benefit to doing this. I don't want my old configs restored when moving between major versions. Things change. I'd rather move when I'm ready to reset things up.

You should also always worry about your personal data if it means anything to you. Using separate partitions isn't going to save you from things like hardware failure.
It's not just "configs" that's stored in /home but also addon files, documents and so on which generally are root partition agnostic, having a seperate /home means you can wipe everything that is distro specific simply by replacing the root partition and specifying the old /home.... it's a mostly foolproof type of OS plug and play which is VERY useful sometimes. One time I followed bad advice and did something recursive as root in a terminal I should not have causing my whole system to be... for lack of a nicer term not as it should have been. The fix was simply backing up the cache doing a quick clean install replacing the root partition and the problem of OS rot (in this case time accelerated) was fixed as if nothing had happened.... something that would NOT be possible under windows as soon as any critical system area gets corrupted because suddenly system restore stops playing fair....

Most pure configs in my experience are generally disposable and can easily be mass deleted (if at all needed) from a live usb environment before install happens though auto refresh of some kind really should be built into everything ideally.... probably never gonna reliably happen though.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by JosephM » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:58 pm

It's not just "configs" that's stored in /home but also addon files, documents and so on which generally are root partition agnostic
Here you're hitting the point on why I call this preference and not MUST. I really only purchase machines with multiple drives. One for the OS, one for my data. This means I can do anything with the OS drive and my data is unaffected and can be shared among multiple installs. Since I'm in a situation where using and installing multiple things is the norm, when I do an install I want it clean. I don't want left overs.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by kyphi » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:09 pm

JosephM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:58 pm
... when I do an install I want it clean. I don't want left overs.
I'll drink to that.
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Re: Advice For Linux Newbies - 7 Principles

Post by majpooper » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:22 pm

kyphi wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:09 pm
JosephM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:58 pm
... when I do an install I want it clean. I don't want left overs.
I'll drink to that.
+1 absolutely

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