Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Arch_Enemy » Sun May 26, 2019 5:05 pm

The only way I have broken distros was to try to install something that may not run on them. Arch breaks itself that way; you get the program working, then an update gets rolled along and borks your libraries. I have broken Mint by trying to install programs meant for newer versions and trying to load the incorrect C++ libraries. Sometimes using a PPA has caused issues.
If you use it for what it was meant to be used for and the programs made to run on it, Mint should work just fine. It's when you venture out of the box issues can occur.
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by murray » Sun May 26, 2019 8:26 pm

In a previous life I used to sell computers with Windows pre-installed (starting with Windows 95). I'd occasionally run into a class of user that was particularly tough on their computers due to their lack of knowledge.

I've been called out to fix a computer and found that most of the contents of the Windows directory was missing. When I asked if the user had deleted any files he said yes, because he wanted to get more disk space and he didn't think he needed those Windows files.

So if you're the sort of person that deletes files simply because "I don't know what they're for so they can't be important and I needed the disk space" then you're going to run into problems no matter what OS you use. Of course some OS's make it more difficult to delete important files, but at the end of the day, if you're determined and have set yourself up as an administrator, then you'll find a way to stuff your computer up.
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Sun May 26, 2019 9:33 pm

There have now been several good responses from some of our most seasoned folk, people whose technical knowledge I respect. I've yet to hear from the OP about what he's done to jack up his various installations. Absent that, there really isn't anything much to say.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by KBD47 » Mon May 27, 2019 4:03 pm

Starting with Linux friendly hardware helps to make it unbreakable. I generally avoid anything nvidia or AMD. Usually intel hardware is a good bet.
Debian Stable is one of the least breakable Linux operating systems. Next to that would be Ubuntu long term support releases--which includes Mint as it is based upon the LTS release. By the first or second point release of Ubuntu/Mint LTS the OS is quite reliable.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by RollyShed » Tue May 28, 2019 6:59 am

Having installed numerous computers with Linux Mint over the past few years and watched a Windows user's computer destroy itself, I also ask, what is the OP doing?

The Windows 10 one? It finally, after each update caused a problem of one sort or another, got hit by the October bug and she now carries on with Linux Mint as if that was what has always been used. The data was fortunately copied over to the Linux disk just before Windows wiped it off the Windows 10 disk and reverted itself to Win7.

Destroy problems - one, this was one of 8 donated laptops to our Shed group. The person it was given to to try it came back a few days later apologising for it not going. Nothing I could do would light up the screen so presumed he was unlucky and that we ended up with a dead free computer. I suspect a video driver chip. The replacement given to him still runs perfectly months later.

We have people who use a computer like a spanner or screwdriver, to do a job. There are others who only beat the desk with the tools because they have no real jobs for them.

Which does the OP fall into?

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by handsomegenius » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:11 am

cliffcoggin wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 10:52 am
gm10 wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:59 am

Not
Image
but
Image

(just in case anybody else had that association reading that :lol:)
Damn! That explains the white greasy smears on the computer.
I could never get the Nivea drivers to work

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Portreve
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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:26 am

I hate to be an a**hole, but I think the OP is straight up trolling us. So, folks, I'm not sure why I have to be the one to say this, but stop feeding the trolls, ok?
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by carum carvi » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:10 am

My new LinuxMint 19 install just got broken today. Never have experienced anything like it before in 2 years of happily using LinuxMint. It probably got broken due to the Mesa bug. They are fixing it right now. Just my bad luck that I had to do a new install right at the very moment this Mesa bug occured. I am now using a new install of Peppermint Nine OS, because I didnt know how to fix the problem in LInuxMInt 19.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by BG405 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Portreve wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:26 am
I hate to be an a**hole, but I think the OP is straight up trolling us.
In this case I'm not convinced .. not a "one-post-wonder" by some margin although I have not at this time checked other posts by the OP.

My opinion is that ANY OS which is easily modified by a (savvy) user is also at easier risk of being easily broken by those like me who like to  muck around  try new things with these great OSes .. I've done this myself on more occasions than I'd like to admit to, with both Ubuntu-base and Arch-base. :oops: Experimentation is fun! Except on "production" machines, which invites another "oops" smiley in my case.
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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:34 pm

Y'know what, I think the thing for me to do at this point is offer an apology for my previous post, where without question I was a**hole.

I apologize, jamesd1.

I jumped to a conclusion that I should not have, and I was wrong in doing so.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by ColdBootII » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:42 pm

Perhaps, the very question shows thorough and utter ignorance coupled with disinterest to learn anything?

Since Mint has been integrating Timeshift for a while now, how can anyone even think of "a broken Mint"? You cannot expect that someone who just came from Windows should know all about the way to use rsync to restore the system to its functional state, but now, it is a 2-clicks operation from a GUI - just as System Restore of Windows is.

There was a time when the like kind of people where moaning about lack of GUI-like System Restore feature in Linux and now that there is one (or two) around, they don't use it. What? Now they can't be "bullied" to make 2-clicks? "Linux too hard"? :mrgreen:

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:00 pm

ColdBootII wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:42 pm
Perhaps, the very question shows thorough and utter ignorance coupled with disinterest to learn anything?

Since Mint has been integrating Timeshift for a while now, how can anyone even think of "a broken Mint"? You cannot expect that someone who just came from Windows should know all about the way to use rsync to restore the system to its functional state, but now, it is a 2-clicks operation from a GUI - just as System Restore of Windows is.

There was a time when the like kind of people where moaning about lack of GUI-like System Restore feature in Linux and now that there is one (or two) around, they don't use it. What? Now they can't be "bullied" to make 2-clicks? "Linux too hard"? :mrgreen:
I'm going to use this (sorry, ColdBootII) as an opportunity to say something, particularly reflecting on myself and my earlier post.

I love to teach. More to the point, I love everything there is to do with dissemination of knowledge. I have often chastised others (not here on LM, but IRL) for making bad and often unwarranted assumptions about someone else's knowledge level. At work I often complain about the lack of communication and planning within the team I work and external to it between layers as well as between divisions.

There is a difference between lack of knowledge and lack of initiative. At some point, one has to know enough to ask the questions they need to. I have experienced this myself on both ends, as learner and teacher. Where possible in working with someone else, I try to anticipate the things they can't know to ask questions about, because I don't expect them to ask about something they know nothing about, or to ask one or more questions in an area where they lack background.

As someone who, among other things, has worked significantly in technical support, I'm reminded of the story of a customer who rifled through their Windows system folder and decided to reorganize everything alphabetically. Naturally, this killed their entire system.

I'll give a different example: imagine BG405 came over to my house. He walks through the front door and, because he doesn't knock on the wall two inches below my light switches, a machine gun next goes off and kills him.

Now, I don't think there's any question BG405, or gm10, Moem, jamesd1, or most others would ever be blamed for their fate in the case of the second example, yet the more I read of what jamesd1 has written, the more I'm left with the impression that's precisely what I did to him, and I think it's because I was of two minds, the one of which was nobody casually just goes around "breaking" distros if all they're trying to do is run a GNU+Linux distro, and the second was more that he was trespassing on the first example above.

Mature reflection informs me I should have started out by reading further and asking more questions.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by carum carvi » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:49 am

Portreve wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:00 pm
ColdBootII wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:42 pm
There was a time when the like kind of people where moaning about lack of GUI-like System Restore feature in Linux and now that there is one (or two) around, they don't use it. What? Now they can't be "bullied" to make 2-clicks? "Linux too hard"? :mrgreen:

As someone who, among other things, has worked significantly in technical support, I'm reminded of the story of a customer who rifled through their Windows system folder and decided to reorganize everything alphabetically. Naturally, this killed their entire system.

I dont think most Linux distro's are easily broken. In 2 years time I have had only 2 serious problems. One was solved with Timeshift the other couldnt be solved by Timeshift because I just did a new fresh install of the LinuxMint OS. With the recent Mesa bug, a new install did not work. That was a big scare to me. A fresh install not working. What was going on? Fortunately they are working on a solution right now and I hope I will be able to do a new install of LM19 this very weekend without any problems. Or maybe I will wait a few days just to be sure...

The example Portreve descibed about the man who decided to organize his windows files alphabetically is marvellous. Funny, yet very insightfull. Windows is made for the masses, but any OS can be broken ofcourse. But can it be broken easily? Linux can be broken more easily than Windows I guess, because it does give the user more control. But if one uses LinuxMint just for simple email and some webbrowsing, like my girlfriend does, I think for her LinuxMint is more stable than Windows. I have heard her complaining regularly in her Windows years, but I have never heard her complain about Linux... And she really doesnt know a thing about computers. Lately she complained that the computer wasnt working. I asked her if the powercable was attached. It was not...

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by ColdBootII » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:07 am

I've read about that Mesa problem here at the forums... I guess, If you force the older version of Mesa driver (from rescue console) while putting it "on hold" at the same time, you would still have a working system that would endure until a fix arrives.

Indeed, Mint is not CentOS, but is very stable nevertheless. After innumerable updates during a 3 years period, had just 1 issue to deal with and it was very easy to fix.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:04 pm

Can a distro be easily broken by the user?

I think that largely revolves around the things:

1. Knowledge level of the user;
2. Safeguards implemented by the distro; and
3. What is meant by "broken"

The Mesa problem wasn't something I had heard of before a day or two ago. But beyond that, consider one of the two examples I mentioned above: the user re-arranging system files.

Back in the days of Windows XP, and certainly earlier, the phrase "Physical access is root access" had a pretty significant meaning in the sense of the triviality associated with access to any files on the system. Non-NT systems, for the most part, just needed to boot to the desktop to give access. NT-class systems had a varying degree of difficulty, but basically if you had access to getting to the desktop, you probably could muck around with those files to your heart's content.

It's worth mentioning that, even though that example had to do with Windows, the situation with Classic Mac OS was even worse. There was absolutely no security or access privileges, and there would not be until Mac OS X.

Now, let's look at modern GNU+Linux distros. A user on their own simply could not mess around with system files, since they are "owned" by the root account. Yes, it's totally possible, generally speaking, to gain necessary access, but you have to make a deliberate prior effort to do so. In the case of Linux Mint and Cinnamon, you have to open a given folder using the "Open as Root" option, and you also have to have access to that. Naturally, if you own the box, you can cook your own goose. But then again, since you also have the full physical and legal right to do anything you want, including destroying it, there's not much more to be said.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by mediclaser » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:54 pm

In my humble opinion, it boils down to your level of understanding of how Linux (or the specific distro) works. For example, there was somebody who broke their Linux because the beginner didn't know removing python would make their distro unusable.
If you're looking for a greener Linux pasture, you won't find any that is greener than Linux Mint. ;)

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Arch_Enemy » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:25 pm

I manage to do it by tring to make some older packages run on a newer system. Mint usually says, "Nah" and continues on.

Arch says "Eff you you dumbeff" and breaks down totally! :lol:
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by smgordon1259 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:25 pm

The Carpenter controls the hammer only if he understands how to use it.
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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Portreve » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:24 pm

smgordon1259 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:25 pm
The Carpenter controls the hammer only if he understands how to use it.
When all one knows is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

However, I take your point, smgordon1259.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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Re: Are most Linux Distros easily broken? Your advice please.

Post by Petermint » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:18 pm

Carpenter to the apprentice.
"You hold the other end of the hammer."

Or the fatal one for the carpenter holding a nail:
"When I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."

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