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Why Linux?

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GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338340

Postby GeoffF100 » September 5th, 2020, 1:06 pm

JohnB wrote:
GeoffF100 wrote:I am still happy with Xububtu 20.04, but I decided to have a look at Mint 20

I am still happy with Mint Mate 19, but after your praising Xubunbtu 20.04, I decided to look at it. I didn't like the toolbar at the top (I like menu bars at top, toolbars at bottom), or the double click to select application menu/application. I also tried Lubuntu and Ubuntu, but Ubuntu still has that cartoon interface, so I'm back with Mint again.

It is easy to move the panel (AKA taskbar) to the bottom of the screen. Here is a twenty second video showing how to do it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6VenH3lNFM

Both Xubuntu and Mint Xfce share the Xfce desktop. Mint Xfce has the panel at the bottom of the screen by default.

With Xfce, you can have shortcuts on the panel. Click ONCE to launch the corresponding application. With Xfce, you click the "start button" (little mouse in Xubuntu or LM in Mint) ONCE to bring up the Favourites menu, which contains your frequently used applications. You then click ONCE on the application that you wish to launch, or ONCE on the sub-menu you wish to open. Is Mate different?

Xubuntu and Mint Xfce are very similar. They both share the Xfce desktop and Ubuntu base. The installed themes and default settings are different, but can easily be changed. Mint Xfce has more customisation and more applications loaded by default. I cannot say which is better. Currently, I am only running Mint Xfce from a live USB drive.

Ubuntu can be made to look more like Windows:

https://www.howtogeek.com/353819/how-to ... e-windows/

Nonetheless, Xfce is faster and more Windows like, and there are distros that mimic Windows even more closely.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338344

Postby GeoffF100 » September 5th, 2020, 1:25 pm

By the way. Xubuntu 20.04 messes up its display of the desktop if you run from a live USB/DVD. You can fix that problem by typing xfsettingsd in a terminal. That is nuisance, and is one of the reasons why I put Mint 20 Xfce rather than Xubuntu 20.04 on a flash drive. If I want to reinstall Xubuntu 20.04, I can do it from a DVD.

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Re: Why Linux?

#338345

Postby JohnB » September 5th, 2020, 1:26 pm

I'd managed to unlock the panel, but didn't realise you needed to use a handle top right. With Mint MATE you click the green "lm" menu item (the developers don't like this, and hide it from you when you first install, its called "Main Menu"), and then as you move the cursor the submenus expand into new boxes.

Its all muscle memory, I'm sure you could make them all mostly look like each other, but the exceptions would niggle. Although I like MATE, I have much of KDE installed as I like Konsole, which I've used for 20 years, and I run vi in it, which I've used for 30.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338374

Postby GeoffF100 » September 5th, 2020, 3:45 pm

There are handles at both ends of the panel.

Lubuntu 20.04 has the menu behaviour you describe. I found it fiddly. My target sub-menu sometimes collapsed and I had to back-track. As you say, it is matter of muscle memory, and it was not a big problem for me. What I really did not like was the absence of the Favourites menu. Given that, I rarely use the sub-menus. You can get the behaviour you describe with Xfce by right clicking on the desktop, but you then have to go to Applications before getting to the sub-menus. It is possible to install all sorts of launchers:

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2019/08/bes ... untu-linux

I never really got to grips with vi. I have played with vim though, because it can be configured for Python, and it is sometimes convenient to do everything from a terminal.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338420

Postby GeoffF100 » September 5th, 2020, 8:48 pm

It turns out that Linux Mint Xfce does not use the standard Xfce Whisker menu. The Mint Menu will work in both the way that you like and does everything that I want. I have checked that with a live USB drive. The Mint menu looks a little different to the Whisker menu, but I thought that was just the result of different configuration settings.

I am coming round to the view that Mint Xfce may be a better choice than Xubuntu. I will only find out by installing it and using it.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338427

Postby GeoffF100 » September 5th, 2020, 10:11 pm

I have had another play with the Mint Xfce live USB drive. Xubuntu is cosmetically better. I respects the themes better. On some windows, Mint simply ignores the theme. If I change colours in the Mint themes, the colour of the close box changes in some windows but not in others. If I set the panel width to 28 pixels, I get a huge notification icon with ePapirus. That did not happen with Xubuntu. Mint has more customisation, which is sometimes good, but sometimes it is bad too. The Ubuntu base and Xfce desktop are about as solid as you can get. The customisation is sometimes less so.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338460

Postby GeoffF100 » September 6th, 2020, 8:22 am

I have done some further investigation. Some of the icons were too white with ePapirus and did not show in the Whisker menu. Papirus-Dark was better. There is a Xubuntu specific problem with panel scaling. It is best to stick with the default 26 pixels.

Mint works best with its own themes. Mint-Y-Aqua for Style and Mint-X-Aqua for Icons was not bad, but the window close buttons were still green.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338527

Postby GeoffF100 » September 6th, 2020, 12:27 pm

The icon visibility issues stem from having a dark panel and a light sub-menu. The radical solution is to have dark theme menu to match the dark panel. That was the solution adopted in Lubuntu 20.04 which also used the Papirus icons. Xubuntu 20.04 has preinstalled dark themes, but they all make the windows theme dark too. There is a solution. It is possible customise the CSS:

https://gottcode.wordpress.com/2017/10/ ... enu-redux/

That is simple to do, and gives me a dark theme menu without affecting the light grey theme of the windows. It would probably be sufficient just to make the sub-menu panel greyer. I would have to write my own CSS to do that, but that does not look difficult.

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Re: Why Linux?

#338629

Postby GeoffF100 » September 6th, 2020, 9:28 pm

The dark theme looked good, but was not perfect. Some of the CSS did nothing and modifying other bits did not have the expected effect on the main menu. I tried another dark theme from GitHub. but that did not work at all. The dark theme solution was not ideal anyway. A couple of the icons are very dark, notably the mouse and track pad setting.

I put together my own minimalist solution, leaving as much unchanged as I could. I have darkened the sub-menu panel so that it matches the rest of the window, and I highlight the target sub-menu with a gentle blue when the mouse hovers over it. The CSS I used is:

Code: Select all

#whiskermenu-window treeview {
   background-color: #ccc;
   color: #444;
}
#whiskermenu-window treeview:hover {
   background-color: #85C1E9;
   color: #444;
}

I saved that as:

~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css

and restarted the panel with:

xfce4-panel -r

The Papirus-Dark icons are all very clear now. Perhaps someone will find this useful one day!

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338750

Postby GeoffF100 » September 7th, 2020, 2:08 pm

I am back to ePapirus. The icons did not show up well in GPicView with Papirus-Dark. ePapirus is fine in the Whisker menu with my modifications.

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Re: Why Linux?

#338881

Postby GeoffF100 » September 8th, 2020, 9:05 am

I have looked at the CSS for the Greybird theme, and set my grey scales to the exact values:

Code: Select all

#whiskermenu-window treeview {
   background-color: #cecece;
     color: #3c3c3c;
}
#whiskermenu-window treeview:hover {
   background-color: #85C1E9;
     color: #3c3c3c;
}

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#338971

Postby GeoffF100 » September 8th, 2020, 1:07 pm

JohnB wrote:I am still happy with Mint Mate 19, but after your praising Xubunbtu 20.04, I decided to look at it. I didn't like the toolbar at the top (I like menu bars at top, toolbars at bottom), or the double click to select application menu/application. I also tried Lubuntu and Ubuntu, but Ubuntu still has that cartoon interface, so I'm back with Mint again.

We have already addressed moving the panel (AKA taskbar) to the bottom of the screen. There is also a simple way of fixing the other issue. The setting is well hidden, but I have just found it:

(1). Right click on the Xfce mouse (start button).

(2). Click Properties.

(3). Click Behaviour.

(4). Click Switch categories by hovering.

The menu then behaves as you want. It also works well for me. It is much better than the Lubuntu 20.04 menu.

I am now using a Mate application: Eye of Mate. Ristretto insists of loading all the images in a directory to show previews. That is a real pain if there are lots of them, particularly if they are on my mobile phone.

I have had a further look at the Greybird theme in /usr/share/themes. I have set my hovering colour to the standard light grey #e8e8e8 rather than the blue. The icon contrast is still good.

I thought that editing icons might be simple, but there are thousands of them. I do not know why the ePapirus "minimise all windows" icon looks the way it does. Perhaps I have not found the right file.

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Re: Why Linux?

#339111

Postby Infrasonic » September 8th, 2020, 10:28 pm

https://www.theregister.com/2020/09/08/ ... tfs_linux/
Paragon has submitted code for a read-write NTFS driver in the Linux kernel, and told The Register that it also plans to provide its NTFS tools and utilities as open source.
Cont.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#339189

Postby GeoffF100 » September 9th, 2020, 10:55 am

Pinebook Pro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9WyYJU4j2A

Interesting, and there is a less capable laptop for $99. A used laptop would make more sense, but would not be so geeky. Something like this from Bree's favourite supplier might be fun for £60:

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/p ... 0catalogue

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#340076

Postby GeoffF100 » September 13th, 2020, 9:02 pm

Here is an interesting article recommending WiFi adaptors for Linux:

https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-li ... ter-linux/

The nuclear option appears to be the BrosTrend 1200Mbps Linux USB WiFi Adapter, but it is not cheap at £32.99.

I am thinking about moving my Linux PC downstairs, directly under the router. That may be no worse than locating it in the next room. I am using Ethernet currently.

I have been using the TP-LINK TL-WN725N (the cheapo option, recommendation number 4) for a few years. It is so tiny that it has no right to work at all. It worked for me out of the box. I used it from the next room, and put it in a USB hub so that I could place and point it accurately. I got 100% signal and 0% noise. Nonetheless, it sometimes dropped the connection. That seemed to be worse with some routers than with others.

The article gives a link to the source code for the Linux driver on GitHub. There have been updates to the driver that post date the Linux kernel that I am using (5.4.0-47-generic). Perhaps it will be worthwhile downloading, compiling and installing the latest driver version:

http://www.cse.iitd.ernet.in/~mittal/wifi.html

The relevant driver is rtl8188eu.

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#340127

Postby GeoffF100 » September 14th, 2020, 8:34 am

There are cheaper Linux compatible BrosTrend WiFi adaptors, notably:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GC8XH0S/ref=emc_b_5_t

That one looks a good buy at £18.99. An interesting possibility is connecting to a Raspberry Pi via Ethernet and using the WiFi on that.

The link that I gave for installing the rtl8188eu driver is out of date. The web page for downloading all the Realtek drivers no longer exists. Here is another set of instructions:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/1170202 ... untu-18-04

ten0rman
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Re: Why Linux?

#340250

Postby ten0rman » September 14th, 2020, 5:16 pm

I've just tried Mint Mate 20 on an aging laptop. No problems except that it seemed slower than when it was running v18.1. I've now reverted to v18.1.

I also have an ageing Advent 9517 which has been setup with Mint Mate 20 for experiments. Unfortunately, after setting it up along with the transfer of all data on to it, I managed to set Timeshift going with the result that Timeshift has now locked up the computer. The problem is that in the past I have allocated 20GB to the root, with all remaining hard disk (many GB) being allocated to /home, and unfortunately, when I set Timeshift going, I managed to tell it to use the root partition - at least that what I think I did. I've tried to delete Timeshift, but to no avail - maybe I did something wrong - it's still locked up. It seems that Timeshift has taken all the spare space in the root partition, so much so that I suspect there is nothing left for me to do anything else. I've tried to 'SU' into the root to delete it, but all I get is password not accepted, or something. I've tried 'SUID' with the same result except that I KNOW that the password is correct. I'm now using GParted in an attempt to resize the two partitions hoping that in doing so I'll then be able to get in and delete Timeshift fully. If not, then it'll be a reload.

But it doesn't say much for v20 when this sort of thing can happen.

I've also read about Snap. I can't say that I'm exactly impressed: it does seem that Canonical is attempting to emulate other OS manufacturers and force users to either adopt their way or it's the highway. As an example, on Mint 18.1, I'm running a DOS program via DOSemu, and it does indeed work rather well. Much to my disgust, I found that DOSemu can no longer be downloaded via Package Manager, hence I cannot run my DOS program. Please don't suggest DOSbox - last time that gave three copies of the DOS program and wasn't very good, and Wine, back then simply refused to play. So, it looks to me that if Canonical have their way, I'll be reduced to either scrapping my DOS program or having to go delving deep into v.20 innards, which is not a pleasant thought.
I am considering transferring all the DOSEmu files and the DOS program files into v.20 when I get it up and running. It's an experiment, and whether it'll work or not I dunno. I know that a few years ago I was transferring some of these files from one machine to another, but the difference then was that DOSemu etc was actually working on both machines.

By the way, I do know about DOSemu2, but not how to use it. In any case, a brief look suggests that there are a lot of amendments to be done.

ten0rman

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Re: Why Linux?

#340252

Postby ReformedCharacter » September 14th, 2020, 5:35 pm

ten0rman wrote:I've tried to 'SU' into the root to delete it, but all I get is password not accepted, or something. I've tried 'SUID' with the same result except that I KNOW that the password is correct. I'm now using GParted in an attempt to resize the two partitions hoping that in doing so I'll then be able to get in and delete Timeshift fully. If not, then it'll be a reload.

ten0rman

Have you checked the ownership of the Timeshift folder?

RC

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Re: Why Linux?

#340267

Postby ten0rman » September 14th, 2020, 6:43 pm

No. I've picked up from somewhere that it is owned by root. The data that is being collected is owned by the user and I have been able to delete it in the past and I thought that's it job done. But wasn't! The problem is that once triggered, even though it's from a user, there doesn't appear to be any way of cancelling Timeshift without going into root & deleting the file found in root.

What I want to do, is to delete the data being stored and then prevent Timeshift from working at all. I don't need Timeshift - with a number of copies of data, and two or three more or less identical laptops, it's no big deal to reload the os (and data) if necessary. It's time consuming, especially when setting everything up, and hence a pain in the butt, but it's not difficult, but the time aspect is why I want to get shut of Timeshift if I can thus avoiding all that setting up etc.

ten0rman

GeoffF100
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Re: Why Linux?

#340278

Postby GeoffF100 » September 14th, 2020, 7:55 pm

It is the way of he world that software becomes more and more resource hungry as time goes on. Xfce is less hungry than Mate, and is becoming hungrier at a slower rate. I did not find Xubuntu 20.04 slower to run than Xubuntu 18.04, and it booted faster. More features are being added to Mate, but there is a cost to that.

Timeshift is the same whatever the distribution. You can equally well mess up its settings with any of them.

Canonical is keen on snaps because they reduce the number of packages that Canonical has to maintain. Mint bans snaps by default. With Xubuntu, it is not difficult to tell whether a package is a snap before installing it. Chromium is the only big issue. It is only available as a snap (unless you want to compile it from source). I use Google Chrome, which is easily installed with a .deb package from the Google website. I do not know anything about DOSemu. I cannot find it with Synaptic, but you might be able to install it from a .deb package:

https://www.ubuntuupdates.org/package/c ... ase/dosemu

You could try with a live USB, and see what happens.


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