Possibly switching to linux... noob questions.

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by mattdocs12345, Aug 22, 2013.

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  1. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Plz excuse me for my obviously noob questions.
    1) Will linux distributions have drivers for my laptop Thinkpad X230
    - fingerprint reader
    - full trackpoint support (including software acceleration), etc...
    2) Is it possible for complete linux noob to set up virtual windows on linux.
    3) Most important question. Will linux play flash and silverlight content?
     
  2. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Fingerprint reader -> Don't know, sounds kind of exotic.

    Trackpoint -> Works fine in my experience. Mind though, "my experience" is with an ancient 600E.

    Virtualized Windows OS -> sure, using Virtualbox or VMWare, or KVM if you have hardware virtualization support. Virtualbox is probably the most commonly used, and the easiest to set up (regardless of what one might say about Oracle).

    Flash -> Yes, though the Flash plugin for Firefox is dated. If you use Flash a lot you should probably use Google Chrome.

    Silverlight -> Probably not. There is the Moonlight browser plugin, but it's a bit dubious IIRC.

    If you're still interested you might want to check the ThinkWiki: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

    Do note though that Linux is a very different ballgame from Windows. Being a Linux newbie is a wonderful learning experience if you have the time for it, but probably an exercise in continuous frustration if you don't.
     
  3. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Thank you. This site will be very helpful. I need sliverlight for netflix which I do like watching. But I guess I could do that through VM.
     
  4. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Or try Wine. There's also this interesting plugin.
     
  5. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Thank you for the tip.
     
  6. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Distros like Oz Unity, Zorin OS and Linux Mint should have all the necessary codecs and drivers installed and configured ready to work out of the box. If particular hardware drivers are still needed, they can be easily installed with a Hardware Drivers tool found in most distributions. Flash support is good but Silverlight is lacking and Pipelight is now a stop gap. We'll have to wait for HTML 5 to make plugins for video encoding and playback a thing of the past - right now, its still experimental. :thumb:
     
  7. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Already downloading linux mint xfce 64 bit. Will load it on a USB and give it a try. Which now begs another question. What is the easiest way to load linux on a USB?
     
  8. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Rufus - just copy the iso. to your USB. The software will make the USB bootable so you can run the distro in live session or commit it your computer's hard disk drive if you decide you like it. Depending on the size of the USB, you may be able to run the distro off it as a portable operating system. :thumb:
     
  9. Gitmo East

    Gitmo East Registered Member

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    I would like to add that migrating to Linux is probably the best thing you will do all year :cool: if you can use Windows you can use Mint, they are tons of articles/tutorials out there for almost anything you care to do however the Ubuntu fork of Mint is a little more user freindly than the Debian Edition also they are far more tutorials that you can use with the Ubuntu fork. It is wortyh watching Canonicals direction/choices right now, there causing a little controversy as they become more hmm...mainstream. Just an observation.

    Edit: also unetbootin works well for creating bootable USB's http://blog.hostonnet.com/how-to-create-bootable-live-usb-ubuntu-with-unetbootin
     
  10. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Okay I got Linux Mint xfce 64 bit version installed on my thinkpad x120e. This is my old laptop on which I play to test and learn linux and figure out if I can use it to replace windows.

    Pros:
    - flash is working out of the box
    - all buttons are working out of the box
    - volume control display works out of the box
    - trackpoint works out of the box

    Questions
    1) I use Vsee for video conferencing. How can I get this service going on Linux? Will I be able to install it via Wine? Also what about Java? I need it for one application every now and then...
    2) How do I install new software from the internet?
    3) How does linux update itself? Is there autoupdate option?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  11. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    1) Try Ekiga - it works natively on Linux. You can run Windows software via PlayOnLinux or Crossovers but its recommended to use a native application first. No compatibility problems.

    You can install Oracle Java 7 or 8 through a Webupd8 PPA. The open source IceTea should already be installed on LM.

    2) There are three methods of installing software on LM. First - through the Software Centre, which graphically lists all available packages for installation. Two - Synaptic, the graphical front-end to apt get, lists by text all available packages for installation. Three - you can download a deb. file found on the Internet and install it with the graphical Gdebi installer, which is available in the repositories if not already installed on your system. You can either use LM's central repositories with their software management tools or if you want to install packages outside of LM, Gdebi offers that option.

    3) There is an Update Manager that lists updates from LM that can be installed. Unauthenticated and third party updates cannot be installed with the Update Manager. They have to be installed through Synaptic or through sudo-apt-upgrade via the command line through the GNOME terminal.

    Hope this helps. :thumb:
     
  12. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Okay I was able to install linux mint on USB then after playing around for a bit I decided to install it permanently on my SSD. I selected to erase Windows 7. However at the end of installation I get this error message:

     
  13. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Run the installer program again - at the end it should create your user and set up grub to boot the system. Once the installer has finishing copying the installation logs, it will tell you to reboot the computer. You can safely remove the USB when prompted.
     
  14. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    That's exactly what i did. This time the installer finished without any error. It gave me an option to restart. I removed the USB, restarted and got a message:

    Im trying again now with a different USB with Linux Mint Cinnamon on it. Hopefully this installation will complete otherwise Im missing something really simple here...
     
  15. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Okay I loaded cinamon on USB, restarted the computer, loaded linux, I pressed install Linux mint and when the installation was finished I restarted the computer and removed USB. Again same error. Operating system not found.
     
  16. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    What is the boot order in your BIOS? Your OS should boot first from your hard drive. Its a simple fix and people overlook the BIOS settings - and if the boot order is not set correctly, it will think the OS isn't found when in fact it is installed. That's a diferent error from a GRUB bootloader error when the GRUB just won't boot...
     
  17. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Silly I know. But I'd burn the .iso to DVD/CD & install from there. Sometimes .iso & or users install mess up using any medium that can be written to.
     
  18. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    do you have more than one hardisk also where did you install your grub boot

    loader its should be Sda(0,0) if using linux mint it show sda(0) boot loader

    3rd make a startup live disk not install from installed USB it wont work

    to make startup disk of linux mint

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=351037

    or burn DVD of live iso and install form it :)
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    That's what I'd do too....
     
  20. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Thank you guys for the responses.

    Now regarding the problem. I tried several mint flavors: Cinamon, XFCE and KDE. All of them ran properly from a USB but failed to boot after installation completed. I never got a GRUB loaded and never got a choice of OS... I even took out a 2nd laptop Thinkpad X230 on which Cinamon also failed to run at boot time after completing the installation. Again no GRUB...

    Unfortunately I don't have a CD/DVD burner and I don't want to spend money to get one.

    I am going to try Universal USB installer.
     
  21. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    I remember running into a problem a few years ago where the USB flash drive got assigned "sda" during the installation process while the hard drive got "sdb." So after the installation, the PC couldn't boot because without the flash drive the HDD would be sda while GRUB was set to boot from sdb. This might be what is going on in your case. I remember having to edit GRUB's config file or something to point it to sda instead.

    However, that was not a problem in the installers I tried recently, Debian and Fedora. They would mount the flash drive as sdb (well, actually Debian would see it as a CDROM). Still, using a CD/DVD would eliminate that possibility, if you had one.
     
  22. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Just burn the iso to CD. Jeez don't don't make it harder.
     
  23. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Because I didnt want to spend any money. HOwever after my attempt to use different isos, different USBs, different USB installers and when finally installation within windows also failed I have decided to support linux community by buying a DVD from them. Hopefully this time it will work.
     
  24. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    What's your partition setup and if you have more than one partition, where did you install grub?
     
  25. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    That's nice. But you can just burn it yourself to a blank CD/DVD that cost less than $0.25 bought in bulk. If you're concerned about money.
     
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