Why I'm leaving Linux (for now) [SOLVED]

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by amarildojr, Sep 28, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    Since millions of people are asking me if I'm still on Linux (because of >this thread<), I decided to give a complete answer to this question.

    It has been a few months since a very complicated conflict appeared in my life. This conflict was proprietary Catalyst drivers. You'll understand in a minute.

    First, I need to put everything in context, so I'll tell a little story.l If you don't want to read, that's fine, you'll understand on the next paragraphs.

    I have a little experience with 3D modeling, which is something that always caught my attention since I was very young, when a teacher demonstrated how to use SketchUP to create a 3D house. I've been having ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ with 3D since then, but it wasn't until 2010 that I had the opportunity to actually start working with 3D modeling. So, in 2010 I started working as an electrician and finally I was able to buy a computer with a graphics card capable of dealing with this kind of work. This was the year that I also got an internet connection, so I wasn't very experienced at the time.
    After a few months "training" and learning, I installed Rhinoceros so that I could live my dream. It was fine, but my video card died in 2012, and since I was working at day-time and studying at night, I couldn't find the time to try Rhinoceros again.

    This year I was able to start over, but with a different program called Blender. Problem is, I have very strong feelings towards GNU and it's philosophy, so even after buying a GPU that costs 30% more than the minimum wage here I couldn't use it to render my works because current FOSS drivers don't have OpenCL 2.0 implementation. What was I left with? Processor rendering. That's awful, specially since my processor is an Athlon II X2 250. It will literally take up to 10 times as more to render my works than my GPU would take, and since some GPU renders can take up to 8 hours to complete, it would be impractical to use my CPU for such a task. And since I don't have a job right now, I must take a chance on this so that I can have some money on the bank.

    So, I started doing some research to see which distros have AMD's Catalyst in their repos. The list of distros that I would trust more-or-less is:

    * Arch
    * Debian
    * OpenSUSE
    * Ubuntu
    * Mageia
    * Manjaro

    My test results are as follows:

    Arch works 100% fine if you use the OpenSource drivers. Heck, these drivers are faster than Catalyst for the most part, and they even work with grsecurity. However, Arch doesn't officially support Catalyst because AMD does a ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ job with Linux support, so you either have to install them from the AUR or from an unofficial repository. That's not a problem, but currently Catalyst is not working with linux-4.2 on Arch, the package maintainer recommended users to use linux-lts instead. Also, there are times where Xorg needs to be downgraded, and this has caused me problems in the past.
    So Catalyst on Arch is a no-go for me, unfortunately.

    Debian is great, it's awesome. Jessie has a Catalyst 15.7 backport and everything, but it has the same bug as the OpenSUSE package: amd-opencl-icd only lists my CPU as OpenCL device. There is a 63-day old bug that was filed for this package and yet Debian developers haven't fixed it. I can't rely on such delayed developers when it comes to work.
    Debian now has a Catalyst 15.9 package with the same bug.

    OpenSUSE, overall, is a great distro. It's one of my favorites. And even though it's repositories are a mess (Who's behind packman?), I'd use it in a day-to-day basis. But Catalyst on OpenSUSE has a problem: for some reason, only my CPU is listed as OpenCL device, which isn't true at all.

    Now, admittedly I don't trust Canonical and I would never think of using Ubuntu, but I didn't see other alternative: using Ubuntu-MATE is still better than using Windows.
    However, here's where problems arise. Even Ubuntu 14.04 has a ton of bugs, and even though OpenCL works fine there, for some reason my video playback is sloppy when I'm GPU-Rendering. Not only that, but I couldn't get Steam to work and couldn't customize Firefox because of other bugs I can't remember ATM.
    I also tried Ubuntu 15.10. I installed it via it's mini.iso which is the same way I install Debian, with a custom encrypted LVM setup. Ubuntu 15.10 won't even boot after install. It's regular DVD also won't work because there is a bug during install in regards to some time problem and a system error.

    I also tried Mageia. It looks like a good distro and I really liked it, but I couldn't for the love of Zeus get that thing to upgrade to it's rolling release system. It just won't boot, it seems the developers had done a terrible job on testing things.

    Going to Manjaro I noticed that it is far harder to install than Arch if I want my custom encrypted LVM setup in place. And since there was absolutely no documentation on how to get things going, I decided not to even try it again, specially not the regular ISO since it comes with a ton of proprietary programs installed.

    So, what was left for me? That's right, Windows. I hate to do this, and people that have been following me for a while know that I can get REALLY ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ just by talking about Windows, but I decided to stay there for a while, either until Debian's bug is solved, or until I sell this card and get an NVIDIA one, or until mesa-opencl actually has some OpenCL 2.0 capabilities (because it seems games are more important than work for current developers).
    Only a few of you know, but I have clinical paranoia. It was discovered after I tried to kill myself in 2008. And even though I'm dying on the inside, I have to use Windows, because everything works there: I have the latest software with no bugs, AMD drivers work fine, I always have the latest Blender, and overall Windows is a much more stable environment than Linux. Some may disagree, but I have had way less problems on Windows than on Linux, and it's not hard for me to admit that even considering I'm a Linux "fanboy" since 2006 when I first encountered Linux. I know that when I install a program on Windows, it WILL work, and I can't say the same of Linux and I always think to myself when a Linux update comes: "Oh Thor, I hope the developers done nothing wrong this time".

    Most of this Linux problem IMO is due to the fact that we don't have a good standardization in place, I've talked about this on Debian's forums: http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=123756#p586248

    So in order for me to not answer so many people via e-Mail, here's why I have chosen to abandon Linux for the time being. If you're going to yell at me, please do it in this thread.

    Forgot to add a few things I did in Blender:
    Late afternoon read
    https://i.imgur.com/QivNsWg.jpg

    Modeling a kitchen:
    https://i.imgur.com/QPMKS0w.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/gCGw58m.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  2. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Posts:
    836
    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    I guess Linux Mint and LMDE are also excluded because they're based on Ubuntu and Debian, respectively?

    Did you try CentOS?
     
  3. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    The problem I have with Mint is that I can't customize the installation at all, and it will always install codecs, flash, and everything I don't like. But could you answer a few questions?
    I would DEFINITELY consider LMDE. Is there an alternative DVD where the install can be customized? And regarding updates/upgrades, are they still doing upgrades every 3 months?
     
  4. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Posts:
    665
    Why don't you just dual boot?
     
  5. zakazak

    zakazak Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Posts:
    523
    Why not running arch and windows within arch where you could bind the AMD GPU to the windows ? Well.. that works if you have a 2nd gpu (e.g. intel) for arch.
     
  6. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    Because I'd have to maintain two systems, and I simply don't have the time for that right now.

    I'll try Arch one more time to see if Catalyst is working on linux 4.2.
    Then I'll test Ubuntu 15.10 one more time, and maybe 14.04 too.
    Then I'll test LMDE.

    I could use Debian Jessie, but I hate how the so-called "stable" release lacks a ton of important features and how a lot of programs didn't make it because the developers are too strict.

    That is one possibility, however I couldn't find anything useful when it comes to Virtualbox and a single GPU.
     
  7. zakazak

    zakazak Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Posts:
    523
    You mean you have a single gpu? If so, then it won't be possible.

    Any chance to add a 2nd random gpu for arch?
     
  8. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    sounds like anyone really cares.
     
  9. zakazak

    zakazak Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Posts:
    523
    :D
     
  10. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    If I had that money, don't you think I'd get an NVIDIA card? ;)
    I have -5.000$ on the bank right now :thumb:
     
  11. zakazak

    zakazak Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Posts:
    523
    I will give you 10$ if you become my private arch linux live support !
     
  12. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    Hahahahahah!! Thanks, but you'd need to sweeten the pot A LOT MORE to have that sort of thing.

    Honestly, though, I wouldn't charge you anything, I don't mind helping people :D I have at least 4 friends that use me as their tech-support when they need.
     
  13. wshrugged

    wshrugged Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Posts:
    202
    I ran into the same problem with ATI graphics.

    There is an option for Linux Mint 13 (support till 2017) without codecs. After installation you can install the fglrx-legacy driver. This should, as I understand it, give your card the best performance. Do a search at Mint or Ubuntu, etc., forums regarding your card or something like 'ATI Radeon HD 2/4xxx'. I didn't pursue this because I don't need my card's full capabilities and lack of time.

    Mint 13 -- http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=18
    Driver installation instructions -- http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2012/10/how-to-install-amd-catalyst-legacy.html

    Have to run...
     
  14. AutoCascade

    AutoCascade Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Posts:
    624
    Location:
    United States
    You have a really good grasp on Linux. How far away from a Sys Admin would you be? Just curious not trying to be personal. I see people looking for people with good linux knowledge all the time for great $$.
     
  15. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    Thanks.

    I don't know, but I don't think it's too far away. Managing Linux servers is a piece of cake for the most part, specially if the overall Linux knowledge is good.

    Where could I find such people? :argh:
     
  16. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    3,518
    Location:
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    Is that AMD CPU named Barton? If so it's in my ancient (1998 tech built in 2000) desktop running LXLE. LXLE runs great but the mobo has Nvidia integrated graphics. Good luck.
     
  17. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    It's an Athlon II X2 250 (OverClocked to 3.6 GHz), from 2009. Pretty weak CPU for rendering. My next CPU will be at least a FX-6300, and if I have the money then I'll buy a FX-8350 or an equivalent model from Intel.
     
  18. AutoCascade

    AutoCascade Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Posts:
    624
    Location:
    United States
    Indeed.com, monster and believe it or not Craigslist. Just search those sites for linux and see what comes back. I know there is a shortage of capable people in that field. There is a lot of money out there for that expertise.
     
  19. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Posts:
    836
    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    LMDE is now available as LMDE 2, which is based on Debian stable.
    No alternate download available.
    You can get a lot of installers for Debian testing:
    https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
     
  20. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    Thanks, I'll look into that. Problem is, I'd have to use Paypal for this kind of job because I live in a different country. I'd have to be VERY careful because a) it's graigs list, and b) there are a ton of paypal scams.

    I don't think I'll be needing that :) But thanks anyway.
     
  21. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Brasil
    @topic: I gave OpenSUSE 13.2 another go tonight, and weirdly enough for me, it all worked fine :confused: Catalyst 15.7 is installed, Blender (downloaded from their website) is working too, and I'm able to use my GPU as an OpenCL compute device. I'm 100% positive my problem on OpenSUSE was because I didn't install 'opencl-headers', which I absolutely did for all other distros (seriously). I guess their "1-Click install" missed that OpenCL package :)
    It is working a bit slower than usual, but that's probably because of the XFS filesystem.

    Everything working fine: https://i.imgur.com/MM1ouoM.jpg

    Anyway, thanks everyone who contributed to this shame-of-a-thread, I'm staying on OpenSUSE for now.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.