# What's up with all the Linux reccomendations?

#### StrongPenguin

Joined Jun 9, 2018
192
So I'm trying to get into all this embedded stuff, and learning to code in C. And in many of the Youtube videos the author seems to put a strong emphasis on making the switch, because learning to code C in Linux is cool and a must. The CS50 2017 lecture on C also recommended Linux.

What advantage would I get with Linux vs Win10? Granted, I'm sick of Win10 and it's constant updates, and just being slow, but It is what I've always used, and know.

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,102
Hello,

Linux has a lot of development software free available.
This is the packagelist from OpenSuse, wich I have available here:

I am using the Tumbleweed version of OpenSuse, wich gets updated almost every day.
https://www.opensuse.org/

Bertus

#### Picbuster

Joined Dec 2, 2013
979
So I'm trying to get into all this embedded stuff, and learning to code in C. And in many of the Youtube videos the author seems to put a strong emphasis on making the switch, because learning to code C in Linux is cool and a must. The CS50 2017 lecture on C also recommended Linux.

What advantage would I get with Linux vs Win10? Granted, I'm sick of Win10 and it's constant updates, and just being slow, but It is what I've always used, and know.
even more sick of win10
I use Linux mint 18.x great stuff and it will allow you to install windows programs and run it.
This could be done using WINE (part of mint or dwn loadable).
If you make an install file under windows you are able to install and run it under Linux.
However not all software will work (eq nccad,vinculum ii ide are not working this could be due to jumps to assembler but this is never investigated).
I use in mint:
Mplab, Kicad, Librecad, open office, plus a bunch of win xp VB6 software written by me old stuff but working.

step 1: keep win7 or xp for programs that will not run under WINE.
step 2: destroy all info and system programs related to win 10.
You feel very very very happy afterwards. (hours waiting for a failed update or problems with drivers. And above all MS is not forcing you to work the way they want you to work!!)

Good luck.

Picbuster

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,102
Hello,

As @Picbuster said, many programs for windows will work on linux using Wine:
https://www.winehq.org/
There is also an application database, where you can find out iwch programs work fully, partly or not, using Wine:
https://appdb.winehq.org/

I have LTSpice IV and XVII running here without problems using Wine.

Bertus

#### StrongPenguin

Joined Jun 9, 2018
192
@bertus I've never heard of that, will look into it as it looks interesting.

@Picbuster Mint seems to be on most of the recommended Linux versions lists, along with Ubuntu. But I don't seem to find any "just Linux" version, like vanilla.

Ok, sounds tempting. Should I do a format c: (like back in the day) and install Linux from there? Or a Virtual Box?

I was thinking, is it possible to install Linux while Win10 is still installed, then grab all the stuff I need, then delete all the rest? Reason I ask this, is because I can't find my HDD to do back up's.

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,102
Hello,

When you can make a backup of the Win10, that would be a pre.
How big is the HDD?
Can you shrink the Win10 partition?
On the free space, you could install the linux.
Make 2 partitions for the linux.
One for the operating system and One for the Home partition, where the user data is stored.

Bertus

#### StrongPenguin

Joined Jun 9, 2018
192
Found my external HDD, doing a back up of the files I don't wanna lose.

I'm not sure if I understand your first line. What would be a pre?

My external HDD is 500 gb, and my internal is 120 gb.

So I end up with three partitions, right? One for backup of Win10, one for Linux OS, and one for Home. How big should the last two be each?

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,102
Hello,

120Gb is not very large.
I see that only the operating system of Win10 already occupies 60 Gb on a 400 Gb partition.
My linux operating system is about 20 Gb on a 85 GB parition.(Win10 and linux opareting are on a 512 Gb SSD).
The rest would be Home.(wich is located on a second disk in my computer, wich is 2 Tb).
BTW linux also has a seperate partition for swap (like the paging file of windows, but on a seperate partition).

I made some more partitions to release the SDD from wearing.
This is my complete partitioning table:

The NVM disk is a M.2 SSD connected directly to the motherboard of my PC, the SDA is the 2 Tb SATA disk.

Bertus

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#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,138
So I end up with three partitions, right? One for backup of Win10, one for Linux OS, and one for Home. How big should the last two be each?
They should have worked out the partitioning bugs by now, but Mandrake Linux left a very bad taste in my mouth when I tried to install it (about a decade or so ago) on a Windows computer that was already dual booting Win98 and WinXP. The Mandrake installation created a 5th partition on my disk and the system would no longer boot because only 4 partitions are allowed.

I think I managed to recover by mucking around with the partitions, but I never tried to install Linux to dual boot with Windows again. If I'm going to run Linux, I only run Linux.

With so many single board computers running variants of Linux available, I'd recommend going that route. The SBC I'm using for C programming cost $9. It's connected to my network via WiFi, so I can access it from any other computer in the house; though it's a pain to use my tablet. Last edited: #### dl324 Joined Mar 30, 2015 9,138 What advantage would I get with Linux vs Win10? Compared to any Windows operating system, Linux is very light weight. My first standalone Linux computer was an early P4 (Willamette, few hundred MHz) with 512MB of memory. That computer would be under powered for just about any recent Windows flavor, but it was fine for developing programs. My current development platform can't even run a browser efficiently, but it's fine for program (non-graphical) development. Thread Starter #### StrongPenguin Joined Jun 9, 2018 192 Ok, then it seems like a delete of Win10 is my only option. With the stuff I have on my computer right now, I am already running low on space. I guess it's also worth mentioning, that this laptop is the only PC i have. I don't play games, or do any particular stuff that requires specific software (other than LTspice and Code Composer Studio [soon]) What I'm trying to say, is that this is not a work computer, just a normal laptop. Still worth the switch? Don't use it for more than Excel, Word, Chrome, VLC, PDF, and learning to code, which is my biggest factor. And the million dollar questions: which version (distro/kernel?) should I pick? And having never used or seen Linux, on what basis could I even make a reasonable choice? Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Redhat....jeeez... On the CS50 C video, the lecturer used the command line, which is new to me. And I thought it seemed extremely inefficient. And I should mention that I'm not "good with computers". I once was. But I have gained the interest in computers again. Last edited: #### dl324 Joined Mar 30, 2015 9,138 Ok, then it seems like a delete of Win10 is my only option. With the stuff I have on my computer right now, I am already running low on space. If you're using the Win10 computer for other things, I'd recommend buying a used computer for your Linux install. Or buy an SBC, connect it to your network, and use vncserver/vncviewer to connect to the Linux computer from any of your other computers. #### BR-549 Joined Sep 22, 2013 4,938 StrongPenquin......I strongly suggest that you leave your hard drives alone. Buy a 100 GB or so SSD. Download a live edition of linux ISO that you want to try. Put ISO on CD disk or thumb drive. Install empty SSD. Disconnect 120 GB drive and external drive. Set bios to boot to cd or thumb. Install linux on SSD. After completed.......reconnect other drives. Use bios to select which system you want to boot to. #### KeepItSimpleStupid Joined Mar 4, 2014 3,635 Hey, I'm been running Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) since 2013 the EASY way, but I need to make it practical an upgrade. The LTS versions have Long Time Support and time is running out. I have 16 GB ram, no HD and a small USB thumb drive. When a Windows HD crashed big time, it was unrecoverable even when they take the platters out. I got a QNAP NAS server with three 3 TB Hard drives to get 5 TB of RAID storage. It would be best to have two. I need to back the stick up more often, Booting requires: 1. Insert Live CD (already inserted) 2. Boot from CD 3. Turn on wireless 4. Mount small USB drive 5. Run a config script (e.g. sudo bash /media/KINGSTON/config) (CNTRL-ALT-T) first This will: Do a few things and check for an IIternet connection, It won;t continue if not internet cnnection. Example disable trackpad tapping; install flash from USB; Install pepperflash from USB It installs libavtools and gnome-schedule, upgrades Compiz The last part is mostly informative: echo "Install gnome-schedule" sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule echo "add cmd: rm -f ~/.xsession-errors to execute hourly" echo echo "Disable Trackpad Tapping #2" synclient MaxTapTime=0 echo echo "To Enable On-screen KB" echo " System Settings/Universal Access/Typing/Typing Assistant" echo " System settings/Keyboard/shortcuts/Universal Access/" echo " Turn on-screen KB on or off -> set ^K to do so" echo "" echo "Copy this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-search-link-fix/?src=denbl og " echo "as a URL to fix returned search URL's" # echo "Firefox: set to ask where to save files" echo "Also try to set Hardware acceleration to OFF" echo "To restart wireless use 'service network-manager restart'" echo "To restart printing use 'service cups restart'" echo echo "Use below to show WIFI signal strength" echo bash /media/KINGSTON/wifisignal echo # Try to enable history set -o history # echo "Add set Audio Volume to 150% to history w/o executing- doesn't work" echo "A665-6050" echo "pactl -- set-sink-volume 0 150%" pactl -- set-sink-volume 0 150% echo "A665-s5057" echo "pactl -- set-sink-volume 1 150%" pactl -- set-sink-volume 1 150% history -s pactl -- set-sink-volume 0 150% echo echo "manually add media.libavcodec.allow-obsolete to Firefox" Don't know how t do it automatically./ Lots of problems with video and sound. URL's get mangled when cutting and pasting. It tells me a few commands that I should execute manualy. I have separate scripts to install VLC and VPN if needed. Setting repositories is a little issue. I don;t really have a way of backing up the system to the NAS and getting it back. I do have a 250 GB SSD, but not utilized yet. I;ve played with WINE once and I;ve played with the arduino development system once. Linux doesn;t really allow manipulating PDF files well. I do have what I think is a firmware bug in the BIOS (Toshiba A665 series). I really need to re-map the right and left shift keys which I haven't managed yet. I can loose emails when composing on the web AND kill pages because a left Capital R & W might get interpreted as a control-R and Contrl-W. It happened on Windows too. I recently set up gnome-schedule to kill the .xsession-errors file every hour and the instability stopped. The USB drive runs out of space. Vivaldi needs a better version of Linux. So, even with this set-up, I don;t really have an automatic incremental backup (daily) and a system back-up (2x/week) and have the system on an SSD. Probbaly Linix should run in a Virtual Box and I think I;d like to have a license server at home. I want an Android/Win10 tablet and can't find one. USB permissions are always fun. So, 1. I need a way to switch mapping of left and right shift. 2. Need a way of backing up the Linux OS to the NAS 3. Need a way to retreive it. 4. Need incremental backups I need to complete an infrastructure upgrade. It just means doing it: 1. Upgrade wired laptop connection to 802.11ac. I have n at 72 Mb/s link speed. I may be able to improve that. 2. Wired laptop is only 100 mb/s and currenlty wireless n. Eventually wireless n. ac. A Cardbus card migh suppor Gigabit wired. 3. DSL modem needs work. It went south last week. Two modems need to be mounted on DIN Rail. One in bridge and one "direct connect" with a switch to switch between them (doable), "Direct connect" gives me line statistics and it removes "NEARLY EVERYTHING" else. It allows speedtests with a wired connection direct to modem. Verizon has 2 DSL modems that are supported. An Actiontec and and a dlink. Big differences: 1) I can;t get the Actiontec to use DYNDNS. That doesn;t matter because of bridge mode. Probaby better wireless coverage with the D-link (visible antennas). Many DYDNS flavors supported. I need the Actiontec modem. So, I need to mount the modems and a RJ45 electro-mechanical switch that will swap the DSL line and the Ethernet lines to the modems and run the modem from POE. It's too clutzy to use the keyhole slots to ount them. This brings the direct modem connection from the ceiling to the wall. The RJ45 switch will retain setting when power is off and is RS-232 controllable. My UPS needs to be moved and installed so almost all of the network stuff is on a UPS. Shutdown software has to be integrated into the NAS. Routers/repeaters need to be upgraded to support wireless ac. Multiple ASUS RT-AC68U (mesh network). I'll probbaly run the Merlin software. A plan was to have free dial-up PPP as a backup, but I lost that. I had Clearwire, but they dissolved. I'd like another backup source. Phone needs to be replaced. There is some wired Ethernet that needs to be put in place and telco needs to be straightened out. A 24 port gigabit managed POE switch needs to be installed. Here https://1drv.ms/f/s!ArtckSflfmHzgwpVPAp1Ksg8zigO is a link to a bunch of pics showing the current state of affairs. It doesn;t really show the DSL modems. There are three Demark points; the NID, the old carbon block and another screw terminal junction box. The NID gets a splitter and then two CAT5E jacks. One for modem - one for test. Pair 4 is used for DSL. So, modem is located about 6 feet from the NID. At the modem area, there will be two modems; one set up in bridge; one not. There is an Ethernet jack that can access the non-bridged modem. There will be a means of switching the DSL inputs to the modems. Pics #1 and #2 show a spilice box/modified splice box to splice CAT6 and to attach quad to CAT4/5E/6 cable. The single RED patch panel will be bridged telco. The 48 port will go to the house wiring. Inserts will make the RJ45's into telco RJ11's. The 48 port panel tilts and above the panel are my current ethernet switches. Wall warts are on a shelf with octopus cables. Center-left is a really small part of the NAS. Warning - when attaching DIN rail to rafters, do not mount it flush. Water from strange places like a toilet overflow will use it as a channel. Don;t forget the drip legs too. That handles a local bell, a nearby telephone, a kitchen telephone and a porch telephone. It heads to a second de-mark in the middle of the basement. #### Ams Sma Joined Feb 11, 2017 10 I'm using linux for a long time. By now i'm using xubuntu 16.04 and it works really well for me. Linux allows you to: • Configure your system with a detail and flexibility impossible to achieve in windows systems. • Use software free and safe from malware (if you use the official repositories ) • Choose the best distribution for you from the hundreds available Of course Linux also has weak points • The learning curve is bigger than windows • For advanced configurations you'll probably will have to use the command line (for me its not a problem but scares a lot of people) • Since the software is free, the updates and bug fixes may take longer. I think the better solution is to try a linux version the suits your needs without deleting windows yet. Get used to the system and then make you choice by one system or keep both. Thread Starter #### StrongPenguin Joined Jun 9, 2018 192 @dl324 As luck may have it, my wife needs a new laptop, so I'm gonna do a clean install on hers. Asus 2,4 gHz, 4 (or 6) gb ram. From 2007. @bertus Also an option, most definitely. @BR-549 Ok, people seem to agree upon not deleting my HDD. I will leave it alone. @KeepItSimpleStupid I understood that you use Ubuntu...the rest I can find in a telephone in my basement? @Ams Sma The problem is just that I don't have enough free space on my drive. I don't know what these optimizations are, but they sure sound interesting. I've put Linux on hold for a while, until we buy the new laptop. But thanks for all the answers and help. #### MrSoftware Joined Oct 29, 2013 1,573 Try Linux in VMWare, or your favorite virtual machine package. You can run Linux and Windows at the same time. There will be a performance overhead with any virtual machine, but it's the quickest and easiest way to try Linux on a Windows computer without having to modify the Windows partition. Though it will work best if your PC has a reasonable amount of RAM. #### joeyd999 Joined Jun 6, 2011 4,270 Install empty SSD. Disconnect 120 GB drive and external drive. Set bios to boot to cd or thumb. Install linux on SSD. After completed.......reconnect other drives. Use bios to select which system you want to boot to. Why disconnect the Windows drive? He can choose to install grub on the second drive, and then the first will not be touched. As a side benefit, he can then tell bios to boot from the second drive where he can choose to boot Windows or Linux from the grub boot screen. #### KeepItSimpleStupid Joined Mar 4, 2014 3,635 @KeepItSimpleStupid I understood that you use Ubuntu...the rest I can find in a telephone in my basement? "Asides", minor slightly related discussions, make the forum interesting. It tends to enrich your overall knowledge. I'd love to have a "new laptop" discussion. Another topic. Right now, they are big, size wise, cell phones. I really don;t see anything I like. Almost thinking about buying a multi-cpu server off of ebay and running VNC. Another Aside. • The learning curve is bigger than windows It was slightly hard, but I was exposed to Unix on a DEC PDP-11 back in 1975. Never any administrative stuff though. • For advanced configurations you'll probably will have to use the command line (for me its not a problem but scares a lot of people) Still can't manage a decent batch file. Very cryptic, e.g. kill -9$(ps -afe | grep nm-applet$| head -2 | tail -1 | cut -d" " -f5) && nm-applet & Under stand kill -9, ps, grep head -2, and tail -1 extracts two lines, you get a process running grep and you want the first one. Not sure about the$ (make a variable, probably), head -2, tail -1 gets one of two line.
The cut -d " " -f5"; no ide, but it's the fifth space which is wierd.
&& nm-applet starts the applet and doesn't exit to shell.

• Since the software is free, the updates and bug fixes may take longer.
The fix above is to fix Network manager from not listing VPN connections. I just recently found it.