Old laptop /Linux question

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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby drfrag » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:05 pm

Heh, and doing the most simple thing on Linux is a nightmare. I've had to edit the file with sudoedit as you can't use the Kate editor as root since now they say it's unsafe. I kept getting the error that the file didn't exist until it worked, the nano editor looks like some horrible thing coming from the seventies and asks you a lot of questions to save the file with CTRL+O, you save with a temporary random name or else you get the doesn't exist error again. But it's done now after a lot of frustration. The touchpad is fixed, the option to use tapping was not enabled by default. And some keyboard keys stop working randomly even on a text terminal, weird.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Rachael » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:10 pm

The good thing about Linux is, there's alternatives for everything. But then, I don't use KDE - period.

If you're looking for something that has a lot of usability and don't mind the resource use, Linux Mint (or the Cinnamon Desktop on other distros) is a very good one.

If you're using Kubuntu you can switch to it easy just by issuing "sudo apt-get install cinnamon-desktop-environment" on the command line. If you want you can also install "lightdm" (probably its best login manager) alongside it.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Caligari87 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:18 pm

If you hate nano, get micro and change your $EDITOR system variable. Best thing I ever did, now I do 90% of my text editing in a terminal just because I'm no longer fighting with some nerd's outmoded early 80's idea of what a "good UX" was.

(Of course I don't get mad h4x0r cred for remembering the half-dozen keystrokes needed to exit vim or having a full secondary OS running in emacs, but that's not as important to me as it was 15 years ago)

8-)
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby drfrag » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:01 pm

Well, it doesn't matter much now as the keyboard is broken and some keys at the left fail intermittently. :( I didn't notice it, it's sad as it's a thinkpad but it cost me only 10€.
It's still a bit slow after disabling the effects but haven't tested much actually, slowness depends on the size of the windows. Energy management doesn't work but this is a very old piece of junk. Cinnamon wouldn't run here, that's for more powaful machines.
Kate is the default editor but now you can't run it with the sudo command and i needed to change the grub settings. Now i could try to sell it for 10€ to another technician for repairing, i don't think it's worth getting another keyboard and i don't have the money but he could sell it for more. I could use another piece of junk, there's frankie and another very similar one but i installed win7 on those and i want to sell one of them (20€?).
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Blzut3 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:02 pm

drfrag wrote:I kept getting the error that the file didn't exist until it worked, the nano editor looks like some horrible thing coming from the seventies and asks you a lot of questions to save the file with CTRL+O, you save with a temporary random name or else you get the doesn't exist error again.

Not sure what you expected from a terminal text editor as far as looks, but I have no idea what you did. Only question nano should be asking is where you want to save and 99.9% of the time you just press enter. Of course it will also ask you if you want to save on exit if there are unsaved changes.

I don't know why KDE hasn't done better in regards to integrating sudo like behavior into their software as it's annoying that people need to touch a terminal at all. But honestly if needing to do things as root is a persistent problem then you're doing something wrong, so I can see why it'd be a very low priority at least.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:34 am

Caligari87 wrote:If you hate nano, get micro and change your $EDITOR system variable. Best thing I ever did, now I do 90% of my text editing in a terminal just because I'm no longer fighting with some nerd's outmoded early 80's idea of what a "good UX" was.

(Of course I don't get mad h4x0r cred for remembering the half-dozen keystrokes needed to exit vim or having a full secondary OS running in emacs, but that's not as important to me as it was 15 years ago)

8-)


What is it with so many Linux people not using *real* modern editors... :?
It's one of the most baffling things in computing - those who "see the light" often revert to the most basic things around...
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby ketmar » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:40 am

editing some configs is the thing that could be done from "rescue mode". you only need something like "notepad" there, but for terminal. nano is just an "advanced notepad" in this case. there is no need in "real editor" here, just something very basic that can do the job.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Blzut3 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:52 am

Graf Zahl wrote:revert to the most basic things around...

If this is in regard to vim or emacs I don't think "most basic" applies. They're definitely very capable text editors even if I personally consider them both over rated, and there's definitely far to many people that preach vim without knowing any commands more than find and replace.

Nano is also a pretty competent text editor these days despite its barren default appearance. It has the ability to work with multiple files (basically tabs), line numbers, syntax highlighting, regex find/replace, mouse support, built in file browser, list goes on. Far from the "just notepad" that people treat it as.

If you're referring to being in the terminal at all, well it certainly helps to have a robust set of terminal tools when you're remoting into a remote rack of servers. Remote desktop onto 30+ servers simultaneously just isn't going to work well. There's definitely a place for GUI text editors and I use Kate most of the time, but there are plenty of reasons to want a good terminal editor as well. I can also see why some people would prefer to have just one environment and stick to using just a terminal editor.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:04 am

Blzut3 wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:revert to the most basic things around...

If this is in regard to vim or emacs I don't think "most basic" applies. They're definitely very capable text editors even if I personally consider them both over rated, and there's definitely far to many people that preach vim without knowing any commands more than find and replace.


It's not just editors but a general attitude I frequently witness with certain Linux-based developers.
Stuff like:

"Debuggers are for wimps. I debug with printf"
"I don't need an IDE. Linux *IS* the IDE."

are just some of the gems I had to find.
Of course it's not all that think this way but this kind never seems to die out - using the most basic tools for all their tasks.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby ketmar » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:17 am

i was debugging with printf/logf since... oh, i don't remember. more than two decades now, i guess. the only thing i need debugger for is to get a backtrace from coredump.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby drfrag » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:52 am

Now there's another serious problem, when i try to update or install packages i get an error "Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock", there's a thing named unattended-upgr blocking it and taking 100% cpu but it's not doing anything actually. The system monitor is so basic that i can't be sure as i can't check its disk or network activity. I think i need to use sudo again to reconfigure it, seriously?
Edit: done with sudo dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades and restart.
Last edited by drfrag on Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby Blzut3 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:04 am

drfrag wrote:Now there's another serious problem, when i try to update or install packages i get an error "Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock", there's a thing named unattended-upgr blocking it and taking 100% cpu but it's not doing anything actually. The system monitor is so basic that i can't be sure as i can't check its disk or network activity. I think i need to use sudo again to reconfigure it, seriously?

It should be effectively running "apt-get update" to check for new packages. By default it shouldn't be installing anything, just updating the package database and I think maybe they have it set to predownload packages by default. I believe you can disable this in the GUI package manager which may be a good idea given your specific machine/situation.

Off hand I don't know of anything to check disk usage or network traffic per app. Didn't even know Windows had that.
Graf Zahl wrote:"Debuggers are for wimps. I debug with printf"

Anyone who says that is in the same camp as the "everyone should use vim, but I only know how to regex replace" people. GDB is incredibly powerful if you know how to use it. GUI debuggers definitely lower the learning curve a lot and are probably faster for routine problems, but given that GDB lets one run scripts on break points and what not there are some things you can do to track down elusive bugs that I'm not sure a GUI debugger could do.

But I guess we live in a world where knowing how to use vim is cooler than knowing how to use GDB.
Last edited by Blzut3 on Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby ketmar » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:10 am

>Off hand I don't know of anything to check disk usage
iotop, for example.
to see various open fds one can use lsof.
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby drfrag » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:17 am

I've disabled them with sudo dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades.
You can see disk/network usage per process since Win8 in the task manager but before there was a separate system monitor.
Now i need a permanent sudo all command. :)
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Re: Old laptop /Linux question

Postby drfrag » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:05 am

And now when i run firefox the system freezes, but it's not a ram problem. I've found that the "nomodeset" solution actually disables your graphics driver and you use a vesa generic software driver then. Yeah they forgot to mention that insignificant detail. And it was not too bad with small desktop windows (@1400) but web browsing fullscreen is another thing, the cpu usage is very high. I guess the proper driver was installed but just doesn't work with modern KDE? Is it a problem with Ubuntu itself? Who knows but i've found that many modern cards experience the same problem and you need to do the trick and update the driver.
Still with a semi-modern GPU driver (mine is a GL 1.4 card) it should run fine as ram usage is around 500 MB, sure it's the 32 bit version. So what should i do now?
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