Ubuntu Installed


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Old 02-26-21, 09:02 AM
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Ubuntu Installed

Decided to use an old desktop I have to install Ubuntu 20.4 and all went fine. It erased everything on my hard disks and now there are no Windows programs. The desktop maybe old but it has Intel 2duo 3.0GHz, 6GB RAM, 2 HDD(160 & 80GB).

I like Ubuntu so far but kind of lost since I never used any OS of this kind (I have been a MS user for ever). I install xfe file manager and it helps to find out where my files are. Also installed some kind of a start menu I found on the web but although the install went fine and I was able to configure it now I can’t find it even after reboot. I also installed a screen saver and that works fine.

I wonder if Ubuntu is the right choice or perhaps another version will be better? Can I install other Ubuntu/Linux versions and be able to switch between them at the startup?(perhaps thru the boot menu?). There are so many versions/flavors of these OS’s which makes it difficult to find out which one is better

Start menu will be a big help to be able to see what I need, do you have an Idea of a good one and how to install it?

Thanks
 
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Old 02-27-21, 03:48 PM
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If you're relying on 'no charge' support for Linux, it seems to me to make good sense to use the distros that have the most users, because that gives you the greatest potential for finding someone who already has experienced your problem, and solved it and is willing to share the information.

For the past several years Ubuntu and Linux Mint have been neck-and-neck for the title of the most two popular flavors of Linux, so between them they have a very sizable following. Further, Ubuntu and Mint are both derivatives of Debian Linux, which means they are fraternal twins. They are so similar that virtually anything that works for the one will also work for the other. The biggest difference between the two is in the user interfaces. And both have support forums that are both well-attended and -- in my experience -- eager to and capable of helping.

Linux Mint has been my primary OS for several years and it has rarely been the case that my questions at Mint's official forums didn't give me what I needed. I don't spend much time at the Ubuntu official forum but I have searched there when I didn't get what I was after at Mint's forum, and I have on several occasions used a 'fix' written for Ubuntu that worked exactly as advertised on Mint.

So there is a decided strategic advantage to using either Ubuntu or Mint and of the two Ubuntu is regarded as the better for less experienced users. So from my perspective, you made the best choice possible.

As for your problem with the start menu, I'm afraid I have no experience configuring Ubuntu, and I've adapted to the start menu Mint uses by default instead of the other way around. But the thing is, I chose Mint with the Cinnamon desktop because I found it very intuitive to use. But there were other options. I could have installed a "different" Mint with either Xfce or the MATE desktop.

The MATE desktop is the 'default' configuration for Ubuntu and unless I'm mistaken I believe MATE was created for Ubuntu. But besides MATE and Xfce, there's one that comes with the KDE Plasma desktop, another with LXQt, another with Budgie, and another with a desktop designed to support media editing.

So although I can't speak directly to how to edit its start menu, my advice would be try the other flavors of Ubuntu that are available and see if any of their desktops suit you better. In a sense the desktop is each flavor's flagship. So starting out hammering on a clean install's start menu is rather like buying a new automobile and then driving it straight from the dealer's lot to an autobody shop to have it repainted in a color that you like better. You might have been better pleased with the outcome if you'd just bought the color you preferred to begin with. You don't have to install the other flavors, you can simply flash the image to an SD drive and run it in LiveCD mode to test-drive the GUI.

As example of an alternative (which happens to be my preferred desktop), this is the start menu from Mint's Cinnamon desktop:



I find this very straightforward and intuitive. Click the Start Button and this pops up.

The column at left is items the programmers thought most important to keep handy. The one in the middle (beneath the heading "All Applications") are the major categories, which I find logical and comprehensive. The right-hand column are the minor categories under the chosen major category. In this image I have selected "Office" as the major category so it's displaying all of the sub-headings in that category.

Or I can type the name of what I'm looking for in the window at the top and bypass the cascading menus.

And each individual menu entry is editable so I can change the name, the command used when that entry is selected, or the icon used to represent it. Plus each can be deleted and custom entries added. So if you don't find its organization logical, you can change it to whatever suits you.

But I would imagine that one of the Ubuntu desktops is functionally very similar to this.
 
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Old 02-27-21, 05:23 PM
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Thank you Fred for taking the time to educate me, much appreciated.

I agree that the forums

https://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=130

https://askubuntu.com/questions/1318...esktop-1st-try

are kind of useless because I had no helpful answers or no answers

And yes the users interface is the most important for me since I try to switch from Windows. I will take your suggestion and download the Mint Cinnamon on DVD and also see if I can find the Xfce and Mate desktops to compare. But I like the picture you posted on your Mint Cinnamon Desktop.

The weather has been “helpful” to stay inside and do my work(lots of snow storms in my neck of woods). I have been working on what I have and I find it a good OS, loads fast but the interface is not what I want. I managed to get and install a file manager which helps plus a few other utilities like the Xscreensaver, a start menu very basic but after config it may be better, plus the Wine app to use it for installing 2 small Window utilities I have (one is a Speller and the other a units converter) and right now the terminal seem its stuck downloading / installing that utility.

I was planning to scrap a desktop I build about 12 years but then it clicked on me to use it to install Linux OS and keep my other 2 laptops clean until I decide which OS I will keep. Most likely I will keep the Windows 8.1 and scrap the Windows 10.

Thanks again for your help, much appreciated
 
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Old 02-28-21, 12:12 PM
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Thanks Fred, you were right...

Got the 3 LinuxMint downloads, Cinnamon, Mate & Xfce and after testing I agree the Cinnamon is the best and I install it on my HDD and of course that erased the Ubuntu.

First impression is that Ubuntu was lighting fast with the installation (1hr for Ubuntu vs 2.5 hours for the Cinnamon) and I had to do nothing during the Ubuntu install. Cinnamon was very slow, I got a message it was crashed during writing into my HDD (Error fsyncing/closing/dev/sda: input / output error) and asked to reboot but somehow I was able to finish the install without reboot. Had to reboot twice during the install after it installed tons of drivers but at the end I’m very happy with it and I’m sure after some tweaking it will be an excellent replacement for my Windows.

To my opinion Cinnamon and Mate are almost identical and Xfce is not similar.

Although I asked to log in automatically, it always asks when I’m at the terminal or I want to install software for my password and I find that very annoying. Anyway to get rid of the password message?

Finally I installed some extra software, like the Screensaver, Wine, Mint menu, Mate Desktop and some other small disk utilities. I will take time to familiarize myself with it and do all the configurations according to my needs/taste.

As a side note Linux is a very good OS but the main problem is the regular user is confused with all the different flavors and stay away from it. I know there are many people involved making & maintaining this system but if they all get together and push only one or 2 flavors, people will go for it and perhaps Linux will take a big chunk of the market from MS.

Thanks again Fred


 
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Old 02-28-21, 03:52 PM
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Linux's diversity -- that fact that there are so many different desktops -- is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because a hack written for one flavor of Linux probably will have little to no effect on most of the others entirely because they are dissimilar. So the diversity improves security both because it limits the spread of the hack and because it discourages the hackers from even trying. But it's a curse because it makes the matter of selecting which Linux to run so complicated.

There are about 600 flavors of Linux, 400 or so of which are actively maintained. Here's a blogger's 'review' of 15 different Linux desktops. Fifteen! I have no idea how many there are in total but I guarantee it's well more than a mere 15. It's been opined by some high-level Linux experts that having over-many desktops to choose from is Linux's fatal flaw (along with the tendency to overwhelm newcomers with all the choices). It scares people away. Not unlike like the old myths, that it's too hard to use and drivers too hard to come by. Those two continue to grow less and less significant but the diversity/complexity keeps getting worse.

Regarding your log-in password, I think this will fix you.



Menu(1)> System Settings(2)> will open System settings.

Scroll down and look for 'Login Window' under the heading of 'Administration.' Enter your user password and the 'Login Window' window will open. Click the center tab at top, labeled 'Users' (3). If "Allow manual login" is checked, un-check it (4). Then enter your user name in the space provided under "Automatic Login" (5).



I think that will do it.

While you have the System Settings open, here are are few configuration suggestions.

Look under Appearance> Backgrounds if you want to change your wallpaper.

Preferences> Date&Time has a few of the configuration settings for display of time. I prefer 12-hr time over a 24-hour clock.

Preferences> Desktop lets you configure whether you want your trashcan, network connections, etc. to be visible on the desktop.

If you happen to mis-set a "preferred application" on first use, go to Preferences> Preferred Applications to correct it.

Preferences> Screensaver lets you configure a number of properties. I don't want my laptop to go to sleep when I close the lid, and I don't want the screensaver activating to lock the system. And my preferred format for time display is: %l:%M %p

Go to Hardware> Disks to configure spindown (power savings) and write-behind caching. Chaching improves HDD performance but you risk losing data if there's a power failure while there's data chached. I like to live dangerously so I always enable it. Click the three vertical dots at upper right, click 'Drive Settings' and click the 'Write Cache' tab.

Look under Hardware> Display to set the screen resolution you'd prefer.

Look under Hardware> Power Management to edit settings for powering off the screen, putting the system to sleep, etc.

Under Administration> Driver Manager, I always use the 'real' (non-generic) drivers that it offers (usually just video).

If you're going to use the firewall (and I recommend that you do), it could stand a little configuring before you switch it on.


All the entries below use the "sudo" command. sudo allows users who have administrator's privileges (known in Linux as "root" or "superuser") to run a single command with superuser privileges. In Windows, if you are a member of the Administrator's group, everything you do is performed with Admin privileges. But in the *NIX world they make a deliberate effort to prevent habitually using too much authority, and 'sudo' allows you to limit how much you use root privileges.

When you run a "sudo" command it will ask for your password, and it will remember that password for 15 minutes. So if you enter several commands in short order, it should run them all without asking for the password for a second time. But wait 15 minutes (or longer) and it will ask for it again.


Create some basic firewall rules by running these commands in Terminal window (it should all be one line):

sudo ufw deny 5353/udp && sudo ufw deny 5900/tcp && sudo ufw deny 22 && sudo ufw deny 25/tcp && sudo ufw deny 135,139,445/tcp && sudo ufw deny 137,138/udp && sudo ufw deny 110 && sudo ufw deny 2049 && sudo ufw deny 143 && sudo ufw deny 21/tcp && sudo ufw deny ssh

Then run this (also a single line):

sudo ufw deny out 1:19/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 1:19/udp && sudo ufw deny out 22:52/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 22:52/udp && sudo ufw deny out 54:79/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 54:79/udp && sudo ufw deny out 81:122/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 81:122/udp && sudo ufw deny out 124:442/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 124:442/udp && sudo ufw deny out 444:65535/tcp && sudo ufw deny out 444:65535/udp

Then run this:

sudo ufw status verbose

... to confirm your edits were accepted. All the entries you made previously should stream past.

To enable the firewall, run:

sudo ufw enable

You could also enable the firewall under System Settings> Administration> Firewall, but I figured you already would have had a terminal window open. Plus, any edits to firewall rules do not take effect until the firewall is first disabled and then re-enabled, so if you make the edits before the first time you turn it on, it saves you having to turn it off and back on.

That's the majority of the stuff I habitually configure under System Settings but by all means poke around and see what you can find that you might want to change. Fixing the things you've broken being too aggressive is the best way to learn an OS in depth.

And FWIW I really wasn't trying to sell you on Mint. One reason Ubuntu is kinder to the new user is that it has safeguards that limit misuse of superuser privileges. Mint does not have these provisions, nor do I want them. I'm one of those people who best learn from lessons that leave scars. If I've done something stupid, I expect to pay the Stupid Tax. If I tell a Linux system to burn itself to the ground, I expect to get smoke and flames, not an argument.
 
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Old 02-28-21, 05:58 PM
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I would say its more of a curse, lol. 3-4 years ago I decided again to give a try with these OS’s and I gave up just by trying to decide which one to try. It’s a real challenge.

And you say they are about 600 flavors? wow!!! I thought the 4 I just got was a lot!

Thanks for the tips Fred and the nice way you explained them, they are really a big help. Also I’m like you regarding the way we learn. I have done my share with DOS and the subsequent Windows versions and I created a few crashes but that’s the only way to learn.

Nicolas
 
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Old 03-01-21, 07:53 AM
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Looks like Fred has a good handle on the Linux world. I don’t think this was covered in what Fred outlined but there is something called PCLinuxOS. I think there is supposed to be a very strong PCLinuxOS community out there and so supposedly help is readily available.

I burned a Live CD with PCLinuxOS quite a while ago and did a little testing. I was surprised at how much software was included. I had some trouble with the Firefox browser not displaying some pages properly, but I didn’t pursue the problem. But it all seemed to function very well. A lot of work went into that, a lot of software included.

(I may have badmouthed the PCLinuxOS Live CD on this forum in the past when I couldn’t get the mouse to work, and couldn’t find help. But looks like that was premature. I ran with the same CD again it worked fine.)

Just thought I'd add that to the mix.
 
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Old 03-01-21, 02:08 PM
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Fred what do you use as a backup on your Cinnamon?

And if I need to restore would that be the same as MS, like been able to choose from the boot menu my restore?

I have 2 HDD in my desktop, 160 and 80GB and so far it looks like Linuxmint has not touched the 80GB. Perhaps I can keep my backup there? I also have an external USB Seagate HD 1.5TB where I keep my backups assuming Linuxmint can access the USB

With all the configs I do I’m sure soon or later I will screw up and crash my system so I would like to be prepared.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-02-21, 08:58 AM
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kolias, I do system backups separately from data backups. I use Mint's native snapshot tool (Timeshift) to back up the OS and I use rsync (command line tool) to back up my data files.

Timeshift is a bit like Windows' 'System Restore' in that it's not about surviving hardware failure, it's about patching operator errors or the occasional system glitch. It can only write to a drive formatted in one of the Linux-specific formats, i.e., Ext3, Ext4, etc., which is necessary to preserve the permissions and security provisions of the Linux system files. So if the only HDD you have with a Linux format on it also is the one the OS is on, it won't help you in case of hard drive failure. In my case, if the hard drive pukes I figure it's time for a clean install anyway.

I back up my data files to an external HDD using the native rsync command line tool. Like with the system files themselves, I'm more concerned with safeguarding my files against operator error than against system failure because my goofs are the most common cause of file loss or damage. The command I use is something like this:

rsync -vzu --progress /home/tux/* /media/tux/3tb.ext4/home_full

My user name is Tux and my home directory* is /home/tux so backing up /home/tux/* backs up all of my personal files. And my external HDD is /media/tux/3tb.ext4 and I'm writing to a directory named home_full.

That's for the "master" backup. Then I also make "incremental" backups every couple of days by only backing up the files created or modified since the day before the most recent rsync (which gives me a 1-day overlap). Eventually I replace the "master" backup with another full rsync but leaving all the old incremental backups in place. Once I have a new master backup, I start creating incrementals again, deleting the oldest incremental whenever I create a new one.

What I end up with is a rolling window of about two weeks when I have what is essentially a snapshot of all files created or changed in that period. Which means if I have inadvertently screwed something up I can fix it provided I discover the problem inside of two weeks.

To save the tedium and cut down on clerical errors I run these in shell scripts. A script is the *NIX equivalent of an MS-Dos/Windows batch file. It's just a text file with a series of commands, one per line, and when you run the script the OS executes the commands in order listed (but just like in batch files, some syntax does change a bit from command line).

If you're interested I can post the content of the scripts, but I know how "allergic" you are to command line, and I wouldn't want to stress you out.

* In case you didn't know, the tilde (~) is Linux shorthand for the user's home directory. So instead of /home/tux, I might just as well have used just the single character: ~ . So ~/Downloads is the same as /home/tux/Downloads. I often use full paths in scripts when not necessary because I have gray hair invading my brain and I'm less likely to get confused when I've used the full path.

EDIT:
In case you haven't seen them, there are lots of guides like this one ( 10 Things to Do First in Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon ) with tweaks to make the OS more livable and boost performance slightly. There are several similar to this but this guy is my favorite. The performance tweaks (reducing swappiness and taming inode cache, for two) won't cause dramatic improvements but they don't hurt, and getting involved with those factors can only make you a better rounded *NIX user.

I keep very little of this stuff in my head (the invading gray hair doesn't leave much room) so I have a master file I have been maintaining for probably at least 10 years that has all the "tweaks" that I found beneficial to apply to a clean install. When I posted those firewall rules for you, that wasn't from memory, I cut and pasted them from the master configuration file. I also keep a separate text file with all the command line commands I use and might want to use again. Especially beneficial for obscure commands that I had to experiment with to get the syntax correct.

EDITII:
I never delete anything from my "master" list of configuration instructions. When something in it becomes obsolete I move it to the bottom of the file but I leave it because in this business you never know when old knowledge might come in useful. So the items at the bottom provide me a sort of "time capsule" of old commands and configuration methods.

I mention this because I can look at what's at the bottom of that file and see how far Linux has come in that time frame in terms of simplicity and/or user friendliness. One of the configuration items in the obsolete section is instructions for configuring Samba, which you need to let Linux and Windows share the same networked resources (file storage & printers). That list is about 75 lines, just to set up a simple networked Samba share. Now Samba is pretty much self-configuring.

All of which goes to the fact that Linux is now well more intuitive and "user friendly" than it was just a few years ago. I would argue -- and I'm not being facetious -- that if you had never used a PC before and didn't already have a history with Windows, any of the current 'decent' flavors of Linux would be as easy to learn (if not easier) than Win10. Which at the very least points to the fact that it's a great time to give Linux a try.
 

Last edited by Fred_C_Dobbs; 03-02-21 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 03-02-21, 03:02 PM
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Hey Fred, much appreciated your help especially the nice way you have to describe/guide your tips.

From your previous email I went thru all your tips and did most of them except the firewall which for now is too much for me. In any case I’m in the habit to disable the wireless connection and only I turn it ON when it is needed.

Regardless the backup I will also leave it for later because I thought Linux backup would be similar to MS but I guess it is not. For years I use the Macrium Reflect backup software which I find very useful and has saved me many times to restore my Windows when needed. I though there will be something similar with Linux but I understand, perhaps wrongly, it is not and so I will wait until I’m more comfortable to understand Linux. BTW your description of the Linux directories structure was a big help for me because I have a hard time to understand and find my way there. And yes the contents of your scripts will be of interest to me, but later please.

I have seen the link “10 Things to Do First in Linux Mint” along with many others. thanks for the reminder

I will guess we do similar archiving Fred because I also have many “master” list of config on MS. Actually I have 3 large binders which include among many others pages from all PC magazines of the 80’s & 90’s I used to buy when I was travelling. Then these magazines had all kind of tricks to configure DOS and Windows 3.0.

Do you know the Windows command “msconfig”? It shows the boot menu and from that you can see/edit what is loaded when you boot. Is there something similar in Linux? My boot with Linux takes much longer than expected and it also loads my Nvidia Logo which takes time and is unnecessary. When I go to Nvidia preferences there is nothing there about loading the logo so I would like to know where the boot process takes this information.

Talking about the Swap file, I tried to decrease the file size which now is set at 60 and reading on the web they suggest a size 10. I have 6GB RAM so I think the 10 should be better for me and perhaps speed up the boot process. The code I got from the web was for an earlier Ubuntu version and some lines on my terminal said “unrecognized command”. Is not only the performance you may gain but also for good “housekeeping”. I like to know everything happens to my PC when it loads.

I’m laughing when you say “how allergic” I am with the command line. Its true but I also understand to really get into the guts of any OS, the command line is your best option and I am using now the terminal daily but only with commands I find on the web which I don’t understand but I’m getting better daily. I still have the book MS-DOS User’s Guide published in 1987 and I used to love it and perhaps I will get something similar for Linux if exist to better understand what I’m doing.

I’m very happy with the Cinnamon and the more I dig the better it gets. If it was not for you Fred I was discouraged with the Ubuntu Desktop and most likely I would have scrap it and forget about Linux OS's again

Again my thanks for your time.
 
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Old 03-03-21, 03:18 PM
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Kolias, when you asked about backing up I could have started with the "traditional" *NIX tool, cpio (an acronym for "copy in, copy-out"). It creates a single binary file (as does NTBackup) and is network-aware, can provide compression, and can back up an entire partition in one operation (without the need for Windows' "volume shadow copy") but like alll "old" *NIX tools, it is command line only. I choose not to use it for my backups because I prefer to have my backed up personal files available without having to extract or uncompress them.


You can disable the Nvidia boot screen by command line:

sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-logo


The start-up applications are managed in the 'Preferences' section of 'System Settings.'

Menu> System Settings> Startup Applications (look under the 'Preferences' heading)


Something you should know about cut-and-paste in Linux Mint command line. <Ctrl><C> and <Ctrl><V> that you use in Windows won't work because those two combinations already had other functions. The shortcuts are the same but as for Windows but you need to add a third key, Shift. 'Cut' is <Ctrl><Shft><C> and paste is <Ctrl><Shft><V>. Which I still find awkward, like I'm tying my fingers in knots, no matter how many years I've been doing it.

The same commands are available through right-clicking in the window but the keyboard shortcuts are more expeditious.
 
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Old 03-04-21, 09:40 AM
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I found the Timeshift utility and I think I will do the same as you. Looks pretty good and I will get used to it. Actually I had to use it and go back after a mistake I did with my changes.

Thanks for the Nvidia delete logo command, I will do it today.

Also the cut/paste at the terminal I found that too by accident when I was coping command from a forum post to install Wine.

In your post #5 above where you show your Desktop with the Menu picture, on the left side there is a column where the shut-off button is located among the other buttons further up (you also marked the button system settings with 2). I found how to change/add/remove entries in the other 2 panes of the Menu but I didn’t see any info on how to add/remove buttons in that columns (unless I didn’t see). So can I add/remove buttons there and if yes how?

Thanks
 
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Old 03-04-21, 02:22 PM
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Not important Fred but just to let you know after the nvidia command I got this message
"Warning: Unable to locate x configuration file. Package xorg-server was not found in the pkg-config path. Perhaps you should add the directory containing ‘xorg-server.pc’ to the PHG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable.Option “NoLogo” “True” added to Screen “Screen0”New X configuration file written to ‘ /etc/X11/xorg.conf

I tried to snip the screen but I think snips from Linux OS are not visible in Windows OS, I will find out later how to do that. ’
 
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Old 03-06-21, 02:27 PM
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kolias-

I tried to snip the screen but I think snips from Linux OS are not visible in Windows OS
I didn’t think you were doing a dual boot Windows-Linux. But whatever.

I haven’t played with a dual boot for years but I thought what you can do is snip and paste data into a file while in Linux, then open that same file and cut out the data while in Windows.

When I tested PCLinixOS I can’t remember if that worked, or if I was able to access shared files in PCLinuxOS or not. That seems to ring a bell, but I also think I had some kind of problem creating a file in PCLinuxOS and then accessing that file in Windows. All a blur!

But probably easy enough for you to see if that’s possible. Might be file-manager dependent in Ubuntu.
 
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Old 03-06-21, 06:15 PM
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No I don’t have a dual boot system, LinuxMint is the only OS in my Desktop.

I haven’t been able to figure out about copying files from LinuxMint into my USB and access them when I put the USB in Windows10 laptop. But that’s no so important right now, I guess I will figure it out soon or later.
 
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Old 03-07-21, 08:57 AM
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kolias-

Ok – gotcha. I did know some Unix many years ago and have forgotten probably most of it.

(I installed SCO Unix on a set of PC’s, and then wrote a ton of C-code running on SCO Unix to build a sub-system integrated into a Command and Control System for the NMCC (Pentagon). But that was way long ago.)

As you probably noticed, Unix (and so also a Unix like system) does everything using files. If you are having trouble accessing devices (such as your USB drive) there are a set off commands to let you see what devices are connected to your system. For example: You can use :

$ lsusb (or $ sudo lsusb ) for USB or $ lshw to see the HW overview. You can find those types of commands online.

To me anyway, I think you would be better off as a starting point if you could learn what HW configuration Linux recognized with your installation. There are a few directories which should exist and maybe snooping around with an editor would help:

/etc contains config files. You might be able to glean something by looking at those.

/media (I think should contain sub-directories for a removable devices when they are mounted)

/boot . You should see files that are executed at boot time, and those should have entries that identify config files in the /etc directory that would be used at boot time.

/dev. Holds device files. I’m not sure an editor would help there, but the names themselves may (I think there are standards) indicate whether it’s a printer, disk, etc.

Anyway, snooping around like that, might be helpful to understand your configuration. But it will be tough. Because as you look at a line in a file, that command will cause you to have to learn something, and that something forces you to learn something else, etc. – lol .Never ending.

But if you can figure out what the main or primary file used at boot time in the /boot directory is, I think that would be a good starting point that would branch out and point you to other files which you could then analyze.

Somewhere along the way, starting in the /boot directory, you should be able to figure out all of the pieces of SW loaded and the processes started at Initialization (probably with their priority also). Anyway, I think understanding what HW is recognized and what SW is loaded upon start-up would be a really good starting point.

But maybe Fred would see a better starting point, looks like he's been Unix active for quite a while.


 
  #17  
Old 03-07-21, 09:04 AM
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  #18  
Old 03-07-21, 10:25 AM
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Thank you guys, learning a new OS is never easy but at least Linuxmint Cinnamon 20.1 is a much nicer place to work with and it will take me some time to at least learn the “Basics” and feel comfortable with it.

So far I love this OS and hopefully in a couple of months I should be able to ditch my Windows10 (but I will keep Windows 8.1 in my other laptop).
 
  #19  
Old 03-07-21, 10:46 AM
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kolias –

I am a wild and crazy guy!!!

I’m thinking I might install the same thing you did on my computer but with Windows as a dual boot – just for some s#@ts and grins – lol! I dual booted Windows and Linux years ago but backed out Linux after a while (I think that was a little tricky and I don’t know why I would have done that – but I’m pretty sure I did.)

Would be some fun and keep me busy and out of trouble for a while and the old brain from shriveling up completely. So:

(1) Can you direct me to the where you got the Linuxmint Cinnamon 20.1 version you installed.

(2) What amount of disk space do you have. (I want to set up the same size).
 
  #20  
Old 03-07-21, 12:30 PM
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Go for it zoesdad, it’s a very pleasant OS. Here is the link

https://linuxmint.com/download.php

Scroll down and select the Cinnamon download, its 1.9GB download. Make a DVD out of it and either install on your PC or view from the DVD, the install will give you the options. I install it on a 160GB HD and it says now 0.2% full so it takes very little space. Good luck
 
  #21  
Old 03-07-21, 01:07 PM
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Thanks much kolias, good info. I’ll be setting up very soon. I also have a removable USB drive in addition to the fixed drive and I’ll post back letting you know whether he sees both or not – if I get that far that is – lol.

I guess that’s very optimistic thinking - first I have to get off the ground- lol.

Thanks again!
 
  #22  
Old 03-09-21, 12:33 PM
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Koilias –

I spent some time with Linux mint. At this point I don’t know if I have any information that would help you with removable drives – but everything seems to work fine for me with respect to removable media – but I had other problems. Here’s what I did:

(1) I downloaded the .iso image from your link and burned a DVD.

(2) I ran from the DVD and everything seemed to work well.

(3) So I added a partition to my HD that I thought I would use for the Linux installation on the HDD. I already had 2 partitions so this was a 3rd partition; besides the 3 partitions the rest of the disk was unallocated space.

(4) I installed Linux on the HDD. At the step where you specify partitions for installation I wasn’t quite sure what he was asking (or telling?) so I actually did not direct the installer to use my partition number 3, but let him use his own defaults.

(5) I tested the dual boot to ensure I could still boot to Windows. I was able to boot into Windows fine.

(6) I then tried to boot into Linux. Got the mint logo on the screen, then the logo disappeared, black screen, system dead. Tried multiple times.

(7) I booted again but this time chose Linux boot into recovery-mode. It came up in recovery mode but without the proper graphics driver and without internet. Recovery mode did in fact say that the video driver might not be properly installed at the end of recovery, and said when you are at end of recovery and at the login prompt, you should just force a normal reboot (i.e., not recovery mode boot) to correct the problem. But booting in normal mode then caused the same hang-up (see 6 above) and then recovery-boot mode after that still did not result in proper graphics driver being installed. So no way out of that loop.

(8) So I can run with default low resolution video and no internet. It looks like the Linux recovery-mode defaults to something similar to “Windows Safe-Mode without Internet”. I tried recovery-mode again and this time noticed a menu option at the start of recovery to include internet – but still came up in recovery mode without internet.

(9) So anyway, I’m able to run in recovery mode without internet and a proper graphics driver. Normal boot causes the mint logo to appear, then the screen to go black, and then the system does nothing.

But running from the Live DVD works fine – including graphics and internet.

I noticed this:

(a) When entering into recovery mode a menu allows you to get some information about the system. Everything looked OK, except however, the following message did in fact indicate some sort of problem:

LVM State

Physical Volume: not OK (bad)
Volume Groups : OK (good)
So maybe the Linux installation is seeing bad disk sectors (although you would think that shouldn’t happen) and that’s what the problem is, and recovery mode can work around the disk problem to some extent – maybe, who knows? (I’ll do disk error checking.)

(b) When running from the Live DVD the video was fine, and when listing the HW Linux did in fact show a link between a Radeon Driver and the display. So obviously the DVD installation has an appropriate driver for my graphics card. But for some reason, when installing to the HDD, that driver was not part of the installation – although it had to be on that installation DVD. Nor can the driver be added while running in recovery-mode (after forcing a scan I would get a message saying “you don’t need any new drivers”).

(c) Here is part of the printout from the command to list HW: “sudo lshw –short”. I don’t see anything obviously wrong with the partitioning (but maybe I’m missing it). I started with 3 partitions in Windows (I assume those would be the sda1, sda2, sda3 partitions below) and Linux installer did the rest. It doesn’t look like anything is obviously wrong, but I’ll know better later – at least I hope so, lol.

/0/100/1d.7/1/8 scsi2 storage Elements 2621

/0/100/1/0 display R580 [Radeon X1900 GT]
/0/100/1/0.1 display R580 [Radeon X1900 GT] (Secondary)
. . .
Controller [IDE mode]
/0/100/1f.2/0 /dev/cdrom disk DVD RW DRU-835A
/0/100/1f.2/1 /dev/sda disk 2TB WDC WD20EZRZ-00Z
/0/100/1f.2/1/1 /dev/sda1 volume 465GiB Windows NTFS volume
/0/100/1f.2/1/2 /dev/sda2 volume 195GiB Windows NTFS volume
/0/100/1f.2/1/3 /dev/sda3 volume 195GiB Windows NTFS volume
/0/100/1f.2/1/4 /dev/sda4 volume 1006GiB Extended partition
/0/100/1f.2/1/4/5 /dev/sda5 volume 512MiB Windows FAT volume
/0/100/1f.2/1/4/6 /dev/sda6 volume 1006GiB EXT4 volume
Anyway, I didn’t have any problems running in Live DVD mode or even running in the HDD Recovery-mode with respect to removable drives. You should see an icon appear/disappear down in the tray for “Removable Drives” when you plug/unplug your USB drive. The mounting is automatic and the icon automatically appears in the tray and you can then access the drive with Linux File Manager. As you can see in the list above generated from “sudo lshw –short” command, my removable drive labeled “Elements” which is connected to a USB port, shows up in the list of HW (shows as scsi2). So I think your removable drive should show up in that list also.

I guess unfortunately it takes a lot of work to analyze an installation (an understatement for sure – lol). I noticed the main configuration file (forgot its’ name now) is about 164 pages long – lol. Some work to do there.

I also have the Grub boot-loader which was automatically installed. I guess that’s because I set up a dual boot-Windows-Linux. So I don’t know how that will translate to your configuration if you don’t have Grub. But I assume whatever I find out about configuration setup in my case would probably help you also.

Anyway, I have some work to do to figure out why the installation on the HDD did not work out properly. I might try to reinstall. If I find out more about possible reasons why a USB drive which was recognized in Windows is not recognized in the Linux installation that we did - I’ll post right away.

I’d rather do this but I have to do other some other work for a while (yuukk – lol).

Good luck! (a tremendous amount of work went into that software, looks pretty good IMHO)


 
  #23  
Old 03-09-21, 01:52 PM
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Kolias, you can click and drag the icons to add and remove them from the left margin of the Cinnamon menu. All but the bottom three, they're not editable.

I've been busy and haven't had the chance to look into the error you got trying to turn off the Nvidia flash screen but I'll look into it when I can.

I've had more dual boots than I can remember but I'll never do another one without putting the OSes on separate hard drives. Windoze is a control freak and eventually does something to assert its dominance that breaks the dual boot (and usually screwing up the Linux install). My plan was to keep the two OSes from ever noticing there was another OS installed on the computer. My favorite scheme was not to use any boot loader to facilitate the multi-boot but to select the boot drive at start-up with the Bios Boot Select.
 
  #24  
Old 03-11-21, 02:45 PM
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kolias –

I had some more time and did a little more investigating while on Linux. From what I can tell so far, the nvidia-xconfig command you are using is calling the nvidia-xconfig program which is used to update a configuration file with new information for the nvidia driver. So in your case, when you type the command below, nvidia-xconfig should be updating the configuration file xorg.conf to set the option nologo :

sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-logo
If I understand correctly, Linux needs the xorg-server for the display (I think all installations need xorg if you have a display) but apparently Linux mint at least, no longer uses the xorg.conf file for xorg. It seems the xorg-server is installed without a configuration file. It used to be in /etc/X11/xorg.conf but apparently a configuration file is no longer needed.

So it looks like nvidia-xconfig which is looking for xorg.conf will indeed not find a configuration file to update.

However, if nvidia-xconfig can’t find the configuration file, supposedly it will create a new file. So it seems that maybe the warning message you are getting:

"Warning: Unable to locate x configuration file.
isn’t a show stopper. It just means that nvidia-xconfig is telling you a new configuration file is being created.

You can look in the /etc directory to see if nvidia-config generated a .conf file when you typed in the
command :

sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-logo command
It should have generated one of the following 2 files:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf or /etc/X11/XF86Config

and supposedly it should have set the no-logo option for the nvidia driver in the file and so you should not have seen the logo on startup. But it sounds like that’s not what happened.

And I might have some of the above wrong, but I think it’s right. I’ll be doing more checking hopefully. Maybe Fred can correct something if it’s wrong.

(I still can only come up in recovery mode, but with internet. Something to do with my driver also)

forgot to say I did the same installation as you, and I can verify that the xorg.conf file does not exist.
 
  #25  
Old 03-12-21, 09:40 AM
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kolias, did the Nvidia logo go away after you entered that command? I ask because a bug matching that description was reported all the way back to early 2019. Users were still reporting it as recently as December of 2020 and it's status is still "In Progress." So if the logo went away, the rest might not be worth pursuing.

There were some posts in that bug thread in which users offered how they had fixed theirs, but those fixes were not universally effective and apparently the problem persists.
 
  #26  
Old 03-13-21, 02:30 PM
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hi folks –

Had a some more time with Linux and thought maybe this would be helpful.

I listed the executables in /bin and did not see nvidia-xconfig (see list below). But that might be expected because I don’t have nvidia hw – although you can see other nvidia executables are in fact listed. If I execute nvidia-detector from the list it tells me “None” which makes sense since my graphics card is not nvidia.

And if I try to execute nvidia-xconfig (which you can see is not in the list) it tells me it is not installed and gives me a list of packages and the commands from which to install nvidia-xconfig.

this partial list is from /bin (might also be in /usr/bin and/or /local /bin - can’t remember)

...
ntfsusermap
ntfswipe
numfmt
nvidia-detector
nvidia-optimus-offload-glx
nvidia-optimus-offload-vulkan
oakdecode
obexctl
..
Anyway, thought it might be useful even though you probably have nvidia-xconfig in your list – else how could you get the warning message.

kolias-

You might not need it now but I found there are logs that Linux maintains, some for booting, some just from xorg (shows you stuff xorg-server used for setting up graphics environment), etc. You can find logs in the /var/log directory.

Below is a section of the /var/log/syslog as it appears after I boot from the HDD (my display goes away after the mint logo when I boot from the HDD).

But when I boot and run from the LiveCD I do not get the “NO UMS support in radeon module” message in syslog. I think this is all related to a problem with setting up a driver for my graphics card (an old Radeon X1900).

syslog ...

Mar 13 09:30:31 victor-desktop kernel: [ 1.479318] [drm:radeon_init [radeon]] *ERROR* No UMS support in radeon module!
Mar 13 09:30:31 victor-desktop kernel: [ 1.481321] usb 2-2: new full-speed USB device number 2 using uhci_hcd
In other words, running from the LiveCD gives me a different graphics setup from when I run from the HDD. The installation should have been the same in both cases. That seems like a setup error in Linux mint. There have been changes over the years from UMS to KMS (kernel mode setup) for graphics drivers and I think somehow for my graphics Linux setup has no problem in LiveCD - but does have a problem in HDD setup. That shouldn’t happen since my graphics HW is obviously the same in both cases.

Just thought I’d mention the above because logs may come in handy one of these days and also beware that you might see problems (as I did) that did not exist when running from LiveCD ,and the logs might be really handy then. Also note that there are “ls” commands to show you a lot about your HW. For example “lspci” shows you all the devices connected to your PCI bus (graphics cards, sound cards, etc.) and “lshw” shows you all the HW.

For example, when I execute “lspci” if I’m running from the HDD installation I get the “configuration” line in the list below. But when I boot and run from the LiveCD I get different output from “lspci” . I get instead the line “configuration: radeon latency=0” linking the word "radeon" to the word "configuration" - and everything works OK. One more indication that the driver was not set up properly in the HDD installation.

*-display:0 UNCLAIMED
description: VGA compatible controller
product: R580 [Radeon X1900 GT]
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
version: 00
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: vga_controller bus_master cap_list
configuration: latency=0
resources: memory:d0000000-dfffffff memory:e0200000-
Anyway, maybe some of this will come in handy. It might be good experience for you to pursue the no-logo problem – BUT BE CAREFUL. IF FRED IS CORRECT YOU COULD BE CHASING YOUR TAIL!!


Forgot one thing. When you analyze logs if they exist with time stamps, the times should be considered. I’m still not sure yet whether there was some other error that caused the HDD boot to go into a recovery mode and in recovery mode the graphics driver was not set up properly – hence you would then in fact see graphics related error messages in the logs or setup problems or some kind of graphics defaults in the logs – and the graphics problem would be a result therefore of some other initial problem.

But I did not find any other errors in the logs. Just thought I’d mention that because one problem can lead to another, and it’s easy to be out in left field if you are not careful.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 03-13-21 at 02:49 PM.
  #27  
Old 03-15-21, 01:10 PM
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kolias –

I’m putting my installation problem aside for a while, might get back to it later, but before I stop I thought I would just pass on a little more information to you that I’ve learned and which might be helpful to you down the pike – since we have the same Linux version.

The logs are of troubleshooting help and the logs are in /var/log. Two useful logs are:

/var/log/syslog messages to/from system components

/var/log/Xorg.0.log messages related to the xorg-server (xorg-server provides graphics for the system)

If you have more problems in the future I think you should look at those (although many problems won’t show up in any log). The logs might give you a good starting point. You could pass on any error or standout messages in the logs to developers on the Linux Ubuntu forum, and you could also first google the error message to get a little more information yourself – and then maybe be even better prepared to ask questions.

For example, my problem is that when I burned the .iso image and ran via LiveCD everything worked well. Thus I decided to go ahead and use the Menu Option to install Linux on the HDD for a permanent installation. But after that install, when booting from the HDD, the mint logo appeared on the screen just as it does on the LiveCD boot, but then the screen went blank and the system did nothing. Repeated efforts had the same result.

Linux gives you the option when re-booting to boot into a recovery mode (Advanced Options) – which I took. You then get a menu with various options for various system checks and so forth, and also an option to include networking (which I took), and an option to then continue on with the boot. So you can then boot into a mode like Windows Safe Mode with Networking if you so choose.

So, therefore, I am able to run from the HDD in a Linux type Safe Mode and have internet. So some things definitely work when booting from the HDD – but just a subset.

The Recovery Menu also gives you an option to transition directly from the Recovery menu to a Linux (Unix based) terminal screen instead of jumping directly to a reboot. So one time I took that option and jumped to a terminal screen, and on the terminal screen from the command line I was able to save the syslog file.

So in other words, the syslog file I saved (below) contains information the way it appeared when the system was booted from the HDD and then froze. That is, by starting a reboot after the HDD boot freeze, and then first jumping out to the terminal screen, I was able to save syslog before the Recovery boot overwrote it with new boot information reflecting the Recovery boot process.

A little complicated, but if you are going to look at the syslog (or any log) you have to make sure it reflects the exact procedure which you are troubleshooting. The end of the syslog file is shown below and I highlighted a specific entry in red. You can see that entry indicates an error with the pulseaudio server. It looks like inter-process communication with that server broke down. GetMangedObjects() would have been the call in the software which did not receive a reply.

You’ll notice in the syslog that after that error message appeared there was a lot of activity to “Stop” all kinds of things, e.g. “Graphical Interface”, “Multi-User System”, etc. and then the log ended. So it sure looks to me like the system intentionally shut down after the pulseaudio error was encountered and that would explain my blank screen and a frozen system. But ... the log may be showing a normal termination of the entire process but my bet would be NO.

Whether that pulseaudio server communications breakdown should cause the system to shutdown is something I would have to try and track down. Good chance it would necessitate a shutdown because it might be a clear indication that the system is corrupted, and not just some type of temporary network failure, internet delay or something like that.

But why doesn’t it happen with LiveCD? The boot/initialize files on the LiveCD would not be the same boot/initialize files placed by the Installer on the HDD when I chose the Install Linux to HDD option from the Linux menu. So some of the boot/init data on the HDD could possibly be wrong –i.e., buggy.

But anyway, this is the kind of information you would pass on at the Linux Ubuntu forum (or here also) and someone might have an idea about how to proceed. But I myself am not going to do that. I’m just going to let this problem sit for a while.

Just thought I’d pass this example on because it might be the kind of thing you would need to do in the future. Most error messages are clearly discernible in the logs.

There are also Binary log files which you will see. Those are not human readable (there is a tool supposedly to read them : mysqlbinlog ). I was surprised to see non-readable log files. I thought that was not good – but I haven’t been working for a very long time. Then I read the direct quote below from Linus Torvald (the Linux creator and master) and I knew I was in good company –lol:

I've had issues with some of the core developers that I think are much too cavalier about bugs and compatibility, and I think some of the design details are insane (I dislike the binary logs, for example), but those are details, not big issues."



Anyway, good luck!!! (here is the end of my syslog which shows a problem)

(WOW - I just NOW caught the words "shutting down" at the end of the log. I don't know HOW i missed that before! Right out in the open. Getting really old - lol!!!


. . .

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop rtkit-daemon[786]: Successfully made thread 862 of process 778 owned by '120' RT at priority 5.

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop rtkit-daemon[786]: Supervising 2 threads of 1 processes of 1 users.

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop dbus-daemon[508]: [system] Activating via systemd: service name='org.bluez' unit='dbus-org.bluez.service' requested by ':1.33' (uid=120 pid=778 comm="/usr/bin/pulseaudio --daemonize=no --log-target=jo" label="unconfined")

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Condition check resulted in Bluetooth service being skipped.

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop systemd[769]: Started Sound Service.

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop systemd[769]: Reached target Main User Target.

Mar 14 17:55:01 victor-desktop systemd[769]: Startup finished in 6.183s.

Mar 14 17:55:03 victor-desktop systemd[1]: NetworkManager-dispatcher.service: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:06 victor-desktop systemd[1]: systemd-fsckd.service: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:08 victor-desktop systemd-timesyncd[474]: Initial synchronization to time server 91.189.91.157:123 (ntp.ubuntu.com).

Mar 14 17:55:16 victor-desktop systemd[1]: systemd-hostnamed.service: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:26 victor-desktop pulseaudio[778]: GetManagedObjects() failed: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: unattended-upgrades.service: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopping Session c1 of user lightdm.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Removed slice system-getty.slice.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Removed slice system-modprobe.slice.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Graphical Interface.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Multi-User System.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Login Prompts.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Printer.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Sound Card.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped target Timers.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: anacron.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Trigger anacron every hour.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: apt-daily-upgrade.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Daily apt upgrade and clean activities.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: apt-daily.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Daily apt download activities.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: e2scrub_all.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Periodic ext4 Online Metadata Check for All Filesystems.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: fstrim.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Discard unused blocks once a week.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: fwupd-refresh.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Refresh fwupd metadata regularly.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: logrotate.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Daily rotation of log files.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: man-db.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Daily man-db regeneration.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: motd-news.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Message of the Day.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: systemd-tmpfiles-clean.timer: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Stopped Daily Cleanup of Temporary Directories.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: lvm2-lvmpolld.socket: Succeeded.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop systemd[1]: Closed LVM2 poll daemon socket.

Mar 14 17:55:30 victor-desktop ModemManager[670]: <info> Caught signal, shutting down...
 
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  #28  
Old 03-22-21, 01:28 PM
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My experience setting up Linux for escapees from the Windows world is that Mint Linux is much more comfortable for them, as it works very much like earlier Windows versions (XP, 7...). The latest Ubuntu has way too much useless "bling" and is more difficult to use, just like Windows 10 is.
 
  #29  
Old 03-23-21, 10:33 AM
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I was a little disappointed that running from the Linux LiveCD worked fine but then the install on the HDD did not work properly. I reviewed the install interface with the Wizard and I don’t see any place where I could have entered faulty parameters which would have caused the bad install – and it does run from the HDD in some kind of safe-like mode.

To me, anyway, an out-of-the-gate problem like that does in my mind reflect somewhat on the quality of the software. But – could be a fluke in otherwise good stuff.

But I don’t want to spend the time to pursue the problem (spent decades doing that – lol).


 
  #30  
Old 03-23-21, 11:01 AM
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Sorry to hear your bad experience zoesdad, perhaps something wrong when you specified your hard disk location?

I had to re install mine 3 times (various reasons related to the 3 hard disks I have) and all went fine each time I had to do the re install. You should give it a try again because I find the Cinnamon an excellent OS
 
  #31  
Old 03-23-21, 01:31 PM
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You are probably right. I know I can't help myself and won't be able to stay away. I think it's in my blood (lol) and I'll probably be back looking into it and probably sooner than later.

If I find out what happened I'll post back in case anyone following the thread would be interested. (although this is your thread about your question and I didn't want to hijack it - but I think it is all somewhat related anyway,)
 
  #32  
Old 03-25-21, 09:08 AM
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Perhaps that "fail-safe mode" is actually the backup mode indicating that a video driver needs to be installed. There are hundreds of different video cards, so it's nearly impossible to supply them all on a live cd.
 
  #33  
Old 03-25-21, 04:38 PM
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hi -

In case anyone is interested I was able to spend a little more time on the problem and made a little headway. I compared logs from these two cases:

Case 1:
trying to boot/initialize from the HDD as normal. That is choosing the generic kernel from the Grub boot screen where you get the choice of several boot options (including Windows OS). The system fails to start in this case when choosing the generic kernel (in other words choosing the option that the installer set up as the normal Linux option).

Case 2:
choosing the Recovery option instead from the Grub boot screen. The system does in fact boot and initialize in this case – but in a Safe-like mode.

It looks like that error message that I posted in post #27 (and at end of this post) is in fact related to the problem. It can be seen in the logs that in case 1 the system stops soon after that error is encountered – then the log picks up later when I re-booted the system, but this time chose Recovery mode. It turns out that in the log the same error is also encountered after starting in Recovery mode – but this time the system seems to ignore the error and keeps running.

That makes sense I guess, because you are running in a degraded mode (Recovery) and you are trying to figure out what the problem is that caused you to have to enter Recovery mode in the first place. So some errors can and should be ignored.

It is also clear in the log that when you boot in Recovery mode the “kernel system command: is different specifying nomodereset for the graphics card. So that’s why the Radeon driver is not bound to the graphics card in Recovery mode – when in fact that Radeon driver does exist and is bound to the driver when running from the LiveCD. So it doesn’t look like there is any graphics problem at all.

So I guess there is no reason to suspect any other problem now – other than the pulsaudio server encountering a problem doing the GetManagedObjects() call. The error is supposed to indicate the pulseaudio server was trying to communicate with some other piece of software via the DBus but got NoReply. Who knows why!

It looks like the Intel driver for the onboard audio was installed properly – but who knows what pulseaudio was trying to talk to. I don’t know why that information wasn’t included in the log in the GetManagedObjects() error message generated by pulseaudio – but many of these younger programmers today seem pretty careless to me.

When I get more time I am going to run in LiveCD mode and look at the logs then to see if in fact there is the same pulsaudio error message – but… that it is actually also ignored when running from the LiveCD , or whether instead, no pulsaudio error message at all occurs when running from the LiveCD. Might shed a little light.

I might also modify the Linux startup code (I think I can, but I need to understand a little more about all the startup scripts) to simply just not start the pulseaudio server at boot/init and see what happens. I don’t know whether I would be able to do that, but one would think as system administrator you would be allowed to make modifications like that.

It might even make things even more chaotic by removing pulseaudio from the running system if there are other pieces of software that need it – but not much to lose by trying and see what happens.

This is the command line parameters on a normal boot (the one that eventually dies)

Mar 24 07:02:06 victor-desktop kernel: [ 0.000000] Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.4.0-66-generic root=UUID=ac64fa99-991c-46df-b86f-50048c157fb8 ro quiet splash
but when you choose to boot in recovery mode you can see the kernel is being passed nomodeset argument so you won’t get graphics setup properly – but that’s intentional. You are entering a Safe-like mode.

Mar 25 10:33:08 victor-desktop kernel: [ 0.000000] Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.4.0-66-generic root=UUID=ac64fa99-991c-46df-b86f-50048c157fb8 ro recovery nomodeset dis_ucode_ldr
I don’t see where the object that pulseaudio wants to talk to is identified in the error message below. Maybe I’m missing it. But it should be included for troubleshooting. It would be very helpful to know. The software has to actually know at the time of the error what it wanted to talk to and should identify that target. IMHO – very careless. When booting the normal Linux kernel, this error causes the system to just die, but in Recovery (Safe) mode the system keeps running and the same error is ignored.


Mar 25 10:23:17 victor-desktop pulseaudio[819]: GetManagedObjects() failed: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.



 
  #34  
Old 03-31-21, 02:12 PM
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hi all -

Kolias -

I spent some more time chasing down the Ubuntu installation problem and found some features that can aid in debugging. You will probably need to know some of this in the future. But I’ll start a new thread after this where I can ask for some help for my problem, since my problem is really only tangentially related to your original problem. Thus I won’t add more to the thread after this. (I have a tendency to run off at the mouth – lol)

It turns out the error I saw in syslog (shown in red in post #27) is NOT a show stopper: the same error is logged when I boot from LiveCD and Linux keeps running in that case. So that error was a red herring. Nothing else I can see in the logs jumps right out as a show stopper – but… there may be details in there which to a Linux expert would explain why booting Linux from my HDD fails. But nothing indicates so far that it has anything to do with the HDD itself, especially given the fact that it does run from the HDD in Recovery Mode (I know that doesn’t absolutely preclude the HDD however).

In a case like this, where the logs (syslog, kern.log, etc. in /var/log/) do not directly provide error information for this problem, I think the next step would be to figure out how to inject debug information into the startup process itself. So below is just a little on how to do some of that, in other words, I just took a baby step in that direction.

Long story short, on “boot/init” the Linux kernel starts with a default target in mind (specified in a link from the /etc/systemd/system/default.target file) which specifies the kind of install: server, graphical user interface, mutli-user, etc. In our installation the default target is set by the developers as “graphical user interface”.

On startup:

1) Linux finds the /etc/systemd/system/graphical.target.wants file (see fig. 1) because the default target set by the developers for this install is “graphical user interface”. You can use the systemctl command to find out what the default target is:

systemctl get-default (see fig. 5)

2) The graphical.target.wants file specifies a set of .service files where a .service file defines a particular service. Linux wants to start these services running when doing “boot/init”. So if you want you can actually add a service yourself. I added my own debug service “Vics Debugger.service” (see fig 1 and fig. 4).

3) Part of the service definition in the file specifies whether the service should have to wait for another service to be started before this service is executed. I indicated I wanted my service to run after ubiquity.service (see fig. 4) , one of the services I had seen listed in the graphical.target.wants file.

3) These .service files can start other programs (including scripts) so I had my .service file execute a script from my home directory /home/victor/vics-debugging-script (see fig. 3)

4) In my /home/victor/vics-debugging-script I put just one shell command (the ps command) to print out all of the processes running on the computer at that time, and then put the results in a file named/home/victor/processes-running . Part of the output file is shown in fig. 6.

To aid in debugging, you can also add commands to the already existing startup .service files or to the scripts that those service files call. I added a “logging” command (see fig. 2) to the /usr/share/ubiquity/start-ubiquity-dm script which is called by the ubiquity.service file. The “logging” command will put the text following the word "logging" on a line in the syslog file. So you can later look at the syslog file and know exactly when the script was executed (see fig. 7).

Anyway, the point is that instead of the “ps” command above in my vics-debugging-script I could have put another set of shell commands and /or I could have started a set of my own services instead of just the one I added and/or I could have added multiple commands to the Linux existing startup scripts instead of just the single line I added.

And you can always direct the output of a command to a file which you can peruse later:

e.g., ps – e > /home/victor/ processes-running

One thing however, to change any of the Linux supplied startup files you must use the chmod command as the superuser to change the file permissions to allow you to edit it:

e.g., sudo chmod 777 /etc/system/system/graphical.target.wants

In the example above you would then be allowed to edit the graphical.target.wants file

You can also do things like add your own new service and a script called by the service (like I did), but write a do-forever loop to allow the script to sleep, wake up, execute a command(s), go back to sleep, and continue like that forever. In other words, let the script continuously run in the background and collect information for troubleshooting.

Anyway, you will have to get creative and figure out which commands to add to which files in order to leave a trail which MAY help to find a given problem.


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  #35  
Old 04-01-21, 07:48 AM
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Looks like zoesdad you know much more about Linux than I do because I don’t understand right now your problem. BTW I never had any problem installing in my HDD Ubuntu or Linuxmint and actually I plan to reinstall Linuxmint for the 4th time because I want to have it on a new SSD. Most likely I will clone it for the new install to same all my configurations.
 
  #36  
Old 04-01-21, 03:05 PM
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kolias –

The problem is that I burned the Linux LiveCD from the .iso file and ran fine from the CD. Everything looked good. So therefore, since everything looked good, I picked the install option from the desktop and installed Linux on the HDD.

But when I boot from the HDD it gets as far as the mint Logo on the screen and then the screen goes blank and nothing happens- at all.

I made it a dual-boot Windows-Linux so I can choose which OS at boot time, but I don’t think that has any bearing on the problem – but it may. (I know you did not install as a dual-boot).

I can boot up from the HDD if I choose the Recovery option from the Linux boot menu (the Grub menu screen) and when I look at what Linux thinks the disk partitions are and what it thinks is OK, I don’t see any problem with the HDD. I can also boot into Windows fine.

I think this is just a plain old fashioned bug. Normally in a case like this, where the problem is definitely repeatable, the developers would have a list of files, logs, dumps, etc. that they would want to see and/or they might want the user to inspect some of those things themselves and pass back some info to them. They might even have the user set some flags in files so as to get dumps and snapshots and other info at run time. However, that might be a different development world from the one I worked in, as you can see from their instructions for problem reporting in the link below.

https://projects.linuxmint.com/reporting-an-issue.html

But If I get more time I’ll put in more debug code and collect some more info like the states of the processes at the time of the freeze, the state of the HW components, error reports in the logs, any queues that may be blocked, etc. If I did that I would probably first compare that info to the same info collected while running from the LiveCD to see if anything jumps out as a significant difference that might indicate what the problem is.

I hope you do not have any problems with your installation, but I think if you do you are going to be forced into learning some of the system details you might not be all that interested in. If you look at the discussions related to specific bug reports on the above link, I think you will see what I mean.

It is definitely not Windows OS. I think Linux support expects a familiarity with a lot of the system details –relative let’s say, to Windows. But maybe if you do have a problem (hope not) you might enjoy getting down in the mud – lol.

But if you ever do have a problem don’t forget to also post here, if I keep working on Linux I might even be able to help – a little – lol, and there are other people on this forum that surely could help.



 
  #37  
Old 04-01-21, 10:03 PM
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Obviously I can’t give you a hand zoesdad since my experience with Linux is only 4 weeks old but with the link below I have been able to get answers to all of my questions so far and I must add they answer quite fast. If I may suggest, choose the appropriate section in the forum and post you problem there.

https://forums.linuxmint.com/index.p...753193edd0d6a3

When you did the Linux install in your HD I will assume Linux took part of your HD and formatted to ext4 to install the required files. Perhaps there is an interference between the Windows / Linux partitions? Perhaps a Linux re install would be a better solution?
 
  #38  
Old 04-04-21, 03:22 PM
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hi kolias –

I think you are right and I probably should (and will) ask for some help on that forum. I played around with the install some more today and I think maybe I have enough information now to be able to go to that forum. I could just try and re-install but I hate to do that if some information can be gathered to help find the problem. I can see the file system is EXT4 from output not shown below. So I think that’s not the problem.

I think this may be a nastier problem than I imagined: It looks like it might be a timing problem or maybe even (but I doubt it) an intermittent disk failure.

I booted from the HDD many times since I installed and it turns out that system actually booted up OK 2x – no blank screen and the system was operational. But that was just 2 out of a whole lot of boots. Very nasty problem -maybe.

I can’t find anything in /var/log/syslog or /var/log/kern.log or /var/log/dmesg that definitely looks like an error was encountered and the system was intentionally stopping or going into some tight idle loop. But there may be messages in that log which would have more significance to someone on the Linux forum.

I added a little more code to that little script I wrote (below) so it wakes up 2 minutes after boot and executes some commands with the output going into text files. At 2 minutes after boot the system is just sitting in that frozen state – but apparently it is working well enough to wake my script up and execute it. Maybe you can use something like that if you have any problems in the future.

I have 2 sets of output files from the script: one set from when the system boots and hangs (the usual case) and for comparison another set when I chose the Recovery boot option and the system comes up in Recovery mode. If you have any problems in the future you might be able to use that script and just change the commands. It’s no great shakes just a few lines of code – but you might think of it as a model for some problems.

Below is the output from script for the lsblk command, which produces information about the disk partitions. It looks like the partition information when the system hangs is fine and is identical to the partition information when the system boots up from Recovery and can run. It just doesn’t seem like there is a problem with the HDD – but maybe Linux has a special log where it records disk errors. I would think however, that would also be in one of the other logs in /var/log. But who knows.



Output below from lsblk command (shows partitions) when system is hung: partition info looks OK and is same as when system is up and running under Recovery and where the system seems to be able to handle the HDD fine.

NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda 8:0 0 1.8T 0 disk
├─sda1 8:1 0 465.8G 0 part
├─sda2 8:2 0 195.3G 0 part
├─sda3 8:3 0 195.3G 0 part
├─sda4 8:4 0 1K 0 part
├─sda5 8:5 0 512M 0 part /boot/efi
└─sda6 8:6 0 1006.1G 0 part /
sdb 8:16 0 1.8T 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 0 1.8T 0 part /media/victor/Elements
sr0 11:0 1 1024M 0 rom



Also below is the script output for the ps command which lists the processes that existed at the time of the hang. I had it order the processes by the COMMAND column so it easier to see processes grouped by who started them. You can see the STAT column which tells you the status of the process. I thought maybe a process status would show dead or killed process or something like that, which would point in a direction for further troubleshooting. No such luck.

But if one of those processes is waiting for something to finish that will never finish because of some other problem that would take more work to find. The status would just show waiting which may or may not be OK. You would only find that I think by dumping out this list over a period of time. (Also could be that a process that should be there is dead and gone - but I think this list basically matches the list from when the system is up and running OK. But this needs more thorough checking.)





Here is the updated script. Might be a little useful someday as a small start for troubleshooting.


When I talk to the Linux experts and find the problem I guess I’ll just start new thread that would make people aware of the problem and the appropriate fix.

Good luck with your system!!! maybe we will meet again on a Linux problem
 
  #39  
Old 04-04-21, 10:58 PM
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You are much more advanced on Linux than I am zoesdad and I have no clue what you are talking about however I’m sure you will get instant good help at the forum I mentioned.

On my side I got some good Linux users guides on the command line + directory and file structure and I study them to improve my knowledge. It reminds me the 80’s when I started learning MS-DOS and I was scrambling to get any magazine I could get (some of which I still have) to learn DOS. Then Internet didn’t even exist and the magazines was the only way to find and learn about computers.

The problem now is that we are facing Spring/Summer which are not the best time to get stuck inside with computer problems. If I don’t study now I will do it in the Winter.

Good luck with the problem you are facing now
 
 

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