Linux Discussion?

slitherjef

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So as some of you may know, I have been on a serious bent to get into Linux. I have been using Ubuntu on my little laptop and have Mint on my desktop, which I have been playing musical hard drive with, I keep switching OS drives on my desktop, since I kinda built the box around a windows 10 set up. But kind of never mind that right now. I am still trying to actually USE Linux

The last couple days actually using Ubuntu has really tested me... On my desktop one of the issues I had that caused my flip flopping of Linux / Window drive swapping was photography, but I think I slightly resolved that at least for my basic digital photography standpoint by using RawTherapee which seems to do the trick. The other snag is my Epson V600 scanner I picked up for my film photography tinkering and so I don't know how that is going to work.

The other issue the frustration I had while trying to get my Pixel 2 XL working again after botching a flash. Now, this XL 2 had issues for me day one, but today trying to get a .sh file to work only to have it sit there in the terminal doing nothing. I spent a good part of the day trying to get udev set up, trying to get permissions working, trying to get everything to work. I spent a good chunk of time trying to do a simple task. Now, this is probably user error, at least a good part of it. I could have been using the "wrong tool for the job" and selecting a semi obscure operating system to do semi obscure tasks set me up for some frustration.

This almost reminds me of screwing with drivers back in the days of Windows. Seems like an awful lot of stuff you need to know and have to dig for to get things to work.

And I understand this is how Linux is, its not some plug and play OS. I mean, I know I have some stuff to learn, a LOT of stuff and the best way to learn I suppose is to do, but when you start breaking stuff or hit a wall?

I don't know where I am going with this post. I was just wondering how other Linux users cut their teeth or what not. I guess I am trying to figure out if I can actually manage to do anything useful with Linux, you know, tinker with my Pixel devices or Arduino's or do full scale image editing. I wanted to get away from the grip of Adobe and Mac OS and Windows and have a bit of a safe place from Google (I know, ironic considering I am an android user), I guess I just want off that beaten path.

But if I am going to have similar experiences that reminds me of earlier days of windows, why not just do windows? Driver issues vs udev issues kinda the same right?

Maybe I need a stable work environment for my photography / android escapades and step back and learn Linux on another system, but trying to learn in my real world use has been challenging. Maybe I am biting off a bit more then I can chew and skipping steps on Linux.

Like I mentioned, I am not quite sure where I am going with this post, mostly just some "out loud tech chat"?
 
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Mikael H

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The best way to learn anything is to need it for a concrete project. Now one project could of course be "do all photo-related stuff in Linux instead of in Windows", but as you say, that's a pretty big bite, and unless you have a technical or principle-based reason to take the added hassle, you're unlikely to follow through with it.

Linux is often even more plug-and-play than Windows, in that it recognizes a lot of common hardware out of the box. For most stuff you don't need to hunt individual drivers from various sources; you just install your favorite distribution.

Unfortunately when it comes to user space software, it is a well-known problem that free or open programs are usually not as polished as commercial products. You usually gain a lot of customizability, but you may have to dig through settings menus or even configuration files to choose sane settings for yourself. The benefit from this is that once you're happy with your settings you can often keep using them for years or even decades, and since the settings are usually text-based under the hood, you can keep multiple computers in sync with the same settings easily, and migrate settings from your old computer to your new one with a minimal amount of hassle. The drawback is that initial configuration can be a bitch.
And of course: Not all free products actually have feature parity with their commercial counterparts. There are things you won't be able to do in Gimp compared to Photoshop unless you write them yourself or somebody writes them for you.

If you're serious about learning Linux, an alternative to dual-booting might be to run a Windows VM from within Linux, and gradually move workflows from Windows to Linux until you know exactly what you can and what you can't do in the latter system.
 

sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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Maybe I need a stable work environment for my photography / android escapades and step back and learn Linux on another system, but trying to learn in my real world use has been challenging. Maybe I am biting off a bit more then I can chew and skipping steps on Linux.

Like I mentioned, I am not quite sure where I am going with this post, mostly just some "out loud tech chat"?
If money is not critical, I recommend a separate system for tinkering around with Linux. I find that to be more enjoyable and more fruitful than running in a VM, but that's a subjective thing.

Just yesterday I installed GalliumOS on my Acer Chromebook 14 to completely replace Chrome OS. The Acer was my "main" laptop (replaced my aging 11" MBA) and was thoroughly enjoying it. 14" HD matte screen, full aluminum body, light-weight, terrific battery life and decent performance. But after getting a killer deal on a new Pixelbook, THAT became my primary notebook.

I mention this because there are some chromebooks out there that make inexpensive Linux machines. The Acer has a 32GB eMMC (non-replaceable) drive and yet performance is very good and after installing Linux and all of my apps, including LibreOffice, WINE and a few Windows apps, I have 22GB free. It could very well be my daily driver. (for mobile use, my iMac continues to do the "heavy lifting")

Gallium OS is a Linux distro that is optimized for chromebook hardware platforms. All hardware components are supported (that can sometimes be an issue) and it even supports and integrates Chrome OS apps into the mix. (Peppermint Linux also has this capability)

If you go the separate system route, look around for what systems (non-chromebooks) others recommend for ease of installing and configuring Linux.
 

slitherjef

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So after a cooling off period, the itch and curiosity of Linux is still there, I still want to tinker more with the OS and try different distros as I've basically only used Mint and Ubuntu, I know there are many other types out there, been thinking about straight Debian or opensuse or what not.

Rather then try to eliminate windows entirely maybe supplement it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can totally ditch it.

So the idea of a compact AMD Ryzen build I can tinker with has been crossing my mind and would be a heck of a lot easier then swapping drives because eventually I'm bound to break something in the box doing so or really make the windows 10 install angry.
 

SDColorado

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Nov 6, 2011
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So after a cooling off period, the itch and curiosity of Linux is still there, I still want to tinker more with the OS and try different distros as I've basically only used Mint and Ubuntu, I know there are many other types out there, been thinking about straight Debian or opensuse or what not.

Rather then try to eliminate windows entirely maybe supplement it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can totally ditch it.

So the idea of a compact AMD Ryzen build I can tinker with has been crossing my mind and would be a heck of a lot easier then swapping drives because eventually I'm bound to break something in the box doing so or really make the windows 10 install angry.

I have absolutely no experience with Linux but have been growing increasingly interested in learning more. Keep us posted on what you try, what works for you, etc. I may have a look at it myself in the near future.
 
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Mikael H

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Sep 3, 2014
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So after a cooling off period, the itch and curiosity of Linux is still there, I still want to tinker more with the OS and try different distros as I've basically only used Mint and Ubuntu, I know there are many other types out there, been thinking about straight Debian or opensuse or what not.

Rather then try to eliminate windows entirely maybe supplement it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can totally ditch it.

So the idea of a compact AMD Ryzen build I can tinker with has been crossing my mind and would be a heck of a lot easier then swapping drives because eventually I'm bound to break something in the box doing so or really make the windows 10 install angry.
My take on various distributions:
If you want a good balance between out-of-the-box usefulness, stability, and "real" GNU+Linux, Debian is the go-to product.
For anybody who wants to understand GNU+Linux, I still recommend Slackware. There's Arch and Gentoo, but they're frankly mostly of academic interest to most people who have a life beside their personal operating system installation.

Suse, RedHat Enterprise Linux (and its derivatives), and, unfortunately, increasingly Ubuntu - in that order - have created their own management tools to such a degree that you're essentially learning those specific dialects of Linux rather than "real" Linux when making under-the-hood tweaks to them.

For some perspective on GNU+Linux, it's worth taking a look at a completely different system, namely FreeBSD, which feels a lot like "real Unix" with a working package manager - sort of a mix between Slackware and Debian.
 
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Altis

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Sep 10, 2013
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So after a cooling off period, the itch and curiosity of Linux is still there, I still want to tinker more with the OS and try different distros as I've basically only used Mint and Ubuntu, I know there are many other types out there, been thinking about straight Debian or opensuse or what not.

Rather then try to eliminate windows entirely maybe supplement it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can totally ditch it.

So the idea of a compact AMD Ryzen build I can tinker with has been crossing my mind and would be a heck of a lot easier then swapping drives because eventually I'm bound to break something in the box doing so or really make the windows 10 install angry.
I have Windows 10 installed on one drive and Linux Mint (Xfce) installed on another. This lets me boot directly to one or the other -- but I can also boot the Linux drive like a VM using VMWare Workstation. Makes it pretty easy to use both without having to deal with rebooting every time you need the other.

Can you not mount both drives in your box?
 

ADGrant

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Mar 26, 2018
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So after a cooling off period, the itch and curiosity of Linux is still there, I still want to tinker more with the OS and try different distros as I've basically only used Mint and Ubuntu, I know there are many other types out there, been thinking about straight Debian or opensuse or what not.

Rather then try to eliminate windows entirely maybe supplement it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can totally ditch it.

So the idea of a compact AMD Ryzen build I can tinker with has been crossing my mind and would be a heck of a lot easier then swapping drives because eventually I'm bound to break something in the box doing so or really make the windows 10 install angry.
Why not just run Windows 10 Pro on a decently spiced machine and then run linux distros on HyperV or for command line use WSL.
[doublepost=1548864854][/doublepost]
My take on various distributions:
For some perspective on GNU+Linux, it's worth taking a look at a completely different system, namely FreeBSD, which feels a lot like "real Unix" with a working package manager - sort of a mix between Slackware and Debian.
FreeBSD is a lot like MacOS, they share some of the same source code, APIs and command line tools.
 
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jeyf

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i would consider installing a virtual product to:
-insure you have a know working fall back if you make changes that suddenly don't work as expected
-your able to have several linux products and or revisions at the same time for comparison
-isolate your work environments

be aware the degradation, if any, when going to a virtual situation.
 

Thysanoptera

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For anybody who wants to understand GNU+Linux, I still recommend Slackware. There's Arch and Gentoo, but they're frankly mostly of academic interest to most people who have a life beside their personal operating system installation.

Suse, RedHat Enterprise Linux (and its derivatives), and, unfortunately, increasingly Ubuntu - in that order - have created their own management tools to such a degree that you're essentially learning those specific dialects of Linux rather than "real" Linux when making under-the-hood tweaks to them.
I'm on the opposite side, I'm using Linux based servers in industrial settings, and we're using only RedHat, usually preinstalled by Dell when we buy the server. It has more to do with having commercial support and security patches because the sites I work at are under federal cyber security program, you need to have a clearly defined software provider responsible for this. I don't know if there is a company doing this for slack/debian. As such at home I'm using CentOS (open source derivative of RedHat). But more and more customers want Windows, and we recently end up loading VM with RedHat image on Windows host.

One funny story - I had one customer, 50 year old nerd, who insisted on installing our software on Slackware. He installed slack on a lot servers at the plant, replacing windows, and hardened them to a point of being ridiculous, no GUI or remote access of any kind, no USB drivers in kernel etc. It took me couple of days, had to recompile some of our sources, resolve dependiencies and yeah - it is significantly different from RedHat. Got it to work, when I got back I said to my boss - "when this guy quits we're going to be back the next day on this site, this is impossible to maintain by anybody else". Sure enough guy quit couple of months later and immediately got a phone call, the poor plant people couldn't even login to those boxes not to mention being able to change anything. Well, at least I got paid for another week of work.
 

Mikael H

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I'm on the opposite side, I'm using Linux based servers in industrial settings, and we're using only RedHat, usually preinstalled by Dell when we buy the server. It has more to do with having commercial support and security patches because the sites I work at are under federal cyber security program, you need to have a clearly defined software provider responsible for this. I don't know if there is a company doing this for slack/debian. As such at home I'm using CentOS (open source derivative of RedHat).
Oh, for professional settings I'm definitely on your side - having someone to pay for support is indispensable in some situations. And when you have a standardized way of interacting with entire groups of machines I'm really not religious about the choice of tool as long as it makes sense and is solid.
The benefit of using the likes of Suse and RedHat, of course, is that if you use their own tools to manage the server, you know that your setup is supported, as opposed to a homegrown hack like the one in your anecdote.

But I still argue that there is a great deal of value in growing to understand the gritty details of a barebones operating system - to understand what has been abstracted away by the stuff that helps you in day-to-day enterprise work. You may never actually use it again, but having known and understood it makes you a better admin down the line.
 
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Thysanoptera

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But I still argue that there is a great deal of value in growing to understand the gritty details of a barebones operating system - to understand what has been abstracted away by the stuff that helps you in day-to-day enterprise work. You may never actually use it again, but having known and understood it makes you a better admin down the line.
For a sys admin Slackware should be a mandatory step in education. On the other hand, a new user who wants a desktop system to scan and edit photos will probably freak out, even if he gets through installation, when after logging in for the first time all he can see is just command prompt on text based screen (it still doesn't boot to X after install, right? It has been a while).

You mentioned Debian as good middle ground and I agree, large community, easy to find help and information. And I wouldn't discretic Ubuntu just because it has fancy tools, I admit I don't know much about Ubuntu, have it on USB stick with some filesystem tools for emergencies and that's it, it sure looks nice for out of the box window manager. I'm assuming this nice GUI is just a frontend to core Debian components. On RedHat I don't even use their tools and do my stuff mostly from terminal the way I'm used to, like in the 90's. Ok, they threw me a curveball by switching init to systemd on rel7 (but still maintains some compatibility with rc.d scripts) but other than that I didn't really have to change my habits.
 
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slitherjef

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Have been doing a bit of thinking on a potential Linux build:

Ryzen 5 or 7 if not much of a price difference
16gb ram
500gb SSD
Nvidia 1060 or something decent

Still looking at parts and obviously I only got a couple components listed. I think I would like something a bit compact but open to tinkering with. It doesn't have to be a Ryzen build, I suspect an Intel could with onboard graphics would shrink it some but Intel, ugh, I'd take or leave it.

I am open to suggestions. The reason I'd opt for a desktop is because it'd be easier to work inside and upgrade.

Right now it looks like the build would hit 1k o_O I'm still doing research. My previous PC like I mentioned was built with windows in mind.

I also realize there is an option to install a Linux distro unto a USB drive then chose to boot from that from the UEFI menu. I think...

---

Edit:
I found this build guide and looking at it

https://www.forbes.com/sites/antonyleather/2018/05/30/how-to-build-a-499-mini-amd-ryzen-gaming-pc-with-wifi-and-ssd/amp/
 
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idonthatethemac

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Nov 19, 2018
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Have been doing a bit of thinking on a potential Linux build:

Ryzen 5 or 7 if not much of a price difference
16gb ram
500gb SSD
Nvidia 1060 or something decent

Still looking at parts and obviously I only got a couple components listed. I think I would like something a bit compact but open to tinkering with. It doesn't have to be a Ryzen build, I suspect an Intel could with onboard graphics would shrink it some but Intel, ugh, I'd take or leave it.

I am open to suggestions. The reason I'd opt for a desktop is because it'd be easier to work inside and upgrade.

Right now it looks like the build would hit 1k o_O I'm still doing research. My previous PC like I mentioned was built with windows in mind.

I also realize there is an option to install a Linux distro unto a USB drive then chose to boot from that from the UEFI menu. I think...
Try https://pcpartpicker.com. You can pick and choose what parts you want and then it will even tell you if they are compatible or not.
 
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Mikael H

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Ryzen 5 or 7 if not much of a price difference
16gb ram
500gb SSD
Nvidia 1060 or something decent
I would actually like to try an AMD GPU in my box due to their more open-source-friendly approach, but I haven't felt like throwing money at it yet. Currently I still have my original GTX 670, and it works well enough for 1080p resolutions in the games/simulators I run. I'm not proficient enough that I can blame any of my deaths on my FPS...
 
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slitherjef

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Ok, so kind of basing the build on the link above I have sitting in my cart:

EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3 PSU

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz ram

MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 HDMI Display Port Mini-ITX Motherboard (B450I Gaming Plus AC) Mobo

Thermaltake Core V1 mini itx case

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics CPU

Sitting under 5 bills which is not too bad and should be enough to get me started. I got 500gb SSD I had mint installed but nothing really on it so could be wiped and used. Monitor I have one I can swap between or a cheapo junky one I can use. Keyboard and mouse have on hand.

Thoughts or suggestions?
 

slitherjef

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I haven't ordered parts just yet. I am not entirely sure if I want that msi board or to grab an Asus. It also seems a firmware upgrade might be needed on some of these boards for the newer Raven ridge apus and thus needs sat up before being sat up :confused:

--

Edit:

Kind of glad I waited a bit to order parts, the ram I opted for in the above post didn't appear to be supported, so I went with 2666 as the CPU supports 2667mhz and only 8gb

This also dropped the price a bit more. Decided to stick with the msi board and everything else though.

This is a total experiment project and toy box I suppose. I think I'm going to call it "snow globe"

Sure, I could've just loaded up a virtual machine or dual boot or what not, I wanted a separate isolated box for this and keep the windows machine for my work err well more serious stuff or when I flash the wrong stuff to my pixel or something.
 
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lowendlinux

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My take on various distributions:
If you want a good balance between out-of-the-box usefulness, stability, and "real" GNU+Linux, Debian is the go-to product.
For anybody who wants to understand GNU+Linux, I still recommend Slackware. There's Arch and Gentoo, but they're frankly mostly of academic interest to most people who have a life beside their personal operating system installation.

Suse, RedHat Enterprise Linux (and its derivatives), and, unfortunately, increasingly Ubuntu - in that order - have created their own management tools to such a degree that you're essentially learning those specific dialects of Linux rather than "real" Linux when making under-the-hood tweaks to them.

For some perspective on GNU+Linux, it's worth taking a look at a completely different system, namely FreeBSD, which feels a lot like "real Unix" with a working package manager - sort of a mix between Slackware and Debian.
My thoughts on this are different.

I can spend hours on Slackware and get now where yet I can have Arch setup and running in half hour and Gentoo in and afternoon it depends on your practice.

I will say that Slackware is more "pure" but it's not in any measure easier than Arch especially for a new person. Gentoo is fine if you NEED a source based distro or need something super secure beyond that there is almost no benefit to the control you get from having it, I do think however every linux user should build it.

===

@OP the thing is getting some stuff to work in Linux can be a chore and the more committed to free software the distro is the harder it will be to make some things work. While Ubuntu/Mint aren't committed to free software it's not the best to add SW that isn't in repo which is where Arch or one of it's spins might help. If you use stuff from the AUR it keeps it up to date when you update the system. Really though in the end you're probably going to need to be familiar with

configure
make
make-install
 

slitherjef

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I haven't really thought of a distro just yet, just wanted to try something a bit more then the get your feet wet distros like Ubuntu that I've been using on my dinky laptop and Mint.

Arch might be too much. Thought Gentoo or Manjaro or straight up Debian but I might want something that get quick updates to possibly roll in support for my still a bit new hardware I've got on order
 

lowendlinux

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If Arch is too much then Gentoo will be WAY to much being that everything is compiled from source, to include updates on top of that you will need to update apps separately from the system itself then resolve conflict alone. The problems with Gentoo are the same problems Slackware has it can't resolve dependencies while that's not inherently bad it will be very off putting for a long time.

IMHO pick you're distro based on the community then just stick with it and bend it to what you need. The Ubuntu community has a lot lot of smart people, is sorta welcoming but you need to separate signal from noise and there is a lot of noise there. If you want a rolling distro which is not something I'd recommend SuSE has tumbleweed, the Arch Flavors, Debian Testing (sort of rolling), and there are a couple binary Gentoo spins. The enterprise based distros like Open SuSE and Scientific/CentOS/Fedora you'll have to add repos for desktop type stuff then be careful managing them since they will pull and replace system dependencies which can break other parts of the system (the bad about automatic dependency resolution).

Personally I'm not Stallman, nor am I a part of the cult of Patrick which knocks out a lot of Debian and Slackware. You could give LMDE a shot but I think you're going to have the same issues as you did with Ubuntu. It's probably time to actually learn Linux or get off the train because none are be right and run everything out of the box.

We all like different things so I'm not going to recommend anything and I sorta have designs for each computer I run into and I in essence install everything all at once to make it that way i.e. I know what software I like and what desktops I like to use and what peripherals are sitting on my desk. I will recommend that once your happy with what ever you build clone it immediately so you have something bootable so you don't need to build it again if you screw it up.
 
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slitherjef

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Was tinkering with my little Ubuntu laptop (that I might actually retire once my itx built gets up and running) and it actually borked, saying "ubuntu package manager error brokencount 0" that caused me to pause a minute and wonder if I was going to have yet more discouraging issues whilst running the OS, I did a quick Google search and found I could try to run

sudo apt-get install --fix-broken

Which ran a few things in my terminal and seems to have fixed things.

I bring this up because it made me realize maybe trying a more advanced distro might not be what I should be trying first. Perhaps I should stick with these more beginner distros. Maybe since I am running Ubuntu on one device, I should stick with similar, maybe the Debian edition of mint and ride on that for a while and take the time to learn the OS.

BTW the PSU, Mobo and ram came in today. My CPU and case has a couple days before they arrive and I can start building.
 

jrichards1408

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Nov 4, 2016
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Hi i tried installing pop os on my micro sd card on my dell xps 13 and it installs ok with no errors but when I boot into it. It says there's nothing in it?

Is it because I chose to encrypt it via pop os install?
 

slitherjef

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I keep looking at this thermaltake core v1 case I got in a couple days ago for this build and I wonder if I goofed grabbing it. It's way chunkier then I thought it was (side effect of buying online sight unseen and not doing the math) and thus I'm having trouble trying to find a spot for it o_O

I was thinking something a bit more low or flatter profile.

That'll teach me to shop when I'm half asleep after work. :eek:
 

slitherjef

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I had to put my build on hold, ran into some issues and the build was fighting me if that makes sense. I do wonder if I am once again going about doing something the "wrong way"

While the thought of a nuc vaguely crossed my mind while I was thinking about this little project, I dismissed it because I didn't want an Intel CPU because we'll Intel.

I also thought that perhaps an updated surface pro would have worked better for my limited Microsoft needs and just fully convert my desktop to a Linux box that I've been tinkering about with the past year.

I barely use the rig and spent more time swapping operating systems and drive then actual use. I keep going back to Linux if I need something, i.e to unbrick my pixel or if I'm disappointed with the raw photo support for my cameras.