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Name that *nix!
#1

Name that *nix!
I've got a new PC on the way, an i5 box, and while I've got Windows 10 licenses, the only Windows apps I need will likely run under WINE, so I'm thinking this is time to get back into the Linux/UNIX world. My skills are pretty rusty and they were never very strong, so I'm not far from a newby. The apps I most likely will be running will be DVD and Bluray rippers, handbrake, DVDSHRINK, and the typical UNIX text processing tools. I'm open to discovering new applications, too. What's your favorite *nix, and if you would recommend a different one than your favorite, give that as well, as well as the reasons for your choice.

My previous favorites have been OBSD, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Solaris is pretty much out, AFAIK, due to lack of apps and pain in the ass maintenance. OBSD has a reputation for being painfully slow, though I haven't looked at it in years. FreeBSD is certainly an option, but there appear to be more interesting flavors in the Linux world. Debian was always my choice for Linux, but I'm thinking it would lack the bells & whistles associated with an Ubuntu based Linux, which is where I'm leaning, but I could be wrong.

So what do you think?

What's your favorite Linux or UNIX?

What would you recommend if different from your favorite?



Help a sista' out.
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#2

Name that *nix!
I am a Debian user lately. On that vein, I would give the Ubuntu community a good look, Danu. I think the community makes the distro. If you search for your desires and see good current posting about it, go with it.
I find that the APT repository method of package management to be easier to use.
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#3

Name that *nix!
I chose Ubuntu for three reasons:
1. It's among those with the least interaction with the terminal/most GUI driven features.
2. It's among the most user, and especially newbie, friendly.
3. It's the top recommended *NIX OS for the Plex media server.

Now that the media server is up and running, I'm going to take what I learned from that experience and apply it to setting up the main system as a dual boot for now, possibly migrating to a virtual box at some point. Unfortunately, until gaming companies start taking Linux seriously and AutoDESK makes a Linux friendly version of AutoCAD (or someone gets the Mac version up and running), I'll be stuck needing a Winbox part of the time.
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#4

Name that *nix!
(06-04-2020, 01:22 PM)Dānu Wrote: I've got a new PC on the way, an i5 box, and while I've got Windows 10 licenses, the only Windows apps I need will likely run under WINE, so I'm thinking this is time to get back into the Linux/UNIX world.  My skills are pretty rusty and they were never very strong, so I'm not far from a newby.  The apps I most likely will be running will be DVD and Bluray rippers, handbrake, DVDSHRINK, and the typical UNIX text processing tools.  I'm open to discovering new applications, too.  What's your favorite *nix, and if you would recommend a different one than your favorite, give that as well, as well as the reasons for your choice.

My previous favorites have been OBSD, FreeBSD, and Solaris.  Solaris is pretty much out, AFAIK, due to lack of apps and pain in the ass maintenance.  OBSD has a reputation for being painfully slow, though I haven't looked at it in years.  FreeBSD is certainly an option, but there appear to be more interesting flavors in the Linux world.  Debian was always my choice for Linux, but I'm thinking it would lack the bells & whistles associated with an Ubuntu based Linux, which is where I'm leaning, but I could be wrong.

So what do you think?

What's your favorite Linux or UNIX?

What would you recommend if different from your favorite?



Help a sista' out.

BSDs are not really good desktop systems.  Wonderful if you need a server though.  For an easy to install and use Linux, there is Mageia.  Mageia has its roots in Mandrake, Mandriva Linux.  I use it, it is pretty good for a nice desktop system.  Devuan is a spin of the popular Debian without systemd.  Look into Virtual Box.  Runs virtual machines so you can play around with possible candidates for your daily driver.  I am about to partition and format a 1 TB SSD and load something.  I am looking at Gentoo, but Gentoo is a Linux not easy to load, install and wrangle.  If you are rusty, not recommended.  But it's a rolling distro and very flexible. Only for the patient and brave. I'd say, Mageia with KDE to start with.  Since the systemd folks are making noises about messing with the file system, I am looking at Devuan.  But the latest Devuan is just out and it may be good to let it sit for a few weeks more to get the usual new version bugs squished.  See Distrowatch for info.
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#5

Name that *nix!
I tried Ubuntu around 12 years ago, and it was a pain in the arse.  Clumsy interface, confusing terminology and commands.  
Little help for Linux newbies on-line; in short a total waste of hours of my time.  And it wouldn't do anything that Windows XP
couldn't do.  And it was sloooow.

This table proves the implications of my experience:

[Image: Screenshot-2020-06-06-Usage-share-of-ope...ipedia.png]
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#6

Name that *nix!
(06-05-2020, 12:27 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(06-04-2020, 01:22 PM)Dānu Wrote: I've got a new PC on the way, an i5 box, and while I've got Windows 10 licenses, the only Windows apps I need will likely run under WINE, so I'm thinking this is time to get back into the Linux/UNIX world.  My skills are pretty rusty and they were never very strong, so I'm not far from a newby.  The apps I most likely will be running will be DVD and Bluray rippers, handbrake, DVDSHRINK, and the typical UNIX text processing tools.  I'm open to discovering new applications, too.  What's your favorite *nix, and if you would recommend a different one than your favorite, give that as well, as well as the reasons for your choice.

My previous favorites have been OBSD, FreeBSD, and Solaris.  Solaris is pretty much out, AFAIK, due to lack of apps and pain in the ass maintenance.  OBSD has a reputation for being painfully slow, though I haven't looked at it in years.  FreeBSD is certainly an option, but there appear to be more interesting flavors in the Linux world.  Debian was always my choice for Linux, but I'm thinking it would lack the bells & whistles associated with an Ubuntu based Linux, which is where I'm leaning, but I could be wrong.

So what do you think?

What's your favorite Linux or UNIX?

What would you recommend if different from your favorite?



Help a sista' out.

BSDs are not really good desktop systems.  Wonderful if you need a server though.  For an easy to install and use Linux, there is Mageia.  Mageia has its roots in Mandrake, Mandriva Linux.  I use it, it is pretty good for a nice desktop system.  Devuan is a spin of the popular Debian without systemd.  Look into Virtual Box.  Runs virtual machines so you can play around with possible candidates for your daily driver.  I am about to partition and format a 1 TB SSD and load something.  I am looking at Gentoo, but Gentoo is a Linux not easy to load, install and wrangle.  If you are rusty, not recommended.  But it's a rolling distro and very flexible. Only for the patient and brave.  I'd say, Mageia with KDE to start with.  Since the systemd folks are making noises about messing with the file system, I am looking at Devuan.  But the latest Devuan is just out and it may be good to let it sit for a few weeks more to get the usual new version bugs squished.  See Distrowatch for info.

Thanks for your recommendations. I will definitely use them as a springboard for further investigation. Unfortunately my desktop is running a woefully overloaded i3, so VMs aren't ideal. However the new machine is an i5 with no pending duties, so a combination of VMs and Live disks is probably worthwhile. I've ordered an HDMI KVM, and am waiting to find out whether what the specs refer to on the i5 as a Displayport is a full size or mini Displayport, but once that's sorted, I can order cables. I've got a VGA KVM and sufficient ports and cables to make it work, but it would involve such a detour in my plans that it's better just to wait.
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#7

Name that *nix!
I've got an additional question, regarding hardware. As this machine will be responsible for a lot of video transcoding, the question of hardware-accelerated transcoding arises. I know that most graphics cards contain hardware units that perform what the machine will do in software if there is no graphics card present. I don't know a couple of things. The first is whether the onboard GPU would or wouldn't have the hardware unit. It has an intel media accelerator, and best I can tell, it uses the Q67 chipset, but I haven't narrowed it further. I don't know enough about such things to guess. The second question is whether it requires a powerful graphics card to get the best hardware-acceleration, or is the hardware unit that assists transcoding less dependent on the power of the graphics card than the number of pixel shaders and whatnot, such that a modest graphics card would help as much as needed, and a powerful card would be unnecessary.

If anyone knows or has any guesses, I'm all ears. Thanks.
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#8

Name that *nix!
Still digging a bit, but an SFF video card with an nVidia GPU of adequate specs looks like it would run me $50-100. If I could get by with a $25 card, that would be something I could do in the near term. But $50+ will have to go on the wish list. Curious thing that I'm reading is that PLEX is very vague about whether AMD HD cards are supported or not. I'll need to wait a week or two, but I can get a Quadro NVS300 card off eBay for $10-15. I think I'll do that and see if that helps the transcode speed any. It's a shot in the dark, but I can't afford a decent card until likely after Christmas. If I can get one with a DVI port, then I can do multi-monitors with one output going to the big screen TV and the other going to the KVM (I think, anyway; I've read that this machine has a multi-monitor setting in BIOS, though the specifics are unclear).

(ETA: I can get an nVidia GT 710 card that supports 5 transcode streams from Newegg for $50. Maybe I'll keep my money in my pocket for a while until I can do that.)

(ETA2: This is based on very limited information, but somebody who sounds well informed on the matter doesn't think the NVS 300 has the hardware transcode unit. I think I'll wait and buy the GT 710.)
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#9

Name that *nix!
One of the beauties of Linux is ability to compile a kernel. For things like video and audio editing, it can be helpful to use a low latency kernel. This means your video, audio apps get priority over all else, such as basic GUI stuff. I don't do this sort of stuff, but there are some specialized versions of various Linux distros that are meant for vieo/audio workstations and run real time kernels.

https://www.datamation.com/open-source/t...ation.html

Googling around for video/audio oriented distros with low latency kernels would be your best bet. I understand some A/V SW likes lots of memory to work well.
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#10

Name that *nix!
(06-06-2020, 03:01 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: One of the beauties of Linux is ability to compile a kernel.  For things like video and audio editing, it can be helpful to use a low latency kernel.  This means your video, audio apps get priority over all else, such as basic GUI stuff.  I don't do this sort of stuff, but there are some specialized versions of various Linux distros that are meant for vieo/audio workstations and run real time kernels.

https://www.datamation.com/open-source/t...ation.html

Googling around for video/audio oriented distros with low latency kernels would be your best bet.  I understand some A/V SW likes lots of memory to work well.

Ease of implementation and use is a higher priority than speed or features, so, I'll look around a bit, but I'll likely lean toward a popular distro with a large user base and support community. The video jobs are just queuing up conversion jobs and letting them run in the background, transcoding speed is important, but latency is not. It's sort of a blend between a video processing server and a general web & email user desktop. It's never going to be a speed demon, but hardware acceleration assistance will significantly improve turn-around on video conversion jobs, so the $50 is pretty much a no-brainer.
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#11

Name that *nix!
(06-05-2020, 06:04 PM)SYZ Wrote: I tried Ubuntu around 12 years ago, and it was a pain in the arse.  Clumsy interface, confusing terminology and commands.  
Little help for Linux newbies on-line; in short a total waste of hours of my time.  And it wouldn't do anything that Windows XP
couldn't do.  And it was sloooow.

This table proves the implications of my experience:

[Image: Screenshot-2020-06-06-Usage-share-of-ope...ipedia.png]

The only thing that graphic shows is that business drives market share and businesses, with very few exceptions, use Windoze. I'm sorry that your experience of over a decade ago was a bad one. Linux and Windoze have both come a long way in that time. They've been moving in opposite directions, however. The Ubuntu interface shines now, to the point that Windoze users create msstyles to emulate it. The commands are a bit confusing, until you get used to them, but honestly no more so than either of Windoze 10s terminal interfaces (command prompt and the powershell). Setting ownership permissions in Windoze is a rather unpleasant, multi-step process where it's a single terminal command in Linux. The Ubuntu online community has also changed drastically. There are many people out there willing to help fix damn near any problem you can run into complete with step-by-step instructions. As to Ubuntu being slow, I have a laptop that barely manages under Win7 and simply won't run Win10 that does just fine with Linux Mint (Ubuntu under the hood).

I always have to laugh when I see people bashing Linux on the internet to make their OS of choice look better. If not for *NIX systems, the internet would not be what it is today. Even M$ runs their servers on Linux. Big Grin

The biggest impediment I've seen to people changing from Windoze to anything else is pure laziness. They don't want to learn new commands or how to use a new office suite, even if the new one does everything M$ Office does for literally 100% less cash.
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#12

Name that *nix!
It's also a bit laughable to base your opinion on a singular experience from 12 years ago, and furthermore, it was not a question about wether to use a linux, but which one to use. get with the program, SYZ Smile
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#13

Name that *nix!
(06-06-2020, 11:57 AM)Dānu Wrote: Still digging a bit, but an SFF video card with an nVidia GPU of adequate specs looks like it would run me $50-100.  If I could get by with a $25 card, that would be something I could do in the near term.  But $50+ will have to go on the wish list.  Curious thing that I'm reading is that PLEX is very vague about whether AMD HD cards are supported or not.  I'll need to wait a week or two, but I can get a Quadro NVS300 card off eBay for $10-15.  I think I'll do that and see if that helps the transcode speed any.  It's a shot in the dark, but I can't afford a decent card until likely after Christmas.  If I can get one with a DVI port, then I can do multi-monitors with one output going to the big screen TV and the other going to the KVM (I think, anyway; I've read that this machine has a multi-monitor setting in BIOS, though the specifics are unclear).

(ETA:  I can get an nVidia GT 710 card that supports 5 transcode streams from Newegg for $50.  Maybe I'll keep my money in my pocket for a while until I can do that.)

(ETA2:  This is based on very limited information, but somebody who sounds well informed on the matter doesn't think the NVS 300 has the hardware transcode unit.  I think I'll wait and buy the GT 710.)

What is stopping you from the system of your dreams?
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#14

Name that *nix!
(06-06-2020, 06:02 AM)Dānu Wrote: I've got an additional question, regarding hardware.  As this machine will be responsible for a lot of video transcoding, the question of hardware-accelerated transcoding arises.  I know that most graphics cards contain hardware units that perform what the machine will do in software if there is no graphics card present.  I don't know a couple of things.  The first is whether the onboard GPU would or wouldn't have the hardware unit.  It has an intel media accelerator, and best I can tell, it uses the Q67 chipset, but I haven't narrowed it further.  I don't know enough about such things to guess.  The second question is whether it requires a powerful graphics card to get the best hardware-acceleration, or is the hardware unit that assists transcoding less dependent on the power of the graphics card than the number of pixel shaders and whatnot, such that a modest graphics card would help as much as needed, and a powerful card would be unnecessary.

If anyone knows or has any guesses, I'm all ears.  Thanks.

Dunno.  What are you getting?  Laptop?  Desktop PC?  What model, make et al?  How much memory?  What CPU?  How many cores?  What GPU comes with your new toy?  How many videos are you thinking about converting?
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#15

Name that *nix!
I've been using Suse since the early noughties. I'm familiar with it and see no reason to change.
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#16

Name that *nix!
(06-07-2020, 08:45 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(06-06-2020, 06:02 AM)Dānu Wrote: I've got an additional question, regarding hardware.  As this machine will be responsible for a lot of video transcoding, the question of hardware-accelerated transcoding arises.  I know that most graphics cards contain hardware units that perform what the machine will do in software if there is no graphics card present.  I don't know a couple of things.  The first is whether the onboard GPU would or wouldn't have the hardware unit.  It has an intel media accelerator, and best I can tell, it uses the Q67 chipset, but I haven't narrowed it further.  I don't know enough about such things to guess.  The second question is whether it requires a powerful graphics card to get the best hardware-acceleration, or is the hardware unit that assists transcoding less dependent on the power of the graphics card than the number of pixel shaders and whatnot, such that a modest graphics card would help as much as needed, and a powerful card would be unnecessary.

If anyone knows or has any guesses, I'm all ears.  Thanks.

Dunno.  What are you getting?  Laptop?  Desktop PC?  What model, make et al?  How much memory?  What CPU?  How many cores?  What GPU comes with your new toy?  How many videos are you thinking about converting?

The disk complement will likely be changed. The three main apps are Handbrake, DVD-SHRINK, and standard UNIX text tools. I may also add PLEX, Kodi, and DVD / video playing as it will likely be connected both to my desktop secondary monitor and a big screen TV. It's primarily to take the load off my main desktop and give me a better UNIX enviornment than WSL. As noted, a $50 nVidia GT 710 video card seems to be a good way to add hardware support for the video transcoding. (PLEX videos will likely be streamed at full resolution, so transcoding isn't needed there. Both my TVs are 1080p.)

As far as videos, it's more of an as-needed or have-time basis. I've probably got over 200 DVDs on disk, though I'll probably only convert a small fraction of those. I may shrink some to reduce the space on disk, but only if that's convenient. Once I get my file server up and running again, I'll have 12 TB of RAID 6, 4 TB of RAID 1, and 20 TB of external hard disks as offline backup for that and the desktop.

The i5 2400 specs say 4 cores supporting 4 threads. For some reason I thought it was hyper-threaded. (i5 2400 specs)

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#17

Name that *nix!
(06-07-2020, 09:20 AM)Mathilda Wrote: I've been using Suse since the early noughties. I'm familiar with it and see no reason to change.

What do you like about Suse? What do you not like about Suse? Are there things other Linux or UNIX distros have that you wish that Suse had.*

*(I know I'll miss the ZFS file system and Solaris' virtual containers.)
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#18

Name that *nix!
Ooh, this is good news, though I don't know if any of the software I intend to use will actually take advantage of this. But then again. The nVidia GT 710 and Intel HD 2000 bench about the same (link), from user comparisons, but the subjective sense is the 710 is 3x faster, and much better graphics.

Quote:In addition to the GPU, the chip also houses some dedicated units for decoding and encoding HD videos. On the IDF Intel demonstrated the encoding of a 3 minute long 1080p video to an iPhone compatible format in 640x360 in only 14s. Another novelty of the Sandy Bridge GPU is the embedded DisplayPort eDP to connect internal Displays. (NotebookCheck: Intel HD 2000 graphics)

Quote:HandBrake

HandBrake* is a Microsoft Windows* application that takes almost any video file format and modifies it for use on devices like the Apple iPhone* and iPad*, Android* phones/tablets, and others. However, HandBrake has been a CPU-only conversion application. Intel® Quick Sync Video, a HW accelerator, allows you to offload the full decode/filter/encode (collectively termed, transcode) scenario from the CPU to Intel® HD Graphics. Offloading the transcoding to the Intel HD Graphics provides several benefits. First, the transcoding is quicker compared to the traditional CPU-based approach. Also by using the dedicated circuits in the Intel HD graphics you not only get a speed in performance but it also consumes less energy allow you to conserve your battery for other activities. Our goal in this effort was to improve user experience for HandBrake by extending it with support of HW acceleration while running on Intel® architecture. (Intel: Harnessing Handbrake)
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#19

Name that *nix!
I'll have to look at my Core 2 Duo system next. Looking through my records, it appears to have a rather underwhelming Core 2 Duo E7400 in it. I'm going to put it in the bedroom to serve as a media box. I'll bet I can pick up an E8400 off eBay for dirt cheap and dramatically boost the processing power. I could have sworn that I already made that upgrade, but I may be misremembering. I'll have to fire her up to be certain. (Oh heck yeah. I can get an E8400 for $5. Maybe I should look more towards a Q6600. Yeah, that's only $10.)
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#20

Name that *nix!
Mrmph. Probably going to need to add the price of a cooler to the mix. The Q6600 has a TDP of 105 Watts at stock, not even thinking of the fact that Q6600s are overclocker friendly. The E7400 has a rather beefy stock intel cooler, so I could get by with it, but there's no sense in cutting that corner.
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#21

Name that *nix!
I can get a Core 2 Quad Q9400 for $15. That looks like the ticket unless I find a steal on a Q9650 or something. I won't have the money until tomorrow at the earliest anyway.

On second look, that may be a toss-up. The Q6600 is overclocker friendly. I don't know about the Q9400. The Q9400 only has 6 MB of L2, versus 8 MB in the Q6600. On the other hand, the Q6600 has a stock speed of 2.4 Ghz versus the 2.66 Ghz on the Q9400.
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#22

Name that *nix!
Memory for the new box is $30 an 8 GB stick, but I suppose I should plan on that sometime this year as well.
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#23

Name that *nix!
Whoah, funky. The drive bay on this thing is tool-less. One 3.5" bay, which I'll probably fill with an SSD and a notebook HDD. If I do the upgrade on my Netbook, I can use the hard drive from that.

I suppose I had to get around to doing that eventually.
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#24

Name that *nix!
(06-07-2020, 12:17 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(06-07-2020, 09:20 AM)Mathilda Wrote: I've been using Suse since the early noughties. I'm familiar with it and see no reason to change.

What do you like about Suse?  What do you not like about Suse?  Are there things other Linux or UNIX distros have that you wish that Suse had.*

*(I know I'll miss the ZFS file system and Solaris' virtual containers.)

Both ZFS and containers, LXD, can be installed on Debian family Linuxes.  But might take some Linux kung-fu skills to do so.  Apparently Debian itself has some old packages in this regard.  Google for Linux, ZFS, Devuan for example of how to install ZFS on Devuan.

Long ago, when one could get Linux OS at computer stores in Boxes, I tried Suse.  It simply refused to install on my machine.  I gave up on Suse years ago because of that.  I got Mandrake 8 off of a DVD that came with a Linux magazine, and have been running Mandrake until, Mandriva died and went with Mageia.  I Tried Slackware, but after downloading 7 CDs, it would not install and run.  Slackware admitted their install disks were defective, but were not clear on what to do about that.  I gave up.  And early Ubuntu was simply not really usable compared to Mandrake.  With three computers, Windows XP simply priced themselves out of my reach at $149.00 for each system.
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#25

Name that *nix!
That sounds like a powerful incentive to switch my file server from Windows Server to Linux. The 3ware controller does the RAID 6 management, but ZFS under that, and managing the RAID 1 array would probably be better than any advantages I derive from staying with Windows.
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