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Scubdup
March 17th, 2009, 03:56 PM
What's a newbie to do?

I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.10, which is my first experience of Linux.

I have an old 3.2gb P4 with 5gb RAM and a basic Nvidia 8400 graphics card.

I've already ascertained (from kind help here) that my processor can handle a 64-bit OS.

Which version should I go for?

I've been told I should hold out for Jaunty before trying 64-bit

I have used 64bit Ubuntu for a year now.
Ubuntu 9.04 64bit runs MUCH MUCH smoother than 8.04 64bit.

Wait for Jaunty to be released then run 64bit :)And I've read that Kubuntu could be more exciting...

Many of the current advances in the Linux/Ubuntu world are currently occurring in KDE, in fact. The reviews of Jaunty Jackalope for Ubuntu are tepid so far, while Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope, anchored by a new version of KDE, continues to rapidly advance and is quite exciting.
So, at the moment I'm hedging towards 64-bit Kubuntu. ANy reasons why this might be a mistake?

Lastly, when Jaunty comes out, do I lose all the settings, programs, themes etc I currently have downloaded on my machine?

Thanks as always for any help/advice/links etc.

Halow
March 17th, 2009, 04:33 PM
Whether you can go with 64-bit depends on your processor. I'm no expert on that (and had to do digging of my own to figure out if mine even supported it). Do a bit of research to see if yours can handle it.

Otherwise, your system resources could handle Kubuntu. Whether you can or not is up to you. ;) Some people find it "busy". I did try out Kubuntu for Jaunty... but I digress.

If you do an upgrade from Intrepid, you can retain your settings. If you do a fresh install (ie. formatting involved), you will lose settings.

Scubdup
March 17th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Thanks Halow. My processor can run 64bit apparently so that shouldn't be a problem, but I gather if I want to go from 32-bit to 64-bit I will have to go for a fresh install with the hassle that goes with it.

Where do I find the Jaunty Alpha Test downloads?

GARoss
March 17th, 2009, 04:52 PM
What's a newbie to do?

I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.10, which is my first experience of Linux.

I have an old 3.2gb P4 with 5gb RAM and a basic Nvidia 8400 graphics card.

I've already ascertained (from kind help here) that my processor can handle a 64-bit OS.

Which version should I go for?

I've been told I should hold out for Jaunty before trying 64-bit
And I've read that Kubuntu could be more exciting...

So, at the moment I'm hedging towards 64-bit Kubuntu. ANy reasons why this might be a mistake?

Lastly, when Jaunty comes out, do I lose all the settings, programs, themes etc I currently have downloaded on my machine?

Thanks as always for any help/advice/links etc.

Interesting. Ubuntu 8.10 amd64 is my first experience with Linux, too. I'm in a similar position as you. Dual core Intel, Nvidia GB either 32 or 64 bit options.
My experience is this. Started with Ubuntu 8.10 amd64 in early Feb. & worked out what I could & couldn't do. Then, read-up on Kubuntu & thought the widgets were kinda cool (showing my age here!) & downloaded Kubuntu jaunty amd64 alpha 4 about 3 weeks ago for a look (was dual booting Ubuntu & Kubuntu). After a few glitches I was finding that I was spending 5x more time at this forum trying to work through bugs rather than at the very quiet kubuntuforums.net.
Then it hit me; why bother with Kubuntu? Widgets? Get real! As a newbie, I need lots of help & you'll get it at this forum most because of the sheer numbers of helpful users here. Don't take me wrong; there's lots of good help over at kubuntuforums.net, just not as many. Newbies need plenty of help for things you haven't come across yet!
Some would rightfully argue; install Ubuntu, then install the KDE desktop if you like widgets & such. That's a fair argument you'll have to decide for yourself. For me, widgets weren't as cool as they looked so why bother? I've installed Ubuntu jaunty over Kubuntu jaunty & don't intend to try Kubuntu again any time soon!
Answer; Ubuntu!
HTH:D
George

Halow
March 17th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Yeah, as far as I know switching architecture means new install. If you're not ready for that plunge, wait it out a little (I've learned as this is my first venture into 64-bit that things are... different).

Here's info on alpha 6. Enjoy! http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/jaunty/alpha6

jjpcexpert
March 17th, 2009, 04:58 PM
The Celeron 530 can handle 48/64 bits (the current implementation) of CPU data not just 32/32.

simtaalo
March 17th, 2009, 05:05 PM
are you sure that a p4 can handle 64-bit?

SketchyClown
March 17th, 2009, 05:16 PM
What's a newbie to do?

I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.10, which is my first experience of Linux.

I have an old 3.2gb P4 with 5gb RAM and a basic Nvidia 8400 graphics card.

I've already ascertained (from kind help here) that my processor can handle a 64-bit OS.

Which version should I go for?

I've been told I should hold out for Jaunty before trying 64-bit
And I've read that Kubuntu could be more exciting...

So, at the moment I'm hedging towards 64-bit Kubuntu. ANy reasons why this might be a mistake?

Lastly, when Jaunty comes out, do I lose all the settings, programs, themes etc I currently have downloaded on my machine?

Thanks as always for any help/advice/links etc.


Scubdup,

Get yourself an alpha-6 live-cd of Jaunty in 64-bit flavour. Stuff it in and try and boot it. That will tell you for sure if your processor is 64-bit capable.

Your computer has a lot of RAM so you will have to go 64-bit if you want to utillize all of it since 32-bit will only see 4GB maximum if you have PAE enabled. And that's 4GB including any RAM on the video card.

With 64-bit you can still run 32-bit programs that are unavailable in 64-bit like Skype and Google Earth, and there are 64-bit Flash/Java out now that work nicely. Personally I find there is nothing holding anyone back from going 64-bit if their computer is capable.

As for Ubuntu/Kubutu, Gnome/KDE4 ... I choose Ubuntu & Gnome. Simply because I am a reformed Mac fanboy and Gnome is very Mac-like except that it is free! KDE4 to me is a complete and utter disaster at present and needs a ton of work yet to make more people embrace what they are trying to do.

I guess it depends on what you like. KDE is very Redmond/Windows style of desktop and Gnome is very Cupertino/Mac style. It all comes down to personal preference.

Halow
March 17th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Yup! The beauty of LiveCDs. I did a small look around, and I think some of the later P4s were x86-64.
And aha! I hadn't even thought of the RAM. I seem to have a very small system, and am limited to 2GB RAM, so it hadn't occured to me.

As an aside, though, I've had serious issues with Skype in 64-bit (like it hogging ALL RAM and crashing at the same time). I won't go on the closed-source rampage, though.

jslinux
March 17th, 2009, 08:21 PM
KDE 4 = no design taste and still too buggy. KDE 4.2 "The Answer," very arrogant.

Zorael
March 17th, 2009, 11:15 PM
KDE4.0 was released too early, in my opinion. Obviously it shifted developer attention from KDE3, which was good in a way, but it also left other users with a sour taste because of all the bugs. KDE 4.2 is loads better than 4.0 and 4.1, and I use it on all my machines.


KDE 4 = no design taste and still too buggy. KDE 4.2 "The Answer," very arrogant.
"No design taste" is opinion, everything can't suit everyone. "The Answer" is cute. I wouldn't say KDE 4.2.1 (dubbed "Cream") is buggy at all; not more than current stable Gnome builds. I haven't had a crash so far, since 4.2 packages showed up on the experimental ppa over at kubuntu.org.

As for performance, KDE4 with compositioning disabled is pretty lean. You may want to disable or at least configure what directories Strigi/Nepomuk indexes (the search daemon thingie). If you have a gigabyte of textfiles, it'll read them all and index their contents so you can search by content and context, but then you end up with a similarly sized database and some considerable memory overhead. So configure Strigi.

I'm not sure Akonadi has any performance impacts besides the initial database creation upon first login. And if you want to make analogies, the PulseAudio daemon nibbles processor time, too. (Ubuntu has it per default and Kubuntu doesn't.) Likewise, compositioning with Compiz has a performance impact just like kwin with desktop effects enabled has. So each have their quirks.

Obviously KDE has a larger memory overhead than say Xfce, so it's not lightweight in that sense, but it doesn't feel any bulkier than you make it. It goes without saying that if you spam your desktop workarea with plasmoids, that'll give it a different touch.

To say that KDE4 is all about the plasmoids (applets) is unfair in many ways. Plasma is a great framework with which you *can* have any kind of applet - even the activity bar, which used to be its own binary (Kicker), is a plasmoid. That doesn't mean you need an analog clock on every desktop.

Stuff is happening in KDE land.

Sophont
March 17th, 2009, 11:36 PM
64 bit - don't bother. With less than 4 GB there simply is no real advantage of using the 64bit version on a dekstop system - while OTOH some programs don't work as well (yet) with 64 bit.

Kubuntu vs Ubuntu - matter of taste. But KDE is in a phase of hectic development and it seems that it began only very recently (from what I gathered) to get stable and complete enough.
Thanks to Compiz Effects there is plenty of bling available for Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 32 bit will likely give you the smoothest ride for now.

Vorian Grey
March 18th, 2009, 12:04 AM
I've ran 64 bit a couple of times and ran into several annoyances. Now I just stick with 32 bit.

ameyer
March 18th, 2009, 04:20 AM
are you sure that a p4 can handle 64-bit?
Apparently Intel implemented "Intel64" in the "Prescott" and "Cedar Mill" Pentium 4 cores.

Also, for those who don't get the KDE 4.2 "The Answer" thing,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answer_to_Life,_the_Universe,_and_Everything

jslinux
March 18th, 2009, 05:21 AM
The answer joke has multiple meanings in this context, but I think it's fair to see it as a bit condescending to complainers. As for 4.2.1, "provides the 'Cream' on top of KDE", well that implies a lot, doesn't it?

Oxygen wastes tons of space. It and the overall KDE 4 look is unoriginal and gaudy... neon blue bar, black shiny, etc etc, clunky and distracting. Lots of bits like folder look and system settings taken from OS X. Black transparency and shadows like Vista. I want a serious desktop where I can get work done, not a pinball machine. A common response is to say change the themes, but the customization avenues are currently clogged.

The main bugginess I would point out is that Qt 4 is not yet up to snuff. 4.5 is better, but things like repainting are still pretty slow. Also, plasma isn't clean but had included a bunch of hacks which are incompatible with 4.5. I just don't see how anyone can honestly claim that the desktop is not still a beta.

I leave compositing off because it slows down web browsing and doesn't seem to work too smoothly with any of the various graphics cards in any of the computers I've tried it on. I understand that this is somewhat the fault of upstream driver development, but that doesn't change the end experience. Yet when you have compositing off, you sometimes more clearly see black flashes and plasma residues when things are repainting. I want to at least see a completely smooth kickoff and panel experience and a dolphin that minimizes and maximizes as cleanly as nautilus or thunar.

I know how to manage(disable) nepomuk and strigi, but then again, I'm not sure they should be enabled by default.

Apart from gnome, I would recommend xfce 4.6 and kde 3.5.10 (not always available, unfortunately) over kde 4.2.1 for the time being.

caryb
March 18th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Question? Why are you talking about KDE 4.1 in a development post where the standard KDE has been 4.2 for most of the cycle?


Cary

jslinux
March 18th, 2009, 07:36 AM
4.2.1
http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-4.2.1.php

Nullack
March 18th, 2009, 08:07 AM
I've ran 64 bit a couple of times and ran into several annoyances. Now I just stick with 32 bit.

Which ones? You get 64 bit java, a way to run the better 32bit flash on 64 bit firefox and so forth.

I dont have any functionality missing from using 64 bit.

krazyd
March 18th, 2009, 08:21 AM
The main bugginess I would point out is that Qt 4 is not yet up to snuff. 4.5 is better, but things like repainting are still pretty slow. Also, plasma isn't clean but had included a bunch of hacks which are incompatible with 4.5. I just don't see how anyone can honestly claim that the desktop is not still a beta.
C'mon dude. Just because you are a gnome fan, why bag out KDE with untrue FUD? And it is untrue (http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2009/02/10/why-kde-42-should-use-qt-45/).

I leave compositing off because it slows down web browsing and doesn't seem to work too smoothly with any of the various graphics cards in any of the computers I've tried it on. I understand that this is somewhat the fault of upstream driver development, but that doesn't change the end experience. Yet when you have compositing off, you sometimes more clearly see black flashes and plasma residues when things are repainting. I want to at least see a completely smooth kickoff and panel experience and a dolphin that minimizes and maximizes as cleanly as nautilus or thunar.Is this on a NVIDIA card? Any bug reports you can point to?

I'm not saying that you haven't had issues with KDE, but unless you can give specific examples and/or bug reports, it's not useful.

Nullack
March 18th, 2009, 08:26 AM
KrazyD, composting on Linux wont ever work right until the video architecture is fixed for good. That means proper GPU memory management and supporting drivers that use it.

Its well known that composting breaks lots of things. I dont use it either.

The reason why web browsing is faster with composting off is because flash can only use OpenGL acceleration when composting is off for the very reason the architecture is broken.

Sophont
March 18th, 2009, 09:27 AM
KrazyD, composting on Linux wont ever work right until the video architecture is fixed for good. That means proper GPU memory management and supporting drivers that use it.

Its well known that composting breaks lots of things. I dont use it either.

The reason why web browsing is faster with composting off is because flash can only use OpenGL acceleration when composting is off for the very reason the architecture is broken.

I've been using Compiz for > 3 years and I fail to see the brokenness.

Nullack
March 18th, 2009, 09:42 AM
You have not investigated the issue at any real depth :)

Some practical outcomes:

* Not having OpenGL acceleration with compiz on for flash
* Breaking compatability with the Conky startup routines
* Breaking compatability with OpenGL full screen apps for certain OpenGL routines
* Requiring dirty hackes for some compiz plugins to work around the problem, reducing overall composting performance. For example, the hacks required to run video while at the same time running composting.

And on and on, but you get the idea. If you want to dig deeper there is various blog posts and compiz documentation about the problem.

other guy
March 18th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Apparently Intel implemented "Intel64" in the "Prescott" and "Cedar Mill" Pentium 4 cores.



Easy way to tell if a CPU has the extensions.


cat /proc/cpuinfo Then look at the flags. If you see any references to 64 in that section. Great chance it will run 64bit.

It is pretty easy to spot a 64bit CPU. For example, one of my cores. This will work for any cpu to spot if it can do emulated 64bit addressing.


processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 23
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
stepping : 7
cpu MHz : 2000.000
cache size : 2048 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 4
core id : 0
cpu cores : 4
apicid : 0
initial apicid : 0
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 10
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov
pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm
constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good pni
dtes64 (<<-- This can also be called other things, just look for the 64 part)
monitor ds_cpl est tm2
ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 lahf_lm
bogomips : 4666.52
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual = 64bits
power management:

jslinux
March 18th, 2009, 11:10 AM
C'mon dude. Just because you are a gnome fan, why bag out KDE with untrue FUD? And it is untrue (http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2009/02/10/why-kde-42-should-use-qt-45/).
Is this on a NVIDIA card? Any bug reports you can point to?

I'm not saying that you haven't had issues with KDE, but unless you can give specific examples and/or bug reports, it's not useful.

It's not untrue. Plasma with qt 4.4 had hacks.
http://mail.kde.org/pipermail/plasma-devel/2009-February/003838.html
Now it's being cleaned up for Qt 4.5. IMO, and from what I have experienced, there isn't a clean and smooth enough plasma solution for the end user, but things are improving. Qt 4.5 also allows slight hinting for fonts, finally.

But repainting is still pretty slow compared to other desktops.

All I'm saying is I wouldn't yet recommend KDE 4 to someone who wants a relatively hassle free desktop, let alone for the enterprise.
And regardless, I'm not a fan of their design decisions, namely because the result is too distracting. They seem to lack interface guidelines as well.

gunksta
March 18th, 2009, 06:42 PM
I use both. I like both. Right now, I'm looking at KDE 4.2, in all it's glory (well, most of it. ATI's borked fglrx module makes life difficult). I love KDE's educational applications and art applications. I also really like KDE as a platform for new development. The cross-platform nature of QT (and KDE) is something that I think needs to be promoted more within the Linux development community. Ubuntu is where Ubuntu began. I won't criticize a product that has helped me move friends and family away from Windows. Gnome is better integrated with tools such as FireFox and Java. Java apps look terrible on KDE, because they still look like Swing. I would love to figure out how to make Java apps look like GTK under KDE. Gnome developers are pushing some really interesting technologies like Mono/Moonlight. They also did a lot to push many of the core technologies we all take for granted these days like HAL. K/Ubuntu are both terrific products.

Ubuntu is tested by a larger number of people. It is also based on an older, more stable code-base (Gnome 2.x). It is reasonable to assume that the next version of Ubuntu will be rock-solid stable.

Kubuntu is based on KDE 4.2.1, which is a much younger code base. It is reasonable to assume that there will be come bugs found. KDE 4.x is a young product, relatively speaking, but it is also fresh and exciting. The KDE devs are producing a truly wonderful product. The more people use it, the faster bugs can be found and hopefully squished.

I find the tone of comments, such as the comments by jslinux to be unnecessarily negative toward KDE. I think we should let Redmond and others write the FUD. We should not contribute to it. You are entitled to your opinions, but rather than bash KDE, you could simply promote what you find positive about Gnome. Gnome has plenty of strong points, like Gnome-Do that could be cited, rather than bash an open-source effort.

Regarding usability, I think you should see:
http://usability.kde.org/hig/

http://developer.kde.org/documentation/design/ui/

http://wiki.openusability.org/guidelines/index.php/Main_Page

Edit: Added to my argument.

For example, rather than attack KDE's interface/usability. It would have been sufficient to state that you prefer the usability/HIG compliance of the Gnome desktop. You clearly prefer Gnome (which is cool) but let's stay positive!

jslinux
March 18th, 2009, 07:40 PM
I think it would be more helpful if the KDE developers actually took criticism seriously and revised certain priorities about basic desktop functionality over glitz before they move beyond beta.

There are still serious problems with KDE 4 usability and they should be pointed out, not ignored. They are "confident [they] have a compelling offering for the majority of end users." I am not yet.

Besides, expressing a negative opinion about a desktop with so many questionable decisions that prematurely replaced a rock solid desktop in many distributions is not tantamount to spreading FUD.

If a new user asks which desktop to use, or is given a choice in a distribution dvd, I will discourage them from KDE 4 for reasons already cited. If anything would turn new users away from linux, it's the KDE and distro fiasco of the last year and its current lack of polish and stability in a phase of heavy transition. And plasma is unstable. I'm tired of all the fans anathematizing those who say so.

As far as usability goes, whatever guidelines they have in print do not seem to change the excessive use of space and toolbar inconsistencies for example in the name of a new paradigm. Just compare eye of gnome, evince, and nautilus with gwenview, okular, and dolphin and you'll see what I mean. Others are free to disagree with me, but I personally don't think ui consistency is a matter of preference because we're talking about a desktop, not a work of art (maybe we should stop confusing the two)--I think consistency is good and inconsistency is bad, particularly when you're trying to attract converts.

And I certainly wouldn't recommend Kubuntu to a new user, because unfortunately a new user needs firefox integrated as best as possible from the get go, not konqueror in its current state.

directhex
March 18th, 2009, 07:54 PM
I would love to figure out how to make Java apps look like GTK under KDE. Gnome developers are pushing some really interesting technologies like Mono/Moonlight.

The first "proper" Qt app written in C# has surfaced now

Eruaran
April 7th, 2009, 04:05 PM
KDE 4 = no design taste and still too buggy. KDE 4.2 "The Answer," very arrogant.

I'm using Kubuntu 9.04 Beta 1 with KDE 4.2.2 and its fantastic. Frankly I'm sick of hearing this kind of flame bait from people who obviously aren't using it.