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Thread: Grumbling again about Linux

  1. #1
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    Grumbling again about Linux

    I'm now almost 71 years old. I've been involved with computers since their infancy. I grew up with MSDOS. I ebraced Windows. Until it got unweildly.

    But Linux has always intrigued me. I've tried almost every distro from the early days until now. But if I want to get something done; to make my computer productive I always have to go back to Windows.

    I was recently telling a friend about this ... And that got me to thinking: I haven't given the new Ubuntu a try recently. I D/L the 64-bit Ubuntu 13 live and it was sweet. So I tried to install it beside Windows 8. Almost lost my Windows 8. Three days lost, but I recoverd my Win8, but I'm still trying. My problem had something to do with EUFI. So I studied up on that but I think I need one of the LTS versions. I'll worl on dual-boot and EUFI vs. lagacy later, maybe.

    So today I got the Ubuntu 12.4.2 LTS, fired it up and it's not as good as the latest (13.x), but that's not so bad. I ran the Live CD and I fired up Firefox and LINUX STRIKES AGAIN!! I get an error message that the Internet cable isn't connected. Well Windows 8 thinks the cable is connected. The computer hasn't moved. I don't have a cat. I took out the Live CD and rebooted and I'm now using Windows 8 using the Internet to type this.

    I've never had much luck trouble-shooting Linux. I've had friends help me in the past but they get into a multitude of command line statements that are way over my head. I don't want to write code to have to type a letter; I don't want to take apart my computer to run a Linux program or go on the Internet. I just want to get on the Internet. Maybe try e-mailing on a Live CD.

    Before I die (the male side of my family generally doesn't get too far beyond 74 years of age) I'd like to functionally "use" Linux.

    So, why would a Live CD of Ubuntu 13.x connect to the Internet, Windows 8 would connect to the Internet, but a Live CD of 12.4.2 won't. Nothing's changed on the computer. And I'm running a screaming Gigabyte GA-Z77x-Ud3x (not overclocked - yet) with 16 GB ram and a fistful of hard drives and using cable for my Internet service.

    There is one thing I can say about Linux/Ubuntu, though. For me, it's never worked so that I could do anything with it. All my Linux time ihas been used to try to make it work.

    Obviously an answer won't be forthcoming. I just wanted to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening (reading). I will call again to read comments, though. I do applaud the spirit of Linux, but it's not a tool: it's a hobby. ...Unfortunately, not mine.

    Old Martian
    Ohio
    Last edited by Oldmartian; May 13th, 2013 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Kubuntu

    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    If it's very new, perhaps there wasn't built-in driver support for your network card in 12.04.2. That's just my best guess. I've only run into problems supporting hardware when I'm on the bleeding edge, which usually leaves me with anemia and a pocketbook full of nothing save regret.

    ETA: I'd also suspect that 13.04 would be better with UEFI than 12.04.2, simply because they've been working on it, but I must admit that every attempt I've made at installing with a GPT partition has failed miserably, (my last attempt being with 12.10) though the installations will boot successfully in a VM running under Windows. I suspect foul play on Microsoft's part.
    Last edited by Ranko Kohime; May 12th, 2013 at 03:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    I guess it depends on what you are trying to do that is productive. I am also an 'old fart' but did not grow up with MS-DOS or embrace Windows -- I grew up with Unix, have been working with Unix and Unix-like systems since the 1970s, and have done a lot of productive work with them. I have not had much trouble getting Linux systems to work for me, generally I use Debian or CentOS for servers and Ubuntu (actually Xubuntu now) for desktop use. I am currently running Xubuntu 12.04 LTS on my desktop, a couple of laptops, and a netbook and have not had any serious issues. I also run Linux (Tomato) on my router. None of my PCs run Windows and I don't have any Apple systems. For what I do, Linux fits the bill very nicely.

    Your network connection problem sounds like it is a driver issue, if your hardware is very new there just may not be driver support for your network card. In a situation like that I would just get an Intel gigabit card, they perform well and are well-supported under Linux. (I know you said you don't want to take apart your computer, but on most systems installing a network card is really no more complex than screwing in a light bulb. Alternatively if you really don't want to open up the computer case a Linux-compatible USB network card would suffice.)

    There are certainly other distributions you can try as well to see if they work better on your hardware.

  4. #4
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    Can't give you a specific answer, but the general answer to why a newer version of Ubuntu works better with your hardware than an older version is simple -- the newer version comes with updated drivers.

    Unfortunately, the opposite can also be true in Linux -- the newer version comes WITHOUT drivers because support for them was dropped with an older version. This has happened to fold who still have an AMD 2x/3x/4x-series card and want to continue to use fglrx drivers with those with new Ubuntu versions -- as they did with older versions. Starting last summer, AMD quit writing drivers for those cards.

    As to the networking problem, if you post the hardware info (from an "lspci" command) in the hardware forum, or do a search on the networking hardware info, you may be able to get answers.
    Ubuntu 15.04 Mate, Mint 17.1; MS Win 8.1, Win10 TP.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  5. #5
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    May I show the other side of the coin?

    I have been able to use Ubuntu productively ever since I first installed Ubuntu 7.04. I was able to get the data from my Windows based documents into libreoffice and the one Windows application that I need to use and that does not have a Linux version, I have been able to use under Wine. I have been using the Ubuntu development branch as a daily work machine since about September 2010. I take precautions for when things break. They do break sometimes. I am posting this from Saucy Salamander development branch. If we are swapping ages, then I am 65 years old.

    How old is that version of 12.04? There have been 2 point releases of 12.04 since it was first released. Each point release brings in the latest Linux firmware code from the Linux developers. If a person downloads 12.04 to day they will not get 12.04 but 12.04.2. Point release 2 might have the firmware for your hardware. That is the purpose of point releases, to keep the LTS up to date without throwing too much change at the user. Ubuntu 12.04.2 should also deal with EFI boot systems and secure boot enabled EFI boot systems.

    Use the last version of Ubuntu. Support for UEFI appeared in 11.10, but has become more reliable in next versions. Support for UEFISecureBoot appeared in 12.10 and 12.04.2.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

    Regards.
    Last edited by grahammechanical; May 12th, 2013 at 03:45 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  6. #6
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    Not a support thread. So...

    Thread moved to Ubuntu, Linux and OS Chat.
    Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop Guide - Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop Guide - Forum Guide to BBCode - IRC #ubuntuforums

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    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  7. #7
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    This subforum (General Help) is for specific support questions.
    Generalized grumbling should go here: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=434

    EDIT: coffeecat's reading my mind

  8. #8
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmartian View Post
    There is one thing I can say about Linux/Ubuntu, though. For me, it's never worked so that I could do anything with it. All my Linux time ihas been used to try to make it work.
    I started with Linux (MEPIS) about 9 years ago. For a while I used it alongside of Windows. Now I use Linux exclusively.

    It can take a lot of patience to get things working, but I think it's worth the reward of not being dependent on big companies that want to you pay them (over and over again) for the privilege of using a computer, and being stuck with doing it "their way".

    Are there any Linux user groups in your area? That could be helpful in getting you started.

  9. #9
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    I am also a linux oldbee - but with these newer issues of Ubuntu, I have had nothing but frustration. I've been with Ubuntu since 7.04 and before that RedHat 6 and 7, (and msdos 3.3 and upwards in the microsoft camp until W98) and I know Gnome 2 just about as well as I can, but this Gnome 3 thing is completely wrong. It is difficult to configure, and is really beyond my ability to care anymore - myself, I'm still with 11.04, since I figure it's about as good as Ubu will get. Gnome 3 may be great for newbies who don't care about how they want it and default is good enough (too engrained in msdos windows desktops and portable device screens) My partner has 12.04 and she has asked me to remove a couple of launchers from her panel - I've spent on and off a couple of hours working on that and have got absolutely nowhere. I did modify them so they point to secure local things on her computer (6 month old Asus laptop) but I can't tell her how they got there, or why I can't seem to remove them. <snip>

    Now to help oldmartian - the easiest way around the issue you are having is go get a 8.04 live install cd, and use that. then you can work upward - I repair old computers, and ran into this same situation not long ago - the newer issues of Ubu are similar to XP and especially W7 which assume that all the older hardware is never going to be used again so do not include much support for legacy devices. 8.04 was a good release, because it supports everything I have installed it on that was built in this century anyway! Wireless and all! I hope this backward facing advise may help you - older Ubu - good, newer Ubu, - less good

    This post officially breaks my boycott of the Ubu forums - depending if this post actually makes it to the forum or not
    John
    Last edited by cariboo; May 12th, 2013 at 08:10 PM. Reason: removed complaint about a warning
    .

  10. #10
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    Re: Grumbling again about Linux

    Networking doesn't work out of the box in windows on all computers either. I've seen plenty of computers where a clean windows install doesn't have working wired or wireless until you go and find the driver. In my experience linux is usually better when it comes to things like this working out of the box, windows just has the advantage of usually coming preinstalled from the OEM with all drivers, and hardware manufactorers almost always provide an installer for windows drivers, whilst in linux sometimes you may have to do a little bit in the commandline for it to work. Linux can't be expected to work out of the box on all hardware, especially when hardware manufacturers don't always support linux, its just unrealistic to even expect that... Just looking at the amount of hardware linux DOES support out of the box is impressive IMO.

    Ubuntu 13.04 probably works for you because it has a significantly newer kernel than 12.04, and this new kernel must include a new driver that supports your network card, whilst 12.04's kernel does not because its older. New hardware support is *constantly* added with each new linux kernel, its entirely possible that a distro with an older kernel won't work well for some hardware.

    Eventually 12.04 will get 13.04's kernel backported with the 12.04.3 release (ubuntu LTS releases get regular "hardware-enablement" updates where backported kernels are made available. 12.04 came with kernel 3.2 originally, and it now has kernel 3.5 available, and will eventually have 13.04's 3.8 kernel available), so when that happens you would probably be able to use 12.04 with things working out of the box
    Last edited by screaminj3sus; May 12th, 2013 at 06:43 PM.
    Desktop: Windows 8 x64 | Intel Core i5-2500 | 16 GB DDR3 1333 | ATI 6950 2gb | 64gb Vertex 2/320gb/750gb/1tb hdd
    Laptop: System76 Lemur Ultra | Xubuntu 13.04 x64 | 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5-3210m | 8GB DDR31600 | Intel HD4000 | 500GB 7200rpm hybrid hdd

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