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Thread: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

  1. #1
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    A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Hello Ubuntu community, it's been awhile hasn't it? Not that any of you would remember me since I've only really posted in the support section a few times before giving up on Linux for awhile... yeah...

    But with the Windows 10 Insider preview coming to a close, I want to put a Linux Distro on my second HDD again. Problem is, I can't find one that fits my needs AND WORKS that I haven't already tried. Can anyone lend a hand in helping me find one?

    What I need:
    -Up-to-date graphics drivers(Proprietary only, NVIDIA 750 TI)
    -Gnome 3.14 or newer(preferably, really want 3.16)
    -Steam support
    -Decent default apps(for example, LibreOffice)
    -Firefox or Chromium web browser
    -WORKS

    Distros I've tried:
    Ubuntu 14.04
    Ubuntu Gnome 14.04
    Ubuntu Gnome 15.04
    Debian 7.8(I think?)
    Fedora 21
    SteamOS "Alchemist"

  2. #2
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    1. I have a 750ti. If you want to use an Nvidia proprietary driver, you will need a recent kernel and one of the 346 drivers from Nvidia. To use the open source Nouveau driver, I've found that the 3.19 series kernels used in 15.04 are needed. (Due, I think, to lack of info from Nvidia re: the Kepler cards.)

    2. Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 ships with 3.14. You can install 3.16 from that spin's PPA's, but many of the packages will not be release-ready. Blogs and websites that offer cut-and-paste instructions for upgrading to 3.16 often don't mention that. You should visit each PPA page on Launchpad and read any cautions and advice posted there before using them. At present, Arch (and some of its derivatives) and Fedora 22 are probably the best places to turn for Gnome 16. Gnome's release cycle and Ubuntu's release cycle are out of sync: Ubuntu releases one month after Gnome.

    I don't use Steam. but I know it's used in Ubuntu and Fedora and, I assume Arch.

    Firefox is universally available. Chromium is usually available if someone packages it for a distro. Chrome, of course, is packaged and distributed by Google for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuse.

    If Gnome 3.16 is not a must have, I'd look at Ubuntu 15.04. If Gnome 3.16 actually is a must, I'd look at Fedora 22. But, remember that Fedora does not (cannot) ship with multimedia codecs or Flash or the adustments to freetype/fontconfig that Ubuntu uses to improve font rendering. Nor does it provide packages like ubuntu-restricted-extras that allow users to install those things post-installation. Third-party repos can be enabled to provide those things. So, if you consider Fedora, I'd do a bit of research first. (Note that while many, like me, find Fedora is a fine daily desktop, it is a fast-moving distribution that debuts much new technology. Updates are numerous and frequent.)

    If you choose Ubuntu 15.04, use the "Additional Drivers" tool to install the Nvidia proprietary tool. Pick the recommended "tested" driver.

    Note that 15.04's lifetime is 9 months. Fedora 22's is effectively 13 months (was released last week).

    "WORKS" is always dependent on what we want the thing to do. On *any* distribution, Steam is an independent third-party addon that follows its own development cycle. What does that mean? It means that if the version of Steam (or something else you have installed) requires a certain Nvidia driver release and you upgrade to a newer release that is not supported, then you'll need to wait for Steam to fix things and release its own upgrade that can use the new driver (or downgrade back to the driver it can use).
    Last edited by buzzingrobot; June 3rd, 2015 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    But, remember that Fedora does not (cannot) ship with multimedia codecs or Flash or the adustments to freetype/fontconfig that Ubuntu uses to improve font rendering. Nor does it provide packages like ubuntu-restricted-extras that allow users to install those things post-installation. Third-party repos can be enabled to provide those things.
    .
    All those things can be installed by adding the rpmfusion repos (free and non free), they are kind of like Debian media or the now defunct Medibuntu ppa. Except for libdvdcss which even rpmfusion would not host. But you can either get it from videolan or the livna repo.

    In general though, I think there are a lot more precompiled packages for Ubuntu, whether from official repos or ppas.
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; June 3rd, 2015 at 01:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    All those things can be installed by adding the rpmfusion repos (free and non free), they are kind of like Debian media or the now defunct Medibuntu ppa.
    Yes, of course, it's the "third-party" repo. The OP will need to research what, specifically, to add, though, since rpmfusion doesn't offer any handy bundles. (There are some guides at the Fedora forums.) Other post-install scripts, like Fedy, are out there, but there can be issues pop up with them -- like installing repos they don't tell you about or pulling in large numbers of dependencies (I once saw one of them silently install almost all of the KDE packages as dependencies for *one* package.)

  5. #5
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Yes, of course, it's the "third-party" repo. The OP will need to research what, specifically, to add, though, since rpmfusion doesn't offer any handy bundles. (There are some guides at the Fedora forums.) Other post-install scripts, like Fedy, are out there, but there can be issues pop up with them -- like installing repos they don't tell you about or pulling in large numbers of dependencies (I once saw one of them silently install almost all of the KDE packages as dependencies for *one* package.)
    No, I wouldn't use any post install script if I don't know what it does.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Thanks, i'll try Fedora 22. But does it come with the proprietary drivers? If not, can you link a guide on doing so?

  7. #7
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesoviet View Post
    Thanks, i'll try Fedora 22. But does it come with the proprietary drivers? If not, can you link a guide on doing so?
    No proprietary drivers or code. The primary source for these is http://rpmfusion.org/, a volunteer community effort. Instructions for installing the RPMFusion repos are on that page (there are two: free and non-free) and the needed RPM's are linked there.

    Guidance on installing Nvidia's drivers from RPMFusion are here: http://rpmfusion.org/Howto/nVidia?hi...tegoryHowto%29. Be sure to read everything there, first. I've had good luck with it, but using Nvidia's (or AMD's) drivers obviously still causes problems for many. As I mentioned, Fedora upgrades frequently, including kernels. Don't be surprised to see a couple hundred updates immediately after installing Fedora 22 (and you should do those updates.)

    If an Nvidia card is active during the install, the Nouveau driver will be used.

    Speaking of updates, Fedora Gnome defaults to automatic updates. You'll see an alert in Gnome asking you to reboot to install them.

    The codecs and such you will likely want from rpmfusion are tallied here: http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-fedora-f19.html. Although it's 2 years old, the package names haven't changed and the guidance is still good. You'll see 'yum' mentioned, which was the command line package manager front end for Fedora (like apt-get in Ubuntu/Debian). Yum is replaced in F22 by 'dnf' -- same command structure, different internals.

    The GUI software app is called just "Software". You can also do updates with it. It's an application-centric program and usually won't show you a fine-grained view of repos that includes everything. For that, install "yumex-dnf", a bit of a work-in-progress, but useful. (I suggest using its search mechanism after rpmfusion is enabled to find and install those codecs.)

    Fedora wants you to use this page to download iso's: https://getfedora.org/. 'Fedora Workstation' is Gnome 3.16.2, and 'Fedora Spins' include KDE, XFCE, LXDE, and Mate/Compiz.

    Fedora docs: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/index.html.

  8. #8
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Thanks for the info. however, Fedora 22 just won't boot to the live image for me to install(via UEFI). It gets to the very last bit of the circle, hangs for a bit, and then tells me its missing two files and forces me into a "emergency" command line interface. All I did was copy the files to a USB drive, does that not work for Fedora 22?

    Edit: You say that Fedora doesn't offer the proprietary drivers, correct? Don't the open-source drivers perform worse than the proprietary drivers?
    Last edited by bluesoviet; June 4th, 2015 at 01:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    You can't copy the image. You need to "burn" the image to a USB stick or a DVD. It's a byte-for-byte transfer, not a file copy.

    Fedora has some instructions here: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US...oot-media.html. There are also howto's somewhere at ubuntu.com's download section.

    I generally use the 'dd' method, as shown at the Fedora doc link. I do add a "sync" to it to make sure everything flushes out of RAM onto the stick:

    sudo dd if=/path/to/Fedora-Live-Security-x86_64-21.iso of=/dev/sdd && sync;
    Like they say, be sure you correctly designate the destination disk. This wipes out everything on the destination disk and replaces it with the install iso.

    The 'sudo' is there because you need to be root. The process will take at least a few minutes, likely several. The prompt returns when it's completed.

    The open source Nouveau driver is fine for Gnome itself and general applications. For demanding games, you probably want the Nvidia driver. My advice would be to avoid installing a proprietary driver until you have the system otherwise setup and configured to your liking.
    Last edited by buzzingrobot; June 4th, 2015 at 02:17 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: A Linux Distro that fits my needs AND WORKS

    Not using Linux ATM, I'm currently using Windows 7 so I can't do all the fancy commands. But even when I used the programs listed in the download page and it still didn't work.

    <sigh> Whatever, I guess I won't install any Linux distro afterall. I would have thought that things might have gotten at least a little better since I last used Linux but it would appear that its still all broken and useless as I left it.

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