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Thread: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

  1. #11
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    My desktop is over a decade old (c2q-9400, or before processors went i series), and runs Lubuntu 20.04 fine (or the development release that will be released in a few months). The oldest laptop I have used today was a 2005 dell latitude d61 (single core pentium M with 1gb ram) which was running Lubuntu 18.04 LTS (used today for support purposes; thankfully I don't need it as it needs more ram, but I used it in testing Lubuntu 18.10 & 19.04 too) so I'm convinced you won't have issues with later releases.

    On initial reading of your first post, I blamed your issues on malware... after reading Catkiller's response I'm thinking I'd suggest validating the hardware too. ie.

    - a RAM test ('Test Memory' is how it appears on my d61 using Lubuntu 18.04 LTS; https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MemoryTest); full test will take awhile but I think of it as good insurance

    - check your disk health (ie. it's SMART or self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology built into most drives; https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Smartmontools) On Lubuntu 19.10 you can use KDE Partition Manager to view this info, on 18.04 LTS use `gnome-disk-utility` which appears as "Disks" in the menu), or `smartctl` via command if so inclined and love the raw data). SMART keeps loads of stats, meaning it's not real easy to understand, but maybe worthwhile being good insurance.

    For Lubuntu the pro's & con's of your release choices are as I see it

    Lubuntu 18.04 LTS - a long term support release with 3 years of life, so until 2021-April, meaning you can set it and it should be okay for some time. The negatives are it's a very old desktop (like old w2k or early xp maybe) but that's also why some people love it; it's familiar. It's big weakness though it's the last LXDE for Ubuntu or Lubuntu.

    Lubuntu switched to the LXQt desktop in 18.10 which is where future work is now performed (upstream LXDE is pretty much on life-support with most devs having moved to LXQt; there are technical reasons for this; LXDE used old GTK2 technology which is dead) The significance of this history follows...

    Lubuntu 19.10 or the 2019-October release has a short 9 months release, so installing it means you'll have to move to Lubuntu 20.04 LTS within by 2020-July. This is the hassle with using 19.10. The benefit is it has an upgrade cycle; 20.04 will have 3 years of life after you've made that jump. It is a more modern desktop, is very light, our Lubuntu manual assumes you're using LXQt now.

    (I knew touch screen works on 19.10; so I booted 18.04.4 on a sony thingy and it works there too. I can't say how well on either as I don't use touch)

    If you use Lubuntu 18.04 LTS you'll need to re-install to switch to LXQt, so that's the hidden hurdle with using Lubuntu 18.04 LTS to my thinking. The main alternative to me would be using Xubuntu 18.04 LTS (which will easily upgrade to Xubuntu 20.04 LTS), though a number of other Ubuntu flavors can be used too. As for which will be best for you; it's mostly a personal choice on what type of interface you like along the lines of which is the best cake (chocolate, banana, carrot etc) Ubuntu Flavors can be downloaded for trial via https://ubuntu.com/download/flavours. It's my opinion your box will run any Ubuntu flavor. Some are less fancy when booted up, having less flare, but they stay out of your way which actually is good; but how much frosting do you like? or really your friend likes?

    Thanks guiverc,

    I am interested in keeping this as simple as possible, so maybe Xubuntu 18.04 LTS would be the best choice, since it could be easily upgraded. I've never used Xubuntu, but I just looked at the Desktop environment on Wikipedia and, like Lubuntu, it is spare, which I like. If I were to live boot Xubuntu 18.04 LTS, what would I use to test the hardware?

    I did use such a utility once, in an Ubuntu based OS and it returned results indicating bad sectors on a hard drive. This led me to replace the HDD myself, as I mentioned in my last post.

    Would I have been able to have had such a successful trial live boot session using a thumb drive in a USB with Lubuntu if the HDD had major problems? If the HDD does indeed have major problems, would a temporary solution be live boot sessions off a USB or DVD/CD until the HDD is replaced?

    Regarding tests of the hardware, the ESET Rescue System also has a Memory Test program, Memtest 86+, so that could be used to test RAM. But the ESET Rescue System has no utility to test the HDD.

    Thanks,

    A.

  2. #12
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    Everything I said except for the discussion of LXDE/LXQt applies to Xubuntu too.

    Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop. XFCE like LXDE used to be based on GTK2; however the XFCE team ported their desktop to GTK3 unlike the LXDE team which switched to Qt (Q toolkit). The switch from GTK2 to GTK3 has been ~invisible to end-users of the system. Whilst testing Lubuntu on hardware, I use the same hardware to test Xubuntu as well (they were the other flavor to support x86 until mid-19.04 cycle), and it worked on my old pentium M laptops (the move from GTK2 to GTK3 did cause a slight drop in speed on Xubuntu which was noticeable, but on faster c2d (core 2 duo) type processors it was negligible or not noticeable at all).

    The memtest works the same with Xubuntu; I would use `gnome-disk-utility` to view SMART data in Xubuntu, or `smartctl` from command line (I won't look for xubuntu media; but a quick scan of https://packages.ubuntu.com/bionic/xubuntu-desktop makes it look like you may need to install it first, https://packages.ubuntu.com/search?s...e-disk-utility so `sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility`).

    As Xubuntu is using the toolkit (GTK+) as standard Ubuntu, you can almost use any standard Ubuntu program without wasting resources (that and you have 6GB means you don't need to worry either; 1-2GB it's a worry; 3-4 it's a consideration, 4+ considering it will waste more time than you'll likely lose)

    Booting and running a 'live' system on a box with dead/dying hard drive will work normally. The 'live' system boots from your media & runs completely from RAM so it isn't impacted, the "/" file system it creates is in the machines RAM (not disk), so the only time it may look at the disk is in booting looking for any available swap space it can use; so a sick drive may slow that process a little (a dead drive even less) before it decides it's unavailable (ie. possibly a slower boot could be the only 'tell'). On boxes with no hard drive, or dead drives; 'live' media is how I'd use them.

    A live system is slower (the media comes from a squashfs or compressed; so it needs to decompress before it can use anything from the media - the decompression won't occur on an installed image, that and slightly slower performance in reading is the difference).

    SMART is built into the drive itself; a number of programs will read the data off the drive, some of them can cause the drive to kick off it's own testing, but I would first just read the stats off the drive to see if it considers itself healthy. Testing the drive is optional.

  3. #13
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    That system is Haswell based, so should be UEFI/gpt.
    Microsoft required vendors to install in UEFI boot mode starting with Windows 8 in 2012. Only systems that were upgrades from Windows 7 may be BIOS/MBR configuration.

    Post this:
    sudo parted -l

    Not sure if this works or not to remove hibernation flag on the NTFS partition(s).
    https://askubuntu.com/questions/1459...to-hibernation

    Best to boot Windows and shutdown without hibernation - all similar instructions:
    Fast Start up off (always on hibernation), note that Windows turns this back on with updates, SHIFT + Shut down button
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...2#post13488472
    http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/4...dows-10-a.html
    http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
    https://www.windowscentral.com/how-d...0-fast-startup
    Fred,

    Thanks,

    AbleTassie

    Here is the output you requested for sudo parted -l: Sorry, I could not take screenshot as this is a live session. I also tried to straighten up table and could not.

    (ALSO SEE LATER EDIT BELOW WITH DISKS TESTS, THERE APPEARS TO BE A DISK PROBLEM.)


    To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
    See "man sudo_root" for details.

    Code:
    lubuntu@lubuntu:~$ sudo parted-l
    sudo: parted-l: command not found
    lubuntu@lubuntu:~$ sudo parted -l
    Model: ATA ST500LM012 HN-M5 (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
    Partition Table: gpt
    Disk Flags: 
    
    Number  Start        End          Size         File system       Name                                     Flags
     1          1049kB    525MB     524MB           ntfs             Basic data partition                  hidden, diag
     2          525MB     840MB     315MB          ntfs             Basic data partition                   hidden, diag
     3          840MB     945MB     105MB                             EFI  system partition                 boot, esp
     4          945MB    1079MB    134MB                             Microsoft reserved partition        msftres
     5          1079MB    500GB     499GB          ntfs          Basic data partition                        msftdata
     6          500GB      500GB     473MB          ntfs                                                              hidden, diag
    
    
    Warning: The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes, but
    Linux says it is 512 bytes.
    Ignore/Cancel?

    LATER EDIT:
    I took some pictures of the output of the DISKS utility and the associated SMART data & self tests and a picture of the screen of the output of the sudo parted -l command that Old Fred recommended the photos are attached. It looks like there is a HDD problem, as Disk Failure is predicted.

    DISKS-utility-output.jpgSMART-test1.jpgSMART-test2.jpgPhotoScreenOutputOldFredCommand.jpg
    Last edited by oldfred; January 26th, 2020 at 03:31 PM. Reason: tried to straighten up table, but it did not work

  4. #14
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    You can copy & paste terminal output directly here from a live installer's Firefox.
    You use code tags to preserve formatting. # icon in forum's advanced editor.
    Added tags & tried to clean up a bit, but if copied from terminal it just works.

    Best to make sure you have good backups and get a new drive.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #15
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    Thanks to everybody for their responses, especially OldFred, guiverc, CatKiller, but also Skaperen,

    I have taken into account everything that each of you has said. I have a few remaining questions before marking this thread as SOLVED.

    I plan to tell my friend he needs a new HDD. I'll have to remember to do a memtest86+ to check his RAM as well.

    In the meantime, while waiting for the disk and installation, I will make a bootable USB of Xubuntu 18.04 LTS that allows changes so that we can enter his wifi router password. His hand eye coordination is poor enough that it is a hardship to enter even a minimal length password, especially repeatedly. And I will try to change the boot order in his BIOS to boot off the USB drive first.

    I downloaded via torrent an Xubuntu 18.04 LTS and I checked the SHA256SUM and it matched the downloaded iso file.

    Questions: (1) Is it really necessary to do the GPG key verification? It is pretty laborious as I remember, and I would need to relearn it.

    (2) If he uses the thumb drive for many live boot sessions, or continuously, is the thumb drive liable to wear out quickly? One of my concerns is that he is going to say, "Why can't I just keep doing this with this thing (the thumb drive), and not order a new hard drive?" He doesn't even know what a thumb drive is. I had thought of using a DVD disk, but I believe I would not be able to allow changes so his wifi router password to be recorded.

    (3) Since it is not my PC, I was interested in trying to allow him the option in the future to use the Windows 8.1 Pro that came with the PC new, IF he should want to. (I am going to use Xubuntu in the meantime.) I think given the fact that his hard drive appears essentially dead (and I can't really mount it, at least easily, with Lubuntu), and he has no original disks or documentation for the Windows 8.1 Pro, it appears that there is no way to find his original Windows license on the hard drive, short of some costly sophisticated procedure. Is this correct? Are there cheap legal Windows 8.1 Pro licenses that can be obtained at this point?

    Thank you,

    Able
    Last edited by AbleTassie; January 27th, 2020 at 07:54 AM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    (1) If the SHA256SUM was correct; I'd not worry about the GPG check myself.

    (2) thumb-drives last pretty well when being READ, it's the WRITE that really causes the wear. Sandisk thumb-drives tend to give me 3-6 months of reliable use before they start becoming a hassle (ie. compares of saved data no longer match what I wrote to the media), but that is how I use them. I have other thumb-drives where I wrote data on it 6-8 years ago and I'd expect to be perfect (ie. little writing was done to that media). Note: I'm no expert with thumb-drives, this is observational from my use (I've used about 9 today so far, writing 2 ISOs). (I mainly use them for writing ISO's on them, ie. overwriting most of the media; not just little writes)

    Sorry can't help with (3)

  7. #17
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    1: If you mean checking the files, it's not difficult; when you boot the install image there's a "check for defects" option that checks every file against its hash. It's more useful for optical media than a thumb drive, since you might have had a bad burn, but it's pretty easy.

    2: All flash media has a finite lifetime. SSDs overprovision and have robust controllers and power circuitry, so their expected lifetime is the same or longer than that of hard drives. Thumb drives have some reasonable protective casing, and their own controllers, so a good thumb drive can last quite a while - I still use a 32 MB thumb drive, that I got free when The Bourne Ultimatum came out, when I'm doing BIOS upgrades. SD cards have no controllers and essentially no casing: they are optimised for being tiny and being cheap. They don't last very long at all.

    3: I understand that if you're using UEFI Windows licence keys can be stored there in some fashion. The last version of Windows I used was win2k, so I couldn't tell you how to use that information to reinstall Windows.

  8. #18
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    (3) The Windows key(s) is indeed store in the EPROM, not in any storage device. So, you can at any time reinstall Windows just by downloading the ISO from MIcrosoft and burning it to a USB stick and it will activate just fine. Also don't forget downloading the heaps of drivers for that model.

  9. #19
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    Thanks to everybody again,

    I made a boot-able thumb drive with Xubuntu 18.04 LTS on it for live sessions. (I made it with the mkusb version dus.) I want to allow my disabled friend to use his PC for playing solitaire and email until I can obtain and install a new hard drive. I think a fully installed version of Xubuntu 18.04 LTS would work well for the interim.

    For that reason I hope to make a fully installed version of Xubuntu 18.04 LTS on another thumb drive using the procedure described at this article, Run Ubuntu 18.04 from USB stick , unless anybody here cautions me otherwise. My friend would use this full install version of Xubuntu with the thumb drive in place essentially all the time until I obtain and get the new hard drive.

    Thanks,

    A.

  10. #20
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    Re: Need advice for installing Lubuntu

    It will probably work well enough until you install a new hard disk drive (or SSD if you want to be modern) with an installed system according to that link.

    But on the other hand, it might also work to replace the cloned live-only Xubuntu system with a persistent live system in the USB thumb drive. mkusb can do it for you. And that system should also work well enough to install and run solitaire and an email client, and due to the way it manages the memory it will not wear the drive as much as an installed system.

    Whichever method you use, I think it will work. Good luck

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