Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

One computers' Linux experience

I have a trusty old IBM sitting next to me. Yep, An actual IBM, pre selloff. I have had this machine for a pretty long time actually.

Not much to it. I added an Nvidea GeForce FX 5500 Video card a year or so ago and a Western Digital 120 gb hd. It only has 768 mb of ram and an Intel p4 processor.

Despite not being what most would call a super powered machine, this computer runs Linux on it. Actually, it dual boots Windows XP Pro and PCLinuxOS 2009.1

This install of XP Pro has been installed since the HD was installed. I have had no trouble with it, it has not had one single virus. I run a good firewall on it and anti-virus at all times. Truth be told, XP only gets booted about twice a week for an hour or so at a shot. Only when the kids or the wife wants to run an app that is Win only they really liked.

Since the HD was installed, It had PCLinuxOS 2007 installed on it.On the old had, It had started with Ubuntu 6.4 which lasted about 6 months then went through a flurry of installs from about five other distros.

It finally settled on PCLOS 2007 before the HD died.

Why PCLOS? That's the one the family agreed on. It stays a permanent fixture on this one machine. On the other machines, laptops, servers, etc.. I run here, there is only one other instance of PCLOS running and that is as a test bed as a LAN server. That's another story though for an other time.

I myself lean toward Debian most often. Well, Debian or a derivative, like Sidux.

Anyway, I digress. This IBM was just updated to 2009.1 over the whole time there was only one 'bad' incident running Linux on this machine and that was my fault, because being the genius I am, I didn't back up a partition before I resized it. Heh, heh heh . hmmm. Not so bright, but, not the distros fault, just my incredible overconfidence and being in a hurry.

Cameras, mp3 players, USB sticks, all kinds of devices get plugged into this install and so far not much trouble to talk about. Admittedly, I try to search and buy products I find are noted to, or should, work with Linux

Homework assignments are done using OpenOffice. Reports and spreadsheets made and printed for business and day to day stuff.

It gets used like a normal computer should on a daily basis. Games get played on it , a lot, the kids love the Linux games for the most part. there's a motorcycle one and one where you move Tux like the old Mario Bros, games and a 3d one with dwarves or something. A 3d golf and ball-on-a-table game. I can't keep track. my kids are younger, so there aren't any FPS games or the like installed.

They watch movies on the computer (especially when a brother or sister is watching something else on the living room TV.) Play music, they even watch old TV shows online. They say they are OK with the slow playback online, but I admit, this machine could use a RAM boost to playback more smoothly.

The range of ages of people using this computer is from 5 to 40 years old. Mostly KDE is used on it, the default from PCLOS, except when I am using it. Then it's Xfce. HA.

When asked, the computer phobic wife and the kids all say that using the system, finding the way around menus and just 'doing' things in general isn't really much different from learning to get around in Windows and in some cases even prefer the Linux setups.

Here's something kind of cool.

On this older, low powered computer, one can, run a remaster, play a DVD movie, have a web browser open, Xchat, pidgin and, burn an ISO to cd all at the same time. Not one messup. I kid you not. Nothing slowed down, nothing had an eror.

Now, I don't recommend people actually do that type of thing all the time, but, as usual, I wasn't really focusing on one thing and got carried away. Nice to know Linux can handle that.

XP Pro will choke just playing back music and burning a file to cd. Same machine, same specs. I've done it.

So, this old machine likes Linux. It performs at it's best using Linux.

I suppose , in answer to the question "When will Linux be ready for the user desktop?"

It was ready almost two years ago in this house. Children use it daily, as well as computer phobic wives and memory challenged mad computer geniuses. (The 'genius' part is up for speculation.)

Have fun, Learn lots.

Big Bear

More in Tux Machines

KNOPPIX 7.7.1 Distro Officially Released with Debian Goodies, Linux Kernel 4.7.9

Believe it or not, Klaus Knopper is still doing his thing with the KNOPPIX GNU/Linux distribution, which was just updated to version 7.7.1 to offer users the latest open source software and technologies. Read more

CentOS 6 Linux Servers Receive Important Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

We reported a couple of days ago that Johnny Hughes from the CentOS Linux team published an important kernel security advisory for users of the CentOS 7 operating system. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.