The nuts and bolts => Technical General => Topic started by: haywire on July 02, 2010, 07:20:49 am

Title: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 02, 2010, 07:20:49 am
My vectorlinux box crashed very hard recently. Almost always, I am able to fix it. This time, I tried for 3 or 4 nights to no avail.

Would not boot. Not sure what the problem was but part of it was hardware, 3ghz machine kept having cpu overheating problems.
Last night it it would overheat and die before I could get in even to text boot and fix anything to get it booting.

I've been interested in trying xbuntu for awhile, so I switched out machines to an older 2ghz dell and installed xbuntu.
When I did so, I was able to load my vector drive and copy off my wallpapers, icons, documents, music, amiga os and dos directories, which
had an incredible amount of stuff on them.  Compiz works with the video I had around, an older nvidia.

So I'm at a slightly slower pc with xbuntu because I was very tempted by the amazing amount of point click and install stuff in
the ubuntu repositories. This computer, even being 1ghz slower, sure boots faster, (about 90 seconds faster than vector on 3ghz)
and I installed tons of stuff that vector dosn't have or dosn't work. Seems a bit faster at 2ghz than vector does at 3ghz, at least for
general usage. Vector wins for heavy loads I think.

Not sure I like ubuntu. Its tougher to customize and after you try some of that software you've wanted for vector for a long time you realize you would
not use most of it anyway. It IS stable and I can have lots of software I couldn't have before...but something seems missing.

Now I'm thinking of wiping the drive and starting over with vector again. I'm giving it a bit more time I think before deciding what to do.
I see the advantages of ubuntu very clearly but I kind of feel like I moved in to a much bigger house in a swanky neighborhood but
then realized its not what I really wanted. I really can't decide what to do.

I would like to be a greater part of whatever community I decide to stay in. I think I need that somehow because I'm crazy passionate about this,
and perhaps there is more room in vector than elsewhere. I will be off on a new path for awhile... But you never know where that path may lead
you, it can sometimes lead you right back to where you started I suppose.

Warmest regards,


Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: retired1af on July 02, 2010, 07:58:18 am
I've tried Ubuntu (for all of 30 minutes) and Mint (which is an Ubuntu derivative). While they have their strong points (geared towards the Linux newb) I really didn't like either distro. First, the devs take too much for granted as far as what they feel should be included, changed, or not included. Programs are changed in how they behave or changed to have certain options removed. There's FAR too much "point and click" which really doesn't solve the issue of mindless users who can't find their way out of a wet paper bag when something goes wrong. Add a strong reliance on sudo to get things done and now you have a headache when something needs to be tweaked or fixed at the cli.

Don't get me wrong. I think Ubuntu is great for someone who wants to give Linux a whirl and uses it as a stepping stone to greater and better things. But I view Ubuntu in the same light as I view OS X and Windows. The development mindset is "we know better than you, so just lie back and enjoy the ride". Screw that.
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: nightflier on July 02, 2010, 09:27:50 am
There is no denying the success of Ubuntu. It has many strong points, one of which is their wubi-installer. To a Windows user it is just like any other program. You download an installer, double-click on it, and keep clicking "Next". If you want to remove it, you use Add/Remove Programs. Uninstalls in 3 seconds, no traces left. The Windows-like (or Mac-like) experience continues when you use the distro. All point and click. Most decisions made for you. Not what most VL users prefer, but probably a better fit for millions of others.

Steven, if your computer is having overheating problems, that could explain why it runs slow. Modern CPUs throttle back when they get warm. The heat may have put it into "limp mode".
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: nitehawk on July 02, 2010, 12:19:35 pm
I have used Mint 8,...but that is about as far as I will get to Ubuntu.  ;D  My main computer is a P4-2.8Ghz--1G ram--160G hard drive...and I have to say that Vector 6.0 Std is way faster than Mint.  (Seems to me).  I don't care for all that "pre-selected" stuff in Mint, either.  According to my Conky,...Vector is only using 6% of ram at idle (LXde)... (Mint is higher).  In "Mandriva Free", ram usage (via Conky) was about 9% ram with LXDE.  So I have to say that for a linux distro that has all the codecs pre-installed,...Vector wins hands-down for me.  Mind you,...I still have that peculiar problem of not being able to browse Ebay in Vector (when I can in any other distro).  But that's a tiny, minor, little problem compared to how well Vector works (in comparision to other distros). 
  Actually,...I remember trying Xubuntu several years ago.  I have not been interested in trying it since.   ::)
My main machine was overheating on me a little bit ago....
I discovered that the main fan over the CPU had gone out,..(replaced it with El Ebay Especial).  Works now.
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 02, 2010, 04:06:45 pm
I think I agree with you guys. One other thing. I was having a few problems customizing my desktop under xbuntu, so I joined the ubuntu forums and asked a few questions. 16 hours later, my questions are now on page 17 of their general help forum, no replies or answers but it did take 20 minutes just to find my thread... Just to find no replies or answers...

I was trying to place some icons on the desktop to access the physical hard drives. Unless I'm retarted I could do that with vector by using thunar and the path to the drive. Xbuntu puts sda1 and sda2 in /dev as a file not a folder so you apparently can't just thunar that file, at least doing so didn't work. still pulling my hair out a bit trying to figure out how to fix this, very frustrating.

I do like their software manager and the synaptic package manager too. Its basically like they have just about every piece of linux software you ever wanted to try but didn't feel like fighting to get working. That part is good. It boots very fast (20 seconds from power on the desktop) since I rarely
rebooted vector, thats not such a big deal though.

Cinelerra didn't work with mov or mpeg files, so its worthless because I don't edit video with ogg files, and don't feel like converting hundreds of files.
Kdenlive and a few others work, but then those work on vector too.

I believe most of my problems with wanting more software under vector can be fixed by me learning to use slackware packages, and also learning more about compiling from source tarballs. In the end it is better to know what your doing rather than going for the convienance of point and click.
I think I'm giving it a few more days before I fire up the vector standard again and just rebuild my system that way again...

Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 02, 2010, 04:15:19 pm
I should have mentioned... My latest vector box had a dual core 3ghz processor that has had overheating problems many times since I got it.
I tried new thermal paste, and even adding a couple of ghetto fans inside (older pentium 2 and 3 fans I believe, pointed right at the cpu) I also tried slotting one side of the case to allow better airflow...  Then I cut out a hole for a pretty large exhaust fan on the other side of the case, and installed an exhaust fan. The system works for 4 or 5 hours and then shuts itself off due to the processor overheating. I'm kinda pissed because it has 4 gigs of ram, but its common ram I can probably use in another system, I think that thing is dead its just not worth any more aggravation trying to save it... Time for a quad core linux box soon enough I think... But I'm broke so for now, this 2ghz dell box works fine, and no OH SHIT! moments like before when the 3ghz box died suddenly in the middle of working (when I didn't save what I was working on of course in hours)

Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 02, 2010, 05:22:04 pm
So much for a few more days... After some more xbuntu hair pulling, I am formating and re-installing vector on this computer.

Unfortunately, I tried to just stick my old vector hard drive in this pc but it won't boot, Goes to blue screen where vector normally tells you whats loading and freezes. Can't run text mode either....When I try to boot the system from cd-rom to asks me for a run level and for each says there are no more processes for this run level or something like that? Never seen this problem before...

So anyhow, I setup my old vector drive a secondary drive, and am installing vector on another drive. At least all my stuff is still there on my old drive.
I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the ten tons of time it will take to get my desktop back the way I like it...


Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 02, 2010, 09:43:59 pm
Steven, if you can mount the old drive in your new installation you should be able to get back to your desktop the way you like it fairly easily if you do this:

Boot with linux-tui if you can. Then mount the old drive at a mount point in your new Linux installation. As root, open Midnight Commander at a command prompt. Rename your present /home/username directory to /home/username_old. Copy your /home/username directory in the mounted old drive into /home/username on your new installation. The idea is that your old home directory is now the home directory in your new VectorLinux installation. Once it's copied, you should be able to do startx or the specific start command for your desktop environment (e.g., startxfce4 of XFce is your desktop environment).  You should now have your old desktop back. If you're missing programs, you can install bunches from one session of Gslapt if they're in the repos.

If anything goes wrong, you can always get back to your original setup in the new VL installation by deleting the copied /home/username directory and renaming /home/username_old to /home/username. When you restart X, you should be right back to where you were when you installed the new VL.

I've done this dozens of times during testing for new releases of VL, where we may install many releases and I sure don't want to rebuild my desktop that I already spent a good amount of time getting the way I like it.

When you tried to start from the installation CD, did you do this:
linux root=/dev/sda1 ro init 2

(change /dev/sda1 to the right designation for your drive)

The above command should get you started in text mode. Make sure that your computer is actually booting from the CD and not just bringing up the boot loader from the hard drive.

If your CPU is overheating, make sure that you clean off all traces of any thermal paste and then put on a VERY THIN coating of Arctic Silver or whatever paste you're using. The temptation is to put on too much paste, which actually reduces the conductivity.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: M0E-lnx on July 03, 2010, 10:28:04 am
Trust me, ubuntu may look sleek and all, and it is a good os, but its a really bad linux. I've been there too. But it ends the very same way every time for me. Eventually there comes the time where I need to do something out of the ordinary and end up stuck with a bad install and lots of data to be move around again. There have been many times when I wished I had vasm available and realized there is nothing like it anywhere else. And their community is just as bad. Go to their irc channel and ask your question, only to find every one shouting "RTFM". Not exactly the most user friendly community.
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 03, 2010, 04:40:23 pm
I tried getting my old desktop back, but it kept freezing up before getting to the desktop. Not sure what the problem was, but I was content to just get all my files back and redo my desktop on the new installation. All my wallpapers and icons are there on hdb1 now, so it was just a matter of redoing my panels and whatever. Not very happy to go from 3ghz dual core to 2ghz single core, but at least the whole system is working without overheating problems. These older 2ghz dell's aren't too bad if you have a decent video card.

I'm going to see if I can't redo the thermal paste AGAIN on the 3ghz machine, but I think its toast. Its time for finding a new quad core barebones system on ebay that I can just transfer my ram, video card and hard drives to. I'm broke right now, I think I'm going to have a virtual yard sale on ebay and use the funds generated to get a new quadcore barebones system. God knows I should have enough junk around here to finance a decent used barebones system.

As far as xbuntu verses vector... Xbuntu seems nice at first use, but then when you go try to change things or do anything besides point and click... It gets hairy under that hood.
The ubuntu community, I guess they do their best but two days and my questions still not answered on their forums, now on page 27, so who will ever see those questions and answer them?  Their software depositories make me jealous a bit, but they don't have much vector couldn't get with some time and work I suppose.

You guys are right its a nice os for someone to try linux, but its not in my opinion a good "LINUX". Xbuntu makes too many assumptions and locks off too many things for my tastes. I got kind of used to the control freak way I do things, and I have to be able to modify everything I see to my specific tastes. When I can't do that, I get a little ocd
and go a little crazy.

In any case, I'm back to stay, and now you guys are stuck with me...


Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: nightflier on July 03, 2010, 05:44:09 pm
And we're glad to have you back.  :)
Title: Re: Off on a new path. Maybe not...
Post by: haywire on July 07, 2010, 08:51:06 pm
Glad to be back, new vectorbox is working nicely so far. Its a bit slower than my old box, but not so bad...