News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Running Linux on old laptop??

    Posted on LHiggins Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Running Linux on old laptop??

    This topic contains 290 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Ascaris 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #341924 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Hello! Everyone here has been very helpful in my quest for a possible replacement of Win 7 with Linux. Today I have a question about trying out Linux on an old laptop that I have that I no longer use, before I try to make the switch on my “good” laptop.

      Here are the specs:

      It is a 2007 HP dv6700 Notebook running Vista 32 bit. It has a Core 2 duo T5550 1.83 GHz processor with 3 GB ram – about 3/4 of that is currently free. It also has a DVD drive.

      It does not connect to the Internet and I am not sure if it has a wireless card even – which I guess would be an issue – something to check into.

      I very rarely start it up just to see if it still works – it used to have a wake from sleep issue that I am testing now – it seems to boot from complete shutdown without issues now – that wasn’t always the case, but maybe being used only once or twice a year for 10 minutes has somehow cured that?

      I also don’t even have a battery for it anymore.

      My question then – could I possibly try installing Linux on it – I could download it onto a DVD from my working desktop computer possibly.

      What might I need to check or know before doing that and would it be able to handle a light version of Linux.

      Thanks for the help and suggestions! And please feel free to say – no way would that work  since it is quite old and slow – LOL!

      LH

    • #341940 Reply

      Microfix
      Da Boss

      Plugged into the mains with ethernet connection for internet access, you’re certain to be able to use it online as a stationary device.
      For your assistance, there’s more info on linux here:
      https://linuxjourney.com/

      My recommendation would be to look at LXQT, LXDE or XFCE versons of linux see:
      https://distrowatch.com/index.php?distribution=all&release=all&month=all&year=all

      MX Linux 32/64bit (XFCE) will run no problem with that H/W setup which comes, as standard, with a multitude of utilities to further enhance your experience and tweak the OS over time.
      Probably best to use a flashdrive to store the iso for installation as you’ll find later that if this distro isn’t for you, you can nuke and create a different distro live iso without wasting CD’s. Your Lappy should boot from usb (bios setting)

      ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #341939 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      hi LHiggins,

      your HP will run Linux, find a distro (Disrtowatch)        https://distrowatch.com/

      you like and download the ISO and unpack it (make it bootable) on a dvd or usb stick, set your bios to boot from the media and give it a whirl. enjoy!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #341944 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      You could try booting a “live” session with Ubuntu to check the hardware. The install media will boot to a “live” session to allow to you test your system before you decide to install it on the hard disk.

      Get Ubuntu here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download

      Here are the various official “flavors”, or desktop environments (DE) of Ubuntu. https://www.ubuntu.com/download/flavours

      With older hardware I would start out with Lubuntu https://lubuntu.me/ or Xubuntu https://xubuntu.org/  as they have lighter desktop environments (LXQt; Xfce). So that means somewhat lighter RAM and CPU resource demands than the flagship Ubuntu distro.

      LXQt – https://lxqt.org/

      Xfce – https://xfce.org/

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #341976 Reply

      DavidForrest57
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ve trodden this path myself, on an even older Dell Latitude D600 (ca. 2003).

      I found this helpful:

      https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/14912/create-a-persistent-bootable-ubuntu-usb-flash-drive/

      In the end I settled on installing Xubuntu 18.04, dual booting with the original XP Pro SP3.

      You’ve got lots of options, as other posters have attested. You can even load a USB stick with several distros using YUMI; I wish I’d known that earlier as I was scrabbling around for spare USB sticks!

      The Linux & Ubuntu distros work with ethernet connection out of the box, but sometimes getting the wi-fi working needs some investigation.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342006 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hm, yeah, it should work. Might prefer to upgrade the RAM if you find spare 4 GB DDR2 SODIMM modules real cheap.

      A dv6700 usually has an Intel 4965 for wifi, that model should work “out of the box” – needs closed firmware but Intel allows redistribution.

      One of the “lighter” desktop environments is recommended – even if the dv6700 might have a Geforce 8400M GS. I should still have at least one of the non-M version stashed around here somewhere… it at least used to be an excellent GPU for Linux (and I mean better than for Windows even when fairly new, the hardware h.264 decode feature never worked with Windows and…).

      I mean, I have one laptop of approximately the same age in daily use, should be the same motherboard chipset too. Running Xubuntu 16.04 here.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342026 Reply

      Berton123
      AskWoody Lounger

      Numerous version of the Bootable Linux LiveDVD or LiveCD as well as installed versions have the USB Image Writer feature, works good but the USB drive may be reformatted.  This image is from my Linux Mint 19.x Desktop:

      Screenshot-from-2019-03-15-14-01-54
      I should mention that the latest Linux Mint I could get to work on an old Dell Notebook with the Centrino ‘feature’ was Version 13.

      Attachments:
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342041 Reply

      DrBonzo
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ve got Ubuntu 16.04 LTS running just fine on an old (2009) HP laptop with 4 GB memory and an AMD processor. Runs much faster than it did with the original Vista. If you want wireless get a usb dongle from Panda Wireless. I’m using a PAU06 for $10 after the wireless on the HP gave up. Panda makes a variety of wireless stuff. Mine worked flawlessly – true plug and play.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342068 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Wow – so much great information! Thanks so much everyone. Now I’ll need to really digest it and hopefully be able to formulate some questions.

      Much appreciated!!

    • #342263 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      OK I have done some reading and investigating and I do have a few questions if anyone might be able to help.

      First off – the wireless on that laptop does work, so no need for a USB dongle – but thanks for those suggestions. I got it to connect and actually managed to download a current version of Firefox on Vista – though at this point it is running without current AV software – which I am looking into addressing now.

      As to the Linux setup – from what I gather reading this and several other AW discussions about Linux, I think these are the steps I should follow:

      1. Find the flavor of Linux I like from the sites mentioned. Right now, that looks like possibly Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

      2. Create a bootable USB stick with that flavor of Linux to try out. If I don’t like that one – try another. I’m not sure I’d need a persistent USB since I think my goal is to find the one that works with my hardware and then look into a dual boot with that and the old Vista.

      3. Change the boot order on the laptop to accommodate the bootable USB.

      4. If that all works, then tackle the dual boot process to install the Linux I like on the laptop itself.

      And a few questions about all of this:

      -Even though the Vista laptop does connect to the internet, can I download and create the bootable USB on either my desktop or other laptop and then use it in the Vista computer?

      -Is creating a bootable USB better than a bootable CD/DVD?

      -What programs from the Windows side will still run on the Linux side – or do they all need to be reinstalled – like Open Office, Adobe PDF etc? Will I still be able to view the files that I have created such as pictures or documents?

      -Will the hardware work on both – the DVD drive on the laptop for instance?

      I also came across the image below in one of the articles I was reading – does anyone know what version of Linux it might be?

      Thanks for any help or guidance as I move forward. I am pretty well versed in Windows, but this Linux-live session-dual boot thing is all new to me, so I am glad to be practicing on that old laptop!

      ETA – and I guess one other question would be which versions have the longest support? I’ve seen some that are “good” till 2023 – is there a way to tell and how upgradeable are those that don’t have support lasting that long?

      Thanks again!

      LH

      Linux

      Attachments:
      • #342324 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        hi again, LH

        i can see the image now and that looks like Ubuntu (probably using Unity) on the “Home,” folder. if you try Ubuntu 18.04 you can download a small netboot iso (65.2MB) and then customize it fully from there.

        Desktop:

        https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

        Alternative Downloads:

        https://www.ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #342333 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        If that all works, then tackle the dual boot process to install the Linux I like on the laptop itself.

        Not sure you will need the dual boot step, as that should be unnecessary if your goal is to actually replace Windows Vista on the old laptop.

        And a few questions about all of this:

        -Even though the Vista laptop does connect to the internet, can I download and create the bootable USB on either my desktop or other laptop and then use it in the Vista computer?

        The install/live boot media can be created anywhere. It is not tied to the target computer in any way. Truly portable!

        -Is creating a bootable USB better than a bootable CD/DVD?

        Both get the job done. DVD-RW is cheaper. With the right tools, you can store more than one bootable image on a USB flash drive. Flash is probably faster for booting the live session. Booting from DVD usually loads the image into a virtual RAM disk, so running would probably be about the same speed as flash. You can create persistent storage when using a flash drive.

        -What programs from the Windows side will still run on the Linux side – or do they all need to be reinstalled – like Open Office, Adobe PDF etc? Will I still be able to view the files that I have created such as pictures or documents?

        Windows only applications will not run as native Linux apps, but there are many comparable replacements that can open Windows files. Some Windows apps can be configured to run using a Linux tool called Wine, but it’s usually easier to learn the replacements. I use LibreOffice on both Windows and Linux (it’s cross-platform), and have not bothered with MS Office in years. Most Linux distros provide a pre-installed office suite, PDF reader, media players, utilities, and there are a ton of additional apps you can also add through the online application repository for that distro.

        Windows files are readable from Linux, so you can easily share an external drive, flash drive, server storage, or cloud storage between Windows and Linux computers.

        -Will the hardware work on both – the DVD drive on the laptop for instance?

        Most hardware has drivers for plug and play use. The live session should give you a feel for the distro that is most compatible with your hardware.

        I also came across the image below in one of the articles I was reading – does anyone know what version of Linux it might be?

        That looks like an older version of Ubuntu.

        – and I guess one other question would be which versions have the longest support? I’ve seen some that are “good” till 2023 – is there a way to tell and how upgradeable are those that don’t have support lasting that long?

        The use of the term LTS (Long Term Support) with the distro version is the tip that will be around until the stated end of support date. Anything else is usually part of a fast release cycle, so those are to be avoided if you want stability over leading edge new features.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #342400 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi John and thanks for all of the detailed info!

          I think that you may be right about not actually needing the dual boot – I guess I was thinking that I might want a Windows boot on that laptop – but Vista is so old, and it probably isn’t something that I would be able to use for much than offline stuff. I guess after I play around with the live boot USB versions, I will look into just replacing Vista with the distro I like. I know there is a thread about doing just that somewhere here on Ask Woody – I’ll have to look for it.

          Thanks again!!

          LH

          ETA – something that just occurred to me though – I am doing all of this as sort of a test for possibly replicating it all on my newer Win 7 laptop. In that case I probably would want a dual boot with Win 7 – not that I’d use Win 7 that much, but I would want to try to keep it. My computer guys say that they may be able to add some RAM to the Win 7 laptop, so if the Vista experiment is a success, the newer laptop may work out even better. In any case – I may just want to practice with dual boot to be sure I know what I’m doing if I try it all on the Win 7 one later on.

    • #342284 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      yes to the first question, you can additionally make a partition for a usb stick to boot on any computer as well.

      as microfix stated above, if you burn the chosen iso to a usb stick, you can reuse it. i haven’t tried to put an image on a cd+rw (under 700MB) or a dvd+rw (4.7 GB).

      not sure which programs are compatible, i use ubuntu which comes with all the bells and whistles i need (Libre Office, disk partitioner, image file reader, pdf reader in fact the list is extensive and there are many add-ons and tools available).

      your hardware “should,” all be recognized, if not there are work-a-rounds to get the job done.

      last question, i can’t see images here someone else may fill you in. i recommend getting your iso’s from Distrowatch and then verifying the checksums to avoid nedless hassles and possibly tampered images.

      personally, i run USB Ubuntu 14.04LTS until EOL in April this year and 16.04LTS EOL April, 2021 and 18.04LTS (long term support) 2023. i run them from 32GB Sandisks on an Acer laptop with Bios, 4GB ram, intel 7260 A\C wifi card, no HDD (take that bad guys). i add a 4GB fat 32 partition for “windows,” and can boot to other computers.

      i’m sure you will enjoy running Linux, Microsoft helped me get free of their chains when they decided to force feed my beloved Windows 7 machines the witches brew they call WINX. haven’t looked back since.

       

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #342401 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks! It is going to be a bit of trial and error – but I am looking forward to actually taking the plunge – so far I’ve gathered a lot of info, but actually doing it is another matter – LOL!

        I agree with you about Win 7 and I am hoping that I will like Linux enough to not miss Win 7 when it ends. Actually my purpose here is to try this all out on the old laptop and eventually do the same thing on my Win 7 laptop if all goes well with the Vista one. I really love my Win 7 Lenovo and hate to just mothball it! Everything still works well, and I can really see no reason to spend hundreds on Win 10!

        Thanks!!

        • #342406 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          you are welcome. when the winx thing started a couple\few years ago i did not want to “learn,” another operating system. my brother sent me a factory pressed Ubuntu 11.04 disk a few years back to use to fix an XP problem i was having and it came in handy. there are many people here on Woody’s site that can and would be glad to help you with getting started and any snags you may encounter along the way. i like ubuntu because there is lots of info on care and feeding on askubuntu, ubuntuforums and others. some folks here prefer Linux Mint so it must be good too. the only problem i have encountered with Ubuntu 18.04 is that my equipment refuses to run Gnome it it seems to like Unity so i downloaded Ubuntu-Unity-Experience and built 3 usb’s from there. if you can’t get an iso to load first time out trying a “lighter,” version will probably get you going. my 14.04 idles at 300-400 on memory, the 16.04 consumes 600-800 MB and the 18.04 is a hog at 800-1000, kinda like windows as the newer systems come along they become more and more resource hungry. not a problem on shiny new equipment but a consideration when running on “older,” vista era stuff. Ubuntu just quit producing 32bit when 18.04 arrived but there are many linux distros that will run on your computer. also, if you decide to work with Ubuntu may i suggest you download Synaptic package manager, it is great for taking control of the update process. i have my installations set to show Security only updates and i add newer non-security packages when appropriate. ubuntu comes with firefox as the browser which is nice, at least it is not IE and there is a great post from Microfix (AKB3000003) on securing it here:

          3000003: Firefox – additional security, telemetry and privacy tweaks

          look forward to hearing about how the adventure continues!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #343032 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks again! I will keep posting on my progress once I get it all sorted and give it a try. Everyone has been so helpful and I know that if I run into trouble – I’ll be able to find m=some answers and help here! 🙂

    • #342304 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      What programs from the Windows side will still run on the Linux side – or do they all need to be reinstalled – like Open Office, Adobe PDF etc? Will I still be able to view the files that I have created such as pictures or documents?

      To use programs on the Linux OS, you will need to install them. Depending on the distro you choose, some programs may come pre-installed.

      After you install and configure (decided how you want to set it up), you can move your data files over. You should be able to view all the pictures and documents, as well as create and save new ones. Keep in mind the size of your hard drive, and how you might utilize this particular computer (which you will get a better feel for, once it is installed, and you are working with it, hands on).

      I don’t have an extra old computer around, but I’m thinking of following your adventure with a VM of the same distro you choose. It really depends on how well I’m feeling as to whether I’ll really be able to keep up, but it is easier (for me) if I can compare what I’m doing to what someone else is doing. I’ve put Linux on computers, but those computers belong to other people… who seem happy, because once they get the basics down, and the programs they want, don’t seem to have a lot of problems.

      If you have any data (pictures, documents, etc) on this computer that you want to save, back it up, because installing a new OS will wipe it out. You can add it back, after the OS is installed.

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #342402 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi Elly! Thanks for the reply and info.

        It would be great to have a partner in this adventure! I am still undecided on which distro to start with, but I am hoping to narrow things down in the next couple of days and give it a try. I’ll be happy to post back as I go – and we can compare notes on it all!

        Have a great weekend!

        LH

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #346497 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi Elly,

          Just wanted to say that I think I’ve settled on Linux Mint – Cinnamon 19.1. I am trying it on my laptop and will see how dual booting goes. It ran perfectly earlier today – hope that continues. If you decide to go for it – let me know what you discover as will I!

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342383 Reply

      Berton123
      AskWoody Lounger

      A very real reason to use a Bootable USB drive is on those machines without an ODD/Optical Disc Drive.  For what I need I download the .iso file used to create the Bootable DVD [R flavor only] then when booted to that disc I can create the Bootable USB Thumb drive.   Having computer with Linux installed helps.  Burning/copying the .iso file to a disc is only simple storage.  I carry the Bootable USB Thumb drive when visiting clients’ sites ‘just in case’, sometimes helps when Windows won’t do what is needed, mostly in file management.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342443 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Just looked up the specs on the hp pavilion dv6700. Max Ram on that PC is 4 gigs (4GB (2 x 2GB) of PC2-5300 / DDR2 (667-MHz), so 2 sticks of 2 gig). You can get a replacement battery from Amazon, they aren’t too expensive. You’re likely running Vista 32 bit, which is why you’d only see 3 gigs of ram (since 32 bit windows systems won’t read above that). It’s likely you already have the max ram installed.

      Two things:

      1) If that is the original hard drive from 2007, I’d replace it with an SSD. You’ll get better performance; it could be issues with your hard drive that are causing Vista issues as well.

      2) I’d suggest not using regular Ubuntu (gnome) with less than 8 gigs ram. For your system, Lubuntu or Xbuntu are lighter and will give better performance. MX Linux (based on XFCE) is another good alternative to test, as it’s very light and fast.

      You can use Rufus (windows program) to burn a few iso’s onto 2-3 usb flash drives, and do a test drive to see what works best on that pc. It’s not hard, and you’ll get a better idea of what to install.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #342451 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Just looked up the specs on the hp pavilion dv6700. Max Ram on that PC is 4 gigs (4GB (2 x 2GB) of PC2-5300 / DDR2 (667-MHz), so 2 sticks of 2 gig)

        Same max RAM specs as my Core 2 Duo Asus F8Sn laptop, which is currently equipped with 8GB of RAM.  Intel claims the same 4GB max for the PM965 chipset the F8 uses, but quite evidently, the 4GB maximum is not accurate.  It works perfectly with 8 GB, passing the Memtest86+ for more than 12 straight hours.

        DDR2 4GB SoDIMMs were not cheap, and it may not be worth it to you, and certainly I would buy from somewhere that offers returns in case it doesn’t work, but in my case, it worked nicely.  It was suggested by some that only certain configurations of RAM (chip configurations on the SoDIMM PCBs) will work, but I can’t verify that.  I’ll look up the part numbers of my RAM that work if you would like to investigate it.

        2) I’d suggest not using regular Ubuntu (gnome) with less than 8 gigs ram. For your system, Lubuntu or Xbuntu are lighter and will give better performance.

        I’m running KDE Neon and Kubuntu (KDE Ubuntu), both 64-bit, on my Acer Swift with 4GB.  It works better than you might expect!

        I considered Mint Xfce at first, but the barebones nature of the desktop environment drove me nuts.  LXQt may be better, and I do like PCManFM-Qt the most of any lightweight file manager, but KDE works so well that I haven’t really had a reason to try it.

        KDE has long had a reputation as a resource hog, but KDE has done great work in reducing the RAM footprint. Right after booting, Neon reports right around 0.4 GB used. It’s not the OS or the desktop itself that demand more RAM–  it’s the programs you run on it that do, particularly browsers, and that will be the same regardless of desktop environment.  Chromium and Firefox both are known to be real resource hogs, though I’ve successfully run Firefox up to more than 100 tabs and it was still usable on the Swift.  Having the page file on a SSD really helps.

        Using a 32-bit version of Linux can save some of the RAM used by the browser, but the 32-bit world is reaching its sunset, and I considered the compatibility to be a greater benefit than the reduction in RAM usage.  The OS the Swift came with was 64-bit Windows, surely for the same reason.

        It’s not hard, and you’ll get a better idea of what to install.

        Very much agreed on that point!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #343030 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks for these suggestions. Everyone has been so helpful – not it is a matter of getting it all straight in my mind, picking one to try and actually doing it – LOL!

          Right now I am not ready to consider putting any money into the old laptop, but if I do find this experiment to be successful, I may consider adding RAM to my current Win 7 laptop if I decide to put Linux on it as a dual boot. We’ll see about that…

    • #342486 Reply

      DavidForrest57
      AskWoody Lounger

      I recently set up a dual-boot system with Xubuntu & Windows XP on an old Latitude D600 with 2GB of RAM.

      For anyone contemplating dual-booting Linux or Ubuntu with Windows you will likely be manipulating partitions on your HDD. Up until a month ago I hadn’t done anything like this, so if you are in the same boat, you may find the following helpful.

      Although some years old, I found this video to be the most useful:

      The poster recommends backing up your data and defragmenting the HDD before carrying out any work with partitions. Having researched this myself I would add that checking the disk for errors and fixing them can also head off potential problems with the partitioning process.

      I pretty much followed the process described, although I had to shrink the NTFS partition using a third party Windows program, EasUS Partition Master; for some reason I was never able to fathom, the Xubuntu installer (or the GParted component of it) was unable to do this step. Once I got the unallocated space, I proceeded as the video describes.

      I also found the following video interesting. It describes an alternative dual-boot set-up. I haven’t tested this myself as this procedure won’t work with Windows XP, but I might consider it if I do the same thing with my Windows 7 PC.

      It’s a bit long, but stick with it!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #342994 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I pretty much followed the process described, although I had to shrink the NTFS partition using a third party Windows program, EasUS Partition Master; for some reason I was never able to fathom, the Xubuntu installer (or the GParted component of it) was unable to do this step.

        I’ve had Linux-based partition editors refuse to resize NTFS partitions before too.  I just tried it now using Gparted on my desktop PC, and it was perfectly willing to resize the Windows partition.  I am not really sure what the reason was before when it refused.

        It’s possible that the NTFS “dirty” bit was set, indicating that a disk check is needed, or that the Windows installation was shut down with hibernate or with fast startup enabled (for Windows 8 or 10 users), which lock the NTFS volume for safety.  When setting up dual-boot, it’s a good idea to disable these modes in Windows, though with Windows 7, that won’t be a concern.

         

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #343060 Reply

          DavidForrest57
          AskWoody Lounger

          I tried all the suggested “fixes” I could find, including defragmenting and running Chkdsk. GParted kept displaying a yellow warning triangle next to the NTFS partition, and I couldn’t make any changes. There’s one bad sector on the disk, that’s been there for years; I posted the problem on Ubuntu Forums, but nobody suggested that the bad sector was a problem in this regard.

          Even now, after successfully partitioning the disk via Windows and installing Xubuntu, that warning triangle is still there. Since I achieved what I wanted, I’m not concerned about it.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #343028 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks so much for these links,  David. I watched the first one and it was so helpful to see the step by step process. There are several others in that series that I bookmarked – great resources and much appreciated!

    • #344071 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      OK – some issues I’ve run into trying out a bootable USB and Linux. I am hopeful that someone might have some suggestions for me for addressing those. Here’s what I did.

      1. I created a bootable USB for Xubuntu 18.04 LTS. That went fine. I figured out how to change the boot order and put the USB hard drive choice first. It booted very slowly and I got quite a few error messages – which I didn’t get to copy 🙁  – but I will try to get them if they appear again.

      2. Eventually, after the errors, it came up to the Ubuntu splash screen and finally the Try Ubuntu choice. From there, it did boot to the desktop and I could check things out.

      3. The issue I am having is that I can’t figure out a way to connect to my WiFi. I did set up a new WiFi connection in the Network Connections – with my WiFi info and password. That all “took” but there is no way to access that connection to actually connect to it.

      So – is that not possible when using a Live USB set up? I did try to find the Network Administration Tool where the “Help” menu says that the connections will be showing, but I can’t seem to find that. It says in the System Menu to choose Network Administration, but I don’t have that choice.

      I would appreciate any suggestions on how to address this issue. In the meanwhile, i am going to reboot and try to see what the errors are and post those. I didn’t seem to be able to do a screenshot while those were showing, but I will try that again, too!

      ETA: Perhaps I need a wireless adapter as mentioned here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/great-wifi-adapter-for-linux-mint/#post-335260 The laptop connects fine when in Windows, but maybe it is a problem with the network card not being able to be used in Linux?

      Also  just restarted and got error messages again – will post them next. All booted OK though as before.

      Thanks for any help!!

      LH

      • #344078 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        This issue was discussed elsewhere around here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/great-wifi-adapter-for-linux-mint/

        Bottom line is that the network adapter model in your PC must have native support in Linux to be accessible out of the box during the live session. If it’s supported, all you would need to do is just select an available network ID and then enter the password to connect.

        You should not need to add or configure the network adapter itself, or configure the Wi-Fi connection.

        Ubuntu has built-in support out of the box for many brands of adapters and Wi-Fi chipsets, so if yours was not automatically detected and activated, it is probably on the “not fully supported” list.

        In many reports here and elsewhere, the Panda brand of USB Wi-Fi adapter with the Ralink chipset works very well with Linux out of the box, and the Ralink driver is baked into the Linux kernel. Panda is also good with Windows.

        I got a Panda USB adapter for $10 online, and it works well. In comparison, my Netgear N300 adapter with a Broadcom chipset has never worked with Linux.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #344082 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi John,

          Great minds – LOL! I was just adding that thought to my comment and you were posting the same. Perhaps that is the issue!

          A bit frustrating, but if that adapter addresses it – then it is worth the few $$. But is this “try Ubuntu” from a USB also something that might not allow the wifi to work?

          Thanks!!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #344093 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Actually, yesterday I just booted the latest releases of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Lubuntu with the live USB boot and “try Ubuntu” mode. All worked flawlessly with my cheap Panda adapter.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344112 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              OK – looks like that might be the missing piece. I’ll check that on out on Amazon and order it. Does yours have a built in antenna as shown here:

              https://www.amazon.com/Panda-Wireless-PAU06-300Mbps-Adapter/dp/B00JDVRCI0/ref=sr_1_3

              And which of those Linux distros do you like better??

            • #344132 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              No external antenna on mine. Just a basic USB dongle. I use the USB extension cable and dock that came with my Netgear adapter. It is ideal to locate the adapter device a short distance away from my computer chassis, but a plain USB extension cable will work fine for that purpose.

              I find that I get better Wi-Fi reception on a desktop tower that way, instead of plugging the USB dongle into the rear of the PC at floor level. The closer you are to an uninterrupted line of sight with your router or Wi-Fi hotspot, the better signal quality you will get. The USB extension cable will allow you to orient the adapter for the best signal.

              https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Extension-Cable-Male-Female/dp/B00NH136GE/ref=sr_1_12_sspa

            • #344166 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Note also that Intel and Atheros/Qualcomm wifi adapters also work well with Linux out of the box. It seems that Broadcom has been the odd one out in that way.

              As far as which distro one prefers– that’s highly subjective, so there’s no real way to know which you like until you try them out, and you won’t really get the true picture of the desktop environment (which is the difference between the various flavors of Ubuntu) until you use it for a while.  I’d suggest trying a few out, see which one looks like it might be what you need, and use that for a while.  That will give you the knowledge to know what, if anything, the desktop you’re using is lacking, so people will be better able to advise you.

              Of the flavors listed, Kubuntu is my clear favorite.  I run a triple-boot setup on my desktop PC and my Dell G3 gaming laptop, with KDE Neon (User edition) as the main OS, Kubuntu 18.04 as the fallback if something goes wrong with Neon (as it has in the past for me), and Windows in case it’s needed (though it’s kind of like the vestigial feet on boa constrictors at this point).

              When I decided to try Linux again (I had used Ubuntu briefly years ago) when Windows 10 was released in 2015, Kubuntu was my original choice, but it had some serious issues, and I was not knowledgeable enough to fix any of them.  I tried Mint KDE, which worked perfectly, but in time I began to notice more and more rough spots in KDE that really bothered me.  I tried Mint MATE and didn’t care for it much… but Mint Cinnamon was really quite good, in my mind, and I used that for a few years before coming back to KDE once again.

              The thing that drove me away from Cinnamon was that it had consistently higher power consumption than KDE or Xfce desktops (on my Acer Swift laptop).  KDE actually bested Xfce by a small margin, which may have been simply the luck of the draw, but I was still surprised that KDE had done so well, given its reputation for being a resource hog.

              It turns out that KDE isn’t the bloated hog it used to be.  The devs have reduced its resource use greatly, and I found that most of the rough edges were gone.  In Neon, which gets KDE releases far more quickly than Kubuntu, they were all fixed, and that was when I made Neon my daily go-to.  I changed my desktop and laptop to KDE also, as I want to have them as identical as possible in their Linux setups for easy administration, and I’ve come to really appreciate how flexible and feature-complete KDE really is.  Even Cinnamon 4 feels lacking by comparison to me now, even though it appears to have fixed the battery use issue according to my preliminary tests.

              Your opinion may vary, though, and none of our opinions matter when it comes to your PC.  Try a few, see what you like, and if you find it wanting for something, we can better help you find what it is.

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344198 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              I agree with the opinion on Kubuntu with the KDE Plasma desktop. That was the biggest surprise for me this week! It gets my vote now!  Close 2nd place for me would be Mint Cinnamon. For lightweight use on older hardware I would have said Lubuntu and Xubuntu, with a slight preference for Lubuntu with the new LXQt desktop. It’s a bit more modern looking than the old school Xfce.

              But I think Kubuntu may actually check that box for a lightweight, high performing desktop now! Obviously YMMV, and you should test the distros on your hardware. These are just my opinions based on unscientific testing!

              I had played around about 15 years ago with Red Hat Linux 9 (my first Linux install) and then Fedora Core, installing it on a couple of spare PCs. Just wanting to learn a bit about Linux, but still a committed Windows user back in the day. Probably just the vestigial mainframe geek in me acting out. 🙂

              Then about 5 years ago I built a custom desktop PC specifically for Linux, and used it as my daily driver for a couple of years.

              I started with Ubuntu, mainly due to the active community and amount of support info available online. But the Unity desktop environment (DE) is what eventually drove me away from Ubuntu. I felt like I was always fighting with Unity just to do basic tasks that were effortless to me in a more conventional “Windows” style UI. Ubuntu has since switched to Gnome 3, but that is only a slight improvement.

              So then I tried Kubuntu, which probably had an early release of the KDE Plasma DE. Looked great, but I encountered too many bugs for daily use. Then I tried switching to Mate desktop for Ubuntu, which looked good, but was buggy for me as well.

              So then I figured that Linux Mint, the developer of the Mate desktop should know how to do it best. So I tried Mint Mate and Cinnamon.

              I decided that Mint Cinnamon was the keeper! Good looks, smooth workflow, reliable. It is the only Linux distro that I still have installed on a hard drive (on one dual boot machine).

              I have been back to Windows as my daily driver for a while now, but I keep a couple of Linux virtual machines around. One is Linux Mint (on my Win10 desktop host) and the other is Xubuntu (on a Win10 laptop with only 4GB RAM).

              So just this week I decided to take some of the latest Ubuntu and Mint flavors for a spin using a live boot. I am very impressed with Kubuntu now, as the developers have really polished it up since I last tried it.

              As far as looks and workflow go, I would have to say I would be happy with either Kubuntu or Mint Cinnamon now as daily drivers.

              My biggest surprise was how light and efficient Kubuntu is now! It only took about 430MB RAM at idle. It seemed very snappy and responsive as well! The system monitor showed that I was only using about 900MB even with Firefox open with 3 tabs, and one streaming audio.

              By comparison, on my hardware, Ubuntu ran about 1.4GB at idle, Mint Cinnamon about 900MB, Mint Mate about 800MB, Lubuntu about 800MB, and Xubuntu about 700MB.

               

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344206 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks so much for all of that information! I think that I am going to give Kubuntu a try tomorrow. A question – is the KDE plasma desktop a part of it or a separate download? And also – which should I be using – 32 bit or 64 bit on my old machine? I think the Xubuntu is 64 bit and seems fine except for those error messages – loads slowly, but once it is booted past the messages, it’s fine.

              Quite a learning curve, and I do wish that the WiFi did work right from the start, but I’m going to go ahead and order a Panda adapter and hopefully that will address that issue.

              Thanks for all of the help – everyone is great in this forum!

            • #344242 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              KDE Plasma is a desktop environment for Linux. It is an included part of the official (Ubuntu) Kubuntu flavor distro, and that is what puts the “K” in Kubuntu, as that is the desktop it is built around.

              GNU/Linux is the operating system underneath it all, and one can use any of several mainstream desktop environments available. A Linux “distro” usually packages one desktop environment for each ISO, and you download the ISO with the desktop that you prefer.

              Advanced users can actually install more than one desktop on a Linux system, and then switch between them. I have tried this, and it can get confusing and messy, so it is usually cleanest to start with the desktop flavor that you want at install time.

              I would also stick with a 64-bit OS if that is what your laptop supports.  It really shouldn’t have much of a performance difference from a 32-bit OS.  A 64-bit OS can run both bit levels of apps, but if your OS is only 32-bit, then you are limited to only 32-bit apps.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344351 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              OK – just getting around to it today and of course, another question. I think that the Vista OS on the HP laptop is 32 bit, so does that mean I can’t use a 64 bit Linux version? Or does one not really affect the other?

              My plan of attack is to create a Yumi USB drive with several distros as suggested, and give them each a try. When I do find one that I like, I’m probably going to experiment with persistent USB for a bit rather than a dual boot.

              Thanks for all of the help!

              LH

               

            • #344368 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              One OS will not affect the other, as only one at a time is booted into memory. The other is dormant on the disk drive. Same goes for the live boots. They are not aware of the OS sitting on the hard drive.

              And FYI, your Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5550 supports 64-bit. Specs: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/32427/intel-core-2-duo-processor-t5550-2m-cache-1-83-ghz-667-mhz-fsb.html

              However you may be able to mount and read the internal hard drives (Windows or Linux partitions) while in Linux live mode. That can make live Linux useful for data rescue when a system cannot boot the installed OS. Just attach another USB storage device and copy folders!

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344276 Reply

              johnf
              AskWoody Lounger

              I’ve had very good results (Mint and MX 18) with this one:

              https://www.amazon.com/Panda-Ultra-150Mbps-Wireless-Adapter/dp/B00762YNMG/ref=sr_1_7?crid=7YQEE6EPEESS&keywords=panda+wireless&qid=1553230765&s=gateway&sprefix=panda+wir%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-7

              The adapter is small, but I get excellent results. I like the small form factor, as the bigger external wireless adapters are easy to damage accidentally. A google search on your Pavilion shows issues in Linux with the built in adapter (likely Broadcomm). While with a lot of work you might get it to work using a program called ndiswrapper (and the original windows driver), it’s likely the original card won’t work very well. I’m very happy with the Panda!

            • #344323 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Good suggestion! That is similar to the Panda USB that I have, and mine works great, plug and play, with any Linux distro that I have tested with a live boot.

              Regarding the Broadcom issue, as you have mentioned, there are probably ways to get that to work with some effort.

              But keep in mind that it’s the OP’s intent right now to just get a live distro working with Wi-Fi. So not having to install or tweak anything is probably a requirement at this point for his testing of various distros.

              Later on, after installing Linux, he might be up to hacking the Broadcom, but with the Panda USB in hand he won’t need to be focusing on that right now. On the plus side he will always have an adapter that he knows will work with Linux, and can use it on any other computer he might want to test Linux on in the future.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #344081 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        if the reboot did not sort out the wifi, does your laptop have an indicator (light) when the wifi is on? if it is on then you should be able to connect.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #344109 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          It does, but I am not sure if it was lit. In any case – there was nowhere to actually tell it to connect though. No connection icon or anywhere to choose my wifi network.

          • #344128 Reply

            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            Could be it’s just turned off. Many laptops have a separate switch for that somewhere.

            What’s annoying is when that switch is a poorly made part and breaks… even more annoying when it’s a “soft switch” that defaults to off on every boot, and is also broken to not turn on no matter how you press it. BTDT.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344228 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks – but unless the Xubuntu somehow turned it off, it was on when I was booted into Windows, so that’s probably not it either! Too bad – that would be an easy fix!

            • #344288 Reply

              mn–
              AskWoody Lounger

              Well, theoretically not impossible – “rfkill list” should tell you the status in any case.

          • #344126 Reply

            anonymous

            ? says:

            System Settings>Network, to get to your adapter. i remember someone asked what type of wifi card was onboard? if it is an intel 4965agn, it “should work,” most of the cards have proper drivers ready to go. if you get the indicator light then the system has recognized it and you “should,” be able to connect to it. i’ve had to reboot in the past using efi and bios because the WPA Supplicant doesn’t have time during boot to set up. also, if your card is N and your router is broadcasting in AC only you may not have (see) a connection? probably easier to plug in a wifi adapter, personally, i don’t give up until everything is functioning properly. do any of the distro’s you have tried make your wifi available? have you tried ether NIC?

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344211 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              So far I’ve only tried Xubuntu – but I am going to do some more experimenting tomorrow. I don’t have a router – I use a Sprint WiFi hotspot for my internet. Since it works when in Windows, I know that the wireless card in the laptop and my Sprint device do work – so I guess the variable is Linux. I am looking into the USB adapter that JohnW suggested since it does say tha tit supports many Linux distros.

            • #344252 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              I live booted into Xubuntu earlier tonight, and the network icon on the panel on the upper right of the UI was represented as two arrows, one up and one down.

              I clicked on it and was given a choice of nearby Wi-Fi networks detected.

              I selected mine and was prompted for my Wi-Fi password. Entered it, and was up and running in seconds. The network icon was now changed to the standard wireless beacon symbol.

              Plug and play here, no network configuration needed. 🙂

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344372 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Just wanted to update this in case I had missed something. I booted to Xubuntu and there is the network icon – up and down arrows – which is greyed out. I can click on it and the Enable Network choice is checked, but when I click Edit Connections – the only other choice that isn’t greyed out, it just shows an Ethernet connection that must be included in Xubuntu – which I don’t use and didn’t create.

              But – no choice of my WiFI network, so that wireless card in the laptop obviously isn’t working. I am going to order one of the Panda USBs later today so I should have that by early next week to do that testing.

               

            • #344385 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Yup, that sounds like your on-board wireless adapter was not available to Linux. Hope your new adapter arrives quickly, and works as advertised!

              Onboard Ethernet jacks are one thing that Linux has been able to easily detect in a PC for years.

              So if you had a wired network router with RJ45 Ethernet LAN ports available, you could just run an Ethernet cable from your laptop to your router to get online. I used to do that on occasion before I got a Linux compatible wireless adapter. But what a hassle that was! I even had a 50ft cable just for that purpose! A definite tripping hazard, for sure! 🙂

            • #344390 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              Before you order a usb wifi adapter..
              Try typing the following command into the terminal once xubuntu is up and running.
              inxi -Fz
              I can’t remember if xubuntu comes with the inxi program but, what this does is give you a detailed list of the hardware inside your laptop (without sensitive data mac address etc. the -Fz switch)
              Then have a look for your wifi card data in the terminal hardware list (note it down), some are disabled due to windows being installed previously and ignored as windows used to switch them off. It may actually work once commands are issued to the wifi card. I had this issue with an atheros Ath5k wifi card a few years back and managed to switch it on and it worked thereafter.

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

            • #344410 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              It appears that the wireless on that HP DV6700 laptop is the Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN.

              Maybe this is an issue with needing firmware that is “non-free”, which would likely exclude it from a “live” distro.

            • #344415 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              Ok, that hasn’t been supported by ubuntu from circa 2007 with lots of unresolved issues.
              It is indeed a USB wifi adapter as a replacement 🙂

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344435 Reply

              anonymous

              ? says:

              i ran an intel 4965 in ubuntu 14 and 16, sometimes during boot the network manager did not set up properly so i could run this in the terminal:

              sudo service network-manager restart

              and it would reset and run. don’t know if you have used the terminal, though. also in the network>wireless>settings>general, in ubuntu 14.04 i had to have Automatically connect to this network when it is available, and All users may connect to this network ticked for it to connect reliably.

              this may help to troubleshoot:

              lspci | grep -i wireless   or    lspci | grep -i intel

              and this:

              sudo lshw -C network

              and this:

              lsmod | grep -i wifi

              or a wifi usb dongle as suggested to cut to the chase…

    • #344088 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Live boot error messages – after the fact. They went by so quickly both times, and I can’t seem to get a screenshot, but here is the gist:

      ACPI Error: Name space lookup failure

      ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed

      [a string of numbers I missed] drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_dependencies_ ERROR flip_done timed out.

      There were about 10 different instances of that message with a different number in the brackets.

      But – after showing all of those, it did finally boot to the Xubuntu desktop and was OK as far as I could tell.

      • #344184 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I get those same errors (or ones really close) on one or more of my PCs (I think it was my desktop, but I am not sure).  Everything works once Linux is fully booted, so I don’t worry about them.  There’s something in one of the messages that says that it relates to a bug in my BIOS/UEFI, which is quite possible, but if it works anyway, I’m ok.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #344199 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        It’s quite normal to see some lines of text go scrolling up the screen as Linux boots. You are just getting a brief peek at the command line before the desktop loads.

        Linux is trying to probe all the hardware at boot time and decide what drivers to load. This process is generally hidden from the end user in Windows land, but if you search the Windows event viewer you can find plenty of “errors” in there that really don’t matter.

        If your system throws a few errors during the boot process, no worries! As long as you boot up and the desktop runs, you’re good!

         

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #344207 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Glad those errors aren’t really errors! When they first started to appear, I was about ready to abort the boot process, but once I let it run, it was OK. I think the second time I booted it, it was a bit faster. And one thing I did notice – not that I was actually running much, but in the Xubuntu, the laptop was very smooth and very quiet. This laptop has a fan issue and in Windows, the fan seems to run a lot – so it was nice not to hear it while exploring Xubuntu.

          Ascaris – I also want to thank you for the great instructions that you posted in this discussion https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/linux-live-session-on-usb/#post-317035 which I followed as I went through the initial process – very helpful!

          And another question – somewhere someone posted about a program called YUMI to load several distros on one USB thumb drive. How would that work – it might be a convenient way to test several, but I’m not really clear how you’d know which one you were loading at a time.

          In any case – thanks so much for all of the great help!! Much appreciated! I will post more as I go though this – Kubuntu next (if I can find another USB stick to play with – LOL!).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #344239 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            Thanks, I am glad it was helpful!

            I just overwrite one Linux on the USB stick with the next one.  I hang on to all of the .isos, so it just takes a short while to write any of them on the stick as needed.  I don’t have any experience with Yumi, but I assume the selection of a distro would be done with the GRUB menu at boot time.

            I’d really like to have a bunch of USB drives that are more or less dedicated for one thing or another, but there are just too many things I need one for!  I was just looking today at buying a bunch of them… I really wish there were smaller ones that were cheaper, perhaps 1 to 2 GB, but still USB3 in speed.  A Windows USB would need more, but most Linux distros don’t need anything close to the full-DVD image size of Windows, let alone the 8GB that is typical of the cheapest USB 3 drives now.  Maybe an array that size is necessary to provide USB3 speeds, or something like that.  USB2 drives aren’t really any cheaper, if I go by the prices I just saw at Newegg earlier.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #344248 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            YUMI: https://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

            Well, I was in WalMart earlier this week and saw a 3-pack of 16GB SanDisk USB flash drives for a good price. 🙂

            So I downloaded YUMI, and it runs as a portable app, no install required.

            Just run YUMI:

            Plug in a blank USB flash. 1. Select the USB flash drive path in YUMI, 2. select the distro type, 3. then browse to the ISO for that distro, and click “Create”.

            I put 8 distros on one 16GB flash drive.

            When I boot with the drive, I am presented with the YUMI multiboot USB boot manager. I select “Linux Distributions” and it shows me the list of distros I installed in YUMI.

            Then I just scroll down to the distro I wish to boot and hit enter. Off and running! 🙂

            One note about the YUMI download page. The info on the two downloads is a bit confusing, but the first one is the latest version, so I downloaded it, even though the 2nd is supposedly for UEFI, it appears to be a beta of some sort.

            The main download YUMI-2.0.6.4.exe works fine on my UEFI-BIOS, as long as I select the non UEFI boot entry for the flash drive in my UEFI-BIOS boot menu.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344622 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Hi John!

              I followed your steps here and ran YUMI – worked like a charm! Thanks so much for the guidance! I put Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Kubuntu on the stick and could access each easily. Perfect way to test.

              For info – I was getting those same “error” messages for each on, and each too quite a while to boot up. That is probably because my laptop doesn’t have  USB 3.0 so I was using a 2.0 stick as well. Will it be faster once I decide on one to try to actually install?

              Again – thanks for the help – YUMI was easy and worked as advertised.

            • #344627 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Glad you found YUMI to be be helpful. This week was my first attempt with it as well. Now I am a YUMI believer, and it is a no-brainer solution as far as I can tell.

              Regarding the boot speed, I am using USB 2.0 as well. Creating the ISO image on the flash drive takes a bit of time to write on that. But my system boots in a “flash” from USB and Linux runs without any lag.

              For my system specs, I am running a desktop 3rd gen “Ivy Bridge” Intel Core i3 – 3.4GHz CPU with 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, so most Linux distros fly on this thing. I built the system with these specs in 2014 especially for a Linux install, and was not disappointed with the performance.

              Linux also loves old computers, and will run on most, but performance expectations need to be taken into consideration. I would expect a laptop over 10 years old to run a bit slower. The CPU, RAM, and bus architecture from Intel have seen huge improvements since the Core 2 days.

              Just work with what you have, and keep plugging away. At least Linux can give a 2nd life to older Windows hardware! You’re on the right track!

              Then and Now: Almost 10 Years of Intel CPUs Compared

              https://www.techspot.com/article/1039-ten-years-intel-cpu-compared/

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344628 Reply

              johnf
              AskWoody Lounger

              It is a good idea to test out some distros before installing. Some hardware seems to work better in different distros, some distros have better battery life, etc. A good source for distros and reviews is http://distrowatch.com (just ignore the rankings, that’s more of a small popularity poll for users who go there).

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344629 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Just FYI, that is exactly what he is trying to do, by working with live boots of various Ubuntu distros.

              But to be a bit more specific about your suggestion regarding hardware issues, he might want to try something other than a Ubuntu (Debian) based distro, and try alternatives such as Manjaro (Arch), Fedora (Red Hat/RPM), etc.

              https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=manjaro

              https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=fedora

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Linux_distributions

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

               

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #344668 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Yes, I can see that the old Core 2 is really slow compared to others. My Win 7 laptop has an i5, so when I get to trying Linux on it, things should go more quickly.

              Thanks!

            • #344711 Reply

              DrBonzo
              AskWoody Plus

              Perhaps this is a dumb question, but suppose I have a USB Flash drive with some Linux distros on it that I created with YUMI. If I plug that Flash drive into a PC, will that PC automatically boot from the Flash drive or do I still need to go into the BIOS and fiddle with it to set boot priority for a Flash drive?

              Thanks.

            • #344712 Reply

              PKCano
              Da Boss

              There is an “F” key that gives you a choice of media to boot from if pressed during bootup, without having to go into the BIOS and change the boot order.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344718 Reply

              DrBonzo
              AskWoody Plus

              @pkcano – I didn’t realize that was an option. I’ve installed Ubuntu on a couple of computers and by far the most frustrating part of it was getting into the BIOS to reset the boot order (they were old computers and the best info I could find was “try one of the following6 options”, or something similar)

            • #344719 Reply

              PKCano
              Da Boss

              On a Dell it’s F12, on an HP ESC or F9 or F10 (can’t remember which) You just have to try – if it’s not the right one, try again 🙂

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #344201 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Note also that Intel and Atheros/Qualcomm wifi adapters also work well with Linux out of the box. It seems that Broadcom has been the odd one out in that way. 

      That’s a good point. I couldn’t remember those earlier, so I was only speaking from personal experience about the Panda. Quick and cheap fix! 🙂

      My Broadcom stuff about drove me crazy until I caught on to that.

    • #344355 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      But keep in mind that it’s the OP’s intent right now to just get a live distro working with Wi-Fi. So not having to install or tweak anything is probably a requirement at this point for his testing of various distros. Later on, after installing Linux, he might be up to hacking the Broadcom, but with the Panda USB in hand he won’t need to be focusing on that right now. On the plus side he will always have an adapter that he knows will work with Linux, and can use it on any other computer he might want to test Linux on in the future.

      Correct John! Thanks! Yes, I want to work as much within what I currently have right now without doing much of anything as far as tweaks or other downloads. I had the idea to possibly just try this on my newer Win 7 laptop, but I looked up the wireless card, and that doesn’t seem to be support Linux either. I believe it is an Intel Centrino N2200.

      I do like the small form of the Panda 150 USB but my question is how strong will the signal need to be for it to work? Would the Panda 300 USB be a better choice even though it is a bit bigger? Not much cost difference. And you are right, having that will allow me to test and connect on any computer.

      Thanks again for all of the input. You all are great on this forum and I do really appreciate all of the help. I’ll ask more questions as I run into them – LOL! 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #344373 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m using a Panda 150Mbps about 25 feet away from my Wi-Fi router. Full signal strength here, with no walls and only one piece of furniture obstructing an otherwise clear line of sight point to point.

        The Panda 300Mbps might offer a faster network bitrate, but that does not increase the signal strength.

        Most of my networking is through my ISP cable broadband internet, which is only up to 50Mbps, so that is my real bottleneck, not my local wireless LAN, LOL!

        Kind of like using a 6 lane on-ramp to access a two lane highway. 🙂

        But if you were to use a home router and do a lot of wireless data transfer over a wireless LAN between your local computers and storage servers, the higher bitrate might be handy to have. In any case you would need to match your adapter’s speed with your router’s to get the full speed advertised.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #344453 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I do like the small form of the Panda 150 USB but my question is how strong will the signal need to be for it to work? Would the Panda 300 USB be a better choice even though it is a bit bigger?

        From the numbers you provide, I am guessing that they are 802.11N spec wifi adapters. The 150 mbit would be a single-stream or 1×1 setup (single stream in, single stream out), while the 300 would be a dual-stream (2×2).  The dual-stream model will allow higher speeds when connected to a wifi access point with the same capabilities.  If the AP is only 1×1, there won’t be any speed advantage to the 2×2 adapter.

        Since you’re using a cellular wifi mobile hotspot, it would follow that only internet throughput matters, as opposed to LAN throughput, since there really isn’t one.  In that case, you only need to worry about making sure the wifi connection speed is at least as high as the speed of the cellular connection.  Any more speed than that on the wifi link won’t help if the cellular modem is already at its limit.  Based on the speed test performance that someone I know with cellular internet has reported, ~60 mbit or a bit more, the 1×1 connection should be more than enough– when you’re close to the access point.

        I can’t really say whether 2×2 would be any better at the outer reaches of the AP’s coverage area or not.  As the signal strength reduces, so does the speed potential, so it’s possible that at certain signal strengths, the 2×2, being twice as fast as the 1×1, might be able to maintain enough throughput to match the cellular link where the 1×1 would not.  It’s plausible, but I can’t really say for sure, as I’ve never done any testing of this idea. I’m sure someone somewhere has tested this for one of the tech sites, but I don’t know of any such articles offhand.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #344623 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          I did go ahead and order the Panda 300 adapter. Just thought that it might be better in a “public” environment if I do happen to use the laptop outside of my home. I had contacted Panda and they seemed to be hung up on how far I’d be from the hotspot and what the walls were made of, and couldn’t really tell me which would be better.

          In any case – I should get it Monday so I’ll see how it works. And if this all goes as planned, I will need it for my Win 7 laptop as well, since that is my ultimate goal – to get Linux running on that one day before Win 7 EOL comes along.

          Thanks for the info!

          • #344624 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            At any rate, for s couple of bucks more you get one that you can grow into. Smart buy!

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #344670 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              I hope so – LOL! I should get it Monday so that I can begin testing out how the wireless works.

              A question though – how will the wireless adapter work if I am using Vista/Windows? Should I unplug it when not in Linux so that there is no confusion, or will I get a choice of which to use if both are seen by the OS?

              Thanks!

            • #344737 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              It’s been a while, but when I first used the Panda USB on Win7 around 5 years ago, I believe that I had to install the Panda USB adapter driver for Windows.

              Since you are using Vista, you will probably need to add the driver. My Panda USB came with a driver disk. Don’t know if they still ship one these days, but anyway I think I downloaded the latest version directly from the Panda website at some point.

              Or you could just unplug the USB adapter when you boot Windows and Vista should be happy with the Intel if that works for you already.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #344657 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you haven’t yet decided which Linux distro to use, I suggest you try Elementary OS (https://elementary.io/). It is very lightweight and stable, and it is based on Debian, which means that you can run Mint and Ubuntu software.

      Elementary OS is free, so don’t be deterred by the prompt for a donation. You can enter zero if you like.

      The interface is a lot like the MAC, so it may take some getting used to.

      Elementary OS is the one Linux distro that runs well on my old eMachines Vista computer.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #344672 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for that suggestion – it looks beautiful! I have little experience with MAC, but all of these are going to be “new” to me, so there will be a learning curve no matter which I get. I will check it out along with several others suggested here!

        ETA: I wonder how that will work with my Panda wireless USB adapter?? Something to check out once I get it!

      • #344717 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        OK – I did download the Elementary OS and put it on the YUMI thumb drive. It booted up and actually did connect to my WiFi – no adapter needed. However, running off the thumb drive it was VERY slow and I finally had to just turn the computer off since it froze and I couldn’t log out. Hopefully that didn’t damage the thumb drive – I can always recreate it. I’m guessing that it was because of not actually being installed – which I am not ready to do. But I was encouraged to see it actually get an internet connection – this is the first distro that did that.

        More exploring needed for sure.

        • #344721 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          have you verified the checksum?

          https://elementary.io/docs/installation#recommended-system-specifications

          see: verify your download section

          rebooting sometimes helps, too…

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #344724 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, I think that the laptop itself doesn’t have quite the specs it needs. And since the OS is not installed, but running from the thumb drive – that is probably causing an issue, too. I have a Core 2 Duo 5500 which I believe is significantly slower than the recommended i3. I also don’t have a SS hard drive, and only 3 GB ram, so I think that the laptop is just underpowered for Elementary. It looks nice though – maybe if I decide to also try it on my Win 7 laptop it may work better.

            I’ll go back to one of the Ubuntus and keep working at it.

            • #347338 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              Things will likely run slower if you are running Linux from your flash drive. If you have a spare hard drive, install it in the laptop, and then install Elementary OS on it. I’ll bet you’ll find that it runs a lot faster after you install it on the hard drive.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #346448 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      An update and a few questions!

      OK – first the update. I got the Panda USB wireless adapter and found that for some reason, it did not work on Ubuntu, Xubuntu or Lubuntu. Nothing – no power light or anything! Seemed quite strange…

      After that I gave up and let it all gel in my mind for a bit. I finally decided to try Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon. That worked like a charm – I put it on my YUMI drive and booted to it – and the Panda wireless worked! That seemed like a pretty nice distro. I had my husband try some web surfing and he didn’t run into any issue – all was smooth. Seems that the limits of the laptop itself don’t affect running Mint.

      So – I think that I might like to give a dual boot with Vista and Mint a try. I know there is a lot to read and learn about before I do that – and I did have a few questions if anyone might be able to help. I had thought I might start a new discussion, which I can – but since there is so much info here, I thought maybe this was the best place to continue.

      OK – questions:

      1. If I dual boot – will I still get that long list of errors before Linux boots up? Mint gives me even more than any of the Ubuntus – and takes a long time to boot up. If it is actually installed, will those errors be fewer – and might it boot faster? Also – it ran pretty smoothly, but will it run even faster when installed and not on the thumb drive?

      2. When I just boot to Mint from the thumb drive, I can see my hard drive on the desktop. If I click on it – I can actually see the files that are on the Windows side. Will that continue to be the case with a dual boot? That would be nice to be able to access the Windows files while booted to Linux.

      3. What about my hardware – printers, scanner? Would I just try connecting those and see if they work with Mint?

      4. Is there an equivalent to sleep or hibernate in Mint – and how do you “wake” the computer if there is?

      5. If I go this route – should I create a separate partition or will Mint do that for me?

      6. Do I need to have a password for Mint? I don’t have one for Vista and since my husband and I are the only users, there really is no need for one. Can it be installed without a password?

      I think those are the questions so far. I really appreciate any help that anyone might be able to offer. It was very exciting to have it all work finally – hopefully it will be fine when I reboot it and try it all again later on!

      Thanks!!

      LH

      • #346484 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        1. If I dual boot – will I still get that long list of errors before Linux boots up? Mint gives me even more than any of the Ubuntus – and takes a long time to boot up. If it is actually installed, will those errors be fewer – and might it boot faster? Also – it ran pretty smoothly, but will it run even faster when installed and not on the thumb drive?

        It should boot much faster once installed.  On my PCs, Mint 19 booted about as fast as Windows 8.1, which was quite a bit quicker than Windows 7.  As for the errors… I don’t know, but you can safely ignore them if everything is working once it boots.

        2. When I just boot to Mint from the thumb drive, I can see my hard drive on the desktop. If I click on it – I can actually see the files that are on the Windows side. Will that continue to be the case with a dual boot? That would be nice to be able to access the Windows files while booted to Linux.

        Yes, it will.  Most Linux distros can read and write Windows volumes and communicate with Windows networks right out of the box, so to speak.

        3. What about my hardware – printers, scanner? Would I just try connecting those and see if they work with Mint?

        You can certainly try it.  In my case, the scanner works right off the bat, while the printer portion (of the same device) needs a Linux driver from the Canon website.  A lot of printer/scanner manufacturers unfortunately neglect the Linux market and provide no drivers for their hardware, so it falls upon the open source community to write their own.  That’s how my scanner was able to work without installing anything additional… the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) package that is part of Mint has the open-source drivers for my model.

        Hopefully, you will get lucky as I did.  I bought my printer/scanner (Canon MF-3010) before I was interested in Linux, so I never had any reason to check and make sure it was compatible with Linux before purchase.

        4. Is there an equivalent to sleep or hibernate in Mint – and how do you “wake” the computer if there is?

        Sleep, also known as standby, suspend to RAM, or S3, works just fine in Mint.  Hiberate is not enabled by default (a decision of Ubuntu upstream), but there are directions all over the web on how to re-enable it.  The reason it’s disabled by default is supposed to be that it does not always work well, but I’ve enabled it in every Mint, Ubuntu, and Neon installation I’ve done on my many PCs (ranging from 10 year old Core 2 Duo to brand new Coffee Lake), and it has always worked well once enabled.

        How you wake it will probably be the same as Windows.  I usually set the power button to put the computer into sleep mode in Windows or Linux, so to wake it, I usually press it again.  My Acer Swift 1 laptop wakes if I press any other key also, while my Dell G3 laptop doesn’t (it requires the power button to be pressed).  I believe the desktop (Sandy Bridge) wakes on a keypress too, but I always just use the power button by habit.

        5. If I go this route – should I create a separate partition or will Mint do that for me?

        You will need at least one separate partition, but the Mint installer will do that for you.  One of the choices in the installation should be to install Mint alongside Windows, and that will take care of it.  You can always resize the partitions or add more partitions for specific things (that you don’t need to worry about now!) later with a tool like GParted, which is part of the Mint live session, so don’t worry too much about the specifics like how large the Linux partition is. The more you plan to do with it, obviously, the more space it will need, but it can be quite small while you’re getting to know it.  If you have a lot of hard drive/SSD space free, you may want to set it bigger to save yourself the trouble later.

        With my PCs that started as Windows PCs before becoming dual-boot (my Sandy desktop and the Core 2 Duo laptop), I initially set up Linux in small partitions and left the vast majority of the storage space to Windows, reflecting my priorities at the time.   Bit by bit, I ended up shrinking Windows and adding to Linux again and again, and now the situation is reversed, with Linux getting most of the space.

        Hopefully all will go smoothly (as it usually does) and you’ll be dual-booting Mint soon!  Remember to have a backup of Windows and any important files on the PC just in case, which is always a good idea when resizing partitions other such things.  You probably won’t need them, but there’s always the possibility.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #346496 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks so much for the answers to my many questions! When it first booted up and the wireless connected, I was quite excited! It really is a beautiful interface, and seems a lot like Windows. I am glad that it should boot faster once installed – right now it does take a long time – some of that may be the age of the computer, too.

          I am also glad that the size of the partition can be adjust later – but not something I need to worry about right now. Also great that it will see my Windows files – there aren’t many on the Vista machine, but if this all works out, I am thinking I could do the same thing with my two Win 7 computers and still have access to all of the files on them – which is a lot!

          I am hoping that when I boot it up again later on, it will all still be fine. I did have quite a time with my wireless mouse for a while – worked, then it didn’t, then it did – and with the Panda adapter. Glad it is all working now, but keeping my fingers crossed!

          Thanks for all of the information and help! I will post back when I take the next steps – hopefully it will only be good news to report! 🙂

           

      • #346508 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I believe that @ascaris answered most of your questions about dual boot and installation.

        I think you will be happy with Mint. In my experience, it has been the #1 compatible “out-of-the-box” Linux desktop experience every time I have booted it, with everything usually just working. Many Linux first timers are happy with that.

        For me, the Ubuntu distros are a very close #2, with most everything working “out-of-the box” as well. I am surprised that your new Panda adapter was not auto configured on the live Ubuntu boots.

        That device must have a newer chip. My old Panda 150Mbs is over 5 years old, and works with every live distro I have ever tested.

        As far as needing a password, yes you will. But you can select “Log in automatically” during the initial install, so that when you boot you will be auto logged into your user account.

        I am not aware of being able to set this from an options panel in the GUI. If you change your mind later you will need to do some command line editing.

        There is probably something that I should point out right now. There is a major difference with Windows and Linux from a default user permission perspective. Linux users are not running as administrators by default, so you will be prompted for your password every time that you need elevated permissions in order to install something, for example.

        Here is the official Linux Mint installation guide. Step #8 on the install page shows an image of the personal details entry dialogue where you set the username & password, and the auto login option.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #346630 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      I am surprised that your new Panda adapter was not auto configured on the live Ubuntu boots. That device must have a newer chip. My old Panda 150Mbs is over 5 years old, and works with every live distro I have ever tested.

      It did seem strange. At first I thought it just didn’t work – but then I tried it in Windows and it wanted me to install the drivers – which I didn’t do – so I knew that it should work. Probably what you said – an older driver – but at least when I tried it yesterday – it did work fine in Mint.

      There is probably something that I should point out right now. There is a major difference with Windows and Linux from a default user permission perspective. Linux users are not running as administrators by default, so you will be prompted for your password every time that you need elevated permissions in order to install something, for example.

      Sounds like I probably should set one up then and not try to add one later on.

      Thanks for the installation link. I will take a close look at it today. I have also ordered a book: Linux in easy steps: Illustrated using Linux Mint 6th Edition which should help get me on the way.

      Now I am looking into a USB hub that will work, since between my mouse and the Panda USBs I only will have one left once I install Mint.

      Thanks for all of the help and support everyone here has given. I know that without that I probably wouldn’t have even attempted that – now it does seem doable!

       

      • #346638 Reply

        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        @lhiggins – I don’t think you want or need to set up an administrative account. If you are installing software, deleting software, installing an update, etc., you will need administrative authority, but you will be prompted for it by being asked for your password; you’ll get a pop-up window that will say something like “Please authenticate by entering your password.” At least that’s what happens on my Ubuntu 16.04 laptop and I’m assuming Mint would work similarly.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #346643 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          By default in Linux, user accounts are not administrators. The “root”, or super user account is a special account and user on Unix and Linux systems. You must have super user permissions to perform certain functions in Linux.

          Nobody typically logs in as “root”. Well you could, but that would be risky, so you shouldn’t. In Ubuntu based distros, the root account is disabled by default.

          You can make changes to anything specific to your account with normal privileges. Anything that has a system wide effect will require elevated super user privileges.

          You can temporarily elevate your normal user account when needed to super user (root) level privileges. You will need to do this in order to update the system, install software, manage user accounts, make changes to system files, etc.

          You can invoke the super user (root) access by using “sudo” or “su” in the command line interface (terminal, shell, console, etc), or by responding to a prompt for your password when required by a GUI app, such as a software updater.

          By creating a password for your user account at install time, you are not actually creating an administrative account. But you will need that password to enable super user (root) access.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #346658 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for the great explanation of how the privileges work. I’m just getting a good understanding of it in Windows, so this info about Linux was very helpful.

            I think I will just add a password so that it will be there if I need it.

            Thanks again!

            LH

            • #346661 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Just to be clear, adding a password is not optional. But setting Mint to auto-login when you start is an option.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #346710 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Great – thanks for the clarification!

              I just finished doing the steps to “verify” my Mint iso before I actually installed it – a little bit of a mind bender, but it worked out. Next – a deep breath and then I think I’ll be ready to try the dual boot! 🙂

               

        • #346712 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          There’s nuance to the meaning of an “administrator” account. There are actually three levels of accounts in Linux… user (also called limited), administration, and root.

          User accounts can only do things that don’t have a lasting effect on the system configuration. They can change, edit, or delete files within their own user accounts, but not anything within the system, nor anything belonging to any other user.  If a person with a user account tries to do something that requires superuser or root privileges, it will tell him “access denied” and refuse to perform the task.

          Admin accounts run as user accounts most of the time, but if the user of such an account tries to perform an administrative task, the system will ask for a password before granting the root privileges.  The Windows equivalent would be the UAC dialog, though it only asks for a simple button click for permission, not the password.  If that is entered correctly, the task is run as root, and will be able to do anything, including changing system files or files owned by other users.

          The final level, logging in as root for the whole session, is not enabled on Ubuntu or derivatives by default.  If you logged in as root, you could do anything with no challenge for the password.

          Both Windows and Linux Mint require that at least one user have administrative privileges.  They both also disallow logging in as root by default (in Windows, this would be the account named Administrator, which is not the same as an account that has admin privileges).  This type of account is not necessary and is highly discouraged.

          The account you create during the Linux installation will be, as is the case in Windows, an administrator account.  It won’t be a root account (which runs at root all the time, not just after you enter the password).

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #346749 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for the great explanation of the types of accounts. I will only be setting up one at first, so that will be the administrator account.

            I had been playing around with accounts in Windows, since I had read that a standard account  was “safer” – but with Linux that isn’t the case (correct?) so I really don’t see a need for more than the administrator account. In Windows, I have not even used the standard account I set up. Maybe if I’d done that from the start it would be different, but I find that it is really too much switching back and forth now, since I have accumulated quite a few years’ worth of things in the admin account.

            I have a better idea now of how the accounts work in Mint and the need for a password.

            Thanks again!

             

            • #346782 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Hypothetically speaking, using a limited user account in Windows or Linux is safer, but there’s a reason that most home users use admin accounts (with UAC or password prompts for admin tasks) instead of limited ones.

              If everything in the operating system is working as it should, and if the user exercises due diligence, an admin account with UAC or password prompt for privilege escalation is no less safe than a limited one.  The problem is those IFs.  If an exploit is found that can trick the OS into thinking the user has granted permission for administrative access when that’s really not the case, malware could be written to take advantage of that.  Such malware would not work on a limited account, since there would never be a situation in which such a user would ever be presented the option of allowing administrative access in the first place.

              This is a hypothetical risk, not a concrete one, unless such an exploit is discovered.  These kinds of exploits are considered high risk and would generally be fixed quickly on discovery by the respective OS devs, but if such a security flaw is discovered by the bad guys first, they may be able to take advantage of it before the good guys know about it (in which case it would be termed a “zero day”).

              Of course, they’d have to already have gotten the user to run the malware on the PC in the first place before this would ever be an issue, and that is a problem in itself.  The biggest risk to the safety of the PC is the user, not zero days!  If the malware used social engineering to trick the user into running the infected code, it could use the same techniques to advise the user to allow the action, which defeats the protection of the UAC or password prompt without having any zero-day.  Obviously, someone who does not have admin access could never be tricked into granting that permission in the first place.

              Based on these things, it would not be inaccurate to conclude that the user account is safer in a general sense, since two possible attack vectors are blocked.  If the malware uses social engineering, though, to make the user think that the malicious code is actually something good, it could just as easily trick a person who uses a user account but has access to an admin account into logging in as the administrator in order to perform whatever beneficial task it is supposed to be doing.

              In practice, using a limited account when you’re the administrator for the machine (as with home users) can be extremely frustrating.  The increase in safety is hypothetical… it would depend on the existence of a security flaw that we don’t currently know about, or in future carelessness by the user that we can’t possibly predict.  There is no limit to the kinds of things we could imagine the bad guys doing if they happened to know about some security bug that we don’t, and to act on them all as if they are imminent threats would essentially have us unable to do anything with any computer, tablet, smartphone, or whatever other such device.

              There’s no way to realistically design a program to protect a user against himself without blocking some of the actions that he wants and needs to legitimately perform on his own machine.  If the user believes a bit of malware is harmless or beneficial, the machine will run the program the user tells it to run– that’s what it is meant to do.

              It’s one thing to use limited accounts on corporate machines maintained by an IT staff and used mostly by office workers who have no need nor inclination to perform administrative tasks on the OS anyway.  These users will always have limited accounts, with the actual limits determined by the policy set by the IT administrators.  This reduces the risk, but since the biggest threat to the security of any PC is its user, it is possible for careless behavior of these workers to result in a malware infection, no matter how hard the IT department tries to keep everything safe.

              The larger and more complex the system, the greater the “attack surface.”  That’s what using a user account instead of an admin account accomplishes… it reduces the attack surface.  The term “attack surface” references the complexity and size of the code and thus the odds that an exploit will be discovered that would allow bad guys to do things they’re not supposed to be able to do.  Once an exploit is discovered, the term “attack surface” doesn’t really apply to it anymore, since “attack surface” is a metaphor for the odds of someone finding undiscovered security bugs.  By definition, that doesn’t apply to known bugs.

              Computer safety, as you can see, is a balancing act.  A very locked-down system will have reduced attack surface and less odds of being compromised, but it’s also a real pain in the butt to use if there’s no dedicated IT staff to handle problems.  To most Linux and Windows users in a home (or sometimes small office) setting, the relatively slight decrease in potential security of the admin account is justified by the large increase in usability without having to log out, log back in as administrator, do the administrative task, log out, log back in as the user, only to discover that there’s even more admin work to do… lather, rinse, repeat.

              Windows is a particularly juicy target on the desktop because of its 90% desktop market share, and so is Office, since it has powerful scripting capabilities and is ubiquitous in business settings.  Because of this, using Linux on the desktop with admin (but not full root) privileges already puts you ahead of the game in terms of security.  A lot of Linux fans assert or imply that Linux is close to impervious to malware, but it’s not.  It’s such a small target on the desktop that it’s not worth the time of malware authors.  That’s a real and valuable benefit, even if it’s not inherent to the awesomeness of Linux in general.

              Linux in other formats does get attacked fairly regularly.  It runs much of the server infrastructure of the web, so it’s a big target there.  Linux-based IoT devices are an easy target simply because they tend to keep their original factory firmware forever, even long after serious security bugs in the code they run have been discovered (and fixed, but the fixes are seldom rolled out to older devices).  This is a problem with many home routers, which are used by millions of people, and are often shockingly vulnerable to known security issues.

              My router, for example, is a Netgear WNDR3700, the first version (now referred to as v1, though at the time, there was no such designation), whose factory firmware runs a flavor of Linux, as many do.  I’ve had it for about ten years, and it’s still a great router.  The problem is that the last firmware update from Netgear for the v1 was in 2011!  As you can see from this link, the WNDR3700 is still listed on the Netgear site among the current models, yet mine has been completely neglected for eight years, simply because it is an older revision and is out of warranty.  Am I expected to throw it away and buy another one of the same model every few years to keep getting security fixes?  What a waste that would be!

              Sadly, this is the norm with consumer routers, and it has been just as bad in the burgeoning world of IoT devices, if not worse.  Not only is there often no effort at all made to keep these devices up to date with security fixes, but they’re often designed without any thought toward security from the beginning, when the firmware is still as up to date as it will ever be.  As the number of IoT things explodes, the potential for exploitation of those devices and for botnets the likes of which have never been seen before explodes as well.  But that’s another story!

              My router, FWIW, now runs DD-WRT firmware, which is constantly updated as new security exploits are discovered.  It’s also far more powerful than the factory firmware, which is nice.  On the bad side, it’s made for dozens, if not hundreds, of router models, which means it’s beyond the realm of possibility to test and debug it on all of them.  It’s kind of a [lottery] as to whether any given build will be any good on any given device, and it may take a few tries to find a build that works well on your particular router.

              Most of the DD-WRT builds have worked well for me… several had bad bugs, and one or two didn’t work at all, requiring a ssh (secure shell) recovery to debrick the router and get it working once again.  Still, it’s better than firmware from the factory that is already known to be riddled with holes.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #347269 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Wow – great info on security! Lots to digest here, but I had never really thought about the point you make that Linux is a much “smaller” target compared to MS. That would explain a lot, and also begs the question about some type of AV or anti-malware needed for Linux? Should I look into something for the Mint system once I get it going or is it really not needed?

              Also – the admin vs standard/user account info is right on. The reason I didn’t ever start using the standard account I set up on my Win 7 machine was that it was difficult to keep track of my files etc. I think the only way that would work well for a home user would be to start it off right when a computer is new and accumulate everything within the standard account. Right now, after about 8 years, I have so much in the admin account – files, folders, passwords, favorites, email, etc. – that it would be difficult to actually move it all over into the standard account so that it would be accessible. And that would also duplicate everything, taking up valuable hard drive real estate too.

              I am pretty careful and hopefully once Linux gets going on the old Vista machine, I can also put it on the Win 7 laptop and still access all of my files and that will prove to be a good alternative for Win 7 EOL.

              Thanks so much for taking time to explain all of this – great info for sure and something I’ll need to reread and understand!

      • #346644 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        That “Linux in easy steps” looks like a good book. I had not seen this one before.

        I read the free preview and the intro is well written. The table of contents looks like good coverage of the subject matter for first time users.

        Very convenient that the author chose Mint Cinnamon to use for his examples in the book!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #346656 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes – I thought it looked pretty helpful – and on Amazon they did have a pretty long “preview” so I could get a good idea of how it was written. I should get it Monday and I am “old school” enough to still like an actual book – LOL! Not sure where I saw it – maybe just a search at Amazon? And it isn’t that expensive, so I’ll give it a try and let you know if it is useful. And the main reason I got it was because of Mint – you can try to extrapolate with other examples, but these are just what I am using!

    • #346632 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      3. What about my hardware – printers, scanner? Would I just try connecting those and see if they work with Mint?

      You can certainly try it. In my case, the scanner works right off the bat, while the printer portion (of the same device) needs a Linux driver from the Canon website. A lot of printer/scanner manufacturers unfortunately neglect the Linux market and provide no drivers for their hardware, so it falls upon the open source community to write their own. That’s how my scanner was able to work without installing anything additional… the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) package that is part of Mint has the open-source drivers for my model. Hopefully, you will get lucky as I did.

      I think this may be where I do run into issues, but as you said, I’ll need to try it. I have both a Canon MG7520 printer/scanner/copier that I did find a Linux driver page for, so I am hopeful that I can find the right one if there isn’t already something that will work within Mint. I also have an old Canon 8800F scanner which I love, but I don’t think that will work with Linux at all – although I did find it mentioned on the SANE page – not exactly sure what that means LOL!

      My thought right now is that I can still use those on my Windows desktop and just bring the files I need over to the Vista/Linux laptop on a USB drive. Or maybe I can install them onto the Vista side and just be able to view the files when in Linux. A few work arounds I guess?

      I’ll also need to investigate the sleep/standby process once I get it actually installed. Since the boot up is so long, I was hoping to be able to suspend it when I am not using it rather than shut down and reboot every time.

      Thanks so much for all of the help and answers to my questions. I will post back if I run into problems going forward!

      • #346723 Reply

        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        @lhiggins – I think once you get Mint installed on your hard drive, boot-up times will shorten dramatically compared to those from a USB flash drive. With Ubuntu 16.04 it seemed to take a good 10 minutes to boot from the flash drive but 2 to 3 minutes from the hard drive. (I’m running a 10 year old HP Pavilion laptop, which by the way, took 7 or 8 minutes to boot into Vista from the hard drive.)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #346750 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks! That would be much better!!

          With the long boot up time in Linux Mint, I am hoping to use sleep/suspend/hibernate since I’d rather not shut it down all the time, but if the boot time is that much shorter, I may not need to do that all the time. My “habit” now is to leave my Win 7 laptop on and put it into sleep when I am done using it – and just waking it to continue whatever I was doing later. I am hoping to be able to do the same thing with the Vista machine and Linux. Right now, booting into Vista on my equally old HP is fairly quick – so hopefully Mint will be as well.

          Thanks for the info!

          • #346770 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            For “suspend” (sleep) in Mint Cinnamon:

            From the Cinnamon menu >

            The “Quit” button launches a dialog box which lets you choose what you want to do:

            “Suspend” saves your session to RAM and your computer goes to sleep until you press a key.
            – “Hibernate” saves your session to your hard drive and your computer shuts down.
            – “Restart” restarts the computer.
            – “Shut Down” turns the computer off.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #347267 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks John! Perfect and probably will be one of the first things I try! Much appreciated!!

      • #346783 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I also have an old Canon 8800F scanner which I love, but I don’t think that will work with Linux at all – although I did find it mentioned on the SANE page – not exactly sure what that means LOL!

        You should be able to plug that scanner into Mint and start using it without any issues.  I went to the SANE page and saw the reference to that scanner, and it says that support for it is complete within the SANE driver package, so that means it should work just as well as my Canon MF3010– which is to say flawlessly!

        My thought right now is that I can still use those on my Windows desktop and just bring the files I need over to the Vista/Linux laptop on a USB drive. Or maybe I can install them onto the Vista side and just be able to view the files when in Linux.

        Well, of course, it should work in Linux fine, but you could also do what you describe here, or set up a VM and run Windows from there.  While my scanner works nicely with all the Linux programs I’ve tried, the 32-bit Java browser applet from my bank (ugh) that allows me to scan and deposit checks with a PC and scanner rather than a smartphone doesn’t recognize the SANE scanner APIs.  It’s looking for WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) or TWAIN, and while TWAIN claims Linux support, I don’t know how to make that work.

        Since Java in browsers is a relic anyway, I just use Windows 7 in a VirtualBox VM, where I have installed an older, 32-bit version of Firefox that is still compatible with the 32-bit Java plugin the bank requires.  That VM is never used for visiting any site but that one, and after I am done using it, I tell it to restore the initial configuration when I close the VM, so even if any malware took hold during the few minutes I used it (very unlikely given that I only visit the bank site), it gets erased.  It takes only a few seconds to do this.  If you do this, remember to save any files you wish to keep to a USB drive or such so they’re not lost when the VM is rolled back.

         

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #346778 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      hi, LHiggins,

      you can look at your boot times (from Terminal)
      systemd-analyze
      systemd-analyze blame
      systemd-analyze critical-chain

      i use sandisk 32GB sticks and ubuntu 16.04 boots in 40 seconds and shuts down in 5 seconds. my machine won’t suspend since kernel 3.18 (wifi nic won’t come back without a reboot). you can change startup items as well: from terminal run
      sudo sed -i ‘s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g’ /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

      then open the GUI startup from the dash and it will show everything that starts during boot and you can adjust to your liking there. i just untick the services i dont want to run.

      see:
      https://prahladyeri.com/blog/2017/09/how-to-trim-your-new-ubuntu-installation-of-extra-fat-and-make-it-faster.html

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #347209 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        That’s the time booting from a USB drive?  Was it USB 3?

        On my desktop PC, a Sandy Bridge i5, with a SATA SSD as the boot/root device and a HDD for /home, it takes ~16 seconds to boot from the end of POST, as reported by systemd-analyze.

        On my laptop with NVMe boot/root and SATA SSD for /home, and with a Coffee Lake i7, it takes just under ten seconds from end of POST, and “firmware” (POST, drive enumeration, etc.) takes 11 seconds, for a total of 21 seconds, as reported by systemd-analyze.

        For whatever reason, systemd reports no such “firmware” time for the desktop, even though it has a delay on par with that of the laptop.  I measured the delay on the desktop at 12 seconds, for a total of 28 seconds from power-on to ready to use.

        It would, of course, be longer if booting wholly from a HDD.

         

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #347248 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          Ascaris,

          this 40 second boot time is on Ubuntu 16.04 and “old hardware” usb 2.0,  with AMD 2 core 64 bit processor. shutdown is 2-3 seconds.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #347258 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          well, i’ve been working on it so i just rebooted and got this result:

          ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ systemd-analyze
          Startup finished in 3.575s (kernel) + 21.699s (userspace) = 25.274s

          and:

          ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ systemd-analyze critical-chain
          The time after the unit is active or started is printed after the “@” character.
          The time the unit takes to start is printed after the “+” character.

          graphical.target @21.661s
          └─lightdm.service @13.109s +8.522s
          └─systemd-user-sessions.service @8.059s +629ms
          └─basic.target @7.128s
          └─sockets.target @7.127s
          └─acpid.socket @7.127s
          └─sysinit.target @7.120s
          └─apparmor.service @5.929s +1.171s
          └─local-fs.target @5.916s
          └─windows.mount @5.880s +35ms
          └─systemd-fsck@dev-disk-by\x2duuid-3737\x2d1904.service @4.800
          └─dev-disk-by\x2duuid-3737\x2d1904.device @4.783s
          bottom line it took me an hour to shave 15 seconds off the boot time!

          http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #347644 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        OK – I have had several issues with the Linux Mint 19.1 install – the long boot time being the most annoying.

        I ran

        • systemd-analyze
        • systemd-analyze blame
        • systemd-analyze critical-chain

        and got these results:

        …HP-Pavilion-dv6700-Notebook-PC:~$ systemd-analyze
        Startup finished in 1min 7.922s (kernel) + 54.125s (userspace) = 2min 2.048s
        graphical.target reached after 54.093s in userspace

        and

        …HP-Pavilion-dv6700-Notebook-PC:~$ systemd-analyze blame
        32.682s lightdm.service
        32.680s plymouth-quit-wait.service
        11.972s systemd-journal-flush.service
        10.070s dev-sda5.device
        7.717s lvm2-monitor.service
        7.118s systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service
        5.736s systemd-sysctl.service
        4.113s udisks2.service
        3.861s accounts-daemon.service
        3.621s NetworkManager.service
        3.537s ModemManager.service
        3.216s networkd-dispatcher.service
        2.999s ubuntu-system-adjustments.service
        2.250s thermald.service
        2.226s fstrim.service
        2.002s keyboard-setup.service
        1.782s polkit.service
        1.718s systemd-modules-load.service
        1.256s gpu-manager.service
        963ms systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service
        907ms colord.service
        838ms apparmor.service
        835ms dev-hugepages.mount
        777ms systemd-remount-fs.service
        771ms grub-common.service
        766ms sys-kernel-debug.mount
        735ms dev-mqueue.mount
        713ms upower.service
        689ms apport.service
        619ms dns-clean.service
        558ms swapfile.swap
        532ms lm-sensors.service
        525ms avahi-daemon.service
        518ms speech-dispatcher.service
        427ms user@1000.service
        418ms systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service
        411ms networking.service
        332ms rsyslog.service
        316ms systemd-random-seed.service
        314ms kerneloops.service
        304ms ufw.service
        284ms wpa_supplicant.service
        253ms systemd-journald.service
        229ms kmod-static-nodes.service
        206ms systemd-logind.service
        204ms packagekit.service
        198ms systemd-resolved.service
        197ms systemd-timesyncd.service
        189ms rtkit-daemon.service
        185ms bluetooth.service
        166ms systemd-udev-trigger.service
        133ms systemd-update-utmp.service
        121ms blk-availability.service
        114ms setvtrgb.service
        80ms systemd-udevd.service
        58ms hddtemp.service
        58ms alsa-restore.service
        54ms pppd-dns.service
        31ms systemd-rfkill.service
        23ms console-setup.service
        22ms plymouth-start.service
        18ms systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service
        14ms ureadahead-stop.service
        13ms systemd-update-utmp-runlevel.service
        12ms plymouth-read-write.service
        11ms systemd-user-sessions.service
        11ms sys-kernel-config.mount
        6ms openvpn.service
        5ms sys-fs-fuse-connections.mount

        and

        …HP-Pavilion-dv6700-Notebook-PC:~$ systemd-analyze critical-chain
        The time after the unit is active or started is printed after the “@” character.
        The time the unit takes to start is printed after the “+” character.

        graphical.target @54.093s
        └─multi-user.target @54.093s
        └─getty.target @54.092s
        └─getty@tty1.service @54.092s
        └─system-getty.slice @54.090s
        └─setvtrgb.service @53.975s +114ms
        └─systemd-user-sessions.service @21.277s +11ms
        └─network.target @21.273s
        └─NetworkManager.service @17.651s +3.621s
        └─dbus.service @17.226s
        └─basic.target @17.219s
        └─sockets.target @17.219s
        └─uuidd.socket @17.219s
        └─sysinit.target @16.959s
        └─systemd-timesyncd.service @16.761s +197ms
        └─systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service @15.729s +963ms
        └─systemd-journal-flush.service @3.754s +11.972s
        └─systemd-remount-fs.service @2.974s +777ms
        └─systemd-journald.socket @2.897s
        └─system.slice @2.896s

        The entire boot from start takes about 8 minutes, with a lot of the time just being stopped at a black screen and no HD activity. It seems that something is hanging it or waiting for something to happen.

        I had read on the Linux forums that the kernel version might affect boot times, so I also ran uname -r and got kernel 4.15.0-20-generic. It wants to upgrade to 4.15.0.46.48 but I had read that that one can have issues, so I didn’t do it.

        Any ideas on how to fix or adjust the boot issue will be appreciated. I can move this to a new discussion if that might make it easier to keep this on track.

        I also had a few other issues that I’ll mention separately, too.

        Thanks!!

    • #347271 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      You should be able to plug that scanner into Mint and start using it without any issues. I went to the SANE page and saw the reference to that scanner, and it says that support for it is complete within the SANE driver package, so that means it should work just as well as my Canon MF3010– which is to say flawlessly!

      That would be wonderful! I will give that a try once I get things working. My Canon printer does have a scanner built in, but I never could get it working and with the actual scanner, I never needed to. So I will be happy if it does continue to be usable!

      While my scanner works nicely with all the Linux programs I’ve tried, the 32-bit Java browser applet from my bank (ugh) that allows me to scan and deposit checks with a PC and scanner rather than a smartphone doesn’t recognize the SANE scanner APIs. It’s looking for WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) or TWAIN, and while TWAIN claims Linux support, I don’t know how to make that work.

      Funny that banking software would want you to use the older browser! Glad you have found a way around that. It gets so frustrating when things are working and then something gets changed, and that sets off a chain reaction of things that need fixing!

    • #347274 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      And one more thing – probably jumping the gun, but does anyone have any experience with https://alternativeto.net? I have a small program called Snipping Tool that I use a lot and decided to see if there was a Linux alternative. My google search for “snipping tool  alternative Linux” brought up that AlternativeTo site. Looks interesting, and wondered if anyone had ever tried anything from it?

      • #347328 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        I’ve used alternativeto quite a bit… the reviews of similar tools can be helpful, and it allows sorting by operating system. It is a good starting place for researching what else is available that will work. I’ve used it to look for open source alternatives, both for Windows and Linux. Keep in mind what features you actually need and use when sorting through reviews. I use the site as a starting point for researching what programs are available, rather than making decisions based on their information.

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #347358 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks Elly! It does look like a good site to bookmark and keep as a reference when looking for alternative software – though at first look, Mint has a lot of options already built in. Nice!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #347289 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      like this?

      https://askubuntu.com/questions/18867/which-tool-to-crop-a-portion-of-the-screen

      p.s. got boot down to 17.604 seconds,

      Startup finished in 3.580s (kernel) + 14.024s (userspace) = 17.604s

      graphical.target @13.996s
      └─lightdm.service @13.528s +457ms
      └─systemd-user-sessions.service @7.949s +131ms
      └─basic.target @7.016s
      └─sockets.target @7.016s
      └─cups.socket @7.016s
      └─sysinit.target @7.007s
      └─apparmor.service @5.966s +1.040s
      └─local-fs.target @5.952s
      └─windows.mount @5.819s +129ms
      └─systemd-fsck@dev-disk-by\x2duuid-3737\x2d1904.service @4.760
      └─dev-disk-by\x2duuid-3737\x2d1904.device @4.747s

    • #347342 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      And one more thing – probably jumping the gun, but does anyone have any experience with https://alternativeto.net? I have a small program called Snipping Tool that I use a lot and decided to see if there was a Linux alternative. My google search for “snipping tool alternative Linux” brought up that AlternativeTo site. Looks interesting, and wondered if anyone had ever tried anything from it?

      Screenshot is the Linux Mint alternative to Snipping Tool, if you haven’t yet found that out. It either comes pre-installed, or you can easily install it using Software Manager.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #347357 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes – once I got it running, I did find Screenshot and played around with it! Nice that there are so many things already built into Mint!

    • #347356 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Well, some success! I read all of the support info and did go ahead and install Linux Mint on the laptop. Went very slowly, but seems fine.

      During the install, two issues did come up. The first was that I got this message:

      The installer has detected that the following disks have mounted partitions:

      /dev/sda/

      Do you want the installer to try and unmount the partitions on these disks 

      before continuing? If you leave them mounted, you will not be able to create, 

      delete, or resize partitions on these disks, but you may be able to install 

      to existing partitions there.

      I wasn’t at all sure what that meant, and I was able to just x that message out – but for future reference, what does that mean, and what should I have said – yes or no?

      Also – when it installed Linux alongside Vista, I let the installer set the partition sizes. I’m sure what it did was OK – Vista got about 150 GB and Linux about 86GB – but can that be adjusted at any point?

      I played around with suspending and shutting down – restarting from either is quite a long  process still – and now I am only seeing the grey screen with the occasional Linux splash screen – none of those “error” messages – so I am not really sure if it is working. It does finally come alive, and everything works fine!

      Thanks for the help and ideas about those two install questions. I have a lot to learn, but fun! 🙂

      • #347432 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I wasn’t at all sure what that meant, and I was able to just x that message out – but for future reference, what does that mean, and what should I have said – yes or no?

        Yes would have been the better option, but it worked, so it was probably one of the volumes that did not need to be resized that was mounted.

        Mounting is a process where a disk or other storage device is added to the file system and made available for regular use.  Windows does this too, but it tends to hide more of the details of what it’s doing. Here’s probably a lot more detail than you planned on!

        If you’ve ever scanned a disk for errors in Windows prior to 8 with the checkbox for fixing the errors checked, it will either tell you that it has to unmount the volume (partition) first and give you a button to press to do that, or if it is not possible to unmount it (like if it’s the drive with the OS on it, which cannot be unmounted while that OS is running), it will offer to schedule the scan and repair for the next reboot.  It can do it at that point because the Windows volume has not been mounted yet.  It can’t perform repairs while the drive is mounted, since that would present the possibility that some other thing could change the files it is trying to repair at the same time, and that could lead to corruption of the disk data and data loss.

        If a volume is not mounted, the program performing the operation can lock the volume and make it accessible only to itself, so any possibility of corruption by another program is eliminated.  As in Windows XP/Vista/7, the Linux version of Windows’ chkdsk (check disk), known in Linux as fsck (filesystem check), must be run with the volume it is checking unmounted for it to be performed safely.  Linux doesn’t try to protect users from themselves as much as Windows, so if you try to fsck a mounted volume from the command line, it will tell you in no uncertain terms that trying this will mess up your system, and ask you if you really want to do it before it proceeds.  The correct answer after seeing that warning, of course, is no!  It warns you clearly, but recognizes that it’s ultimately your choice.

        If you check the volume from a graphical tool (Gparted, for example), it will do as in Windows and refuse to try it with the volume mounted.  Lots of things that involve changes to partitions, repairs, etc., can’t be done with the volume(s) in question mounted, because that would be inviting, if not guaranteeing, corrupt files and data loss.  That’s why you can’t resize the Windows partition while running Windows.  Windows needs it to be mounted at all times, so it’s not possible to unmount it for the resize.  The same is true on Linux.

        And that’s why the Linux live session/installer wanted to try to unmount the volume(s) that were mounted up front.  If they were mounted, it would not be possible to resize or otherwise change them.  If the ones you needed to resize to put Mint on were mounted, it would not have worked, so the mounted volume must not have been the one or ones that got changed.

        Also – when it installed Linux alongside Vista, I let the installer set the partition sizes. I’m sure what it did was OK – Vista got about 150 GB and Linux about 86GB – but can that be adjusted at any point?

        Yes, you can change the partition sizes any time you wish, but the partitions in question must not be mounted at the time you do it.  If you boot Vista, you cannot resize the partition Windows is running on because it cannot be unmounted, but you can resize whatever other ones your partitioning tool is compatible with.  The one I’ve used while in Windows was Minitools Partition Wizard, and it can resize Linux partitions from Windows.  If you ask it to resize the Windows partition, it will offer to reboot to perform it, and it will write a special bootloader to perform the operation before Windows boots.  I would not advise that kind of thing with a dual-boot setup, as its special bootloader could easily mess with the Linux bootloader.  Fortunately, there are other ways to resize the Windows partition!

        If you boot Mint, it will be able to resize Windows partitions with Gparted, but as in Windows, it will not be possible to resize the partition Mint it installed on, because that one cannot be unmounted.

        You could do it half and half like that, resizing the Windows one from Linux and the Linux one from Windows, but the easiest way would be to boot your Linux install USB/disc and use Gparted from there.  Because it runs from the USB drive, it will be possible to unmount all of the partitions on the hard drive, so it can resize them all at once.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #347437 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Well actually… there are all kinds of things that can be done to partitions while running if you’re careful about it and know what you’re doing. Or by accident. On Windows it tends to be the latter because doing it on purpose is usually prevented… on Linux and the rest of the “Unix tradition”, on the command line there’s usually an -f switch or equivalent way to make it ignore various kinds of safeguards.

          (As to the “on Windows by accident” part, an iSCSI setup with too little access control… no, you probably don’t want to know.)

          On Linux this is the part where you’ll want to be using the Logical Volume Manager or some such. Then you can do things like move filesystems from one to another physical drive without unmounting… resizing a mounted filesystem is still only possible in a limited set of circumstances though, and losing track of your boot block can be a problem. (Still waiting for PC firmware that could boot straight to LVM. PA-RISC and RS/6000 had that ages ago…)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #347962 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            Using the graphical tools we’re talking about here, like the Mint installer, it’s necessary to take a volume offline before performing any of these tasks.  We’re not sysadmins of an enterprise network… just home users, looking to explain what the Mint installer meant by asking if the user wanted to dismount the volume so that resizing, adding, or deleting partitions would be possible, and how a person brand new to Linux would best accomplish that.  Have to walk before you can run, ya know? <g>

             

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #347980 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks for that detailed explanation of mounting and also resizing partitions.

              Indeed – correct: “Have to walk before you can run, ya know?” 🙂

              I was afraid that I had done something to contribute to the long boot up times by not choosing something in that box.

              Which leads to another question. When I boot that laptop I initially get these choices:

              *Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon

              Advanced option for Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon

              Memory test (memtest 86+)

              Memory test (memtest 86+ serial console 115200)

              Windows on Vista (on /dev/sda 1)

              Windows Vista (on /dev/sda2)

              I let it boot to the first choice and it eventually does go to Mint. I did try booting to Windows and ran into quite an issue – wouldn’t boot and then it needed to check the disk etc. It did finally boot to Vista and then I could boot back to Mint – but in each case it took a long while. So – are all of those choices a result of me not choosing yes or no for the unmount question, or is that “normal” behavior?

              And a question I had also asked in a different thread – should I change the boot order back to the hard drive since both Linux and Vista are now installed – would that long boot time be because it is looking for the bootable USB drive?

              Thanks for your input – much appreciated.

    • #347664 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Aside from the slow boot times with Mint 19.1 I also ran into these issues:

      1. My wireless mouse stops working when I suspend or restart – and doesn’t always work after a complete shutdown and boot up. My Panda USB adapter keeps working, but once the mouse is dead, it doesn’t work in either of the available USBs. It seems to be hit or miss when it will start working again.

      2. I also ran into some dual boot issues when I tried to boot back into Vista. It wouldn’t and eventually gave me a screen to “repair” windows – and it did also eventually let Vista start. It also takes a long while to boot – about 6-7 minutes, so maybe those long boot times are just the computer hardware itself?

      And ideas on either of these also appreciated.

      Thanks!!

      • #347992 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        So the wireless mouse uses a USB dongle, right?  I’ve never used one of those, but perhaps some web searching about that model will turn up whether this is a common issue or not with it.  Which mouse is it?

        Six or seven minutes booting into Vista is way too long. As I asked in the other thread, but in that case with Linux: Is most of the wait time before or after you see the GRUB menu asking whether you want Linux or Windows?

        Vista did boot slower than 7, and 7 was slower than 8, but even so, it should not be that long.  I wonder if the hard drive is starting to have some issues.

        If you go into Mint and type ‘disks’ in the main (Start) menu, you will see the GNOME disks utility, and that can read the disk SMART parameters.  If you could copy and paste the result of that here, it might help confirm or rule that out.

        I’d also suggest doing the disk error scan from Windows and see what that reports, if anything.  It will ask you to to schedule the scan/repair (check the box to automatically fix errors) for the next reboot, which is fine.

        In Linux, you could start a live session using your trusty USB stick and run Gparted from there, and select the option to check the Linux volume.  If the “unmount” option is available, it means that volume is mounted, so select unmount, then you will be able to select Check.

        It looks like it’s really slow starting two unrelated OSes, and that’s suspicious (as far as the hard drive is concerned).  It’s a Core 2 Duo setup we’re talking about, if I recall, is that right?  I remember mentioning how I’d added more RAM to mine even though Intel and ASUS had both said it could only accept up to 4GB, but I have 8GB in it working fine.

        I no longer have Vista on that machine, but when it was on there (on HDD, not a SSD), it wasn’t that long.  I just timed it, and it took 1 minute and 33 seconds to get from the GRUB menu to the login prompt of Mint 19, using a 5400 RPM internal hard drive.  It was far less with a SSD, as you might expect, but when I bought the Dell G3 with the HDD installed, I swapped them.  After using an SSD, going back to a rust spinner just makes it feel like there’s something wrong with it for being so slow!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

    • #348003 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      So the wireless mouse uses a USB dongle, right? I’ve never used one of those, but perhaps some web searching about that model will turn up whether this is a common issue or not with it. Which mouse is it?

      Yes – it has a tiny transceiver that I have plugged into one of the USB ports. It is an old “Connectland” mouse – I really never got used to the touchpad, thus the USB mouse. It seems to work OK in Vista. I also have the Panda wireless adapter plugged in to a different USB and so far, it seems to be consistent for the internet.

      Is most of the wait time before or after you see the GRUB menu asking whether you want Linux or Windows?

      Yes – nearly all of the wait time is after that choice screen.

      I will go ahead and try the things you suggest – it may well be a hard drive issue since it is quite old. I was really about ready to just recycle it but decided to use it as an experiment to see what might eventually be workable for my newer Win 7 laptop. As to adding RAM – not sure that is even worth doing on the Vista machine, but I may do that on the Win 7 one when I next take it to be serviced.

      I’d also suggest doing the disk error scan from Windows and see what that reports, if anything. It will ask you to to schedule the scan/repair (check the box to automatically fix errors) for the next reboot, which is fine.

      I think that is what I eventually needed to do yesterday before it would boot to Vista – it did some checking and scanning, and I didn’t actually get error messages – and it did eventually boot up – but again a long process.

      In Linux, you could start a live session using your trusty USB stick and run Gparted from there, and select the option to check the Linux volume. If the “unmount” option is available, it means that volume is mounted, so select unmount, then you will be able to select Check.

      I’ll give all this a try and report back. So I should put that stick back in and let it boot from there and then follow your steps?

      Sorry to have confused things with the other thread – seemed like this one was getting so long, but all of the important info is here. And yes – the stats you have for the Vista machine are correct!

      Thanks – will post back later! 🙂

      • #348027 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Yes – nearly all of the wait time is after that choice screen.

        Ok, then it’s not a function of the system searching for the USB drive at that point.  It searches for it before it boots to the GRUB menu.

        So I should put that stick back in and let it boot from there and then follow your steps?

        Yes.  You shouldn’t have to go into the BIOS settings to change the boot order, though… there should be some key to press that will bring up the boot override menu during POST, just for that one boot.

        It’s definitely not normal that booting will take longer with a dual-boot setup.  It should take no longer than a single boot setup for either of the respective operating systems.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        • #348096 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          OK – I booted from the Live USB stick – took 7 minutes. I found GParted, but couldn’t see a “check” choice. I could see various partitions including these:

          dev/sda 1 ntfs 140.15 GB – that’s my Vista partition

          dev/sda 2 ntfs – that’s my Vista recovery

          dev/sda 5 80GB – that’s the Linux partition

           

      • #348067 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        How long did it take to complete a “live” boot with Mint from the USB?

        • #348106 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          OK – here are the times:

          From Live USB to Linux Mint – 7 minutes

          From HD boot to Linux Mint – 7 minutes

          From HD boot to Vista – 1.5 minutes

          I may have said earlier that the Vista boot was slow, but I think that may have been when I ran into the issue of it not booting and needing to check the disk.

          Anyway – I reset the boot order to the hard drive – I can change it if needed, but seems that made sense to do.

          I guess this long boot to Mint is just going to be the way it is. When booting from the live USB there are many messages that flash up on the screen. I can’t see any of those when I boot from the hard drive, but I’m guessing that is what is happening behind the scenes.

          ETA: It probably wouldn’t be a real issue if I could count on being able to suspend and wake it without losing my mouse control. If I only started it once a day and let it be suspended when I wasn’t using it, that would probably be acceptable in the long run.

          One other thought – should I try to reinstall Mint from the live USB again – maybe something was wonky in the install? And I could properly answer that mount/unmount question, too. I really don’t want to do that, but if you all think it might speed things up, I’m willing to try it.

          And just for information, shutting down in Linux took about a minute – there were two error messages before it shut down. Vista took about 35 seconds.

          • #348117 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            In that case I would install all of the Mint updates, including the kernel.

            The only thing in common right now other than the laptop hardware (besides the HDD/USB difference) is that the software is unpatched in both the live and installed versions.

            You booted other live distros from the YUMI flash drive previously, did any of them take 8 minutes to boot up?

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #348123 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            1.5 minutes is not bad for an older system with a hard drive and Vista.  Glad that much is squared away at least.  That makes a big difference in the diagnostics!

            So it looks like something in Linux is not working well.  It should not take any 8 minutes to boot from a USB drive either.  I have a

            To see the check option, right click a partition on the graphical display, and it is in the context menu.  It may be grayed out… if so, you probably will have to unmount the volume first, which is why it should be done from a live session.

            You booted other live distros from the YUMI flash drive previously, did any of them take 8 minutes to boot up?

            Very good question right there.  I’d try some others and find out as he suggested.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #348143 Reply

            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            There’s definitely something funny going on with the Linux boot then.

            You should have plenty of tracing available in the files under /var/log already.

            I see from the timings that the biggest measured delays are funny things like waiting for “plymouth” to quit… that’s the fancy screen overlay during boot, doesn’t do anything but look pretty and hide diagnostics… and shouldn’t even save any data when quitting.

            Now I don’t have Mint installed anywhere to check on, but plymouth shouldn’t be there if you boot to “recovery mode” – and it should load all the same drivers and such… it’s not all that difficult to show boot messages for normal mode either, but then some people think it’s ugly 😉

            Oh well. Actually I *have* seen exactly this kind of thing before, now that I think of it. See, I bought a PC with a new motherboard chipset once and the IDE interface would fall back to some slow PIO mode for compatibility. It was quite fast after the UltraDMA driver support got there in late 1999… vendor-provided driver disk of course turned UltraDMA on for Windows 98 right away. (Still have the motherboard actually.)

    • #348131 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      You booted other live distros from the YUMI flash drive previously, did any of them take 8 minutes to boot up?

      Very good question right there. I’d try some others and find out as he suggested.

      I agree  – that is a great suggestion. And if I find that the boot times are very different, I will go ahead and work on getting those updates – since as John points out, that does seem like the common variable.

      Thanks!

      • #348162 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        OK – timed the following:

        Kubuntu 18.04.2 took 4 min 21 seconds to the Try Kubuntu screen and another 2-3 minute to actually boot up.

        Lubuntu 18.04.2 took 4 min 30 seconds to boot.

        Xubuntu took 5 min 22 seconds to boot.

        Each time I could see a variety of errors – these repeated many times for all three:

        A long string that contained CRTC 41: PIPE B

        A long string that contained Connector: 50: SVideo-1 flip_done_timed_out

        A long string that contained drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for-dependencies

        A quick look online seems to indicate that at least one of those indicates a driver issue?

    • #348144 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      maybe run systemctl-analyze, systemctl-analyze blame and systemctl-analyze critical-chain? and post the results? on the linux from the terminal

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #348152 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        sorry, i did not see that you ran this yesterday…

        you could update the packages and see if that helps. i run ubuntu 14, 16 and 18 on an (2006) AMD Athlon 64 x2 1.8 GHZ so your processor may be lacking? how much memory is installed? running 18.04LTS on unity desktop is a bit much even with all the tweaking, yet it delivers satisfactory performance and quick boot and shutdown. possibly the dual boot setup? i use neosmart easy bcd on my win xp\win7 and it works well and can do windows\linux with ease if the biggest problem is in the booting…

        • #348166 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          It is a 2007 HP dv6700 Notebook running Vista 32 bit. It has a Core 2 duo T5550 1.83 GHz processor with 3 GB ram. I’m not sure that I want to put too much into it since it really is my “experimental” machine, but I will look into your suggestions.

          Update the packages – meaning get the 90 updates it tells me I need?

          Seems that those error messages I see might be part of the problem – they seem to be consistent across all distros.

    • #348170 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      And just another thought – I was pasting my specs for anonymous above and remembered that my Vista is 32 bit. I am using Mint 64 bit – could part of the boot issue be because of that? Should I have been trying 32 bit?

      • #348175 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Probably not, but you could check that angle out by downloading a 32-bit version of the distro, and booting that from your live YUMI flash drive.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #348181 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Good idea!! Maybe I should give that a try first! Thanks!

          • #348189 Reply

            anonymous

            ? says:

            you can open your “System Monitor,” and see how your processor and memory are running. i am pushing the limits of this old friend since ubuntu 14.04 LTS! right now i’m at 760 MB memory and 20% processor with FF 66.0.2 on 3 tabs…

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #348200 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Well, might have been a good idea, but it actually had a slightly longer boot time than the 64 bit – nearly 7 and 1/2 minutes. OK then – I know that isn’t it!! 🙂

            Getting a lot of practice with YUMI and verifying distros though!

            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #348199 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        The Core Duo is fully 64-bit, so that should not be a problem.

        I looked up your model, and it uses the Intel PM965 chipset.  That’s the same one my Core 2 Duo laptop (Asus F8SN) uses, and Mint 19 x64 works really nicely on it.  The source I found online says that your laptop uses an nVidia discrete GPU, is that right?  My F8SN has this in common with your laptop too.

        I’m using the proprietary driver on the F8SN, but the Nouveau one used by the live session doesn’t cause any boot delays.  I just booted into a Mint 19.1 live session from a USB drive on that laptop (which has only USB 2 ports),  and it took 47 seconds from the end of the “boot in 10 seconds” counter’s end to the desktop appearing.

        The systemd analysis of boot time said it booted in 2 minutes… weird.  I wonder if there’s some kind of hang going on that systemd isn’t counting for some reason.  I don’t know much about systemd other than that a lot of people really hate it.

        I’d say it is time to start looking for errors in the various system logs.  The logs utility in Mint makes that easy… just type logs into the main menu’s searchbox and it should find it.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        • #348204 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes – that is probably my next thing to check – though for today I thin I am fried! Maybe I should just get brave and put that YUMI stick into my Win 7 laptop and see if IT has issues, too.

          “The source I found online says that your laptop uses an nVidia discrete GPU, is that right?” 

          Not sure – I can check that out when I reboot it. That’s the graphics card, right?

          I did find these about the error messages I could see repeating during the boot from the USB:

          Very Long Boot Time and Error Message on LM19

          Boot very slow because of drm_kms_helper errors

          Something to check into too, I guess, though it sounds a bit beyond what I can or want to do with this laptop!

          Thanks! Hopefully there will be some solution to this, but it has been instructive trying to figure it all out!

          • #348282 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            “Maybe I should just get brave and put that YUMI stick into my Win 7 laptop and see if IT has issues, too.”

            Agreed. That may save you a bit of your time and frustration, since that was the eventual target for this project anyway.

            You really can’t harm that Win7 laptop by booting a live distro. The live boot loads into and runs directly from RAM, which gets flushed as soon as you power it off.

            Nothing is written to disk until you run the installer. 🙂

            2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #348388 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            So – I can’t seem to find the video/graphics card in the device manager. In the commercial specs for that laptop it shows that it is either a Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (UMA) or the NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS discrete 256 MB (discrete). It was an off the shelf computer, so I really don’t know which it is.

            Would that make a difference?

            I am going to check more into the error messages and suggested solutions also and see if any of those work!

            Thanks!

            • #348391 Reply

              anonymous

              in the linux terminal “inxi -Fxz” should show your graphics card…

            • #348396 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks! Worked fine! It says it is a Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics card. Maybe that isn’t supported in Mint and is causing that long boot/wait delay issue?

               

               

               

            • #348395 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              specifically with more detail it’s:
              inxi -Gz
              for the graphics card output within the command line.

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #348400 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Using that command I get this:

              inxi -Gz

              Graphics:
              Device-1: Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics driver: i915
              v: kernel
              Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: modesetting unloaded:
              fbdev,vesa
              resolution: 1280×800~60Hz
              OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 965GM v: 2.1 Mesa 18.0.5

              Not sure what all that means – LOL – but that is what the command shows.

            • #348406 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              It means your graphics card is using X11 and Mesa generic drivers for your system which is fine 🙂 all looks good there. Sometimes, if a graphics card is having an issue during boot, the grub is edited to ‘nomodeset’ switch instead of ‘–persistant’ to prevent certain resolutions from being available that cause black screens.

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #348410 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              So the graphics card isn’t the cause of the delayed boot? Good to know – thanks!

            • #348412 Reply

              anonymous
            • #348418 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              “This solved the problem: Editing this file: /etc/default/grub

              Altered the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= line to:

              GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”video=

              SVIDEO-1:d quiet splash”

              Then: sudo update-grub and reboot.”

              Yes, that is the same solution I’ve seen in a few places – to add to that command. Thatadvice is from the Linux Forums but that page hasn’t been reachable today.

              I am going to give that a try later – maybe that is the solution.

              If it isn’t – will the boot up be the same, do you think? Will making that change cause it not to boot?

            • #348421 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              good find anon, certainly looks like an edit to the grub, wasn’t aware of this in 18.04 using Kernel: 4.15.0-43 (never had a graphics issue since 12.04)

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

            • #348483 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              I am optimistic that this will be part of the fix – the edit to the GRUB.

              I also looked in my log file and see lots and lots of those error messages related to that edit:

              kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_dependencies [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [PLANE:35:plane B] flip_done timed out
              kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_flip_done [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [CRTC:41:pipe B] flip_done timed out

              I also see some errors that I think may relate to the build in wireless card that doesn’t work – I got a Panda wireless adapter that does work, but the internal card may also be throwing some errors.

              Also this message:
              kernel: b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to
              http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and
              download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully
              read all instructions on this website.

              So there are some things to still investigate, but I think that the edit to at least speed the boot process looks promising. I’ll let you all know if it is successful.

              Thanks everyone for looking into this!

            • #348416 Reply

              mn–
              AskWoody Lounger

              … though the 8400GS should be a more powerful GPU. You’d probably want the nvidia-340 packages if you’re going to use that, for multi-GPU laptops the closed-source driver just tends to work better than the open-source one still. Official driver support until end of 2019 according to https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3142/~/support-timeframes-for-unix-legacy-gpu-releases

              Yes, multi-GPU on a single output connector (as in laptops mostly) is still somewhat more complicated in Linux than I’d like. (And given my other configurations that’s saying something…) It could well be that this is contributing to the boot delay.

              Mind you, with proper tweaking I *have* gotten better stability with Intel/Nvidia dual-gpu laptops on Linux than on Windows 10, what with the driver hassles in 10 anyway…

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #348427 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              There are two different drivers for Intel integrated graphics… “intel” and “modesetting.”  You are using the modesetting driver.  When I spell ‘intel’ with a lower case i, I mean the driver, not the company.

              The ‘intel’ driver is part of the xserver-xorg-video-intel package.  The little blurb in the Ubuntu repo says, “The use of this driver is discouraged if your hw is new enough (ca. 2007 and newer). You can try uninstalling this driver and let the server use it’s builtin modesetting driver instead.”

              2007… the year your laptop was made, right?  I wonder if the other driver may not work better.  There’s that possibility, but also this:

              I seemed to remember something related to the Intel DRM (direct rendering manager, not digital rights management… it has to do with the video) and long boot times with older generations of the Intel integrated graphics, which is why I was asking about which one your unit had.  Now that we know it’s Intel and not nVidia, I did a quick search and came up with this:

              https://askubuntu.com/questions/893817/boot-very-slow-because-of-drm-kms-helper-errors

              Someone in that thread reported having excessively long boot times with your same integrated graphics setup, and it was helped by setting the GRUB parameter as described in the first answer on that page.

              The term ‘kms’ as referenced in the link means kernel mode setting, which is where the driver you are using now gets its name.  That makes me think the intel driver may fix this.

              You can try either of these two solutions (changing to intel driver or what was described in the link) to see if either one will work.  I would not do them both at once, though; if that fixes it, we won’t know which one actually did it.

              To try the Intel driver, you’d need to install the xserver-xorg-video-intel package.  I am not sure if that will be enough, or if you will need to tell the system to use the intel driver specifically as well… I know Neon, which I am using now, requires a .conf entry to enable the intel driver.

              So, what I would suggest is to install that package (probably easiest to use synaptics, which I think is included with Mint), then reboot and see if it helps with the boot time.  If it’s good after that, hopefully, problem solved!

              If the boot is still slow, try the inxi -Gz command again and see what it lists as the Driver: in the little info blurb.  If it still says modesetting, we’ll need to create a quick little file to tell it to use the intel driver.

              Or, you may wish to try the solution in that askubuntu.com link first.  That one looks encouraging, given the report that this specific Intel integrated GPU was causing long boot times and the solution there fixed it.  The changing the driver one is just a suspicion I have, which may or may not prove to be true.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #348409 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Just to add – that linux mint forums link to “Very long boot time and error messages on LM19” above seems to be unreachable for some reason – seems the site is having issues, but the cached version of the page still works if anyone is interested:

            https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:me7-e8vTL8AJ:https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php%3Ft%3D273797+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=opera

            ETA: that site seems back up now and has same directions as the ubuntu site link.

    • #348215 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      i just did a security update on 18.04  kernel and here is the reboot time;

      ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ systemd-analyze
      Startup finished in 4.030s (kernel) + 16.163s (userspace) = 20.194s
      graphical.target reached after 16.141s in userspace.

      i haven’t done any magic on my 3 ubuntu 18.04’s yet since they go until 2023 EOL, so i can probably cut down the boot times…

      you can use this as a reference?

      https://askubuntu.com/questions/1086858/ubuntu-18-04-slow-boot-time

      i don’t know about how you are putting together your test OSes, i use the native (built-in) tools on the iso’s and was your vista booting in a reasonable amount of time before you made it dual boot with linux? maybe save yourself some brain damage and find the distro you like and put it on your preferred computer?

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #348484 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

       Or, you may wish to try the solution in that askubuntu.com link first. That one looks encouraging, given the report that this specific Intel integrated GPU was causing long boot times and the solution there fixed it. The changing the driver one is just a suspicion I have, which may or may not prove to be true.

      Thanks for all of the info on the video drivers. I think that the easier solution may be to try that GRUB edit and see if it works first. I have been playing around with suspending and “waking” it and so far, it seems to all come back to life OK, so that might also be a work around if the long boot times can’t be improved.

      Thanks again for all of your help!

    • #348495 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_dependencies [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [PLANE:35:plane B] flip_done timed out
      kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_flip_done [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [CRTC:41:pipe B] flip_done timed out

      Yeah, definitely graphics there. If it was a single-boot laptop with no intent to actually need much battery life, I’d check if it’s possible to disable the Intel integrated graphics from firmware and just use the 8400MGS. (As in BIOS boot menu.)

      I also see some errors that I think may relate to the build in wireless card that doesn’t work – I got a Panda wireless adapter that does work, but the internal card may also be throwing some errors.

      Also this message:
      kernel: b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to
      http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and
      download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully
      read all instructions on this website.

      Well, “sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer” usually helps with that in Ubuntu, should check if Mint has that package. Might need firmware-b43legacy-installer instead for some models but I haven’t run into one of those yet.

      Annoying that Broadcom won’t allow redistribution.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #348503 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        But actually in this case it’s not a Broadcom, but an older Intel Wi-Fi adapter.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #348602 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Shouldn’t even ask for b43 firmware if there wasn’t something to feed that to. Not impossible that there’d be a Broadcom bluetooth chip…?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #349086 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            OK – this first. I knew I had seen something about broadcom – so I looked again at the device manager and see the screenshot below. So there much be some broadcom device that is not currently working. Not sure if that is even important – will see if I get error messages after I reboot.

            Screenshot-from-2019-04-05-09-51-44

            Attachments:
    • #349069 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      A little late getting up to speed here. Thanks for the input!

      Once I get that laptop up and running today,I will make that GRUB adjustment first to see if that speeds up boot time. I did notice that the same lines also appear for a moment on shutdown, too:

      kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_dependencies [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [PLANE:35:plane B] flip_done timed out
      kernel: [drm:drm_atomic_helper_wait_for_flip_done [drm_kms_helper]] *ERROR* [CRTC:41:pipe B] flip_done timed out

      Hopefully those will go away.

      Also, in reading more about the broadcom question, I have something to check out and will also post back about that.

      Thanks!

    • #349072 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, yes.

      The drm issue is actually an acknowledged Linux kernel bug – it’s supposed to have been fixed in new mainline kernels some months ago, hopefully there’ll be backports too for distribution kernel package updates. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1685442

      And while waiting for that, apparently the kernel boot argument fix isn’t universal, well, if it doesn’t work for you, you do have that other graphics adapter in there…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #349094 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Well Yay OK! I made that change in the GRUB:

      Altered the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= line to:

      GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”video=SVIDEO-1:d quiet splash”

      Then: sudo update-grub and reboot.”

      And – it worked! Boot time was a total of 2 min 20 sec from when I clicked on reboot – will do a cold boot to get a definite time.

      Log file shows just a few entries which I will try to figure out – including that broadcom warning and website – so there is something there, but it doesn’t seem to affect booting at the moment.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #349095 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Yay! Welcome to Linnix! 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #349097 Reply

        Microfix
        Da Boss

        Suggestion: Why not just physically remove the broadcom wireless card from laptop when it’s off and battery removed.?
        If you decide to try other distro’s, they will probably throw up the same errors also.
        No point having it in their if it’s just gonna throw up errors (my 2c) 🙂

        ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #349373 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        That’s great!  Glad it worked.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #349129 Reply

      Microfix
      Da Boss

      @lhiggins
      Reading through this thread, I thought I’d posted this earlier (senior moment)
      This website will help round off your Linux Mint Cinnamon OS installation:

      https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/first-mint-cinnamon.html

      Nice weekend tweaking of the OS (just done this the other day on a Linux Mint 19.1 XFCE installation on a C2Duo laptop also, with good stable results.

      One thing I do critisize mint of is, the languages and language scripts installed by default irrespective of language chosen at set-up. Asian fonts can be removed should you not need them as well as safely cleaning up after tweaking.

      https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/clean-mint.html#ID8

      I’ve been following Pjotr(website author) for years and is active in many linux fora, he knows his tux. 🙂

      ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #349145 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks so much for all of the help and many suggestions. I will take some time to do some of those suggested tweaks!

        I am happy at how it seems to be running so far. The boot time was a huge improvement, and even if I don’t get all of it running perfectly, it is a great experimental machine to see if I am going to want to go this route later in the year.

        Suggestion: Why not just physically remove the broadcom wireless card from laptop when it’s off and battery removed.? If you decide to try other distro’s, they will probably throw up the same errors also. No point having it in their if it’s just gonna throw up errors (my 2c) 

        I’m still not clear on which the Broadcom card is. It seemed that the built in card was an Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics card, and the Panda wirelss USB adapter is what is actually connected. I am not sure about what the broadcom is – nor how to remove it.

        In any case – that error isn’t causing it to hang during booting and the LM device manager says it is not working anyway, so maybe I don’t need to worry too much about it.

        My next challenges are to see which of my printers and my scanner work?

        Again, thanks so much to everyone for the many suggestions and ideas – all were greatly appreciated and helped me to get to this point relatively unscathed! 🙂

        ETA – could that be the ethernet connection? I don’t have a router so no ethernet – but could that be what that broadcom device is?

        • #349165 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          Found the Maintenance and Service guide for the HP DV6700 laptop:

          http://www.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01295877.pdf

          It appears that the WLAN module is removable, and the actual part number used may be one of several used in this laptop model based on the region where it was sold. There are options listed for various Intel and Broadcom part numbers.

          Procedure on p.57 shows removal of WLAN module.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #349205 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Broadcom components, in the case of PCs, is hardware that is used to take care of WiFi, Bluetooth and other forms of wideband connectivity. If you remove them, then you probably cannot use any of that again, regardless of whether one is running Windows or Linux.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcom_Inc.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #349212 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, but in the case of this particular laptop (and many others), the Broadcom wireless driver is unavailable in Linux.  That is why the OP purchased a USB Panda Wi-Fi dongle with a Ralink chipset that is supported with a Linux driver.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349214 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              JohnW, I recently installed Linux Mint in dual boot with Windows 7. The PC, ca. 2011, has a Broadcom chip, or chipset. But I have been able to download Netflix video with FF from the Mint side as well as from the Windows side connecting through my WiFi router. So, is it correct to say that this is not possible with some older Broadcom hardware but is possible with somewhat newer one?

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

            • #349226 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Oscar, it has been years since I dug into the details, but in general the issue was regarding Broadcom not allowing distribution of the proprietary drivers required by their chipsets. Perhaps since you have done a permanent install, your non-free drivers were included.

              For example, I have a very nice Netgear N300 USB adapter with a Broadcom chipset, that failed to activate when running various Linux live distros.  So I decided it was worth $10 for a compatible device to bypass spending several hours of my time to find a workaround for it.

              The workarounds would typically only be useful in an actual install, but for testing a live distro it’s not that simple to make system boot changes with persistence. It can be done, but this thread started as an exercise for a first timer using live Linux distros. And most of those distros limit non-free software and drivers in the live session.

              So I have preferred to rely on a Linux compatible USB network adapter to bypass the built-in hardware for any computers I test with. It’s not the only answer, but is has worked well for me. In general I would suggest that for a painless experience, just buy a cheap USB adapter. Or get lucky and what you have just works! 🙂

              4 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349300 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Yes – but as I gave it more thought – I believe that card does still work when I boot to Vista, so I do want to keep it (it can get online access in Vista without the Panda adapter). I am wondering though if that message I get in the log would somehow allow me to update the driver for that so that the Panda wasn’t needed? (Or I guess I don’t really understand this all too clearly – LOL?)

              kernel: b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to
              http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and
              download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully
              read all instructions on this website.

               

            • #349310 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Sorry, I had just assumed that you didn’t intend to keep using Vista online, since you do have a newer laptop with an up to date copy of Windows 7.

            • #349324 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              You are right, John – I really don’t, but thought it might just be useful info while I am doing this testing of how the dual boot works and how it affects the Windows side. I know that there really is no sense trying to do anything much with Vista since it is so outdated – just wondering what those messages all mean.

              Thanks! All of the info here is great – I need to put it all into a word doc so I can refer to it.

              As this “experiment” with the dual boot has gone well – and I’ve gotten that boot time under control with everyone’s help – I think my next step may be to make another bootable, persistent Mint USB on a 3.0 stick and give it a whirl in my Win 7 machine. It has a 3.0 USB, so that might be quicker and possibly using it as a persistent live boot will come closer to an actual dual boot? And it will give me a chance to test the hardware in this laptop too for a possible dual boot down the road.

              Also still need to test my scanner and printer – and a question. If they don’t work on the Vista machine in Mint – does that mean that Mint doesn’t support them and that they won’t work on any machine with Mint? Or is that specific to the laptop itself? I am not sure if they even work when running Vista to tell the truth – I don’t think I ever tried, or even had, at least the printer when I was using Vista regularly.

              As far as using Mint, I am very pleased with how it all worked out on that old Vista machine – and am encouraged to keep moving forward. 🙂

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349368 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Regarding printers and scanners in Linux, the printer should be relatively easy.

              I have an old  HP Deskjet that’s nearly 20 years old and still works. It came with a 1 year warranty, LOL! It was detected by Linux using the USB connection.

              But with my Canon flatbed scanner, which is older than your Vista laptop, I ran into the TWAIN scanner driver issue referred to by others. So I abandoned that effort.

              Only way to find out is to plug it in and see what happens. I have a relatively new HP Laserjet multi-function printer/scanner and I do see a link at HP for driver downloads for Linux. Haven’t tried them yet, but it appears that times have changed!

              HP Linux Imaging and Printing

              Sounds like you are well on your way to discovering Linux and Mint!  Keep plugging away!

               

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349374 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Regarding printers and scanners in Linux, the printer should be relatively easy… Only way to find out is to plug it in and see what happens.

              Hi John! Indeed, that is the only way! I did go ahead and give both a try. The Canon multifunction printer worked right off – I didn’t investigate if the scan function worked – but it printed both text and a photo easily – and found the right paper/photo paper to print each on. I then tried my Canon 8800 scanner. Had me going for a little while till it recognized the scanner – I had to let it work, and finally it was fine. Scanned an image and text fine too.

              I will check out that link you sent too. I have an old HP printer that I might also want to try. And maybe Canon has similar info in case I ever want to get that scanner part of the multifunction working. It never did in Windows.

              It is a matter of me getting used to the tools that are available and to learn how the interfaces work, but I was glad to see that I could use both without too much trouble.

              Sounds like you are well on your way to discovering Linux and Mint! Keep plugging away!

              Thanks!! I feel pretty good about it all, and ready to do more exploring. Can’t thank you enough for helping me sort all of this out. I am having fun, and hopefully Mint is going to prove to be a great alternative to Win 7! 🙂

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349385 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              If you want to use your older scanner with Linux, you can always put Windows in a VM and use it from there.  It’s a few more steps than scanning natively, but it only takes a few seconds to start the VM, pass the scanner USB through to the VM, and do your scan.  If you use a folder that is available in both Linux and the Windows guest as the target for the scanned files, that would make it that much simpler.

              That was how I got my TWAIN-only browser applet to work with Linux.  My scanner works natively in Linux, but the Java applet only knows TWAIN and WIA, so even when I got the Java applet to work in Linux Firefox, it did not see the scanner. Doing it in a Windows 7 guest worked very nicely.

              Supposedly TWAIN has a Linux version, but I don’t know anything about that.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #349465 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks for that info, it may come in handy in the future!

              But for the time being my old Canon scanner software works in XP, Win7, and Win10, so no hurry.

              And just today I tested my current HP Laserjet MFP wireless printer/scanner combo with Linux Mint 19.1 and got it working successfully.

              The printer was plug and play, but the scanner function required the HPLIP binary plugin. https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing/binary_plugin.html

            • #349405 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Just a quick follow-up with testing my HP Laserjet MFP wireless printer/scanner in Linux Mint 19.1. I was curious if this device would work in Linux, as I had not tried to do that yet. I typically do my printing and/or scanning from Windows.

              So I booted Mint from a live USB, and the HP printer was online and ready to go as soon as I connected Mint to my Wi-Fi network. It was plug and play, and the printer was available in the Mint printers applet.

              But the scanner was another small project. There is an applet in the Mint menu called “Simple Scan”, but by default it reported that no scanners were available.

              So I opened up the command line and entered: “sudo HP-setup”. I got an error that “pyqt4” and “pyqt5” were missing. Ran the Synaptic package manager for apt (apt-get), and then did a search on “pyqt5”. Installed the dev files and dev tools for “pyqt5”, and then “HP-setup” ran without errors.

              This setup installed another version of my printer, with a slightly different model number.

              Then in the command line I entered: “sudo HP-plugin” (HPLIP plugin required for scanner support on my device).

              When this last step was complete, “Simple Scan” was able to detect my scanner and I was able to get a nice scan and save it as a PDF.

              This is the HPLIP portal: https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing

              How to install the HPLIP binary plugin: https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing/binary_plugin.html

              All HPLIP supported printers: https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing/supported_devices/index

               

              4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #349190 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        thanx microfix for the guide, i used this on to remove all the non latin fonts and it reclaimed lots of space:

        https://www.onetransistor.eu/2016/08/remove-non-latin-fonts-from-ubuntu.html

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #349199 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      i forgot to mention Synaptic package manager, it is worth it’s weight in gold, and i found a tweak to add deborphan to clean out unused packages:

      https://www.berthon.eu/wiki/foss:ubuntu:aptclean

      i don’t know if these terminal commands will work in mint?

      https://askubuntu.com/questions/31618/how-can-i-find-my-hardware-details

      i use these for wifi:

      iwconfig wlp5s0 (add your specific interface after iwconfig xxxxxx)
      lspci | grep Network
      lspci | grep -i intel
      lspci | grep -i wireless
      lspci -vv -s 05:00.0
      modinfo iwlwifi
      lspci -n -s 05:00.0
      lspci -nn -s 05:00.0
      sudo lshw -C network
      lsmod | grep -i wifi
      lsmod | grep iwlwifi
      dmesg | grep iwlwifi
      iw phy
      ip link

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #349227 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I case someone here finds this of interest:

      I just updated (as Group B), for the very first time, the Windows 7 Pro, SP1 x64 side of my 73/4 year-old PC, now in a dual boot setup for Windows / Linux Mint. Other than having to choose between Linux and Windows after every restart (and choosing Windows in this case, of course) everything worked as expected and the list of installed Windows updates now includes all of  the March updates I chose to have installed, as “successful”. Checking various pieces of software that are critical to me, they were all working just fine.

      So, in my old laptop, even with Linux as a PC-mate, Windows 7 still really has a life of its own.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #349228 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      When patching Windows 7 for the first time since installing Linux Mint in dual boot, I have noticed that the time, according to the clock of the computer on the Linux side, is quite correct, but on the Windows side is not only out of sync with the wall-clock time, but hugely so. When it was the evening of today, the 5th of April here, it was noon of the 6th in the PC. I could resync with one of the time servers at NIST, for example, but I am not sure if that is the best way to take care of this problem.

      Having the correct time is important, because every new file that is created, every update that is made, etc., gets tagged with the PC time according to the OS then in use.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #349275 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Linux stores UTC time in the system RTC (real-time clock) and adds/subtracts the UTC offset for display, while Windows just plunks the local time into the RTC and recalculates and resets the local time if the UTC offset changes.

        The Windows way is from a simpler time with a simpler OS.  The original IBM PC was designed in the 1970s, after all!  BIOS was then (and still is) unaware of time zones or UTC offsets; it has one time as defined by its RTC, and that’s all there is.  In MS-DOS, whatever that RTC clock reported as the time was the time it used.  For the very limited amount of connectivity PCs of the era had, it was quite adequate.

        That was carried forward in each successive MS-DOS (or PC-DOS) version, and when Windows arrived, it kept the same setup for backwards compatibility with MS-DOS, which was still the place where a lot of serious work got done well into the 1990s.  Something that broke MS-DOS, even in some minor way, would have been a deal-breaker.

        Microsoft has always put a high value on backwards compatibility, so when MS-DOS began to fade as 95 took over (the first version to boot straight to Windows by default), it kept using the same system for compatibility with the existing library of Windows 3.x programs.  That pattern of making the new versions of Windows use the same system as the previous has continued right up to the present.

        Windows, in all supported versions, does have a registry key to use UTC in the system clock, but many of the online guides that describe its use say that it can be problematic at times.  It seems that MS hasn’t put much effort into making the RTC clock as universal setting really work.  Supposedly, if you set the OS to automatically adjust the time via timeserver, it will ignore the RTC clock registry setting and set it to local time anyway.  MS could very easily have had the NNTP service check the registry entry and set the time accordingly, if they cared to.

        Fear not, though, if you wish to have the time set automatically.  You can turn off the auto time setting feature in Windows and have Linux handle it, and it will still be correct when you boot Windows.

        It’s also possible to set Linux to use local time as RTC.  I’ve never done that, even when I considered Windows my main OS, because the Linux way makes more sense to me, and making Linux do it wrong to be like Windows rather than the other way around would bother me.  I’ve never had a problem with using UTC in Windows myself, though I’ve always disabled the Windows internet time function to be sure.

        Instructions on how to set one or the other method are described here:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2017/07/30/fixing-incorrect-clock-time-settings-while-dual-booting-windowslinux/

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #349319 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          I had noticed this time issue, too – but didn’t give it a lot of thought since I wasn’t that concerned about the Vista side. But I will be when/if I do this testing and possibly dual boot on my Win 7 laptop. So – thanks for these instructions on how to make the clock work properly! 🙂

        • #349456 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Ascaris, Thank you! I have tried, just now, the “Linux” solution given in the Web page of the link in your posting, which is considerably simpler than the “Windows” solution also explained there. And it worked just fine: now both the Windows and the Linux side are keeping the correct Daylight Saving time for my part of the world and, for further evidence that all is right, both also agree to the second with the time according to my Mac, the cell-phone, the digital display on the TV set top box and within seconds of my quartz movement wristwatch, none of which have ever had any trouble keeping the correct time.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #350069 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Actually, the Windows behavior will depend on *how* it checks time servers. Set it to use NTP instead of the Windows native system and it’ll cope with UTC hardware clock just fine.

          This is the less risky way in case you’re dual-booting around the time of the daylight time transition – it’s a bit of a bother when both operating systems do the change… or when politicians change timezone definitions.

          If your local timezone doesn’t do DST then there’s little practical difference, for normal users who don’t actually need high-precision timekeeping.

          For database servers and such, I’d never run those on anything where system hardware clock observes DST (and thus skips backwards once per year). That’s just asking for trouble.

    • #349984 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ve installed Linux Mint recently in dual-boot with Windows 7 and there I also put ClamAV (run from ClamTK, it’s graphic interface). As far as I can tell, although ClamAV may be a reasonably OK anti virus (several people who supposedly know about this have recommended it to me), it does not seem to have a “cleaning” function to get rid of garbage picked up while browsing, such as 3rd party cookies, picture files (jpeg, png, etc.), from the Web sites visited.

      Is there some cleaner software for Linux Mint someone here is familiar with and can recommend?

      On a separate issue: while customizing Linux Mint in my old PC I discovered that when the PC running Linux Mint, and my MacBook Pro are both connected via WiFi to the house Internet router (also with one via WiFi, the other via Ethernet cable, this works either way), I can access all the file system of the Mac from Mint without any additional software or doing anything more than a search of the Mac files as if they were part of the Mint file system. I have given more details on this, for those that might be interested in them, here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/accessing-a-mac-via-router-fom-linux-mint-in-dual-boot-with-windows/  .

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #350003 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks, JohnW.

      One thing I’ve noticed, using those links you gave above, is that with “BleachBit” one can, in fact, wipe out clean and then, for good measure, “bleach” (fill with meaningless random bits) the whole HD. So I hope that this particular feature is easy to recognize and avoid. It would be a bit of a mess if it “cleaned and bleached” my whole HD by mistake.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      • #350005 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Yep! Be careful with that thing. If you don’t know what a specific feature does, don’t check it.

        Cleaning the browsers and temp stuff is the only thing I would recommend, until you become expert with it. You really don’t need BleachBit, but I like to keep my browser cache and temp files tidy.

        • #350010 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          JohnW: ” You really don’t need BleachBit…

          I am not quite sure what that means. I have a limited amount of space in the Linux partitions (altogether some 120 GB, but 40% of the main Linux partition is already occupied with the installed software and associated files). So I prefer not to loose any permanent space to something that is not needed but gets left in the HD, anyways, while browsing. And, presumably, it just keeps piling up on the disk, taking more and more of space I need for things I must have there.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

          • #350066 Reply

            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            Don’t really *need* it for disk space management as in little of this is too difficult to handle by anyone with reasonable end-user skills. Then again, workflow and user interface… BleachBit gives you a single interface to handle all that, and is reasonably safe to use too.

            Anyhow. Modern browsers have automatic cache size management anyway, so in normal circumstances you don’t need to handle that separately. (Also this is independent of the operating system.)

            It’s still possible of course, there’s a bit of a guide at least at https://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/how-to-change-http-browser-cache-size/

            And downloaded files you’ll need to police manually anyway.

            • #350116 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks for the answer and the link to a useful article.

              Besides having a limited amount of space for Linux on the HD, I have a track record going back several years, on the Windows 7 side, of picking up (and cleaning), mostly from browsing, some 40 GB of rubbish per year, on average. Interestingly, now that I use the Mac for most things, including browsing with the Mac versions of the same browsers I use with Windows (Waterfox, FireFox and Chrome), the Mac collects ten times less rubbish per year than Windows. (Maybe the Mac versions have smaller caches?) Still, even that is something I can’t afford here, as I think I can still use the PC for several more years. Unless I resize the partitions, an idea I am not too keen on.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #350187 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Hello again! Update on my Linux dual boot progress. After successfully installing Mint as a dual boot on my old Vista laptop, I decided it was time to just try it on my newer Win 7 laptop. It is a Lenovo x230 with an Intel i5 3230M CPU @ 2.60 gHz. Running 64 bit Win 7 Home Premium, with an Intel Centrino  N 2200 card wireless card. Runs Win 7 just fine.

      I booted from my YUMI drive to Mint 64 bit to see how it would work. It booted up in a flash – a few quick screens of code, but right to the Mint desktop. Wireless hooked up after password – and FF loaded up and ran quickly, too! And my wireless USB mouse also worked fine.

      I didn’t test any other connections, and it rebooting back into Windows without issue – except for that clock issue above.

      So – it looks like eventually running Mint on this laptop will be quite doable. I did have a couple of questions though, if anyone might have a suggestion. My thought it to make a persistent USB stick for Mint and run it from that rather than dual boot for a while – just because I really am happy with things in Win 7 at the moment.

      Can I use YUMI to do that on a separate USB stick? I did see a choice to set up persistence when I added the various Linux ISOs to the YUMI drive – so would I just use a new stick to create the bootable drive with persistence? It looked to me like that was a limited size – is there actually a limit to how large the persistent storage is?

      And once that is set up – when I boot using that drive – will all of the changes I make be saved and “there” the next time I boot back into Mint? For example, if I download all of the many updates, will those also be saved to the persistent stick?

      Also – I do have one USB 3.0 on this laptop. Would it be better to get a new 3.0 USB stick to dedicate to this – or is 2.0 fine enough for actually running Linux from? For my boot experiment, I used my already created YUMI USB stick which, is 2.0 and it did seem to all work fine.

      Thanks!!

    • #350329 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      better to do a full install on usb stick because of the squashfs filesystem on a persistent setup. you can’t update kernels as far as i know… (people say the flash will burn out quickly, too.)

      i’m redoing my ubuntu 16.04 persistent stick now because i ran out of space (4GB) in the /cow, came by to get microfix’s firefox security settings.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #350446 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        So what size thumb drive would you use for something like that?

        Thanks!

        • #350522 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          i use sandisk cruzer glide 32GB thumbdrives for live and full installs. the full install uses the thumbdrive just as if it is installed on an hdd or ssd, the live\persistent install has a maximum 4GB section using the ubuntu built-in gparted partition editor and startup disk creator. the total installed size of 14.04 and 16.04 is between 3 and 4 gb’s with two or 3 kernels onboard and the 18.04 is between 4 and 6 gb’s. your yumi stick creator may build live persistent drives with larger persistent storage?

          Creating an Ubuntu Live USB from CD

          Create a Larger than 4GB Casper Partition

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #350542 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            ? says: i use sandisk cruzer glide 32GB thumbdrives for live and full installs. the full install uses the thumbdrive just as if it is installed on an hdd or ssd, the live\persistent install has a maximum 4GB section using the ubuntu built-in gparted partition editor and startup disk creator. the total installed size of 14.04 and 16.04 is between 3 and 4 gb’s with two or 3 kernels onboard and the 18.04 is between 4 and 6 gb’s. your yumi stick creator may build live persistent drives with larger persistent storage? https://www.pendrivelinux.com/creating-an-ubuntu-live-usb-from-cd/ https://www.pendrivelinux.com/create-a-larger-than-4gb-casper-partition/

            Thanks for this info – I will look into it more. That does seem to be another good solution, though. I am not really ready to dual boot on this Win 7 laptop, but having a full install on a thumb drive sounds interesting. Could that also be done on a USB external hard drive? Can that be made to be bootable and could Mint run from there?

            Thanks!

             

    • #350640 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      yes, you can run it from pretty much wherever you desire. i’ve bent and shaped ubuntu into some interesting (to me at least) forms. i like ubuntu because of all the support available. i’m going to download mkusb and build a persistent drive with more storage space. using fat 32 limits my persistence file to 4gb…

      https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb

      personally, i prefer to run my os’es on separate media, i do have several dual boot windows machines, however; the xp dual boots are getting pulled and relegated to the closet hdd pile, so long old friends!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #350889 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the info and links. I may give this a try with a 16gb thumb drive and see how it works. If it is all fine, I may get a larger one to keep permanently. Thanks for the help!

         

        • #475055 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I may give this a try with a 16gb thumb drive and see how it works.

          If you have USB3, use that. I have heard that USB3 is a lot faster than USB2 for running Linux Live.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #478673 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for the reply! On my old Vista/Mint laptop, there are only USB 2.0, so that is my only choice. And two of them are taken up with my Panda wireless USB adapter and my mouse. I just got a 2.0 USB hub to give me a few extra USBs.

            I do have a question about using Linux on my newer Win 7 laptop though. I have read and watched so many things about persistent vs full install on USB and I am now totally confused! I really don’t want to dual boot that laptop yet, and thought that a persistent USB might work well, but above, anonymous suggested a full install to USB and run from that.

            So – my first question is – which is better – or are they both good options? And second – for a full install, I did get a 64 GB 3.1 USB stick to use, and I have a 3.0 USB port on hat laptop – so I thought I was all set. But now, after reading the warnings about possibly overwriting the hard drive, as well as confusion about root, home and swap partitions, I really am just stuck.

            So – any help or suggestions would be appreciated! I would like to have Mint running on the newer laptop from the thumb drive till I am ready to dual boot that machine, just too much information to know just what to do next!

            Thanks!!

            • #486892 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              USB 2.0 is good for around 25MB/sec transfer speed.  That’s considerably slower than a modern hard drive.  USB 3.0 is much faster, with a top nominal speed of 5Gbit/s, which is numerically smaller than the 6Gbit/s of SATA 3.  In practice, though, SATA 3 has some encoding overhead that drops the useful transfer rate to 4.8 Gbit/s, which would top out at about 600MB per second.  USB 3.0 is theoretically good for 625 MB/sec.

              That doesn’t mean a USB 3.0 USB drive is going to give you those kinds of speeds (or that a USB 2.0 one will give you 25MB/sec either).  There are USB 3.0 sticks out there that are only marginally faster than they would be on a USB 2.0 interface, and there are those that are much faster.  Check the specs of the unit before buying (surprisingly, I’ve found that manufacturer’s claims for speed on USB sticks, for reputable makers, are usually what I see when I test them myself).

              My USB 3.0 sticks are good for about 110 MB/sec, which is in the low-end ballpark of what a hard drive can do in sequential transfers.  Modern hard drives are faster in peak transfer rate, but they also have the mechanical seek time that USB flash drives do not.

              You may wish to get USB 3.0 sticks in any case, as they are pretty cheap and will give better speeds if or when you eventually repurpose them for some other use with a newer machine.

              As an aside: Beware of eBay or third-party sellers on Amazon… counterfeiting USB sticks is rampant, and if you are not dealing with a reputable entity, you might be getting something that is not what it claims.  You might get a 32GB USB stick that ends up being full at 8GB, even though it self-reports being a 32GB unit, or an inferior knock-off that poses as a respected brand.  That does not mean that every seller on Amazon or eBay is bad… but some are, so it’s something to be aware of.

              Now, about USB 3.0 and USB 3.1.

              When USB 3.0 came out it was simple.  The blue ports and plugs were USB 3.0, and they were faster than USB 2.0 ports while being backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.  Then the USB standards people came up with the faster USB 3.1, twice as fast as USB 3.0.  At that time, they decided to rename USB 3.0 to “USB 3.1 generation 1,” while the new, faster one is “USB 3.1 generation 2.”

              That, to me, is beyond bizarre.  Why change the name of an existing, understood interface to be unnecessarily similar to the newer, faster standard?  Now we have two names for the same thing!

              USB 3.1 (gen 1 or 2) ports can have multiple form factors, from the standard USB A port (the kind we always try to plug in upside down the first time) to USB C (the oval one that has no upside down) to the mini or micro USB variants.

              As USB 3.x has been the standard for a while, I guess manufacturers no longer see the need to color code the ports.  I have five PCs with USB 3.0/3.1 gen 1 ports, which I still refer to as USB 3.0 out of habit and to save characters I have to type.

              The USB 3.0 ports on the newest of the three PCs, all laptops, are black in color.  If all the ports on a device are USB 3.0, that makes some sense, though I’d rather they adhere to the color code anyway.  That’s how it is on two of the three.  My Dell G3, though, has all USB 3.0 ports except one, which is USB 2.0, and they’re all black.  The only visual difference is that the USB 2.0 port lacks the “SS” superspeed indicator next to the printed USB symbol.

              I have no experience using persistent USB installations, so I have nothing to offer there.  I’ve always just gone for the dual-boot if the live session isn’t good enough.  Fortunately, several others are able to offer info about this!

              As for root, home, and swap partitions: I have all three (and more), but you don’t have to.  The default installation of Mint 19 sets up only one partition, root, which includes /home and a swap file rather than a dedicated swap partition.  There are benefits to using more partitions (like being able to enable hibernation if you create a swap partition), but if you’re not aware of them in this stage of your Linux journey, that’s totally fine– don’t worry about it until such a time as it seems like you want those benefits.  You can add them later if you want!

              As for overwriting… the installer does have the option for wiping a volume before installing Linux, so that is something you will want to be aware of.  It’s why I often suggest disconnecting the drives you want to save for people who are not adept with Linux or dual-boot installations!

              If you’re careful and you pay attention, you can avoid it, but with us all being human, if you’re wiping a drive or partition to make room for Linux, it’s not hard to get confused and specify the wrong partition.  If you’re not really sure which is which, as a new Linux user may not (as terms like sda and such are new to you), you really have to be careful.

              The “resize existing partitions and make room for Linux” option is safer in that way, as it is not wiping any existing partition, but making room for a brand new one that definitely contains nothing before Linux is installed.  There is still some risk that something may go wrong whenever you are manipulating partitions, which is why you should have backups before doing anything like this.

              If you have backups, and you’re confident that they will work when needed, it gives you the leeway to try things you would not dare to do without them.  You gain experience as you go, and things that seem incredibly intimidating become quite feasible and normal.  It’s not that there’s ever zero risk, but that you know you have minimized it as much as you can, and that you know you can fairly easily recover if something does go wrong.

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #481712 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      you can put your live system on a 3.0 usb stick and it is backwards compatible with 2.0, don’t fret about dual boot it takes a while to figure out just how to install without borking anything (overwriting your existing system). i use live sticks, but you can’t update kernels because of the squashfs (cow, casper). security problem(s). not recommended to update live sticks because of this problem. i update mine (ubuntu 16.04) but if you make it on a fat32 partition (persistence) the file system is limited to 4GB. i just made a 16.04 using mksub

      https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb

      and it is easy to use. i don’t know if it works for mint, though. i have 2 live persistent sticks and 5 full install sticks…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #483258 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks! So the ones created with mkusb are persistent live sticks? What do you use to do a full install on the USB – and can that be updated?

        Also – can a full install be created on a USB using a different computer than the one you will eventually be using to run it?  In other words – I want to run it on my Lenovo Win 7 laptop – but would like to use my old Vista laptop to create it (less chance of losing important data).

        All of the YouTubes and directions about full install talk about creating partitions – which is something I am not at all familiar with, unfortunately.

        Thanks again!

        • #484311 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          roger on that, mkusb live persistence is beautiful thing. (Mr.) Sudodus:

          https://askubuntu.com/users/55537/sudodus

          is, in my humble opinion is a genius at\with linux, along with

          C.S. Cameron:

          https://askubuntu.com/users/43926/c-s-cameron

          they are what (again, in my humble opinion) that Mark Russinovich is\was to Windows

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Russinovich

          i guess for me the goal in computing is to have fun and learn new things and maybe help someone “get over the hump(s),” so yes, you can make linux anyway you choose (if you know the way). i make test dvd’s from iso’s and try them on my “old laptop,” (i’m 6 times the age of this old laptop, so…)

          my challenge in moving away from windows (i just did the “final” updates on my win xp pro thanx guys!) has been the fact that linus t.? has written out of the newer kernels 4.4 and up some functionality for my hardware,  and it refuses to run Gnome but! i am running “Cosmic Cuddlefish” with a 5.0 kernel on the old girl and it is unity to boot:

          https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuUnityExperience and i just did the “netboot,” minimal install

          https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuUnityExperience/mimimal-unity-installation which is really something!

          i had to remove the hdd because i could not for the life of me figure out how to get the grub on the right disk and i did not wish to destroy my win 7 pro, too far along on Microsoft’s path to destruction at this point to rebuild it and yes i work without a net, boo-hoo on me.

          so here’s to your continued success in learning linux!

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #502669 Reply

            anonymous

            ? says:

            i need an editor\proof reader the ubuntu unity disk is built on 19.04 “Disco Dingo,” which appears to be scheduled for final release on the 18th…

            https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DiscoDingo/ReleaseSchedule

          • #510165 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for all of these links! I am going to look through them and see what other information I can find! Thanks for the help and good wishes, too!! 🙂

            LH

    • #484068 Reply

      anonymous

      @YP

      LHiggins,

      USB 3.0 drives are definitely faster. Installing Linux on external drive or flash drives are two different options. The caution regarding over writing your internal hard drive is because you have to be careful to tell the installer to place the loader on the external drive. I believe USB external drives is a better option. A safe alternating is to buy a cheap internal drive or SSD [500Gb is probably $60]. Swap out your current drive and install new drive to install Linux on it. Once it is installed, you have the option of leaving it in for Linux or swap it out and run windows. Get yourself a sata 3.0 adapter [$8.00]

      https://www.microcenter.com/product/454623/usb-30-25-sata-hard-drive-adapter-with-case

      Full disclosure:
      – Win7 Group B, trying to figure what to do when Win7 EOL
      – I bought a refurbish Win8 home, and installed xubuntu 18.04 on it. [Dec 2018]
      – I have Win10 1809 Pro installed in VM with xubuntu as host.
      – I bought a 480Gb SSD from Micro Center for $60. I swapped out the disk from my Dell Win7 Pro and installed the SSD with xubuntu. I wanted to test partitioning and Clonezilla, cloning software.
      – I was comfortable that Clonezilla works. I cloned the xubuntu image and installed Win10 Pro 1809. [Slightly different, going from Linux to Window.]

      To summarize:
      – Swap out disk option is the best
      – External USB 3.0 is also good
      – If you update software, I think flash drive is not fast enough.

      Hopefully, the information is useful.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #510291 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the ideas and information. I too am trying to figure out my best course of action before Win7 EOL. My reason for thinking about trying a full install on a USB thumb drive is that I want to try it and see how I like it on my Lenovo Win 7 laptop. It is my understanding that a live/persistent install is more of a trial and I won’t be able to get the “full experience” as I would from a full install. I am not ready to dual boot this laptop, so the full install on USB thumb drive seemed to be a workable idea.

        I don’t think that swapping out the hard drive is going to be feasible right now either. If I can get the full install on USB and like it, I will most likely do a dual boot with Win 7 later this year before Jan. So I don’t want to do anything to the Win 7 workings yet.

        Thanks for the reply and info – indeed, very helpful!

    • #511017 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks so much for the very informative information! I really appreciate it!

      Check the specs of the unit before buying (surprisingly, I’ve found that manufacturer’s claims for speed on USB sticks, for reputable makers, are usually what I see when I test them myself). My USB 3.0 sticks are good for about 110 MB/sec, which is in the low-end ballpark of what a hard drive can do in sequential transfers. Modern hard drives are faster in peak transfer rate, but they also have the mechanical seek time that USB flash drives do not. You may wish to get USB 3.0 sticks in any case, as they are pretty cheap and will give better speeds if or when you eventually repurpose them for some other use with a newer machine.

      The USB flash drive that I got with the idea of the full Mint install is a San Disk Ultra Fit 64 gb. It says it has speeds up to 130 MB/s. It is also a tiny one that will not stick out from the port. And it is a blue plug, so at least that isn’t confusing!

      As for root, home, and swap partitions: I have all three (and more), but you don’t have to. The default installation of Mint 19 sets up only one partition, root, which includes /home and a swap file rather than a dedicated swap partition. There are benefits to using more partitions (like being able to enable hibernation if you create a swap partition), but if you’re not aware of them in this stage of your Linux journey, that’s totally fine– don’t worry about it until such a time as it seems like you want those benefits. You can add them later if you want!

      Yes – in looking at various tutorials, that is where I get lost. I did install Mint on my old Vista laptop – dual boot – and it never asked me about partitions, so I thought that it would work the same way when installing to the thumb drive. I have been holding off and continuing to read about it – and I’m not sure that more info is better – LOL!!

      As for overwriting… the installer does have the option for wiping a volume before installing Linux, so that is something you will want to be aware of. It’s why I often suggest disconnecting the drives you want to save for people who are not adept with Linux or dual-boot installations! If you’re careful and you pay attention, you can avoid it, but with us all being human, if you’re wiping a drive or partition to make room for Linux, it’s not hard to get confused and specify the wrong partition. If you’re not really sure which is which, as a new Linux user may not (as terms like sda and such are new to you), you really have to be careful. The “resize existing partitions and make room for Linux” option is safer in that way, as it is not wiping any existing partition, but making room for a brand new one that definitely contains nothing before Linux is installed.

      I agree! I did the dual boot install without too many issues, but again, I don’t think that was as hard as this install to USB sounds. I’ve come across some info on how to tell which drive is which, so I guess I just need to get that all in my head and work very carefully if I do go ahead with this.

      That does bring up a question or two. Can I use the Vista laptop to do the install onto the thumb drive and then use that USB in my newer Lenovo Win 7? The Vista laptop does not have 3.0 ports, but the Lenovo does – so once that full install drive was created, I would be using it in the 3.0 port, so it should run fairly well? And if I ever did use it in a 2.0 port – like on my older desktop – how much would that affect how it runs?

      Using the Vista laptop would also keep all of my data from the Lenovo “safe” since I would not be risking losing any of it by picking an incorrect drive.

      And – when I am done with using the full install USB, can it be reformatted so that I can use it as a regular thumb drive? It wasn’t expensive and I did get it specifically for the purpose of installing Mint on it – but it would be nice to have it reformatted when I am done with it. is that possible?

      There is still some risk that something may go wrong whenever you are manipulating partitions, which is why you should have backups before doing anything like this. If you have backups, and you’re confident that they will work when needed, it gives you the leeway to try things you would not dare to do without them. You gain experience as you go, and things that seem incredibly intimidating become quite feasible and normal. It’s not that there’s ever zero risk, but that you know you have minimized it as much as you can, and that you know you can fairly easily recover if something does go wrong.

      Yes – backups are important!! I use Macrium Reflect free version to back up both of my Win 7 computers pretty regularly, and I will do that before I do anything else with Linux on either one.

      Thanks for the help and information! I wish there was a simple and straightforward set of instructions that are specific to installing Mint 19.1 on a thumb drive, but so far, I have found lots of ways to do it, but all are more generic and no specific to this version of Mint.

      Thanks again!!

      ETA: On the Vista laptop with dual boot – I poked around a bit and found that I can see that the one available USB port is called /dev/sdb 1. So – if I can use that laptop to install Mint onto my thumb drive for use in my Win 7 laptop – then I will be able to tell where it should be installed, and shouldn’t risk that I am going to lose any data or wipe my hard drive.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #516839 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Yes – in looking at various tutorials, that is where I get lost. I did install Mint on my old Vista laptop – dual boot – and it never asked me about partitions, so I thought that it would work the same way when installing to the thumb drive. I have been holding off and continuing to read about it – and I’m not sure that more info is better – LOL!!

        I’ve never tried this (though I think I will try to find one of my not-important drives and give it a shot to see how it goes), but it seems that the Linux installer doesn’t recognize the USB drive as a potential destination for the Linux installation in the easy mode, so you will have to use the manual mode to do it, which requires you to handle partitions yourself.  It’s not so intimidating once you get how it all works, and we’re talking about a USB drive with nothing on it anyway, so you could use Gparted to create some partitions and play around with the options and get a feel for it.  Just be sure that the device shown is actually the USB drive and not your hard drive!

        This message will be long, but hopefully it will dispel some of the apprehension you have over partitions.  The simpler you go, the more words it takes to describe the same thing, and I’m already rather verbose by nature.  I hope it’s worth it, though!

        In order to create partitions, you need to have unallocated space. When you first receive the brand new USB drive, it comes ready to use, with generally one large partition that takes up the whole drive.  In order to make more partitions, you will have to create unallocated space.

        There are two ways to do that.  First, you could delete the existing partition on the USB drive.  Since the partition is the full size of the space on the drive, that would mean the entire drive would be then available for your new partitions.  Never do this with a drive that has data you want to keep.  While there are ways to recover the partitions if the drive has not been written to after the partitions were deleted, the general idea behind deleting the partitions is that you want to wipe it all and start fresh.

        The other way to create unallocated space is to shrink the existing partition that takes up the entire drive.  If you have a 32GB drive with a 32GB partition, obviously there’s no room for anything, but if you then shrink that 32GB partition to 16 GB, you will then have 16 more GB of unallocated space.  You can put in as many partitions as you wish, subject only to the limitations of the partition table type you’re using.

        The older BIOS-based PCs, like your Vista/Mint PC, will generally be set up to boot from a legacy MBR setup.  In Windows, this is mandatory; it simply will not permit anything else on a computer that uses BIOS.  Linux is more flexible, and it is possible to have a GPT partition setup that boots from a BIOS PC, but I’d just do it the traditional way and use a MBR setup.  It’s more common, and if you run into difficulty down the line, there’s more help available on the web for that more common setup.

        A MBR setup can have up to four primary partitions.  If all you want is two, three, or four, you’re in luck!  That doesn’t mean you’re stuck if you want more than four for whatever purpose, though.  Into one primary partition, generally the last one on the drive (though it can be anywhere), it is possible to set up multiple logical partitions, which will be treated the same by the PC as primary partitions.  The primary partition that holds these will then be known as an extended partition.

        This setup is kind of confusing and “hacky,” and it was done away with in GPT when EFI, and later UEFI, hit the scene.  There’s a lot of fear and loathing of UEFI by old-time PC techies, but UEFI has its advantages.  If you have a GPT setup, the kind usually used by UEFI, you can just keep making primary partitions without having to stop at four.

        If you want to wipe the drive and make it all unallocated space, you will have the opportunity to change the partition table type from MBR to GPT or vice versa.  In Gparted, you would select Device from the menu at the top, then Create partition table.  That will allow you to select which type you want.  This will also have the effect of deleting the existing partitions, so the same warning as above applies: don’t do it to a drive that has data you want to keep on it.

        After that, you can right click the space inside the bar that represents the space on the drive, and select New.  That will allow you to create a new partition, which you can make as big or small as you want.  You can drag or drop the start and end of the partition anywhere you wish on the drive.  Usually, you would want to leave the beginning of the partition (the left side) at the start of the disk and just worry about the size, but you can do whatever you want.  The bigger the partition, the less space you have for other partitions, of course.

        You can safely play around with this and see how it all works, and then when you’re satisfied that you understand how it works, you can simply close Gparted instead of clicking the check mark to apply all, and all of the changes you proposed would be discarded.  Until you tell Gparted to apply the changes, they’re not written to the disk.  Or, maybe, you would then be confident enough to follow one of the guides online, and you could do that and actually apply the changes.  Again, make sure the target device is the USB drive before hitting Apply.

        Once you get the hang of doing that in Gparted, you will understand a lot more about doing the same thing using the Linux installer.  It’s not exactly the same, but it’s very similar.  Of course, pay attention to any warnings that it may give you before doing something that will wipe out existing partitions.  Make really sure that the target device is the one you want and not your regular hard drive before proceeding with the operation.

        I agree! I did the dual boot install without too many issues, but again, I don’t think that was as hard as this install to USB sounds.

        The Linux installer takes care of the partition setup for you in the guided mode, but it’s really not much harder in manual mode.  If you practice on your Vista/Mint PC, using the USB drive as the target, you can very quickly begin to dispel that nervousness.  You can do it right from your Mint installation, with no need to use a live session.  You will need to tell the installer to set one partition up as / (root).  You can create separate partitions for /home and swap, setting them as such from the installer, and it will set it all up for you while installing Linux, but you can also just have / and call it a day on a MBR setup.  Bootable GPT disks also require an EFI partition, which is usually really small (few hundred megabytes– not even a full gigabyte) and would usually be the first partition on the disk.

        I’ve come across some info on how to tell which drive is which, so I guess I just need to get that all in my head and work very carefully if I do go ahead with this.

        In Gparted, you can see the target drive on the right side of the toolbar.  It will probably be /dev/sda when you first start Gparted, which is the first hard drive in the system.  Right after that, it tells the size of the drive.  That’s your dead giveaway.  Note that GiB is a little different from GB, so a 32GB drive will be 29.8 GiB.

        So, if your USB drive is 32GB, and you see that /dev/sdb is 29.8 GiB, and you have no other 32 GB drives in the PC, it has to be the USB drive.

        In Mint, you can always type ‘disks’ into the search box from the main menu (start menu), and that will open the GNOME disks utility, which will show all the drives in detail, and will let you know which one is your USB drive at that moment.

        That does bring up a question or two. Can I use the Vista laptop to do the install onto the thumb drive and then use that USB in my newer Lenovo Win 7?

        Yes, you can.  There will just be one caveat, which may not be a problem at all: Since the Vista machine is an older one using BIOS, the resulting Linux installation on the new drive will also come out as MBR by default.  If you want to be able to use that full install USB drive in the Vista machine as well as the Windows 7 one, that’s probably what you want anyway.  The vast majority of UEFI PCs (especially those with Windows 7 preinstalled) are also capable of booting in MBR, Legacy, or Compatibility modes (all names for the same thing).  My Acer Swift laptop is one of the rare exceptions: It is not capable of booting in legacy mode, as the option to select legacy mode in the UEFI setup does not work and is presumably disabled by Acer for some reason I don’t know.  The option is present, but unselectable.  This is an edge case, and certainly not something you would expect to run into on a Windows 7 era PC.

        Windows 7 was the dominant OS at the time that the PC industry was switching from BIOS to UEFI, and the result was that many or most Windows 7 PCs have UEFI, but were shipped with Windows installed into a legacy MBR setup on the disk.  This works just fine, and doing it that way from the factory may have persisted into the future if not for one thing: Secure Boot.  That’s a security feature of UEFI that will prevent the PC from booting if it detects that the bootloader has been tampered with, which will reduce the risk of rootkits.  Secure Boot is often confused with UEFI itself, but they’re not the same thing.  My desktop PC has UEFI, but has no ability to use Secure Boot.  Secure Boot is an option within UEFI, but it is not the same as UEFI.

        Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft began requiring OEMs to ship PCs with Secure Boot enabled, so legacy boot from the factory was definitely out at that point. A lot of people see this as a conspiracy to prevent people from escaping Windows, but it’s really not.  It really is a security feature, and it is one that you can simply turn off and get on with your life if you don’t want it!

        With Windows 8, MS required OEMs to have an option to turn off Secure Boot, but they dropped that requirement from Windows 10.  They’re still required to ship the PC with Secure Boot on, but it is up to the OEM to decide whether or not to have an option to turn it off.  The only OEM this would seem to make sense for would be Microsoft.  Any other hardware maker just wants to sell more hardware, and making Secure Boot mandatory just limits the market for that hardware.  Not by much, but every sale counts.

        A Windows 7 era UEFI PC (like my desktop) may not even have Secure Boot as an option, so in that case, you don’t need to worry about it.  You would usually want Secure Boot off anyway with Windows 7 even if the PC was capable of performing a Secure Boot.

        The average user will never be aware of Secure Boot or what it does, and they don’t need to.

        FWIW, Ubuntu and its derivatives like Mint and Neon (which I use) are compatible with Secure Boot, and I have had Secure Boot enabled on both of my newer laptops that support it.  I had to turn it off to get VirtualBox 6.0 to work, as I got it directly from Oracle and not from the Ubuntu repo (which still contains 5.2).  As such, it does not have the Ubuntu signature that will allow its drivers to be loaded. Once 6.0 is in the Ubuntu repo, I can grab it from there and re-enable Secure Boot.

        The Vista laptop does not have 3.0 ports, but the Lenovo does – so once that full install drive was created, I would be using it in the 3.0 port, so it should run fairly well? And if I ever did use it in a 2.0 port – like on my older desktop – how much would that affect how it runs?

        It will work perfectly well in either case.

        Using the Vista laptop would also keep all of my data from the Lenovo “safe” since I would not be risking losing any of it by picking an incorrect drive. And – when I am done with using the full install USB, can it be reformatted so that I can use it as a regular thumb drive? It wasn’t expensive and I did get it specifically for the purpose of installing Mint on it – but it would be nice to have it reformatted when I am done with it. is that possible?

        Yes, you can reformat it or repurpose it in any way you wish down the road.

        I wish there was a simple and straightforward set of instructions that are specific to installing Mint 19.1 on a thumb drive, but so far, I have found lots of ways to do it, but all are more generic and no specific to this version of Mint.

        Mint is so similar to Ubuntu that directions for Ubuntu should be directly usable.  The only thing you would need to change would be if the tutorial lists any part of the Ubuntu desktop (GNOME, for current versions) that is called something else in Mint.  For example, the GNOME file manager is called Nautilus, while in Mint it’s Nemo.

        Thanks again!!

        You’re very welcome!

        ETA: On the Vista laptop with dual boot – I poked around a bit and found that I can see that the one available USB port is called /dev/sdb 1. So – if I can use that laptop to install Mint onto my thumb drive for use in my Win 7 laptop – then I will be able to tell where it should be installed, and shouldn’t risk that I am going to lose any data or wipe my hard drive.

        /dev/sdb is not the port address… it’s the address of the USB drive.  It may not always be /dev/sdb!  The first drive that Linux discovers will be /dev/sda.  That will normally be the boot device.  The next one it discovers will be /dev/sdb.  If there is only one drive in the system at boot time, any USB drive subsequently plugged into any USB port should be /dev/sdb, and the next /dev/sdc, and so on.

        There are some exceptions that you don’t need to worry about right now, like NVMe or eMMC drives, which don’t get /dev/sd? names.  Anything SATA or USB will be /dev/sda, so you should be good there.  Just be aware that it has to do with the order the operating system discovered the devices, not which port they are plugged into or which USB drive they are.

        If you unplug /dev/sdb and leave /dev/sdc plugged in, /dev/sdc will remain as /dev/sdc.  If you plugged in another USB drive at that point, it would be /dev/sdb, since /dev/sdb was made available again when the old /dev/sdb was unplugged.

        You don’t need to remember all of this… just remember that the drive’s device name can change each time you use it.  It won’t change once its plugged in within one session, but each time you plug it in or boot the PC, it could have a different designation, so make sure of it before you do anything drastic.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #518840 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thank you so much for this great information! I will need to really read it carefully and digest it all, but wanted to just add these two things.

          First – this site is an example of the process I was thinking of trying to use the installer on a live Linux USB thumb drive (same one I used to actually install Mint on my Vista machine) and to a full install onto my 64 gb thumb drive: https://www.tecmint.com/install-linux-os-on-usb-drive/ just so you can see where my thinking was headed! Also this: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=287353 and I also have a few YouTubes that have sightly different processes as well.

          And second – thanks for clarifying the /dev/sda etc names. I did sort of figure that out finally – it is the order that the drives are seen that creates the name – not the port itself! Great – thanks!

          I’ll read and study all of your great info and post questions as they come up! Can’t thank you enough for hanging in there with me with this!!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #547085 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            I have read this all very carefully and it does answer many questions – though it brings up some too – LOL! Thanks for taking so much time to put it all together for me!

            You can put in as many partitions as you wish, subject only to the limitations of the partition table type you’re using.

            I guess my main source of confusion is not really understanding the need for partitions and what they are really for? I’ve watched a few videos on the process of the full install on USB and have seen it done with anywhere from 2 to I believe 4 partitions – generally root, home and swap. And the recommended sizes vary too. I am continuing to read about those and try to get it straight in my mind.

            ETA: For what it is worth – I just came across this “beginner’s guide to disks and disk partitions” that looks pretty informative: http://linuxbsdos.com/2014/11/08/a-beginners-guide-to-disks-and-disk-partitions-in-linux/ 

            I’ll read it over and see what I can glean!

            It’s not so intimidating once you get how it all works, and we’re talking about a USB drive with nothing on it anyway, so you could use Gparted to create some partitions and play around with the options and get a feel for it. Just be sure that the device shown is actually the USB drive and not your hard drive!

            I did use the software manager tool and get a copy of Gparted on the Vista machine and did take a look at it – I will have to play around with it more, but I can see where my thumb drive is listed.

            Right after that, it tells the size of the drive. That’s your dead giveaway.

            Yes – I could easily see the size difference, and when I actually do this – I think that will be the key – knowing the sizes. The USB with the live installation is only about 8GB and if I am installing on a 64gb drive – that should be pretty easy to spot! I also used the disk tool to see the drives and how they are partitioned – or not. My hard drive has 5 I think – 2 belong to Vista and the other three to Linux I think!

            In Gparted, you would select Device from the menu at the top, then Create partition table. That will allow you to select which type you want…You can safely play around with this and see how it all works, and then when you’re satisfied that you understand how it works, you can simply close Gparted instead of clicking the check mark to apply all, and all of the changes you proposed would be discarded. Until you tell Gparted to apply the changes, they’re not written to the disk.

            Thanks for those directions – very helpful!!

            And another question that I have is about BIOS and UEFI. I have been also reading about how that affects installation, and used System Information to check the BIOS on my Win 7 laptop. Contrary to what I seem to be finding online, mine says SMBIOS version 2.7 – not just BIOS or Legacy or UEFI either. When I looked SMBIOS version 2.7 up I found this: “If it is 2.7-3.1 you should have a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot.” So now I am not sure what the BIOS situation is for the Win 7 laptop – so I guess I will definitely need to do this  install to USB from the Vista laptop, since we know that is BIOS not UEFI.

            If you practice on your Vista/Mint PC, using the USB drive as the target, you can very quickly begin to dispel that nervousness. You can do it right from your Mint installation, with no need to use a live session. You will need to tell the installer to set one partition up as / (root). You can create separate partitions for /home and swap, setting them as such from the installer, and it will set it all up for you while installing Linux, but you can also just have / and call it a day on a MBR setup.

            Yes – I can see that more practice will be needed!

            There will just be one caveat, which may not be a problem at all: Since the Vista machine is an older one using BIOS, the resulting Linux installation on the new drive will also come out as MBR by default. If you want to be able to use that full install USB drive in the Vista machine as well as the Windows 7 one, that’s probably what you want anyway.

            OK – so that seems to be the way to go – create it on the Vista machine and then it should work in the Win 7 as well. The implications of UEFI and Secure Boot were also concerning me!

            OK – I think I am off to some more practice and reading. I’m probably making far too much of this process – but my concerns about doing it wrong seem to have taken over and at the moment, I feel like I need to understand it all more before I proceed!

            Thanks again for all of the help and info – it is great! I will post back after I’ve add some time to play around…

            Or, maybe, you would then be confident enough to follow one of the guides online, and you could do that and actually apply the changes.

            Hopefully that will be the case!! 🙂

          • #587357 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for that TecMint link!

            I finally picked up a couple of spare USB flash drives and decided to give it a try with a full install on a flash drive.

            Since I was doing the install from a desktop PC, it was easy to first unplug my two hard drives and the USB HDD. I didn’t want to chance a fat finger mistake, LOL!

            So when I booted up Mint from my YUMI multiboot USB (with the live Mint installer) in one port, with a new blank USB flash in another, I was looking at “sda” and sdb”. I had labeled YUMI as “Multiboot”, so it was easy to tell which was which.

            First I ran GParted to setup the blank USB flash drive with two partitions. I decided to make the root ext4 partition as big as possible for Mint, while leaving 4GB for a FAT16 data partition.

            After creating the two partitions I started the Mint installer. The instructions on the TecMint page are good, but you need pay special attention to steps 6 & 7.

            Step 6. Choosing the “Something else” installation type is mandatory!

            Step 7. Change the mount point of your new ext4 partition to “/” (root), and select your new USB flash device for installation of the boot loader.

            Note: Changing the mount requires selecting the partition, then clicking the “Change” button. In the “Edit partition” dialogue, change the “Use as” selection to your chosen partition type. When you do this, the “Mount point” option will appear. Choose “/”.

            Then I continued on with the install.

            If you try to boot from a USB drive, depending on the type of BIOS or UEFI/BIOS on the particular machine used, you may need to select “legacy” BIOS to get around the secure boot settings in a UEFI/BIOS to boot a non-Windows OS. I had to do that on 2 different PCs that were from Win 8.1 generation hardware.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #626785 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Hi John and thanks for this information – and for trying out the steps for creating the full install thumb drive.

              Your instructions are very clear – and I am starting to feel more comfortable with the whole process. In my case, I won’t be unplugging the hard drive, so I think my 2 USBs will be /dev/sdb for the install drive and /dev/sdc for the target drive. Now that I know how to check and what to look for – including the sizes of those two sticks, I think it will be fine. My Yumi install drive is 8GB and I will be putting it onto my 64gb thumb drive, so it should be fairly clear which is which.

              Will update my progress. I am hoping to get to this later on today, but with holiday things going on, I may not! But thanks so much for trying it out  – and for reporting how it all went.

              Just curious – are you happy with how it actually works now that it is made?

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #627609 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              To answer your question, Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon 64-bit boots and runs very well from a USB2.0 16GB flash drive.

              I booted it on my laptop which is a Core i5-4210U @1.7GHz, and 4GB RAM, with integrated Intel HD graphics. It functions in a fluid, responsive way without any lag or hesitation. Memory use at idle is around 900MB.

              But you were probably smart to get a 64GB USB drive for the task, since you are planning to use this as a real world test. You will have plenty of room for additional applications, as needed.

              Using a 16GB drive, I should have just made one large ext4 partition for Linux, and omitted the 4GB FAT16 data partition. With the full install of Mint including all the extras, I only had a little over 3GB of free space remaining in my original ext4 Linux partition. So I deleted the FAT16 partition, and expanded the ext4 to fully occupy the available space.

              The full install used about 7.53GB, so Mint now has about 50% of the USB drive as available free space.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #511280 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      Only have a couple of things to add, one is in doing a factory restore of an HP All-in-One the advice from HP was NOT to use San Disk Thumb drives [tech said those have a formatting problem] so they sent the client one he could use and the other thing is that I’ve used the Disk Image Writer while booted to a Linux Mint Live DVD and while booted to an installed version to create the Bootable USB drive, haven’t had a problem with either method.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #511708 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks! I have several San Disk drives so I’ll check and see if they work.

        Thanks for the info about Disk Image Writer, too!

    • #515216 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      And a quick update on those USB device names. I think that it names them by the order they were attached to the computer. I have a 4 USB hub and when I plugged various thumb drives in, it went like this:

      1st one: /dev/sdb 1
      2nd one: /dev/sdc 1
      3rd one: /dev/sdd 1
      4th one: /dev/sde 1

      And it went by the order they were added to the computer – not the order on the hub. And the hard drive was always /dev/sda. So I guess that will help me to figure it out if I do try to do the full install, too.

      • #526021 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        In Linux and other similar operating systems, sda refers to the hard drive itself (specifically, the first SCSI disk discovered by the OS, which includes SATA drives), while sda1, sda2, sda3, etc., refer to the partitions that exist on the drive sda.  They’re created sequentially too, so the first partition you create is sda1, the second is sda2, and so on.  If you end up deleting and recreating partitions as I have on several of my PCs, you can get a weird situation where the first partition is sda4, then sda3, then sda1, then sda2.  It doesn’t matter, though… it all still works!

        If you need to know which partition has which designation, the GNOME disks tool is very good for this too.  There are command-line ways of getting this info too, of course, but there are graphical tools like that one that do the task nicely.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #529890 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Not even added to the computer – it’s the order they were seen / enumerated by the kernel.

        Which means that during kernel version changes, it’s possible that internal devices be reordered. This has happened before, too.

        I’ve also had that happen when switching between UEFI and legacy mode on some hardware.

        Oh and when booting the installer from USB, it may happen that the internal 2.5″ SATA disk is sda, the USB stick is sdb … and the internal mSATA SSD, which you may want to install to for performance, is sdc. Leave two USB sticks and a mobile broadband USB adapter (some of these have an internal read-only storage with Windows drivers) attached while rebooting, and your boot drive just might come up as sde …

        This is why it’s nowadays advised to build your /etc/fstab by label, uuid or similar, instead of direct /dev/sd* names.

        (I keep telling people to use the Logical Volume Manager anyway. The performance penalty is very small and you gain a lot of manageability and flexibility. That’ll abstract out the direct device names for everything but /boot and/or /boot/efi …)

        You also usually have /dev/disk/by-id/ and /dev/disk/by-path/ – the latter is particularly useful on complicated hardware.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #628908 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          This is why it’s nowadays advised to build your /etc/fstab by label, uuid or similar, instead of direct /dev/sd* names.

          Yes, for sure!  I have mine by UUID, which is also the default in Ubuntu and derivatives.  Mounting by /dev/sd? would almost certainly blow up on you at some point.

          You can also use specific partition type GUIDs to mark the EFI, root, swap, and home partitions (and some others), and systemd-equipped distros should be able to discover and mount them to standard locations even without fstab, according to the Discoverable Partitions Specification.  I would try this on my system, but I have two Linuxes installed, so it’s easier just to keep it the traditional fstab way.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

    • #525942 Reply

      anonymous

      @YP

      One safe method is to label your flash drive. In windows really easy.
      On Linux
      Ctr+Alt+T [Open terminal]
      lsblk -f [Output device, label which will help identified your flash]

      Output will be something like /dev/sda label1 Mount point .. and more
      The key is labeling your disk so you know can locate the device.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #530329 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      On Linux
      Ctr+Alt+T [Open terminal]
      lsblk -f [Output device, label which will help identified your flash]

      Output will be something like /dev/sda label1 Mount point .. and more
      The key is labeling your disk so you know can locate the device.

      Or just “lsblk -f” to list filesystem devices.

      Labeling is dependent on filesystem type. Arbitrary labels work for ext2/3/4 with the e2label command, others … vary.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #635936 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      To answer your question, Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon 64-bit boots and runs very well from a USB2.0 16GB flash drive. I booted it on my laptop which is a Core i5-4210U @1.7GHz, and 4GB RAM, with integrated Intel HD graphics. It functions in a fluid, responsive way without any lag or hesitation. Memory use at idle is around 900MB.

      Thanks so much for testing this all out. It sounds very encouraging – my system is similar to yours, I think, so it should run comparably. And I’ll be using a 3.1 stick and a 3.0 port, too. I have been thinking of adding 4GB RAM at some point, so that would make it really fast, I hope.

      But you were probably smart to get a 64GB USB drive for the task, since you are planning to use this as a real world test. You will have plenty of room for additional applications, as needed. Using a 16GB drive, I should have just made one large ext4 partition for Linux, and omitted the 4GB FAT16 data partition.

      Yes, I had even considered 128 gb, but decided that this was probably not going to be a permanent solution, so I opted for 64. That should be enough for what I am hoping to do.

      So I deleted the FAT16 partition, and expanded the ext4 to fully occupy the available space. The full install used about 7.53GB, so Mint now has about 50% of the USB drive as available free space.

      So in effect, you only have one partition taking up the entire 16 GB? I don’t think Mint 19.1 needs those other partitions so good that you can use the entire USB.

      I haven’t had a chance to do the full install stick today – but hopefully tomorrow or the next day! Thanks again for all of this information – all very helpful! I’ll post back with how it all goes. Enjoy the weekend!

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #637352 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes, running on a USB3 stick should be great. However, I don’t detect any bottlenecks using USB2 in this setup.

        Probably since the flash memory is faster than a slow spinning HDD using the mechanical read/write seek time and all, the system can use all of the real world throughput that USB 2.0 offers. USB 2.0 supports 480Mb/s or (60MB/s) transfers. In the real world it’s probably something less that that, probably like 30-40 MB/s.

        That is probably enough for general OS use, but USB3 will probably shine with large file transfer tasks, since it is theoretically 10 times faster.

        USB 3.0 Speed: real and imagined

        And one partition is all that is required to install Mint.

        One thing that really impressed me is that I was able to install Mint on the USB using my desktop computer, and then boot the drive on my laptop, and it didn’t even blink with the hardware change! My desktop is a generation, and several years behind the laptop with the Intel CPU and chipset architecture!

        Thanks for the feedback, and good luck with your project!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #637381 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      I have Linux Mint 19.1 on a 350GB HDD in a Desktop, the included GPARTED shows only 1 partition formatted as ext4 and 335GB.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #637843 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes, extra partitions are optional. It all depends on how you wish to administer your system. Some folks prefer a separate partition for their “Home” user space, as it can allow backups or restores of the system or user data as separate tasks.

        Say for example you wanted to restore the system to roll back some changes, but didn’t want to affect your user files. If you had made an image backup of your system partition, you could restore only that without affecting your user data partition. Or vice versa, with restoring a backup of the user data partition.

        • #672506 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          … entirely optional as long as your system firmware can figure out how to boot from them.

          Old and/or weird hardware may have all kinds of limitations there. And I mean not actually very old or very weird – of the large brand names HP is particularly known for this.

          (Like how Linux is usually able to boot off a large GPT-formatted disk even on legacy systems – sure, but some HP BIOS versions don’t even get to the bootloader in that case.)

          • #679021 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Was referring to this specific use case of installing a single Linux system on a USB flash drive. One partition is all that is required to do that.

            The Linux Mint full install on USB flash that I created requires my setting the system UEFI/BIOS to “legacy” in order to boot from the USB, so I would conclude that it is MBR.

            Then I have to set my UEFI/BIOS back to “UEFI” to boot Windows 10 from the hard disk, so that internal HDD would be GPT.

            This boot process will likely vary with different makes and models of PCs and BIOS, but there’s no getting around the need to match things up, GPT with UEFI, and MBR with legacy BIOS.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #640221 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      Being a bit forgetful in my advanced years, I forgot to mention that I used USB Image Writer in Linux Mint 19.1 to create the Bootable USB drive on a Verbatim 16GB USB 2 Thumb drive, works great and doesn’t take much room in my pocket.  Plus it runs Linux faster than using the LiveDVD.  The USB Image Writer works fine but needs the downloaded .iso file for the Source, can even be run from the LiveDVD in addition from the installed version.

      I was working with a new HP computer and HP tech had problems so he sent the client a Thumb drive after cautioning not to use San Disk drives, apparently some have a problem with their formatting and creating bootable functions.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #641545 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I have a question that most likely has been answered already elsewhere, but that I cannot find it or its answer after making a search for it.

      I have in my HP Pavilion dv6t ca. 2011 and in dual-boot, both Win 7 Pro, SP1, x64 and Linux Mint 19.1. I might have given too small a space to Linux when partitioning the hard disk. So here is my question:

      How can one modify the HD partitions in a reasonably safe way (and without pushing things too far), in this case to give some more space to one of the two OS installed on the same machine (Linux) at the expense of the other (Windows,)?

      I’ll be thankful for any helpful information someone here might provide.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #642897 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      Might help to know how big the drive is and much space each OS has.  The big problems will be with the partitioning and formatting, Windows can’t work with many drive formats while Linux can, Windows can’t format partitions as FAT32 over 32GB [which has a limit of 4GB single file size] and one partition would probably have to be reduced in size so as to create unallocated space the other OS can use.  Also a problem is the arrangement of partitions as to whether that could be accomplished, Windows would need the unallocated space immediately adjacent to its own partition and probably also Linux, usually can’t have a partition such as for Recovery in between them.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      • #646006 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, Berton. I’ll have to get on the PC for that tomorrow, as today I am on the Mac.

        Right now I can tell you that, before installing Linux, the partition of Windows was reduced in size to give room for Linux, so changing the size allocated to Windows by quite a substantial amount (several hundred gigabytes) was not a problem. What might be a problem (and I’ll check on that too) is whether the arrangement of the partitions allows for the proper separation between the Windows and the Linux Partitions after resizing them. My guess is that it should allow it, because the PC now is working fine with both OS, and the arrangement of the partitions, as different from their sizes, should not have to be changed (or at least that is my understanding) if one first decreases the size of the main Windows partition and then increases that of the main Linux partition to the same extent.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

        • #677084 Reply

          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Lounger

          @oscarcp, before I suggest anything, let me make sure that I understand what you want to do. If one were to look at a bar chart of the OS partitions on your computer, such as that produced by Disk Management in Windows, would it be accurate to say that Windows is on your left and Mint is to the right of it?

          If that is the case, then I surmise that you want to shrink the Windows partition on the right end, and then expand the Mint partition from its left (starting) end. Would that be an accurate description?

          If that is indeed what you want to do, I can say that it’s doable but that it will involve some white-knuckle moments and may require you to go digging around (so to speak) in GRUB, in order to restore your dual-booting ability. I ended up having to do this last weekend on a multi-booting system (don’t ask  🙂 ).

           

    • #647042 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      As long as there’s no partition between the Windows and the Linux you should be able to Shrink Windows using its Disk Management from the right then Extend Linux using GPARTED to take in that newly-created unallocated space.   The “thing” is the format of the Linux partition, Windows may not recognize it, also may try to reformat it.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      • #648984 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks. Would it help if I first made an ISO image of the HD — or at least of the Linux part of it, before resizing the partitions, then used it, somehow, to re-install Linux the way it was just before its space got accidentally reformatted when modifying the size of the Windows partition, as you said could happen?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

        • #663788 Reply

          DavidForrest57
          AskWoody Lounger

          I’ve been playing around with different Linux Mint flavours, dual-booting with Windows 7. I’ve found Macrium Reflect useful to image the whole drive; I’ve successfully restored complete disk images and individual partitions using this program.

          If you back up your system this way you can experiment in the knowledge that if it all goes pear-shaped, you can easily recover using the rescue media.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #685066 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            DavidForrest57:

            Thank you for your advice.

            In relation to it I have one more question:

            Can one run Macrium Reflect, first to image and then to restore the HD if necessary, from either Windows or Linux Mint, because it works with both, or is it a Windows-only application?

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

            • #697086 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Macrium Reflect is a Windows program, but it can image any Linux EXT drives that are on the system from Windows or from the bootable rescue media. It should also be able to restore Linux volumes from Windows, though I don’t remember if I have ever tried this or just used the rescue media each time.

              Until I discovered Veeam for Linux, Reflect was my go-to backup program for Linux, even though I had to close Linux and boot to Windows (dual-boot) or boot with the USB Macrium rescue drive for backup creation.

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #698831 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Ascaris, Thanks.

              I have looked up “Veeam” and found what seems a good, informative site here:

              https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/agentforlinux/userguide/overview.html?ver=30

              Rooting around in there I have found the following information:

              Limitations for Volume-Level Restore “

              ” Volume restore has the following limitations:

              You cannot restore the system volume to its original location.
              You cannot restore a volume to the volume on which the Linux swap space is hosted.
              You cannot restore a volume to the volume where the backup file used for restore is located.”

              ” To overcome the first two limitations, you can create a Veeam Recovery Media and use the Volume Restore wizard for volume-level restore. To learn more, see Veeam Recovery Media. “

              So it looks like one could restore just the Linux main volume (is it the same thing as the main partition with both the OS and one’s data?) but only from a recovery disk image created with Veeam.

              I am reading this correctly?

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #711028 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Yes, I think you’ve got it, Oscar.  Some volumes can be restored from the regular Linux session, but not the one containing the filesystem root (as it will be busy), the swap file (also busy, even if not in use at the moment), or the place where the backup files are located (since it would overwrite the backup set as it restored data).  This is how the Windows programs like Macrium Reflect and Acronis True Image work too, which is why they all come with a means of creating rescue media that will enable full restoration.

              A volume is not the same as a partition, but they’re similar concepts.  A volume is a single file system (generally assigned its own drive letter when in Windows), while a partition is like a box that can contain a filesystem (and usually does).  Some volumes can span across multiple partitions, though, and some partitions don’t contain (recognized) file systems, so they’re not volumes at that point (like empty boxes).  It’s kind of like the difference between a brain and a mind, I think.

              For the purposes of what we’re talking about here, the Linux main volume is indeed the partition that contains the filesystem root (/).  In a single-partition Mint/Ubuntu installation, that will also be the volume containing user data (/home) and the swap file.  You’d have to boot to the rescue media to restore the root volume using Veeam (unless you were restoring it to another drive that isn’t going to be busy at the time), just as with Windows backup programs.

              I haven’t restored from Veeam yet, so I still keep my Reflect backups just in case, but it works so well that I’m pretty confident it will work when it needs to.  It is as fast with encrypted backups (if not faster) than Aomei Backupper, and the images are about the same size as with Backupper or Reflect, just as a general sanity check.  I have created the rescue media for Veeam and booted that to see if it will see my backup server (one of the big issues I had with Acronis True Image; it often refused to connect to my shares), and it recognized and connected without an issue.

              Even though I have confidence that Macrium Reflect will bail me out if Veeam fails, for some reason, I am recalcitrant to restore to my working machine(s) anyway… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of thing.

              Come to think of it, maybe I will use my Dell Inspiron for a test bed (currently with Manjaro KDE, and not one of my main PCs).  I can also use my Core 2 Duo laptop, but that uses MBR, while my main machines all use GPT, so it won’t be a full vetting if it works on that one.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #790090 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Ascaris,

              Thank you so much for explaining the recovery of volumes, with Veeam in particular!

              After I wrote that entry you answered just above, I thought: “Wait a minute, I can find out quite easily, by myself, what is the difference between volume and partition!” So I went to Wikipedia and sure enough, it was all there.

              Something I should have done before asking… But the rest of my question was the important one and you answered it.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

            • #698552 Reply

              DavidForrest57
              AskWoody Lounger

              I prefer to run the backup and restore using the rescue media. From the Windows program (the free version) I created the ISO for the rescue media and “burned” it to my Multiboot YUMI USB stick.

              I boot into the rescue program on the USB and run the backup or restore from that.

              This process works just fine. I’ve deleted the Linux and swap partitions and replaced them with alternatives (same partition sizes), whilst keeping the other partitions (Dell Diagnostics & Windows). No problems at all.

              My reason for doing it this way (long story) is that I don’t trust the Windows processes. I recently cloned my HDD to a SSD (using Acronis True Image for Crucial) and doing it via Windows did not work, but doing it via the rescue media did.

              I intend to experiment further (I’ve been using my old HDD as a guinea pig)  and use the Windows GUI of Macrium Reflect to attempt these processes, just to see what happens, but I’m comfortable using the rescue media because I know it works.

            • #755729 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              I agree that there is less to go wrong with imaging when using a “live” boot, since your hard drive partitions are unmounted. and your OS is offline.

              I do use Macrium Reflect to image a Windows only disk while Windows is running, because it works. But if I had a dual boot setup, I would probably stick with imaging offline from the rescue media.

              I used to have a Linux system which I dual booted with both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, each with their own partition, on a 1TB HDD. I booted with Clonezilla Live to image the full disk (all partitions) while they were offline. Then if needed, I could boot with Clonezilla and choose to restore either partition, if I borked one. That worked fine for me.

              I have never tried to backup and/or restore a disk with mixed Windows and Linux partitions. It sounds like it would work the same, but I would probably be more comfortable trying it with the Macrium Rescue media first. It seems more of a “Windows first” solution.

               

               

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #652944 Reply

      Steve
      AskWoody Plus

      Only have a couple of things to add, one is in doing a factory restore of an HP All-in-One the advice from HP was NOT to use San Disk Thumb drives [tech said those have a formatting problem] so they sent the client one he could use and the other thing is that I’ve used the Disk Image Writer while booted to a Linux Mint Live DVD and while booted to an installed version to create the Bootable USB drive, haven’t had a problem with either method.

      The Flash drives I have, and which I would use to set up a computer to run Linux, were bought from the checkout lane(s) at Micro Center. They’re not San Disk, AFAICT.

      Important links you can use, without all the fluff or sales pitch = https://v.gd/sdr28
    • #676540 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      Only have a couple of things to add, one is in doing a factory restore of an HP All-in-One the advice from HP was NOT to use San Disk Thumb drives [tech said those have a formatting problem] so they sent the client one he could use and the other thing is that I’ve used the Disk Image Writer while booted to a Linux Mint Live DVD and while booted to an installed version to create the Bootable USB drive, haven’t had a problem with either method.

      The Flash drives I have, and which I would use to set up a computer to run Linux, were bought from the checkout lane(s) at Micro Center. They’re not San Disk, AFAICT. 

      All the San Disk drives I have and have used have had a red part like for the part the thumb pushes out before inserting.

      I found a deal in a local store of 2 16GB Verbatim drives, one a lightish green and the other blue, naturally I use the blue for the Win10 Bootable drive and the green for Linux Mint Bootable drive.  Blue has been associated with Windows since back with version 95, even have business cards with the 95’s blue with white clouds, get the colored cardstock from a firm called Geograpics, add my own details.  But I’m rambling.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #684813 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      All the San Disk drives I have and have used have had a red part like for the part the thumb pushes out before inserting. I found a deal in a local store of 2 16GB Verbatim drives, one a lightish green and the other blue, naturally I use the blue for the Win10 Bootable drive and the green for Linux Mint Bootable drive. Blue has been associated with Windows since back with version 95, even have business cards with the 95’s blue with white clouds, get the colored cardstock from a firm called Geograpics, add my own details. But I’m rambling.

      Love that 🙂 !!

      I haven’t tried the San Disk drive yet – I got it because it is a very small profile – not a larger stick with the part that pushes out as you describe. The reason I got it is that if this works I was planning to leave that small drive plugged in, and a longer one might run the risk of breaking off at some point.

      I have looked at Amazon and can’t seem to find any other “low profile” USB sticks to use instead. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it for a backup, in case this one doesn’t work:

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077VYCV37/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Thanks!

      • #689750 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve not had any problems with the SanDisk flash drives. That is the brand I have been using lately.

        I like the idea of the low profile form factor! Will have to check those out. That’s probably a better option if it stays plugged in. But maybe easier to lose if it’s just sitting in your pocket or backpack though.

        I am using the SanDisk Cruzer Glide 16GB USB 2.0 drives, which are the long type.

        If it was a widespread issue with SanDisk I would expect many people to be up in arms about it.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #686828 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      First I ran GParted to setup the blank USB flash drive…  

       …one partition is all that is required to install Mint. One thing that really impressed me is that I was able to install Mint on the USB using my desktop computer, and then boot the drive on my laptop, and it didn’t even blink with the hardware change! My desktop is a generation, and several years behind the laptop with the Intel CPU and chipset architecture! Thanks for the feedback, and good luck with your project!

      Hi John,

      Just wanted to clarify  – if Mint 19.1 only needs one partition, should I use GParted to set that up before I start this install on USB – or will the installer do that for me during the install process? That may have been answered somewhere before, but I wanted to just ask again. (I think I’m really starting to overthink this – LOL!!)

      And thanks too for your comments on moving it between computers. I will be installing using the old Vista laptop, but will run it on my newer Win 7 laptop and possibly also on my Win 7 desktop, so glad that it is easy to do between computers.

      🙂

      • #690277 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        If you use GParted to create only the one partition first, then you will be able to easily identify that target partition when you reach that point in the installer.

        Remember, you will be in the manual install mode once you choose “Something else” for the installation type, and the installer is not doing anything automatically. You will need to create and select everything yourself.

        GParted would make it very easy to create multiple partitions, resize partitions, etc., in advance, but is not absolutely necessary.

        Once a partition has been created, you will still need to select that partition you want to install on, change the mount point to root “/”, and select the location for the boot loader. Be careful of that last point, because the installer defaults to putting the boot loader on your sda hard drive, if one is available.

        You will need to manually change it to sdc, or whatever your target USB drive is.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #767984 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Just wanted to report success with the install onto my USB stick. It all went pretty smoothly. I had a bit of trouble at first booting from my live USB to get to the installer, but once that worked, it went well.

          I booted into both the old Vista/Mint laptop and into the Win 7 laptop and it was quick and smooth in both cases. Lots now to check into and set up – and see how easy it is to access my Windows file from Linux, but for now I am very pleased – and relieved that it all went well.

          Thanks so much for all of the help!! Couldn’t have done it without you all!

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #772805 Reply

            jburk07
            AskWoody Plus

            @lhiggins:

            Great news on your success.   I’m just getting started testing Linux on an old laptop and have been following along with your discussion. There are a lot of helpful links and information in this thread and I’ve learned a lot from the questions and answers.  Thanks to you, @johnw, @ascaris, and everyone else who has been contributing.

            Group A Win7 x64 Home Premium SP1 Ivy Bridge

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #773148 Reply

              LHiggins
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks! It has been a journey – but without all of the help that I got here, I never would have had the success I have had. I probably wouldn’t have even known about how to do a lot of this since it is really all very new to me.

              On my newer Win 7 laptop, Mint seems to run very smoothly and is quite fast. I have a lot to do to set it up the way I want it – but it is a great test to see if I can get used to it enough to give up my Win 7 when the time comes. And great that I can use these older machines – hated to just give up on them when Win 7 EOL comes about.

              And – I really like that I can access my Windows documents, pictures, etc from Linux. I had to poke around a bit to find them, but I can see and use them, and can save something back to the Windows side, too – so that is really nice!

              Good luck with your endeavors – I’m sure that everyone here will be happy to help if you have any questions!

              🙂

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #774276 Reply

              jburk07
              AskWoody Plus

              Yes, I’m very grateful for how helpful everyone on AskWoody has always been.

              Like you, I am testing on an old machine to see how I want to do things on a newer Windows 7 laptop when EOS comes around. My older laptop actually has XP so it hasn’t been used since before the XP EOL, and it has only 2 GB of RAM, but a live session of 32-bit Mint Mate (the first distro I’ve tested) runs very well and responsively on it. I like being able to re-purpose old hardware! Also like you, I’m happy that I can see my Windows documents using Linux. I have a long way to go but the beginning has been encouraging.

              Group A Win7 x64 Home Premium SP1 Ivy Bridge

              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #774311 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            By default, Mint mounts your connected disks at boot.

            If you click the “Computer” icon on the Mint desktop, you will see the available disks there.

            Or just open your Home folder and look for devices listed in the left hand pane. You should see your Windows volume listed in there. If you click on the volume it will be opened as a folder, and your files will be accessible.

            To change this default behavior for any disk, you can use the “Disks” utility in Accessories, to change the mount options.

            4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #689877 Reply

      Berton
      AskWoody_MVP

      In one of Linux Mint’s menus is a USB Image Writer I use to create the Bootable drive.  I download and store the .iso file that can be used to both create a Bootable LiveDVD and be the source for the USB Image Writer.  The USB Image Writer works from an installed Mint and from the LiveDVD, just need the .iso file on another drive or Folder.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
    • #772416 Reply

      jburk07
      AskWoody Plus

      From the Windows program (the free version) I created the ISO for the rescue media and “burned” it to my Multiboot YUMI USB stick.

      @davidforrest57 (post #698552 https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/running-linux-on-old-laptop/#post-698552)

      When you say “the Windows program(the free version),” do you mean Macrium Reflect or VeeAm?

      (Sorry, somehow my reply didn’t show up immediately below your post.)

      Group A Win7 x64 Home Premium SP1 Ivy Bridge

      • #783185 Reply

        DavidForrest57
        AskWoody Lounger

        I was referring to Macrium Reflect.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #786228 Reply

          jburk07
          AskWoody Plus

          OK, thanks.

          Group A Win7 x64 Home Premium SP1 Ivy Bridge

    • #787144 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      I like the idea of the low profile form factor! Will have to check those out. That’s probably a better option if it stays plugged in. 

      Yes – I thought that it was going to work so that the thumb drive could just stay plugged in and I could boot to whichever OS I wanted. Seems to be a little snag in that thinking. When I am in Windows, if I let the laptop sleep and then wake it – I get a message that the drive is not formatted properly and it offers to format it for me. That warning seems to be whenever the computer wakes – and I can foresee that it may accidentally get reformatted.

      So – I guess my best course of action, at least right now, is to take it out when I am done using Mint and booting back to Windows. Safer that way – but while I am using it, the low profile form factor is great – no worries about snagging it!

      Live and learn – LOL!

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #793127 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I get a similar error when I plug in the USB drive while Windows is running.

        I think it is likely caused by the file system not being recognized by Windows. For instance, file system is Ext 2/3/4 (Linux).

        It would be convenient if you could just switch off checking.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #814524 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Windows seems to be deliberately irksome when it comes to acknowledging foreign filesystems.  Even if MS does not want to build in the ability to read EXT volumes (even though it would be easy for them and would be useful to some of their customers), it would be so easy for Windows to recognize that they exist, at least, but it doesn’t.  diskmgmt.msc simply reports it/them as unallocated space, at least on 7 and 8.1.  It’s apparently not even worth considering that the data even exists if it is not in a Windows format!

          Linux (speaking of Ubuntu and derivatives, but most others are the same) is a much better neighbor.  If you install Linux first, then Windows, Windows will not even tell you Linux is there, and happily will stomp all over it.  If you install Windows to another partition, it will still replace the Linux bootloader with its own, booting only into Windows instead.

          Install Windows first, then Linux, and Linux will let you know Windows is there and offer you the chance to install Linux alongside it or to replace it.  Choose the former and you get a nice dual-boot setup that asks if you want Windows or Linux each time you use the Linux bootloader.

          Linux can easily use Windows networks too. There’s no “NIH” issue with Linux… it aims to be as useful as possible, even if that means playing nice with the other guys.

          Hey, now that MS loves Linux, I wonder if Windows 10 will anytime soon be able to use NFS networking or EXT? volumes natively.  I meant that in jest when I wrote it, but I actually would not be that surprised if it did.  MS is de-emphasizing Windows now, and even Linux users might want to have cloud services, after all.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

          4 users thanked author for this post.
          • #854094 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            If I boot Windows 10 with the Linux ext4 USB drive attached, it shows up in explorer with a drive letter, but doesn’t prompt me to format the drive until I double click to open it.

            But if I insert the drive when Windows is already running, I get the prompt right away.

            In both cases, the pop-up prompt has the “Format Drive” button in focus by default, rather than the “Cancel” button. They could at least change that. It seems that clicking “Cancel” effectively tells Windows to ignore the drive.

            I don’t see the need to be able to mount the Linux drive in Windows, but I would really hate to accidentally format the drive!

            I can always save files from the Linux machine onto a shared drive that both systems can access if I want to use them on dual platforms.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #817248 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Well, switching off automount might do it. Or might not, depending on what order things happen in.
          Worth trying I guess, it can be reversed if needed.

          If you already have a drive letter for the “misformatted” drive, you could try “mountvol.exe %drive%: /P” … there’s a blanket disable too with “mountvol.exe /N” but that might make life annoying in the other direction if you use other removable media and devices… and still might not get rid of the nagging if it happens separately and before the mount attempt.

          Windows seems to be deliberately irksome when it comes to acknowledging foreign filesystems.

          Well, yeah. And for no particularly good technical reason, though Linux is mostly just the exception when it comes to handling “foreign” filesystem types.

          Then there’s “foreign” partition table types…

          Hey, now that MS loves Linux, I wonder if Windows 10 will anytime soon be able to use NFS networking or EXT? volumes natively. I meant that in jest when I wrote it, but I actually would not be that surprised if it did. MS is de-emphasizing Windows now, and even Linux users might want to have cloud services, after all.

          Isn’t the Windows NFS client still out there? …

          Hm, I at least seem to have that installed on a W10 Pro 1809 box, haven’t actually tried to use it yet. Optional feature, not installed by default.

          Ext? filesystems, natively, is unlikely because of the GPL. Add-on might be doable but that’s a legal thing and not technical. This is the part where license contagiousness is an issue.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #858495 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            Ext? filesystems, natively, is unlikely because of the GPL. Add-on might be doable but that’s a legal thing and not technical. This is the part where license contagiousness is an issue.

            The GPL license contagiousness only means that if you use their code, you have to release any derivative works under GPL as well.  It’s rather permissive compared to Microsoft, which won’t let you use their code at all, and will sue you to oblivion if you try it.  You could always ask to license the code from them and pay through the nose for it, but that’s not something the FOSS community would ever do.  Still, they manage to get Linux to play nicely with Windows!

            If MS doesn’t use any GPL-licensed code and implements Ext with their own implementation, that would be no different than Linux being able to read and write NTFS volumes or SMB shares (or WINE/DXVK implementations of DirectX/D3D, and so on).  It would be even easier to produce, since MS is notoriously tight-lipped not only with their code, but also with regards to their own specifications, requiring reverse engineering at times (I don’t know if this was ever required for NTFS, but it was in SAMBA, even if the lead dev over there bristles at the term “reverse engineering”), while the specs for functions provided by GPL code are freely available.

            Even if those specs themselves can be considered to be under the GPL (which gets into the murky world of software patents rather than source code copyrights, which is a deservedly unpopular concept in the FOSS community, so I doubt such specs would have been submitted for patent), existing copyright law (in the US at least) would allow it as a form of reverse engineering if one person read the specs and rewrote them in his own words, then submitted those specs to the dev team.

            Compared to the entire Linux runtime they’ve got in Windows 10 now, it would be fairly trivial to implement.

            There are closed source and free/libre addons that allow the use of Ext filesystems in Windows, and they still exist.  I can’t say if anyone ever tried to make a licensing claim against any of them, but they haven’t been forced out of the market at least.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

            • #862402 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Ascaris wrote: ” The GPL license contagiousness only means that if you use their code, you have to release any derivative works under GPL as well.

              Additionally, those developers singly or successively reusing copies of software distributed under the GPL also must acknowledge its original creator(s) and their software by name, whether they use, with some modifications, the whole of that software, or only parts of it (e.g., some subroutines, libraries, etc.) to make a new product. Also, developers that get copies of the original  software and use it as part of their own code, are free to sell the resulting product to others, to make a profit, as long as they satisfy the GPL licensing requirements already mentioned.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

        • #913889 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          I get a similar error when I plug in the USB drive while Windows is running. I think it is likely caused by the file system not being recognized by Windows. For instance, file system is Ext 2/3/4 (Linux). It would be convenient if you could just switch off checking.

          Glad it isn’t just me! It would be great if that thumb drive could just be left in, but not a huge issue.

          Thanks!

    • #1071424 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      As you some of you already know, I have Windows 7 co-installed with Linux Mint 19.1 on my 73/4 years-old laptop PC. I also have a MacBook Pro, ca. late 2015. Today, Nathan Parker, the resident all-things-Macs wiseman and MVP, started a thread in “Macs for Windows Wonks” titled “Mac Security: Managing Mac Privacy.”

      I have written an entry there detailing something I think might interest the Linux Wonks that usually gather at this particular waterhole. And, maybe, someone here might offer some insight on an odd, but interesting problem I have encountered.

      Briefly: Nathan gave some links to Web sites explaining all the wonderful security features now available in macOS, and in one of those links I’ve found instructions for connecting the Mac to the PC using a native macOS feature (there is an application from MS for that as well.) This should work when both PC and Mac are connected to the same Internet router. I was curious to try that feature of macOS (“OS native” is nicer, to my mind, than “MS application”), but it did not work for me. Now, that was trying to go from Mac to Windows PC.

      On the other hand, going from the Linux Mint side of the PC to the Mac was not just easy, but it worked remarkably well. Including being able to play on the PC music videos saved on the Mac. But only when going from Linux to macOS and not the other way around.

      So I very much doubt that the answer is as simple as “well… one runs Unix, the other Linux…”

      So: perhaps someone here might have some better idea of why this is so?

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1115254 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I have recently installed Linux Mint 19.1 installed in my 73/4 year-old laptop that also runs Windows 7. Things are working nicely on the Mint side and am learning to use it the way it has always worked best for me: by using it and by searching the Web for ideas when I find a problem I cannot figure out its solution on my own. Also the “Linux for Windows Wonks” forum is, as you all know, of very valuable help, and not just to beginners.

      My small problem, right now, is that the icons on the Desktop and the buttons to size the windows there are simply too tiny. Is there a way to make them larger, without changing the size of the basic elements of the Desktop, including the wall paper?

      In particular, the small size can be something of a pain when I try to maximize, minimize, hide or close a window: the cursor tends to drift slightly away after I have positioned it in place, but before I can click on it, probably because the friction of my finger with the track pad as it leaves its surface after having put it correctly in place, so the cursor ends being just a tiny bit off its target, which is enough to prevent the intended action from happening. Something I find frustrating, annoying and wishing for ideas to overcome this problem, other than stoic resignation to the things I cannot change.

      And now for something totally different: Today found that a number of updates for different things were waiting to be installed, so I gave Mint the go ahead to update them all. It took a few minutes,  as there were over 30 patches that had to be downloaded and then installed all of which was done automatically while I waited. I was keeping an eye on this, and noticed that one of the items was a patch for the “Linux firmware.”

      Question: is a “Linux firmware update” = “UEFI of my old PC update”? Because, if that is what it is, it ought to affect also the Windows 7 side of my dual-boot machine, ought it not?

      I have not noticed any obvious ill-effects afterwards in either the Linux or the Windows side, by the way. But I have not tested either system in any serious way to see if there are any.

       

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      • #1121301 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have recently installed Linux Mint 19.1 installed in my 73/4 year-old laptop that also runs Windows 7. Things are working nicely on the Mint side and am learning to use it the way it has always worked best for me: by using it and by searching the Web for ideas when I find a problem I cannot figure out its solution on my own. Also the “Linux for Windows Wonks” forum is, as you all know, of very valuable help, and not just to beginners.

        My small problem, right now, is that the icons on the Desktop and the buttons to size the windows there are simply too tiny. Is there a way to make them larger, without changing the size of the basic elements of the Desktop, including the wall paper?

        Ehm. It’s Linux. The question really isn’t “is there a way…”, it’s “how difficult is …” and hopefully the answer doesn’t come back as “It’s a non-trivial amount of programming”.

        Don’t know of Mint specifically but I’d look into style/theme settings. That’s where I find it on Xubuntu.

        It’s a common problem (yes, on Windows too) that the display size is autodetected wrong, or that the standard scaling calculations don’t apply because the situation doesn’t match a standard office desktop… heh, a common way to fix the latter too is just to override the autodetection anyway.

        There’s a fairly comprehensive and complicated list of all the various ways this can be adjusted in various desktop environments over at https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI

        …one of the items was a patch for the “Linux firmware.”

        Question: is a “Linux firmware update” = “UEFI of my old PC update”? Because, if that is what it is, it ought to affect also the Windows 7 side of my dual-boot machine, ought it not?

        I have not noticed any obvious ill-effects afterwards in either the Linux or the Windows side, by the way. But I have not tested either system in any serious way to see if there are any.

        The linux-firmware package is supposed to have non-persistent device firmwares. As in network adapters and such, where on Windows the installed drivers come with the firmware package that is loaded on every bootup.

        So shouldn’t affect Windows except in rare cases if you do a “warm” reboot and the Windows driver in question doesn’t wipe all device state on start.

    • #1122853 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      mn- : Thanks. My desktop environment (a.k.a GUI?) is “Cinnamon“, and in the site of the link you have provided it says the following about how to fix the “tiny desktop objects problem” in it:
      Cinnamon
      Has good support out of the box.”

      Concise and to the point, no?

      But I’ll see what can I do based on your other suggestions.

      Now, about this:

      ” So [the Linux firmware package] shouldn’t affect Windows except in rare cases if you do a “warm” reboot and the Windows driver in question doesn’t wipe all device state on start. ”

      In other words, if one quits Linux (in the case under discussion) with a complete and orderly shutdown of the machine, and then re-starts the machine and chooses to boot with Windows, all should be well. But there can be trouble if one quits Linux doing a restart and then, somehow, stops Linux from restarting and  starts Windows instead. I have been doing the first and not the second, so far. Given your comment, I shall continue doing it this way, whenever I want to end a Linux session and start a Windows one. I imagine this is also true the other way around?

       

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1124305 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        mn- : Thanks. My desktop environment (a.k.a GUI?) is “Cinnamon“, and in the site of the link you have provided it says the following about how to fix the “tiny desktop objects problem” in it:
        Cinnamon
        Has good support out of the box.”

        Concise and to the point, no?

        Well, it’s Arch Linux, the DIY geek and tweaker favorite… I’d guess a “new user friendly” desktop isn’t exactly what they focus on.

        Means everything should be in the settings menus probably and don’t have to tweak configuration files directly, I’d guess.

        ” So [the Linux firmware package] shouldn’t affect Windows except in rare cases if you do a “warm” reboot and the Windows driver in question doesn’t wipe all device state on start. ”

        In other words, if one quits Linux (in the case under discussion) with a complete and orderly shutdown of the machine, and then re-starts the machine and chooses to boot with Windows, all should be well. But there can be trouble if one quits Linux doing a restart and then, somehow, stops Linux from restarting and starts Windows instead. I have been doing the first and not the second, so far. Given your comment, I shall continue doing it this way, whenever I want to end a Linux session and start a Windows one. I imagine this is also true the other way around?

        Well I suppose…

        There is no meaningful difference in this regard between warm reboot and cold start if either 1) none of your devices requires the firmware push on a normal cold start or 2) your devices have fully working firmware packages and reliable push on driver load on both sides, on a normal warm reboot.

        It’s only when something is already broken, that this makes any difference at all. And if something is broken, you may be better off coldstarting one operating system and then warm-rebooting into the other… in *either* direction, depending on specifics.

        The linux-firmware package is on average better tested than whatever comes off Windows Update these days, anyway 😉

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1125892 Reply

      doriel
      AskWoody Lounger

      My old laptop (512MB RAM, Celeron 1,6GHz) is still working with older Fedora 19. I installed once something like 5 years ago, no problems until today. Still I am watching youtube, surfing net and I can still play HOMAM3 and ElastoMania 🙂
      I also use LinuxMint on my bussiness VM. I prefer to run live version and install from it. You will see how the interface looks like, for example, and you can test your HW.

      I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
      --- Thomas A. Edison

      Attachments:
      • #1139923 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Nice picture, doriel, it should make a good poster. I am not sure that either of my grandmas would have wanted to be bothered with computers. They have very firm opinions on what was worth doing and what was not, and that list was just as firmly closed and rarely reopened.

        My mother, on the other hand, probably would have been interested, as she was very talented in dealing with tricky practical things and had a wide-ranging curiosity. And she would have been definitely up to it.

        I  know people who, same as you, have been using the same distro of Linux for years, in machines they have also have been using for years, with no complaints beyond the usual gripes of computer users regardless of their operating systems.

        There are even versions of Linux that run on Amiga PCs. To me, that says it all.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1143366 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Here is another question:

      As already mentioned, I have Windows 7 and Linux Mint 19.1 (with Cinnamon) in dual boot. I also have a link from Windows to Linux, that allows me to move/copy files from Windows to Linux. This link looks like just another folder, but with an arrowhead underneath.The problem I am asking now about is this: when I try to scan all LINUX files (both data and system ones) with ClamAV using its interface, Clam TK, it does that and then starts to scan all of the Windows files as well. After 7+3/4 years of using Windows in that PC it has only recently started to share with Linux, there is more than one hundreds thousand Windows files, (most of those not created by me, but belonging to installed applications, or are Windows patches, etc.). There seems to be no way to ask ClamAV to “scan all files except for this one (the Windows link).

      ClamAV scans quite fast all of the much fewer files in the Linux side, but to finish with those of Windows takes it about an hour. And I already have Webroot SecurityEverywhere on the Windows side, that does a much faster job of scanning there. I might wish to use ClamAV to scan Windows when Webroot stops supporting its version of SecurityEverywhere for Windows 7, something that I imagine is likely to happen after January next year. But right now I want to scan only the Linux side.

      Oh, I almost forgot: second problem, Linux Mint 19.1 keeps logging my sessions out after some time without interaction, and making me login, again, with my password. This is an old laptop of mine that never, ever leaves my home, not a business or government computer, and I have no use for this security feature. I have poked around the Mint system’s settings but have, so far, found nowhere something that controls this unwanted feature. Searching the Web has produced no useful, or even relevant, clues either.

      I imagine that I might not be the first one here to have encountered these two issues, so I am posting this now, hoping to get some practical advice.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      • #1146554 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Oscar, please create new topics for questions like this!

        ClamTK has a whitelist feature.  It’s empty by default, but if you put only the Linux folders in it and not where the Windows folders are mounted, that might work.  You could also try dismounting the Windows folders before a scan.

        As for the screen locking: If you go to the screensaver settings in Mint, there should be an option to lock screen when the screensaver is active.  If you uncheck that, the annoying feature should be switched off.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        1 user thanked author for this post.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Running Linux on old laptop??

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Cancel