Debian (or ubuntu) on a micro sd card (pinebook pro)
#21
(08-23-2020, 07:46 PM)pine76 Wrote: I prefer to choose an OS that stay out of my way during my workfow; an OS which gives me minimal effort for maintenance so I can concentrate on my own work. I do research and I am self-learning mathematics, my experience with linux is mostly relevant to that area plus some light to medium linux administration. Some of the software that I use, e.g. emacs, latex, have steep learning curves. So, I prefer to learn them instead of learning linux to be a power user.

Well, TBH one of the reasons I ended up sticking with Debian is because IMHO it's the ultimate "dial-a-nerd", if you will, distro. You can be as hands-on or hands-off with it as you want. My home server is mostly hands-off - it automatically upgrades and reboots if necessary, sending me daily reports whether it didn't find any updates or it found and installed them, though it still requires my intervention for dist-upgrades as well as if new upstream configs conflict with my modifications. My steambox is similar, except it tracks testing instead of stable. But my two laptops are much more hands-on, both because of more "exotic" hardware, because they are tracking unstable and unstable with experimental correspondingly, and because I actually spend a large amount of time with them anyway, using them for all kinds of work and hobby tasks.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is you don't necessarily have to commit to becoming a Linux power user to enjoy Debian, but be mentally prepared that at some point you may end up having to do at least some learning if you venture away from stable or adopt a more hands-on approach - in testing/unstable (and digging in OS guts) here there be dragons.
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#22
(08-24-2020, 12:02 AM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(08-23-2020, 07:46 PM)pine76 Wrote: I prefer to choose an OS that stay out of my way during my workfow; an OS which gives me minimal effort for maintenance so I can concentrate on my own work. I do research and I am self-learning mathematics, my experience with linux is mostly relevant to that area plus some light to medium linux administration. Some of the software that I use, e.g. emacs, latex, have steep learning curves. So, I prefer to learn them instead of learning linux to be a power user.

Well, TBH one of the reasons I ended up sticking with Debian is because IMHO it's the ultimate "dial-a-nerd", if you will, distro. You can be as hands-on or hands-off with it as you want. My home server is mostly hands-off - it automatically upgrades and reboots if necessary, sending me daily reports whether it didn't find any updates or it found and installed them, though it still requires my intervention for dist-upgrades as well as if new upstream configs conflict with my modifications. My steambox is similar, except it tracks testing instead of stable. But my two laptops are much more hands-on, both because of more "exotic" hardware, because they are tracking unstable and unstable with experimental correspondingly, and because I actually spend a large amount of time with them anyway, using them for all kinds of work and hobby tasks.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is you don't necessarily have to commit to becoming a Linux power user to enjoy Debian, but be mentally prepared that at some point you may end up having to do at least some learning if you venture away from stable or adopt a more hands-on approach - in testing/unstable (and digging in OS guts) here there be dragons.

Yes, I am also interested in settling down with Debian after trying distros for a long time; none of the distros I tried seems as neat and respectful as Debian up to now.

I have two cheap micro sd cards that I can use to experiment with Debian sid + latest kernel. I am also considering to move away from Gnome, which has been my favorite desktop, to a lightweight wm. Sway seems to be a good one, I am also considering Enlightenment as it also seems to use Wayland instead of X11. Do you have any recommendation?

I guess I have quite a bit to learn (hands on and off). Debian has some reference guide, unfortunately a bit dated, even for the stable. Still, I could use it as a main resource, I believe it is called Debian reference book or similar.
#23
(08-25-2020, 09:43 AM)pine76 Wrote:
(08-24-2020, 12:02 AM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(08-23-2020, 07:46 PM)pine76 Wrote: I prefer to choose an OS that stay out of my way during my workfow; an OS which gives me minimal effort for maintenance so I can concentrate on my own work. I do research and I am self-learning mathematics, my experience with linux is mostly relevant to that area plus some light to medium linux administration. Some of the software that I use, e.g. emacs, latex, have steep learning curves. So, I prefer to learn them instead of learning linux to be a power user.

Well, TBH one of the reasons I ended up sticking with Debian is because IMHO it's the ultimate "dial-a-nerd", if you will, distro. You can be as hands-on or hands-off with it as you want. My home server is mostly hands-off - it automatically upgrades and reboots if necessary, sending me daily reports whether it didn't find any updates or it found and installed them, though it still requires my intervention for dist-upgrades as well as if new upstream configs conflict with my modifications. My steambox is similar, except it tracks testing instead of stable. But my two laptops are much more hands-on, both because of more "exotic" hardware, because they are tracking unstable and unstable with experimental correspondingly, and because I actually spend a large amount of time with them anyway, using them for all kinds of work and hobby tasks.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is you don't necessarily have to commit to becoming a Linux power user to enjoy Debian, but be mentally prepared that at some point you may end up having to do at least some learning if you venture away from stable or adopt a more hands-on approach - in testing/unstable (and digging in OS guts) here there be dragons.

Yes, I am also interested in settling down with Debian after trying distros for a long time; none of the distros I tried seems as neat and respectful as Debian up to now.

I have two cheap micro sd cards that I can use to experiment with Debian sid + latest kernel. I am also considering to move away from Gnome, which has been my favorite desktop, to a lightweight wm. Sway seems to be a good one, I am also considering Enlightenment as it also seems to use Wayland instead of X11. Do you have any recommendation?

I guess I have quite a bit to learn (hands on and off). Debian has some reference guide, unfortunately a bit dated, even for the stable. Still, I could use it as a main resource, I believe it is called Debian reference book or similar.

Also, I want to learn if you use Debian official installer or Daniel Thompson's scripts? The pinebook pro wiki is recommending Daniel Thompson's installer; so, I have been choosing it over Debian official installer, which seems to have problems.
#24
(08-25-2020, 09:43 AM)pine76 Wrote: Yes, I am also interested in settling down with Debian after trying distros for a long time; none of the distros I tried seems as neat and respectful as Debian up to now.

I have two cheap micro sd cards that I can use to experiment with Debian sid + latest kernel. I am also considering to move away from Gnome, which has been my favorite desktop, to a lightweight wm. Sway seems to be a good one, I am also considering Enlightenment as it also seems to use Wayland instead of X11. Do you have any recommendation?

I guess I have quite a bit to learn (hands on and off). Debian has some reference guide, unfortunately a bit dated, even for the stable. Still, I could use it as a main resource, I believe it is called Debian reference book or similar.

Believe it or not, Arch Linux wiki is a fantastic resource for Debian :-D The only thing you won't find there - is info about some Debian-specific bits.

Another huge source of learning for me was my experiment (which I started back in early 2009 after I finished distro-hopping and decided on Debian) with installing Debian 0.93r6 on my old ThinkPad 300 and then upgrading that one system through every version all the way to the latest. I've been upgrading it from version to version, migrating it from one drive to another bigger one, swapping the drives from older to newer laptops, migrating to LVM, enabling full-disk encryption, re-generating keys, upgrading encryption algorithms, filesystems... Eventually cross-graded it from 32-bit to 64-bit, and I'm still running that very same installation back from 2009 on my primary laptop, currently ThinkPad P53.

As to WM/DE recommendation - I'd catch try them all, that's the best way to find out which one you like most. But for some of them - give them more than few minutes/hours, give them at least few days or even weeks.

As to my favorite - admittedly, by the time I switched full-time to Linux in 2008/2009 I've already become a Windows power user, so maybe that's at least one of the reasons, but I pretty quickly settled on KDE. Other reasons - I've always been a big fan of orthodox (commonly incorrectly called "dual panel") file managers, since I started computing in mid/late 90s, and IMHO only Krusader comes anywhere close to the power and versatility of Total Commander on Windows. I also liked Konsole and was rather annoyed by most other terminals. I liked Gwenview and Amarok, KATE/Kwrite, etc. In other words, most of applications I came to like the most are either KDE or Qt apps, so KDE became a natural choice. Another reason is how configurable KDE is, and the integration among the pieces like the KATE text editing component is used throughout, and Konsole terminal is embedded in Dolphin file manager, Krusader, Yakuake, and some other apps. I also like the notification system in KDE Plasma and prefer it to how notifications are done in other DEs. Kwin window manager supports some basic tiling out of the box, and has support for plugins that can enhance it. All those plugin can be downloaded and installed automatically. The only downside - despite losing quite a bit of weight in the recent years, compared to most other DEs it is still a bit on the heavy side, though it is also _much_ lighter than Windows - bare bones 64-bit Windows desktop in my tests was idling at over 1GiB RAM, my Debian with KDE Plasma idles at less than 0.5GiB RAM on the same hardware.

(08-25-2020, 11:50 AM)pine76 Wrote: Also, I want to learn if you use Debian official installer or Daniel Thompson's scripts? The pinebook pro wiki is recommending Daniel Thompson's installer; so, I have been choosing it over Debian official installer, which seems to have problems.

I've installed Debian on my PBP back in January, way before official Debian installer was available, and I don't see any reason to re-install, so I'm not aware whether the official installer is already a viable alternative to debootstrap-based approach.
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#25
(08-26-2020, 11:59 PM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(08-25-2020, 09:43 AM)pine76 Wrote: Yes, I am also interested in settling down with Debian after trying distros for a long time; none of the distros I tried seems as neat and respectful as Debian up to now.

I have two cheap micro sd cards that I can use to experiment with Debian sid + latest kernel. I am also considering to move away from Gnome, which has been my favorite desktop, to a lightweight wm. Sway seems to be a good one, I am also considering Enlightenment as it also seems to use Wayland instead of X11. Do you have any recommendation?

I guess I have quite a bit to learn (hands on and off). Debian has some reference guide, unfortunately a bit dated, even for the stable. Still, I could use it as a main resource, I believe it is called Debian reference book or similar.

Believe it or not, Arch Linux wiki is a fantastic resource for Debian :-D The only thing you won't find there - is info about some Debian-specific bits.

Another huge source of learning for me was my experiment (which I started back in early 2009 after I finished distro-hopping and decided on Debian) with installing Debian 0.93r6 on my old ThinkPad 300 and then upgrading that one system through every version all the way to the latest. I've been upgrading it from version to version, migrating it from one drive to another bigger one, swapping the drives from older to newer laptops, migrating to LVM, enabling full-disk encryption, re-generating keys, upgrading encryption algorithms, filesystems... Eventually cross-graded it from 32-bit to 64-bit, and I'm still running that very same installation back from 2009 on my primary laptop, currently ThinkPad P53.

As to WM/DE recommendation - I'd catch try them all, that's the best way to find out which one you like most. But for some of them - give them more than few minutes/hours, give them at least few days or even weeks.

As to my favorite - admittedly, by the time I switched full-time to Linux in 2008/2009 I've already become a Windows power user, so maybe that's at least one of the reasons, but I pretty quickly settled on KDE. Other reasons - I've always been a big fan of orthodox (commonly incorrectly called "dual panel") file managers, since I started computing in mid/late 90s, and IMHO only Krusader comes anywhere close to the power and versatility of Total Commander on Windows. I also liked Konsole and was rather annoyed by most other terminals. I liked Gwenview and Amarok, KATE/Kwrite, etc. In other words, most of applications I came to like the most are either KDE or Qt apps, so KDE became a natural choice. Another reason is how configurable KDE is, and the integration among the pieces like the KATE text editing component is used throughout, and Konsole terminal is embedded in Dolphin file manager, Krusader, Yakuake, and some other apps. I also like the notification system in KDE Plasma and prefer it to how notifications are done in other DEs. Kwin window manager supports some basic tiling out of the box, and has support for plugins that can enhance it. All those plugin can be downloaded and installed automatically. The only downside - despite losing quite a bit of weight in the recent years, compared to most other DEs it is still a bit on the heavy side, though it is also _much_ lighter than Windows - bare bones 64-bit Windows desktop in my tests was idling at over 1GiB RAM, my Debian with KDE Plasma idles at less than 0.5GiB RAM on the same hardware.

(08-25-2020, 11:50 AM)pine76 Wrote: Also, I want to learn if you use Debian official installer or Daniel Thompson's scripts? The pinebook pro wiki is recommending Daniel Thompson's installer; so, I have been choosing it over Debian official installer, which seems to have problems.

I've installed Debian on my PBP back in January, way before official Debian installer was available, and I don't see any reason to re-install, so I'm not aware whether the official installer is already a viable alternative to debootstrap-based approach.

Ok, I am updating you that after quite a bit of messing around, I settled down with Manjaro XFCE edition. I realize I am new  to using the pbp and I need time in learning the drivers, hardware, etc. After experimenting I figured out Manjaro 20.08 is running very maturely and stable; I will keep this for my production operating system as I want this kind of an environment that distracts me the least.

Among with the Manjaro XFCE, I tried the Manjaro sway edition and Kali Linux. Both are running nicely, Manjaro Sway edition is very polished and is running on Wayland by default. However, a few issues made me keep on searching, I will keep an eye on sway as well. Memory consumptionwise, it is almost the same with XFCE on a cold boot. So, it seems to boil down whether you want X11 or Wayland. Kali looked nice and is based on Debian Sid. I am just not very familiar with the tools it comes with and I doubt to have time figuring out in as my main productivity environment. So, I will be staying with Manjaro XFCE edition for the time being. Everything with XFCE works out of the box and I am on a 5.8.3 kernel now.

I want to switch to Wayland eventually; so, the window manager candidates are Enlightenment and Sway. The rest, including i3, openbox, and awesome seem to be using X11.

Ah ok you have a long experience with linux. I never managed using a linux flavor for more than 2 years; so, I am impressed.
#26
(08-30-2020, 09:37 AM)pine76 Wrote: Ah ok you have a long experience with linux. I never managed using a linux flavor for more than 2 years; so, I am impressed.

Well, my point was - I've never reinstalled, any problems I've encountered - I found the root cause and repaired the system. Am I treating as a pet something that perhaps could save me time if I treated it like cattle? Perhaps, but I believe because of that attitude I learned an order of magnitude more about the ins and outs of GNU/Linux than I could have otherwise.
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#27
(08-31-2020, 10:08 PM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(08-30-2020, 09:37 AM)pine76 Wrote: Ah ok you have a long experience with linux. I never managed using a linux flavor for more than 2 years; so, I am impressed.

Well, my point was - I've never reinstalled, any problems I've encountered - I found the root cause and repaired the system. Am I treating as a pet something that perhaps could save me time if I treated it like cattle? Perhaps, but I believe because of that attitude I learned an order of magnitude more about the ins and outs of GNU/Linux than I could have otherwise.

My path has been opposite; I have been hopping distros from one to another for various reasons: sometimes the distro being highly experimental (as in fedora where usability is unfortunately a second priority), security related concerns (I left both ubuntu, manjaro linux for this reason in the past), or hardware related problems due to me using a converted pc.

In any cases, appropriate documentation has been unfortunately a big part of the problem (Just to your information, I have decided to try Arch Wiki documentation for setting up mpd in Manjaro; however, the instructions are inadequate. I suspect they are also dated, which can be concerning given the vision of Arch being do-it-yourself type of distro like Gentoo and Linux From Scratch). I know opensuse and redhat are relatively good at least keeping their base documentation up-to-date, I am not aware of others keeping up.

I eventually decided on a few distros that seemed most promising to me: Centos, Debian, and Slackware. Debian stands out for me among the others: Slackware is dying and Centos is inadaquate for a laptop use.

I could have tried a Gentoo install to take control of everything myself instead of installing/seeking documentation. But I never had enough time for it.

I am on Manjaro XFCE now, which is more usable to me than the default KDE edition. However, there are software that I can't find on Manjaro, e.g. sagemath (available on AUR and giving me error on install; compiling is a headache too). So, I will likely switch to Debian or a Fedora based distro depending. I also know security issues related to Manjaro in the past; so, it is another reason for me to consider leaving.

I may try reading the Debian Documentation to get more familiar with the OS itself; it doesn't look terribly dated. I guess with my pinebook pro, I will have the opportunity to ty fixing a problem if occurs without worrying about losing time in my work...

Well, linux world has been a world of quick hacks for me so far. Hope I find a serious (unix like) distro where some learning can be valuable. Debian seems to be one but I am not very high on it either.
#28
(09-03-2020, 10:25 PM)pine76 Wrote: ...

From my perspective as someone who earns his paycheck developing software, documentation is always a problem. Even in commercial products its quality is often severely lacking. Issues vary from outright incorrect information or bad advice, simply outdated info, using marketing materials and pretending it's technical documentation, surface-skimming technical details, making it so you have to read hundreds of pages before you can step through even a basic use case, describing all the basic use cases but omitting anything that can help with any less trivial scenario... And when it comes to internal documentation (various wikis used by the developers inside the team) - that usually is a much bigger mess than external documentation, with most of the knowledge being tribal despite all the valiant efforts to document as much as possible.

Good documentation is rarity. AWS CLI/API docs - kinda suck. Python docs - figuring out what exceptions the code can throw is always a bit of a process. BTW, in my experience IMHO the best documentation I've ever dealt with was PostgreSQL docs - they covered from basic queries through tuning server instance and to using its C API, and you can find both specific use case howzitdones and the more abstract what's happening BTS.
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#29
(09-04-2020, 02:13 PM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(09-03-2020, 10:25 PM)pine76 Wrote: ...

From my perspective as someone who earns his paycheck developing software, documentation is always a problem. Even in commercial products its quality is often severely lacking. Issues vary from outright incorrect information or bad advice, simply outdated info, using marketing materials and pretending it's technical documentation, surface-skimming technical details, making it so you have to read hundreds of pages before you can step through even a basic use case, describing all the basic use cases but omitting anything that can help with any less trivial scenario... And when it comes to internal documentation (various wikis used by the developers inside the team) - that usually is a much bigger mess than external documentation, with most of the knowledge being tribal despite all the valiant efforts to document as much as possible.

Good documentation is rarity. AWS CLI/API docs - kinda suck. Python docs - figuring out what exceptions the code can throw is always a bit of a process. BTW, in my experience IMHO the best documentation I've ever dealt with was PostgreSQL docs - they covered from basic queries through tuning server instance and to using its C API, and you can find both specific use case howzitdones and the more abstract what's happening BTS.
If the documentation is enough to have a reasonable use of the software, it is enough. I know many open source software that does rely on user figuring things out; which is not the case mostly.

I tried a second try with compiling the 5.8 kernel using pbp-tools; this time on bullseye. I accepted the defaults during the process, this time I managed to go up to obtaining the linux-*.deb packages. I decided to install them with "dpkg -i linux-*.deb", which I issued separately for each package. I rebooted and ended up with black screen.

Is there any setting/parameter that I need to pass to the pbp-install-linux to make this work? Also, do I need to issue a "update grub" command? I am not even sure if pbp needs grub or update-initramfs...

I guess I will try the scripts a few more times to see if I make any progress. If not, I will give up.


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