Completely new to this - Can I use ROCK64 as basic Linux desktop machine @ 3840x1600?
#1
Question 
Ok, so, I do have a main computer with Windows 10 that I use for most of my personal use - gaming, web browsing, and most of my normal home use.

I have a second PC, a small desktop, Haswell era Pentium G3220, 4GB RAM, that is a dual-boot Windows 10/Lubuntu 17 (supposedly somewhat lighter-weight than standard Ubuntu).  I can't recall the last time I used the Windows 10 OS on it, but when I work from home, I use Linux with it for a few simple things:
- Using VPNC to connect to my work PC (with Remmina as the RDP client)
- Using Firefox locally for some web-browsing
- Using Chrome so as to use GoToMeeting without the standalone application
- Occasional watching of a video (either embedded in FB feed, or YouTube).
- ok, I've also run an old Windows game, Heroes of Might and Magic III, via PlayOnLinux, on this - but that was more of an "I wonder if this will really work" thing.

All that ever gets attached to it are, via a KVM that doubles as a USB hub:
- Keyboard
- Mouse
- Logitech G933 USB wireless headset
- Logitech QuickCam (model 960-000217, I got this in 2009)


Now, I don't have a huge amount of experience configuring Linux - maybe back in the late 90s I started getting into a it a little, but then haven't touched it in almost two decades, until recently - though I do at least remember my way around the basics of bash.

So, the desktop PC, despite being a low-end machine, is a bit of overkill for what I'm using it for (though, Chrome does seem to be a bit of a RAM hog, and, well, get a half dozen or so browser tabs of Facebook open in Firefox, and the memory usage gets pegged.

The biggest potential issue - my monitor at home is 3840 x 1600.  I needed this to get the horizontal real estate that the dual 1080p monitors at work give me.  That's what made a Raspberry Pi a no-go.

The good part of all this is that my entire Linux installation is about 12GB, and I'm pretty sure there are things installed that I likely don't need.


So, if I get either a 2 or 4GB variant of the Rock64, and an 8GB SD card, would I be able to replace that desktop PC with this?  Not having 60Hz is fine - the integrated Intel video on the machine I'm using can only run 30Hz on my monitor's resolution anyway - there's some tearing in video sometimes, but it's not a big deal.

If I need to use a different/lighter-weight/simpler desktop environment, I'm fine with that as well.


I haven't purchased anything yet, and I want to sort of know what I'm getting into, and get all my ducks in a row, before I try this.  The idea of replacing that desktop with such a tiny, low-power board to accomplish the same thing is fascinating.

Any and all thoughts, suggestions, and guidance would be greatly appreciated!
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#2
I havent managed to get anything higher than 1920x1080 resolution on my rock64 at home, so I am not sure it would be possible to make it work with 3840x1600 on linux...

I am opening a new thread to describe my experiences trying without success to make a LG 25UM58 monitor to work with 2560x1080, so far without success.
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#3
Okay, so I'm also a newbie here, but actually finding a way to have it NOT display at 4K (3840x2160) was more of a problem for me, so I would have thought you could have at least managed standard 4K without any issue.

Regards using it for a development desktop it seems to work fine, and configuration is going to be much easier than it was for you when you last touched Linux in the 90's.  Ubuntu is supposed to be easier to get on with, but Delian is a little more sprightly thanks to it's being less all-encompassing.

Playing with the different desktops:
Cinnamon, look glorious, but is so sluggish it's like stirring molasses!
Gnome3: Again great looks, but too sluggish to be really usable!
KDE: Usable - Just, but the lack of speed is still irritating!
Mate:  Odd one!  It likes a little more memory than the very light weight desktops, but if it has that memory it's super quick, not what you'd expect for something based on Gnome2
LXDE:  Very light weight, and very basic.  So basic that you might miss some of your creature comforts.
Xfce: Another lightweight desktop - I'd be using this and not mate if it didn't occasionally throw a wobbly and mess up LightDM (I like to run the board at the CLI but be able to launch the desktop remotely when needed).
*While I love the quality of connecting remotely using RDP, it can be a little bit of a pain getting some apps to even launch on the RDP desktop!
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#4
The hardware level supports 4K video, but the developers of rock64 are in no hurry to make normal desktop and graphics support. Still not implemented normal work with video and 3D graphics (I'm not talking about LibreElec or Android), desktops in the test version (not everything works correctly). All this pushes many people away, I personally know those who wanted to buy rock64 but these factors pushed them away.
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#5
(04-15-2018, 04:03 AM)KeithJohnAlger Wrote: Okay, so I'm also a newbie here, but actually finding a way to have it NOT display at 4K (3840x2160) was more of a problem for me, so I would have thought you could have at least managed standard 4K without any issue.

Keith,

Thanks for the recommendations and summary with regard to the various flavors of Linux.  Yeah, aside from my dabbling in the 90s, I've only in the past year-ish installed Lubuntu on that small desktop PC I mentioned having, and it seemed pretty easy.  The only thing that confused the heck out of me was there not being a root user password to set up anymore.

But, I'm a little confused about your first paragraph.  Did you install Linux on a ROCK64 and it tried to default to 3840x2160?  That would almost be idea for me - well, with the exception that my monitor's 3840x1600.

If so, which flavor did you install, and what did you do/not do to get it to default to 4K?
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