Off to Debian, what do you guys think?

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joegiampaoli
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Off to Debian, what do you guys think?

Post by joegiampaoli » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:42 pm

Well, for the first time since I have ever used linux I am finally having some outrageous problems with ubuntu Hardy 8.04

Some full screen glx appz or games just don't work, some sound glitches, and my sony MP3 player is no longer supported, can't even mount it. So, I'm thinking of moving directly to Debian Etch, who's using it and what are your experiences please? I just find this version of ubuntu a little bit unstable and with too many new experimental packages, which I find a little hard to swallow specially on an LTS version. :evil:
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Post by dougal2 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:14 pm

I've done exactly the same. Do the switch to pure debian, it works a lot better.

(I did it first on my PPC laptop because ubuntu have ceased support for it)

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Post by joegiampaoli » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:19 am

Thx for reply dougal2, I am really in a very f***ed situation here, I really digged (or dig) ubuntu, but I think the developers have really messed up big time with this version. I just don't want to go back to strange packagings again and having to compile half of my box to have latest packages available (like I used to in Suse) which is pretty much why I used it. I know debian's packages are a little older but MORE stable, but I guess they are not really that old.

Did you by the way also try 8.04LTS? And did you have similar problems?
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Post by zsouthboy » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:32 am

Joe, what's your hardware?

(obviously me telling you this doesn't fix your problems) Ubuntu Hardy runs great for me... everywhere i've thrown it at this point.

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full screen glx appz or games just don't work
Probably a drivers problem, which won't get better on Debian.

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sony MP3 player is no longer supported, can't even mount it
What does the player expose? Mass storage? It shouldn't have "stopped" working. You may have a /mnt/ conflict. What player is it?

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some sound glitches
+1 on that. Seems like Pulseaudio shouldn't have been made default for this version (for an LTS), but i know why th decision was made. FWIW other distros have made it default too.

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Post by dougal2 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:55 am

Joe,
You will find that packages in debian are older than those found in ubuntu.
As you say though, they are better tested and more stable.

I thought ubuntu 7.x was a great distro, changing to 8.x for me things started to fall apart slightly. Still pretty good, but didn't seem as solid.

Also trying to maintain ubuntu on my PPC G4 laptop was getting increasingly difficult, it's no longer officially supported (it's now "community supported" which I take to mean "not supported at all") and various packages on it were f***ed.

Today I replaced ubuntu with debian on my work PC and that's a lot happer too now.
As for drivers (display) I put the latest NVIDIA 173.x drivers on my debian PC and everything went fine. Works like it ought to. (even got the twinview working in 2 clicks which ubuntu failed to do).

On the other hand, linux is still not my main OS for the desktop. I don't run heaps of different apps on it. I use it mainly for occasional programming and software testing, certainly not for anything heavy duty like games.
(Linux as a server though is my only choice :) )

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Post by eman7613 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:02 pm

only problem i ever had with 8.04 was the audio, but switching back to alsa fixed everything. did you isntall video drivers with the device maniger or envy? sometimes envy gets realy finiky, especialy if you upgraded instead of a fresh install :( it killed my x server, so anoying to fix.
Yes i know, my spelling sucks

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Post by dougal2 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:31 pm

Actually I quite liked the audio system on 8.04 - but then I'm very used to dealing with complex audio setups (I was a sound engineer ;) ).

I had:
all system sound -> pulseaudio -> jack -> digital crossover software (jconv) -> jack -> firewire audio interface -> amps -> speakers :P

it worked remarkably well, but was not quick to "switch on".

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Post by SimonLarsen » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:38 pm

Strange. Updating to 8.04 pretty much fixed all my hardware problems.
Though, there a lot af bugs in 8.04.
Sometimes, the process evolution-dataserver-something takes up 100% cpu on one core, even though Evolution isn't in use. This seems to be a common problem.

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Post by joegiampaoli » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:04 am

I think I found a possible solution, sometimes the simple is the most efficient. I think I'll try a clean install of 8.04 and upgrade it inmediately so configurtions take effect as soon as system is installed, then install nvidia and all that to see how it goes, I just saw some forums where people are reporting positive response with clean installs.

Sound is ok with me, I like pulse also, I do music and record with multitrack here just some minor glitches especially when you have like 3 soundcards, sometimes a little hard to decide how to route everything.

I'll keep you posted and see how it goes. I won't do it soon though, but will keep in mind to show results.

Thx guys.
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Post by Grimm » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:58 am

I moved to Hardy from Fedora 8 and so far have been pleased. I haven't had any problems with audio, although I did have massive problems with the Nvidia drivers that came with Hardy. In the end I had to completely remove the drivers from Hardy and install the latest drivers from the Nvidia web site. Now it works great. I always do a clean install on all of the Linux installs I have done. I don't think I have ever found a distro that can handle an upgrade well. It does make it a pain to have to re-install the software you need, but in the end it's better to be safe then sorry. I just have a USB disk on the side where I keep all of my files and data so doing a clean install is much less painful.
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Post by eman7613 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:05 pm

@grim
the restriced hardy drivers are the most recent nvidia ones i belive, that is weird :shock:
Yes i know, my spelling sucks

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Post by Grimm » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:35 am

@eman7613

It appears to be a common problem with the newer Nvidia graphics cards. I have a 8500GT the the default Hardy drivers could not detect the card. But, alas, I have spoke too soon. I'm having massive problems now with X on hardy. It started out slow so I thought that it was one of the applications I was running, but now it happens on a cold reboot. Basically what happens is that X is just unresponsive, the CPU is not pegged and the system load is normal. I'm not running out of memory or disk space. The mouse pointer jumps all over the place and X does not register my mouse clicks unless I sit on a menu or icon and just click continuously until it does something. :( I'm going to have to take another look at the drivers again. *sigh*
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Post by joegiampaoli » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:51 am

I don't think it has much to do with NVidia drivers, take a look at you xorg.conf you'll see it's a very simple file now which is what I'm also not liking very much in this ubuntu, they threw in a new xorg that kind of sets up automatically on install, tweaking it like before is just impossible.

Maybe you wanna try this command and see what happens:

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sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
It will reconfigure your xorg, then maybe you can try re-installing NVidia drivers. To me this has just not worked, so it's a bet....
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Post by Grimm » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:04 am

Thanks Joe, I will give that a try when I get home from work. I have been doing a bit of web surfing on the problem and it looks like a lot of people are not happy with the new Xorg stuff.
Grimm

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Post by joegiampaoli » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:04 am

I decided to wait till July 3rd, that's when they will release the new 8.04 distro (8.04.1) if it doesn't work I'll do a nice clean install 'cause I think I've just messed up with my configs too much which is probably overriding some updates. You can see the Hardy release schedule here:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardyReleaseSchedule

If that doesn't work then it's pure old classic debian for me.....

I just need a stable working PC not an experimental box.
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