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Postby organic io » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:29 am

Chunter, you asked about my experience with Ubuntu Studio. I got it installed and everything this weekend. (I did 8.04 since it is supposed to be more stable than the newest). I would like it, except for so far it has been freezing up on me (about 5 times just in the hour I tried to use it last night).

I'll let you know if I'm able to fix it, or just break down and install another version. :? I guess I will try a couple of crap tonight, and if nothing works I'll just dl Ubuntu Studio 9.04 and see how that goes

I've been having some shitty luck with Linux. But I've already resolved that I'm not going back to Windows (except for occasional dual booting for games or apps that absolutely don't work in Wine)

Regarding desktop environments, I find the Gnome that comes with Ubuntu by default to be pretty good. Doesn't seem to slow on my core 2 duo e4300 with 1GB RAM. KDE looks appealing, but I've heard it uses more resources than gnome. I may try out XFCE or LXDE just to try to squeeze out a couple more CPU cycles, but honestly, Gnome seems just fine so far.
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Postby chunter » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:22 pm

Most of my Linux "freezes" since kernel version 2.6 come from "swap-death," a side-effect of the kernel being so server-oriented that it refuses to give up on a hanging process. You're in swap death if the HD light comes on during the interactivity freeze.

If you are experiencing a swap death, if you leave the PC on forever you will get interactivity back some time in the distant future, but there are ways to resolve the problem both in hardware and software.

In software, you can deliberately turn swapping off and find the offending program, you can adjust swapping behavior in /proc, or generally stick to smaller memory-footprint programs.

In hardware, you can add another CPU or CPU core, or add more RAM. Historically, I've gotten best results from adding CPUs btw.

If your PC does not hang with the HD light on, you probably have some sort of a drivers failure. Details on when the system hangs are helpful, of course. I suggest starting with shutting off Compiz unless a more obvious problem is showing itself.

KDE is a bit more resource intense than Gnome; funny, it used to be the other way around... desktops are a hopeless arms race.

If you fear turning off your PC with the drive spinning, don't; your hard disk is journaling and will make up for the sudden powerdown.
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Postby shadowbane » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:03 pm

I use Ubuntu 9.04 with all of the stuff from Ubuntu Studio installed, and have been using ubuntu from version 7.something.

It used to be unstable a bit, but I haven't found any instability in at least a year that is due to the OS (my old computer had some hardware glitches that I never could track down...)

Enlightenment is the lightest full desktop environment that I have found (DR17, 16 was just a window manager) I was using it until a couple of days ago when I got annoyed at the crappy file manager.

Some of the linux audio software is IMO amazing. I suggest playing with Bristol... it is a sweet synth.

I generally like compiz for simple reasons of usability.
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Postby organic io » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:36 pm

chunter wrote:You're in swap death if the HD light comes on during the interactivity freeze.


I'm ghetto, I don't even have the HD light connected. I've always considered it an unneccessary feature. :) So I'm not sure if this is what the problem is. In fact, I don't even think my case has an HD light. But I guess I could pop some kind of LED on there to check for this problem.

chunter wrote:If your PC does not hang with the HD light on, you probably have some sort of a drivers failure. Details on when the system hangs are helpful, of course. I suggest starting with shutting off Compiz unless a more obvious problem is showing itself.


What's the best way to disable compiz? Is this a good way?
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=574092

chunter wrote:If you fear turning off your PC with the drive spinning, don't; your hard disk is journaling and will make up for the sudden powerdown.


I've never been afraid of that... But that's probably why I used to kill harddrives every 3 years. :) (Back when I would just yank the power cord out, hahaha)

Alt+Sysreq+B works to reboot when it freezes though, it's not completely unresponsive. Does that give any additional info?

shadowbane wrote:I was using it until a couple of days ago when I got annoyed at the crappy file manager


That's not really a good reason to stop using a desktop environment ??? My guess is that all the filemanagers that come with desktop environments suck. I did some research and installed gnome commander promptly after installing Ubuntu, because I just couldn't deal with the default gnome file manager
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Postby shadowbane » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:57 pm

Yeah, It is a silly reason...

does hitting k instead of B get you out of unlocks? Also you could try ctl+alt+backspace (both restart the graphical interface and kill all running programs)
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Postby chunter » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:46 pm

organic io wrote:I'm ghetto, I don't even have the HD light connected.

Listen for its ticking, then.
organic io wrote:What's the best way to disable compiz? Is this a good way?
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=574092

Yes. If it works better with metacity you can choose to deliberately remove the compiz package.
organic io wrote:Alt+Sysreq+B works to reboot when it freezes though, it's not completely unresponsive. Does that give any additional info?

Not exactly, believe it or not, I'm not good with the Sysreq keys, but they talk directly to the kernel, and to me, it makes me think it's more likely that your system is hanging on a process of some kind, whether that is swapping or a driver, we don't know yet.
shadowbane wrote:I was using it until a couple of days ago when I got annoyed at the crappy file manager

Use another one, then, there are about fifty to choose from, or write your own! 8)
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Postby organic io » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:37 am

I didn't get a chance to tinker last night... I'll try it tonight and let you know. Thanks for the advice guys :)
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Postby organic io » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:01 am

Metacity didn't help shit.... Neither did nosmp and acpi=off at boot. Also the screen is starting to black sometimes. ctrl+alt+backspace did not work when that happened.

I downloaded US 9.04. Gonna try that crap ... (fingers crossed)
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Postby chunter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:11 pm

May be a graphics driver issue. If you are comfortable with editing xorg.conf, change to the SVGA driver; though the graphics will suck, if you get a stable system you'll know you need to upgrade your nVidia/ATi driver. I had the same issue when I upgraded to Jaunty.
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Postby organic io » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:11 pm

chunter wrote:May be a graphics driver issue. If you are comfortable with editing xorg.conf, change to the SVGA driver; though the graphics will suck, if you get a stable system you'll know you need to upgrade your nVidia/ATi driver. I had the same issue when I upgraded to Jaunty.


Aye. I came to that conclusion right before I read this post. I was using the newest nvidia non-open-source binary driver 180. Uninstalled it, and installed nouveau and things seem to be doing just fine. For the last 20 minutes anyway. Weĺl see if it lasts. :)
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Postby organic io » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:17 pm

I spoke too soon .... Itś starting to shit out again. Another thing I forgot to mention is after a while the mouse movement starts to get all slow. Like it is running on a 486 or something. That is what it is doing now. :?
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Postby chunter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:01 pm

Haven't had a lot of experience on it yet, but running lxde solved a lot of that when I tried it. There's a memory leak somewhere in KDE 4 or X that I haven't put my finger on yet.

You may want to install a downgrade, I bet you'll have better luck for now.
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Postby organic io » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:56 am

Actually , the slow mouse problem was because I had both a usb mouse and a ps2 trackball connected at the same time. Disconnected the USB and itś been running great for a couple of hours now. I think Iḿ set to go at this point :D Proprietary Nvidia linux drivers are crappy
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Postby fbjon » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:34 am

What kernel version is in Ubuntu Studio? To my understanding there's a realtime kernel by default? I tried installing it (and the studio meta-package) but it crapped out on me totally. It also seems to be an older version, and I didn't find the latest kernel with rt-patches back then.

Currently I'm using a vanilla 9.04 install + plain kernel, with Jack and the rest set up manually, which turned out to be pretty straightforward. Works beautifully, except that Jack and pulseaudio don't really work together. I believe there's some fix for it, but I usually don't want any other sounds anyway while composing.
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Postby shadowbane » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:23 am

You can connect Pulse>jack but there ins't really any reason to. Also, to do this you have to download and install a package (and find it's dependencies) off of the Debian website because there is no official package.

I tried the RT kernel, but my computer wouldn't start with it...
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