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  • Showing only topics with the tag "linux". Back to normal view
    1. Does anybody have any experience with switching to pipewire?

      I'm considering making the switch to pipewire, as my current setup involving a bridge between JACK and PulseAudio is growing frustrating. Even on a fresh boot, Spotify won't play until Pulse has...

      I'm considering making the switch to pipewire, as my current setup involving a bridge between JACK and PulseAudio is growing frustrating. Even on a fresh boot, Spotify won't play until Pulse has been killed and restarted, and the same goes for games through Steam. All the while, Firefox audio works perfectly without doing so, and I can jump straight into recording with reaper without any issues from the get-go.

      I've been reading through the Arch wiki to get a feel for what the process should be like, and it seems like it'll be relatively straightforward, but given that I do a lot of music recording on my computer, I don't want to experience a total breakage of my sound setup. I'm planning to make a full backup of my system before making any changes, so I can roll it back if need be, but if anybody has any experience with switching to pipewire on a production system, I'd be grateful to hear about any pitfalls or problems that you ran into which I should be aware of in advance!

      7 votes
    2. Any Thunderbird aficionados here?

      I've been using Tbird since forever, the past 6-7 years on Linux (Debian/Ubuntu downstreams). A couple years ago, I think during the 68-71 release cycle, there were are lot of panicky blogs about...

      I've been using Tbird since forever, the past 6-7 years on Linux (Debian/Ubuntu downstreams). A couple years ago, I think during the 68-71 release cycle, there were are lot of panicky blogs about "don't upgrade; the new Tbird will irrevocably screw up your Contacts/Calendar/Other Plug-ins", I may even have tried it and experienced issues myself (I don't recall) ... and as a result, I've held my copy at the 60.something release since then.

      Now the 91 update has been out and stable for awhile, and a major overhaul upgrade to 102 is in the offing ... and I'm looking for feedback ... is it safe to upgrade? Might I still hit breaking issues? Or was it always safe?

      16 votes
    3. Tech recommendations request: looking for a Linux-friendly 13" laptop

      Final update: See here. Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm...

      Final update: See here.


      Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm going to do some digging and a ridiculous amount of overshopping over the next couple of days, and then I'll let you all know what my final pick is!


      Hey techy Tildes! I'm back with another support request from you knowledgeable and helpful folks.

      I need a laptop that does exactly three things: gets me online, displays PDFs, and runs office software. I have a large number of online courses that I have to take in the coming years, and I need something that I can just grab while on my couch or in bed to work on papers and assignments, hence the 13" size preference. Long battery life would be highly preferable.

      I looked for options that come with Linux preinstalled, but there's really nothing available that hits what I'm looking for -- there isn't much of a market for 13". As such, my plan is to just buy a standard Windows laptop and then put Linux on it, but I have no idea which particular hardware will play nice with a Linux installation. Budget would be sub-$500 (if possible). I don't need the laptop to do anything other than stay on for a long time and let me type, so I have no need for a powerhouse.

      Can anyone point me in the right direction with some recommendations?

      13 votes
    4. My experience switching to Linux and the need for guidance

      Hello everyone, This will be a long post because I want to give my post the proper context. I apologize in advance for taking your time. About five months ago, with the help of relatively high...

      Hello everyone,

      This will be a long post because I want to give my post the proper context. I apologize in advance for taking your time.

      About five months ago, with the help of relatively high ceiling of Windows 11's system requirements, I finally pushed myself to use Linux exclusively on my desktop. It was a decision between using Windows LTSC or Linux and I went with the better long term option.

      I am not a programmer but I'm also not unfamiliar with the Linux world. I believe I've used one distro or another on a spare computer for shorts period of time since at least 2008. But those use cases have always been to satisfy the curious side of my brain as I am always interested in technology. So after installing distros ranging from Ubuntu to Arch, my curiosity waned enough to never look deeper into how these systems work. They were, after all, a hobby project on a spare computer that was often gathering dust.

      When I decided to switch exclusively to Linux, the next decision I had to make was to pick a distro. Naturally, I looked for the established players first. Ubuntu was the obvious choice because it has long been the distro for newbies and there are a lot of guides on the internet if I ever needed help, which was inevitable. But then I read about snaps and thought that was a deal breaker. I was moving to Linux specifically because I don't want things shoved down my throat. I had no intention to relive that1.

      So Ubuntu was a no go, but I was certain I wanted a Debian based distro as their support and software availability was unmatched, maybe save for Arch2. At this point, why not Debian right? It's known for being rock solid and it's Debian itself, not some derivation. Well, because I had various issues with Debian before. These issues were always fundamental and not very specific too, so I didn't want to risk wasting a lot of time fixing things I didn't understand, only for them to break again after a couple of days. Then I came across Pop!_OS, which seemed like a perfect fit. It was Ubuntu without its worst parts, came with Nvidia drivers and it had a company behind it that seemed to be committed to Linux. I installed it and everything just worked. I had zero issues.

      But then I started getting that FOMO itch again. GNOME 42 was out and it looked great, but Pop!_OS was two versions behind. I also found out that they're working on their own DE, which might end up being great (it looked nice) but I didn't want to leave an established player like GNOME behind, including all the benefits you get from its wonderful extensions. I started looking for other distos again and Fedora caught my eye. I was obviously aware of Fedora, I even used it once back when YUM was still a thing, but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me. The fact that it wasn't a Debian based distro was also a disadvantage because that meant something different and at this stage of dipping my toes into Linux, I didn't think different might be the best way to go for me. Still, despite my best judgment, I installed Fedora on a USB and used it live. When my gut feeling was confirmed by my research about how Fedora leaves things as stock as possible and is ahead of the curve in terms of upcoming technology (btrfs, PulseAudio, Wayland et al.3) without sacrificing on stability, I was hooked.

      After renewing my Timeshift backup, I formatted my Pop!_OS system and installed Fedora. The installation process could use a facelift, but it handled everything perfectly. I didn't even have some of the issues I had with Pop!_OS right after installation. It was literally problem free. I'm now on day #3 of using Fedora and the experience remains the same. The only issue I had to deal with was trying to get Timeshift to work (apparently it doesn't play nice with btrfs on Fedora), but instead of wasting my time with that, I just installed Déjà Dup and I'm good to go again. Barring any drastic issues, I don't plan on changing my distro again.

      Now, onto my plea for guidance.

      I'm looking for comprehensive resources that will teach me how Linux works under the hood. Considering my non-programming background, I'd appreciate it if the language is approachable. The reason why I want this, for one thing, is to learn more about the system I'm planning to use probably for the rest of my life (in tandem with macOS) but also, I want to do some cool stuff Linux allows users to do.

      Just to give a quick example. Yesterday, I installed Rofi, which is, besides many other things, an app launcher. I got it to work just fine, I even got a configuration of my own with a theme of my choosing, but when it comes to using some scripts, I just couldn't do it. Every video I watched on YouTube told me how easy it is to use scripts with it as if it's a self-explanatory thing, but I was simply clueless. There was a lot of lingo thrown around like environment variables, setting up $PATH, making the scripts executable with chmod etc. I have very little knowledge of these things. I want to learn what they are, why they exist, and how they all tie together. I want to learn how /etc/ is different than /usr/ and the difference between X11 and some DE (or if they're even in the same category of things). Now, at the risk of sounding impatient and maybe even worse, I also don't want to go way too deep into these things. I am not, after all, trying to become a kernel developer. I just want to be better informed.

      There are a lot of information on the internet but most of this information is scattered and out of context. If I try to learn more about one thing, I'm bombarded about other things that I don't know, so in the end I learn nothing. In short, I'm looking for a comprehensive, entry level video series or a book about Linux written in an easy to understand language that assumes no prior knowledge.

      Additionally, I'd appreciate any website, YouTube channel and what have you to keep up with recent developments in Linux. I already found a couple as there are plenty of them, but I'd like to learn more about how people here keep up with this fast changing environment.

      Thank you for reading and sorry for being so verbose! 😊


      1: I know you can remove snaps, but I didn't want to deal with the hassle of any possible issues deleting a core system functionally might bring about.
      2: Despite finding its approach fascinating, I had no intention to get into Arch because it's a rolling distro and I didn't want an advanced system that can break at any moment in the hands of a novice like myself.
      3: To be clear, I don't know how most of these technologies are better than alternatives, but the Linux community at large seems to think they're drastically better than alternatives and are the future.

      21 votes
    5. Can someone explain the systemd controversy to a nontechnical user?

      A project I'm working on requires me to cover a bit of comedy targeting Lennart Poettering as it's tangentially related, and I'd like to have more context even though it's not strictly necessary....

      A project I'm working on requires me to cover a bit of comedy targeting Lennart Poettering as it's tangentially related, and I'd like to have more context even though it's not strictly necessary. I'm a nontechnical Linux user who used the OS before systemd came around, but really the only impact on my life it's had is that I occasionally use systemctl to control services.

      Though I wasn't paying as much attention to the community around the time major distributions switched, I've been casually exposed to criticism of it ever since I came back, and I'd like to make sense of it all and form an opinion beyond "I like Fedora and GNOME and it seems to go hand-in-hand with those". I've read The Biggest Myths, the Wikipedia article, some stuff on freedesktop.org, and of course absorbed the venom slung back and forth over systemd in every FOSS community, but it's hard to get a full picture. And a picture from 2022, for that matter, as a lot of this information comes from its early days. Help me out?

      24 votes
    6. Product recommendation request: low latency wireless earbuds

      Alright, so I fell down a rabbit hole of trying to understand a whole bunch of techy things that I don't fully understand and could use some help: What I'm looking for: a pair of Bluetooth...

      Alright, so I fell down a rabbit hole of trying to understand a whole bunch of techy things that I don't fully understand and could use some help:


      What I'm looking for: a pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds that I can pair with my computer, with low enough latency that it won't impair my enjoyment in casual gaming/video watching


      What I understand so far: Almost nothing. 😔 I get that Bluetooth will always have some level of latency, but, beyond that, I've got nothing. I'm so confused.

      There are lots of different versions of Bluetooth, and then there are different Bluetooth protocols within that, and then different audio codecs, and each piece of hardware seems to support completely different combinations of those, and I'm not sure if the devices have to match configurations or even how to figure out what my computer supports? It seems Bluetooth will gracefully fall back to worse codecs/protocols if better ones are incompatible, but I don't really want to buy something that's just going to fall back to its worst usecase.

      I also don't know what's an "acceptable" level of latency. What's reasonable versus what's intolerable?

      It also seems like the information I read online is subject to rapid decay. I read a bunch of stuff only a few years old saying I should look for aptX Low Latency capability, but then I read very recent posts saying that's dead and to go with aptX Adaptive instead. Meanwhile there are a handful of gaming-focused headsets that say they're low latency but don't really say how (e.g. Razer's Hammerhead). And some, like Samsung's buds, having a "gaming mode" but it only works on special hardware.

      Also, how do I know what my computer itself will support? Is there anything I can do from the computer side to reduce latency, or is that strictly a function of what my hardware supports and which earbuds I buy?


      My usecase:

      My computer is a System 76 Oryx Pro (5) running Pop!_OS 21.10. I think its Bluetooth adapter is version 5.1 (though I'm not confident on that). I do not know which protocols/codecs it supports, nor how to find that out.

      Audio quality isn't too important. These will be for everyday video-watching and gaming, which is what's prompting the latency requirement. I'd rather them be responsive than rich.

      Active noise cancelling would be nice to have (especially if it has a toggleable transparency mode), but I don't know if ANC adds latency and is therefore incompatible with what I'm wanting.

      I don't have a specific budget for it, and that's honestly the least important requirement. If the solution exists I'm fine paying for it (within reason, of course). These will end up getting used for thousands of hours, so even a big price difference upfront will even out over time.

      I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer in pointing me in the right direction on this!

      12 votes
    7. What are your favorite Linux distributions to use for gaming and as a daily driver, and why?

      I'm curious what experiences people who game on linux have had, what your favorite distros are, and why. Mind sharing them in this thread? I'm in the market. My old GTX770 just bit the dust. I...

      I'm curious what experiences people who game on linux have had, what your favorite distros are, and why. Mind sharing them in this thread? I'm in the market.

      My old GTX770 just bit the dust. I picked up a Radeon 6600 to replace it, only to discover after installing it that while the 6600XT has Windows 7 drivers, the 6600 itself does not. The desktop works, but that's it. A little strange, but not entirely unexpected.

      My ancient frankenstein Win 7 Enterprise has got to go (into a VM, already on its way) and there is simply no way in hell I will ever use any version of the spyware/bloatware mess that Windows has become today. They lost me forever the second they put a marketplace and ads into my start menu. Ain't nobody got time for that, or at least, I don't.

      That means it's finally Linux time, for real - no going back. I'm rather excited. :D

      Side note: My original install date for Windows 7 Enterprise was 11-12-2011, it's lasted nearly eleven years without a BSOD or the need to reinstall. They really did fix windows decay syndrome in v7. That's the longest I've ever had a desktop OS last. Can any desktop linux distro manage to go that long, I wonder?

      The last time I ran a linux daily driver was Ubuntu for two years around '08, until I got sick of the pulseaudio issues. I'm not worried about that anymore, linux is ready for primetime now. That begs the question of which distro to use. I've toyed with or supported just about all of them at work (mint, redhat, suse, ubuntu, arch, deb, slack just to name a few). I'm a sysadmin by trade so I'm not phased by the learning curve, I know linux cold already.

      It's more a question of which distro is going to bother me the least acting as my daily driver. I like to tinker at work, but if I have to do it all the time at home I get cranky. I prefer the 'it just works' experience. The primary requirement is linux gaming, as this is my main gaming rig. That means lots of Skyrim Special Edition, Stellaris, Rimworld, emulators, etc.

      There's so many choices out there I'm not sure how to tell which one is the best and I don't particularly feel like putting a dozen of them through their paces over a month to find out - so I'm asking Tildes. ;) I don't mind trying a couple. Steam is required. Good support for WINE is a bonus. Ditto virtual desktop support - is Compiz still a thing or is there something better?

      Here are the system specs. I'm sure it's all fully linux compatible.

      1. Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z
      2. Intel i7 2600K (3.2GHz, OC'ed to 4.2GHz with a Noctua air cooler, never breaks 60'C)
      3. Sapphire RX6600 GPU w 8GB of DDR6
      4. 16GB of G.Skill DDR3 2400MHz memory
      5. 500GB Samsung SSD, 4x4TB WD Red NAS drives

      Yeah, it's long in the tooth, and I'm glad I went for the Z/K combo so the new GPU isn't entirely gimped plugged into a much older PCIe 2.0 mainboard. I'll pick up a Ryzen sometime to replace it, but not until after the chip shortage shakes out. It was hard enough getting that 6600 in this market without getting scalped.

      21 votes
    8. Help needed: slow external hard drive

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need...

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need off the drive is backed up, but I would at least like a drive to put it back on to!

      In short, it became slow after I had to force power-off the system it was connected to (Pop OS installed on another external drive which I unplugged by mistake) and I haven't bothered to try to fix it in the six months since.

      I've tested it on Pop and it takes about 10-20 minutes to mount, and 2 minutes to unmount and safely remove. The data itself seems fine but performance is slow, accessing a 20MB image takes several seconds and selecting the drive in GNOME Disks caused it to freeze.

      The drive sounded louder than normal, especially after plugging in.

      On Windows, the drive was recognised and browsable immediately, but browsing through folders was very slow - opening some folders causes Windows Explorer to freeze for a while. Some of my double-clicks were mis-recognised as click-to-rename, which took several seconds to activate and during which time Task Manager reported the average response time between 5000 and 11000 ms.

      Attempting to load an audio file resulted in lots of buffering. Task Manager reports an active time of 100% (even when not loading files or folders) and the activity never exceeded 100 KB/s (and doesn't sustain it for more than a second). Ejecting the drive takes forever - after ejecting it using the tray icon, the tray icon is not removed (even though there are no other drives connected or listed) and the active time is still 100% with the indicator LED blinking non-stop. The system did not enter sleep right away after me asking it to either.

      All of that to say, does anyone know what the issue could be, or how I could find and fix it? Thanks!


      Edit: fixed and normal functionality restored (at least so I can check the drive a bit easier) using Scan & Repair in Windows (see my comment).

      4 votes