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    1. Tech support request: getting a scanner and controller working in Linux

      The Tildes community has been amazing and patient with me as a new and uninformed Linux user, and I'm greatly appreciative of that. I return to you today with yet another request. Hardware...

      The Tildes community has been amazing and patient with me as a new and uninformed Linux user, and I'm greatly appreciative of that. I return to you today with yet another request.


      Hardware

      System76 Oryx Pro
      Distro: Pop!_OS 19.10


      Issue #1 (mission critical)

      Brother MFC-L2750DW

      I have a Brother printer/scanner for which I have installed the drivers using the .deb file provided on the Brother site. It's connected via USB. Printing works fine; scanning does not. My husband and I both need the ability to scan for our jobs, so this issue is pretty important to us.

      I am using the program Document Scanner (I believe it's one of the GNOME default programs?). When I open the program it says "Searching for Scanners" and then recognizes my scanner, giving the model number and says it's "Ready to Scan". Whenever I attempt to scan, however, whether from the ADF or the flatbed, it says "Unable to connect to scanner". I am not sure how to proceed, and any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated!


      Issue #2 (optional)

      Hyperkin Duke Wired Xbox Controller

      This is an optional issue and not at all one that needs to be solved by any means. A while back my husband got me this because it's my absolute favorite controller of all time (I know, scoff all you want!). It worked fine in Windows, but now that I've shifted over to Linux it has been sitting and gathering dust.

      When I plug it in the controller rumbles briefly (which it also did on Windows), but other than that does nothing. No input is accepted. If it's easy to get this up and running in Linux, I'd love to be able to use it, but if it's not that's totally fine. I have another controller I can use, and again, none of this is essential to my work. I just figured since I was asking for help I'd throw this in here too.


      If you need any additional information or need me to try any specific things, let me know!

      6 votes
    2. How can I create better YouTube videos?

      I've been trying to create youtube videos on a new channel (empty for now). format The video format I thought of was getting a few friends on a joint call, and just talking about a certain topic...

      I've been trying to create youtube videos on a new channel (empty for now).

      format

      The video format I thought of was getting a few friends on a joint call, and just talking about a certain topic for that day in a socratic circle discussion.

      topics discussed

      Since i'm interested in Linux, one of my first topics will be about the argument of linux on the desktop. Would it benefit from more users? Is linux evangelism for good? can we get rid of the elitism stigma?

      Is there anything I can do to refine this kind of video format, and actually gain an audience that can see and appreciate the content. My goal here isn't to make money, but to supply the site with good content.

      12 votes
    3. What browser do you use? How have you customized it?

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience. What do I use? I use Firefox Nightly with the common...

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience.

      What do I use?

      I use Firefox Nightly with the common browser extensions like ublock origin, privacy badger, https everywhere, and some interesting ones like Dark Reader, Vimium (Which provides vim keybinds in your browser) and ViolentMonkey (which I use for userscripts like 4chanX, OneeChan, and the KissAnime ad blocker).

      21 votes
    4. Linux is a subpar choice for professional video editing

      I don't wanna get into a heated discussion, so let me make something very clear: for a regular user, video editing on Linux is probably fine. That is just not my use case. I'm used to a degree of...

      I don't wanna get into a heated discussion, so let me make something very clear: for a regular user, video editing on Linux is probably fine.

      That is just not my use case.

      I'm used to a degree of freedom, choice, and stability that, right now, Linux does not provide in that area.

      I'm a film major who has worked as a professional video editor for many years and editing video on anything that is not nearly as good, reliable and precise as Adobe Premiere feels like torture.

      But even being very flexible regarding features and requirements, after trying all the regular suggestions, as professional tools, and with all the respect I can muster, they are just unusable for me.

      I need a reliable program in which I can throw any format without worrying about constant crashes, but Linux options are all either extremely limited, unstable or both! Before anyone asks: I tried multiple programs, in different versions and installation methods, on entirely different hardware and unaffiliated distributions.

      Kdenlive resembles professional-grade software but constantly crashes at the simplest operations. DaVinci Resolve seems like a good bet but is a nightmare just to install and equally crashy when/if I'm able to do so (last time I had to manually edit the install script following the instructions of some random forum post. This did not cause a good impression. And audio didn't work), and I'm not willing to use something so finicky if Linux doesn't get primary support.

      Besides, Blackmagic Design only provides a few pieces of the puzzle. Professional video editing requires a whole stack of integrated software. Both Windows and Mac OS have this, Linux has not.

      There's also the issue of GPU acceleration.

      I'm not saying FOSS developers owe me anything, nor that they have done a bad job with programs like OpenShot, Pitivi, Blender, whatever. I'm just saying that, regrettably, I'll probably have to install put Windows on dual-boot on my machine in the next few days.

      16 votes
    5. How to install Firefox Nightly on NixOS

      I had a bit of free time tonight and decided to write a short blog post detailing my solution for installing Firefox Nightly on NixOS, since this was the only solution I came across that actually...

      I had a bit of free time tonight and decided to write a short blog post detailing my solution for installing Firefox Nightly on NixOS, since this was the only solution I came across that actually worked and was not ridiculously complicated.

      I wrote this in about an hour and I was (and am) quite tired, so please forgive (but still point out) any mistakes or possible improvements. Hopefully my solution ends up being useful for you.

      Finally, to spare everyone from having to look at my "blog", here is the text of the post copied onto Tildes:


      Like some other Linux distributions, NixOS supports the use of overlays.

      I am actually not very familiar with how overlays work on NixOS. So, for the sake of simplicity, we will just think of them as being similar to PPAs on Ubuntu. Except, instead of being a custom repository of downloadable packages, NixOS overlays are more like scripts that instruct the package manager on how to download and build additional packages (or just about anything, really).

      You might be wondering why you cannot just download the official Firefox Nightly release straight from Mozilla, extract it, and use that.

      Indeed, that is how I have always installed Firefox Nightly on other Linux distributions (it even automatically updates itself!), but I was unable to get it working on NixOS, hence the overlay. (You might have better luck though.)

      Thankfully for us, the overlay we are going to use is actually maintained by Mozilla:

      Located in this repository is a firefox-overlay.nix file, which is what we will use to fetch our Firefox Nightly binary. Go ahead and clone this repository onto your computer.

      Once you have cloned the repository, you will need to make a couple of edits to your configuration.nix file in /etc/nixos/.

      First, you will need to add the line nixpkgs.config.allowUnfree = true; if you want to use the binary Firefox packages and avoid having to compile them yourself (which I do not recommend doing, unless you have beefy hardware and a lot of free time).

      (The binary packages are considered "unfree" because of the Firefox trademark.)

      Second, you will need to add another line to your configuration.nix file that declares the firefox-overlay.nix file, from the repository you cloned, as an overlay. That can be accomplished with this line:

      nixpkgs.overlays = [ (import /path/to/firefox-overlay.nix) ];

      Finally, assuming you have done everything correctly, the last thing you will need to do is add a line declaring a Firefox package to install. Since this blog post is about installing Firefox Nightly, we'll add this line to our systemPackages list, alongside the rest of our system packages:

      latest.firefox-nightly-bin

      In the end, your configuration.nix file should end up with three new lines:


        nixpkgs.overlays = [ (import /etc/nixos/firefox-overlay.nix) ];
        nixpkgs.config.allowUnfree = true;
        environment.systemPackages = with pkgs; [
      	  latest.firefox-nightly-bin
        ];
      

      (I symlink my firefox-overlay.nix file to /etc/nixos/, but you can put it just about wherever you want. )

      And that should be it! Just run a nixos-rebuild command to bring your system in-sync with your configuration.nix file and Firefox Nightly should then be installed and usable.


      Shout out to the anonymous, deleted GitHub user who posted a comment on one of the overlay repository's issues. This was a very simple, very elegant solution. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to find this solution and I ran into quite a few people who were doing the same thing, but with vastly more complex configurations.

      9 votes
    6. Terry A Davis: Questions to God

      Hey everyone, just watching a very interesting history of Terry A Davis (creator of TempleOS) and around the 30 minute mark there is a list of questions Terry asked to God and the answers he...

      Hey everyone, just watching a very interesting history of Terry A Davis (creator of TempleOS) and around the 30 minute mark there is a list of questions Terry asked to God and the answers he believed he received. I took a look online but was unable to find anything. I don't suppose anyone out there has a link? I'd be very interested to read it. Thanks in advance.

      EDIT: I'm also interested in any links to the art he created (hymns, visual art etc).

      10 votes
    7. Tech support request: recovering from hard crashes in Linux

      EDIT: Latest update This is something so rudimentary that I'm a little embarrassed to ask, but I've also tried looking around online to no avail. One of the hard parts about being a Linux newbie...

      EDIT: Latest update


      This is something so rudimentary that I'm a little embarrassed to ask, but I've also tried looking around online to no avail. One of the hard parts about being a Linux newbie is that the amount of support material out there seems to differ based on distro, DE, and also time, so posts from even a year or two ago can be outdated or inapplicable.

      Here's my situation: I'm a newbie Linux user running Pop!_OS 19.10 with the GNOME desktop environment. Occasionally, games I'm playing will hard crash and lock up my system completely, leaving a still image of the game frozen on the screen indefinitely. The system stays there, completely unresponsive to seemingly any inputs. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's almost always when I'm running a Windows game through Steam's Proton layer. I suspect it also might have something to do with graphics drivers, as I'll at times notice an uptick in frequency after certain updates, though that might just be me finding a suspicious pattern where none exists.

      Anyway, what I don't know how to do is gracefully exit or recover from these crashes. No keyboard shortcut seems to work, and I end up having to hold the power button on my computer until it abruptly shuts off. This seems to be the "worse case scenario" for handling it, so if there is a better way I should go about this, I'd love to know about it.


      EDIT: I really want to thank everyone for their help so far. My initial question has been answered, and for posterity's sake I'd like to post the solution here, to anyone who is searching around for this same issue and ends up in this thread:

      • Use CTRL+ALT+F3/F4/F5/F6 keys to access a terminal, where you can try to kill any offending processes and reboot if needed.
      • If that fails, use ALT+SYSRQ+R-E-I-S-U-B.

      With that out of the way, I've added more information about the crashes specifically to the thread, primarily here, and some people are helping me out with diagnosing the issue. This thread is now less about the proper way to deal with the crash than it is about trying to identify the cause of the crash and prevent it in the first place.

      12 votes
    8. Laptop review of Acer A315-42

      So I bought this laptop mainly for web browsing, document editing, note taking and programming with perhaps light gaming although that's not something I've tried yet. So, really just for school...

      So I bought this laptop mainly for web browsing, document editing, note taking and programming with perhaps light gaming although that's not something I've tried yet. So, really just for school work.

      Specifications

      Laptop Model : Acer Aspire 3 A315-42
      Laptop screen : 1080p IPS (with matte finish?)
      CPU : R5 3500U
      RAM : 8GB DDR4 (6GB available because of iGPU)
      Storage : 256GB SSD NVMe
      Wireless : Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377
      Wired : Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 (According to lspci)
      2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI port, Audio jack, 1x RJ45 Ethernet port
      Battery : 36.7Wh

      Linux compatibility

      Everything worked out of the box, gotta modify TLP to not kill the touchpad and webcam. The touchpad seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to being detected, It seems to be a kernel bug, unsure what I'll do about it concretely but rebooting a couple of times makes it work. Nothing to install thanks to AMD's open source mesa drivers. Might need a kernel higher than 5.3 because of general Ryzen 3000 issues but I've not tried, it was already higher than that.

      Operating system tested

      Basically never touched Windows, directly installed Fedora 31 Silverblue.

      My Silverblue configuration is :

      ● ostree://fedora:fedora/31/x86_64/silverblue
                         Version: 31.20191213.0 (2019-12-13T00:42:11Z)
                      BaseCommit: a5829371191d0a3e26d3cced9f075525d2ea73679bd255865fcf320bd2dca22a
                    GPGSignature: Valid signature by 7D22D5867F2A4236474BF7B850CB390B3C3359C4
             RemovedBasePackages: gnome-terminal-nautilus gnome-terminal 3.34.2-1.fc31
                 LayeredPackages: camorama cheese eog fedora-workstation-repositories gedit gnome-calendar gnome-font-viewer gnome-tweaks hw-probe libratbag-ratbagd lm_sensors nano neofetch
                                  powertop radeontop sysprof systemd-swap tilix tlp
      

      Kernel : 5.3.15
      Gnome : 3.34.1

      Body and Looks

      The screen back has metal, I believe it feels quite sturdy. The rest is reasonable feeling plastic. The material used just loves to imprint grease / fingers which kinda sucks - the keys being the exception thankfully. There was also stickers on the inside which well, are somewhat standard but I thought they were pretty obnoxious so I removed them.

      Typing experience

      It's nothing amazing but it's good enough. I'm not really knowledgeable on keyboards so that's as much as I can say on it, really.

      Performance

      Everything feels quite snappy but I don't game at all on this machine so I'm not pushing it too much other than while I'm compiling or doing other things. The temperature does go up to 75°C and the fans get a little loud but it's not that bad. It's mostly the bottom getting hot so it's not something you notice too much while typing. It also cold boots quite fast, in about 10-20seconds I want to say but I've not benchmarked that. It's my first computer with an SSD so there's that.

      Battery life

      I get about 5hours with tlp installed doing web browsing, some programming occasionally, listening to music on the speakers and chatting. Personally I was kind of expecting more from this considering it's an APU but it seems to be what other people are getting on similar setups so It'll do.

      Conclusion

      Overall, I'm pretty happy with this laptop considering how I bought it for 575$ on sale. I made this review mostly because I wasn't finding much information about this laptop on Linux and well, I don't know, I guess I felt like it. If you have any questions, ask up!

      11 votes