Best Linux distro for crunching?

robl
robl
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RE: RE: From a "crunch

Quote:
Quote:

From a "crunch only" perspective its probably not necessary to upgrade a box.

Thank you for that response. As you can probably guess, that was what I suspected would be the case.

I like the idea of every few years going through and completely updating everything, but leaving everything alone in the meantime.

One of the things I find infuriating using Windows is the constant updating. It reminds me of AOL in the bad-old days of dial-up when every time I was at the computer and wanted to reboot it, the first thing that happened was AOL "took over" and would update for a long time.

I was a CompuServe nerd, but I had people in the house with AOL accounts and so had AOL, too. The daily updating really, really got on my nerves and Windows is doing the same thing. Now, without Windows 8, you have to be seriously insistent if you don't want to have a Microsoft account with "cloud services" and all that stuff.

"HEY, Microsoft! MY hardware, MY license. Go away."

While I am not a defender of Microsoft I can see the need to keep it up to date with fixes. I also feel the same way with just about any OS. If I were to wait a year to update windows with a year's fixes it would probably take a week to accomplish this. The frustrating part of Windows is that it takes so long to "update" when a reboot is required and this is almost always the case. With Linux and a kernel change out my machines take about 20 seconds to reboot from the time I hit "Enter" to the time I am logging in. Yes I do employ SSD drives and so far I have not experienced any instability. Now having said all of that you can have issues on Linux when there is a kernel upgrade/change in that the "GPU" drivers might not perform as previously. This does not seem to be the case with Microsoft. With respect to AMD on Linux I have run the installation script and all is well. I have done the same with NVIDIA, but I have also used a PPA for NVIDIA drivers so that a kernel change picks up the NVIDIA driver using DKMS and all is well. There are always +'s and -'s. Using a PPA can be risky because you are "trusting" the PPA to "do the right thing". Everyone experience is different. Thank God for "message boards".

[Edit]
On the subject of constant updating: this is because of all of those bad guys out there that keep finding "holes". Its all OS' and it is never going to change.

Phil
Phil
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Hi Gary, PCLinuxOS is

Hi Gary,

PCLinuxOS is refusing to intall. I have the MiniKDE64 pkg on a USB stick.

I boot into LiveCD, install seems to go ok, but when I reboot at the end of the install I get:

-f [Ok]
INIT: no more processes in this runlevel

i3 intel
4Gb ram
PNY 750 video card

What else do you need if anything as far as info? If I cold boot the computer, it starts the boot sequence then goes to a screen with dots all over it.

I've tried installing 3 times, formatting each time.

Any ideas?

Phil

[edit] ran like a champ with linux mint 17

robl
robl
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RE: Hi Gary, PCLinuxOS is

Quote:

Hi Gary,

PCLinuxOS is refusing to intall. I have the MiniKDE64 pkg on a USB stick.

I boot into LiveCD, install seems to go ok, but when I reboot at the end of the install I get:

-f [Ok]
INIT: no more processes in this runlevel

i3 intel
4Gb ram
PNY 750 video card

What else do you need if anything as far as info? If I cold boot the computer, it starts the boot sequence then goes to a screen with dots all over it.

I've tried installing 3 times, formatting each time.

Any ideas?

Phil

[edit] ran like a champ with linux mint 17

I am not familiar with PCLinux so Gary will be more helpful, but did you download an iso image and burn to DVD and try installing from DVD. To me it seems like you loaded an bootable PCLinux from a USB and then are trying to install from it and you run out of resources.

Try downloading the iso and burning it to DVD. Boot the DVD and install from it.

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: PCLinuxOS is refusing

Quote:
PCLinuxOS is refusing to intall. I have the MiniKDE64 pkg on a USB stick.


Did you just copy the .iso image to the USB stick or did you 'install' it to the stick, including installing a bootloader? PCLinuxOS has a tool called LiveUSB Creator which is a very easy way to properly create a bootable liveUSB.

Quote:

I boot into LiveCD, install seems to go ok, but when I reboot at the end of the install I get:

-f [Ok]
INIT: no more processes in this runlevel


This is the message you get (just before a non-graphical login prompt) if you choose 'safe mode' from the boot menu. What item did you select from the boot menu?

If you've installed properly to a hard disk partition, you will have been asked about installing a boot loader. The default is (usually) to offer you the MBR of the disk containing the root partition. However I have seen odd cases where the default has been the MBR of the device from which you were installing - ie the USB drive. Obviously you should override that default and select the disk on which you have installed. As an example, let's say your USB drive was seen by the installer as sda and the hard disk was sdb. You should have (before installing) been given options about what part of sdb you wanted to use for PCLinuxOS. Let's say you wanted to use sdb6 for root, sdb7 for swap and sdb8 for a separate home partition - strongly advised since you can reinstall the OS without ever disturbing user files and user configuration. At the end when the boot loader is being installed, the default should be sdb (for the above scheme) and certainly not sda. Sometimes I have seen sda offered but you just change it before accepting what is offered. This only seems to happen with USB 'disk' devices. I have a USB DVD and have used it at times. I've never seen this behaviour with either CD drives or the USB DVD drive.

Quote:
What else do you need if anything as far as info? If I cold boot the computer, it starts the boot sequence then goes to a screen with dots all over it.


It sounds like you're rebooting the iso image. Rows of dots are printed while compressed images are being unpacked.

Until you get used to the details of the install procedure, I suggest you burn the iso image to create a bootable CD (using Windows if you need to). Boot from the CD. Booting CDs is a bit slow but just let it finish. You will only be asked one question and the default answer 'US keyboard' is probably what you'd choose. You will end up logged in as 'guest' and be told the root and guest passwords. In the system tray you should see a nice green tick if your network is up. Hover your mouse to see the IP address. There's just a couple of icons on the desktop, one of which launches the installer.

Before you install, work out what partitions you need. Are you going to just have the crunching OS or are you wanting to share with Windows? If you are going to keep some part of your disk as Windows, you will need to resize a Windows partition. It's quite easy to do this during the install itself but you can do it 'in advance' through the PCLinuxOS control centre if you wish.

In my case I use 2002 vintage 20GB seagate drives (in the main) and I divide them as 7GB /, 1GB swap, and 10GB /home. That's quite adequate for a crunching box. What hard drive arrangements do you wish to make? If you tell me that, I'll tell you how to achieve it and end up with a system that reboots properly after the installation. There's no problem having an existing Windows install appear on the selection menu after the install if you need that.

One final point. PCLinuxOS uses MBR partition tables and not GUID partition tables (GPT). It also uses Grub legacy and not Grub2. I actually consider these to be an advantage for a simple crunching box. I think (but don't know for certain) that GPT is being used for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The two systems are not compatible with each other (I believe) but don't know for certain since I've never tried using GPT.

Cheers,
Gary.

Phil
Phil
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Hi Gary, In a nutshell,

Hi Gary,

In a nutshell, here's what I want to do, or think I want to do. Let's start from scratch.

This is my "admin" machine. I plan on using this one to access my other crunchers.

I have no desire to have any other OS on it.
I don't have a specific requirement for hard drive setup. Whatever works to crunch and get into my other machines.
I am (slowly) building a farm of sorts, and would like all my machines to have the same OS setup.

Since I am so unfamiliar with Linux I suggest we start from the beginning. I think sometimes it's easier to just start over rather than try to "fix" something. I'm thinking that way I'm using your method that you are familiar with and might be easier to fix problems that crop up. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've been downloading the iso and writing to my USB stick using either Image Writer or Unetbootin. The LiveCD has always worked with all distros I've tried out. The only time I've had issues is with PCLinuxOS. The machine boots to LiveCD and has the install icon on the desktop. So that part is not an issue, but as you stated PCLinuxOS seems to do a couple of things differently, just enough to mess me up since I'm still learning.

One more thing, at the end of the install process, it seems to freeze at some point and not reboot. I've tried letting it sit, a couple of times for hours, to no avail.

Thanks for your help.

Phil

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: .... The machine boots

Quote:
.... The machine boots to LiveCD and has the install icon on the desktop.


No problem with your plan.

Go through this howto so you can see the steps involved and get an explanation of what's happening at each stage. I just did a google search and found it. I hadn't come across it previously. It's a little dated and there are cosmetic differences on some of the screens but overall it's pretty much what you need to do.

For the screens on disk partitioning, make sure you are creating partitions on the disk you really want to install on. The installer may not default to the disk you want if you have multiple drives. It may even default to the USB drive. You will see a drop down menu at the top if you need to select a different drive. In the majority of cases the installer 'gets it right'.

For the bootloader install screens, make sure the correct hard drive has been selected and not the USB drive.

When the install finishes and it's time to reboot, it's supposed to tell you to remove the CD and hit 'enter'. It does, with a CD or DVD drive but doesn't with a USB hard drive. If you're not paying attention, you could easily reboot from the USB drive again. So when you reboot, use your appropriate BIOS function key to get a boot drive menu and select the hard disk. Then you will get the new Grub menu with the option you want already selected.

Quote:
One more thing, at the end of the install process, it seems to freeze at some point and not reboot.


Do you get the final screen asking you to reboot your computer? Do you click the 'Start Menu -> Leave -> Restart' option? It should go through a shutdown sequence and automatically restart.

Cheers,
Gary.

Phil
Phil
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Hi Gary, It's been

Hi Gary,

It's been installing on the correct drive, but at the end it tells me to restart and remove the usb drive when told to. Then it stops doing anything and won't accept any commands at all. The only way to reboot is to use the physical reboot button on the case. Of course this probably messes with the last stages of install and hence the bootup problems.

I take a look at that guide and try it out, and let you know the results.

Thanks again.

Phil

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: ... Then it stops doing

Quote:
... Then it stops doing anything and won't accept any commands at all.


Are you saying that if you click on the start icon, you don't get any response? I've never seen that before. Try typing ctrl-alt-F1. Do you jump out of the X display and get a console screen with a login prompt? If so, just login (root or guest - it doesn't matter) and type reboot and the system should shutdown and reboot.

Quote:
The only way to reboot is to use the physical reboot button on the case. Of course this probably messes with the last stages of install and hence the bootup problems.


Resetting the box should still work - although not really the desirable method of rebooting. When you get the message to restart your computer, the installation is finished and everything is in place to be accessed during the next startup. if you are forced to hit reset, you should get the normal BIOS activity (like identifying hard drives etc) followed by the bootloader menu from which you can select what to boot.

If that happens, the machine will reboot and will probably complain that partitions were not unmounted cleanly and so will run the fsck (file system consistency check) utility to look for and fix any file consistency errors. The system shows a splash screen during booting but you can hit to dismiss it and see bootup messages if you want to see what stage it's at. It's a journalled file system so you may see a message about replaying the journal as part of the fix. If you are not getting this boot selection menu, you haven't installed the bootloader correctly.

Cheers,
Gary.

robl
robl
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So, does this thread have a

So, does this thread have a happy ending?

Phil
Phil
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No happy ending yet, it's

No happy ending yet, it's been on the back burner while I worked on some higher priority things. I still plan on pursuing it tho. May be a bit yet.

Phil

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