Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

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Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:19 pm

Hi all,

I hope you will indulge me a minor rant ;-) as I'm rather dismayed at my experience installing Linux, ahead of a FB Sprint.

So, cutting a long story short:

Background:
a) I removed my Win 7 Pro HDD from an Intel S2600CP4 mobo + GTX970 GPU and 32GB of RAM, with the idea of installing a suitable Linux in order to run some Wanless/WEP+2 tasks.

b) I swapped to a nice new 120Gb SSD, that was completely blank and unformated (which had been bought to replace an ailing HDD in a friends laptop, but the blooming laptop BIOS won't accept a SATA SSD (to replace the ailing SATA HDD) so it was spare.

The installation:
1) I have a USB stick with a boot partition containg Ubuntu 16.04 0 but the Intel motherboard wouldn't boot from it - it has been used on other PCs to boot and install Ubuntu OK, so the USB stick is fine :-(

2) I downloaded Linux Mint 19.something or other - the latest version on their website - something about a "Long Legged" version IIRC - I created a Boot image on a 32GB USB stick and I did the OEM installation, as essentially this is a NEW PC. I had to give it a "password" - which proved to be a pain further on during the installation of the OS and other programs as the OS kept on asking for the password at various stages :-(

3) That SEEMED to install OK but it wouldn't boot....no matter what I tried, all I got was a "blinking cursor" in the top left corner.

4) Numerous efforts with the BIOS and changing BOOT optins eventually allowed me to boot the PC - apparently one has to boot the "ubuntu" option, INSTEAD of selecting the actual drive that the OS is installed on. (if it had been called "Linux Mint" in the boot option, it would have been more obvious, but it didn't).

5) Mint installed Firefox, so I headed off to the BOINC website to download the latest and greatest BOINC Manager and the BOINC website clearly identified the PC as running Linux, so it gave me a nice BLUE Box to click to download BOINC.

Except it downloaded a file ending in ".sh" - and it wouldn't install and double clicking on it, just opened a TEXT EDITOR :-(

So, I go back to the BOINC website and in much smaller letters it says something about using a Software Manager to install specific programs.

6) So I find the Software Manager, and search for BOINC and sure enough it installs BOINC Manager - it needs some extra files too, so I allow that (as admin) and it starts - except it's v7.9.3 which is a bit old ?

7) I then use BM to add Wanless+Wep+2 as a project and it installs and starts processing - all well and good - we're getting there. :-)

8 ) I then add PrimeGrid project and that goes OK - except that within seconds of downloading GPU tasks, they are ALL erroring out. So I quickly suspend PrimeGrid and try and figure out what's going on - the obvious one being that Linux Mint has NOT actually installed a suitable driver for the GTX970 - I assume it has just installed a VGA type driver. And yet it installed drivers for the onboard NIC - and the keyboard and mouse are working too so those drivers are OK !!

It's a shame it didn't install the right driver for the GPU from the start. :-(

9) So, off to the NVidia website and I find the Linux driver and download that. But it doesn't work - the filename ends in ".run"...and double clicking on it, just brings up the text editor again :-(

10) Further checking and it seems there is a "Driver Manager" that one can run...and it loads up slowly and sure enough it tells me that there are 4 different NVidia drivers available (of varying age, going back to something like "v393.something" (IIRC)...so I pick the "Recommended" one which is "440.something". It also needs some extra files, so they install and the driver installs...or so it seems.

11) I have to suspend Wanless tasks in order to reboot the PC, so I wait until they complete (as they don't checkpoint) and then we reboot.

12) All seems well, so I start up BM and then unsuspend the remaining Wanless tasks (that hadn't started yet) and they start being processed - using all 32 cores initially - I then changed the percentage from 100% CPU down to 90% to allow some CPU for the GPU tasks).

I try the same with the PrimeGrid tasks, but they still have "Computation errors"...very irritating now. BM certainly "sees" the GPU as the menu option to "allow, and/or suspend" GPU operations is there...

So, I've downloaded some other GPU tasks (Asteroids and GPUGrid for now) and will see if they have issues.

13) I then use the "Software Mannger" to install "AnyDesk" so I can control this PC remotely...it too needs extra files and once downloaded, the program works, but one cannot set an "access password" via the "Settings" menu option - if you try, the program just crashes....it seems the Linux version has nothing to do with Anydesk, so it might just be that someone has ported it over and hasn't got it work 100%.


Summary:
I've sort of got it working...but it's not ideal...too many hoops to go through and the GUI is awful...I have a 32" (diagonal) Widescreen LCD screen and the OS fonts are far too big - they look like "kiddies letters" (ie far too big) and the right hand "scroll bar" down the side of running programs is so thin - it's about 1mm wide...you cannot easily position the cursor so as to scroll down to see the rest of the screen.

I was used to running Linux in the past from the command line - RedHat v6.0 and before that anyone remember Caldera ? (I think I've still go the original CDROMs of these too).

But this latest generation Linux is just not "user friendly" (IMHO) - I can put a Windows CDROM/DVDROM (or USB stick nowadays) into a machine and within minutes it gives a great screen, all nicely sized for your monitor and with all the right drivers installed.

It seems that doing something basic with Linux makes you go through so many hoops - and you can see why Linux has not overtaken Windows (in terms of use by the general population), because the entire installation and setting up on a new PC is just so woeful...

It just seems that the various developers of Linux are so stuck in their own ways of doing things, that making thing easy and simple for the layman to do, (to install a Linux OS) is just beyond them - they clearly do not want to make Linux a "mass market" OS - if they did then they could make the entire process less fraught with issues.

PS: Yes, I know Linux ISN'T Windows and it isn't trying to be Windows (and if it did, no doubt Micro$soft lawyers would be on the case real quick...) But even so, the GUI is just clunky and not easy to navigate - even using the "Start" button brings up a strange box with functions that do not seem obvious - there's no "balloon-text" when you hover the mouse over the icons...and just trying to select the right icon, is tricky....else you end up opening the wrong program...so, I've quickly got used to keeping the mouse cursor, really close to the bottom edge of the screen and then then bringing it up the screen, to the right of this "options" box in order to select the program I want to run....

If you have read this far, and you can offer the odd tip that might be worth me trying, then please feel free...but don't worry too much about it, as once we know which project is going to be "chosen" this week, I'll either leave the host to run Wanless, (if that is chosen) or else I'll just re-instate the Windows HDD and use that !!

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by ChelseaOilman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:59 pm

Two things you need to do if your going to crunch tasks on your Nvidia GPU in Linux, Install OpenCL and CUDA. Otherwise you run into the computation errors often.

Install the OpenCL Development Package:

Code: Select all

sudo apt install ocl-icd-opencl-dev
and restart the computer.

You can do this as well if you desire to check things:

Code: Select all

sudo apt install clinfo
Then you can run the command clinfo in terminal.

For CUDA, download the file and run the commands on this page:
https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-10.1- ... debnetwork

In terminal type nvidia-smi to get info on your GPU.
Last edited by ChelseaOilman on Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by ChelseaOilman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:06 pm

Yeah, most computers won't boot from a USB drive unless you select it in the boot menu. I think hitting F12 on my computer during boot up shows the boot menu. May be different on yours. I also found after the new OS is installed and it tells you to reboot that you should remove the USB stick as upon reboot it may boot from the USB stick instead of the SSD you just installed Linux on.

If I remember correctly it's recommended to turn Secure Boot in the BIOS off for Linux. I'm not 100% sure about that.

Mint has that Welcome app that opens each time until you uncheck it. It steps you through what you should do on a new install pretty good.

One of the steps in that Welcome app bring you to a page that lets you change the desktop background and font sizes.

I use the Software manager to install BOINC. It installs the client as a service. In the menu your just opening BOINC Manager, the client is already running.

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:43 pm

ChelseaOilman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:59 pm
Two things you need to do if your going to crunch tasks on your Nvidia GPU in Linux, Install OpenCL and CUDA. Otherwise you run into the computation errors often.

<snip>
Hi Carl

Thanks for that tip - in my "haste" today, (as work was really busy - I had a large delivery of stock arrive (of items I import and distribute) and then had 11 orders to process and ship to my customers), so, I'd forgotten about the various "extra" drivers needed for OpenCL and CUDA...so, I'll make a note of that and when I'm next in the "orifice" (sic) I'll install them. :-)

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:55 pm

ChelseaOilman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:06 pm
Yeah, most computers won't boot from a USB drive unless you select it in the boot menu. I think hitting F12 on my computer during boot up shows the boot menu. May be different on yours. I also found after the new OS is installed and it tells you to reboot that you should remove the USB stick as upon reboot it may boot from the USB stick instead of the SSD you just installed Linux on.
Hi Carl

Thanks for the feedback.

I think I left the "Boot from USB" enabled on this host, from when I installed Win 7 Pro - I just never "Disabled" that option. Still not sure why the PC allowed the Linux Mint USB stick to install, and didn't allow the Ubunto USB stick to "do it's thing" :-(
ChelseaOilman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:06 pm
If I remember correctly it's recommended to turn Secure Boot in the BIOS off for Linux. I'm not 100% sure about that.
I'll check and see if that option is available :-)
ChelseaOilman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:06 pm
Mint has that Welcome app that opens each time until you uncheck it. It steps you through what you should do on a new install pretty good.

One of the steps in that Welcome app bring you to a page that lets you change the desktop background and font sizes.
Yup - saw that and I haven't "unchecked" it yet - so I'll have a perusal through what it says next time.
ChelseaOilman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:06 pm
I use the Software manager to install BOINC. It installs the client as a service. In the menu your just opening BOINC Manager, the client is already running.
I've found the "Start Up applications facility...so I've added BOINC Manager and Anydesk to start at boot time.

Will see how well this host is doing when I'm next there...it might surprise me and have completed lots of tasks ;-)

regards and thanks

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by damienh » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:58 pm

Yes ... it took quite a bit of banging one's head on the keyboard to get over the hump with Linux. Fine once you're there, but there are lots of different ways of doing things and it does seem near impossible to avoid doing some things in the terminal.

Generally speaking though, software is installed through software manager. There are ways to get files from websites, unpack them, make them executable etc but most common software is in the software manager. and boinc is in there too.

As you discovered, the driver manager will install your nvidia GPU drivers, and you want the proprietary version of that. I've not tried anydesk.

One big hiccup I had on several hosts was that Boinc Manager would just refuse to launch. I re-built so very many hosts. I then found a handy little comment lost on a message board somewhere: open your home folder and find a file named 'BOINC Manager -' and then your username. Delete that guy and, voila, Boinc manager launches fine again. How strange ...

Anyhoo, I now run lots and lots of Linux instances. I'm sure CO's OpenCL commands work, although the ones I use are a little different:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install ocl-icd-libopencl1
sudo apt install opencl-headers
sudo apt install clinfo

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by ChelseaOilman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:27 pm

Damien Healy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:58 pm
One big hiccup I had on several hosts was that Boinc Manager would just refuse to launch. I re-built so very many hosts. I then found a handy little comment lost on a message board somewhere: open your home folder and find a file named 'BOINC Manager -' and then your username. Delete that guy and, voila, Boinc manager launches fine again. How strange ...
That one drove me crazy until someone told me about the easy fix.

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by damienh » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:43 pm

C.R.A.Z.Y.

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by Woodles » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:57 pm

Hi Tim,

I've spent the early part of this week upgrading my S2600CP hosts and they've all booted successfully off a USB stick, maybe you have some BIOS setting different?

For next time:
  • Download Ubuntu 16.10 iso
  • Burn to USB stick with Rufus
  • Boot and install (select "Download third party drivers while installing"
  • Reboot
  • Open terminal
  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt upgrade
  • (Optional) sudo apt install htop psensor virtualbox
  • sudo apt update (again}
  • sudo apt install boinc-client-nvidia-cuda boinc-manager
All done :)

Ubuntu 16.10 installs the GPU drivers during the setup process and includes the latest libopencl files.

Mark

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:23 pm

Hi Mark

Thanks for the tips - the strange thing is that the Ubuntu install USB flash USB stick wouldn't work, but the Mint install USB flash stick did...!!
(Both were plugged into the same USB port (at different times of course) - and the Ubuntu stick has been shown to work (and install) on other PC hardware.

I'll be back at "orifice" tomorrow so will try some of this :-)

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by Woodles » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:33 pm

Very strange :confusion-confused:

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:51 pm

Hi all

So, during the last Sprint, my (remotely accessed, office-based) Linux Mint host decided to crap out and stop crunching...plus I was also unable to log in remotely via AnyDesk.

When I was at the office the machine was in a powered down state and had not "rebooted" itself (as it should auto-restart itself, in the event of a local power cut). So, clearly a power cut didn't happen. and something else did.

I started it up and everything looked fine BUT BOINC Manager had no tasks....nor any projects - in fact nothing. And worse, when it had booted, it seemed to have run out of hard drive space. :-(

Further examination showed it had less than 3Gb of HDD space AND the "time-shft" folder was stuffed with about 60Gb of (what are essentially) backups. Now when I installed Mint, I'd not configured "time shift" and so over the last few days it had "run" a few times and had slowly gobbled up the free HDD space.

So, with nothing else to try, I ran the "time-shift" app to restore a recent "backup" and sure enough BOINC Manager now was working OK;

I've since removed some of these back-ups and restarted again and all looks OK. But "free space" on the hard drive is much less than normal.


Now here's the problem: The LHC website claims I still have some "In progress" LHC tasks....but they do not appear in BOINC Manager AND the deadline has now passsed - so they should have been ended by BOINC Manager...but I suspect that BM might have forgotten them somehow and they are taking up space on the hard drive.

But Linux File Manager cannot view any files as they each have a small "x" on the folder icon representing the project sub-folder. And I suspect that somewhere within the /var/lib/ folder some of the slot directories have LHC file fragments in there taking up space...but I cannot view them as File manager says I do not have "permission" to view them.

So, how do I gain flle access to view the contents of these "locked" folders? When I booted the machine, I logged in as "admin", but that doesn't seem to be enough.

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by ChelseaOilman » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:09 pm

Right click on the lib folder and there's a menu item to open as root. Now you can access your BOINC stuff in the new window that opens.
You'll have to enter your password.
Last edited by ChelseaOilman on Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by Woodles » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:10 pm

They have a small 'x' as Boinc is the owner not admin :P
You have super powers but you have to apply them, it's not automatic.

To give yourself all permissions permanenty:
Open a terminal window
Navigate to the directory you're interested in

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -R 777

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:49 pm

ChelseaOilman wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:09 pm
Right click on the lib folder and there's a menu item to open as root. Now you can access your BOINC stuff in the new window that opens.
You'll have to enter your password.
Hi Carl

OK - I tried that and right clicking on the "lib" icon brings up a box that opens up has 4 tabs - I clicked on the permissions tab and it says:

owner: root
group: root

And all the "owner" "group" and "others" tick boxes are all "ticked" and cannot be changed.

I tried the same with the "boinc-client" and "boinc" sub-folders and their "owner" and "group" were different, but again the tick boxes could not be accessed.

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:51 pm

Woodles wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:10 pm
They have a small 'x' as Boinc is the owner not admin :P
You have super powers but you have to apply them, it's not automatic.

To give yourself all permissions permanenty:
Open a terminal window
Navigate to the directory you're interested in

Code: Select all

sudo chmod -R 777
Hi Mark

OK - will try that.

One thing though - there's two sub-folders: "boinc" and "boinc-client" - I'm assuming one is just a "mirror" of the other - but which is the sub-folder that actually has the files in it?

(I'm assuming I need to chmod the correct sub-folder?)

regards
Tim

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by ChelseaOilman » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:18 am

UBT - Timbo wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:49 pm
OK - I tried that and right clicking on the "lib" icon brings up a box that opens up has 4 tabs - I clicked on the permissions tab and it says:
Your in the properties of the folder if you see that. I tried to take a screenshot but linux won't let me.
I click on the green folder on the task bar.
In the left menu I click on file system.
Then I double click on the var folder.
Then I right click on the lib folder and that brings up the menu.
Choose the "open as root selection".

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by Woodles » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:52 am

UBT - Timbo wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:51 pm
One thing though - there's two sub-folders: "boinc" and "boinc-client" - I'm assuming one is just a "mirror" of the other - but which is the sub-folder that actually has the files in it?

(I'm assuming I need to chmod the correct sub-folder?)
You want "boinc-client"

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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:39 am

ChelseaOilman wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:18 am
Your in the properties of the folder if you see that. I tried to take a screenshot but linux won't let me.
I click on the green folder on the task bar.
In the left menu I click on file system.
Then I double click on the var folder.
Then I right click on the lib folder and that brings up the menu.
Choose the "open as root selection".
Hi Carl

Actually the method you described is exactly what I did.

There is ONE difference that might affect this though. I have set this host up as "OEM configuration (temporary user)" - as I'm "pretending" to be an OEM manufacturer of this PC - not that I did this 100% on purpose, but the original installation took me down a specific route and I've not bothered to change it as I had only expected to keep the host on this OS while the Wanless Sprint was running - and I've since thought that while it is working I'll "have a play and see if I can fall in love with Linux" !!.

But it is hard work !!

regards
Tim
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Re: Why Linux p*$$e$ me off....

Post by UBT - Timbo » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:53 am

Woodles wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:52 am
You want "boinc-client"
Hi Mark

Tried to do that but the sub-folder doesn't exist.

I did an "ls" and neither "boinc" nor "boinc-client" are listed in the directory listing...so what appears in File Manager as "real" directories seem to both be "mirrors" of some other location. :-(

This is what really messes with my brain - that files are supposed to be in a specific location but aren't - so you have spend even more time trying to find the thing you want - and then get messed up by not having the right "permissions"....

Almost makes me want to chuck the thing out the window !!

It was much easier back in the days of DOS 5 !!!!!!

regards
Tim

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