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Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

For help or questions about 64-bit version of MEPIS, this is the forum to use.
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lucky9
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#21 Post by lucky9 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:21 pm

grub-customizer does make GRUB 2 a lot more user-friendly. About the only complaint I have is that it picks up (for instance) 4 different memtest entries when dealing with only one OS. They are easily eliminated, but for a multi-boot setup there are a lot of extraneous entries that have to be removed. However it beats he** out of the stock GRUB 2 setup.
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JimC
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#22 Post by JimC » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:49 pm

Another distro you may want to consider is OpenSUSE 13.1 (with the KDE desktop, although other desktops are also available). I installed the Education Li-f-e release of it (with more software preinstalled, including both Gnome and KDE Desktops, but I only use KDE).

One nice thing about OpenSUSE is that you can find "one click" downloads of most newer software, just by searching for it and clicking the button to also show unstable packages (where packages prepared by third party packagers are also available). With Ubuntu based distros like Kubuntu, you'll find lots of newer software in PPAs. But, you usually have to dig around for what you want, versus just searching for all available packages in one spot, then using the "one click" download button to download and install that software.

For example, I saw pipelight mentioned in this thread. So, if I wanted to install it in OpenSUSE 13.1, I'd just go to this link and plug in piplelight in the search box.

http://software.opensuse.org/find

I'd then see these results for pipelight:

http://software.opensuse.org/search?utf ... USE%3A13.1

If I click on the left option for it, I'd go to this screen with different versions of OpenSUSE listed:

http://software.opensuse.org/package/pipelight

Then, if I click on the "Show Unstable Packages" choice under OpenSUSE 13.1 (the current stable release I'm using), I'll see packages prebuilt for multiple versions from different sources. I can then click on the "One Click Install" button for the package I want to install, and it will install that way, pulling any needed dependencies with it after confirmation I want to trust the package and it's source.

I've done that with a lot of newer software with my OpenSUSE 13.1 install.

Another thing you can do (that I haven't done with my OpenSUSE 13.1 installation yet), is enable what they call Tumbleweed. Then, as soon as new software is considered to be stable, you can get via updates (and it's got a notifier in the system tray that lets you know when updates are available where you can either choose to install them, or review the updates before installing them. You can also configure it update all software, or just update security patches.

IOW, you have a rolling release distro using the latest stable packages for any software installed if you have the Tumbleweed repos enabled. More about it here:

http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Tumbleweed

Now, I don't have Tumbleweed enabled (although I've considered it, since that would get me all newer packages automatically once they're considered stable via the normal update process). But, I just use the package search feature with One Click install of any newer software I want instead (as you'll find even newer versions of software that way than you may find with tumbleweed enabled when checking unstable packages, too).

Another thing about OpenSUSE 13.1 is it's been targeted as what is known as Evergreen support. IOW, it will be supported with updates longer than most OpenSUSE releases, with Evergreen support (versus the standard support timeline) starting in May 2015 and ending November 2016. More about Evergreen here:

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Evergreen

Support of OpenSUSE 13.1 through November 2016 is not as long as something the support time you'd get with a distro like Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. But, considering the faster release pace that OpenSUSE usually follows, that's much longer than most of it's releases will be supported.

In any event, it's a very robust distribution. It's a bit "heavier" than some distros, with a lot of tools more suited for Enterprise versus Home user. But, given that you want to use it on a fairly modern machine, you may want to give it a test drive.

On the downside, YaST takes some getting accustomed to if you're used to admin and software management tools in Debian or Ubuntu based distros. So, it's not necessarily a great distro for a linux newbie. But, it's quite powerful, and I'm growing fond of it over time.

It also has some interesting features like an integrated GUI in YaST for use with Snapper (a tool that lets you manage BTRFS file system snapshots and more easily roll back to previous file system states in the event of a problem). By default, it's configured so that any time you update packages, install new software, etc., it creates a new snapshot (and you can create snapshots manually using that tool, too). That way, if something goes wrong, you can roll back to the Snapshot taken before those changes or updates.

Basically, I'm using BTRFS as the file system with OpenSUSE 13.1 on my desktop now, mostly because of the ability to create snapshots that don't take up hardly any disk space at all. I also use BTRFS with a test install of MX-14 in another partition on my desktop, as well as MX-14 installs on a laptop and a netbook. I use Snapper with those, too (as the OpenSUSE Software Build Service also has .deb packages available for Debian and Ubuntu distros). But there's no GUI available for Debian or Ubuntu, whereas YaST in OpenSUSE has a GUI for Snapper that's integrated.

But, only the MX-14 install on the netbook (Dell Inspiron 11 with a single core Celeron 743 CPU) is really used much (virtually full time by a great niece that's been visiting with us for a while). MX-14 is a great choice for it, since it's a relatively slow machine; and it's well liked by our great niece that's been visiting for a while now going to classes here in Savannah.

With my desktop, I'm usually using either OpenSUSE 13.1 (or sometimes Win 8.1 when absolutely necessary), as I prefer a KDE based distro.

I'm also debating on what to install for a Linux distro on a new laptop I bought for my wife not long ago (that she's still not using yet, since she likes Mepis 11 on the old laptop instead); and I may end up installing OpenSUSE 13.1 with KDE on her new laptop, too (since she doesn't seem to like MX-14 at all in comparison, at least not with the XFCE desktop, after I installed it on her older and new laptop -- refusing to use it instead of Mepis 11).

Basically, she's been using Mepis since the 3.x releases (upgrading to each newer release over time), and wants to stick with a similar distro using KDE.

If not OpenSUSE 13.1 with KDE like I use more often now; I may end up installing either Mint 17 KDE or Kubuntu 14.04 on the new laptop for her instead (as unless I want to mess around with upgrading the kernel and drivers in Mepis 11 to work with the new laptop's newer chipset; and wiping the hard drive in the new laptop, reconfiguring it as MBR versus UEFI, and reinstalling Windows in order to allow installation of her old Mepis 11 installation to a UEFI drive with Win 8 on it in a dual boot config; I'll have to pick a different distro for her to use going forward with the new machine).

I've also considered just trying to get KDE installed and working in MX-14 on the new machine, changing it's theme to the one she's accustomed to (Elegance in Mepis 11), tweaking fonts, reinstalling all of her apps, etc. (and I have played around testing KDE with MX-14 in a partition on my desktop, although I don't use it for anything).

But, it's probably a lot easier just to install a different distro on it that already has a well tweaked KDE installation by default (like we got with Mepis 11 and earlier releases from Warren). She keeps asking me when her new laptop will be setup like she wants it (basically, she wants it to look and feel more like Mepis 11), and I keep stalling (it's been sitting in my office for a while). So, I guess I'll need to decide how to configure it soon to keep her happy (since the old laptop with Mepis 11 on it has sticking keys, etc. and she wants to use the new one).

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#23 Post by richb » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:27 pm

For what it is worth I run Kubuntu 14.04 dual boot with MX-14. I let Kubuntu grub control booting. What I like about Kubuntu are the timely upgrades to KDE, and if you want them a couple months earlier you can enable a PPA.
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#24 Post by Silent Observer » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:47 pm

I had Grub 2 on a distro I tried a couple years ago -- might have been some version of Mint, I don't recall. I wasn't very happy with it, everything needed to fix or customize it in any way was hidden or encrypted. Adding a customizer isn't a huge improvement, to my mind; several times I've rescued my system that had gotten into a non-booting state (yes, usually by me trying to change something that didn't want changing) by using a live CD/USB to repair /boot/grub/menu.lst -- a process that isn't accessible with Grub 2 in my limited experience.

Of course, having installed Kubuntu 14.04, I find that I can't get it to launch, either from Grub Legacy or by chainloading Grub 2; I'm getting a kernel panic roundly 1.3 seconds into startup, and the Kubuntu forum is a lot slower responding than the Mepis forum is (and was when I was completely lost trying to get to the point of just being comfortable as a user). The USB stick boots fine into Live session, and this panic seems too early to be driver related. I may try posting in the general Ubuntu forums; there shouldn't be any difference between the various DTE versions that early in the startup...
MEPIS 11 64-bit, MSI P6NGM-L motherboard, Core 2 Quad 9400 2.67 GHz, 4 GiB PC2-5300 RAM, 1 GiB nVidia GT520 on PCI Express x16.

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JimC
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#25 Post by JimC » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:40 pm

You can use tools like Grub Customizer to setup GRUB2 like you want it with Ubuntu based distros:

http://www.noobslab.com/2013/12/grub-cu ... ll-in.html

With OpenSUSE, a tool to customize GRUB2 is already included within YaST (no need to install anything else to make changes to things like the boot background, kernel options, boot order, etc.; as that kind of stuff is already built into OpenSUSE's included tools.

Kernel Panic when booting from an installed copy of Kubuntu, huh? Are you sure you don't have a corrupted download or bad burn? Yes, I see you said it works OK bootlng live. But, perhaps different files that may be corrupted in some manner are being used for the actual installation.

You may also want to try pressing F6 from the boot menu and using the nomodeset option with an Ububutu based distro (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, etc.) to make sure it's not video driver related (even though you think it's occurring too early for that). Then, just install the appropriate video driver after you get it installed to the hard drive if nomodeset fixes it.

I like Kubuntu (it was on my "short list" for the main system to be installed on my newest desktop, and I usually keep an updated copy of it in a virtual machine). I just decided on using OpenSUSE 13.1 on my desktop instead, since it's a lot easier to find new software for it using it's existing package search features with "one click installs" of builds produced by other parties, or using the OpenSUSE build service (versus searching for PPAs that have what I want to use and adding them to the available sources with Ubuntu based distros).

That you can set it up OpenSUSE as a rolling distro (with stable packages made available as new software is released) using the Tumbleweed repos is also attractive (but, I haven't done that yet, just finding newer software as needed using the online package search engine with one click installs of desired software).

But, if Kubuntu is running fine from a Live session on your hardware, I suspect something fairly simple is causing your kernel panic booting into an installed system, and you should be able to find some help with it in their forums if some of the simple boot cheat options (like acpi=off or nomodeset) available when pressing F6 from the boot menu can't solve it (or it's not just a bad download or burn causing the issues with a hard drive install)

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#26 Post by Gordon Cooper » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:44 am

richb wrote:For what it is worth I run Kubuntu 14.04 dual boot with MX-14. I let Kubuntu grub control booting. What I like about Kubuntu are the timely upgrades to KDE, and if you want them a couple months earlier you can enable a PPA.
I work this way too.

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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#27 Post by kmathern » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:21 am

Silent Observer wrote:...Of course, having installed Kubuntu 14.04, I find that I can't get it to launch, either from Grub Legacy or by chainloading Grub 2; I'm getting a kernel panic roundly 1.3 seconds into startup...
I used to chainload from grub-legacy to grub2 doing something like what I mentioned in a old post here: http://forum.mepiscommunity.org/viewtop ... 20#p293120
For newer versions of grub2 you need to add an extra directory level in the path to the core.img file,

so:
  • title Chainload to sda8 with grub2 on it's root
    kernel (hd0,7)/boot/grub/core.img
becomes:
  • title Chainload to sda8 with grub2 on it's root
    kernel (hd0,7)/boot/grub/
    i386-pc/core.img
If you're running a 64bit Kubuntu install the "i386-pc" directory may be different, it might instead be "amd64-pc" or "x86_64-pc".
{you can mount the partition with the Kubuntu install while running in another linux install, or in a Live session (LiveCD, LiveDVD, LiveUSB), to see what the correct path is to the /boot/grub/????/core.img file}

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Danum
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#28 Post by Danum » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:30 pm

Kubuntu Trusty Kubuntuguide.
the op would do well to read it.
http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Kubuntu_Trusty
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#29 Post by Silent Observer » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:47 pm

Danum wrote:Kubuntu Trusty Kubuntuguide.
the op would do well to read it.
http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Kubuntu_Trusty
Thanks for the useful suggestion, Danum -- but I don't see anything in the Installation or Tips and Troubleshooting sections that appears even slightly relevant to my kernel panic, and I don't have time to read the large number of seemingly irrelevant sections before attempting to evaluate whether Kubuntu will do what I need.
kmathern wrote:
Silent Observer wrote:...Of course, having installed Kubuntu 14.04, I find that I can't get it to launch, either from Grub Legacy or by chainloading Grub 2; I'm getting a kernel panic roundly 1.3 seconds into startup...
I used to chainload from grub-legacy to grub2 doing something like what I mentioned in a old post here: http://forum.mepiscommunity.org/viewtop ... 20#p293120
For newer versions of grub2 you need to add an extra directory level in the path to the core.img file,

so:
  • title Chainload to sda8 with grub2 on it's root
    kernel (hd0,7)/boot/grub/core.img
becomes:
  • title Chainload to sda8 with grub2 on it's root
    kernel (hd0,7)/boot/grub/
    i386-pc/core.img
If you're running a 64bit Kubuntu install the "i386-pc" directory may be different, it might instead be "amd64-pc" or "x86_64-pc".
{you can mount the partition with the Kubuntu install while running in another linux install, or in a Live session (LiveCD, LiveDVD, LiveUSB), to see what the correct path is to the /boot/grub/????/core.img file}
Okay, I have the same path present that you do, including the i-386 directory (despite having installed 64-bit Kubuntu, I don't see any directory in /boot/grub/ that appears related to 64-bit), but when I chainload, shouldn't Grub 2 have had the correct path set up during installation? I get the same kernel panic (possibly not identical, but it looks very similar) when chainloading Grub 2 and letting it launch Kubuntu as I do when launching the vmlinuz* file directly from Grub Legacy using a stanza almost identical to the one I use to launch Mepis and used until a couple days ago to launch antiX.

When chainloading, I was using a stanza that looked like the one for Window XP:

Code: Select all

title Kubuntu 14.04 on sda1
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
This successfully starts Grub 2 -- if I get that, path shouldn't be an issue, right?

The one reasonably relevant reply I've gotten on the Kubuntu forum was asking why I was passing nomodeset and nouvoeau.modeset=0 -- I tried eliminated those cheats, with no improvement. I've never needed any cheats related to acpi on this machine. I had to use acpi=off on my Pentium II laptop to get antiX to start, until I upgraded to a 3.13.x kernel, but nothing like that was needed with antiX kernel 3.14.4 on this machine -- and Kubuntu 14.04 is using a 3.13 kernel, which level I've also run successfully in antiX on this hardware.

I'll try going to only the nomodeset cheat in direct launching next time I try to launch Kubuntu, but I might not be able to post back my results until later in the evening.
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Re: Looking for a successor to MEPIS 11

#30 Post by BurtHulland » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:59 pm

I have been using the beta (11.9.92) for quite some time - I would not hesitate to recommend it over Mepis 11. Bu I know what you are talking about - sooner or later, I am going to have to replace it. But I would certainly avoid a rolling distro! I have been looking for a permanenat replacement for some time (I wish WW would have time to finish Mepis 12 - or 14 - or whatever he chooses to call it). I would like to find something based on Debian-stable, but so far I have not been able to find anything suiitable. I agree with you on KDE - it is the best. But that is not an absolute requirement. Does any one have a good idea?

As for your 'reinstall' problem, there is a relatively simple solution (whch I use): Just create a command file (which you keep with your data files (those should NOT be in any directory that is replaced when you do a new install) that does all of the installations you want or need. Then when you install a new version of a distro, you just have to run that file to get all of the programs you want installed! It may take a while to run (mine takes about 1/2 hour) but you can do something else while it is running.
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