raser
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Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:43 am

Can anyone suggest a Linux Operating System for the Pi that is working efficiently? (With a desktop / GUI)

I have Raspbian, but I Like the look of Ubuntu. I have been having no luck at all.

I am fairly new to Linux (had my Pi 2 months) and can't really manage without a desktop environment / GUI yet. I have tried to get 'Ubuntu Mate' but there's a problem with the web-page so it won't download.(others are having the same problem)

I have an image of 'Ubuntu Trusty Tahr' that works on my PI - but there is no desktop environment or gnome-desktop (I tried numerous methods and versions of desktop installation based on online tutorials) I have the OS working as a command line but as I said I can't operate a computer with just that alone (yet). I run an update and upgrade script, then try all sorts of methods cased on tutorials (each time it goes wrong I have to reformat the SD card and reinstall the image to try again!) and I've tried to get numerous different versions of desktop (individually of course) to find just ONE that works but i just get a small white square at the top left of my screen.

I liked the look of Kali because my future (and probably far-fetched) goal is to one-day be good enough at programming and computing to be a 'Pen-Tester' (Penetration Tester - NO it's not testing ink pens and it's not sexual in any way it is like a legal hacker where companies pay you to test their systems and find potential weaknesses) The Kali site (offensive security I believe) won't let me download the image - however I read online that people ARE running Kali Linux from their Raspberry Pi's with no problems. I understand that some setting up is probably required but It would be worth it.

I think Ubuntu is the way for me to get really into a full on Linux system and continue learning but I can't get a desktop version running on my Pi

A lot of people are running other Linux distros with desktops from their Pi's so I would love to know how to do this for myself. I don't want to replace Raspbian as I have it set up with lots of software, (CAD's/office/gimp/and loads more) and modules to suit my needs I just want to have it on a separate SD card to use when I feel like. I don't know how to install multiple OS's on one card yet.

I would appreciate ANY feedback on what LInux (desktop versions) will run on a Rasoberry Pi and how to go about sorting it out

Cheers!

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DougieLawson
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:51 am

What's wrong with Raspbian? It's the best supported of all OSes on your RPi.
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rurwin
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:56 am

Raspbian works as well as it does because it uses light-weight desktop and window managers. You can install the managers that Ubuntu uses but they won't be as fast; the eye-candy comes at a price.

There's nothing yet that's ready for mainstream use. The beta OpenGL drivers are still in beta and showing bugs. There is a move to replace the X window system with something more efficient but that is far from ready.

Rather than try other distributions that may be have the same level of optimisation as Raspbian, I would suggest you use Raspbian and find modifications that you can do to it to give you what you want.

raser
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:36 pm

Don't get me wrong - I love Raspbian and have been running it since the day I got my Pi, I just wanted to try out other versions of Linux - maybe even find one that I could install on to a desktop PC somehow instead of ancient XP which I am still using.

Raspbian is great - I have the standard version and have loaded it with the additional software to suit my needs. I just have never experienced Linux before Raspbian and thought it would be interesting to try other distro's - other people have had no problems and it is all about learning for me. I have come a long way in 2 months (from typing "Hello?" into LXTerminal like an idiot to writing simple programs in Tkinter and Pygame.

I like it that much I have got the Jessie image and haven't used it yet because this version I have has all my extras on it

raser
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:38 pm

Thanks for your suggestions - and you are right I suppose - perhaps I'll use the old desktop PC for trying other Linux versions. And Raspbian is, after all a version of Linux Debian so really I can use it to learn all I need to know from my Pi

Thanks

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rurwin
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:05 pm

There's not much to choose between Linux distributions. There are only a few main ones anyway: Debian, Fedora, Suse, Arch, Gentoo. The only big differences between them are the packaging system for installing programs and the desktop environment they choose. There's even less choice there most of the time since they all choose either Gnome or KDE (both of which are too power hungry for the Pi.) You might find the odd difference elsewhere such as the exact way they arrange the filesystem and the way they run services on boot, but you're not likely even to notice.

On a more superficial level they all provide their own menu structures on the "start button" and their own administration tools. So they do take some getting used to, but less so than learning a new version of Windows for example.

Try some out by all means. It's always good to follow your curiosity. You'll probably have less of a headache trying them on your old PC since the x86 versions are better supported than many of the Pi versions, with the exception of the ones on this forum.

If you want a whole new experience you could try RiscOS, which you probably won't find for anything other than the Pi.

raser
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:44 pm

Thanks for your advice - I have got the RiscOS download, I'm just a little short on SD cards at the moment, I have a 16GB one with my main Raspbian and an 8GB for OSMC which I use hrdly at all - I may actually just use that one to try out Jessie and RiscOS as I have the images so its no loss really. I'm worried I will like the feel of Jessie and end up having to re install and download all my my little extras if I choose to stick with it.

I did see a post about actually changing something in Wheezy's settings (say a name - from wheezy to Jessie) then running an update to add Jessies features. Although with all of the software I have on here the only thing I can imagine being upgraded is the look of the desktop - to a more modern look


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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:05 pm

raser wrote: 'Pen-Tester' (Penetration Tester - NO it's not testing ink pens and it's not sexual in any way it is like a legal hacker
The use of 'pen' as an abbreviation for 'penetration' is not uncommon even outside the computing world, e.g. if you are discussing ballistic missile shields, you might need to consider the types of 'penetration aids' or 'penaids' that your opponent is coming up with.

> perhaps I'll use the old desktop PC for trying
> other Linux versions.
>
There's no reason to not test other distributions or operating systems on the pi, other than you might be using it for something and not want to take it down for that. Just get more pi!

I've been meaning to try Tiny Core on the pi, http://tinycorelinux.net/7.x/armv6/releases/RPi/ , and have even downloaded the latest version. Since the pi is the most popular SBC, it has a wealth of options nearly that of that old x86 box you otherwise wanted to use. And make sure you've got enough RAM in that, that's a huge problem sometimes because 256meg sticks are free but what if your board can only take two? The pi2 is a gig out of the box, enough to test most stuff.

awesomelydeluxe
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:20 am

Raspbian is actually quite cusotmizable.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:03 am

I like PiCore, much smaller than Raspbian Lite. Putting the TC desktop on is quicker than getting a Desktop for Lite.
However it is not as well supported as there are less options and extra software available to install.
You may just have one choice of extra applications instead of a multitude of choices.
You may, like me need to spend some time learning to use what comes with it out of the box.
I did not learn much Linux with Raspbian, I had to learn lots when restricted to PiCore :D

If you want a minimum Linux OS with Desktop I have not found one smaller or better.
For some reason the Desktop just seems faster, bigger and cleaner.
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DavidS
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Re: Can Anyone Suggest a desktop Linux for RPi

Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:46 pm

Once you do learn enough Linux, and have an SD Card to spare, it can be a fun exercise in learning to build your own Linux + clib + GNU Tools + X11 + WM + Desktop Environment + all the programs you want. Once you have done it completely from the ground up, starting from source, you get a better appreciation for what the system is, and a little better understanding of the standard way in which it is done.

It would be nice to have a few things different for reasons of performance, such as a purely local API GUI, that uses direct dynamic linking for its interface instead of X which communicates with the applications over a socket protocol, would also be nice to have a better thought out process tree than spawning off of init.

Though Linux follows a model that is derived from that of many other *n*x systems that came before. Linux is just the first to diverge from the others far enough to raise questions of weather it can really be considered a *n*x at all, or if it is a different class of OS with some similarities to Unix (Unics, Castrated Multics :) ).

It can also be interesting to play around with some other OS's from history, like RT/11.

Linux is a usable OS because of its wide support. Linux is an attempt to preserve a dead line of OS's (very successfully [Linux is the most popular OS on earth today]). I use Linux just because of the supported software that is not available outside of Linux on NON-Intel based systems (like the ARM based RPi). Though realistically it is still a Unix like OS, and as such it still has the usefulness of traditional Unix. Traditional Unix is great for systems that host a great number of terminals, as was needed in the days before people could afford personal computers. Timesharing systems were falling behind, multitasking multiuser OS's were the solution for the big computer installations, a thing of the past.

Even X was designed with this concept of terminals in mind, hence a protocol for remote display of graphical applications (which is what X is), using a socket interface.

Now it would be possible to build a decent OS on top of the Linux Kernel, an OS that is NOT in any way Unix like. Though I do not foresee this happening in a usable manner in the foreseeable future.
26-Bit R15 to 32-bit. 16-bit addressing to 24-bit. ARM and 65xx two CPU's that continue on, and are better than ever. Assembly Language forever :) .

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