Finally switched to Linux Mint

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This ongoing discussion is making my (mostly unfounded) fears of setting up a dedicated Linux box less of an issue.

Now the only real stumbling block left is getting the money scraped up to go buy the recycled PC hardware.
Resizing partitions is when the potential for data loss becomes worrysome, and I’d definitely want to do a defrag kind of thing first, just to make sure all the data is packed right at the front end of the partition before shrinking it any, and a full backup just to be sure.

Each filesystem should provide utilities that perform the resize operation, i.e. shuffle the data blocks as required and update the filesystem metadata. Yes, you have to tell the filesystem first to stop using the last sectors in range before you update the partition table about the "last sector" for that partition.

Backups are always a sane thing. IMHO, if you don't maintain backups, then you consider your data worthless.

XFS, the default filesystem in RHEL, has no "shrink" option, only "grow". If one needs smaller volume, then one dumps data to other media, creates smaller volume, and restores data from the dump. (I don't use that default, even though haven't needed a shrink for a while ...)


GParted, a "live distro" (booted from USB) that runs exactly one application, the GUI "parted", calls those filesystem utilities, partition tools, and dd to "resize and move" partitions. The last time I did check, it did not support LVM.


The LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is an abstraction layer. One or more partition can have physical volume (PV), rather than filesystem. Volume group (VG) has one or more PVs. Groups of sectors, extents, are allocated to logical volumes (LV). LV has a filesystem.

It is possible to add or remove extents to LV, like you resize partition. The tool can even call the filesystem's resize utility. The extents do not have to be consecutive, unlike sectors in physical partition. They don't even have to be all within same PV, i.e. an LV can span multiple drives (but like rAID-0 that has its risks). It is also possible to move (copy+delete) extents of LV between PVs, "live" -- on running system. I have replaced drives with that.

The RHEL default is to create 2-3 partitions on the drive:
* /boot/efi, if EFI is in use
* /boot
* a PV
The PV has three LVs by default:
* /
* swap
* /home
Alas, as said, the /, /boot, and /home have XFS and all disk is allocated, so the LVM's additional flexibility is rather unusable.

The /boot/efi cannot be a LV, because UEFI has to load bootloader from it and does not support LVM. The bootloader usually loads kernel from /boot, and again LVM-support could be an issue.
<-- brain goes *poof* -->



The less I have to think about modern UEFI and stuff the happier I am.

My /boot/efi is a separate partition, everything else (root, home, etc) is on the other. If I wanted to be pedantic I would have separated root and system stuff out, but... I see no real point to that for now.

I still have to set up backups for my data, though. I’ve got a 2TB drive in there that isn’t formatted or mounted, so that’ll be my next step. I’ve just got to make it happen.
I would have separated root and system stuff out, but... I see no real point to that for now.

I see three logical sets of files:
* The system files. Applications, etc. Preferably installed with package manager.
* The config. System customizations. Includes list of installed packages and user accounts.
* User data. That includes your [account's] settings, preferences, and whatnot. These files are in /home/Duthomhas and deserve backups.

If one has a logical copy of the config, then one can "trivially" install new system from scratch with it and get same packages, customizations, and accounts (preserving uid/gid). There are configuration management systems, for example Ansible, Chef, and Puppet -- tools that read logical copy and (re)deploy. (The logical copy could be in git repo and have clones of the repo as backups.)

The system files are thus trivial to get back.

That leaves the content of /home (although one could have www and/or sql data, VM images, etc "user data" elsewhere).


If one has to reinstall the system, then one could leave separate /home untouched and simply mount it to the new system. It is slightly more convenient than restore from backup?

Then again, we do program, so we won't make mistakes that require reinstalls ...
I think the last time I actually had to reinstall an OS that I managed to goober was... XP?

Then again, we do program, so we won't make mistakes that require reinstalls ...

Lol, on the contrary, I do things to my system that normal people don’t, and often wonder if I have managed to muck it up in a way that makes things work for me that’d never work for anyone I give software to.

Just moving from Windows to Linux I realize I had forgotten a few configuration options for, say, Notepad++, that I had to track down and fix (again). Like telling it I’m okay doing a backwards search with regexp.

Though, I suppose I could have just copied my configuration over...
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Don’t archive me yet.
If I could recommend one tool to install to make terminal usage experience much better, it would be https://github.com/dvorka/hstr because default shell history search (the one you get with CRTL+R) sucks.


This ongoing discussion is making my (mostly unfounded) fears of setting up a dedicated Linux box less of an issue.

Well most issues I've encountered were with laptops. Things like fingerprint reader never working well, which could save a lot of password typing in corporate setting where long passwords are enforced. And issues resuming from sleep - if I had put laptop to sleep while external monitor was plugged, it would refuse to wake up. Or external monitor not getting recognized because thunderbolt and usb-c ports did not work equivalently.
Nice thing about Mint at least, is that Nvidia drivers can be painlessly installed via driver manager.

On desktop I had no issues. The only issue I had were weird crashes and freezes which turned out to be caused by corrupt RAM. Evnen then, I simply disabled those corrupt blocks with
sudo chmem --disable --block 275-276
Probably I should buy RAM stick instead but so far it just works.

Did this forum support [url] tag or am I imagining things? Something like [url=url]title[/url]
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default shell history search (the one you get with CRTL+R) sucks

The bash history? Do tell more about that suction.
I switched to debian some 3 months ago, been using Windows since Windows XP, now not even 100 Gods would convince me to go back to windows.

Finally a system that behaves exactly as I want, no tricks no silly MS ideology.
@Null
Hey, nice to see you!

Did this forum support [url] tag or am I imagining things? Something like [url=url]title[/url]

No, this forum has never supported the ability to make links like that. That’s actually one of twicker’s original (and re-iterated) design goals for the site — there is no way to obfuscate links and no hotlinking.

Shell history is not something I’ve ever needed to be very advanced, but I’m gonna check out hstr anyway, just because you recommend it. Thanks!

I’ve got a 2TB drive in my box that I still need to bother to mount and format for use, lol.


@malibor
I was worried for a long time how awful switching would be, but I am _much_ happier now, especially as MS has been turning Truly Evil for some years now. I don’t need Windows spying on me, nor do I need software I paid for polluting my use with <explicitives-deleted> ads! Let alone telling me I only paid for the privilege of subscribing to my <more-explicitives-deleted> operating system. Nope to the get-the-F-lost!


I am still going to hook up my old Win10 box (soon as I buy a KVM switch) and just keep it disconnected from the internet, just so I can have access to MSVC. It is supposedly possible to get it running on Linux under Wine, just kind of unsure whether I want to make the commit to what I need to do to my system for that yet. Details: https://github.com/mstorsjo/msvc-wine

Dunno if Win10 will ever need me to play with the clock to keep it from offing itself.
@Duthomhas I was worried for a long time how awful switching would be, but I am _much_ happier now, especially as MS has been turning Truly Evil for some years now.
Exactly the reason, their spying activities are worse than google.

But even bigger problem is that windows does things which a user does not ask and no option to control these activities which "MS knows better than you".

I am still going to hook up my old Win10 box (soon as I buy a KVM switch) and just keep it disconnected from the internet, just so I can have access to MSVC. It is supposedly possible to get it running on Linux under Wine, just kind of unsure whether I want to make the commit to what I need to do to my system for that yet. Details: https://github.com/mstorsjo/msvc-wine


That's too complicated for me, I use windows in virt-manager for same reason to port and test my code and similar.
My control of windows in VM is dictated by packet forwarding and filtering in nftables.
That's too complicated for me, I use windows in virt-manager for same reason to port and test my code and similar.
My control of windows in VM is dictated by packet forwarding and filtering in nftables.

Indeed. Most hypervisors probably have filter option, so the host/service provider can limit what the guest can do (even though the guest can have its own firewall too).

At least with libvirt one has option to set up the networking for VMs to be:
* Isolated. VM can reach at most host and other VMs
* Routed, with NAT. The subnet of the VMs is hidden with NAT from outsiders
* Routed. The subnet is like any (public) network behind router (the host)
* Bridged. VM is in the same external subnet as the host

The routed w/NAT tends to be a default. I prefer bridged (because I control the external subnet). The isolated would totally prevent the Windows VM from connecting anyone (save perhaps HTTP proxy on the host).

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"GPU passthrough" should be supported to some extent -- a VM (Windows) could use a GPU directly. That could solve some "legacy" needs.
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