Distributions Installing Linux Obtaining Linux Your Choice

Burn the Distro to USB, they said

Years ago, when laptops actually had optical media drives, with the standard disk burning software it was easy to create bootable Linux. Just download a distro, run the checksum (… you did run the checksum with md5sum or other, right???) and then you burned the iso to a CD-Rom or DVD. Reboot machine, tell BIOS to boot from optical first, and you could run the computer from the LIVE media.

If you still want to burn iso’s to CD/DVD and use them with a laptop, it requires an external CD/DVD burner connected over (you guessed it) USB. So yeah, I own an external drive, but it’s more for retrieving data from older backups when needed. I am, otherwise, making best efforts to do all LIVE media creation with USB drives.

Currently I’m running KDE Neon, and as mentioned before, I do like it. The main reasons are that it is a rolling distro and that it has very good performance. The lesser reason (but still important) is that it is built on top of stable Ubuntu sources and I’ve gotten used to the necessary housekeeping with apt commands and so on.

I was running Solus for several years, because it was a rolling distribution and it was fast and had a great look and feel to it. However, over time, it became a bit of work in certain areas that (I feel) should not have been. There are times when being “off the beaten track” is fun and wild. Other times this philosophy can slow you down when you’re trying to get some work done. For example if you wanted to run the MySQL Workbench program, it was not in the package repositories. It was requested, and declined.

What?? Just about every other Linux distro I used as a Developer had this package in their repositories. Not Solus. They have a different application, called “DBeaver” available. I suppose it is good, I’ve never tried it. I found that you can install MySQL Workbench on Solus using Docker: Until a Solus native package is available, if you are willing to use docker, the following works

Ok, I’m getting off-track now.

So, in this time of indoors-mostly, I have been considering replacing KDE Neon as my “linux booter” on my dual boot machine. A very cool System76 Gazelle 12. However, part of me wants to replace it with a cool/trendy distro and part of me wants to fall back on the “tried and true” … what a dilemma.

So, I thought of features over fluff.

What do I like most about Solus and KDE Neon? .. Rolling style. And the Ubuntu base (Neon) as Solus is cool because it is totally it’s own thing. Just like David S. Pumpkins. Any questions?

My choices:
• Manjaro Linux (rolling, cool, and trendy) and it would allow me to utter the l33t expression I use arch btw
• Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (traditional, tried and true)
• In case I change my mind and miss KDE Neon, I can re-install

So I downloaded the current or new iso versions of the above, thinking it would be somewhat consistent (not to mention ‘easy’) to burn the isos to USB using the dd command.

Manjaro burn using the first advice site did not work. Computer did not even detect it upon restart. What worked? The instructions at Manjaro. Of course I have just paid the age-old “DUM-DUM” tax of “why would you not consult the forum/WIKI instead of Google!?” If you are going to burn Manjaro to USB, don’t make the same mistake I did, go here.

For burning the Ubuntu 20.04 iso, I think I got frustrated and went with a GUI tool to install it. It worked. Duh, it’s Ubuntu, it was more likely to work than not-work.

I then burned the latest KDE Neon to USB. That Live install, is still not working. I tried several times with dd and with graphical installers. I have the older version on USB which does boot. Perhaps it is the USB media that is failing me. I can experiment more, but at this point it may not be worth it since a workaround that will basically install the same OS is available.

So, in summary, I don’t think there should be such oddities in installing a Linux iso to USB (and having it be bootable).

Maybe a way to stress-test the installed iso right after it is written to USB? Yeah, that does sound like laziness at work. It is very lazy and you’re right, it does not account for how the BIOS or the UEFI nuttiness comes into play.

Hope you all stay safe and productive (with Linux eh?) during this time of uncertainty, social distancing and quarantining.

Peace out.

Applications Desktop Environments Distributions Web Development

Corona Time is Learning Time 2020

I admit it. I haven’t posted for nearly two years. Since I’m socially-distancing and keeping at home due to Coronavirus COVID-19 concerns. May as well put the time to good use eh?

Since the last written post, so much has happened. I’ve sold all my laptops except one. I’ve set it up as a dual-boot and I’m happy with it. Boots Windows 10 and my distro is KDE Neon 18.04.

It’s a good distro, so far. It does the things I expect of it. I’ve added the Cinnamon desktop environment as I’m used to the key combinations (hotkeys) to do desktop switching. I’ve even got the Nemo file manager properly opening a terminal and this is due in large part to the great Ubuntu and Mint communities out there on the old interwebs.

I have done quite a bit of Development work while in furlough (again thanks Covid-19 => you suck), but mainly the work has focused on Automated Acceptance testing with BDD. Namely:
• Python with Behave
• Eclipse Java with Cucumber
• IntelliJ Java with Cucumber

So far, the easiest I’ve found to set up and run out-of-the box is Python and behave. With IntelliJ as a close second.
With Eclipse, I fell into the old “follow an old tutorial down dependency nightmares in the waiting” trap. Yah. Probably a few changes since 2016 can do that. While I did learn a lot about Cucumber BDD from the lesson, I could not get the most trivial of cucumber-driven IDE functionality to work without error. That is, until I found this really cool tutorial cucumber eclipse maven project that made use of Maven and a pom.xml file, containing just the needed dependencies.
It then requires a few “maven” build and test steps, but then its good to go. About 98% in my view.

Why only 98%? Because if you’re anything like me, you prefer that the IDE show no errors, and no warnings. at. all.
I do get a warning that the cucumber plugin feature of discovering the step implementations will not work because it is not a cucumber project. Yeah. I know that, it’s a maven project.

I guess I’ll have to experiment more to see if I can get to 100 on my own. Hey, I do have the free time, right?

Actually there are a few more courses I’d like to complete on Pluralsight since they were cool enough to give “Free April” which is tick tick ticking away.

Anyway, if you’ve got thoughts to share, feel free to drop me a line.