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  • Have Questions on Linux and Ubuntu Linux.

    Please, I just want to say please don't bash me for partially jumping ship as far as Windows is concerned. I know some of you told me so, but I had to find out for myself.

    My main system will be Windows 7, and as you know I have dumped alot of money into it. My quest to add 6 personal systems though, I really do not want to spend alot of money per system. My budget for each system is $125.00, $100.00 is for the MoBo and $20.00 for a 2GB USB Thumb Drive. I am doing this to show that you can have a very cheap for under $150.00 dollars. I did research on booting Windows from a thumb drive and there is simply to much involved and it isn't really guaranteed to be stable. Because I only want to listen to music, watch video, DVD, chat and browse the internet, I don't need a bloated Windows install (Yes I'm admitting it, I don't need Windows.)

    Now I came over here to get info on Ubuntu, or maybe even LinuxICE. I know that Ubuntu can be used off a USB Thumb Drive, I saw it done on SYSTM the TV show that has the former host of the show from channel TechTV (which G4 raped and destroyed).

    1) Will Ubuntu play nice with having to use devices on my main Windows 7 setup? I want the other units to be able to access the DVD Rom, Media Drive, and 3G Modem. I am thinking that because I will be using Internet Sharing on the main system, Ubuntu will just connect as though its connected directly. Will I have issues with DVD Rom, and the Media Drive?

    2) Can LinuxICE be run off a USB thumbdrive?

    3) Will Linux use any other devices connected to it. Say someone decides they want to use their iPod or Zune or a web cam on their system, would it be plug and play? If not will it be easy for me to set it up so it works?

    4) Can I use Linux in a EWF type mode? Basically I want Linux to write to RAM and only read from the thumbdrive. I want this to be done so that the drive lasts longer. Alot of writing will kill the drive faster.

    5) Is it easy to customize a skin? I know you will hate me, but I want to create a skin that looks similar to the skin I use in Centrafuse. I want a consistent look. Basically when I turn on the unit, all I want to see is icons that show Media, Video, DVD and Internet, thats it. No other info is required or needed. Maybe an area that shows time and stuff, but thats it.

    6) What hardware should I go with? The motherboards I am using are 1.6 single core atoms. What I am not sure is how much RAM i should use. I was thinking 2GB will be fine (thats the boards max) but do I really need that much? Remember I would like to write to RAM. So maybe 1GB for system and 1GB for Writing? I know Linux isn't aggressive with system usage so what do you guys think I will need for a fairly speedy system. What thumbdrive is recommend. I know the faster the write and read, the better. What size should I get though? How much does Linux use? i was thinking 2GB should be enough.

    7) How does Linux use devices. One devioce, the touchscreen, has to be able to be disconnected and reconnected without issue. Thats how the KVMP does it. I know woth Windows it isnt an issue, but will it with Linux?

    8) I see that Ubuntu has so much I can do.... it has alot of add ons. Is LinuxIce the same way?

    9) What else should I know?

    Any help would be appreciated.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
    1) Will Ubuntu play nice with having to use devices on my main Windows 7 setup? I want the other units to be able to access the DVD Rom, Media Drive, and 3G Modem. I am thinking that because I will be using Internet Sharing on the main system, Ubuntu will just connect as though its connected directly. Will I have issues with DVD Rom, and the Media Drive?
    Yes it will play nice. No you shouldn't have issues. If you plan on playing encrypted dvd's, you may run into some issues.


    2) Can LinuxICE be run off a USB thumbdrive?
    Yes. You can install to a thumb drive, and you can also use live mode which doesn't let you write or change the OS (at the cost of some boot speed).

    3) Will Linux use any other devices connected to it. Say someone decides they want to use their iPod or Zune or a web cam on their system, would it be plug and play? If not will it be easy for me to set it up so it works?
    True plug and play is coming to LinuxICE. It can work now with a few skin tweaks.

    4) Can I use Linux in a EWF type mode? Basically I want Linux to write to RAM and only read from the thumbdrive. I want this to be done so that the drive lasts longer. Alot of writing will kill the drive faster.
    Yes. Do you want to ever save changes back to the drive at some point? or do you want a complete read only drive? You can do either, just that the former is a lot more work to get working correctly.

    5) Is it easy to customize a skin? I know you will hate me, but I want to create a skin that looks similar to the skin I use in Centrafuse. I want a consistent look. Basically when I turn on the unit, all I want to see is icons that show Media, Video, DVD and Internet, thats it. No other info is required or needed. Maybe an area that shows time and stuff, but thats it.
    LinuxICE can be skinned to your hearts content.

    6) What hardware should I go with? The motherboards I am using are 1.6 single core atoms. What I am not sure is how much RAM i should use. I was thinking 2GB will be fine (thats the boards max) but do I really need that much? Remember I would like to write to RAM. So maybe 1GB for system and 1GB for Writing? I know Linux isn't aggressive with system usage so what do you guys think I will need for a fairly speedy system. What thumbdrive is recommend. I know the faster the write and read, the better. What size should I get though? How much does Linux use? i was thinking 2GB should be enough.
    1Gig is plenty. 2Gigs is more than enough. The atom boards are well supported. Also, I've never installed LinuxICE on anything less than a 4GB stick.

    7) How does Linux use devices. One devioce, the touchscreen, has to be able to be disconnected and reconnected without issue. Thats how the KVMP does it. I know woth Windows it isnt an issue, but will it with Linux?
    You shouldn't have a problem removing and adding devices on the fly.

    8) I see that Ubuntu has so much I can do.... it has alot of add ons. Is LinuxIce the same way?
    LinuxICE is based on Ubuntu so you have the wealth of ubuntu apps with the touchscreen friendliness of LinuxICE.

    LinuxICE makes a great fast little basic system. It only get's complicated when you want to do more advanced things (like display on 3 monitors with separate UI for each..).

    If you need any help, feel free to ping me or anyone else here in the linux land.
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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    • #3
      Alot of writing will kill the drive faster.
      Sure, flash has an MTBF of a few tens of thousands of write cycles.

      By the time your USB flash drive starts being a problem, you can spend 15 bucks on a new one that has several times the capacity of your previous one.

      In this day and age, it just ain't worth the heartache to worry about this stuff for cheap flash drives, unless they're soldered down to your motherboard. Keep backups [imaging USB flash drives is trivial]. When it bites the big one, get a new one.

      And since I'm on the topic...
      $20.00 for a 2GB USB Thumb Drive
      I didn't even know it was *possible* to spend that much and get one that small anymore.

      Gary (-;
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      • #4
        Originally posted by tripzero View Post
        Yes it will play nice. No you shouldn't have issues. If you plan on playing encrypted dvd's, you may run into some issues.




        Yes. You can install to a thumb drive, and you can also use live mode which doesn't let you write or change the OS (at the cost of some boot speed).



        True plug and play is coming to LinuxICE. It can work now with a few skin tweaks.



        Yes. Do you want to ever save changes back to the drive at some point? or do you want a complete read only drive? You can do either, just that the former is a lot more work to get working correctly.



        LinuxICE can be skinned to your hearts content.



        1Gig is plenty. 2Gigs is more than enough. The atom boards are well supported. Also, I've never installed LinuxICE on anything less than a 4GB stick.



        You shouldn't have a problem removing and adding devices on the fly.



        LinuxICE is based on Ubuntu so you have the wealth of ubuntu apps with the touchscreen friendliness of LinuxICE.

        LinuxICE makes a great fast little basic system. It only get's complicated when you want to do more advanced things (like display on 3 monitors with separate UI for each..).

        If you need any help, feel free to ping me or anyone else here in the linux land.
        This is all great! looks like I found the route to those systems. [email protected] now I have to display a Linux Logo on my car too .

        I am not complicating anything with these systems, so no multi monitor stuff. Simply use the systems and thats it.

        As far as the thumbdrive size, I dont mind going to 4GB, but is there a reason you do not go lower?

        A read only drive is fine for me. If I need to make changes I can always just rebuild it? The user will still be able to do everything right? So its basically like EWF.

        Also because I am using it on a thumb drive, I should be able to build it on a differnet PC? Basically I havet got the hardware yet and I can just go to a store and pick up a thumbdrive. I would like to play and experiment with it though.

        Also, when I make one drive, can I simply copy that one for the other five systems?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by chunkyks View Post
          Sure, flash has an MTBF of a few tens of thousands of write cycles.

          By the time your USB flash drive starts being a problem, you can spend 15 bucks on a new one that has several times the capacity of your previous one.

          In this day and age, it just ain't worth the heartache to worry about this stuff for cheap flash drives, unless they're soldered down to your motherboard. Keep backups [imaging USB flash drives is trivial]. When it bites the big one, get a new one.

          And since I'm on the topic...


          I didn't even know it was *possible* to spend that much and get one that small anymore.

          Gary (-;
          LOL, well I am looking at one that has a fast read and write speed. Does read and write even matter with Linux?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by chunkyks View Post
            Sure, flash has an MTBF of a few tens of thousands of write cycles.

            By the time your USB flash drive starts being a problem, you can spend 15 bucks on a new one that has several times the capacity of your previous one.

            In this day and age, it just ain't worth the heartache to worry about this stuff for cheap flash drives, unless they're soldered down to your motherboard. Keep backups [imaging USB flash drives is trivial]. When it bites the big one, get a new one.

            And since I'm on the topic...


            I didn't even know it was *possible* to spend that much and get one that small anymore.

            Gary (-;
            To add to this....flash drives fail on write not on read (like conventional hard drives) so there really is very little risk of data loss->you hit a point and get a smart warning that the drive is going bad and you swap it out.

            Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
            LOL, well I am looking at one that has a fast read and write speed. Does read and write even matter with Linux?
            *insert kev's "of course not! linux is magical" response*
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            • #7
              Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
              To add to this....flash drives fail on write not on read (like conventional hard drives) so there really is very little risk of data loss->you hit a point and get a smart warning that the drive is going bad and you swap it out.

              *insert kev's "of course not! linux is magical" response*
              LOL.... I dont know about magical, but it sure saved my life, or at least my install. i just hope I dont go blank trying to figure it out.
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              • #8
                OK, I downloaded the ISO and burned a CD. I then went to Radioshack and saw they had the SanDisk 4GB Cruzer on sale for 14.99. So I decided to buy 6 of them. I went home, took out my HDD out of my laptop and put in the CD.

                First impressions, I am going to try to learn skinning because I hate the LinuxICE GUI. Other then that, this is pretty cool. Its not fast fast, because of the USB thumb drive, but it doesnt feel slow either. I most def want to enable this so its read only. I am actually typing this message with LinuxICE and the activity light on the drive has not stopped blinking. I have to ask, certain areas look different then LinuxICE, like the web Browser. Are those part of Ubuntu or something else? It doesnt match the LinuxICE GUI at all. So far I am impressed. Only thing I have to do is get this drive into read only mode and I am alittle confused at how to do that. Also the no scroll bars in certain areas is annoying.

                For some reason I had no sound, nor was I able to use the DVD function. LinuxICE seemed to freeze. I could go through Ubuntu, LinuxICE wouldnt do anything. I also could not see a DVD Rom drive in Ubuntu. How do I set the drive to read only? Also when I placed the drive while XP was running, the drive comes back as empty, is it because its a different file system?

                Where do I look to make chnages to LinuxICE. There is some stuff I wanted to remove. I wanted to remove the GPS, and MORE button. The add the Weather button under more to the first screen. I also wanted to take off those Arrow buttons, the circles that point down, left and right. What do they do?
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                • #9
                  Sounds like you are making decent progress.

                  Windows can't see the drive because it's probably formatted ext3. You could have formatted it fat32, but i think that is asking for hurt. you could literally fsck things up . The light on the usb stick will probably go on when it's reading as well as writing.

                  The browser is carbon which could use a proper LinuxICE theme. It's skinnable as well so you can surely change that. The skin is installed in /usr/share/nghost/visqique. you can copy that folder to your home directory /home/youruser/.nghost/ and nghost will use that one instead of the system one. The skinning xml is pretty simplistic. main.xml is the main screen and it'll link to other screens found in skin.xml.

                  The arrow buttons on the icepanel are there so you can navigate between apps. LinuxICE has this concept of a multi-app approach. ie, it can run more than one app at a time just like a normal OS is expected to do.

                  I suppose this can be confusing at first because so much of the interface is in the nghost desktop and there, those arrow buttons don't do anything.

                  As for sound, you installed 2.0.1 right and not 2.0? There was a bug in 2.0 that caused the sound to be mute when the pc started. it was really annoying.
                  Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                  Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                  Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                  • #10
                    Yes I downloaded 2.0.1 because I read all the issues people were having with the Kernel. Also can you please activate my account on the OPENICE forum. For some reason I can get emails from certain forums and yours must be one of them, lol. Same user name, ZX1Cruizer. Im anxious to learn the skinning aspect since no one seems to want to skin for LinuxICE. It looks 100000000000% easier then skinning for Centrafuse. I just need to get used to the locations.

                    Also how do I change resolution? stuff is getting cut off.

                    PS: I just noticed I dont even have volume controls. Maybe it doesnt see my card? Also what about the DVD issue?
                    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
                      Also how do I change resolution? stuff is getting cut off.

                      PS: I just noticed I dont even have volume controls. Maybe it doesnt see my card? Also what about the DVD issue?
                      resolution can be changed by changing in the xrandr line in /etc/matchbox/session.

                      Take a look at Apps->Applications->Volume Control. Also, if you click on the media icon on the icepanel, you will have easier to access volume control for nghost.

                      The dvd issue is honestly something i never tested. My setup doesn't have a cd/dvd drive and probably never will. Optical storage is so 90's hehe. DVD should be easy to fix in the skin though. When you get to the point where you are editing the skin, let me know.

                      PS. your account in the openice forum is active now.
                      Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                      Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                      Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                      • #12
                        OK, I connected my media drive to the PC. I decided to test playing a movie through Ubuntu since I havent edited the file to point it to my media in nGhost. I am not really use to all this file editing. I hit play on the movie and waited, and waited, and waited some more. When it finally decided to play it paused alot. I dont think that thumb drive can pass enough information fast enough. If I use only the OS its fast, but once you involve media files, its pure [email protected] on a thumb drive.

                        I decided to just buy 20GB HDD drives for $13.49 each. I already had one, so I bought 5 more. If the HDD break, which I doubt, I will have an image to restore anyone. This was a nice test but the slowness of thumbdrives just isnt good enough more media.
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                        3x 7 inch Screens
                        1X 7 inch motorized Screen
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                        • #13
                          This is obviously kev's area of expertise so i'll let him give the step by step. But I would recommend you don't go with read only...just minimize disk use. Step 1 would would be to remove the swap partition-its not needed with a gig of ram. You want things like settings or internet data saved to the local drive which is pretty tough if its read only.
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                          - Always Recruiting Developers -
                          Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                          • #14
                            I installed it on the HDD, and it doesnt seem to be working as good as I thought. I am getting alot of driver error all of a sudden. Could it be my USB to SATA converter? Alot of options seem to be different and others are missing.
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                            3x 7 inch Screens
                            1X 7 inch motorized Screen
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
                              I installed it on the HDD, and it doesnt seem to be working as good as I thought. I am getting alot of driver error all of a sudden. Could it be my USB to SATA converter? Alot of options seem to be different and others are missing.
                              yikes! It could be your converter. who knows... :S Are they sata drives? or usb drives?
                              Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                              Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                              Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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