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Re: Linux for College Students

Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:49 pm

I think that happens to a lot of people.  Knowing how to administer a server running either Windows or Linux does not come naturally from being familiar with the OS in general.  I know enough to do some routine sysadmin stuff in Linux, but it's not really what I do, and I was a beached whale when I inherited a .NET application a few years ago not knowing anything about the platform.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:23 pm

TBH I have been "out of the loop" on Windows long enough now that I feel a little lost there, especially on Windows 10. The last version I used to any significant extent was Windows 7, and even that was mainly as a host for Linux VMs, plus some light MS Outlook/Office use. (This was while working at jobs which involved Linux development, but where your primary desktop had to run the corporate Windows image.)

My current work environment is essentially Windows-free; nearly everyone has a MacBook Pro as their primary device, with the developers working in Linux VMs and on remote servers. My daily driver at home has been running some flavor of Ubuntu Linux since 2009 or so.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:39 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TBH I have been "out of the loop" on Windows long enough now that I feel a little lost there, especially on Windows 10. The last version I used to any significant extent was Windows 7, and even that was mainly as a host for Linux VMs, plus some light MS Outlook/Office use. (This was while working at jobs which involved Linux development, but where your primary desktop had to run the corporate Windows image.)

My current work environment is essentially Windows-free; nearly everyone has a MacBook Pro as their primary device, with the developers working in Linux VMs and on remote servers. My daily driver at home has been running some flavor of Ubuntu Linux since 2009 or so.

I envy your home setup, JBI... but... Fallout 4...argh.

I wonder if MS will ever figure out that without DirectX it would have been the "year of the Linux desktop" years ago? At least for technical people, but then we tend to be early adopters.
Last edited by Vhalidictes on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:45 pm

just brew it! wrote:
with the developers working in Linux VMs and on remote servers

Ah ha!
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:51 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
I envy your home setup, JBI... but... Fallout 4...argh.
I wonder if MS will ever figure out that without DirectX it would have been the "year of the Linux desktop" years ago? At least for technical people, but then we tend to be early adopters.

I'm kind of with you on the alternative OS thing, but in my case it's Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2. Older Blizzard stuff I can play in a VM if push comes to shove. If they ever make Linux versions of their games, I could jump ship on Windows. Thing is, I have to have VS2015 right now, too, so we'll see.

edited...
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:01 pm

Its interesting to read this. My take for this is from a primarily hardware guy that probably does software to the iron 25% of the time.

Some of us technical people that need to get stuff done quickly and reliably, stick with the Windows 10 environment, all warts included. In general when you are billing by the hour, customers don't take kindly to spending time fighting kernel revisions, compiler quirks, tool problems, lack of support, and just general tweaking on your system trying to get a build environment up and running.

Of course my development tends to be pretty close to the iron, if not actually developing the iron, so this opens a whole new slew of issues that I see SW guys get bit by on a regular basis. Things like "They must have built this on a different Kernel version, and I cannot find a copy!" and "OMG! You only designed in 1GB of Flash? How can I fit my image on there!?!" Meanwhile I'm thinking if it weren't for the stinking Ethernet support requirement I could run the whole project in about 32K of code space using C/C++ and Free RToS. Other issues like with a Beaglebone Black project: Complete Kernel overhaul causing all sorts of re-do issues for dealing with peripherals and I/O in the middle of a development cycle (for the better in the end).

Most vendor tools are up to date for the Windows platforms, and behind or partially finished on Linux. This winds up forcing the SW developers on Linux to not only tackle working on the application, but also the tools.

So yeah, I have kicked the tires in Linux a few times, but keep hitting extremely aggravating road blocks putting me back into Windows. At this point, I probably will not try again unless a key tool is not available under Windows 10.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:50 am

Your points about needing to spend time doing things and not looking after the OS are exactly why I switched from Windows to Linux, I got fed up with fighting Windows.

In each OS there are things that are easy to do and things that are harder to do. At work one project switched from building on Windows to building on Linux because it was at least 3x faster.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:11 am

End User wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
with the developers working in Linux VMs and on remote servers

Ah ha!

I'd be a much happier camper if my MBP had enough RAM to comfortably host multiple VMs. 16GB isn't enough. Trying to work on remote servers while sitting in a moving Faraday cage commuter rail car is a PITA; as a developer I vastly prefer to have my entire environment (or at least a decent simulation of it) local.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:30 am

liquidsquid wrote:
Its interesting to read this. My take for this is from a primarily hardware guy that probably does software to the iron 25% of the time.

Some of us technical people that need to get stuff done quickly and reliably, stick with the Windows 10 environment, all warts included. In general when you are billing by the hour, customers don't take kindly to spending time fighting kernel revisions, compiler quirks, tool problems, lack of support, and just general tweaking on your system trying to get a build environment up and running.

Of course my development tends to be pretty close to the iron, if not actually developing the iron, so this opens a whole new slew of issues that I see SW guys get bit by on a regular basis. Things like "They must have built this on a different Kernel version, and I cannot find a copy!" and "OMG! You only designed in 1GB of Flash? How can I fit my image on there!?!" Meanwhile I'm thinking if it weren't for the stinking Ethernet support requirement I could run the whole project in about 32K of code space using C/C++ and Free RToS. Other issues like with a Beaglebone Black project: Complete Kernel overhaul causing all sorts of re-do issues for dealing with peripherals and I/O  in the middle of a development cycle (for the better in the end).

Most vendor tools are up to date for the Windows platforms, and behind or partially finished on Linux. This winds up forcing the SW developers on Linux to not only tackle working on the application, but also the tools.

So yeah, I have kicked the tires in Linux a few times, but keep hitting extremely aggravating road blocks putting me back into Windows. At this point, I probably will not try again unless a key tool is not available under Windows 10.

And my work is 100% to the iron and having to use Windows is a PITA, so my experience is 180 degrees opporsite. I guess it depends on the work you do. It is true though that often tools for programming boards etc are primarily developed for Windows, but this is changing at quite a fast pase. Windows is becoming a fairly alien enviroment for me.

I'm kinda desperate to get away from Windows at this moment.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:50 am

just brew it! wrote:
End User wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
with the developers working in Linux VMs and on remote servers

Ah ha!

I'd be a much happier camper if my MBP had enough RAM to comfortably host multiple VMs. 16GB isn't enough. Trying to work on remote servers while sitting in a moving Faraday cage commuter rail car is a PITA; as a developer I vastly prefer to have my entire environment (or at least a decent simulation of it) local.

As an example one can run 3 VMs at once with 3.5GB of memory assigned to each. You would still have roughly 5GB remaining for the host OS. macOS does a good job of memory compression/management especially when ones MBP is equipped with a SSD. If you mobile needs are more than then then I take my hat off to you.

What is the config/purpose of your VMs?

A MacBook Pro with 32GB is a must for the next upgrade cycle.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:00 am

srg86 wrote:
And my work is 100% to the iron and having to use Windows is a PITA, so my experience is 180 degrees opporsite. I guess it depends on the work you do. It is true though that often tools for programming boards etc are primarily developed for Windows, but this is changing at quite a fast pase. Windows is becoming a fairly alien enviroment for me.

I'm kinda desperate to get away from Windows at this moment.


I'm curious as to why? I really have not run into an instance under Windows 10 that has slowed me down, or gotten in the way. Having the ability to whip up a C# utility is a bonus, but I suppose there are plenty of alternates to this in the Linux world to put together visualization tools. Of course I am usually developing in a Vendor's tool chain, so it tends to be pretty much the same on both platforms as many are Eclipse-based. The one annoying thing under Windows 10 is I wind up using PuTTY as a console rather than other possible methods, and it is a bit clunky for that purpose.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:55 am

End User wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
End User wrote:
Ah ha!

I'd be a much happier camper if my MBP had enough RAM to comfortably host multiple VMs. 16GB isn't enough. Trying to work on remote servers while sitting in a moving Faraday cage commuter rail car is a PITA; as a developer I vastly prefer to have my entire environment (or at least a decent simulation of it) local.

As an example one can run 3 VMs at once with 3.5GB of memory assigned to each. You would still have roughly 5GB remaining for the host OS. macOS does a good job of memory compression/management especially when ones MBP is equipped with a SSD. If you mobile needs are more than then then I take my hat off to you.

What is the config/purpose of your VMs?

One with a full-blown DE, plus others to simulate our "appliances". I could lighten the resource load of the DE VM by using something other than KDE, but KDE is what I'm most comfortable with.

End User wrote:
A MacBook Pro with 32GB is a must for the next upgrade cycle.

Agreed.

I'm actually hoping that there's a decent non-Mac option that I could run Linux on natively the next time we do a refresh. There actually *was* a Lenovo option last time around, but the (few) people who got those seem to be very unhappy with them (reliability issues), and IIRC the only Linux distros blessed by IT for desktop use were outdated versions of RHEL and Ubuntu LTS, so the people who went Lenovo are mostly running Windows 7.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I'm actually hoping that there's a decent non-Mac option that I could run Linux on natively the next time we do a refresh. There actually *was* a Lenovo option last time around, but the (few) people who got those seem to be very unhappy with them (reliability issues), and IIRC the only Linux distros blessed by IT for desktop use were outdated versions of RHEL and Ubuntu LTS, so the people who went Lenovo are mostly running Windows 7.


Have you looked at this? Looks like only 16GB of RAM right now, but it's not a rMBP. I have heard good things, too.

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-1 ... apsed=true
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:19 pm

Re Windows vs Linux for embedded...

The last three embedded projects I was involved in all used toolchains which were well-supported on Linux. There was no need to use Windows at all on the development side, and I prefer to work in Linux anyway, so the decision was easy.

The two jobs I had prior to this one had very Windows-centric IT infrastructure though, so in one case I had two systems (a Windows one for accessing my e-mail and editing MS Office docs, and a Linux one for development work); and in the other case I used a VM for development. As mentioned above, current place is more Mac-centric, so I'm using VMs a lot here too.

DancinJack wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I'm actually hoping that there's a decent non-Mac option that I could run Linux on natively the next time we do a refresh. There actually *was* a Lenovo option last time around, but the (few) people who got those seem to be very unhappy with them (reliability issues), and IIRC the only Linux distros blessed by IT for desktop use were outdated versions of RHEL and Ubuntu LTS, so the people who went Lenovo are mostly running Windows 7.

Have you looked at this? Looks like only 16GB of RAM right now, but it's not a rMBP. I have heard good things, too.

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-1 ... apsed=true

The new(ish) corporate overlords have a policy of only buying Apple or Lenovo laptops.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Re Windows vs Linux for embedded...

The last three embedded projects I was involved in all used toolchains which were well-supported on Linux. There was no need to use Windows at all on the development side, and I prefer to work in Linux anyway, so the decision was easy.

The two jobs I had prior to this one had very Windows-centric IT infrastructure though, so in one case I had two systems (a Windows one for accessing my e-mail and editing MS Office docs, and a Linux one for development work); and in the other case I used a VM for development. As mentioned above, current place is more Mac-centric, so I'm using VMs a lot here too.

DancinJack wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I'm actually hoping that there's a decent non-Mac option that I could run Linux on natively the next time we do a refresh. There actually *was* a Lenovo option last time around, but the (few) people who got those seem to be very unhappy with them (reliability issues), and IIRC the only Linux distros blessed by IT for desktop use were outdated versions of RHEL and Ubuntu LTS, so the people who went Lenovo are mostly running Windows 7.

Have you looked at this?  Looks like only 16GB of RAM right now, but it's not a rMBP.  I have heard good things, too.

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-1 ... apsed=true

The new(ish) corporate overlords have a policy of only buying Apple or Lenovo laptops.

Our IT department here also only buys Apple/Lenovo...  When my last upgrade cycle came up, I grabbed a Thinkpad T440p (haswell quad, 16GB, 512GB SSD, 14" 1080p IPS screen) and a docking station for my multi-monitor setup.  Since then, the T460p has come out (broadwell?), and the max RAM has been bumped to at least 32GB.  Does just fine as a Java web-app dev machine, but the battery life currently blows chunks (I need to spend some time in powertop and figure out what's going on).
I've had pretty decent success with Ubuntu 16.04/16.10 on my system once the kernel went to 4.7/4.8 to fix some displayport MST issues that were present in earlier versions.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I'm actually hoping that there's a decent non-Mac option that I could run Linux on natively the next time we do a refresh.

I've got my eye on the successor to the T460P. I'm looking for something along the lines of a quad core i7 paired with at GTX 1050. Hardware drumpfs the OS at this point so I'm looking at Windows 10 Pro (Linux has issues with the T460P).
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Re: Linux for College Students

Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:02 am

Running a Dell Precision M2800 with 16GB of RAM on Ubuntu 14.04 at work. Occasional slight funkiness with lid open / closing when moving from docked with lid closed and 2 monitors to undocked and mobile in a meeting room - it sometimes does a sleep on the lid close even though it is on the dock. Apart from that everything works and because it was specced out for Windows it really screams when developing under Linux.
 
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:26 am

I've been working on school stuff exclusively in Kubuntu with Netbeans, Chromium, FileZilla, and Atom (recommended in this thread by Redocbew, and it's pretty nice). I also grabbed a OneDrive client that lets me sync some specific folders so that I always have my school work replicated on my PC. Everything was installed via the command line, and I've got a pretty good handle on being productive. I built a small Bash script that does the OneDrive sync. Basically it just copies folders from a couple locations to one central folder that I sync, overwriting what's there, and launches the sync utility.

So far so good. I can be productive, which was the most important thing. I don't learn very well if there's not a purpose or an application for what I'm learning, so using Kubuntu and the command line for something "real" is helpful. The only thing I can't do in Linux is my relational DBs class homework, because the DB used for most assignments is an MS Access file. I appreciate all the recommendations and suggestions in the thread. :)
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:33 am

What version of Access? Wine 2.0 supports Access 2013 and is available via a PPA.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:34 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
... The only thing I can't do in Linux is my relational DBs class homework, because the DB used for most assignments is an MS Access file.

Ugh. That's disgusting.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:45 am

just brew it! wrote:
Ugh. That's disgusting.

I know, but it's a concepts class. Tables, fields, rows, the freaking visual query editor. It's a class aimed at business students that somehow weaseled its way into my program. I'm dying as it is. The last assignment was to manually look up data for different problems in this five-table database (no queries or computer aids allowed) to prove we understand how primary/foreign keys work. It was due at the end of class. Everyone had to rush through it, and I'm relatively certain I didn't return totally accurate results. This prof is insane.

She's also horrible at keeping the gradebook updated. Three weeks in and nothing has been scored so far.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:26 pm

I have yet to come across a visual query editor which actually works for the kind of queries a person might want to use a visual editor to write for them.

The Views module in Drupal is basically a big visual query editor and it does a reasonable job at it, but that's not really the same thing.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Redocbew wrote:
I have yet to come across a visual query editor which actually works for the kind of queries a person might want to use a visual editor to write for them.

Well Access 2016 does not have anything that will change your mind. I'm like "hey can I just write a few SQL queries and show you what I do at work so I can proficiency out of this class?" and my advisor said no. :-?
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Re: Linux for College Students

Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:38 am

So I've talked to a couple people in one of my classes who have previously taken the course. It sounds like our guesswork was pretty spot-on. Folder navigation, using a couple different text editors, shell scripting, that sort of thing. Apparently we'll just SSH into college computers through PuTTY. Sounds pretty basic.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:06 pm

For anybody wondering what a Linux class in a college setting might look like, it's following pretty closely to The Linux Command Line by William E. Shotts, Jr. We're going through a chapter a week, and I just wrapped up chapter 6. Homework is based on the topics covered.

The book is free in PDF format, and if you're interested in learning about Linux and surviving on the command-line interface (which seems like a must for web developers these days), I think I'd recommend it. There are 30-some chapters so at our current pace we won't finish the book, but by the time we're done I expect I'll have additional familiarity with different facets than I did before. Seems like a worthwhile course and definitely a worthwhile book.

The homework is equal parts "do this stuff on the command line and take as screenshot of your history" and "fill in the blank with what command matches this definition".
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:10 pm

The homework is equal parts "do this stuff on the command line and take as screenshot of your history"


I find the lack of piping the session to a text file [see here] with some extra post-processing in PERL disturbing.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:26 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
if you're interested in learning about Linux and surviving on the command-line interface (which seems like a must for web developers these days), I think I'd recommend it.


It is for me since I still tend to cross over into sysadmin territory every now and then, but I'm not so sure that's the norm for most web developers. Don't get me wrong, it's still very useful stuff to know, but judging from the state of the code I've seen over the past few years I'd be afraid to turn just anyone loose on the command line without knowing more about their background first.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:59 pm

I guess I may be mistaken but I thought so much web dev work source control was done on git and the CLI was the best way to do it. That’s me talking out my ass again, potentially.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:18 pm

There's a graphical git client for Windows also. It kind of sucks, and you can tell that portions of it were ported from Linux if you know what to look for, but it works ok for simple usage. Once you start doing merges and other more administrative tasks, then yeah, you're probably better off dropping back to the command line anyway.
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Re: Linux for College Students

Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:33 am

Being fluent in Linux CLI has a number of advantages...

- Core CLI commands work exactly the same across all distros, regardless of the GUI you've installed (or not installed)

- It's easy to script sequences of operations you routinely perform as part of your workflow

- You can perform arbitrary batch operations on files using find, xargs, etc.

- CLI is actually quicker than performing the equivalent operation via a GUI in many cases, and is also a fallback for anything the designer of your desktop GUI tools didn't include a GUI interface for

- You won't be completely lost if you need to remotely administer a headless server (which is a pretty common thing for Linux devs/sysadmins to do), or troubleshoot an issue that is keeping the GUI from starting (which is a pretty common thing for people who try to run bleeding edge video cards on Linux to do)

- Even if you're not a developer yourself, at some point you may want to build a package or driver from source code to patch a bug or get new features which weren't included in your distro's base installation; this will typically involve using the CLI
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