Xubuntu 17.10 on MainPC

In reference to a post that I have updated a lot of times since first writing it earlier this year, I have addressed the issue of the graphics card by removing the four head card from mainpc and putting in a simple $50 two head card that is supported out of the box by nouveau. This makes life a lot simpler because it seems likely that the problem that keeps crashing hibernation is related to having to use the proprietary NVidia drivers for a card that Nouveau doesn’t as yet support. I decided to take this action after several recent resume failures and finally a crash while working in Xubuntu. I decided some time ago I did not need more than two screens on this computer because three screens take up too much room. And swapping out the cards seems justified by the experience with the mediapc which has just the same card in it and is rock solid and never has had the resume problem coming back up after hibernating. This card that I have just put into mainpc was in win10pc and since that computer has good enough onboard graphics then it can use the onboard to drive its screen and the TV as the  second screen.

A second issue has been that I couldn’t get Qgis to update on Xenial to the latest master which I assume is because the Qgis people have stopped offering updates on that platform or else there is some technical reason for it. When I took the card out and put the two head in then tried getting Nouveau to work it could not set the display resolution or detect the second screen properly and after a lot of mucking around I decided just to bite the bullet and reinstall as I have done many times before. After a couple of false starts trying to install 17.04 I decided to use the mini.iso installer for 17.10 that I have since I installed that on the bedroom pc so I did that and got the system going again that way, using the option for the full Xubuntu install.

Everything looked good but I could not get the system to hibernate so after mucking around I realised that I had no swap partition and the reason was simple and that was that I had read somewhere a suggestion that swap partitions were not needed any more. But of course apparently whoever wrote that didn’t realise that the system simply will not hibernate without one. So again it was simpler to do another reinstallation and set up a swap partition. This time I have just gone for the minimum installation or Xubuntu Core as they call it which installs the minimum set of applications needed. And then I tested hibernation straight away and it works right out of the box.

Getting the RAID going again was a little more straightforward than before because it had been detected and mdadm installed during setup so there were slightly fewer steps to get the home drive mapped back to the RAID-1. Just like all my previous experiences once I had /home mapped to the RAID-1 and rebooted everything comes like normal and all my previous settings are restored so it all goes brilliantly. That is one of the great features of Linux that makes it so easy to reinstall, without even needing to back anything up (although to be sure you should always back up of course :). Because redirecting /home to a different drive is properly supported in Linux. In Windows you can hack the registry to enable this but then Windows won’t put on any updates if you use it. And also Windows stores all its settings in the registry which is stored on C drive whereas Linux stores everything in config files in the home drive.

One advantage of reinstalling was to get the latest version of Qgis master from the Zesty repository (even though this is Artful, I just told it to use the Zesty install files and they work just fine) because on the Xenial system it hadn’t got any new releases for the last 6 months or so.

Well that just leaves a question over the network card driver and whether it is going to play up like it did with 16.04 and we shall just have to wait and see.

The new version of Qgis master turns out to have the old problem that they seem to fix and then a new release corrupts it and that is nulling all the fields when data is pasted from one table to another. Because of this I will have to use an older version of Qgis running on Windows or in a VM to paste tables. Since I am merging two projects together at the moment. In order to get that running I have to install Samba to share the network drives. That will have to wait until tomorrow when I finish setting up the rest of the stuff on the system.

There were a few networking issues with shares being mounted in /etc/fstab, the security options have changed so it has taken a few days’ work with the Xubuntu developers to sort this out, now networking is all running fine again which I really did need as I needed to use different versions of Qgis on other computers as mentioned above. So now I am using the mediapc running an older version of 2.99 to edit, and the win10pc running another older version of 2.99 as well when needed.