Author Topic: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"  (Read 2460 times)

Offline Arek

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New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« on: July 13, 2014, 07:53:31 pm »
Hello, I just found Sparky "GameOver" and after seeing what all is included thought I'd give it a spin.  Here are my first impressions after getting it installed:
  • The Good:
    • Lots of games and emulators installed by default.
    • Comes with PlayOnLinux pre-installed and kept up-to-date (way to go on that one, most distros lag behind on PoL updates, often by weeks).
    • Comes with Steam "ready to install" (meaning that the system-wide steam binary is installed, ready to install the user binaries/libs).
    • Decent support for "older" hardware (but see below).
    • Great-looking desktop, especially once I set the panels to auto-hide.
  • The Bad:
    • The installed "system" wine is still only 1.6.2 (This doesn't matter TOO much with PoL installed, but there are a few games out there that like neither PoL nor "stable" wine)
    • The default kernel is the 486 kernel, which has no SMP support (fine on this computer, which is a single-processor pc, but not so much on newer hardware).
    • No LVM support in the installer (or on the install cd period).  This added some extra steps that I had to take after installing to get the system set up properly, in order to get /home on LVM.
  • The Ugly:
    • The default installer on the current GameOver iso requires a minimum of 8G (possibly more than that, even) of ram to run correctly "out of the box".  In my thread about this (clicky), pavroo mentions using the "old" installer, which may work, but I didn't know about that until after figuring out what the problem was and implementing a (rather laborious) workaround.  Perhaps there needs to be a readme on the livecd's desktop or in the (new) installer itself that mentions this, at the very least?  Ideally, this needs to be fixed, as requiring 8G of ram to install an OS isn't, imo, reasonable (last I checked, some entry-level off-the-shelf systems still came with just 4G of ram).
    • Installing nvidia-kernel-dkms (tne nVidia binary driver) results in not having a desktop.  The reason:  nvidia-kernel-dkms can't find linux-headers-3.14-1-486 (only -generic and -686 get installed, even if -486 is requested), so the kernel module doesn't get built.  The solution here is to install nvidia-kernel-486, but I only found that when I decided that it was time to install that 686 kernel and ran "aptitude search kernel".  Yet another problem stemming from the use of the 486 kernel.
I'm reasonably happy atm, but here's hoping that some of the kinks get worked out in the future. :)

--Arek
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 07:59:14 pm by Arek »

Offline pavroo

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 08:52:50 pm »
Hi
I am really glad that you have installed GO and posted all the things.

Quote
wine is still only 1.6.2
We keep Sparky compatible with Debian testing, that's why, even Sid has the same version of Wine now.

Quote
default kernel is the 486 kernel
If you installed Sparky 32 bit version, simply install linux-image-686-pae. It will solve your problem.
Anyway I could add the second (686-pae) kernel to the existing 486 on next live iso so I did ones before.
But the problem is with the iso image limited space.

Quote
The default installer on the current GameOver iso requires a minimum of 8G
I don't think it's correct. I used to make testing installation for every sparky version before uploading to a server.
I never set more that 2 GB of RAM and no SWAP even for GameOver. It's really strange what you said.

Quote
Installing nvidia-kernel-dkms
As above - linux-kernel-686-pae will solve it too.
 
I hope it will help you some, if not don't hesitate to right it down.
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline Arek

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 11:25:23 pm »
Quote
Quote
The default installer on the current GameOver iso requires a minimum of 8G
I don't think it's correct. I used to make testing installation for every sparky version before uploading to a server.
I never set more that 2 GB of RAM and no SWAP even for GameOver. It's really strange what you said.
As said in the other thread, the "new" installer, which is the default, copies the files from the installation media to /tmp before mounting the partition you tell it to install to.  /tmp is backed by tmpfs, which is limited to 50% of your system's memory (possibly including swap) at most, and the files are ~4G in size, meaning you need ~8G memory to hold them.  However, if this problem doesn't exist in testing....Is there logic in the code that's supposed to do this in certain cases?  If so, removing said logic (and just having the installer copy directly from the installation media) would probably be for the best, even if it makes some edge-case installations slower.

Quote
If you installed Sparky 32 bit version, simply install linux-image-686-pae. It will solve your problem.
Anyway I could add the second (686-pae) kernel to the existing 486 on next live iso so I did ones before.
But the problem is with the iso image limited space.
I understand about space constraints and compatibility, and I'm quite sure that some folks with very old systems will be grateful for your choice.  Folks with newer systems, however, need to be made aware that the 486 kernel is what's used on 32-bit sparky, and how to switch kernels to one that will better suit their needs, especially since a 32-bit OS is generally better for gaming atm.  I'm on the fence about updating, since I have a single-core system, which makes me question what if any performance gain I would see out of the 686 kernel, and updating would require me to fix nvidia again (which should be relatively easy).

One other thing to add to "The Bad" above:  PulseAudio is installed by default.  I know, I know....PA is required by at least Gnome (and maybe KDE as well now, but I'm not sure) now for desktop sound effects, is installed by default by all but one major linux distribution and a very small handful of minor ones, and tends to make sound work better when it does work, but I've never had anything but trouble out of it, so it's always the first thing to go when I set up a system that has it by default.  YMMV (If the problem I have were completely ubiquitous - which it's not - or PA was painful to remove properly, I would rate PA as "The Ugly" - the problems I have with it are that bad).

--Arek

Edit:  Finished a thought on the new installer.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 01:19:56 am by Arek »

Offline MoroS

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 09:11:33 am »
Is there logic in the code that's supposed to do this in certain cases?

This calls for a installer code check-up I guess... Had to do one anyway before throwing it on GitHub. I did notice high memory usage when installing Sparky, but that wasn't the installer. It was the disk buffer. After installation the live environment had a cache usage of 2-3GB (which would eventually be freed as the system would need more RAM for running software). Anyway, I'll do some analysis and so what could be the problem.

@Pavroo: About the DKMS modules (not just nVidia, VirtualBox and a few others also): it's a misconfiguration issue. While the x86 Sparky has the i486 kernel installed, installing any DKMS module will trigger a compilation for the i686-pae kernel. It's a bad thing because it renders x86 Sparky practically unusable in some cases (not being able to compile nVidia modules was my case... Nouveau crashes for my GeForce 9600M GT). My first guess is that while we have the i486 kernel installed, we also have the i686 headers somewhere. The DKMS modules look at installed headers and will compile and install just fine... to a i686 module directory, to which the i486 kernel's modprobe does not reach. It's a confirmed case, so I made a ticket for it: https://sourceforge.net/p/sparkylinux/tickets/14/
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline pavroo

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 03:30:47 pm »
Quote
My first guess is that while we have the i486 kernel installed
The reason is simple: many people still have old machines (include me).
It's not a problem to install 686-pae kernel after installing the system on a hard drive.
I understand also that most distribution dropped support for i386/i486, but why we should do that?

I suggest a compromise: add 686-pae kernel to the 32 bit iso images (as default) and keep as the second option i486 kernel for old machines.
It takes about 150Mb of space and after compressing the iso images will be 50-60 MB bigger.

Agree or other options?
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline MoroS

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 04:07:19 pm »
The reason is simple: many people still have old machines (include me).
It's not a problem to install 686-pae kernel after installing the system on a hard drive.
I understand also that most distribution dropped support for i386/i486, but why we should do that?

My problem is not with the i486 kernel. It's in Sparky's policy to support such things as long as possible. My problem is with the i686 headers. What the hell are they doing being detected while the i486 kernel is installed? That's what I want to check. ;)

I would rather keep the i486 as default, fix those headers and give the user the means of simple switching between kernels is they want to.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 04:09:43 pm by MoroS »
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline pavroo

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 04:15:34 pm »
I am quit sure that I removed 686 header from all 32 images.
It was on my list before making new isos.
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline MoroS

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 08:53:53 pm »
Ok. Then I'll investigate why are they chosen during DKMS installation. I was installing the virtualbox-guest-dkms package. The kernel installed was a 486 kernel, but the headers against which the DKMS compiled were the 686-pae headers. It was yesterday, so I already have them on my bug list. :)
There isn't a single thing that's impossible. Just the things that we don't yet know how to deal with. ;)

Offline Arek

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 10:45:04 pm »
Ok, after a day or 2 of using LXDE, I'm adding that to "The Bad" as well.  The big reason?  LXDE and Google Chrome don't play well together (lxde doesn't redraw the desktop correctly when chrome is running and minimized), and Iceweasel (Firefox) is a massive memory/resource hog, as usual.  Not sure if IceApe (Seamonkey) would work better, but I decided to install XFCE instead and go with what I know works.  As with the installer (and probably PulseAudio), a newer/better computer would probably make the issue less of a problem.  Other than that, and the problem with dkms choosing i686 headers on 486 (I'm probably gonna have to break down and upgrade to the i686 kernel because of that), and a problem with Desmume (throws std::bad_alloc on startup), everything is working quite well.

--Arek

Offline way12go

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2014, 09:57:27 am »
I used more than 12 different linux distros and found Sparkylinux to be the fastest and more responsive distro among all those I tried. They even mentioned the same in their about sparkylinux stanza and it's completely true. distrowatch says linux mint is number one but sparkylinux uses very very less RAM and way better than linuxmint in terms of being faster on dual core 1 GiB RAM desktop. I even tried Manjaro openbox on this desktop and it has issues with browsers and the system comes to a grinding halt/slow after opening a browser and surfing the net. On sparkylinux I opened two browsers and still it's faster. I even requested more than 10 youtube linux reviewers to do a review on sparkylinux gameover and DasGregor made one such video explaining the advantages of using this OS. I have downloaded Sparkylinux Openbox, Sparkylinux LxDE and Sparkylinux Gameover and now I am using Sparkylinux LxDE. I was never an expert to judge any linux OS... but I believe Sparkylinux is the fastest and more responsive in its category. Puppy linux is faster and it belongs to different stripped version category. I wish Pavroo downloads linuxmint 17 Qiana and adds the
1. battery stats from linux mint
2. format usb
3. write image to usb... forked to linuxmint from image writer.... Unetbooting is not good enough. Most of the times Unetbootin fails but it gives persistence option.

I'm not an expert like you guys out there but believe me Sparkylinux gameover live usb mode was faster on my 1 GiB RAM Desktop. I didn't install it. I installed Openbox and had boot error and it was difficult navigating... the menu in openbox version is a headache and taskbar icons don't include battery status. Then I downloaded Sparkylinux LxDE and installed it on laptop and it worked very well... it's just amazing. And I installed Sparkylinux LxDE on desktop and same boot error then I used booted live usb and used boot-repair and now desktop OS is good to go. Two days ago I was updating Desktop OS and the downloads are finished and it was updating and the system rebooted due processor heat and when the system rebooted I got kernel panic. Yesterday night I reinstalled this amazing OS and successfully updates the OS. I didn't do dist upgrade why because if it poses any problem I have begin doing the entire thing again.... Too bad full upgrade always poses a problem. After upgrade Sparky Center stopped working. It wouldn't even open. Other LxDE distros consumed more RAM and slowed down... But Sparkylinux is an exception. Sparkylinux LxDE is faster than Majaro openbox. Manjaro is said to be very fast and is more famous than Sparky but Sparky is the best. Top of the class.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_V3yqTunjA&list=LLABj4B6IZwUF3sGKJOs-DIw

As far as I know there are very less number of Sparky users and sparky is not famous enough but it's the best among all the famous - good - more hype distros I have used. But installing sparky making partitions etc can only be done by a knowledgeable user and I could do it. Other distros are very very easy to install. On my desktop while installing it used to stop in the middle of the process then I disabled the screen saver and kept on moving the mouse and it installed without any problems.

My final verdict: Sparkylinux is the best.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 10:00:40 am by way12go »
Saying something clever is easy, when you are stupid. - Sagar Gorijala.

Offline pavroo

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 12:59:28 am »
Hi
Thank's for sharing your opinion and the verdict :)
I'll check the battery status of Mint.
Unetbootin will be removed from the next relese anyway. Mintstick (format usb & write image to usb) is in sparky repository and preinstalled in gameover already.
Anyway there is a gui front-end for 'dd' command called 'Live USB Creator' (spary-live-usb-creator package) in our repo as well.
Regards
Nothing is easy as it looks.

Offline way12go

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 09:57:08 am »
Thanks pavroo... successfully installed on Desktop and Laptop.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 09:38:31 am by way12go »
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Offline way12go

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Re: New User, first impressions of Sparky Linux 3.4 "GameOver"
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 09:34:26 am »
I used more than 12 different linux distros and found Sparkylinux to be the fastest and more responsive distro among all those I tried. They even mentioned the same in their about sparkylinux stanza and it's completely true. distrowatch says linux mint is number one but sparkylinux uses very very less RAM and way better than linuxmint in terms of being faster on dual core 1 GiB RAM desktop. I even tried Manjaro openbox on this desktop and it has issues with browsers and the system comes to a grinding halt/slow after opening a browser and surfing the net. On sparkylinux I opened two browsers and still it's faster. I even requested more than 10 youtube linux reviewers to do a review on sparkylinux gameover and DasGregor made one such video explaining the advantages of using this OS. I have downloaded Sparkylinux Openbox, Sparkylinux LxDE and Sparkylinux Gameover and now I am using Sparkylinux LxDE. I was never an expert to judge any linux OS... but I believe Sparkylinux is the fastest and more responsive in its category. Puppy linux is faster and it belongs to different stripped version category. I wish Pavroo downloads linuxmint 17 Qiana and adds the
1. battery stats from linux mint
2. format usb
3. write image to usb... forked to linuxmint from image writer.... Unetbooting is not good enough. Most of the times Unetbootin fails but it gives persistence option.

I'm not an expert like you guys out there but believe me Sparkylinux gameover live usb mode was faster on my 1 GiB RAM Desktop. I didn't install it. I installed Openbox and had boot error and it was difficult navigating... the menu in openbox version is a headache and taskbar icons don't include battery status. Then I downloaded Sparkylinux LxDE and installed it on laptop and it worked very well... it's just amazing. And I installed Sparkylinux LxDE on desktop and same boot error then I used booted live usb and used boot-repair and now desktop OS is good to go. Two days ago I was updating Desktop OS and the downloads are finished and it was updating and the system rebooted due processor heat and when the system rebooted I got kernel panic. Yesterday night I reinstalled this amazing OS and successfully updates the OS. I didn't do dist upgrade why because if it poses any problem I have begin doing the entire thing again.... Too bad full upgrade always poses a problem. After upgrade Sparky Center stopped working. It wouldn't even open. Other LxDE distros consumed more RAM and slowed down... But Sparkylinux is an exception. Sparkylinux LxDE is faster than Majaro openbox. Manjaro is said to be very fast and is more famous than Sparky but Sparky is the best. Top of the class.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_V3yqTunjA&list=LLABj4B6IZwUF3sGKJOs-DIw

As far as I know there are very less number of Sparky users and sparky is not famous enough but it's the best among all the famous - good - more hype distros I have used. But installing sparky making partitions etc can only be done by a knowledgeable user and I could do it. Other distros are very very easy to install. On my desktop while installing it used to stop in the middle of the process then I disabled the screen saver and kept on moving the mouse and it installed without any problems.

My final verdict: Sparkylinux is the best.

The battery stats app I requested when I was new to Sparkylinux is available for MATE Desktop Environment and I have it because I'm using Sparkylinux non-PAE 32 bit MATE version.
Saying something clever is easy, when you are stupid. - Sagar Gorijala.