OsDictator
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 am

Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:49 am

Hi.

In short:

How do I approach testing Linux on hardware, without killing any hardware-components?
What risks are we to expect?

In rambling text:

I have been running Linux for several years, and would always risk my own system to get it running, cannot live inside windows anymore.
When friends and relatives comes to me for computer support, I now say I am happy to help, but I only do Linux. Their choice! Since they have been relying on me forever, they usually go the Linux route too, or at least tries it out. But on occasions, I have experienced Linux killing graphic-cards or doing very scary stuff to make me back away(latest Solus Os). In the light of the recent incident where ubuntu bricked some uefi's, I would very much like to see prominent people, like Ikey, guide us to the proper approach in testing the hardware and its Linux capabilities.
I am looking for a variant of Linux to master, because my approach have been very lazy since I learned that in contrast to wasting a day or two on installing Windoze, Linux is up and running and fully updated in less than an hour. So I simply to a fresh install when needed. But that is not feasible when you have several people relying on you, over great distances. Through my Linux years I have been running Fedora, various Ubuntu variants, Arch, Manjaro, Suse and probably a lot of other weird exciting stuff, but I am now looking to get better in depth knowledge on how to keep systems up and running so distro-hopping might not be the best approach anymore.
I am about to migrate my mothers 7 year old laptop to Linux, but this very laptop was the first, and brand new, computer on which I experienced Linux killing the graphics. Back then, it was Linux-Mint that left me with a vertical bar of dead pixels. It was handled with a DOA.
I have only been testing Solus, not running it per se. I have been running KDE Neon for more than a year, and it has been the most reliable Linux experience I have ever had, but not without its quirks, so i'm curious to see after all thees years, if it is a rolling release that will take it the rest of the way.

User avatar
kyrios
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:19 pm

OsDictator wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:49 am
Hi.

In short:

How do I approach testing Linux on hardware, without killing any hardware-components?
What risks are we to expect?

In rambling text:

I have been running Linux for several years, and would always risk my own system to get it running, cannot live inside windows anymore.
When friends and relatives comes to me for computer support, I now say I am happy to help, but I only do Linux. Their choice! Since they have been relying on me forever, they usually go the Linux route too, or at least tries it out. But on occasions, I have experienced Linux killing graphic-cards or doing very scary stuff to make me back away(latest Solus Os). In the light of the recent incident where ubuntu bricked some uefi's, I would very much like to see prominent people, like Ikey, guide us to the proper approach in testing the hardware and its Linux capabilities.
I am looking for a variant of Linux to master, because my approach have been very lazy since I learned that in contrast to wasting a day or two on installing Windoze, Linux is up and running and fully updated in less than an hour. So I simply to a fresh install when needed. But that is not feasible when you have several people relying on you, over great distances. Through my Linux years I have been running Fedora, various Ubuntu variants, Arch, Manjaro, Suse and probably a lot of other weird exciting stuff, but I am now looking to get better in depth knowledge on how to keep systems up and running so distro-hopping might not be the best approach anymore.
I am about to migrate my mothers 7 year old laptop to Linux, but this very laptop was the first, and brand new, computer on which I experienced Linux killing the graphics. Back then, it was Linux-Mint that left me with a vertical bar of dead pixels. It was handled with a DOA.
I have only been testing Solus, not running it per se. I have been running KDE Neon for more than a year, and it has been the most reliable Linux experience I have ever had, but not without its quirks, so i'm curious to see after all thees years, if it is a rolling release that will take it the rest of the way.
I have never seen/heard of linux breaking any hardware, so I'm very curious about your experience especially since there are protections that prevent breaking hardware like turning off the machine if a component gets to hot, etc... In the worst case, there is no driver available for some specific hardware and it simply doesn't work, that's it.

Regarding the recent incident ubuntu had it was caused by the intel microcode and windows did suffer from the same problem, so it wasn't linux-related and windows users weren't safer (but Solus users were safe our tests on unstable showed problems so it was rolledback before the synchronization to stable branch. That's the benefit of using a curated rolling release :)

OsDictator
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 am

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:51 pm

I can't exactly remember the procedure, when Solus scared me of. Talking about the old incident with Linux mint, my conclusion from what research I did back then and later on, is that Linux might trigger some hardware flaws that should not be there in the first place, or would just reveal it self after the warranty is out. So I feel I got lucky when Linux helped me out with my new laptop back then. But I never tested it on the replacement they send me. So if it persists on all its siblings I might just find out when testing Linux/Solus on it seven years later.
The result of testing Solus on a stationary pc, was a graphics card doing scary pixelation and colorry glitches across the screen, as I have seen so many times when a graphicscard dies.

...I did not regard it as a problem with overheating.

OsDictator
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 am

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:11 pm

kyrios wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:19 pm

...
Regarding the recent incident ubuntu had it was caused by the intel microcode and [url=http://www.zdnet.com/article/windo ... ctre-fix/] windows did suffer from the same problem ...
Is this the same problem that affected 17.10? I was under the impression that it was a specific kernel version that caused the issues with bricking some UEFI laptops.

User avatar
kyrios
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:24 pm

OsDictator wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:11 pm
Is this the same problem that affected 17.10? I was under the impression that it was a specific kernel version that caused the issues with bricking some UEFI laptops.
You're right, it was another problem, my mistake!

geoffrey.A
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:43 am

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 pm

Well, I learned a long time ago if one wants a truly smooth, troublefree environment for running (or testing) Linux, do one of these things:

* Buy a PC with Linux already installed . . . now there are at least 50 vendors worldwide to choose from. No surprises, the testing and engineering has already been done by the "Systems Integrator" . . .

* Buy a PC that is "All Intel" . . . . cpu, graphics and wireless

* If want to build or buy off the shelf . . . do your homework FIRST. A reliable brand such as Dell that complies with UEFI standards is always a good bet.

https://linuxpreloaded.com/

User avatar
kyrios
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:08 pm

geoffrey.A wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 pm
Well, I learned a long time ago if one wants a truly smooth, troublefree environment for running (or testing) Linux, do one of these things:

* Buy a PC with Linux already installed . . . now there are at least 50 vendors worldwide to choose from. No surprises, the testing and engineering has already been done by the "Systems Integrator" . . .

* Buy a PC that is "All Intel" . . . . cpu, graphics and wireless

* If want to build or buy off the shelf . . . do your homework FIRST. A reliable brand such as Dell that complies with UEFI standards is always a good bet.

https://linuxpreloaded.com/
Or just google linux and the computer models you're planning to buy to see the reviews/test/feedback or comments from other people.

OsDictator
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 am

Re: Do Linux without bricking your hardware! Guidlines?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:16 pm

@geoffrey.A
Yeah, I was looking through the various options for Linux hardware not long ago, but I could just not justify switching out my old laptop before I really had the need. And my old laptop is mostly Intel, at least when not using optimus :-D But one of the mantras seems to be, “Linux keeps old hardware alive”. And that is exactly what I am using it for as well. The laptop in question is an old lenovo I3 Sandy Bridge with HD-Graphics.
But I agree, if I want Linux hardware I also need to support those who build and ships it. Never the less, the selection becomes less great if you need the keyboard in a specific language. And you also have less choices in hardware and build quality, although the choices are becoming more and more appealing.

So, this thread is mostly about migrating people that is open to try out a new and exiting world, but having perfectly fine hardware already, and without making any damage to their hardware, giving them Linux scars and traumas for life. In this case, with me being responsible.

@kyrios
As mentioned, I am talking about migrating existing hardware to Linux. When I bought my old laptop 5 or so years ago, an Asus n56vz with intel and optimus, I did the google search, although it was relatively new, I manage to get some promising hits, and it did turn out to be a vary capable Linux laptop, no regrets. An other approach I took, was simply ordering a new laptop, swapping out the harddrive and installed Linux on it (a clevo build, clevo mailed me a missing wifi driver, and it worked perfectly. But again, the build quality compared to my Asus was night and day).

Thank you both for your input, I will let you know if Solus fries my mothers old laptop, or makes it shine.

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