Will I ever get Linux to work?

I’d actually like to switch to linux, but it’s really not easy. I never had these problems with win98 but 2.43 and all newer versions of Blender are crashing constantly, so I need to have one working version of linux. Here’s the story:

-I started with suse 8.1, where it took me a week to get the internet working (had to write a config file, don’t ask me how I managed it at all).

-When I was in need of disk space, I used this partition to store files from windows, not knowing that it is not possible to copy them back. Now I know.

-Ok, then I tried puppylinux, since it’s small and I work with PCs in the 1000 - 2500 mhz range each with 256 mb ram.

-Puppylinux boots, but I have no idea how to install blender there. There are puplets made from other people, but how do I know these are safe?

-On the conference, someone I trust recommended ubuntu, since it’s user friendly. Well, but it doesn’t recognize any external drives. and it won’t boot on one of my pcs (puppy does).

-So my dream in life is to have a linux version which works with external drives, where I can run 2.48a. And a way to get my data back into windows space somehow

I’d so much like to recommend linux to everyone, But whenever I try it, I really wish I had a win98 with good usb drivers and more ram. From the clean usability, it’s still the best os for me.



You can use external drives with Ubuntu. Ask at http://ubuntuforums.org I find them very helpful whenever I have a question. Linux may have difficulty reading a drive formatted for Windows, but it can be done.

EDIT - Don’t despair - you can fix it!

-Puppylinux boots, but I have no idea how to install blender there.
I’d actually like to know the same thing. Is there a blender version for Puppy linux?

Just download the build from blender.org and use “tar” to uncompress the file to your home directory. Run it from there.

Linux does that, but not on 20th century hardware.

First, chose a distro and stay with it.
When you learned Windows, I doubt you kept reinstalling it every week and changing from win98 to xp, back do 99, than 95, than 2000, NT, Vista, back to XP.

Stay with a distro, “suffer” for a few days and learn how it works.

And about the internet… Were you accessing through wireless? Or do you have a win-modem?
There is no way the internet connection won’t work unless you have a very outdated hardware or one without available drivers for linux.

-So my dream in life is to have a linux version which works with external drives, where I can run 2.48a. And a way to get my data back into windows space somehow

i’m also in ubuntu 8.04, use blender on it, and can access external drives.

You can read and write to windows partitions on GNU/Linux using vfat or ntfs-3g (depending on the file system you are using).

You’ll just have to trust them, learn to compile it your self or use the official builds (same options as on every other distro/OS).

could you give more information on what exactly are these external devices that are not recognized in ubuntu? also, what do you use for internet connection.

ubuntu is very good at automaticly detecting and configuring your devices.


it’s not always good at that. I spent a month trying to trick Ubuntu and then Xbuntu and then Kubuntu into detecting my display propertly (the threads on here)… only to find out that my mainstream ViewSonic 20.1" is not supported by Linux AT ALL.

A little warning would have been nice.

eh…thats a surprise…
i have two viewsonics, they both work fine. VA902, and VA2216W…
if this is your monitor (VX2025wm) try the modelineand horiz and vert refreshes perhaps on this thread. that was first google hit.

about warning, when i’m buying new hardware, i usually check in advance what others are saying about support. distros really can’t know in advance, and don’t have resources to make full lists of everything what works and what not.


First of all, thanks for all the help, and hi to basse and knellotron (say hello to Suzie from me).

The hard drive is a ‘lacie’, don’t know which brand ticks inside, and the usbstick is a 1 gb peacock drive. Nothing fancy, cheap stuff.

The motherboard is msi, so not too cheap, from around 2002 (yes, 21st century hardware). and I don’t have an internet connection there yet.

What I find strange is that it shows no sign of having them plugged in. I don’t think there are hardware errors, cause all hardware runs with xp and the disk runs even with win98

I’ll check puppy linux with the untarred blender install this weekend

Basse: good idea. But since the hardware is first, I have to check the OS now ( :

By default Ubuntu should display all detected Usb devices on the Desktop(If not there, in the My Computer Directory).

Do you have a Usb device that produces a light when plugged in? On rare occasions(usually with laptops) the usb’s can be disabled.

If you are getting a light when plugging in a usb device then:
Go to the top of your Ubuntu Desktop, Click on Applications >> Accessories > Terminal. A window should pop up, in there type: lsusb

The above command should give you a list of all Usb devices plugged in. Like so:

[email protected]:~$ lsusb
Bus 005 Device 004: ID 0471:0833 Philips
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 04e8:507d Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 046d:c512 Logitech, Inc.

If you get something similar(company names & ID numbers will vary depending on what you have plugged in) then your usbs are working. Could you please post up the results?

Also make sure your running the latest Ubuntu release(8.04) & connect the machine to the internet so you can update any files.

I read that Xubuntu is built with older systems in mind, may be worth a shot.

MSI is crap. Some time ago I had an MSI board from 2002 too. It required special drivers to control the speed of the northbridge cooling fans. The application to load these drivers was called “MSI Core Center”. This app could not be run from a non-admin account in Windows (RunAs didn’t help either), so you had to log in as Administrator. And of course there was no such driver for Linux at all, so the fans would run at full speed all the time.

Maybe your USB ports require special drivers too. I wouldn’t be surprised. One more thing you can do is check your BIOS setup to see if the USB ports are running in legacy mode. Toggle this setting and see if it makes any difference.

However, running Blender on top of Linux on 256 MB won’t be much fun anyway. I think Windows 98 is indeed your best option here. Crashes may be caused by OpenGL bugs, so make sure your graphics drivers are up to date.

if the lsusb command doesn’t show anything… you could try to plug the device in while running the system, and then right after running a command “dmesg” … on those last lines of the printout it will tell you something what happened when you plugged the device in. that will give us a start to see what goes wrong, if anything …


Is there a reason you can’t or don’t want to increase the RAM? I just bought 2 gigs (2X1 Gig DDR) from Tiger for $20 after rebate, that’s pretty cheap. I also have an older box with 768 mB RAM running Fedora Core 5, it runs just fine. It sees external drives, too.

Thank you very much for all your help.

Ubuntu 8.04 seems to be quite useful and most of the stuff works now.

Of course, life would be too easy if there wasn’t new trouble (:

I updated to 8.1 because 8.04 had an outdated gimp version.
Now I can’t get the hardware acceleration old geforce2 gts/pro to work.
the hardware driver seems to be installled, but it wont show in the hardware driver window (where you can enable or disable them)
Since I tried different drivers, Blender won’t start anymore.

If you ask yourself, why I don’t buy additional stuff (ram graphics card, new pc), I would if I could but I cannot right now. Although I’d really liked to have new hardware without trouble.

i recommend you to install costumizable linux (like Arch or Debian) and to install LXDE for desktop environment. i have installed that (arch + lxde) on a Pentium III with 256 ram, but i didn’t tryed blender on that. But there was Direct Rendering. On Arch you may have troubles with configuring but there is good wiki and polite users in #archlinux on irc.freenode.org.

good luck

If at all possible, update your hardware! 256 meg doesn’t go very far any more. Failing that try a lightweight distro like Arch, Gentoo or even Linux From Scratch.

What are your full hardware specks exactilly?