[Wolves] What's Your Linux Machine?

Adam Sweet adamsweet at gmail.com
Sun Mar 8 14:38:45 UTC 2020

On 06/03/2020 23:15, John Alexander via Wolves wrote:
>  Twin E2670 Xeon 128GB ram an Nvidia 1080 and a NVME 512GB       2x32"Dell Monitor
> The only way to fly!                        

That's your desktop?? You could run your whole OS from RAM or sell VPS
hosting on it :O


>     On Friday, 6 March 2020, 12:07:28 GMT, Adam Sweet via Wolves <wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk> wrote:  
>  John Alexander suggested this as a conversation starter on list a few
> weeks back, then asked at the meeting on Weds. I think I answered then
> the conversation moved on rather than going around the group, so here it
> is on list.
> So, what is your Linux machine? I'll start (wall of text alert, I got
> carried away). All the machines I use were bought by my company rather
> than me, while they're not that new now they'd probably be a bit more
> humble if I were paying:
> My desktop is a 2015 Dell Optiplex 9020:
> Intel i7 4790 3.60GHz (4 cores +HT)
> Bought with 8GB RAM, now using 16GB
> Intel graphics
> 2 x 24" Iiyama Black Hawk monitors
> Came with a terrible 500GB hybrid SSHD - a traditional spinning disk
> (5400 RPM!) with 8GB SSD storage at the beginning to cache frequently
> used files. I replaced that with two Crucial MX200 SSDs, one for Linux
> and one for Windows which I do occasionally need for customer support.
> I'm running Ubuntu 19.10. The machine came with Windows 7 which I
> recently updated to Windows 10 just before support was ended for 7.
> Despite turning 5 years old this summer, this machine doesn't feel slow
> or sluggish at all, probably thanks to the two SSDs and 16GB RAM. Most
> of my workload is web browser, mail client and terminal (SSH to customer
> systems).
> My laptop is a 2017 Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming 7567 with slightly
> embarrassing, decidedly non-business appropriate red trim. I wanted
> something I could use for occasional games (adding a discrete graphics
> card to my desktop would mean trying to replace the non-standard form
> factor PSU). I'd waited for the Dell XPS with the same spec as this one
> (sans the cringey red trim) to be released for about 9 months, saw a dip
> in the price of this one, conceded I could wait forever as my existing
> laptop was starting to show its age and took the plunge. The XPS model
> with the same hardware I'd waited for came out about 3 month later and
> Iain bought it :(
> Intel i7 7700HQ CPU 2.80GHz (4 cores +HT)
> 16 GB RAM
> 512GB NVMe drive (Windows 10)
> I added a 512GB Samsung Evo 850 SSD for Ubuntu
> Hybrid Intel HD 630 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile graphics
> 15" 4K IPS display
> It came with Windows 10 on the NVMe drive and had an empty SATA bay so I
> added the Samsung Evo with the intention of swapping Windows to the SSD
> and putting Ubuntu on the faster NVMe drive but I never got around to it.
> I had to go through various hoops to get Ubuntu running on it. For some
> reason it ships with a single drive but with the disk controller set in
> RAID mode (presumably Windows fakeraid) which means Ubuntu can't see it.
> Setting it in AHCI mode means it uses a generic Windows driver which
> performs poorly. It turns out you can use a driver from an almost
> identical OCZ drive from the same OEM which solves the performance
> issue. All that done means Linux can see and access the NVMe drive,
> though I later decided to leave Ubuntu on the separate SSD.
> The other issue was the hybrid graphics, Intel for power efficiency,
> Nvidia for gaming. Windows runs using the Intel graphics by default and
> runs individual games and graphically demanding apps from a whitelist on
> the Nvidia GPU.
> At the time of purchase Linux was only able to use one or the other at a
> time for the whole desktop session though it was possible to run a
> command to switch between them then log out/in again to use the other.
> This bit me on the ass when I did an Ubuntu release upgrade a couple of
> weeks before running a training course which messed up the X server but
> I managed to get it running again, then running some OS updates the
> night which broke it entirely. I wasn't able to fix in time and I had to
> give the course using Windows (which I find like bathing in bleach,
> itchy and irritating). I had to do a complete reinstall to get it
> working again.
> Only recently has support been added to the Nvidia binary Linux driver
> to allow the same kind of hybrid behaviour as on Windows. I don't appear
> to have it in 19.10 yet but I believe we have Martin Wimpress of Ubuntu
> MATE and recently announced Ubuntu Desktop Team lead to thank for a 'GPU
> switcheroo' GUI applet which allows you to choose between an Intel or
> Nvidia desktop session, or hybrid mode where you can choose to start
> individual applications on a particular GPU. I thanked him personally
> for that at OggCamp in October last year.
> I also have an old first gen Dell Ubuntu developer laptop (essentially a
> Dell XPS 13) which feels a bit laggy these days. It had a second gen
> Core i7 with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a 13" display. I typically use it as
> a 'throw in a bag and go' laptop. My Inspiron Gaming laptop is too heavy
> to carry around comfortably.
> I realise I've gone into way more detail than necessary here, there's no
> need to do the same unless you want to. What's your Linux machine?
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