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Topics - MattC


I've been hearing a lot of bad things lately regarding Windows and iOS, and am becoming less and less comfortable about having my main computer running Windows - particularly Win11.  However, I am unable to locate a non-Windows and non-iOS computer that will allow me to install Linux.  I don't know very much about the 'Secure Boot' or 'TPM', but the impression I get is that, if I buy one with these set up, I will not be able to install another OS (or will need authorisation/something from MS??).  I don't have a massive amount of money, and I would rather get one from a reputable source.  I also have little experience building computers with the more modern set up.  (When I built them, there was no internet connectivity - 40MB HDD, etc.  ::) .)

Can anyone advise me on a sensible route, and also the compatibility (if that's the right word) of the TPM?

Much appreciated,

Hardware Compatibility / Puppy Linux on Virtualbox
November 11, 2021, 09:32:45 PM

Trying to test Bionic Pup on a VM to see how it runs.  I'm using "Puppy 18_04 bionicpup32-8.0-uefi.iso" and I've been playing with the settings, but I can't get it to work.  The live CD works, no problem.  But when I try to install it on the VM, all it does is hang at the start - I don't even get the scripting.

The basic settings for the VM are 512MB RAM, 2GB HDD, single core,  16MB video.

Any ideas, and do you need any other information?

Also, is this version still supported?

Linux Support / Lite 3.8 Blank Screen After Opening Lid
October 02, 2021, 04:41:27 PM
Hi.  I have Lite 3.8 installed on my old Samsung NP-N110 laptop and it seems to work fine.  When I close the lid and reopen after a time, it asks for a password.  This is fine - although I can't figure out how to stop this - but when I enter the password, the screen goes blank and remains blank.  I am unable to do anything with it except for hitting the power button to shut it off.  It seems to close down OK, as when I hit the power button it chugs for a while then shuts down.

So if anyone has an answer to either of the following I'd be grateful:

1. How do I stop the p/w request from appearing when I've closed the lid for a time? (This is on mains as well as battery.)

2. What's happening and how do I prevent the blank screen after I've entered the p/w?

Thank you.

Hardware Compatibility / Fast OS for an Old Laptop
July 24, 2021, 06:24:24 AM

I have an old laptop (Samsung NP-N110) which uses a 1.6GHz Atom N270, 1GB Ram and a 60GB HDD.  I've install a couple of different Linux OSs (currently running is Mint) but all of them seem to be very slow to do anything.  It used to run WinXP (which I know is an older OS compared to the current Linux OSs), but it was very fast with that.  In fact, most of the computers that I install Linux OSs on (even the more modern ones) seem to be very slow at running up the system and apps.  I was always very happy with using the Samsung, but since XP was dropped, I was hoping to install a Linux OS in its place.  Are there any suggestions as to what OS I might run on this?  It needs to be easy to install (I've noticed some Linux OSs are quite complicated); reasonably safe and secure; and will boot up, open and run apps with reasonable speed.  I don't expect the earth, but knowing how the system worked originally, I was hoping for something similar.


I'm trying to set up a laptop for a friend who will need help occasionally.  I have tried to use Zoom in Firefox.  My computer has the Zoom app, but the laptop does not, so my friend will be accessing it through Firefox.  However, the screen share does not work from the laptop.  (The 'Allow participants to screen share' option is set.)  I have a virtually identical setup on VirtualBox and this works fine.  I've been through the various settings and can find no relevant difference.  Both systems are fully up to date.  I'm using Linux Lite 3.8.  (I know it's not the latest version, but I prefer it.)  Is there a setting in Lite that would allow/disallow this?  Giving screenshots would be difficult, but the only difference from a normal view of the browser's Zoom is that the Share Screen button is permanently greyed out.

General Discussion / Computer Not Shutting Off
January 25, 2021, 07:19:53 PM
Hi.  Not sure if this is the best place to ask this.

I've been trying to install an OS on an older computer and what ever I do, whether through installed or live, when I come to close down the computer, the system shuts off but the computer stays on.  After that, I cannot turn it on or off with the power button - even with a hard shutdown.  The only way to restart is to turn the power switch off at the back (or remove the power), turn on and then restart.

Any suggestions?

Linux Support / Operating system not found - DVD Issue
January 08, 2021, 07:09:44 PM

I'm trying to use an older laptop, but I'm getting a "Operating system not found" error message when I try to use the DVD.  In fact I can't even seem to read from it using an old Linux distro (Lite 1) that was on it (I installed it some time ago).  I've tried replacing the DVD with other DVD drives that I know work, but still get the same issue.  It's an Acer TravelMate 4062LCi.  I know the DVD did work. but suddenly stopped.  I don't want the OS that is on there, but I can't install anything else as it is the only way to install - no USB support in the BIOS.  Any ideas as to what's wrong?
Linux Support / Linux Lite v1
January 01, 2021, 07:45:13 PM
I've being playing with Linux Lite v1 on VB.  Realistically, what security and application problems might I encounter if I were to use this as a main OS on a proper machine?  The main use would be accessing the internet for business downloads, and spreadsheet display.
Linux Support / Zerofree Utility
January 01, 2021, 03:06:05 PM

I'm trying to reduce the size of the VDI disk images in VirtualBox and the help recommends Zerofree to zero out all deleted files.  Is there any where that I can download this file securely, and does it support ext4?

Linux Support / Firefox high CPU
December 31, 2020, 07:17:28 PM

I'm trying to install an OS on an older desktop that is relatively simple and quick, but I'm having trouble installing anything.  When I load any of the Linux distros from the CDs (or USBs) they all seem to take an age to load up and the CPU maxes out when Firefox is running.  I initially tried to install Win10 but the low memory gave me a massive problem.  One of the lighter distros, though, seemed to be a reasonable alternative.  However, I've tried Ubuntu, Lite, Mint and Puppy (which I couldn't get installed).  (I also tried other OSs including Haiku, Bodhi, DSL and Kolibri).  With the Linux distros, the CPU was high for a minute then returned to a more moderate level, but after Firefox was started, the CPU rose to around 95% or higher, often maxing out for several minutes leaving the system unresponsive.  Once Ff closed down the CPU returned to normal(ish).  In almost all versions of any OS I tried, the boot up time was significantly longer than I have experienced for other computers.  Even ones with a lower spec.

Specs for the problem desktop:

Dell Dimension 2400, originally installed with XP.

Proc: Intel Celeron 2.60GHz
Mem: 768MB
Drives are currently disabled. (Actually removed.)
Displ: Currently hooked up to a 1440 x 900 screen running directly off the mother board.

If necessary, for your info from PartedMagic on the Hirens CD, (means nothing to me):
CPU Blowfish: 20.58
CPU Cryptohash: 33.86
CPU Fibonacci: 5.63
CPU N-Queens: 10.70


Just installed Linux Lite 4.8 on a vitual machine (VB) but it won't update.  It produces an error log.  (This is hand copied as the shared clipboard does not seem to working either - which is another issue.  However, the bad grammar is in the original  ???)

Install Updates could not be successfully download and install available updates.
E:Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend - open(11:Resource temporarily unavailable)
E:Unable to aquire the dpkg front end lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend), is another process using it?


Linux Support / No Install Route
March 28, 2020, 01:56:57 PM

I am trying to install Linux Lite on an old laptop.  However, the DVD drive does not seem to be working very well and I have tried installing a new one with the same results.  None of the installation disks seem to work, so I would speculate that the problem is more than just a dodgy drive.  The laptop does have a floppy drive and USB ports, but the BIOS does not allow booting from the USB port, but does from the floppy drive.  I would like to get Linus Lite installed on the laptop.  Does anyone have any idea how to proceed?

Linux Support / Can't get Dropbox to run at startup
November 11, 2018, 09:45:44 AM

I have installed Dropbox, (using the route they describe on their website, as I am unable to use the repository), and I cannot get it to run at start up.  I can run it using the DB file in one of the DB folders, and it works fine from then.  But, even checking the 'run at startup' checkbox in settings doesn't seem to work.

Linux Support / Can I Remove Startup Applications
October 06, 2018, 08:46:54 PM

I have some 20 or so startup applications and I need to know if I can 'uncheck' any of them to allow faster boot up, etc.

(Incidentally, does 'unchecking' them mean that they will stay in the Startup App Pref screen and just not startup so that I can 'check' them again in the future?  I haven't attempted to do anything yet as I am unsure whether they will 'disappear'!)

Linux Support / Wifi Not Recognised After Suspend
August 27, 2018, 07:46:36 AM

My wife's laptop, which has Ubuntu on, has been working fine, albeit slowly.  Due to it's slow speed, I suggested putting it in suspend mode, rather than turning it off, (just periodically rebooting).  This has worked.  I have just installed a new router and, as I did with the first one, had trouble getting the wifi to connect.  I have now got that working.  However, what I have now found is that after putting the laptop in suspend mode, when turning on, the wifi does not see the router and therefore no wifi is available.  The only solution I have found is to reboot the machine.

Does anyone know why this is happening with the new router but not the old one, and if there is any way of fixing it.  (Rebooting would not be a problem if it didn't take around 5minutes or so to boot up.  For her to get into her e-mails/facebook etc. takes around 10 minutes.)

Ububntu 16.04 (the laptop is an older one).

Linux Support / Computers Specifically for Linux
July 05, 2018, 07:12:47 AM

One of the points that is made quite frequently when there is advice given with regards to installing Linux is to avoid installing it on a system previously created for the Windows environment.  Does anyone know of suppliers of systems - specifically laptops - that I can contact with regards to Linux compatibility?  I help users with basic problems with their computers, and most of them have a problem due to the complexity of Windows and problems with updates.  I would like to 'convert' them to a system that is better suited to them, and that generally seems to be a Linus distro.  As long as the desk/laptop is cheap enough, I am happy to do all the work for them and then give it to them.  So far, I have been unable to find a source of systems that is not dedicated to either Windows or iOS.  FYI, I'm in the Essex, UK area, if that helps.

Linux Support / Ubuntu Software unavailable
July 01, 2018, 03:09:27 PM
Hi.  I'm new here; and relatively new to linux.

I've installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my daughter's relatively old laptop.  Everything seems to be working OK (albeit, perhaps a little slow) except that, when I click on the 'Ubuntu Software' there is nothing available.  When I first installed it, I turned off the updates, etc. (partly because I had a problem with installing it on an identical unit of mine - and the only way to cure it was to install and turn off updates).  I thought this might be the reason for the lack of software, so I turned some of the updates on and it seemed to work.  However, it has now stopped and there is no software available again.

Has anyone got any suggestions, and is there any other info that might make things clearer?