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Messages - Rich J

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General Help & Advice / Partitioning SSD
« on: Yesterday at 07:36:05 pm »
Hi All - I've got my new build up and running and I'm ready to install a new version of Mint.  But before I do, I could do with some advice re partitioning the SSD, both for optimum speed and wear.

Specs are Crucial MX500 500GB SSD, 8GB (2x4) RAM.  I don't envisage having a separate HDD for storage as I'll never fill up this one with the type of computing I do.

I want to keep it simple - my thoughts are say, 80GB for / and the rest for /home.  I've read that SSD's don't get on with swap so would I need a swap partition at all with 8GB RAM?

Thanks in advance


General Help & Advice / Re: LIBRE OFFICE why no upgrade
« on: April 17, 2019, 05:41:52 pm »
Thanks for your input.  Each new version has better MS Office integration.

All our clients even the Mac users use MS Office and there can be issues opening files.

I would like to be able to ditch using MS Office for external communications but LO just not 100% reliable.

Hmmm...... I send various documents to colleagues on Windows using Libre and save in the appropriate format (.doc, .docx, xls etc) and that seems to work ok? At least they haven't come back to me saying they can't read 'em.   ;)

General Help & Advice / Re: LIBRE OFFICE why no upgrade
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:42:34 am »
Hi - in my experience Mint can take a while to update any aspect due to it's policy of ensuring stability and compatibility.  Newer versions of software can - and do - screw with your system if installed from ppa's so be aware of that and research thoroughly before you go down that route.

I found this -

and this -

which may be of some help?

Do you have a particular need to update it?  Chances are you wouldn't really notice any difference apart from cosmetically.  Anyway, be careful!



General Help & Advice / Re: PC Self-build v Custom Build
« on: April 16, 2019, 05:35:30 pm »
Hi Mark

I've done as thorough a search as I can on all aspects of my proposed build and here is my definitive list - I've split it into 2 suppliers as it offers best price v availability.

Scan Computers:

Case - Value CiT Jetstream with 500W PSU
Mobo - ASrock H310M-HDV
Keyboard - Logitech K120    Total cost (collected) = £112.03


CPU - Intel Core i3-8100 Coffee Lake
RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 2666 (2x4GB)
SSD - Crucial MX500 3DNAND  =  £208.18  (assume free delivery)

Total  =  £320.21

This compares with over £500 for Scan to build similar.  All other UK builders I could find are more expensive again.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and whether I've missed anything obvious? 

Thanks again


General Help & Advice / Re: PC Self-build v Custom Build
« on: April 12, 2019, 04:57:56 pm »
I'll see what I can find about those options tomorrow Rich .. busy day today I'm afraid :)

No rush!   ;)

General Help & Advice / Re: PC Self-build v Custom Build
« on: April 12, 2019, 08:24:00 am »
Have you taken a look here.... sell full systems and components,it's where I got most of my gear from when I was building my present pc.

Hi - and thanks for your reply.  Yes, I've had a look and price-wise these components come out just slightly higher?  At mo' I'm trying to nail down the exact make/model of each component then do a full search as to prices (see reply above).  I'm actually stuck picking a case just now - I don't need anything fancy and prefer a mid-size, provided I can fit everything in............ :D  and I thought choosing a wife was hard  ::)



General Help & Advice / Re: PC Self-build v Custom Build
« on: April 12, 2019, 08:16:58 am »
The only things in that you'd really need to check would be the motherboard, and the graphics driver support for the coffeelake CPU
suggests the motherboard will be fine .. with the right settings to allow booting from a USB stick for installation.

And phoronix suggest coffeelake support is now available in the 4.15 kernel onwards .. so basically anything based on Ubuntu 18.04 onwards.

Earlier versions of Ubuntu could be made to work with the
Code: [Select]
kernel boot parameter, but it should no longer be necessary in 18.04

Yes, for normal desktop use (no gaming) you could probably get a slightly cheaper CPU .. but personally I wouldn't build anything less than an i3 nowadays, if only for future proofing .. and by all accounts, that i3 performs pretty well (faster than a Skylake i5 according to Phoronix) so I'd say a pretty good choice.

Hi Mark - thanks for your input.

I take your point about motherboards and to that end have narrowed down my options to these -

Gigabyte H310M S2H (Socket 1151/H310 Express/DDR4/S-ATA 600/Micro ATX)  - starting point

ASUS PRIME H310M-K Intel LGA-1151 mATX Gen 1 Motherboard (DDR4, 2666MHz ,SATA, 6 Gbps and USB 3.1) - Black  Coffee Lake

ASRock H310M-HDV LGA1151/Intel H310/DDR4/SATA3&USB3.1/GbE/MicroATX Motherboard  Coffee Lake   ****

All three support DDR4 - 2666 RAM though Asus and Asrock have Coffee Lake chips so should work no problem with the i3 CPU.  All cost within £10 of each other, depending on where you buy.  What do you think?

The i3 definitely looks a goer to me - available on Amazon for £108 - £22 cheaper than the next cheapest.

EDIT:  ****   I just found this review on Amazon - -  I'd be surprised if the mobo didn't have onboard sound and it could have been a fault on that particular board but needs further investigation, I think.

General Help & Advice / PC Self-build v Custom Build
« on: April 09, 2019, 07:16:03 pm »
I've started a new thread as I realised I'd strayed off topic in the last one!


I visited here this morning - - and this is the list of components I used merely as a starting point.

Case - CIT 1016 Micro ATX with 500W PSU
Mobo - Gigabyte H310M
CPU - Intel i3 8100 Quad core Coffee Lake
RAM - 8GB (2x4) Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX Black PC4-17000 (2133)
Storage - Gigabyte 480GB 2.5" SSD SATA 111 66Gbs/s
DVD RW - Asus DRW-24D5MT
Keyboard - Logitech K120 USB

I asked the desk guy if there was much difference in price between self-build and custom-build and he said 'not really these days' and with custom-build you do get a fully tested system and a 3-year warranty ......  And he confirmed that all of these as listed are compatible.

To purchase for self-build quoted at £336.  To purchase for custom build quoted at £500+.  Obviously they're charging the extra for the 3yr warranty......!

If you could run your eye over this list and give an opinion, I'd be grateful.  Is it 'overkill' for what I'm going to use the computer for?  Are there cheaper options and specs out there that would do as good a job?  There's lots of suppliers in the components market - do you have personal experience of any and standards of parts/service etc? 

About the SSD - would it need some sort of extra chassis/bracket to fit it into the drive bay?  It's not clear on any website I've visited.  And would the mobo stand-offs and screws come as supplied, or are these purchased separately?

I'm quite confident about self-build as I've taken apart and re-fitted most things in a computer except the motherboard but online videos seem to show that this job isn't too much of a problem.  I'm looking for a comprehensive guide at the moment if you know of one?

Thanks again for your time and interest.


General Help & Advice / Re: Mint 19.1 install issues
« on: April 08, 2019, 12:22:24 am »
Hi Mark - thanks for the sound advice, much appreciated!

I'm going to the supplier on Tuesday to do a comparison re: self-build/built to order and hopefully will get a clearer picture on component prices then. 

I take your point on processors and I am leaning towards Intel as there seems to be more options on motherboards.  Plus, on-board compatible graphics chips are important and save money also.  I'm hoping to find an earlier gen quad core CPU that would fit the bill - don't need bleeding edge stuff and having gaming power would just be a waste anyway. 

Good tip on the size of RAM - they've got 8GB Corsair DDR4 sticks for under £40.  Would it be better to have 1 x 8GB or 2 x 4GB sticks, or does it make no difference?  (I'm thinking if one stick failed, there's still 4Gb available?)  I've actually got 2 x 2GB DDR2 Black Dragon gaming sticks (one is installed in this rig at mo' - bought for an upgrade some years ago but the mobo wouldn't power both, even though it said it would).  Would these work if added or would they not be compatible?

I'll post back when I know more - thanks again



General Help & Advice / Re: Mint 19.1 install issues
« on: April 06, 2019, 10:20:17 pm »
On reflection, it may be that my old box and me may have come to the end of the road, good servant that it has been!  Having lasted much longer than it would have done under Windows, it owes me nothing and, though I'm always reluctant to ditch something that still has life, perhaps with the advance in capability and complexity of the latest versions of Linux, the old girl needs a younger successor?  The continuing issues I get when trying to update to a newer version of Mint are proof of that, I think.  To that end I've had a look at various options available in the marketplace but would like some advice please, before I spend my money?

I have no need of anything 'high-end'.  My usage is very modest - no gaming or streaming of large files etc - just your average day-to-day stuff.  So a more 'budget' pc would do.  A decent motherboard in terms of speed and reliability, a minimum of 4GB Ram, an SSD around 150GB, an optical drive and a power supply with enough beef to handle future upgrades.  My monitor is ok though only has VGA connection but I believe a VGA to HDMI lead would sort that? And a new keyboard wouldn't go amiss.  That's about it.

Do any of you have a preference between AMD and Intel CPU's?  Is one better than the other in regard to Linux, specifically?  Ditto RAM?

There is a highly rated computer parts supplier who also build to order near to me that I'm planning on checking out soon. It's a close call as to whether I go self-build or let them do it.  It comes down to price in the end - if it's close enough I'll let them build it and take the guarantee that comes with it.

Any advice on these points and possible pitfalls would be very helpful before I take the plunge!

Thanks to all


General Help & Advice / Re: Mint 19.1 install issues
« on: April 04, 2019, 07:19:40 pm »
What's the output from:
Code: [Select]
inxi -Fz

Hi Mark - as requested

Code: [Select]
richard@richard-OEM:~$ inxi -Fz
  Host: richard-OEM Kernel: 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64 bits: 64
  Desktop: MATE 1.20.1 Distro: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa
  Type: Desktop System: DIXONSXP product: N/A v: N/A serial: <filter>
  Mobo: Foxconn model: 945 7MC Series serial: <filter> BIOS: Phoenix
  v: 6.00 PG date: 12/09/2006
  Topology: Single Core model: Intel Pentium 4 bits: 64 type: MT
  L2 cache: 2048 KiB
  Speed: 2400 MHz min/max: 2400/3200 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 2400 2: 2400
  Device-1: NVIDIA G86 [GeForce 8500 GT] driver:[b][color=red] nouveau [/color][/b]v: kernel
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nouveau
  unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa resolution: 1440x900~60Hz
  OpenGL: renderer: NV86 v: 3.3 Mesa 18.0.5
  Device-1: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio
  driver: snd_hda_intel
  Device-2: Trust Widescreen 3MP Webcam type: USB
  driver: snd-usb-audio,uvcvideo
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-20-generic
  Device-1: Realtek RTL-8100/8101L/8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter
  driver: 8139too
  IF: enp2s3 state: unknown speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
  Local Storage: total: 149.05 GiB used: 18.43 GiB (12.4%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD1600BB-22RDA0
  size: 149.05 GiB
  Hardware-1: Intel 82801GR/GDH (ICH7R/ICH7DH) SATA Controller [RAID mode]
  driver: ahci
  ID-1: / size: 36.41 GiB used: 6.29 GiB (17.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5
  ID-2: /boot size: 1.85 GiB used: 83.4 MiB (4.4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
  ID-3: /home size: 102.17 GiB used: 12.06 GiB (11.8%) fs: ext4
  dev: /dev/sda6
  ID-4: swap-1 size: 5.58 GiB used: 524 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7
  System Temperatures: cpu: 12.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nouveau temp: 52 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nouveau fan: 0
  Processes: 156 Uptime: 4h 17m Memory: 1.95 GiB used: 831.5 MiB (41.7%)
  Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.27


I've just noticed that the graphics were using nouveau driver instead of the Nvidia one so changed it over in Driver manager.  (The GeForce 8500 GT card has been fitted to this rig for years and works fine with it's own driver - usually......... ::))  When asked to reboot - yep! you've got it - KERNEL PANIC!!

So I've run through your instructions once more and have posted this before I reboot to test in case it goes belly-up again!  Will update asap.

EDIT 2:  No joy this time using either of the previous set of instructions, just ends up in kernel panic and I have to power off manually.  Is there a way of uninstalling the Nvidia driver using the install disk and forcing the use of the nouveau one?  Perhaps these later iterations of Mint might not like the Nvidia software (but I'm only guessing) though how it would screw up the boot sequence is beyond me!  ???

EDIT 3:  Now this is getting weird..........  I ran both sets of instructions (from your replies #15 & #19) and this time (in the #19 set) added 'update-grub' to the end and it's booted!  I've no idea which set has worked or if 'update-grub' has made the difference.... but it still says 'Ubuntu' in the Grub menu  ??? I ran inxi Fz again and got this -

Code: [Select]
  Device-1: NVIDIA G86 [GeForce 8500 GT] driver: nvidia v: 340.107
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nvidia
  unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau,vesa resolution: 1440x900~60Hz
  OpenGL: renderer: GeForce 8500 GT/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.107

so the Nvidia driver has loaded.  As a precaution, I'll suspend rather than shut-down until I know the system is stable.

General Help & Advice / Mint 19.1 install issues
« on: April 04, 2019, 02:47:52 pm »
Hi All - I've just completed a fresh install of the above and, as in the past, have run into a few problems..........

Initially, the install went perfectly and booted as expected.  Grub menu showed the correct version.  I then did the usual updating etc etc and within that was an updated kernel.  Then the problems started. 

First it wouldn't boot at all with the new kernel; I got it to boot in recovery mode with the original kernel and removed the new one but Grub menu then showed 'Ubuntu' and not Mint 19.1...... ???   Next, boot failed into kernel panic (AGAIN).  I referred back to this excellent reply from Mark -

and fortunately it was the instructions in post #19 that got me up and running - many thanks again to Mark!!   ;) 

Original kernel (as shipped) is - 4.15.0-20 - boots ok,  updated (recommended kernel) 4.15.0-47.49   which doesn't boot.

So, I need assistance please for the following - 

I now have only 1 kernel in the grub menu and wish to add a 2nd one as a back up.  A net search hasn't brought up any method I can understand.  (And how can I determine which is the best kernel to add, keeping in mind patched versions etc?)

Is it possible (or even advisable) to 'anchor' the kernel to the system?  (Also with ref: to the above)

I'm baffled as to why official updates constantly cause these kernel panics and non-boots and this happens whether I let the installer 'do it's own thing' or use a dedicated partitioning scheme.  (I currently use /boot, / and /home + swap as this seems to fit my hardware, though I've no idea why.....)  Can anyone shed any light please?

Mint runs beautifully (normally  ::)) even on my old rig but having to go through this rigmarole every so often is becoming a real pain!

As ever, thanks in advance


General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 10, 2019, 10:10:08 am »
Thanks Mark for that clear explanation.

I do apply regular updates but only up to level 3 lately.  I stopped the automatic installation of kernels due to a spate of 'kernel panics' I was getting.  For some reason, updating the kernel was upsetting my bootloader and I couldn't boot into any of them for a while resulting in a re-install back to Mint 18.1.  I did install the present kernel - 4.4.0-116-generic - as it was patched at the time but do accept that other patches are needed as time goes by. 

I'll try to update to the latest workable kernel but may be back regarding the 'panics'!!



General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 08, 2019, 09:05:23 am »
I've changed my mind about not panicking.   :-[
This link is very helpful:

Thanks Keith - very useful link but need to read it through a few times I think!  (See my reply to Mark)


General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 08, 2019, 09:03:28 am »
Hi Mark, thanks for the heads-up.  I ran the code and got this summary -

> SUMMARY: CVE-2017-5753:OK CVE-2017-5715:OK CVE-2017-5754:OKCVE-2018-3640:KO CVE-2018-3639:KO CVE-2018-3615:OK CVE-2018-3620:KO CVE-2018-3646:OK

I'm assuming from these results that the 1st round of vulnerabilities was patched but others have been discovered later that aren't? 

I vaguely remember a test that I could perform to check if a kernel was patched so I'll try and root it out and re-post as and when.  Also, I need to perform a sweep of redundant kernels (Mint keeps all of the updates) so maybe now is a good time to install the latest (working) kernel too?

Thanks again from a (so far) non-panicking Rich.........  ;)

EDIT:  If I have this right - is a vulnerability exploited by a rogue script on a webpage?  If so, would using an up-to-date browser (Firefox, in my case) and enabling UFW (I have) prevent any such script from deploying?  Or am I way off beam here?

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