Ubuntu Linux, it was supposed to be so easy!

  Epirb406 11:59 24 May 2009
Locked

Had an old desktop lying around, thought I would get up and running with Linux for my kids.

Beguiled by articles telling me it couldn't go wrong I set off into the blue with Ubuntu 8.

With a clean hardisk I went for the full format and install and got to a working desktop fairly rapidly.

Unfortunately the mouse and keyboard (USB) would only work for 15 minutes or so and I then the system froze and I guess was 'hung'

Having tried various mice and conbinations I gave up and downloaded the latest Ubuntu, 9.

Reformatted, clean install and again to a working desktop fairly rapidly. Freezing problem still there and now the network is so slow a to be unusable.

I headed off for linux support but find myself completely bewildered as to what advice to take. As there essentially seens to be dozens of varieties it is really difficult to find advice that is relevant and I must confess that when I do find someone with similar problems I don't understand the fixes that are offered!

Anyone here who can offer some advice to a Linux Newbie who may just be about to decide that that penguin will never be my friend?

Cheers and sorry for the long post, Epirb.

  LastChip 12:38 24 May 2009

OK, I'm sure we can help to sort you out, but first, can you tell us what the spec. of the "old PC" is?

Ubuntu is a fairly sophisticated distribution (distro) and although not as resource hungry as Windows, still needs respectable hardware to run properly.(and this has all the hallmarks of an under-powered machine).

If your machine is under-powered, there is almost certainly another distro that will run effectively.

One initial final thought, are you sure it is a software problem, rather than hardware? I don't mean in terms of the mouse or keyboard, but perhaps the motherboard USB controller itself.

  scotty 13:03 24 May 2009

I find the description of the mouse and keyboard only working for 15 minutes very strange. I am wondering if what you are describing is the whole system hanging after 15 minutes? If a computer (running any operating system) freezes after it has been running for a while, my first thoughts would be that it has an overheating problem. You say it is an old computer. Had it been unused for a long period before you installed Ubunutu? Are all the fans working?

I had a problem with the network being slow when I updated a system to Ubuntu 9.04. I think the problem was related to using IPv6. Some info here:
click here
but I recall that disabling IPv6 in version 9.04 was not simple.

  Epirb406 15:10 24 May 2009

Hi all thanks for replys, yes, mabybe computer hanging rather than mouse and keyboard, maybe a usb issue....?

Specs are:

PC Chips M848A Motherboard with SIS 748 chipset.
AMD Athlon 1800 XP chip
with 512 MB RAM and a 40 GB 7200 ATA HDD.

So, in fact not much less than my windows machines!

PC been in use until recently on Windows 98, pretty unstable but not, I think heat related....

Thanks for help so far, Epirb.

  Epirb406 15:14 24 May 2009

oops and an Nvidia GeForce4 MX 420 graphics card (No onboard video)

Sorry I forgot!

  Epirb406 16:30 24 May 2009

When I first had problems and had issues with a 256 module that was in there, Removed module and memtest gave overnight clean bill of health.

Don't put too much store by win 98 instability it was an old and neglected installation.

If you guys really think that it must be hardware related I will install a copy of windows and try that for stability before returning ti Linux.

I however think that hardware is fine.

Still scratching head here!

Brgds, Epirb.

  LastChip 16:56 24 May 2009

Apparently, up until quite recently, there was a known bug in Ubuntu, that may be the cause of your problem.

Have you attempted to update the system yet, as my understanding is, a patch has been released to solve this problem.

If you haven't run update, try that first.

  Epirb406 17:55 24 May 2009

Networking (wired) running so slow I can't update.

Was the bug hardware related?

Thanks for staying on the case....

Epirb.

  LastChip 22:50 24 May 2009

The one thing that Linux is renowned for, is excellent networking, so as you're having problems with that, it makes me suspicious of the hardware yet again, or as DieSse suggested, a corrupt installation (for whatever reason). Have you media checked the installation CD? It should be one of the menu options.

How does the machine run, if you forget the installation for now and run it from a "Live CD"? Do you get the same problems?

The glaring possibility, is I don't know how well sis chip-sets are supported in Ubuntu and this *could* be the source of your problems. You may find PCLinuxOS 2009, would be a better option for that chip-set. click here

citadel: that comment does nothing to help. If you wish, I'll point you to the thousands of posts regarding XP and Vista problems. For me to turn around and say; Linus can sleep well to Windows users, also does nothing to help those who need it.

  Epirb406 09:25 25 May 2009

Well, stability is achieved.

Having tried and failed with two flavours of Ubuntu I tried your link for LinuxOS 2009.

It is installed and stable, system has been up for three hours now without a single glitch. Sorry to be so belligerent about my hardware but I was pretty sure it was OK, it's old stuff and we have been together a long time!

Now all I have to do is get on the learning curve! It is online with a wired connection, works on Youtube and any other sites I have tried.

now I am wrestling with the wireless adaptor and network sharing.

I am needing a new vocabulary and more knowledge at every turn.

Who knows where it will end but I wish I knew what the Ubuntu problem was, everyone else seems to swear by it!

Cheers folks, will leave open for a few more hours for help and comment and then will tick resolved.

Brgds, Epirb.

  MIke 10:02 25 May 2009

Having tried a few flavours of linux I failed to get any to work well on my HP laptop until I came across PC Linux OS which works perfectly.

It's also prettier than Ubuntu!!

I'd suggest you use the makelivecd option in utilities once you've set it up to make regular backups similar in a way to an acronis TI image. So if you do need to restore you won;t need to re-configure e-mail settings or download updates via synaptic(not that it's that much of an issue) if you do have a disaster.


I'm just learning Linux and find it to be well worth the learning curve.


I'm dual booting with vista and use Linux in preference to Vista for much of my surfing and e-mailing as it's so much quicker than Vista ( and alllegedly more secure)

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