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Solved Is Raspberry Pi Good For Learning Linux?

January 8, 2021 at 13:59:03
Specs: subject of question., ARM...subject of question.
Greetings,my father decommissioned an Asus X553MA laptop with bad motherboard,i used the RAM from it to upgrade his new(refurbished) laptop,& i rebuilt it to external monitor,in the base of it is many space left & i thinking about building a Raspberry or Banana Pi into it,the display board has 2 inputs,so i plan connect Raspberry to its HDMI input & continue using VGA input for my Fujitsu Lifebook P772,when i need a secondary monitor,so it will have 2 modes:external monitor or Raspberry's display.
Is Raspberry Pi good for some1,who would like to learn using Linux?
I dislike to mess my Windows PCs with incompatible partitions,i would like to let them Windows multiboot & as i have a potential case for Raspberry,i would like to start learning Linux on a separate dedicated device,is Raspberry,Banana,or Orange Pi a good way for basic Linux learning?
If yes,may U advise me:
-Exist a Raspberry model with onboard SATA ports(i would like to connect DVD-RW drive & a HDD,i would also like to install OS on the HDD,because i think SD card as a system drive is a very weak part of the Raspberry construction,as it must be soon destroyed by consuming rewriting capacity,as OSs do rewrites nonstop,an SD card is not designed for such extensive rewritings as the system drive must withstand,they r also not designed for high amount of random writes,so i would prefer to install Linux on a HDD,i explored some webs,it seems,Banana has SATA ports,but it is Chinese & Raspberry is British,but models,i found,lacks SATA ports & i even do not c a power switch on images of Raspberry)?
-Which of supported Linux variants would U advise for a Linux beginner?
Shalom.

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✔ Best Answer
January 9, 2021 at 07:47:15
Since you have a need for the Pi, go ahead and learn on one.

Raspberry Pi's do not have SATA ports. The Pi 4 does have USB 3.0 ports so you can connect an external hard drive to it using a USB to SATA adapter. You could also connect a DVD drive to it.

Some versions of Linux for the Pi, there are MANY, can boot directly off of the hard drive, Manjaro for one. There is no power switch on the Pi but you can add one to the power supply cord. It'll then run a script to safely power down the system, exactly as Windows does.

I have 7 Pi's doing various things, from the Model 2 to 4. I run a Pi 4 as a desktop and it is very fast browsing the web, will play 4k videos, and can handle all my office needs.

Some have been running non stop for almost 3 years. I do keep them updated. Use a name brand SD card and they will last a long time. It is also VERY easy to make a full image of your SD card so that you can restore it in less than a 10 minutes - read up on Pishrink and Rufus.

Don't dismiss the Pi because of it's low cost. It is a true computer in every way.




#1
January 8, 2021 at 14:58:59
Just use a Live CD & google/search everything you don't understand.

linux for beginners similar to windows 10
https://cutt.ly/NjlzC8n

message edited by Johnw


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#2
January 8, 2021 at 15:46:44
@ Johnw - seems the link as posted doesn't exist? It coughs up a 404...

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#3
January 8, 2021 at 15:58:23
"@ Johnw - seems the link as posted doesn't exist? It coughs up a 404"
Fixed, thanks trvlr.

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#4
January 8, 2021 at 16:17:39
What you're proposing is not a good way to learn Linux.

You do NOT have to install Linux to learn it. You can run it directly off a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive until you're comfortable with it, then install it. Here are 3 versions that I recommend for beginners:
1. Linux Mint 20 Xfce: https://linuxmint.com/rel_ulyana_xf...
2. Zorin OS Lite: https://zorinos.com/download/#lite
3. Q4OS: https://q4os.org/

One thing you should know is that there are several different "Desktop Environments" (DE) that can be used in Linux. The DE is basically the way the desktop, menus, & folders are displayed. Some DEs are heavyweight & require lots of RAM to run well, others are lightweight & can be run on older computers with less RAM. #1 & #2 above are both based on Ubuntu Linux & use the Xfce DE; #3 is based on Debian Linux. Ubuntu itself is based on Debian so technically, all 3 are Debian based. Confused yet?

You should really do some research & reading before jumping into it. Here's an explanation about the most commonly used DEs. Personally, I'm a fan of the Xfce DE but for Q4OS, I use the Trinity DE.
https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-desk...
https://boxofcables.dev/a-tour-of-t...

Here's a couple of excellent Linux websites.
https://www.fosslinux.com/
https://distrowatch.com/

message edited by riider


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#5
January 9, 2021 at 07:47:15
✔ Best Answer
Since you have a need for the Pi, go ahead and learn on one.

Raspberry Pi's do not have SATA ports. The Pi 4 does have USB 3.0 ports so you can connect an external hard drive to it using a USB to SATA adapter. You could also connect a DVD drive to it.

Some versions of Linux for the Pi, there are MANY, can boot directly off of the hard drive, Manjaro for one. There is no power switch on the Pi but you can add one to the power supply cord. It'll then run a script to safely power down the system, exactly as Windows does.

I have 7 Pi's doing various things, from the Model 2 to 4. I run a Pi 4 as a desktop and it is very fast browsing the web, will play 4k videos, and can handle all my office needs.

Some have been running non stop for almost 3 years. I do keep them updated. Use a name brand SD card and they will last a long time. It is also VERY easy to make a full image of your SD card so that you can restore it in less than a 10 minutes - read up on Pishrink and Rufus.

Don't dismiss the Pi because of it's low cost. It is a true computer in every way.



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#6
January 9, 2021 at 14:46:09
As you want to go down the Raspberry path, instead of a Free Linux Live CD, here is a very good video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpJ...

message edited by Johnw


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#7
January 9, 2021 at 17:36:47
Shavua Tov(=i wish a good new week to all of U),
thank U for answers,i already have 1 old Live Linux CD(Slax) & i already studied articles about Linux including Fosslinux,i am thinking about to add these knowledges,because i heard & read mostly good references about Linux & have some friends,who r using Linux[1 of them had problems with dieing SSDs,which seems to be a result of Swap partition,so i recommended her to install it on HDD instead or at least have swap partition elsewhere,not on her system SSD,interesting is,she is a programmer,but has very insufficient HW-knowledges,she even sometimes did not know,what file system she must use for particular purposes,but she is excellent programmer even she does not know,how to prepare an install flash drive for UEFI system,very strange,i am amateur system builder & i know nothing about programming,but it is normal,system builder(HW+Windows/DOS OSs) is lower IT level than programmer...so i wrote this as a funny curiosity-i know a programmer without system building knowledges...as if U would have a university without high school,all others have their Linux systems on HDDs except IoT Raspberrys]...& i dislike to be so limited in education,i am advanced in Windows/DOS & helping with it to many people around me,installing,fixing,upgrading HW,etc.,but i feel it as a large hole in education,i have 0 experiences with Linux,i will sure not abandon my hobby about EOL Windows versions,but would like to fix my hole in education & learn Linux too,i have no ambition to reach such level as i have with Windows & DOS,but i dislike to be a Linux analphabet in the world,where Microsoft proceeds a suicide & Windows 10 seems to be an ad saying:"Switch to Linux,we ceased to create good OSs since EOL-ing Windows 7".
& other motivation to try Linux is,i have read,some Star Trek fans created an LCARS skin for the most used Linux GUIs(DEs),it looks on screenshots like a real LCARS OS,so i would definitely like to try this.
I also believe,Linux is safer for internet.
So i studied many webs about Linux & planned to add some distro into my OS collection in a non-specified future.
Live CDs r read-only,so i cannot really learn nothing about configuring the environment from it,yes,flash disx r suitable,but DanJ is the only,who fully understood my priorities,thanx.
As DanJ understood absolutely right,i had the idea of rebuild that dead laptop 1st,i like to fix things & mainly recycle,rebuild,reuse,give a new life to something sentenced to be scrapped,i love to take some remains of a dead machine,reuse its usable parts & build something new from it,i also love reducing the amount of waste by exploring new ways,how decommissioned HW can be rebuilt instead of sending it to a scrapyard,1 thing is,disposing & buying is not environmental,the 2nd thing is,it is boring to just throw away,what is not working & buy new things,i enjoying analyzing decommissioned machines,determine their usable parts,think,how to rebuild & reuse it,create a project,discussing it with U,buy parts,mount it together & learn something new & eliminate as much waste production,as possible-in 1 process & give a good example of reusing things instead of filling the environment with poisonous 'waste',which is not all waste.
Y to throw away something with 1 bad part(even motherboard)?
So my plan to learn Linux was in my pending plans waiting for an opportunity.
When i helped my father to identify,his laptop has bad motherboard & also,the most of Asus X553MA has bad motherboards(i found an article,a whole series of them would made with bad MBs),i determined,there is very few chance to get a good original MB & @ same time i found that Fujitsu Lifebook P772 laptops in 1 near shop,so i bought 2(1 for me,1 for girlfriend) & advised it also to my father,who bought it too,i then upgraded all 3 of them,the father's 1 was upgraded also by RAM module from the unfixable Asus X553MA,that was the 1st part,i reused,then i bought a LCD control board & started to rebuilding the body of decommissioned Asus laptop.My father has Fujitsu Lifebook P772 as a replacement & no longer needs the decommissioned laptop,so he gave mi it for rebuilding & reusing,so 1st i connected the control board to the display & it worx now as an external monitor,the control board is mounted in place of the bad motherboard,the body of the machine is now almost empty,there is a display control board,HDD & DVD & empty space large enough for the larger Banana Pi models,so even 2 or 3 Raspberrys can fit in,so that is that opportunity,i want to build something of these working parts remained from the decommissioned laptop & i remembered Raspberry,i have read some interesting articles about it & have also cn some of it & that the idea was born to resettle the empty space with Raspberry Pi & use it for learning Linux as a side-effect of building a Raspberry Pi machine,so i started to exploring the particular models & i was disappointed,it has no power switch,nor SATA slots,so thank U,DanJ for confirming,i did not overlooked a model & any model has no power switch,nor SATA slots,in meantime i found Banana Pi,which has SATA slots & power switch,but i also found,it is Chinese & made by Foxconn,which is a company,which behaves terribly to their employees-forcing to work them 12hrs/day,6 days/week,exemplary slavery!!!So i very hesitated,i want a power switch & SATA slots,but i will not support a slavery because of my hobby,so i hoped,i will find a solution for the Fair Trade Raspberry Pi made in the UK from a Raspberry user,so i am glad,i found a Raspberry user so quickly.
I did not dismissed the Raspberry because it is low-cost,i think,even low-cost,UK does not export s---s like China(made in SOMETHING ELSE than China means a High Quality product for me & "Made in the UK" also may mean,it is Fair Trade,sure it is less blood of innocent slaves on it compared with Chinese products-not surprisingly s---s,as it is made by hungry slaves,who sleeps 1hr/day in China),but i almost dismissed it because it has no power switch,thanx for the info,there is an intelligent power switch available for Raspberry.
I also found,Raspberry has USB-SATA adapters,but made for vertical connection,all expansion HW for Raspberry seems to be for vertical mounting using that GPIO port on top & i need to build the system horizontally,not vertically,because i would like to be able to close the lid,so i would be glad to continue discussion with DanJ about this particular construction,i will not order parts sooner,than 5 weeks from now due to already allocated budget for other purposes & if Raspberry r all the same regarding connectivity & power switch,if i will buy 1,i will buy 4B with 8GB RAM-the flagship model.
So,DanJ,thank U for the complex & precious answer,thank U for answering ALL my questions in this topic & i hope,U will answer me few more questions for determinig details of the construction:
-How can i construct Raspberry system in horizontal ways?
I need let it in 1 single vertical layer & add adapters(prefer genuine for Raspberry) & expansion HW horizontally beside,not on top,nor below the Raspberry MB.
-Is the USB-SATA connection reliable for system drive?
-May i prevent turning off the HDD spinner,as i experience with USB external HDDs?
I think,often turning it on & off is not good for a system HDD.
I do not plan to use external HDD in an enclosure,but internal HDD on USB-SATA adapter physically mounted in original HDD caddy left from original system-it will provide optimal passive cooling for a system drive.
-What is the motherboard capacity limit for HDD-how large HDD can i use as Raspberry system drive?
-May U give mi linx for these adapters for HDD & DVD drives(DVD drive has another shape of SATA connector)?
-U understood very well,i asked for best Linux distro COMPATIBLE WITH RASPBERRY-which of these r best for Linux beginners?
-& yes,filter these by ability to boot from HDD,please.
-Do i understood right,there is an intelligent switch available to be connected between Raspberry & power input?
-I thinking also about a power bank connected between power adapter & Raspberry,but i am not sure,do a Power bank with input & output current 3A exist,can i solve the power backup this way?
I have no UPS now,but if i cannot use a power bank as a UPS for Raspberry,i will have to buy a UPS for it,we have often unexpected blackouts here,it cannot run without a backup battery ready for blackout(thus i have only laptops,no desktops),i know,Raspberry has a backup battery module,but for vertical mount & only 1Ah,even smartphone has greater battery,i did not found a genuine battery for Raspberry with higher capacity,so i think about a power bank as a UPS for it,or a regular UPS & the power switch should be between the power bank & the Raspberry.
Would U advise a power bank,or a regular desktop/class UPS?
-& yes,i preciously want such switch,which executes the proper shut down,as in Windows.Is this a genuine module for Raspberry?
-I am using Kingston class 10 SD cards,do U think,r they reliable?
Only 1 SD card failed after 4 years in my BlackBerry Classic,it often causes file system corruption,when a file is downloaded from internet or via bluetooth & i must fix it by computer,this consumes write cycles,but even exposed to buggy QNX File Picker it withstand it for 4 years,but it was still not a system drive.
-Can i make image after full customization & will it be restored too?
--Is it like regular cloning?
I have Rufus,Partition Wizard & Partition Guru.
I appreciate Your time,advices & experiences with Raspberry.
I have researched,LCARS(Star Trek) skin exists for Gnome,KDE,GTK,& XFCE GUIs of Linux,so i would like to choose some distro,which is compatible with both-Raspberry(with booting from HDD) & 1 of those GUIs mentioned above & i would prefer a distro with less confusing directory structure,what is uncomfortable in Linux & other Unix including QNX in my BlackBerry,is,that partitions r shown as regular directories & there r no drive letters,exist a distro of Linux(or other Unix compatible with Raspberry),which has a better distinguishing between partition root dirs & other dirs?
For Windows/DOS user it is confusing,the root dir of 1 partition looks like a sub-sub-sub-dir of another partition?
Is this common for all Linux distros or even for all Unix systems?
For example in my BlackBerry:
/mnt/sdcard/external-sd/
is the root dir of the SD card,in Windows it is:
B:\
(yes,i associated B:\ for my SD card readers on all my computers...& A:\ for DVD drive,i missed these letters...i was born in floppy era).
The point is,in case of my BlackBerry i logically assumed,the SD card's root is mounted as a sub-dir of internal storage,but it is confusing & will be more confusing in more complex system with more physical devices & more partitions.
Y the partitions r fictive sub-dirs of another partition or another drive in Linux/other Unix?
What is the purpose of this?
I guess,the purpose is prevent stupid people with insufficient imagination from using Unix...???...
Looking forward for another nice post from Raspberry expert (like) DanJ.
Shalom.

IT Museum under construction.
Thanx to Computing.net for being the forum with most user-friendly & constructive Admins.


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#8
January 9, 2021 at 17:53:01
Johnw:Thank U for understanding,i asked,is the Raspberry [1 of] good ways,not the only way or best or worst way,just is it usable for learning Linux,or absolutely out of question(for example for so different available GUIs,which has nothing close with these more common),i has these 2 projects associated-rebuilding that dead machine to something else & learning Linux,i asked mainly,because i was absolutely undecided between Raspberry & Banana or other microboards,i can build into that dead computer,i know,where to download Live Linux images & how to prepare Live USB flash drive by Rufus,so i did not asked the better between Live distros & Raspberry,but i needed to decide between Raspberry,Banana,Orange or other Linux micro-computer-boards,which fit into that place,i have in that former Asus machine,i am sorry,i was unclear.

IT Museum under construction.
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#9
January 9, 2021 at 18:59:01
"i am sorry,i was unclear"
No problem Sabina_16bit

Here is another Distro suited to Raspberry.

TinyCore Linux
http://www.tinycorelinux.net/
http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorel...
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article...
Forum
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/inde...


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#10
January 11, 2021 at 12:20:15
Thanx,Johnw.
In meantime i found a local Raspberry e-shop.
1 other thing,i c as advantage,is,distros suited for Raspberry has ability to use FAT32 partition as a system partition,by Linux articles,i have read,it is not standard ability of Linux & just few distros can be installed to & boot from FAT32,which i appreciate,because it grants access to that partition also from Windows computers,for example,if something goes wrong & reinstall will be needed,i can recover data be4 reinstalling from FAT32 partition on any computer,it would not be possible with a distro limited to ext? boot partitions,so i am glad,thanx to Raspberry some distros can boot from FAT32.
I assume,directory structure is similar to non-Raspberry distros,as even much farther relative Unix systems uses almost same system directory structure,that is 1 of the thing,i must concentrate to understood,as Linux/other Unix directory structure ... is like a Cardassian computer for some1 using whole life Federation ones.
Have a good day(s).

IT Museum under construction.
Thanx to Computing.net for being the forum with most user-friendly & constructive Admins.


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#11
January 12, 2021 at 18:32:18
I'll try to answer all your questions:

1. How can i construct Raspberry system in horizontal ways? You don't need to use the GPIO for the USB. The USB ports come out the "side" of the Pi. You can use a cable to connect to the GPIO if necessary - there are lots of different style cases out there too.
2. Is the USB-SATA connection reliable for system drive? Yes. I have an SSD connected via USB and it has been completely reliable.
3 May i prevent turning off the HDD spinner,as i experience with USB external HDDs? You can enable or disable spin down.
4. I do not plan to use external HDD in an enclosure,but internal HDD on USB-SATA adapter physically mounted in original HDD caddy left from original system-it will provide optimal passive cooling for a system drive. I doubt you'll have a problem.
5. What is the motherboard capacity limit for HDD-how large HDD can i use as Raspberry system drive? 2tb+
6. May U give mi linx for these adapters for HDD & DVD drives(DVD drive has another shape of SATA connector)? Look up external hard drive adapter. For the DVD look up USB DVD drive - you don't need SATA.
7. U understood very well,i asked for best Linux distro COMPATIBLE WITH RASPBERRY-which of these r best for Linux beginners? Start with Raspberry Pi OS. It's very easy and then you can try others.
8. filter these by ability to boot from HDD,please. Raspberry Pi OS and Manjaro Linux are two.
9. Do i understood right,there is an intelligent switch available to be connected between Raspberry & power input? The switch triggers a script to power down the Pi safely.
10. I thinking also about a power bank connected between power adapter & Raspberry,but i am not sure,do a Power bank with input & output current 3A exist,can i solve the power backup this way? There are battery backup options for the Pi that can supply power for a short period of time - look up Pi battery hat.
11. I have no UPS now,but if i cannot use a power bank as a UPS for Raspberry,i will have to buy a UPS for it,we have often unexpected blackouts here,it cannot run without a backup battery ready for blackout(thus i have only laptops,no desktops),i know,Raspberry has a backup battery module,but for vertical mount & only 1Ah,even smartphone has greater battery,i did not found a genuine battery for Raspberry with higher capacity,so i think about a power bank as a UPS for it,or a regular UPS & the power switch should be between the power bank & the Raspberry.
Would U advise a power bank,or a regular desktop/class UPS? If your power is that unstable I'd use a regular UPS. It could run a Pi for hours.
12. yes,i preciously want such switch,which executes the proper shut down,as in Windows.Is this a genuine module for Raspberry? You can do it by the GPIO pins too, with a simple switch and using a script.
13. I am using Kingston class 10 SD cards,do U think,r they reliable? Yes, a good name.
14. Can i make image after full customization & will it be restored too? Yes, you can using dd in linux.
15. Is it like regular cloning? Yes. It can create an exact image of your system.

Check out https://www.raspberrypi.org for more info.

Hope it helps.

message edited by DanJ


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#12
January 15, 2021 at 13:44:17
00. Thank U very much for detailed answers,DanJ,i am glad,i found such Raspberry expert,i have very few details left,i need to know(U satisfied my needs of information about Raspberry by 95% or maybe more).I appreciate Your time,i apologize,i still asks for some details,but U already moved forward my project by LYs,thanx.
01. I noticed,these GPIO ports r very similar to the IDE connectors & cables probably same,but pins has absolutely different functions(explored it on raspberrypi.org ) & GPIO ports/slots on Raspberry has no protection against opposite connecting of the cable,r the PINS on Raspberry & on cables marked?
At least the position of PIN 1?
Can any HAT module be connected horizontally via these cables?
02. Fully answered,thanx.
03. Disabling spin-down: With Raspberry battery HAT mounted,can i set spin-down disable,when on external power & spin-down enable,when on backup battery(as i have set on my Windows laptops)?
Will i found this in system settings or this setting is done by a HW jumper?
04. Thanx,fully solved.
05. Over 2TB? Great! So i will be limited only by partition & disk style limit.So do Raspberry/Raspbian support GPT?
06. Thanx,i found these adapters.I would like to use the DVD drive left from original system,is the name of SATA internal DVD drive's connector mSATA?
Am i right,USB 2.0 port is enough for DVD drive(i would like to spare 1 USB 3.0 port for ocassional flash drive connection for data transfers between computers,the other USB 3 port will be for HDD,mouse & keyboard needs less power,so they can share 1 USB 2 on a simple hub,the rest USB 2 for DVD,is this arrangement OK?
07. Thanx very much,what GUI Raspbian has?
Do it support xfce/Gnome/KDE GUI? -For these exist an LCARS(Star Trek) skin.
The directory structure is similar to other Unix systems?
08. Thank U very much for narrowing the selection.
Is Raspberry capable of multi-boot?
Can i install both of these OSs(Raspbian & Manjaro to separate partitions of same HDD & have an OS selection on startup)?
Can Manjaro also boot from FAT32 partition like Raspbian,or Manjaro needs ext2/3/4?
Which GUIs r supported on Manjaro?
Can i have more GUIs swappable on same Linux OS(i read somewhere,some distros allows to have more GUIs & switch between them)?
May U describe,how to install these 2 OSs?
I assume,i cannot install these same way like on a PC-from bootable installation madia.
09. Thanx,i found that switch in local Raspberry shop.
10. Thanx,i found 3Ah battery HAT,will it shut down Raspberry safely,before it will discharge to 0?
11. Thanx,fully answered.
12. GPIO will be used by battery HAT,i will probably combine both,battery HAT & UPS,because i want,if i will go away & let Raspberry run & blackout occures,the Raspberry will be able to shut down itself safely before the backup power will reach 0%,UPS will hold it on for hours,but it cannot tell Raspberry,there is 5% power left & order it to safely shut down,i hope,the battery HAT can tell the OS,it is almost discharged & run shut down procedure.
13. Thanx for confirmation.
14. dd is a Linux partitioning program,like Partition Guru,i have on Windows,or it is a command prompt instruction?
Exist a GUI-based partitioning manager for Linux?
I am afraid of doing such things via command prompt.
15. Thanx.
16. Thanx,i already exploring that web.
17. Helped very much,thanx.
Shabbat Shalom.

IT Museum under construction.
Thanx to Computing.net for being the forum with most user-friendly & constructive Admins.


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