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Linux section improvement/contribution thread

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a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 7:34:37 AM

This is a thread designed to facilitate discussion about how we, the Tom's Hardware Linux community can improve the Linux experience of those who seek the knowledge of our forums.

Are there threads you would like to see updated?

Topics you would like covered or stickied?

Etc.

If you wish to contribute something to the Linux/Free BSD stickies please contribute here:

We need to keep the sticky threads clean.

To avoid the congestion of Linux sticky threads and so that the indexing works properly, please contribute your additions here.

Please try to adapt to the format of the original thread section you want to contribute to.

Format your post like this to save the moderators some time.

<Thread>
<Section>
<Information>

Example:

Consolidated Linux Distro and Software Guide
Choosing your distribution
A distribution or distro is a specially configured copy Linux. Each distribution has a different mix of programmes, unique characteristics and styles.


You can think of distributions like ice-cream. Each distribution is a flavour and each flavour appeals differently to each person. Collectively, all of these different distributions are called Linux because they all share the same characteristic of the Linux kernel. FreeBSD is like sorbet, while related being free open source software, Linux distributions such as Ubuntu share a distinctly different kernel to FreeBSD, similar to the difference between sorbet and ice-cream, while both being cold desserts, sorbet is fruit based and ice-cream is milk based.

AFG.

More about : linux section improvement contribution thread

a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 7:43:45 AM

So far I've found there is a disturbing amount of overlap in the stickies and they seem universally outdated. I guess.

I'm not quite a fan of Area51's Best Linux software list, I believe that we should do something homebrew sticky-wise and a little description about the pros and cons of the Linux software, would be helpful I hope.

Format as
<super section header - Free Open Source or Free)
<section header - Office Suites>
<name - LibreOffice> <link - http://www.libreoffice.org/&gt;
<description - pros and cons - Like Microsoft Office, similar interface, does not support Onenote files, does not include MS fonts... etc. information to let the user decide>

Probably something similar for Linux distros.

Do we want a wiki? I can ask to see if my superiors will allow for one linked to us. Would prevent a sticky going outdated, whoever wants to edit/update the sticky can, does not need the permission of a mod or community reporter to do. (provided the Linux community here agrees with the aformated changes).
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 8:29:30 AM

This suggestion seems pretty reasonable to me, and of course I will help out when/where needed.

My only reservation would be amount of use vs. effort put into updates/articles/wiki/etc., but I'd love to be proven wrong
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 12:38:51 PM

My suggestion would be a sticky on installing IDM - God only knows how many times the users of obsolete versions of RedHat have asked that one down here.

One approach that might work is a 'list of lists' I've seen this work on a cycling forum where the sticky is just a link to the most interesting threads. No comments and maintained by one of the mods. Given the quality of the search function it might help people find what they need.

September 26, 2011 2:11:53 PM

This topic has been sticky in top of the forum by Reynod
September 26, 2011 2:19:09 PM

I have made this thread a sticky so you can all consult and throw around some ideas about what you want.

Once you decide please PM me and I will make the changes you need to this forum area ... or get AFG to make the changes once her rights have been updated

Please tell all the other penguins in the area that we are very keen to help and develop this section for the greater linux community out there.

Small developers and coders are also welcome to show their new freeware here in this forum section too ... as the work is a shared resource and at no cost to others!!

Workers of the world unite ... er ... or something like that.

:) 
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 6:24:49 PM

bmouring said:
This suggestion seems pretty reasonable to me, and of course I will help out when/where needed.

My only reservation would be amount of use vs. effort put into updates/articles/wiki/etc., but I'd love to be proven wrong


Wikis, if used correctly can be a valuable source of information. At the very least we could link those pesky common questions to the relevant page for a complete anwser from all of Tom's Hardware. There are many issues and problems that can affect Linux and on that note, I guess if we are willing to provide an in-depth answer to a question, we might as well file it away in a wiki for future reference for the use of others, given how brilliant our forum search function is.

I believe that a wiki with adequate support can florish. An open model would be much more preferable. I will post a suggestion for a wiki-like service for Tom's Hardware. Right now, we have great sticky threads like Linux_0's A guide to choosing Linux, but normal users without moderator privileges cannot contribute to his wonderful thread. It's sad to see threads fall into disrepair.

Updating the thread would cost little time and attention. As much as we'd love to believe it, not that much has really changed in 2 years. Most of what Linux_0 wrote is still relevant today. But it's not updated. People will turn away at the sight of it being so!

Stickies recieve plenty of attention here, Just take the IA64 thread of example, simple message, massive readership. If we wittle down the stickies to 2 or 3, they will be the focus of user attention. We could post a link to the wiki in a sticky and perhaps ask if it can be featured in an article. If we were to do such a system, we would need to employ wiki moderators to verify changes. Participation means that we can contribute to growing our Linux community.

Perhaps we can make a deal with Tom's Hardware so that their writers contribute to the wiki, but publish the wiki entry as an article. This would net THG and our linux community benefit.

Overall I see an amazing amount of overlap. We have so many guides telling people what distro to use, etc. why not just have one? Rather than have random bursts of writing in articles, let's combine and build on the knowledge of each other.

audiovoodoo said:
My suggestion would be a sticky on installing IDM - God only knows how many times the users of obsolete versions of RedHat have asked that one down here.

One approach that might work is a 'list of lists' I've seen this work on a cycling forum where the sticky is just a link to the most interesting threads. No comments and maintained by one of the mods. Given the quality of the search function it might help people find what they need.


I don't know anything about IDM. Perhaps you could compile a thread about it. I would presume that you have done an in-depth answer in the past. You could easily post that as a stickyn if you run it by Reynod?

I'm sorry, I do not currently have the technical knowledge or the forum rights to stick such a issue.

My main concern is clutter. How much useless information does a user need to trawl through to gain knowledge? We can address all of these questions and queries, but a better system is needed. We can't keep sticking things and burying them under loads of hyperlinks.
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 6:40:42 PM

I can see the appeal of a Wiki, but I wonder if we can really improve on the excellent Linux help sites that are already available. I must admit that, being lazy, I tend to provide a link to an existing site or blog, where possible, rather than writing detailed answers. Why reinvent the wheel?

Perhaps we need a sticky saying just "Have you tried Google"?
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2011 6:52:55 PM

I think a wiki would be a good idea. You can never have too many sources out there. I'd be willing to help as well, just drop me a PM if you need anything.
a b 5 Linux
September 27, 2011 3:47:38 AM

Ijack said:
I can see the appeal of a Wiki, but I wonder if we can really improve on the excellent Linux help sites that are already available. I must admit that, being lazy, I tend to provide a link to an existing site or blog, where possible, rather than writing detailed answers. Why reinvent the wheel?

Perhaps we need a sticky saying just "Have you tried Google"?


I was thinking of making a wiki to what we already do.

Say audiovoodoo answers a question about IDM. He can put that into the wiki under IDM, subsection installation, his entire answer tweaked a little. His answer doesn't need to be entirely written about by him. It might include 3rd part content. But even that can get outdated eventually.

Now perhaps he takes a holiday, for an extended period. The forum user tries the advice 2 years later, discovers the information is outdated, so he posts on THG. Pyroflea answers it and updates the wiki. I hope I'm not asking for too much.

The problem with the wiki is being motivated enough to continue.
a b 5 Linux
September 27, 2011 4:55:10 AM

I feel like as long as we can get a few people who are willing to maintain it in the long term, we can still benefit from everybody's input. Any user wanting to contribute can do so, and need not worry about maintaining their articles (unless they want to). If we can get a few people involved, I think this could be a very valuable resource one day. Heck, if it gets rid of just half of those "How do I install an IDM" or "Ubuntu won't install" threads, it'd be worth it :D 
a b 5 Linux
September 27, 2011 7:48:56 AM

Sorry if I sounded negative; that wasn't the intent. I'm all for anything that would help to make the Linux forum more useful for everyone. At present it is an uneasy mixture of newbie questions and interesting discussions and more esoteric questions (more so than most of the other forums); and it would be great to filter out some of the noise. I wonder if having a few more categories than simply "General Discussion" would help here?

A Wiki is a good idea, and I would be more than happy to help with this in any way that I can. Having said that, I think that much of the content of the Wiki could usefully be links to other sites that explain things already. For example, the first port of call for a query about installing Ubuntu should be the Ubuntu installation documentation; that answers most newbie queries in my experience.
a b 5 Linux
September 27, 2011 2:49:31 PM

Ijack said:
Sorry if I sounded negative; that wasn't the intent. I'm all for anything that would help to make the Linux forum more useful for everyone. At present it is an uneasy mixture of newbie questions and interesting discussions and more esoteric questions (more so than most of the other forums); and it would be great to filter out some of the noise. I wonder if having a few more categories than simply "General Discussion" would help here?

A Wiki is a good idea, and I would be more than happy to help with this in any way that I can. Having said that, I think that much of the content of the Wiki could usefully be links to other sites that explain things already. For example, the first port of call for a query about installing Ubuntu should be the Ubuntu installation documentation; that answers most newbie queries in my experience.


I never thought you were being negative, just realistic. I do think having more than "General Discussion" would definitely help clean things up on the forum.

Just having links would often be adequate. At least all the links that we frequently use would be in one place. Any additional problems that we get semi-regularly (ubuntu not booting, going to black screen) could have a brief explanation of possible problems, as well as a diagnostic checklist of sorts.
a b 5 Linux
September 28, 2011 9:21:31 AM

What catergories do you think we should have then?

Should we have a similar layout to the Windows forum?

Should we divide it between discussion and troubleshooting?
a b 5 Linux
September 28, 2011 4:58:52 PM

General Discussion should remain, as it's often fun to just discuss the technologies.

Configuration & Customization might be cool as well, although I'm not sure how much use it'd get.

There should definitely be a troubleshooting/driver issue/etc. section. That would really help clean things up.
September 29, 2011 4:35:15 PM

Iv'e looked at the forum structure and presently there is only the "General Discussion" subfolder ... which essentially everything is dumped into.

I can't change (add additional subfolders) easily as the Devs are in France and working on a major forum upgrade ... porting content to a new platform.

In the meantime what you could do (once AFG's rights are upgraded to full CR {essentially giving her mod status here}) is :

Close all of the old threads past a month in replies ... these will (in reverse order) slowly push down the thread priority until all new queried threads are at the top ... under the stickies;

Arrange all of the stickies into a coherent structure to appeal to users looking for a particular solution, or wanting to post in a particular frequently appealing thread.

New threads will therefore be directly under the stickies and be easy to see.

These can be answered or the content transferred into a sticky (the CR can move content and delete the empty thread and notify the user by PM) this applies if the query is a common one

If the thread is unique it can stand as is and be dealt with.

A forum section with only one subfolder therefore can be easily managed.

I suggest you work on what sticky titles you want, which would be easy for the majority of your newbies to get quick reference help, along with some stickies for the advanced users.

I do suggest you have a sticky for developers and coders who may want to show freeware, or alternatively, when someone opens such a thread, that you treat them well, and make their thread a sticky perhaps?

Anyway, good luck with moving this area forward.

I bought my copy of Red Hat Linux by Mark Sobell (with Fedora core Ver 5) a couple of years ago ... just took it off the bookshelf and dusted it off ... I am on page 11.

:) 
a b 5 Linux
September 29, 2011 6:33:52 PM

Reynod,

Could you put a word with the French devs when we transfer to the new software?

Be nice to have more segments.

As for stickies, I'll do my best ;) 

Would have been nice if people listened when I told them to grab Linux_0 as a moderator.

I don't think stickies are needed for advanced users.

Normally the questions they ask are stimulating enough :) .

Would be nice to have a massive thread showcasing all the developments in Linux software.

:) 
a b 5 Linux
September 29, 2011 8:24:54 PM

Woo hoo, another change in forum software. :D 
a b 5 Linux
October 1, 2011 12:46:11 PM

amdfangirl said:
Would have been nice if people listened when I told them to grab Linux_0 as a moderator.

He actually was a moderator of this section, but I don't think that was transferred over when we made some changes to who moderates what. I haven't seen him for about a year now.
a b 5 Linux
October 11, 2011 12:01:35 PM

I'm thinking of making a "Is x device compatible with Linux sticky" when I get threading privs.
a b 5 Linux
October 11, 2011 9:55:20 PM

Good luck, that will take a while :lol: 
a b 5 Linux
October 12, 2011 12:30:46 AM

I'm enjoying this new "append an 18 to each post" feature :D 
a b 5 Linux
October 12, 2011 6:49:12 AM

Interesting. It's a 14 for me.
a b 5 Linux
October 15, 2011 9:40:42 AM

Yeah, saw that "18" thing, I have noticed that my badge stats haven't been updated to match what I've actually been doing, etc. etc.
a b 5 Linux
October 15, 2011 12:46:06 PM

Would seem it was 14 from the UK and 18 for the US from what I can tell.

Really it should have just been 42 for everything in Linux land.
a b 5 Linux
October 18, 2011 4:06:06 AM

With the introduction of things like wikis and applications like Ubuntu friendly, what I want to do is make a sticky explaining how to google for hardware support and common drivers ATI/NVIDIA proprietory drivers and talk about lspci and the such to discover what driver the person needs.

Only needs to be general, all the harder questions will be fun to deal with.
a b 5 Linux
October 18, 2011 3:31:51 PM

Suggest telling all ubuntu users to first go here ( https://help.ubuntu.com/ ) before asking at tom's hardware forum (here). A troubleshooting flowchart along the lines of a dichotomous key and/or gantt chart could prove useful to many, as well.
a b 5 Linux
October 25, 2011 5:59:17 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-236577_50_50.htm...

What should we do about this?

chamaecyparis said:
Suggest telling all ubuntu users to first go here ( https://help.ubuntu.com/ ) before asking at tom's hardware forum (here). A troubleshooting flowchart along the lines of a dichotomous key and/or gantt chart could prove useful to many, as well.


Will incorporate into my massive Linux sticky.

Also, I have mod rights to Linux and Mac OS X sections.
October 25, 2011 11:01:31 AM

Congrats grasshopper !

:) 
a b 5 Linux
October 25, 2011 11:15:34 AM

Thanks, Rey.

If any of you need me for any reason, please PM me and there will most likely be a prompt response.
October 27, 2011 12:56:58 PM

Did we still want a couple of sub-forums under this one?

Looks a tad crowded ...
a b 5 Linux
October 27, 2011 1:34:15 PM

We did Rey, we did.
a b 5 Linux
October 31, 2011 5:37:57 AM

Didn't download managers die with dialup?
a b 5 Linux
October 31, 2011 8:09:21 AM

You would think, I haven't used an IDM in my life, but we get asked a question on IDM at least 1 a fortnight it seems.

Something like that.

I don't know what the exact numbers are, but it is enough to piss off the regulars.
November 4, 2011 3:23:15 PM

Top Search Queries for Tomshardware.com
1 toms 0.24%
2 ubuntu 11.04 review 0.16%
3 ubuntu 11.04 0.13%
4 thg 0.09%
5 tom 0.07%
6 502 bad gateway 0.07%
7 cpu benchmark 0.07%

AFG would you and the Linux community consider putting a thread up on ubuntu 11.04 to try to attract more Linux users here?




a b 5 Linux
November 4, 2011 4:27:04 PM

I'd be willing to take part in something like this. I think it'd be a valuable resource to have.
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2011 1:05:23 AM

As long as I'm not writing it.

*Puts on tinfoil Fedora*
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2011 1:40:06 AM

I do think we need to consolidate some of the stickies. Unrelated, but there's just too damn many.
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2011 1:53:58 AM

We should.

I said that on my second, but the law of nobody listens to AFG applies :D .
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2011 2:05:32 AM

It's okay, I've said it now, so people will know :D 
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2011 10:12:41 AM

Tried to install Sorcerer today.

Most traumatic experience of my life...

"Please select an option within 60 seconds"

It was me against the computer, googling asap...
a b 5 Linux
November 8, 2011 3:38:21 AM

amdfangirl said:
Tried to install Sorcerer today.

Most traumatic experience of my life...

"Please select an option within 60 seconds"

It was me against the computer, googling asap...

Me installing Gentoo the first time around (lynx FTW) was pretty rough, but at least there was eventually (after two weeks of struggling) some rewarding outcome: a moderately-functional system
a b 5 Linux
November 11, 2011 8:48:12 PM

After reviewing the IDM issue, we have reached a conclusion. All IDM threads are to be deleted, henceforth.
a b 5 Linux
December 3, 2011 9:28:18 AM

Merged the threads, too little takers...
July 25, 2012 7:26:29 AM

THG is an immensely popular forum. It also offers a good hardware coverage and h/w trouble shooting. This is something that is sometimes missing in Linux forums, or in many cases very difficult to follow. Try read some Linux forum advise in troubleshooting hardware issues.

Also, THG is not associated with any Linux distribution. I see that as an advantage, since information is potentially less biased here (e.g. what is the best Linux distro?). Many Linux distros share the same problems - issues with Ubuntu may be reflected in distros like Linux Mint (which is a Ubuntu derivative) or similar distros. Having one place to find information on solving an issue can help users of other distros as well.

Now my suggestions:

Sections for the most popular Linux distros - Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, etc. (the top 5 should be enough, plus one for "other"). A section for "lightweight distros" may help users to find advice about distros that run on old hardware, or use very little resources.

Next I would add a "Virtualization" section. This could be subdivided into Virtualbox, kvm, and Xen.

Each of the section (distros and virtualization) could have a wiki subsection within, or subsections on "installation and boot", adding applications, GPU drivers and support, etc.

I just noticed that this is a rather old thread. Is there any plan to overdo the Linux section, or has it been dropped?
July 25, 2012 7:37:29 AM

I forgot, I also suggest a separate "Linux Desktop (Gnome, Unity, KDE, XFCE, etc.)" section. Especially newcomers (and even I myself who's been using Linux for some 15 years) are often bewildered over the many different options and they find it hard to make a choice.

People could compare screenshots of different desktops to get an idea of how they look like - all in one place. This with explanations on how each of the desktops works would be very helpful, even for me! For example, I feel at home with Linux Mint and the older Ubuntu Gnome desktops, I get along with KDE, but I have a hard time with Fedora and the newer Ubuntu Unity stuff, simply because I'm not familiar with how to get things done with it.

Fine-tuning a desktop is also worth exploring. I hate double-click - it's very unhealthy (serious - search for RSI). So the first thing I do is enable single-click. If you're not familiar with a desktop environment, it may take some time to find the answer.
July 3, 2013 9:03:28 PM

Linuxquestions.org as well as the Ubuntu forums are very active and informative sites that you could suggest people post their questions to, if they are not able to find an answer here. Of course, chances are likely that a google search will yield an answer to almost all linux questions.

With that in mind, I think Tom's Hardware forum should try to pitch it's Linux/BSD section as being focused more on discussing what hardware works well in Linux/bsd, than as a place to request tech support. Seems more in keeping with the purpose of this site and there are already many comprehensive Linux and BSD forums on the web.
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