Linux

Is my computer dead?

Dell HP G62

Episode 1662

John from Uttaca, NY

John has an old HP G62 laptop running Linux. He's had to turn it off by unplugging it. A few months ago he started getting a blue screen and now nothing happens. Leo says that a ten-year-old computer is REALLY old. So chances are, the motherboard died. But if it was updating firmware at the time, then chances are the computer has "bricked" and is dead. If you like that laptop, you can get one on eBay for around $20-40. Is the hard drive OK? Leo says probably. You can get an external container to put it in and use it as another drive for another computer. 

Why Won't PopOS Linux Update?

POP-OS

Episode 1657

Timmy from Oak Hills, CA

Timmy installed POP-OS Linux on an old HP laptop. But when he reboots, it won't update the system files. Leo says that this is a common issue in Linux, where, for security reasons, unsigned software isn't allowed to be installed into Linux. Leo says he will need to get the new key for that version of Linux and install it through the command line. Once that's installed, it'll update. Talk to System76.com support and they'll walk through it. What about the KeyRing password? Leo says it's probably login credentials.

What can I do with an old laptop?

Asus ZenBook UX305

Episode 1653

David from Redondo Beach, CA

David collects old laptops, refreshes them with Q4OS Linux, and donates them to teachers. Leo says that Linux is very robust and secure, and what David is essentially doing is turning those old laptops into Chromebooks, which is something most teachers want because it's all they need. Leo thinks that's awesome and a great way to repurpose computers that are still good, but are just old.

​Check out the Laptop Elf Project on Facebook.

Which Version of Linux Should I Start WIth?

Linux

Episode 1650

Timmy from California

Timmy wants to dive into Linux. What's his best option with a dual boot with Windows? Leo says that Linux is a great open-source option. Leo's current favorite version is Debian. It's a wide range of software to support it. But he may not find drivers to support it for the hardware unless he goes to the manufacturer's website. There's also a similar version called POPOS, which comes with just about any driver one can find out there. So that's a better option to get started. 

Can I use Linux on a Mac?

Linux

Episode 1636

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI

Mark wants to know if he can check out Linux on his iMac. Leo says in theory, yes. But Leo's experience is that they don't really work hand in hand well. Do some research online to see which version of Linux works best on a Mac. Then put that version on a USB key, then boot the mac holding down the command key. That'll give you a list of drives to access, and then you can run Linux on the USB key to see if it works.

How can I fix a display issue in Linux?

Linux

Episode 1636

Stan from St. Louis, MO

Stan is having a computer display issue. He has issues when he plays video.  But when he uses Linux remotely, he has no issue. But when he's on Linux directly, he has an issue. Leo suspects that there's an issue with the video card. Maybe an incompatible video driver. You could remove the driver, and reinstall it. Or, get an inexpensive video card and see if it fixes the problem. Leo says that using a different flavor of Linux, like PopOS could also solve it.

Why can't I dual boot my PC after an update?

Linux

Episode 1631

Tom from Los Angeles, CA

Tom wanted to learn Linux, so he loaded up Linux on his PC. After a month, Windows now wants to install a feature update 1903 and now he's lost a partition. Leo says that Windows is being "bossy," thinking that it's the only OS you should have. So it "clobbers" your boot record and causes a boot-up issue. It's a common, yet complicated issue. You need to have a boot manager to sort it all out. Leo recommends GRUB. It gets loaded first and then asks you which OS you want to use. Most likely, the update redid the master boot record, damaging it.

How Can I Get Away From Windows 10?

Irfanview

Episode 1628

Dave from Cooperstown, NY

Dave recently migrated to Windows 10. He isn't very happy because he has ads on his machine now. Leo says that Microsoft did put ads in the signup menu, but he can turn it off in the settings. His printer also isn't supported anymore. Leo says that any company will eventually end the life of their technology, and not support it anymore. So that's likely what happened. Not really Windows fault, but another option he can try is to convert his computer to LINUX. Leo likes PopOS. Debian. and Ubuntu. 

Can I Still Upgrade to Windows 10 Before January?

PopOS

Episode 1628

Manny from Utica, NY

Manny has a 17" Dell laptop running Windows 7. With Microsoft stopping support for it in January, he's concerned about it. Should he turn it into a Linux laptop? Leo says that if you can put Windows 10 on it for free, then it would give it a few more years. But if you have to buy Windows, Leo would advise not doing that and going with installing Linux on it. Leo likes PopOS by System 76. If that doesn't work because it's a bit heavyweight, then Xubuntu or Lubuntu is designed for older machines.

Can I Use VPNs with Linux?

Arch

Episode 1626

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey wants to know if Linux has a built-in VPN. Leo says no. He will need a provider to handle VPNs, not just software. Leo recommends visiting the Wiki for ARCH, a version of Linux. There's a great list of clients, carriers and servers that will run on Linux. That's the best place to start. Where can he get apps to download for Linux? Leo says that PopOS has its own "store," called the PopShop, which is an app that will help to install software.