Linux

Can I use a webcam on my Linux laptop?

Episode 1682

Ken from California

Ken needs an inexpensive camera/mic combo to work with his old HP laptop running Linux. Can he use a camera/mic on his iPhone 4s?   There is software to do it with Apple and WIndows, but Linux is a challenge. You can use it as an IP Internet camera using Linux, but it requires WiFi. Ken doesn't want WiFi. Leo says the Logitech C920 is very affordable and has the mic built into the camera. In most cases, even though the website doesn't support Linux, third party support can make it work. There's an app called CHEESE, which is a photobooth app.

Do I need a new computer to run a Minecraft server?

Minecraft

Episode 1680

John from Round Rock, Texas

John wants to become a Minecraft developer. He has a MacMini, and it's laggy. So he needs to look at getting a windows based machine for a server. Leo uses a Linux Box running Debian. Leo says you may not have to use another computer. Leo says to look in the settings and see if you can optimize it. You may have to run it from the command line, but it should be plenty powerful and fast to run Minecraft. Check out your memory switches in the start command. Under the command line, you start it with -x ms. There are two different memory settings running SPIGOT. 

What Can I Do With a 32GB Laptop?

HP

Episode 1677

Justin from Manitoba, CAN

Justin bought a small HP laptop with 32 GB of storage. But he cannot update Windows on it. Options? Leo says the PC is so desperate to get a low price point, they're making products that are basically useless. Leo says if Justin feels comfortable with Linux, there are flavors that are designed to run in small, constrained and older laptops. Puppy Linux is one. He can also install an open-source Office suite like Libre Office

Can I upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows XP?

Windows XP

Episode 1676

Neil from New Mexico

Neil has a Sony Vaio laptop running Windows XP and knows he should upgrade to Windows 10. Can he and still run 32 bit? Leo says that 32 bit won't be a problem with Windows 10, but the machine may be too old and not have enough RAM to run it. It's worth a try though, and you can roll it back if it doesn't work well. What you could try is to download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, burn it to a DVD and then boot to that DVD to see if it'll run. If it does, however, it'll likely be really slow. Leo advises using Linux on it.

How Can I Use a Windows Reef Light on a Chromebook?

coral

Episode 1671

Tom from Yorba Linda, CA

Tom grows saltwater coral, and you use an LED light to simulate reef light from morning to evening. But it's very smart and he needs to connect it to an app. It requires Windows, but he's a Chromebook guy. Is there an emulator that can work with Chromebook? Leo says that he thinks the hardware has a generic interface and a BIN file. There are Linux apps that can do that. Google is starting to support using Linux on a Chromebook, so that's one way to go.

Is ChromeOS the most secure laptop operating system?

Episode 1670

Jose from Modesto, CA

Jose wants to know if he should get a Chromebook. Leo says that a Chromebook is great for those looking to get stuff done, but most of the things they do are online and in the cloud. Can he get the same by putting Linux on an older laptop and still be secure? Leo says that you can, but you have to update it regularly to keep it healthy. Leo recommends PopOS. But there's also an obscure OS called Qubes because it's very locked down. But it's very hard to use as well. 

How can I boot into Linux from a USB key?

Linux

Episode 1668

Michael from Long Beach, CA

Michael wants to install Linux on a bootable USB key, but it doesn't work. It goes straight to Windows. Leo recommends Rufus for creating a bootable key for Linux. But the first thing you want to do is change the boot order in your BIOS to check the USB port first. Then, turn off secure boot. Modern PCs have this setting to protect your computer against a rogue operating system. Third, modern OS uses UEFI, not BIOS. So your computer likely needs to reflect that in your USB key. So you want to be sure your Linux Distro is UEFI compatible.

Why doesn't WiFi work with my Linux Distro?

popOS

Episode 1668

Dave from Twin Falls, Idaho

Dave installed Ubuntu Linux on the HP Stream and now he's having issues with WiFi. Leo says that HP probably didn't make drivers available for Linux, and so the community needs to figure that out. So chances are, there isn't a specific driver for the particular WiFi chip that his Stream uses. Leo recommends trying another version of Linux called POPOS by System 76. It's very similar to Ubuntu, but it has far more drivers available.

Can I Run Linux on a USB Key?

PopOS

Episode 1665

Glen from Florida

Glen wants to know if he should create a USB Key with Linux on it and boot to it. Leo says he can. It's called a Live Distro and just about every flavor of Linux does it. Leo likes PopOS. But understand that it will be a bit slower running off the USB key and eventually, it will wear out the USB key. But by then, you can decide if you want to install it or not, and they will probably offer that option on the distro. Will he still be able to see his Windows desktop? Leo says no. He will see the internal drive, but won't' be able to run Windows programs within it.