Any recommended linux distro?

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  01 January 2013
When running RHEL 5.8 it was such a hassle to get our Wacom tablets working. When we upgraded to RHEL 6.3 they worked right out the box so to speak. This may help you decide. They one thing I do not like about RHEL, is that they do not upgrade some items very frequently, if at all. In RHEL 5.8 they did not upgrade python past 2.4.x. In RHEL 6.3 they are up to Python 2.6.x and I doubt they will upgrade it any higher. I understand why they do it, and yes I could add my own upgraded python dist, but I just point this out for those trying to make a decision.
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by Panupat: Concept artists in my studio also couldn't stand GIMP nor any variation of them.


Have you tried Krita? The latest version of that (2.5.9 I think) seems to be a VERY good painting tool. It's lacking in some of the more generalized functionality that you would expect from photoshop, but it works in 32-bit float, has an excellent brush/paint toolset, has all the basics like layers, blending modes, etc. But also is fully opengl accelerated, allowing things like canvas rotation and zooming, all at good performance. I've only just dabbled with it myself, but damn it looks promising. A windows port is on the way but is only in alpha state and doesn't have opengl acceleration, so canvas rotation and zooming is sluggish as hell. In Linux, however, it appears to run like a dream.
__________________
Chad Gleason
Creative Director
Outpost 12 Studios
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by cgs-john: When running RHEL 5.8 it was such a hassle to get our Wacom tablets working. When we upgraded to RHEL 6.3 they worked right out the box so to speak. This may help you decide. They one thing I do not like about RHEL, is that they do not upgrade some items very frequently, if at all. In RHEL 5.8 they did not upgrade python past 2.4.x. In RHEL 6.3 they are up to Python 2.6.x and I doubt they will upgrade it any higher. I understand why they do it, and yes I could add my own upgraded python dist, but I just point this out for those trying to make a decision.


In my past experience, I found that support for newer wacom tablets was spotty at best. Can you get Redhat to work easily and reliably with an Intuos4, Intuos5 or Cintiq in a multi-monitor environment nowadays?
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Chad Gleason
Creative Director
Outpost 12 Studios
 
  01 January 2013
Quote: Add MacPorts to the mix and you'll even have a decent package manager for all the open source goodness you'll ever need.


Unless you know exactly what you are doing : don't mess with MacPorts as it can interfere with the native OSX software in some very nasty and subtle ways.

Linux distro : what was said above, stick to Fedora or RHEL - these are the distros that are validated by Autodesk & other vendors (I can also confirm that NVIdia drivers are rock solid, while I am hearing terribly things about ATI's...). Ubuntu, Mint, CentOS development tends to be focusing more on the casual user.
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by StefanA: I use CentOS 6.3 and I have this installed



su -c "yum install wacomcpl"





thanks - I'll check that out. Does it matter that I use Xfce as my window manager since that's GNOME?

Quote: I was impressed that installing linux was super quick and detected all my hardware.


ya, CentOS 6.3 has USB 3 drivers and works fine where Windows 7 still falls on it's face because it lacks support for USB 3. My V-Ray dongle crashes my Z820 or my custom built i7 3770K in Windows 7 when on a USB 3 port but Linux works fine with it.

And I've never seen Macports screw up my OS X command line or environment and I'm using stuff like custom SAMBA installs that could potentially do that. Any specific examples?

Last edited by cgbeige : 01 January 2013 at 07:21 PM.
 
  01 January 2013
hmm weird, USB3 works fine with my Win7 machines. ASUS has USB3 drivers for their motherboards on their website.

I have a couple USB3-->SATA3 adaptors that I have at home and work and then use SSD drives as if they were giant USB sticks. I get 160meg/sec transfer rates on them via the USB3 ports.


I do think it's odd there hasn't been a service pack 2 for Win7 with native USB3 support yet. MS can only think about Win8 now....which they should. They should be ashamed of themselves with their invisible buttons, hidden apps/control panels, and forcing users to memorize keyboard shortcuts to do basic things like call up the Run command instead of having it available to click on right there in the start menu.

Last edited by sentry66 : 01 January 2013 at 07:58 PM.
 
  01 January 2013
Hi,

for me, the best distro among what I've used since 2006 (when I "leaved" Windows) is Debian. I tried to be informed from time to time, and I tested other ones, but while it's true that someone gets more tolerant to what's used to, I've no changed my mind about Debian.

While it's true too, that certain things in Debian are harder or longer to do than in other distros, this is from time to time what things used to be, and not anymore. In fact Ubuntu did a great marketing strategy with its approach about "linux for human beings", but the real differences about what a plain user should care about the system configuration after installing it are really few to none between both since some years ago. Because in both you should care; I suspect it's a GNU/Linux thing, more on this later.

In Ubuntu there are too some geekish issues you should care about when using linux for CG works, such as installing propietary drivers from Nvidia. In Debian I must do this from the terminal and switching off the graphic server, but once you're used to do it, it never fails. Ubuntu is (or was, from my enough long experience) continously changing policies about how to support/do/install this or that natively from a fresh installed system, and this only confuses the user and lies him about what GNU/Linux is.

This about Nvidia drivers is only an example. What I mean is that with Debian I has been able to grasp a deeper, more useful knowledge about Linux and its progress, although it wouldn't have all the bells and whistles. On the other side, Ubuntu for me wasn't enough constant in behavior, stable, for serious and professional work and resource-hungry applications. It's hard to explain but hope you get the point.

Generally speaking, I think that if you switch to GNU/Linux, no matter which distro, you should be aware that sometimes it's needed to open or do a "click" in your mind. I think that GNU/Linux, (specially the Gnome environment) shares (or it's inspired by) some of the best ideas you see in OSX about graphical interfaces, but on the other side it demands more from you. Its approach isn't "I'm a computer and I'll save your life" but "I'm a computer and you can use me as a tool the way you like".

In return you got better perfomance of the overall system and perhaps a more tidy digital life Hope some thought is going to be useful for you. Excuse my english and good luck!
Raimon

PS: Just came to my mind serious problems I had one or two years ago trying to go with two displays in Debian and a Wacom Tablet working right (didn't succeed). But in this area too I can confirm things are changing. Not able to test that setup right now with my new system, but can say that my wacom Intuos 2 worked practically out of the box in Debian Wheezy and Gnome 3, without installing anything and dealing with config text files as it used to be (not the end of the world, though).
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Raimon Guarro i Nogués
Imatgedart, Digital imaging craftsmanship
Visit my portfolio, or at least my blog ;-).
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by fahr: In my past experience, I found that support for newer wacom tablets was spotty at best. Can you get Redhat to work easily and reliably with an Intuos4, Intuos5 or Cintiq in a multi-monitor environment nowadays?


In RHEL/CentOS 5.x it was indeed a hassle to set up wacom tablets. However the 6.x updates made it work seamlessly out of the box. The wacom drivers are in the official repos now for RHEL & CentOS, so you can even choose them during installation of the OS already. Since 6.3 I believe they added the gnome-wacom-properties tool included in the wacom driver package (screenshot posted by StefanA), which is a wonderful tool for setting up your tablets and works just like you would expect it to work.
I am using CentOS 6.3 with a dual monitor setup with different sizes and my Intuos4 works like a charm, including pressure sensitivity and so on.
__________________

 
  01 January 2013
Quote: And I've never seen Macports screw up my OS X command line or environment and I'm using stuff like custom SAMBA installs that could potentially do that. Any specific examples?



MacPorts will change your PATH & dependency search paths - this can throw off Python or Ruby module searches in some very subtle ways as you have the native OSX stuff overlapping with the GNU stuff. Another example is If you install MESA (misguided as that may be), where i have had a lot of problems with symbol clashes with the drivers / GL framework.

From painful experiences from a guy who writes code on Linux for a living: unless you direly need something from there and you know what you are doing, odds are you won't need MacPorts as most of the useful GNU goop is already in OSX in some form or another... so it's just easier to stay away from it.
 
  01 January 2013
Ι'd јuѕt lіkе tο іntеrјесt fοr а mοmеnt. Wһаt уοu'rе rеfеrrіng tο аѕ Lіnux, іѕ іn fасt, GΝU/Lіnux, οr аѕ Ι'vе rесеntlу tаkеn tο саllіng іt, GΝU рluѕ Lіnux. Lіnux іѕ nοt аn οреrаtіng ѕуѕtеm untο іtѕеlf, but rаtһеr аnοtһеr frее сοmрοnеnt οf а fullу funсtіοnіng GΝU ѕуѕtеm mаdе uѕеful bу tһе GΝU сοrеlіbѕ, ѕһеll utіlіtіеѕ аnd vіtаl ѕуѕtеm сοmрοnеntѕ сοmрrіѕіng а full OS аѕ dеfіnеd bу ΡOSΙX. Mаnу сοmрutеr uѕеrѕ run а mοdіfіеd vеrѕіοn οf tһе GΝU ѕуѕtеm еvеrу dау, wіtһοut rеаlіzіng іt. Τһrοugһ а ресulіаr turn οf еvеntѕ, tһе vеrѕіοn οf GΝU wһісһ іѕ wіdеlу uѕеd tοdау іѕ οftеn саllеd "Lіnux", аnd mаnу οf іtѕ uѕеrѕ аrе nοt аwаrе tһаt іt іѕ bаѕісаllу tһе GΝU ѕуѕtеm, dеvеlοреd bу tһе GΝU Ρrοјесt.

Τһеrе rеаllу іѕ а Lіnux, аnd tһеѕе реοрlе аrе uѕіng іt, but іt іѕ јuѕt а раrt οf tһе ѕуѕtеm tһеу uѕе. Lіnux іѕ tһе kеrnеl: tһе рrοgrаm іn tһе ѕуѕtеm tһаt аllοсаtеѕ tһе mасһіnе'ѕ rеѕοurсеѕ tο tһе οtһеr рrοgrаmѕ tһаt уοu run. Τһе kеrnеl іѕ аn еѕѕеntіаl раrt οf аn οреrаtіng ѕуѕtеm, but uѕеlеѕѕ bу іtѕеlf; іt саn οnlу funсtіοn іn tһе сοntеxt οf а сοmрlеtе οреrаtіng ѕуѕtеm. Lіnux іѕ nοrmаllу uѕеd іn сοmbіnаtіοn wіtһ tһе GΝU οреrаtіng ѕуѕtеm: tһе wһοlе ѕуѕtеm іѕ bаѕісаllу GΝU wіtһ Lіnux аddеd, οr GΝU/Lіnux. All tһе ѕο-саllеd "Lіnux" dіѕtrіbutіοnѕ аrе rеаllу dіѕtrіbutіοnѕ οf GΝU/Lіnux.
 
  01 January 2013
neuk - while that's an interesting information, I doubt any average users will need to know. Nor you'll ever see GNU mentioned in job description.
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by cgbeige: thanks - I'll check that out. Does it matter that I use Xfce as my window manager since that's GNOME?


I think that will work with XFCE too.

regards
stefan andersson
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by shehbahn: MacPorts will change your PATH & dependency search paths - this can throw off Python or Ruby module searches in some very subtle ways as you have the native OSX stuff overlapping with the GNU stuff. Another example is If you install MESA (misguided as that may be), where i have had a lot of problems with symbol clashes with the drivers / GL framework.

From painful experiences from a guy who writes code on Linux for a living: unless you direly need something from there and you know what you are doing, odds are you won't need MacPorts as most of the useful GNU goop is already in OSX in some form or another... so it's just easier to stay away from it.


thanks for the followup. I tend to just install packages from OS X based package installers for things like ncftp and things so I'll stick to this unless I really need the MacPorts version.

Quote: I am using CentOS 6.3 with a dual monitor setup with different sizes and my Intuos4 works like a charm, including pressure sensitivity and so on.


It's not that it doesn't work, it's that doing something like mapping it to one screen only is not possible without hacks. I'll take a look at that util but I've given up on using Linux as a working platform and just use my Macs for everything and use the Linux boxes as render slaves. I just tried the latest Mari build that was supposed to add Radeon support but it doesn't work in Linux. Not surprised.

After making a genuine attempt to use Linux as my scene development platform, I gave up. I'm just way too efficient in OS X and dependent on Adobe apps and custom Automator tools that I made that even the faster GL in Linux wouldn't make me faster at actually working. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way about switching from Windows but at least I have a *nix command line (no Cygwin isn't the same - try piping clipboard contents to a Nuke script in CygWin). Viewport speeds have little to do with my productivity and I know how to use proxies and bounding box displays if I need to.

Last edited by cgbeige : 01 January 2013 at 05:28 PM.
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by cgbeige:
I just tried the latest Mari build that was supposed to add Radeon support but it doesn't work in Linux. Not surprised.
.


Hi,

We have tested all of the AMD cards listed in the release notes under both windows and Linux.
Please make sure you have the very latest AMD drivers installed as the relevant bug fixes were only included recently.

Mari was developed under Linux and Linux is very much a first class citizen for us.

Please contact support@thefoundry.co.uk if you have any more
Problems.

Thanks

Jack
 
  01 January 2013
Argggh double post. Sorry.
 
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