Linux machines for development

I’m wondering if anyone here uses a Linux desktop for development. I have for several years and in spite of the occasional frustrations, I’ve been very happy with it. However, the last week has been disastrous: I came back from a two-day conference, went to boot my Kubuntu 12.04 machine and it will no longer go into GUI mode. I’ve re-installed, re-configured, have a new motherboard /my local computer repair shop fried my old one ;-/, … and nothing works.

Does anyone here use any of the Linuces or is everyone on a MacBook these days? Thanks.

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I think @djcp or @mikeburns (among others) might have a thing or two to say on this.

Do you see any error messages? Can you log in from the console? What does /var/log/Xorg.0.log have to say? What happens if you run the kdm init script manually?

Howdy. I use Debian Testing (I used to use Kubuntu). I would try booting to a live CD to see where you get - it sounds like your video might be physically broken, with a reinstall I don’t see what else it could be.

Try doing this steps

  1. If you see a black prompt and can login, do that. Type dmesg check what that gives you and cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Try running sudo kdm or sudo startx
  2. Like @djcp mentioned, boot a live cd, if it works, it probably means that Kubuntu is broken or hdd failure.
  3. Mount your hdd in the live cd through nautilus/dolphin and navigate like @mikeburns says to /var/log/Xorg.0.log and paste it here.

I’m using Arch Linux with i3-wm on a ThinkPad L420.

Thanks everyone… I REALLY appreciate the support.

Short story: I installed Kubuntu 13.10 and now it all works (except for Chrome which keeps Aw, Snapping - minor detail).

Along the way I: booted using Knoppix LiveCd to examine things; re-installed the Nvidia drivers multiple times from multiple versions; ran the awesome Boot-Repair-Disk to clean up any grub problems; reconfigured partititions using gparted… It got to the point where I’d get a gui screen to login, but then it would black screen and back to the gui login prompt. I could always get to the console via Ctrl-Alt-F1 and start/restart kdm. I did much of what was suggested and could have responded with specifics, but fortunately don’t need to go there now.

Root cause? I think it was some incompatibility between the Nvidia drivers and the card I have. I’m still using the same video card (two monitors) and it works just fine now. Don’t know what cause the initial problem as it was working before I left for the conference and powered down the system.

I used to believe in the LTS versions, but 13.10 was so much better than 12.04 (e.g., configuring the two-monitor setup was a breeze compared to the 12.04 hoops I had to jump through) that I’ve changed my thinking. The reinstall was really easy given that I have /home mounted on a separate HDrive, so now I’ll just take the latest release when it’s time to move on.

One minor question: why is audio support on Linux (or Ubuntu or for me, anyway) such a nightmare? It keeps breaking and trying to add a USB headset was just an exercise in futility :=)

Thanks again…

Describe breaking and problem with adding.

Pulseaudio doesn’t detect your headset? Check in alsamixer or pavucontrol

Thanks; I’ll give that a try. Latest issue was that I plugged in a new USB/stereo headshet and it was detected. When I tested it under “Audio and Video Settings”, I heard the test sounds; howeer, no sound from the video I was watching or any other app.

I use Linux (Ubuntu 13.04). And zshell. I love zshell. I went with Ubuntu because it is Debian-based and therefore very stable. I have not had any serious problems (yet).

Here’s an interesting problem. The command

rails s -p3100 -b10.12.12.99

fails with the error

=> Booting WEBrick
=> Rails 3.2.13 application starting in development on
=> Call with -d to detach
=> Ctrl-C to shutdown server
[2013-12-10 05:31:14] INFO  WEBrick 1.3.1
[2013-12-10 05:31:14] INFO  ruby 1.9.3 (2012-11-10) [x86_64-linux]
[2013-12-10 05:31:14] WARN  TCPServer Error: Cannot assign requested address - bind(2)

If I try to ping this address to make sure it’s not in use, I get:

From icmp_seq=1 Destination Host Unreachable

where is my machine’s address.

This used to work on my previous Kubuntu 12.04 configuration. I have a hardware firewall (SonicWall) with DHCP range of - I’ve checked and neither iptables nor ufw is running so that doesn’t seem to be the issue.

Any suggestions for where to start looking?

Have you tried restarting and then running the command again to kill anything that might be running? What happens when you do just rails -s p3100 can you connect from Do you get the same issues?

Those are the two most obvious suggestions. I agree it is weird though.

Yup… works just fine without the -b option and I’ve also tried from a fresh bash window.