UPDATE 06/28/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics.

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DistroWatch’s Top 3 Page Hit ranked Linux Distros – the HPD (hits per day) rankings “are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions,” which is a gross overstatement, since DistroWatch also mentions the “continuous abuse of the counters” in the same statement. Basically, any Distro that can garner a mob of 2000 – 4000 users can stay at the top of this “light-hearted” measuring method; however, everyone knows that Ubuntu is the #1 Desktop Linux Distro, so I have never understood the actual point of a “Page Hit Ranking” site. Still, they are some of the most popular Linux Distros, and I have tested/used all 3 over the past 10 months since starting this blog.

In my early February of 2019 post – Ubuntu in same ‘Ballpark’ as Windows 10 – I had mentioned the Linux support that Intel offered:

(2) Linux supported by Intel via the upstreaming of Intel Linux drivers to the Linux Open Source Community. Adoption into individual Linux distributions is dependent upon the OS vendor.

That was almost hidden at the top of page 21, in one of Intel’s “Sales Guides” on 8thgen Intel® Core™ DESKTOP processors. I was overly excited about that information, since it was soon after starting this blog, and it sorta reinforced my thought that Linux was finally going to become a *TOP* Desktop OS. That was before I discovered the Fragmentation *PROBLEMS* in Linux. Anyway, after that sales guide info I knew that Intel clearly supported Linux, but the i9 9900 was launched in “Q2’19” and I wanted to check to see if DistroWatch’s ‘Top 3’ Distros were doing their jobs. Also, I wanted to see how they were doing with the Nvidia support that was also geared towards helping Linux – especially since I had recently spent more on the GeForce GTX 1660 GPU than I had spent in total over roughly 28 years for all GPU’s purchased. Haven’t bought many of them, and returned all the early ones I purchased during the 90’s. Didn’t play games so didn’t really need them, and also had no clue about them back then. I had already run Ubuntu 18.04.3 thru these tests soon after building this computer, so here are 2 pics of what I expect to see on the MX, Manjaro & Mint ‘System Info’ windows:

That was from the Ubuntu Full Install onto a ADATA 64GB 3.0 USB – note the 2 red highlighted areas, i.e. the GeForce GTX 1660 and 64GB USB disk have both been correctly identified…as well as the i9 9900. Here is the next pic:

 

That was from the Ubuntu 120GB SSD used on all my other desktop computers – note the 2 red highlighted areas, i.e. the GeForce GTX 1660 and 120GB SSD disk have both been correctly identified…as well as the i9 9900.

I already had the Mint 19.2 iso … here is a pic of the newly downloaded Distros:

 

Before starting, I disconnected my SSD backup and data drives, and removed the 256GB PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 NVMe SSD Win10 Pro OS drive from the computer…the M.2 NVMe SSD is incredibly fast, but lacks a ‘Hot-Swap’ quick testing option.

Figuring MX Linux would be problematic, as usual, I started testing MX 19 first. Older versions had failed the Ace the Laptop’s hardware tests, but this MX 19 version passed that test – finally! I had recently purchased the Acer Aspire 3, in June, to put MX Linux on it; however, MX Linux just froze and could not be installed on that laptop, so I installed Ubuntu instead, and demoted MX Linux. MX 19 had problems (‘off’ and then ‘on’ problems that MX consistently has) recognizing my USB docking station during installation attempts, which led to one failed attempt:

 

Always problems with MX Linux…another failure occurred when I … well, now I forget if it was when I selected “Auto-install” partition selection or the “Custom-install” selection – anyway, one worked and the other failed. One of the problems is it is a DOS oriented keyboard OS trying to move into a modern world, IMHO. Here’s what you get when trying to install Nvidia drivers:

 

You get a DOS looking Terminal trying to get Nvidia drivers installed.

Everything seems to need a password…many Linux Distros require a password before doing a lot of normal stuff, but MX Linux has to hold the Guinness World Record of asking for a password. It was in second place in The Guinness Book of Records. 😉 I also find it difficult to move around in … e.g. finally finding something, and then having to search for the same thing a few hours later.

Took a long time and a lot of work to get from a display of 1024×768 resolution to one with a 1920×1080 resolution, and I forget how it was finally done. Here is the last MX pic:

 

Graphics is some “llvmpipe” driver from X.Org Foundation … Operating system thinks its Debian 10 Buster … and it has no clue what Storage disk it is on, but it does recognize the Intel i9 9900.

Hard to believe that I haven’t moved MX Linux to the A-1 Linux *JUNK* page … maybe its outta pity, or maybe just not worth the time to move it there!?!

Next I went with Mint 19.2 Cinnamon … tried to install Mint alongside MX Linux:

 

It installed, but went directly to MX’s Grub bootloader then to MX, and I didn’t feel like trying to fix it or check BIOS settings. Have had problems trying to install Mint alongside MX before, so I just reformatted the entire SSD, and installed Mint by itself:

 

That worked fine, and booted into this pic:

 

Mint spotted a driver problem, and a “Check your video drivers” popup (in red highlight area) notified me of the problem at the Mint Welcome window. Popup had a “Launch Driver Manager” box at bottom … clicking led to this pic:

 

I selected the “recommended” 435 driver at the top and clicked apply:

 

It installed and said to “Restart” in box at bottom:

 

After restart I checked system settings:

 

OK…it spotted the i9 9900 CPU, the 128GB SSD, but had “NVIDIA Corporation Device 2184” for the Graphics card. Ran a search on that 2184 device and found this:

 

Perfect…Device ID 2184 is for the GeForce GTX 1660. Quick, correct, and easy – great job by Mint!

Next up is Manjaro Gnome 18.1.2 – and I will skip doing their Xfce DE that I also downloaded (after dealing with MX’s Xfce DE). Wanted to do a Manjaro alongside Mint, but found the Juhraya installer a little buggy on first try – maybe it didn’t recognize the USB docking station (Mint recognized it, but MX had problems):

 

Quit installation and rebooted the ‘Live’ USB…put the installation SSD into a SATA Hot-Bay and Juhraya recognized it:

 

Gave me 4 options this time, instead of just the one Manual choice before. I selected the Install Alongside, and then it offered a review:

 

Installation went fine…after bootup; I installed Dash to Panel extension, for that Windows 7/10 look:

 

Added the GNOME Extension to Firefox, and then turned Dash to Dock off and Dash to Panel on (both will be there in Manjaro so one needs turned off – Ubuntu automatically turns one off when the other is turned on)…here is the double-buggy look:

 

Seems I had the same double-buggy problem with Arch Linux Gnome DE not long ago. Anyway, it’s a bug that Archies are very slow about fixing…perhaps they believe users don’t mind doing the extra work themselves? Anyway, after some turning off and turning on, I finally arrived at the proper Dash to Panel choice:

 

Never have such problems with Ubuntu 18.04. OK, next I did a search for the Nvidia driver, which is a lot easier done than in Arch Linux:

 

Didn’t see a 64-bit version, so am guessing that they only have the 32-bit choice. Installed OK. Went to check out the Manjaro system info:

 

(11/12/19difficult to see that – updated today to a closer look:

still isn’t able to get the disks right for some reason.)

Like MX Linux, Manjaro spots the Intel i9 9900 processor, but has Graphics with that same “llvmpipe” driver!?! Manjaro also doesn’t recognize the disk it is on…geez. Well, it works better than MX Linux, so maybe a bonus point there.

DistroWatch’s Top 3 Page Hit ranked Linux Distros – MX, Manjaro & Mint all correctly recognized the new Intel i9 9900, but only Mint seemed to truly recognize the GeForce GTX 1600 GPU and the disk it was installed on.

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.