The march to the Penguin [Switching to Linux]

[Edit: removed stuff to go straight to the point]

My history with Linux has never been of success, because I had never been able to run a single ‘distro’ in none of my computers (all of them gone now, except the last [the Big] one), until very recently:

  • On Pentium 1 – Fail (none ran at all)
  • On Celeron D – Fail (only one entered to the desktop and froze there)
  • On Core2Duo – Fail (only Ubuntu entered to the desktop, and froze there)

Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of the versions I tried in the past, except Ubuntu. Anyway, this time I had a new and shiny graphics card that should at least solve the error I got the last time about my card not being capable of handling Unity desktop effects (on Ubuntu 10).

So, what requirements should I consider when searching for a Linux version? At the end it was very simple:

  1. Decent performance and compatibility in my two computers (yes, I’m poor but I managed to have two. Isn’t it great?!)
  2. Plenty of ‘apps’ in the repository (I don’t want to spend time compiling)
  3. Ease of use for a ‘noob’
  4. Modern look in the desktop (skinned, non flat nor squared controls, effects)
  5. 32 bits version (for the laptop)

Since the beginning I knew that one distro was already ahead of the others, simple because it is backed by a big company: Ubuntu, by Canonical.

But I am trying to escape from certain things that this company represents very well (and I didn’t liked Ubuntu desktop last time), so I started testing distributions. Specifically, this list made the testing process very easy and well informed:

http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/best-linux-distro-five-we-recommend-1090058

Results in order:

DSL: Too much simple look. Hard to use for newcomers. Fast. Only works in the laptop.

Slax: Great. The main reason I kept trying. I would keep it, but only runs on the laptop.

Chakra: Discarded. Only 64 bits (But really wanted to try it).

Debian: It never installed under Virtualbox, so I didn’t tried it more.

Mageia: Great feeling. But runs to slow in the laptop, and the available software is too few.

Manjaro: The second best. Gives me a great feeling and runs very fast in the Big one. Won’t run in the laptop (froze in the desktop).

Sabayon: Decent speed in the laptop. Does not run in the Big one (again, froze in the desktop).

Kubuntu: Since I liked the K-desktop, I tried this Ubuntu version. It ended up being perfect for me, and runs in both computers. With the Debian-like repositories available. But is from Canonical!

OpenSuse: Never finished downloading.

Kanotix | Knoppix: Before those ended downloading, I decided to stop testing.

I’m sure that the problems I had with the other Linux versions can be fixed, but I just need something to start working.  So now I’m Using Kubuntu. And even with the big list of software available for it, I have ended compiling stuff anyway, but it probed to be easy enough, yet, not fast.at all.

compiling oxygenKubuntu_oxygen

(Me compiling Oxygen Transparent, the first thing I compiled under my first Linux installation)

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Just three points

Finally got my first triangle in OpenGL using OpenTK + VB.net:

opentk

It was not so easy, even when OpenGL looks simpler than DirectX. Also, I spent a lot of time trying to make SharpGL work, but at the end I just failed on that, so I switched to OpenTK and… success! (but still not sure about staying with that).

Also, two caps from the ongoing work of the engine (Direct3D), for the three advertised:

screenshot_11_8_2013_4_44_24

screenshot_10_8_2013_23_2_36

Models still don’t have textures because I’m integrating the effects system for batching the calls before trying shaders with texcoords. And well, that’s all for now.

Postprocessing shaders using FX Composer

If you are reading this, I suppose you already know something about writing Post Processing shaders, but if you don’t, a very good place to start is this page:

http://blog.josack.com/2011/07/my-first-2d-pixel-shaders-part-1.html

Actually, that’s the page from where I learned what I’m showing here. Now, if you know nothing about shaders and you have curiosity, one of the best explained intros to the shader world is here:

http://www.conitec.net/shaders/

Here, I’m basically just pasting some screen caps of my first achievements in PP shaders. I’m still learning how to do this so the stuff is very basic.

Note: The toroid has applied a “normals” shader I am trying, and I skipped the background in all captures but the last one.

Normal Scene
 

default

 
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