Rocky 9 on desktop? I have a couple of hardware choices

My wife is sick to death of running Windows 11 on her Dell Alienware Ryzen 9 “Aurora R10” desktop (12-core, 32GB DDR4 ram, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6 graphics card). Does anyone have experience running Rocky9 on this hardware?
I do have the thing Veeam imaged weekly, so not a big hardship to ‘test drive’ - except that she is on the machine roughly 18 hours a day, every day, so I don’t have a lot of time to play around…

My other platform of interest is an older HP Elitedesk mini ( i7). Its one of those mini-desktops that actually came stock with alternative Ubuntu OS. Its currently running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - but its pretty flaky. Cannot power itself down fully ( I have to use the power button after shutdown) Slow to boot with some IRQ errors. I do have it loaded with apps pretty nice though, so put up with it.
Does anyone have experience running Rocky9 on this hardware?

Just wondering…

Ubuntu 22.04 has a 5.15 kernel. Rocky 9 has 5.14. Chances are it should work just fine. Elrepo repositories have the nvidia drivers, so that will be easy to take care of as well. What’s more important is what type of Ryzen 9 is it? There has been a post on this forum about later Ryzen’s having issues getting hot, but a newer kernel from elrepo (has 6.x kernel) helped address that issue.

So I think in general, you shouldn’t have too many problems.

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The last time I checked, ELRepo did not have el9 kmod for NVidia. NVidia has a repo, RPMFusion and third repo (name escapes me) all have NVidia drivers as RPM.

ELRepo thought that they no longer need to build, since so many others do. However, almost nobody builds legacy driver series.

Most NVidia drivers are unsigned, AFAIK. That means no Secure Boot, unless one signs self. Windows 11 requires SB, so one has to turn SB off for test …

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Yeah @jlehtone thanks, just checked hadn’t realised that elrepo didn’t do it for RL9 and only RL8, but can do:

dnf install rpmfusion-free-release

in Rocky 9, so that’ll get around that issue then for Nvidia…

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Thanks very much for those helpful tips! :+1:
According to the build sheet it’s an AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X
(12-Core, 70MB Total Cache, Max Boost Clock of 4.8GHz)

It can tend to run a bit hot, but the case has liquid cooling for CPU, and I have upgraded the fans…

That’s exactly right. Currently, ELRepo’s NVidia package maintainer has no plan to provide the drivers for el9. I understand it’s a lot of work.

I don’t have that hardware. But i have a threadripper and a nVidia rtx 2080 ti.
Rocky Linux works just great.

Follow this guide to install latest nVidia drivers and you will be just fine. In that website you will find a lot more info to install all the necessary things to be up and running. :+1:t2:

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First thing is to clarify exactly what she doesn’t like about it?

Other things to consider; if you need support from Dell, check that they still support the hardware part of it, even if it’s not running Windows. Check also for any Dell hardware components that may not have linux drivers. Check also for any peripherals. e.g an expensive scanner that only works on windows. Then check what software she expects to use, and confirm that it works 100% on linux.

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She doesn’t like how the user interface has evolved! And how something either changes (usually in a ‘dumbed-down’ direction or privacy intrusion) or breaks with every monthly update.

Thanks for the tips! Will definitely review driver support. No fancy peripherals, and only web browsers, an image editor, and a text editor is ever in use over there (at the other desk…) :slight_smile:

Well it sounds like a good candidate for moving to Rocky, and the hardware should easily cope with creating virtual machines inside Rocky if needed.
We had three desks set up today with Rocky, Ventura and Windows 11, and the Windows 11 didn’t score well at all.

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I have great success on my Asus ROG Ryzen 5900 with Nvidia - I use KDE Plasma for the Desktop so far so great! Running 2 HP 27 monitors and the Laptop for 3 active monitors. At present I am running Rocky Linux 8.6 however I setup the same on a VirtualBox with Linux 9. It works seamless.

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:slight_smile: That’s very encouraging, Thanks! Now I just need to find a few hours …

If you want to replace an M$ Desktop OS like Windoze 11 with RockyLinux, I wouldn’t recommend that.
Rocky is base on RedHat Enterprise, & that OS is mainly meant for Servers & only in a limited way for Desktop use. Although it should work, It will take a lot of effort to get everything running the way you want.

If I were you I’d go for a Distro that was built for Desktop use, & that is Ubuntu. Besides, Ubuntu comes in different flavours, Xubuntu, Kubuntu etc. I’m sure your shutdown issue can also be solved with some help from the Communities. There is also a tool around to install other kernels, only at the moment I can’t remember it’s name. Besides that I would recommend MakuluLinux, but I haven’t had much experience with the newest versions. Most of them are based on Debian Testing. These are real desktop Distro’s.

If you want to test them out, they boot into a Live iso (via USB Stick), so at first you don’t need any installation & you can test some basic stuff together with your hardware (although Rocky as far as I know doesn’t offer such a live-boot iso).

Then I wouldn’t install it directly on Hardware but rather use a HyperVisor like VirtualBox that was mentioned above, or the Built-In Hyper-V of Windoze. That way you can get used to the OS, find out if the options you need are available etc. For that you can also wait for the open Windows when you get time to work on the PC, & your Wife can use it without much delay.

Once you have decided on a Distro, I would get an extra HD (or probably NVMe SSD which your PC probably uses anyway), replace the disk & install the OS to that new disk. Then you can easily replace the disk when your wife needs the PC, & you have time to finish it’s installation without loosing the M$ stuff.

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You make assumptions about “desktop use”; needs do differ.

Besides, some effort now that can yield almost a decade of unchanging use experience sounds a bargain.

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@rindi I want to address your misconception that Rocky doesn’t have live images. See this post: [Start Here] Rocky Linux Resources and You that shows live images for Gnome, KDE and XFCE downloadable from the Alternative Images section on the Rocky website.

Debian and Ubuntu are also just as much server OS’s, as they can be desktops. Debian, just like RHEL doesn’t have the latest and greatest software. Ubuntu in some respects can also be by using the LTS releases.

All distributions can be utilised as desktops, including RHEL, Rocky of which it is based - there are additional repositories that can be used. Just because they don’t have the latest software, doesn’t mean a decent desktop cannot be made and used. Plenty of people do that already without any issues whatsoever. Those who wish for the latest and greatest software - or bleeding edge, use distros like Fedora, Arch, Gentoo if they wish to compile everything themselves, and other similar distros.

People choose what fits their situation best, and that doesn’t mean that RHEL or Rocky cannot be, or should not be used as desktops. That’s purely something of a personal viewpoint.

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Debian Testing does have almost the latest Software. It’s just the “stable” branch that doesn’t. It still is stable enough for general use. I wouldn’t recommend Arch & Gentoo for general users, those are for experienced Linux Geeks. Also Fedora probably isn’t stable enough (but the users don’t have to compile things themselves, the packages are ready for install from the repos).

Ubuntu was built from the ground to be user friendly, which other distro’s aren’t. It can also be used for servers, but that’s not what it was built for in the beginning. That is different with RedHat.

Ubuntu & Debian also has the larger community. If you need help on an issue, you will probably get answers quickly there, & most instructions you can find usually have help for Ubuntu & Debian first. Help for RH is usually harder to find, & less easy to understand for newcomers.

I’m not saying Rocky isn’t OK, it just normally won’t suite Linux newcomers. It needs experienced users & Admins.

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I guess you haven’t used Fedora. I’ve used it every day and it’s totally stable. Some of your arguments are completely flawed.

Help for RH isn’t hard to find at all, sounds like you are inexperienced in that area since Red Hat has their own documentation for pretty much everything you may wish to do. Not only that, there are plenty of people who post howto’s on their own sites, which are also easy enough to find via Google. I’m curious why you are here on this forum then since you seem to prefer Debian Testing/Ubuntu?

It certainly doesn’t need experienced users to run it either. RH and CentOS were some of the very first distributions I used before I even knew as much about Linux as I do now. Linux in general back then was more problematic with hardware than it is now. In which case RH, Rocky are certainly some of the easiest distros you can use.

Rocky has been out abour a year or so, Debian and Ubuntu for about 15-20 years or even more. That’s why the communities are bigger. Size isn’t everything. Rocky has just started, it will get much bigger here as well.

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If size of “community” matters, then MS Windows should outpace everyone hands down. Alas, quantity does not ensure quality.

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Well, I’m gonna try installing Rocky9 ‘KDE’ on this ancient-ish HP desktop first ( so I can mess around with setting up a more familiar ‘windows-7-like’ desktop experience for my wife’s workstation). I have Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on it now, and don’t like the Gnome desktop extensions mess (which blew up a while after I got it set up more or less to my liking). And I found that a LOT of the bundled ‘ubuntu store’ software doesnt run anyway ( after installing ‘ok’)… and the snap store is awful, in my experiences so far. So, limited or not, it can’t be too much worse than what I have now :slight_smile:

Well, well, well… ROCKY 9 is running like a dream on my old HP ELITEDESK (i7 quadcore) :smiley:

Operating System: Rocky Linux 9.0
KDE Plasma Version: 5.23.4
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.90.0
Qt Version: 5.15.2
Kernel Version: 5.14.0-70.30.1.el9_0.x86_64 (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: Wayland
Processors: 8 × Intel® Core™ i7-7700T CPU @ 2.90GHz
Memory: 15.0 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: Mesa Intel® HD Graphics 630

It boots fast, and shuts down properly! I have just about everything I actually need loaded now (Chrome, Opera, RealVNC, FileZilla, Remmina RDP client)… and I am very pleased with how smooth things are running. If I can get Veeam agent installed, all will be golden!

And right out of the box, KDE Plasma has pretty much normal ‘Windows 7-ish’ desktop, start menu in the right place, etc etc. Network shares, audio, bluetooth, everything behaving very nicely. Should be an easy transition for my wife’s machine (coming one day very soon).

Many thanks for the good advice here

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