Entering the Linux rabbit whole & GPU pass-through

Since Windows 7 support is coming to an end and I really can not tolerate of where M$ is going with windows 10, I will have to move to Linux.

I played around for a while now with Ubuntu 18.04 and for many smaller things it seams a viable alternative, but there are a few bigger butts that pose a major problem.

For once, since I’ll be still using many windows tools in wine, I require some sort or application firewall, i.e. something that allows me to deny individual processes access to the internet. The only tool i could find for that is in alpha stage https://github.com/evilsocket/opensnitch so are there any good application firewalls for Linux that i missed?

An other tool I desperately need is a good graphical task manager, something on par with Process Hacker (https://processhacker.sourceforge.io/) or task info (http://www.iarsn.com/taskinfo.html), they allow one to see the stack of any selected thread, show all open files of any selected process, all open sockets by process, etc… basically you can watch your PC think, the only tool that I found for Linux which comes even close is an unfinished port of Process Explorer https://github.com/wolfc01/procexp so are there any advanced task managers for Linux that i missed?

What I also miss is a proper file manager, what i mean by proper, well to be honest: Emulating the look and feel of the Windows explorer from Windows XP with tree lines in the folder tree.
And a good dumb search function that does not index anything just searches the files and shows a nice list, like it was in win 2000 or is now provided by 3rd party windows tools like (https://www.mythicsoft.com/filelocatorpro/) luckily at least my favorite file comparison tool is available for Linux https://www.scootersoftware.com/download.php

Now the above things are annoying but manageable, worst case I will need to write a few tools of my own, …

But now to my biggest issue: Solid Works, its a CAD software I use really a lot. It is only available for windows, and it does not run smoothly in VMWare under Linux.
So I will need to set up a VM with GPU pass-through, is there any idiot prove guide for Ubuntu 18.04?
My main workstation has a Asus p9x79-e ws Mainboard, and it runs a Ivy Bridge xeon is that compatible with VT-d? or is it to old?
I have a NVidia 1060 card which I would like to pass through, I would add a second card (NVIDIA GTX 750) for the Linux desktop. I would hove ever like to not dedicate any monitors to the windows VM, that is get the image rendered by the 1060 into a window on the linux desktop.

An other issue will be my laptop a lenovo t440s it has a Intel graphics card as well as a NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, can the NVIDIA card be used for pass through? Its not really a standalone card as they are sharing a screen and so on, so it may be tricky.

Could you point me to some n00b compatible guides how to achieve these goals?


For a firewall, Ubuntu has one.

If your using the default Ubuntu Gnome desktop, there is Gnome System Monitor for a task manager, also KDE task manager, and there is always htop.

File managers - Thunar, pcmanfm, dolphin are a few

I don’t seam to like gnome, it looks much to much like an apple
The KDE desktop is suiting me much better.
But in needier of those is the default task manager even close to what I’m used to.

I know that most of not all of the information I require can be retrieved one way or an other on Linux, so worst case I will have to write my own task manager.

What however causes me a headache is the GPU pass through that is far outside of my comfort zone, while at the same time seams to be necessary as I absolutely need that CAD software to run for a big part of my work.

For per-process firewalls there’s also https://gitlab.com/douaneapp/Douane - I can’t vouch for how stable/easy it is to use.

I don’t think there’s an all-in-one system tool - glances does a good overview. I recommend atop/htop for process monitoring, nethogs for per process network monitoring, bmon for general network throughput. Tools I find useful: ps, pstree, lsof (lots of options, you can use repeat mode or watch) , fuser, iftop, netstat. iotop. Maybe overkill, but if you want, I suppose you can setup netdata pretty easily to monitor your local machine

You might like recoll or tracker for indexed search, but I’d recommend taking a look at ripgrep for searching through text, it’s great. Searchmonkey or Catfish are probably more along the lines of what you’re thinking about.

For file managers, I use Thunar, Nautilus has a lot of dependencies but might be close as well. Possibly look at PCManFM or XFE (there are a bajillion file managers on Linux, none particularly better than any other IMO). This might be a good place to start.

As to if your hardware is too old, you can check if your particular CPU supports VT-d, check the specs on Intel’s websites. Your motherboard should have an option to enable VT-d if it supports the tech.

I run an old ivy-bridge i7-3770 and it supports it so your Xeon may also.

For setting up GPU pass-through with iommu check out this tutorial on the forums:

I recently used this for my first GPU pass-through with ubuntu 18.04 and can confirm it works well on ubuntu even though the guy uses debian stretch.

For performance related stuff regarding your windows VM I recently made a post about how i solved my issues (issues I think many probably encounter), so check that out over here:

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