| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 563, 16 June 2014
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Some people question whether we will ever see a year of the Linux desktop, a time when Linux is a common (or even dominant) player in the consumer desktop market. Some of us feel that time has already come and, this week, we explore Linux on the desktop. We start with a review of one of the more popular GNU/Linux desktop distributions, Linux Mint. Mint has become a community favourite in recent years, known for its practical and somewhat conservative approach and this week we explore the project's latest offering. In our News section we discuss Mint's successful donations program and touch on how those donations are being put to good use. We also touch upon Debian gaining MATE desktop packages and Fedora experimenting with a new desktop notification design. Plus we discuss Dell's latest pre-installed Linux offering and Canonical's closure of the Ubuntu One service. In our Questions and Answers column this week we talk about accessing encrypted partitions from a live desktop CD. As usual, we cover distribution releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting releases to come. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Initial thoughts on Linux Mint 17
As night follows the day, so too do Linux Mint launches follow Ubuntu releases. Linux Mint is a project which puts together a desktop-oriented distribution based on Ubuntu packages. The Linux Mint project tends to take a more practical and conservative approach to crafting a desktop operating system when compared to Ubuntu. While Ubuntu experiments with the Unity desktop, servers, cloud computing and mobile devices, the Mint team stays focused on producing a familiar, user-friendly, multimedia-enabled desktop solution. Starting with their most recent release, Linux Mint 17, the Mint team has announced they will be adjusting their release cycle, basing all Linux Mint releases on the most recent Ubuntu long term support release. This should make for a more stable platform and a more relaxed release cycle.
The latest release of Linux Mint comes in two editions, MATE and Cinnamon. These two editions can be downloaded in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. Looking through the release notes we find a number of small, but welcome changes. The Mint Update utility, which downloads software updates, now avoids locking the package manager and works faster. It is also able to show us what type of updates are available (upgrades or security patches). The Mint Driver Manager can now install new hardware drivers without an Internet connection, supporting local media sources for new drivers. The login manager now features a recovery mode and small tweaks have been made to improve the Cinnamon desktop. I opted to download the MATE edition of Mint 17 and found the installation media was approximately 1.2 GB in size.
Booting from the Mint media brings up the MATE desktop environment. The desktop has a traditional layout with an application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the display. The wallpaper is silver and carries the Linux Mint brand. Icons on the desktop allow us to launch the system installer and browse the local file system. The distribution's application menu features a custom layout with the menu being divided into three parts. The menu holds a Places section for local folders, an area for applications and a third section for system administrative tools.
Linux Mint ships with a lightly modified version of the Ubuntu system installer. The graphical interface quickly walks us through selecting our preferred language and optionally showing us the project's release notes. The partition manager is very friendly, allowing us to set up custom partition layouts or using various guided options that take care of dividing up the disk for us. Next we confirm out time zone, select our keyboard's layout from a list and create a user account. Then we wait while the installer copies its files to the hard drive. The installer's interface is easy to navigate and the installation process finished quickly. Rebooting the machine brings us to Mint's graphical login screen.
Linux Mint 17 - various desktop applications
(full image size: 415kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
When we sign into our account the MATE desktop appears and, on the desktop, is a welcome screen. The welcome screen provides us with links to various parts of the Linux Mint website and community pages. From this welcome screen we can access the user manual, release notes, hardware compatibility database and forums. Shortly after dismissing the welcome screen I noticed an icon in the system tray which indicated software updates were available. Clicking on this notification icon brings up Mint's package updater.
While some update programs, such as the one Ubuntu uses, have been moving toward showing less information by default, the latest version of Mint's update utility is showing more. The program provides a list of available package updates, along with the version number of the currently installed package, the version number of the new update and the size of each update. We are also shown a small icon which lets us distinguish between feature upgrades and security upgrades. The Mint update utility also assigns safety ratings to each update, lettings us filter out potentially unsafe upgrades in favour of vetted packages. The first day I was working with Mint there were 147 updates available (totalling 144MB in size). Over the course of the week about another three dozen updates were made available. Each of these packages downloaded and were applied to my system without any problems.
Linux Mint 17 - the update manager and application menu
(full image size: 978kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution comes with a collection of software which showcases some of the best desktop applications in the open source community. We are given the Firefox web browser and Flash support. The HexChat IRC client and the Pidgin instant messaging programs are installed for us. The Thunderbird e-mail client and Transmission bittorrent software are present in the application menu. The LibreOffice productivity suite is installed for us along with a document viewer. Mint comes with the VLC multimedia application, the Brasero disc burning software, the Banshee music player and the Totem video player. Mint provides multimedia codecs for popular media formats, allowing us to play just about any media file. The distribution features an image viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Linux Mint 17 features several system administration utilities, including a data backup application, a domain blocker, a hardware driver manager, a network configuration tool, an app for configuring printers and another program for enabling/disabling system services. MATE comes with a control panel for altering the look & feel of the desktop environment. Mint further provides a text editor, virtual calculator and archive manager. Digging further we find Java is installed for us and the distribution ships with the GNU Compiler Collection. Network Manager is provided to help us get on-line. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.13. All of the above software worked well for me and I encountered no problems.
Linux Mint features two graphical package managers. The first one is Mint Install. I found Mint Install presents an attractive interface where we can browse through categories of software using helpful icons. Clicking on an application's name brings up a description of the software along with a screen shot. New software can be queued for installation with a click of a button and the installation takes place in the background while we continue to use Mint Install. Software can also be removed with a single button click and, again, actions are processed in the background. I found Mint Install to be a friendly package manager and it performed fairly quickly for me, making for a pleasant experience. Synaptic is the second package manager available to us. Synaptic takes a more low-level approach, focusing on lists of individual packages rather than end-user programs. Synaptic worked very quickly for me, though the interface is a bit less newcomer-friendly.
Linux Mint 17 - the settings panel and package management
(full image size: 547kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running Linux Mint 17 in two test environments, one was a physical desktop machine and the other was a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both cases Mint performed well. All of my desktop's hardware was properly detected, the system booted quickly and the MATE desktop was very responsive. The distribution was stable during my time with it and I experience no system nor application crashes. Mint, while running the MATE desktop, used approximately 230MB of memory.
I usually enjoy trying out new version of Linux Mint and version 17 has been no exception. The project has a polish to it not seen in many other distributions. The Linux Mint team has done a very nice job in balancing performance, flexibility, newcomer friendliness and powerful utilities. There is a lot of functionality in the default list of available applications and the developers appear to have selected a small group of desktop programs that will work very well, as opposed to providing applications which use a specific toolkit or fit a certain philosophy. I suspect most people will be able to simply install Linux Mint and get right to work without any additional configuration or downloading more software. I really like the Mint tools, such as the Mint Update program and its ability to filter out potentially unstable upgrades. Though it took a while to grow on me, I like Mint's application menu and its flexibility, it is a menu which presents an unusual layout, but it is easy to customize to suit the user. The MATE desktop continues to hold up well and I feel the way it is presented, in its traditional layout, will appeal to many people.
Though the choice to switch to using Ubuntu LTS (long-term support) releases exclusively for Mint's base has not yet had a direct impact on the Mint community, I think this will prove to be a good move in the long term. I suspect the Mint team was doing a lot of extra work to keep up with Ubuntu's six month release cycle and moving to an approach where the operating system's development base is maintained for two years will allow the developers to focus more on Mint's unique features.
I hesitate to use terms such as "just works" or "flawless", but Linux Mint 17 is probably as close to "just works" as a desktop distribution can get. From the installer to the welcome screen to the package managers to the control panel to the range of default applications, the performance and the stability -- Mint continuously impressed me this week. I do not think I encountered a single bug or unwelcome quirk during my time with the distribution. Mint, in my option, is friendly enough to appeal to newcomers, flexible enough to appeal to more experienced users and offers a good combination of performance and features.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS tests early pre-release, Debian gains MATE, Canonical closes Ubuntu One, Dell launches Linux tablet, Mint receives record donations, Fedora showcases new notification system
Following last week's release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, the focus of many users will now undoubtedly turn towards CentOS and other RHEL clones - in expectation of an early delivery of a "gratis" system based on RHEL 7. The first noises hinting at the forthcoming release of CentOS 7 started to make rounds late last week when Fabian Arrotin announced the availability of a very early pre-release: "We are pleased to announce that the first (pre-release) CentOS 7-rc tree is pushed. If you want to use it, you need to use the boot.iso media (found under the images directory), start a netinstall and point to the mentioned repository. We plan on also having a symbolic link called 'latest', as we'll probably have a new tree on a daily basis (until we're happy and will have a final release)." At this point only the most enthusiastic testers should try this pre-release as it is still very rough around the edges. Hopefully we'll be able to download a full set of reasonably stable CentOS 7 ISO images in the not too distant future.
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Fans of both Debian GNU/Linux and the classic GNOME 2 desktop received good news last week. The MATE project, a fork of GNOME 2 which strives to maintain and modernize the classic GNOME experience, has been packaged for Debian. In a post to the Debian Developers mailing list Mike Gabriel wrote: "The MATE desktop environment is a fork of what was formerly known as the GNOME v2 desktop environment. The MATE upstream developers have performed a really good job in integrating the old GNOME code with latest technologies like DConf and GSettings. The next upcoming release of MATE (which will be the 1.10 series) will also have GTK+ 3 support (if things go well!). During the last 6 months several people have worked on the provisioning of MATE packages in Debian. The initial workload has now been completed!" MATE desktop packages are available in the Debian Testing package repository and in Wheezy's backports repository for people running the Stable branch of Debian.
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Linux distributions tend not to come pre-installed on most consumer desktop, laptop and tablet devices. Dell is slowly working to change that. The popular OEM has already rolled out the XPS 13 Laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed and, later this year, the company plans to ship Inspiron 11 and Inspiron 13 tablets with the Ubuntu operating system. The tablets are expected to be available in Asia, Europe and Africa sometime in June with world-wide availability planned for September of this year.
In less joyful news, the Ubuntu One file synchronization and music streaming service has been shut down. Canonical had announced they would discontinue the file synchronization service back in April and now Ubuntu One has shut its doors. People who still have files stored on the Ubuntu One servers can download their files or transfer them to another storage service between now and July 31. Previously we have discussed alternative options for people who wish to migrate their files to another cloud storage service.
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Following the release of Linux Mint 17, the distribution's blog was updated with a post revealing record high donations from the project's userbase. The Linux Mint blog also mentions that a portion of the project's donations are to go towards funding contributing developers: "Many thanks also to our sponsors and to all the people who sent us donations. Since 2006, we've never seen so many donations in a single month. This support and the feedback we got from you are extremely motivating. Last month we introduced a new budget to fund benevolent developers. It turned out to be a real success within the development team, empowering members without altering relationships or having any noticeable negative impact. It's also very motivating for developers to receive from the community. Of course development is fun already and it's fuelled by the huge amount of ideas and feedback you're sending to us, not to mention the gratification they get when interacting directly with users, but for them to receive funds and participate in the growth of the project, that adds to that as well and it's a real pleasure for me to be able to include them in that."
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In user interface design there is the challenge of providing more information to the user without overwhelming them or crowding the screen with distracting data. Ryan Lerch blogged about a new notification system which may be coming to GNOME 3.14 and Fedora in the coming months. "This new design allows for a greater amount of detail when glancing at your notifications, rather than just an icon, and the number of unread notifications. The upstream developers seem to be targeting getting this new design implemented for GNOME 3.14, so hopefully we should see this in Fedora 21 Workstation."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Accessing encrypted content from live media
Looking-for-encrypted-volumes asks: I like using Fedora as my primary operating systems or even Arch Linux on occasion. And I would like to always maintain a full encrypted hard disk on any distribution as well. The problem is that, now and then, I like to use Puppy Linux as well and so, when using Puppy Linux, I cannot figure out how to get Puppy to recognize, mount and use any kind of encrypted partition. Even beyond the point of installing all needed files in Puppy to support LVM or LUKS. I have even tried once to copy the UUID of the LUKS partition and insert it to Puppy's fstab, but even after rebooting it still doesn't recognize nor mount the partition then. This is frustrating because it makes me have to keep an open partition of 40 GB or 50 GB with my movies or music or documents so that Puppy finds it and I can play any file I have then.
It's bothersome because I want these files kept in my encrypted partition on my main OS, but I can't because of the reasons above so in essence sometimes I have two of the same files on the same hard disk just to accomplish this. And might I say that it's not only Puppy, but this can apply to any live OS, such as Ubuntu, etc. I have noticed in Linux Mint as a live OS, if I click on the LUKS partition in the file manager, it will mount and ask for the password and then I can use it. But that's the only OS I have seen that can accomplish this task. Do I need to do something else or do you have any ideas? So in summary, how can I encrypt my entire hard drive yet allow an encrypted disk to be mounted from a live CD when I wish?
DistroWatch answers: Off the top of my head, I would say what you are running into is a bug in the way some distributions detect (and manage) encrypted partitions. You mentioned Linux Mint (for instance) can see and access the encrypted partition, but others cannot. My recommendation would be to bring up the problem on the specific distribution forums or in the project's bug tracker.
It also crossed my mind that the reason some distributions are not working for you here may be because what you are doing is a bit unusual. Typically partitions are encrypted to protect against someone sticking a live CD into their computer and accessing the files on the encrypted drive. It isn't often someone uses a live CD to access their own files, especially when you have working Fedora (or Arch) systems already installed. You may have a good reason for needing both encryption on your disk and live CDs, but most people use one to thwart the other. It might make your life easier if you stuck to using locally installed operating systems to access your data, or did away with disk encryption.
Finally, I would like to point out that if you maintain a separate, unencrypted partition for copies of videos and documents, then you are effectively rendering the encrypted partition ineffective. If you do need to continue using live CDs then I would recommend maintaining the two data partitions differently. One partition can be encrypted and store your private documents, things you do not need to access often. The other partition can remain unencrypted and hold files which are not of a sensitive nature (video files, music and such). Setting up these two data partitions to hold different documents will probably be easier in the long run than wrestling with various live environments to make them work with your encrypted file system.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10
Phil Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.10, the latest update of the Arch Linux-based distribution that comes in KDE, Xfce and Openbox flavours: "On behalf of the Manjaro team, I'm pleased to announce the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.10. Our team has worked hard over the last three months to put together the most refined and user-friendly Manjaro release to date. This release includes our flagship Xfce edition, feature-rich KDE edition, lightweight Openbox edition and our minimal 'Net' edition. Although the general layout of our supported environments has not changed dramatically, there have been look-and-feel improvements, including a modern graphical bootsplash, new default theme (Menda) and a new look for our welcome screen." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of new features.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
Red Hat, Inc. today announced the released of the long-awaited Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest version of the high-end Linux distribution for enterprises: "Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest major release of the company's flagship platform." Some of the most prominent features of the release include: "Enhanced application development, delivery, portability and isolation through Linux Containers; significant file system improvements, including XFS as the default file system; cross-realm trust to easily enable secure access for Microsoft Active Directory users; powerful and secure application runtimes and development, delivery and troubleshooting tools." Read the press release and check out the detailed release notes for further information.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 - the default desktop of the "Workstation" edition
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GParted Live 0.19.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.19.0-1, the new stable build of the project's Debian-based live CD that features a number of utilities for disk management and data rescue work: "The GParted team is proud to announce the stable release of GParted Live 0.19.0-1. This live image includes fixes to improve booting on UEFI firmware computers and it has undergone extra testing to ensure it works with motherboard BIOS RAID. Items of note include: based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2014-06-11; updated Linux kernel to 3.14.5; updated Syslinux to 6.03-pre13; increased minimum requirements to 160 MB of RAM; CD/DVD tray is no longer ejected on shutdown or reboot; contains GParted 0.19.0 application which includes a refactored OperationDetail code to address random crash behaviour." Here is the brief release announcement.
Anke Boersma has announced the release of KaOS 2014.06, a desktop Linux distribution featuring the Pacman package manager and the latest KDE desktop together with many popular KDE-centric applications: "KaOS is proud to announce the availability of the June release of a new stable ISO image. The last two months worth of updates were done to good 1,100 packages and to stay with the policy that a first 'pacman -Syu' should be uncomplicated for new users means a new ISO image was needed. At the base of the system some of the updates include Linux kernel 3.14.6 with the futex bug fix included, GCC 4.8.3, LLVM 3.4.1, Qt 5.3.0, OpenSSL 1.0.1.h, MESA 10.2.1, Bash 4.3.018, Poppler 0.26.1. Systemd 213 was part of the updates tested but did not make the cut. With this ISO, KaOS makes the switch to present XFS as the default file system. The latest KDE 4.13.2 version is available." Read the full release announcement for further details, screenshots and explanatory links.
Ronnie Whisler has announced the final release of LXLE 14.04, a Lubuntu-based distribution made for older computers and featuring the LXDE desktop. Some of the notable features include the following: "LXLE acronym change, originally 'Lubuntu eXtra Life Extension' which made sense before Lubuntu had an official LTS release, since 14.04 however, LXLE will now adopt the nomenclature 'LXDE eXtra Luxury Edition' and we think this release doubles down on that; to better support 32-bit hardware we updated 12.04.4 to be virtually identical to LXLE 14.04 64-bit release including features, updated software and system components; PCManFM additions such as open directories and text as root, create shortcuts, rename base icon names, copy to folder, right click desktop trash to empty; Launch (Fehlstart), Run (Gexec), and Terminal (RoxTerm) all have hotkeys enabled to open them using the keyboard for faster access...." Read the release announcement for a full list of features.
LXLE 14.04 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a custom LXDE desktop
(full image size: 1,720kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Artemis-OS. Artemis-OS is a Kubuntu-based distribution used for penetration testing.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 June 2014. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • Mint 17 (by Bob on 2014-06-16 10:01:10 GMT from Austria) |
Wise move to test MATE, that was definitely the better chopice! In a Cinnamon review the term "flawless" would not be appropriate at all. We'll see how the KDE edition compares when ready ...
2 • Debian MATE (by Paul M on 2014-06-16 10:30:23 GMT from United States)
Glad to see that MATE is now an officially supported DE option for Debian.... I have missed GNOME 2 ever since the GNOME team abandoned the concept of a lightweight, sane desktop in favor of that crap called GNOME 3
3 • Mint 17.. (by Marc Visscher on 2014-06-16 11:01:15 GMT from Netherlands)
@Bob (2014-06-16 10:01:10 GMT)
Of course this is your own opinion, maybe because of your dislike about Cinnamon? Or because you are a fan of Mate? But I just to point out that the Cinnamon-edition of Mint 17 performs just as well as the Mate-edition. 2 years ago I would never advice Cinnamon because of the "funny" glitches and the unpredictable behaviour. But at this moment Cinnamon performs extremely well, is stable, looks very polished and works like a charm! And I know, because I use it since Mint 13.
Just saying that Mate "is the better choice" is just a subjective point of view.
4 • Minty (by greg on 2014-06-16 11:01:54 GMT from Slovenia)
I think i have to give it a try. Especially on my notebook. eventhough i doubt the Fn keys that used to work on 12.04 and don't work anymore on 14.04 Will work in Mint,. but who knows. i might be surprised.
5 • Mint 17 @1 (by kc1di on 2014-06-16 11:12:12 GMT from United States)
KDE and XFCE RC have been released give them a try.
6 • XFS as default (by Azlan on 2014-06-16 11:14:30 GMT from Indonesia)
I notice recent movement to XFS as default file system by Red Hat and KaOS. What happen?
7 • RHEL 7 (by LAZA on 2014-06-16 11:24:28 GMT from Germany)
@Azlan and all other interested, give this articles (sorry, only in german, but translate.google.com will help you out):
8 • Hardware Mint will not work on. (by Garon on 2014-06-16 11:48:19 GMT from United States)
Wanted to try Mint17 but no go. Too many graphic glitches. This has to do with a laptop with a nvidia Geforce 8200M video system. Not even the open source driver would work. I know that this is not the fault of LinuxMint and I don't blame them for it. I tried the Cinnamon version. Not interested in Mate because of the Gnome 2 comparison. Will stick with Elementary on that laptop.
9 • LUKS from live media (by Kemeny on 2014-06-16 12:02:39 GMT from Hungary)
Seems Looking-for-encrypted-volumes has LVM on LUKS, and distros often just try to mount the unencrypted LUKS container itself, which does not work when an LVM sits there. But it is possible to work around on the command line.
First become root (in Puppy you are by default), then (assuming LUKS sits on /dev/sda2, change accordingly):
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 cryptname
This will ask for your password, when its done:
vgchange -a y
This will find and activate your LVM.
Then look around in /dev/mapper, and mount your LVM volume containing your data, something like:
mount /dev/mapper/volgroup-MyData /my-mount-point
Hope it helps.
10 • Mint Cinnamon (by Bob on 2014-06-16 12:21:24 GMT from United States)
Unfortunately, I had some problems with Cinnamon booting into my machine as well due to a driver issue. I imagine it is a problem with the graphics card more than anything else. I agree this is frustrating, but there are some solutions on the Ubuntu forums in this regard. I hope you had the patience to give them a try... I will be giving them a shot in a day or two.
Otherwise, I will have to move to the MATE version which works fine on my laptop(Inspiron 630).
AMD Quad 2.2ghz, NVIDIA 750 Ti SC, 4 gb Ram, 500 gb HDD clone
11 • Mint Geforce Boot (by Dwaine on 2014-06-16 12:45:37 GMT from United States)
@ Bob & Garon, I had the same problem with Mint and my Geforce 550TI, it's an issue with the nouveau driver for X-Org when Mint starts to boot hit enter and edit the boot line after quiet, add acpi=off noacpi, then it will boot and install, use the same to boot the new system and install the nvidia drivers.
12 • Linux Mint (by Daniel Mery on 2014-06-16 12:53:25 GMT from United States)
Linux Mint new release is excellent as always.
Congratulations to Linux Mint team
13 • Nvidia and LinuxMint 17 (by Garon on 2014-06-16 13:20:13 GMT from United States)
Thanks Dwaine and Bob. I tried that but after the fact. I'll try with a new install.
14 • Mint 17 (by Octathlon on 2014-06-16 13:38:15 GMT from United States)
Now that it's time to upgrade again I've decided to switch from Ubuntu to Mint because:
1) I have been using Cinnamon for about a year already and want to keep using it. I read that using it on Ubuntu will be more difficult on 14.04. I try Unity every release and I finally accept that I am never going to like it or use it (even though it looks pretty).
2) Now that Mint is switching to the LTS base, I don't have to worry about being forced to do a clean install upgrade so often.
15 • MATE backport (by massysett on 2014-06-16 13:41:13 GMT from United States)
What's really interesting about MATE in Debian is that it's available in backports. Debian typically does not backport an entire desktop environment. Certainly there is no KDE, Gnome, or xfce in backports. That means MATE is probably the easiest way to get the most current desktop in Debian without the hassle of using testing or unstable.
16 • Mint 17 sounds nice (by DavidEF on 2014-06-16 13:56:06 GMT from United States)
I've tried for YEARS to like Mint. It always had too many glitches and things that just didn't work. It seemed they never fixed any of Ubuntu's bugs, but added their own for extra spice.
After reading this review, I just MIGHT try again. I use Ubuntu, and like Unity, but there are also some things that Mint really has always done better, like configurability.
Let's just hope the printing system works. That would be a good start.
17 • LibreOffice icons in first screenshot for Linux Mint 17 review (by UUUnicorn on 2014-06-16 14:20:34 GMT from United States)
Please, I am curious to know the name of the icon set in LibreOffice in the first screenshot for the Linux Mint 17 review.
I like such icons, but I do not know their identity. I would appreciate finding out any and all information on them.
Thank you very much in advance.
18 • Linux Mint 17 updates policy (by Kazlu on 2014-06-16 14:51:21 GMT from France)
A very smart move from the Linux Mint team in my opinion: treating security updates separately from feature/debug updates. That allows to apply security updates no matter what and to benefit from the stability ranking of Linux Mint for *other* updates. I consider security updates should be applied right away, even if less tested: I prefer having my software crash that having it exposing me to known threats. That has driven me away from Linux Mint, now I may consider looking back at it, be it for me or for less experienced family members of mine.
It would be great if they could do the same with LMDE, but I guess it would be more difficult - if not impossible - since the Debian Testing base does not provide a security updates channel (as opposed to the Ubuntu base of the main Linux Mint edition).
19 • Vision and hearing... Linux accesibility!?!? (by Baltazar on 2014-06-16 15:25:59 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I have been searching for a distro for a client with visual limitations of mine to use. I have yet to find something manageable and easy to learn...
Considering that she knows little to nothing of computers should in a way make it a bit easier since she will be learning anyway... she just knows Spanish though. Which add to her frustration since now she has a computer with windows xp in English and a friend got her JAWS installed (pirated and all) working ... in Spanish... the horror of JAWS reading English in Spanish is maddening... This, you can imagine, is not helpful at all. Besides having XP and JAWS pirated...
I have read about ORCA... its homepage is what I would call "classic GNOME stile" in the sense that it is incomplete and lacking important info. Just look at point number 6 in their web page... It reminded me of my time trying Gnome long ago, and trying to use the 56k modem just to find in the menus, I think it was the help menu of the modem app, "bla bla bla" . Am been serious... I got really disappointed! Oh well.
Anyhow... It just feel like the ORCA project is not been maintain... or maybe I just need to try it anyway see if it is good for my client.
I just would like to hear from the "Watchers" of the page to shine some light in any and all "accessibility" tools I could use on Linux... and if there is a distro that you may recommend...
Thanks in advance!
20 • @19 accessability (by Jeff on 2014-06-16 16:01:36 GMT from United States)
The first distro that I thought of is Knoppix, the developers wife is visually impaired and he has a version of Knoppix with a lot of applications for that.
It is available in Spanish.
Though not ideal for install to a hdd as it is intended to be used as a live CD/DVD it will at least show you what is possible.
21 • LibreOffice Icon Style (by Richard on 2014-06-16 16:05:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
@17 LibreOffice on Linux Mint claims to be using Ubuntu's Human icon theme (https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/saucy/libreoffice-style-human/), except that it clearly isn't.
Mint itself is using a home-brewed icon theme called Mint-X, and I suspect LibreOffice in those screenshots is largely using that. The Mint-X icon theme is a "Icon theme built for Linux Mint. Uses elements of Faenza and Elementary". You can find it at: https://github.com/linuxmint/mint-x-icons
22 • Looking for encrypted (by Jeff on 2014-06-16 16:06:49 GMT from United States)
So why encrypt your music or movies ?
I can understand why you might want to encrypt documents, but what are you hiding music or movies for ?
23 • Visually impaired (by Dave Postles on 2014-06-16 17:26:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ 19 Vinux
24 • @19 KNOPPIX-ADRIANE (by Roger on 2014-06-16 18:23:53 GMT from United States)
Especially blind people, who have no or very few computer skills, and/or have had bad encounters with graphic-focused computer interfaces, may experience an easy entry to the digital world. But also people with normal vision, who prefer a less complicated step-by-step menu, instead of an icon/animation-overloaded and over-complex graphical desktop, may profit from ADRIANE."
25 • Linuxmint and chromium and FIFA.com (by garbel on 2014-06-16 19:15:20 GMT from United States)
I uninstalled Firefox and installed Chromium, and Flash didn't work.... I had to uninstall it and reinstall Firefox....
26 • @22 hiding... (by Vukota on 2014-06-16 19:28:24 GMT from United States)
If you use computer for work, encrypting everything on the hard drive may be mandatory thing (music and movies) included. Company I work for have a policy that everything has to be encrypted, including external hard drives and thumb drives attached, so there is no liability to clients later if the business laptops gets stolen.
To go even further, if thieves steel your personal computer, it is a good idea, they don't get any of your useful data. There are some other good preventive use cases I wouldn't even like mentioning here, but hey if you think everything what you have on a computer and your drives should be 100% public, it is you choice!
Related to the Q & A about encryption Jesse gave, I think it is not that common scenario and is somewhat confusing (both Q & A). Better Q & A would be what to use now (instead of TrueCrypt) for encryption that can work flawlessly with Windows, Linux, Bsds, and OS X, so that the removable encrypted drives exchanged between them can work flawlessly (and that you can still have protected main OS drive if you choose to). Interesting is that AWS is still using TrueCrypt as their only option.
27 • Donations (by Risto A on 2014-06-16 19:41:43 GMT from Finland)
Linux mint got a record amount of donations... it seems the users are happy!
BTW, when did YOU last send a donation to your favorite developer/distro/app/plugin/whatever? Most fine distros and apps come from hard-working developers with no commercial support. Not necessarily four- or three-digit amounts, but send something, it may keep your favorite alive a bit longer.
28 • Mint DEs (by cykodrone on 2014-06-16 19:42:59 GMT from Canada)
I'm giggling at the convos already, I tried both live Mate and Cinnamon Mint 17, Mate is Gnome 2.x with a few tweaks, but it's still missing a few nooks and crannies (right-click menus, features, etc) like its parent, Cinnamon has no panel pager (yeah, I know, window-list, whoopee, I want and need a pager, preferably with tiny program icon emulation), Cinnamon also contains the Gnome 3.x hot corner feature, which you have to enable to add or delete a workspace (I know this, but not easy to find or obvious for noobs) and Cinnamon is still a bit buggy, not critical bugs but they're there. That being said, since I'm an Xfce convert, I'll wait and try that Mint 17 'flavour', maybe I'll actually find some usable menus and features, if they haven't stripped those out too.
29 • debian_Mate_easy4some? (by gee7 on 2014-06-16 20:05:13 GMT from United States)
Quote "MATE desktop packages are available in the Debian Testing package repository and in Wheezy's backports repository for people running the Stable branch of Debian." Unquote
To install Mate desktop on a new install of Wheezy will not be so easy for someone new to Linux, someone from the third world who is not fluent in English or an older person learning computing, in my opinion.
Debian should really get its act together because once installed, Debian with a Mate DE is so gorgeously right (flexible, quick, smart). Love it.
I installed it this Monday and now it sits on an old computer with 4 other Linux systems in a multi-boot.
Having spent the last couple of months mostly using Crunchbang, Aptosid, Gnewsense and sometimes Debian 6 with Gnome 2, I decided to return to Debian 7.0 now that it has Mate.
So I downloaded a Debian Wheezy 7.5.0 net install, burnt Wheezy to CD, and did a CD & net install. Debian recommends this way, if you have an internet connection.
Once installed, in a root terminal, I typed:
# apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
and Mate could not be found! So much for being "easy".
Also I could find no backport source for Wheezy. Perhaps my fault for looking in the wrong places or possibly using wrong syntax?
The backport source I had used last year no longer worked.
I tried editing /etc/apt/sources.list and adding a wheezy backport source and it wasn't accepted.
So 15 minutes of DuckDuckGoing and I found the source to add:
(1) Open a root terminal and type:
apt-get install nano
(2) Add the following 2 lines to sources.list
# Source for the Mate Desktop
deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main
(3) Use Ctrl & X on your keyboard to close sources.list. accepting to save the changes with "y"
(4) Add the repository key to the system
apt-key add mate-archive-keyring.gpg
apt-get --force-yes -allow-unauthenticated install mate-archive-keyring
(5) Update Debian sources by typing:
(6) Now install MATE desktop with more extras
apt-get install mate-desktop-environment mate-desktop-environment-extra
(7) reboot and select Mate at Login.
All right, it took me only 30 minutes to install Mate after doing on online search but some people I know with limited computing skills would have given up.
Debian should have some way of making it easy to get Mate on a new install.
Perhaps they intend to add a backport source to the repositories to the default install in the future, but if so, it isn't there yet.
Time for developers to think more globally, and see all the different types of people in the world who may one day try to use their open source systems. Be kind, developers.
30 • Mint & such (by M.Z. on 2014-06-16 20:14:48 GMT from United States)
Well Mint 17 Cinnamon has been great & virtually trouble free for me, but then I bought my laptop specifically for Linux. The only bug I've seen is minor & probably related to an old Cinnamon theme I like not being updated, but it goes away after half a second anyway.
@17 & 21
The default icon theme in Mint has been Mint-X for a number of releases now & LibreOffice isn't any different. In fact there is a special package used to make everything look more consistent in LibreOffice that can be found in synaptic. I know because I saw it when I installed the equivalent KDE LibreOffce integration package in Mint. I think the KDE package looks a lot better with dark themes, but I might switch back to the other integration package. I believe that there is also a Unity integration package, but that isn't used by default.
I know that both KDE & Cinnamon have some accessibility features built in & adjustable via settings, & I think that Gnome is the same. I don't know how well any of that stuff works, but I heard a podcast where someone said good things about the integrated screen magnifier available in KDE as one of the accessibility options available under desktop effects. In addition both KDE & Cinnamon have accessibility features under an accessibility category in their settings managers. I think #23 also has a good distro suggestion with Vinux. The page for them here on distrowatch has links to a couple reviews & to the project homepage. See here:
31 • Mint 17, et al (by Rumpleforeskin on 2014-06-16 20:15:42 GMT from United States)
I've had Mint off and on (rather on then off) several different computers
over the years. On for the popularity of it and it's Ubuntu base, off because there was always a hardware or networking issue.
It's pretty and clean and nice as are so many others (Sabayon, Zorin, PCLinuxOS etc), but doggone it Mint just wants too much work out of me to get it going. *laughing* but true.. I'm lazy.
Why does an Ubuntu based distribution fail where Ubuntu (and other Ubuntu flavors) does not fail hardware wise?
Need to learn. Should read. Legitimate query, though. I think. ;)
32 • @19 (by Richard on 2014-06-16 20:35:19 GMT from United States)
another one to check is http://sonargnulinux.com/
33 • @31 Mint 17, et all (by Rev_Don on 2014-06-16 21:05:17 GMT from United States)
I've experienced the exact opposite. I have never been able to understand why Mint just works for me while Ubuntu has issues. And I'm talking hardware as well as software. Of course much of that blame can be laid at the feet of the abomination known as Unity as Xubuntu and Lubuntu tend to work much better than Ubuntu for me (and this is on MODERN and CURRENT Intel hardware, not outdated hardware and cheap junk).
34 • Linux Mint 17 (by Osman Gulseven on 2014-06-16 21:57:16 GMT from Turkey)
I am a newbie in the Linux Community. I chose to install Mint 17 as it comes with a full package. The installation was performed using pendrive USB installation. Eveything worked smoothly. I am using both Windows 7 and Linux Mint 17. I realized that I am spending more time on Linux Mint 17.
One minor issue was the installation of printer drivers. After downloading HP Linux driver utilty, this issue is solved.
Another issue was the adjustment of screen brightness. I use a combination of xbacklight program and redshift to adjust the screen color profile.
I am using Thunderbird to check all of my 5 email accounts. This is very efficient.
Overall, it Mint 17 has been a great experience so far. It is a complete software system in a USB drive.
35 • @25 No Flash in Chromium (by Charles on 2014-06-16 21:59:07 GMT from Ukraine)
No fault of Mint. Flash is no longer supported (and thus entirely removed) as of Chromium v.35. To restore Flash functionality, install pepperflashplugin-nonfree from the repositories.
36 • Cinnamon @3 (by Bob on 2014-06-16 22:06:51 GMT from Austria)
I am unbiased because I am normally neither using Mint as a distro nor Mate as DE. But I have tried both Mint 17 releases and there were issues with Cinnamon which is also definitely less responsive than Mate. BTW, seems that in one of the previous posts someone else was mentioning problems with Cinnamon as well.
37 • @17 Libre Office Icon set is Sifr (by azra on 2014-06-16 22:20:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
38 • Mint-X icons (by M.Z. on 2014-06-16 23:07:11 GMT from United States)
@37 & 17
Well after looking at the link provided by #37 & playing with the settings it shows, I can understand the confusion over icons. Actually the Mint-X icon set is called 'Human' by LibreOffice, but it is different from both the default Ubuntu icon theme & the Sifr theme mentioned by #37. I do think the Sifi icons look like Mint-X, but if you play with the icons in Cinnamon under 'System Settings > Themes > other settings', then you can change the icons in both the file manager. The icons in Nemo look exactly like the default ones in LibreOffice if you choose 'Mint-X' from the drop down menu. It is mislabeled in LibreOffice & similar to the icons mentioned by #37, but it is still the Mint-X icon theme used everywhere in Mint by default.
39 • @28 Mint DEs (by Angel on 2014-06-17 00:36:41 GMT from Philippines)
"Cinnamon has no panel pager (yeah, I know, window-list, whoopee, I want and need a pager, preferably with tiny program icon emulation), Cinnamon also contains the Gnome 3.x hot corner feature, which you have to enable to add or delete a workspace (I know this, but not easy to find or obvious for noobs)"
Sometimes I wonder if some who comment actually try whatever it is they comment on. I'm sitting here with Cinnamon running quite nicely in a VM and it has a window list on the panel with your precious itty-bitty icons, plus I just added and subtracted desktops with the hot corners disabled.
40 • Workspace switcher (by M.Z. on 2014-06-17 01:42:18 GMT from United States)
@28 & 39
Are we talking about the applet called 'Workspace switcher'? If you go to 'System settings > Applets' & scroll to the bottom there is an applet called 'Workspace switcher' that lets you change between numbered desktops. In Mint 17 Cinnamon the thing is on the system by default & locked into the Applets list so it can't be removed. I don't think it is nearly as nice or powerful as the equivalent desktop switcher in KDE, but it is perfectly functional.Comment # 28 may be wrong about the 'Workspace switcher'/pager, but I've never actually added a workspace without using a hot corner in Cinnamon, so knowing that would be nice.
41 • @17 - "Sifr" icons and LibreOffice icon confusion (by eco2geek on 2014-06-17 02:28:41 GMT from United States)
The LibreOffice icons in the first screenshot were produced for LibreOffice 4.2 by LibreOffice developers. See:
(They have nothing to do with Linux Mint, although they do blend in nicely.)
Anyway, you can install them in any *buntu 14.04-based distro (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.), or any Debian testing or unstable-based distro, by installing the package "libreoffice-style-sifr". They should be available in any other distro that comes with LibreOffice 4.2.x.
42 • Mint 17 and various observations (by frodopogo on 2014-06-17 03:48:24 GMT from United States)
Mint is pretty amazing, but we need to remember that it's a pretty small group of mostly volunteer people compared to Ubuntu. I'm glad for the focus on the LTS versions....that should give them more time for bug swatting. A six month release cycle is just crazy!
However, I think we should face facts and realized that NO Linux distro is going to get tested on all the hardware there is. From his comments, I think Clement Lefebvre is very aware of this fact. And the fact that many people look to Linux distros to run on old Windows XP era hardware is going to make it even harder for Linux developers to test, and also the fact that much of the Linux software development takes place in Europe, where the hardware available is sometimes slightly different from that in other parts of the world. With this in mind, I think the best approach is to have a family of suitably similar options. I like MATE, but I recognize that if the Linux MATE version doesn't like my hardware, I should have other options. Mint xfce, and Xubuntu are currently my top choices, and if I had more RAM, Mint Cinnamon, Mint KDE, and Kubuntu would also be likely options. I think we need to ditch this DE fanboi mentality, and recognize that if we aren't excessively picky, we have a number of options which are all better than Windows, and cheaper than a Mac, even if they vary slightly in features.
I've been trying to open my mind to other, lesser known distros. So far only SolydX seems to compare to Mint, but it's a pretty new distro. Oh yeah, considering the focus is on pure open source, Trisquel is pretty amazing. I actually tried Fedora, and it DOES seem solid, but it's really different from Ubuntu derivatives, and I don't think I'm ready for that learning curve.
The other ones I've tried either don't like my hardware (like Linux Lite) or they aren't nearly as refined as Mint was YEARS ago.... or they show a major problem in a review, and frankly I won't bother with it until the review is as boring as a Mint review!
Also, I'd like to remind some that one reason to stick with Ubuntu derivatives is the software availability- like it or not, Ubuntu is the front runner, and that means software developers are more likely to write programs for it.
I also have a hard time getting interested in a distro that is basically just one guy....that just makes me nervous for the future of the distro. How can one guy keep up? What if he, ummm....checks out?
Unfortunately from that angle, some of the better US distros seem to be one-man shows.
Another thing that annoys me is an anti-corporate bias regarding distros. I understand that from an emotional angle (I'm a musician, not a businessman!), but the fact is that businesses want and need quality software that works, and they also want something that's going to be around for a while. If businesses aren't interested in a distro, and if the distro's developers aren't interested in creating software suitable for businesses, that's not really a good sign.
Say what you want to about Windows, the business usage came first, THEN the personal and recreational. Personal and recreational users BENEFIT from the business users demanding higher quality software. And all Ubuntu derivatives benefit from Ubuntu's focus on business computing. I don't know if trickle-down economics works at all, but there are trickle-down benefits in the computer world! Oh yeah....among other things....when businesses upgrade their computers, they usually become available for cheap! About a year ago, I upgraded to an old business model HP printer.... and paper jams are a thing of the past. And a few weeks ago, I upgraded to a really nice HP 19inch monitor for about $30. Maybe I need to buy a former business computer from about the same era....
43 • Icons again (by M.Z. on 2014-06-17 03:54:00 GMT from United States)
No, that isn't Sifr. I know because I have Sifr installed along side the default Mint-X icons & KDE Oxygen icons. If I go to 'Tools > Options > LibreOffice > View' I can switch between all three, although Mint-X is mislabelled 'Human'. If you don't believe me then compare the Sifr save icon which is a floppy to the Mint-X equivalent which has an arrow on it. The differences may be subtle, but it is clear if you have both sets installed or look closely at pictures of both. You can install them all on Mint & see for yourself.
44 • @40 Workspace switching, Cinnamon (by Angel on 2014-06-17 04:38:37 GMT from Philippines)
Simplest way is Alt+F1. That will bring up "expo" and you can add workspaces by clicking on the "+" or remove them by clicking on the "x" on the top-right corner of each workspace shown.
45 • Mint17 and nVidia 750Ti (by Reg on 2014-06-17 05:51:34 GMT from United States)
Mint install almost always 'just works' for me. First time it didnt was installing on a new computer with nVidia 750T. This is what got it working.
46 • 26 • @22 hiding... (by Jeff on 2014-06-17 05:55:29 GMT from United States)
Then he wants to be able to access the drive from a live CD/DVD ?
He wants encryption but wants it to be easy to break ?
Do companies allow music and movies on company computers ? (company property)
In the case of BYOD what will you do when the company remotely wipes your drive if you are laid-off or fired ?
Are your music and movies really more valuable to a thief than the computer itself ?
47 • Obvious once you think about it (by M.Z. on 2014-06-17 06:34:08 GMT from United States)
Well that is perfectly obvious once you think about it, but it had me scratching my head for a bit there ;)
48 • Linux Mint 17 (Mate) and @16 (by Hoos on 2014-06-17 06:44:08 GMT from Singapore)
Here's my mini review of Mint 17 Mate.
Like post no. 16, I've wanted for years to like Mint. It generally worked well live, looked polished, but something about it made me never actually commit to installing it - I think it was a lack of an X-factor spark for me. Then I finally installed Mint 16 Cinnamon on my laptop because it seemed very pleasant on live USB, and was annoyed by its constant var/lib/apt/lists/lock error msgs. Of course the solution is easily obtained via Google but when you have to keep rectifying the problem every time you want to update...argh. So I wiped it off. I still have Kubuntu 12.04 LTS on my lappy, which works fine.
Recently, I installed Mint 17 Mate on my close-to-10-year-old desktop PC, and my conclusion:
1. it works but is very sluggish/laggy, e.g. it takes a few seconds to acknowledge a mouse/keyboard input. I read up about the high swappiness setting (seems to be a Mint thing) not being suitable for machines with 1 GB RAM or less, and changed it accordingly for my 1 GB machine. There is some improvement but when compared to LIVE USB versions of Manjaro Mate and an old LinuxBBQ Mate (a rare full-featured spin!), it is still slow. So it is not the Mate environment itself. I also used to use Gnome2 on Fuduntu and I know how swift it was on my computer.
Compared to my installed XFCE (comparable DE in terms of its light to mid-weight nature, I think) versions of Solyd and Manjaro, Mint 17 Mate is a poor second in responsiveness.
My decision is to hold onto it for the time being, since I do like its look, collection of programs and utilities, the var/lib/apt/lists/lock problem is gone, and I don't otherwise have 14.04 Ubuntu on my machine.
But I'm still puzzled by the lag on a Mate setup.
49 • The slow demise of Mint (by Ed MacKenzie on 2014-06-17 07:50:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've been an enthusiastic user of Linux Mint since Mint 2 'Bea' as it was a superior distribution from the start. The 'just works' and polish was evident from the beginning.
This great distro continued to produce appealing operating systems with Gnome 2.x right up to Mint 10 - after which Gnome 2.x was dropped and the unappealing Gnome3 was initiated.
MATE, a fork of Gnome 2.x is a great idea and I hope someday they can get it to work as good as Gnome 2.32 - but the fact is that MATE (particularly Caja, the the window manager) is a slug compared to Gnome 2.32 - which is why I always try the new Mint distros as the come out - and always return to Mint 10,
Yes I know Mint 10 is 'obsolete'. Yes I know there might be 'security issues'. But I just want a OS that does everything I want, does it super fast, and comes complete with all the bells and whistles - like flawless compiz-fusion effects.
Mint 10 with Gnome 2.32 gives me all that. Mint x with MATE or Cinnamon does not.
I keep Mint 10 up-to-date with the following repositories:
deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ julia upstream import main
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ maverick main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ maverick-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ maverick-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ maverick partner
I'm sure there must be others out there who like me, recognize that the peak of Linux-based distros is now firmly in our past, as the get more bloated and more hardware intensive every frigging year.
50 • @49 (by Hoos on 2014-06-17 08:26:53 GMT from Singapore)
Like I said in post 48, I have previously tried Manjaro Mate on Live USB and it was pretty quick even while running on a thumb drive.
Mint 17 Mate, both on Live USB and when installed, was sluggish in comparison. Could it be something specific in Mint's implementation of Mate that makes it slow, rather than the Mate DE itself?
51 • Mint artwork and window-list (by cykodrone on 2014-06-17 09:54:08 GMT from Canada)
@40...So can you tell me just by looking at your window-list exactly what program is on what workspace without actually clicking on it? With a pager you can. With a pager I don't have to do one or two extra clicks, or watch mini-windows fly around my 'desktop' with circus like movements on a darkened background.
Aside from breaking away from known and useful widgets, features, etc (in Mint's zeal to stay in step with gtk3 DEs), isn't it time for a makeover? It's been how many years now since Mint had a serious artwork change? I don't know about the rest of you but I am finding their stale artwork boring and somewhat depressing now, countless shades of grey!
Don't get me wrong, I think Mint is a great project, great bunch of people, but it's definitely overdue for an artwork makeover.
52 • Mint Cinnamon (by kc1di on 2014-06-17 10:05:46 GMT from United States)
I find it interesting that some complain about Cinnamon being buggy.
I've found very few real bugs in Cinnamon and have run it on a number of different distros. not just Mint. Most of the time when it hasn't worked for me it's been a Hardware issue not software design.
Withe the vast amount of differing Hardware out there of all ages and
most of it was originally manufactured for Windows based machines. It's a wonder any distro works at all on some of it.
Then given the complexity of Video drivers and all that no wonder Mint has a hard time with some machines.
Most of the time there can be found a work around that will work on some level. I myself prefer Mate and XFCE on most of my ageing equipment here.
I Guess what I's saying is some people need a good dose of reality and stop complaining that Mint or any other distro will not work on your particular Machine, if your not willing to invest some time and effort in making it better.
There are so many choices out there you'll find one that meets your needs if you just look for it.
And there are hundreds of developers working on linux part time without pay and they do a very good job. My hats off to them.
53 • @51 artwork makeover (by Kazlu on 2014-06-17 11:07:33 GMT from France)
Why would Mint need a makeover? It's not in the philosophy of the distro. The look stays the same from one edition to the other on purpose, so that migration causes as less confusion as possible to little experienced users. Even between MATE and Xfce edition there is little graphical difference, and that's perfectly in line with the purpose of Linux Mint. If anyone *wants* it to be different, fine, it's always possible. But there are people who count on stability even on the graphical side and would be disturbed by a graphical change if it's not explicitly wanted. Mint should not change it's default design, because default is thought to be as constant as possible.
54 • @42 various options and business-driven OSs (by Kazlu on 2014-06-17 11:29:26 GMT from France)
"I like MATE, but I recognize that if the Linux MATE version doesn't like my hardware, I should have other options."
Hardware problems are unlikely related to the DE itself. Eventually they can emerge from the choices of software of a given edition. I'm surprised you have so many different experiences with only Ubuntu based distros (provided the comparisons were made with editions that coexisted in time, for example Ubuntu 13.10 and Mint 16, not Mint 13 ;) ). If you always find what you need, then fine. If not, and if your problem comes from the Ubuntu code base, you may still consider options by trying distros not based on Ubuntu (while still relying on widely used distros). You may consider openSUSE, Mageia, Bridge Linux or Debian, each one of them having a completely different code base. If no distro works for you among the 7-8 distros that stem almost every other, then you're screwed.
"Say what you want to about Windows, the business usage came first, THEN the personal and recreational. Personal and recreational users BENEFIT from the business users demanding higher quality software."
Funny you say that. Windows 7 is perfectly usable for business purposes (I won't address the security point of view here), but Windows 8/8.1 is a piece of shit for professionnal use. It has been designed for personal and recreational use. If things go on that way, professionnals will progressively move away from Windows and use more widely Red Hat or SUSE Linux, if not eventually some Android based OS a company would have built by then... Oh I hope you're right!
55 • Mint artwork (by frodopogo on 2014-06-17 12:49:10 GMT from United States)
Yes, kazu, from Clem's comments over the years, I've gotten a sense of a style like you're describing. I can see the benefits of consistency...
for many of us, at least when it comes to backgrounds, grey is a real turn-off!!!!
I enjoy looking at the Mint 17 splash screen (bright green logo on black background) more than I do the final desktop background. I personally would prefer a dark green velour background (green is noted for being easy on the eyes- note it's use on ping-pong and pool tables and bankers desks and it's MINTY! And velour or velvet looks elegant), but I can tolerate black a lot better than grey.
Of course all that can change once you install it to hard disk, but I think people are running it on thumb drives longer these days than they were on Live CD's and DVD's.
There isn't anything wrong with the design elements of the Mint background.... it's just all that GREY!
Hey.....if Mint releases are going to be given ladies' names, give the "ladies" a more ladylike color!!! Grey is for battleships and government vehicles and primer coats and tombstones and foggy or overcast days... it's NOT a color normally associated with "elegance". Black is a common color for subtle evening wear. Jewelry contrasts nicely with it, and the Mint logo does too! I could see the 3D elements in the Mint background sparkling nicely against black. And in a functional way, it's good for the grey of the window borders themselves to have a color they contrast against behind them. (I guess that means a black background wouldn't be good for Cinnamon then... but it would be for the editions with grey borders like MATE, xfce, and KDE)
That being said, the esthetics of the default background aren't REALLY that big a consideration for me compared to functionality...but I would welcome a change- not every release mind you....just once- and I think I'm not the only one. And for those who haven't tried Mint yet, remember "First impressions are lasting!"
56 • WOW, What a Bitchfest (by Garon on 2014-06-17 13:12:13 GMT from United States)
Boy there has been a a lot of grumbling going on since yesterday. Also a lot of shaky statements. "It's a hardware issue and not a software issue" is one of the most used incorrect statements around. If the hardware is not defective, then it is a software issue. It may not be the fault of the developers but of the hardware manufacturers propitiatory environment but that is irrelevant. Even if the hardware is 10 years old it is still a software issue. If you want to use a certain distro badly enough then buy hardware that will work with the software. If not then use something else. (This does not apply for the ones who say there is no such thing as software,) ;)
Another shaky statement is "The abomination called Unity, or Unity cannot be configured", maybe not in those exact words but close. Anyone can configure Unity just about any way they want using the correct tools. Unity Tweak is a good start and there are many more. It has been several years now and Unity is very easy to use and very efficient. It has a learning curve that many people just don't want to bother with. That's okay. That is why we have choices but that doesn't make Unity an abomination, lol.
And people like it or not, as far as the general public goes, Android is the face of linux on a phone and Ubuntu is the face of linux on the desktop. Red Hat is in the background on business systems, people just don't realize they are there.
Too much separation in the masses can be deadly. The sad part is most of the time it's not the developers that cause this separation but it's the users. The ones who don't contribute. The ones who don't really know the score or what is going on.
Of course this is just my opinion, or observation, and as such is not worth much. Just something to think about.
57 • @29 (by Carl Johnson on 2014-06-17 14:36:28 GMT from Romania)
I use Wheezy, and with the official wheezy-backports depo listed in my sources.list, the mate-desktop-environment (meta)package was found by apt-get right away. (I didn't actually install it, just tried if it wouldbe available. It was, it is.)
See here: https://packages.debian.org/wheezy-backports/mate-desktop-environment
All you need to do is add an official wheezy-backport depo to sources.list, like
deb http://my.debian.mirror.fake.address.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main [contrib [non-free]]
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
And that's al! I tested it, the packages are available, no 3rd-party repo needed. (As I said, I didn't press "Yes" to install, but the packages are there!)
The Debian developers are kind. =)
58 • @56 (by Mac on 2014-06-17 15:43:55 GMT from United States)
Thanks that needed to be said! If you don't like the artwork change it. I have gotten lazy in my old age and Kwheezy helped with most of my troubles. To big for me to download, ordered the disk and glad that I did. To me finding something that works for you and letting us know about what it worked on for help for others. I would like to think all the distro's for their hard work. Have fun Mack
59 • @55 Mint artwork (by Kazlu on 2014-06-17 16:01:56 GMT from France)
I see your point. I think it's a fair and good one. Maybe some color could add to the charm. I actually agree with your ideas of colouring even if I would suggest slightly different ideas. The problem I see is that if you find that Mint deserves a change just this time, maybe someone else will next time, and someone else the time after that, and so on. So there will always be someone to think change should occur!
That being said, since the brushed steel theme was introduced to be à la mode in the first place, I suppose an evolution is not impossible :) that is if the Mint style is considered "old", which is a taste matter.
60 • @43 - You're right, that isn't Sifr (by eco2geek on 2014-06-17 17:12:03 GMT from United States)
You're right, a comparison reveals that isn't Sifr in the screenshot above. It looks like Mint's got its own default modified "human" theme for LibreOffice. Interesting.
61 • Mint artwork and KaOS (by cykodrone on 2014-06-17 17:31:16 GMT from Canada)
Re: Mint artwork, I was referring to the whole GUI, grey, flat, more grey, those garish huge icons are getting a bit dated too, lol.
Re: KaOS, nice polished distro, posting live from it, interesting concept, only two complaints (but of course, lol), limited packages (Octopi works great though, was nicely surprised, this coming from a Synaptic-head), yes, I know, I read the distro's mission about limited packages (so far), the other complaint is the age old war between the System Notifications Player sound level and the level set in the panel volume control, being a former KDE user, I hated this bug, surprised it's not fixed yet. It 'saw' and read my dual SSD Raid 0 and ntfs-3g storage HDD without so much as a hiccup. I played with the GUI effects, everything worked with nouveau (I avoid the nVidia driver whenever possible now). Very nice distro, too bad the packages are so limited, I NEED DeVeDe or DVDStyler, can't live without one or the other.
62 • Mint artwork (by fernbap on 2014-06-17 18:33:26 GMT from Portugal)
I agree, Mint is too greyish, although extremely polished. I guess it is just afraid to change.
Mint Gloria was gorgeous, for me the best looking Mint of them all. Then the next Mint was just a green overdose, which prompted the users to say that they were tired of all that green.
That's when Mint changed to grey. It was well received at first, a breath of fresh air, after all that green.
Now we are paying the price. Perhaps it is time for Mint to start including some green again.
I just hate the default wallpaper, not because it is ugly, which it isn't, but because i has been the same for too long.
63 • Ubuntu bugs including gutted bitcoin support in 14.04 lts (by imageek5 on 2014-06-17 18:50:54 GMT from Brazil)
Recently upgraded to Ubuntu Studio 14.04 hoping for some releaf from the daily battles with Pulse audio including a several years running incompatibility with Skype.
Well, 14.04 fixed nothing with Pulse.
Worse yet, 14.04's version of Firefox initially installs support for Afrikaans dictionary spellcheck even though I specified English during the install. Every day I remove the Afrikaans dictionary and re-install English, but guess what? After a reboot I'm back to Afrikaans again. What, I'm supposed to send Krugerrands to Canonical before they will fix this? WTF!?
Even more annoying is the total lack of bitcoin support in the kernel and repos. After much google-ing and installing stuff found on trusted sites not affiliated with Ubuntu I have a working copy of Armory, Namecoin, and cgminer 4.2.3/bfgminer 3.10.
But guess what? cgminer and bfg miner device scans don't find any devices, and I have a bunch of usb miners attached. Even after tracking down and installing all the dependences. I know the hardware works perfectly under Windows, so that's not it. I eventually discovered that cgminer when run as root will detect the devices and mine but throwing lots of error messages including could not open spi device. Maybe that's a clue, but I've yet to find the solution. And regardless of running as root or normal user, bfgminer can't find any devices.
Why would Ubuntu abruptly remove support for bitcoins? We're not talking about a 28k dial up modem, seriously! Bitcoins are the future. Call it Ughbuntu because of all the bugs!
64 • Blind but seeing... (by Baltazar on 2014-06-17 20:31:57 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Well... I tried KNOPPIX...
I could work if it could be modified a bit, work on it so that it gets more sane as I was stuck a bit even though I can see... I guess I need more testing.
I had trouble with some items in the menu when I booted it in ADRIANE set to Spanish... some chopped/missing letters and the unavoidable reading of English in Spanish part that would get my client,or anyone mad...
When in the desktop I had limited success, think like if you use glasses and took them off... try and get the desktop to be bearable... LXDE is not a good choice for a visually limited person, add to it Compiz/Fusion and tiny letters to someone that can't focus!
The ADRIANE interface seems a bit manageable but I wish it where customizable so that I can set a better environment according to the needs and capabilities of the user...
Then again I get lost in the command line and have a hard time with them developers assuming that I can remember and type all those obscured commands when I have a hard time just writing properly... imagine one that does not see... or sees little to nothing but insist in seeing anyways... TEXT size 72 and desktop resolution set to 800x600 with a high contrast... even I was scratching my head to her Windows XP setup... and its Spanglish hell!!! Things wont fit, it get to be a trade with space and size...
Wish things get better, but am myself at a lost as to what to do...
I will keep on trying... short of hacking ADRIANE myself... just to make sure she does not get lost. But am not to good at much... will try anyways.
Is this all there is to help those with accessibility problems on Linux or PC in general. Forced to expend thousands for programs that may or may not make things better...
Am so slow with the keyboard that even a blind person would do thins better than what I manage... damn, even I need assistance! :(
65 • Mint 17 (by CED on 2014-06-17 21:01:07 GMT from United States)
I read this quickly, but Mint 17 & Ubuntu 14.04 both boot up slowly, I mean really slow. I have never been more disappointed with Mint. Three installations on three computers gives the same results. I love Cinnamon but can't stick with Mint 17 for two years.
66 • pager (by M.Z. on 2014-06-17 22:30:03 GMT from United States)
I don't really know or care about the window list, that was another commenter. I generally do the same thing to manage windows across workspaces in both Cinnamon & KDE, which is to use desktop grid/expo to see, sort & switch to all the stuff I have running. It feels quick & efficient to me, & it works via both keyboard shortcuts & hot corners on either DE. If you really like a nice pager, then I highly recommend KDE, because it seems to have the most advanced, flexible, & tweak-able pager around. The nearest equivalent in Mint is the rather simple 'Workspace switcher' applet, which just has numbers for your work spaces on it. I don't think it is great, but it is there & I'd call it a pager.
I'd also point out that many of the applets & desklets in Mint don't seem to be breaking at all between releases, at least in my experience. Perhaps the add ons I use just get updated, but things don't seem to break in Cinnamon the way they are said to in Gnome 3. If I were you I'd try using different releases before claiming that everything breaks, not everything is Gnome 3 after all.
67 • @64 • Blind but seeing (by mandog on 2014-06-17 23:25:31 GMT from Peru)
Gnome 3 does a excellent job for the visually impaired as gnome has always done.
Firefox also has a really good addon that increases the page size in 1% incredments and saves your settings so you don't have to set it up every time you use Firefox
68 • @49 (by jaws222 on 2014-06-18 00:34:03 GMT from United States)
You need Crunchbang my friend
69 • @67 (by Baltazar on 2014-06-18 01:15:24 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Will investigate... though Gnome 3 needs better hardware than the one my client has...
As for Firefox... there is the Default Zoom extension. Once set, perfect... no need to worry on big screens... though I currently use Zoom Page set to page with, but thats me. Menus for the client are difficult...
I really see little support on this area... everywhere.
But thanks anyways! The more of us that notice this, the more attention it should get...
70 • @69 (by mandog on 2014-06-18 12:59:59 GMT from Peru)
This is always a problem for people with bad eye sight and the majority are not interested I don't think intentionally but simply if you don't have a problem you never think about it. I know in the matter of months I went from perfect vision to having to wear glasses for both short and long distance, that was 10 years ago luckily my eyes have stayed the same since.
71 • Mint 10 (by chipps on 2014-06-18 14:04:00 GMT from United States)
@49 - got to agree with you there. Mint 10 in my opinion was a rare case of getting it absolutely right, which hasn't happened since. That distro was an absolute rock.
72 • GNU/Linux for he visually impared (by Kazlu on 2014-06-18 14:14:59 GMT from France)
@64, 69 Baltazar
Thanks for sharing your experience on that matter. I have been wondering for a while what tools visually impared people can use. I tried myself one or two tools but never really spend some time with it since I don't know anyone who needs it. I would like to know more just in case I meet someone in need of advice and solutions. What comes to my mind first is GNOME Shell and Unity, eventually KDE with the Homerun (fullscreen) launcher and the help of Orca. I'm also thinking about Xfce, less ressource hungry, an easy to find parameter for applying system wide big fonts and an easy and resizeable Whisker menu. Have you used these? Are they practical? What do you use?
Furthermore, it is even more different for people that are totally blind that it is for people with bad sight. What options do they have?
Again, thank you for your feedback.
73 • Eyes (by Lutz on 2014-06-18 15:06:37 GMT from Germany)
brltty - Access software for a blind person using a braille display
dots - A braille typesetting program for GNOME
kmag - a screen magnifie
xmag - magnifier
xzoom - zoom
ttf-tiresias - Fonts for the visually impaired
espeakedit - A multi-lingual software speech synthesizer - editor
gespeaker - GTK+ front-end for eSpeak and mbrola
mbrola - Multilingual software speech synthesizer
espeak - speech synth
festival - speech synth
flite - speech synth
screader - Screen reader
yasr - General-purpose console screen reader
gnopernicus - accesstools
kmouth - a type-and-say frontend for speech synthesizers
lynx/w3m/elinks + screenreader
textbased mail-applikations + screenreader
pidgin + plugin(s)
screenreaders have output to braille and speech (if she is blind or visually impaired)
debian installer have braille for installation so she can do it
SuSe installer too (but i can not confirm this is true any longer)
74 • Eyes part II (by Lutz on 2014-06-18 15:19:03 GMT from Germany)
blind people are intelligent. give her the commandline + access-tools and manpages and she can do most everything.
you are in GUI(graphical user interface). she might need textbased applications and therefore some terminal/tty. because this is best for braille and speechsynthesis. text --> speech, because both is "text".
icons and somewhat are for you not for her.
she can do her work in textbased tools. it is often best supported.
surfraw - browses searchtools and wikipedia for example
and there is many many more
75 • Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon slowness (by frodopogo on 2014-06-18 17:07:45 GMT from United States)
Cinnamon is very pretty, but it requires more RAM... I don't have much- Mint 17 MATE works great on a USB stick, but Mint 17 Cinnamon won't even finish loading.
I won't even TOUCH the KDE version, because I KNOW that's going to happen too.
Mint 17 xfce has been released as an RC version... quite a few bugs being reported, but when it's finished, it might run better for you. Or try the MATE version.
The problem with old computers is that the RAM is no longer being produced in configurations for them, so it's more expensive than the RAM for more modern computers, unless you can find a source for good used RAM of the right type. But as OS's progress through versions, they inevitably get bigger as new features are added.... at some point, too big for the RAM of an older computer. At that point, it might be cheaper to find a used computer that's not so old, say 5 years old instead of 10, as long as it's got plenty of RAM, or is still new enough to use the kind being sold at the big stores.
Also.... those of us who use Linux get spoiled... if a new version seems a little slower than the old one, it seems horrible, but there is slow.... and SLOW.
Go to a library with computers.... TRY use their Windows computers...THEN you know what SLOW is.
76 • KDE Vs Cinnamon (by M.Z. on 2014-06-18 17:29:17 GMT from United States)
In my experience PCs that don't load Cinnamon generally have more problems with video drivers than RAM or anything else, but I think both Cinnamon and KDE recommend 1 GB+ of RAM. I think KDE will work better on some systems than Cinnamon, even if only because Kwin doesn't require hardware acceleration to run. This eliminates some of the driver issues at least, although on my oldest used PC Debian KDE certainly feels more sluggish than Mint 17 Mate. Both do work with a 2.5 Ghz single core & 1.5 GB of RAM, but KDE feels more like those old library computers.
77 • Mint artwork (by frodopogo on 2014-06-18 17:35:26 GMT from United States)
"those garish huge icons are getting a bit dated too, lol."
On the whole, Ubuntu is aiming for the younger crowd with it's smartphone style interface.
Mint is catering to people who want computers to work as they have worked more or less for the last 20 years... with an interface approximately like Windows 95... that means that ONE of the interest groups they're aiming to please is an older one- ON THE AVERAGE.
And guess what? That means some of them don't see as well as they used to!!!
IOW.... those garish huge icons are a big help to us older folks!
They've already shrunk some, and I was getting annoyed.... finally sprang for a used 19"monitor, and they're usable again... but I don't want them to shrink anymore!
Now... where's my cane???
78 • It's all about fun! (by fernbap on 2014-06-18 19:46:56 GMT from Portugal)
There a many, many resons why people should use Linux over Windows. But we are forgetting something here...
The typical Linux user is someone who actually enjoys using a computer, someone who likes to tweak, change, their desktop to look exactly what they want it to look. And then later, changing it all over again for the sake (an joy) of changing, while knowing that they are working on a platform that is reliable and performant.
That is what brings people to Linux.
The "new desktop paradigm" is taking the fun out of Linux, besides presenting as novelties stuff that have been around forever, like screen hotspots or expo.
If Linux becomes "just another alternative to windows", dont' expect people to move.
79 • @78 (by Mac on 2014-06-19 00:33:32 GMT from United States)
That is why I use it! And that is why I like kde. Out of the box support is getting so good that I am getting lazy. Have fun Mack
80 • Mint icons and slow computers (by cykodrone on 2014-06-19 00:43:22 GMT from Canada)
@77...I was mostly goofing around, their icon choice isn't 'bad' and there is always other sets for those like me that get bored of the default set. As for the monitor, I bought a graphic artist grade (so-called IPS) 23" LED a while ago, and a pair of 1.5 magnification drugstore reading glasses, lol, whatever works. FYI, I use 2.0s off the computer, 1.5s are the right magnification for the distance from my eyes to my screen.
Re: Slow computers...I am still using a quad-core (Q9550) I built in August 2009, 8GB of RAM, GeForce 9500GT (G96), etc, and it still eats ANY bloated OS for breakfast and spits out the bones (the dual SSD Raid 0 helps, lol). I know, some people will say they have a machine from the early 00s, so do I (P4 1.7GHz OCed to 2GHz, 1GB of cheap 'value' RAM and a GeForce 6200 PCI slot!), it has 32-bit wattOS Mate (R8, Debian based) on it and it works just fine.
Bottom Line, you get what you pay for and don't try to run 'demanding' on old hardware, it's kinda that simple.
81 • @78 - agreed (by M.Z. on 2014-06-19 00:44:57 GMT from United States)
I've got to agree with you there. That was a big part of the initial attraction to me. That is also why I really like where both KDE & Cinnamon are going, & why Gnome 3 was so annoying & disappointing. I know Unity lovers will declare the availability of their precious tweak tool, but honestly that's a hack put on after Unity broke many customization options that should be there by default. There are plenty of good options around, I just wish that certain DE makers didn't strip out functionality & claim that being able to change things was a bad thing.
82 • @57 (by gee7 on 2014-06-19 11:06:31 GMT from United States)
Thanks for that.
With me, on a new net install of Wheezy, there was no backports source line. Neither was libdvdcss installed by default, so I could not initially play videos. I though Debian had changed their ways until this installation - that's why I was a tad disgruntled :-)
As far as I remember, I tried:
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main contrib non-free
and it wasn't accepted ... as I say maybe I made a syntax error and missed a letter without noticing. Ah, maybe I forgot the forward slash after the word debian ...
Anyway I got there in the end. I shall retry the source line, thanks.
I stopped using Linux Mint because it is based on Ubuntu but I still use Linux Mint Debian.
Also I still run & use Debian 6 Squeeze with Gnome 2 as it is one of the few operating systems in which it is easy to install and use the Firestarter firewall, pdfedit and a Japanese keyboard but I think Debian Wheezy with a Mate DE is coming along jst fine. Using it is a light friendly experience: it is lighter and quicker, on my hardware anyway, than Linux Mint Debian and it has the advantage over Point Linux in that is not Russia (Putin, just by being himself and lurking in the background, may have lost some fans of Russian software, I for one). With codecs, flashplayer and libdvdcss & my own backgrounds installed, Debian Wheezy Mate is everything a home user operating system should be.
Like a lot of old Linux guys, I still have a dream of seeing Linux desktops sweep the world - Debian Mate is certainly a worthy contender - through the Philippines, Indonesia, India, China & getting into nooks and crannies all over the earth. The two main reasons it hasn't happened so far may well be (a) foolish complicated Linux desktop environments that have confused new users and (b) poor global marketing by the Distro leader(s). Clem is maybe the best leader on the marketing side - I wish Debian would follow his style and get out there, talking to people with big and small businesses in different spots on the globe. Make Linux the system of choice in shops, businesses and homes in the Kurdistan region, for example, and the global news that such popularity would generate would start affecting markets in Mayalsia, in Kenya, in Bolivia, wherever. Just a dream, wish I were younger and had the finances and stamina to get the ball rolling :-)
83 • @68 (by gee7 on 2014-06-19 11:18:32 GMT from United States)
@68 "You need Crunchbang my friend"
I already have it, amigo. It's a delight, I agree.
At the moment i am concentrating on Debian Wheezy Mate but Crunchbang is my alternative system of choice.
84 • @68 (by gee7 on 2014-06-19 11:27:08 GMT from United States)
@68 "You need Crunchbang my friend"
I wasn't answering for Ed in post @83 but it was a case of old eyes, I misread your @49 for @29.
Good luck and enjoy :-)
85 • #6 XFS (by Caitlyn Martin on 2014-06-20 01:24:21 GMT from United States)
#6: @Azian: XFS offers better performance than ext4/3/2 and has for a long, long time, particularly when handling large files. Red Hat was in the position of having to unofficially support a filesystem that they didn't want to support because the needs of large customers using large files made XFS an imperative. What happened is they finally listened to their enterprise customer base and delivered what the customers wanted. IMHO, this is a very good move.
86 • re the look of Linux Mint's splash screen (by TH on 2014-06-20 10:24:25 GMT from United States)
To replace Linux Mint's splash screen, how about a nice big green Shamrock!
87 • Green (by Gustavo on 2014-06-20 14:29:16 GMT from Brazil)
Linux Mint should stop being ... GREEN. Come on! It´s just a name! Give us some blue and reddish hues, like the real world. We humans see in full color!
Mint´s desktop looks like the monitor is broken with the blue and red signals missing.
88 • @87 Green! (by Ron on 2014-06-20 17:34:28 GMT from United States)
The green color is the most abundant color in nature - trees, grass, leafs.
Perhaps if you actually used some of the software on the system, less time would be spent staring at the desktop screen!
89 • All about fun? For whom? (by frodopogo on 2014-06-22 05:56:35 GMT from United States)
Someone recently wrote of attracting non-computer geeks....maybe it was in last week's comments.
Well, I am one. I'm a musician...a music geek, in fact. I'm actually more computer savvy than a lot of musicians I know, but I've got limits. Back in the early '90's I enjoyed tweaking DOS with the command line, also running GeoWorks and tweaking its config files. But my essential nature as a musician reasserted itself- I'm a lot happier if I play music and avoid that stuff.
I started moving away from Windows XP in about 2007 when I got a virus from my favorite music site, and liked it pretty well. I tried Knoppix for safe browsing while the site was infected. I needed a friendlier installable alternative, though. Another musician was using Ubuntu, and that got my attention... made me think Ubuntu was reaching some kind of critical mass. And my experience with Audacity for recording and Firefox run under Windows gave me confidence that an Open Source operating system might also be a good user experience. So I did searches and found Distrowatch, and decided on the basis of friendliness, software selection, popularity and community friendliness to go with Linux Mint 5 Elyssa, and installed it in a dual boot setup. I was happy with it and with Isadora...both LTS versions. I skipped Maya because Mint seemed to have had a hard time coping with the Unity and Gnome 3 debacles.... I will probably install Mint 17 Qiana soon.
With Linux Mint, I have the essential layout I had with Windows, plus much more speed, freedom from viruses, freedom from virus scanners ( I HATE McAFEE!!!), from from Windows "mechanic" programs, freedom from annoying Windows "Wizards". And of course it's FREE. (As a musician, I'd much rather spend money on music stuff!) LOTS of reasons to move! I almost never use my Windows partition anymore.
I'm also interested in foreign languages and cultures. Distrowatch is like a foreign country with a culture that is, well, INTERESTING! You people sometimes have a strange concept of what constitutes FUN!!! ;^) For most people,and most musicians, command lines are not fun! Having to do excessive tweaking of an operating system is not fun! Six month release cycles are CRAZY!!! I admire Clement Lefebvre and the Mint community because they mostly GET this! Mint's popularity indicates that a lot of people feel the same way.
Now...in the 90's I did try hard enough to be a computer geek that I DO kind of understand some of your kind of fun.... but there are a lot of people out there who might be ready to try Linux... but it's going to be Mint or something much like it. Xubuntu has quite a bit of appeal as well. Solydyx is showing promise too. I still keep tabs on what is happening with Distrowatch because I want to know what distros are mature enough to recommend to people that are tired of Windows headaches. As a musician, I'm very aware of learning curves and such for different instruments and different styles of music.... I'm also aware of learning curves in learning a new operating system and new software. Change just for the sake of change only makes learning curves steeper, and that is not fun....for most people.
90 • Fun #89 (by zykoda on 2014-06-22 06:27:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
That Music has a strange "alphabet" and that musical instruments are of so varied in "keyboards/note activation" surely puts you firmly in the "geek" class which means that you should be quite adept at running such simple things as desktops and interfaces with their comparative "musical apps". The mouse is after all the most primitive of single shot appliances that takes little practice to perfect compared to an 85 note klavier or a Boehm system clarinet. The learning curve for musicians is both long and steep and there is no guarantee of ultimate virtuosity.
91 • Re: Fun (by cykodrone on 2014-06-22 15:35:56 GMT from Canada)
@89...Thanks for sharing, great post, totally agree, although I consider myself an uber-geek (one good thing came out of my early MS days...forcing me to learn and find a better alternative), I totally understand where you are coming from, that being said, Mint is a beacon of hope (for the masses) to pull the Linux desktop OS out of the wheel spinning mud, I recently showed live Mint to an unofficial 'customer' of mine, he wants to migrate to something easy and stable from XP, all this guy knows is spreadsheets and email, seriously, and where the power button is, lol, he even broke the power button once causing a motherboard replacement (the original board got shorted out), he lives far from me so I need his home-office computer stable, productive and reliable (easy to update, etc). It's been said many times, "Mint is Ubuntu done right".
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|• Issue 581 (2014-10-20): SparkyLinux 3.5, Fedora's graphics stack, Debian and systemd, OpenBSD 5.6|
|• Issue 580 (2014-10-13): Rolling releases, Arch as best distro, GNOME on Wayland, MINIX 3.3.0|
|• Issue 579 (2014-10-06): PC-BSD 10.0.3, Debian's Jessie freeze, setting up home server|
|• Issue 578 (2014-09-29): Calculate 14, Debian's default desktop, Shellshock vulnerability, practical Tiny Core|
|• Issue 577 (2014-09-22): SymphonyOS 14.1, FreeBSD drops pkg_add, MINIX on ARM, GNU screen|
|• Issue 576 (2014-09-15): PCLinuxOS 2014.08, Mint's documentation, Debian's hardware database, CDE|
|• Issue 575 (2014-09-08): Porteus 3.0.1, Fedora's blivet-gui, Red Hat's Docker, systemd|
|• Issue 574 (2014-09-01): Ubuntu Kylin 14.04, Haiku and Linux kernel, Wayland support, Lumina, Bash completion|
|• Issue 573 (2014-08-25): SolydXK 201407, VPN gateway with FreeBSD, Ubuntu MATE, Raspbian, trusting binary packages|
|• Issue 572 (2014-08-18): ZFSguru 10.1, Fedora's Flock, beta installer for "Jessie", Ubuntu Core, rolling releases|
|• Issue 571 (2014-08-11): HandyLinux 1.6, LMDE update, default desktop in "Jessie", running out of disk space|
|• Issue 570 (2014-08-04): Neptune 4, Kubuntu's KDE Plasma 5, FreeBSD and UEFI, Linux servers|
|• Issue 569 (2014-07-28): Deepin 2014, Ask Fedora, Gentoo and LibreSSL, encrypted package downloads|
|• Issue 568 (2014-07-21): Antergos 2014.06.24, Mint based on Debian stable, upgrading CentOS, BinaryTides|
|• Issue 567 (2014-07-14): Manjaro 0.8.10, PC-BSD jails, Debian and glibc, Fedora's DNF, Xiki and Opera 24|
|• Issue 566 (2014-07-07): LXLE 14.04, OpenBSD's SimpleDE, openSUSE artwork, home security basics|
|• Issue 565 (2014-06-30): Chakra 2014.05, Fedora on BeagleBone, Matthew Miller interview, e-book readers|
|• Issue 564 (2014-06-23): Antergos 2014.05.26 and Q4OS 0.5.11, Debian LTS and glibc, Fedora DNF|
|• Issue 563 (2014-06-16): Mint 17, CentOS 7 pre-release, Debian MATE, accessing encrypted content|
|• Issue 562 (2014-06-09): GoboLinux 015, Gentoo interview, Fedora leader change, climagic tricks|
|• Issue 561 (2014-06-02): OpenMandriva 2014.0, Debian GNU/Hurd, Lubuntu and LXQt, Final Term, TrueCrypt|
|• Issue 560 (2014-05-26): KaOS 2014.04, Wayland and KDE 5 on Fedora, distros with commercial support, DenyHosts|
|• Issue 559 (2014-05-19): VortexBox 2.3, LTS-only Linux Mint, FreeBSD 11 ambitions, KDE 5 beta|
|• Issue 558 (2014-05-12): RHEL 7 Workstation impressions, LXQt and Lumina, Haiku interview|
|• Issue 557 (2014-05-05): Xubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 14.10 roadmap, Fedora Workstation, ownCloud|
|• Issue 556 (2014-04-28): Ubuntu 14.04, LibreSSL, Lumina desktop, Deepin interview|
|• Issue 555 (2014-04-21): Robolinux 7.4.2, Ubuntu release day stats, Debian security, Porteus update|
|• Issue 554 (2014-04-14): Review of FreeNAS, OpenSSL bug, Fedora.next, Robolinux Stealth VM, measuring memory|
|• Issue 553 (2014-04-07): Puppy 5.7 "Slacko", end of Ubuntu One, file encryption with GPG|
|• Issue 552 (2014-03-31): Tanglu 1.0, Ubuntu GNOME LTS, SliTaz for ARM|
|• Issue 551 (2014-03-24): Linux Mint "Debian" 201403, call for end to proprietary firmware, LVM|
|• Issue 550 (2014-03-17): Review of NixOS 13.10, Lubuntu seeking feedback, Android-x86 4.4-rc1 impressions|
|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Full list of all issues|
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