| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 781, 17 September 2018
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A few weeks ago the Linux Mint team launched the third version of Linux Mint Debian Edition, an alternative branch of the Mint project which features the Cinnamon desktop environment. A recent poll of DistroWatch readers showed an interest in hearing about this alternative branch of Mint and how it compares to Mint's main, Ubuntu-based distribution. Jesse Smith covers the latest Debian-based flavour of Mint in this week's Feature Story and reports on its various differences from the main edition. In our News section we share a link to a discussion with members of the Arch Linux team and share a tip on how to stop programs from pestering the user for a keyring password. We also cover the MX team making it easier to install Flatpak packages and changes coming to Mageia. Then we explore the topic of solid state drives (SSDs) and how to select an appropriate file system for a new drive. In our Opinion Poll this week we ask whether our readers are using solid state storage devices and, if so, which file system you are using. Plus we are pleased we share the releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we would like to thank Muhterem Demiray for helping us update our Turkish translation for pages and menus. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition (LMDE 3)
- News: Arch developers answer questions, a tutorial for getting around keyring password prompts, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, next Mageia release to have fewer download options
- Questions and answers: File systems for solid state drives (SSDs)
- Released last week: Elive 3.0.0, Parrot 4.2.2, OSGeoLive 12.0
- Torrent corner: Alpine, ArcoLinux, LinHES, Live Raizo, MiniNo, OSGeoLive, Parrot
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 29 Beta, FreeBSD 12.0-BETA1
- Opinion poll: Solid state drives
- DistroWatch.com news: Update to Turkish translation
- New distributions: Drauger OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (20MB) and MP3 (15MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition (LMDE 3)
The Linux Mint project maintains two branches. The main edition is based on Ubuntu LTS releases while the alternative branch is based on Debian Stable and is appropriately named Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). The Mint team has published version 3 of their Debian-based branch, which uses Debian 9 as a base.
While LMDE features most of the same tools and customisations as the Ubuntu branch, there are a few key differences. Apart from having a different parent distribution, LMDE 3 is available in just one edition featuring the Cinnamon desktop environment. The Ubuntu branch offers three editions: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. Both branches offer 32-bit and 64-bit builds.
The ISO for the 64-bit build of LMDE 3 is 1.6GB in size. Booting from the live media loads the Cinnamon desktop. Icons on the desktop will open the distribution's file manager and the system installer. A panel at the bottom of the desktop houses the application menu, a few quick-launch buttons for popular applications, and the system tray. Once I had confirmed the distribution appeared to be working properly with my hardware, I launched the installer.
Mint's Debian Edition uses its own custom system installer. The installer is a graphical application which bears a resemblance to Ubuntu's Ubiquity or the distro-neutral Calamares installer. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and our time zone from a map. We can then select our keyboard's layout, and create a username and password for ourselves. The partitioning section comes next with the installer automatically suggesting a layout with a swap partition and ext4 root partition. We can customize our disk's layout by clicking a button that launches the GParted partition manager. Once we have divided up our disk and assigned mount points to each partition, we are asked if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader and, if so, where. The installer then copies its packages to our hard drive and offers to restart the computer. I found the installer easy to navigate and ran into no problems while using it.
LMDE boots to a login screen where we can sign into the Cinnamon desktop. Upon signing in, a welcome screen appears. This screen provides us with links to on-line documentation and support resources, such as Mint's user forums and IRC chat room. The welcome screen also includes a page with buttons that will open tools that we will find useful early on. These buttons will open the Timeshift snapshot utility, launch the distribution's update manager, launch the software manager, open the system settings panel and install media codecs. I tested each of these quick-access buttons and found they all worked as expected.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- The welcome window and application menu
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I talked about Timeshift back in July when I reviewed Linux Lite and Mint's main edition, but I think it is worth talking about again. Timeshift is a graphical tool which assists us in creating snapshots of the operating system. Snapshots can be created using the rsync utility or file system snapshots, if we have installed the distribution on a Btrfs volume. Snapshots contain a copy of our operating system, allowing us to revert any changes which break the system, such as a bad software update or configuration change. Timeshift has a configuration wizard that assists us in setting up scheduled snapshots with just a few mouse clicks and it does its own automatic house cleaning to avoid using up too much disk space.
Snapshots are stored locally and Timeshift cannot copy snapshots to another computer on its own, but we can access snapshots and copy them to a remote location ourselves. By default our users' files are not included in snapshots, Timeshift concerns itself with the operating system rather than with our data files.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- Scheduling Timeshift snapshots
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To create archives of our users' files there is a separate utility called mintBackup. Using mintBackup we can create tarball archives of our files with just three clicks. Backup archives are also stored locally, but we can copy them to a removable drive or another computer later if we wish.
Mint's update manager changed this year. When updates are available an icon in the system tray lets us know. Clicking the icon opens a window with the available package upgrades listed. In the past the update tool would rank updates using a safety rating and we could choose to automatically select all updates, or just ones with a suitable safety rating. These days all updates are selected by default with the idea that if something goes wrong, we can fix the system using Timeshift. In fact, the update manager will suggest we run Timeshift to set up snapshots if we have not done so prior to running the update utility.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- The update manager
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There were just a few updates available during the days I was running LMDE and these all downloaded and installed without any problems.
When I tried running LMDE in a VirtualBox virtual machine I found the operating system did not integrate with the host environment. There is a paragraph on fixing this in the project's release notes. I followed the instructions and was then able to make full use of my host computer's screen resolution. The Cinnamon desktop remained sluggish in VirtualBox as Cinnamon wants to make use of the video hardware to boost performance. I was able to improve the situation somewhat by disabling visual effects and this made Cinnamon usable, but still a little slow to respond.
When running LMDE on a desktop computer, all of my system's hardware was properly detected and used. The Cinnamon desktop performed well and was responsive when running directly on physical hardware.
In either test environment the distribution was stable and I encountered no crashes. A fresh install of LMDE used 4.8GB of disk space, though this tended to balloon when I enabled Timeshift snapshots on the ext4 file system. (Using Timeshift with Btrfs snapshots uses much less disk space.) The distribution used 525MB of memory when I first started using it, 30MB of that was consumed by the welcome window and could be reclaimed when the welcome screen was dismissed.
The distribution ships with two graphical software managers, which pull most of their software from Debian repositories, but also grab software from custom Mint repositories. Most people will probably make use of mintInstall, a modern-looking software manager that begins by showing a collection of popular applications (called editor's picks) and a list of categories. We can then browse for items by running searches or by looking through the provided categories. Each available application is listed along with its icon, name and a short description. Clicking an item brings up a full page description with screen shots. Programs can be installed or removed with the click of a button.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- The software manager
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mintInstall has one category specifically for Flatpak packages - portable bundles that are often provided by upstream publishers. These bundles often provide access to proprietary software or newer versions of open source applications not available in the distribution's repositories. Having access to Flatpaks is especially useful on LMDE because Debian's applications are around two years old now, and we may want newer versions. The versions of the QupZilla browser and LibreOffice, for example, are quite a bit out of date compared to most other desktop distributions and being able to use Flatpaks gives us up to date versions without risking problems through backported packages.
While mintInstall worked well for me, if we want to access lower level packages and libraries we will want to use Synaptic, the older, more traditional package manager that is included with Mint. Synaptic worked well and was able to install, remove and upgrade packages without any problems.
The distribution ships with a collection of popular applications, including the Firefox web browser, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, the HexChat IRC client and the Transmission bittorrent client. Pix and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are included for viewing and editing images. Rhythmbox, VLC and Xplayer are featured, along with media codecs we can optionally install from the welcome window. There are several system utilities for performing backups, setting up printers and managing user accounts. Java is included and the GNU Compiler Collection is installed for us. LMDE 3 uses the systemd init software (LMDE 2 used Sys V init) and the distribution runs version 4.9 of the Linux kernel.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- Running LibreOffice, Firefox and the calendar application
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Mint ships with a fairly standard settings panel which presents icons for configuration modules in a grid. Using these modules we can change the appearance of the desktop, adjust visual effects, manage widgets and configure the screensaver. Tools for managing the underlying operating system are also included. These tools help us manage user accounts, configure the firewall, set up printers and manage which programs run when we login.
Each of the configuration modules worked for me and I encountered no problems. There were a few items I felt worthy of mention. For example, I like that start-up programs can be assigned a delay. For example, the update manager does not load and check for new packages until we have been signed in for 20 seconds. This is a great way to have some components load later, making the desktop responsive sooner, even when lots of components are being run.
Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition -- The settings panel
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I also liked that Cinnamon is set up to not remember recently accessed files by default in the privacy module. Having the screensaver not start until we have been inactive for 15 minutes is also a default I appreciate; in my opinion too many distributions set the delay for too short a span. Notifications can be turned off, which is a feature I rarely use, but appreciate having for those days when I really don't want distractions.
One feature which I felt was missing was a driver manager for third-party drivers. I think gamers in particular would appreciate being able to quickly access alternative video drivers.
Differences between Linux Mint and Linux Mint Debian Edition
Earlier this year I reviewed Linux Mint 19 and I was curious to see what differences I could find between the Ubuntu-based flavour and the Debian-based one. Perhaps the most obvious difference is the Ubuntu-based branch offers three editions (Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce) while the Debian edition offers Cinnamon only. We can install an alternative desktop later, but by default we run Cinnamon. Memory usage was quite a bit higher for me when running the Debian branch with Cinnamon, compared to my time with the Ubuntu branch running MATE.
In Linux Mint, the Synaptic package manager has the button for marking all available upgrades patched out, encouraging people to use the separate update manager. On the Debian edition Synaptic has the “mark all upgrades” button.
The Debian edition has its own system installer. This has little practical effect, but it does look slightly different, particularly in the disk partitioning section.
The Debian branch has slightly older software, compared with the Ubuntu branch. LibreOffice, for example, is a few versions behind. The Debian edition has an older kernel too. In general, though LMDE 3 is a new release, its software is likely to be nearly a year older than what we find in the Ubuntu branch. We can work around this in some cases by using backports or Flatpak packages. However, unlike the Ubuntu-branch, we cannot use Ubuntu PPAs in the Debian branch to get up to date packages as the two editions are not binary compatible.
These differences aside, the two branches of Mint are surprisingly similar. The same look and feel are there. Both branches include mostly the same applications and the same system tools. For most practical purposes people are unlikely to notice which edition of Mint they are running, unless they need a specific version of an application.
On the whole, I liked running LMDE 3 a lot. The distribution was easy to set up, I liked the quick access to common tools in the welcome window. The change from ranked upgrades to having the system safeguarded by Timeshift snapshots may make things a little harder for newcomers (it's harder to recover a system than to not have it break in the first place), but the new approach probably offers better security in the long run.
One thing I appreciated about LMDE 3 is that it looks beautiful. I usually don't focus much on a theme, or icon style, but Mint looks incredible to me. Everything is high contrast and attractive. The fonts are a little thin for my taste, but this can be easily changed with a few clicks in the settings panel.
I was a little disappointed the system installer defaults to using ext4 instead of Btrfs. Since Mint recommends and relies on Timeshift for system recovery, and Btrfs snapshots are much more efficient than rsync snapshots, it makes sense to me to use Btrfs by default. On a related note, when Timeshift is set up to use rsync snapshots, the rsync command will drag down system performance for about 20 minutes at a time. Having the snapshots run as a lower priority in the background would have avoided slowing down the desktop once a day.
I would have preferred if LMDE had shipped with MATE instead of Cinnamon. I realize Cinnamon is an in-house desktop project and it makes sense for the Mint developers to focus on using and promoting Cinnamon. However, since I suspect many of the people who want to use the Debian branch over the Ubuntu branch will be doing so for performance reasons, I think MATE would make the sensible default. MATE is lighter than Cinnamon, does not require special video driver/hardware support and will run better in virtual environments. Cinnamon is a solid desktop and I think it looks and performs wonderfully on physical hardware, it just doesn't feel like the optimal choice for people who want to run the lighter, more conservative Debian branch of Mint.
Finally, I want to give credit to the Mint team for integrating Flatpak support into the software manager. It is easy to find Flatpaks without having them blend in with other packages, potentially confusing users. I think Flatpak support was handled well by the Mint team.
On the whole, the above points are minor style preferences for a distribution that I was impressed by. Mint's Debian edition performed smoothly, offered a lot of great software out of the box and was easy to use. I think the Debian branch might be slightly less appealing to beginners than the main, Ubuntu-based edition, but there are few practical differences and most people will probably find either branch works for them. I think LMDE will be a good fit for most people, whether beginners or more experienced users.
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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 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
Linux Mint has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.7/10 from 1031 review(s).
Have you used Linux Mint? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Arch developers answer questions, a tutorial for getting around keyring password prompts, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, next Mageia release to have fewer download options
Members of the Arch Linux team took to Reddit this week to talk about their rolling release operating system and answer questions. The Arch distribution is not only a popular operating system on its own, there are many distributions based on it (we currently track over 20 Arch-based projects). The Arch team mentioned in the Reddit discussion that the project is looking for more contributors.
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After the latest updates to the Chrome and Chromium web browsers were published, the MX Linux forums were visited by several users looking for a method to disable the browsers' new, insistent keyring password prompts. The MX team has published a tutorial on their wiki which offers two methods for disabling the nagging password prompts that would appear each time the browser was opened. The workaround employs the user's account password to protect saved passwords. "GNOME Keyring's default password can be set up in such a way that passwords from individual apps automatically get unlocked during session login. MX Linux can enable and use this auto-unlock feature by means of the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) mechanism: after the user enters the login password the pam-library will unlock the login-keyring managed by the gnome-keyring subprocess."
The MX Linux team has been working on making getting and updating Flatpak packages easier. The project's custom package manager, MX Package Installer, now has a tab dedicated to finding and installing Flatpak portable packages. "The new 'flatpaks' tab comes pre-configured to use the third-party 'flathub' remote repository. Other remote repositories can be added via the Advanced options if the user wishes. Support for adding Flatpaks via flatpakref files is also available through the Advanced options. So what are Flatpaks? Flatpaks are a way of packaging applications such that they run on any distribution with the Flatpak environment set up. The benefit to users is that newer applications than what may be otherwise available in a project's own repos become available for use. The trade-off is the larger file size of these packages since they have all dependencies and libraries included in the Flatpak. Flatpaks also will likely not follow the overall system theme." The MX distribution's graphical package manager can also update installed Flatpak bundles. Further details can be found on the MX Linux blog.
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The Mageia team published a blog post with a few important updates. One news item is that Mageia 5 is no longer being supported. As Mageia 5 will no longer receive security updates, users are advised to upgrade to version 6. The team also reported that the next release of Mageia, version 6.1, will have fewer download options: "Work on the 6.1 release is ongoing, and we hope to make an announcement really soon; in the meantime, we can let you know that no classical ISOs are planned, simply the live CDs and net-install."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
File systems for solid state drives (SSDs)
Seeking-a-solid-file-system asks: I'm considering replacing my laptop's HDD for a SSD. However, I'd like to know the current state of development of Btrfs, XFS, ext4 and even ZFS for Linux. In short, is it still better (for a home/office user) to keep using ext4 or are other file systems are already mature enough to give them a try? I'd like to keep my data safe, but I'd also like to get the better performance and longevity for a SSD disk.
In addition, I've read somewhere that while using a SSD I should not have a swap partition. Is this true?
DistroWatch answers: Each of the file systems listed (Btrfs, ext4, XFS and ZFS) are mature and should be stable on any modern Linux distribution, at least running in a laptop. Btrfs has (reportedly) some lingering issues in RAID environments, but that is not going to affect most people. That being said, I typically recommend people stick with their distribution's default file system unless you know you have a specific case where another file system should be used.
For example, if you feel you really want to use file system snapshots, then go ahead and set up a Btrfs volume. Or if you need to transfer file system snapshots between multiple operating systems then ZFS makes a lot of sense. But if you do not have a particular use case in mind, then I suggest sticking with whatever file system your distribution recommends. (Usually this is ext4 on most Linux distributions, Btrfs on openSUSE and XFS on the Red Hat family of distributions.) None of these file systems is particular suited for (or a poor match with) SSDs.
Moving on to the swap space question, I think it is worth looking at where the advice against using swap on SSDs came from. When SSDs first hit the market one of the big drawbacks was that storage areas of an SSD could wear out after being written to a certain number of times. This meant that the operating system would need to work around burned out areas of the storage device. For most files this was not a big problem, but if a file system kept using the same specific area of the SSD over and over, that section of the SSD could be worn out. This was considered a problem for file systems that used a journal, for example, because the journal is written to the same place on disk each time.
This gave rise to the idea that SSDs should not be used with journaled file systems, swap space or other region-specific tasks. However, over the years SSDs became more resilient and could be written to for years before burning out. Burning out an SSD has not been a serious concern for at least a decade. Even with enterprise-level workloads, SSDs will last for years. In short, don't worry about how you use the SSD, its endurance should be about the same as a spinning hard drive's.
Specifically on the topic of swap space, the advice you read was backward, in my opinion. Since reading from random locations on an SSD is faster than from a spinning drive, SSDs are ideally geared toward being used for a swap partition.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Samuel F. Baggen has announced the release of Elive 3.0.0, a major update of the project's Debian-based distribution with a customised Enlightenment 17 desktop user interface. This version is based on the 32-bit variant of Debian 7 "Wheezy" and, unlike the previous stable version (2.0, released more than eight years ago), Elive 3 is free of charge and unlimited in any way: "After 8 years of silent development, the third stable version of Elive is out. The result is simply amazing and the integration is gorgeous; it is not even possible to describe every inside feature. The new website only contains a small portion of its characteristics. Unfortunately not everything is rainbows and perfection and the lack of resources delayed the release being too much. This has lead to old packages and drivers, but despite that, the final result is really worth it. Elive 3.0 is the most useful system ever made, perfect for the daily use, rock solid, beautiful and full of hidden features, with every effort to make it usable for any user level. This version is most powerful, maintaining its lightness in resources and a blazing fast responsiveness. And even better, the final stable version is entirely cost-free and limitless, with all its features." See the release announcement for further information.
Elive 3.0.0 -- Running the Enlightenment desktop
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Lorenzo "Palinuro" Faletra has announced the release of Parrot 4.2.2, the latest stable version of the project's a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian's "Testing" branch and focused on penetration testing, digital forensics, programming and privacy protection: "We are proud to announce the release of Parrot 4.2. It was a very problematic release for our team because of the many important updates under the hood of a system that looks almost identical to its previous release, except for a new background designed by Federica Marasà and a new graphic theme. Parrot 4.2 is powered by the latest Linux 4.18 Debianized kernel with all the usual wireless patches. A new version of the Debian installer now powers our 'netinstall' images and the standard Parrot images. Firmware packages were updated to add broader hardware support, including wireless devices and AMD vega graphics AppArmor and Firejail profiles were adjusted to offer a good compromise of security and usability for most of the desktop and CLI applications and services." Read the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Cameron Shorter has announced the release of OSGeoLive 12.0, a major new update of the project's specialist Lubuntu-based distribution featuring a large collection of open-source geospatial software and free world maps. This version updates the underlying operating system to Lubuntu 18.04: "Version 12.0 of the OSGeoLive GIS software collection has been released. It was distributed at the International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Highlights for this release include: updated to Lubuntu 18.04 long-term support (LTS) release; adopted Transifex Translation tool and made our documentation generation process more efficient; version updates to many of the included packages. OSGeoLive 12.0 includes: includes: close to 50 quality geospatial open-source applications installed and pre-configured; free world maps and sample datasets; project overview and step-by-step quick-start for each application; Lightning presentation of all applications, along with speaker’s script...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and related links.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 1,023
- Total data uploaded: 21.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Solid state drives
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about solid state drives (SSDs), file systems and their evolution. We would like to find out how many of our readers use SSDs as opposed to classic spinning hard drives. If you are using a SSD in your computer, please let us know which file system you run on it in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on open versus proprietary video drivers in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Updated Turkish translation
We would like to thank Muhterem Demiray for working to update our Turkish translation. This will hopefully make DistroWatch, its key pages and menus, easier to navigate for our Turkish readers.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Drauger OS. Drauger OS is a Linux desktop gaming distro. It comes with Steam pre-installed, along with PlayOnLinux and several other enhancements, such as the Liquorix low-latency Linux kernel instead of the standard generic kernel, a customized Xfce desktop, several other added features and speed improvements.
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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, 24 September 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • SSD's (by Vern on 2018-09-17 00:25:23 GMT from United States) |
Its good to know the reliability of newer SSD's. I've put off buying one for that same reason.
2 • SSD (by TuxRaider on 2018-09-17 00:35:26 GMT from United States)
i bought my first SSD about 2012 and the speed Linux booted and the response of apps launching and the read & write speeds of SSD made a believer out of me, i use SSD for all my desktops & laptops operating systems, i do keep a few old spinning platter type drives around for data storage just because they are large capacity (one is a terabyte and two more 500 gig drives) but my SSDs are 250 megabites and that is plenty for an OS and a separate /home partition.
yup SSD was a big improvement in performance for any OS and the apps and tasks you put on it, after i made the switch i never looked back
3 • @1 Re: Reliability of SSD's (by Rev_Don on 2018-09-17 00:39:44 GMT from United States)
Reliabilty of SSDs has improved quite a lot as long as you don't buy some of the cheap junk that is out there. Some of the brands to avoid are Silicon Power, KingDion, and Patriot and the economy models from most brands especially Sandisk and Adata. This is not only due to lower quality/reliability, but poor performance as well. TeamGroup L5 3D ssds are some of the good economy SSDs at the moment as they rival the better Samsung and Crucial drives performance wise and seem to be holding up quite well reliabilty wise.
4 • SSD usage (by Rufovillosum on 2018-09-17 00:45:49 GMT from United States)
I use an SSD for my three OS's (Mint, LMDE3, Arch), and a spinning disk for data and clonezilla backup images of the thee OS's.
5 • SSD (by John on 2018-09-17 00:50:41 GMT from United States)
I use an SD plugged into a USB2 adapter. Easy to swap OSs. Works great. Easy REALLY back up.
6 • File system on SSD (by JeauBleau on 2018-09-17 01:06:17 GMT from United States)
Since you asked, until I am provided with some persuasive evidence to do otherwise, I am sticking with the default file system for Linux Mint: ext4
7 • SSD's (by Earlybird on 2018-09-17 01:07:57 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the clarification re brands of SSD's. Have seen some great bargains on 500 Gig Western Digital SSD's. Due to their reputation for quality with older style spinning drives, would imagine this brand would be reliable. However, they (to my knowledge) do NOT manufacture memory chips. One would guess that someone actually IN the memory business (eg - Samsung, Kingston, Crucial) would have an advantage producing a product with a superior MTBF/MTTF. This may sound like a niggling concern, but if you are dealing with financial, legal, medical, or government records, this IS a concern (yes, you should have multiple backup methods in place, but add this additional factor in as well).
That brings up a related factor - reliability of filing systems. Just what ARE the issues with BTRFS? Aside from issues with RAID, have seen posts about no proper recovery tool for btrfs files (different issue than system snapshots). Can anyone point to a recent comparison table or article comparing trade-offs for btrfs, xfs, and zfs? Also, any scientific discussions about dealing with "bit-rot" on filing systems?
And finally, reiserfs. Yes it has fallen in disfavour due to a certain heinous act by the author, but performance-wise, for a small home system with limited resources where something like zfs might be "overkill", it seems to perform really well. Is there a developer team out there still working on it, and what is present status; or is it for all intents and purposes "defunct"?
Using a search engine for answers brings up a staggering number of results. Who are the "experts" for answers to filing system questions (aside from the file-system websites themselves, who MAY be a teeny bit biased in favour of their own file system).
Lots of questions, but related to this weeks column, and of concern to everyone.
8 • Linux Mint 3 (by Carson on 2018-09-17 01:08:34 GMT from Canada)
Could someone explain to me why there is a 2nd and now 3rd major version of Linux Mint debian edition? I thought rolling release was supposed to prevent that.
9 • Linux Mint Debian Edition (by Jesse on 2018-09-17 01:11:24 GMT from Canada)
@8: Linux Mint Debian Edition is not a rolling release. As mentioned in the review, it's based on Debian Stable and uses a fixed release model.
10 • SSD Drives (by Mike on 2018-09-17 02:02:13 GMT from Australia)
I have been running my SSD drives (Hitachi amnd OCZ) for 6 years on ext4 partitions. Never any problem!
11 • SSDs (by pccobbler on 2018-09-17 02:08:37 GMT from United States)
There's only a small number of companies that actually manufacture NAND flash: Samsung, SK Hynix, Toshiba, SanDisk (which WDC now owns), Micron, and Intel. Toshiba and SanDisk (WDC) have been working together for years. Intel and Micron used to be full partners in NAND flash manufacture, but that relationship is fading. Soon we will see Chinese suppliers, first Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) and then Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (XMC). All other companies buy leftover NAND flash chips, throw in a controller and maybe some DRAM to serve as a buffer, and sell it under their name, with the better ones doing some qualification.
12 • LMDE 2 & 3 (by M.Z. on 2018-09-17 02:29:06 GMT from United States)
The whole point of LMDE 2 was that they were shifting away from a rolling model to a fixed release model. That's also why there is a LMDE 3, because 2 was getting old & 3 comes after 2. They were fairly clear on this a few years ago before LMDE 2 came out. The Mint team didn't believe that maintaining a separate rolling system was worthwhile any more & based LMDE on straight Debian stable from 2 onward. It's all going mostly according to plan & I plan to use LMDE 3 as my default version of Mint & will be replacing LMDE 2 soon. I really liked the previous release & the only thing I won't miss from LMDE 2 is the very old version of LibreOffice, but now there are flatpaks so that will never be a problem again.
13 • of Drives and file systems. (by tom joad on 2018-09-17 02:52:56 GMT from United States)
Have my tower with an SSD and two spinning WD hard drives using EXT4. In fact all of the computers in the house but one are Linux and EXT4. My tor relay has a spinning WD hard drive. Both our laptops have SSD's.
SSD's cost more but are way faster than spinning hard drives.
I have not had any issues at all with my SSD's in any way. I will be transitioning to them in the future.
14 • Elive 3.0 appears highly good! (by OS2_user on 2018-09-17 02:53:32 GMT from United States)
Any regular here knows how dim is my view of current Linux esp GUIs, and I don't say that lightly. It'll take some getting used to its cartoonish ways and tiny blank white buttons for window control, but after several minutes now, I think may be worth it.
First, to get it, are asked to use torrents! He's had 4000 downloads and those appear to cost 10-12 cents each, which adds up. This again raises my dire prediction on funding from a couple weeks ago.
The torrent worked fine for me, but note that has both versions; I unchecked the USB version and finished in less than half hour at near 2MB/s, full speed of my connection.
But it's not without annoyance, starting with changing desktop background every 15 seconds or so. Man, that's ANNOYING. No obvious setting, but it stopped after a few minutes.
Appears to be using my 1600x900 monitor at full res (unlike nearly all others).
Applications menu pops up with right-click on desktop; left-click opens up confusing Settings, and has no obvious way to "Close", but right-click on desktop did.
I can get used to wacky and the cartoon size icons expanding to ridiculous. So long as works same way every time. It's already lasted longer than recent KDE or Mate did without losing all ability to open or even shut down from GUI.
For speed test (this is Live CD, 1.6GHz dual-core Celeron, 2G RAM), LibreOffice loaded in about a minute, opened a PDF fine, good speed, and went away soon as found the right button: the one on right turns red indicating "Close". Also, about a dozen more icons appear in title bar, no hints, and since it's doing things on own, is even more unpredictable than most GUIs. We'll see.
Comes with Virtual Box and Wine installed, most of usual apps, several versions of browsers and players. -- Even has the Links browser that I mentioned not long ago!
SO, I'll again HOPE. Been a LONG time since prior version, that I looked at too, but seems the time wasn't wasted -- hasn't even changed much! Hope just FIXES, NOT FEATURES, it already had plenty of those!
15 • Drives and file systems (by TheTKS on 2018-09-17 04:14:56 GMT from Canada)
In our house:
1) Tower, spinning disk, multi boot Linuxes + Win 10, ext4 + NTFS
2) Tower, spinner, Linux, ext4. Moving to OpenBSD, FFS.
3) Tower, SSD, Win 10, NTFS
4) Tower, no disk, OpenBSD, FFS on an SD card (yeah, slow), will inherit a spinner from one of the laptops below -> Win 10, NTFS
5), 6), 7) Laptops, spinners, Win 10, NTFS. One is about to have its spinner switched out for an SSD, and the spinner moved to the tower with no disk
8) Laptop, SSD, Win 10, NTFS
9) Chromebook, eMMC, ChromeOS, fs?
Plus iPhone, Android phones, BlackBerry OS 10, Xboxes, Wiis, Nintendos, BlackBerry PlayBook, Commodore VIC 20... (OK, the last two aren't getting used)
We have too many devices.
Never a problem with the SSDs, and, yeah, way faster than spinners.
16 • Btrfs Downside (by SteveK on 2018-09-17 04:20:18 GMT from United States)
My experience is that Btrfs does not play nice with Grub2 in a multi-boot system. I typically have a dozen or more linux distros running on ext4 partitions on a mult-boot system using Grub2. I downloaded and installed Linux Mint Mate 19 with ext4. I paid attention to Mint's recommendation of using Timeshift backup utility. However, since I was running on ext4 I had to use rsync. This turned out to not be practical because I had to create a separate partition for the rsync backups that was equal to or greater than the size of the original partition! This was unacceptable to me. I then decided to try installing Linix Mint Mate 19 with Btrfs. Btrfs was much more efficient and required far less backup space. However, when I rebooted the computer the Linix Mint Mate19 Btrfs partition did not show up on the Grub2 multi-boot menu. I googled this problem and found that this is a common problem, that the Grub os-prober has problems detecting Btrfs partitions. There is a workaround but it's more trouble than it's worth to me. I went back to ext4.
17 • Drives and file systems (by pin on 2018-09-17 06:31:33 GMT from Sweden)
SSD on all my machines, linux on ext4 and NetBSD on ffsv2
18 • SSD+HDD (by zykoda on 2018-09-17 06:53:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
On Desktop I have 120GB Sandisk SSD with mint 17.3 cost same as 1TB P300. SSD prices are still too high. The Sandisk 120GB boots in recovery mode but not in normal mode: a solution for which I have not yet found. To mitigate slow boot using hard drive, suspend works well, nulling the faster boot advantage of SSD. I do not have a laptop as they suffer in too many ways to enumerate here.
19 • @ Jesse - link to reddit on Arch and also about Feliz (by OstroL on 2018-09-17 07:09:55 GMT from Poland)
Thank you for the link to Reddit on Arch. Never knew about the memes, until I read that thread. Once you have Arch going, you don't really go looking for advice (or memes, he, hi) on the net, except the Arch wiki and/or the forums. I have 2 Arch installs in 2 laptops, one direct Arch install and one from an excellent installer from Elizabeth Mills, Feliz. She was ~73, when I installed Arch from Feliz. Now, she is 75 and is retired from maintaining Feliz.
Still, it'd be interesting to read the story behind creating Feliz at such an age. https://github.com/angeltoast/goodbye-feliz/blob/master/FarewellFeliz.pdf Would be an inspiration to all Linux users. It'd be interesting to read the readme here too, https://github.com/angeltoast/feliz2
20 • SSD vs spinning Hard Drive (by Roy Davies on 2018-09-17 07:12:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have been using a SSD drive in an old Acer Aspire laptop for about 18 months. I have had absolutely no problems. Boot-up speeds have been faster than with the conventional HDD.
As a Linux user who likes to try out newer distro releases, this SSD has been over-written many times. Some concerns have been made about longevity of SSD's, as they are similar in many ways to a usb drive / sd card. To date I have had no problems. If I get any hard drive failures in other laptops, I will be happy to replace it with a SSD.
21 • LMDE 3 (by alotov on 2018-09-17 07:44:28 GMT from United States)
I backed up LMDE 2 and then installed LMDE 3. However, very shortly after I deleted LMDE 3 and put back in place LMDE 2. Just like Jesse I do miss Mate, nee dislike cinnamon. I did install Mate on LMDE 3, it was not the same as it misses the smoothness and configuration that Mint brings to Mate. But oh well I also have installed Devuan with the Mate desktop, and really if the bells and whistles that Mint brings to the desktop are removed - which they are for myself - then I may as well just use a Debian based distro proper.
22 • LMDE (by Guy Everaert on 2018-09-17 07:57:45 GMT from Belgium)
I agreed with "it just doesn't feel like the optimal choice for people who want to run the lighter, more conservative Debian branch of Mint".
I would use LMDE if Mate where integrated in LMDE.
23 • SSD / spinning disks (by Romane on 2018-09-17 08:14:15 GMT from Australia)
I use both.
The SSD is the main drive, with Operating System and my home drive (well, OK, Operating Systems - I boot between 4 systems currently).
The spinning disk has my swap partition, a local backup (mirror) of my home partition (for those times I decide to format the SSD and start afresh; just because I can), and a largish partition for my /tmp directory.
I use the XFS file system on all partitions, simply because I found that it appears to allow faster operations than Ext4 - note: subjective, not objective assessment.
24 • HDD here. (by Torin on 2018-09-17 08:28:16 GMT from Ireland)
I still use a HDD on my computer (2TB Seagate). Ext4 is the file system. The only slow parts for me are booting up and initially launching apps. Other than that - it's very zippy.
25 • Drives and Chrome in MX (by cykodrone on 2018-09-17 08:28:49 GMT from Canada)
I use SSDs for OS performance and HDDs for storage. The machine 'sees' SSDs just like it would an HDD, the file system makes no difference, unless you're an enthusiast speed junky, but fiddling with a new-ish file system can be risky, good luck having some live rescues disks or utilities recognize it. Even if some 'drive' cells burn out after 15 to 20 years of constant use, they're supposedly marked as bad by the drive and are ignored, I use the disks utility to check their health occasionally, not one problem or warning yet, but I bought big name higher end drives, the cheaper budget brands tend to be buggy, less compatible, and less reliable, you get what you pay for. This is the second machine (PC build) the same SSDs have been installed in, and they still work like I bought them yesterday. Research before you buy, it will save a lot of headaches, and possibly your data. SSDs are not a magic cure for aging hardware, don't get me wrong, they do improve performance somewhat, but if the host hardware is really aging, how it handles modern bloated software (OSes and apps) won't change much, you will still get lag and periods of freezing.
Who in their right mind uses anything that has base code from that NSA friendly data mining giant? When I found out what they REALLY do (documented, no tinfoil hat), I did an across the board boycott (including other entities they have swallowed up, they are the new MS), and never looked backed. That dual farm animal search engine works just fine, and they don't keep your search history filed under your IP address on their servers. Have a nice day. :)
26 • Is BTRFS even ready for prime time yet? (by AlbinoAlligator on 2018-09-17 09:16:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Every time I've tried a distro with BTRFS I have run into problems, usually in the form of periodic freezes or lag whilst the BTRFS file worker threads consume 100% of a CPU core.
I would suggest the reason it is not the default yet is because it can't be trusted yet unless you are running a very well specced PC.
27 • Kingston SSD and Kingston RAM (by Roy on 2018-09-17 09:40:44 GMT from United States)
I got the 240 GB SSD for the operating system and two 2 TB plus the one 1 TB for storage space on the older types spinning hard drives. Sticking with EXT 4 file system for the Ubuntu MATE. I like the SSD better.
28 • Persistent Myth about Timeshift being only for System Files (by Michael on 2018-09-17 10:04:41 GMT from India)
It is simple to use Timeshift to backup all files, both system and user files. I can't understand why people keep saying you need a different program for backing up user files. What a PITA that would be. I use Timeshift for all files.
29 • SSDs vs spinning disks (by Shaun on 2018-09-17 10:31:47 GMT from United States)
As long as a 250 GB SSD costs more than a 1000 GB, good-quality spinning disk, I'm simply unwilling to waste the money on an SSD. I understand it's the speed that's supposed to cost, but it ain't worth it for me. (Especially with the limited number of write cycles... Seriously?!)
30 • SSD Feedback... (by brain_death on 2018-09-17 10:38:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
A happy BTRFS user on my SSD, including a swap partition, for years...
31 • @ 19 Elizabeth Mills and Feliz (by Kazan on 2018-09-17 10:43:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the inks. Incredible woman!
Like you said, an inspiration to us Linux users. Why there was no mention of Feliz in DWW before is a mystery.
32 • SSD (by Pat Huff on 2018-09-17 10:57:32 GMT from United States)
I have a Kingston SSD of 96gb that is 10 years old and works fine. It is on a laptop running Arcolinux with a btrfs file system and no swap.
33 • Drives and file systems (by Angel on 2018-09-17 10:59:58 GMT from Philippines)
Asus laptop- 240 KingDian SSD
Gigabyte Brix- 240 Kingston SSD
Acer laptop- 120 Kingston SSD and 1TB HDD in the DVD drive bay.
All perform well. Haven't found any compelling need to switch from EXT 4. All three PCs dual-boot with (Children cover your eyes.) Windows. Multiple Linuxes on bay HDD and on USB hard-drives and sticks.
34 • RE 14 EliveCD (by Michael on 2018-09-17 11:55:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice to see EliveCD 3.00 out, at last, I have enjoyed playing with it again, Lots of extras hidden in the distro as usual, it was my main distro back in 2010 on an X20 Thinkpad. Sam has been working alone on this project for a long time, always a fantastic Distro for older hardware and has been trying to make it freely available while still finding a way to fund the development, His earlier attempts at funding his work were not that popular though he always had a free option it was sometimes convoluted to get the main edition, For version 3 he has taken on board feedback and has tried other ways. Ethics and economics not always easy,
Reading the post @14 His current problem is the bandwidth/Hosting cost of the downloads
Not sure whether its something Distrowatch or Distrowatch users can help with? or maybe a review or Interview with Sam?
35 • SSD Poll (by Mike Turnbull on 2018-09-17 12:15:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
The SSD poll, I feel, was missing MY option. Although my laptop and desktop both have spinning hard drives, I make greater use of bootable pendrives - with persistence - using XenialPuppy Linux and Elive3.0 as my two prefered OS's at present. So easy to work with on the move - and faster!
36 • LMDE (by Mike Johnston on 2018-09-17 12:43:44 GMT from Canada)
Personally, I don't see why they didn't include an easy method to install graphics drivers for those using LMDE. If distros like MX Linux can include one to make the users life easier, I don't see why Mint couldn't.
37 • @14 -- Elive 3.0 appears highly good! (by OS2_user) (by frisbee on 2018-09-17 13:52:19 GMT from Switzerland)
I don't want to spoil you the pleasure, since you finaly found something (at least partially) working but, please read the announcement one more time.
"Samuel F. Baggen has announced the release of Elive 3.0.0, a major update of the project's Debian-based distribution with a customised Enlightenment 17 desktop user interface. This version is based on the 32-bit variant of Debian 7 "Wheezy" and, unlike the previous stable version (2.0, released more than eight years ago), Elive 3 is free of charge and unlimited in any way."
Based on the 32-bit variant of Debian 7 "Wheezy".
Debian 7 "Wheezy".
You could also easily continue using OS/2 since, they are both deprecated.
38 • LMDE vs. SparkyLinux and MX Linux (by Jason Hsu on 2018-09-17 14:51:10 GMT from United States)
In my opinion, people who want something like Linux Mint that's much lighter and faster should try SparkyLinux or MX Linux. Both of these distros can claim to be the unofficial LMDE.
I prefer SparkyLinux. When Debian Stretch became stable, it took SparkyLinux just 5 days to provide a release based on it. It took MX Linux about 6 months and LMDE over a year to do the same thing (SparkyLinux has the unfair advantage of producing releases based on Debian Testing. By the time a Debian branch becomes stable, the SparkyLinux developers already have plenty of experience with it.)
Most of the LInux community prefers MX Linux over SparkyLinux. If you're new to Linux or new to distros based on Debian but not Ubuntu, you'd probably prefer MX Linux because of its much larger community. (And you know it must be doing something right when it keeps attracting more and more users.)
I admire the Linux Mint team's efforts at LMDE, but SparkyLinux and MX Linux are better. The SparkyLinux and MX Linux developers have the unfair advantage of not being responsible for MATE, Cinnamon, and Ubuntu-based editions.
39 • Drauger OS (by Hooten on 2018-09-17 15:35:38 GMT from Norway)
Drauger OS with no info at all. What is based on? What init uses? Nothing about actual information in their website.
40 • @15 Too Many Devices (by tman on 2018-09-17 15:37:31 GMT from United States)
Damn dude! I thought I was bad. Plenty of charities to choose from...they would love you. ;-)
41 • Drauger OS (by Hooten on 2018-09-17 15:40:30 GMT from Norway)
It's Xubuntu actually, i found infos deep burried in their site.
42 • @40 Too Many Devices (by TheTKS on 2018-09-17 16:24:30 GMT from United States)
You're right, tman. Thanks, I needed the prompt! Several older devices are still solid, perfectly usable and fast for basic home use with the right Linux on them. They're now on the list to give to a charity or recipients whom they can most benefit.
43 • SSD vs HDD (by KernelSanders on 2018-09-17 17:12:25 GMT from Canada)
6-yr old Acer desktop: HDD
5-yr old Asus/HP desktop: HDD
2-yr old HP laptop: HDD
Always ext4 for /root and xfs for /home unless recommended otherwise by distros devs. (Ex: KaOS /root & /home defaults: xfs)
44 • HDD vs SSD vs NVME (by Tech in San Diego on 2018-09-17 17:37:19 GMT from United States)
Call me an old fart, but I don't see the need for SSD drives. They are undoubtedly faster than HDD's, but the cost vs performance just doesn't make economical sense. I'll stay with my 12 year old 7200RPM Barracuda drives that run all day and have never given me any trouble.
The best performance gain for me was switching to Linux.
All the Best!
Tech in San Diego
45 • discs (by dmacleo on 2018-09-17 17:42:40 GMT from United States)
use ssd for main drive and multiple 2-3tb drives for video stuff in 3 systems.
use mint and windows here.
good and bad with each, no perfect fit.
play around with lot of vms too (stored on spinning drive) for different distros
46 • SSD vs Mechanical HDD (by JimB on 2018-09-17 18:09:42 GMT from United States)
I replace the mechanical HDD in any new system that comes into the house. Before I retired, the servers I worked with all had Crucial SSDs in them and I never saw one die, so I stick with Crucial on my systems. The mechanicl drives go into decent USB adapters and are used for backups and such. File systems are NTFS and/or EXT4. The response and performance of SSDs makes them more than worth what they cost. I have a couple of them that are going on 7+ years old and they are still running perfectly fine.
47 • @37 So "deprecated" means working fine? (by OS2_user on 2018-09-17 18:27:33 GMT from United States)
> You could also easily continue using OS/2 since, they are both deprecated.
I'll look for the "deprecated" label, then! 32 bits is all I need. I'll even dare state that it's all any home user needs. -- Or even gamer: last time I played games much was an Amiga (a way cut down Unix clone OS, by the way), and its 8MHz 68000 with only one megabyte total was too much for me. The Amiga had real co-processors though, was in many ways far more advanced than its contemporary hardware and software.
Anyhoo, I try to be upbeat about a distro that actually works well enough that I've HOPE again, and you try to deprecate me -- evidently for my prior simply telling facts about what didn't work! Typical Linux type. You don't help Linux much at all. Indeed, I'd say less than I do!
48 • Drives and Filesystems (by Joe User on 2018-09-17 19:21:27 GMT from Germany)
I use HDDs (Servers) and SSDs (Laptops) with UFS2 (Servers) and NTFS (Laptops).
49 • ssd's (by jeffrydada on 2018-09-17 22:23:16 GMT from United States)
I use a 200gb ssd on my recording studio desktop system for my OS, Ubuntu Studio with KX studio repos. Its BTRFS and has been working great. I also still use large capacity storage drives of the spinning type, 2 two 4tb and one 3tb. Tracktion Waveform 9 loves the ssd, it's very snappy!
50 • Solid state drives (by Jay on 2018-09-17 22:50:21 GMT from Belgium)
I have switched every PC and laptop to cheap Chinese solid state drives.
Normal HD's for saving data, so only the OS and prog's our on the SSD's.
Yes cheap ones because when the fail I simply put a new one in.
51 • linux mint (by jeffrydada on 2018-09-18 00:24:17 GMT from United States)
Both my wife and sister-in-law are currently running Mint 18. It was a great alternative to MacOS they were previously using. For myself however I found LMDE to not as freindly as Sparky Linux. I guess that having a "minimal" install feature and allowing me to load my personal favorite dexktop makes Sparky my favorite Debian spin.
52 • @38 - Sparky Linux & LMDE (by brad on 2018-09-18 00:27:52 GMT from United States)
Sparky is a great distro - a little better (for me) than MX. There is a Sparky Rescue edition which has helped me out of a couple of tight situations. Sparky is my go-to XFCE distro.
LMDE is a great distro for Cinnamon, better (again, for me) than Mint. Lighter, snappier, and the fact that it's based on Debian (rather than Ubuntu) are the reasons that I like it.
53 • LMDE 2 -----> 3 (by brad on 2018-09-18 00:34:21 GMT from United States)
BTW, I did a fresh install of LMDE on one laptop, and an upgrade from 2 to 3 on another. The upgrade worked perfectly, following the step-by-step upgrade instructions from Clem. Clem and crew are to be congratulated for making Cinnamon/Mint/LMDE available to the Linux community. Although the desktop and distros are no longer my "daily drivers", they are the best "gateway" from Windows to Linux. Most folks would need no more.
54 • B+tree file systems (by Kregle von Schnitzelbank on 2018-09-18 05:04:07 GMT from United States)
@7 • Earlybird - while at least one version of these projects survives at SourceForge (Freed Open-Source Software is seldom lost), the indisputable advantages haven't attracted persistent commercial enthusiasm, and the challenges and required rigor have discouraged many.
In other words, not currently recommended in production, but great for academia.
55 • File systems (by Earlybird on 2018-09-18 06:46:01 GMT from Canada)
@54 Kregle von Scnitzelbank - Thanks for the information. Between that Sourceforge connection you pointed out, and followup on Wikipedia (search terms: B+ tree filesystem, Reiserfs, Reiser4, and file system comparison), found a goldmine of info. Greatly appreciated.
The Wikipedia info on BTRfs indicates SuSe is continuing support, but Redhat is dropping support for btrfs, but no explanation given. Not clear what Redhat plans to support in future (zfs?). The info given on Reiser4 and BTRfs would seem to indicate the importance of commercial support for the success of any file system. (eg - developers need financial support to come up with a file recovery tool for these systems). Seems to be a rather specialized area of software with a limited number of developers.
56 • LMDE3 (by penguinx64 on 2018-09-18 08:17:37 GMT from United States)
I switched from Linux Mint Mate to LMDE3 a few weeks ago. So far, it's faster and has less glitches. The only problem I ran into is the LMDE packages don't have everything the Ubuntu packages had. VirtualBox wasn't there for example. I had to download it from the Oracle website instead. No big deal.
About SSDs. I dumped most of my mechanical hard drives years ago. All of my computers have SSD's now, with the exception of one 4tb hard drive installed in a desktop for archiving stuff. I use the ext4 filesystem for everything on my SSDs. All of my SSDs are Samsung, except for whatever came in my two Chromebooks.
57 • SSDs and Swap (by penguinx64 on 2018-09-18 09:01:02 GMT from United States)
I've never had a problem putting a swap partition on an SSD. I have plenty of RAM, so my OS almost never uses swap anyway. I've been using ext4 with a swap partition on various computers for almost 10 years now. Never had a problem had a problem with Samsung drives, but I have seen a few unreliable brands like OCZ fail. I'm not sure if you can 'wear out' an SSD, but I have seen the available storage decrease over time with some used SSD's I picked up on eBay. I've seen way more mechanical hard drives fail than SSD's.
58 • @47 So "deprecated" means working fine? (by OS2_user) (by frisbee on 2018-09-18 09:01:40 GMT from Switzerland)
"OS/2_user ... last time I played games ... 8MHz 68000 with only one megabyte total was too much for me ... you try to deprecate me ... "
Neither I, or nobody else for that matter, has to TRY to deprecate you -- YOU ARE deprecated! That's the simple fact.
59 • Linux Mint 3 (by Carson on 2018-09-18 12:26:57 GMT from Canada)
@9 Oh my mistake. I thought Debian edition was rolling release based on testing for some reason
60 • Linux Mint 3 (by Carson on 2018-09-18 12:29:21 GMT from Canada)
@12 ah, I somehow totally missed the news back when they shifted away from rolling release I guess
61 • SSDs are not cost-effective for me (by curious on 2018-09-18 14:37:54 GMT from Germany)
The computers at my workplace have SSDs, and I like the performance.
But decent-sized (minimum 1 TB) SSD are still much too expensive for me to use at home. And I have no use for drives that are smaller than 256 GB.
I certainly can live with slightly longer boot times.
62 • SSD and filesystems (by CommonUser on 2018-09-18 14:50:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Starting to use SSD's since five years now. Used filesystems are ext4 and XFS (and ntfs) . Never experienced any problems sofar. Reliability over 5 years is better than with spinning disks. However, the oldest one I have seems to become slower. So my expectation is that spinning disks will last longer. (Have working spinning disks which are more than 10 years old, though only used for backup purposes the last couple of years)
63 • LMDE (by Cholo on 2018-09-18 17:06:49 GMT from Canada)
I think lmde would be great, if it used xfce. Sorry but cinnamon, just isn't quite polished enough as of yet anyway. I used to be a BIG fan of kde, until they messed it up with version 5, which isn't as configurable as 4 was. Though I still use kde on my favorite de, PCLOS! But on the rest I've gone over to XFCE.
64 • @63 LMDE XFCE (by brad on 2018-09-18 18:06:26 GMT from United States)
It's not an "official" flavor, but there is a "community" edition of LMDE:
65 • Re: LMDE3 (by silent on 2018-09-18 18:08:07 GMT from Hungary)
I cannot but agree that LMDE3 calls for a light DE, like Mate or LXQt..
66 • Arch Linux contributors (by silent on 2018-09-18 18:17:44 GMT from Hungary)
It is really unfortunate that some well known packages have been tossed into AUR and then soon orphaned (like TORCS) due to the lack of resources at Arch Linux. Especially because AUR is without warranty, packages can be compromised. I really wonder if it would be possible to completely automate building binary packages and place them into an official "untested" repo or letting upstream open source communities contribute binary packages to an "upstream" binary Arch Linux repository.
67 • Cinnamon DE (by M.Z. on 2018-09-18 20:23:21 GMT from United States)
Funny, I for one find that Cinnamon hits a great spot in the DE pantheon. I admit that my Mint 19/cinnamon 3.8 desktop feels a bit heavier & slower than my laptop with LMDE 2, though that could be hardware related. On my laptop LMDE 2 has always felt very snappy regardless of Cinnamon upgrades.
Anyway, from what I've read Cinnamon seems to be lighter than Gnome 3 or Unity ever were & it has nearly all the configuration options you could want. It seems like a big step up from the direction most Gtk3 DEs were going before it came along & has continuously improved in most ways.
Also the external monitor handling in LMDE 2 Cinnamon puts Mint 19 XFCE to shame. With LMDE Cinnamon I get either of my streaming TVs auto configured at plug in time & I can't remember the last time I had to play with the resolution. The same can't be said for XFCE, which can't seem to remember 2 different TVs to save it's life. Don't get me wrong there is a lot to like about XFCE & it actually handles my laptops onboard graphics a bit better than Cinnamon; however, it just isn't as nice as Cinnamon in my opinion.
To me LMDE 3 + Cinnamon makes perfect sense. It doesn't just provide a second home for Mint's in house DE, it also helps keep LMDE more distinct from all the other Debain based distros around while providing a great DE. Also LMDE 2 Cinnamon is snappy as hell on a 5+ year old SSD. Cinnamon my not be the lightest, but it's easily among the best DEs available. I like KDE just a bit more overall, but Cinnamon is still great.
68 • Very last Elive3 release based on Wheezy (by Sebastien on 2018-09-18 21:19:00 GMT from France)
I must admit that releasing an brand new distro version based on a deprecated source is quiet unusual. The web site mentions entreprise as market place for Elive. I guess it would be quiet hard top convince any company to sign for this...
Hope this is just a poc and Elive Will move to Stretch very soon
69 • SSDs (by edcoolio on 2018-09-18 22:03:38 GMT from United States)
I've been using SSDs exclusively for almost 10 years and never had 1 failure.
This includes KingDian and Silicon Power cheapo drives. The cheap drives range from 32gb to 120gb. If you buy at the right time, they are basically giving them away.
The nicer Samsung and SanDisk drives range from 256gb to 2TB with no issues, this includes enterprise locations.
I'm a believer.
70 • ssd + hdd on ext4 (by dbyo46 on 2018-09-18 22:46:20 GMT from Indonesia)
since ssd(samsung 850Pro 256GB) more expensive & less capacity, but have great io rather than hdd(seagate constalation es 2TB), we use it as system(ext4) in ubuntu 16.04.x(moodle), Dell T30 16GB Ram. mainly for CBT. no more than 10 times use it in 1 year.
and yes, with old school style "the swap partition size is 2*RAM" on HDD
remain size on hdd for windows(ntfs), wimdows
all works flawlesly
71 • ssd storage (by simon on 2018-09-19 01:40:28 GMT from Canada)
Samsung turned our SSD Endurance Experiment into something incredible
Introducing the SSD Endurance Experiment
Just how long do they last, anyway?
SSD vs HDD
Consumer SSD Reviews
72 • SSDs & others (by ROSAs on 2018-09-19 02:08:04 GMT from Australia)
SSDs, mSATAs, & even CFcards (+adapter) are good for fitting into squeezy drive bays, when thin HDDs are hard to fit.
73 • ssd storage + Linux File Systems (by simon on 2018-09-19 03:15:47 GMT from Canada)
Intel SSD 660p: 512GB Of NVMe Storage For $99 USD
Written by Michael Larabel in Storage on 10 August 2018.
Reiser4 File-System Benchmarks With Linux 4.17
Written by Michael Larabel in Storage on 2 July 2018.
74 • No way for now (by Scott on 2018-09-19 05:18:22 GMT from United States)
The technology behind solid state drives isn't good enough for me, yet. I'd rather use flash drive, before risking my data on one. You guys have to understand that it takes time for technology to evolve. We can't be impatient about this. Wait another year and a half. Give this technology some extra time to grow and develop. Hold a sec...what? For real? Guys, I may have spoken too soon. Just found a a good solid state drive on Ebay for $5 and free shipping. Forget what I said.
75 • Filesystems (by Earlybird on 2018-09-19 06:49:51 GMT from Canada)
@73 simon - Thanks for links to Phoronix. Even more enlightening than the graphs were some of the comments, especially one concerning filesystem behaviour on write operations during power failure. Guess if you're using a laptop with built-in battery, less of a concern, but for a desktop user, a UPS is cheap insurance. Also, consider what happens if you're doing a "backup" during power failure. Unless you have multiple backups, that "backup" isn't going to do much good if it is also corrupted.
BTW - for those unfamiliar with Storage mag, it is a "trade" magazine whose main audience would likely be sysadmins, so you won't find it at the local magazine store. Oh gee; is a magazine store now "obsolete technology" also? Suddenly feeling obsolete myself....
76 • @64 • LMDE 3.0 "Cassandra" (by frisbee on 2018-09-19 08:12:31 GMT from Switzerland)
There is no such thing like LMDE 3.0 Community Edition.
Your link: https://linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=14 ... is a "Ghost Website".
Messed up Wordpres db.
If you go on and check announcement, it will bring you to:
Cassandra XFCE Community Edition is out!
by clem » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:54 am
If you proceed to downloads:
... you will find out that there is only LMDE 3.0 Cinnamon available for download.
77 • F2FS (by Miks on 2018-09-19 12:43:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ Jesse, why no mention of f2fs, or did I miss something?
78 • @76 - oops... (by brad on 2018-09-19 13:08:35 GMT from United States)
Oops...only off by 11 years or so - my bad...
79 • BTRFS (by CS on 2018-09-19 19:04:25 GMT from United States)
Redhat dumped BTRFS because of lingering data loss issues they encountered in internal testing. They were quite gung-ho about BTRFS at one point and planned for several releases to make it default in Fedora. After a few years on that treadmill they cut their losses and moved on to more productive problems. There are quite a few references to this you can find online. If you're using BTRFS, keep those backups current!
80 • re: 74 (by denPes on 2018-09-19 21:55:42 GMT from Belgium)
SSD's are fine and trustworthy. All my SSD's are still working. My oldest SSD's is 6 years old, and when I check the S.M.A.R.T. info, it says it's like new.
Except for the price, it only has advantages over the mechanical drives. Less sound, less heat, much faster. The enterprise versions even have protection with power outages. That's the one I use as system drive.
But first questioning that "new" technology, and then buy a "good" SSD for 5 dollar sounds kinda weird to me.
81 • Linus (by facetime on 2018-09-19 22:00:25 GMT from Australia)
Linus Torvalds is known for his abrasive style with Linux kernel contributors and tech views. But he has said that he had a "look at yourself in the mirror" moment, and has recognised his problem. So he's going to address his lack of emotional empathy when dealing with other people.
When there is a lot of trolling and bad behaviour on the Internet , Linus is leading the way as a good role model. Maybe he's been reading Distrowatch's Mark Twain quotes.
82 • @81 Re: Linus T (by Rev_Don on 2018-09-20 00:35:25 GMT from United States)
Word is that some of the major financial backers of the Linux Foundation threatened to pull their funding if something wasn't done about his childish and abusive behaviour. Money talks and so Linus' BS walks.
83 • Linus Torvalds and apology, @81 (by Angel on 2018-09-20 00:40:23 GMT from Philippines)
I was reading "It's FOSS" this morning, and there seems to be more to this than is apparent at first glance, and may be relevant to the future of Linux.
84 • knoppix (by jamesk on 2018-09-20 00:49:52 GMT from United States)
knoppix has a lost ball in tall weeds. Terrible repository waist of time and resources. Once was top shelf. I revisited and know lost myself. jkb
85 • EEE (by chunk on 2018-09-20 07:52:22 GMT from United States)
Linux Foundation? With Microsoft as a member? Why would I give a damn what they think?
86 • @85, probably mutual (by Angel on 2018-09-20 11:29:08 GMT from Philippines)
I believe the feeling might be mutual between you and the foundation, but Torvalds may differ, since they pay him a bunch of money yearly.
87 • @84 Re: Knoppix (by Rev_Don on 2018-09-20 14:20:48 GMT from United States)
"terrible repository waist of time and resources."
If you read the FAQ you'll notice that it clearly states that you aren't supposed to be updating it. It's supposed to be run as is as a Live DVD/USB. With that in mind, what makes it's repository important?
88 • SSD with BTRFS (by Dxvid on 2018-09-20 22:37:27 GMT from Sweden)
I almost always use SSD for the root and with /home, both on home computers and on servers. For large storage I use HDD.
There's a lot of myths on the internet about BTRFS, probably written by beginners who haven't used that file system much or people who just like bashing things they don't know much about. I've used it for a few years daily and it has many advantages over ext4 and XFS, especially on important computers/servers where it's important to take snapshots often. I don't think I'll ever go back, because ZFS and BTRFS have good extra features that I would miss.
However one has to understand that a file system with a lot of benefits in the form of handy features will use up more resources than ext4 or XFS. They require a lot more disk space if you use snapshots, and you should have large partitions in order for it to run smoothly and not fill up the SSD/HDD with snapshots and other stuff too quickly. If you've run a computer for one year taking snapshots regularly without deleting much it's not uncommon that the files in use take up around 5-10GB while all the snapshots take up 25-50GB. Of course this depends on setup and usage, but 5 times more disk space used is to be expected after a year.
BTRFS uses more CPU because of all the calculations done and CPU can peak during weekly maintenance. You should use BTRFS on systems with pretty fast CPUs with good single threaded performance.
ZFS needs much more RAM than ext4 or XFS and also uses CPU more for calculations.
In short, with feature rich file systems you need better equipment.
It's the same if you use software RAID, you pay by getting more CPU usage and RAM usage.
89 • Linus Torvalds (by simon on 2018-09-21 01:03:23 GMT from Canada)
Linus Torvalds is in the New Yorker
After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
By Noam Cohen
September 19, 2018
90 • Both HDD and SSD (by Flavio R. Cavalcanti on 2018-09-21 11:35:05 GMT from Brazil)
I have 3 internal HDDs, using mostly ext4, except for openSUSE Leap with / BtrFS and /home XFS.
And I have 1 external SSD (USB2) from 2011 for testing distros, using distro's preferred filesystem.
91 • SSD drives (by fatmac on 2018-09-21 17:48:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have converted my two regular Intel/AMD laptops to small (64GB) SSD drives, whilst one other uses a 16GB SDHC card as it's main drive, & an EeeBox computer has another small (60GB) SSD drive in it.
My RPI3B uses an internal 16GB mSDHC card with an external spinning 320GB, my second 3B & my 3B+ both use 64GB mSDHC cards.
I use these mainly because they are quiet, but the SSD are a bit faster than the HDDs that they replaced.
92 • SSD drives addendum (by fatmac on 2018-09-21 17:51:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
Forgot to mention, all of them are using ext4 filesystems. :)
93 • Linus Torvalds (by facetime on 2018-09-22 03:28:00 GMT from Australia)
@89 According to the New Yorker piece, the problem with Torvalds' abrasive style is that it is discouraging women from working as Linux programmers .And since he works with the Linux Foundation - which has to deal with corporates - LF contributors can't be seen behaving like this..In the corporate world they would have to be fired, or leave voluntarily.
So Linus has done the right thing and stepped aside for a while - still a good example for others to follow.
94 • Will ... Linux Foundation founder? (by Kregle von Schnitzelbank on 2018-09-22 19:32:44 GMT from United States)
@89 • Yes, it's quite the hit piece. Research the people it quotes.
After the imposition (by commercial funders) of a weapon like that "code of conduct", I'd take a long break, perhaps a sabbatical. But then, perhaps it's time for the BDFL to take a behind-the-scenes position, like so many power brokers do, and put some politically-skilled agent on the stage? He could spend his sabbatical developing skills for shepherding stubbornly uncooperative contributors using gentler coercion.
Velvet glove, but still needing iron hand.
95 • @94 (by edcoolio on 2018-09-22 23:25:30 GMT from United States)
Agreed. It is quite the hit piece. As for the people attacking him, I will leave you with a quote from the article when describing one of the main Anti-Torvalds individuals:
"...Sharp, who is nonbinary and uses “they/them” pronouns..."
I am sure the readers of Distrowatch can come to their own conclusions. Remember, I am only quoting the article, which makes it a point to include this information.
Interpret this as you will.
96 • Focus on the code (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2018-09-23 02:35:42 GMT from United States)
@95 • I prefer to avoid distractions. Merit matters.
97 • @96 (by edcoolio on 2018-09-23 05:13:33 GMT from United States)
Merit should be ALL that matters, but it would seem that these distractions have taken the place of merit... unfortunately.
98 • Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation and Credibility of Linux Kernel a.k.a 4.19 (by Lexxy Lorand on 2018-09-23 06:34:13 GMT from Canada)
Newyorker news of Linus stepping aside is a major break this week, and shaken linux community. One has have a look at sponsors/members of Linux Foundation and understand how it is funded. MS bought github, and became member of Linux Foundation.
Linux Foundation is supported by members such as AT&T, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, Samsung, as well as developers from around the world.
Whole ball game were started back in 1990 when AT&T throw some pieces of codes of UNIX for free. Berkley came out with two SDs. BSD and LSD. This can not be an accident.
While Linus came out with Linux, Linus has served more than two decades (in fact, to the members of Linux Foundation). If it could have not been Linus, then AT&T might have Lomar or Lenny.
And, that is it, story is too long and I hate typing.
With Linus on Linux Foundation, They have lots of hindrance to merge lots bits and bytes merging and steaming into Linux Kernel Mainline.
Without Linus one major issue Linux Community will going to face is "The Credibility" of Linux Kernel a.k.a 4.19 and onwards. Lone distro brewers or lone developers are not funded by these oligarchies have yet to decide their direction of future travel.
Two quotes from Linus:
"In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny."
"If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won."
(He has already WON for sure!).
The shining star like the SUN can not be covered by shadow,
if you think about night,
There is SUN rise somewhere,
And, same hold true for Linus, Amen.
Now, at least Linus might have some spare time to tech or write a book or a manual.
99 • Correct code is top priority ... but be civil in enforcement (by Kragle on 2018-09-23 06:44:18 GMT from United States)
@97 • Life refuses to be so simple. Coding should not violate priorities or best-practices, but neither should behavior - including motivating others to correct their errors, no matter how egregious and persistent. This is the ideal we should aspire toward..
Sometimes talent in one aspect comes with deficiency in another; in such cases, it is best to seek coping methods.
100 • @98 Berkley (by Bill S on 2018-09-23 13:00:34 GMT from United States)
"Berkley came out with two SDs. BSD and LSD. " Ha ha And many of us tried them both!
101 • The Linux Foundation (by M.Z. on 2018-09-23 19:55:40 GMT from United States)
The term hit piece is fairly loaded & subjective, and the behaviour of Linus has often been both abrasive & controversial to anyone paying attention. A lot of great & amazing work has been done & Torvalds deserves a hell of a lot of recognition & credit for what he started as a computer science student in Helsinki Finland & for managing the Linux Foundation from the Portland Oregon area.
Credit being due, it does seem things could have been handled better & that the combo of lob brow jokes & harsh jabs at the bad work of others created a ripe target for criticism that would have inevitably been questioned eventually. The rise to prominence of Linux made looking in critically more likely every passing year. All it took was enough people wondering about what goes on with this thing that powers all the Android phones & super computers in the world, and then taking a look at both the good and bad going on.
I for one hope like some others here that we get Linus back, but with a bit more craftiness & wisdom about finding the right balance in managing things well while finding the right way to call people on BS.
Number of Comments: 101
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