back to article Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Mint is a relative newcomer to the world of popular desktop distros, but it has recently started to take the GNOME and Unity-hating Linux world by storm. The recent release of version 15, called Olivia, should help it secure a reputation as “the” alternative desktop. If you'd like a modern set of desktop tools without a …

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Alternative to Windows?

If you want to try abandoning the Windows world (and who wouldn't, especially with Windows 8 in the world), I recommend Mint. I use Mint at home on my main desktop PC and my laptop, and I am productive using it. Only my laptop now has a variant of Windows on it, and I rarely boot into it.

Of course, whether you can or not depends on what you do and what software is available to support it.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

I find that Mint 13 MATE is an excellent replacement for Windows XP on my laptop, twin screen desktop and Eee PC, and I'm willing to accept its little quirks. When I'm happy with something then I tend to stick with it; but I might try the latest version and Cinnamon on a spare hard drive, just to be totally safe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

>I recommend Mint.

Only if you don't want to use Office. Or Photoshop. Or AutoCAD. Or play games. Or use video services. Or use NTFS discs (NTFS use kills the CPU on Linux, a very well known bug they can't be bothered to fix). AND your users don't mind using the command line every few minutes.

"How do I fix this?"

"Well, open a terminal and grep foo/bar with the wibble switch.

Now take the n-th item and echo that into /dev/thingy (remembering to re-align your byte arrays or you'll trash your data.

Finally, switch bit 3,457,234 of the main module (or recompile from source) and you are done.

Simple"

Or...you know...use a user focused OS and "Control Panel/Relevant Settings/Obvious options/ [on | off]"

Then we get into all the forking that's going on. X, Wayland, Mir...AND all the DEs! And GUI kits! So you have to re-write your application about 10 times...no, 20 (sorry, I forgot the deb/rpm thing) times in order to deploy.

All for a sector that is less than 1%. An utterly pointless and futile task as after you have done all that hard work, the users want it (and all support) for free (as in zero cost).

The is a reason that Windows (with OS X some way back in the distance) won the game. A clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms. Something Linux can't (wont!) offer. This is why Linux fails and this is why it will continue to fail.

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Coat

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Are you Nodae?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Dammit.

See icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

@AC 12:03

"The is a reason that Windows (with OS X some way back in the distance) won the game. A clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms. Something Linux can't (wont!) offer. This is why Linux fails and this is why it will continue to fail."

Interesting if obsolete view but its your opinion. I run linux on all 3 of my systems, one of which was a win7 laptop that didnt have the power to run win7 (not MS's fault the lappy wasnt up to it) yet mint 14 runs perfectly on it.

As I have full disk encryption for work it naturally ruled out windows but I do have a win7 partition on my beefy machine to play games. Once steam ports most of their games to linux however I will be using windows even less.

My girlfriend also runs mint because its easier than windows for what she does. She also hates the many install screens for her work programs (she is not IT) so it is better to just click install and have it complete itself without hassle.

As a developer I did use windows but it was a pain installing various tools which linux have as a standard. Not forgetting the compatibility between linux and most file systems which doesnt seem to exist in windows. You can say that NTFS uses a lot of CPU on linux but ext filesystems are inaccessible to windows.

I find office on linux (libre office) is far superior to MS office unless MS did some proprietary nonsense that hasnt been accounted for. I base that on readable formats, a good interface and price.

The point I am making is that you seem to claim that linux isnt as good as windows while forgetting linux provides most of the stuff you have to download or buy separately for windows.

Which OS is best is a personal preference. I can easy list good and bad for linux and windows and people who use it could do the same for the BSD's. I have a windows system, I use it for games. Some people would prefer it to work on. I prefer working on linux. In the end we all get the job done.

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WTF?

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Wow that's a lot of FUD. Using NTFS partitions just fine here in Ubuntu / Mint / CentOS? No slowdown, no CPU spikes? Considering Ubuntu / Mint makes installing software and performing tasks via a GUI, which tasks are you using which requires the command line? Even for NTFS support I used a GUI.

Sure Linux has its faults and yes forking can be a pain but how does this prevent you using software via Wine? As far as I knew it works just as the developers intended under Mint 15.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

You've predictably got shit loads of down votes for this comment, but to be fair I think there are some decent points here.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

I use both Windows and Mint if I am honest.

I did use CentOS but recently Mint has suited me much better,

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Paris Hilton

Re: Alternative to Windows?

The is a reason that Windows (with OS X some way back in the distance) won the game. A clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms

No-one can "win" this particular game; only maintain a temporary lead. I would posit that Microsoft's current actions with regards to Windows 8 fail to show "clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms".

Meanwhile, the market for desktops is looking pretty moribund, and laptops aren't exactly looking healthy. On the other hand the market in tablets and phones remains very healthy, and a substantial chunk of it runs Linux.

Then we get into all the forking that's going on. X, Wayland, Mir...AND all the DEs! And GUI kits! So you have to re-write your application about 10 times...no, 20 (sorry, I forgot the deb/rpm thing) times in order to deploy.

If you want to write a desktop application for Win8 right now, what do you use? WindowsForms is basically obsolete, WPF has been all but abandoned (the internal devs have largely moved to other projects) and Windows Store is clearly inadequate for a vast number of jobs (great for a calculator widget on your phone, less so for Photoshop). Where's the dependable platform?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

> Wow that's a lot of FUD

FUD? Facts Usually Documented? Sure. I can cite sources.

> Using NTFS partitions just fine here in Ubuntu / Mint / CentOS? No slowdown, no CPU spikes? Considering Ubuntu / Mint makes installing software and performing tasks via a GUI, which tasks are you using which requires the command line?

Sorry...are you asking if it's OK? Well, I can tell you it isn't.

Yes there are MASSIVE CPU spikes. Hell, why not read the bug report.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ntfs-3g/+bug/392204

This is six years old. SIX YEARS OLD! And in the time they have forked everything three times but not once have they managed to fix a critical bug for the de facto disc format standard. FAIL! EPIC FAIL!

>how does this prevent you using software via Wine?

Because it does not work and if I need WINE I may as well save myself all the stress on Linux and use proper Windows.

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Linux

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Er....Linux is a kernel, nothing more, nothing less.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

No, Linux is the kernel and also the common name for the major distributions based on it.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Hi AC, you obviously have bad vibes with Linux. Why not try it, it is free after all. And great CV fodder for you Windows guys.

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Linux

Re: Alternative to Windows?

At one point, I had /home on an NTFS partition, a) because I could and b) because the Carbonite online backup service won't touch anything that's not on NTFS or FAT (on Windows). I don't remember any problems.

After a while, I stopped - I simply wasn't booting into Windows except to install the latest round of patches. When the necessary reboot happened I just went back into Mint. I dumped Carbonite for something better

I still have an NTFS partition, and I am typing this while, in a terminal, I do a MD5 sum of everything in the My Documents folder there. On a Core2Duo system, mount.ntfs is taking 2-3% CPU and md5sum is taking the same.

Given the state of available official documentation when the drivers were first written, I don't think that's so bad.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

You have a couple of good points (the DE fragmentation and what's happening with X11 and Wayland ATM (Although it's log past time X11 was put to bed)), but the rest of your post is nonsense. I've never noticed NTFS hogging the disc under Linux, it's quite possible for a desktop user to never touch the command line, edit a config file or recompi;le anything. Its the distro's problem to package your program, not yours and if your program wont play nicely with some distro, that's usually because of some stupid eccentricity of the distro and thus not your problem. Now if you had complained about RedHat employees rewriting whole subsystems of GNU/Linux at the drop of a hat, or the apparently large number of regressions in recent Kernels you might have a better point.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

"Hi AC, you obviously have bad vibes with Linux"

He's RICHTO/TheVogon just trolling - does it all the time, often as AC.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Finally, switch bit 3,457,234 of the main module (or recompile from source) and you are done.

No, that should be bit 3,457,243 - you transposed a pair of digits.

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Trollface

Re: Alternative to Windows?

quote: "This is six years old. SIX YEARS OLD! And in the time they have forked everything three times but not once have they managed to fix a critical bug for the de facto disc format standard. FAIL! EPIC FAIL!"

I mainly use Windows, and for all their good points Microsoft are just as capable of ignoring bugs for long periods. They also like the idea of massively restrictive DRM, locking in consumer choice and all sorts of other "bad practise" performed by pretty much all the large corporates in the IT sphere.

Also, LOL at "de facto disk format standard". I strongly suspect you are accidentally (or deliberately) forgetting about Android and iOS devices, which do not use NTFS on their internal storage, and USB storage devices and media cards, which come pre-formatted to FAT32 in most cases. I do not think you can claim NTFS is a "de facto disk format standard" without applying so many restrictions on the included device types to make the whole statement effectively irrelevant.

I'm a Windows tech, with a vested interest in Windows. I even prefer Windows 8 to Windows 7 (even though I realise this is heresy, and Win8 is an abomination unto Nuggan). If I can spot the flaws in your anti-Linux rant, you way want to tighten up your arguments a little ;)

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WTF?

Re: Alternative to Windows?

"... I may as well save myself all the stress on Linux and use proper Windows."

I don't see the problem. If you prefer Windows then by all means use Windows. What's the point of a rant on Mint/Linux? You're right, you can't use AutoCAD on Linux but you can use DraftSight. Personally, I've had nothing but problems running my older acad on Win 7 so switching made sense for me but if it doesn't work for you, stick with what does. Whinging about it is all a bit juvenile. Do you whinge about shoes too? I mean it's plainly obvious the ones that don't fit are uncomfortable pieces of crap and the laces are too short and the sole doesn't provide enough traction but these shoes over here are wonderful and cradle your feet so it feels like walking on air so only only an EPIC FAIL would make someone choose the other shoes. Is that about right?

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

I installed it on my old Sony Vaio laptop - currently using Windows 7. My children use it on Windows - the main things they go on are Netflix and Milkshake/Channel 5 On Demand.

Out of the box, neither work. Youtube works lovely but the video's on Channel 5 On Demand do not.

I got a package, from a repository, to use Netflix - it opens in a window and is using Firefox and Wine.

I think its one of the best Linux distros but does need work against functionality that works out of the with Windows 7. I wouldn't go with Windows 8 so am going to migrate it fully to Linux mint.

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de facto disc format standard

As people usually have far more DVD's than computers, my guess at the de facto disc format standard would be UDF. There are plenty of CD's kicking around, so I think ISO is in second place. All the USB and SDHC SSD's I have ever seen came formatted with vfat, so that is almost certainly in third place.

Android installations outnumber Windows by a hefty margin. They have a wide selection of different file systems to choose from, which could split each file system's share below the installed base of NTFS or exFAT. On the other hand, Android devices are often delivered with about three partitions. I have not used Windows for over a decade, but if things have not changed, new Windows computers come with one partition covering the entire disk, so they only get one vote and not threeish. I very much doubt that NTFS (or exFAT) can claim 4th place, and we have not even counted smart TV's, routers or sat navs yet.

There is no way that NTFS can come remotely close to being called the de facto standard file system.

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Joke

Re: Alternative to Windows?

> The is a reason that Windows (with OS X some way back in the distance) won the game. A clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms. Something Linux can't (wont!) offer. This is why Linux fails and this is why it will continue to fail.

Halleluyah! I'm wi' you, man!

All these Linux ho's gonna fry in eternal damnation in the firey pit of hell. You sick souls with your heathen operating system: you infect us all with your "command line" and your "different GUI choices", you have fallen from the one true path.

Brothers! Sisters! Come back to the ministry of Microsoft where all things are possible!! Turn back to the true light, the one OS. Only there can salvation be found!!!

Amen!

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Happy

@skelband Re: Alternative to Windows?

Here mate, chew on this cinnamon flavoured mint; you'll feel better soon.

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Linux

Re: Alternative to Windows?

C5oD works fine on my EeePC with Mint14.

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Linux

Re: Alternative to Windows?

BTW, happy Mint/MATE user here.

It rocks.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Someone beat you with a stupid stick? It is more than obvious you do not know what you are talking about.

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FAIL

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Can't use M$ Office 2k3, or some version of Adobe CS Photoshop... LOL me thinks this cad has never heard of WINE. 'Cause I never had any trouble getting any of that stuff to run on Mint 14. (The OS I'm still using BTW!)

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Linux

Re: Alternative to Windows?

@anonymous 12:03.

I think you forgot linuxconf, seriously there is so much rubbish in your post that either you are just trolling or you tried linux about 15 years ago and gave up.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:00

Again, great points here and every one is downvoting you with no explanation as to how a bug of that magnitude hasn't been fixed for this long. I like Linux, use it every day at work, use it at home, actually prefer it to Windows as I'm not much of a gamer and that's the only thing Windows has on it in my opinion.

Having said all that though it's obviously not perfect, the way some Linuxtards on here will just stick their head in the sand at legitimate criticisms of the platform as well as painting anyone who brings up these criticisms as Microsoft schills is insane. It's actually like dealing with a bunch of children sometimes.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Not to defend some bugs being ignored for far too long in most operating systems and especially in Oracle's software but the ntfs bug if I remember right might have to do with problems reverse engineering NTFS as Microsoft doesn't believe in interoperability and wouldn't think of doing anything but making it harder for their stuff to be used outside their fiefdom.

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Facepalm

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Using NTFS on linux as something other than as a convenience while migrating?

You're doing it wrong.

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Happy

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Ok I'm late to the forums AS usual but I have to reply to this

"(NTFS use kills the CPU on Linux, a very well known bug they can't be bothered to fix)."

For fun try

1. copying the contents of Documents to a network drive.

2. Now while that is happening try zipping documents, and copy the ziped file to the network drive.

If you have any number of documents at all 2 will be faster than 1. Hell in the past your lovely windows would say its all done, when its only copied a subset of your files. So I suppose you could say MS is improving....

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Anonymous Coward

So glad I switched from Windows to Mint

Honestly, I did not want to, because I had the same idea that getting the drivers (and everything) to work in Linux was a nightmare and I was happy with Windows 7. But when I had to buy a new PC and was forced to use Windows 8 it was too much nonsense to put up with, so I gave Mint a try and I am really impressed.

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Happy

Re: @skelband Alternative to Windows?

skelband is using something called Humour .

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Coat

Re: Alternative to Windows?

You mean, as in fix your problem by running registry editor and setting bit 13 of HKCU\two lines of gobbledgook\...

It had to be said.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

It is still outperformed by Windows 7 and Windows 8 though - e.g. faster large file copy, faster 3D graphics, etc.

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Mushroom

Re: Alternative to Windows?

"He's RICHTO/TheVogon just trolling - does it all the time, often as AC"

Not me.

He's quite right though. You get what you pay for - if you want an OS that just works you need Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

""Well, open a terminal and grep foo/bar with the wibble switch." (and other assorted drivel)

Just curious - when did you last try Linux? 1990?

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Coat

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Big endian or little endian?

AC, I see your Linux FUD and raise you one Regedit. Q.E.D.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Raise your hand everyone who recently installed a fresh copy of Windows with all the proper drivers, updates, applications and customisation & had it take less than half a day.

No, thought not.

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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Only if you don't want to use Office

You don't need Office when you have LibreOffice, but if you absolutely MUST have Office it runs under Wine.

Or Photoshop

http://www.unixmen.com/how-to-install-photoshop-in-ubuntu-and-linuxmint/ (Just in case you don't want to deal with Gimp's learning curve, and I really don't blame you).

Or AutoCAD

Ok, you got me there. However: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/non-linux-foss-autocad-alternatives (and, lets be honest here, AutoCAD isn't exactly the most common need)

Or play games

Steam for Linux. Nuff said. (Disclaimer: serious gamers should stay in Windows land....we are finally getting good games on Linux, but they big titles are still Windows only.)

Or use video services

I haven't used it (because I use my bluray player and 50in TV for Netflix), but there's a Netflix desktop app for Linux now.

Or use NTFS discs (NTFS use kills the CPU on Linux, a very well known bug they can't be bothered to fix).

I use NTFS with Linux all the time, mostly to transfer files back and forth between my two OSes since it's far easier to do that than to get Windows to play nice with Linux filesystems. I never have a problem with it.

AND your users don't mind using the command line every few minutes.

Actually with modern distros a "normal" user rarely has to look at the command line. I've set systems up for people so that they NEVER had to see it. Power users still do and probably always will because there are some things GUIs just don't do well. Linux recognizes this fact and always has. Even Redmond is figuring it out finally.

"How do I fix this?"

"Well, open a terminal and grep foo/bar with the wibble switch.

Now take the n-th item and echo that into /dev/thingy (remembering to re-align your byte arrays or you'll trash your data.

Finally, switch bit 3,457,234 of the main module (or recompile from source) and you are done.

Simple"

FUD worthy of Microsoft circa 2001 that. There are fixes that go like that, admittedly, but they're rare and of the sort that send normal Windows users into computer repair shops anyway.

Then we get into all the forking that's going on. X, Wayland, Mir...AND all the DEs! And GUI kits! So you have to re-write your application about 10 times...no, 20 (sorry, I forgot the deb/rpm thing) times in order to deploy.

Nope. Write it once for POSIX. Stay away from DE specific libraries and it'll run on any of them. As for deb/rpm, that not a 're-write' thing. It's more of a repackage thing.

The is a reason that Windows (with OS X some way back in the distance) won the game. A clear vision, clear direction and dependable platforms. Something Linux can't (wont!) offer. This is why Linux fails and this is why it will continue to fail.

Wrong again. Windows won because they're locked in with the manufacturers and have been for around 20 years. The average user can't (won't, actually, but they think it's can't) install their own OS so they use the one that came with the computer. That means they use Windows or Mac. With Mac being ludicrously expensive by comparison most people aren't going to buy it. You have to hunt for a computer that comes with Linux, even when you know it exists. Some plebe who's never heard of it has no chance of finding one.

Linux is not for everyone. I realize this and I have, frequently, told people they should stick with Windows after they've seen my Linux system and thought it looked interesting. That said, there is truth and there is FUD. Give people the truth, not this sort of FUD you're spewing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Just installed Windows 8 on my Asus S7 laptop. It took less than 20 minutes including installing all drivers and automatically updating itself...

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Windows

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Fuc*k me sideways!!!!!!!

Is that a record 'downvote' count???

Deserved every one.

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Thumb Down

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Oddly it doesn't here.

wont load. Not sure why. Flash is there.

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MCG
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Re: Alternative to Windows?

Okay, I bit - I downloaded Linux Mint 15 at the weekend, burnt a disc, and installed in on a somewhat idle laptop.

First time I've tried Linux in ages - sadly, it'll probably be the last....

Mint ran fine and looked great, but the laptop's fan NEVER stopped running at full tilt! And looking at the temperatures reported by the sensors revealed why - the damned thing was 10-15 degrees hotter than under Windows 7!

What gives? I posted a plaintive appeal for assistance on the Linux Mint forums, but either nobody has a clue or they can't be arsed :(

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Vic
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Joke

Re: Alternative to Windows?

> if you want an OS that just works you need Windows.

An OS that *just* works?

Not for me, thanks.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative to Windows?

@MCG

"Mint ran fine and looked great, but the laptop's fan NEVER stopped running at full tilt! And looking at the temperatures reported by the sensors revealed why - the damned thing was 10-15 degrees hotter than under Windows 7!"

Linux generally runs cooler than windows* in my experience. However I have heard of your situation with bad drivers running the graphics at full power constantly. It is the unfortunate joy of the card/chip makers not to support the users. If you are using AMD or Nvidia graphics you may want to try changing the driver in use. Mint should give you some driver options but if they dont work you may need to download drivers.

I hope that helps.

*not an argument starter, just something I have found on my dual boot win7's vs mint 14/15 with temperature read outs. The difference isnt much (2-3 degrees).

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MCG

Re: Alternative to Windows?

"Linux generally runs cooler than windows* in my experience. However I have heard of your situation with bad drivers running the graphics at full power constantly. It is the unfortunate joy of the card/chip makers not to support the users. If you are using AMD or Nvidia graphics you may want to try changing the driver in use. Mint should give you some driver options but if they dont work you may need to download drivers."

Genius! The damned thing has a Mobility Radeon - if that's running full tilt it would explain the whole thing quite nicely :(

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