back to article Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

The underlying packages in Linux Mint 17.2, just released, are largely unchanged. What you will find are a lot of improvements and added polish in everyday tools like the update manager, login screen and the Software Sources app. Sticking with the Ubuntu 14.04 base has given Linux Mint developers the opportunity to focus their …

Anonymous Coward

I've never tried Linux but I know I don't like it.

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Anonymous Coward

Aha.

We're glad to hear it. Thanks for sharing.

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Adding a bit more sarcasm to this minor conversation

And I'm perfectly happy with MS-DOS with a few add-ons to allow me to draw funny characters on screens bigger than 24x80.

And why would anyone need a personal computer? Just hie thee to the closest uni and submit your deck of cards.

And arcane subjects like the maths and logics should be reserved for the clergy.

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FAIL

Sad and lonely troll is sad and lonely.

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RE: Sad Troll

The OP is satirising the penguins who flood every article about windows: That's what I fink.

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"I've never tried Linux but I know I don't like it."

HAHAHAHA....! Awesome. I love your sense of humor. Take a bow.

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And ...

..as El Reg's only remaining user of OS/2 I .. Hello? ... Hello? ... Where's everybody gone?

(Actually I lied. I switched to OS/X because I thought it was the latest version)

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The OP is satirising the penguins who flood every article about windows: That's what I fink.

He's not doing it very well then. Find me a penguin who has never tried Windows...

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IT Angle

It looks a lot like Windows XP.

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WTF?

@AC (the village idiot)

Dear AC,

I haven't met you.

That makes me happy!

Cheers,

jay

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Happy

"...the penguins who flood every article about windows"

Have probably used and suffered Windows.

Still a good satire though...

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I've never tried Linux but I know I don't like it.

Cool story bro! You changed my life!

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Nowadays "XP" is an emoticon for the blue screen of death

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=XP

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Facepalm

"I've never tried Linux but I know I don't like it."

Hmmm must be so nice to be so 100% sure about things in life. I cut my teeth on IBM mainframes, DEC Alphas, IBM AIX mini's, moved on to Solaris, worked as an Ingres, Informix and Oracle DBA and learned countless languages along the way. Now after 25 years in IT I'm learning the nitty gritty of Windows admin and chucking in a bit of learning C# for good measure.

Shoot me through head if I ever get so jaded as to never want to learn something new each day in IT!

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re: It looks a lot like Windows XP.

Yes. And That's a good thing. XP was pretty usable. I mean, it was a horrible bloated undead corpse under the hood, but the bit the faced the user was pretty easy to understand, and now we've had 15 years of XP to get good and used to it, it's _really_ easy to understand.

TBH this is pretty much exactly what I want from my OS. Reliable *nixy underbelly, simple functional UI... which I guess is why I already run Mint 16 on my laptop, and will probably be upgrading to this pretty soon.

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@ Amorous Cowherder

Never was anyone so WHOOSHED! Look up dude. Whats that above your head?

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I've never tried Linux but I know I don't like it.

Well done AC, brilliant! That's the biggest catch of dopes I've ever seen on El Reg, a world class piece of whooshbaiting. Is it a record?

I take off my imaginary hat sir!

All those readers that missed the subtlety, I trust you are sufficiently embarrassed to vow never to be caught again.

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Goodness.

Positively gushing with unrelenting praise from every orifice.

If ever proof were needed that this website is basically a Linux fansite then surely this is it.

A significant update to a popular distro and nothing significantly bad to say? NOTHING?

If Windows 10 gets anything near this positive a review on this site next month - bias or not I'll show my arse in ASDA.

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Re: Goodness.

Well, in truth, given that perfection is an abstract an unattainable concept, Linux Mint is certainly good (in my experience).

And Microsoft appear to have nicked parts of the Cinnamon desktop for Windows 10, but then everyone feeds off everyone else's ideas, so why not---a good idea is a good idea.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Goodness.

"If Windows 10 gets anything near this positive a review on this site next month - bias or not I'll show my arse in ASDA."

I will award an upvote if you do indeed show your arse in ASDA. Has to be in front of the frozen veg section, and there must be pictures or it didn't happen.

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Childcatcher

Re: Goodness.

"If ever proof were needed that this website is basically a Linux fansite then surely this is it."

Fansite? You're new 'round here, boy.

"If Windows 10 gets anything near this positive a review on this site next month - bias or not I'll show my arse in ASDA."

If Linux ever got the exposure on this site that Windows gets, then I'll kick your arse around Asda (Wal*mart)

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Linux

Re: Goodness.

You might like to compare the following workflows for updating my wife's laptop (say) compared to a Win updateathon:

$ssh me@wifeslaptop

$pacman -Syu

<hit a few keys and then ask her to reboot when she's ready or not bother mentioning it, it'll still work>

Start -> Run -> mstsc -> .... -> r click yellow thingie -> click on - well you know the drill here. Reboot and wait for some time

rdp back in. Fumble around to find out where the graphics driver and other vendor drivers are. Download, extract, install, try to avoid "extras". Curse Adobe, Oracle, and all other vendors for wanky installers. Several reboots

rdp back in. Run through apps installed and download updated versions or allow various update services to do their thing

rdp back in

Clean up extras that got through. Reset homepage(s) and spend some quality time in the registry especially HKLM and HKCU to review/remove the extra extras

To be fair, the Win update process is nothing compared to a Gentoo updateathon 8)

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Goodness.

Have an upvote...

Take note Phoenix50:

Positive end user experience leads to "Linux fansite" horror.

I've seen this sort of thing happen before, remember Win95, WinME (yes, seriously), little ole' XP and 7 ? Seems fair to let everyone have a shot at the limelight. ;)

There can be more than one winner tbh, as long as punters get a choice and people share ideas and good practice freely everyone is a winner. It's a head adjustment, instead of viewing competition as war competition can be viewed as an essential part of evolution that supports solutions for the mainstream and the niches.

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Re: Goodness.

Maybe Arch isn't the most desktop-user-friendly distro of all time? Blasphemous, I know!

I've been remotely upgrading a series of desktops and laptops used as bait in a restaurant. People sit there and can use them for free, so they do all kinds of ungodly things to the machines. Every night a cronjob copies back a clean home dir and restarts the desktop environment. It's Debian. Never had issues like the ones you describe. To be fair, the machines have Intel graphics so that part just works with FOSS drivers.

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Stop

@Phoenix: Re: Goodness.

Phoenix,

'gushing', 'orifice', yup sums up your post pretty well.

Perhaps the author wrote it as such because the thing being reviewed is ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD.

It ain't rocket surgery matey, some of us choose tools (physical, computers, software) based on their abilillty to meet our subjective requirements and get some work done; as opposed to some weird pseudo-religious drivel levelled against anything that differs to 'the chosen OS'.

Please carry on...

Regards,

jay

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Windows

Re: Goodness.

If Windows 10 gets anything near this positive a review on ANY tech site next month - bias or not I'll show your arse in ASDA.

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Re: Goodness.

"If ever proof were needed that this website is basically a Linux fansite then surely this is it."

And do all the car reviews at the weekend prove that this is a <manufacturer> website?

Perhaps you need to understand the meaning of "review".

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Re: Goodness.

Mint 17.2 is only a point update, dears. For those squealing for blood, a point update is unlikely to receive a bad review, because all it does is supply a few corrections and enhancements to an existing OS. Viz, Windows 8 was panned, but 8.1 was modestly/positively received.

What, did you expect the author to fulminate with rage because there was a slight improvement to the efficiency of the Caja option feature for colouring folders ? Or a 5% memory footprint reduction in Network Manager ? You're disappointed he didn't criticize the importation of a few Cinnamon features into Mate?

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Re: Goodness. @Psy-Q

"Never had issues like the ones you describe."

I think we're reading it differently. AFAICT the first few lines are updating Arch, the rest is updating Windows for comparison.

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Re: Goodness.

You might like to compare the following workflows for updating my wife's laptop (say) compared to a Win updateathon:

$ssh me@wifeslaptop

$pacman -Syu

You appear to be confusing your usage of the term "update" here; your Linux example seems to be analogous to using Windows Update to install Win7 SP1 on base Win7 (click button, wait until finished, reboot), not installing a brand new version of the operating system (Win8 on a Win7 box). In my experience with Mint, (from Mint 5 or thereabouts through to today), upgrading to a new major revision (Mint 7 to Mint 8, for instance) requires a reinstall from scratch, just like upgrading Windows to a new version.

I actually switched to Mint Debian a year ago or so specifically because reinstalling from scratch that frequently was getting tedious, and I wanted an install that I could just keep pressing update on instead (I am lazy, and that box is mostly for automation rather than daily use).

I think your prejudices may be showing, where Linux Mint (Ubuntu) is concerned the level of effort is quite similar to Windows for both updating and upgrading ^^;

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Re: Goodness.

I'm an IT professional, but when it comes to things like this on a personal computer, I am your wife. Except that I'm single so I'm on my own with this stuff. I want the computer to just work with a minimum of me thinking about it. I don't want to know about packages and go looking for ones that I haven't got. I don't want to have to root out foreign packages. And I don't want to rely on Mint being based on two-year-old Ubuntu and presumably inheriting necessary patches from Ubuntu, which in turn relies on the maintainers of Debian. If the people involved got along with each other then there wouldn't be separate products in the first place. I'm getting old and this is not fun any more.

I also am keyboard disabled and I rely on a touchscreen program that only runs on Windows anyway, so, that's that. I think the programmer who wrote it is dead.

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Re: Goodness.

Ne need to install from scratch:-

http://www.tecmint.com/upgrade-linux-mint-16-to-linux-mint-17/

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Re: Goodness.

The difference being that a major new OS release is extremely likely to earn criticicisms, whereas a minor point-release or update - such as that reviewed here - might reasonably be expected to be a set of slight improvements, that in turn might even warrant a review that isn't at all critical.

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Re: Goodness.

You might like to compare the following workflows for updating my wife's laptop (say) compared to a Win updateathon:

$ssh me@wifeslaptop

$pacman -Syu

<hit a few keys and then ask her to reboot when she's ready or not bother mentioning it, it'll still work>

I notice your wife isn't doing the updating. She might if it was Windows.

What I'm trying to say is that to most of the population, a command-line is about as inviting as a swimming pool with a shark in it. The mistake that Linuxistas sometimes make is to dismiss this type of user as ignorant or stupid. The fact they have different life goals and interests and computers are not interesting gadgets, just the tools they're forced to use.

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Unhappy

Re: Goodness.

Actually, the need to reinstall all the time is the exact single reason that keeps me from installing Mint, which is otherwise exactly what I want (a traditional desktop environment). As it is, I'll have to fing something else that gives me the same kind of environment but lets me upgrade indefinitely, since that's a bigger deal-breaker for me than even Unity is...

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Re: Goodness.

"What I'm trying to say is that to most of the population, a command-line is about as inviting as a swimming pool with a shark in it. The mistake that Linuxistas sometimes make is to dismiss this type of user as ignorant or stupid. The fact they have different life goals and interests and computers are not interesting gadgets, just the tools they're forced to use."

Alternativley, he could have written it as:--

ssh -X me@wifeslaptop

and then run whatever the GUI upgrade programme is. Or better, just sat down in front of his wifes laptop and run the GUI from there. Just like Windows. But he wanted to make the point that it's also simple to do remotely.

I have XUbuntu on this laptop and I don't think I've used the command line at all when it comes to upgrades either for the software or the OS, including full version upgrades, not "just" point upgrades. It does keep nagging me to upgrade from 12.04 to 14.02 but this is an old laptop and won't do it.

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Re: Goodness.

LXDE might work for you. I have it on a PIII laptop.

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Devil

Re: Goodness.

> If Windows 10 gets anything near this positive a review on this site next month - bias or not I'll show my arse in ASDA.

Isn't Win10 the OS that wants to share your wifi passwords with dog+world by default without even letting the user know what's going on?

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Linux

Re: Goodness.

Every time I borrow the wife's ultrabook it seems like it needs to chug along forever updating things. I always wonder that I will run out of battery power in the middle of that and something dire will happen to the OS install.

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Linux

Re: Goodness.

No. You're missing the point. Arch is not sold on it's usability to n00bs. What are you going to try and dredge up next? Gentoo? CentOS?

Some distributions are intended to be more "user friendly". Arch simply isn't one of them and it's a piss poor example to base any comparison on.

Although there is something to be said for a system that can be remotely managed from the other side of the planet with a 2400 baud modem.

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Re: Goodness.

Well, if Windows 10 is anywhere near as good as Mint 17, it'll deserve as good a review, but I'd be very surprised if it is. I hate having to wrestle with Windows at work, when I get home to my PC running Linux Mint, it's pretty much a symphony of 'it just works'. Long gone are the days when trying to get normal everyday things to work in Linux was a struggle - it's been a few years since - IMHO - Linux overtook Windows and left it way behind in the dust on the highway of pleasant user experience. Well done the lads and lasses of Open Source who've got us to this point!

If Windows wants to catch up, IMO think it'll need to go the distro route - stick to core functionality, but activley encourage open source open source desktops and apps to run on the Windows kernel. Do the job properly though, a la Linux distros, and regard Android with its malware-laden app store as a a dire warning of how NOT to do the job properly.

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Re: Goodness.

BUT, the difference between Mint and Windows 10 is that you have to pay an enormous amount of money for the latter, so you *should* be able to expect a lot more from it, and criticise it when it doesn't deliver the required value for money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Goodness.

If Windows 10 gets anything like the amount of praise I see in the preceeding comments, then I can confidently claim that 2015 will be the year of Windows on the desktop!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Goodness.

@phoenix 50

Don't forget that the reg is funded by all those Linux licence fees.

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Re: Goodness.

"The fact they have different life goals and interests and computers are not interesting gadgets, just the tools they're forced to use."

But a person using a car has to do the following;

Unlock said car

Put key into ignition

make sure it is in neutral

foot on the brake

turn the ignition so engine starts

and then drive

While driving keeping an eye on instruments like speed, fuel and any warning lights like engine temp etc

Also certain checks need to be done like checking water in windscreen washer bottle and the engine when it is cold - obviously or get scolded !

extra steps advisable is to check the tyres for wear and tear and objects like screws, nails or hedgehogs etc also check engine oil level as it helps to stop excessive engine wear leading to a replacement being required !

Check lights including rear ones and general condition of vehicle, like Wind screen wipers, mirrors etc.

Obviously certain partners leave this to the ugly one of the house or just hope the vehicle doesn't fail in some way between services, So as to pass the buck onto someone else if you get my drift.

But most people who have to watch the pennies so doing these checks is sensible as it saves money in the long term and avoids issues with road traffic officers if they get stopped !

Well computers are tools as well and need the same respect no matter the operating system you have chosen to use be it good or bad !

You either learn what needs to be done, get your partner to do the necessary or pay someone to do it for you - basically the same as a vehicle.

Or if you are rich you just buy a new item when or if it goes faulty !

But new items have their issues too !

I choose Ubuntu atm but have made the mistake of choosing Windows in the past, but Win 10 forced me to decide if I wished to put up with what MS force feed me or have freedom of thought !

So yes I am a Linux Fanboy now and the worst kind as I came from MS Windows so know what I have gained not only from having full control of my Laptop but my personal data too.

No I don't own Ubuntu on my Laptop, but it is free to use as long as I want and if I have an issue I can always choose another distro, after backing up my data first of course !

And I say that installing Ubuntu is quicker and less painful than Win 10 and I can uninstall whatever I want, it doesn't force me to use any application be it Browser or media player or office software.

We in the Linux community may use what distro what we like at anytime and this does change, but we appreciate the diversity of our community as it all adds variation of choice for all of us.

Window users prefer a closed system and be forced fed whatever MS gives them good or bad, MS only does what it feels is in its own interest even more so these data concerning data slurping, whereas Linux tries to give security and what the users wants which has always been choice.

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Thumb Up

minty fresh....

I'm using Debian on my monster molecular workstation box, but I have added the Mint repos to bring in newer versions of some tools (thunderbird etc..), and I am glad to hear they are staying the course.

I am, however, using KDE and I find that to be a bit of a mixed bag. It works fine, and has some neat new features - KdeConnect will notify you of things on your phone so you can aggregate (and ignore if you want) phone things, including calls, from the desktop!!!! I cannot tell you how cool that is.

For those who have never tried linux, now is the time. Just see if it works for you, you might be surprised.

P.

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Linux

Re: minty fresh....

"KdeConnect will notify you of things on your phone"

I discovered this thing a short while ago - amazing. Use your mobe to control your laptop's mouse when wired up to a big screen - instant pointer and a bit cool. It also mutes the speakers when a call comes in and other clever, thoughtful things.

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Anonymous Coward

Enough of Redmond, I want to make the switch, but all the flavors & choices leaves me lost...

#1. How do you blend different versions of Linux for thunderbird etc? Mount a different flavour from a DVD / USB and then copy binaries over? If so, is there no compatibility problem?

#2. KDE comes with the flavor of Debian you're using by default, or you added it because it has some useful features that you want? If the latter, where is KDE found?

#3. Linux won't fully replace a windows desktop for many apps and uses, not yet anyway. I mostly do game dev: Unity-5, UDK, Unreal-Engine-4 (UE4), Maya, Photoshop. What known drawbacks are there switching from a windows desktop, is there a table somewhere showing stuff that won't run etc?

#4. Thanks!

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Re: Enough of Redmond, I want to make the switch, but all the flavors & choices leaves me lost...

Points one and two seem a bit backwards. If you're that new (and this isn't meant as an insult,) just stick with that the distros give you. Your life will be a lot easier.

As for point three, Unreal and Unity already support Linux as a deployment platform but they're still in the process of porting over their development tools.

Blender is the go to 3D modelling program on Linux. It's extremely powerful but has an extremely steep learning curve, especially if you have to unlearn the Maya or 3DS Max way of doing things. One of its major advantages is its UV mapping tool which is better than anything else out there IMO.

As for Photoshop, you're a bit out of luck there. GIMP is about the closest thing Linux has but it's not nearly as richly featured. I manage to make do with a mixture of GIMP, myPaint and Inkscape but I'll willingly acknowledged that things would probably be easier with CS.

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Re: Enough of Redmond, I want to make the switch, but all the flavors & choices leaves me lost...

If you really want to make the switch, as opposed to just having a play with Linux to see what it looks/feels like, I'd suggest that you buy a new (or second hand) SSD of 32GB (or more) and use that for a standalone installation. That way, you can play and explore to your heart's content and try what you like without risk of borking a dual boot setup.

I'd 'caution' you that Linux (of whatever flavour) is very, very, very flexible and modular and so it offers you so many possibilities that you'll be tempted to experiment and thus make many mistakes. That's fine because you'll learn a lot and you can always restore from previously made system backups. (No licensing or internet activation hassles, etc).

Linux Mint is a very good starting point because it's been developed with ease of use in mind and the Mint forums are well populated with useful discussion topics. Since it's based on Ubuntu, the Ubuntu forums are also a very useful source of help and information. If you have a problem, someone else will have had it and the answers (or suggestions) will be out there.

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