back to article Linux Mint to go DIY for multimedia

The Linux Mint project has decided version 18, scheduled for June 2016, will end out-of-the-box installation of multimedia codecs. The reasoning is straightforward: shipping with codecs involves a lot of work that other mainstream distributions don't bother with, instead leaving users to choose what they want post-install. As …

Bummer

Not happy to read this. The built in codecs is one of the main things I like about Linux Mint, and one of the things that makes it stand out from Ubuntu and other distros. It is also one of the things that helped its reputation as a Windows alternative. Install it, and it just worked. The developers should be making it more Windows like, not the opposite, to make it easier for people to convert.

Edit:

What the article fails to state, which I just read in the latest Linux Mint blog -

Multimedia codecs can be installed easily:

From the welcome screen, by clicking on “Multimedia Codecs”

or from the main menu, by clicking on “Menu”->”Sound and Video”->”Install Multimedia Codecs”

or during the installation process, by clicking a checkbox option.

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FAIL

Re: Bummer

"The developers should be making it more Windows like"

Er... NO!!!! Most definitely not! Windows is why I use Mint! (and several other distributions, and a couple of flavours of BSD...)

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Re: Er... NO!!!!

Well, unfortunately, yes. If we are to generalize a robust, stable OS for most people to use, it would be good if said OS had the user-friendly features of Windows without the abysmal collection of cheese holes in security that go with the original.

But that doesn't mean that everyone would have to use it. Linux is the paradise of choice, so you could go on using the Iron Penguin version while Joe User would use Fluffy Ballmer (for example).

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Re: Er... NO!!!! @Pascal Monett

Agreed, there, up to a point. To me, "more like Windows" through long experience means less user-friendliness (that's starting with Windows 1.0 here, as a sysadmin). I strongly prefer an OS where I have a choice of features I can enable (and not a bunch of "features" that I need to dis-able (hello, Ubuntu!) to protect my privacy).

For a highly user-friendly GUI (most Operating Systems could run it easily, what most people see from any OS is the GUI and they tend to confuse both, due to Microsoft marketing Windows as an OS while it actually is a GUI running on top of NT...). I am still highly impressed with IBM's Workplace Shell as demonstrated on the OS/2 v. 4. Clean, lean, and to this day not improved upon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Er... NO!!!!

What to do when the twats at Microsoft change the UI again?

Does the whole world have to do an about turn too (again)? Develop a quality product that does what most people want easily for free. Good documentation is the answer to get people to use it.

[ok, so maybe I'm being a pedant here, but I hate the term 'folder.' It is a directory -- ie an object that lists its contents. To use the term folder means to have just given in to the twats.]

Anonymous, because I haven't a good thing to say about Microsoft.

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UI changes

Personally, I cannot abide OSes that force a UI upon me and leave me no choice (which is why I stick to Win7).

The many distros of Linux have amply demonstrated that the UI is easily configurable and has no real ties with any background process. We have today computers that are a million times more powerful than what we had last millenium, but Linux has had configurable UIs since way before Y2K.

There should never be any "change in the UI". There should only be "new options for the UI" that I can enable or not. That is a lesson that Microsoft still has great pain to comprehend.

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Re: Er... NO!!!!

I don't think we actually mean the GUI when the phrase "more like Windows" is bandied about. I think we mean something that your granny can use without having to phone you every two minutes.

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Linux

Re: Er... NO!!!!

"I think we mean something that your granny can use without having to phone you every two minutes."

The interesting thing is that your "granny" gets along very well with a modern Linux distribution, the old PC gets a new life and speed and granny is not forced to compile kernels or learn Emacs, it just works.

I have friends who actively do this with their "grannies" just because they have found there are less phone calls then.

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Gimp

Re: Er... NO!!!!

"...something that your granny can use without having to phone you every two minutes."

Not Windows, then.

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Re: Er... NO!!!!

I don't think we actually mean the GUI when the phrase "more like Windows" is bandied about. I think we mean something that your granny can use without having to phone you every two minutes.

So ... NOT like Windows then?

The Windows GUI isn't actually all that easy to use if you're not familiar with it, as grannies tend not to be, and it's getting worse with each new release. We in the IT industry tend to forget that what is familiar to us may seem to be dark magic on first exposure.

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Re: UI changes

Oh, and you can replace the shell in ANY windows, even dating back to Win95.... what, you mean you guys didn't know this already?

If I install a user desktop, after install, all my hardware had better work, or there is something very wrong and indicates to me laziness and not caring. This is another one of so many reasons Linux will never make it as the predominant desktop OS and is relegated to a minority of users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bummer

If the process of installing the codecs is just ticking a box post-install, why is this "very costly" for the developers?

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Re: UI changes

"If I install a user desktop, after install, all my hardware had better work"

I know I talked about grannies up there a bit, but I have to leap to Linux's defence here. When I installed Mint on a new PC a couple of years ago _all_ my hardware worked out of the box except an ancient samsung scanner/printer, which worked after I installed the correct driver from the Samsung website. Oh and the new install didn't spend all day rebooting itself and downloading updates (all the updates were downloaded in one go and didn't require a reboot.)

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Re: Bummer

When I say more Windows like, I am referring to Windows 7, not 8 or 10.

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Re: UI changes

"When I installed Mint on a new PC a couple of years ago _all_ my hardware worked out of the box except an ancient samsung scanner/printer, "

When I installed OpenSUSE on a new i7 laptop a couple of years ago _all_ my hardware worked out of the box including an ancient Epson scanner/printer

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Re: Bummer

Yes, it's essentially the same thing Ubuntu and pretty much every other Ubuntu derivative have been doing for years. But, "the sky is falling!" is better click bait.

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Re: Er... NO!!!!

Well, unfortunately, yes. If we are to generalize a robust, stable OS for most people to use...

That's no longer a technical problem. It's a marketing problem. If you want market penetration on the desktop you have to pre-install it. Plain and simple. Mint is good enough for most home users but very few care enough to go through the trouble to switch. That's mostly because Windows is also good enough.

I personally don't care for the whole "Linux desktop success" theme. It works for me, does what I need it to do, it's successful on my end. End of story. What everybody else uses is everybody else's problem.

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Joke

Re: Er... NO!!!!

I have friends who actively do this with their "grannies" just because they have found there are less phone calls then.

I have friends who just use duct tape. It's cheap and very quick!

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Re: UI changes

If I install a user desktop, after install, all my hardware had better work, or there is something very wrong and indicates to me laziness and not caring. This is another one of so many reasons Linux will never make it as the predominant desktop OS and is relegated to a minority of users.

My W10 install didn't work due to incompatibility with my video adapter, a fairly recent ATI based card made by ASUS. I attempted to discover if my spare was compatible, but MS appears to no longer make an HCL available. Apparently you are now expected to purchase and install video adapters in order to use a compatibility tool. It occurred to me that this might be a very expensive proposition. Yes, MS are lazy and incompetent!

I don't need to run an OS merely because it's run by the majority of users. I do need an OS that works with my hardware.

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Thumb Down

``I hate the term 'folder.'''

My wife ditto. She says ``I don't put files in folders; I put folders in files!'' (as in file cabinets). So I've told her the ``folders'' are really directories. That she can live with.

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Re: UI changes

"If I install a user desktop, after install, all my hardware had better work, or there is something very wrong and indicates to me laziness and not caring"

Better not install Windows then, where after install you still have to hunt around for drivers for most of your hardware (sometimes even the motherboard).

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Linux

Re: UI changes

Exactly. Everything "Just Works"™ with Linux. I have NEVER installed Windoze and had all the hardware work. Even worse, many of the drivers supplied by major manufacturers are unsigned, so Windoze whinges about them. Canon are particularly bad in this respect (and don't provide Linux drivers for their hardware........).

Windoze is now just an irrelevant, slow, buggy, unstable proprietary client for a Linux / Unix world.

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Flame

Re: UI changes

Agreed. All my hardware works well under Linux with occasional hiccups with Bluetooth. (which also is a bit flaky under Windows) My (now gratefully long gone) HP printer would never work in duplex in Windows 7, but worked flawlessly under Linux. Maybe MS could someday explain the mystery of why Windows has to search the online driver database for 5 minutes or more sometimes just to install a no-frills wired USB mouse (which sometimes fails), while the same mouse just works instantly when I plug it into a Linux box.

For those that mentioned Canon, my Canon color laser works great on both Win and Linux. The Linux driver was available on Canon's site and was very easy to install, though I'd agree you may have a struggle with older models.

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Re: UI changes

I have NEVER installed Windoze and had all the hardware work.

A bit harsh blaming MS because hardware manufacturers haven't provided drivers for the version of Windoze you are installing. This was worse in the days of WinNT when they wouldn't supply drivers for NT, only for Win9.x. When I was a beta tester for NT5 (Win2k), MS wrote drivers for some popular hardware because the manufacturers weren't interested. They were pretty basic, but functional.

Yes, Canon are among the very worst in this respect. My FS 2710 slide scanner was purchased when Win2k was current and it refused to work after the WinXP upgrade. Canon ignored my support request (faxed because they didn't publish an email address). I figured out how to make it work under WinXP and received many thanks from owners when I published how to do this. Never purchased anything from Canon since!

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Re: UI changes

Windoze is now just an irrelevant, slow, buggy, unstable proprietary client for a Linux / Unix world.

That's as silly a remark as any in this thread. So where is the equivalent of The Oxford English Dictionary, The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, InDesign, CorelDRAW! Suite etc for Linux? It's a multi-OS world for those of us who need the right tools for the job. Get used to it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UI changes

Everything "Just Works"™ with Linux ... Canon ... don't provide Linux drivers for their hardware

Small consistency problem there, no?

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Facepalm

Re: Er... NO!!!! @stizzleswick

You are not the target user when the op stated that it should be "more windows like"

Typically you are assuming that all users want to "fiddle" with their installations and that is a wrong assumption.

The vast majority of users want to install something and do "stuff" because that is how the vast majority of users use their PC's. It really doesn't matter how much you wish it were oherwise, it isn't and never will be, get over it.

For the vast majority of users their experience is with windows and they don't really care one way or the other all they want is to "do stuff" within an environment they mostly recognise.

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Paris Hilton

Re: UI changes

you may have a struggle with older models

Less so than with younger "models" when you are as old and ugly as me. A bit of cash seems to reduce the struggling significantly...

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And there was me thinking that, pre unity, the shipping of a distribution complete with working codecs was always one of its main plus points. What is there now but "it doesn't have Unity"? (I'm presuming it will end up with Systemd)

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"And there was me thinking that, pre unity, [...]"

Unity is Ubuntu's failure to create its own GUI, (and the reason I no longer use Ubuntu -- for a power user, Unity just sucks: like Windows 8, a smartphone GUI on a workstation). Mint is based in part on the need to have something with the out-of-the-box-ity of Ubuntu with a GUI people can actually use. Do not confuse these two projects, even though Mint is derived from Ubuntu. But there's a very good reason why it is derived...

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Last year, after getting horribly messed up by a failing drive and the need to re-install Windows, I switched to Linux Mint.

It does all I want.

For a few things I depend on WINE to run an old Windows program.

If Linux has a particular weakness it is that, more than Windows (but not maybe much more), programmers tend to be better at telling computers what do do than they are at telling things to people. And they don't seem to cope well with people not reading the manual. Perhaps they need to pay as much attention to debugging the manuals as they do to debugging the programs.

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Sizzles I think you misunderstood me. When I say pre unity I am talking about why use mint vs Ubuntu and the chief reason was installed codecs out of the box - it just worked. Post unity, and without codecs, the chief selling point is just it doesn't have unity. They are undermining their advantages.

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Nooooooo!

It will probably be really hard to install the codecs, I might have to click, like, twice or something!!1!!

Probably won't let me upgrade to Windows 10 either.

Useless.

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Alert

Re: Nooooooo!

"Probably won't let me upgrade to Windows 10 either.

Useless."

Look on the bright side. It also won't try to 'accidentally' force you to upgrade to Windows 10, either.

Until Microsoft develop a GWX equivalent for Linux, and craftily release it as part of something else for Linux.

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Megaphone

Re: Nooooooo! @ VinceH

DON'T GIVE THEM BLOODY IDEAS!

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Re: Nooooooo! @ VinceH

Sorry.

Wrist duly slapped.

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Back to Hardy.

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Who cares

If you consider that Mint is around 25% of all Linux desktop installation then according to nemarketshare.com there are roughly as many users of Linux Mint as Windows 3.1

Butthurt of Mint evangelists to follow in 3..2..1

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Re: Who cares

I've been using Mint for three years and it never occurred to me to find out how many other people use it. You must be interested in it, deep down inside, you know, (wink).

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Re: Who cares

It's just the most extreme BDSM fantasy of mine. You know, something so bizarre that average people won't even consider it in their lifetime.

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Re: Who cares

And many Mint/Windows users that dual boot will probably admit to having 99% uptime for Linux Mint for general computing and the remaining 1% simply for Windows games that can't run on Linux (yet) and maybe a slap of Photoshop editing. Got to love statistics. Everyone has them. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who cares

I'm dual booting between Win 7 and Mint on my gaming rig.

Probably about 95% of the time in Windows currently, but I only installed Mint a few weeks back (probably the easiest OS install I've ever done, no issues at all, and as I was dual-booting, I had to deviate from the defaults, but still no issues).

I'm also playing a lot of Vive VR games atm, which are current Win only, but Linux support is due for the Vive (HTC and Valve are not exactly MS fan boys).

I'm gradually moving things over from Windows to Mint, so far without any real issues. So I expect the % will gradually move to Mint over time.

Of the 180 or so games in my Steam library, about 75 of them run under Linux natively, including some AAA titles such as Tomb Raider (2013).

Granted I expect some publishers (especially from the likes of EA etc), might never produce Linux versions, but I don't really care too much about the mega publishers. Most of their games are just rehashed games from 10+ years ago, with way too much focus on mutiplayer (for my taste), a trend into micro-payments, and totally unimaginative, so no great loss as far as I'm concerned.

Mint just works, is easy to use, has no 'bling' unless you add it yourself, and imho nothing beats the Linux package management method of OS and software updating, rather than the complete inconsistent mess that Windows is! (Windows update, programs with their own update services running constantly in the background, automated checks for updates on launch, manually having to download and update yourself! Just horrible!).

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Re: Who cares

LOL. Nice. I could feel the retribution too.

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Re: Who cares

"Butthurt of Mint evangelists to follow in 3..2..1"

Now that's a collective noun I hadn't heard before. This sort of nerd-ville springs to mind:

https://gallery.confuzzled.org.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=57338&g2_imageViewsIndex=1

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Who cares

"If you consider that Mint is around 25% of all Linux desktop installation then according to nemarketshare.com there are roughly as many users of Linux Mint as Windows 3.1"

Personally I don't care about market share, I am happy that I have a desktop OS that works very well for me - much better than the alternatives I've tried so far. It's not perfect, but each release has rounded off a few more rough edges and added a bit more useful functionality so it's the best I've tried so far and getting better. The only butthurt from my point of view is that there may be folks who won't give another OS a shot because of comments from insecure numpties.

No one wins when a single vendor owns the market, you should be cheering the alternatives on because without decent competition there is no reason for a vendor to improve their product.

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Re: Who cares

No one wins when a single vendor owns the market, you should be cheering the alternatives on because without decent competition there is no reason for a vendor to improve their product.

Very true. But that begs the question as to why Windows installs still suck big-time when Linux distros showed how slick an install can be a decade or more ago.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Who cares

"But that begs the question as to why Windows installs still suck big-time when Linux distros showed how slick an install can be a decade or more ago."

The example that I had in mind was NTFS. Slow and sad and obsolete when released in the early 90s, and nothing changed apart from the gap to the competition growling larger for over 15 years.

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::shrugs::

Sticking with Slackware on the desktop in these here parts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ::shrugs::

Well done for sticking with Slackware.

"There is always a choice of Linux Distro's that don't have anything to do with Ubuntu"

(As the parent to Mint).

Slackware way my intro to Linux way back in the days of V1.1.

Now I turn to Debian or CentOS as my Linux Distro's of choice.

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Pint

Re: ::shrugs::

@jake's downvoters

You might want to have a look at the Slackware live DVDs.

http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/slackware-live/

The 14.2 release is very near now and for the kind of people who hang out here installing Slackware is a question of reading a document, clicking enter a few dozen times, and logging in 15 minutes or so later.

Beer icon: for *anyone* involved in the development, testing, and publishing of any Linux or BSD distribution. 48 release events x arches percycle is still really hard work.

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