back to article Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

The Linux Mint project dropped a last-minute gift during the Christmas period – Mint 18.1. Mint 18.1 builds on the same Ubuntu LTS release base as Mint 18.0, the result being a smooth upgrade path for 18.0 users and the relative stability of Ubuntu's latest LTS effort, 16.04. In keeping with Ubuntu's LTS releases, Mint isn't …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mint v Updating Windows.

    In terms of being upto date. For the time it takes to download the Linux Mint ISO, create the USB installler, install and fully update Linux Mint 18.1, you'd be lucky to get past 'still checking for Updates', on Windows.

    Nothing really shows the timewasting, bag of nails, clunkyness of Windows Update more than a fresh, full install of Mint. Linux Mint is a pretty decent OS.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      Also very rarely need to reboot (mainly on version changes too entire OS, such as 17.3 to 18.0 which went fine on three machines, now running 18.1).

      I prefer to disable log in screen slide show (plain GTK) and have Mate with NT4.0/Win98 style clean theme (roughly XP classic without the "Fisher Price" stuff.

      I change a few other defaults such as Caps Lock = Compose Key.

      The default Linux AltGr doing something on almost every key rather than just á é í ó ú € is nice too.

      I've never switched as many people from XP and Win7 and Win 10 as the last couple of months.

      NoScript on Firefox instead of Antivirus and disable Autorun / Autoplay on inserted media (Easier on Linux) is a good idea on Windows or Linux.

      Windows Programs running on Linux:

      I have Digiguide, Kindle eReader (use a UserAgent switcher plugin on browser to tell Amazon you run windows or there is no download link!), Orbitron, Duncan Valves, Coil Maestro etc on WINE. I have a copy of XP in OpenBox (but don't need it). WINE seems to run older programs better than Win7 64 bit (which won't run 16 bit ones and many Win98 / NT /XP for me).

      Gqrx and a USB DTT stick as SDR is easier to setup in Mint+Mate+Redmond than the equivalent on Windows.

      copying a profile for multiple new users is simpler than Windows (you need TWO working accounts on Window) by copying the appropriate .files in your own home to /etc/skel

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      If you download the Win10 iso, it comes with all the updates already added, and takes about as long to download and install to USB as Mint.

      Oh no! I said something non-derogatry about Windows, let the downvotes commence!

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

        Wow, what an interesting and novel original post. I'm surprised someone hasn't already mentioned how Windows sucks and Linux rules, considering that I'm sure El Reg has published articles about Linux before. What a breath of fresh air, certainly preferable to the "echo chamber" that makes up most of the internet.

        More please!!!

        1. Les Matthew

          Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

          Having recently had to do a fresh windows 7 install I can assure you that windows update churns away for hours just looking for updates.

          After approx 12 hours and still no result I gave up and used WSUS Offline.

          1. s2bu

            Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

            WSUS Offline is nice, but for single systems try:

            http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/windows_update_minitool.html

    3. BobChip
      Linux

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      Why Anonymous? I'd give you ten upvotes for that if I knew your name.

    4. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      To OP AC - What a ridiculous statement. Example - I kill puppies and kittens but look at Ed Gein, he used to kill women so that means I'm wonderful, doesn't it? Anyway, stop looking at me and complaining; look over there and go back to complaining about him. What a monster!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

        Not too sure what your point is here Geoffey W.

        I am taking it that you are comparing yourself (killing puppies & kittens) to Linux and Ed Gein to Windows?

        Well I cannot comment about you (as I do not know you at all) but Ed Gein was a very sick & deluded psychopath who murdered many he came in contact with and then proceeded with the abhorrent act of trying to make something for himself from their skins....

        So I can see why the comparison with Microsoft...

        What was your point again anyway?

    5. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      >Nothing really shows the timewasting, bag of nails, clunkyness of Windows Update more than a fresh, full install of Mint. Linux Mint is a pretty decent OS.

      Love me some BSD but after struggling to get PC-BSD to install and update successfully in a VM this afternoon (seriously what a shit update system it has and it is slow as fsck as well, back to vanilla FreeBSD for me) I have to say there is worse than Windows. Still Debian and its ilk really is pretty much peerless at this point IMHO package update wise (both in volume of packages and ease of updating).

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

        >struggling to get PC-BSD

        Found out its called TrueOS only now on a separate web site with nothing saying so on the old site. As usual last to get the memo. On the plus side did get it to install and update successfully in a VM and it looks better. Still its about 15 years behind Linux on user friendliness of the installer and updater.

    6. Les Matthew

      Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

      Sod windows update.

      WSUS Offline

      http://download.wsusoffline.net/

  2. Gert Leboski

    Why the negative title?

    I'd opt for stability over cutting edge, especially for those new to Mint or Linux in general.

    I've not upgraded from 18 yet, but it looks like there could be a few compelling features, such as the vertical panels to save screen space on my laptop.

    Really, I'm happy with the Mint team's approach and philosophy. Nothing negative or laggard about it, IMHO.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Why the negative title?

      A few months ago I selected 'Always update everything', things broke big time on my Mate desktop. I poked for a few minutes, could not see anything obvious, so just reinstalled as the quickest way back to something working.

      So: since then I stick with the, default, middle option 'stability and security'.

      Most naive users will not notice these preference menus. This is why I think that they ought to default set the two 'select and trust' kernel & security updates.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why the negative title?

      "I'd opt for stability over cutting edge, especially for those new to Mint or Linux in general."

      I'd opt for it in pretty well any production circumstances.

      1. itzman

        Re: Why the negative title?

        I've had things break because they were the latest and I've had things break because they were not the latest.#

        Everyone wants the One True Rule.

        I prefer Linux....

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Why the negative title?

          >I prefer Linux....

          I prefer POSIX but have accepted Linux has gone Oedipus on its roots and is taking over. Besides who needs portable code if you just accept the inevitable that everything must be tightly coupled with udev?

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Why the negative title?

      >I'd opt for stability over cutting edge, especially for those new to Mint or Linux in general.

      Depends on use case. Watching my lubuntu development environment VM boot and go into the DE in 5 seconds flat is pretty cool (use Mint at home but Ubuntu is hard to beat for a generic *nix development environment, PPAs for days). As for stability if its mission critical stability needed really hard to say anything bad about HP-UX. Never seen the OS crash and worked with it for years. Horses for courses.

    4. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Why the negative title?

      If I "always updated everything," I'd have Windows 10 instead of 7 installed (alongside Mint 18.1, FWIW) on my PCs.

      Sometimes being a laggard is better.

  3. Miss Config
    Meh

    Cinnamon Stable ?

    Will the new version of Cinnamon still keep going as long as Linux Mint itself is up and running ?

    My problem is that every few days Cinnamon crashes and although it's easy enough to restart, it is still annoying when it happens.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Cinnamon Stable ?

      I must admit it irritates me when my screen freezes up too (I am still on mint17). I am grateful for the tty access as on windows the power button is the only option.

      1. Adam Jarvis

        Re: Cinnamon Stable ?

        I know this sounds like a Microsoft apologist, but are you sure you don't have an Nvidia/AMD Hardware Graphics BGA solder fault on that laptop/machine. I only see freezes of Mint (generally) on machines that also freeze/BSOD under Windows 7 / Windows 10.

        I actually use Mint Live USB (because its so stable) to check machines that are causing a Windows BSOD, to check it isn't a software issue/driver issue with Windows. If it freezes with Mint Live USB, 9/10 is either a memory or BGA Nvidia Graphics hardware fault.

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Cinnamon Stable ?

        I must admit it irritates me when my screen freezes up too

        I got that quite frequently on my NAS-slash-media-box system, which is Skylake on a Jetway NF-592 board running (at the time) Mint 18.. mostly when browsing the web on Firefox. Certain sites would do it every time.

        I updated to the latest video drivers from 01.org (which involves editing a config file to trick the Intel installer into thinking you run Ubuntu rather than Mint) and Mint 18.1 - no problems now. But I couldn't tell you which change actually made the difference.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Cinnamon Stable ?

      Are you using a Nvidia GPU with the proprietary driver, by any chance?

      If so, you may benefit by disabling PowerMizer. It's buggy in the Linux drivers; I haven't been able to get any variety of Linux (and I have tried a bunch) to work with the proprietary driver on my old (Core 2 Duo/Nvidia GT220M) laptop without disabling PowerMizer. It does mean it will use more power and shorten battery life, but until Nvidia fixes the driver, it's what I'm stuck with (unless the open source Nouveau driver ever reaches true parity with the proprietary one).

      On my desktop, running a GTX 760, PowerMizer works very well; no issues at all under Mint 18.1.

      It's beyond the scope of this discussion to describe how to accomplish this, but there are all kinds of sites out there with tutorials on how to do it.

  4. John Sanders
    Linux

    Perfect If they fix the scrollbars

    My only grief with Mint is their insistence of using phone-like scroll bars in the default theme.

    Come on, for us who do serious work with the computer we need the gadget elements to use more than "2-3 pixels" (Window borders for example) and we need the scroll bar buttons too for long lists.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Perfect If they fix the scrollbars

      I'm irritated by the 'fake scroller' scrollbars of Ubu 14 so hopefully it's not doing that [last I installed Mint, it wasn't]. Having to NOT grab the actual scroll knob, but something that flashes in your face, is beyond irritating. I only use that version because 'customer wanted it' and it's a build environment VM.

      But I am encouraged that the screenshot didn't have 2D FLUGLY on it. Mint 18 Mate had a 2D FLUGLY theme picked by default, and it was DIFFICULT to find a more 3D skeuomorphic one. I eventually found a couple, but they were a little buggy with respect to colors. I worked around it.

      Anyway, I *DESPISE* 2D FLATSO FLUGLY. So it's refreshing when it's NOT in a Linux distro (unless you explicitly WANT that, and so you can change it later)

    2. mrtom84

      Re: Perfect If they fix the scrollbars

      Obviously people have their preferences but I've never understood people's dislike for minimal scroll bars. I can't remember ever actually using the mouse to drag a scroll bar up and down the page. They are plenty big enough to see where you are in the page plus usually increase in size once you start rolling the wheel or hitting j or k or page up/down or whatever. Personally I think a big chunky scroll bar looks fugly and takes precious screen real estate. There are other DEs for people who want the windows 95 look.

      1. luminous

        Re: Perfect If they fix the scrollbars

        Depends on your screen size I suppose, but on a 22 inch monitor, the size of the scrollbar is far less important than the ability to scroll at ease down a very very long page or file.

        I thought Linux was meant to cater for all, and you could change a setting for most things even if it is clunky in the command line for people not familiar with doing it that way. How hard can it be to have a setting in the preferences to use minimal or normal scrollbars? There are many themes/ templates etc for websites that do this.

        I've yet to see a nice UI for Linux, although I haven't tried many flavours. Then again, the programmers I know who use Linux don't care about the look of the UI at all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit rushed, that article

    The Mint Team answered that upgrade thing about 3 weeks ago already:

    "Journalists should ask questions before posting opinions. I can’t think of a single security fix in the 18.1 upgrade, it’s all about new features. The security updates are exactly the same on 18 and 18.1 and you get them whether you upgrade or not. They’re completely independent and have nothing to do with this upgrade."

    http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3185#comment-134272

    So apparently, contrary to what ElReg implies, the conservative upgrade choice does not mean that there are no security upgrades.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can’t think of a single security fix in the 18.1 upgrade

      Well there's nothing like proper research. And having a think surely counts!

  6. frank ly Silver badge

    Mmmm, Minty

    ".. pursue its own efforts like the homegrown Cinnamon and MATE desktops, ..."

    The Mint people did develop Cinnamon as a 'homegrown' desktop manager but the MATE desktop manager was developed by another group and was adopted by Mint at an early stage.

    https://mate-desktop.org/

    Due to their FOSSiness and being popular in use, they are both available as options on many recent distributions.

    The update to MATE 1.16 seems to have finally fixed the 'roaming panel icon' problem that I'd experienced often. The previous update to 1.14 had fixed the hyperextending drawer problem, which was a total pain in the backside when it happened. Now, MATE just works nicely.

    The Mint 18.x series are LTS until early 2021 so it's a good OS to settle down with for a while. Mint 19 should be out in mid 2018 and Mint 20 in mid 2020, in keeping with the usual upstream Ubuntu release cycle.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    My only issue with Mint is

    its dependance on Ubuntu and the goodwill of Canonical.

    In many ways it is what Ubuntu should have become before Canonical decided to divert some of its attention into Phones and re-inventing the wheel.

    Long may Mint keep up the good work. I don't use the distro but I do use Cinnamon.

    1. tekHedd

      Re: My only issue with Mint is

      Same here. LMDE FTW, well, with judicious use of backports anyway.

      Cinnamon is good enough. All of the things I dislike about it are "features" copied from OSX or Windows, so maybe I could even say "it's the best." Cinnamon doesn't have to try very hard to be better than Windows; I've actively disliked the Windows UI for a long time now. It's good enough.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    The most annoying thing about Linux Mint 18 is when you click on the applications menu, and click on the lock screen you expect it to lock the computer. So I've clicked on it, and walked off.

    About 5 minutes later I come back with a box on my screen asking me to type in a message. You don't have to, it can be blank, but unless you click OK it doesn't lock the screen. This annoys the hell out of me, and because Debian et al don't do this (with the exception of one windows manager, might be XFCE but I might be wrong) it's not a reflex action for me. So quite often if I lock the computer in a rush, I actually haven't.

    That, however, is the only issue with LM 18. Well that and a bitch of an issue regarding the installation of VirtualBox which fails due to the kernel used. But is that Oracles fault of LM's? Who knows. I don't care though, I've another machine which VB runs on fairly well. So I'll just sit tight and wait for one of them to fix the issue.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      I've just tried Lock Screen on my Mint 18.1 MATE setup. It locks immediately. Maybe you're using Cinnamon?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        I am using Cinnamon yes. It's probably a settings thing, but I'd have thought it'd make sense to have it lock immediately by default, instead of prompting to display a message before locking?

        1. Aitor 1

          You can change that behaviour

          I did.. just dont remember how...

    2. breakfast

      I have run into that too, it's mildly annoying but there is a keystroke that can instantly lock the screen.

      I don't know what the keystroke is, but I run into it from time to time when I'm trying to edit sound files in Audacity and lock the screen instead.

    3. Simon Brady

      Re: You can change that behaviour

      Preferences -> Screensaver -> Customize -> Ask for a custom message when locking the screen from the menu

  9. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    There is nothing wrong with kernel 4.4

    Also in the light of the fact that 4.8 is now officially EOL, it makes little sense to upgrade to it. It is not as if 4.4 will not run on newest intel CPUs; it may be simply less optimal e.g. using more battery power than it should.

    1. John Sanders
      Linux

      Re: There is nothing wrong with kernel 4.4

      Most people do not know that if you stick with the supported LTS kernel you get back-ported fixes and support for new hardware.

      Also once Ubuntu 16.04.2 comes out, Kernel 4.8 will be available officially from Canonical by an "apt-get install linux-image-generic-lts-yakkety" away.

    2. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: There is nothing wrong with kernel 4.4

      I sit typing this at a CentOS 6.8 machine. This is running Kernel 2.6.32. It works fine; that is what Long Term Stability means - not breaking things by updating too often.

      1. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: There is nothing wrong with kernel 4.4

        Damn, you beat me to it. I'm running various CentOS 6.x which are still using the 2.6 series. Still work just fine, as far as I can see. Oh, and no systemd garbage to litter things up...

  10. Triggerfish

    Linux Noob question

    So I have installed Mint and rather annoylingy it seems my laptops wifi is not supported which is a problem, so does this mean because there are no drivers for Mint the chances are there are no drivers on other Linux flavours?

    Should I be looking for a USB wifi stick that will work, or just go for a different version of Linux, and if so I assume Ubuntu will have the same issues so what else would people recommend for someone?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Linux Noob question

      People are saying nice things about Fedora 25. I don't know, but that's what they're saying.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Linux Noob question

        Fedora 25 with Cinnamon works for me.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Linux Noob question

      Companies failing to document or support their chips on non-Windows platforms is sadly quite common, and you often don't find out until actually trying it. If you have one of the Broadcom chips (e.g. some HP laptops like one I bought recently) then it is sometimes mis-detected as acer so this is a solution to consider:

      http://askubuntu.com/questions/798312/ubuntu-16-04-wifi-bcm43142-doesnt-see-nearby-networks/

      For a whole list of potential issues and work-arounds:

      https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/internet

      It is rarely as simple as one distro having poorer hardware support than another, but that can also be a factor.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Linux Noob question

        It's an Atheros chip in an Acer laptop, and at the moment is one of those things stopping me from moving across to Linux. Seems like the consesus I got looking around was it was not supported.

        1. Kobblestown

          Re: Linux Noob question

          If your Wi-Fi sits on a mini-PCIe card, as is often the case, I'd rather replace it with something well supported under Linux, like the Intel ones. They go for about 10-20 quid on Amazon. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi is sometimes soldered on the mainboard. There are some pretty small USB WiFi controllers but their usable range might not be that good as opposed to using the antennas inside the laptop.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Linux Noob question

            If your Wi-Fi sits on a mini-PCIe card, as is often the case, I'd rather replace it with something well supported under Linux, like the Intel ones. They go for about 10-20 quid on Amazon.

            New laptop unfortunately so warranty issues.

            Damn this is sounding terribly negative apologies, everything about Mint looks like it would be marvellous but this is a deal breaker.

            @Codejunky, cheers for the offer but at work at moment.

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: Linux Noob question

              Atheros wifi cards are generally pretty well-supported in Linux. Maybe your card is a new one that isn't supported just yet in the kernel version in question-- it could be added at any time.

              I'd suggest getting the USB wifi adapter for now and just use that until the internal one is supported.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: Linux Noob question

                Cheers for help all. I am going to have a go at it later tonight and sit down and either solve the issue, or buy a damn USB stick.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Linux Noob question

              "New laptop unfortunately so warranty issues."

              What kind of warranty forbids changing mini-PCIe cards?

            3. David 132 Silver badge

              Re: Linux Noob question

              @Triggerfish New laptop unfortunately so warranty issues.

              Nil desperandum - many laptops have the wifi card accessible from a hatch on the underside, and it's considered a user-accessible upgrade much like adding extra RAM & therefore wouldn't void the warranty. You might take a quick look.

        2. Steve Graham

          Re: Linux Noob question

          The Atheros wireless drivers in the kernel seem to be written by Atheros (or "Qualcomm Atheros, Inc." in the 2016 files) so you may well have drivers available.

          A frequent "gotcha" with wireless is that you need a firmware file. Sometimes you have to pick it out of the Windows driver install disk.

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Linux Noob question

      It doesn't mean that there are no drivers for Mint or for Linux, it just means LM didn't have a driver to hand when it was being installed that suited your wireless. There's always the possibility your wifi might not be supported at all (regardless of distro) but that's a fairly small possibility these days.

      This goes through how to get wifi working on Linux Mint. I've not had to use it as my laptop has an Intel chip inside it. But this is at least a good first step for you.

      But ultimately what Linux Mint and Ubuntu are in the world of Linux is a distribution. A "flavour". They aren't actually their own operating systems per sey. At their core is Linux, and the software that it uses, the way these packages are maintained, and the GUI style are all specific to the distribution. Something like drivers relates to Linux itself rather than the distribution. If you don't find a packaged version of a driver or software for your specific distribution (usually .deb for Debian-based systems, .rpm for Red Hat/Fedora-based etc) you can always compile from source. This is the long winded way to do it, but usually it's a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. But if you use a distribution like Slackware for instance, then compiling from source is your only way of installing software.

      Edit:

      By the time I wrote what I did you already replied.

      You need to find out the specific card your using. This forum talks about Atheros issues on the previous version of Linux Mint. A lot of it will be applicable to LM 18 though.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Linux Noob question

        Tried something very similar to that link having had a read, no joy unfortunately but thanks.

        Yeah searched forums for drivers, but from what I can see that chip set is not supported in Mint 18.

        I have tried a couple of suggestions as work arounds but then end up in that Linux thing where someone giives you a bunch of command lines to enter but you haven't a clue what they do, or how they alter other things in your system which I don't like.

        Don't get me wrong I don't fear the command line I'd just like to know what I am entering, or fiddling round a bit to get things working not a problem, but at the same time I am supposed to be doing other things and it feels like I shouldn't be spending this much time trying to get a fix. But I don't want to stay with Win 10 either.

        TBH as well arsing round compiling things from source etc, contreversial as it may sound to a lot of techies here, is the reason why every time I install Linux I go back to windows. To much having to piss around to get a working tool I can use for what I want, when I could be doing other things. I never get to the point where I get to go hmmn Linux is sweet look what I can do, to much time going can you work in the basic way please? Twin monitors thats nice. etc (I had problems with them last time I tried Linux which was a while back).

        I'm guessing bite the bullet and buy a USB stick with WiFI, cos Win 10 has issues.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Linux Noob question

          "TBH as well arsing round compiling things from source etc, contreversial as it may sound to a lot of techies here, is the reason why every time I install Linux I go back to windows. To much having to piss around to get a working tool I can use for what I want, when I could be doing other things. "

          The beauty of Linux though is you only have to piss around with it once, and it'll work for 10 years then.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Linux Noob question

      Maybe it's a Broadcom chip set. The only WiFi I've ever had problem with in last 10 years of Linux. Always solved by using Synaptic Package Manager GUI to add broadcom stuff.

    5. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Linux Noob question

      @ Triggerfish

      Proprietary wifi isnt normally supported right away. My advice is to plug in via ethernet menu-> administration-> Driver manager. It should pick up your latest drivers for your card, I have yet to see one not detected.

      Those instructions as for cinnamon but should be somewhat similar in others. Btw if ethernet is not an option pop the install disk back in and open driver manager. The drivers may not be as up to date but will hopefully be picked up.

      Hope that helps

      Just spotted your next post. do lspci on the command line and send me the line regarding your wifi

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux Noob question

      You can buy a separate USB wifi dongle for less than a fiver. Just check its on the list of ones Mint autodetects.

    7. kaseki

      Re: Linux Noob question

      Please visit https://forums.linuxmint.com/ and ask your question in the Newbie forum.

    8. itzman

      Re: Linux Noob question

      Are you sure its not supported?

      Many wifi chipsets use 'proprietary' drivers that have to be installed specially.

      MATE has a 'Driver manager' to make this easier

  11. adam payne Silver badge

    Mmmmmmmm minty freshness.

  12. FuzzyWuzzys

    I like it 'cos it's rock solid

    To be honest the tiny poll I conducted about users of Mint it's about stability, they use it at work where constant bleeding edge or even updates off the main trees would cause niggles. I use Mint myself because they don't take chances with it, it's rock solid and I've had a desktop running for a couple of months at a time at work without a single reboot. I know when I lock up the screen at night, when I come back in the morning it will be exactly as a I left it, not rebooted or bits falling over.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I like it 'cos it's rock solid

      Tried it for a while - only problem I had was with sound not restarting on suspend but that was down (I guess) to proprietary drivers. Apart from the fact I dont like the desktop its a bloody fine implementation and would recommend it to anyone from the Windows world who wants their machine back.

  13. breakfast

    I had an automatic update break my Mint install a little while ago ( not their fault - a proprietary Nvidia driver didn't work, to much astonishment from everyone ) so a "don't break my computer" update strategy would be quite helpful sometimes...

  14. n13ldo

    A lot of reasons convinced me to switch from Windows to Mint a year or so ago but what really sealed the deal is that Linux can handle large resolution screens (Displayport), going to sleep and waking up with all icons and screens still in the same place...

  15. trevorde

    This will be...

    ... the year of the Linux desktop (again)

    1. Steve Graham

      Re: This will be...

      In my house, it has been every year since 2003.

  16. ro55mo

    New kernels seems fine to me

    I have three widely different PCs all running the 4.9.2 kernel on Mint 18.1 with no issue.

    A dual booting gaming rig with a pair of GTX 970 in SLI (works in Linux too), a small home theatre PCand the wife's ASUS UX305CA laptop.

    I know I don't have to update them, but meh, if I am happy to fix them if I break them why not.

  17. sikejsudjek

    I'm not sure why the article is implying that not having the 4.8 kernel is being 'a laggard' because its actually slightly slower than 4.4 in testing. (and 4.8 IS available in the mint update kernels if you need it).

  18. Alistair Silver badge

    Linux and (doesn't quite work) drivers

    I've run into only one wifi nic in the last few years that presented issues in linux and the issue was ACPI based - grub options for acpi can resolve these issues. - This can cause other issues with hardware monitoring tools, but the cases are a very slim collision.

    Honestly - having dealt with some seriously bleeding edge hardware of late in the lab, I've not found hardware that was not supported (at least in basic form) by the RHEL 6 or 7 series. There *are* vendor proprietary drivers for things like nVME and 10G/40G/Infiniband that have either more options or better options than are presented in the open source kernel drivers, but I've not found the hardware 'failing to work' out of the box.

    Worst case I've dealt with was a hybrid Infiniband/10Ge network card and proprietary SFP pair - the default kernel open source driver had issues recognizing the SFP as being 10Ge, as a result it loaded by default the inifinband options. This was resolved in modprobe.d/ config settings and by blacklisting the infiniband driver in the initrd, but loading it *after* the 10Ge driver. The proprietary driver also had issues with the switches we were connected to due to overflow signalling. - so - in general -- linux has come a hell of a long way in the last 12 years.

  19. joeaverage

    UKUU and Aptik are apps you need to look at

    I'm a big fan of the Mint Linux series and have used them almost form the start years (decade?) ago.

    Recently stumbled across two apps you ought to read up on.

    The first is UKUU which updates the kernel only. I'm running 17.3 and 18.0 on several different computers with the 4.8 kernel installed via UKUU. Its all point and click.

    Any of the Mint/Ubuntu tutorial websites have articles about how to install via command line or point and click download/installs. Check out Noobslab, TecMint, OMGUbuntu and others for guidance.

    Aptik is a backup program. It backs up your settings or your software setup (easy to transfer to another computer so both have the same selection of software).

    I use Windows for CAD and maintain Windows for my employer but 99.5% of my computer use is in Mint Linux. I can just do everything I do there.

    Win7 and Win10 are solid but still vulnerable to adware and viruses. I spent time yesterday cleaning up a coworker's computer who got sloppy about how they used the computer. In Windows the user can't just click on anything.

  20. Rogier van Vlissingen

    Win10 Anniversary Update bricked my computer and LM 18.1 Serena was the answer

    After Win10 Anniverary update my slightly older HP Compaq Elite 8200 CMT with ATI Radeon HD 5450 video card, 16 GB of RAM, and a fairly new WD Black 1 TB HD started acting up, first my Logitech webcam malfunctioned with Zoom teleconferencing. When nothing worked they recommended the uninstall/reinstall route, which would not work. My video card was acting up, and the newest drivers would not even install, then my printer (HP OfficeJet Pro 8630) began acting up, uninstall reinstall... never worked again. In the end it was on the AMD forum where I found someone who knew that their Win10 drivers for their legacy cards (Radeon HD 5000/8000, and RX5) were not working for many people under the Win10 Anniversary Update. That's when I gave up for the highest video card this system would support was 6570, and I would likely have had the same problem.

    All of last year I had been upgrading family computers to LM 18.0, and found it working fine. My business desktop was the last holdout. So, after 25 years of steadily upgrading older hardware do Linux when MS dropped the ball, I am finally where I don't have MS to kick around anymore. Are there some challenges? Oh yes, a few, but this environment is much more manageable compared to Win, which is design to ensure you never understand what is going on.

  21. timrichardson

    Just as with Ubuntu 16.04.1, kernel 4.8 is there if you want it. In a week when 16.04.2 is released, 4.8 will become Ubuntu's default kernel for desktop installs... this is the new model in Ubuntu 16.04, which means each point release will include a new kernel version, and the old point version is then unsupported. The 4.4 kernel will be supported for five years, but that's aimed at servers. So Ubuntu LTS is basically a rolling release for desktop users, at least when it comes to the kernel and some other key infrastructure, but it is a very conservative rolling release: the point updates come after everything has been tested on a six month release. I don't know what Mint plans to do about this because from the sounds of it, they need to get everyone on to 4.8 so they get the benefit of what Ubuntu is doing. A desktop distribution based on 16.04.1 is out out of date when 16.04.2 is released on Jan 19. This is different from 14.04 LTS where Ubuntu supports every point release until end of life (2019) (too hard; now they support only once point release at a time). For Ubuntu desktop users, it sounds pretty good, particularly if snap takes off, meaning an easy way to keep current with the applications you care about.

    For example after 17.04 is released, Ubuntu 16.04.3 will arrive hopefully with xorg 1.19. This is why I reverted to xubuntu: it's a very good story if you are using Linux on a modern laptop as your money-earning-it-must-just-work OS.

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