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Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

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Mint here, too.

64 bit on Lenovo laptop, and two aging 32-bit netbooks (remember those?) from around 2009. All running Mint. All "just work".

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Re: Mint here, too.

two aging 32-bit netbooks (remember those?) from around 2009. All running Mint. All "just work"

Yep got two ex-XP running Mint XFCE and upgraded to 120GB SSD. Go better than ever at age 8 or more.

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Been a Mint user since version 11, and its fairly stable. Running 18.1 Matte currently on a 10 year old Dell laptop and rarely suffer from any freezes and crashes and its my day to day machine.

Apart from putting in a bigger HDD and upping the RAM to 4GB it has cost me nothing to continue to use a laptop that originally shipped with Vista, well after MS stopped supporting their OS.

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Happy

Damn, beat me to it, I was a late starter at Mint 12, and I'm running 18.3 on everything from an ancient Atom netbook to a noisy i7.

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Joke

Are you suggesting that Slackware ISN'T a major Distro? /joke

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Linux

Freezing ...

Happy Mint user here, but every so often it will freeze. And I mean freeze. If I have a terminal window with top showing, I see Cinnamon jostling with Chrome for >50% of the CPU.

While that's going on, even the systray clock is frozen. I've seen it lag by 5 minutes at times.

So no worse than Windows, certainly.

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Re: Freezing ...

Honestly, it sounds like a hardware issue.

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Re: Freezing ...

Chromium > chrome, more so if you believe in such outdated concepts as 'privacy'

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LMDE user here. What more can be said?

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I Always Find It Irritating...

...when European Linux distros use American spelling throughout their interface and websites.

Bit bum-licky, if you ask me

[Yes. I'm looking at you Mint and Ubuntu]

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Re: I Always Find It Irritating...

"European Linux distros"

Assuming that a distro could meaningfully be described as belonging to a geographical region, I imagine that it would be constrained by the localisations of the individual software packages that it contains.

I'm as irritated as the next non-American by this tendency to use the spellings of a relatively minor (in numerical terms) dialect of English, but I don't think this a fair example.

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Unhappy

Re: I Always Find It Irritating...

>>Assuming that a distro could meaningfully be described as belonging to a geographical region, I imagine that it would be constrained by the localisations of the individual software packages that it contains...

I'm not so much talking about the individual packages which make up the distro. I agree with you there. Those will be dependent on the original developers. I'm talking more about the stuff they do have control of, such as their websites & documentation, etc.

Linux Mint and lead developer is based in Ireland, while Ubuntu's Canonical is based in UK. Yet both use American spelling on their websites. Linux Mint has an American flag icon next to the "English" selection on their website's language choices and Ubuntu has a "Software Center" as part of their distro.

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Re: I Always Find It Irritating...

Just as Arabic drove early science, Latin (Koin Greek, Aramaic, et al) drove early Christianity, Deutsch drove later science (etc., I won't continue. You are quite welcome), American English, love it or hate it, is the lingua franca of the FOSS world, and indeed TehIntraWebTubes itself.

Don't blame me, it wasn't a choice, it just evolved that way.

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Windows

I wuv MSFT

Never tried Linux Mint but I know I wouldn't like it.

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Re: I wuv MSFT

"Never tried Linux Mint but I know I wouldn't like it."

Those of us who use Linux normally also get dragged in to fix friends' and relatives' Windows problems. So, when it comes to Windows we know we don't like it. In my case I even spent the last few years of my working life developing for it. Glad to be shut of it.

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Happy

Re: I wuv MSFT

I really don't understand--

...do the recipients of your hoped-for largesse not understand the phrase, "I do not work on, nor provide advice on, any Windows computer"?

Works for me. ALL the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Genuine question here.

I have a 2010 iMac which is starting to get temperamental. I'm now retired and very short of funds so when the iMac goes pop I won't be able to afford another.

My last experience with Windows was XP which was troublesome at times, so I'd like to take a look at Linux Mint or similar as an alternative for when the iMac finally dies, and to familiarise myself with it.

Is it possible to dual boot into Mint on an iMac and there a flavour of Linux that might be better suited?

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RE: Dual-Booting Mint on Mac

It's certainly possible. I run Mint on an old laptop which can boot into the original Win7 install (haven't used that option for about 3 years now). The installer will even walk you through setting up the partitions and selecting which one you want it to boot into by default.

I'd highly recommend downloading the Mint image and writing it to a CD or USB so you can boot directly into it to have a play around with it and decide if you like it before installing it fully. It's also a good way of working out if there are glitches with hardware compatibility in a non-destructive manner.

The most common problems for new installs seem to be wi-fi and video card drivers. I had a brief problem with the touchpad not working properly but some helpful chap on the forums had already posted a fix that involved amending a single line in a text file and it was resolved.

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VirtualBox

Linux Mint runs well in VirtualBox on my oldish Mac Mini, it’s a good way to try out and more convenient than dual booting.

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Linux

Dual boot iMAc

I'm retired and have a 2011 iMac, it can run Linux distros.

If you want to try some out without making any changes to your iMac, burn a live ISO CD of the distributions that you want to try (Download the Linux ISO file that you want to try and use the Mac Disk Utility app to create a bootable CD). Restart the iMac and hold down the [C] key with the CD in the drive, the iMac will boot to the CD.

An very inexpensive Linux computer is the Raspberry Pi. The latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is ~£30, you will need a keyboard and mouse (your iMac ones will do) and a screen with an HDMI port (a cheap TV?). The performance is not as good as your iMac, but is reasonable. If you want to try it out as a bootable CD the download link is here.

It is possible to set up a dual boot system. I have used a number of Ubuntu based distributions which seem to be OK.

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Decent

I don't know about "a breath of fresh air", but there's still "bad breath" from ages ago. And I'm referring to the execrable graphics drivers support. My laptop which has both an integrated intel gpu and a dedicated nvidia chip, can't benefit from "nvidia optimus". You either use the laptop with one of the gpu at a time. And here, the integrated graphics card offers a smooth UX, overall, doing normal things, but the dedicated gpu gives more performance (obviously) at the cost of very poor UX, which translates into bad screen tearing in pretty much all types of scenarios. Very disappointing. I wonder HOW the heck they think they can compete with Windows or MacOS. Yes, Apple has a handful of devices to optimize their software for, which is basically piece of cake considering that they have to optimize the software for laptops with very small differences in the hardware department from a year to another. But Windows has pretty much the same task as Linux, which is making the OS work on a large variety of computers with countless hardware differences. Yes, there are a lit if factors to take in consideration here like the direct support from the vendors, but the ordinary user doesn't care about HOW they should get a better experience or the limitations, etc. They just want it to happen somehow.

Anyway, I bet things will be as shitty as they are right in 20 years from now. It's not like they changed drastically in the past few years. It just seems like they don't even give a shit about better graphics card support. There are unofficial solutions out there, which have a very small rate of success. For me, no supposed "fix" made it possible to have a great experience on Linux or any other distro. Nvidia optimus is just not a thing in the Linux world or decent driver support.

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Re: Decent

You've built your PC wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Question

I have Linux Mint (version 17 Cinnamon 64 bit) installed already from around a year ago - will it auto-update to this new version, or do I have to 'do something'?

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Re: Question

It doesn't tend to automatically install major version updates without you asking. If you click on the update manager, one of the drop down menu options (can't remember which one) it will offer to install the major update for you.

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Re: Question [Friendly Advice]

If it's not already 17.3, upgrade it to 17.3.

If it is 17.3, leave it alone; just use the 'update' icon on the panel to stay current.

17.3 is acknowledged to be THE BEST of all the latest MINT distros, hands down; the most rock-solid; the most trouble-free. Newer does NOT mean 'better'.

I have two Lenovos (T430, T420), one running 17.3; the other had 17.3 RE-INSTALLED after trying out the "new, improved" version. The MINT Linux organization set the bar really high with 17.3.

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Even grandma is using linux now

I set up my mom with Ubuntu and she's been running it for the last 10 years. When she had to recently use Windows 7 for a couple classes, she couldn't wait to get back to linux. Even she commented how much more stable it is. That really speaks volumes for how easy linux can be to use. I plan to set her up with Mint next.

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Bronze badge

I've worked withing pretty much EVERY major and obscure operating system out there from

DEC PDP-11's OS to VAX VMS to OS-400 to Z-os to MS-DOS 1.0 to 7.0 to Minux, Xenix,

BEOS, Theos, QNX, MAC-OS from 1984 and the Apple Lisa to Windows from earliest days

to Linux (10 different distros!) tor our Internal Midgrid-OS!

Of all of them, the best commercial end user-friendly OS is Windows 10 -- Mac OS annoys me when I can't right click on an icon to get it's properties or perform a pre-defined action!

The best Server OS I think is actually Windows 2000 Server because you could STILL install it in

ANY directory you wanted and it STILL had the most admin control while still having all the best features of Active Directory which is the BEST client management system ever! Windows Server 2016 has too many admin restrictions on it!

For embedded devices, QNX is the Numero Uno OS software as it TRULY is a fail-safe OS!

They use it in Nuclear Power Plants and other Critical Systems so I'm all in for using it on my

custom video and audio playback/recording box. Never failed in almost 8 years running 24/7/365!

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Silver badge

I don't know how Windows 10 would be considered end user friendly. It's the most end-user hostile OS I've ever used or even heard of!

The insane update schedule with updates that break drivers written for Windows 10 and other bits of software every six months... updates you aren't allowed to just say NO to (those who know how to do things like disabling services can, but it's not supported by MS by any means) because Microsoft is in charge, not you. You can set your active hours and set your internet connection to metered and defer updates according to Microsoft's rules, but all of that just reinforces the idea that Microsoft is in charge; it makes the rules and you play by them.

If you were the boss, you wouldn't need to explain yourself to MS if you decide to not get updates when you're told to do so, and that's exactly what you're doing when you set active hours or metered connections. If you were the boss, you could just turn updates off, no explanation necessary, and that would be that. Telling the user "I'm the boss, you'll do as I say" as Windows 10 does in that and far too many other ways isn't user-friendly. The user friendliness of Windows 10 is a sham, like someone pretending to be your friend while they undermine you and backstab you behind the scenes every chance they get.

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Silver badge

Mac OS annoys me when I can't right click on an icon to get it's properties or perform a pre-defined action!
Why can't you? I could when I still had my Mac Mini. I suspect you never even tried...

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Right clicking is possible

You can change the mouse settings tp right click in Macs its not active on macs by default

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207700

I find I can do more with linux than a mac these day, more sofware to from.☺

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Anonymous Coward

Glad they stuck with XCFE

I like Cinamon (a lot) but runs it runs bloody slowly in a VM on the corporate Dell from He’ll.

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"Another change is that the Synaptics touchpad driver has been replaced by libinput. Practically speaking, this should have no effect for most users"

One change: SWMBO's new laptop has the mouse buttons built into the touchpad. That leads to a tendency to leave a finger of one hand resting on a button whilst trying to steer the pointer with the other hand. Chaos. Once I sussed that the distros that didn't have that problem used libinput instead of synaptics I could just install it on the preferred distro.

So, yes, a practical change but a good one.

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Anonymous Coward

Wot, no GNOME?

Isn't MATE just GNOME 2?

And isn't Cinnamon a forked GNOME 3?

Sounds pretty Gnomey to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot, no GNOME?

Linux mint remains the OS that windows 10 should have been and isn't. Every major windows 10 update has caused problems. So much so I've actually added a windows 7 partition for gaming as its less prone to ms screwing it up. Linux mint remains my choice for everything else.

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Re: Wot, no GNOME?

Yes correct but only the backend on a since. I really like cinnamon due to the ease of bluetooth device selection.

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Anonymous Coward

I use macOS on my iMac

It is very nice. I've not tried Mint yet and probably never will because I own a iMac. Mint is a nice name for a fruit, although my favourite is Apple (!!!!!!) then Strawberry.

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Silver badge

for those wondering -

/proc/sys/kernel/ctrl-alt-delete

The default is 0 -> off - set it to 1 and ctrl-alt-delete will reboot the box for you.

browsers "locking up" your desktop? -- go get noscript and use it aggressively - the single biggest issue I've ever had with a browser was a period of time while doubleclick were firing an audit (IP address, cpu type, mem, window size, screen size, site cookie list) that basically returned void data for cpu type on linux, which forked and looped. Hit a site calling that JS and it could eat almost a gig of ram in less than a minute. I had a long, loud, vigorous discussion with the DC rep the company had at the time. His comment was "Well, make the file readable, our script requires that information to function correctly".

The biggest "slowdown/laggy/bad response/bizzarre behaviour" issues I've seen with most linux installs come from a hard drive, slowly dying, and running out of spare blocks. Usually windows will chug along fine in this case, but you will find that it too eventually hits the same behaviour -- just later after more of your data is gone.

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Silver badge

That's "/proc/sys/kernel/ctrl-alt-del" ...

Note that mucking about with making changes to things in /proc without understanding what you are doing can destabilize your system.

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Linux mint 18.x

I have two systems my IBM T500 mate desktop and a desktop (cinnamon desktop) I built. I have always like mint over other distros. I find thinkpads work the best not all will but I like the ease of upgrades if needed on these laptops.

The T500 runs fine once cinnamon is loaded but its slow to boot this is why I use mate.

My i3 desktop is great for cinnamon GUI. Its my work horse for many things. I upgraded to 18.3 without issue. Had a minor issue with the places app when I upgraded from 18 to 18.2 but fixed by updating places app.

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