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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aha.

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

    2. elDog

      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.

    3. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      FAIL

      Sad and lonely troll is sad and lonely.

      1. Geoffrey W

        RE: Sad Troll

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

        1. Fibbles

          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...

        2. hplasm
          Happy

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

          Have probably used and suffered Windows.

          Still a good satire though...

    4. tempemeaty

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

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

    5. PhilipN Silver badge

      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)

    6. Kurt 4
      IT Angle

      It looks a lot like Windows XP.

      1. Philius

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

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

      2. theOtherJT Silver badge

        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.

    7. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @AC (the village idiot)

      Dear AC,

      I haven't met you.

      That makes me happy!

      Cheers,

      jay

    8. Jim 59

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

      Cool story bro! You changed my life!

    9. Amorous Cowherder
      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!

      1. Geoffrey W

        @ Amorous Cowherder

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

    10. werdsmith Silver badge

      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.

  2. Phoenix50

    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.

    1. Adair Silver badge

      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.

    2. Roo
      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.

    3. gerdesj Silver badge
      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)

    4. gerdesj Silver badge
      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)

      1. Roo
        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.

      2. Psy-Q

        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.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          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.

      3. NumptyScrub

        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 ^^;

        1. kryptylomese

          Re: Goodness.

          Ne need to install from scratch:-

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

        2. DropBear
          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...

      4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        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.

      5. Moonshine

        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.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          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.

          1. poliltimmy

            Re: Goodness.

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

        2. JEDIDIAH
          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.

        3. MrTuK

          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.

      6. JEDIDIAH
        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.

    5. fruitoftheloon
      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

    6. hplasm
      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.

      1. Jim 59

        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?

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      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".

    8. nijam Silver badge

      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.

    9. JEDIDIAH
      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?

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

    11. Paul 77

      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.

    12. Anonymous Coward
      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!!!

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodness.

      @phoenix 50

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

  3. phil dude
    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.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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!

      1. Fibbles

        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.

        1. itzman

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

          simply run a windows splurge in a VM and use photoshop there.

          1. kryptylomese

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

            Photoshop run on Linux with wine:-

            https://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?appId=17

      2. frank ly

        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.

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

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

        #1 - I didn't like the Firefox in the last copy of Ubuntu I installed so I downloaded the current release tarball from Mozilla. All I did to "install it" was to unzip the archive. It runs fine. I have Loki games from the dawn of time and 3 distros ago that I still run.

        #2 - The package manager handles any dependencies for any app you would care to install. You don't have to worry what API an application was coded with.

        #3 - Maya is available for Linux. Don't make baseless assumptions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

          Thanks so much for all the replies, especially the tips about apps related to game design. I put Ubuntu on a family laptop about 6 months ago. Mint is on there too as a dual boot, but we've stuck with Ubuntu out of habit mainly.

          I haven't looked under the hood yet. What are the relative risks of getting hit with malware or a virus vs. windows? Flash and Java are not installed, just a PDF reader replacement and a recent version of Firefox. I've used system monitor to look at running tasks, but I lack the knowledge to know what to look for, not that that it would help much against keylogger / rootkit type attacks anyway.

          Regarding info on KDE and mixing Linux versions to get at other tools such as Thunderbird. Please don't hold back. I've used Unix and Minix at college, and while I'm rusty I have chops as a developer. I won't jump in and just break stuff, but I do want to read ahead as it will help me later....

          'If you really want to make the switch'....Yes, I'm serious, but I want to get there in little steps over time. Right now I have a load of old XP netbooks for personal stuff and Unity3D games testing, but they're all close to end of life. In addition I have two Win7 Asus gaming rigs for Unreal dev, and an old Vista laptop which is now the sole Linux box. I want to flip that on its head, and have a single high-end box that can dual boot Linux / Win10 for PC dev and have the rest as Linux boxes.... Cheers again!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

            AC, you don;t have t 'mix Linux versions' to get particular pieces of software. , certainly not for something as common as Thunderbird. No matter which distro you;re using, all yu do is look in the reporsitory for that distro for teh software you want, then use the install tool you have available to install it. And aside from some of the very tiny distros intended to live on extremely old hardware, I;d be surprised if Thunderbird is absent.

            In the case of Mint, the Software Centre gives you a graphical means of locating software that you can install. Now, personally, the way that works doesn't quite float my boat and I find myself using Synaptic which I suspect newbies would find more confusing, but even there, it;s just a case of searching for teh name of the software you want to install, then once found, put a tick against it, and pres the install/update button. Synaptic will then tell you if it needs to install anything else to make it work, and lets you review such things if you wish in case it might inbclude anything you don;t approve of for whatever reason. If still happy, press the go button, and a short while later, it;s all done. No firkling with code written for other distros at all. On the very rare occasion I;ve wanted to do something obscure and wanted teh very latest package I have found myself doing things like installing a .deb archive using gdebi - but even that's very easy, generally on a par with installing WIndows software. Can;t recall when last I tried installing an RPM package on a DEB system (or was it the other way around? Can't recall) - it was many years ago, and things are simply much much better than they were.

            My advice would be - at this stage don't worry about such things. Dive in and see what you CAN do from where you are - you may well find that the things you thought would be problematic simply are not. Of course, at your kind of level, being a developer, you may well find other problems instead, but then you've doubtless the skill to overcome them. Good luck with your venture into Penguin Territory! :-}

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

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

              Cheers Esme!

  4. Carl W

    I'm not seeing it

    No update available in Update Manager (currently on 17.1 -- just in a VM to see what it's like).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Carl W - Re: I'm not seeing it

      They say on their website it will come up sometime next week.

      1. Carl W

        Re: @Carl W - I'm not seeing it

        The article says "You can update to Mint 17.2 directly from Update Manager." which implies now. No problem though, I've downloaded and installed it. Doesn't appear to be a lot different from 17.1 IMHO.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

    I've tried Mint, liked it, but when the next version came out there was no in-place upgrade option. WTF? It's nice to hear that there's a limited ability to upgrade this time, within the 17.x family, but the prospect of being forced to do a fresh install when 18 comes along is enough to make me stick with Ubuntu, for all its many and various faults.

    1. CAPS LOCK

      Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      Backup is your friend.

    2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      I was thinking similar before I switched to Mint from Ubuntu..then I realized I hadn't upgraded Ubuntu in several years (I stayed on way past the 10.04 LTS desktop support ended because I didn't want Unity among other things). So I figure I won't be upgrading to another major version of Mint unless I get new hardware which means new install for me anyway. My personal laptop is 5 years old now, maybe it has another year or two left to it. But maybe I will go with Mint 17 again when I replace it, like I kept going with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS long after 12.x came out.

      looks like I am on 17.1 at the moment.

    3. James Loughner
      Linux

      Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      That's why you should always have a separate home partition. BTW for uninitiated all personal stuff is always in home.

      Personally I keep two root partition one for current OS and one for next. I install the new OS into the next one and test. Once I am happy that all works great on my hardware I switch the home partition to be mounted on the new OS and the old partition becomes the one waiting for next.

      Two advantages a new clean install cleans out all the old crud that accumulates like programs installed but never used again. I don't have old system config files from 6 versions back laying around giving the new binaries fits. Second I can be sure all works before committing to the new version and can drop back if need be.

      It generally takes less then an hour to remember and install my main programs. Forget some it takes a couple of minuets to install once noticed.

      Much better then trying to muck around with potential bad configs and other things from old system. And it only costs 30 or so gig for the second partition. (note I still use ext4 not convinced about BTRFS yet)

      1. frank ly

        @James Loughner Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

        "And it only costs 30 or so gig for the second partition."

        My root partition is 12GB and has 4GB free. This is pure system; I have separate partitions for home and personal data. I'm wondering why you need a 30GB partition for what you seem to describe as a system root partition. Just idle curiosity .....

        1. gv

          Re: @James Loughner Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

          Linux is basically like a box of sweets: some of us like to try all of them, even the strawberry cremes.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Devil

            Re: @James Loughner Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

            Linux is basically like a box of sweets: some of us like to try all of them, even the strawberry cremes.

            Pervert!

            I bet you eat those filthy coffee ones as well. You disgust me!

        2. Ian 55

          Re: @James Loughner Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

          Celestia with all the graphics downloaded uses quite a bit of space, but yes.

          The only reason the SSD here also has Windows is that it'd look very, very empty if I just had the two Linux root partitions. I boot into it every couple of months, the update process reminds me why I stopped - you have to update programs individually!?! - and I restart into Linux again.

      2. itzman

        Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

        I keep all my data on an old atom based debian thing somewhere else on the network

        The only stuff in /home/me is to do with the config fles for various apps.

        This is a delight when upgrading.

    4. asdf

      Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      >Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      LMDE 2 is great but alas even the upgrade to LMDE 3 (and systemd but not for me) won't be completely trivial based on past experience. Still at least there is a rolling upgrade path but LMDE is definitely not for you if you are not comfortable with the CLI.

      1. asdf

        Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

        Sorry wasn't clear in first post but that LMDE being a semi rolling release allows you to not have to do a massive upgrade every six months like regular Mint. More like every two years or more and unlike an LTS release you actually get constant software version upgrades not just security fixes. But again it's not really noob friendly though.

    5. Ian 55

      Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

      It was that and a couple of things that were not quite working in Mint that meant I switched back to Ubuntu when Ubuntu MATE happened.

      Not regretted it for a second.

      And, of course, even though I changed everything - including going from 32-bit Linux Mint to 64-bit Ubuntu MATE - having a separate /home partition meant that my data and app settings were still safe. I don't want to think how much work it would have been with Windows.

  6. phuzz Silver badge
    Unhappy

    And there was me thinking that 17.1 was a good version to standardise a bunch of our customer's machines on. I haven't even finished rolling them all out yet :(

    Ho hum, hopefully most of the package updates should keep coming for a while yet.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Happy

      "And there was me thinking that 17.1 was a good version to standardise a bunch of our customer's machines on. I haven't even finished rolling them all out yet :(

      Ho hum, hopefully most of the package updates should keep coming for a while yet."

      ... and here's where I drop the fanboi pose and make a few suggestions: Don't rush to upgrade! You still get Ubuntu updates and also those that Mint themselves provide so you have a good, stable platform that will receive security updates to work with. Stick with what you have already and then plan for moving forwards.

      Find examples of a few nightmare users - the one's with big mailboxes etc and clone their machines or P2V them to a virty system. If necessary you can always use rsync -rav to get a copy of a system out to another to play with whilst they are using it. You might like to learn Arch or Gentoo to learn the way to do this and get away with it, ie create a skeletal system, slap files on it and get it to boot. Practice upgrading and then job's a good 'un.

      If the above is a little intimidating, it is probably a bit excessive. Make up a plan for an upgrade, try it, rinse, wash, repeat. However: remember there are loads of forums that will give you a hand. The Gentoo ones are generally pretty friendly to "foreigners" including Mint users, so don't restrict yourself to one lot.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Fortunately in the bit of testing I have done, 95% is unchanged. all the rest will just need a few "if lsbdistdescription = 'Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca'" bits in puppet to sort out the differences.

        It was more that I'd assumed that 17.1 was an LTS release, which doesn't look like the case now.

        1. Richard 22
          Stop

          17.0, 17.1 and 17.2 are all based on the same Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, so they all have Long Term Support for the core system components. They are all marked as Long Term Support releases on the linux mint website (until 2019 - ie the same as the underlying 14.04 system). So just because they've released a newer, better version doesn't mean you have to update - it doesn't affect the support status of previous releases. They've only really updated the desktop components anyway, plus a few packages. If you've standardised on 17.1 and it's working then there's nothing requiring you to update.

  7. gerdesj Silver badge
    Linux

    I've always had a soft spot for Minty

    ... although for some reason I stuck Arch on wifey's laptop when Win 7 pissed her and me off enough. I prefer a Gentoo experience but nowadays am grateful for a Core i7 + 16GB RAM on my lappy to crunch the code!

    To everyone else who asks what to try on a personal machine, I recommend Mint and it keeps getting better. Time for a download and another KVM I think.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Mint does what no other os/distro does

    Takes note of what users actually want, not what the devs think they should want.

    1. asdf

      Re: Mint does what no other os/distro does

      >Mint does what every other os/distro does or will soon do

      Join the Red Hat freedesktop.borg. Why because resistance is futile. Clem is great and so is Mint but alas he and it also will be assimilated.

    2. asdf

      Re: Mint does what no other os/distro does

      >not what the devs think they should want.

      Pretty obvious now in retrospect why Gnome so badly jumped the shark. A bit of corporate influence is all I will say.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe...

    ...Just maybe someone will reinvent the OS/2 active desktop and all that entails in usefulness.

    I have a couple of Linux distros that I run in a VM just to see if they live up to expectations but after using them for a few hours I always reboot my machine back to OS/2 to get any work done. I could live with Linux if someone ported the OS/2 desktop and all that it does. I don't like windows fot the same reason - the shitty desktop which has got much worse since XP.

    1. asdf
      Trollface

      a not so innocent question

      So to get a quorum at user's group meetings do you have to combine with the AmigaOS and BeOS folks?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a not so innocent question

        Actually no. You would be surprised at just how many OS/2 installations in industry there still are and those using it are not going to change any time soon. A working machine that has 30 to 40 years life left in it and costs several million euro to replace is not going to be replaced any time soon and neither is the OS controlling it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a not so innocent question

          Even in my industry (semiconductor) with million dollar production tools you hardly see any internal OS/2 computers today unlike 10 years ago. Yes I will concede there are still the occasional production OS/2 installs out in the wild but as far as people using as their desktop daily driver you my friend are not only rarer than a Windows Phone user but may be even rarer than a Sailfish OS user.

    2. itzman

      Re: Maybe...

      Well off you go. Lots of toolkits available for the OS/2 window manager to build upon

    3. kryptylomese

      Re: Maybe...

      Linux has MANY desktop environments and some are highly customisable. Which ones have you tried and did you try to customise them?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have installed Linux Mint 17.1

    on a 7 years old Dell Latitude laptop and it works great. An SSD hard drive was all it needed to add a few more years to its lifetime.

  12. choleric

    apt functionality

    From the article:

    "For example, if you want to install Calibre, you'd type "apt recommends calibre" to see what else you'll need to install."

    Not quite. "recommends" gives you a list of related packages that you might like to install. Stuff you _need_ for the package to work ("depends on") is installed automagically.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    he traditional desktop paradigmT

    "taskbar-like panels with applets, a start menu and system tray"

    This misses out the most significant part: the ability to put files, folders*, links or applications on the desktop. The current fashion in "user experience design" is that you must follow the designer's workflow whether it's relevant to you or not.

    Stuff designing my user experience, just provide a versatile user interface & I'll design my own experience.

  14. Wolfclaw
    WTF?

    Eh?

    LINUX, always thought that was government code word for deleting documents that show they have lied to the country.

  15. MJI Silver badge

    XP users

    I dual boot my home XP PC with Mint Cinnamon and Mint is more like XP to use than any version of Windows beginning with 8

  16. Adam Jarvis

    WINDOWS 10 CRS-7 EDITION RTM FINAL

    Linux Users: Just continously search Google for

    'Windows 10 CRS-7 Edition RTM FINAL'

    so that Windows 10 and SpaceX's failed re-supply launch are intrinsically linked forever more.

    MS have reason to be worried:

    Linux Mint 17.2 is actually very good, a solid release with 4-5 years long term support, match it with the upcoming LibreOffice 5.0, once released around the 29th JULY 2015 (coincidentaly).

  17. MissingSecurity

    Making the switch

    Have been of Fedora 20 for a while, mostly because my last company ran RHEL, but I do believe it's time to move to a more enjoyable distro experience and this just might be it.

  18. AlbertH

    This is the one for me!

    I've just downloaded and installed Mint 17.2. I've resisted the move from Ubuntu (usually Kubuntu) for too long!

    This is the first distro version that really feels "easy to use". The installer is simple to operate, the selection of provided software is sensible (and there's plenty more available from the repos), and the installed system is quick and responsive, and everything Just Works™.

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