back to article Long-term Linux Mint: 19.3 release unchains the Gimp, adds HiDPI, is kind to your older, less-beefy kit

Linux Mint 19.3 was completed late last year and is a long-term support release with support until 2023, so we decided to put it through its paces. Linux Mint is a distribution based on Ubuntu (there is also a Debian edition) and version 19.3 uses the Ubuntu 18.04 base packages – also a Long Term Support version. Mint 19.3 “ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My old Dell Latitude D630 laptop

    had no problem walking the path from LM 19.0 to each successive version up to 19.3. For a venerable machine it works surprisingly well except for a lengthy startup time (2 to 3 minutes to login prompt and other 2 from login to desktop) caused mainly by the patches for Intel CPU bugs.

    1. elaar

      Re: My old Dell Latitude D630 laptop

      I updated from 17.3 to 19.3 with the help of an online guide, and the process was seamless and completed in an hour.

    2. Bit Brain

      Re: My old Dell Latitude D630 laptop

      Runs nicely on my old ThinkPad T430 (with SSD upgrade) as well.

  2. cornetman Silver badge

    Updated some days ago at home and in the office.

    Seems pretty smooth so far. The snazzy graphical boot menu is nice.

    I see why they canned Gimp from the default set: it's not that great some most users just wanting to tweak pictures and such but I haven't looked at their alternative.

    Sounds like it needs some love for it to be ready for primetime.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Sounds like it needs some love for it to be ready for primetime"

      Can't be any more than 20 odd years that we have been hearing that same phrase !!

      1. Jedipadawan

        Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

        >"Can't be any more than 20 odd years that we have been hearing that same phrase !!"

        Well, there is a reason, even if it is just obstiance.

        I am not a graphical artist and so I am unable to professionally assess different graphics apps claims but I do know the following:

        1.) Artists have been on the GIMP team's back for ages about making GIMP nicer for creators to use but they have refused every time stating that GIMP is, and only ever will be, an image MANIPULATION tool and not an image creation tool! Which is why, to date, no Photoshop like app has ever appeared for Linux. The GIMP have always insisted they will never attempt to go the Photoshop route.

        2.) There is, however a new kid on the block - Krita. This is taking the exact opposite approach to GIMP and IS a graphical editing tool with input from artists and designed for the CREATION of images! Any budding Photoshop equivalent in Linux is likely to be found here rather than GIMP.

        See here:

        https://krita.org/en/

        Most Linux users appear to be completely unaware of Krita but it's development has been fast! Indeed GIMP has slowed in terms of feature addition, almost to the point of stalling, Krita has a new release with new features every six months as part of the base KDE app install program!

        However, Krita is a KDE/QT app which, with Mint having gone all in with the GTK route would not be suitable as an app in the default Mint install.

        Personally, I find the GIMP interface easier to handle but I am not a graphical artist in any way whatsoever and so cannot really comment on the workflow or features.

        3.) GIMP has now forked due to naming controversy (of all things!) and now we have 'Glimpse.' At this stage Glimpse is functionally identical to GIMP but there is now room for a new team to develop the code with more of an open ear to artists and Glimpse may yet become what a lot of users have wanted GIMP to be... forever.

        Just sayin'.

        1. NATTtrash Silver badge

          Re: Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

          There is, however a new kid on the block - Krita

          Krita is not that new, now is it? And, if I remember well, is more of a graphical, illustration kind of application (old timer shouts CorelDraw).

          As for the Gimp interface: I think that the community has already reacted there some considerable time ago. Searches will give enough results (and solutions) on "how to make the Gimp GUI look like PhotoShop".

          No, as more easy/ lightweight Gimp alternatives, I would sooner think of Pinta (albeit mono and not supported any more for ages) or the really new kid on the block PencilSheep. Tried the last one in VM and looks/ works great, but sadly not in repos/ ppa (yet) and only available as (silly) snap...

          And as a side note: Is Mint still the community favourite? I thought that was all MX Linux these days...

          1. gerdesj Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

            CorelDraw is a vector drawing tool and Krita is a bitmap editor although CorelDraw did come with a bitmap editor as well.

            (Arch and Gentoo ftw)

        2. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

          I see Krita as more of drawing/art application, which is typically not what I need, but GIMP provides what I do need most of the time.

          Use the tool that suits your use-case.

        3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

          I'm not sure why you think that issue with GIMP is a refusal to be an image creation program. From my experience the feature set is roughly on par with that of Photoshop, the lack of CYMK support being the notable exception. No, the real problem with GIMP is and always has been it's horrible and incoherent interface, and a name that makes it embarrassing to recommend*. I have looked at Krita from time to time but its feature set is pretty limited and seems to aim at being a paint program (somewhere between MS Paint and Corel Painter but unfortunately much closer to the former) and that's not something Photoshop has ever aspired to being despite the presence of "artistic" brushes. I've installed Glimpse 0.1 and as you at the moment it's just the old GIMP with a new name but I have hopes for it. Meanwhile I'll stick with Paintshop Pro which has alway been able to give Photoshop a run for its money.

          *I don't personally have a problem with it but others have their sensitivities and the developers' response to suggestions of a name change seems to me, pretty much symptomatic of the problems with the project as a whole.

        4. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: Krita or Glimpse might be the answer here

          Oh Krita!

          Thanks for making me remember that one.

      2. cornetman Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I meant that their replacement "Drawing", not Gimp, is very early.

        I personally use Gimp a lot and I find it a great package.

  3. Andy Non Silver badge
    Linux

    Mint is great

    Still using 18.3 at the moment, may wait until version 20 comes along in the Summer before doing a fresh install. Used Mint for around 6 or 7 years now, when Window 8 came along which I thoroughly hated. Really pleased with the switch to Linux, love the fast boot time and lack of clutter and system bloat ware.

    I wouldn't describe the start menu as like Windows 10 though as stated in the article, more like Windows 7, which was a proper menu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mint is great

      "Love the fast boot time"

      Why are you booting your machines so often that boot times are important ?

      "lack of clutter "

      That's a user problem, not an os problem.

      "system bloat ware"

      Agreed Windows 10 is a nightmare for that.

      So only 1 kudos in 3.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Mint is great

        ""lack of clutter "

        That's a user problem, not an os problem."

        OSen can help, by adapting the OS to the user rather than vice-versa. Mac OS automatically groups my desktop files by type under a dropdown icon, so at any given time I only have 5 or 6 'icons' which I can expand when needed. Means I can be as cluttered as I like, still have a neat desktop and still be able to find stuff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mint is great

        "Why are you booting your machines so often that boot times are important?"

        Because I'm not using my computer twenty four hours a day, and 'sleep' is too unreliable under linux*, so I turn my machine off when I'm not using it.

        As the saying goes, uptime is a measure of how long since you last tested that your machine could successfully boot.

        *(and that's using Mint 17.3 on an Intel NUC, hardly an uncommon or unsupported configuration).

        1. Andy Non Silver badge

          Re: Mint is great

          Ditto that. My main Linux Mint computer is on 24/7 and rarely rebooted. My less used Mint computer is booted as required 2 or 3 times a week.

      3. AndyS

        Re: Mint is great

        > Why are you booting your machines so often that boot times are important ?

        Because it only takes about 12 seconds, so why would I not?

      4. Avatar of They
        Thumb Down

        Re: Mint is great

        No reboots?

        I have Linux mint running on a desktop 24/7.

        However.

        I also have it running on my laptop, which isn't

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Mint is great

      I've tried numerous distros over the years, but I always end up back at mint xfce.

  4. Fungus Bob

    choose between rsync and BTRFS

    I choose both.

  5. mickaroo

    My Minty Lenovo

    I have Mint Mate 18.3 running on a venerable Lenovo T440s. Boot time is measured in seconds, not minutes, and it "just works". I have a VirtualBox installation of Windows 10 for compatibility with my co-workers, and even that boots up faster than some of my co-workers' laptops.

    I did look at upgrading to Mint 19 a while back but it seemed pretty daunting at the time, kind-of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", Maybe time to take another look?

    1. mhenriday
      Happy

      Re: My Minty Lenovo

      Suggest you take another look, mickaroo ; as good as Mint 18.3 was, I think you will find that 19.3 is better....

      Henri

  6. Try Turning It Off And On Again

    Is HDMI and Audio still borked?

    I know it was in Ubuntu 18.04 and Debian 9 both of which fail at any kind of auto detect (I have a whole bunch of scripts to swap stuff around from the shell). Recent install of Ubuntu 19.06 seemed a bit better, but not great.

    Love running Linux but it is little things like this that keeps it away from non-techies and even drives me nuts at times

    1. mickaroo

      HDMI and Audio

      My "venerable Lenovo T440s" has a Mini DisplayPort and I use a Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI dongle. Video is auto-detected but I do have to manually select "Digital Stereo (HDMI)" in Sound Preferences. Not a huge challenge as I've added Sound Preferences to my shortcuts; and once selected, the HDMI audio works too.

      1. Try Turning It Off And On Again

        Re: HDMI and Audio

        Yup, I also have sound prefs on as a shortcut and a pactl set-card-profile script for when it forgets that analog-stereo exists. Not a huge problem just one of those little annoyances

        Ubuntu 19.06 sort of remembered that HDMI also has audio after I set it once, but only had a short time to play with it while setting up a friends machine

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: HDMI and Audio

          "I know it was in Ubuntu 18.04 and Debian 9 both of which fail at any kind of auto detect (I have a whole bunch of scripts to swap stuff around from the shell). Recent install of Ubuntu 19.06 seemed a bit better, but not great."

          It's only 2020, no need to laugh because there are still so many distros having problems with sound and video cards. Just use the CLI and be done with out, why bother with niggly things like sound and resolution .... <snark>

    2. mrmond

      Well to be fair, there's times it's borked in win10 too, often I plug the lappy into the TV with HDMI and have to manually select the audio output when I get no sound, and it's fine till the next reboot.

      Mint (19.3 and replying via that now) seems no better or worse in that regard. On both, sometimes it auto detects just fine and sometimes it doesn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sometimes Win10 has no audio at all after booting. Need to hibernate & wake up again. And switching to USB headphones can take maaaany seconds. Not even getting into the pains it has with multiple screens (middle one randomly fuzzy & sometimes rotating all windows 1 screen left after unlocking screensaver...)

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      HDMI and Audio

      Surprising to hear of problems in this area.

      I'm running a fairly ancient version of Mint (not at home, so I can't check, but probably 17.?). It has no trouble running two screens, one HDMI, one DP. And it plays HDMI audio (atrocious sound quality, but that's down to the crappy speakers in the screen). Switching to analogue output is simple enough, as the audio properties app is accessible via the volume control in the system tray.

      A couple of years ago I had a sudden motherboard death in the middle of some important work. I shifted the system disk into a spare computer that was pretty dissimilar, and I don't recall any problems with video or audio.

    4. Dave Bell

      HDMI problems may be more to do with the graphics hardware drivers. I don't have problems with my nVidia card, using the nVidia drivers rather than open source. It's an option on install. I use an old TV and output sound though the TV speakers. I had sound problems with Mint 19.2, occasional loss of settings, wasn't a big job to recover. It's maybe too early to say whether Mint 19.3 has fixed it.

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Linux

    S'fine...

    Using Mint 18.3 on this machine --- after which we had to amicably part ways because they were stupid enough to junk KDE in further editions --- and it does most stuff well.

    As for the start menu the first 2 things on any installation of any OS I do is to shove the taskbar in the sky and revert to Classic Start Menu --- when I can't do that I give up on an OS. Why mess with cascading perfection ?

    My motherboard onboard sound died, so I bought a cheap Chinese USB soundcard dongle, and Mint handled it immediately. Anyway good luck to Mint.

  8. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Linux

    Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

    When I couldnt put up with the behaviour of Microsoft any longer, Cinnamon was suggested as the most 'windows like' environment available.

    As such it acts as an intro to Linux environments for windows expats, a reasonably familiar and comforting front end, over the linux experience of trying to get stuff to actually work.

    Once I was happy enough with Cinnamon I tried some other Linux distros, but it is still useful as a near-windows machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

      Surprising how often you mention Windows in such a few sentences.

      Why not go just go back to windows rather than wasting time trying to "get over the linux experience of trying to get stuff to actually work."...

      When Linux doesn't work, don't worry, because there is a forum somewhere in this Galaxy that might have the answer on the 156th page of a Linux Troll/Nerd fuck fest of a discussion.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        And yet... I run Linux (KDE Neon in the main) on a mass of laptops from a single core atom to an i5 in a tuition business with the OS and apps used by me and staff and a vast number of kids of various ages with a vast range of software including, as an example of use, multi-track, effects driven video editing using Kdenlive.

        And it all just works. Helped a friend junk Windows for Linux and now he runs his business on KDE.

        Saved me a fortune in both money and time.

        I do wish the various fanbois would engage with how Linux is now and not how it was circa 1999.

      2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        "Why not go just go back to windows rather than wasting time trying to "get over the linux experience of trying to get stuff to actually work."..."

        How long has it been since you've used Linux? No matter what OS, some people are going to have trouble getting things to work. Have you lived such a charmed life that you've never seen Windows fail to work right and/or totally bork itself after an update? On my work Win10 installation, I have to constantly tell Windows what the default audio device should be, it randomly rearranges items on the taskbar, the desktop, and of course Windows gives you zero relevant live diagnostic or progress info when it's doing anything these days.

        "When Linux doesn't work, don't worry, because there is a forum somewhere in this Galaxy that might have the answer on the 156th page of a Linux Troll/Nerd fuck fest of a discussion."

        Wow, such hostility. My experience with Linux forums is that in a few tries, I can normally find relevant fixes that actually work, written by knowledgeable people. Compare this to trying to find info when you have a Windows issue: 1000 pages of shady companies touting their useless snake-oil remedies, followed by blogs where fools advise: "Have you scanned for viruses using (insert favorite antimalware product here)?" "Have you tried doing a repair installation of Windows?" (so that you can enjoy reinstalling most of your software, needlessly) Also bicker at each other, and just generally miss the point. At least in a Linux "fuck fest" as you call it, people can find the appropriate hole and end up sated. Unlike many Windows forums where it's like the stud dog that mounts the female dog's face, the railings, the floor, the handler's leg, then spends the rest of the session chasing their tail.

        1. ForthIsNotDead
          Thumb Up

          Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

          As a fairly recent convert to Linux (Mint), I'm with you on this. The OP mentioned a 'Linux fuck fest' - I know what he means. It certainly *used* to be like that. I remember my first dabble with Linux in the late 90s/early noughties and I was put off by the level of vitriol and downright nastiness on the 'support' forums.

          However, it is not like that today. If you check out the Linux Mint forums (for example) you'll find it's a very friendly place.

          I generally find that, in the event of a 'problem' (i.e. *me* not knowing how to do something) somebody has already asked the question and a solution has been provided. In these cases, I don't even need to post anything; I can just passively read the information and adopt the solution.

      3. Inkey
        Flame

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        Been using mint as a daily for a little over 3 years

        Work station boots way faster than win10 laptop from wake up..

        Never had an issue I couldn't solve or find help with, so not sure which galaxy you're in but it seems like it's filled with gas giant's like youranus.

        For reference I "nmaped" a phishing email that originated from a law firm in South America.... The certificates traced back to a M.$ azure dev, when I went to report the incident using the M$ report links

        they didn't work and there was a few comments asking why you couldn't report phishing emails to M$.. I find this a typical M$ freebie.

        I updated to the latest version a few weeks ago...

        half an hour later is back in, all my apps and settings all there and working and quadro vidcard drivers updated and I've mentioned before about print drivers and mint...

        I can't for life of me understand how so much of the world is / was duped into believing ms was a good product... Not sure I'll ever use ms rubbish again personally.

        1. magicaces

          Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

          Because there is good and bad in both Windows and Linux. The nice thing these days is that its easy to try all the options and see for yourself. I'm a Windows guy mainly through work and gaming but I've been interested in Linux lately with Microsoft looking at more open source services and collaboration between both worlds. This is even more true in the cloud with Azure and AWS.

          Overall I've had my fair share of issues in the past with Windows but since I built my current PC in 2017 I've had very little issues. Even with the endless Windows upgrade cycle which I delay as much as possible i.e. until Microsoft has fixed everything on a release a year later.

          This Mint version looks very interesting and I'll give it a try and see how it runs on my custom PC.

      4. fran 2

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        "When Linux doesn't work, don't worry, because there is a forum somewhere in this Galaxy that might have the answer on the 156th page of a Linux Troll/Nerd fuck fest of a discussion."

        Chill man, it is a new year, no time to be getting angry on the intrewebs

      5. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        All right Carter. Not seen you on for a while. I gather that your still having 'the old trouble'. I hear you can get Viagra over the counter these days, maybe try some of that.

      6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        AC: Why not go just go back to windows rather than wasting time trying to "get over the linux experience of trying to get stuff to actually work."...

        OP: When I couldnt put up with the behaviour of Microsoft any longer [...]

        "Reading goes faster if you don't sweat comprehension." -- Bill Watterson

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

      Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

      I've migrated quite a few of my elderly informal customer support cohort to Cinnamon/Mint from Windows in an effort to give them something reliable and more easily supported than the OS that came with the new laptop. For users who only want to browse, send and receive email and write the occasional letter and who only know an OS as "The Windows" it's the easiest way to prize them out of the hands of Redmond using their existing machine. For the non-technical Windows user there's little paradigm shift, everything is where they expect to find and it Just Works. As it reduces my support workload I have been more than happy to roll it out.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

        @Admiral Grace Hopper

        I have also done this for a number of people who have win7. Lots of happy users and very few support issues.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Introduction to Linux for Windows refugees

      It's certainly a significant improvement over Windows 10, though it doesn't really have the maturity that you would expect of something with a version number of 19. Some of the snags include:

      1/ The touchpad on my laptop freezes periodically and sometimes is erratic - there are bug reports for this going back years with a long list of changes and reversions that never seem to have resolved the issue.

      2/ Applications (like Evolution) seem to lose touch with Gnome Keyring from time to time resulting in constant password prompts.

      3/ Mounting Windows (CIFS) shared folders requiring a username and password at login time was far from obvious and required a deep dive into pam_mount.

      4/ Application you select with the Software Manager may be packages, snaps or flatpaks, apparently at random, which is at best confusing for Windows exiles.

      Generally, however, it seems to work well enough. LibreOffice is mostly good enough (although its mail merge is dreadful). I still keep a Windows 7 VM around for applications I use infrequently, but seem to be more usable than their Linux counterparts (Photoshop & Vegas, for example), but for day-to-day use, Mint is good enough.

  9. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Gimp

    And therein lies the biggest problem with broad scale Linux adoption. I don't care what it's supposed to stand for, calling an application the Gimp (or Gimp, or GIMP) means it will only ever appeal to techies, geeks and sniggering schoolchildren; everybody else thinks it's stupid. And in my case, one of two reasons to move off the platform; the other being file compatibility.

    1. fedoraman

      Re: Gimp

      Gimp seems to typify an concept of software design that says "All software must be as hard as possible to use", and "we wrote it, now its up to YOU to figure out how to use it". Never got on with it. Only today have I learned that you can't create images in it. Well, that might explain a lot of the trouble I had, then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gimp

        Gimp seems to typify an concept of software design that says "All software must be as hard as possible to use" ... Never got on with it."

        Oddly, I find GIMP easier to use than Photoshop. I never got on with Lightroom, either, and found darktable and Raw Therapee both easier to use, and better (in terms of image output). I guess different brains work differently. :/

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Gimp

          I grew up with Adobe's user interface, but like you I just can't get along with Lightroom. A friend is a professional photographer and he swears by it (and sometimes at it) so maybe it's a use case thing, but to me it's just awkward and clunky.

          1. HorseflySteve

            Re: Lightroom

            If you can't get on with DarkTable or Adobe Lightroom, try LightZone (https://lightzoneproject.org). There's a registration requirement but it's free and automatic. I couldn't get on with DarkTable after I found that RawTherapee didn't work properly on raw FujiFilm HS50EX files but LightZone works perfectly and it's available for linux, BSD, Mac OS and Windows.

      2. mrmond

        Re: Gimp

        "Only today have I learned that you can't create images in it. Well, that might explain a lot of the trouble I had, then."

        I'm trying really hard to understand how 'File- New' doesn't work for you, so much so that I opened up Gimp to check and then chose the image size from the offered menu before being offered a blank canvas to draw on as I've been doing for years.

        There are so many tutorials on the Internet that it doesn't have to be that hard.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: Gimp

          Most/many people only like what they know and know what they like. And change is a terrible thing, much to be feared and defended against.

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Gimp

          I use the Gimp infrequently, but enough to know that you can draw with it, but the tools you have are quite primitive compared to a real drawing package. You can get stuff done, but it's a bit clunky. Not sure whether there are any plugins that make this easier.

          My biggest problem is that every time I fire it up, it looks different from the last time (this could be my memory at fault, but I do keep my computer quite well up to date, so it could be updates).

          1. cornetman Silver badge

            Re: Gimp

            That's probably because it is not a drawing package.

            Like Photoshop, it is intended mainly to be used as a post-process utility, not for basic creation. There are better tools out there for that.

    2. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Gimp

      > everybody else thinks it's stupid

      Actually I don't think most people give a f*ck about its name.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Gimp

        ” Actually I don't think most people give a f*ck about its name.“

        Actually a lot of people do. Enough that it’s now been forked and renamed for that very reason.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/28/gimp_open_source_image_editor_forked_to_fix_problematic_name/

        1. jgarbo
          Devil

          Re: Gimp

          GIMP to Glimpse placated the Snowflakes who limp after kicking an inflated football. I'd suggested LEER or OGLE but the Glimpse brigade won.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Gimp

            "I'd suggested LEER or OGLE but the Glimpse brigade won."

            And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the case for the prosecution.

        2. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: Gimp

          > Actually a lot of people do. Enough that it’s now been forked and renamed for that very reason.

          Would you care to put a number to that claim? I would suggest that in fact a small number of loud and highly motivated people care.

          The name only has a connotation that some deem offensive in the US. Outside the US, it typically describes sex costumery or an injured limb. By definition, that is not anywhere near "everybody else". You do realise that there are users outside the US don't you?

          Like I said, most people don't give a shit.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Gimp

            "Would you care to put a number to that claim? I would suggest that in fact a small number of loud and highly motivated people care."

            When asked the question "Does 'The GIMP' need a new name?" a January 2018 OMGUbuntu poll resulted in 7,287 votes over 2 weeks - 53.8% - saying yes it should be renamed. And this is a poll of likely the most GIMP-friendly group out there; people who are not only invested in the platform, but interested enough in the program to post and respond to polls on technical forums.

            Outside of user groups, it's nigh-on impossible to know how many people have been turned off by the name and will therefore never use the product, but will never be surveyed because the Linux forums don't know they exist. I know I'm one of them.

            "The name only has a connotation that some deem offensive in the US. Outside the US, it typically describes sex costumery or an injured limb." My point exactly. Do you consider sex imagery to be an appropriate connotation for a software application that wants to be taken seriously?

            The fact that the decision was taken to rename despite considerable resistance from both the dev team and hardcore GIMP users is evidence enough that it was a case of Change or Die. It took me longer to write this post than to find the data; and I honestly can't be bothered to look further. If you're still not convinced, you've already made up your mind and I'd just be wasting more of my time.

            "Like I said, most people don't give a shit."

            Yeah you said that. You're still wrong though.

  10. James Anderson Silver badge

    Could the nice people at Mint ...

    Build an ISO that works on the various ASUS devices that were trashed by the latest windows 10 update.

    Apparently 32GB is not enough disk space to to run windows 10 and receive updates. If you are lucky you just stop getting updates plus constant "You should update" /"update failed" messages, if you are not the system, including the recovery partition, gets borked.

    OK you say just install linux! ...... it turns out that ASUS use a 32bit boot loader to load a 64bit OS for a 64 bit chip. Plus all the UEFI checks.

    I know some people have gone through the hoops and posted about five pages worth of instruction on how to get linux working, but, it would be nice

    if MINT could produce a nice ISO for these platforms which will otherwise end up in land fill.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Could the nice people at Mint ...

      Check out this page - it includes modified ISOs of popular distros (if you trust the author) as well as a small C program to modify ISOs yourself. It's intended for Core2Duo Macs but should also apply to 32-bit UEFI PCs in general:

      https://mattgadient.com/linux-dvd-images-and-how-to-for-32-bit-efi-macs-late-2006-models/

  11. trevorde Silver badge
    Joke

    2020 will be...

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

    1. jgarbo
      Linux

      Re: 2020 will be...

      Please remember: The Linux Corporation (;-) is not trying to dominate the Desktop. It fights without fighting, wins without winning. It cares not for accolades or the odd kudos. It simple is, in the Zen sense. If you want it, take it. If you don't, it feels no loss. It goes on...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux Mint love

    I revived a really old laptop with an earlier version of this distro. Really good -although it still struggled on 2GB RAM with Cinnamon for some reason. (I was thinking faulty chipset maybe)

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Linux Mint love

      18.3 64 bit using Mate is fine on a 1G RAM Atom laptop and 18.3 32 bit Mate is fine on 1G RAM P4.

      Some P4 laptops XP or Linux seriously outperforms one Atom I have running running Win 10 32 bit. Same Atom WILL run 64 bit Debian, but not 64 bit Win10, not enough RAM or Flash! There is a 32 bit EFI, so you need to edit the Linux Mint 64 bit ISO to add the 32 bit EFI files from Debian. At least the 18.3 and 19.1 Mint 64 bit can't install if the EFI of the 64 bit CPU is 32 bits.

  13. adam payne

    I'm still using 18.3 on my old HP 6730s but will be upgrading to 19 at some point. Still loving the minty freshness with a hint of cinnamon.

  14. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Linux Mint has been a breath of fresh air after using Windows...

    All my business has converted, with a net reduction in problems. MS fanbois banging on about lack of hardware compatibility, having to edit configuration files and operate on the command line are WAAAYYY wrong.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame Forums (pinned onto Firefox supplied with Mint) are a bit tumbleweed ...

    I have ONE - repeat ONE - simple question about accessibility. Asked on November 7th 2019 in "other topics". 122 views. No replies.

    Not really sure where else you should be asking, really ?

    Very simple (and I bet Windows would have had an answer before I'd hit return ....)

    How can a one-armed user achieve the equivalent of a shift+click in a list to select multiple items ? WITHOUT sticky-keys ?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Shame Forums (pinned onto Firefox supplied with Mint) are a bit tumbleweed ...

      Mouse with more buttons?

      Also I use Waterfox on 64 bit Linux.

      Why ask here rather than on a dedicated Linux site?

      Windows 10: PC Settings, Control Panel or where? Is that text, a radio button, checkbox or a link to change window? Is the application I want an "App" or a "program"; where do I add it / remove it or run it? I find Win 10 GUI MUCH less accessible and productive than NT 3.1 to NT5.x or Win7.

    2. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Re: Shame Forums (pinned onto Firefox supplied with Mint) are a bit tumbleweed ...

      Well, you could try settings-accessibility-keyboard-sticky keys.....

  16. Jan 0 Silver badge

    re: shame forums

    > How can a one-armed user achieve the equivalent of a shift+click in a list to select multiple items ? WITHOUT sticky-keys ?

    Errm, I'm a two armer, but I often hold a glass or 'phone in one hand while I use a thumb and little finger on the other to press a key pair. Isn't your problem triple key presses?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: re: shame forums

      If you read the original request, it mentions a shift-click: meaning being able to hold down a key while clicking a mouse which is usually too far away physically to reach while pressing the key at the same time. Though I must ask: if physical disability is an issue, why is Sticky Keys not a viable solution in your case? It sounds like asking why one cannot physically be in two places at once.

  17. Richy Freeway

    Frog

    Originally switched to Mint on my laptop as it ran Minecraft a LOT better than Windows did.

    Have since switched all my machines over (dual boot with Windows on my desktop for Oculus gaming and the nipper playing Fortnite) and couldn't be happier. *Everything* is quicker.

    If you play Java Minecraft, you should definitely give it a go. :D

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mint 19.x Cinnamon has been an uncharacteristically rough patch in the road

    If you're considering switching or upgrading to Mint 19.x and you need Samba (to network with Windows 7 machines in particular), make sure to read the Mint release notes carefully and take the warning about Samba seriously. Samba apparently has fundamental problems in all distros based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Mint itself recommends sticking with 18.3 if you need to use Samba on a regular basis. I'm actually considering downgrading to 18.3 or switching to another distro -- one not based on Ubuntu 18.04 -- for this reason alone. I'm getting file-transfer speeds between Mint 19.3 and Windows 7 that are around a tenth of USB 2.0 speeds -- that's USB 2, not 3 -- and that's not really what I'd call acceptable on a gigabit Ethernet network.

    I decided I was done with Microsoft back in 2016 and started trialing various Linux distros in virtual machines. Over a couple of years, Mint Cinnamon came out on top in terms of ease of transition, ease of use, and stability. That said, my in-place, bare-metal (non-VM) upgrade from 19.2 to 19.3 on an old ThinkPad T500 with 8GM of RAM was not a happy one. Nothing got borked, but lag time increased exponentially, to the point of making the computer unusable. Downgrading from kernel 5.x to kernel 4.15.x helped the most. Then I radically decreased swappiness (which you wouldn't think would be necessary with 8GB RAM), as well as cache pressure, and that helped some more. Then I disabled background indexing in Recoll and ended up uninstalling Recoll entirely, and that helped some more. Then I disabled most of my non-essential Cinnamon Spices, and that helped some more. Then I disabled desktop animations and related frou-frou, and that helped some more. And then Mint released an update to Cinnamon, and that helped yet some more. The machine is now usable, but it's still pokier than it used to be, and I really shouldn't have had to do all that tweaking.

    The fault could be mine, for installing one or two best-in-class KDE apps and their requisite libraries (from the official repositories, mind you) in a Cinnamon environment, but the bottom line is that my Linux Mint computer is no longer as snappy as it used to be. To give it a fair shot, I'd probably have to reinstall 19.3 from scratch and steer clear of foreign-DE apps ... which I'm not going to do because it still wouldn't fix Samba. And the best I can say about that is that the Samba problems are not Mint's fault, they're Ubuntu's. If you hitch your wagon to an upstream distro, sometimes horse apples are going to come flying your way. At least Mint is smart enough to maintain a parallel, if less actively developed, Debian-based edition (LMDE) in case they need to jump ship in the future. (Sorry about the mixed metaphors.)

    I don't recall experiencing the standard-package/Flatpak/Snap confusion the reviewer mentioned. I don't think I've seen any Snaps in the repo -- the Mint team has serious objections to the way Ubuntu has centralized control over them -- but I'm pretty sure Flatpaks are clearly flagged in Software Manager's listings, along the lines of Fabulous App X (flatpak). I guess that doesn't help Windows refugees who don't know what a Flatpak is, but as with Windows users who don't know what a "portable program" is, the solution to that problem lies in a couple minutes of googling and reading. Learn once, know forever.

    Final Note: If you use Tor Browser, avoid the Ubuntu repo package like the plague, because it's not only out of date, it's catastrophically bad. Instead, download the package from the Tor Browser site and install it by following the site's reasonably straightforward instructions. Once that's done, you'll get update notifications in Tor Browser and you'll be able to update from within the app (same as in Windows). And if you use Pale Moon, Steve Pusser's officially endorsed PPA is very promptly updated and works perfectly.

    Anyway, I'm still a big fan of Mint and of Cinnamon, but for me, 19.x has been kind of a rough patch in the road. I feel like I should wrap up with a clever remark combining wagons, horses, horse apples, and ships, but I got nothin'... ;-)

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Mint 19.x Cinnamon has been an uncharacteristically rough patch in the road

      T500 with intel or radeon graphics card? Just wondering if that could be a factor. Yet to try Mint on a Core Duo based Thinkpad, currently setting it up on an X220 with Intel video so the missus can try it out before Win 7 eol.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mint 19.x Cinnamon has been an uncharacteristically rough patch in the road

        My T500 has integrated graphics only. (Sure, I may have a fancy, ten-year-old, corporate-discard laptop, but I'm not made of money! ;-) And by the way, more updates have come down the pipeline since I posted, and the lagginess I was experiencing has improved further still, to the point that it's almost not an issue. (Samba still is!) I don't have a clue what specific updates might have been responsible for the improvement. Kernel 4.15.x got bumped up a skosh and a few of my remaining Cinnamon Spices have been updated, but other than that, I'm still too much of a Linux noob to even guess. (Could it be Python? Could Python have something to do with it? ;-)

        More on the T500: love the 16:10 aspect-ratio screen; hate that it's the last generation of ThinkPads where you cannot swap the Fn and Ctrl keys in the BIOS. You have no idea how much grief that causes me every time I switch between the T500 and keyboards with a standard layout. Muscle memory is a harsh mistress.

  19. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    HiDPI

    The 18.3 seems to have some HiDPI support.

    Also the look, feel and performance of Mint depends purely on the Desktop used, the Window Manager used with that and then the Theme installed or customized. Win 10 has none of that being like a throw back to Windows 2.0. At least on XP you could get rid of Fisher Price look and you could ENTIRELY and easily turn off all the stupid eye candy on Vista. All you can do on Win10 is change some of the colours. Some GUI options (like no snap and always show scroll bars) are almost hidden.

    I have 19.2 on a test machine, I must update it to 19.3, not been using it as I do all my "real" work on Linux Mint 18.3, Mate Desktop and a customised theme that's sort of like a mix of Win98 and Win7 without much eye candy. I've a decent GPU, so I have a sort of shadow on the active window.

    I bought my Lenovo Laptop just as Win7 sales ended about 2 years ago and initially had dual boot to Linux. I wasn't using Win7 so copied off all the data, reformatted that partition as Ext4 and mounted it in a directory in my home. Migration of Thunderbird & Firefox data from Win7 no problem.

    I'd abandoned PaintShop Pro7 for The Gimp (better text, PDF import and export) and MS Office for LibreOffice (styles are your friend) about a year or so earlier on XP. Ran Notepad++ on WINE till I figured out that KATE was better and native. ADI/LT Spice installed fine on WINE. I have my old Eagle (with licence key) on WINE and a newer "free" entry level Eagle on Linux before it was sold again (Adobe?).

    I have an XP in a VM for the very rare occasion it's wanted, about 3 times in 2 years. Saves getting out the old XP machine.

  20. Phil the Geek

    Pensioner friendly

    I set up Mint on an old Vista laptop for my Mum, who's 88 years old. She's a smart cookie but not at all experienced with computers. She gets along just fine with it and uses it for her Tesco online shopping and general web use.

    She told me she'd had a phone call from "the Windows Technical Support Centre". What did you say to them, I asked, nervously. "Go away, I run Linux", she said.

  21. Yeldraw

    Mint and latest Gimp

    I have used Linux Mint for about ten years and found it brilliant. It has grown into a first class OS. It is now on my three desk tops and also my old ASUS K52F lap top. I was on the verge of binning the lap top. The awful Win8 OS and pressure to go to Win10, and the frequent interruptions while working were intolerable. The speed made the machine almost unusable. Cost was another issue with four machines.The lap top is now better than new with new 240 Gb SSD and running Mint Cinnamon. With WINE I can still use Coreldraw, and with addition of some WIN DLLs the excellent WYSIWYG Sitespinner Pro runs perfectly. One, and one only problem is the Asus webcam pic is upside down and so far I can't fix it. Solution is easy - use a cheap external USB webcam. Skype is now good! I have one recent annoyance, it seems to me a change for the sake of change.The latest GIMP display is black and imo awful. I much prefer the more normal previous display. Perhaps I can revert to the old version!

    Overall, I cannot see why anyone would want to mess with Windows when Linux Mint is so good. It is stable, economical, fast, updates are simple and under user control, my computer is "mine" still. Softmaker by the German people is a great office suite as well as Open Office and both are compatible to a high degree with MS Office which tries to hang on to it's past monopoly! Some specialist software may dictate Windows is needed but for most users Linux would serve them better. A donation is more than deserved for a great OS. Thank you.

    1. mrmond

      Re: Mint and latest Gimp

      Gimp has preferences and has an option to change themes, light or system will change it to how it was under 2.8. Look under the interface setting.

      You can even set the icons to legacy to be more like you're used to.

  22. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Trollface

    Tomboy and ".Not" aka Mono - GOOD RIDDANCE!

    I always hated Gnome including Tomboy and hauling in gigabytes of Mono crap...

    GOOD RIDDANCE! (it's ABOUT TIME!)

    YEARS AGO I would've simply left it out of the package dependency list and let people install it if they want it. AND! I! WOULD! HAVE! KEPT! GIMP! THIS TIME AROUND!!!

    Gimp = worth keeping

    Tomboy = what the hell is THAT for, and WHY did it install gigabytes of MONO ??? [ok it's gone now but I made my point]

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