Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

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Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby yeti on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:20 pm

.
I am a frequent & habitual user of linux. I prefer an LXDE distro
with LibreOffice on a 2 Gb LiveUSB with persistence; I am
familiar with several such offerings. My computer is a Dell 1545
Inspiron laptop with internal Broadcom wifi. I have several comments
with respect to the current Mint 12 LXDE LiveCD in this regard.

1. The Mint site offers a fast download of the necessary LiveCD.
I was not initially aware of the Start-Up Disk Creator on the LiveCD
and tried both Unetbootin and PenDrive programs to make the LiveUSB.
Neither of these programs was apparently up-to-date. However,
Start-up Disk Creator worked quite well for this purpose, once found.

2. First, the good news. Mint 12 LiveUSB correctly ids my display,
video/graphics, keyboard, touchpad, wireless mouse and an external
wifi and provides the necessary drivers for these.

3. My Mint 12 LiveUSB boot-up times are on the order of two minutes:
twice that for Window 7 or a few non-Ubuntu linuxes on this machine.
The uninteresting black screen during boot is even more of an
exasperation during this long process, since no indications of
progress are evident. Two minutes is unsatisfactory; I hope I
may discover some reason and remedy for this situation.

4. My internal wifi is recognized but neither prepared-for nor
adequately handled by Mint 12 LXDE. My internal wifi requires a
Broadcom STA driver which the Mint 12 LiveCD offers but does not
deliver. I used an external wifi adapter to bring in the necessary
source material then compiled and installed the same.
Mint 12 LXDE is EXTREMELY clumsy in providing-for and installing
the necessary of the STA driver. Although I have found this to be
generally the case for all Ubuntu-related distributions I have tried,
I expected more from Mint. There are other non-Ubuntu-related
distributions which install this driver quickly, automatically and
without user intervention.

5. I use a wireless mouse. I can and need-to disable the Touchpad
to prevent inadvertent keyboard strokes from appearing. I added
synclient TouchpadOff=1 to one of the /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ files
to provide for this. There exist more clever programs that
sense typing and temporarily disable the Touchpad. These would be
a more elegant treatment.

6. I note that arranging for the desktop clock display local time
is going to be a challenge which I shall defer until later.

7. I need a reliable LibreOffice for important spreadsheet operations.
I am most interested to find if Mint 12 LXDE has adequately corrected
the lxpanel-freeze-on-LO-close problem plaguing many circa-2011 LXDE
installs using LibreOffice. I haven't made that determination yet.
This may take some time, since this problem, when it occurs, seems
only to occur only irregularly.

8. I notice Mint 12's FireFox 10 often causes a temporary cpu overload
and consequent system freeze when surfing. Pipelining is set to false
by default. This overloading quirk seems not to be unique to Mint 12
LXDE, but seems to have become either evident or more evident only
in more recent evolutions of FireFox or IceWeasel.

I'd be interested in your experiences and/or any helpful advice.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby antikythera on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:38 pm

Regards Broadcom wireless, I found the latest windows XP driver that hp supplied for my notebook worked fine for LiveCD via the Windows Wireless Driver installer. It is far simpler than downloading and compiling the unix broadcom version. All you need to do is point it at the INF file and it does the rest. Once the driver is loaded in, then you should be able to create a connection to your wireless network the normal way.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby xenopeek on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:10 pm

1. Wouldn't it be handier just to install LXDE onto the USB, instead of writing the ISO to it? That way you also get to choose a locale (see point 6). On the download page is a link to the Annoucement, and that goes to the tutorial how to write Hybrid ISO images to USB from either Linux or Windows: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744 That doesn't include persistence, but that isn't something the average users needs either, I think.

3. USB disks are noticeable slow, and can differ from one model to the other just exactly how slow they are. USB 2.0 average read speed is about 15 MB/sec (best models twice that). USB 3.0 will be somewhat faster, like 25 MB/sec (best models twice that). It all pales in comparison to a good hard disk pulling 100 MB/sec or a entry level SSD pulling 200 MB/sec... Windows 7 may boot faster from a USB, if that is how you compared it, but was it from the same USB device?

5. Well, you have it fixed :D You can post a suggestion in the Suggestions section of the forum, if you can name those better alternatives.

6. Default clock format is in your locale, though you can replace "%H:%M" with "%r" if you want 12-hour clock. Point here is you didn't install LXDE, so you didn't get to choose a locale I think. If you have persistence, you can change your locale for time and date formats. See here http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 48#p522958

7. No comment, seems you are anxiously awaiting it to fail on you :(

8. Pipelining disabled has always been the default for Firefox, as it is for common other browsers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_pipe ... b_browsers If you follow reference link 8 on that page, you can read exhaustive discussion on that decision.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby yeti on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:19 pm

@ antikthera

Thank you for your comment.
Interesting.
I'm not familiar with this approach and will check it out.
Are you sure it gets all the kernel-mode and initramfs magic taken care of?


@ Vincent

Thanks for your comments.

In regard to boot times:
My Windows 7 boots to wifi-on-line from hdd in < 60 seconds.
Several 2 Gb Class 2 or Class 10 SDHC LXDE LiveUSBs also
...boot to wifi-on-line in about this same time.
My Mint 12 LXDE LiveUSB takes about twice that long.

The speeds of the SDHCs do not seem to determine this boot time;
However, I think the SDHC class might be important in a re-mastering operation,
that's why I bought a Class 10 unit.

All the isos are near 700Mb, but I don't think your just divide
700Mb by the r/w speed to get an estimate for booting time.
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Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE; an update on boot times

Postby yeti on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:28 am

With my EXTERNAL wifi, the boot to wifi-on-line takes about a minute & 12 seconds,
more like what I would expect.
My suspicion is that the handling of the INTERNAL Broadcom wl driver is much poorer than it might to be.
The wl driver should be pre-built into the kernel and the initrd.img just as most of the other wifi drivers are.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby antikythera on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:40 pm

Full explanation of how to do it and how it works using ndiswrapper is here:

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=87800

Watch the video to find out about configuring your system properly so you don't have to manually load the wireless driver each boot ;)
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby yeti on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:47 pm

Thanks, but....
I think you will find the ndiswrapper approach only works with Windows XP,
and not with Vista or Windows 7.

See, for example:
http://us.ask.com/wiki/NdisWrapper#Limitations

My 1545 laptop is a Windows 7 machine.
I used the ndiswrapper approach earlier in my hobby when I had an XP machine.
It worked ok then.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby antikythera on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:32 pm

Dell has windows XP drivers available for Inspiron 1545 laptops so you may be able to get it working with ndiswrapper yet.
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Re: Some comments on Mint 12 LXDE

Postby w7hd on Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:23 pm

Here is how I disable the touchpad on the Dell XPS 15z (L511):

Shell script disable-touchpad.sh contents:
xinput --set-prop "ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse" "Device Enabled" 0

Don't forget to make it executable:
chmod +x disable-touchpad.sh

and to renable it, change the zero to a one.
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