Mint showstoppers

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Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:23 pm

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING ANYTHING IN THIS THREAD

This thread is intended purely as a place to log experiences during install of Mint, and especially aimed at identifying "show-stoppers" - failures or hitches that may frustrate a new user or could cause a user to use a Mint CD as a mug coaster. You could summarize this as "things which don't work correctly out of the box".
Required reading is the first post in this thread * viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18319 * which later raised the suggestion to make notes during install.

Linux politics are not welcome here, and really there should be no cause to reply to any posts other than post your own log, to seek clarification of hardware or a step taken during install.

Basic instructions:
==============
  1. Please give your pc specs and as much info about the hardware as possible
  2. Everything must be done using the GUI
  3. Make a note any time you feel tempted to use terminal. Don't use it.
  4. Make a note any time you feel tempted to seek help in the forums or google for a solution. Don't do it.
  5. Make a note if you see anything ambiguous in the GUI - typos, meaningless lingo, or badly explained instructions.
  6. Use screenshots - a picture speaks a thousand words
  7. Check all your hardware and make a note if anything isn't working at all, or isn't working as it should or as it did in Windows. Include as much detail about that hardware as possible.
  8. Make a note if it was hard (or impossible) to find where to configure a piece of hardware.
  9. Do NOT use terminal to install apps or to configure anything.
  10. Give an end summary of total system state usability
Last edited by qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby msuggs on Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:41 am

Edit: I found something to say :)
Last edited by msuggs on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:56 pm

Why can I not use a terminal? This is Linux, not Windows! :roll:
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:45 pm

Because this thread isn't for you.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:49 pm

qbicdesign wrote:Because this thread isn't for you.


Are you prejudice against Linux users? :lol:
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:51 pm

yes.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby msuggs on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:02 pm

The demands of what is prescribed here are to subjective and an unrealistic view of a Mint installation. Perhaps it's the title that highlights this the most. Showstoppers for who? Perhaps it just needs to be reworded a little :)
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby ronnoc on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:23 pm

I think it was explained in another thread....Not sure where. I like the idea. It takes a community of all types of users: New MS converts, people who just want an OS that "works", people into computing as a passion and a hobby, and Linux veterans, in order to move forward. Not sure if this thread is the best way to do it, but I admire the effort if it goes anywhere. Linux is really in a growth / change mode right now - and that's a good thing, even though it appears to be ruffling some feathers. Even on this board. Let the discourse continue... :idea:
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby msuggs on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:42 pm

Just some friendly criticism :) This thread is aimed at people completely new to Mint. As for many of us I could install Mint using the above requirements (all GUI, no command line, no forums, no google) and have my system up and running in a few hours quite happily. For new users though I appreciate this is not going to be the same experience.

So what do I do if I'm a new Mint user who's just spent the last week or so getting things right, seeking help for my problems and finally have things working? The suggestion here is to do it all again. For fun?

This thread then is aimed at people who are about to embark on their first Mint install from Windows and we are asking them to notate all the problems they are going to find along the way. I think if I was a Windows user considering Mint and read this post I'd probably turn it into a drink coaster much quicker than expected. I admire the passion here but think it will have a negative effect.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:28 pm

you miss the point. the thread is here to iron out the last few show stoppers, so that Newbies won't even need to read this - cos they'll be fixed.
if you read the first post correctly, and the link i provided to the original thread, there would be no questions, nor comments. and there should be no need to post anything other than specs and experiences here, as was also in the instructions in first post.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby msuggs on Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:51 pm

No, I think the point here is to continue the arguments of the original thread without further hindrance or debate :|
Whatever your motives I wish you well with it :)
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:10 pm

Athlon XP2600 @ 2000 mhz
MSI KT4V MS-6712 mobo (VIA chipset)
1Gb DDR Ram
3 internal IDE hard drives totaling 6 partitions, with XP and Opensuse 11 dualboot. 1 of the hard-drives was un-used.
1 external Lacie 500Gb USB2 drive
Liteon dual-layer DVD/RW
Creative Soundblaster Audigy with Live Drive front panel
floppy
Nvidia Gforce FX5600XT, DVI, VGA, SPdif
Viewsonic G220f 21" CRT connected to VGA port
LG Flatron L1953TR 19" LCD connected to DVI
Canyon CN-WCAM21 webcam
Winfast 2000 XP TV card
HP Deskjet 3550 printer
Canonscan Lide 25 USB scanner
Netgear NIC
VIA onboard LAN
=========================

  1. Booting from live CD, Viewsonic monitor was out of range and displayed a bunch of rainbow colors. LG monitor showed perfectly @ 1280 x 1024 59hz.
  2. Clicked install from desktop. same experience, Install ran smoothly ignoring that. Selected the spare drive for installation (use entire disk).
  3. Once on the desktop, i received a task area Hardware bubble message about restricted drivers availablity for Nvidia. Anyway i followed the prompt and the download process began, but failed with a 404 "not found" error. Using Synaptic, I reloaded - this in itself was a troubleshooting step which Average Joe would not know anything about. I then tried again, and this time the drivers downloaded and installed successfully. A reboot was required after.
  4. After reboot, the Viewsonic monitor became the Primary monitor, and the LG was simply without signal. Went to Control Center and saw the new Nvidia X Server Settings icon, which i duly clicked, and started setting up the LG.
  5. My two monitors are usually configured as dual-view, with different resolutions on each and task bar and icons are only on the Primary monitor's desktop, and maximizing of windows happens only within each monitor's boundaries, not across both. I was unable to configure this arrangement in Mint.
  6. Updating Mint (generally) - i followed the "there are 124 available updates" bubble, and it started downloading as you'd expect, but during install it prompted for overwrite of various files seemingly random e.g. "shell.rc" etc but gave no explanation of what they were or what app was requesting it, so its almost impossible to know whether to accept or skip file overwrite. I took a guess and kept fingers crossed.
  7. Sound card is set up to use optical in from my cable digital tv, and then out through jack to RCA to my Hi-fi amp. Inital sound card settings didn't have optical enabled, but a double-click on the sound icon and a little clicking around, had my Live drive working within a couple of mins - much quicker than it would be in Windows.
  8. HP 3550 printer not found automatically. I had to add it manually via Control Center > printing. But it works perfectly now.
  9. Couldn't find any place to see if my TV card is detected
  10. Couldn't find any place to see if my webcam is detected
  11. Couldn't find any place to see if my scanner is detected
  12. Using Software Portal, i added aMSN as my preferred Messenger client, and subsequently discovered that both TV card and Webcam were detected after all, but there was no way to know that. I just followed a hunch that i may be able to find out from aMSN - suddenly dawned on me that i can stream TV using msn :D. Added Skype too, which IMO should also be i the Instant Messaging catergory

Notes, and suggestions according to listed numbers above:
1,4. There seems to be a behaviour problem here regarding which monitor Mint (and other distros) chooses as its primary. IMO this should be the most commonly used VGA port, as was activated by Nvidia drivers. Its not a show stopper, but what i experienced is a bit weird and can potentially damage monitors.
3. It seems clear that a repo update should be either forced, or suggested by Mint before the download is attempted. Alternatively (and probably best in long run) is that the 404 message either instructs the user to try reloading via synaptic, and then trying again, or provides a button right there so the user can reload.
5. Is this a failing of Nvidia drivers? Nvidias windows drivers will allow me the configuration i need, so i would expect that to happen in Linux too... Probably not Mint's problem. I have had similar problems in OpenSuse, but was able to get around it by installing the Nvidia drivers, then using X11 to configure (rather than Nvidia's own interface). Mint doesn't have and X11 config in Control center, so this is not possible, and could in fact be a show stopper for me even.
6. This could be improved easily with a little extra explanation.
8. Not a big deal, but surprising because other distros had detected it and prompted me to configure it.
9. Not a common piece of hardware these days and to be honest i don't really use it, but it is in my pc and therefore should be somewhere in Control Center. amsn is not the right place to discover your hardware is installed.
10. Should also be in Control Center. amsn is not the right place to discover your hardware is installed.
11. Can't find anything relating to scanners in Control Center - scanners are commonplace, so i feel strongly that some assistance should be given to getting them working. Its a Show Stopper if I'm without my scanner. Like with the printer, other distros have detected it and prompted me to configure it.

In summary:
system is very useable, except there's nowhere to configure a scanner and i can't get the dual monitors configured how i want.
Last edited by qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby Fred on Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:26 pm

qbicdesign,

While your intentions in this thread may be admirable, this exercise is destined to failure for two very distinct and specific reasons.

1.) Problems with hardware are not, for the most part curable from Mint's or for the most part, even Linux's perspective. These problems are related to the licensing, patents, and trade secrets of the hardware manufacturers. As long as these manufactures disallow Linux to inter-operate with their hardware and/or refuse open source developers access to the hardware specifications, it will be a hit and miss proposition to have everything work out of the box. The best advice I could give a new Linux user would be to use hardware that the manufacturer has allowed open source drivers and firmware to be available. The best advice I could give you is to complain to the proprietary hardware manufacturers. That is where the problem is. Not with Mint or Linux.

2.) No Linux installer will ever be able to make all the correct decisions necessary to optimize a Linux install for every or even most users. There can be improvements made, that is for sure, but doing optimized installs requires knowledgeable decision making beyond todays tech. Most new users can't even articulate their needs, leave alone make the necessary decisions. Having said that. The users you seem to be targeting have never installed and configured any OS. They know nothing about partitioning and certainly have never set-up a dual boot system with any OSs. If they had, they would at last be familiar with the word partition.

How can you expect this hypothetical user to have no learning curve and not have some problems and misgivings with their first installs? The only realistic solution to this problem is either for them to take a little of their time to learn a bit first or do it the way they did Windows. Pay someone else to do it for them. It really is as simple as that!

Enjoy life, It is too short to do otherwise.

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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:26 pm

Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:28 pm

you miss the point. the thread is here to iron out the last few show stoppers, so that Newbies won't even need to read this - cos they'll be fixed.
if you read the first post correctly, and the link i provided to the original thread, there would be no questions, nor comments. and there should be no need to post anything other than specs and experiences here, as was also in the instructions in first post.


So what are you going to do to fix these issues?
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:51 pm

Fred,
Please read my post again carefully - the only hardware problems i had are ones which i have not had in other distros (namely Opensuse, Mandriva and a few others) - that means that the hardware is already supported in Linux generally, but that Mint for whatever reason doesn't support it.

also read the summary. My main concern is with the scanner - all else i can live with, but if scanners are not catered for at all (where is the scanners icon in Control Center??? ) , then thats something which needs to be addressed.
If i can do an install on a such complex system as mine (and they don't get much more complex than mine) and only have the scanner not working, then thats pretty damn good.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:57 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:So what are you going to do to fix these issues?

Well, first part of fixing any problem is actually demonstrating that problem(s) exists which I believe I have now done.
What will you do?
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:06 pm

ronnoc wrote:I think it was explained in another thread....Not sure where. I like the idea.

in the thread which i linked to in my first post as "required reading" ... :roll:
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby Fred on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:15 pm

qbicdesign,

My friend I wasn't referring to your situation or your most recent post. In fact, when I started my reply your most recent post was not displayed. I was referring to the general thrust of the thread. If in fact this is your first install, I congratulate you on a job well done. The average Windows user that has been discussed would probably not have faired as well as you on a complex install. Note: check and make sure you have sane and xsane installed. One of these will usually enable the scan function.

Getting hardware with proprietary drivers and firmware to work consistently in Linux is and will probably remain a thorny problem for the foreseeable future. It is a moving target and may work in one distro and not in another. When the versions change it may switch around and not work where it did before but work where it hadn't before. It is very frustrating for all involved. I feel your pain. :-)

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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby qbicdesign on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:33 pm

Its not my first install of Mint- its my 5th. All other installs went pretty well too, so i wanted to try a tougher one and log the results somewhere.
If you can understand the thrust of the original thread (linked in my first post) you'll see that actually finding a solution to a specific hardware problem during this install is not what I'm looking for. Sure, in the end i do want a solution, and sane/xsane i will try, and i will dig around these forums myself too. What we're trying to achieve in the first instance is an examination of more fundamental issues of user experience.
In the case in point of my scanner, you have helpfully offered a solution or at least given me hope that there is one. And thats great for me cos i'm geeky enough to be on this forum. But... Average Joe will just be at home with a scanner not working and throwing Mint in the trash because of it - of course i'm exaggerating, but you get the point i hope. If attention can be given to sane/xsane and whether its installed by default or not, or if the icon should be in Control Center but has been missed out of the vanilla install of mint, then this thread has already proved its value.
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Re: Mint showstoppers

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:42 pm

qbicdesign wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:So what are you going to do to fix these issues?

Well, first part of fixing any problem is actually demonstrating that problem(s) exists which I believe I have now done.
What will you do?


<sigh> When I learn a little more on the intricacies of Mint, and get a better feel of this forum I suppose I will do the same thing as I have been doing for the last 4 years in the Fedora Forum. That is helping folks with problems like your get up and running as easily and as basically as possible. Many times this does require opening a terminal or compiling a driver. This is just life. This is what we all have been trying to explain to you.
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