Another Ubuntu Convert

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Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby guimaster on Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:53 am

Greetings,

My first experience with Linux was with Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10 back around Christmas of 2008. I was still running 98 on an older laptop (originally sold in 2003) and I was tired of the instability. Intrepid was an awesome OS for me, probably the least problematic of them all 8.04-10.10.

I would consider myself to be an Intermediate user as I used to do tech support for Broadband Cable Internet and for Hewlett Packard.

I have grown frustrated with Ubuntu of late for a few different reasons. Don't get me wrong though, Lucid and Maverick are gorgeous operating systems but I can't escape the bugs no matter where I go. 10.10 was freezing up on me whenever I would add a bookmark to firefox, not to mention the WMID error message on boot up. I downgraded to 10.04 hoping for a better result (LTS) but then Empathy wasn't connecting. Enough is enough!!! Mr. Shuttleworth needs to understand that aesthetics isn't all that makes Macs attractive. Macs are attractive because they are stable and relatively bug free out of the box!

Currently I am running an Aspire One netbook as both my netbook and my desktop. I don't play high-end games and I didn't want to splurge right now so I figured I should be able to get by with just the netbook for the next 3 years; until the warranty runs out. My laptop was originally sold by Dell in 2003 but I bought it used in 2007 and I maxed out the Ram. That P3 1GB laptop served me well for 3 years, so I am sure this netbook will do just fine.

The reason I came to Linux Mint Debian Edition is because I am tired of static Linux distributions. The most frustrating day of my Linux life came when I learned that the packages in Add/Remove inside Ubuntu wouldn't ever be updated. That was horribly frustrating! Trying to install Tar.gz files isn't my idea of a good time, as my years of enjoying fiddling around with computers have come to an end. I now just want to find something that works, and something that will work for a long time, without having to feel frustrated that my packages are out of date.

I want to thank the people responsible for Mint for making an effort at a Rolling Distribution! I am not skilled enough to be running distros like Arch just to get a Rolling distribution. I had been searching for a few days when suddenly I saw that Linux Mint had a Rolling Distro! I already knew a lot about Mint, and I even burnt an ISO for 8 in the past, but I didn't use it in place of Ubuntu until now.

A couple questions if I may:

So far everything is working well. Is it okay/beneficial if I only select level 1&2 updates? Will this keep my system stable through the rocky days of a Rolling Distro? Or will this cause problems?

Will this Mint Backup program be able to fully restore the computer back before a destructive update? If so then I figure there shouldn't be any problem too big that I can't solve by simply restoring the system back. Well... unless I don't boot to my desktop or something. That could be problematic, which is why I only installed level 1&2 updates...

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby JasonLG on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:13 am

Welcome to the Mint forums!

As far as rolling distros go there's always a chance for breakage the reason that LMDE is so stable right now is because Debian is so close to a release. As soon as the next stable is released the roller coaster ride begins again in the testing branch. But as long as the Mint devs stay on their toes (as I have every confidence they will as they have never let me down) level 1 and 2 updates should still be safe.

As far as Mint Backup is concerned, I've never used it but from what I understand for what you're talking about you'd be better off with a partition imager program.
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby vincent on Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:18 am

1) I'm going to quote LMDE's release notes to answer your question (http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_debian.php):
The Update Manager used in LMDE is the same as the one in other editions of Linux Mint. No adaptation or changes were made yet to accomodate it to the rolling nature of LMDE.


So no, I would not rely on mintUpdate nor on its definition of lvl 1 and 2 updates. Lvl 1 is simply reserved for tools released by the Mint devs, i.e. very low-risk updates, as the Mint devs are producing those updates themselves (i.e. mintUpdate, mintInstall, mintMenu, etc.). Lvl 2 is reserved for very common software, things like updates for Firefox. The bulk of the updates you'll find will come from what mintUpdate deems as lvl 3 updates, with lvl 4 and 5 reserved for more generally riskier updates (e.g. X, hal, the kernel, etc.). To maintain a true rolling release, you should install all updates and use apt-get dist-upgrade (not just apt-get upgrade), otherwise you'll start running into problems when major upgrades take place. If you just want to stick with lvl 1 and 2 updates, you may as well stick with a static Linux distro like Ubuntu and Mint's main editions.

2) mintBackup is far from a fully-featured backup solution. What it does is backup files in your Home folder, as well as a list of packages you have installed on your system (basically dpkg --get-selections). Yes, it records a list of packages you have installed. If you were to bork your system and re-install, you would have to re-download and re-install all those packages you installed in addition to the base install. If you want to be able to truly restore your system, try an imaging utility like Clonezilla.

Debian Testing is quite stable and reliable in my opinion...but occasionally, breakage may occur. It's sort of like a trade-off between cutting-edge-ness and stability. You can't have both at the same time, it just doesn't work that way. :P Either pick a rolling, up-to-date distro and accept the fact that there will be occasional stability issues, or pick a static distro like Ubuntu and accept the fact that you aren't always getting the latest cutting-edge stable software.
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby tdockery97 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:47 am

Whew! After all that I just want to say hello guimaster, and welcome to Mint. I hope you enjoy the choices in Mint. I find that I like to run Mint 10 for the reliability, and a rolling release on another partition for the fun/learning experience.
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby Oscar799 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:44 am

Hello guimaster
Welcome to Mint Forum :P
There is a lot of useful information for new and not-so-new users here -> viewtopic.php?f=60&p=302358#p302358
We have a Community site http://community.linuxmint.com/
For real-time help and discussion there are IRC channels,open MintMenu>Internet>XChat and you will be automatically connected to #linuxmint-help and #linuxmint-chat,from there it is possible to join #linuxmint-debian
Have fun with Mint
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby mads on Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:14 am

JasonLG wrote:...the reason that LMDE is so stable right now is because Debian is so close to a release. As soon as the next stable is released the roller coaster ride begins again in the testing branch.


For some reason I thought one could stop squeeze from rolling, by changing /etc/apt/sources.list to point to "squeeze" instead of "testing"- :?
Last edited by mads on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby guimaster on Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:49 pm

So no, I would not rely on mintUpdate nor on its definition of lvl 1 and 2 updates. Lvl 1 is simply reserved for tools released by the Mint devs, i.e. very low-risk updates, as the Mint devs are producing those updates themselves (i.e. mintUpdate, mintInstall, mintMenu, etc.). Lvl 2 is reserved for very common software, things like updates for Firefox. The bulk of the updates you'll find will come from what mintUpdate deems as lvl 3 updates, with lvl 4 and 5 reserved for more generally riskier updates (e.g. X, hal, the kernel, etc.). To maintain a true rolling release, you should install all updates and use apt-get dist-upgrade (not just apt-get upgrade), otherwise you'll start running into problems when major upgrades take place. If you just want to stick with lvl 1 and 2 updates, you may as well stick with a static Linux distro like Ubuntu and Mint's main editions.


Okay, I understand what you are saying. Your comment above clarifies things and reminds me of a discussion in the Ubuntu forums. In those forums someone presented the idea of a half static/half dynamic release of Ubuntu. His idea was that all of the most important updates - 4&5 in your example - related to the kernel, X, hal, etc., should be finalized with each particular release. But that all updates from level 1-3 should continue to run throughout the entirety of the support cycle (an LTS version would have those updates for 3 years). I am going to have to go visit that thread now and let the author know that he can have his wish via LMDE...
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby vincent on Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:51 pm

guimaster wrote:I am going to have to go visit that thread now and let the author know that he can have his wish via LMDE...


No, that was not what I was trying to say. You should accept all upgrades in LMDE regardless of the rating system that mintUpdate applies to those updates. In a rolling release, nothing is finalized; the kernel, X, and all userspace applications will continue to evolve. You cannot cherry pick what updates you want in a rolling-release system, because eventually you'll run into problems. You can get away with just accepting lvl 1-3 updates in regular Mint and Ubuntu, but that won't work in LMDE.

Just as an aside, Ubuntu only applies security patches to low-level system components once a release has been made; to date, all of Ubuntu's kernel updates have addressed either a security issue or some type of regression. These components remain "finalized", but patches have to be made to address security issues. So there is no way to truly "finalize" any component of a Linux distro, unless you absolutely don't care about security patches, regressions, and the like. (For more information, refer to http://www.ubuntu.com/usn)
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby guimaster on Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:14 pm

Oh, okay. I will have to install all updates then. Thanks for the detailed explanation Vincent!
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby jesica on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:17 am

welcome to the forum
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Re: Another Ubuntu Convert

Postby willie42 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:32 am

Welcome to the Linux Mint Forums :D
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