The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

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The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby JamesAC on Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:42 pm

What distributions have you tried and did you like them or were there certain things about them you liked?
We looked at the top 10 distros on DistroWatch to see what makes them so great, so that we can help make Mint better by getting the perspective of someone using these other distros.
So what makes you stick with Mint and what do you like about some other distro that you wish Mint had?

I would like to see a source package manager for mint debian so that we could easily grab source packages an build them from a gui instead of the command line, like there is in Gentoo and Arch.
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Re: The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby tdockery97 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:02 pm

I would like to see automatic installation and setup of proprietary video drivers during the installation, similar to what PCLinuxOS does. When I installed PCLinuxOS, my ATI card worked properly. Using the FGLRX installer in Mint, it doesn't work at all. Fortunately Mint uses the Gallium open-source driver which gives me effects without using the proprietary driver. I don't know, however, if I am missing any benefits by not using the proprietary driver.
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Re: The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby ThistleWeb on Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:16 am

I've been drawn more and more to Crunchbang because it's simple, elegant, light, customizable and stable. I've not found any Mint iso I've been happy with for over a year now, the quality seems to be lower than it used to be, with odd quirky things you don't expect from something with the reputation of Mint. Over a year ago I'd recommend Mint to new users to Linux, now I wouldn't. I'm not sure I what I'd recommend right now.

I know when I update Crunchbang that it won't cause errors, applications won't crash etc. The downside is older versions of many apps but for the most part that's fine. The couple of exceptions in Firefox and Thunderbird can be installed to /opt. I don't have the same faith in Mint to update safely with Synaptic or apt-get, only with MintUpdate which holds some stuff back. This makes it too risky to recommend to new users who won't be able to fix it when it goes wrong, and I'm called back to fix it for them.

I'd like Mint to be less flaky, with stoopid bugs like a typo in the sources.list eliminated. These types of things are understandable when the release date is fixed well in advance and it launches regardless. When a distro has a "when it's ready" approach, it's different. Have a look through the forums, you'll see the same bugs come up over and over and over and over again with new users who just ask before searching.

I'd like to be more willing to accept customizations. It's increasingly getting like the Windows approach where stuff is branded and you have to find all sorts of workarounds to get things to stick. You used to be able to change the login screen, that's been gone for what 3 versions now? Even the Debian bases have copied that lock down. Enabling transparency in the non-Gnome editions still forced the Mint branded GDM wallpaper / desktop wallpaper under the transparency instead of your chosen wallpaper.

At the risk of this becoming a rant, I think Mint needs to take a step back to rethink a few things. Perhaps a rethink on the rolling Testing repo for the Debian base. It used to be that there was one edition of a distro, and you added the various environments and window managers as sessions. What happened to those days? There's so many changes that it's better to install a new distro than an environment?
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Re: The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby MerelyJim on Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:31 pm

Like ThistleWeb, I use Crunchbang as much as any other distro, and would love the Xfce version of LMDE to have less "stuff" and more hardware support.

What I want to see is more packages (like Handbrake [http://handbrake.fr/], for example) ending with [deb],rather than [ppa]. As long as Mint has that Ubuntu millstone tied around it's neck...

Having said that, I still continue to install Mint on the computers for those around me. It's not ideal, but it's the best I've seen.
Um... you have a back-up copy,right?
My attempt at a blog; http://jims2011.blogspot.com/
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Re: The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby maxpolaris on Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:56 am

I got into Linux after yet another malware infection. As I tried to fix it one computer after another became infected. It got to the point where 4 systems were hijacked to the point of being locked down. I had a single older service pack 1 XP system
semi functional left up. I started staying up all night, night after night reading about GNU Linux. Finally I got my semifunctional XP system to download and burn some live CD's. Some worked turn key some didn't. I didn't dare install anything right away. When I got around to Puppy Linux I noticed an install to USB tool. I did and it basically worked on most systems that could boot from USB. I dusted off an old Averatec Laptop that was pronounced DOA by a local repair shop. Stuck Puppy Linux on USB in and lo and behold that old laptop came back to life! No CD no HD a messed up KB but wlan and eth and usb worked! I was connecting to my wireless router and online. That was it. I was HOOKED!
Like any curious NOOB I started burning ISO's left and right.
From April 2010 various versions of:
Puppy Linux PCLinuxOS , Ubuntu, Damn Small Linux, Tiny Core, Slitaz, Slax, Gentoo. MINT 10
Puppy because it made my jaw drop at 3 AM resucitating a 3 year dead laptop and always boots up, works well and seems quite unique.
Slitaz is my favorite mini distro so far because it runs on most of my old systems. PII mmx 333MHz 128 Meg
PCLinuxOS KDE is what I've used most but I need to reinstall. It or KDE is getting buggier and buggier all the time. Its messed up and I can't fix it with rolling updates. Time to back up and reinstall.
MINT10 really impressed me because it is THE ONLY DISTRO that has kept my old HP pavilion up and running stable.
Every other Distro i got running Live or installed went down due to this video hardware wedge that either dropped X or the entire video system. Mint 10 has never gone down so far on this machine from a system hardware wedge fault.
MINT also looks nice and its making me like Gnome more and more.

I hope next year I'll be ready to tackle Linux From Scratch which will introduce me to Slackware intimately. Probably more intimately that I want. :wink:
Linux 3.2.0-23-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 10 20:39:51 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
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Re: The Linux Ecosystem | EP83

Postby gernblansten on Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:41 pm

One of the things I really liked about Crunchbang was the super (windows) key shortcuts. Super+b for browser, Super+m for media was just great. I love gnome-do and use Super+spacebar to call it up. Adding the other shortcuts made it even more useful.
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