Question re LMDE from Info page

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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby Neil Edmond on Fri May 02, 2014 4:29 pm

^^ Arch would be my guess too, but the description fits the Aptosid forum fairly well too...
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby bobafetthotmail on Sat May 03, 2014 11:59 am

LMDE is less user friendly than Ubuntu-based Mint. This is fact. Installing stuff from outside repos is not easy for a newbie, 99% of the guides around are for Ubuntu (I know that there isn't a whole lot of difference, but I don't think most users take the time) and regardless of what you may think, if you post here, you are not an "average PC user".

Call me cynical bastard if you want (it's true to some extent), but "average pc user" does not care of how to use PC correctly or how to fix it, he wants an appliance that always works. If it does not work, the usual reaction is calling a "mommy" entity to fix the issue, be it a more savyy guy they know or actual tech support.

woodsman wrote:Instead these folks grab the phone and call us, or send an email, which is the limits of their computer savviness.
Say what you want, but I find MUCH more worth it to move most of these guys to an android mini-pc (technically a media-center-capable android device, can run XBMC with hardware acceleration for HD movies).

Because point and click, exactly 0 terminal, no super user access anywhere (and no super user access needed EVER for their needs), plenty of hard rails to guide them everywhere. Also cheap and tiny hardware I can hide and make a cool-looking All-in-one PC behind their old PC screen/TV/whatever.

Shop was always getting spammed by support calls for dumb things (since XP times), and I feel very bad when having to charge 30 bucks or more for the software equivalent of flipping a switch, but can't do it remotely and if I move physically I need to cover costs.

Now most of those users stopped spamming support calls but are still happy customers, and we can focus on users that actually need tech support.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby AlanWalker on Tue May 06, 2014 9:57 am

tlcmd wrote:I'm not exactly a newbie and have been running Linux Mint since before the Debian Edition was released. I have found LMDE to run well and my chief problems have been technical when installing 3rd party hardware.

My Question: Why does the LMDE download site give this info:

LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT.
Debian is a less user-friendly/desktop-ready base than Ubuntu. Expect some rough edges.

I am new to LMDE and know I've much to learn about LMDE (and Linux in general), but it strikes me that whoever wrote "LMDE requires a deeper knowledge..." may already be a 'deeply knowledgeable' person, one who sees "rough edges" etc. with LMDE that those who are less experienced (including me) don't see.

In retrospect I agree that the statement in question ought be change to something less likely to discourage a beginner, perhaps to something like "Using LMDE one will be more involved with Linux, dpkg and APT."

I don't see that as a "Con." but it does provide a statement that can be seen as tending to balance to the "Pro"s of using LMDE.

Regards,
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby KBD47 on Tue May 06, 2014 12:20 pm

I would rather see that statement stay as it is. It is clear and honest. It is less discouraging than letting a newbie think they should jump right in to Debian Testing and become truly discouraged as their install breaks, becomes unusable, or just buggy. Debian has one goal, create a Stable release that can be used on servers for years. Or be used on a desktop as a nearly un-breakable OS but with older application choices. Debian Testing is a means to that end.
I love Debian, and I have seen Testing quite stable over long periods, and then become a buggy, unusable mess in a short period of time. The Update Pack makes LMDE more stable, but with huge updates that themselves are troublesome at times. But no one should kid themselves that Debian Testing is always user friendly, or in particular--newbie friendly.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby Zill on Tue May 06, 2014 3:40 pm

KBD47: ^^^ +1

LMDE is a great distro but it really is not suitable for newbies. Sure, they might be able to make it run reasonably well initially, but this happy situation may not last! When they break LMDE by installing something from the wrong repo, or try compiling from source and get into dependency hell, they are unlikely to be able to dig themselves out of the deep hole they are in and will probably just end up grumbling and then have to reinstall.

Similarly, update packs can work reliably. But if, for whatever reason, they don't, then it is necessary to apply some relatively in-depth Linux knowledge to fix the problem.

IMHO, the current LMDE warning statement gets it about right.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby killer de bug on Tue May 06, 2014 3:58 pm

AlanWalker wrote:In retrospect I agree that the statement in question ought be change to something less likely to discourage a beginner, perhaps to something like "Using LMDE one will be more involved with Linux, dpkg and APT."


No! No! No! We don't want beginner to use it,get into trouble, break everything, and then leave Linux thinking it's a crap and that it doesn't work. That would be stupid. And we would lost so much time helping desperate users that could have made a better choice if they had been warned properly.

LMDE is not for newbies. UP can break everything. You don't trust me? Read this for example: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=156044&start=60#p811325 During the last UP, Plymouth was terrible. It created a lot of problem. And trust me, newbies could not solve them ;)

KBD47 wrote:I would rather see that statement stay as it is. It is clear and honest. It is less discouraging than letting a newbie think they should jump right in to Debian Testing and become truly discouraged as their install breaks, becomes unusable, or just buggy.

I totally agree!

Zill wrote:LMDE is a great distro but it really is not suitable for newbies. Sure, they might be able to make it run reasonably well initially, but this happy situation may not last!

That's so true. I love this distro. It's so stable and at the same time, during UP testing stage I always got a shoot of adrenaline wondering if everything will fail or not :mrgreen:
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby xfrank on Tue May 06, 2014 5:54 pm

killer de bug wrote:We don't want beginner to use it,get into trouble, break everything, and then leave Linux thinking it's a crap and that it doesn't work. That would be stupid. And we would lost so much time helping desperate users that could have made a better choice if they had been warned properly.

LMDE is not for newbies. UP can break everything. You don't trust me? Read this for example: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=156044&start=60#p811325 During the last UP, Plymouth was terrible. It created a lot of problem. And trust me, newbies could not solve them ;)

LMDE is a great distro but it really is not suitable for newbies. Sure, they might be able to make it run reasonably well initially, but this happy situation may not last!


good point! but take into account that at some point we were all newbies! I started with LMDE to learn linux, and I've learned a lot. Now I can enjoy this distro without serious problems (crossing fingers) and I'm using it for my productive workflow. :)
Resuming: LMDE is not for newbies that have not the patience or the will to learn seriously how to manage this distro.
Linux: LMDE (Mate), Mint13 (Xfce), Peppermint 3 (LXDE), Manjaro (Xfce), Point Linux (Mate), PCLinuxOS (Mate)
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby Conni on Tue May 06, 2014 6:47 pm

In my opinion it is important to separate things here. There are - at least - 4 different aspects of a distribution, which can be considered user-friendly - more or less:
1) Installing it
2) Using it
3) Adding new functionality (software, hardware)
4) Updating it

Let's walk through this step by step:

1) Installing it
LMDE is more difficult to install. It's relatively easy, if you overwrite everything on your harddrive. Even then there is one point, where you need patience and thirst for adventure, if you don't know it. That is the point, where you are setting the mount point for root. I had no clue but I simply tried everything until I finally figured out where to click :D.
Installing Ubuntu (-based Linux) is usually a piece of cake, as long as you follow the default settings, And you can install it easily alongside Windows, which is of course something, which many users are finding very appealing. I am not exactly sure, how easy it is currently to install LMDE alongside another OS. One always has to see it from the perspective of an average citizen, who never installed an OS nor partitioned an harddrive!

2) Using it
I don't see any relevant difference between the Ubuntu-based edition and LMDE. Generally LMDE is more stable. At least that's my personal experience. For instance in Lubuntu Firefox 29 is running considerably quicker, but it crashes more often. So far Firefox 29 did not crash at all in LMDE :) .

3) Adding new functionality (software, hardware)
Using the software center is no big deal. If something does not work out of the box, it is generally tricky in Linux and mostly involves use of the terminal. If a user buys brand-new stuff, then it's more likely, that it works out of the box with Ubuntu, because Canonical is using at least partly Debian unstable (a.k.a. Debian sid), while LMDE is more conservatively using only Debian Testing.

4) Updating it
Updates are very convenient in Ubuntu, but one can also say, that they are too convenient! Usually there are very frequent updates, sometimes you get updates on four days in a row. Personally I am not making a backup before every update.

In LMDE there are less updates (which is kind of logical, because the Debian Testing base is more mature), but of course there are Update Packs. The Updates Packs were an adventure. First of all the user is asked questions during the process. Do you want this? Do you want that? During Update Pack 7 (which I conducted immediately after the installation of LMDE 201303) after 20 minutes I completely lost all confidence due to mysterious messages in the terminal and expected LMDE to destroy itself. After the Update Pack I saw chinese letters on the screen before rebooting. Nevertheless I was able to reboot my computer and miraculously after rebooting everything was fine. Update Pack 8 was less thrilling, but it lasted about one hour too. Surely I saved my personal data before installing UP 8.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby KBD47 on Tue May 06, 2014 6:58 pm

Quick note: Ubuntu LTS releases are based on Debian Testing, not Unstable. Ubuntu is more cautious with these LTS releases because they are Enterprise releases. They are generally no big new features or options that are untried or untested. I would say that much of the time LTS Ubuntu releases are very close to being equivalent to Debian Stable. Certainly by the first or second point release of Ubuntu LTS. 14.04 is pretty much rock solid. I would say better than the last 12.04 LTS release, which had a few bugs out of the gate when it was released. So there are big differences in stability between the Debian Unstable-based 6 month releases and the 2 year LTS release versions of Ubuntu/Mint.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby Distro-Don on Tue May 06, 2014 8:02 pm

xfrank wrote:
killer de bug wrote:We don't want beginner to use it,get into trouble, break everything, and then leave Linux thinking it's a crap and that it doesn't work. That would be stupid. And we would lost so much time helping desperate users that could have made a better choice if they had been warned properly.

LMDE is not for newbies. UP can break everything. You don't trust me? Read this for example: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=156044&start=60#p811325 During the last UP, Plymouth was terrible. It created a lot of problem. And trust me, newbies could not solve them ;)

LMDE is a great distro but it really is not suitable for newbies. Sure, they might be able to make it run reasonably well initially, but this happy situation may not last!


good point! but take into account that at some point we were all newbies! I started with LMDE to learn linux, and I've learned a lot. Now I can enjoy this distro without serious problems (crossing fingers) and I'm using it for my productive workflow. :)
Resuming: LMDE is not for newbies that have not the patience or the will to learn seriously how to manage this distro.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby AlanWalker on Tue May 06, 2014 8:33 pm

killer de bug wrote:
AlanWalker wrote:In retrospect I agree that the statement in question ought be change to something less likely to discourage a beginner, perhaps to something like "Using LMDE one will be more involved with Linux, dpkg and APT."


No! No! No! We don't want beginner to use it,get into trouble, break everything, and then leave Linux thinking it's a crap and that it doesn't work. That would be stupid. And we would lost so much time helping desperate users that could have made a better choice if they had been warned properly.

LMDE is not for newbies. UP can break everything. You don't trust me? Read this for example: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=156044&start=60#p811325 During the last UP, Plymouth was terrible. It created a lot of problem. And trust me, newbies could not solve them ;)

Whelp killer, I disagree.

First, please don't take this as a criticism of yourself (nor should any of the others here with differing opinions); I've seen enough of your posts to know you know your way around Linux, and I respect that knowledge (but, back to my argument).

I first looked at Linux some 19 years ago. Back then I was in the Windows support world but I was deeply involved with somewhat serious people/hackers of whom it could be said that 'they heated their twinkies on the tops of their monitors' (I started heating my twinkies on the top of main-frames in the early 70's (assembly language in a reentrent real-time environment) (wikipedia is wrong about what makes a program "reentrent", but that's another story)).

In the 90's Linux was hard, even for a person deeply experienced in computers but new to Linux.

That started changing in 2000 or so when Klaus Knopper released Knoppix, the first ever live CD. I got a copy of Knoppix back then and thought it was the cat's pajamas, but my bread and butter was in the Windows world so there I stayed, and there I still somewhat am.

So, the meme "Linux is hard for newbies" began back in the 90's, and it continues to this day; but what is Linux today relative to what it was then, and what-the-heck is a "newbie"?

Here, here, and here are random selections of Windows problems that seasoned Windows users put up with today (and here is what a real beginner puts up with); these people persevere and they don't have access to 1/10th the tools and information that Linux users do.

My points are the meme 'Linux is hard for newbies' is badly dated and that generally it seriously underestimates the abilities of today's computer users.

Then there is this: I believe that people who learn to drive a car with a stick shift transmission, rack and pinion steering, and a real instrument panel become better drivers than those who learn in a car with an automatic transmission and a poor instrument panel.

This ramble has been fun. :)

Regards,
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby bobafetthotmail on Wed May 07, 2014 5:04 am

Then there is this: I believe that people who learn to drive a car with a stick shift transmission, rack and pinion steering, and a real instrument panel become better drivers than those who learn in a car with an automatic transmission and a poor instrument panel.
Yeah, but most of the people will simply choose the easiest car to drive.
Most people does not find fun to drive, nor has any intention or need to become a good driver.
For them the car is a tool to do something else, so they focus on maximizing the time they have to do something else, even if that means paying more and driving like chimps.

Which means if you want to sell them a car, it's better to place disclaimers and warnings on the harder models to make sure they don't simply assume all your cars are hard to drive and just walk away and embrace the competition.

Swap "PC" in the place of "car" and "use/user" in the place of "drive/driver" and see how it applies in IT world too.

Android is killing PCs (regardless of OS), especially now that there are also boxes with it (media centers that are as powerful as a mini-pc), because it's much easier to use.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby AlanWalker on Wed May 07, 2014 2:25 pm

bobafetthotmail wrote:
Then there is this: I believe that people who learn to drive a car with a stick shift transmission, rack and pinion steering, and a real instrument panel become better drivers than those who learn in a car with an automatic transmission and a poor instrument panel.
Yeah, but most of the people will simply choose the easiest car to drive.

To the degree that that's true, reading "Using LMDE one will be more involved with Linux, dpkg and APT." will lead those so inclined to opt for a different release.

Regards,
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Postby killer de bug on Wed May 07, 2014 2:44 pm

AlanWalker wrote:First, please don't take this as a criticism of yourself (nor should any of the others here with differing opinions); I've seen enough of your posts to know you know your way around Linux, and I respect that knowledge (but, back to my argument).

No offense taken. No worries. On the contrary, I liked to read your post. :wink:

AlanWalker wrote:In the 90's Linux was hard, even for a person deeply experienced in computers but new to Linux.

I don't doubt it. Every days Linux is becoming simpler. It was harder a few years ago when I first started using it. And it was already much more simple than when you started working with it. Well I must admit I had never used a computer at that time. :lol:
For this part, I totally agree with you.

AlanWalker wrote:So, the meme "Linux is hard for newbies" began back in the 90's, and it continues to this day; but what is Linux today relative to what it was then, and what-the-heck is a "newbie"?
[...]
My points are the meme 'Linux is hard for newbies' is badly dated and that generally it seriously underestimates the abilities of today's computer users.

I agree with most of your post but I sincerely think you forgot a very simple parameter.

Today, for 100 computer users, only 10 are interested by technical things (and they can be using Microsoft Windows, or Mac OS, or Linux or... the important point is that they know how to solve problems.). My mom, my dad, my sister, most of my friends..., only want a computer which work. They don't want (and they don't know) how to solve problems.

If Linux want to become popular, it must address the 90% of users who don't want troubles but only a working computer. And for these people, frozen releases like Ubuntu or Linux Mint are the way to go because it will be mostly safe and bug free. No big updates, not that risky to break. If these persons are facing problems with Linux, they will immediately stop using it, call it crap in front of everyone, on the Internet... and go back to Windows. That's normal in fact. They have always been used to Windows and more important, they pay for it. That's why they are willing to give it a new chance and not to Linux ("I don't see anything better, so it's not perfect but I will use it").
The message on LMDE download page is for them.

On the contrary, people who know their way, like you or me, we don't get afraid by this kind of message and it has no effect on our choice (even alpha releases don't afraid me, because I know I will not use them as my main system...).

I repeat myself: this explain, in my opinion of course, why the statement should not be changed. It is really important that new users don't start with LMDE and don't get p*** off by Linux.
Of course, some users like xfrank, who like learning and debugging can succeed. That's nice. But in my opinion, these users can also start with the main edition for 2/3 months and get used to Linux and then install LMDE. It's not a waste of time. Just an easier path :)
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby bobafetthotmail on Wed May 07, 2014 3:11 pm

AlanWalker wrote:
bobafetthotmail wrote:Yeah, but most of the people will simply choose the easiest car to drive.

To the degree that that's true, reading "Using LMDE one will be more involved with Linux, dpkg and APT." will lead those so inclined to opt for a different release.
Regards,
Given the users it is intended for, better to overstate than understate. I'm actually attracted by those overstated disclaimers, so are most people with mild interest for linux. I feel plain xubuntu as too mainstream for me... but I still started with Ubuntu back then before Mint was a thing, not with Debian :lol:

Heck, all custom ROMs for my phone clearly state much worse things as disclaimer. Does this stop me or anyone else? Nope.
Last edited by bobafetthotmail on Wed May 07, 2014 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question re LMDE from Info page

Postby woodsman on Wed May 07, 2014 3:16 pm

My mom, my dad, my sister, most of my friends..., only want a computer which work. They don't want (and they don't know) how to solve problems.

That is my observation through many years. Most computer users are not geeks. They don't care how the computer runs. Most are very task oriented. They will learn to perform only the tasks they need to use the computer as they envision. After they master those particular sequences of pointing-and-clicking, they stop learning about the computer's interface and software.

I have lost count of the number of users who do not know a single keyboard shortcut, not even the basics like Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V, and Ctrl+Z. Many do not know how to click inside the scroll bar to move the slider or click-hold-and-drag the scroll bar slider, instead thumbing the scroll wheel all day. Overwlemingly most do not know to use the Tab key to move to the next text box in a dialog. They type, grab the mouse, click, release the mouse, type, and repeat this cycle all day.

These folks are intelligent and skilled in other areas of life. Just not computers.

There is a huge, I mean HUGE chasm between the free/libre software developers and these users. Proprietary software developers have been taught to think about usability because the company owners make no money selling unusable software. Free/libre development remains very much a scratch-my-own-itch environment. Free/libre developers seldom are motivated to create software for the ordinary, everyday, non-geek user.
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