My straight (opinionated ) answer first:
stripe wrote:Hi all
Hope this is in the right place, if not I am sorry and please move it.
I am a happy linux mint user, I am setting up a 64bit version for my daughter on her first computer, the problem I have is that it will only be able connect to the web using a usb wireless dongle (no hard wiring possible) I was wanting to use mint 9 because of it being a long term distro and keeping the same os running on all computers, but the dongle is only recognised in mint 10 is it likely that mint 9 will be updated for this or should I update all the computers with mint 10?.
Go for 10.
I doubt it that Mint-9 gets updates to "hardware recognition" relevant packages. You would be very lucky.
Yes, there will be updates to Mint-9, but increasingly only security relevant stuff and bug fix releases (or third party software such as google-chrome, if applicable)
Also, Mint-10 is a very nice and stable release - so I would with a good conscience recommend that Mint-10 is used.
"Not long-term" means actually in April-2012 security updates will cease to be released for Mint-10.
Mint-10 is (my subjective feeling) just as good and stable as Mint-9. Only the agreed-on support lasts longer in Mint-9, aka "L.T.S."
The question is always: Should I keep my system running or should I dare an upgrade or reinstall from time to time (while keeping my data).
To install the then-current version (or upgrading to it) while keeping your data is pretty much routine with Mint nowadays
When that time comes, you may research how to keep EVERYTHING (including every bookmark and every icon) and transfer it onto the new system
- or post here in the forums.
I run both, Mint-9 and Mint-10 on different computers and for the most part cannot complain. That goes especially for the "Base" (Gnome) version.
(Remark) The KDE version of Mint-10 still has a few issues at the time of writing - but it is still at Release Candidate status - so they may be resolved soon, too.Summary (my 2 cents):
- Use Mint-10 especially if there is a special need for it (hardware recognition as in your case), and prepare to keep it until April/May-2012.
- do the package updates regularly (Mint-Update, there is an icon on the right-bottom). That keeps your system secure, fixes bugs and *facilitates Distribution Upgrade
* when the time comes.
- I trust that your machine runs stable until then - and when the time comes, you either go the upgrade path OR you save your data and environment and replace Mint-10 by the then-current version and then restore your used environment.