Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

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Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby EricBuist on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi,

I tried installing Linux Mint 16 on my computer and that was a total failure. In barely one hour, I got twice as many difficulties than when I installed Ubuntu or even Fedora Core on the same machine.

- Mouse pointer is REALLY too small and impossible to enlarge
- Fonts are too small and the "Larger font" option in Universal Access barely enlarges them
- Many menus are not reachable with the keyboard, namely System settings
- System hung while I was checking for accessibility options and found a way to disable the hot corner (only good point). It was then impossible to do anything except move the mouse. The disabling of CTRL-ALT-Backspace is a real handicap; it was a nice way to restart the unstable X server (it always hangs from time to time, so having a way to force-restart is very nice, but even Ubuntu disabled that so not the main problem).
- After a complete reboot (very long from a DVD media), I started installation. It was very hard to setup my partition layout, because the fonts and mouse pointer are too small.
- After I finally got the partitioning right (/home pointing to my Home partition, / pointing to a new ext4 partition, /media/data pointing to my NTFS data drive), I clicked Continue and was once again stopped by an error message: I should have marked / as to be formatted.
- I came back to the partitioning step, checked the mark to format /, and boom, installer crashed with a super long, super small-sized, error message, telling me that the installer was crashed and there would be an opportunity to file a bug report after the window closed.
- No bug report wizard came up, just the desktop.
- Exhausted of not being able to do anything more with Linux Mint than troubleshooting, I wanted to reboot back to Ubuntu, but again, no keyboard shortcut to reboot. Got out of this with CTRL-ALT-F1 followed by CTRL-ALT-Delete.

My machine is an Asus P8Z77-V LX with Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU. I replaced the HD4000 onboard graphic with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX650 especially because the HD4000 was not working well with newer Linux kernels when playing Minecraft, and now it seems that the NVIDIA is causing instability (could explain the hanging). I have 16Gb of DDR3, so plenty of memory, and 2 120Gb SSDs and a 1Tb hard drive, so plenty of disk space as well.

I booted the installer in EFI mode. Could this be the problem? But I cannot install in MBR mode, because my Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu setups are EFI-based and I don't want to keep pressing F8 like a mad man to reach the boot menu and choose Mint from there, just because Mint is not EFI-compliant in practice while it should be in theory. Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu work correctly so I don't want to reinstall just because EFI is a matter of "Try EFI then switch back to MBR".

Any reason why Linux GUI (GNOME3, Cinnamon) are getting harder to use and loosing the ability to navigate with keyboard? Any reason why Linux, supposedly the most stable OS, crashes every time (seems only the kernel is now solid, X.Org is often going havoc now)? Is it because only one main brand of graphic card is supported and that switches brand from time to time, like the "Nexus" status of Android devices? This is very problematic, because I don't have anything to do with tons of now-incompatible graphic cards and don't want to spend my weekends swapping out PCI cards. How about people with laptops, for which the graphic card CANNOT be swapped out at all? This is totally unacceptable.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby computerbob on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:51 pm

I put my new Mint16 installation disc in one of my spares to see what you're talking about. My live cd desktop came up and I had to squint to see everything. By default, it went to the max resolution of my screen. I don't like that either and I never thought about it. I just thought everybody had to use a magnifying glass to load the system. Then I clicked menu and found displays and changed the resolution to 1280x720. Wow, I can see. I'm going to do this from now on. I'm so glad I found your question.

I always do a "something else" install because I don't like automatic things. If I had a previous linux distro on the hdd, I'd delete those partitions and get free space. Then when I set my /,swap, and /home I'd use extended partitioning, which I think it does by default.

As I recall there was once when the old system just didn't want to get erased. I think I shut down and started over again and expected my recent changes to be in effect, or they worked the second time. I don't remember. It's just that I like to install into free space rather do a change to an existing populated partition.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby FreedomOfTheOpenCode on Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:47 pm

I think you've just been unlucky. I've done a few installs of the last 3 versions on a number of different PCs and 1 laptop and never had any problems with any hardware (even weird stuff) or fonts. I always do the partitioning manually, and sometimes get something wrong, but the time lost can be offset against the time it would take to install all the updates for a Windows install (I do still use Windows for some games). Mint updates itself very quickly on my slowish broadband connection.

I think Linux distros are now having to adapt to a sudden influx of non-geeks who just want something that works out of the box and aren't interested in the OS. I think Ubuntu realised this. I bought a copy of Ubuntu User the other day and found it to be very readable and informative, and I was impressed by the 'hand-holding' they give users with helpful GUIs. I'm never going to use Ubuntu because of the privacy issue and because I want a proper desktop operating system, but I am impressed by the amount of effort that has gone into making it easy to use.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby Lazy and Stupid on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:35 pm

I had issues installing Mint 16 MATE because my MSI board's UEFI implementation was so poor. The problem was solved by using MBR instead of GPT. I also find the words during boot up to be too small to read, but I noticed that the UEFI of the board uses the same font of the same size so it may be an issue with the UEFI of the motherboard. I was never able t get Mint 16 to boot UEFI even with a totally wiped virgin drive. On the other hand I could not get ANY flavor of LINUX to boot UEFI on this motherboard.

Once running it on a MBR partitioned disk it did work OK except for a few minor glitches which Compterbob solved for me. I have also noticed decreased capabilites that were once present even so recently as Mint 15.

I was curious. What is the privacy issue with Ubuntu?
Last edited by Lazy and Stupid on Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby FreedomOfTheOpenCode on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:46 pm

Lazy and Stupid wrote:I was curious. What is the privacy issue with Ubuntu?

It was just this from Stallman:
http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... -searches/
I know most users are OK with this, but I find it irritating (to say the least) and as mike acker put it elsewhere on this forum, I like to see "all the cards on the table. face up." VLC for example, gives a nice clear warning about what it's going to do and why, so I'm OK with that.

Btw, I've had problems with GPT too, even though I read a whole article on it, so I'm staying with MBR until I know more about it.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby Lazy and Stupid on Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:55 pm

Thanks. That is very alarming. I didn't know.
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Re: Why is this thing SO TOUGH to install?

Postby Reorx on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:34 am

Eric;

Are you
a) Looking for sympathy?
b) Looking for solutions?
c) Or just looking for a place to rant?
Procrastinate now!
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