I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby xenopeek on Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:37 am

NewToLinuxxx wrote:Is this OS more like debian, or ubuntu?

Well, you never told us which Linux Mint you installed so it can be either. Linux Mint Main Edition (the one with release numbers; 13, 14, 15, 16...) is based on Ubuntu. Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE for short) is based on Debian. If there is no Ubuntu download you can always also try the Debian download, as Ubuntu in turn is based on Debian.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby InkKnife on Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:37 pm

SignorBari wrote:
DrHu wrote:I usually don't expect Aple OS-X users to switch;


I'm a long-time Apple user who's been moving to Linux of late. (I use Windows at work, because I don't have a choice (though my PC is due to be upgraded soon to a new Mac, so that's some progress at least). For a variety of reasons--not the least of which is the trend of Apple making the macs more like their iOS devices--closed-box consumer appliances, with limited hardware choices. For the moment, I still have an iMac at home, but I've been using my Linux laptop more and more. I haven't decided yet what I will do when my iMac finally dies. I like the ideals of the open software movement, even if as a practical matter, it doesn't always live up to the ideal. I am not opposed to commercial or proprietary software, but it is good that there is an alternative. Using Linux is perhaps not quite as much of a wild frontier as it used to be--we have electricity and indoor plumbing now--but actually getting all the hardware properly configured in my new laptop was a PITA. But I guess if you want to live outside the security of the walled garden, that's the price.

I do like the fact that going between Linux and OS X is relatively easy--open up the terminal window, there's the bash shell, things are more or less in the same places.

I was also a long time Mac user, for almost 20 years I used almost nothing but the MacOS with a sprinkling of Windows when I had to. But I got tired of the hardware selection Apple offered so when my Mini died 2 years ago I dug out an old PC I had laying around and started trying Distros and chose Mint and I have not looked back.
I had to learn some new ways to do things but I agree that there are many similarities between OSX and Mint which makes transitioning from OSX easier.
Mint is saving me a lot of money. I am running Mint now, quite happily, on an 8yo PC and the "new" machine I am cobbling together is based on a 5yo Core2Quad PC I picked up for $50 and I know Mint will just fly on that machine when I am done.
Mint is an excellent OS that runs great on almost free hardware. No more trudging along on Apple's forced march towards the future as Apple sees it.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby helterskelter on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:47 pm

Having installed Linux some 12 years ago I havent looked back . As a LInux user you will find yourself immersed in the Linux community rather than the WIn. community along with all its crapware/trapware that is "Free to Download" :lol: .
The folks in the Linux community are among the best,with the exception of a handful of immature "I am a Hacker" types. Linux is not synonymous with "Hacking",Computers are,regardless of the O/S.

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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby NewToLinuxxx on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:52 pm

^@ xenu- it was the ubunut version it needed, and some tweaking/installing/whatever (it didn't just "work" like it would after install on windows, but was real simple to figure out)

I love this OS! Thanks for the words of advice everyone, means a lot :)
2 dumb q's while I have ppls' ears ;)
- how on earth do i dim my screen in linux? In windows, it's control panel, but I cannot find such an option in the 'settings' of linux mint, and this screen is painfully bright lol
- can anyone link, or just name some keywords, that'd help me in my quest to add another linux distro alongside linuxmint+windows7? I attempted two others and couldn't get them functional (unless run live from a stick/disc), and have been going nuts w/ easyBCD/unetbootin/bios all afternoon, feel like i'm missing something more..obvious. I know i was supposed to do windows7 first, and then linux distros should go on just fine; I setup partitions (via windows disc manager/partitioner) and made them free/unallocated. Yet I get errors everytime I try installing a third system on my dual, win7/linuxmint setup (which is working perfect, on its own). Any reco's for websites/tutorials, or even keywords or programs that may help guide my search, would be appreciated :D (especially reco's to other boards that aren't focused on a particular OS, but on booting/bios's/multi-boot configurations)
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby austin.texas on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:04 pm

One way to do it is to use Vm
Here is a guide to that.
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=155892
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby tadaensylvermane on Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:12 pm

Just another viewpoint...

I started Linux because I was curious. Started with Debian , then toyed around with the *buntus and Mint of course. Ultimately I settled on mint because I like the mostly managed environment that doesn't make me work for it. I have gone pure *nix for cost and choice for starters. I can play with a number of DE's, WM's, or go pure cli if I want. The privacy issues surrounding Microsoft = fail so that is another one. I have real freedom to do anything I want with linux... except games like skyrim and such but I havn't had interest in playing games for some time anyway. The open source world has opened my eyes to learning basic cad stuff (librecad) 3d modelling (blender) and countless other things I can do easily on linux and or easier than on windows. Package manager wins compared to searching for stuff randomly on the internet. No registry, I'm sure I'm not the only one that hates that thing.

I put just these + many other reasons next to my list of why to stay with windows... It wasn't even comparable or remotely worth staying windows.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby CtrlAltDel on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:13 am

Windows does have better apps here and there. For example, no file browser in Linux can begin to compare to an actively developed one like XYplorer, which has a free version for Windows users.

http://www.xyplorer.com/whatsnew.php

Also, many apps are compatible with both Linux and Windows. Here is a list of some of those:

Firefox

Chrome

Opera

LibreOffice

Open Office

Gimp

Audacity

Pinta

Pan

Banshee

VLC

SMPlayer

Claws Mail

DeVeDe

Deluge

KeePass

Hand Brake

TrueCrypt

gedit

HTTrack Website Copier

Pidgin

TomBoy Notes

Buddi

XChat

Thunderbird

Dropbox

7-Zip

Bleach Bit

GParted
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby Wulf on Mon May 05, 2014 12:38 pm

I have two reasons:
- The backdoors.
- The horrible level of automation. It is 2014, but Windows 7/8.1 still does nothing more than Windows 1.0 did. It doesn't make my life easier. Computers are about automation. Steve Jobs understood that a little. Do things for me, stupid machine; that is why I bought you :mrgreen:
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby Wulf on Mon May 05, 2014 12:40 pm

CtrlAltDel wrote:Windows does have better apps here and there. For example, no file browser in Linux can begin to compare to an actively developed one like XYplorer, which has a free version for Windows users.

http://www.xyplorer.com/whatsnew.php



I come from Dos/Norton Commander. If you had that (so Total Commander in windows/MC in xNix) you can't even start to begin with the 'explorer' concept from MS :mrgreen:
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby bobafetthotmail on Mon May 05, 2014 6:22 pm

Does not cost 150$ a pop for an OEM licence, its office software is not ransomware, it won't run out of support EVAR (LMDE version) and/or reinstalling it is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR the pain of reinstalling Windows so even reinstalling every 6-8 months isn't a major issue.
There is decent documentation so if something does not work I have a fighting chance of solving the issue or at least working around it like a pro.

I know that everyone and their dog pirates Windos and MS Office so cost is never factored in the choices, but hey, for honest people it's around 350 bucks only for gawdamn licenses, which is usually 2-3 times the cost of the hardware I'm working with. :lol:

There is also the cool factor that comes from eventually learning how the system works and how the PC works, when with Windos you only learn magic spells (operation/mainteneance procedures) without understanding what is actually going on.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby JohnBobSmith on Mon May 05, 2014 7:46 pm

I use Linux because, well, I love programming. Software developement, even at the enthusiast (not college or professionaly) level, is much easier in Linux. That, and I love fiddling with things, until they break, fixing it, breaking it again, re-installing, etc. etc. Linux gives me the freedom to do whatever I want with my own PC.

As to which OS is better, heck, I use both regularly. I do some indermediate level graphics work in Windows. Things like 3D "rendering"...of sorts, I guess. I also play games in Windows. When I feel like writing some random scripts to do things for me, or text based games, I use Linux.

To wrap up, both OS'es have their strengths and weaknesses. Though, essentially, they serve the same basic purpose. How each OS goes about doing it is very different though. I say use what works and what works well. Use what you prefer. Hope you can have fun using Linux, and May The Fourth Be With You.
Running on ancient hardware and a now super-charged linux only laptop. :D
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby stacey on Thu May 08, 2014 9:57 am

The reason I installed Linux Mint (and later Xubuntu on another machine) was for the font rendering. My vision is not very good, and Windows starting with Win 7 really messed up their font rendering to where I found it very hard to read, even though I had tweaked it as much as possible. On Mint and Xubuntu, the text is crystal clear. What a difference that makes in my day to day life! I keep a Windows machine at home and office, for use with my Access database and our Active Directory network at work (they haven't got it working with Linux... I don't think they've tried). But, for most things I use the Linux machine because it is so much easier on my eyes.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby simonbrown on Thu May 22, 2014 5:38 pm

My laptop gets used for web browsing, web based application, gawk scripts for data file manipulation, Gimp graphics editing, straightforward spreadsheet use, nothing more complex than vlookup. Having been hacked under windows, I originally moved for security reasons, however now my personal laptop is Linux I have no desire to use Windows 7 or 8. Why be faced with upgrade costs ? Why pay £££ for complex Office packages when my needs on a personal laptop are simple. Mint is clean and straightforward. Qiana is smarter, faster, more straightforward and more intuitive than the corporate Windows 7 I use as well. Nemo is a fast and effective file manager to get around. I still have Windows 7 dual booted, however I only use it for occasional specialist software that I can only get on Windows. There's also the factor of feeling connected to a user base with forums like this.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby altae on Thu May 22, 2014 5:44 pm

I can only speak for myself. I started using Linux Mint for one reason only, I wanted to learn what the whole Linux thing is all about. Aber several months of using it these are my thoughts:

It's a great OS if you like to have more control over your OS than Windows grants you. And no, for an average user it won't ever be total control since during the last months of using it I more than once realized that I had no clue what the command I had just copied from some forum or blog or whatever to fix a certain problem would do exactly :-) So if you don't know the internals of the OS, which very few actually do, then it means more control than in Windows, but total control? No, not without very sophisticated knowledge of Linux and maybe not without being able to code.

What's also great about Linx, and that's also the reason I will probably keep using it besides my Windows 8, is the fact that it is always a good thing to have an alternative at hand. This way you are not completely dependant on Microsoft and it's OS.

When it comes to security Linux is a mixed bag for me. On one hand it's clearly more secure than Windows just because of the fact that all Windows versions together still have a wordwide market share of a ridiculous 90 %. So it's kind of logical that if you wan't to write a malicous piece of code you are better off writing it for Windows than for the 2 % or so that use Linux. And those 2 % even use various distros that probably cannot all be attacked by the same virus. So it is kind of nice to surf the web without having to fear that the next link one clicks on could probably infect the system with some kind of virus, trojan, whatever. But on the other hand that's also the weakness of Linux. Because everybody feels so secure when it comes to Linux nobody takes precautions to avoid a possible infection. There is no proper anti virus software out there for Linux and some especially bold people even suggest that it's not necessary to use a firewall on a Linux pc. Imagine just for one second that there would be an organization or just a group of people out there that would dedicate as much ressources to develop a spy software for Linux as they do to develop such software for Windows. Almost any Linux user would almost certainly fall victim to such a software because Linux users feel so superior that nobody seems to even imagine the possibility of viruses for Linux. In my eyes that's just outright negligence. Even Apple users are starting to realize that it might be a good idea to use a anti virus software even though there are not many viruses for OSX (which by the way is based on UNIX as Linux is).

Last but not least there is one more important advantage of Linux over Windows: It's completely free and almost any software for Linux ist free too. So you cannot really lose anything by trying it :-)

But there are two big disadvantages of Linux that make it impossible for me to replace Windows by Linux, those are software diversity and hardware support. In case of software diversity it's crystal clear that no OS on this planet comes even close to the staggering amount of paid and free software for Windows. To tell it in the words of Apple: There is not an app for everything, there are at least 20 pieces of software for almost any type of software one could possibly imagine. No comparison to the agony you go through if you are looking for the one special piece of software on Linux and in the end, after having finally found and compiled the only piece of software that's available for Linux, you find out that this program does not even come close to the functionality of the available Windows programs. And when it comes to hardware support the situation is not so different neither. Ok, most hardware does run on Linux. But it does not offer the same functionality like the very same hardware does under Windows. E. g. no support for the driver features of my creative sound card, not all printer settings available, no support for hardware buttons on devices, no support for the usb port of my router, the list could go on forever.

So my conclusion is as follows: Linux is a great OS and it is absolutely a good thing to learn it and have it at hand as a (free) alternative. It is also great for running old hardware, especially after Microsoft has practically killed Windows XP by not patching it anymore. But if I had to rely on one OS only it would definitely be Windows because only on Windows I can do everything I want to do. If you configure Windows correctly and run it on appropriate, decent hardware (no cheap supermarket pcs) it just works. You boot it, you are productive and you shut it down afterwards. No need to figure this and that out before you can start working.

That's my point of view. Of course everybody is free to see the whole Windows vs Linux thing differently :-)
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby Previous1 on Fri May 23, 2014 4:05 pm

altae: Well written post (though I prefer different approaches over AV). Of course Windows can be just as hit-or-miss.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby ifishnc on Fri May 30, 2014 12:20 pm

Good review! Much of what you said applies to my situation as well.
I revived an old IBM laptop several years ago using Puppy and learned a lot about Linux in general. At the time I thought Linux users were just nerds who hated Microsoft and Bill Gates and thought they could make a dent in his empire. Like you, I quickly realized that I and about 95% of the world population either could not or would not learn to code. For the Linux people this either came as part of an IT job or they just enjoyed it.
I even wrote developers a note trying to convince them that "user friendly" was the way to go if they wanted to expand Linux use.
Well, when I recently installed Mint on my old XP computer, I was surprised to see that someone out there in Linux land might have listened - or at least came to the same conclusion. Mint is pure genius for us old Windows users. And I agree with you that Mint doesn't do everything that Windows does. But Linux doesn't have a near monopoly on the business. You've got to give these guys credit (Linux developers that is).
But hey, I'm not going to switch to Mint just because I think these guys are brilliant. I'm sure there are one or two brilliant people at MS as well. I use the computer as a tool to work and to play - not as a way to learn code. It has to do the jobs I need done. So, I looked at all the things Mint does well and I use them. If it doesn't do a job after a reasonable effort to make it work, I go back to XP. For example, it cost me $146 to buy a NEW copy of MS Office. Then it crashed. I have a huge Excel spreadsheet with lots of macros and complicated formulas. When I lost MS Office 2007 I tried to open it in Libre Calc. It didn't work. The error said MS Office macros were differt and Libre couldn't interpret them. However, every other spreadshhet I hav works fine. Libre Word does everything I could ever ask it to do.
I guess my point is, Mint and other Linux distros can't do everything Windows can, but the price is right and it does a LOT of things - and now even an old timer raised on Windows can actually use it.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby JRG on Sat May 31, 2014 12:10 am

My reason was different from the previous posters. It surprised me to read this thread and see nobody give my reason for adopting Linux.

First off, I'm retired but was a professional software developer involved in large-scale software development. Over most of my career (at least the part after which "personal computers" arrived on the scene), I was a die-hard Apple fan. I used Windows for a while while doing consulting — mainly for ease of communicating with clients (i.e. being able to get a secure connection into their servers using proprietary software that ran on Windows "PCs").

Now there are lots of reasons I didn't care for Microsoft — people have written books about some of their dubious (and possibly illegal) business practices — court cases over monopolistic practices, etc. However, the main reason I was turned off Windows was the "closed ecosystem". I abandoned Apple (not just OS X on my MacBook Pro, but also iOS on a first generation iPad) for a similar reason — the OS X/iOS environment was becoming a "walled garden".

Although it may be tilting at windmills, I abandoned using Google's gmail and most of their applications (though I run a custom "ROM" on my smartphone that is based on Android and I use Google's "Play Store" to get applications). I don't like advertising being rammed down my throat (I'm willing to pay to use software that doesn't do this) and I don't like my personal information being used without, not only my permission but also without my knowledge. Currently people running Android can still download applications from other sources than the Play Store, but it is getting hard to avoid being sucked into the Google ecosystem.

The reason I mention Google and the Android environment, is it looked to me as if in the Apple ecosystem it was going to get harder and harder to download software to run on a "Mac" except through Apple's app store. They appear to trying to lock people in.

For what it is worth, it also seems to me that Microsoft are doing a pretty good job of bungling every second major release of Windows, so I don't have much confidence even in having a decent OS with them.

So, I run Linux Mint on two Apple computers (a "MacBook" and a "MacBook Pro"). Apple in particular is pretty good at abandoning their customers by "obsoleting" perfectly good, and not very old hardware. I think it was less than 3 years after introduction before it was no longer possible to run the current iOS release on a first-generation iPad — that is simply disgusting. My multi-core Intel processor-based MacBook Pro hasn't been able to run the last two or three releases of OS X (for a while my wife was using it and I managed to hack the system and install OS X Mavericks, but it was less than satisfactory).

My wife now runs Linux Mint as well (on a Toshiba laptop).

So for me, it's not a matter of superior software, better security, "free" vs "paid for", etc., but personal freedom (no walled gardens) and the ability to be able to take my data and switch to something else easily — I can use data formats that are standards (e.g. Open Document Formats supported by Libre Office).

For me to switch to Linux was pretty trivial as I have a background that involved using various Unix OSes (HP-UX and Sun's). That makes it hard to know how difficult it is for people without a computer science background to adopt Linux — though having said that, it seems to me that for a few years now, installing a Linux distro is just as easy as installing Windows or OS X.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby ColonialJohn on Sat May 31, 2014 2:46 am

The point is, for a lot of people, Win XP's demise.

And Linux Mint 16 would be good if one could spend more time being productive rather than working at fixing the OS.

Having spent two months 'getting to know' the Linux system, patching pieces of software using a previously unknown intergalactic language, I have two half running computers - one a desktop which has broken a connection to the wireless printer (and a heap more besides), and the other, a netbook that can print wirelessly but can't do Skype or other video / audio, plus a heap more besides.

Lots of help out there, some of it decades (not quite) old, not all of it helpful or safe (having broken the OS trying out the suggestions).

Not a useful OS for everyones hardware.

XP was great, and Mint would be too if it worked. Should have stayed with Windows and upgraded the hardware to run Win7 but felt cheated by MS support withdrawal.

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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby Cammo on Sat May 31, 2014 8:44 am

ColonialJohn wrote:The point is, for a lot of people, Win XP's demise.

That was a huge opportunity for the OSS community generally. I think that *nix, but especially easy to learn distros like Mint, have mostly missed that opportunity. From my personal experience (admittedly anecdotal evidence), many of the people who were still using XP when MS killed it were using it for Office-based work. There seems to be little point trying to convert nerds/IT/server people, because you're preaching to the choir. Look to the average Joe who wants something to fire up the internet (Firefox: check), check their email (Thunderbird: is go), do their word processing (libre/open office: fail), and their spreadsheets (libre/open office: mega fail).

Libre/open office - they work fine for very basic word processing/spreadsheets, but struggle with more complex ones.
ifishnc wrote:Office macros were differ[en]t and Libre couldn't interpret them
I've had the same problem with spreadsheets in libre, but not even very complex macros (relatively basic homebrew ones). Or, in my experience, libre battles with reports, theses, or anything that needs to be presented to a customer. Headings and themes are very hit and miss. And that, imho, is the biggest failing of Mint as far as the average user goes - the only really professional looking office software for it is MS.

PS: I know that's not Mint's fault per se, but it is a big negative to users who need that functionality.
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Re: I have/like Mint- but...WHY? What was the point??

Postby olddog2 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:19 pm

Here's a non-technical noob's perspective (tracks with other points previously made...);

Good stuff
1. Revived a Lenovo laptop to boot up about as fast as year old quad 4 Dell desktop with W7; web searches as good or better as W7 IE
2. Relatively easy to install, though takes maybe an hour (quick to recognize wifi etc.)
3. Low installation cost; one blank dvd disc, about two hours time
4. Better problem solving assistance from forums (MS help screens come across as vague and overblown)
5. Office Libre, wine, etc there if needed
6. Freedom from malware
7. Solid KMHD internet radio signal to stereo receiver (its main use)

Minor Problems
1. On longer youtube and dvd viewing sessions, screen goes dark after about 30 minutes. Fix, work the mouse a bit to restore image. Still looking for a better solution.
2. Dropped the wifi signal once when laptop left on overnight. Fix; reboot and reenter wifi code.

Overall? So far, as good as W7 in most respects, better in others, not as good maybe in a few. Good product!

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