Linux Mint is still small, but...

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Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby midas on Fri May 14, 2010 5:20 am

...could become even MUCH better when taking some distance from big brother Ubuntu. Secretly we are all hoping for the day LM will once be a complete independent distribution. But to be realistic it takes a lot of efforts and manpower to make that dream coming true. It is not only the software and screens you'll see on your desktop but the whole software pool behind the sreen...including developing, maintaining an testing. For one man (Clem) and a tiny team of volunteers not something to accomplish on a short timebase!

So in the years to come we simply have to make use of the infrastructure of any big brother...Ubuntu, Red Hat, Suse...or perhaps Mandriva is coming in better hands now. That is the fact we have to live with. But why don't we make BETTER use of this situation and making the benchmark of a proven product even better. Till now, for many people LM is only Ubuntu with a few added tools and a fresh artwork and an own (friendly) community. But why don't we better make use of the situation?

LM is the PERFECT distribution for making the transition from MS to Linux. Most of these transitioners are tired and sick of the problems connected to the daily us of a MS-system and we are not even talking of the security issues involved. These people only want to have a light, fast and troublefree product on (mainly) their desktop...everything working out of the box and above all, a safe and secure experience. These people are (generally spoken) not waiting for reinstalling or upgrading their system every 6 months and trying to work around bugs and trying to fix things that are broken. That is the reality when installing every 6 months a new Ubuntu/Mint release.

We could make a really wonderful distribution when sticking only with the Ubuntu-LTS releases:
1. Following the Ubuntu point releases and updating the Mint-tools and arwork etc.
2. Perhaps even updating some 'top 20 packages' like Firefox, OO, GIMP, etc...
3. Every six month an update release for newcomers.
4. Above all a stable and proven product!

That would mean every 2 years a major-release and every 6 month an update-release. That would turn our fine distribution in a kind of semi-rolling release and I am sure everything would work MUCH better and a lot of Ubuntu-users would make the switch to LM because everything simply works out of the box and keeps working!
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri May 14, 2010 10:12 am

Hey! Yeah! I am stoked man! That is one awesome idea!!!

So...When are you going to start? I do not think it will be too hard, you can use Mint as a model! In fact, since you are staying with Ubuntu, which is a deb distro, you can even use the Mint tools!!! Of course you will have to rebrand them, name them after YOUR distro. What are you going to call it? Peppermint is already taken, how about Spearmint? Yeah, I like that! Anyway, if you include the Mint tools with some minor changes in theme you should be good to go.

Of course you need to think about repos. Will you provide your own, or are you just going to use the Ubuntu repos? I wonder if you can freely use the Mint repo? Is that Clem's "property?" It would be on his server, right? How does Mint legally use the Ubuntu repos? Or is this even a factor? Hmmm, never considered this! But if you could just use the Ubuntu and Mint repos that would sure save you some work! :D You will need a server for your ISOs though. Who will design your site? Do you think you will get many users? I will sure promote your distro if I like it, even though the 2 year LTS cycle will get boring for me. I prefer what Mint does now, but that is the beauty of Linux, you can certainly promote your "better" idea!!!

Well sir, I sure wish you luck! I am always happy to see a new distro rolled out! So many of these chowderheads come into this forum insisting that Mint change and conform to THEIR brilliant idea of how to beat Windows and take over the world. :cry: It is refreshing to see someone like you who is willing to put their money where their mouth is and actually DO something useful instead of just complaining about the status quo! Sir, I salute you! May your distro be fast and stable.

Spearmint! Yeah, I like that...
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby Biker on Fri May 14, 2010 10:44 am

Ran out of coffee this morning, huh? :lol:
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby buayadarat on Fri May 14, 2010 10:53 am

I understood midas posting as giving some user feedback about Mint, rather than an idea to create a new distro... :|
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri May 14, 2010 12:11 pm

buayadarat wrote:I understood midas posting as giving some user feedback about Mint, rather than an idea to create a new distro... :|


the midas dude wrote:We could make a really wonderful distribution when sticking only with the Ubuntu-LTS releases:
1. Following the Ubuntu point releases and updating the Mint-tools and arwork etc.
2. Perhaps even updating some 'top 20 packages' like Firefox, OO, GIMP, etc...
3. Every six month an update release for newcomers.
4. Above all a stable and proven product!


Sounds like a new distro to me!!! :wink:

N-e-e-d m-o-r-e- c-o-f-f-e-e...... :lol:
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby midas on Fri May 14, 2010 2:21 pm

No! By 'WE' I did mean the Linux Mint community. I certainly don't have the intention to start another distribution. Sorry for not being crisp and clear about that point. LinuxMint was the distribution that made me leaving Windows behind. I was only thinking how to make LM a better distro qualitywise - and not having the same bugs and regressions Ubuntu is showing us each 6 months.

I can put it in different words: How do YOU think LM can become a (quality wise) better distribution? The solution has to be within reach for the small LM developer team, the available resources and our community as a whole. We are talking about the future of LM as a distribution and I am very concerned about it. It just HAS to be better and more stable in near future.

Greetz, midas
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri May 14, 2010 3:11 pm

midas wrote:No! By 'WE' I did mean the Linux Mint community. I certainly don't have the intention to start another distribution. Sorry for not being crisp and clear about that point. LinuxMint was the distribution that made me leaving Windows behind. I was only thinking how to make LM a better distro qualitywise - and not having the same bugs and regressions Ubuntu is showing us each 6 months.

I can put it in different words: How do YOU think LM can become a (quality wise) better distribution? The solution has to be within reach for the small LM developer team, the available resources and our community as a whole. We are talking about the future of LM as a distribution and I am very concerned about it. It just HAS to be better and more stable in near future.

Greetz, midas


Why? :wink:

Seriously, I knew good and well what you meant in your first post! If you think you can do a better job then have at it!!! THAT is what FOSS and Linux is about, not "defeating" Windows or gaining "converts."

Look at it this way, how much did you pay for Mint? How much does Clem make off Mint? Other than good-will contributions. YOU have contributed some cash, haven't you? :wink: That is YOUR business...Listen, I am sure Clem and the rest of the development team like the feedback, both negative and positive. Your idea certainly has some merit IF THAT IS WHAT CLEM ENVISIONS FOR MINT!!! But there are reasons why your idea is a bad one for this distro! It is not as simple as just updating to the latest packages on an old base. The kernel itself keeps improving, new features come out very frequently. Often newer packages cannot be run on older bases. Then you have the factor that many of us WANT to run the latest and greatest thing. We do NOT WANT to run a distro that is over a year old, if we did then we would be running Lenny or CentOS! As it is Mint is a bit stale for my taste, I do come from Fedora afterall, and I currently enjoy Arch as my top distro. Mint is good at what it is, which is a stable, brainless, fast install and a solid system. I personally do not want to see the philosophy change. I would not mind going to a debian base instead of Ubuntu, but that is Clem's business, not mine. As far as your LTS idea,, why not just use the LTS Mint releases? :shock: I mean, that is why they are released as LTS, right? :?

Hey, I was just having at you in my first post, just having a little fun at your expense. I apologize for that. You are certainly free, and encouraged, to voice your views. My point, though made sarcastically, is that it is easy to direct others to do what YOU think needs done. It is harder to acquire a set of skills then offer to help out where needed. It is harder to work in a team and help progress someone else's ideas when you disagree with the direction. Linux is not about gaining users or trying to be better than Windows! It is about the flow of ideas! The ability to take the existing code and develop the OS YOU feel is needed whether it be Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint or Arch. It is about choice. This seems to be a strong recurring theme in this forum this week. That is good, people need to understand that Linux is more than just trying to market a product to as many people as possible. Personally, in 10 years of being immersed in the community now, I see much more harm than good in Linux gaining more popularity! The advantages to widespread Linux use that people most often point to are generally moot points. But the downside is very real. I can understand why people want to turn others on to the great, free OS that they found. But I cannot understand why people cannot just be content with this OS. WHY does it have to be anything other than what it is? If you feel it can be better then YOU make it better. That is what it is about. If you are not a geek and cannot do the work yourself then tough! Just enjoy the benefits of someone else's labor that you are getting for free!

Not trying to win any hearts and minds here, just asking that you think about it. :D
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby midas on Fri May 14, 2010 5:04 pm

OK...there is a reason why there are more than 300 distributions and there is a wide variety of reasons why people are using linux on their computer...even for more practical reasons and daily use. That is exactly the reason for me staying in the first place with distributions like PCLOS, Ubuntu and Mint...and I am aiming to an operating system that will work on my system out of the box and without unexpected regressions. Perhaps a no-brainer, but above all a practical one. I like also the idea of people helping eachother and thats exactly the reason to be involved as one of the teammembers behind the linuxmint website for dutch speaking mint-users. Trying to help eachother where problems occur...specially newbies (I believe still being one too) and people who are not so much interested in the techniques behind the screens.

What is wrong with more people in future will use linux on their systems? I agree...it doesn't have to be no. 1 alternative for Windows. Like there are reasons for choosing one of the 300 linux-distributions...people will always have a reason for working with Apple or Windows. And about 20 years the majority will still work with Windows or one of the other pure commercial products. Let it be!

But here in this forum and on the dutch mint-website we have to help too many people with problems who simply cannot be sorted out. No other possible solution than sticking with an older release (some are stuck with Mint5 Elyssa) or perhaps a future release will bring (hopefully) a solution. I don't like repeating myself too much but it is related to the fact of being too closely tighted to Ubuntu. We simply experience the same regressions as they do (I am not talking graphical cards solely).

The intentions of Clem, what he wants to do with LinuxMint is crisp and clear. One can read them at this website (the interviews and the FAQ for instance). One agrees or disagrees with it and in the last case there are 299 other distros to choose from. But everything working troublefree and directly out of the box is one of the main targets (so to speak). Fedorarefugee, what could be the reason Fedora as a distro is cutting back from being the innovative 'bleeding-edge' distro?

(Btw, you are not drinking that weak american coffee, don't you?)
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby Biker on Fri May 14, 2010 5:10 pm

There's only one teeny problem. You can't account for 100% of all hardware configurations and there will always be machines that will need a priest for exorcism. No distribution is going to be 100% for 100% of the computer systems out there.

So what do you do? You learn the OS and figure out how to make it work on your machine. If you can't, you try something else until you do find that one distribution that works to your satisfaction.
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri May 14, 2010 5:30 pm

midas wrote:
The intentions of Clem, what he wants to do with LinuxMint is crisp and clear. One can read them at this website (the interviews and the FAQ for instance). One agrees or disagrees with it and in the last case there are 299 other distros to choose from. But everything working troublefree and directly out of the box is one of the main targets (so to speak). Fedorarefugee, what could be the reason Fedora as a distro is cutting back from being the innovative 'bleeding-edge' distro?

(Btw, you are not drinking that weak american coffee, don't you?)


First, I want to thank you for the work you do on your website! You are part of the team, much more so than I am as I merely contribute to this forum and am not in operations.

I want to say that I am not against making Linux better! Not at all! However, I would probably disagree with you on what constitutes easier. :D

But yeah, troublefree is good. I think most everyone can dig troublefree. But there is a balance between that and the cutting edge. If you want 100% bug and trouble free why are you not running debian Lenny? :wink: Granted it does not come out of the box as Mint does, but once set up you are good for life...or close to it anyway...

I am not saying your idea does not have merit, it does. What I am telling you is it would face much resistance. I do not want a two year old distro!!! I do not think many others do either. Maybe I should start a poll on how many forum regulars are currently running Mint 9? It is not even released yet!

Why is Fedora backing away from the cutting edge? I wish I knew. :( It is one of the reasons I quit the distro. It seems like Fedora wants to become like Ubuntu and Ubuntu wants to become like Fedora and it is totally screwing everyone up! It is one of the reasons I am as strong-minded as I am about this subject! You do not have to like Fedora as a cutting edge testing distro, likewise you do not have to like Ubuntu as a system for the new Windows convert. Linux distros do NOT need to be all things to all people, they do not compete. They all fill a niche. I wish the Fedora guys would have left well enough alone. I wish the Ubuntu guys would smooth out the needless bumps they are forcing on their users. But...Each group drives Linux where they think it should go. The recourse for us mere users is to find a distro that fits us. Arch is it for me...For now anyway.

Actually, I do not drink much coffee. I am an iced tea kind of guy. And lemonade. :D
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby midas on Fri May 14, 2010 6:11 pm

You're right Biker...it is impossible to build a distro that will serve every piece of hardware well. Simply impossible. That is why some hardware is running better on Mint/Ubuntu and other on PCLOS. But I am talking about real regressions here. Isn't it strange that parts of hardware is pefectly running in Mint 5 or 6 and seems to be broken in Mint 8 or 9 (RC)? It happens simply too many times.

Fedorarefugee...a lot of dutch and belgian forummembers are running Mint 9 RC too and most members do usually like the release-fever every six months so I know what you are talking about. It is true Ubuntu is becoming more and more bleeding edge and it is screwing things for us (as Minters) too. I am leaning towards the idea of trying PCLOS (a rolling distro) but it is in fact a KDE-centric distro. But I like the desktop-experience of LM gnome...everything seems to be at the right spot...simple and functional.

CentOS or Arch seems to me quite difficult to learn as a starter coming from Mint/Ubuntu. But Debian Lenny is a good tip! The terminal-commands are already familiar and it is a good way of discovering what is happening under the hood.

I have a feeling we're just a few hours away from Mint 9 being released, I haven't downloaded the RC-version so the final will be the one for testing for me. Just see how long it will bee on my system before it will bore on me too much...
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby linuxviolin on Fri May 14, 2010 6:29 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:It is not as simple as just updating to the latest packages on an old base. The kernel itself keeps improving, new features come out very frequently. Often newer packages cannot be run on older bases.

Yes, because the always-changing nature of Linux... but Windows can do that. About the kernel, well, it was better some years ago... :roll:

FedoraRefugee wrote:We do NOT WANT to run a distro that is over a year old, if we did then we would be running Lenny or CentOS!

Hey! A problem with CentOS and Lenny? :evil: [joke] Even if now I perhaps prefer Scientific, I use CentOS and it does not despair yet... :wink:

FedoraRefugee wrote:If you are not a geek and cannot do the work yourself then tough! Just enjoy the benefits of someone else's labor that you are getting for free!

I am not entirely agree with this. Even if you are not a "geek" or "cannot do the work yourself" you can express your views and can give your advice about the quality, the direction etc of the distro. Good or bad. :roll:

midas wrote:CentOS or Arch seems to me quite difficult to learn as a starter coming from Mint/Ubuntu. But Debian Lenny is a good tip! The terminal-commands are already familiar and it is a good way of discovering what is happening under the hood.

Arch maybe yes but CentOS no. It's not really difficult, it's a myth, and if you want you have even some GUIs! :lol:
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby mick55 on Fri May 14, 2010 8:43 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:Not trying to win any hearts and minds here

You are succeeding spectacularly. :mrgreen:


midas wrote:(Btw, you are not drinking that weak american coffee, don't you?)

-----------pwned------------- :lol:


linuxviolin wrote:I perhaps prefer Scientific

+1 A very stable Red Hat clone.(unlike Fedora) :wink:
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.

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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby buayadarat on Sat May 15, 2010 4:02 am

FedoraRefugee wrote:It is about the flow of ideas!


That is exactly what midas has done. He has brought up some ideas. To me as a newcomer these ideas sound reasonable, but I can't judge whether it is technically possible and whether it fits into Clem's goals. I think it is interesting to see what the Mint-specialists think about these ideas, but I see no reason to bash them.

For me as being new to Linux, Mint looks close to perfect. I just want something that works and that is the case now, while Ubuntu's way is somewhat critical in this point. For me actually the applications are more important than the OS (yes, I know that the applications won't work without the OS... :wink: ) and there are still some missing points, that's why I still have to use Windows.

As example, when I use Evolution, I want that the program works and the best OS will be the one that I don't need to know which one it is. Mint is quite close to that.
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby frsu on Sat May 15, 2010 4:39 am

First of all: Mint is not small at all, for me it is BIG. Why? Because it has the potential to move more people in an easy way from Win to a very good Linux OS. And I you ask on the forums what is the best distribution with everything working? Then you see a lot answers coming with Mint. :D

I agree with the weakness from the Ubuntu side, for instance my wireless is not working on 9 RC (Yes, I know it is not the final one) as it is also working not good in Ubuntu 10.04. This is a bad thing for new users who want to make the step.

Fortunately we have great forums who can help them out, but stil.... :roll:

I hope at least Mint is going to reduce the number of different versions, I would like to see three versions: Full, Medium and Light. That makes it easier to choose for beginners and experienced users.
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby Chasester on Sat May 15, 2010 5:57 am

mick55 wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:Not trying to win any hearts and minds here

You are succeeding spectacularly. :mrgreen:



Okay, that was funny.


Fedora, :: sigh :: I'm never that verbose when I'm sarcastic.
youth is certainly wasted on the young.
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Sat May 15, 2010 11:18 am

buayadarat wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:It is about the flow of ideas!


That is exactly what midas has done. He has brought up some ideas. To me as a newcomer these ideas sound reasonable, but I can't judge whether it is technically possible and whether it fits into Clem's goals. I think it is interesting to see what the Mint-specialists think about these ideas, but I see no reason to bash them.

For me as being new to Linux, Mint looks close to perfect. I just want something that works and that is the case now, while Ubuntu's way is somewhat critical in this point. For me actually the applications are more important than the OS (yes, I know that the applications won't work without the OS... :wink: ) and there are still some missing points, that's why I still have to use Windows.

As example, when I use Evolution, I want that the program works and the best OS will be the one that I don't need to know which one it is. Mint is quite close to that.


I wasn't bashing buayadarat, go back and read my posts!

I was suggesting why the idea would not work. It is a good idea, I have said so a few times now. Just not for Mint. There is room for a stable distro along these lines, my point was rather than talking about it if the OP feels that strong he should make it happen. :D
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby MALsPa on Sat May 15, 2010 12:10 pm

midas wrote:Secretly we are all hoping for the day LM will once be a complete independent distribution.


All of us aren't secretly hoping for that. 8)
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby curmudgeon on Sat May 15, 2010 1:15 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:Why is Fedora backing away from the cutting edge? I wish I knew. :( It is one of the reasons I quit the distro. It seems like Fedora wants to become like Ubuntu and Ubuntu wants to become like Fedora and it is totally screwing everyone up!


I have a theory... Ubuntu thought, wow Fedora is all about bleeding edge, lets be more bleeding edge and even more people will flock to us cause we'll be like Fedora! Then, Fedora thought, You know, Ubuntu is trying to be all cutting edge like us and land up putting out unicorns releases. Let's back off and focus on stability and usability and let Ubuntu fail as they keep suffering from bugs and regressions and we'll be on top again.

I think all anybody wants a STABLE distro that does the job and doesn't decide to completely overhaul an interface that was working in the first place *cough* Ubuntu.. I used to jump at every new release of Ubuntu that came out, but then I found Mint. I feel that over the past couple of years there have been significant advancements in Linux development, but unless a new feature that is TRULY CUTTING-BLEEDING-EDGE, I'm going to try to stay with the current LM9 LTS. Overall not much has really changed since LM8 (in terms of how I use my computer), It's going to take some pretty radical and significant improvements to make me want to jump at LM10 or even Ubuntu 10.10. (But Ubuntu has lost their bloody minds if you ask me). I really hope Mint breaks off from Ubuntu.

Personally, I'd rather wait at least a good year or 2 between releases.. then the distro can REALLY blow my mind.. None of these minor, mediocre new features every 6 months. I think when various Linux distros started popping out releases every 6 months, it set the bar too high and there should be more time between releases in general so developers can focus on overall stability. Ubuntu might not actually be such a crappy distro if there was less minds in the collective confusing the **** out of each other with what direction to take the product... Thats why I love LM, it's a smaller developer base, and one main direction.. we don't get problems like 'Lets confuse the hell out of everyone who was happy with older versions. By changing something nobody was complaining about like the location of Min/Max/Close buttons'.
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Re: Linux Mint is still small, but...

Postby FedoraRefugee on Sat May 15, 2010 1:30 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:Why is Fedora backing away from the cutting edge? I wish I knew. :( It is one of the reasons I quit the distro. It seems like Fedora wants to become like Ubuntu and Ubuntu wants to become like Fedora and it is totally screwing everyone up!


I have a theory... Ubuntu thought, wow Fedora is all about bleeding edge, lets be more bleeding edge and even more people will flock to us cause we'll be like Fedora! Then, Fedora thought, You know, Ubuntu is trying to be all cutting edge like us and land up putting out ****** releases. Let's back off and focus on stability and usability and let Ubuntu fail as they keep suffering from bugs and regressions and we'll be on top again.

I think all anybody wants a STABLE distro that does the job and doesn't decide to completely overhaul an interface that was working in the first place *cough* Ubuntu.. I used to jump at every new release of Ubuntu that came out, but then I found Mint. I feel that over the past couple of years there have been significant advancements in Linux development, but unless a new feature that is TRULY CUTTING-BLEEDING-EDGE, I'm going to try to stay with the current LM9 LTS. Overall not much has really changed since LM8 (in terms of how I use my computer), It's going to take some pretty radical and significant improvements to make me want to jump at LM10 or even Ubuntu 10.10. (But Ubuntu has lost their bloody minds if you ask me). I really hope Mint breaks off from Ubuntu.

Personally, I'd rather wait at least a good year or 2 between releases.. then the distro can REALLY blow my mind.. None of these minor, mediocre new features every 6 months. I think when various Linux releases started popping out releases every 6 months, it set the bar too high and there should be more time between releases in general.


Many people think this and are surprisingly wrong! :D I suggest you hop over to the Fedora forum and read some of the relevant threads over there. Many people enjoy riding the bleeding edge and seeing what the future holds for Linux. Many people enjoy Linux as a hobby, a challenge.

While the Fedora releases have become somewhat tamer they have also opened up their development branches. Now they not only have Rawhide, but once the Rawhide branch hits RC1 they split, giving, in effect, 3 separate branches. I have been running F14 for over a month now, though I will not file bug reports on it, which is the reason they did this.
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