Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

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Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby professorsnapper on Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:40 pm

Hi folks,

I plan to install Mint on my girlfriend's computer, and am not sure which version to go with...

Her computer has a 2.4Ghz Intel Celeron processor with 192MB RAM, no video card that I'm aware of. If there are any other details / specs which are relevant to the decision, pls let me know...

I'm guessing the Main (Gnome) version is the best supported, so I wonder if that might be the go...

My girlfriend is a current XP user, and fairly basic in her computer knowledge, so simplicity, ease of use and stability are paramount (any early troubles and she's likely to run straight back into Bill Gates' arms).

Also, she has an Engin-branded hardware VoIP box set up, and a printer (I don't have the make/model in front of me right now), so if you can advise me of anything I should be aware of in setting these up, I'd be grateful...

And the last thing is, she's got an Ipod and Itunes. I'm unsure whether to use Rythymbox/Amarok/whatever to manage the Ipod, or whether to run XP in a virtual machine primarily for the sake of the Ipod.

Any advice will be greatly welcomed...
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby billy8580 on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:10 am

Welcome to Linux Mint! I would suggest using gnome. It is very stable and well supported. I am rather new to the Linux world myself, but love mint! I use Celena on a P4 1.3 Ghz and it works wonderfully. Darnya is the newest version of gnome Mint based on the new Ubuntu Gutsy kernal. Personally, I like Celena the best because it is in prime order to run right away. As far as other printing questions I'm not good enough in Linux to be able to answer that, however the Mint forums are EXCELLENT and someone will be able to help you. Welcome and enjoy! Oh one other thing, your Girlfriend's Computer will probably need more RAM to install mint. I have had success with installing mint gnome with 312 MB Ram on Pentium 3 machines. I have had no luck with less than that.
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby professorsnapper on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:45 am

Thanks for the prompt and thoughtful reply! I do feel welcomed to Mint indeed...

A couple of quick questions about your reply:

1) Celena the better choice right now? Is that to say that Darnya is still having the bugs worked out of it?

2) I'm inclined to think that Gnome might be the best way to go, too, but shelling out for new RAM might be a clincher...Where can I find some info on minimum recommended RAM requirements for the various Mint options (Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment, etc)? I thought I saw something on YouTube about the Enlightenment version requiring some tiny amount of RAM...

Thanks again!
Ken.
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby belovedmonster on Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:53 am

Because Linux distros are updated so often you will find that some users find a version that works for them and then don't bother to update to the latest version, (why fix something that isnt broken?). Really there is no great need to update your system every single time a new version comes out, but then again some people like to always have the cutting edge.

Because of this you will find some people running older versions, which is in no way a reflection that the newer versions are less stable. It's more a reflection of the personality of the person in question. Some people might only want to upgrade once every few years, other people will even install betas that may have bugs just to get the latest and the greatest.

So start with the most up to date version (4.0) and see how you get on.
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby molom on Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:41 am

belovedmonster wrote:Because Linux distros are updated so often you will find that some users find a version that works for them and then don't bother to update to the latest version, (why fix something that isnt broken?). Really there is no great need to update your system every single time a new version comes out, but then again some people like to always have the cutting edge.

Because of this you will find some people running older versions, which is in no way a reflection that the newer versions are less stable. It's more a reflection of the personality of the person in question. Some people might only want to upgrade once every few years, other people will even install betas that may have bugs just to get the latest and the greatest.

So start with the most up to date version (4.0) and see how you get on.


That is completely true. I'm more of a update guy, but it depends whether its stable or not. I wouldn't use KDE4 now if I was a KDE fanatic.
As for the person who is asking for what edition, I would say the Linux Mint E17 edition or the Linux Mint 4.0 Fluxbox edition are the best for the specs that you have, but if your girlfriend isn't very good with learning computer stuff, try the Linux Mint XFCE edition. None of these editions have been released yet, and none of the releases that are available at the moment are good for the amount of RAM that you have.

Cheers,
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby professorsnapper on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:23 pm

Thanks to all for the good advice! This seems like a community I'm going to like being a part of.

Given all the factors involved, I'll probably aim for the next XFCE version, and aim to download the beta to help get it to release stage!

Again, many thanks.

K.
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby MagnusB on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:16 am

With those specs you should be able to run Enlightenment, E17, which has a high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). I could recommend downloading GoblinX liveCD which comes loaded with several desktop environments, look at them and test them a bit and decide what is best. The best thing is that the ISO is only just over 300 MB, but it is based on Slackware and I am not entirely how newbie friendly it is..
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby professorsnapper on Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:39 am

MagnusB wrote:With those specs you should be able to run Enlightenment, E17, which has a high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor).


*chuckle* Good to hear, Magnus, though I suspect my WAF threshold may be lower than yours - (mine baulked at using basic Boolean logic in a search engine). Also, in doing some research on Wikipedia, it has been suggested that as far as level of expertise is concerned, Enlightenment "... uses very radical and unique concepts which require a little bit of patience to learn" <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_X_Window_System_desktop_environments>. What are your thoughts on this? (As you may have guessed from the above, my girlfriend hasn't got much patience for computer-related stuff)

MagnusB wrote: I could recommend downloading GoblinX liveCD which comes loaded with several desktop environments, look at them and test them a bit and decide what is best. The best thing is that the ISO is only just over 300 MB, but it is based on Slackware and I am not entirely how newbie friendly it is..


Thanks for the very interesting recommendation - maybe Goblinx's servers are busy, but both the link you sent and the download page timed out / didn't respond. I did, however, get some food for thought in poking around the site from the home page. The screenshots look great. One additional question - on the page <http://www.goblinx.com.br/>, is the cartoon-style dock visible on three of the screenshots specific to KDE, or can it be installed on Xfce, fluxbox editions etc?

Thanks again,
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby MagnusB on Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:38 pm

professorsnapper wrote:*chuckle* Good to hear, Magnus, though I suspect my WAF threshold may be lower than yours - (mine baulked at using basic Boolean logic in a search engine). Also, in doing some research on Wikipedia, it has been suggested that as far as level of expertise is concerned, Enlightenment "... uses very radical and unique concepts which require a little bit of patience to learn" <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_X_Window_System_desktop_environments>. What are your thoughts on this? (As you may have guessed from the above, my girlfriend hasn't got much patience for computer-related stuff)

I am not sure, I am very curious on E17 myself, but sadly have not had the chance to use it much, but from what I saw in GoblinX it is pretty different from both GNOME and KDE. For low patience I would suggest using GNOME, KDE may look more like Windows, but when it comes to preferences and such it is widely different. Customizing my GNOME desktop takes me a couple of minutes of downloading themes, setting some preferences, and combining the downloaded themes, all easily available. In KDE I seem more often than not looking for a certain setting than actually using it, but customizing KDE will probably give you are more "to your liking" end result. XFCE is a good decision if GNOME or KDE is running a bit slow.
professorsnapper wrote:Thanks for the very interesting recommendation - maybe Goblinx's servers are busy, but both the link you sent and the download page timed out / didn't respond. I did, however, get some food for thought in poking around the site from the home page. The screenshots look great. One additional question - on the page <http://www.goblinx.com.br/>, is the cartoon-style dock visible on three of the screenshots specific to KDE, or can it be installed on Xfce, fluxbox editions etc?

Thanks again,
K.
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I am not sure what kind of dock they are using, probably it could be integrated in GNOME/XFCE/etc as well, very unsure of this as I do not like docks and thus have no knowledge of them. Most cases software can be cross installed over the desktop environments, but some might be hard to get to work. Also, I was just recommending using the liveCD since it has a low download size and offer several desktop enviroments, the only one I have ever seen doing that and is below 300 MB. Since it is based on Slackware, I am pretty unsure of how friendly it is to newbies :) And yes, their pages are slow, I got to the main page, but no further, and I had some trouble downloading the ISO as well, but my connection was a bit unsteady when I downloaded it, so I thought it was my fault :) They might be experiencing some bandwidth issues since 2.6 just got released..
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby Pikey on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:46 pm

It's easy enough to load E17 into an existing version .. whichever one you choose .. after you have installed it.
For instance you could install the standard Daryna 4 (Gnome/XFCE/Fluxbox whichever you fancy) ... then load up E17 following the instructions at the wiki page here ...
.. http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... op_on_Mint ..
Then pick which desktop you want to use at the login page under Sessions .. reboot to change back !
That way you can use your chosen desktop for standard stuff .. and switch to E17 when you fancy experimenting with it ..
This is what I'm doing at the moment while I'm patiently waiting for the E17 proper edition to surface ...
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby billy8580 on Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:34 am

Well said everyone else who wrote after me. That's the best thing about mint community, there is always someone there to help....who knows much more than me :D Cheers and have fun professorsnapper.
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby professorsnapper on Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:17 am

I'm indebted to you all for your help and advice. I'll have a play with a few options and see what comes of it.

If I learn anything useful, I'll post it to the forum or the wiki!

Thanks again,
Ken. (professorsnapper)
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby ythe1300 on Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:22 am

I was skimming through and noticed that you where looking for iPod support I would like to throw songbird into the ring for that its seems to work pretty well with most iPods.

Phil
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Re: Which version of Mint for me? (+ some other newbie q's)

Postby pingu_dan on Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:01 am

RE Your PC specfication, think you'd find Gnome or KDE sluggish with 192MB and as someone else said, if you could get the live disk to install. I couldn't get Installer to run properly with a 256mb ram though this was a PIII-900. I didn't have any problems installing XFCE edition, although its still in beta there aren't any major bugs that I've seen or been reported in the forums.

Sounds like you are already going to try it out but I was so impressed with it on my low spec system that I had to through my hat in for it too.
XFCE even includes it's own compisitor so nice transparent window borders and the like!

As for iTunes, nothing in Linux has quite the eye candy that the latest version of iTunes has so she may be disappointed and you won't get much of a virtual machine running with 192MB ram. Think Rhythmbox is the nearest you'll get.

Good luck
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