Suggestions from a Windows User

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Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby shadowrelic on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:05 pm

Hello everyone. I'm a Windows user, which has long loved the concept of Linux, yet hasn't had enough time in my life to "learn" how to use it. Since Mint has been all over the internet as a great distro, I installed it on a family members computer, and mine as well. I wanted to share my experiences in hopes this can help your distro:

1. Installing was WAY easier then I expected. Only issue: not enough details on the partition screen. Windows users DO NOT want to lose anything (dual booting). Adding some text to the GUI slider-bar saying the right side is Linux Mint, and the left side is whatever was already on your computer would have made me feel a lot more comfortable through the installation.

2. Maybe you're trying to save space on the .ISO, but why are there so many things that aren't included? Opera, Chrome, and wine are programs I would recommend to almost anyone. Maybe creating a first-run wizard of some sort would be beneficial to getting all the software I'm looking for without digging through the software manager (explained later).

3. Put an icon on the desktop to the first-run pop-up box, or a link to the tutorials. Most people close this the first time. I'm glad I didn't un-check the "show at start up" option! If you're not targeting new-to-Linux users, then I suggest stating that somewhere.... although my whole post here is assuming that you are.

4. Where is the trash that I'm moving files on the desktop to?

5. Have you considered a "Run as Root" pop up, instead of requiring me to type my password all the time?

6. GUI interfaces. I know you linux guys love the terminal, but come on! Isn't it obvious why WINDOWS IS BETTER than Linux? During my test, I specifically tried to never use the terminal... I failed really quick. For starters, I would suggest having a different Icon in the Software Manager for GUI interfaces. An option to hide non-GUI interfaces would be nice too. Here are few GUI's I've had to install in my first few weeks of Linux Mint:
-Grub Customizer (Not even in the Software Manager, why's that?)
-CMake (although this program is not beginner friendly)
-PlayOnLinux
-GParted

7. Proprietary Drivers. I rolled back to Mint 13 on an old computer that was supposedly not compatible with the graphics card in one of my laptops. It looks like you removed a link to proprietary drivers from the System Settings menu? I'm a huge fan of open source... but I'm a bigger fan of having my hardware work as good as possible.

8. Double clicking on a .deb file doesn't always launch the installer. This might be because I'm using chrome, but then again the first thing I did was install a different browser since Firefox was slow.

9. Clock. Default this to AM/PM. The Military is not going to install Linux Mint, so why did you default me to military-time format?

Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps. This was not written to bash or insult anyone, I really like your distribution... I'm hoping my comments here can help improve something.

Thanks,
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby xenopeek on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:01 pm

Thanks :D As these are suggestions, I've moved them here.

I'll comment on a few;
2. Linux Mint includes generally one application per task, with a sensible default for new users--but there is no pleasing everybody :wink: Firefox and Opera and Chrome? Really? Some will indeed use that, but the average user just needs one web browser and Linux Mint installs one that has good support on Linux. As for Wine, there are enough alternatives to Windows-only programs that it is not needed by most users.

4. It is in a hidden folder in your home folder. Press Ctrl+H in your file browser to display hidden files and folders. Trash is in .local/share/Trash.

5. Define "All the time". Running as root is possible, but if you plan things a bit you will hardly have to enter your password. Running as root is a security and user risk. Security, because if you run as root then any malicious programs or remote attackers are also root and can do anything on your system. User, because you are human and you do things accidentally--like moving / renaming / deleting a system file or folder, which can be disastrous.

Edit: I read later that you are on Linux Mint 13. So enable the backports and at least install the newer version of mintinstall (Software Manager), so that you only need to give your password once on that program instead of for each install: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2225

6. Is your argument that Windows is better than Linux? Well, Linux isn't Windows, it doesn't try to be, and it never said it was :wink: If you approach it otherwise you may be disappointed.

7. No, jockey-gtk (a.ka. Additional Drivers program) development has been discontinued upstream. As a temporary solution for Linux Mint 14, it's functionality has been added to Software Sources. You'll find an Additional Drivers tab there. Linux Mint was already developing a replacement for jockey-gtk,the Device Driver Manager (DDM), but it wasn't ready in time for release 14. This was detailed in the release notes (http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_nadia.php). Now you know why we write those things :wink:

8. That sounds like an issue with Chrome. As I mentioned above, Firefox is chosen as a default as it has good support on Linux. It is integration tested both upstream and at Linux Mint during the build of a new release.

9. Military time? What is this nonsense--you must be in the US :D The world is bigger, and the 24 hour clock is the most common used time notation worldwide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-hour_clock). Which desktop environment are you using? It may have something to do what that.

I'd suggest you ask questions sooner, instead of piling them up as suggestions for improvement. 4, 5, 7 and 9 at least I would have expected you to post as a question on the newbies section of the forum first.
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby bimsebasse on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:26 pm

shadowrelic wrote:1. Installing was WAY easier then I expected. Only issue: not enough details on the partition screen. Windows users DO NOT want to lose anything (dual booting). Adding some text to the GUI slider-bar saying the right side is Linux Mint, and the left side is whatever was already on your computer would have made me feel a lot more comfortable through the installation.


This is a bug - it used to show labels for each (as in: "Windows 7" and "Linux Mint 13") but the new version doesn't - probably a slip-up rather than deliberate UI change.

shadowrelic wrote:2. Maybe you're trying to save space on the .ISO, but why are there so many things that aren't included? Opera, Chrome, and wine are programs I would recommend to almost anyone. Maybe creating a first-run wizard of some sort would be beneficial to getting all the software I'm looking for without digging through the software manager (explained later).


Why should there be 3 browsers installed by default? Which professional OS does that? Do you get three browsers in Windows? OS X? Android? iOS? They're available in the Software Manager, takes about a minute to install each. And you don't have to "dig". Launch the software manager, type "Opera", select and install opera.

shadowrelic wrote:6. GUI interfaces. I know you linux guys love the terminal, but come on! Isn't it obvious why WINDOWS IS BETTER than Linux? During my test, I specifically tried to never use the terminal... I failed really quick.


Examples? You can do all normal tasks in Mint/Ubuntu/fedora without ever visiting the terminal.

shadowrelic wrote:9. Clock. Default this to AM/PM. The Military is not going to install Linux Mint, so why did you default me to military-time format?


Do you know there are other countries?

shadowrelic wrote:Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps. This was not written to bash or insult anyone, I really like your distribution... I'm hoping my comments here can help improve something.


...
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby Orbmiser on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:26 pm

What's with the bashing of the U.S. and what's military time have to do with other countries?

As everywhere I been in the world from the Orient to Europe. All the Clocks & Watches I seen where 12hr. am/pm.
When I asked for the time I was never told it was 1800hrs.
.
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby bimsebasse on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:34 pm

It's not military time, it's standard time in most of europe, and most of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-hour_clock

This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world today, and is the international standard (ISO 8601) notation for time of day
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby xenopeek on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:52 pm

We're not bashing the US, it just that it's the standard time notation in most other places. Here any digital clock shows 24 hour time; TV guides show 24 hour time; in fact anything that doesn't have a clock with hands shows 24 hour time (clocks with hands, at least here, show 12 hour time without AM/PM). And yes, when I make an appointment I say "I'll see you at eighteen hour thirty" (it sounds better in Dutch), and not "I'll see you at half past six pm". But that may just be me :D
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby shadowrelic on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:21 pm

xenopeek wrote:Thanks :D As these are suggestions, I've moved them here.

I'll comment on a few;
2. Linux Mint includes generally one application per task, with a sensible default for new users--but there is no pleasing everybody :wink: Firefox and Opera and Chrome? Really? Some will indeed use that, but the average user just needs one web browser and Linux Mint installs one that has good support on Linux. As for Wine, there are enough alternatives to Windows-only programs that it is not needed by most users.

4. It is in a hidden folder in your home folder. Press Ctrl+H in your file browser to display hidden files and folders. Trash is in .local/share/Trash.

5. Define "All the time". Running as root is possible, but if you plan things a bit you will hardly have to enter your password. Running as root is a security and user risk. Security, because if you run as root then any malicious programs or remote attackers are also root and can do anything on your system. User, because you are human and you do things accidentally--like moving / renaming / deleting a system file or folder, which can be disastrous.

Edit: I read later that you are on Linux Mint 13. So enable the backports and at least install the newer version of mintinstall (Software Manager), so that you only need to give your password once on that program instead of for each install: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2225

6. Is your argument that Windows is better than Linux? Well, Linux isn't Windows, it doesn't try to be, and it never said it was :wink: If you approach it otherwise you may be disappointed.

7. No, jockey-gtk (a.ka. Additional Drivers program) development has been discontinued upstream. As a temporary solution for Linux Mint 14, it's functionality has been added to Software Sources. You'll find an Additional Drivers tab there. Linux Mint was already developing a replacement for jockey-gtk,the Device Driver Manager (DDM), but it wasn't ready in time for release 14. This was detailed in the release notes (http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_nadia.php). Now you know why we write those things :wink:

8. That sounds like an issue with Chrome. As I mentioned above, Firefox is chosen as a default as it has good support on Linux. It is integration tested both upstream and at Linux Mint during the build of a new release.

9. Military time? What is this nonsense--you must be in the US :D The world is bigger, and the 24 hour clock is the most common used time notation worldwide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-hour_clock). Which desktop environment are you using? It may have something to do what that.

I'd suggest you ask questions sooner, instead of piling them up as suggestions for improvement. 4, 5, 7 and 9 at least I would have expected you to post as a question on the newbies section of the forum first.


Thanks for this extremely helpful response :) The Device Driver Manager comment has me most excited....

Thanks again... you'll most likely see me floating around the newbie section of this forum in the future! I plan on digging through the tutorials on the community page, and hopefully compiling one of my own for future newbies like myself.
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby brmccarty on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:07 am

shadowrelic wrote:Hello everyone. I'm a Windows user, which has long loved the concept of Linux, yet hasn't had enough time in my life to "learn" how to use it. Since Mint has been all over the internet as a great distro, I installed it on a family members computer, and mine as well. I wanted to share my experiences in hopes this can help your distro:

1. Installing was WAY easier then I expected. Only issue: not enough details on the partition screen. Windows users DO NOT want to lose anything (dual booting). Adding some text to the GUI slider-bar saying the right side is Linux Mint, and the left side is whatever was already on your computer would have made me feel a lot more comfortable through the installation.

I don't know what changed, but the partition part was clearer in Mint9. You should keep things you don't want to loose backed up especially when making any changes to your computer or running Windows.

shadowrelic wrote:2. Maybe you're trying to save space on the .ISO, but why are there so many things that aren't included? Opera, Chrome, and wine are programs I would recommend to almost anyone. Maybe creating a first-run wizard of some sort would be beneficial to getting all the software I'm looking for without digging through the software manager (explained later).

Server space and bandwidth isn't free. Far more people complain about to much included than not enough. Also here in America for the most part people have fast internet connections with unlimited use. In much of the world this isn't the case. Not sure what you mean by digging through software manager. I use Synaptic Package Manager. Just type in the name of the program you want and mark it for install then apply. You can mark several for install then apply. The newest version of Windows I've used only comes with one browser, and it isn't nearly as good as what comes with any distro of Linux I've used.

shadowrelic wrote:3. Put an icon on the desktop to the first-run pop-up box, or a link to the tutorials. Most people close this the first time. I'm glad I didn't un-check the "show at start up" option! If you're not targeting new-to-Linux users, then I suggest stating that somewhere.... although my whole post here is assuming that you are.

Click menu - settings - Welcome Screen. If you use the included browser there are links to the Mint website where you can get all the info on the Welcome Screen,if not linuxmint.com . If they weren't interested in new users there wouldn't be over 800 tutorials on their website.

shadowrelic wrote:4. Where is the trash that I'm moving files on the desktop to?

Not sure what you are looking for here. If it's an icon you are looking for right click on the desktop - desktop settings - icons tab - check the icon for it. If you are looking for the location just double click on the icon and it will open the folder.

shadowrelic wrote:5. Have you considered a "Run as Root" pop up, instead of requiring me to type my password all the time?

I'm with you on this. Some Linux distros have an option to "open as root" and I'm pretty sure Mint did in Mint9. This was so handy for quickly change permissions or creating a folder.

shadowrelic wrote:6. GUI interfaces. I know you linux guys love the terminal, but come on! Isn't it obvious why WINDOWS IS BETTER than Linux? During my test, I specifically tried to never use the terminal... I failed really quick. For starters, I would suggest having a different Icon in the Software Manager for GUI interfaces. An option to hide non-GUI interfaces would be nice too. Here are few GUI's I've had to install in my first few weeks of Linux Mint:
-Grub Customizer (Not even in the Software Manager, why's that?)
-CMake (although this program is not beginner friendly)
-PlayOnLinux
-GParted

First Windows is different than Linux not better. If you want a game console that is subject to viruses and random crashes get a Windows box. If you want something that is reliable get a Linux box. I have both, and after using Linux for a couple years I dread having to use a Windows system for anything other than playing games.

shadowrelic wrote:7. Proprietary Drivers. I rolled back to Mint 13 on an old computer that was supposedly not compatible with the graphics card in one of my laptops. It looks like you removed a link to proprietary drivers from the System Settings menu? I'm a huge fan of open source... but I'm a bigger fan of having my hardware work as good as possible.

The only proprietary driver I have used was for the ATI graphics on one of my laptops, but removed it because it worked better without it.
shadowrelic wrote:8. Double clicking on a .deb file doesn't always launch the installer. This might be because I'm using chrome, but then again the first thing I did was install a different browser since Firefox was slow.

Sounds like a Chrome problem to me. I have Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and tried some others and never found much of a speed advantage from one to another unless it was a slow computer.

shadowrelic wrote:9. Clock. Default this to AM/PM. The Military is not going to install Linux Mint, so why did you default me to military-time format?

Really? Just right click on the clock and change it to the format that makes you happy.
shadowrelic wrote:Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps. This was not written to bash or insult anyone, I really like your distribution... I'm hoping my comments here can help improve something.

Thanks,
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby Mintstant Karma on Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:30 pm

shadowrelic wrote:Hello everyone. I'm a Windows user, which has long loved the concept of Linux, yet hasn't had enough time in my life to "learn" how to use it...

1. Installing was WAY easier then I expected. Only issue: not enough details on the partition screen. Windows users DO NOT want to lose anything (dual booting). Adding some text to the GUI slider-bar saying the right side is Linux Mint, and the left side is whatever was already on your computer would have made me feel a lot more comfortable through the installation.
...
Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps. This was not written to bash or insult anyone, I really like your distribution... I'm hoping my comments here can help improve something.

Thanks,


Hi shadowrelic,

Of your nine suggestions/criticisms, this is the only one I want to address, though I don't necessarily disagree with any of the others.

I too am a Windows veteran who has long loved the concept(s) of Linux. As I've learned a great deal about it in the past half year, finally creating a bootable live flash stick with Mint, and then learned a great deal about it, I've come to where I'm ready to install it. But I want to keep Windows handy. I know the installer allows for this in at least a couple different ways, one of which you pointed out. I believe you chose the "Install Alongside Window" option, or however it's worded. I agree that there should be a label showing which side is Linux and which side is Windows! But that's not my biggest problem, and I see 'bimsebasse' says it's a bug anyway. OK, fine.

My biggest problem begins with the fact that an apparent majority of Linux Mint and Ubuntu users suggest using the "Something Else" option in the installer, rather than "Install Alongside Windows". The problem, if I do that, is that I run into a partition-setting screen with almost no guidance. Even after having researched this for days and days, I can't seem to find a clear answer as to what to do here and why, so that I know what's best for my needs.

As you said, I do not want to lose any of my data. Because I have backed up, or will, anything I can find that I want to preserve, and the Mint installer allows for dual booting, I'm not so much concerned about losing data as about learning a good partitioning strategy. I'd like to be able to share all my files between Windows and Linux Mint, which is perhaps the same reason lots of users install via the "Something Else" option. But the partition screen is not the least bit intuitive to a newbie, so I don't know how to make that happen.
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby gtsfer on Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:48 pm

I disagree with almost every suggestion here. Where else can you get an operating system that comes complete with an Office Suite, A DVD burner, both Audio and Video media players, am Image Editing program, a Chat program, Thunderbird email, a USB formatter and a (Windows - yuck) Wireless drivers installer? I could go one here for another paragraph at least.

Microsoft has N O T H I N G to compare to this. No defrag or AV needed every and I can install 20 different non-related programs and remove 10 more if I want all at once. And NOT have to reboot. The amount of time I spend NOT rebooting alone is priceless. And ONE place to do updates, for everything.

Just the other day I had to install a ZIP utility for a friend on a Win 7 machine. DESPITE checking the "no dammit" box I still got a POS AVG toolbar plus a hijacked home page and search engine. Easy to fix, but pretty shady software in my opinion.

Linux ix NOT Windows. Yeah it's different and requires some learning. But MAN is it worth it.
There's no Windows in my house. And it's a brighter and happier place now.
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Re: Suggestions from a Windows User

Postby brmccarty on Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:19 pm

Mintstant Karma wrote:I'd like to be able to share all my files between Windows and Linux Mint,


Linux has no problem seeing files on Windows drives, but Windows will need help seeing a Linux drive. Keep the files you to use with both on the Windows drive.
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