New Mint experiences - FWIW

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New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby Tartufo on Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:52 am

Hello all
Have used GNU/ Linux for many years, since Red Hat 7.2 and Slackware 8.1 - shows how old I am :-) - and most recently used Debian testing.

Anyway, I installed LMint14 (Nadia) [with MATE] yesterday and to be honest with mixed results, which I thought I'd share:
1. The good:
1.1. Nice interface, clean and sharp desktop appearance.
1.2. Very easy installation. Very little for a user to do, so that was a very positive experience.

2. The indifferent:
2.1. Not much speed increase on Debian testing - not sure if I was expecting much though TBH
2.2. Curious: why is the root seemingly deprecated? I only had to enter username/ passwd at installation - no root? It seems that sudo is enabled by default and I had to manually set a root passwd, although it doesn't seem like there is any use for it. Isn't this a bit risky in terms of security?
2.3. The welcome screen is fine, except it hangs if one selects more than one option. I had to kill the Python process to get rid of it.
2.4. Does the disk get checked every time one boots up, or does it happen only once in a while. I know one can cancel it, so this is just a query.
2.5. Took me a while to find the path to my expansion drives (i.e. /media/<user-name>/expansion), but no biggie - just different

3. The bad:
3.1. Sticky notes open upon new login, but then don't close again when the desktop is clicked. Only way to minimise/ hide them is to delete them, which defeats the purpose really.
3.2. Installing Googleearth from the repos doesn't work for me. I had to download the google-earth-stable package from the website and manually dpkg -i it.
3.3. Selecting "Restart" doesn't - my machine goes to reboot and then just hangs in some kind of nether zone between the POST sequence and the actual boot stage - monitor fades with no signal even though machine's power light is illuminated. So, have to hard reboot.
3.4. Opera browser seems very slow in comparison with how it used to run on Debian testing - also doesn't respond to the middle click in the Speed Dial. Not sure why, as it should be the same browser - perhaps the non-Mint native is more responsive?

4. The ugly:
4.1. Migrating KMail from my previous installation to the one provided by Mint was a nightmare! In the end I switched to Thunderbird, and will access past emails off-line. I appreciate that this is not a Mint issue per se, but those KDE folk have really thrown spanners in the works with all of their database systems - akonadi and mysqld and so on: it was sucking 100% CPU just to process emails. Not good. It seems like a lot of people, especially from the OpenSUSE community, were having a lot of trouble migrating.

I'm currently using the Mate desktop, so have installed the Cinnamon and will try that the next time I login just so that I can compare experiences. To be fair, my hardware is probably about 3 years old, so that may have something to do with some of the performance issues.

Anyway - new to Mint and thought I'd check in, say hi and share some experiences.

Cheers
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Re: New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby LindseyD. on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:46 am

Hi Tartufo, and welcome!

Tartufo wrote:2.2. Curious: why is the root seemingly deprecated?


This is an Ubuntu thing. I'm surprised you missed the controversy, if you've been on Linux that long. But if you google, you might find some archived posts somewhere. The short answer is: they didn't want to make things too difficult/confusing for the newbie.
I had to manually set a root passwd


It's been a long time since I was on Ubuntu, but they used to tell you not to do that, as it screws things up. You might want to check somewhere in the Ubuntu documentation to see if that's still the case.
3.4. Opera browser seems very slow in comparison with how it used to run on Debian testing

Some discussion on that here: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=124172&p=683398&e=683398

The upshot of which seems to be YMMV.

4.1. Migrating KMail from my previous installation to the one provided by Mint was a nightmare!


I don't think this one's a Mint exclusive. IIRC, it's almost universal. I ended up using Opera for mail.
those KDE folk have really thrown spanners in the works with all of their database systems - akonadi and mysqld and so on


Amen to that.
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Re: New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby xenopeek on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:46 pm

Linux Mint comes with the root account enabled, unlike Ubuntu. The root account password initially is set equal to the password set for the user created during installation.
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Re: New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby bjornmu on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:50 am

I don't see how setting a different root password can "screw things up" as long as you don't forget it. Maybe because you're not always sure which pwd to use? I changed it as one of the first things after install, since I've always kept these separate on my boxes. It's still the user password that I have to type when running sudo from the regular user.
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Re: New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby Tartufo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:46 am

bjornmu wrote:I don't see how setting a different root password can "screw things up" as long as you don't forget it. Maybe because you're not always sure which pwd to use? I changed it as one of the first things after install, since I've always kept these separate on my boxes. It's still the user password that I have to type when running sudo from the regular user.


Primarily, because it is an additional level of security if my box ever gets cracked, and also some restrictions can be applied to sudo that require specific root password to be entered. For example, on my Debian box, I could never do run the package update manager as sudo - it always required the root password.
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Re: New Mint experiences - FWIW

Postby Tartufo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:55 am

LindseyD. wrote:Hi Tartufo, and welcome!


Thanks LindseyD :-)

Tartufo wrote:2.2. Curious: why is the root seemingly deprecated?


LindseyD. wrote:This is an Ubuntu thing. I'm surprised you missed the controversy, if you've been on Linux that long. But if you google, you might find some archived posts somewhere. The short answer is: they didn't want to make things too difficult/confusing for the newbie.


Ah ha. That would explain it I guess. I never bothered to keep abreast as to what was going on with distros I didn't use, so all of that controversy would have passed me by without being even vaguely aware of it. Too much work/ studies going on to worry about those kinds of issues and politics.

LindseyD. wrote:
3.4. Opera browser seems very slow in comparison with how it used to run on Debian testing

Some discussion on that here: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=124172&p=683398&e=683398

The upshot of which seems to be YMMV.


Yeah - usually does. However, firefox and seamonkey (Debian "iceape") are really cooking!! :-)

LindseyD. wrote:
4.1. Migrating KMail from my previous installation to the one provided by Mint was a nightmare!


I don't think this one's a Mint exclusive. IIRC, it's almost universal. I ended up using Opera for mail.
those KDE folk have really thrown spanners in the works with all of their database systems - akonadi and mysqld and so on


Amen to that.


LOL.

Thanks for the welcome again.

I've now switched from Mate to Xfce4 and have noticed an improvement in speed/ responsiveness and stability, so am - so far - a happy Minter.
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