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Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:26 am
by opticyclic
A common reason for not adding anything extra to a distro is that it wont fit on the CD-ROM.

How about an optional anonymous package monitor that provides statistics on which packages you use and which you don't.
Then after about a month of usage, it uploads the anonymous statistics to provide an aggregated view of which packages are used/not used by the majority of Mint users.

You can then use this to help decide which packages to add/remove to the default installation.

The things I always add are
StartUpManager
geany (as gedit doesn't let you find text in all open files)
Wine
Windows Fonts (msttcorefonts)


I also change the config so that I Lock the Screen With Super+L rather than Ctrl-Alt-L, since Intellij IDEA uses Ctrl-Alt-L to reformat code

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:50 pm
by FedoraRefugee
It is a good idea but I think you would find that the aggregated results would not add any more insight into the matter than already exists. I think a better way to handle default packages is to concentrate only on the OS itself and forget the apps. Save the ISO space for a polished, yet base, install. BTW, DVD ISO's are just dumb. Even a fairly static distro will update the packages a few times before the ISO is even a couple months old. Now, I do acknowledge that there are still those with dialup or worse, those with no internet connection at all. But I think broadband has become a reality for most of us and the package manager is your best friend in linux.

In my case I use the Xfce spin. I use Firefox, OO.o, and Gimp. But I would rather see the ISO offered WITHOUT these apps! I say save the space for a faster download and room for the things that make Mint Mint. Offer the slimmest packages you can find for the browser and other "essentials" and ditch the office apps and graphics, audio, video, etc altogether. Just give us enough for a good install and let us choose how we want to fill things out.

I do have to say Mint is close to my ideal here. I come from Fedora where the philosophy is to include the kitchen sink in the ISO and I can tell you for a fact that it is much harder to strip a distro than it is to install additional apps.

Just my 2 cent anyway, I know opinions greatly vary here and I respect that.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:33 pm
by curt_grymala
I agree with you, FedoraRefugee.

In addition, I would fear that the aggregated statistics might not be as accurate as we would hope. There are a lot of important apps that might not get used extremely often. For instance, I would guarantee that the aggregated stats would show that gparted could be left out of the ISO, but I wouldn't even dare to release an ISO without a good partition editor built in.

One way to slim down the ISO and make a lot more people happy would be to offer a network/Internet installation method. That way, we could download a small installation ISO and then select whatever packages we want.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:50 am
by Fred
curt_grymala,

I agree with your sentiments expressed above. The problem is that Mint has been designed to be as new user friendly as possible. A large percentage of the new users are coming from Windows and have no idea what programs are available, what the names are, and what the functions are. That makes it difficult for the new Windows user to select what programs they want to use. They really need someone pick the initial program complement for them.

Fred

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:02 pm
by bealer
I quite like the package selection of Mint.

The only thing I do miss (that Ubuntu has) is f-spot. I know it's a Mono app, but it's still a very good one.

I don't really care for Tomboy and X-Chat.

I typically just keep an install script that I update, so selecting packages is easy if I need to reinstall.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:15 pm
by Fred
From my personal point of view, I would be quit happy with a minimal, bare bones install and do the rest from a script/program that uses apt/aptitude to download and install the program complement. But I do understand that the audience Mint caters too would not find this to be a viable solution.

Actually, I do as bealer said above. I just keep a running text file of all the programs I install and all the ones I remove. Then just copy and paste into the terminal and go take a nap.

sudo apt-get -y remove --purge prog1 prog2 prog3... progn

nap, then

sudo apt-get -y install prog1 prog2 prog3... progn

piece of pie and coffee.

Done! :-)

Fred

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:37 am
by opticyclic
Seems like Ubuntu do this
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubunt ... ityContest

I still think its a good idea, if nothing else to demonstrate to people why certain packages are included over others.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:12 pm
by DrHu
opticyclic wrote:Seems like Ubuntu do this
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubunt ... ityContest
I still think its a good idea, if nothing else to demonstrate to people why certain packages are included over others.
I think the participation rates would be low, unless forced via a client, like Linpsire did with CNR
http://www.cnr.com/

And I wouldn't want to be part of a twitter style network, where trends or surges in popular applications might arise and drop spontaneously
--so how could the developers decide, except by averages which applications merited more attention, and hopefully avoided the quirkiness of spontaneous blips in the trends..

Also I do agree that some new users, unfamiliar with Linux will not be a good metric for deciding which applications should be defaults

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:21 pm
by stripedtomato
I agree with you Fred,
From my personal point of view, I would be quit happy with a minimal, bare bones install and do the rest from a script/program that uses apt/aptitude to download and install the program complement.
I love LM, but have been looking for a Debian based minimal OS with no real luck.

I believe having an OS which has high hardware support and a good GUI would be nice. I am a Win XP Pro convert and was amazed to find how much unneeded packages came with the popular Linux distro's. Two or sometimes three of the same type of package is just silly. I understand the reason, but the typical Linux newbie does not need it, and the veteran Linux user will only want the programs which they need. Provide one basic package for each program category to save .iso space would be more than enough. Besides, you will never please everybody, so why include so many extra / unneeded packages?

Maybe providing a list of the most popular package titles and their equivalents in the Windows world could somehow be incorporated into the package manager, since that is where the newbies will undoubtedly go to install programs.

I did try to "create" my own LM minimal OS by removing unneeded packages, but I found that a lot of packages are dependent upon one another (reminds me of the ugly .dll's in Windows.) I remember trying to remove the Blue tooth based programs; when I rebooted LM the GUI would not come up.

I like your thought Fred (especially the nap part!)
Actually, I do as bealer said above. I just keep a running text file of all the programs I install and all the ones I remove. Then just copy and paste into the terminal and go take a nap.
sudo apt-get -y remove --purge prog1 prog2 prog3... progn
nap, then
sudo apt-get -y install prog1 prog2 prog3... progn
I never thought about doing this, I will have to look into this further, thanks Fred. :)

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:09 am
by Kendall
I also generally prefer to work off of a minimal installation and put in exactly what I need and nothing else. I've had a lot of fun messing with the Ubuntu Mini Remix in the past as it's an excellent foundation to build off of.

Yesterday I spun a minimal KDE iso that is built on a 9.10 base with a vanilla KDE 4.4.1 installation plus network-manager-gnome and gksu. It's only 374 MB.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:30 am
by _h_
LM8 does come bundled with quite alot of things that the average user would probably never use.

Some of the packages I remove on the spot from a fresh install;

CUPS and Samba (I don't have a printer)
Bluetooth support (Bluetooth stuff is too expensive for me to even think about)
Screensaver (Screensavers actually harm your computer over time, if i dont want my screen on i just put my laptop lid down to turn the monitor off)
Remote Desktop/Server (While useful for some people, personally I don't want ANYONE accessing my desktop remotely)

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:35 pm
by tower
Well I do not very often use the presentation software in Open Office but I would miss it if it was taken out and I had to go through a download and install just to get it!

Those DVD distros that have the kitchen sink often have a menu system under expert install that let the user select the software that they want, it is not just a case of installing the everything + the kitchen sink!

Perhaps instead of respins based on the desktop environment they should be based on use, Linux for musicians, Linux for phtographers, home office Linux etc.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:22 pm
by lampyris
Fred wrote:curt_grymala,

I agree with your sentiments expressed above. The problem is that Mint has been designed to be as new user friendly as possible. A large percentage of the new users are coming from Windows and have no idea what programs are available, what the names are, and what the functions are. That makes it difficult for the new Windows user to select what programs they want to use. They really need someone pick the initial program complement for them.

Fred
And create a "minimal cd"? With only OS and mint tools, for "advanced" user who know what install
In my opinion, this would be a great idea.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:37 pm
by FedoraRefugee
lampyris wrote:
Fred wrote:curt_grymala,

I agree with your sentiments expressed above. The problem is that Mint has been designed to be as new user friendly as possible. A large percentage of the new users are coming from Windows and have no idea what programs are available, what the names are, and what the functions are. That makes it difficult for the new Windows user to select what programs they want to use. They really need someone pick the initial program complement for them.

Fred
And create a "minimal cd"? With only OS and mint tools, for "advanced" user who know what install
In my opinion, this would be a great idea.
I do not disagree. :D I am sure many users would like this.

But I agree with Fred in that Mint is more geared to a "complete" system that is the most easy install in the OS world (not just Linux, I mean Mint is the easiest OS to install out of everything). It can be installed in under 10 minutes and come out of the gate ready to go with the exception of a few drivers which may take an extra download. But even here the user is prompted and they merely have to click a button then reboot after the download.

I think that most "advanced" Linux users who wish to customize their install would be more likely to choose another distro. Anything from crunchbang to slack or arch. The beauty of Mint is the user does not need to take the extra time to install everything they need.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against the idea of a minimal install ISO. I just wonder if it is worth the trouble on top of the main edition and all the community editions we already have.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:21 pm
by Rizzo
I think the PalmOS syncing tools need to go, along with old kernels and apps. What I mean is that mint and ubuntu share the same packages, and their repos are littered with old versions of everything. Why don't they update the packages as soon as the new source files are released? I was sad to see Mint 8 released with kernel 2.6.28, when 2.6.31 was around. Mint strives to improve ubuntu, and keeping the same kernel ubuntu is released with is only holding it back from being the greatest OS ever.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:59 pm
by tower
The minimal distro reminds me of the Mini me version of PCLINUXOS There is something similar on the coverdisk of Linux Format magazine this month called Unity Linux, a Mandriva based distro.

Of course, if you were an expert you could go down the Linux From Scratch route.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:17 pm
by MALsPa
_h_ wrote:Screensavers actually harm your computer over time
I wondered if this was fact or fiction, so I tried to find something supporting that statement. So far, the most I've found is this:

http://greatgreenroom.org/cgi-bin/bt/ba ... in?item=21

Basically, it's saying that not using a screensaver saves energy and "powering down the display when it is not in use is also likely to lengthen the lifetime of the display." Italics mine.

I can understand about the energy savings. I'm not so sure that the lifetime of the monitor is an issue here. I haven't had a monitor go bad in the past decade, and if it takes 10 years for a monitor to go bad, I'd probably be okay with just picking up a new one.

Are there other ways in which using a screensaver is harmful to your computer over time? How much time are we talking about?

I hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but if screensavers are really all that bad then they'll be packages that I will no longer use. As it is, the only ones I use are the clock screensaver in KDE, and in GNOME and other DEs and WMs, the GLText (clock) screensaver, set up to show the date and time. So really I'd get rid of all the rest if I could.

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:24 pm
by tower
I think that the screensaver was originally used to prevent screenburn of a static image on the old CRT monitors, but on LCDs?

Re: Packages You Use/Don't Use

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:29 pm
by MALsPa
My understanding is that screensavers aren't necessary for LCD monitors.