Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

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Jim Hauser
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by Jim Hauser » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 pm

I am still testing Kubuntu... so far so good.

For me preparing the partitions in advance works very well. In fact since my partitions were created a couple years ago (including a striped LVM for the main and 4 standard for bare metal testing) the partitions have not been resized or changed by me. Granted some installers may change things up a bit but the partitions will always be the same size.

For my striped LVM I use Gparted (from a live DVD) to create the initial LVM partitions on 4 HDDs along with all the normal partitions I will need. Then I string the LVMs together with terminal commands. Using "something else" the OS is installed as a normal ext4 system. I actually have a second striped LVM (files only) for a small torrent farm.

It would be nice to do this with the normal install program but all the ones I have tried only allow standard and encrypted LVM using the entire disk. Striped LVM is not even an option. My system LVM only uses 30 GB on each drive for a 120 GB system. My torrent LVM uses 40 GB per disk for a 160 GB partition.

Once a suitable OS setup is found it is, for me, a simple matter to format the striped LVM, install the distro and copy the Home files from my backups (assuming the "new" OS can handle LVM2.)

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:58 pm

Jim Hauser wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 pm
For me preparing the partitions in advance works very well. In fact since my partitions were created a couple years ago (including a striped LVM for the main and 4 standard for bare metal testing)
To suggest that you M-I-G-H-T have "special needs" is a MAJOR understatement. Those kinds of needs will come in my second (or third) lifetime. I just stand in awe of (and bow before) the gods and goddesses who can do that kind of stuff. I'm kinda hoping I'll never make a big enough mistake to actually NEED those sets of skills.

I understand the benefits/advantages of reusing existing partitions and simply formatting them when there's a new OS install, but I still prefer to blow everything away and start from scratch. It allows me to be absolutely certain that something from the previous world will not corrupt the new system, and it helps me keep my head in the game (not forget how to do these things).
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by jglen490 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:11 pm

Jim Hauser wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 pm
...

For me preparing the partitions in advance works very well. In fact since my partitions were created a couple years ago (including a striped LVM for the main and 4 standard for bare metal testing) the partitions have not been resized or changed by me. Granted some installers may change things up a bit but the partitions will always be the same size.

...
I'm right there with you on the simplicity of having a defined roadmap for installing a new release - of anything. I keep all my important docs, pictures, videos, music, etc. under /home. /home is always on a separate partition. When installing a new release, step 1 is always backup /home, step2 is start the installer, then I select and format the existing / partition and simply select /home without formatting, check my inputs, mash the "go" button and watch TV or read a book until it's done. Then I do a check on /home, and if all is well it's back to business as usual.

A few weekends ago, while playing with some other distros I reloaded/(blew away the / partition) 3 or 4 times while watching football. At no time was my /home adversely affected or even touched by any of the reloads. And all my stuff was still there at the end of the day.
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by Jim Hauser » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:46 pm

A well thought out roadmap is always a good thing to have in your back pocket.

I also copy my Home to two different drives every week and to a third offsite drive twice per month.

As it is right now I am testing Kubuntu bare metal on a multi-boot setup. There is also space reserved to test the KDE into XFCE Mint when the promised tutorial becomes available.

Right now these look like my best two possible options. I would prefer a pure Mint KDE but, as of now, that looks like it will not happen.

We still have some time before any of this is needed so I plan to run KDE 18.3 till the end of support, test possible replacements, read the forum and listen to the experts. And since it is Friday I might have a beer or two... :-)

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by Arch_Enemy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:38 pm

jglen490 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:11 pm
Jim Hauser wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 pm
...

For me preparing the partitions in advance works very well. In fact since my partitions were created a couple years ago (including a striped LVM for the main and 4 standard for bare metal testing) the partitions have not been resized or changed by me. Granted some installers may change things up a bit but the partitions will always be the same size.

...
I'm right there with you on the simplicity of having a defined roadmap for installing a new release - of anything. I keep all my important docs, pictures, videos, music, etc. under /home. /home is always on a separate partition. When installing a new release, step 1 is always backup /home, step2 is start the installer, then I select and format the existing / partition and simply select /home without formatting, check my inputs, mash the "go" button and watch TV or read a book until it's done. Then I do a check on /home, and if all is well it's back to business as usual.

A few weekends ago, while playing with some other distros I reloaded/(blew away the / partition) 3 or 4 times while watching football. At no time was my /home adversely affected or even touched by any of the reloads. And all my stuff was still there at the end of the day.

Uh-huh!
(See my signature...) :D
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:24 am

jglen490 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:11 pm
I keep all my important docs, pictures, videos, music, etc. under /home...
I see where you guys are going - and I agree with your approach to achieve your goals. My needs are different: I keep ALL of my important personal files (docs, data, pics, music, etc.) on a file server where I have different backup/disaster-recovery methods. With my new Linux installs (new distros - not simple upgrades) I actually want to start clean. I have no need whatsoever to retain my /home partition. It would be easy enough to do, but I'd rather have a clean start. A lot of the stuff I'm most interested in keeping - like smb.conf - isn't in the /home partition anyway.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by jglen490 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:34 am

In that case, don't hesitate ... :)
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:16 pm

.There have been some MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS (at least for me) !!

I have been running kubuntu...
(Kernel: 4.13.0-36-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.10.5 Distro: Ubuntu 17.10)
to evaluate as a possible replacement for Mint-KDE. What I have learned is very troubling - and I'm now changing my focus to replacing KDE instead of replacing Mint (though I may have to do both in the end).

What I have found is that to clean up some vulnerabilities having to do with the display server the KDE developers have completely shut down a feature I used heavily... running gui apps with root privileges. "KDESU" is gone. "Sudo dolphin" is gone. "Sudo kwrite" is gone. And on, and on, and on. They no longer want to run ANY gui apps with root privileges - period - no debate. If you try to "Sudo dolphin" you get the message:
Executing Dolphin as root is not possible.

I tried one "workaround"... I went so far as to download a "dangerous" patch to a KDE module to get dolphin to bypass the blocker. The patch (which I had matched to my environment) totally failed... AND it broke dolphin completely. I had to back out the patch just to get dolphin to run again. EVEN IF IT HAD WORKED IT IS NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION.

You can read more by starting HERE
You will need to chase some of the links submitted as answers to that query in order to get the full story.
Also, you can safely ignore the answers that were submitted by folks who have never dealt with the problem and are just offering what they THINK will work.
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:27 pm

Interesting.
For you the only possible distros are Ubuntu and Linux Mint?
Have you tried any other non Ubuntu distros?

I am not a KDE user, but I follow the SolydXK forums... I don't believe there is any such restriction there.
Also, what is the advantage of running as root?

I see no problem with changing desktops if you like. Myself, as a long time LMDE Mate user, when Mint abandoned Mate last year I tried more than a dozen other distros. I discovered that I like Mate much more than Mint. I am very glad that I migrated.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tdockery97 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:42 pm

Well, I think I have made my decision. I have been with Linux Mint for nearly 8 years, and when push comes to shove I would rather leave KDE than Mint. So for now I am happily using the MATE edition, which brings back fond memories of my first Mint desktop, Linux Mint 8 Gnome. :D
Kubuntu 18.04

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by Arch_Enemy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:35 pm

tdockery97 wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:42 pm
Well, I think I have made my decision. I have been with Linux Mint for nearly 8 years, and when push comes to shove I would rather leave KDE than Mint. So for now I am happily using the MATE edition, which brings back fond memories of my first Mint desktop, Linux Mint 8 Gnome. :D
I love Mate. Of course, I liked Windows 95/Windows 2000, so the original Gnome 2 felt like home. When Gnome completely abandoned it I had switched to Arch, and cause a lot of problems with my Arch installations getting Gnome 2 (installed by hand) to work correctly; I'd get it working and the good ol' "rolling release" model would bork a library or two and leave me scrambling. I would also install Cinnamon so I always had a GUI to fall back on. Then MATE came out and solved my problems.

Er...except for that darn rolling release... :twisted:
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by blue_bullet » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:07 pm

tovian wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:16 pm
.There have been some MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS (at least for me) !!

I have been running kubuntu...
(Kernel: 4.13.0-36-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.10.5 Distro: Ubuntu 17.10)
to evaluate as a possible replacement for Mint-KDE. What I have learned is very troubling - and I'm now changing my focus to replacing KDE instead of replacing Mint (though I may have to do both in the end).

What I have found is that to clean up some vulnerabilities having to do with the display server the KDE developers have completely shut down a feature I used heavily... running gui apps with root privileges. "KDESU" is gone. "Sudo dolphin" is gone. "Sudo kwrite" is gone. And on, and on, and on. They no longer want to run ANY gui apps with root privileges - period - no debate. If you try to "Sudo dolphin" you get the message:
Executing Dolphin as root is not possible.

I tried one "workaround"... I went so far as to download a "dangerous" patch to a KDE module to get dolphin to bypass the blocker. The patch (which I had matched to my environment) totally failed... AND it broke dolphin completely. I had to back out the patch just to get dolphin to run again. EVEN IF IT HAD WORKED IT IS NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION.

You can read more by starting HERE
You will need to chase some of the links submitted as answers to that query in order to get the full story.
Also, you can safely ignore the answers that were submitted by folks who have never dealt with the problem and are just offering what they THINK will work.
"kdesudo dolphin" in konsole works fine for me in Linux Mint 18.3 KDE. I went on to make changes in /etc/crontab via kate and they were saved.

I also put the following in my .bashrc:

# Use this alias to use kate as the editor for root files: Updated 2017-11-16 @ 12:32:49 MST by rob@fargo
alias ksudoedit='SUDO_EDITOR=$KEDITOR && sudoedit'
alias kse=ksudoedit

Then you can edit a file as root directly from konsole, e.g.:
kse /etc/crontab
places you right into an edit session on a file owned by root.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:36 pm

blue_bullet wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:07 pm
"kdesudo dolphin" in konsole works fine for me in Linux Mint 18.3 KDE.
Not talking about Mint - KDE. My post begins with, "I have been running kubuntu".
We may be talking about seriously different subjects. This thread is about finding something (like kubuntu) to REPLACE Mint-KDE.

The functions that work in Mint-KDE today become irrelevant when Mint drops the KDE distro - if you want to keep your Mint version current.
Part of the research I did stated that OpenSuse put in a patch for their KDE users that allows Dolphin (and who knows what else) to bypass the "run-as-root blocker". Do you think Mint would make such a patch available to the folks who try installing KDE on top of Xfce? I seriously doubt it. If they intend to drop the KDE distro they will not be spending much time preparing patches (or anything else) for folks who still want to use KDE.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by wmmlm » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:31 pm

@tovlan
i also am looking for mint and/or kde replacements, and i'm looking into kubuntu (among others). but i'm a bit curious about your problem. it seems to me that anyone qualified/capable of applying dolphin patches or altering root owned config files wouldn't need gui stuff for those (supposed) infrequent tasks. i'm not denigrating their use or usefulness, or your use thereof, or to start a flame war, just curious about the need for running things like a file mgr as root.

could you expand a bit on your use case for elevated gui apps in kubuntu, please? are there other sysop limitations in kubuntu?

i wonder what level of contribution to mint could, er, persuade continued support for kde in mint...

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by blue_bullet » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:00 pm

tovian wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:36 pm
blue_bullet wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:07 pm
"kdesudo dolphin" in konsole works fine for me in Linux Mint 18.3 KDE.
Not talking about Mint - KDE. My post begins with, "I have been running kubuntu".
We may be talking about seriously different subjects. This thread is about finding something (like kubuntu) to REPLACE Mint-KDE.

The functions that work in Mint-KDE today become irrelevant when Mint drops the KDE distro - if you want to keep your Mint version current.
Part of the research I did stated that OpenSuse put in a patch for their KDE users that allows Dolphin (and who knows what else) to bypass the "run-as-root blocker". Do you think Mint would make such a patch available to the folks who try installing KDE on top of Xfce? I seriously doubt it. If they intend to drop the KDE distro they will not be spending much time preparing patches (or anything else) for folks who still want to use KDE.
I read what you wrote. That's why I specified I was using LM 18.3 KDE. I also thought you might want to try kdesudo in addition to kdesu. :)

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:34 pm

wmmlm wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:31 pm
@tovlan

could you expand a bit on your use case for elevated gui apps in kubuntu, please? are there other sysop limitations in kubuntu?
I too am puzzled by that. @tovlan?

I suppose that there is some benefit, but the obvious (to me) downsides would prevent most from doing it.
My google shows that this desire has been around for nearly a decade... but Why?

BTW: right click in Mate does that for us, if desired.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:51 pm

blue_bullet wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:00 pm
That's why I specified I was using LM 18.3 KDE. I also thought you might want to try kdesudo in addition to kdesu.
Dolphin itself has been modified so that if the "current user" is root (or has root privileges) it returns a message stating that Dolphin will not run as root (actual message cited above). It doesn't matter how you try to initiate Dolphin - from console as root, from kdesu, from kdesudo, or any other launch method - Dolphin (and all other GUI apps) are no longer permitted to run as root (or with root privileges).
This has been implemented in the current kubuntu world. It would have been the same way in the OpenSuse world except that, as noted above, OpenSuse patched their Dolphin (and whatever else) to bypass the check for current user having root privileges.

It may have been implemented the "kubuntu" way in the Mint world except that Mint will drop its KDE distro probably before this becomes an issue for them. For now, GUI apps are still permitted to run as root in ALL VERSIONS of Mint-KDE (and, as you noted, there are several ways to get there).


wmmlm wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:31 pm
could you expand a bit on your use case for elevated gui apps in kubuntu, please? are there other sysop limitations in kubuntu?
For me it's a matter of time and convenience. I'm passing 45 years actively working on computers (from programmer to IBM-mainframe tech-support, to micro programming/support, etc.). I've had all the fun with command-line (Linux, MS-DOS, etc.) that I can stand. I knew DOS commands inside and out, but I came late to the Linux party. My self evaluation of my capability with Linux is something akin to newbie, or weenie, or wussie. So, even though I can fight with the manuals for a while and eventually come up with the native Linux commands to update my scripts in /usr/local/bin, it just takes too much time that I could be using for other productive work (or even for swilling beer).

My fondness for the SUDO command stems from years of trying to (having to) get around corporate computer security in order to get my job done (I've written some stuff that nobody knows about that would have made some of my old managers gnash their teeth and weep). If you have a "quick-and-dirty" way to run just the command you need, then you are not so tempted to use it for every command you issue. However, if you log into root, there is too much temptation (for me) to stay logged in and do more work that really doesn't require root privileges - instead of logging out, then back in, then back out, and so on.

Also, I spent a good while studying the configuration parameters for Samba. I created a good configuration file that I understand and that does exactly what I need from my Samba networking. When (once or twice per year) I need to update my smb.conf file I can do the rename/copy routines (to preserve a backup but install a new module) very quickly if I can drag&drop. Or, I can risk getting myself/my computer terminally screwed up by entering commands I'm not really used to (or good with) prefixed by sudo so they have root privileges.

I have lived on both sides of the knife's edge - and danced right down the middle. I do NOT suggest that my methods are right for - or will work well for - anybody else. But it is my "style". It is how I operate best, with a minimum of risk of shooting myself in the foot.


are there other sysop limitations in kubuntu? not that I know of - but I have terribly little experience. And, I don't expect to get any more. I intend to abandon KDE basically because of this issue. Given that, I've not found any distro that I like more than Mint so I will probably stay with Mint but switch DE's. It doesn't matter that much to me except that I always try to get my clients to see the advantages of Linux over Windows. But, before I convert any of them I have to really like the way I'm doing things and be able to support them when they need help.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:21 pm

well stated

You are adamant that you want to stay with Linux Mint. Great!
I think you should go to Linux Mint Cinnamon, or better yet LMDE Cinnamon.
LM has it's heart and soul tied to Cinnamon project. They do it very well.
Cinnamon is now available in most all distros, even the non Debian ones.
give it a spin!

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:16 am

blue_bullet wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:07 pm
I also put the following in my .bashrc:

# Use this alias to use kate as the editor for root files: Updated 2017-11-16 @ 12:32:49 MST by rob@fargo
alias ksudoedit='SUDO_EDITOR=$KEDITOR && sudoedit'
alias kse=ksudoedit
...
places you right into an edit session on a file owned by root.
WOOT !
Works perfectly.
Me Like.
THANKS !!
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"We're just the guys to do it.”

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by o-l-d » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:51 pm

Linux Mint 18.3 KDE + Neon repos still very stable and fast. My luck seems to be holding up. :D
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