Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

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o-l-d
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by o-l-d » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:04 pm

Despite what is posted at KDE neon site (not being a "distro") it is becoming THE KDE/Plasma os that I will be using after LM KDE is gone. From what I understand it was indeed just a "project" until the KDE devs saw how popular it has become. KDE has partners that have released a KDE Slimbook and I see that as a sign that Neon will be around much longer that was first predicted, just as with Linux Mint and the MintBox project. I am on "wait and see" mode before I switch from Ubuntu/Debian based distro to an Arch/Fedora based os.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by jglen490 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:48 pm

I've been running Kubuntu on my desktop machine for around 10 years. Most of those years have been on whatever LTS version was available. I've not had any insurmountable problems, and very few really annoying problems - at all, ever in those 10 years. While I enjoy LM, also, I plan on running with Kubuntu unless Canonical does something really foolish.

So for those of you who really enjoy LM KDE, you'll be right at home with Kubuntu. Yes, the menus and options are a little different, and you can actually use apt or apt-get on the command line for system upgrades, but it's an easy transition.
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 banjo » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:31 am

I need to print a retraction of my review of kubuntu here on this thread. I had said that it took a nutty on my disk drive and locked up the computer, which it did. But then, I have had the same thing happen now on my mageia and mint systems. That made me suspicious, so I tracked the problem down to a memory leak in a conky clock program I have recently written.

I have been programming in languages like python and java for so long that I assumed that lua is as automatic as they are with respect to memory management. It is not. So my program was leaking memory, and the lockup on the disk was from running out of RAM and thrashing the swap file. The problem was not flaky hardware or a flaky distro, but a lazy programmer (me).

Sorry for the confusion.

Kubuntu is back on my list of candidates for a future KDE Plasma distro. Here is my list at this point.

Mageia
Kubuntu
PCLinuxOS

I will re-install kubuntu, install PCLOS, and do some comparison testing.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:10 pm

Very glad to hear that kubuntu is not having a problem we all need to look further into. It remains one of the most promising I've looked at.

Re: clock...
"Does anybody really know what time it is?"
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by Arch_Enemy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:28 pm

braingateway wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:35 am
KDE5 is not usable anyway. The KDE dev team also very stubborn. So I think this decision is unfortunate but wise. Now I just move to the Cinnamon DE. Though it looks primitive, but at least mostly usable. I also checked out ubuntu unity. It is quite nice but requires too much resource.
Can't be a lot more stubborn than the Gnome team...
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 Arch_Enemy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:31 pm

banjo wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:31 am
I need to print a retraction of my review of kubuntu here on this thread. I had said that it took a nutty on my disk drive and locked up the computer, which it did. But then, I have had the same thing happen now on my mageia and mint systems. That made me suspicious, so I tracked the problem down to a memory leak in a conky clock program I have recently written.

I have been programming in languages like python and java for so long that I assumed that lua is as automatic as they are with respect to memory management. It is not. So my program was leaking memory, and the lockup on the disk was from running out of RAM and thrashing the swap file. The problem was not flaky hardware or a flaky distro, but a lazy programmer (me).

Sorry for the confusion.

Kubuntu is back on my list of candidates for a future KDE Plasma distro. Here is my list at this point.

Mageia
Kubuntu
PCLinuxOS

I will re-install kubuntu, install PCLOS, and do some comparison testing.

Banjo
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PCLOS is pretty decent, but Texstar dropped all the 32 bit libraries, so if you are dependent on some piece of software that is 32 bit, be prepared for a struggle. I have broken PCLOS trying to get a couple 32 bit only packages working.
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 Feb 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Arch_Enemy wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:28 pm
braingateway wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:35 am
KDE5 is not usable anyway. The KDE dev team also very stubborn. So I think this decision is unfortunate but wise. Now I just move to the Cinnamon DE. Though it looks primitive, but at least mostly usable. I also checked out ubuntu unity. It is quite nice but requires too much resource.
Can't be a lot more stubborn than the Gnome team...
The gnome team may be the model. I now have LM 17.3 KDE perfectly tuned to suit my needs. As soon as KDE5 gets back to the same level as KDE4 I will switch. In the meantime I just keep an older laptop updated with LM 18.3 KDE waiting for a return to the old functionality.

I am pleased to see this thread started as KDE is the only way to go for me. I recognize the trap sticking with an old distribution that will only be supported until April 2019, but I have not found a good place to move yet. This thread helps.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by banjo » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:41 pm

I tried to install PCLinuxOS on my test system that is now running Mageia 6. The installer informed me that it could not understand the partition table on the disk, so it was probably corrupted. The disk currently runs Mageia, so it is not corrupted. I am presuming that the table is a GPT, since Mageia 6 is UEFI capable. But I do not know that for sure.

The options given to me by the installer were to reformat the entire disk or cancel. I chose cancel.

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by jglen490 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:41 pm

I run both Kubuntu 16.04.3 and Linux Mint 18.2 Mate - two different boxes. The differences between the two DEs are real, but by no means insurmountable. I pop between the two systems without a hitch, once I understood how the same functionality works on each box - and it's not that big of a jump.

So learn how to use LM with something else as a DE, or learn how to use some other distro with KDE as a DE. Neither is wrong, and either will get you there. No need to over think this.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by banjo » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:06 pm

Since it is not just me using the computer, I can't switch the DE without getting a lot of grief from my other user (wife). So I will have to switch distros.

So far, the distros that I have long term experience with are Mandrake 9 (my first), Mandriva, and Mageia, which are all cut from the same cloth. I also used Red Hat and Gnome a bit at work. I don't like Gnome. I have now had Linux Mint for a few months, and we are getting along fine. Switching to kubuntu would probably not be that difficult. I will install it and see how it plays on my other computer.

I really like LM, and wish I could stick with it.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:23 am

Banjo Gparted will tell you what table you have, and perhaps repair damaged partitions. Run it from your live installer USB

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by banjo » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:42 am

I doubt that the partitions are corrupted since the Magia distro boots and runs fine. I am typing this from the Mageia setup.

However, I ran Gparted here and found to my surprise that the partition table set up by Mageia when it reformatted the disk was an msdos table. This computer has a legacy BIOS, so I guess Mageia gave up on the EFI thing and used the old partition table type instead of GPT.

So, the partition table that PCLOS did not recognize was the old msdos table. Even so, I do not want to trash this system to install PCLOS right now. I am going to press on to kubuntu to see what that has to offer...... now that I have fixed my memoryleak and will not trash it like last time..... I think..... I hope.

The question is whether kubuntu will install itself side-by-side with Mageia, or will it suffer the same fate as PCLOS?

Isn't this exciting?

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:07 am

Great! you are making significant progress. It seems the PCLOS installer is a big Fail. Move on.

Gparted is a great tool. It is included in most mainstream installer ISO, but not installed by default on many Operating Systems.

The msdos table is fine, but it has one limitation that you should learn about. Number of permitted Primary partitions is 4.
If you now have 3 Primary Partitions you can create One More. If that new one is an Extended Partition you can create dozens more new partitions within it! That would be where your new OS should go, so you can Keep what you have now but test something else. Cool!
You probably do have to "shrink" one or more of your existing partitions to have the space to create more. Gparted is the tool for that!
this is an excellent Gparted tutorial https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/gparted.html
he also has one for Grub (the bootloader Most use) https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html

Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, and many others have "tools" in their installers to "automatically" install "alongside" your existing system... as you found with PCLOS some don't work and can wipe everything... MANUAL install is by far always the best in my Opinion.
PS: learn this stuff, it is how you can dual boot, so you can play/test and your spouse can continue unmolested.
PPS: avoid those boot repair things, they usually make things worse!

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:17 am

banjo wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:42 am
I doubt that the partitions are corrupted since..............

The question is whether kubuntu will install itself side-by-side with Mageia, or will it suffer the same fate as PCLOS?
I don't remember the PCLOS installation options, but I firmly believe in using "custom" partitioning rather than letting the installer choose. That said, if one doesn't work then try the other. Whatever happens you will end up learning more about your environment and your options than you know now.

BTW: I can power down this machine (the one I'm using to post this), reach inside the case, plug in the molex connector to shoot power to the second drive, then boot my last working PCLOS (which I abandoned several years ago). I don't think I ever tried a multi-boot which included PCLOS.

Another thing about that distro that troubled me was the "good and bad" about software updates...
the good: they were so far from "bleeding-edge" (and so "anti" custom software installations) there was almost never a stability problem
the bad: they wanted to prepare/test/package every piece of software you wanted to add to your machine that was not in the repos; they vigorously discouraged updates which they did not prepare for you. Yes, that increased stability, but it severely undermined the flexibility of Linux. They also (at that time) removed the "sudo" command - you had to "su to root" (or run kdesu) if you needed elevation (and they "talked dirty" about distro's that used/permitted the "sudo" command). I got started with Mint thinking it was flawed because it uses the "sudo" command frequently. "Different Strokes for Different Folks" I guess. Seems to me that becoming root is a helluva lot more dangerous/risky than using the "sudo" command when you need to. And, if you know about the kdesu command (KDE's implementation of "sudo") you rarely need either of the other two (more of the built-in power of KDE).
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by banjo » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:00 pm

As far as the PCLOS package manager goes, I find it confusing. I understand that Debianistas use APT, and RedHatistas use RPM. So far so good. But I do not understand PCLOS using apt with rpm packages. What the heck is that.... and why? There is another learning curve for me.

I suppose that I should stop being lazy and learn the partitioning rules. I can make partitions using Gparted. That is not new. The issue is doing the partitioning right so that the distro will be satisfied and actually work. Mageia by default sets up a 50 Gig root partition plus a /home partition with the rest of the disk. LM set up one huge partition with everything in it. I guess there are as many ways to partition a Linux distro as there are sysadmins doing it.

I will study. If I end up trashing my experimental system, that is OK. I just lose some testing time. It is not my mainstream computer. I am making my mistakes on that one so that I can avoid them when I switch over the mainstream box.

WRT sudo, I really dislike it. I prefer having to explicitly log into root to do system work. In my opinion, regular users should not have any root privileges at all under their own password. I think that opens a big security hole. But that is just my opinion. I am old school in that regard, but there is no way to win that discussion. :shock:

Thanks for all the pointers.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:04 pm

Whoa. I'd suggest you NOT make your partitions "ahead of time" using gparted (or any other utility) - unless the distro you are installing insists on it. MOST distro installers start out with the partitioning options and THAT is where you can (usually) choose the "custom" option for partitioning.

First, you probably need to use gparted to determine if you have available space on the HDD. If not, it should be able to shrink an existing partition so you DO have some space. Then, you can also define a single partition JUST TO MAKE SURE YOUR HDD PARTITIONS ARE NOT MAX'd-OUT. If you can create that extra partition then just delete it and you will know that you can make at least the one (physical) partition required for the installation. One, as described below, is all you need.

Then, for the time being, take a simple approach: when the installer asks you about partitioning and you select "custom" or "let me do it myself", then you will need 3 logical partitions (only one physical partition). So, make sure you specify the "logical" partition scheme for the new OS. Then, you will add: first - a swap space (generally at least double the amount of your RAM). When you select "swap space" you will not need to set a mount point. Second, add another logical partition using the ext4 journaling format; size it to 15-20GB; select / as the mount-point. Lastly, add a final partition, also ext4 journaling format, remaining available space (or at least 30 GB) - this will be your personal-data area or Home partition; select the /home mount-point.
That's it. Continue the installation writing those changes to the HDD.
You will have
1) swap space
2) / (the Linux OS)
3) /home (your home partition)

If you use a utility to set up the target partitions first, it should work, but it's an extra (and unnecessary) step since you can (should be able to) do it within the actual installer.
Last edited by tovian on Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by sdibaja » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:05 pm

Two things:
1. I recommend staying with Debian based distros. 85% or more are Debian based, so you have Resources.
2. Gparted on the newer Debian Stretch/Buster distros can manipulate older systems, such as Mint/Ubuntu that are based on Jessie. Gparted provided on Jessie can not do much with the newer systems, so don't be surprised. The SolydXK9 installer ISO can be used for all. Debian9 has a live ISO, but it does not include Gparted (it can be installed live, but that does not help if you are not connected to the internet).
3. (OK I lied) Start with a distro that has your preferred desktop natively. There are many!

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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by tovian » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:05 am

banjo wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:00 pm
I suppose that I should stop being lazy and learn the partitioning rules.
I apologize if it sounded like I was "talking down to you". It's always difficult for folks to understand how much someone else knows and how much help they need.

I just completed a session where I had to fix a client problem (remotely). Normally, I use TeamViewer under Mint (or Windows). This time I decided to try my new kubuntu machine. I had to find, download, and install TV (it was not in the repo's), but it was relatively easy, and I had no real problems. I got that done quickly enough, and it worked well enough, that my client was not aware that I was doing anything different.

So, I'm once again pleased with kubuntu.

I will give some other distro's a try, but I'm much more interested in finding a solution that will last for a LONG time. Small distro's tend to address/solve only a single problem that their creator perceived was critical; even large distro's like Mint change their course and offerings. I feel that ubuntu/Canonical probably provides the BEST chance of 1) staying current with computing technology; and 2) continuing to offer a KDE distro.
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by banjo » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:50 am

No apologies necessary. I have been programming computers for a long time, but most of my time has been spent at the application level, not sysadmin. So even after all those years, some of this stuff is new to me.

I am going to install kubuntu on my test system along side the Mageia that is there already and see what I can do with it. I have a few months to decide what to do, and along the way I am learning stuff that can only be helpful later.

Thanks to all for the help
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Re: Preparing for Mint to drop the KDE distro

Post by hrmcrm » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:22 pm

I installed Kubuntu on one of my test machines, a ThinkPad X41 (32-bit). Installation was smooth.
Con: Kubuntu's software management program "Discover" was unusable in the initial installation. I posted about the issue on the Kubuntu forum, and got responses
I would recommend not using Discover, install Muon or Synaptics - from the command line!
and
I don't feel comfortable running Discover.
There was also a recommendation to add a backport repository and upgrade. I did that, and the new version of Discover was improved, but still unsatisfactory on this machine.
Pros: Synaptic functions fine.
Kubuntu set up samba automatically out of the box. Dolphin could access the network machines, and I could log into them.
Howard
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