First impressions on Mint.

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint
Brackets
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First impressions on Mint.

Post by Brackets »

I thought I'd post my impressions of Mint, because some might find it interesting, and because developers might find it helpful to know how Mint comes across to new users.

First, the background: I've been a windows user for years. I'm nerdier than most people: I've built my last two PCs from parts, I've done a little programming, I can make a webpage and so on. But I'm certainly not the kind of alpha-nerd for whom these things all make sense: I muddle my way along with the help of google. A few weeks ago I suffered some hardware problems and needed to reinstall an OS. Turns out my Windows CD is busted, so I thought I'd install Linux in the short term, and see how I got on.

So here's how things came across for a savvy-ish Windows user seeing if they might convert to Linux Mint. I've put in positive suggestions wherever I've offered criticism. Just to be clear from the outset, I'm writing this because I think Mint is very good, and with a little work could be something I'd recommend to my less computer-savvy friends.

Second, the positives:
(1) Installation was very easy. I liked being able to run Mint from the USB before I installed to check that it seemed usable.

(2) The general interface with the OS is good, and intuitive. The start menu, for example, is generally easy to navigate.

(3) It's fast, both to boot, and to run. (I'd be curious to know to what extent this is just because there's no virus scanner.)

(4) It seems stable: I've yet to have a system crash.

(5) I'm very impressed by Wine. I had thought that I'd definitely need a dual boot system sooner or later, but Wine is easy to use, and runs most things just fine. So I might yet stick to just Linux.

(6) The set of programs that come ready installed is pretty great, and seems suitably broad. This is a real advantage to newbies like me who would otherwise need to google "linux alternative to X" for everything. So far as I remember, I didn't really have to install anything that I thought should have been on the system by default.
[Suggestion: But perhaps add grub customizer, and a game or two.]

(7) The software manager system is brilliant: easy to navigate, and the reviews on there are really useful.

(8) By and large, I've not had to use the terminal much (and when I have, I've just been copying sets of instructions I found on google for particular tasks).

(9) The community seems great and eager to help. If anything, I'd suggest making a bigger deal out of the "chat" link on the welcome screen, which is extremely useful for live advice. (Thanks chat people!)

Third, the negatives:
(1) For a Linux newbie, the vast array of distributions is somewhat paralysing.
[Sorry, I can't really see what you can do about this. I mention it only because I do think it will put some people off from the start.]

(2) Partitioning during installation was generally intuitive, but some things were not clear, such as an appropriate size for the swap partition, or where to install the bootloader.
[Suggestion: Either add a few sentences of text explaining, e.g. the swap partition, or add a wizard that offers a sensible set of options given your answers to some questions and what it can read on the system.]

(3) A short time after my first install, I couldn't get Linux to boot at all. In hindsight I'd *guess* that I overwrote the boot instructions by creating a new partition at the start of the disk.
[Suggestion: *If* this was the problem, the partition manager should warn you if a new partition will overwrite boot instructions.]

(4) Installing some things (e.g. applets) required me to move files into the relevant program directories. But this required admin priveleges, and there's no obvious way to get a file explorer up with admin priveleges.
[Suggestion: Include a SU Files launcer on the menu by default.]

(5) I assume there's some good reason why partitions don't just always mount automatically, but the option to automatically mount a partition is also not obvious. (To be fair, my problems here were exacerbated by the fact that the instructions you find when googling the problem are out of date.)
[Suggestion: Provide an option in the partition manager to automatically mount a partition and/or add an option when you right-click the relevant device.]

(6) My computer initially ran the whole boot process with just a black screen, until the desktop suddenly appeared, in silence. This was a little unsettling. I finally managed to download Grub customizer, and google enough to get text on the screen during the boot process. (I tried fixing the splash screen, but no luck as yet (NVidia card).)
[Suggestion: If this is a standard problem with NVidia cards, make any system with an NVidia card default to a text-only boot.]

(7) The computer also boots without a login sound of any kind. After some googling, I've now got one that runs like a startup program. In principle that makes sense, except that the login sound plays before the destop is actually on the screen, and certainly before other startup programs finish loading. [Suggestion: Autologin shouldn't disable the login sound, and any login sound should play only once the system is 100% ready to go.]

(8) The menu editor is clunky: you have to use cut/copy/paste buttons, and it's slow.
[Allow users to drag and drop items in the editor. If it's slow only because it's updating in real time, change the editor so that it updates only when you press an "apply" button.]

(9) The division between "System Tools", "Preferences" and "Administration" in the menu is not intuitive. I seem to have many things duplicated across these, and no sense of the logic of the division, so I normally end up looking in all three locations for everything.
[Suggestion: Sort it out! I'd *guess* that there ought to be a "hardware" submenu, a "superuser" submenu, and a "desktop settings" submenu, or similar.]

(10) The software manager sometimes seem to crash on me and/or get stuck on the loading splash.
[Suggestion: fix the bug.]

(11) It's not obvious how to kill an unresponsive program.
[Suggestion: Add a link for this to the menu.]

(12) The default wallpaper is not that pretty (I think mostly because it's too minimalist). Is there really nothing better?
[The vladstudio wallpaper clocks are beautiful, though I don't know how feasible it would be to make them the default.]

(13) I can't see any way to make the icons on my desktop align with one another.
[Suggestion: Make them automatically snap to a grid.]

(14) Extremely minor, but I don't understand the need for multiple workspaces or the bottom right "all windows" button.

Conclusions:
Right now, Linux Mint seems great, and certainly way more usable than I'd anticipated. I had thought that running Linux was effectively a hobby, but Linux Mint feels like it's nearly at the stage where I could recommend it to someone who is computer illiterate. Most users want their computer to make chores easier, and not be another chore in its own right: Mint feels like it's close to meeting those users' needs. One indicator of this is that my gripes above are all relatively minor, and I'd think that most could be fixed with a fairly minimal amount of work.

Keep up the great work,
Alex

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Pierre »

I had thought that running Linux was effectively a hobby, - but Linux Mint feels like it's nearly at the stage where I could recommend it to someone who is computer illiterate.
generally speaking, the linux fraternity has been trying to fall over that cliff, for some time time.
it's always "very close to the point that I could recommend it to my newbie friends"
& that it is always, so close to 'falling over that cliff' :?
- it just, may, even, get there - one day .. ..


- many thanks, for such a huge level of feedback :D
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by altair4 »

Item (2): For most folks this usually doesn't come up since they just let the installer create whatever partitions it wants to create.

Item (5): If you are already in the part of the installer that allows you to specify partitions then you have the option at that stage of having all partitions automatically mount and where you want them to mount.

As for the rest of the items none of the people looking at your post know what you installed so you might want to tell them:

** What version of Mint.

EDIT: I keep forgetting about LMDE:

** Ubuntu based Mint or Linux Mint Debian Edition.

** What Desktop Environment - Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE ...
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by eanfrid »

(1) For a Linux newbie, the vast array of distributions is somewhat paralysing.
>>> There are many car manufacturers and models, is this something which scares people when they want to buy a car ? :D

(3) A short time after my first install, I couldn't get Linux to boot at all. In hindsight I'd *guess* that I overwrote the boot instructions by creating a new partition at the start of the disk.
>>> What "boot instructions" are you talking about ?

(4) Installing some things (e.g. applets) required me to move files into the relevant program directories. But this required admin priveleges, and there's no obvious way to get a file explorer up with admin priveleges.
>>> Installing applets don't require admin privileges, explain what you wanted to do...

(5) I assume there's some good reason why partitions don't just always mount automatically, but the option to automatically mount a partition is also not obvious. (To be fair, my problems here were exacerbated by the fact that the instructions you find when googling the problem are out of date.)
>>> Partitions listed in fstab are the only one that have to be mounted at boot

(6) My computer initially ran the whole boot process with just a black screen, until the desktop suddenly appeared, in silence. This was a little unsettling. I finally managed to download Grub customizer, and google enough to get text on the screen during the boot process. (I tried fixing the splash screen, but no luck as yet (NVidia card).)
>>> AFAIK, it is a choice made by LM devs because of many potential graphical issues at boot

(7) The computer also boots without a login sound of any kind. After some googling, I've now got one that runs like a startup program. In principle that makes sense, except that the login sound plays before the destop is actually on the screen, and certainly before other startup programs finish loading.
>>> Your choice... I hate login sounds :D

(8) The menu editor is clunky: you have to use cut/copy/paste buttons, and it's slow.
>>> +1

(9) The division between "System Tools", "Preferences" and "Administration" in the menu is not intuitive. I seem to have many things duplicated across these, and no sense of the logic of the division, so I normally end up looking in all three locations for everything.
>>> The categories are defined by freedesktop.org to standardize (for good) desktop menus across all DE and distribs. Not a LM choice.

(11) It's not obvious how to kill an unresponsive program.
>>> There is an applet for that :) or ALT-F2 and type xkill

(12) The default wallpaper is not that pretty (I think mostly because it's too minimalist). Is there really nothing better?
>>> Some copyrights to follow there :)

(13) I can't see any way to make the icons on my desktop align with one another.
[Suggestion: Make them automatically snap to a grid.]
>>> They already do :?

(14) Extremely minor, but I don't understand the need for multiple workspaces or the bottom right "all windows" button.
>>> Your choice... I have 6 workspaces and I am worried when I have only one, like on MS Windows...
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by trapperjohn »

generally speaking, the linux fraternity has been trying to fall over that cliff, for some time time.
it's always "very close to the point that I could recommend it to my newbie friends"
Actually, Mint has fallen over the cliff. I am recommending it to my newbie freinds... just plain folks up here in the tundra. They are really happy with it. One potato farmer friend was faced with moving on to the next Windows release. It was a coin flip for him. Pay for the new release or try my recommendation for a short while then pay for the new release if he still wanted it. After a few rainy days fussing with the setup, adjustments, configurations, syntax, etc., he is solidly a Linux user now.

At first, when a person has always used Windows, it takes some time to adjust to Linux. There's a learning curve, but it's not as steep as learning to use a computer for the first time. The fact is, when a new release of Windows, Word, etc. is rolled out there is also a substantial re-tooling that a user must do.

A first time user most often wants to get going with office work, email, a browser, some videos, music, setting-up the desktop, and other mainstream tasks. Mint does this. When it doesn't work out at first, there is 24-7 free customer assistance. As time passes, the Linux user finds that he/she owns their machine entirely... they can, if they really want to, (dare I say it) run the filemanager as root with sudo caja.

Can Mint and other distros improve the first-time user's experience? Yes. As we look through this and other forums or when we drop certain strings like "Linux wifi problem" into Google, we see a pattern. The pattern identifies the priorities. There are a few sore topics... often related to device compatibility. Also emerging are the challenges of new UEFI systems with Windows pre-installed.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Brackets »

Thanks for the replies all. I don't really have that much to say in response to various things, but I just thought I should add, to make things clearer: The point with many of the "negatives" above was not that I wanted help solving the relevant problems, but that for many users it would be better if these problems didn't need to be solved by them in the first place.

Thanks again,
-A

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by samriggs »

I had thought that running Linux was effectively a hobby, - but Linux Mint feels like it's nearly at the stage where I could recommend it to someone who is computer illiterate.
I have my mother (in her late 70's) on linux and thinks it easier and better then windows to run and understand as far as normal everyday use. She would not want to go back to windows again ever. Especially not having to worry about viruses and running a scanner constantly that slows down things to a crawl sometimes.
Mind you I do the install and set up the initial stuff then that's it, she's off and running from there on in. But she's gotten to a point that she can pretty much do 90% on her own now, including fixing grub once that shocked the crap out of me :lol:
"Windows: the worst system for the most money, Linux: the best system for free"
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Lumikki »

I also become Linux user about 1,5 years ago from Windows. I run Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon now, started Linux Mint 12 Cinnnamon.

There is many positive stuff in Linux Mint, but I'm not gonna talk here about them. I concenrate the biggest issue what exist in Linux Mint.

While I think many people could use Linux Mint just fine, I would hesitate recommending it. Problem isn't that it could not be fine. Problem is that, getting Linux Mint system up, is pure luck, it can go well or not. Way too many problems are related base hardware stuff, like graphics, sometimes even mouse or even keyboard. These stuff should work while and after installation as 100% guaranted.

Mint should have in grub debug option start Linux Mint without graphics driver in lower base graphics mode, like using some base vesa graphics in lower resolution. So that all graphics cards would work and user could get into graphical desktop without been forced text based situations. This is extreme important in situation when you graphics driver doesn't work correctly.

To make my self clear, if Mint installation works about 80% of time based users hardware, while Windows works 99.999% of times, thats huge issue. Because when new user comes in to try Linux Mint system and who can't even get the system works, that's lost user. Way too much development effort is based decorative/optional functions in Linux Mint design, way too little making base stuff actually work. Example I was thinking to upgrade Linux Mint 15 but after reading all the issues. I'm not sure do I even try, because I often get some hardware issues. It's just too risky. I have had hardware related issues with all Linux Mint versions, some more and some less. I have got them all working, but it allways takes some effort. If I would be avagare Windows user as trying Linux Mint, I would have give up. But because I have some understading about unix systems, it's little easyer to solve some of the problems.

Point been, while my first impression was nice about Linux Mint 12, there is still work to do in Linux Mint installation releated base stuff.
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by eanfrid »

Lumikki wrote:To make my self clear, if Mint installation works about 80% of time based users hardware, while Windows works 99.999% of times, thats huge issue. Because when new user comes in to try Linux Mint system and who can't even get the system works, that's lost user.
Do not forget that "99.999% of the time", Windows comes preinstalled with all needed OEM drivers. Distributions do not. Every custom OS installation has a learning curve, especially when you don't know anything about what you try to set up.
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by jdeca57 »

Lumikki wrote: To make my self clear, if Mint installation works about 80% of time based users hardware, while Windows works 99.999% of times, thats huge issue. Because when new user comes in to try Linux Mint system and who can't even get the system works, that's lost user. Way too much development effort is based decorative/optional functions in Linux Mint design, way too little making base stuff actually work. Example I was thinking to upgrade Linux Mint 15 but after reading all the issues. I'm not sure do I even try, because I often get some hardware issues. It's just too risky. I have had hardware related issues with all Linux Mint versions, some more and some less. I have got them all working, but it allways takes some effort. If I would be avagare Windows user as trying Linux Mint, I would have give up. But because I have some understading about unix systems, it's little easyer to solve some of the problems.
That 80% is the reason why Linux hasn't broken through on the desktop, and probably never will. People aren't used to install a system. And what if it were installed? A vendor sells a PC with an installation of, say Ubuntu 13.04 and 6 months later the OS asks the user to upgrade. Potentially, there are a lot of problems there and that's an example with software installed. Note that Mint doesn't lure a user exactly that same way since there is no upgrade possibility but then there are raving reviews tempting the user to make the installation himself. There is not exactly a solution to that fact. On the other hand I've had many good experiences with installations of Linux. It helps if you don't use the very latest hardware, but then again that's not really a problem in a market where Intel dominates, has no real challenger and the focus is on tablets and phones...

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Jonathan Spearman »

[quote="jdeca57"][quote="Lumikki"]
To make my self clear, if Mint installation works about 80% of time based users hardware, while Windows works 99.999% of times, thats huge issue. Because when new user comes in to try Linux Mint system and who can't even get the system works, that's lost user. Way too much development effort is based decorative/optional functions in Linux Mint design, way too little making base stuff actually work. Example I was thinking to upgrade Linux Mint 15 but after reading all the issues. I'm not sure do I even try, because I often get some hardware issues. It's just too risky. I have had hardware related issues with all Linux Mint versions, some more and some less. I have got them all working, but it allways takes some effort. If I would be avagare Windows user as trying Linux Mint, I would have give up. But because I have some understading about unix systems, it's little easyer to solve some of the problems.

To make my self clear, if Mint installation works about 80% of time based users hardware, while Windows works 99.999% of times, thats huge issue.

I have to disagree with the 99.999% The reason that you feel that way is because your system came preinstalled and most of the problems were already worked out. However if you install windows from a retail version, you will often find that it doesn't always have the correct drivers and that causes problems with just a simple setup. I have worked on windows systems for 17 years and I have had network cards not install, modems, or usb devices simply because the drivers were not updated or available until you updated windows with over 1hr of patches to install.
In the corporate areana, techs spend more time reloading or updating drivers or even having to reinstall applications because a patch was installed and messed up the system. So to say that windows works 99.999% of the time is incorrect, I think that if you were on the other side of the phone at a support line you would see just what I mean.

I have also supported MAC and Novell and most of those calls were due to bad hardware and not software crapping out because the OS could not understand the call that the application was making.

Because when new user comes in to try Linux Mint system and who can't even get the system works, that's lost user.

Linux is not that hard to install, first you have the live systems which if used, will let you know if the system will install and everything should work, If you can boot to the live system, then you should be able to boot once the OS is loaded on the hard drive. Most people want to dual boot without having a proper understanding of how to do it correctly and they run into problems. You should always install a second hard drive and install linux or any other OS on that drive, This way you won't destroy your current OS until you are ready. As far as drivers are concerned, if vendors would create the drivers for linux, in which there are already hundreds, if not thousands of drivers in the OS itself, then linux would work better, However, due to MS, they have created a atmosphere that most vendors will not create drivers out of fear that they will harm their relationship wih MS. I started with linux in 98, then it was slackware and was way harder than it is today, then you had to compile everything, now you just read, and click on the correct options and linux installs and is up and running.
To me, if you can't get linux installed, it is because most people have gotten so used to a minimum system OS, Let's not forget, Windows does not install any software, other than notepad and I.E and even with that minimum setup, you still have to install patches that take well over 1hr to install. With linux I have yet to have a full system crash, at least not one that wasn't caused by me, I never have blue screens, and installing software, all I have to do is open up software manager and select the application and then click apply and it is installed and works.

Example I was thinking to upgrade Linux Mint 15 but after reading all the issues. I'm not sure do I even try, because I often get some hardware issues

I have done upgrades from 12 to 14 and have never had issues with hardware, if it works in ver 12 it should work in ver 15. Some people state that they have had issues with upgrading, what they forget or intentionally leave out is that they have modified their system files and probably upgraded their hardware and did not take into account that different drivers may be needed. There are some drivers that are not included, due to their proprietary licenses which linux will not include in order to keep from having legal problems down the road. After using fedora, mint, suse, mandrake and ubuntu, I guess I am lucky or maybe I just do good research before installing, as I have had only a couple of network cards that could not work, and they wouldn't even work on windows, because they were so new. Please understand when reading about issues, There is not one problem in world that cannot be solved as someone, somewhere in the world has also had the issue and posted a resolution.

The main reason that people think linux is so hard to learn, install or use is simple, Back in the dos days, you had to learn your computer, you did not have the luxury of having a tech come and fix the problem for you. Windows was made to be a idiot proof OS, not saying anyone is a idiot, but being in the tech industry has allowed me to see just how bad people don't read, or even try to understand how to use their computers properly. They feel they don't have to, because there is a tech available to do it for them. When you ask people to just use their heads to complete a task, they usually get frustrated because the answer wasn't given to them. Sometimes you have to use patience and just take time to understand that learning something new is a reward in and of itself. I guess I am just one of those people who doesn't want someone doing it for me, I want to do it myself and understand what it is I am doing. Most of the people who say bad things about linux or any other OS except windows, usually have never even tried to install it, They just state what others are saying. Just like a tech that can't troubleshoot, will give a customer a line of bull that he heard another tech say, just because he doesn't want to take time to really solve the issue and learn something new along the way. Just my 02cent worth. 8)
Thanks
Jonathan Spearman
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http://www.jstc.biz/
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by TBABill »

I do agree with a few of your comments. During partitioning it would be simple for the installer box to have a notation that states something to the effect that you should always create a swap partition and recommended size is xxxGB. Rule of thumb was double the size of RAM IIRC (could be same size...memory failing me now) but with some machines having 16GB and higher that's a bit excessive.

The sound thing....very subjective but makes sense it should occur when the desktop shows. I never cared, but I see your point. I prefer no sound on startup myself, but it's a subjective thing.

You'll love multiple workspaces if you ever fill your screen with open apps. Or if you do a variety of different things and would like to have each desktop more purposeful for the work being done on it. I tend to use 2 max, normally just 1, but when I need #2 it's great to have it there.

Wallpaper - I think it would be awesome to see a step where you can actually select the wallpaper you'll see on boot-up to be either default OR to be "newbie" or similar that contains keyboard shortcuts for new users to have as a handy reference until they learn them all. Ubuntu had one like that (11.04?) when Unity was new and it was a great idea.

SU File Manager - +1111111111111111. Why on earth can't it just be a simple matter of clicking a box and being prompted for a password to become SU within any file manager? Or build it into the menu where you can select the normal file manager or one opened up as superuser with prompt for password. Linux is far too advanced to have little things like that in play. Sure, I can gksu or gksudo anything I want, but that's not at all intuitive or easy for a new user.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Lumikki »

Jonathan Spearman wrote:
I have to disagree with the 99.999%
I think you missed my point little bit, I'm sorry if explained it badly

I have worked with computer most of my life at least after there started to be home computers. Meaning I mostly builded my own home computers and servers or helped others with they computer issues.

I have my self no problem to get Linux Mint installed, IF the istallation CD works. Problem is that, you don't even sometimes get so far that system would get it up and that will reguire time and effort to fix it. That moment normal Windows user would allready give up.

Learning the Linux system has no meaning at this point, because we talk first time installation without any knowledge about Linux Mint. My point was that it's too much LUCK to get Linux Mint system up so that you can do something. Meaning when You insert installation CD to point when you do first time boot system up. That point you could have a lot of unworking stuff, but that's not the issue. Issue is that base stuff should working, graphics desktop, mouse and keybord. If you have those stuff working, fixing the rest is easy if you know how. That point it's about learning how to. But You have to get at least so far.

Now in this situation Windows does a lot better than Linux Mint and there isn't really excuse for it.
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by TBABill »

Lumikki wrote:Now in this situation Windows does a lot better than Linux Mint and there isn't really excuse for it.
I think you've missed a very important topic in the view you take of Linux. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a new person using Windows, having never seen or used it before. Then figure out where to go from there. You have an empty computer hard drive in need of an OS, no instructions, a Windows DVD and not a clue how it will go. Have you ever been given a Windows installation manual? If not, how would you know that once the system is installed you still have no drivers (well, basic crap VGA, a mouse and keyboard maybe). You click Ok, Ok, Ok until it finishes (what, maybe an hour or more later?) and then what? When you get to a login screen and finally a desktop, you have nothing. You still need drivers (video, camera, printer, wireless and probably others), an office suite of some sort, all of the codecs to play videos, Java, Adobe Acrobat, etc. How do you know to go get them? How do you know where to get them? How do you even know you need them? Remember, you're a new user to the OS.

My point is that any new OS will be a lot of trial and error. I have installed the full version of Windows in every OS release out there so I know what a pain it can be. Most people have only used disks provided by their computer manufacturer, but that's not the same as installing a full OS, which Linux Mint is. Do you really think Windows is easier to install and be up and running than Mint? Not even close. With Mint you'll get drivers, office suite, codecs, fonts and tons of other things you have to find later in Windows after install, and most of those things from each software app's website. It's a major pain and ends up taking many hours and countless restarts.

From that type of perspective for a new user, just as you are on Mint, Windows would be far more daunting. The problem is most of us "grew up" in Windows so we learned bits along the way to make us eventually somewhat skilled with it. You don't get that time and learning with Linux so it give the perception of being more difficult.

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Lumikki
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by Lumikki »

TBABill wrote:
Lumikki wrote:Now in this situation Windows does a lot better than Linux Mint and there isn't really excuse for it.
I think you've missed a very important topic in the view you take of Linux. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a new person using Windows, having never seen or used it before. Then figure out where to go from there. You have an empty computer hard drive in need of an OS, no instructions, a Windows DVD and not a clue how it will go. Have you ever been given a Windows installation manual? If not, how would you know that once the system is installed you still have no drivers (well, basic crap VGA, a mouse and keyboard maybe). You click Ok, Ok, Ok until it finishes (what, maybe an hour or more later?) and then what? When you get to a login screen and finally a desktop, you have nothing. ....
I break you point here.

I do understand what you say. Point what you have tryed to say is that every system needs to be learned, Windows or Linux, makes no different there. That's easy to understand. You say that even Windows has often missing driver stuff too. Yes, that's true. You say that istallation can be hard and painfull, because not understanding it or something allways missing. That's true too. As your point, there is not really much different to get Linux Mint or Windows fully working, it can be easy or painfull. I agree. But that's not what I'm talking.

If You can't even get the OS installed and system up because your hardware, so that you have working base, that's the huge issue. Linux fails too ofter before working base system. It has notting to do with complicated istallation, it has everyting to do that sometimes installation just doesn't work in sertain hardwares. To much Linux Mint installation is about luck with hardware compatibility. Point been this has notting to do with understading how to install, it has everyting to do that installation CD just sometimes fails. Not because it's corrupt, but because it can't handle some of the hardware correctly in installation.

I have allways installed my OS in all my computer by my self, it doesn't make any different what the OS is.

Windows world at the moment has huge issues because Windows 8. So many people are looking alternative OS options, like androids in tablets. There is huge opportunity Linux Mint grap a lot of new desktop people. I think even corporations have issues and they look new solutions. But the installation for these people's hardware needs to be flawless. They don't have enough patience to start digging the installation issues even before they see and learn the new OS. Hardware issues has to be solved in installation.

First impression is important in these situations.
Asus P7P55D, i5 750 2.6Ghz, 4GB DDR3, GeForce 750Ti, 80GB Intel SSD, Dell 1600x1200, Dual boot, Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon, Windows 7

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by TBABill »

Lumikki wrote:If You can't even get the OS installed and system up because your hardware, so that you have working base, that's the huge issue. Linux fails too ofter before working base system. It has notting to do with complicated istallation, it has everyting to do that sometimes installation just doesn't work in sertain hardwares. To much Linux Mint installation is about luck with hardware compatibility. Point been this has notting to do with understading how to install, it has everyting to do that installation CD just sometimes fails. Not because it's corrupt, but because it can't handle some of the hardware correctly in installation.
I do agree with you that some hardware is simply incompatible with Linux. The good news is that number of hardware items is shrinking and many systems already have drivers available in Linux. It is commendable that they have even developed open source drivers for so many things as well. I suppose a new user's biggest first step is to make sure the computer they own has already had Linux installed on it by searching the web and forums for evidence of it by other users (by searching make, model, etc.).

That is one area where Windows wins by default. Every PC component manufacturer that I know of builds hardware and drivers for Windows. One catch, however, is that the hardware may only be supported on one version of Windows. For example, I have an HP Touchsmart 25" screen that came with Vista. There is no driver at all for Windows 8, although the video card is fully capable of running it based on specs. HP chose to modify the driver from nVidia and then not support it in later Windows releases. So I am basically stuck with a Vista machine if I want Windows. No new user could get around that issue and I think they would have difficulty even figuring out the problem. Fortunately, I wiped Vista from it years ago and I run Mint exclusively on it.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by muniak »

I work on computers daily and install many different OSs as a part of my job. I completely disagree with you Lumikki and I believe your confusion is based on the fact that you have been blessed with OEM versions of Windows.

Since Ubuntu ... 2011(I think) I have had a completely different experience with linux installs and often find them easier than Windows installs. True, I do not often work with brand new hardware as I work for a non-profit and 2nd hand hardware is a necessity. But aside from the occasional graphics acceleration issue, the wrong audio software due to detection issues during the install, or the RARE issue with wireless software(due to crap manufactures not supporting linux) I have actually had a better experience with linux installs (Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, etc.) than Windows.

During most fresh installs of Windows I've done, I've needed to go online to find drivers but most often in these cases I'm also lacking an ethernet/wifi driver and I need to use another machine. I've never done a recent linux install that AT LEAST ethernet didn't work so I don't need a second machine to do it and this alone makes linux seem more reliable to me.

I'm only talking about Windows 7/8 as I'm only talking about recent versions of linux distros as well because if I was even considering mentioning Vista, I would turn into an angst filled hate machine.

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by catilley1092 »

My first impression of Linux Mint came with version 7 (Gloria). It was fast & secure, as well as a break from the constant Windows maintaining. Though Mint has came a long way since then, it was a very good alternative to XP/Vista in those days & over time, it has became my default OS (beginning with Mint 13). Now at Mint 15 x64 (Mate), I love the OS more than ever.

Much easier to run than Windows 8 & I've converted some users who were dissatisfied with that OS in recent months, mainly to Mint 13. Most didn't want the 6 month upgrade cycles. And Mint 13 is the last Linux OS to run on older (non-PAE or NX) hardware, making it a great choice for those who are on XP with no other way out.

I recall to this day, it was the very attractive Mint screen that shipped with Gloria (the mint green screen with water beads) that caught my eye when looking for an alternative OS. I wished that I could still find that beautiful desktop background, would use it if I could.

Cat
Proud Linux Mint user since 2009

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DrHu
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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by DrHu »

Brackets wrote:Most users want their computer to make chores easier, and not be another chore in its own right: Mint feels like it's close to meeting those users' needs. One indicator of this is that my gripes above are all relatively minor, and I'd think that most could be fixed with a fairly minimal amount of work.
I agree to that, it is a reasonable conclusion.
But I could never say; from a developer's point-of-view, exactly what most user will want
--I could only decide for myself, what I think seems OK to me and a reasonable choice for the expected user group..


OK, I think that most of your commentary is positive and is showing that installing and using a Linux OS is not that tough..

The suggestions and cons for Mint (in this case), are also OK
--some minor quibbles about why I couldn't agree to all of them, eg number 9, 10
  • Fixing any OS to handle all user installation issues is a big problem
    --there will always be some minor mishaps, whether the OS is Linux, Windows or Apple or another (Android, for example..)
Suggestions are welcome I would guess
--but not all could be accommodated or would be reasonable for a general installation process..

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Re: First impressions on Mint.

Post by rustguard »

I have been using windows since 3.1, I have been installing windows since 98. for friends and family. 99.99% compatability of windows. lmao. I can state without a doubt that linux has way more compatability than windows. Linux in the 90% windows would be lucky to hit 70%.
The poster has confused windows drivers with those downloadable from hardware manifacturers websites. These days windows has trouble installing ethernet ports.
The difference is when windows dosnt have a driver I can search the web and download an executable exe. where as with linux you I need to consult forum for solutions.
microsoft has fixed this problem for us by releasing windows 8; so now rich people can use mac and poor poeple will use linux. So manifacturers will soon , due to demand have to write linux drivers.
to make sure microsoft dosnt fix this huge blunder we should all write a letter telling them how good windows 8 is and please dont change it :)

How many MB drivers do you have to install in Linux Mint? How often does the ethernet not work?

How often over the years has windows had even Nvidia drivers included?

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