Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint
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DrHu
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by DrHu »

Suse used to have a completely custom install of their Linux version, but it was probably too much for most new users
  • Developers workstation
  • Users workstation
  • Your own selected set of packages..
--and of course it took some time to go through all the packages and decide on that which you needed to keep in order for the installed selection set to even work
  • You might for example have missed some Xserver selections
    --needed for the desktop choices you made; then you would be stuck
  • However, the pre-selected sets: developer or user were fine, even if large sets of packages
Linspire/Freespire had a quick install and a minimum package set, still functional
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Installi ... 0236.shtml

Other choices might be puppy Linux for small and quick install or use
http://www.wikihow.com/Install-Puppy-Linux
--or some other lightweight desktop style, such as lxde or xfce

Some user opinions..
http://seravo.fi/2014/best-replacement- ... linux-lxde

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js3915
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by js3915 »

Pete2919 wrote: Just about every single program installed by default would not be my first choice of application. Windows has Linux beat hands down here, on a fresh install you have the bare minimum and can then install the programs that you actually need, want and use, not someone else's Christmas list. Windows on a fresh install is massive I admit but its not choked with someone else's choices of software, I know this is because Microsoft want to sell you every extra you can think of, but its my preferred scenario.

Can we please have a bare bones release? I can then start quietly building up my software bundle from scratch.
Dno what Linux Mint XFCE offers but might be most minimal then you could install whatever you wish on top of that IE your DE enviroment, Browser, Video player, etc etc.. But probably doubt will find much backing for a mint minimal for a particular spin.. Not really the philosophy i think of the creators they want to provide best experience out of the box... If its your choice of say totem over VLC for video player or something like that im sure will take bout the similar amount of time to uninstall one and install another as it would to build from scratch. Pretty sure you can add and remove packages from the software manager at the same time unlike windows.

FirebirdTN
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by FirebirdTN »

I disagree with the OP. Mint Team: Don't change a thing!

Okay, now I will admit that being able to select packages during installation might be nice. Or in some other distros you can select "minimal, Desktop, custom" etc. I could see some advantages there.

But the problem with "shaving" the OS is, who decides what gets removed, and how much gets removed?

Although the default applications that come in mint may not be your preferred aplications, even windows "out of the box" comes with a default browser, email client, media player, accessories [such as calculator], etc.

So just what should be removed from Mint? CD Burning application? Web browser [since some don't like firefox]? Chat application? Media Player? While we are at it, lets go ahead and remove the codecs too. Afterall who needs mp3 and DVD playback...

I think the secret to Mint's success is the fact that is does come complete "out of the box", and therefore makes it a whole lot easier for a newbie such as myself to ease the transition from Windows. If Mint didn't have that "out of box" functionality, I doubt a lot of Windows converts would be using it.

If its a minimal Linux install you want, Mint is probably not the distro for you.


-Alan

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Nilla Wafer
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by Nilla Wafer »

Try the Ubuntu Minimal CD and then add Mint repositories that correspond to the Ubuntu release. Like Ubuntu 12.04 goes with Mint 13 for example. Then install only the stuff you want. Whatever desktop or window manager, whatever applications you wish.

But the whole point of Linux Mint (and Ubuntu for that matter) is to be friendly to Linux beginners, and useable right out of the box right away. The wonderful people who make Ubuntu and Mint choose defaults that fit that purpose. They also make it super easy to change just about everything, from default applications to the entire desktop.

The only thing I would change is the way they describe applications. I wouldn't have known that Thunar is a file manager, for example, except for a little Googling. And I wouldn't have known that there are other file managers to choose from and why it matters if I hadn't lurked here in the forums to find out. I expected a learning curve and didn't think Linux should work just like the dumb OS I abandoned. It wouldn't be so awesome if it was just a free version of Windows, sharing all the same stupid limitations and vulnerabilities. But I probably wouldn't have stuck around if it wasn't beginner friendly. And it's the choice of default applications and settings, and wonderful Mint tools that make it that way. I know we kids are expected to be tech-literate anyway, but even my parents can manage Mint without any trouble and they're scared of computers! So thank you, Mint, and don't change a thing!

nilla

Espair
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by Espair »

Just want to throw in my 2c.

Part of the appeal of LM is that is comes with everything you need to just install and go. It works out of the box, and that is something I think LM is built with intentionally. To me, LM is a linux OS that is for the newbie, or for someone just switching over from windows (good for anyone really). I know it is because of this that LM has drawn me in. Also take into mind another version to release would increase the workload on the devs, by how much I don't know though.

cgs1025
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by cgs1025 »

Thank you, nilla.

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kmb42vt
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by kmb42vt »

killer de bug wrote:
Pete2919 wrote: Can we please have a bare bones release? I can then start quietly building up my software bundle from scratch.
Here you are! Enjoy! you're welcome of course.
On that note, you could also try Manjaro Minimal Net edition and start by adding the DE of your choice and then your apps. That is if you want the choice of auto-installing all proprietary drivers and codecs during install so you don't have to mess with them later.

Either Arch or Manjaro Minimal Net would fit the bill nicely. Just be prepared to do some reading.

I do empathize with those who want a bare bones release of Linux Mint but in the end there's only a relative few that actually want this. Hardly enough to justify adding another .iso to the group. And even if developers did, it would have to be a minimal edition with no DE installed. They couldn't be expected to add another 4 minimal .iso images, each with a different DE (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and XFCE). Besides, that's not what Linux Mint is all about.
"Humph. Choice, it is the quintessential Linux delusion, simultaneously the source of it's greatest strength, and it's greatest weakness." (All apologies to The Architect)

Pete2919
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by Pete2919 »

Bare bones was perhaps the wrong choice of words, as a lot of members have said what many of us really want is some choices on installation. A choice of browser, perhaps SoftMaker or Kingsoft Office as an alternative to Libre Office, and so on.

But I have found a flaw in my own argument. Apparently Ubuntu is built in the same manner as Windows, the "Base Package" of software in Ubuntu is used by the operating system and removing any part of that package can make the system unstable. If this assertion is right then creating a lightweight installation would probably cause numerous unexpected problems making the exercise far more complicated than it might seem at first. All the complaint of Ubuntu being unstable may be in part due to users customising the system and unwittingly removing critical files as they do so.

Probably the safest policy for a "noobe" like me is to simply install the alternative programs I want and leave the rest to gather dust.

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kmb42vt
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by kmb42vt »

Pete2919 wrote:Bare bones was perhaps the wrong choice of words, as a lot of members have said what many of us really want is some choices on installation. A choice of browser, perhaps SoftMaker or Kingsoft Office as an alternative to Libre Office, and so on.

But I have found a flaw in my own argument. Apparently Ubuntu is built in the same manner as Windows, the "Base Package" of software in Ubuntu is used by the operating system and removing any part of that package can make the system unstable. If this assertion is right then creating a lightweight installation would probably cause numerous unexpected problems making the exercise far more complicated than it might seem at first. All the complaint of Ubuntu being unstable may be in part due to users customizing the system and unwittingly removing critical files as they do so.

Probably the safest policy for a "noobe" like me is to simply install the alternative programs I want and leave the rest to gather dust.
A speck of helpful information for "noobe" as you say (and I was a "noobe" once you know :D ).

Okay, maybe a bit more than a speck...

In the case of Linux Mint (or any distro for that matter), you can actually remove any of the 3rd party applications without affecting the the stability of the system one bit. By 3rd party applications I mean things like:

Libreoffice
GIMP
Firefox
Thunderbird
VLC
Gedit
Evince
etc, etc

Pretty much everything you find in the "Graphics", "Internet", "Office and Sound" and "Video" menu entries you can remove safely but only as long as you remove just the applications and not the configurations you won't have a problem (as in selecting "Mark for removal" in Synaptic and not "Mark for complete removal" for example). However, don't just do a wholesale removal. Remove one application at a time whether you have a replacement for it or just want to get rid of it. If you want to replace an application then do so before moving on to the next application.

If you find you've removed something that you want to reinstall again then you simply reinstall it. The "configuration" files left behind for a particular application will return it to the same settings as when you removed them. So, if you had set up Firefox to your liking but decided remove it and replace it with Midori and later wanted Firefox back, your Firefox settings and profile will still be there once you reinstall.

You cannot remove system applications like the file manager ("Nemo" in Cinnamon or "Caja" in MATE) as these are responsible for controlling the desktop as well as being a file manager. So, if you're not absolutely sure that the application you want to remove is a 3rd party application, don't remove it.

You may have to tweak associations a bit if you replace a 3rd party app for another but that's easy. For instance, if you replace Libreoffice with Kingsoft and the system doesn't automatically change the file associations, then you can just right-click on any office document file, select "Properties" and under the "Open with" tab, choose the application you want to open the file with and set it as default. The system will then remember your choice from then on.

For a person just switching from Windows to any Linux distro (or even switching from Windows to a Mac), even one as user friendly as Linux Mint, there's a bit of a learning curve and the learning is pretty much mandatory and can be very enjoyable too. Using a Linux distro means you now own your OS and can pretty much make it the way you want it. Yes, there are some things you don't want to change if you're new to Linux but these are things you really don't want to change anyway.

And if you need help, the Linux Mint forums are the place to ask for it.
"Humph. Choice, it is the quintessential Linux delusion, simultaneously the source of it's greatest strength, and it's greatest weakness." (All apologies to The Architect)

michaelzap
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by michaelzap »

I used to use the Debian minimal netinstall and then change the sources to match LMDE's and install the desktop environment and software of my choosing. That seems to be pretty much what the OP wants. That or an Ubuntu minimal install (if you want the Ubuntu-based Mint) would seem to get you exactly what you want, and the Mint devs don't need to do anything for you to have it.

woodsman
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by woodsman »

The term "bare bones" probably causes confusion, but seems the core of the request is perhaps to have a usable installable system that fits on a CD. Lots of people migrate to Linux to break away from Windows XP. Many such users do not have a DVD drive. Only CD. Removing LibreOffice from the DVD, which is a 200+ MB package, is a good first step to getting the size close to a CD. Not quite, of course, but closer. I am just thinking out loud and offering a suggestion, nothing more. :)

Pete2919
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Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by Pete2919 »

Hi kmb42vt

Thank you for the detailed explanation

DeMus

Re: Can we please have a Linux Mint bare bones release?

Post by DeMus »

What I think the OP is asking for is a distro with only the kernel and the programs that make the kernel working. All others programs he wants to add himself so he only gets that what he needs. Not a bad idea, I must say.
Yes, Mint is a complete package which works out of the box and it should stay like that, but what is wrong with an extremely minimal version as well? Not for the newbees but for the more advanced users?

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