Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, etc

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint
Post Reply
dazdaryl
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:00 pm

Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, etc

Post by dazdaryl » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:46 am

Hey,

As many of you will have noticed, the canonical has been making some pretty radical moves with regards to Mir, Snappy and some other decisions. Radical in the sense that they are decisions that differ from many other linux brands like RedHat and openSuse.

I've been warned about not starting a flame war about this, but I'd really just like to know what the perspective is of the Mint team and of Mint users. It seems to me that Mint largely exists because of Cannonical's largely disliked decision to move to the unity interface, and it also seems to me that other decisions could be made and at that point LMDE might be the mainstay of the mint project.

Personally I am really concerned that a future division between wayland and mir might make moving forward difficult for the linux community.

Opinions?

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 13857
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:48 am

I wouldn't worry if I were you. The upstream technical design changes in Ubuntu will likely not affect its usability as "raw material" for Mint. In fact, the sandboxed Snappy looks pretty cool to me. I'd probably like that in Mint as well, when it has matured enough.

In my opinion, there's too much ado about nothing, lately (the utterly pointless systemd quarrels come to mind). If innovations will prove to be useful, we'll welcome them. Otherwise we'll simply pick another tool or component. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Pjotr on Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19.2 Tina
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

exploder
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5532
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by exploder » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:43 am

I would not worry about things that are not even close to being reality. The only thing that has any real backing right now is Wayland. Everything else right now is just media hype.

User avatar
xenopeek
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 24181
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:48 am

As you can see in most past interviews with Clement Lefebvre (Linux Mint's founder and project lead), he's not one to gamble on technology. Mir or Wayland, systemd init; Linux Mint uses X.org and Upstart/SysV init. If during the development cycle of a future Linux Mint release one or the other has a clear edge (and is stable and usable in the package bases used) Linux Mint might move ahead, or it might delay switching for another cycle. For example, while systemd init is stable and usable and adopted by most distros by now, LMDE 2 uses SysV init instead of systemd init that is the default on Debian 8 (the package base for LMDE 2). (Of course all Linux Mint editions do use other components from the systemd project, like udev the dynamic device manager.)

That said, let's not draw conclusion that Linux Mint is never edging ahead of mainstream (notable examples I recall are Linux Mint being the first distro to ship a MATE edition and the first distro to include the Whisker menu with Xfce). When it makes sense to the vision the Linux Mint developers have for the desktop, they can be early adopters. But as you can surmise from the above, that's mostly focussed on user experience and not on core operating system technology.

While since LMDE 2 there is an upswing of interest, the userbase for LMDE is much smaller than the main edition. The main edition benefits greatly from compatibility with Ubuntu LTS, which means best support for gamers (Steam, GOG, and others all directly support Ubuntu LTS and/or Linux Mint) and widest choice of software because of PPAs (aside from distros like Arch Linux that have a ports-like system). The main edition is the best choice for most users. LMDE is there for those that want the ease of use that Linux Mint adds, on a stable Debian base.

As for Snappy, it brings a lot of interesting technology. Especially the security sandboxing would be welcome. From what I've seen of Snappy it, like AppArmor, is much easier to configure than SELinux. AppArmor and Snappy provide isolation and security for home users' appliations, just using the default application profiles. Configuring SELinux is much more involved and requires deeper understanding.

As for technology developed by Canonical for Ubuntu being "radical", either the technology will prove itself or it won't. That's the same for "radical" technology developed at other distros. Canonical has retired its own Upstart init, adopting systemd init as other major distros are doing. What will happen in the future with Mir and Wayland? Linux Mint will wait and see. XMir and XWayland make it possible to run X clients (applications) in Mir or Wayland, so there is a path to migrate from X to Mir or Wayland over time. 3D game engines bypass the compositor entirely and talk directly to the graphics hardware (OpenGL and such, using mesa libraries).

For gamers it's interesting to follow what Valve is doing and see what direction they are going. Steam officially support Ubuntu LTS (and thus Linux Mint main edition). SteamOS is based on Debian and uses GNOME (which is ready for Wayland). Valve is also working on next-generation APIs like Vulkan, which is intended to supersede OpenGL. They developed a reference Vulkan driver for Intel GPUs. They are pushing the technology.
Image

exploder
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5532
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by exploder » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:12 am

I personally see no future in MIR and in my opinion it will be dropped in favor of Wayland. Kind of the same way Upstart was dropped in favor of Systemd.

User avatar
xenopeek
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 24181
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:29 am

Perhaps, but at the core of Ubuntu (non-server) remains the convergence message. Allegedly Mir and Unity can run on more devices than is possible with X / Wayland right now. I'd say that is credible. Unity next being Qt based certainly would be a driver for convergence, Qt being at home on anything from embedded to mobile to desktop to server. Current generation Ubuntu phones are using Mir with Unity next AFAIK (BQ Aquaris E5 phone was just released with Ubuntu).

As Pjotr already touched upon, this doesn't impact the suitability of Ubuntu as a package base for Linux Mint. Official derivatives of Ubuntu aren't focussing on the convergence message much AFAIK; their developers keep working on desktop.
Image

User avatar
Crewp
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:36 pm
Location: Connecticut,USA

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by Crewp » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:13 am

IMO, I like the fact that Ubuntu has the large dev team and resources to develop new things. I agree, that to much time is wasted on arguing about this and that ( systemd ) because Linux needs to evolve. Will everything work out right? no. Will everyone be happy with change? no. I started out on Ubuntu, and have nothing against them or any distro I've tried. It all boils down to personal needs and taste, and that's where Linux shines. There are so many distro's to chose from, you are bound to find something you really like. I just happen to love Debian, and I happen to love Mint. Put them together, and we have LMDE. :D I also love how so many people configure Linux OS's to meet there tastes, and needs. Just on this forum alone, we have people tweaking LM, with LXDE, some are using systemd, others use Debian testing, or Sid. If you don't like Unity, don't use it, If you don't like systemd, don't use it. This diversity is our strength, not a weakness. To me arguing is pointless, Linux has tons of choices, and no one is forcing you to use any one thing, so relax, and enjoy Linux for what it is.
Image

exploder
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5532
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by exploder » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:00 am

The thing I question about MIR is that Canonical stated that MIR would use xserver as fallback mode in the event the graphics card was not supported. When xserver is depreciated how does Canonical plan to address that? Also, maybe I have this wrong but isn't Qt developed by KDE? KDE is supporting Wayland last I knew, not MIR.

I believe convergence is possible, KDE already has achieved this to some degree. Right now Unity 8 and MIR only run on a handful of devises. Ubuntu Next or whatever they are calling it today so far does not work at all on the desktop from what I see in the Ubuntu development forum. Originally Canonical said that MIR and Unity 8 would be present in Ubuntu 16.04, now they are saying it might be an option for that release.

The Ubuntu phones got a lot of press too, some deserved after all it is an interesting project that has been heavily promoted. The thing is though is that after these phones were sold to consumers and people were having problems with them suddenly they started promoting them for early adopters.

I guess the problem I have with all of this is simple. I see Canonical heavily promoting all this sensational technology, they have 7 news articles about Ubuntu on Softpedia this morning! Why would they so heavily promote things that are nothing more than concepts right now? In my opinion, they are promoting Ubuntu by using sensationalism. Now, there is nothing wrong with news articles talking about development but how many are talked about in the press this much at such an early stage?

I took a salesmanship class in high school and it seems pretty obvious that Ubuntu is promoting itself with sensationalism. Canonical likes being the center of attention but they seem to have a habit of changing their minds a lot too. People already believe snappy packages will make Ubuntu into a rolling release but this has yet to be proved. What advantage would MIR have over Wayland? In my mind even if Unity 8, MIR and Snappy became reality wouldn't you have proprietary Linux?

I say this because no one else in the Linux world is behind these projects. I might be dead wrong on how I view all of this and I hope Canonical proves me wrong. :) The one thing I am sure about is that Mint will keep on providing a great traditional desktop with new and innovative features regardless of what Canonical does. If the technology proves to be beneficial I am sure it will be adopted.

User avatar
xenopeek
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 24181
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:40 am

exploder wrote:The thing I question about MIR is that Canonical stated that MIR would use xserver as fallback mode in the event the graphics card was not supported. When xserver is depreciated how does Canonical plan to address that?
For the time being Mir would use X as fallback. Until proprietary graphics card drivers also support it (for open source graphics card drivers, Canonical can implement support themselves). AMD and Nvidia were reported last year to be working on Mir and Wayland support for their proprietary drivers. In any case, X will be around I suspect.
exploder wrote:Also, maybe I have this wrong but isn't Qt developed by KDE? KDE is supporting Wayland last I knew, not MIR.
While KDE contributes a lot to Qt, it is developed collectively in the open with many other contributors. And yes, Qt supports Wayland. But Unity next being Qt based, I figure either Mir is also supported or Canonical patches things downstream.
Image

exploder
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5532
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by exploder » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:45 am

I had not heard anything about manufacturers supporting MIR, interesting.

User avatar
xenopeek
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 24181
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:48 am

I don't have a direct source for AMD plans, but here is an article on Nvidia: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... px=mtgxmde
Image

exploder
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5532
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA
Contact:

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by exploder » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:57 am

Thanks! :D

craig10x
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by craig10x » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:56 pm

I am sure it will work out fine...everyone was fussing about systemd and i run ubuntu myself and guess what? It is just fine...start up was a little slower when 15.04 was first released but there have been numerous updates for it since then and it runs pretty fast now and is very smooth too...and shut down is ultra fast...
There is nothing wrong with ubuntu having a lot of innovations...and it will be up to other distros like mint to decide whether they want to incorporate them or not...

Personally, i am really looking forward to snappy desktop (when it is ready for prime time that is) development and testing for it is beginning this month and it should be interesting to see how it comes along over the next year or so...

JayArby
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:01 pm

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by JayArby » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:18 pm

I had to get on here just to say that it is incredibly refreshing to see this topic discussed rationally and without unwarranted flame wars.

I happen to generally like the direction Canonical is pushing in with Ubuntu, but I agree with the general sentiments expressed here: if these new technologies prove themselves, they will be widely adopted. If they don't, we'll wind up using Wayland...or whatever the best option ends up being.

I just think it's great that the desktop Linux community is not stagnating and people are trying new things.

User avatar
InkKnife
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by InkKnife » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:50 pm

There are lots of Tech site, blogs and podcasts that try to increase their audience by using sensationalism. They like to start fights and promote the most radical reactions, often while doing a very poor job of explaining the technical issues. I know I seek out sources that emphasizes reasoned debate and thoughtful commentary over sensation.
I have a lot of confidence in the Mint team. I have been nothing but pleased and impressed by the work they produce and the choices they have been making. What ever changes happen upstream I believe the Mint team will handle the changes with the talent and skill they have demonstrated in abundance for many years now.
I am relaxed, Clem can handle it.
i7 3770, 12GB of ram, 256GB SSD, 64GB SSD, 750GB HDD, 1TB HDD, Cinnamon.

User avatar
RacerBG
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:31 am
Location: Bulgaria

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by RacerBG » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:27 am

I was reading a lot old reviews and interviews about Mint and I came to a simple conclusion: Clem is doing awesome job at keeping Mint conservative at times (Gnome 2.32 -> Gnome 3 transition) and very innovative (the Cinnamon project). No matter what will happen - he will choose the best decision. ;)

Personally I'm not against systemd or the changes at all but radical changes must be made slower. That's the only problem of Canonical and maybe even Fedora/RHLE.
Proud of Linux Mint!

thom_A
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:26 pm

Re: Into the future: Linux Mint and Ubuntu; Mir, Wayland, et

Post by thom_A » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:05 pm

That seems to be the nature of open source in the Linux world, which I came to realized. The tendency to break away from the mother ship is strong, instead of helping to fix what ails the ship first before leaving.

Everyone has his/her own idea what needs to be done. The result is hundreds of distro's all trying to attract new users and recruits. Some have listened to what users want, some try to reinvent the wheel for no purpose other than to show uniqueness. In reality, all users want is see the same comfort and tiny little usabilities commercial OSes offer. Great things have been gained, I have to admit. But when trying to fix problems, solutions are all over the place. Some are outdated. Some don't really apply at all in the system you are using. It's a mess.

Right now, I'm sticking with Linux Mint Cinnamon with a customized start menu that resembles Xfce. I'm tired of experimenting on others. I just want to run apps like Gimp, Office apps, surf the net, and do everyday tasks. OSes should feel invisible, have less mouse clicks, access apps and launch them fast, recognize hardware and install their drivers easily, that's all what users want. I don't want to hear about LMDE or other new distro or flavor which I think will take another decade to mature. The future is now. People are tired of waiting.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat about Linux Mint”