To upgrade or not to upgrade?

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PussyCat
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To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:29 pm

Seemed best to post here as this is more observation than specific query.

I tried several versions of Mint from about 4 onwards but it was Mint 8 Gnome that finally seduced me (and still occasionally return to it just for the nastalgic experience of its silky smoothness and impeccable behaviour). It was not until Mint 13 Xfce that I was persuaded - initially because of the LTS but also because it felt right. Over the years it has been expanded considerably by the addition of a plethora of software, numerous tweeks and even a choice of DEs (mostly just because!).

However, Maya has now reached EOL having managed a last update on 1 May and feel no compulsion to "upgrade" to the latest and greatest while it is still fulfilling my requirements well. A few years ago I posted a query about updating Helena after EOL and was advised to replace the repos to point to Karmic ones which gave it an extra lease of life. Is there similar option for Mint 13 by perhaps enabling the Precise repos (Sorry, a query!) to keep me going at least until 18 is brought up to speed.

In the meantime - ie last night - I installed Mint 18.2 Xfce to a spare partition (not without an annoying glitch because it was left unattended whilst Ubiquity performed its usual protracted probing) and am immediately reminded why I persist with an o/s so long as it continues performs my needs well. Namely the chore of installing all the additional software whilst also remembering those tweeks (and how) all of which had evolved over several months. And here it fell at the first hurdle when trying to get it to recognise my chosen gtk2/metacity window decorations with Compiz. Checked back at earlier posts (c2012) but that resolution doesn't seem to work now but will probably start a new thread for that. No Screenlets available either but another thread...!

Another important reason for using Mint is that both Helena and Maya could be easily remastered using RemasterSys thus making porting to other macines about the house a doddle. Data - and there is a lot of it - is stored on seperate partitions where it is accssible to all o/s (but no NAS yet!). But will it be possible to remaster Mint 18 [*] with the same simplicity and speed as RemasterSys (rip)? (I apply the same strategy to PCLos which, being a rolling release, "only" needs regular updating - so far). Of course a prerequisite for any o/s is that it will communicate with all my h/w ootb or by suitable drivers or even kernel upgrade. But all those tweeks we researched and sought forum help for won't necessarily be effective now. Some may now work ottb whilst others may no longer be supported at all.

Now for a heresy! Yes I still also use Win XP and 7 (for different reasons) but will not entertain anything beyond yet they are both much older than Mint 13 or even 8. Even my version of Office is 2003! Whilst linux has many useful substantial applications there are few smaller but very useful ones that I've found no suitable equivalent linux versions. Yes, I know I could - and sometimes do - use win in the linux VirtualBox (or vice versa) but is usually just as simple and convenient to reboot as necessary.

[*] Just browsed viewtopic.php?f=60&t=244461 and it seems Pinguy Builder may do the trick and looks very similar to RemasterSys!

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MintBean
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby MintBean » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:02 pm

Yeah you have to install a new version once in a while. Try CentOS. Releases are supported for 10 years.

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JerryF
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby JerryF » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:42 pm

PussyCat wrote:...
Is there similar option for Mint 13 by perhaps enabling the Precise repos (Sorry, a query!) to keep me going at least until 18 is brought up to speed.

I'm perplexed by that statement. I've used 18.1 and now using 18.2 and they're ‘up to speed'.
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PussyCat
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:58 pm

Yeah you have to install a new version once in a while. Try CentOS. Releases are supported for 10 years.


That rather misses the spirit of my "blog". I'm not looking for alternative distro but simply musing on the longevity of a (Mint) version, the necessity for upgrading and the hassle of so doing when so much else needs to be reinstalled

I'm perplexed by that statement. I've used 18.1 and now using 18.2 and they're ‘up to speed'.


Obviously my poor phrasing. I wasn't referring to the speed of the o/s but an expression to indicate tweaking and getting everything else reinstalled thus making it fully usable again for my purposes

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JerryF
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby JerryF » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:25 pm

I knew what you meant by your phrase. I am saying that both those versions run fine and in order to upgrade within the version series, i.e. 18 to 18.1 to 18.2 is so easy now through the Update Manager, and nothing has to be reinstalled.
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:39 pm

Thanks but I'm not concerned with upgrading between minor versions. I'm currently Mint 13 and that is not upgradeable to or even by v 18.2. If 18.x is installed then all my applications and persoalisation would have to found - and am not sure whether my memory is up is up to the task!

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jimallyn
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby jimallyn » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:46 pm

Remastersys has been forked and is now Linux Respin:

http://www.linuxrespin.org/

There is an archive of Ubuntu repos (but I seem to have lost the link to it), but keep in mind that there are not updates to any of that stuff, and it will contain security bugs that will never be fixed. I would install Mint 17.x or 18.x If you insist on using no longer supported versions of Mint (or any other OS), I would recommend that you do not let them go online. That, of course, would also apply to WinXP.

I am still using Mint 17.3 on my own computers, but when I do a new install for anybody else, I use 18.2, and it works quite well. I have made a list of things to do to a new install and might make that into a script.
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JerryF
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby JerryF » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:19 pm

PussyCat wrote:Thanks but I'm not concerned with upgrading between minor versions. I'm currently Mint 13 and that is not upgradeable to or even by v 18.2. If 18.x is installed then all my applications and persoalisation would have to found - and am not sure whether my memory is up is up to the task!

Going forward, you may want to be concerned about upgrading between minor versions, so you won't be in the situation that you are in now.

As for now, try Aptik https://www.tecmint.com/aptik-a-tool-to-backuprestore-your-favourite-ppas-and-apps-in-ubuntu/. It creates a backup list of installed apps and so much more.
Don't forget to edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject line if your problem has been fixed.
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:46 pm

Thanks again for the replies.

Going forward, you may want to be concerned about upgrading between minor versions, so you won't be in the situation that you are in now.


Not sure I understand that?

Anyway, Aptik would appear to be similar to AptOnCd which worked well as a compromise in Mint (but not other distros) before discovering Remastersys. However, I wonder whether, between LM13 and LM18, dependency conflicts would arise.

The suggestions for remastering will be investigated though both Pinguy and Respin, whilst interesting are probably ubuntu version dependent and may not yet support 16.04 that Mint 18.x is based on. If LM17.3 proved more attractive, that would only give me 18 months until the same dilemma arose.

I hate the undefined "security" arguments so often used to justify updating/upgrading anything. You would think, by now, the authors might have become a little more circumspect about introducing vulnerabilities. But, of course, M$ have exploited that ad-infinitum to make mega bucks. Adobe Flash for Win wants to update every few days which is either a deliberate strategy or incompetance. Large organisation and mission critical situations must, of course, take all threats seriously. As for linux, the popular view used to be that it is "invulnerable" - largely because it is more secure and, anyway, a niche o/s not worthy of attention - though several years ago, on a forum, there was a lengthy thread supporting that position but I argued that they were too blasse as the popularity of smartphones, for instance, could make hacking a linux based system more attractive. It also depends on whether the security issues are virus/trojans or backdoor port attacks and their objective. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced that it is sufficiently compelling reason to upgrade. But although I could go on at length, this is moving off piste from OP.

In the meantime, I continue to trial Mint 18 to decide whether rebuilding is worth the time invested for the benefit gained and a none-starter if it must be repeated for each machine but it is not promising so far...

[Sorry if that lot's incoherent having just returned from a chill-out session at the tavern!]
Last edited by PussyCat on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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JerryF
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby JerryF » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:03 am

PussyCat wrote:Thanks again for the replies.

Going forward, you may want to be concerned about upgrading between minor versions, so you won't be in the situation that you are in now.

Not sure I understand that?

I'm done.
Don't forget to edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject line if your problem has been fixed.
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MintBean
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby MintBean » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:38 pm

PussyCat wrote:I hate the undefined "security" arguments so often used to justify updating/upgrading anything. You would think, by now, the authors might have become a little more circumspect about introducing vulnerabilities.
I'm going to guess you've never developed any significant piece of software. If you had, you would know just how difficult it is to ensure code is bug free, even for moderately complex applications. As to the security arguments, they are hardly undefined. You can read about the various vulnerabilities and fixes in great detail should you wish to pursue it.

PussyCat
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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:46 pm

Actually I have but twas many moons ago and before the blessing/curse of universal internet!

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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby itsme4401 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:19 pm

Just to reflect upon an old saying: "Fix it until it's broken; if you can't fix it, don't break it!" :)

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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby PussyCat » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:41 pm

So far not very impressed to the extent that it feels like a "work in progress". An imression re-enforced by the rapid turn over Mint 18.x versions and with 18.3 even appearing since starting this thread!

In the meantime I'll look at 17.3 as an interim measure but will keep Maya going sans support.

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Re: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Postby MintBean » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:02 pm

PussyCat wrote:An imression re-enforced by the rapid turn over Mint 18.x versions and with 18.3 even appearing since starting this thread
The cadence was identical on 17.x series - four releases over two years. It will be the same for 19.x going forward.


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