"Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

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mediclaser
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"Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by mediclaser » Fri May 24, 2019 12:45 pm

In case you guys have not seen this review article: https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Linu ... 86033.html
If you're looking for a greener Linux pasture, you won't find any that is greener than Linux Mint. ;)

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Pjotr
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 24, 2019 12:50 pm

mediclaser wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:45 pm
In case you guys have not seen this review article: https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Linu ... 86033.html
Nice to read that he has positive things to say about the speed tweaks I recommended to him. :)
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michael louwe
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by michael louwe » Fri May 24, 2019 1:31 pm

mediclaser wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:45 pm
In case you guys have not seen this review article: https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Linu ... 86033.html
Pjotr wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:50 pm
Nice to read that he has positive things to say about the speed tweaks I recommended to him. :)
.
One major tweak involved overriding the memory swap settings. The speedup tips for Tessa noted that by default the "swappiness" factor (aka the inode cache) was set to 60. The suggested fix was to reduce the size to 10. The tweak tips author noted that this area was the "absolute number one" fix to try.

That process involved typing a string of commands into a terminal and rebooting the computer. It worked! Booting time still takes longer than booting other distros, but the overall system responsiveness definitely was improved.
Doesn't this mean that Mr. Jack M Germain had manually set up a swap partition when he installed LM 19.1 by using the "Something else" install option.? I thought there was no longer any need for a swap partition for the install of LM 19.x, which uses a swap file instead by default. Maybe, this was his PEBKAC.
Last edited by michael louwe on Fri May 24, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pjotr
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 24, 2019 1:36 pm

michael louwe wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:31 pm
LM 19.x, which uses a swap file instead by default. Maybe, this was his PEBKAC.
That was definitely not PEBKAC, because swappiness applies equally to partition and file. Nothing has changed in that respect.
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by KBD47 » Fri May 24, 2019 2:01 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:50 pm
mediclaser wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:45 pm
In case you guys have not seen this review article: https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Linu ... 86033.html
Nice to read that he has positive things to say about the speed tweaks I recommended to him. :)
I want to second that those tweaks are freaking awesome. I've used both your MATE and Xfce tweaks recently, and they will be the first thing I do after installing Mint from now on. With your Xfce tweaks I got Mint 19 Xfce under 300mb at bootup. Very impressive. Thanks taking time to publish those!

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michael louwe
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by michael louwe » Fri May 24, 2019 2:17 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:36 pm
That was definitely not PEBKAC, because swappiness applies equally to partition and file. Nothing has changed in that respect.
.
It's very surprising that he, a tech reporter, was not aware of the swappiness tweak for his LM 19.1 computers since he has been using LM or Ubuntu from at least LM 12 onwards, ie at least from 2011 onwards.

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by karlchen » Fri May 24, 2019 2:39 pm

Hello, michael louwe.

Of course we can waste our time on the quesion why this long term Linux user may not have known about the swappiness setting.

The more interesting questions, however, are:
  • Why does Pjotr have to tell users to reduce swapiness from 60 to 10 on their Linux desktop systems for almost 10 years now?
  • Why has the default swappiness not been changed from 60 to 10 by the Mint installer, when initially installing Mint on the harddisk?
  • Why has Ubuntu never changed the default swapiness value for non-server installations?
  • Why has a non-optimal default swappiness value survived a whole decade or even longer?
  • Will it ever be changed?
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Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
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Pjotr
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 24, 2019 2:57 pm

karlchen wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:39 pm
The more interesting questions, however, are:
  • Why does Pjotr have to tell users to reduce swapiness from 60 to 10 on their Linux desktop systems for almost 10 years now?
  • Why has the default swappiness not been changed from 60 to 10 by the Mint installer, when initially installing Mint on the harddisk?
  • Why has Ubuntu never changed the default swapiness value for non-server installations?
  • Why has a non-optimal default swappiness value survived a whole decade or even longer?
  • Will it ever be changed?
Regards,
Karl
Some years ago, I asked a couple of Ubuntu devs that question (on IRC, if I recall correctly).

They answered that they didn't want to change it because there's some controversy on the subject, and more importantly, because upstream has set it to 60. Upstream being the kernel team. They don't like changing upstream defaults.

So it'll probably remain 60....
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by michael louwe » Fri May 24, 2019 3:35 pm

The default swappiness setting of 60 slowed down the performance of his LM 19.1 computers. Only recently was he made aware by Pjotr about tweaking swappiness to 10 which sped up the performance by 50% = solving most of his complaints about LM 19.1.

How come the same default swappiness setting did not slow down the performance of his LM 18 computers or LM 17 computers or earlier.? Was it because of the change from a swap partition to a swap file in LM 19.x.?

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 24, 2019 4:01 pm

michael louwe wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:35 pm
How come the same default swappiness setting did not slow down the performance of his LM 18 computers or LM 17 computers or earlier.? Was it because of the change from a swap partition to a swap file in LM 19.x.?
Sigh.... No, because swappiness is the same for files and partitions. As I already told you earlier in this thread.
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by gm10 » Fri May 24, 2019 4:11 pm

That's the same guy I called BS on in the other thread, right? I still am. If you've got enough RAM then the swappiness setting won't make a difference, and he claimed he had 8 GB or more on his ssystems. To get to a noticeable higher responsiveness he must be running his systems in a low memory situation where application memory gets swapped out. In other words, he's either making it all up or going to great lengths to fill up his 8 GB+ RAM, at which point any distro would slow down.

Also LibreOffice loads twice as fast because of swappiness? This is hysterical. If anything it should load slower if you reduce swappiness (because a lower swappiness value means page caches get freed before application memory - again only in low memory situations). So he's definitely making it up.

Also what in the world is he even talking about:
Applying other speedup tweaks also improved performance system-wide, but those tweaks came at a price. The adjustments involved turning off most of the visual effects, such as animations. That resulted in turning Linux Mint into more of a plain vanilla experience without many of the special effects that made Linux Mint's integration of Cinnamon, MATE and XFCE different from the rest
There are no Mint-specific special effects. Also where did MATE and Xfce suddenly come from in an article about Cinnamon? Nobody in the world has ever complained about MATE or Xfce performance.

I am very happy to be called a troll by this clown. What a joke of a tech writer.

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by thx-1138 » Fri May 24, 2019 4:37 pm

michael louwe wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:35 pm
How come the same default...
...because:
Moem wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:06 am
Why? Because this way gets him more eyeballs, or if not, he may still think so. :roll:
...and apparently he succeeds just fine in doing so :wink:
gm10 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:11 pm
That's the same guy I called BS on in the other thread, right? I still am.
..............................
I am very happy to be called a troll by this clown. What a joke of a tech writer.
...you might as well be called a...naysayer & a flamer. And a Linux Mint god protector! :mrgreen:
gm10 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 4:34 am
...nor could I care less if you were badmouthing the distribution (there's certainly bad things about it that others do better),
let me be the one to simply call BS on this statement. No experienced Linux user would accept such values as a given.
The only way "two minutes or longer" could even remotely be true was if you were maxing out a component on your system,
be it CPU, memory or storage, and you cannot tell me you wouldn't be able to identify that.

And even if you couldn't (in which case maybe don't write about what you don't understand),
it should be self-evident that nobody would be using a distribution with a characteristic like that,
so even a non-technical person would understand that something must have gone wrong on their end.
...and it should be self-evident that nobody in his right mind with the bare minimum of technical know-how,
would ever be paying attention to articles meant for mass consumption like such...
Still, a pity he didn't provided inxi -Fxz and a dmesg log...
But my guess he was busy preparing his newer article instead - someone has to pay the bills somehow ;-)

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by gm10 » Fri May 24, 2019 5:32 pm

thx-1138 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:37 pm
...and it should be self-evident that nobody in his right mind with the bare minimum of technical know-how,
would ever be paying attention to articles meant for mass consumption like such...
I guess, it's just that they get linked here so might as well have some fun with them.

Besides, my only problem with him is that he pretends to have expertise that he clearly doesn't have. His feedback is still valid from a non-technical user's point of view though, for I am sure many new users run into similar issues as him and don't know how to handle them and it is never wrong to think about how the distribution can address such things. But as you said, he didn't provide the details to actually help addressing them, or I am sure we would have.

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 24, 2019 6:01 pm

Well, the guy obviously means no harm, his basic attitude towards Mint is constructive, and he undoubtedly has some reader base. Furthermore he responded decently to my attempt to help him.

I see it as an opportunity to get some positive "press" coverage for Linux Mint....
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Portreve » Fri May 24, 2019 8:12 pm

I literally just stumbled upon his article in my news feed. I hadn't planned to bring it up on the forum, but as that ship has already sailed, I've something to say.

I think I remember seeing his thread here somewhere, though I never contributed to it because:
  1. I'm not even close to being an expert in GNU+Linux.
  2. I have never experienced performance issues of the kind he has described in LM.
I assumed at the time that he was some stupid teenager, living at home, with no sense of maturity. I mean, one of the reasons he isn't seeing all kinds of people complaining about performance problems is — what a surprise — most users aren't experiencing them.

It is extremely unprofessional for him to write what he has about his experiences on the LM forum. His article amateur hour blog piece, pretending to be something like journalism, has now caused me to remove LinuxInsider from anything that appears in my news feed.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Presently running Ubuntu 19.10 on a MBP 8,1 and dreaming about my return to Linux Mint.

Also looking for a new job.

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by thx-1138 » Fri May 24, 2019 10:11 pm

LibreOffice presented a glaring example of unacceptable performance.
Before the swap tweak, it took two minutes or more to load a document or spreadsheet.
Subsequent reloads took a bit less time. Now that loading time interval is cut down by at least half the time.
The thing is...

I used to owned a Pentium 4 at 2Ghz with a not-really-special GeForce 4 (both from back in...2002).
Since video decoding is the usual 'simplistic' metric for performance:
it ran 720p x264 pretty fine & at rather high bitrates, got slightly hot with 1080p,
and it started chocking at 1080p when High Profile was set at 4.1 level.
x265 was a no-go though for more than a few seconds...dropped frames.

It never required more than...20-25 seconds to completely load Libreoffice back in 2016.
Yes, 14 yrs later on - and pre-Core Duo era etc.
So 5-6 times such, 2 minutes...for loading Libreoffice - dunno, i can only smile at such statements:
either he's using a...Commodore from the 80s...or, something is awfully wrong with his system / setup.

He is an experienced 'technology writer' since 1993.
I seriously can't believe that in a 26 yrs career he doesn't understand and/or know such simple things...

Assuming someone has been actually using computers for a few yrs in a row,
regardless of his / her technical expertise...
2 mins Libreoffice startup time as standard behavior is really stretching it...lots.
No swap, no swappiness value / behavior, and possibly more technically involved bits...
Just simple day to day experience with computers, their evolution & the various usual application demands.

Regardless if he felt like burying or praising Mint per se...some things simply don't add up.
I find it much more plausible that he's consciously selected a very specific target group of readers:
people whose relationship with computers is more or less...
buy computer, send 'gmail', read social media / 'news sites', trash it 3-4yrs later, because youtube feels slow...

Nothing 'inherently' wrong with that group of people either, to each his/her own.
But when someone has selected the role of public opinion 'influencer',
it's probably a good idea to remember to remain within certain limits.
His audience might have been born yesterday, fair enough - but not the rest of us necessarily:
there was no need for him to try to blind us with...science.

Edit to add: i wouldn't be so 'strict' towards him in this thread here,
had he returned before writing the 2nd article, and post info...
I mean, even more since others already were either criticizing him, or, to their credit, asking him to supply further info,
i didn't really saw a reason to somehow do so myself as well: benefit of the doubt if you will, i just waited to see where it goes...

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 26, 2019 5:16 am

Since the swappiness tweak that reduced the use of the swap file/partition has solved most of his complaints about slow performance in LM 19.1, I see the problem as very much related to swap, either a PEBKAC or bad swap system.

If a user ignorantly go and manually set up a swap partition during a normal install of LM 19.x, will this slow down its performance.?

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Pjotr » Sun May 26, 2019 5:52 am

michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:16 am
If a user ignorantly go and manually set up a swap partition during a normal install of LM 19.x, will this slow down its performance.?
No.
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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by gm10 » Sun May 26, 2019 5:58 am

Pjotr wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:52 am
michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:16 am
If a user ignorantly go and manually set up a swap partition during a normal install of LM 19.x, will this slow down its performance.?
No.
<trollmode>It will if it's a spinning disk (the further out you go the slower the read because the larger the diameter).</trollmode>
Tune up your LM 19.x: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

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Re: "Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet"

Post by Portreve » Tue May 28, 2019 7:17 pm

Not so much to do with the article in question, but here's a general comment on system performance.

Over this past weekend, I decided to nuke-n-pave my 2011 MBP and set up the RC of Debian 10.

Not unlike other times I've played around with Debian running Cinnamon, it was noticeably snappier than LinuxMint. In fact, I can also say that when I was looking at my webcam preview in Skype, it was perfectly smooth, whereas it wasn't quite as smooth (or seemingly as low-latency, or whatever the correct term is in this context) in LM.

I will leave it to much more competent folk here like gm10 or Pjotr or others to get into the whys-and-wherefores of this difference.

That said, LM is a very good OS to run, and I'm quite happily back to running it again.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Presently running Ubuntu 19.10 on a MBP 8,1 and dreaming about my return to Linux Mint.

Also looking for a new job.

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