What are my options here.

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Citizen229
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What are my options here.

Post by Citizen229 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm

We have a new generation of Mint before us. And once again, I will have to do a clean install. With this comes losing all the tweaks I have made etc.I could "upgrade", but that has the ability to be messy. It might be time for a change for my daily driver. My needs are minimal. Browser, calculator,handbrake, and im sure a few other just cant think of them. I know what i want, I just dont know if its even possible to fully satisfy my wants with an OS.

Wants:
- I do not want to have to wipe to upgrade frequently. I have no desire for the rolling release distros, i will break my stuff constantly LOL. This makes me want to lean more towards Debian/LMDE.

-I love the ISO remix feature of MX, wish we had it. This way no matter how many times I break my stuff, I can have all my settings and tweaks back quickly. The flashy new rollback feature is close, it does satify my needs. Cant complain.

-I am a minimalist by nature which is why I run XFCE. However, Dolphin was an amazing file manager. Can I have it outside of KDE?

-Been using Mint for a few years now. Sadly I am still a point and click/copy-paste user. LOL

Maybe im just being too needy.
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by JosephM » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:09 pm

I do not want to have to wipe to upgrade frequently. I have no desire for the rolling release distros, i will break my stuff constantly LOL. This makes me want to lean more towards Debian/LMDE.
You don't have to. While I personally wouldn't upgrade major versions like 18->19, upgrading in version to the .1, .2, .3 is fine and far less prone to issues. You also don't have to upgrade at all. You get 5 years of support on each major version. Not sure what you think is going to be different with something like Debian.
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:14 pm

^

Besides, what kind of tweaks did you make? You can keep all your user-specific tweaks if you backup /home or have it on a separate partition. System-wide there are a few configuration files to backup, wifi connections, hosts file, that's basically it. Last but not least, backup a list of your installed packages (the built in Backup Tool can do it but it's got quite a few limitations so I prefer my own script) and that's it.

I find clean installs rather painless and I'm back in my accustomed customized environment in no time.

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MrEen
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by MrEen » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:21 pm

JosephM wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:09 pm
You don't have to.
YES, they do. It's the new, shiny thing!
I am Linux Mint 19. Resistance is futile.
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michael louwe
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by michael louwe » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:34 pm

Citizen229 wrote:We have a new generation of Mint before us. And once again, I will have to do a clean install. With this comes losing all the tweaks I have made etc
.
Each LTS version of LM is supported for 5 years wrt security updates, eg the post-2014-released LM 17.x is supported until April 2019 = soon after April 2019, the LM 17.x user should clean install LM 19.x.
....... The post-2018-released LM 19.x is supported until April 2023 = thereafter, install LM 21.x.

This means you have the option to clean install and tweak a new version of LM once every 5 years or earlier until the day your computer expires.

Others may opt for a 2-year upgrade cycle by following the 2-year version release cycle of LM, eg LM 17.1(= Nov 2014) to LM 18.1(= in Nov 2016) to LM 19.1(= in Nov 2018) and so on.
....... Some may opt for a 6-month upgrade cycle by following the 6-month Point release cycle of LM, eg LM 18.0 to 18.1 to 18.2 to 18.3 to 19.0 and so on.

In general, a still-in-support LM version will likely not have device driver support for very old computers that are more than 15 yo, eg the 2018-released LM 19.0 may not have support for computers that were made in 2002 or earlier. In this case, the user can install other lighter-weight Linux distros, eg Puppy Linux, Linux Lite, Anti-X or MX-17, etc.

Unless, users are buying a new computer, they can wait and stick to this 5 year upgrade cycle because new computers require the installation of the latest LM version or Linux kernel = HWE or hardware enablement = require device driver support for the new devices.

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by slipstick » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:51 pm

Here's what I do to make the new installation easier - it does require a little more disk space, but I don't think that's a big problem for most people. This worked very well for me upgrading from LM17.3 to 18.3 and I expect it to be even easier upgrading to 19 because I now have a list of things to do.

What I have started doing is to have separate partitions for odd numbered and even numbered Mint editions. Actually I have a separate / and /home for each version. I have a separate Data partition shared between both versions and have moved my thunderbird and firefox profiles (just the profiles, not the entire .thunderbird and .mozilla directories) onto the data partition (symlinked from the ~/.thunderbird and ~/.mozilla/firefox directories in both versions) so that all my personal data, emails, and FF bookmarks are available from either version. So when I get ready to install LM19, it will replace LM17.3, but I can continue using LM18.3 while I configure LM19 at my leisure. Then I will continue upgrading to 19.1, 19.2, 19.3 in place, then LM20 will replace LM18.3. I am not using the same /home for both because I have heard that sometimes using old versions of configuration files can conflict with newer versions of the same software, so a clean install seems safer. I made a detailed itemized list of everything I did when I moved from 17.3 to 18.3, so I think setting up 19 "from scratch" should not be too bad. I can boot into 18.3 when I want to use the computer, or boot into 19 when I have some spare time to get it configured, without worrying that I will mess something up on my working 18.3. When I get 19 configured and switch over to using it full time, I will still have 18.3 as a backup. The only complication I have run into is with "firejail" - because I moved my thunderbird and firefox profiles onto my data partition I had to add a whitelist statement for these folders in /etc/firejail/firefox.profile and /etc/firejail/thunderbird.profile.

EDIT: Per recommendation from Fred Barclay, it is best not to modify those two .profile files, but rather to create two new files, /etc/firejail/firefox.local and /etc/firejail/thunderbird.local and put the required whitelist statement in each file, so that an update to firejail which replaces /etc/firejail/firefox.profile and /etc/firejail/thunderbird.profile will not wipe out the whitelist statements.
Last edited by slipstick on Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by kenetics » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:39 am

@ slipstick:
I do about the same thing. I don't move all my personal files in my old /home partition to the new /home (such as my Calibre library), but just mount that partition when I need to access it.
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slipstick
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by slipstick » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:39 pm

kenetics wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:39 am
@ slipstick:
I do about the same thing. I don't move all my personal files in my old /home partition to the new /home (such as my Calibre library), but just mount that partition when I need to access it.
I don't move the files from the old home to the new one, but I copy most of them. There are not many files in the home partition - most are in the Data partition which is mounted to home in both the old and new OS. In both old and new systems, Calibre Library, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos are symbolically linked to the corresponding folders in the common Data partition.
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by Portreve » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:13 pm

Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
We have a new generation of Mint before us. And once again, I will have to do a clean install. With this comes losing all the tweaks I have made etc.I could "upgrade", but that has the ability to be messy. It might be time for a change for my daily driver.

<-snip->

- I do not want to have to wipe to upgrade frequently.

<-snip->

-Been using Mint for a few years now. Sadly I am still a point and click/copy-paste user. LOL
It's not my intention here to re-invoke the "rtfm" mindset of earlier eras of the GNU+Linux community; that said, however, GNU+Linux of a right is and always has been antithetical to the everything-on-a-silver-platter "AOL user" mindset.

Speaking for myself, if it's just upgrades to existing system files, I upgrade. If it's a very significant upgrade (which dot releases may or may not be) I wipe-and-clean-install. This simply comes from decades of experience across all the major OS platforms. Yes, it's a pain, but you already know the alternative.

LM 19 comes with Timeshift. Ostensibly, if you try and force an upgrade that borks something, you can use Timeshift to restore back to a previous state.
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by xenopeek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:56 am

Timeshift was introduced with Linux Mint 18.3 and has since been backported to all previous Linux Mint versions. Install it and create a snapshot before doing upgrade in place.
Image

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JerryF
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by JerryF » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:25 am

Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
...
With this comes losing all the tweaks I have made etc.
...
That doesn't have to be the case. Backup everything and the replace files that you've edited/tweaked.
Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
...
I know what i want, I just dont know if its even possible to fully satisfy my wants with an OS.
...
I think that a large percentage of people can say that. No one OS is going to satisfy all your needs/wants. That's why many of us dual boot, use virtual machines, and use Wine.
Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
...
Wants:
- I do not want to have to wipe to upgrade frequently. I have no desire for the rolling release distros, i will break my stuff constantly LOL. This makes me want to lean more towards Debian/LMDE.
...
Then I guess you'll have to give up Mint with its versions and move to Debian/LMDE. :lol:
Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
...
-I love the ISO remix feature of MX, wish we had it. This way no matter how many times I break my stuff, I can have all my settings and tweaks back quickly. The flashy new rollback feature is close, it does satify my needs. Cant complain.
...
If most of what you've posted isn't complaining, then I'd hate to be around when you do. :lol:
Citizen229 wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 pm
...
-Been using Mint for a few years now. Sadly I am still a point and click/copy-paste user. LOL
...
Why would anyone consider that sad? Some of my most efficient work is point and click/copy and paste. :wink:
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by rambo919 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:42 am

The genius of linux is being able to partition your /home to a seperate partition, then wipe and clean install the root and everything will be fine.... the problems come when you forget to backup and restore the cache folder, file selections, etc. and some apps still for some strange reason installing their addons to the /usr directory instead of /home... guess I'll put /usr on a seperate patition too on my next install or can you partition /home and /usr to the same partition without problems?

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by JerryF » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:28 am

rambo919 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:42 am
...guess I'll put /usr on a seperate patition too on my next install or can you partition /home and /usr to the same partition without problems?
Just a guess on my part, but I don't think you can. When setting up the install, you're telling the system to mount a partition as /home or /usr and I don't think you can mount a partition more than once.

:?:
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Re: What are my options here.

Post by gm10 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:37 am

JerryF wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:28 am
rambo919 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:42 am
...guess I'll put /usr on a seperate patition too on my next install or can you partition /home and /usr to the same partition without problems?
Just a guess on my part, but I don't think you can. When setting up the install, you're telling the system to mount a partition as /home or /usr and I don't think you can mount a partition more than once.
Yep. You could do it once installed (a symlink woud suffice) but I don't think the installer itself supports it out of the box, you'd have to modify it.

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by rambo919 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:55 am

Would defeat the purpose of a relatively quick format and install back to (mostly) previous state without extra downloading..... still even with the current limitations a system do-over is STILL FAR easier and quicker than Windows

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by gm10 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:02 am

rambo919 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:55 am
Would defeat the purpose of a relatively quick format and install back to (mostly) previous state without extra downloading.....
What downloading though? During installation you don't need to download anything because the iso contains all the packages needed for that. Only once you want to upgrade or install further packages you'll want the cache.

If you really need it during installation you could set it up as a local repository I guess: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/Personal

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by rambo919 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am

Remember this is "re"installation not initial installation. And even on a initial installation after a few months there are lots of updates.
The problem is specific apps installing their extra packages downloaded via the apps themselves to /usr subdirectories. Not all that big a problem anymore since mostly these are older apps and most currently maintained apps are these days storing all extra's in /home. Still an annoyance here or there though and I admit I might be splitting hairs a bit.

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by gm10 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:05 am

rambo919 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am
Remember this is "re"installation not initial installation. And even on a initial installation after a few months there are lots of updates.
The problem is specific apps installing their extra packages downloaded via the apps themselves to /usr subdirectories. Not all that big a problem anymore since mostly these are older apps and most currently maintained apps are these days storing all extra's in /home. Still an annoyance here or there though and I admit I might be splitting hairs a bit.
I understood, but my point stands, you don't need to install updates via the Mint installer from the iso, you do that after installation once you booted into your system and linked in your apt cache again.

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by rambo919 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:29 am

Oh no I didnt mean update via the installer, I meant if its possible to mount /home and /usr on the same (separate from root) partition via the installer so that when you format root both are intact. If possible I'd mount the cache folder and everything else related to repo's/ppa's/etc to that partition too under it's own separate area which would eliminate the need to separately backup and restore everything.... seems like that would be a major departure from the status quo though. The goal of my line of thinking being making a re-installation of the OS as quick as possible as everything except package selections (for obvious reasons) previously added after the fact would already be present automatically. The actually updating and further installation of packages and content would still happen as usual but take less time and effort since as mentioned everything is already there.

Part of the /usr problem comes from there being no real separation of system and user spaces and older user space apps behaving like system apps but that's another discussion. The apps being this foolish being in the minority and their number seemingly shrinking though this is hardly a cause I'd fall on my sword for though.

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Re: What are my options here.

Post by gm10 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:44 am

rambo919 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:29 am
Oh no I didnt mean update via the installer, I meant if its possible to mount /home and /usr on the same (separate from root) partition via the installer so that when you format root both are intact.
No, as I said, it's not possible to mount them via the installer, but you can do that once installation is done, so the result is the same. And rather than mounting I think a symlink would be preferable.

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