Did I choose the wrong distro?

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martienne
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Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by martienne » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:08 pm

I am just looking for an Open Source OS that doesn't spy....
I am not an active techie any more and I don't want to spend my precious free time at the command prompt, endlessly trying to get basic things to work.
I want a pretty a and customisable GUI.

I thought Mint was ahead of Ubuntu but after 1.5 day on and off, just trying to get the basic install to work - something I can do in my sleep in Windows despite a complex setup. I get no pleasure out of the process, I just want it to work...

Should i cut my losses and go with Ubuntu?

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Pjotr » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:28 pm

That's not a support question..... A support request should list the problems you encounter and ask help for those.

The only thing I can say about your current message is: not much use in switching to Ubuntu, because Mint is built on Ubuntu.

Linux is not Windows, so don't expect your Windows experience to be very useful for solving Linux problems. Back in 2006, when I switched to Linux, I used to be a "Windows XP expert" myself. In the beginning I was rather frustrated because suddenly I couldn't use my knowledge and experience any more. :mrgreen:
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by david7307 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:40 pm

Why is install not working?
can you not install Mint ,how are you trying to install it,
ubuntu needs more setting up than mint does
what is spying on you?

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:44 pm

martienne wrote:Should i cut my losses and go with Ubuntu?
As you asked here: No.

Better you describe which version and edition of Mint you tried, which difficulties you had and which customizations you want.

The forum can give much help, but we need to know, where.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by ras47 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:46 pm

Before choosing an operating system the OP should clarify what he wants to do with this computer. Heck, maybe Mac OSX would be a better choice, although it involves buying a completely different computer. But hey, the right tool for the job, right?
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by martienne » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:10 pm

ras47 wrote:Before choosing an operating system the OP should clarify what he wants to do with this computer. Heck, maybe Mac OSX would be a better choice, although it involves buying a completely different computer. But hey, the right tool for the job, right?
I'd say my main area of usage is multimedia. Anything from ripping books to watching films or a bit of web design occassionally.
I'm a she by the way.

I don't want to buy OSX, don't like Apple much more than M$.

There are all these evangelisers and articles that claim that Linux is no more difficult than Windows, and people claiming that their computer illiterate parents or grandparents are happily using Linux.

But I have been a programmer and I build my own machines, and I can't manage this!

Perhaps if I'd been using a very standard laptop out of the box.
I've already had to figure out that I had to remove my NVIDIA card for the install to even work. Then figure out that Mint requires a completely different file system and that a fairly complex setup of drives is required. And I have not even managed to boot in LInux yet - 1.5 day later. Put everything on hold to do this and have nothing to show for it. GRUB2 falls and I find no practical instructions. I simply don't have the time to read up on the entire technology and learn it inside out to figure out how to solve the problem. Googling just throws up thousands who had the same problem but no clear instructions of what causes the problem and how to fix it.

This is MILES above the head of any normal user.
This is just NOT what I had expected after all these sunny articles of how easy Ubuntu and Mint are.

To people who asked about what the issue was - I posted in the Boot forum - no response so far.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by JeremyB » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:46 pm

If you need top performance out of your computer, Linux may not be for you. Manufacturers make their profit on Windows and they make sure everything works great in Windows. I doubt Ubuntu will work any better as I have Ubuntu 14.04 on many laptops multi boot with Linux Mint and some with Windows 7

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by idle » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:28 pm

When friends and family have a computer problem they come and see me. I can build systems with my eyes closed, not basic systems, but water-cooled gaming rigs with all the bells a whistles. Windows OS regardless of version isn't a problem for me. I can fix them easily.

It took me 2 days to install linux mint and get it working properly. So I know how you feel.

I've been using linux mint for about a week, and it is now my daily driver for everything I do. Fact is, when I went to install linux mint, I didn't even understand the basic partition terminology. I kept getting a repeating error: Executing grub-install/dev/sda1 failed.

It was driving me crazy. I got really frustrated and felt stupid. Not something I'm use to as I fix peoples computers all the time, and I couldn't even workout the partitioning? :(

All I can say is, it really is a fantastic OS. Its fast, and I mean mental fast. Its stable, its highly customizable and its a learning curve. It took me a couple of days just to get it installed and running. I am a complete noob when it comes to linux, but if you stick with it, it absolutely sh*ts all over Windows.

I know I won't be going back.

Don't give up. don't get angry, just get determined and teach it who's boss :lol:

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by ralplpcr » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:34 pm

idle wrote: Don't give up. don't get angry, just get determined and teach it who's boss :lol:
This * 100. It's definitely a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it's so well worth it.

I forget who has this in their signature, but it very accurately sums up the learning experience of understanding Linux - - "Windows assumes that I am not smart. Linux demands that I prove it." (paraphrased, with apologies to the originator!)

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by jimallyn » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:57 pm

It would be best if you told us exactly which version of Mint you are trying to install, and exactly what happens when you attempt to install it.

I have installed Mint on several computers, and it's always been easy, a 15 or 20 minute job. Sorry that you're one of the "lucky" ones that's having problems. Give a little more information and I'd bet there's somebody here who can help you get Mint installed on your computer.
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by waldo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:01 am

Martienne (are you a femelle visitor from the red planet? :D ),

I have a couple of comments and suggestions for you. I am sorry your initial experience with Mint has been trying. It shouldn't have been. (For credentials, I have been setting up computer systems since 1983, when MS DOS was on one floppy drive, and your program, probably Lotus 1-2-3 or WordStar, was on another floppy! I have set up dozens of Linux systems for clients.)

First, tell us more about your hardware. Your NVIDIA (NV) card should not have been a problem. I use one on the the machine that I'm writing from, and it did not interfere with the setup. Is your card very old, or perhaps some odd version? Anyway, Mint installs an open source driver for NV cards, but afterwards you can replace it with the closed source (but usually works better) driver from NV. Mint will do this for you from a hardware option icon.

Are you trying to set up a dual-boot with Windows? That's okay, but if you have an extra old hard drive available, I would suggest you put it in your computer, boot up the Mint USB stick or DVD, and install Mint with the "take over the whole drive option". This will install everything automatically, formatting and partitioning it in a simple manner, ready to use. This should take less than half an hour, plus more time to download the many updates that are available. If you have to dual-boot, we can help with that. Just ask.

Out of the box, Mint is drab green and gray, but you can make it as pretty as you like, playing with the "themes", or even downloading new ones. Use this as your learning tool. Install new programs. Experiment. Stay out of the Terminal window for a while. For most beginners, you won't need it.

It should be fun. And, yes, Mint is an excellent choice. Stay with it, and come back here and tell us how everything went.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by ganamant » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:22 am

martienne wrote:I am just looking for an Open Source OS that doesn't spy....

[...]

Should i cut my losses and go with Ubuntu?
Now, that wouldn't do. Ubuntu has received a lot of bad press when it implemented it's "convenient" search function. It would connect to websites such as Google and Amazon without the user telling it to, even for a file search within the local HD. I don't know whether Ubuntu changed their ways in the meantime, but that thing was enough to make me steer clear of it (that and Unity, actually).

If you are worried about your privacy (and you are right to be), use free software whenever you can and try to limit the use of non-free stuff to the bare minimum, even if sometimes this takes some convenience away. Here, again, Ubuntu would be a bad choice, because it is built for convenience rather than software freedom or defence of privacy.

The way I see it, Mint is better in this regard, despite being based on Ubuntu. Then, you have got Debian, that lets you disable non-free software right at install time, but sometimes a non-free driver is necessary for, say, a wireless card or whatever. The FSF takes a radical view on this matter, and even the option that Debian gives to install non-free stuff is enough for them to frown upon that distro.

All in all, it's your choice how radical you want to be.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by chiefjim » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:01 am


Are you trying to set up a dual-boot with Windows? That's okay, but if you have an extra old hard drive available, I would suggest you put it in your computer, boot up the Mint USB stick or DVD, and install Mint with the "take over the whole drive option". This will install everything automatically, formatting and partitioning it in a simple manner, ready to use. This should take less than half an hour, plus more time to download the many updates that are available. If you have to dual-boot, we can help with that. Just ask.
Totally concur with the extra hard drive recommendation. Far easier to ensure the other OS and data don't get messed up.
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by martienne » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:31 am

Wow! So many great responses. Makes me feel guilty about whingeing! :oops:
waldo wrote:First, tell us more about your hardware. Your NVIDIA (NV) card should not have been a problem. I use one on the the machine that I'm writing from, and it did not interfere with the setup. Is your card very old, or perhaps some odd version? Anyway, Mint installs an open source driver for NV cards, but afterwards you can replace it with the closed source (but usually works better) driver from NV. Mint will do this for you from a hardware option icon.

Are you trying to set up a dual-boot with Windows? That's okay, but if you have an extra old hard drive available, I would suggest you put it in your computer, boot up the Mint USB stick or DVD, and install Mint with the "take over the whole drive option". This will install everything automatically, formatting and partitioning it in a simple manner, ready to use. This should take less than half an hour, plus more time to download the many updates that are available. If you have to dual-boot, we can help with that. Just ask.
Mais oui, of course I am a female visitor from the Red Planet (at least one right out of two - feel like a martian sometimes though!)

On the NVIDIA card
: I got an error message about "Kepler processor", and couldn't boot from the Mint DVD. Googled a bit and realised it was related to the NVIDIA cards (I chucked two in this machine, only using one though!) I removed both and tried the installation again, hooking up an older monitor via VGA straight to the built in graphics processor in the Motherboard. The error was gone. Mint doesn't seem to like HDMI and particularly not NVIDIA graphics cards.
Maybe I'm missing something but I just wanted to get the installation over and done with, and this seemed to get me one step closer.
I am counting on that I can sort out whatever the issue is, once the installation is done. I figured some drivers were required.

On the spare hard drive:
This machine is full of hard drives! I have no issue with dedicating a full drive to Mint.
My box is filled with misc with old drives from from laptops, for multimedia etc, The case has 8 bays, so why throw a drive away when you can put it in an empty drive....

I tried the installation on 3 different drives but got the error message about FATAL ERROR GRUB2 on all! Obviously something fundamental is wrong, but I can't see what. Happy to do anything that's required - but what... ? !

I guess I could pull out all other drives and just keep the one I want to install on available and see again if it works!
ganamant wrote:Now, that wouldn't do. Ubuntu has received a lot of bad press when it implemented it's "convenient" search function. It would connect to websites such as Google and Amazon without the user telling it to, even for a file search within the local HD. I don't know whether Ubuntu changed their ways in the meantime, but that thing was enough to make me steer clear of it (that and Unity, actually).

If you are worried about your privacy (and you are right to be), use free software whenever you can and try to limit the use of non-free stuff to the bare minimum, even if sometimes this takes some convenience away. Here, again, Ubuntu would be a bad choice, because it is built for convenience rather than software freedom or defence of privacy.

The way I see it, Mint is better in this regard, despite being based on Ubuntu. Then, you have got Debian, that lets you disable non-free software right at install time, but sometimes a non-free driver is necessary for, say, a wireless card or whatever. The FSF takes a radical view on this matter, and even the option that Debian gives to install non-free stuff is enough for them to frown upon that distro.

All in all, it's your choice how radical you want to be.
Very insightful advise! I didn't know anyting about what you wrote!
When I hear Debian, I think "command prompt" and run a mile!!!

I want a user friendly and pretty "for dummies" OS in which I never HAVE to use command prompt unless I want to do something VERY advanced (that would require it in Windows too.... ) And it shouldn't spy on me, obviously...I'd continue using Windows, but with 10 they well and truly crossed the line! Same thing with their cosy relationship with varying spying agencies, "NSA_keys", shameless commercial tracking and habits that would make STASI and the Chinese web surveillance drool.
jimallyn wrote:It would be best if you told us exactly which version of Mint you are trying to install, and exactly what happens when you attempt to install it.

I have installed Mint on several computers, and it's always been easy, a 15 or 20 minute job. Sorry that you're one of the "lucky" ones that's having problems. Give a little more information and I'd bet there's somebody here who can help you get Mint installed on your computer.
I am trying to install the latest version Mint, 17.2 with Cinammon desktop. 64 bit.
Hardware is: Motherboard ASUS Z97, 22 GB ram, NVIDIA graphic cards, Geforce GTE, basic models, several free hard drives available.
Last edited by martienne on Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Reorx » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:38 am

martienne wrote:I am just looking for an Open Source OS that doesn't spy....

...Should I... go with Ubuntu?
The first statement and the last statement are mutually exclusive... the short answer is - no.
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by martienne » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:22 am

Reorx wrote:
martienne wrote:I am just looking for an Open Source OS that doesn't spy....

...Should I... go with Ubuntu?
The first statement and the last statement are mutually exclusive... the short answer is - no.
So that entire team just sold out?! I thought they were open source - wouldn't have thought it was even possible!

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:42 am

martienne wrote:,I thought they were open source - wouldn't have thought it was even possible!
Why not? You can't really hide something.

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Pjotr » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:20 pm

Ubuntu has easily accessible privacy settings; it's a cinch to disable any privacy leaks. I don't think it's very fair to discredit Ubuntu for this....
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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Dave B » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:12 pm

Hi martienne, welcome to Mint and the Mint forum! :)

Since you are technically advanced, (if already have Windows OS installed) would it help to first try installing and using Mint with virtualization software such as VMware Player (now called VMware Workstation Player (it's free for personal use)) or VirtualBox? You can then experiment with different install settings safe in the knowledge that it's just a virtual machine. Once happy with the install process and how Mint functions, try installing Mint on your host system.

Either way, we can help you step by step with installing Mint, and get you up and running. Don't feel afraid to ask any questions, no matter how silly they may sound, there's always something new and interesting to learn!

David

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Re: Did I choose the wrong distro?

Post by Reorx » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:28 pm

Pjotr wrote:Ubuntu has easily accessible privacy settings; it's a cinch to disable any privacy leaks. I don't think it's very fair to discredit Ubuntu for this....
Pjotr - I don't use Ubu but I believe you are correct (no surprise there!)... it's easy to fix the privacy issues for experienced users (folks who like to tinker with OSs like most of the regulars here)... But for the average user who just wants to use the computer and have it work out of the box - it's not so simple and many don't want to or won't learn how to do it... they usually say it's too hard or complex... (there are several of these in my family - I've been elected the in house IT guy and they call me whenever they have a problem) To me, the OP sounds like someone who just wants to use the OS and not tinker with it... I could be mistaken though...
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