Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

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Cosmo.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sat May 21, 2016 8:12 am

killer de bug wrote:Today on LMDE2, I discovered that Nemo 3.0.1 is segfaulting on my system. It came as an official level 1 or 2 update. But it crashes. I have installed Nemo 3.0.2 from git and the problem is solved. But once again, the point is that it was an official level 1 or 2 update. Even these updates can have unexpected results.
Another example - and related to all editions - is the Samba problem some time ago. This example shows the problematic situation especially, because on the one hand security fixes in this software are especially important for securing the system, on the other hand the second last update produced a regression.

BTW, the post by Clem, which KDB linked above, would be worth to pin somehow. As posts cannot be pinned (to my knowledge) I take this chance to suggest a locked thread, where team members collect links to this (and probably other) posts, so that they can (rather) easily be found. KDB (and others): what do you think about that?

Regarding the disclaimer: As so often: who does this read? Especially those (newbies), who should, don't do it (very mostly). OK, this is their fault, but if they read: install this or change that, they have not in view and not in mind, that these are "relative and personal" advices. This is the sad fact, as it exists.

Another fact is, that users do mistakes. (Yes, I do also.) But when users do those mistakes, because they applied receipt-book advices without any understanding, what they really do, it is very hard - or even impossible - to find out, where the user-mistake happened. Out of this reason it will nearly surely be a secret for all times, why in this case (this thread) the installation of Leafpad ended with uninstalling Cinnamon. That makes a difference to experienced users: We (at least I) also do mistakes, but mostly we are able to find out, which mistake and why. This case here shows, that it is sometimes even impossible to analyze, what really had happened. And if those problems result in reactions, like KDB described at the end of his last post, it is really a pity: Instead of enhancing the user experience with Mint the opposite is reached, a frustrated user, who feels better with Windows. (Although endless numbers of Windows forums show, that Windows is not a trouble-free OS).


Pjotr wrote:I think it's better to help beginners to get to know and understand their Linux Mint.
This is the sentence, which I like at most. Yes, this would be the way to go: Help the new user to understand, what he got after installing Mint. Not to circumvent the fact that every DE brings his own text editor or file manager, not to solve problems, which he does not have in most cases. but to learn, how to handle his system.

As I did not to create a web site about this matter I did in the past not take the time to make deeper thoughts about that. The following is out of this reason a shot out of the hip and can surely get improved; take it as a kind of scratch-board of ideas.

My idea is, that the new user should get advised - for the goal to learn Linux / Mint - to create a new user account (without sudo membership). At first he will learn, how to accomplish this (first learning step). At second he can play with this additional account and can do, what ever he wants. He cannot do any harm to the system; in the worst case this playground account can be deleted, nothing that gives frustration about the Linux system. He can accommodate his browser, his file manager, whatever he wants, the system will not get affected by this.
In a later step he can get advised to learn how to use the terminal. Starting with commands like inxi or ls, both commands, which do not even change anything on the playground account, but give the user the learning experience, how to work with the terminal and how to get a comfortable feeling by using terminal commands. He would learn, that Linux is case-sensitive (inxi -S is something different than inxi -s) and so on.

Something like that as "first things to do" would IMO really help newbies to "know and understand their Linux Mint". When they later - with this starting experiences - really do system changes, they at least have an idea, what they do. They would - hopefully - know, how to use the bash history to find out out, what they did and so on.


@Pjotr, and personal:
Without any doubts you put much effort in your website and it is a rich collection of knowledge. I do not want to reduce its importance. My point is, that all things in the world can - how well they are done - get improved. In this case improved for the special, but important group of newbie users. It is not my intention to tell you, what or how you have to write, as this is not a community project, but your own. But as those advices do affect Mint users - as in this case - it is of course of interest for the community. Your web site appears somehow like a wiki and some users seem to understand it in this way, although it is a one-man show. So please understand my ideas as thoughts, where things can (or should) get improved with the goal, to enhance the usability of your site for the community. A web site is obviously not a personal to-do list, but written for the public; out of this reason the community has a legitimate interest, what and how is advised there.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sat May 21, 2016 11:22 am

One thing more came into my mind:
There is on Pjotr's site the section about the 10 fatal mistakes. What is IMO missing there is the most important one for new users (should be the number 1 in the list); something like:

Don't apply changes you find anywhere in the web to your system, if the following conditions apply:
  • - You don't know, if the changes do really give an improvement to your system; they can probably do the opposite.
    - You don't know, what you are really doing, if you apply the change. Something wrongly understood or misinterpreted can give all kind of problems - until crashing your system.
    - The advice was not really addressed to you and you do not have the possibility to ask back in case of questions or problems. Possibly the advice could be wrong for your system [1]. If you got the advice explicitly for your system, e.g. in the <Mint forum address here>, than you can believe, that this advice is useful for your system (although also forum helpers can sometimes do mistakes).
    - You do not have a qualified backup of your user data.
[1] E. g. the infamous apt-get upgrade advice.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Pjotr » Sat May 21, 2016 12:52 pm

killer de bug wrote:Your first tip in the list is "apply all updates". It may be wise or not. Here is not the question. The thing is, it is in total disagreement with the official statement from Clem: viewtopic.php?f=143&t=168782&start=60#p871748
With "install all updates" in that list, I obviously mean only the levels that are enabled by default (levels 1-3). Problems like you described with level 1 or 2 updates in the more or less experimental LMDE, aren't likely to happen in the stable Ubuntu LTS based main Mint.

I refuse to even consider *not* installing level 1-3. If it breaks because of that, let it. Then it would be an inferior OS in my eyes.... Which it's certainly not. I consider main Mint to be the best Linux distro available, and even the best operating system there is. Never have I seen a real problem in main Mint because of level 1-3 updates.
Last edited by Pjotr on Sat May 21, 2016 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Moem » Sat May 21, 2016 1:00 pm

Pjotr wrote:With "install all updates" in that list, I obviously mean only the levels that are enabled by default (levels 1-3).
Obvious to you: yes. Obvious to newbies... who knows? I wouldn't bet my dinner on that.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by killer de bug » Sat May 21, 2016 1:07 pm

Pjotr wrote: Problems like you described with level 1 or 2 updates in the more or less experimental LMDE, aren't likely to happen in the stable Ubuntu LTS based main Mint.
Wanna bet?
Hint: read one of Cosmo previous posts. :wink:
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sat May 21, 2016 6:14 pm

Pjotr wrote:With "install all updates" in that list, I obviously mean only the levels that are enabled by default (levels 1-3).
I cannot count how often I asked back a user out of a given reason, what he means, when he writes, that he has applied "all updates", and I got all kind of different replys. Nothing is obvious, and especially if you address something to newbies, you cannot argue with "obvious". Either it would be obvious for a user to apply the updates with the default settings, in this case this tip would be superfluous, or every detail must be exactly named.
The only things, which is obvious in my eyes is, that nothing is obvious, what is not explicitly written.
Pjotr wrote:Problems like you described with level 1 or 2 updates in the more or less experimental LMDE, aren't likely to happen in the stable Ubuntu LTS based main Mint.
Samba is not part of the not experimental main edition? I thought it would be obvious, that it is.

I also thought it is obvious, that the quoted post by Clem is about the "stable Ubuntu LTS based" LM 17 Qiana. In this post I read:
Clem wrote:Read the changelogs, see what the updates fix, browse the forums for signs of regressions, and make the decision yourself.
There is nowhere said, that this shall only be done for level 4 / 5 updates. In the same article is also further down a very hard word about people, who tell to do ALWAYS or NEVER something, which I intentionally do not quote, because I don't want to put personal offense in this thread.

Pjotr, you may argue, that those are your own relative and personal preferences, and you would be right so far. But things can get with the time their own life, and this is IMHO the case with your site. As I already wrote, there seem to be especially newbie users who take your site as a kind of wiki (although a real wiki is a community project). Because of this evolution your site got with the time more than a just personal preferences collection. There are definitely tips on your site, where I fully agree (e.g. "Cleaners"), there are definitely those tips, where I strongly contradict (e.g. alternative file-manager for root-access) and there are other points, where I wonder, why you believe, that some defaults are sub-optimal; at least it would be expected that you declare, that you deviate from the official standpoint; this is not obvious for newbies.
Pjotr wrote:I refuse to even consider *not* installing level 1-3. If it breaks because of that, let it.
"Refuse" is a hard word, but it is your choice. "Refuse to even consider" is an escalation. Assume, that in the period between the the 2 last Samba-updates a user would have asked you "Pjotr, I read about the problems after the last update and I ask you, shall I apply it? I need my LAN working." If I would take your words from the quote seriously, I would have no other choice than to believe, that your answer to this user would be "Let it break; it is level 3." The workaround that xenopeek provided at that time in a pinned thread was a no-go? At least this would be the consequence of your words. Come on Pjotr, it would disturb my - positive - picture about you, if the quoted sentence would not be an error in writing. The world is not only black and white.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by killer de bug » Sat May 21, 2016 6:24 pm

In the past I had to revert Firefox and Flash for a few weeks. When you know what you do it's easy. When you just begin with Linux, if Firefox is not working, then... :?
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Pjotr » Sat May 21, 2016 6:34 pm

Cosmo. wrote:The world is not only black and white.
As a famous Dutch author once wrote in the 19th century: "maybe nothing is entirely true, and not even that". Related German wisdom: jede Konsequenz führt zum Teufel. :)

Of course that's right. But it's just as obvious that Linux beginners don't have much use for scientific ambivalent subtleties. They don't need holy wisdom, but "best practices". Which don't hold true in 100 % of the cases (nothing does!) but maybe in 99 %. That's good enough. Small risks are acceptable in real life.

My approach is practical. Boots in the mud, no theoretical niceties. No beginner, and I repeat not one of them, is likely to weigh risks and ponder deeply about applying level 1-3 updates. Nor should they: how could they? They're beginners! :shock:

Beginners generally don't realize that Mint applies a level system for the updates which features and excludes level 4 and 5. They don't know about the existence of level 4 and 5. That's what I explain to them in one of the tips after the first one, which simply says: apply all updates offered to you. Which are of course "only" level 1-3.

So that's what my website, and my tips, are all about. Not scientific truths, but best practices. Which should be of help in about 99 % of the cases.

Many people who start out by applying my tips, make different choices when they've become experienced Linux users themselves. That's perfectly fine. Experienced users choose their own path; that's what Linux is all about. Freedom of choice!
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sat May 21, 2016 7:30 pm

Pjotr wrote:But it's just as obvious that Linux beginners don't have much use for ambivalent subtleties. They don't need holy wisdom, but "best practices".
"Best" is something else than "too short". The world is still not black and white, even if somebody tries to paint a picture of it in black and white. That is not holy wisdom, but reality.

Is the statement of Clem holy wisdom with contradiction to best practice? Than I do not understand, why you consider his decisions about the levels to be best practice. Both come from the same person. It appears, as if you pick what you like and leave out, what you dislike. That is also a personal and relative preference (and in so far legitimate), but no proof for best practice.
Pjotr wrote:Small risks are acceptable in real life.
Where on your site do you say to the readers, that the one or other tip (maybe 1 or 2 %, but the value is not of interest) include "acceptable" risks? At least I don't find it in the disclaimer.

Who decides, what is acceptable? "Acceptable" is not a property like red or blue. It is and can only be a user decision.

BTW: What is - I come again to the Samba example - the smaller risk: The security risk, considering, that most users are behind a router firewall, or the undoubtedly (at that time) existing bug? No, your argument does not hold.
Pjotr wrote:No beginner, and I repeat not one of them, is likely to weigh risks and ponder deeply about applying level 1-3 updates. Nor should they: how could they? They're beginners! :shock:
That is a little bit too short for the "refuse to consider" statement. It sounds, as if you would answer to the hypothetical user from my last post, after he has applied the Samba-update and complains about the result after your hypothetical answer: "That is a small acceptable risk. You are a beginner and cannot weigh." Point. Having the discussions about that problem in my head I don't think, that those posters would feel any lucky, that they have to accept their problem. Than we are at that point which KDB described at the end here.

Another BTW: Beginners get experienced users, if they start to weigh themselves - or at least try it and seek for the help by advanced users. If they don't do this, they will even after years be in the state of beginners.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Pjotr » Sun May 22, 2016 4:54 am

Regressions in level 1-3 updates should generally be non-fatal. The fatal ones (the showstoppers) should generally be level 4-5. After all, that's what the level system was designed for: to protect you against showstopper regressions.

In the unlikely case that you ever get hit by a regression in a level 1-3 update, just keep breathing and wait for the new update that fixes it (usually within days). That holds true for both beginners and experienced users alike.

What's the practical alternative? Don't install any updates at all, anymore? Because you want to exclude even the smallest possibility of a regression? :shock:
Last edited by Pjotr on Sun May 22, 2016 6:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Mr.October » Sun May 22, 2016 6:04 am

I have used Pjotr's website many times, just to look up something but also after installing an OS again and setting things up the way I want it. I benefit from it, but I don't see myself as a newbie after using some kind of Linux for 8 years now.
Before I knew about the existence of the website I was collecting all sorts of stuff myself which I could use again when needed, mostly after a long time so I forgot about it by then. Now I am using this website as a backup for my own (not the computer's) memory.
Okay, things could be improved, I'm sure about that, but in general the website gives a whole lot of useful info for both newbies and more advanced Linux users. Nothing in life is perfect and so isn't this website. When I read several articles and see over and over that "You can launch a terminal window like this" I just skip that and continue with the next sentence. Newbies have to be taught how to do it and they can read that part of the text.

I read here that especially the article about minimizing the swap use is something people find not good. What is wrong with it?
Okay, Pjotr wrote people to install leafpad, a program I don't know since I have never used it. Maybe it would have been better to say open your favorite text-editor " ... in Cinnamon, ... in Mate, .... in XFCE and Kate in KDE since every version of Mint comes with a "simple" text-editor which can do the job. (... since I don't know which editor is a standard part of which DE except Kate in KDE, my favorite)

People, the things Pjotr does for the Linux communities is immense, on his website, here in the forums and who knows what else he is doing. As said, everything can be improved, nothing is perfect, but when you do find something which, according to you, could be improved then write Pjotr, tell him what you have found and what would be a better way to do it. That way Pjotr can have a look at it and discuss with you why he might think his way is better, or why he wrote things like that. Maybe the text will be changed, maybe not. But remember this, it is still his decision since it is still his website.

To sum things up: Thank you Pjotr.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sun May 22, 2016 6:24 am

Pjotr wrote:In the unlikely case that you get hit by a regression in a level 1-3 update, keep breathing and wait for the new update that fixes it (usually within days).
The more than often for not overseeing it Samba-update took 2 1/2 weeks.
Pjotr wrote:That holds true for both beginners and experienced users alike.
No and no. Both are in case affected by the regression. If it is fatal is a user-decision, as it depends from the user's needs.
Pjotr wrote:What's the practical alternative? Don't install any updates at all, anymore?
Clem wrote:you can make the wrong decision to always upgrade everything, or to never upgrade anything
Clem wrote:Read the changelogs, see what the updates fix, browse the forums for signs of regressions, and make the decision yourself.
If this would not apply for level 1 to 3 updates, than there would exist an option for automatic updates for the first 1 or 2 or 3 levels.

You are also in contradiction to yourself:
Pjotr wrote:Automatic updates are a bad idea.... Updates should always be done consciously, so that when something goes wrong, you know what caused it and you can act rightaway.
Blindly clicking for level 1 to 3 updates on the apply button would be in the result obviously the same as a fully automatic update feature for those levels; so with your words: "A bad idea". "Refuse to even consider *not* installing level 1-3" is the direct opposite to consciously updating. Also in your own words: Updating consciously(!) "is the small price for running a very reliable and very secure operating system".

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Moem » Sun May 22, 2016 7:00 am

Mr.October wrote:People, the things Pjotr does for the Linux communities is immense, on his website, here in the forums and who knows what else he is doing.
No one is disputing that. And no one is attacking Pjotr; people are just sharing their opinions, in a calm and respectful way. I don't think you need to defend his honour.
Mr.October wrote:As said, everything can be improved, nothing is perfect, but when you do find something which, according to you, could be improved then write Pjotr, tell him what you have found and what would be a better way to do it.
That way, there's no chance for others to give their (constructive) input, which may very well be valuable. After all, when you know a lot about a subject, it becomes harder to put yourself into the shoes of a newbie and think the way they think.

Pjotr's site is 'out there' in public, for the world to see; it's not a bad thing if constructive input is also given out in the open.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Pjotr » Sun May 22, 2016 7:15 am

Cosmo. wrote:You are also in contradiction to yourself:
Pjotr wrote:Automatic updates are a bad idea.... Updates should always be done consciously, so that when something goes wrong, you know what caused it and you can act rightaway.
Blindly clicking for level 1 to 3 updates on the apply button would be in the result obviously the same as a fully automatic update feature for those levels; so with your words: "A bad idea". "Refuse to even consider *not* installing level 1-3" is the direct opposite to consciously updating. Also in your own words: Updating consciously(!) "is the small price for running a very reliable and very secure operating system".
No contradiction at all. If you update consciously, you have important benefits: you choose the update moment (not when you're in the middle of doing important work, of course). And if an unlikely regression bug hits you, you know what caused it and you can immediately take measures (temporary workarounds?). Bad apples in the updates of level 1-3 shouldn't contain showstoppers, so you should still have a working system.

It's simply not practical to "Read the changelogs, see what the updates fix, browse the forums for signs of regressions, and make the decision yourself". That's a disclaimer, not a practical guide for dealing with level 1-3 updates. Much too cumbersome.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Cosmo. » Sun May 22, 2016 11:39 am

Pjotr wrote:If you update consciously
If you think, that choosing the update moment - and then still clicking the apply button blindly - has something to do with consciousness, than the result is a blind update.
Pjotr wrote:It's simply not practical to "Read the changelogs, see what the updates fix, browse the forums for signs of regressions, and make the decision yourself".
Strange. I have no practical problems with reading, investigating (browsing) and making my own decisions. I do this daily.
ADDITION: The real problem of the complete last paragraph is, that it disqualifies and reduces the Mint update policy to a cheap disclaimer without any practical value, "simply not practical" and "much too cumbersome". Now it is no longer a question about different understandings and interpretations, but about different approach.

Having now read several replies after this "refuse to consider" statement and the "if it breaks because of that, let it" (aha) continuation without any correction or restriction I realize now, that those were no writing errors, but user errors. I do not believe any more, that there will come anything more than rephrasing of the same standpoint and that discussing this further will not give any advantage or lead to any change.

This makes a "relative and personal" new judgment about that site necessary for a conscious understanding about it. "That's a disclaimer", very practical and not cumbersome at all.
Last edited by Cosmo. on Sun May 22, 2016 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by Pjotr » Sun May 22, 2016 12:39 pm

Well, each to his own. It's a free world. :)
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by BigEasy » Sun May 22, 2016 1:50 pm

Moem wrote:And I believe that real first timers should take their time to learn to use the software manager before they need to learn about installing through the terminal
He tried to learn software manager.
Bgarland wrote:It did not work via the command line, so I went to the Software Manager, found the software packet for Leafpad and installed it. Unfortunately it uninstalled Cinnamon. confused.
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Re: Accidentally uninstalled Cinnamon desktop, can't boot up in Windows, either

Post by BigEasy » Sun May 22, 2016 1:50 pm

Moem wrote:And I believe that real first timers should take their time to learn to use the software manager before they need to learn about installing through the terminal
OK. He tried to use software manager.
Bgarland wrote:It did not work via the command line, so I went to the Software Manager, found the software packet for Leafpad and installed it. Unfortunately it uninstalled Cinnamon. confused.
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