can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

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dexl
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can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by dexl »

Can you REALLY run a freshly installed LTS Mint from day 1 to its last day of support without having to reinstall the system due to broken stuff? I've never been able to do so... and I've been using Linux for over a decade now. Am I doing something wrong?

Errors include broken dependencies, missing desktop icons, or desktop that doesn't show up. And it's just regular web browsing usage, installing packages or uninstalling from the package manager (only those that don't uninstall the desktop stuff) and more often than not, system being broken after installing kernel updates, but these are automatic from the Update Manager - you'd think this would be safe to do so. What's the secret to running Mint until its End of Life without running into problems? Thanks.

BTW, I've never been able to fix missing desktop icons issue on my LM19.1 Tessa permanently. You'd think this should be possible...
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karlchen
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Re: can you run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling broken stuff?

Post by karlchen »

Honest answer?
No, I have never run any Linux Mint release from day 1 to the day, when its supported life ended. :shock:
The reason is simple:
I have never installed any Linux Mint release the day that it was first published, but waited a few weeks or even months, before I installed it. :wink:

Yet, once a Linux Mint release had managed to make its way onto one of my machines, it did not have the slightest chance of not going on working till the end of its supported life, without ever being re-installed from scratch once.

I am seriously wondering what I may be doing wrong, because I have not managed screwing up any Ubuntu / Mint system beyond repair for the past 10 years. I am really concerned. :cry:
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by catweazel »

dexl wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:45 pm
Am I doing something wrong?
Apparently.

viewtopic.php?f=206&t=299278&p=1695413#p1695422

It helps to take the advice given to you and report back the results.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by Larry78723 »

The only times I've had to reinstall is when I've made a bone-headed mistake or because of equipment failure, not because of software problems.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by jglen490 »

I, too, have run Linux for 25+ years. The recent crop of *buntu based (including Mint) LTS distros will run from day one to EOL without re-install (barring hardware failures). It is assumed in that scenario that the user keeps up with regular updates and does not venture too far outside the normal update path. Sometimes adding PPAs can cause issues, but certainly not all and not always. Just check on the reputation before bringing such things into the fold. I'd be careful with outside the mainstream software, also. But, again just pay attention to your use cases for stuff that is not in the standard repos.

So there's always a "yeah but" to everything, but in my case I stick very close to LTS versions of Kubuntu and Mint and have had no problems
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by Moem »

dexl wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:45 pm
Errors include broken dependencies, missing desktop icons, or desktop that doesn't show up.
I'll be honest here: I've been on Mint since 2015 and none of these problems sound familiar to me. The one reason why I can't run any version of Mint (they're all LTS these days) to EOL is that I'm curious for what's new in newer releases. Not so curious that I install it right away, but still curious. So I will generally install it by the time it gets to xx.1, alongside the previous version, and see how I like it. And this typically results in a pretty fast switch.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by jglen490 »

So just run the non-LTS upgrade path. Apply sensible decision making to varying from that when installing other software. You can innovate yourself into a failure :shock:
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
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Re: can you run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling broken stuff?

Post by karlchen »

Statement to be corrected:
karlchen wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:54 pm
Yet, once a Linux Mint release had managed to make its way onto one of my machines, it did not have the slightest chance of not going on working till the end of its supported life, without ever being re-installed from scratch once.
No rule without one exception:
On the same machine where I am typing, I once had Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. When Update Manager offered "Upgrade to Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon", I accepted and did the upgrade. Once the upgrade had finished Cinnamon refused to start. I suspect there would have been a way of persuading Cinnamon to startup on Mint 17.2 on this machine without re-installing from scratch.
Yet, I was simply annoyed that such a simple in-place uprade had failed. Therefore I nuked the installation, re-installed Linux Mint 17.1 from scratch, added xfce to it and kept Mint 17.1 till I decided this Mint 17.1 were the right candidate for being upgraded in-place to 19.

So, yes, Mint 17.x has been nuked and re-installed from scratch once.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by LanceM »

My longest install still running is on my neighbors old Acer desktop. I put Mint 17.x on it shortly after it was available. They still use it and don't want to upgrade it because they like being in a rut. Guess they'll wait and see what happens. I have not had to fix anything on it. She has just kept it updated. Next longest is 18.1 with Btrfs on a HP 15" AMD chipset laptop. Guy really uses it every day. Never has needed Timeshift and has had zero issues. He calls once in a while with a simple question. He has no computer skills and hasn't even looked in the menu other than to shutdown. Uses it to do email, weather, news etc. So, they too, must be doing something wrong :shock:
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by majpooper »

From day 1 to EOL without a fresh install . . . . well technically no (and who actually gets a version downloaded and installed on day except for a dev? - statistically I suppose somebody).
Speaking for my own machines that is never going to happen - one, because I am too curious and for sure will never wait until the EOL of one version before having looked over the next version and installing it, and two, because although I am a lot better now I am still libel to go all "monkey with a machine gun at the mall" and break something that any sane user would not have done in the first place - so, uh yeah, from time to time I have to do a fresh install before EOL to fix the self inflicted damage I have wrought.

On the other hand on my wife's machine and a few others on which I have installed LM for others those machines just hum along just fine until I suggest that it is time for and upgrade - in one case 17.3 all the way up to 19.1 - none of them "needed" a fresh install though.

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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by missmoondog »

been playing with linux for quite a few years and running mint for a bit. only time i had to reinstall is, as others have said, from bone headed moves on my part. i did make it all the way though the previous release of mint without reinstalling on any 7 of my machines, and i do some dumb stuff! have had to fix a few things on those installs, but nothing that was to difficult, with all the great help here!! :)

i did do a clean install when moving to this newest version. only way to go there.

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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by Pierre »

well - - theoretically - - you certainly could do that.

but, in reality, you probably won't - - as others have said, you would typically would wait, until others have tried it out,
& before committing to that New System & would probably bail out early, by moving to the Next New System.
8)
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by Moem »

jglen490 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:22 pm
So just run the non-LTS upgrade path.
What does that mean?
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by karlchen »

This cannot be good advice, because since Mint 17, all Mint releases have been based on the corresponding Ubuntu LTS releases only:
+ Mint 17, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3 - Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
+ Mint 18, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3 - Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
+ Mint 19, 19.1, 19.2 - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

So suggesting to switch to short term releases
  • either means switching to genuine Ubuntu and upgrade to the most recent release every 6 months, in April and October.
  • Or the idea is to modify the software sources on Mint every 6 months so that they point to the most recent Ubuntu release (short term or LTS) instead of the Ubuntu LTS, which the Mint release is really based on.
    Switching the upstream release in Mint is a really good way of breaking the sytem and should not be recommended.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by bjmh46 »

I ran Mint 17 without ever upgrading to 17.x from eol of mint 16 (non-lts) until slightly beyond eol of 17, when I decided 18.3 wasn't so bad. Still occasionally miss the rock-solid totally stable, everything works Mint 17 XFCE. Not only did I never re-install, but I cloned that install, and with a few tweaks, ran it on 4 other laptops for the same duration! Gotta love Mint.

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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by DisturbedDragon »

Absolutely. Release to EOL and so much further.

My main desktop install has moved between three different board/CPU upgrades and many version updates. Started at Linux Mint 13 and is now running Linux Mint 19.2. All run through upgrades, never fresh install. Highly customized install at this point. Last change from SSD to NVMe. System still performs like new. No software or hardware issues and 2Gb/s read/write on the NVMe.

Two other desktop computers that started on 17 and have been upgraded to 18.3. No issues. Never been reinstalled. One will never make it past 18.3 because of a special piece of hardware with limited kernel version support.

Four other laptops that started on 17 and have been upgraded to 19.2. No issues. Never been reinstalled.
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by zcot »

dexl wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:45 pm
Errors include broken dependencies, missing desktop icons, or desktop that doesn't show up. And it's just regular web browsing usage, installing packages or uninstalling from the package manager (only those that don't uninstall the desktop stuff) and more often than not, system being broken after installing kernel updates, but these are automatic from the Update Manager - you'd think this would be safe to do so. What's the secret to running Mint until its End of Life without running into problems? Thanks.
broken dependencies happen when mixing incompatible repositories, and that's a user error.

Many of the articles and instructions on the net, which any random idiot can put up, are horrible to just blindly follow. So many you see using the -y flag with installing various things and ppa's. What you want to do is never use the -y switch but instead use the -s flag(or --simulate, or --dry-run), this way you can see the potential package system destruction that would take place if you proceed. -y skips all that and will happily mix 2 incompatible repos. If you are trying to install 1 piece of software and the output shows you 284 packages to upgrade, 67 to be removed, 103 to install then you know to press n instead of y.

But timeshift could save your butt if you had blindly followed random internet instructions and used the -y flag anyway.

Sometimes articles aren't particularly bad, but they may be related to some major version from 7 years ago, and that's probably going to downgrade a bunch of related packages.

So, in the end, never just wing-it when dealing with 3rd party repositories.


Another bad thing, and we see this stuff all the time on the IRC channel(same stuff as above), is "going root". Users will install some incompatible software, cook up a bunch of the base system packages, run the cool new thing and "it doesn't work", so then "I even tried to run it as root". So now the file permission system needs a bunch of bbq sauce since that's the only thing that could make the charred stuff taste better and we have an unprivileged session trying to run files that it does not own anymore, and I don't know, desktop icons are not showing up, or who knows what type of madness it can bring.


The kernel issue. We always keep a previous working kernel(s) and when a newly updated kernel fails, then we hit the grub menu, select the advanced selection and boot to the previous kernel. Maybe /boot partition filled up and the new kernel didn't fully install, maybe the new kernel has a degradation bug. We can uninstall the broken one to go back to where we were.

Timeshift could redo it too.


So, the users who are using the system without reinstalling are doing this:
1. not mixing software dependencies in an incompatible way
2. not botching up the permissions scheme
3. using the easy tools for a kernel issue.


All 3 issues are fixable actually though. But never getting into a bad situation in the first place is better, although sure with the kernel you just don't know until you test out the new one.

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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by Hoser Rob »

dexl wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:45 pm
Can you REALLY run a freshly installed LTS Mint from day 1 to its last day of support without having to reinstall the system due to broken stuff?...
Of course you can, you just have to stop breaking your OS so badly that reinstalling is the best option :roll: :wink:

I've never installed a new point release the day it's released though, I'd prefer for some bugs to be fixed first. And while I've always intended to run LTS releases until EOL I've only done it once.

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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by LanceM »

Zcot said "But timeshift could save your butt if you had blindly followed random internet instructions..."
So very true and so few seem to realize it. Over half the problems on this forum would be gone if they just used it. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water....
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Re: can you REALLY run a LTS Mint from day 1 to EOL (end of life) without reinstalling?

Post by AZgl1500 »

My sister lives about 3 days drive from me.

I took an old Dell she has and installed 18.3 Cinnamon on it, and mailed it back.

that was a year ago....
unless I log into it with TeamViewer, it never sees an update. Can't remember if I ever did that or not?

It has never caused her any problems.... it just hums right along.
She is happy, I am happy.

On my newer ASUS TP500L, I have it set up for automatic updates via Cron Jobs.
likewise, it has never given me a problem....

Unless, I do something super stupid.... and then I use Timeshift to back out of that one.
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