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Linux_junkie
March 29th, 2011, 03:08 PM
I've been looking at Mint Linux over the past few weeks as I've been thinking of installing that distro. I've got copies of Mint Linux 10 for Gnome and LXDE and have been looking at their web site.

Apart from Mint Linux Debian edition all of the distro's are based upon Ubuntu even down to the support of each version. So if Mint Linux is in effect Ubuntu with a different theme/desktop design, why spend time and energy developing and supporting it?

But then, as suppose you could ask the same question with just about every Linux distro out there.

malspa
March 29th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Well, I guess most Mint users feel that Mint's an improvement over Ubuntu. I guess it IS a little easier to install and use "out-of-the-box." It might be an easier distro for folks new to Linux.

I've been running both Mint and Ubuntu for a few years now (sticking with LTS versions, for the most part). If I had to choose one or the other, I'd go with Ubuntu, at this point. In a similar vein, I'd run Debian Testing instead of LMDE. But other people feel differently, so that's cool.

Sean Moran
March 29th, 2011, 03:21 PM
I've been looking at Mint Linux over the past few weeks as I've been thinking of installing that distro. I've got copies of Mint Linux 10 for Gnome and LXDE and have been looking at their web site.

Apart from Mint Linux Debian edition all of the distro's are based upon Ubuntu even down to the support of each version. So if Mint Linux is in effect Ubuntu with a different theme/desktop design, why spend time and energy developing and supporting it?

But then, as suppose you could ask the same question with just about every Linux distro out there.
Mint is great, and some of my firends online swear by it, but I don't see it as anything more than I can do with a standard script of apt-gets after I install my custom mini-ubuntu distro. It's just Ubuntu with a slightly hipper rap to me, but some of my friends love it.

I like to think about what packages I add to my system, and mostly they're all the same as Mint, but I feel more comfortable when I know that everything I installed came from a definite script with definite parts that I definitely decided I must have had. eg. xgalaga.

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 03:27 PM
I got Linux Mint XFCE RC this morning. I have to tell you, I was disappointed:

- It came with kernel 2.6.32
- It came with xfce 4.6
- This is the first distro that I see that comes with only one workspace setup by default
- VLC player is good, but in general I disagree with using QT apps as default on a GTK based system
- Firefox 3

Those are some of the reasons I don't like it. I understand the idea of having older and more stable software and I understand how people completely new to Linux can be confused about the different workspaces, but this is not the distro for me. I don't think Mint is bad, I just think Mint is definitely not for me.

This is something for you to think about too.

VTPoet
March 29th, 2011, 03:28 PM
When I install a new Linux Distro for Windows Users, I install Mint rather than Ubuntu. Mint goes the extra mile, adding polish and (various Codecs, CSS, Adobe Flashplayer, etc...) which, until recently, weren't exactly easy (for a Windows user) to install. Their package manager has also tended to be more newbie friendly. The first time I installed Ubuntu, I spent two to three hours just trying to figure out how to play a &%$# DVD! I almost threw my Ubuntu CD in the trash.

I later had to re-install Ubuntu. I spent 6 hours trying to get a DVD to play because of a bug installing codecs. That really boiled my dumplings.

Mint comes closest to having everything a new user (from Windows) would expect. I've heard PinGuy OS is also good that way, but I've never hopped into that Distro.

Mint might also come into its own if the first (and or second) iteration of Unity turns out to be a buggy flop. Unless rumors have changed, Mint plans to stick with Gnome.

The real game-changer will come with Wayland. If Wayland lives up to its promise, distros who stick with X-Windows might be relegated to niche status. If it doesn't, then a distro like Mint will be there to catch the collateral damage.

Disclaimer: This is all just my opinion.

malspa
March 29th, 2011, 03:35 PM
Disclaimer: This is all just my opinion.

Yep! Hey, it's good that it's out there, good that we have that choice!

Probably the two things that bug me most about Mint: The "Minty" Google search in Mint's Firefox, and the fact that their version of Synaptic doesn't have a "Mark All Upgrades" button. Both issues are easy enough to get around, though.

But I have to admit, Mint's been great here. Right now, I'm running the main (GNOME) version of Mint 9, but I installed KDE in it and I use that instead. It's been a pleasure to use. Can't say that I wouldn't recommend it to people, if I was inclined to go around recommending distros.

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 04:24 PM
When I install a new Linux Distro for Windows Users, I install Mint rather than Ubuntu. Mint goes the extra mile, adding polish and (various Codecs, CSS, Adobe Flashplayer, etc...) which, until recently, weren't exactly easy (for a Windows user) to install. Their package manager has also tended to be more newbie friendly. The first time I installed Ubuntu, I spent two to three hours just trying to figure out how to play a &%$# DVD! I almost threw my Ubuntu CD in the trash.

I later had to re-install Ubuntu. I spent 6 hours trying to get a DVD to play because of a bug installing codecs. That really boiled my dumplings.

Mint comes closest to having everything a new user (from Windows) would expect. I've heard PinGuy OS is also good that way, but I've never hopped into that Distro.

Mint might also come into its own if the first (and or second) iteration of Unity turns out to be a buggy flop. Unless rumors have changed, Mint plans to stick with Gnome.

The real game-changer will come with Wayland. If Wayland lives up to its promise, distros who stick with X-Windows might be relegated to niche status. If it doesn't, then a distro like Mint will be there to catch the collateral damage.

Disclaimer: This is all just my opinion.

Mint can do things that Ubuntu cannot due to license issues. It was indeed nice to see flash and codecs working out of the box, I should have mentioned that as a plus in my post.

Unity is Gnome and if Mint "sticks with Gnome" this means that they will use Gnome-shell. Since GS is a much bigger change then Unity, I am not sure they will not suffer.

Last time I heard, Ubuntu was also planning to move to Wayland and so does Fedora. This probably cover the majority of Linux users (not counting cell-phones).

I also think that Mint has diverged enough from Ubuntu to be its own thing now.

uRock
March 29th, 2011, 04:43 PM
I've been looking at Mint Linux over the past few weeks as I've been thinking of installing that distro. I've got copies of Mint Linux 10 for Gnome and LXDE and have been looking at their web site.

Apart from Mint Linux Debian edition all of the distro's are based upon Ubuntu even down to the support of each version. So if Mint Linux is in effect Ubuntu with a different theme/desktop design, why spend time and energy developing and supporting it?

But then, as suppose you could ask the same question with just about every Linux distro out there.

I think people like it because of the start menu and the buttons on the right as opposed to the left be default. Personally, I would never use nor recommend it. If people want the look of Windows, then let them use Windows.

I can't wait to see how they decide between Unity and GNOME 3 in the near future.

MonolithImmortal
March 29th, 2011, 04:58 PM
Some things:
-Linux Mint XFCE recently switched to being debian testing based.
-Mint Fluxbox is planning on switching to debian testing as well.
-Mint plans to use Gnome 3 without gnome shell in Mint 11.

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1708
http://www.ainer.org/news/linux-mint-11-katya-with-gnome-3-announced

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 05:04 PM
Some things:
-Linux Mint XFCE recently switched to being debian testing based.
-Mint Fluxbox is planning on switching to debian testing as well.
-Mint plans to use Gnome 3 without gnome shell in Mint 11.

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1708
http://www.ainer.org/news/linux-mint-11-katya-with-gnome-3-announced

If I understand correctly then, I need to use Mint + Gnome to get a good feel of what Mint actually is? If Mint + Gnome at least as current as Ubuntu 10.10?

Also, what would Mint use in place of Gnome-shell? Metacity (Gnome classic) or Compiz without Unity (I guess, Compiz classic)?

MonolithImmortal
March 29th, 2011, 05:13 PM
Also, what would Mint use in place of Gnome-shell? Metacity (Gnome classic) or Compiz without Unity (I guess, Compiz classic)?
No idea. I think Gnome 3 also has a fallback mode.
http://www.marcusmoeller.ch/privates/try-gnome3-with-fallback-mode.html

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 05:22 PM
No idea. I think Gnome 3 also has a fallback mode.
http://www.marcusmoeller.ch/privates/try-gnome3-with-fallback-mode.html

That's what I mean by "Gnome classic". Gnome 3 does come with Gnome-panel and Metacity, but those are supposed to be used as "fall-back" and not default. They are not longer developing and/or supporting Gnome-panel and Metacity, this I don't think this is a viable option for a distribution.

Compiz is still on for the WM. Unity created its own Dock + Menu (which is all that Unity is), so I guess Mint can use their own menu (which they already have) and maybe AWN. The new XFCE-panel is also very good, but then there is too much mix-and-match.

Elfy
March 29th, 2011, 05:33 PM
I can't wait to see how they decide between Unity and GNOME 3 in the near future.

Last time I heard there would be no decision to make as they were not going to be using unity.

Personally I'm glad that at least one gnome distro appears to be heading for gnome-shell as default.

lovinglinux
March 29th, 2011, 05:53 PM
I am a KDE user. I usually install a command-line only Ubuntu using alternate CD, then add KDE and the stuff I need. But recently I have been experiencing issues with Ubuntu, mostly system freeze, data loss and corruption. Long story short, it seems the problem was a bad SATA cable placement. However after a particular reboot, I wasn't even able to start Ubuntu. Since I had to reinstall it again, I decided to give Mint KDE a try. I have been running Mint KDE for almost a week now.

It seems to be more polished than Ubuntu with KDE. I am pleased with it.

TBABill
March 29th, 2011, 07:02 PM
I use Ubuntu, Mint, LMDE and Debian. Mostly Debian right now, but I do alternate on some machines. I'm unsure where the disdain for Mint comes from. It really is Ubuntu under the hood with what many feel is an improved set of packages (Adobe Flash, Sun Java, codecs, DVD support and others by default - yes, legal restrictions so Ubuntu cannot distribute like that, but Mint fills a niche by doing so). It also adds some tools, changes the desktop, adds in Mint Menu and others. There's really no down side to it at all and I think it does take it one step closer to "easy for new users" than Ubuntu. However, Ubuntu has come miles, especially with the ability now to add in non free drivers and updates at install. But, I find myself taking Ubuntu, adding flash, adding codecs, removing Open JDK, and other steps. What I am really doing is what Mint has already done to get to a desktop complete enough to get to work.

I'm not in any way hating on ubuntu. I love using it and since it was my first distro I keep coming back. I always take time to help others and learn for myself on it as well. I just find it difficult to understand how an enhanced Ubuntu is in any way a bad thing. Just like Pinguy. I haven't tried it, but if it does what its reviews claim it does then it may certainly fill a nice niche.

And for LMDE, well, Mint took what used to be an ugly distro (fonts) with a plain desktop and it added a level of elegance to it. And it simplified the Gnome desktop to a single bar for users who like that (right now I have Squeeze with dual panels - I like having two sometimes). Debian is great if you don't mind learning how to install a driver and how to care for your system, and Mint has done a wonderful job of integrating with Debian and making many things easier. And now work is underway for a set of install tools to do what Ubuntu's tools do on its distro, making adding proprietary drivers easy on Debian. That should be exciting for users who want a fast and stable system that is as easy to install as Ubuntu.

I'm not seeing any down sides to any distros from Ubuntu to Debian to Mint. They're all great for what they are built for and since it's all a Debian base there really doesn't need to be an "us versus them" thinking about it. More users on any of them means a win for the open source community.

Copper Bezel
March 29th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Last time I heard there would be no decision to make as they were not going to be using unity.

Again, they're using Gnome 3, but in Classic mode by default, not Shell.

beew
March 29th, 2011, 07:32 PM
Again, they're using Gnome 3, but in Classic mode by default, not Shell.

I heard you can't use the classical mode with gnome 3 from another thread, so according to those source Ubuntu would have to go with the shell if it upgrades to Gnome 3 or it has to find something else besides the classical mode,--in this case Unity.

Thund3rstruck
March 29th, 2011, 07:42 PM
I personally love Linux Mint. I've been running Linux Mint 9 now for quite a while and it hasn't broken my installation yet (the way Ubuntu does after every software update).

uRock
March 29th, 2011, 07:44 PM
I personally love Linux Mint. I've been running Linux Mint 9 now for quite a while and it hasn't broken my installation yet (the way Ubuntu does after every software update).

That is funny being that most of your updates come straight from Canonical's repos.

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 07:48 PM
I heard you can't use the classical mode with gnome 3 from another thread, so according to those source Ubuntu would have to go with the shell if it upgrades to Gnome 3 or it has to find something else besides the classical mode,--in this case Unity.

You can use classical mode with Gnome 3, it is just that Metacity and Gnome panel will not be supported much longer. Get an article or statement by a developer, not some random guy on the internet (like me).

Ubuntu is going with Gnome 3. Unity runs on top of Gnome 3 and replaces Gnome-shell (which is only one component of Gnome 3). Ubuntu 11.04 has Unity and Classic modes by default, Gnome-shell will probably be available in the Software Center.

beew
March 29th, 2011, 07:55 PM
You can use classical mode with Gnome 3, it is just that Metacity and Gnome panel will not be supported much longer. Get an article or statement by a developer, not some random guy on the internet (like me).

Ubuntu is going with Gnome 3. Unity runs on top of Gnome 3 and replaces Gnome-shell (which is only one component of Gnome 3). Ubuntu 11.04 has Unity and Classic modes by default, Gnome-shell will probably be available in the Software Center.

I think the classical mode is the same as Gnome panel + Metacity, no? The statement from the developers is that these won't be supported so I am not sure how anyone would know you can use it with Gnome 3 because I can imagine the classic mode would get more out of sync with Gnome 3 without concurrent development.

11.04 doesn't run Gnome 3. It runs Unity on top of Gnome 2.something.

TBABill
March 29th, 2011, 07:56 PM
Like 99% of them! Possible that people use Ubuntu, suffer through the bugs after initial release, then get fed up enough to move to Mint and find fewer bugs because Canonical has fixed many of them by that time. Not much comes from Mint's repos versus the Ubuntu repos in Ubuntu based Mint.

beew
March 29th, 2011, 08:02 PM
Like 99% of them! Possible that people use Ubuntu, suffer through the bugs after initial release, then get fed up enough to move to Mint and find fewer bugs because Canonical has fixed many of them by that time. Not much comes from Mint's repos versus the Ubuntu repos in Ubuntu based Mint.

I agree, that's why I always install a month or two after official release to make sure all the serious bugs are fixed. I do testings on external drives but never on my work machine.

Wiebelhaus
March 29th, 2011, 08:06 PM
It's a nice introduction to linux distro , Clem has done a very nice job of customizing it for new and advanced users who just want a distro to run quickly without having to tweak it themselves. It also seems to run better on weak hardware.

XubuRoxMySox
March 29th, 2011, 08:09 PM
That is funny being that most of your updates come straight from Canonical's repos.

Yes, but Mint has a "safety net" that Ubuntu does not. The Mint Updater allows a user to select only "Level One" (security patches), or "Level One and Two" (updates that have been tested and approved by the folks at Mint) updates and ignore the riskier ones.

One of the things Ubuntu is famous for (besides "taming" Debian so ordinary humans can use it effortlessly) is the frequency of updates that b0rk a perfectly good system. Suddenly sound won't work after an update, or wireless quits, or a printer stops working or whatever following an update. This is much rarer in Mint than in Ubuntu, at least for those who opt only for "Level One and Two" updates.

Of course there's a way to do the same thing in Ubuntu, but for newbies and "ordinary typical desktop users," those Mint Tools like the Updater are a simple, graphical way to guard against the "b0rked after update" complaint that is more common with Ubuntu users who just "update all" or "Mark All Upgrades > Apply."

Some have said that Mint has "crippled Synaptic" by disabling the Mark All Upgrades feature, but IMO it's a "safety net" for impulsive kids like me, lol. It "sends" the user to the Mint Updater instead. And you can always choose to accept all the updates and accept the risk.

Mint has really come into it's own lately, applying those innovations to Debian as well as Ubuntu now. It's a long way from "Ubuntu with green paint" now.

Everyone picks on Mint, but I think Mint adds alot of unique stuff all their own rather than just dress Ubuntu up with codecs and apps that can be added by anyone anyway. There must be a zillion Ubuntu-based distros all serving a niche and bringing new users into the Linux / FOSS / Ubuntu / Debian fold. God bless them all!

-Robin

qamelian
March 29th, 2011, 08:12 PM
I think the classical mode is the same as Gnome panel + Metacity, no? The statement from the developers is that these won't be supported so I am not sure how anyone would know you can use it with Gnome 3 because I can imagine the classic mode would get more out of sync with Gnome 3 without concurrent development.

11.04 doesn't run Gnome 3. It runs Unity on top of Gnome 2.something.
Actually, the Gnome 3 developers have stated that the panel and metacity will remain as a fall back in Gnome 3 for machines without the graphical hardware to run Gnome-shell, i.e., no compositing. There were actually some screenshots floating around last week using the Gnome 3 versions.

malspa
March 29th, 2011, 08:14 PM
I'm not seeing any down sides to any distros from Ubuntu to Debian to Mint. They're all great for what they are built for and since it's all a Debian base there really doesn't need to be an "us versus them" thinking about it. More users on any of them means a win for the open source community.

I agree 100%.

el_koraco
March 29th, 2011, 08:14 PM
tried it out once. the windows menu freaked me out so much that i just threw the cd in the trash.

uRock
March 29th, 2011, 08:15 PM
I regress, as I do not want to turn this into yet another Ubuntu vs. Mint thread.

malspa
March 29th, 2011, 08:16 PM
tried it out once. the windows menu freaked me out so much that i just threw the cd in the trash.

LOL! Yeah, I don't like the Mint menu, but it's easy to switch to a normal GNOME menu.

XubuRoxMySox
March 29th, 2011, 08:17 PM
Moving to Recurring Discussions in 3...2...1...

3Miro
March 29th, 2011, 08:25 PM
I think the classical mode is the same as Gnome panel + Metacity, no? The statement from the developers is that these won't be supported so I am not sure how anyone would know you can use it with Gnome 3 because I can imagine the classic mode would get more out of sync with Gnome 3 without concurrent development.

11.04 doesn't run Gnome 3. It runs Unity on top of Gnome 2.something.

Yes, Gnome Classic is Gnome panel + Metacity and those are no longer "supported", which means no new features and/or bugfixes. On the other hand, those will be included in Gnome 3 at least for the time being as a fail-safe mode.

11.04 DOES RUN GNOME 3. This is the thing that people don't understand and it drives me nuts. Gnome is a very large project with many different components. The official Gnome 3 project replaces Metacity with Gnome-shell, however, Ubuntu wasn't using Metacity for quite some time (unless your hardware doesn't support effects, Ubuntu defaults to Compiz). Canonical decided to not use Gnome-shell and replace it with Compiz-Unity (Unity is just a dock and menu for Compiz). All other components of Gnome 3 will be included; Unity is Gnome 3.

malspa
March 29th, 2011, 08:35 PM
Yes, but Mint has a "safety net" that Ubuntu does not. The Mint Updater allows a user to select only "Level One" (security patches), or "Level One and Two" (updates that have been tested and approved by the folks at Mint) updates and ignore the riskier ones.

One of the things Ubuntu is famous for (besides "taming" Debian so ordinary humans can use it effortlessly) is the frequency of updates that b0rk a perfectly good system. Suddenly sound won't work after an update, or wireless quits, or a printer stops working or whatever following an update. This is much rarer in Mint than in Ubuntu, at least for those who opt only for "Level One and Two" updates.

Of course there's a way to do the same thing in Ubuntu, but for newbies and "ordinary typical desktop users," those Mint Tools like the Updater are a simple, graphical way to guard against the "b0rked after update" complaint that is more common with Ubuntu users who just "update all" or "Mark All Upgrades > Apply."

Some have said that Mint has "crippled Synaptic" by disabling the Mark All Upgrades feature, but IMO it's a "safety net" for impulsive kids like me, lol. It "sends" the user to the Mint Updater instead. And you can always choose to accept all the updates and accept the risk.

I think it's fine that the Mint Updater lets the user go with only level 1 and level 2 updates or whatever, even though I haven't run into problems in Ubuntu after bringing in all updates, even after all this time using Ubuntu.

I just don't think they should have completely removed the "Mark All Upgrades" button from Synaptic -- the user should have the option to put it back, at least.

I'm thinking that folks new to Linux would be using mintUpdate instead of Synaptic, anyway.

But, it's no big deal, a minor gripe. The work-around is rather simple, in the end. After a "reload" in Synaptic, I just click on the Status button, select "Installed (Upgradable)," click on one of the packages in the list, do a ctrl+a to select all the packages in the list, right-click on one of the packages, select "Mark for Upgrade," and click "Apply."