Supporting friends and some seniors with their forthcoming XP migration I have been considering different paths for these somewhat older machines:
- L/Xubuntu (good release/upgrade support)
- Linux Mint XFCE (very intuitive and XP-like UX/UI)
- elementary OS (good looking, really...)
...it’s all Ubuntu!
My concerns are very much of a practical nature related to daily use by "normal" people (you know what I mean - they don’t do sudo’s). To such people migrating from Windows XP due to the EoS/EoL, stability and predictability is important. As such long term support and automated updating/upgrading are important parameters and appears to be supported (to some extend) by the above. Being forced to re-install a new Linux version later this year is not good.
I know all of the distributions and I have as an experiment put Linux Mint XFCE 16 on an Acer Travelmate 2430 (Celeron, 1 Gbytes RAM) and it looks really good (and XP-like) and is very responsive - certainly the best result this far.
Question 1: Having been an Ubuntu user for years, I am quite used to a very seamless upgrade process. And even though I have promised myself to only go for LTS releases I have mostly taken any release upgrade offered. For the XP migrations I will be doing, I would like to disable these and only enable the LTS upgrades - something that is easily configured in Ubuntu. Can I do this in Linux Mint XFCE?
Question 2: If I choose to do the XP migrations with Linux Mint XFCE 16, can I expect to do a fairly straight forward upgrade (no re-install) during spring 2014? Or is Linux Mint XFCE 13 the right choice to avoid doing a re-install or complicated migration before 2017?
I could call Microsoft and ask them to give us another month or two with XP, and aim for Linux Mint XFCE 17 LTS, but I doubt they will align their life-cycle management with Linux roadmaps...
Question 3: Having migrated to Linux Mint XFCE and software updates are available, this is indicated in the taskbar and updating must be activated by the user (using password). Is there any way to automate this as an unattended background activity with minimal user intervention?
One concern I have with these XP users could be their use of Windows Live Gallery tools for organizing photos. I have no detailed understanding of how these tools manage, index or tag photos, but preferably all tagging should be kept and transferred into a similar tool on Linux. gThumb and Shotwell are both great tools, though working in quite different ways, but will be natural candidates on Linux.
Question 4: Anyone having any experience with migrating the photo content of Microsoft Live Gallery into Linux tools?
...surely I am not the only one looking into this over the next month or two.