Posts Tagged ‘computers’

Recently, well not recently, more like a few weeks ago, there was a post about LinuxMint development concerning LMDE and its Mint distros.  The article can be found on Segfault here: http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2015/02/about-betsy/   I was surprised to find out that LMDE’s rolling release model was removed due to lack of interest.  Also, many resources were pulled from the distro.  I understand that.  In fact it makes sense, it is just frustrating because I really like Cinnamon and didn’t want to go to an Ubuntu based solution.  I am not sure of Ubuntu’s commitment to Linux, or if they are slowly moving and making Ubuntu into a derivative of Linux, but away from what I would call a standard Linux base.  Are they going to add things to Linux so that their Linux is totally unique?  That is why I have stayed away from Ubuntu based distros.  And since LinuxMint’s offerings, other than LMDE, are based on Ubuntu, well LMDE was my only choice.

Recently, though, after watching a few YouTube vids on Linux, I started to contemplate how much I have been involved in running Linux.  How much have I struggled through and How much trouble Linux used to be.  Linux now compared to 6 or so years ago is a world away.  Other than some companies not really being ready to work with Linux, most hardware works fine with Linux.  I remembered how much Ubuntu was welcomed by the Linux community because they readily put in the codecs and other items that most people wanted in the first place, but had to hunt for those needed codecs due to legal suits and other threats made by various companies who were hostile to Linux.  Ubuntu made it easy to get videos running and to watch YouTube  videos.

Because of that and the new stance by the LinuxMint team to treat their distros as LTS releases rather than keep up with Ubuntu’s 6 month release schedule.  They are choosing quality over quantity.  They appear to try and buck the appearance that Linux is buggy and that is what you need to accept.  I have already installed the latest Cinnamon release by the Mint team and am going to run it for at least a year.  I am also planning to dual boot my laptop with Debian Jessie, or testing.  I have set up in VirtualBox Jessie LXDE and it runs great.  I am curious how well and what it takes to get all my hardware running well on Jessie LXDE.  I also want to see how low a memory footprint I can get.  I administer some machines where I work and some of them are REALLY old.  512 MB of memory.  If I can get a super low memory footprint from Jessie LXDE, then I will have a longer term solution for those machines.  I am disappointed in LMDE, but my reasons for wanting to run it have been put into perspective by remembering how much good Ubuntu has done for Linux in general.

LinuxMint, to me, is the best distro for those new to running Linux.  It has a good similarity to Microsoft’s product and it can run on older machines.  I don’t believe the average ‘surf-the-web and email’ computer user will miss anything with LinuxMint Cinnamon or MATE other than the latest flash games on Facebook.

Here’s to quality and success of the LinuxMint team.

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I watch mainly Linux people on YouTube.  I have even played with the idea of starting a YouTube channel to do videos concerning Linux.  Recently, one person I watched has run up against the driver wall of Linux.  By this I mean the inability of Linux to match driver quality and compatibility for hardware.  Linux has this trouble for a few reasons, first, the desktop computer world is Microsoft centric.  Now I know there is the idea that the concept of desktop computers are dead.  I guess this means laptops as well.  I am not sure about that.  Businesses still need desktops to produce documents for communication and presentations.  I would hate to have to produce a PowerPoint presentation all on a tablet.  I don’t see Microsoft allowing Apple total access to MSOffice software for their digital devices.

This has caused others repeating hard feelings about Linux and Linux developers in general.  The developers that build the basic components for Linux are mostly rooted in the non-proprietary software camp.  If you research even FOSS and Open Source camps have some fundamentally different views.  Linux has worked up hill for years.  Hardware people have consistently refused to make good drivers for Linux.  I wonder how much the FOSS and Open Source developers have not cooperated with these hardware people.  I think Ubuntu and Linux Mint could offset that if they worked with these hardware companies.  That might in the end be the biggest problem with Linux.  While I have been a Ubuntu avoider, I must say they have brought in some very good things to Linux.  I now wonder if they could be a solution to drivers and other problems.

Linux is not MS Windows!!!! It never will be.  It was, and is, being developed with an entirely different philosophy.  A different goal.  I heard one person say Linux is less stable than MS Windows.  That is an unsupportable argument.  Linux is very stable.  It just has crappy drivers and some of the software pieces for Linux get bogged down due to roll over in their staff.  You see, most of the developers for Linux are doing it in their spare time and do it for the Love of the project.  Linux has some bugs and holes.  Some of the desktop environments need tightening up in a big way.  Some distros just need to close shop and join other distros so that we get a higher quality from each of the distros left.  Linux also requires some knowledge on the users part.  MSWindows wants users to just point and click.  Linux is a system that generally requires the user to know some information and some technical knowledge.  That is how it is….

Anyway. . . . Linux is what it is. . . .  a project designed to be free and the software open for all to mess with, to collaborate on and do something new.  Linux is freedom from proprietary ideas and monitization.  Those who come into Linux thinking it has no problems have been fooled.  For all those computer users who just want to point and click.  Stay with MSWindows or Apple.  If you want to grow in your technical knowledge, then come to Linux.

Admit it, if you’ve been part of the GNU/Linux community for any length of time, you’ve probably have thought about finding that perfect distribution. There’s got to be a distribution that doesn’t have _______. Fill in the blank yourself. We’ve all been there. I believe it is that thought that causes distro hopping. Distro Hopping is that disease where you try a “flavor” of GNU/Linux for a month or two and then find another “perfect” distro that will be the one. The one distro that provides the computing ecstasy that you are looking for. I will burst you bubble now. That perfect distro doesn’t exist. It never will. Why? Because we all look for the latest flashy wallpaper and we don’t look at some central issues that are more critical to our computing satisfaction. I am starting a series of posts on choosing a distribution. I am doing it for myself as well as you, the reader.  I hope to help just one distro hopper to end their journey. I also want to end my travels and settle down with one distribution.

For most of us, the world consisted of Microsoft’s operating system and Apple’s operating system. Those were the choices. Since Apple’s answer is pricey, that left most of us with Microsoft’s answer.  We were happy.  Well, not happy, but we settled for it since there weren’t any other options.  Once we found GNU/Linux, we realized there was a choice, then we discovered there are many, many, many choices.  We search that list of distros in order to find the “perfect” GNU/Linux version.  I keep hearing http://www.distrowatch.com say there are almost 400 active distributions.  If you’ve used GNU/Linux and never heard of Distrowatch, I am sorry to introduce you to that site. They list the top 100 distros on their site. To add to the confusion, most http://www.youtube.com reviewers of distros use a surface level reviews which consist of just looking at the surface of a distro.  I admit I have my favorite reviewers, but when I look at what they review in a distro, I am somewhat disappointed because they don’t seem to point out the differences that matter to me.  You see, I can load almost any package on any distro. So the initial installation doesn’t matter that much.

This series of articles is about another way to evaluate a distro and how to find one that you can stick to for a long time.  I really don’t believe that there is a perfect distro, but I hope to show you how to select a distro that you can live and use for a long time.

NEXT TIME: Part 2

To all readers, please give me feedback. I will watch and update this series.