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Today's Desktop Linux: Things You May Not Know..

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Old 06-23-2013, 09:58 AM   #21
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Linux Mint 15 is based on Ubuntu, which means that all the same software repositories and drivers can be used. Both the Cinnamon and MATE desktops look similar to Windows, offering a taskbar at the bottom of the screen and a start button (labelled “Menu”) at the bottom left.

Getting started with Mint is really easy, even for those who've never used Linux in their life. The installer guides you through the installation process, helping you partition your hard disk and automatically detecting and installing drivers for your hardware.

When Mint starts for the first time you’ll find that additional software such as supplementary media codecs and the Java engine – optional components in Ubuntu – have been installed by default. There's a suite of applications preinstalled as well, including Libre Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, the Banshee media player, the Pidgin IM client and the GIMP image editor.

Additional software can be installed by way of the Mint Software Manager. Available software is divided into twelve categories, including Featured applications and a view showing all 60,000+ available packages. Within each category, packages appear with descriptions and user ratings.

When it comes to getting work done, Mint is a breath of fresh air to get around in. If you've used Windows Explorer you will have no difficulty finding your way around in Mint's Nemo file manager. The MATE desktop environment lets you place a tiny overview of your virtual workspaces directly on the taskbar (or the “task panel” as it’s called in Mint).

Linux Mint’s new releases tend to bring evolutionary improvements. New features in Mint 15 include themeable login screens; a new software management tool called Software Sources; a new driver management tool; and a unified System Settings view – an improvement over previous versions that split settings icons across two different windows. The latest version of Cinnamon also brings support for what Mint calls “Desklets” – also known as desktop widgets, or “Gadgets” in Windows 7 and Vista. Cinnamon Desklets float on your desktop, providing at-a-glance information.

Linux Mint 15 is really slick! No surprise that it’s so quickly gaining popularity. DistroWatch (www.distrowatch.com) reports far more visitors seeking information about Mint than any other distribution including Ubuntu.

Be aware that upgrading Mint from one version to the next is not a straight forward task. Ubuntu offers version to version upgrades via its Software Updater tool. Mint on the other hand makes usability and stability priority one with its releases, and discourages users from upgrading from one version to the next as a matter of course. If you insist on doing so you’ll have to back up your system's data with the Mint backup tool, then perform a fresh installation before reinstalling your data. Not all that hard, and it gives you a perfect result this way, but another step or two you need to be aware of.

Alternatively, you could choose to install Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), a continuously updated “semi-rolling release”. It’s based on Debian instead of Ubuntu, and calls for “a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT”.

While no operating system is perfect, Mint 15 is, overall, a slick, easy to use distro that greatly appeals to long time Windows users. If you're mulling over which distribution to test first, Linux Mint is a highly capable, problem free distro to take those first steps with! Won't take more than a few minutes to become entirely comfortable with it, and from there on it's a revelation as you discover just how capable a modern cutting edge Linux distro like Mint can be!

Mint is kinda like the Toyota Tacoma of Linux distros, beautiful, virtually bullet proof, and good to go wherever and whenever you put it in gear and hit the gas!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #22
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I've been thinking about installing Linux for awhile now, think I might just have to do it now after doing some more research thanks to this thread. I've worked a little bit with Linux in school for my c++ programming classes but it was basically just a terminal window. I'm very savvy with computers so I'm sure I'll so just fine with it. But what's the difference between Mint and cinnamon?
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueJay View Post
I've been thinking about installing Linux for awhile now, think I might just have to do it now after doing some more research thanks to this thread. I've worked a little bit with Linux in school for my c++ programming classes but it was basically just a terminal window. I'm very savvy with computers so I'm sure I'll so just fine with it. But what's the difference between Mint and cinnamon?
Mist is the distribution, Cinnamon is one of the available desktops.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by BlueJay View Post
..I've been thinking about installing Linux for awhile now, think I might just have to do it now after doing some more research thanks to this thread..
Hey BlueJay, welcome to open source Linux on the desktop! Check out this link for information on Linux Mint, today's most appealing distro for desktop use.. http://linuxmint.com/

As Replica said, Mint is the name of the distro itself, while Cinnamon and Mate are two of the desktop environments you can get when you install Mint.

Let us know how things are going as you move forward with your new install. Ask any questions you like, we're here to help!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:36 AM   #25
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Had time on my hands yesterday (girlfriend was away), so I upgraded my main machine's operating system from Linux Mint 14 'Nadia' to Linux Mint 15 'Olivia'.

This time, instead of doing the recommended backup of my current system, followed by a fresh installation of Mint 15, then putting backed up essentials back in place, which is my typical approach to upgrading, I kept everything as is and did an in place 'apt-get system upgrade' instead. Had way too much installed and configured as I wanted it on this ASUS N73sv 17.3" laptop to seriously consider wiping it clean and starting over again!

Long story short, the apt-get system upgrade worked like a charm! The following instructions walked me step by step through the whole process: http://www.tecmint.com/upgrade-linux...linux-mint-15/

When things were complete the upgraded operating system was 100% responsive in every way. All my work configuring Mint 14 the way I wanted it remained fully in place as Mint 15 emerged ready to rock and roll!

Anyone considering a Linux Mint version upgrade should look the linked article over carefully then give the 'apt-get system upgrade' option a go. Do your normal system backup first, then see if this upgrade approach works as well for you as it did for me!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:00 AM   #26
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I want to try Linux Mint again, but I am too scared to try and install it myself. I don't know anything about computers.
I had Mint installed on a previous computer ( by someone else, half my age) and I really liked it. I don't have contact with the kid anymore.
How hard is is to screw up the install? I want to run a dual boot system just in case I need to use Windows (Currently have Windows 7)
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az4x4 View Post
Had time on my hands yesterday (girlfriend was away), so I upgraded my main machine's operating system from Linux Mint 14 'Nadia' to Linux Mint 15 'Olivia'.

This time, instead of doing the recommended backup of my current system, followed by a fresh installation of Mint 15, then putting backed up essentials back in place, which is my typical approach to upgrading, I kept everything as is and did an in place 'apt-get system upgrade' instead. Had way too much installed and configured as I wanted it on this ASUS N73sv 17.3" laptop to seriously consider wiping it clean and starting over again!

Long story short, the apt-get system upgrade worked like a charm! The following instructions walked me step by step through the whole process: http://www.tecmint.com/upgrade-linux...linux-mint-15/

When things were complete the upgraded operating system was 100% responsive in every way. All my work configuring Mint 14 the way I wanted it remained fully in place as Mint 15 emerged ready to rock and roll!

Anyone considering a Linux Mint version upgrade should look the linked article over carefully then give the 'apt-get system upgrade' option a go. Do your normal system backup first, then see if this upgrade approach works as well for you as it did for me!
I'd rather stick to the rolling release Debian Sid has. I've never seen the 'apt-get system upgrade' command before. I'm assuming it does the same as the 'apt-get dist upgrade' command?
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Boerseun View Post
I want to try Linux Mint again, but I am too scared to try and install it myself. I don't know anything about computers.
I had Mint installed on a previous computer ( by someone else, half my age) and I really liked it. I don't have contact with the kid anymore.
How hard is is to screw up the install? I want to run a dual boot system just in case I need to use Windows (Currently have Windows 7)
Nothing really to be scared of. Do a bit of exploring here: www.linuxmint.com and here: www.distrowatch.com to start with and you'll learn a lot!

Won't try to walk you through the steps necessary to successfully install Mint here and now, but there's a ton of information and how-to's available online that will fill in the blanks for you. Just be aware that's it's not a difficult task, and dual booting with Windows is no problem at all..
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:30 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Az4x4 View Post
Nothing really to be scared of. Do a bit of exploring here: www.linuxmint.com and here: www.distrowatch.com to start with and you'll learn a lot!

Won't try to walk you through the steps necessary to successfully install Mint here and now, but there's a ton of information and how-to's available online that will fill in the blanks for you. Just be aware that's it's not a difficult task, and dual booting with Windows is no problem at all..
Thanks. I will try and then shout for help if it does not work.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:26 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by replica9000 View Post
...I'd rather stick to the rolling release Debian Sid has. I've never seen the 'apt-get system upgrade' command before. I'm assuming it does the same as the 'apt-get dist upgrade' command?...
I wanted to stay with a Debian based distro as well on my ASUS Zenbook Ultrabook, basically for the rolling release feature. Found that everything worked well on that machine with Mint's Debian based edition installed, with one glaring exception. For some reason I could not get Netflix up and running.

With Mint's Ubuntu based distro I have no problem running Netflix or anything else. So yesterday I installed Mint 15 on the little ASUS as well, replacing LMDE. Now everything including Netflix works without a hitch.

As far as the 'apt-get' system upgrade from Mint 14 to Mint 15 that I did on the larger ASUS laptop is concerned, that's the first time I've tried it. It took a while to complete but the end result was pure perfection. All my programs and tweaks remained in place as is without so much as a hiccup in the whole process. If it continues to work as well as it did this time with every new release that comes along I'll be a happy camper! Time will tell..
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #31
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For you guys that are looking to take the first steps, try running the distros in a VM (virtual machine). Oracle has an open source virtualization package (FREE) https://www.virtualbox.org/ called virtual box and it's pretty darn good, comparable to VMware in many ways. That way you can install many different flavors and not worry about messing anything up, I have quite a few different OS's installed as VM's and they run like a champ
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:08 PM   #32
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...For you guys that are looking to take the first steps, try running the distros in a VM (virtual machine)...
Great suggestion! Installing VirtualBox on your Windows machine allows you to run any distro you want without modifying your Windows installation. Easy bullet proof way to get acquainted with Linux while keeping your Windows installation untouched...
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:41 PM   #33
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Netflix on my LMDE laptop!

I'm running LMDE 2013.03 (Linux Mint Debian Edition) on my laptop and it's as perfect a fit for my needs as an OS can be. Literally nothing that I want or need to do that LMDE isn't fully up to the task.

* Run everything I need including Adobe Photoshop and other Windows programs in Wine -- check.

* Set up the occasional VirtualBox VM -- check.

* Functions flawlessly with no need for anti-virus, anti-malware protection -- check.

* Never need to defragment the disk drive -- check.

* No registry to worry about and keep clean of unwanted junk -- check.

* Based on Debian 7 the system just works, keeps itself up to date and runs like the proverbial Swiss watch with not so much as a hiccup -- check!

The one fly in the ointment, for me at least, was that I couldn't figure out how to get Netflix working on my desktop.

Not that Netflix is essential, don't get me wrong. Just that I have Netflix on my Android smart phone and tablet and wanted to enjoy it on my LMDE laptop as well. But until I came across the following instructions I'd had no luck crossing that bridge.

http://www.hexpen.com/debian/2013/06...an-wheezy.html

Simple copy and paste procedure. Works with any Debian 7 based OS. Easy enough for even a Linux novice. Makes the whole process a piece of cake!

Ah, Netflix on my LMDE laptop!!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:20 AM   #34
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:53 AM   #35
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Nice uptime on that machine Replica. Pretty typical for a Debian based system! ..I don't show long uptimes on my main machine. It's used to test downloaded distros on other partitions, which of course requires rebooting. I could do my testing in virtual machines, but with plenty of disk space available it's more fun trying things out for real so there's no question about how they work..
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #36
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The only distro I've been tempted to try on my laptop lately is Gentoo. But with only a single core 1.8ghz cpu, it would take forever to set that up. I could precompile the packages on my desktop (2600k @ 4.5ghz) and then install them of the laptop, but I could do that with Debian too. Recompiled most of my Debian install, actually runs quite a bit faster now.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerseun View Post
I want to try Linux Mint again, but I am too scared to try and install it myself. I don't know anything about computers.
I had Mint installed on a previous computer ( by someone else, half my age) and I really liked it. I don't have contact with the kid anymore.
How hard is is to screw up the install? I want to run a dual boot system just in case I need to use Windows (Currently have Windows 7)
I did it! I am running MINT MATE. Install was super easy. I did not burn the DVD for install right the first time; had to do a little google on it and realized I could not just copy the file to the Cd, but had to do some other weird image burning that I never knew existed. After that it was a breeze, and so far I am impressed.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Boerseun View Post
''I did it! I am running MINT MATE. Install was super easy. I did not burn the DVD for install right the first time; had to do a little google on it and realized I could not just copy the file to the Cd, but had to do some other weird image burning that I never knew existed. After that it was a breeze, and so far I am impressed.
Awesome! Good on ya Boerseun!

Linux Mint MATE is probably the single best distro for new Linux desktop users, people looking for a system where everything "Just works!" right out of the box! As impressed as you are right now, give yourself time to become comfortably familiar with all the features that Mint's MATE desktop offers and you'll be even more impressed!

Keep us posted as your Mint adventure progresses. If you have questions Google is your friend as you've already found out. If you want to ask about something here don't hesitate, we're available!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #39
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What really sold me is that I have a HP OfficeJet printer/fax/scanner that I have a really hard time to work in Windows. The scanner never works. I always have to re-install and even then it does not always recognize it.
I installed Linux and going through the available applications there is a "simple scan" app. I clicked it and my printer started scanning. No separate install; it just works!
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerseun View Post
What really sold me is that I have a HP OfficeJet printer/fax/scanner that I have a really hard time to work in Windows. The scanner never works. I always have to re-install and even then it does not always recognize it.
I installed Linux and going through the available applications there is a "simple scan" app. I clicked it and my printer started scanning. No separate install; it just works!
That's a common reaction anymore! The development of the Linux kernel, the core on which Linux distributions are built, is faster and more focused than any other kernel development project in the world.

Android, the most widely used Linux distribution in the world, and today's run away best selling smart phone OS, does it's magic based on the power of the modern Linux kernel.

Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, OpenSUSE, etc., etc., etc., all these top tier desktop distros and more work like they do because they're based on the cutting edge technologies found in today's Linux kernel.

I posted this before but I'll post it again for the benefit of those who may not know anything about Linux kernel development and the benefits it provides..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=yVpbFMhOAwE

Little wonder that when you installed Linux Mint you found that things "Just Worked!" without further effort on your part!

Pass the word!..
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