Mint 18 - Forgetting Sarah Linux

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Mrkvonic, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Let me entertain you, maybe, with this long, fairly negative review of Linux Mint 18 Sarah 64-bit Cinnamon edition, tested on a laptop with UEFI, Secure Boot, 16 partitions, and a multi-boot setup with Windows and Linux, covering live testing, installation and post-install use and tweaks, including look & feel, networking support - Wireless, Bluetooth, Samba sharing and printing, awful smartphone support - iPhone, Ubuntu Phone, and Windows Phone, no multimedia support live and a failure to use codecs, partitioning, new update manager options, applications, second-attempt MP3 and HD video playback, resource usage, responsiveness, performance, battery life, suspend & resume, Mint-Y theme, customization and associated niggles, various problems like network issues, software defaults, some hardware bugs, and more. Have fun.

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-mint-sarah.html


    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Well, that's an interesting review, however, I have to say I had the exact OPPOSITE experience with the new Mint 18 Cinnamon x64. No issues, no problems whatsoever, everything just worked. I guess it just depends on what one does with one's machine, and probably more, what machine one installs it on. Each persons experience is always different.
     
  3. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

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    Maybe related to the fact it's based on Ubuntu 16.04...
    I had no problems with the MATE version myself though.
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Could be, however, they did spend 2 months cleaning up the Ubuntu 16.04 mess and IMO Cinnamon turned out extremely nice. I was about to try MATE also.
     
  5. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Maybe Linux just doesn't cope well with Lenovo hardware? It seems ever since Mrk has been using that laptop to test Linux distros, he's had virtually nothing but disappointment with it. My very first computer back in '96 was an IBM Aptiva P133 with the notorious mwave modem/sound card combo. Easily one of my all time worst purchases and never again have I or will I purchase any IBM-related desktop or laptop computer.
     
  6. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Not quite. Some distros worked really well. Take a look at last year's stock. Xubuntu 15.04, Mint 17.2. CentOS 7, which I'll share more soon. MX-15. Even more importantly, just follow the deterioration from one distro to another, on the SAME hardware. Just look at the smartphone test. 100% success in Rosa, 0% success in Sarah. SAME box. How's that related to Lenovo?
    Mrk
     
  7. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Generally speaking, Dell is probably the most Linux-friendly brand of all the laptop makers. They even have quite some models preinstalled with Ubuntu. Below is the hardware compatibility list for Ubuntu:

    http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/

    As you can see, although Lenovo has a long list of laptop models compatible with Ubuntu, G50 is not one of them.
     
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Sorry, just basing my observations on where I seem to remember seeing so many negative reviews of your overall test results over the past few years or so on several distros, as opposed to hard fact finding results. Please don't take it personally. My opinion on IBM-based hardware is simply from a really bad experience, and I'm the type of person who rarely gives a manufacturer of a poor product experience a second chance; I look elsewhere instead.
     
  9. joncr

    joncr Registered Member

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    I've two Lenovo machines, a desktop and a laptop. Linux works well on both. In the end, though, that doesn't really mean much. It's common for vendors to make changes in components without changing the model name or number. They'll test against Windows, of course, but that's it. So, someone who bought the same Lenovo hardware a month after I did might have problems I don't have. Or, vice versa.

    FWIW, 16.04 Unity was fine and smooth here with none of the issues I've seen reported. I routinely update immediately after an install, so perhaps those who do not update saw problems I did not.

    We need to remember that Mint is essentially an add-on pack for Ubuntu that's handled as a distribution. A visit to packages.linuxmint.com will show you the packages Mint maintains. Each Mint release is cajoled and canoodled to play well with the Ubuntu base it's built on. However, that base changes in ways that Mint cannot control. Except for the few packages Mint maintains, everything else comes from Canonical repos. That means the base Mint builds on changes with each update Canonical posts. (Which might have something to do with Mint's update policies.)

    MRK's insistence on consistency and usability and across Linux is valid and very necessary. Too many large -- and important -- projects chase over-large complex visions with insufficient resources. I.e., they bite off more than they can chew. The benefits perceived by users are very often not at all in keeping with the upheavals imposed on them by the changes. The obvious examples are Gnome and KDE: Support for existing stable products ends as developers turn to new efforts that take multiple releases and years to reach a modest level of stability. Lack of resources means users become unwilling testers, something developers often inappropriately characterized as being part of the "community". This approach needs to change.
     
  10. Nanobot

    Nanobot Registered Member

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    Here's a more positive & comprehensive (Since it includes some benchmarks/Comparison with Ubuntu 16.04) review for Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon Edition.

    Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon Review: They Did it Again!

    PS: Thread hijacking but dedoimedo deserves it :p
     
  11. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Even though Mint is mostly based on Ubuntu code, it ends up a vastly different beast in use. It has impressive plug and play capabilities which Ubuntu lacks. I've spent hours tweaking a cloned Ubuntu system to get it to work on different hardware and Mint just boots and works on the first try most times. I recently took the hard drive out of a dead Vista era Asus laptop that had Mint 17.1 installed. My client wanted a Lenovo X201 or X220 tablet convertable and I purchased a used X201 for her with no hard drive. I inserted the drive from the dead Asus and Mint just booted without requiring a reboot and loaded the right drivers including the touch screen drivers. It was completely transparent and effortless. It is this sort of hardware compatibility that makes Mint so popular. It is almost always an easy install that works right away and doesn't require extensive tweaking.

    Most Lenovo laptops are very Linux friendly. I've never had issues with any Thinkpad. That is part of their attraction: They support a number of OSes and lots of customizations of both hardware and software. I don't think the G50 is a problem. Mrk tests a lot of stuff that doesn't get tested in a lot of reviews like samba and smartphone compatibility and he does it very thoroughly.
     
  12. Impet

    Impet Registered Member

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    Taskbar in Mint 18 Mate didn't work at all, after rebooting network drivers were gone. I really like Linux Mint but with these ridiculous bugs it's not a replacement for Windows. Sorry ...
     
  13. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Pfew. Damnation galore. And well deserved.
    Edit;
    From that review;
    I'd almost crowdsource an initiative, to have this reviewer receive some kicks in the gonads, if only to restore balance in the universe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  14. joncr

    joncr Registered Member

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    I've used Fedora a lot, for a long time, and I haven't coded anything in 20 years. No, it is not intended as a drop-in replacement for Windows. Linux is not -- can not be -- a drop-in replacement for Windows. It's a different product entirely, just like OS X.

    Having a distro that can be installed and "just work" for naive Windows migrants is a worthy objective. Mint, Ubuntu and some others can do that sometimes, sometimes they don't. But, that is not tantamount to being a Windows replacement. Hardware is the great variable. (Weird things people do is also a factor, but we usually don't hear about those.)

    Rankings based on peeking at Distrowatch are, of course, silly. We lack any reliable method of measuring distro use. Even if we had a way to do that, who would use something based on its popularity?

    "Desktop environments", perceived as "chaotic" or not, are only the layer on top of a Linux distribution. No rules exist here. Gnome's approach is as legitimate as Mint's approach. "Traditional Linux desktop" is only a euphemism for copying Windows' panel and start menu design.

    From my POV, glitches and bugs in distros are usually down to lack of resources and a self-imposed lack of time.
     
  15. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Totally agree with this argument. For this reason alone, I will never use Mint, considering that there are only a few ppl maintaining such a large project as Mint. Errors and bugs surely will happen.
    I said it before, and I say it again. Go with a Linux distro that has stable streams of financial support such as Canonical/Ubuntu, not a distro that is a product of a few coders' hobby project.
     
  16. Anonfame1

    Anonfame1 Registered Member

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    To be fair, streams of financial support arent always a good thing.. Canonical injected spyware into Ubuntu (yes, it can be turned off), and Mint injects ads into the browser (can be stopped as well).

    In terms of buggy errored distros centering around community efforts, what about Debian? It has great stability, backports, backported bug and security fixes, and a dedicated security team through stable as well as a long term support team for oldstable. Its been awhile since I distro-hopped so I cant give other examples, but im sure other examples exist.

    I mean I get what youre saying- there are perks to having a company which offers the software as a product heading development efforts. I guess I just differ in that I think there are successful community efforts which avoid bugs/errors/crashing through a solid development model.
     
  17. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Agreed. What you said is not contradictory to my post: Debian is not a product of a few coders' hobby project. It has been well-established and been contributed by tons of developers. Mint, on the other hand, only has a few developers to maintain it, while they still try to release multiple flavors of Mint. I just don't think they have the resources to come out a quality distro even though they wisely base their distro on Ubuntu.
     
  18. Anonfame1

    Anonfame1 Registered Member

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    I see what you mean. I have had good experiences with Mint in the past (installing on my mom's computer), but with very basic needs. I have not tried anything since 17.2 tho..

    I havent distro hopped enough recently to verify your theory, but it seems reasonable to me.
     
  19. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    I always had that impression.
    Maybe if Mint was Cinnamon only... but then does Cinnamon justify a different distro, in fact does it justify itself ?
     
  20. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Ok, I finally downloaded and tested it. I booted a live session on my W520 and it hung on a cursor on a blank screen. I did a ctrl+alt+backspace and reloaded the GUI and it hung again. Not a good first impression. I tried it on my X201 tablet and got into Cinnamon with no problems and installed it on an express card drive--works as a USB drive. It took a while and I had to reinstall grub but that was due to an error on my part, not Mint's. It worked beautifully. I then put the drive in the W520 and it booted and worked just as if I had installed it there in the first place. Same result when I tried it in my X220 tablet and the multi touch display worked perfectly which is a different one than on the X201. Then I tried it on a W500 and the same magic. This is what I expect from Mint, absolutely brilliant coding when it comes to hardware which makes it a truly portable OS. It can boot on a completely different machine and work just as if it was a native install. No long waits, no reboots, it just works. Ubuntu can't do this. I spent hours getting my W520 Ubuntu install to work right after cloning it to the X220.

    I don't think the number of people working on it is an issue. In the areas the developers focus on, they do a brilliant job. A small team can mean better focus and design and better control over the code base. More coders means more review and coordination of code coming from different sources.
     
  21. joncr

    joncr Registered Member

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    I've always disagreed with calling that "spyware". Handled and presented ineptly? Yes. As long as the Linux community reacts in anger to efforts to generate revenue to support the products it uses, we will see things like that.

    Distributions are mostly about packaging. Apart from version differences, everyone is packaging the same software. Packaging can be botched, though. And, if you work against a fixed release schedule, your ability to incorporate bug fixes before a release date is influenced by the resources at hand, no matter if you are an enthusiast release or a corporation.

    I think distributions would be smarter if they just did not adhere to a fixed release schedule, at least for public purposes. Red Hat, for example, almost certainly has some kind of internal scheduling re: RHEL development. But, it does not announce a release date. This is known, euphemistically, as "release when it's ready". Fedora follows a schedule, then routinely delays release for what it considers "blocker" bugs. Elementary OS, like Mint essentially a small group of packges overlayed on an Ubuntu base, checks off a posted list of bugs before it releases.

    The PR side of fixed releases also has a downside. Users, primed by the hopelessness that is almost all of Linux media, expect Shiny New Toys with each release. That can't always happen. So, when a distribution cranks out a nice, improved, but routine release, it customarily gets pilloried for alleged lack of innovation.
     
  22. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    I have to agree with you on this point.

    People always ignored a sustainable development of a good distro, and are fond of jumping ship among distros. There is no problem with that really, but if you want a consistent, (almost) always usable system such as Ubuntu, you have to understand that someone has to pay, in one form or another, the cost of software development. What Ubuntu did with the so-called "spyware" is no more than what any shopping site is doing nowadays.

    Think about what the Linux world looked like before Ubuntu emerged, people. Linux before Ubuntu was only toys for a handful of true geeks. I would never use Linux as a desktop OS if it were not for Ubuntu. I can imagine at least some people are in the same boat.
     
  23. Anonfame1

    Anonfame1 Registered Member

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    Yeah, I agree. Poor choice of words/wrong. I do understand the incentive, and I know trying to get funding in Linux land is pretty hard to do. My biggest issue with that whole debacle is that you should have left it disabled by default and put a clear warning that the feature would be communicating with Amazon. It would have engendered so much more good will than the way they implemented.
    You know, Ive never really thought of it this way, but you have a very good point. E.g. a KDE based distro issues a release right at the end of a KDE development cycle, then continues to maintain it with security updates. Once the next version of KDE gets really solid and near the end of its cycle, they work on another release. Im sure this could pertain to any technology or ideology you center a distro on.
    Yeah, and payment is both in time and money. I hear you- I got my start on Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft.
     
  24. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

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  25. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    How's Mint's security nowadays (distro-wise)? I'm thinking of installing it on a friend's computer.
     
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