19 Aug 2011

How system update can break love

My relationships with Linux Mint have never been stable.
I don't like Mint versions based on KDE or GNOME with Ubuntu underneath. Basically because Mint menu is not good for me. And Mint KDE is just spoiled version of Kubuntu. That's my personal opinion.
But at the same time I like Mint XFCE based on Debian.
It's not the love which lasts. It is love which comes and leaves from time to time. My first acquittance with Linux Mint XFCE made me to adore it. Then I had some rollercoaster with it. But feelings were still strong, and I decided to let Linux Mint XFCE to live on my hard drive. It is now installed as part of my 4-system lanscape.
To be honest, I have not booted Linux Mint for couple of weeks, maybe more. Different reasons, but mostly because I was not around my laptop for some time. Today I decided to give Mint a chance to update itself. It's based on Debian Testing which makes it constantly rolling.
Yes, there were quite a few updates since my last boot. To be precise, more than 350 Mb. Of course, about 15% of that was update of Chrome from v.12 to v.13. But other than that, there was...

Please meet! Linux kernel 3.0! Applause...
That was first time I have ever seen system with Linux 3.0. And I waited for system reboot with pretty much trembling limbs. Expectations, expectations...
So, what did happen after reboot into Linux Mint XFCE with kernel 3.0? Did anything change at all? I should say, yes.
Let's start from positive.
  • Chrome became stable. I am not sure if this is kernel 3.0, or Chrome 13, but... Chrome 12 was very much unstable before update. Lots of "ooops" pages when opening one site or another. Since update - no "kill page" windows any more! That's nice!
  • Menu became organised again. If you look at my post about Mint installation, you should notice that first update which I got straight after installation made main menu look like a complete mess. Update brought everything back to order. Now I have good looking and clearly understandable main menu again. That's nice.
  • New set of desktop wallpapers. Old ones got disappeared for whatever reason, but new ones are even better.
Anything else on positive side? To be honest, I have not noticed anything. And that's good. That's the way how update should happen. Invisible to user unless somethng nice happens.
And it would be the case, if not one "but" which happened to my system.
  • Do you remember the reason why I left Ubuntu and Kubuntu? One of the reasons was a bug with shutdown process. System killes wireless connection before samba shares (cifs) are unmounted. That made system to hang for 5 minutes until timeout happened for unmounting process. And now...I have exactly the same issue in Linux Mint XFCE. That was absolute surprise for me. Unpleasant surprise...

Here I need to open a little secret. My testing hardware is going to change soon. I will use different laptop for my experiments. In particular, this means that I will reinstall my systems. Inevitably this will be WinXP, Debian and Mageia. But will it be Mint XFCE? Unlikely. What will you suggest here?

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  1. I would suggest Joli OS, formerly Jolicloud. Fast, friendly, social and easy.

  2. For me an update in Linux Mint had managed to "destroy" the booting process, meaning that I was not able to boot at all. Although Linux Mint left a nice impression for me I got back to Ubuntu.

    Nevertheless my impression is that Ubuntu is becoming more and more bloated....

  3. @Neuromancer: thanks for suggestion. I am not ready for full move to cloud yet. But I'll have a look and possibly write my notes about it. Is it much different from xPud?

  4. @VasiaUVI: not sure if you tried Ubuntu or Debian based Mint. I don't like first, as I wrote. I also not much fond of LMDE. But XFCE edition was pretty good for me until recent update.
    I left Ubuntu because of issues with shutdown, but I disagree with you about bloating. It keeps pretty slim and stick to good selection of proven software. Not barebones as Bodhi and not "all-you-can-ever-want" as Knoppix.

  5. I'll try Mint XFCE, I've tried LMDE for some days, but as soon as I upgraded it (or better said updated?).
    My screen end up all screwed up. The biggest resolution I was able to achieve was 640x480. I'm not sure if it is my nVidia card or my monitor not being recognized.
    With Mint Julia that was not an issue.
    I'm starting to think is something there is some with my hardware, I have two days trying to make Gentoo works, but X refuses to go more than 640x480.

  6. @Guillermo Garron:
    I would try Live CD or USB which definitely worked on that hardware before. It'll tell you whether this is hard- or software issues.

  7. I would recommend taking the chance on slackware. Like you said it has no liveCd, and it does take a little while to setup the system (an hour or two depending on hardware) but it is pretty strait forward. On the plus side xfce is included by default and very easy to switch too.

    The last selling point is I have never had an update break one of my systems. I've always had to do that one myself.

  8. @Paul Schuster:
    I am scared on installing unknown OS on my computer, since I am not the only person who uses it. And I am also scared of Slack. This double scare will keep me off Slackware for long time I am afraid. 8-)
    And then... If I wanted Slackware, I would keep KDE version of it as most "native".

  9. Lol, its not a problem. Though I don't really understand being scared of slack. It was my first taste of linux and what I always go back to when I end up fighting dep hell in a another distro.
    Though just so you know slack installs xfce and the basics (terminal, the file manager etc) as part of the default install and switch between the two (or the other wm's slack includes as default) with one command. As far as what slackware's default wm is... I would have to say bash, as until you change the inittab runlevel, or manually startx that is where you start.

  10. Sorry, just checked back. Joli is nothing like Xpud. There`s actually a Chromium/Chrome extension that lets you load and experience it in your browser if you`re interested in the UI, etc.

  11. @Paul Schuster:
    Another proof that I know nothing about Slackware. 8-)

  12. @Neuromancer:
    They renamed jolicloud to Joli OS and made a web based front end called jolicloud, it is they're old 'desktop' if you will. Joli OS is similar to xPud but is a bit heavier.

  13. To me Xpud looked like a cartoon of an OS, plus it was barely that in name. Joli is way more polished with a beautiful interface that all the critics agree upon, plus all the apps anyone could want.

  14. Hi,

    Why don't you try Arch? It is a rolling release distro. Arch with openbox is a great setup and I have spent several hours to get it to my taste and at last, I wiped it out and installed Archbang, which is again Arch with openbox.

    Try Archbang and I am sure you will like it.


  15. @Balaji Neelakantan:
    Thanks for suggestion... I'll have a look. So far I only tried CTK Arch and was very pleased...
    Although, what might stop me, is absence of security signatures in Arch packages...