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Why Linux Mint Won

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#1 OFFLINE   mhbell

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:43 PM

Excerpt from Datamation

The real reason Linux Mint is successful

Now that we've covered the basics as to Mint's success, let's have an honest conversation. The reason why Linux Mint is successful is because they have always stuck to the KISS principle. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid and when applied wisely, allows for a great deal of predictability.


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#2 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:14 AM

Interesting article, thanks.

Mint wasn't my first distro, and neither was Ubuntu. I was running Ubuntu before I ever tried Linux Mint; then, I kept both distros installed for a few years. My first Mint installation was the 4.0 ("Daryna") release; my last one was Mint 9 ("Isadora"). All this was before Unity, and before Cinnamon and MATE.

After that, I quit installing Mint, but kept going with Ubuntu. Since then, I've run Mint a few times from live sessions, just to check things out. I've played around with Cinnamon in Mint, in live sessions, and I had Cinnamon installed for awhile in Debian Jessie. Oh, almost forgot, I had Linux Mint Debian Edition (aka "LMDE") installed for awhile, and I used Cinnamon there, too. I haven't had any interest in trying MATE.

When I saw the title of the article, I was thinking about how, after all these years, Linux Mint is still based on Ubuntu (except for LMDE, of course). In that sense, one could say that Ubuntu "has won." :)

But the point of the article is that Linux Mint has become the preferred choice for new Linux users, and for some pretty good reasons.

Back when I first tried Linux Mint, I thought it was easier to install than Ubuntu was. As I recall, Mint had a live/install CD, but Ubuntu still had separate live and installation disks. I was still fairly new to Linux at that time, and I preferred Mepis (R.I.P.) over Mint back then. But I could get Ubuntu disks shipped to me FOR FREE, from Canonical. That was a big factor for me, early on. I was using a dial-up connection back then!

Things are a little different now. Mepis is gone, and we have KDE Plasma 5 instead of good ol' KDE3. We have Cinnamon and MATE and GNOME Shell instead of the old GNOME.

And, we have MX instead of Mepis. I sometimes wonder how much more popular MX would be if they'd decided to go with a bottom horizontal Xfce panel, in the "traditional" Windows-like style, instead of using a left-side vertical panel (personally, I prefer the vertical panel, but I wouldn't have felt that way when I was new to Linux).

Also, I have no experience working with anyone new to Linux, not since several years ago when I was helping a neighbor get started. He chose Ubuntu (I didn't try to steer him one way or another on that choice). That was before Unity came out.

These days, I don't think I would necessarily recommend one distro over another, if I was talking to someone who was interested in trying Linux. I think I'd suggest trying a few distros in live sessions, and then I'd probably say something like, "Do some research, look into things for yourself, then go with what seems most comfortable to YOU."

I'd kinda step back and let them make their own decisions. And this is probably why I'm the last person who should be trying to "convert" anyone to Linux! :lol:

#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:46 AM

My experience with new Linux users has been to set up Linux on old desktops that worked fine but would otherwise be recycled when the "client" bought a new Windows laptop. Most folks were shocked to find out that the old machine quite often ran better than their new Windows throttled cheap laptop. But I digress.
In those situations the new user is familiar with Windows and Mint is a good choice because:
  • It maintains a sorta Windowesque look and feel.
  • It'll run fine on older hardware if you use the Xfce version.
  • It's a Ubuntu fork and uses Debian tech - which I know pretty well.
  • It's fairly stable and has long term support.
I use LM Cinnamon on my main Linux driver to keep current with it and because the grandkids find it quite easy to use when they visit.
I wasn't all that impressed with Mint when it first came out (green Ubuntu with codecs) but it has stayed the course while Ubuntu and Gnome based distros went away from the standard Windows paradigm. That is a good thing in my opinion.
If I meet a fairly competent Windows user who wants to get into Linux I encourage her/him to study the matter and make a decision based on one's personal needs and interests. But that is a very rare event where I am at the moment.

Edited by raymac46, 12 July 2017 - 08:20 AM.

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#4 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 06:29 AM

Mint schmint steamrolled by Slackware.

http://www.zdnet.com...he-winners-are/

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The votes are in. LinuxQuestions, one of the largest Linux groups with 550,000 members, has just posted the results from its latest poll. The winner for the most popular desktop distribution? Slackware!

http://fossforce.com/completed-polls/


Quote

Which of the GNU/Linux distros listed below would you choose to win the FOSS Force ‘Best Desktop Distro’ Award for 2016?

  • Arch (20%, 1,621 Votes)
  • elementary (15%, 1,251 Votes)
  • PCLinuxOS (10%, 857 Votes)
  • Slackware (8%, 678 Votes)
  • Solus (8%, 616 Votes)
  • Linux Mint (7%, 576 Votes)
  • Manjaro (5%, 431 Votes)




Quote

What was the best Linux desktop distribution in 2016? (qualifying round)

  • Arch (15%, 931 Votes)
  • Linux Mint (12%, 765 Votes)
  • PCLinuxOS (9%, 577 Votes)
  • Ubuntu (8%, 520 Votes)
  • Manjaro (8%, 500 Votes)

Interestingly enough both Manjaro and Mint slipped in the ratings. Good old Slackware made considerable ground to end up in the top 5.

What can you extrapolate from the results ?
Well loads of folks will look at say Mint and Manjaro on Distro Watch and possibly even install them but maybe they then uninstall them and decide to use a really great os like Arch or Slackware or PCLiinuxOS :breakfast:

Or maybe Mint and Manjaro are used by younger folk and they just do not have the stamina or necessary concentration to see a task through to completion. :tease:

Edited by abarbarian, 13 July 2017 - 06:29 AM.

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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:09 PM

Heh-heh... LQ.org has a BIG Slackware fan base. ;)

#6 OFFLINE   réjean

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:32 PM

For over 6 months I have been using 2 computers side-by-side, running all the time with Linux Mint Sarah on one and Ubuntu on the other both with Google Chrome and Firefox always open. I have installed the latest PCLinuxOS about a month or two ago (and I should probably give it a better try since I used to love it so much). I also have OpenSuSE and Mageia installed but I rarely use them.
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#7 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 13 July 2017 - 12:09 PM, said:

Heh-heh... LQ.org has a BIG Slackware fan base. ;)

Well it does host the main Slackware forums so you will always see LQ.org pick Slackware as their most popular distro.
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#8 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:56 PM

Personally I always suggest LinuxMint to new Linux users and have done so since Ubuntu first added Amazon search to their OS by default. I used to suggest Ubuntu to newcomers but after doing unethical things like adding the Amazon search by default, I started suggestion Linux Mint instead. I have like 6 people at work on LM now after my suggestions. I find it  to be a lot more stable and easier to use than Ubuntu is, especially for newcomers. Things like codecs and such just work on LM, unlike ubuntu where you have install codecs and such. LM also provides a better 'out of the box' setup in my opinion.

All that said, I basically only buy stuff from Amazon but I would never add an application to my computer from a retailer. You are just asking for issues if you do so.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:11 PM

I've never tried to convert MS Windows refugees to Slackware. I wouldn't even attempt it. It's NOT for fresh-faced ex-Windows users. That's for sure. I usually convert them using either Ubuntu or Mint. I used Mint for a while because most folks I introduced to Ubuntu first didn't like their desktop. However, now that Ubuntu has returned to the Gnome desktop, I may start using Ubuntu again. My aunt runs Xubuntu (Xfce). My brother is running regular Ubuntu. My pal Mike prefers Mint w/ Mate. I converted my friend Ron's mom using Xubuntu. All are happy and enjoying their computers once again. :)

#10 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:35 PM

My wife went down to visit her mother yesterday and took the notebook with Arch Linux on it. My 87 year old mother-in-law - who wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a computer and a microwave oven - has a wireless LAN in her house. It was put in by her son so his kids could get online.
Anyway my wife was able to get the password off the gateway and connect so she could show her mother some Facebook stuff. I have Network Manager installed.
Arch works great if you have it installed and updated before the naive user logs in.
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#11 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:53 PM

View Postraymac46, on 17 July 2017 - 07:35 PM, said:

My wife went down to visit her mother yesterday and took the notebook with Arch Linux on it. My 87 year old mother-in-law - who wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a computer and a microwave oven - has a wireless LAN in her house. It was put in by her son so his kids could get online.
Anyway my wife was able to get the password off the gateway and connect so she could show her mother some Facebook stuff. I have Network Manager installed.
Arch works great if you have it installed and updated before the naive user logs in.

Nice :thumbsup:
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#12 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:43 AM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 17 July 2017 - 06:11 PM, said:

However, now that Ubuntu has returned to the Gnome desktop, I may start using Ubuntu again.

That made me wonder if they will somehow incorporate some Amazon stuff into GNOME Shell. (Well, see my comments later in this post.)

Related: "How to Remove the Amazon Application from Ubuntu"

Quote

As of Ubuntu 16.04 the majority of the Amazon stuff has been disabled.

However, in Ubuntu 16.04, I logged into Unity just now, and I still see the Amazon icon in the Dash. But that was the first time I'd logged into Unity in quite some time; I have GNOME Shell installed in 16.04, and I don't use Unity at all anymore. I don't see anything Amazon-related in the GNOME session...

Ugh, I take that back. I opened the Activities Overview in GNOME Shell and started typing "amazon" and sure enough the Amazon button showed up. I hadn't realized it was still there -- thought I'd cleaned all that up. Clicking on it opens up amazon.com in a web browser.

After seeing "Suggestion 2 - Remove The Files Manually - Highly Recommended" in the article linked above, I checked just now and found that the following files still show up in my 16.04 installation:

/usr/share/applications/ubuntu-amazon-default.desktop
/usr/share/unity-webapps/userscripts/unity-webapps-amazon/Amazon.user.js
/usr/share/unity-webapps/userscripts/unity-webapps-amazon/manifest.json


Ew.

Well, at this point, I probably won't bother to remove those files.

But I'll be interested to see Ubuntu 18.04 LTS next year. That won't come with Unity. I hope there won't be any hint of anything related to Amazon in there, in GNOME, but I suspect that the Amazon button will still show up there in the Activities Overview; if so, that might be enough to make me finally drop Ubuntu for good.

Nothing against Amazon, which I do use sometimes, but I don't need anything Amazon-related in my Linux systems. I'd add a bookmark for Amazon, in my web browser, if I wanted that.

Already, I've been considering replacing Ubuntu 16.04 with Debian 9 ("Stretch") -- with GNOME -- but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet, and I'm pretty happy with using GNOME Shell in 16.04, for now. I'm in no big hurry to make a decision on that. Another factor for me is that I've had a (mostly) nice, long run with Ubuntu -- I've been running the LTS versions here since Ubuntu 6.06 -- and I have mixed feelings about ending that run. Nothing lasts forever, though.

Edited by saturnian, 18 July 2017 - 04:44 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:02 AM

Quote

Already, I've been considering replacing Ubuntu 16.04 with Debian 9 ("Stretch") -- with GNOME


I have been running Debian Sid with GNOME on the Thinkpad and I'm pretty happy. Mind you I added a few GNOME Shell Extensions like Dash to Dock and replaced the Acivities button with Applications and Places (sorta like GNOME 2 or MATE I guess.)
It'll be interesting to see what Ubuntu does. Will they customize GNOME or just go with the vanilla GNOME Shell?

Edited by raymac46, 18 July 2017 - 07:03 AM.

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#14 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:49 AM

raymac46, I guess I'm one of the few who actually likes running GNOME Shell with no shell extensions.

Well, after finishing my previous post, I thought things over. I don't believe that Ubuntu will get rid of that app or whatever it is that opens up amazon.com in a web browser, even though they're dropping Unity. And that bugs me.

So, I've decided to drop Ubuntu. I'm not even gonna wait for 18.04. The fact that Ubuntu has this Amazon connection included in the default setup has become too much for me to stomach.

With all due respect to the topic of this thread, Linux Mint is not an option for me. I'll concede that it's a nice choice for some folks who are new to Linux, but I don't need it. Also, I don't care much for Cinnamon, I'm not interested in trying MATE, and there are some other things about Mint that I don't like, as well.

I'll get to work on replacing Ubuntu 16.04 as soon as I can get around to it. I do want to have GNOME in at least one of my systems, so I'll go with Stretch and GNOME Shell and see how things go.

#15 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:47 AM

View Postsaturnian, on 18 July 2017 - 07:49 AM, said:

raymac46, I guess I'm one of the few who actually likes running GNOME Shell with no shell extensions.

Well, after finishing my previous post, I thought things over. I don't believe that Ubuntu will get rid of that app or whatever it is that opens up amazon.com in a web browser, even though they're dropping Unity. And that bugs me.

So, I've decided to drop Ubuntu. I'm not even gonna wait for 18.04. The fact that Ubuntu has this Amazon connection included in the default setup has become too much for me to stomach.

With all due respect to the topic of this thread, Linux Mint is not an option for me. I'll concede that it's a nice choice for some folks who are new to Linux, but I don't need it. Also, I don't care much for Cinnamon, I'm not interested in trying MATE, and there are some other things about Mint that I don't like, as well.

I'll get to work on replacing Ubuntu 16.04 as soon as I can get around to it. I do want to have GNOME in at least one of my systems, so I'll go with Stretch and GNOME Shell and see how things go.

The Amazon app you're referencing is just a "web app", with an icon in the launcher to invoke the script to open your browser with the Amazon website in a tab.  A couple versions ago, there was quite a ruckus about Ubuntu running Dash searches through Amazon.  It was enabled by default and could be disabled, but it was a PITA.  I agree with the masses that was spyware.  But that is no longer enabled.  And the "ubuntu-amazon-default.desktop" icon is no different than all of the "custom.desktop" icons I create for my Lubuntu desktop, or no different than any other application icons on your system for any software you don't use.  It's there, but not needed.

So you can do nothing and still use your Ubuntu 16.04 desktop with no fear of Amazon spyware; or you can delete all 3 of those files you referenced, with no ill effects whatsoever.  Your system, your choice, but wanted to let you know you don't HAVE TO take on that task unless you WANT TO.  FYI...

#16 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:23 AM

Yeah, I know that the "spyware" is actually gone now, but the fact that they still put that web app in there by default is enough for me to decide to bail.

#17 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:24 PM

View Postsaturnian, on 18 July 2017 - 09:23 AM, said:

Yeah, I know that the "spyware" is actually gone now, but the fact that they still put that web app in there by default is enough for me to decide to bail.

Fair enough...but I'm like "meh...no big deal".  I made my wife a desktop icon/webapp for Google Drive, because that's what she's used to; to me, an Amazon webapp link is about the same, minus the trouble of creating it myself.  But I get where you're coming from.  I LOVE that linux allows each of us to make that choice according to our own criteria!  Linux for the win!

#18 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:14 PM

Well, back in the day when Shuttleworth first started Canonical and Ubuntu, I wondered how he was going to make a buck from this. I guess sticking in a little Amazon here and Yahoo there has paid some of the costs of keeping Canonical alive.

#19 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:32 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 18 July 2017 - 02:14 PM, said:

Well, back in the day when Shuttleworth first started Canonical and Ubuntu, I wondered how he was going to make a buck from this. I guess sticking in a little Amazon here and Yahoo there has paid some of the costs of keeping Canonical alive.

Actually Canonical makes quite a bit of income from businesses (especially in the enterprise market). Companies buy support for Ubuntu server, Openstack, Advantage, MaaS. Landscape, etc. They also make money off of merchandise and they sell commercial software on the Ubuntu Software Center as well.

All in all, I would say that Canonical/Ubuntu is very profitable. They had $65.7 million in revenue back in 2013 alone. They were considering an IPO in 2015 so I imagine they are worth quite a bit more now.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#20 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:39 PM

Ubuntu is not really a Community project anymore. They do give Ubuntu away for free to Home users but they are very much a business nowadays.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#21 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:46 PM

Profitable? $65 Mil? Yeah, I'd consider myself profitable if I made that much money this year. ;)





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