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Linux Mint: the New Ubuntu?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the skeptical-skylarks-and-bandwagonning-bandicoots dept.

Linux Business 685

MrSeb writes "In the Linux world, a war has been raging for a couple years. At stake are the hearts and minds of its user base. The combatants: the various distributions of Linux itself. For some time, Ubuntu Linux has been the clear leader in the fight, amassing more users than any other. Canonical and its baby seemed poised to take over the Linux desktop/laptop market completely — until it released Unity. Unity has caused an uproar in the Linux community — especially amongst the power users who decry its lack of customizability and inability to scale on big- and multi-monitor setups — and users are defecting in droves to Linux Mint, now the second most popular Debian-based distro and gaining fast on Ubuntu. Mint has very similar commands and shortcuts to Ubuntu, runs most apps the same as Ubuntu, and you can customize it to look and feel exactly how you want — which, for most users of Linux, is exactly what they want."

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How about Fedora? (5, Interesting)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026620)

I've never been able to figure out why Ubuntu is so popular. It has always felt a bit annoying distro to use, especially with sudo and apt. On the other hand, after I tried Fedora I can't but love it. It goes really well along with CentOS too, if you run servers, and has a much larger company backing it (Red Hat). So why is Ubuntu more popular than Fedora? Is there some specific reason I don't see?

Re:How about Fedora? (5, Informative)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026718)

Is there some specific reason I don't see?

You did see it. For some reason your mind interpretered apt as annoyance. Debian package management was and is way ahead of any rpm distro.

Re:How about Fedora? (3, Informative)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026840)

Fedore isn't very stable according to my own (very limited) experience.* Also, Ubuntu sports a mediaplayer by default and downloads the required codecs without hassle (doesn't bend over for patents, it just shows a warning screen once that what you do might not legal in all countries, and you might have to get a license for the relevant patents).

Also, dpkg/deb repositories are richer than rpm repositories.

* even non LTS Ubuntu releases

Re:How about Fedora? (5, Interesting)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026952)

I agree with this.

I am a Linux novice, and I recently installed Ubuntu and I found it refreshing that rather than give me a couple hours of headaches later, it gave me the option to download and install these items during the OS install. Previously you were constantly hitting these tripwires because it wouldn't install something that was "not free software".

Honestly, I will probably continue with Win7 for the bulk of my computing tasks because I don't want to invest a lot of time troubleshooting my home PC - "just works" appeals to me. Linux is fun to switch over to for a day or so but I always run into something that "just works" with my Win setup so.. back over I go.

I appreciate what people are doing with Ubuntu and Mint and I will keep checking. As soon as it's seamless for me, the novice, I'll switch. Until then...

Re:How about Fedora? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027146)

The reason I keep Ubuntu on my machine is because it boots really fast compared to an XP (I have quite a few programs installed on XP and it got rather slow).

Re:How about Fedora? (5, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026948)

So why is Ubuntu more popular than Fedora? Is there some specific reason I don't see?

For me it was RPM Hell. Before YUM, installing software using RPM's was a nightmare. You first had to download the RPM you wanted. Then you tried to install it, only to find that you needed more RPM's to fulfill dependencies. You would search and find those RPMs, only to find out they had their own dependencies, and the number of RPM's needed increased exponentially as each level grew. Well, this sucked!

Then I tried Debian. I typed in apt-get install app-name, and it found all the dependencies needed and installed them. There was nothing more for me to do. I vowed never to go through RPM Hell again! The problem with Debian, of course, was that it was always dated. Deb Stable was years behind everything else.

Then came Ubuntu. It was up to date and came with apt-get. That was it! I was done! I vowed never to go back to anything that used RPM's again, even after yum came out.

I tried Mint a few years ago. It was buggy as hell for me. Whenever the machine rebooted, about 2/3 of the time, I received a BusyBox prompt that really allowed me to do nothing. While onsite, I could simply reboot until it came back up. This was not an option when I was connecting remotely. Ubuntu never had this problem, which really confused me because Mint was based on Ubuntu.

Right now, I'm running the latest Ubuntu with either XFCE4 or Trinity KDE. Unity sux IMHO. It's not so much that I can't configure it as much as it that I can't figure HOW to configure it. With the old Gnome, I would click System and it would pull down a menu that either allowed me to edit personal or system configurations. I have no idea how to do that in Unity and I really don't care to learn. Hell, it's almost easier to type "gedit /ect/configfile".

Re:How about Fedora? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027120)

It has always felt a bit annoying distro to use, especially with sudo and apt.

What's annoying about sudo and apt? You don't have to use sudo if you don't want to, adding a real root user is easy. But using sudo is good practice on any Linux system. And apt? Apt is one of the major reasons to use a debian based distro.

Re:How about Fedora? (5, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027236)

Ubuntu wasn't always annoying. I think until recently it was one of the most polished user friendly experiences there was. I think with their recent missteps that it is becoming annoying. Unity sucks and there is no indication in the latest release that the penny has dropped in Ubuntu land what they need to do to fix it.

A lot of people might contemplate going over to Fedora. It works pretty well with GNOME Shell. I doubt the different package manager means anything most of the time but yum has one pretty compelling feature - the presto plugin for yum which downloads and applies delta rpms. For the life of me I do not understand why deltas haven't been a standard feature of every dist for the last decade. Downloading a 30MB file just to apply a fix which probably only touched a few lines makes no damned sense.

Definition of Linux is...muddled (3, Informative)

locokamil (850008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026624)

I wasn't aware that FreeBSD was a Linux distribution. At least it appears to be on the ranking site linked in TFA...

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026728)

FreeBSD and the likes was included due to popularity (requests) rather then it being "linux" per se. For most users, having it within the rankings is much more valuable then the possibility of confusion.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (1)

locokamil (850008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026810)


I moved over to FreeBSD after ext3 ate my data a few too many times. It's a good operating system, but package management is a pain. If only if someone could port APT over to FreeBSD... sigh.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026874)

Have you tried Debian GNU/kFreeBSD? It's Debian with the FreeBSD kernel. I haven't used it so I'm not sure how it stacks up against Debian GNU/Linux and FreeBSD.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (3, Interesting)

locokamil (850008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027176)

Yeah, I looked into it a couple of months ago. It looks like a good start, but there are a few problems, at least from my point of view:

1) They appear to have knocked out the FreeBSD userland and replaced it with a GNU one. Nothing wrong with that, of course; the problem is that my "stack" (random scripts, and actual project code) assumes a FreeBSD userland. This is probably my fault... I should look into making my code more portable.
2) It's pretty sparsely developed. I don't expect corporation-backed support a la Redhat, but active forums and plenty of FAQs would be nice for any distribution I decide to use.
3) Finally (and this is strictly personal preference) architecturally, I like where the FreeBSD userland is/is headed. Clang/LLVM, ZFS, jails... all good things. I'm not if/when these things (or their equivalents) will ever make it into Linux.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026938)

I spend most of my time in Linux Mint these days because I haven't gotten around to setting up Crashplan under FreeBSD.

EXT3 definitely has data corruption problems that I've never seen on any other filesystem. I think the only ones close are UDF on a CDRW and any filesystem on a ZIP disk.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (4, Funny)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026978)

How apt to port apt, port apt-port to port an apt port and apt a port!

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027128)

Take a look at the pkgng project. It's currently in testing. Ports are great for source installs, but binary packages on FreeBSD can be a bit problematic. The pkgng project looks like it's doing a pretty good job of addressing this. There are also plans to do complete package builds on a weekly basis, which should fix some of the headaches with binary packages.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026748)

That page is distrowatch. It is more about Open Source distros than Linux.
Linux just tends to top the chart.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026998)

Linux Distributions - Facts and Figures

Last Update: Friday 11 November 2011 04:00 GMT

Nice reading of the <h1> there.

Re:Definition of Linux is...muddled (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027158)

I guess they need to fix that line because in the title they say Linux, BSD...
Probably has some Solaris in their as well to be honest.
Yep they need to fixt that.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026656)

On Linux Mint, do you actually still have keymap files for the console? Because that could persuade me to switch right there.

Re:So... (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027112)

What? You don't need a distro for that. dumpkeys.

Isn't it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026702)


Real men use ... (2)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026704)

Gentoo! You know its true.

Re:Real men use ... (2)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026818)

Arch isn't bad either. I personally use ArchBang.

Re:Real men use ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026826)


Re:Real men use ... (3, Funny)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026962)

And Mad Scientists (like me) uses Slackware

Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (-1, Troll)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026710)

If you're abandoning a distro because you don't know how to change the default GUI, you probably shouldn't be looking at Linux in the first place.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026780)

And this kind of thinking is why the year of the linux desktop never comes >.>

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026842)

Mod this up. GP is typical Linux user who assumes Linux should only be used by those who desire to support random software packages and get off recompiling their kernel. *roll eyes*

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027006)

I ran into these roadblocks before when I tried to switch. My laptop's wireless and sound didn't work along with a few other features and I got a lot of comments like "compile it yourself" or "use thiswrapper or thatwrapper" or "use wine". What if I don't feel like you should need development experience to get your PC running or keep it running...?

If you want regular people to adopt you should make it easy enough for regular people do adopt...

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (-1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026850)

The year of desktop was 1995. Let's move on already. Free software is more ethical than the alternative and is less of a dick to the end user regardless of what it runs on.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026800)

It's not about that. Sure, I an others have installed KDE or XFCE instead, depending on whether you prefer full featured or light and clean. The problem is they made the *default* environment be one suitable for tablets. Power users who are new to Linux do NOT know they can change this. They pick up the thing they've most heard of, Ubuntu, install it, find it sucks ass, and get turned off from Linux entirely. It is HURTING LINUX on the desktop.

And it just looks unprofessional to ignore the screaming of your user base, to be entirely unwilling to accept that what you did is not a good thing, and undo it.

Yes, we long time Linux people know we have choices. I know how to find them. But the nature of the simple, default, most popular thing MATTERS. It does, even if there are choices to change it.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

jrminter (1123885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027122)

I think it is a bit more complicated than you suggest. I wanted to move from Mandriva to an Ubuntu based distribution. Like you noted, I thought the new Gnome and KDE were a tad bloated and wanted XFCE, so Xubuntu seemed perfect. I installed it and generally like it. However, a lot of the panels that made sysadmin easier seem to be tied to Gnome/KDE. Had trouble setting a system proxy (besides setting environment variables in my shell startup file.) I'd read the Ubuntu documentation and it referred to panels I didn't have. Figured most of it out, but took quite a bit of work. Basically, I'm pretty satisfied with Xubuntu. Looking forward to the next release which is an LTS release. I like to use my system(s) to do work, so want to get out of the 6 month upgrade cycle...

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

logarithm (2496758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027232)

I also installed xubuntu a while back. It's a good replacement for GNOME, and I'm satisfied at the moment

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026814)


Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026838)

The point is:
  1. I want something that Just Works (as much as any Linux distribution Just Works).
  2. Changing back to Gnome 2 in Ubuntu is basically going to be become impossible unless you compile Gnome yourself from sources
  3. Other distributions which already Do What I Want are available, so why wouldn't I use them instead?

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026884)

Silly me, thinking it was about freedom and choice.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027000)

Changing the default GUI depends on your distribution packaging alternative GUIs without fucking it up. If your distribution can't package a default GUI without fucking it up, they're likely to not do the alteratives very well either.

The solution is to get a GUI agnostic distro. Debian proper has good packages for whatever GUI you care to run.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027040)

No, people are abandoning the distro because it's become painfully obvious that the people running it are batshit insane. It wasn't that they moved to unity, it's that they released an alpha quality Unity with a release. But, it's more than that, have they ever fixed the bug that made it impossible to log in via bluetooth keyboard? I temporarily dropped them because of that bug. OpenSUSE isn't afflicted by that particular problem.

Unity itself probably wasn't that much of a problem it was just obvious, up front and hard to ignore, I suspect that most of the folks that dropped it afterwards had been contemplating it up until that point.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027222)

Agreed. I have two issues with Ubuntu in recent releases:

(1) It's getting too buggy for my likes. I think this stems from (a) a focus on UI innovation rather than quality, and (b) they follow a bugs-be-damned 6-month release cycle.

(2) Lots of people, including me, hate Unity vis a vis Gnome 2. To be fair, many of us also hate Gnome 3 vis a vis Gnome 2, so Ubuntu didn't have many good options for people who like Gnome 2. But a lot of us think Ubuntu would be far stronger if they put their effort into making Gnome 3 be as good as Gnome 2 (like Mint did), rather than developing Unity.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

Nihilomnis (2469528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027064)

Come now, that's similar to placing prerequisite the ability to switch a steering wheel from the right side of a vehicle to the left or switching from a steering wheel to a game-pad to be allowed to operate said vehicle.

Honestly, if one can simply switch distributions and be pacified by the default GUI, why should one take the time to change the GUI after every install and possibly upgrade? I can see if there are dependencies in a specific repository and one doesn't want to compile all the time, but if someone had specific needs like that they would be able to change the GUI easily.

Re:Talk about a knee-jerk reaction (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027150)

If there a very similar distro that has a sane default GUI, why not go with it? That's what I did.

Desktop interfaces should not be tablet interfaces any more than beer should be 100% pure water. Both are good in the right context. I don't want to waste time making my own beer, I'd rather spend the time drinking it.

I recommend Mint now. (4, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026714)

I can not recommend Ubuntu to new users at all at this point. For having things "just work", Mint is where it's at, these days. Canonical got too full of themselves, and dropped the ball. Unity isn't the only problem.

Re:I recommend Mint now. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026922)

What about laptop wireless cards that need the special driver... Ubuntu had the "helper" that said, "you need this, click here to install" Last try at mint lacked that.

Re:I recommend Mint now. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027026)

I'm fairly sure Mint has had something like that for a long time.

Re:I recommend Mint now. (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027044)

What do you see as the other problems beyond Unity?

Just switch to AnalingusOS instead! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026720)

It happened when I was 19, a guy I met a guy in my College library took to his dorm and turned me around having pulled pants down. I figured he wanted to eat me doggystyle, when he stuck his tongue up my anus...

7 years later and more than 30 partners of all shades; half of whom have performed analingus on me, has me thinking its perhaps the new cunnilingus and 10 years time it will be part of foreplay.

PS: I return the favour.

Your thoughts.

11.10 made me switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026738)

to xubuntu. Never been happier.

Re:11.10 made me switch (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026928)

Same here. A few changes here and there and it had all I liked about Gnome 2.x

Re:11.10 made me switch (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027118)

+1, AND it frees up more system resources!

Fixing Gnome3 (5, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026760)

The big promise of Linux Mint lies in the upcoming release 12. They are trying fix what the Gnome developers fucked up so royally and no one else has been able to do: fix Gnome3. They have a set of extensions that, at least judging from a static desktop screenshot [] , look like they will actually make Gnome3 usable like Gnome2. The release candidate due tomorrow [] should tell the story for these MSGE (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions).

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (5, Informative)

Daniel_is_Legnd (1447519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026832)

Mint 12 RC as actually already been released. They recently took it down to reduce server load.

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (4, Informative)

gshegosh (1587463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026916)

Having tried the RC for a few dozen minutes, I can tell that MSGE is quite good in making Gnome3 feel more "like home". Having the bottom window task list bar and sane alt-tab experience doesn't magically fix what is broken in Gnome Shell (configurability is still missing), but it's a step in a good direction IMO -- it lets people used to "old" ways upgrade their systems with less fear.

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026970)

I'd go way beyond that statement. I'd say it takes a flat BUSTED ASS release by the horns and goes a long way toward fixing it. Not for a bunch of old farts, but for everyone. And it's not about fear; it's about a refusal to take three steps back to no purpose.

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (2, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027134)

Problem is, GNOME Shell doesn't need fixing, GNOME Shell actually works. Unfortunately geeks stubbornness too :)

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027256)

Gnome Shell might work on a tablet, but it sucks dick as a desktop shell. Unity unfortunately can't really be said to be any better.

Re:Fixing Gnome3 (1)

mohsel (2505642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027248)

"look like they will actually make Gnome3 usable like Gnome2" This looks brilliant ! the real evolution of gnome2 and not a transformation to something else. Anyway, I will not be surprised by the fork option, cause i think that the guys from gnome really want the shell as it is

Wait ... (0, Troll)

Scholasticus (567646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026764)

But ... but ... I just learned in another thread that all versions of Linux were totally worthless and unusable and that anybody with any sense used Windows 7. Now I'm confused, somebody tell me what to think! :-(

Re:Wait ... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026912)

It sounds like you'd benefit from a Mac...

Re:Wait ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027060)

If he wants to be told what to think, he probably already has a Mac.

Re:Wait ... (5, Funny)

maxdread (1769548) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026930)

Shocking, it's almost as if Slashdot is made up of multiple people with varying opinions.

Re:Wait ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026990)

Use Windows 7. It's the OS-use equivalent of giving up on that low-pay non-profit job that was somewhat rewarding but required massive investments of time and effort and getting a nice, cushy day job that lets you relax on weeknights and weekends. And let's face it, the only reason you didn't do it earlier was because you didn't want to admit that your parents were right, and you should have just gotten the office job in the first place. Then you could have moved out of their basement a long time ago.

Re:Wait ... (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027140)

Windows is way more maintenance-intensive than Linux. It's only the initial setup of Linux that's more work.

Linux N00b (0)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026766)

I'm a long time linux n00b (play with it from time to time but don't make my living with it). And I hate Unity. It felt like a step backwards, or more like Microsoft took over the design.....and its left me looking for another distro.

Re:Linux N00b (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027126)

Try Linux Mint, it's quite easy with sane defaults for pretty much everything. I'll probably switch from Linux Mint to Linux Mint Debian Edition as it looks to be where the development is going to be happening in the future. Not that it's official I just imagine that if Canonical keeps going the way that it is, that eventually the switch will be needed.

I like that it just works so I have it as my everyday OS when I'm not gaming or experimenting and for that it seems to work well.

Re:Linux N00b (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027130)

Like Microsoft took over the design? Interesting, I thought the opposite - looked to me like Apple took over the design. Everything dumbed-down and pre-determined, no choice, no freedom.

Re:Linux N00b (1)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027214)

same thing? :) Actually, yes apple would be a better choice of comparisons. I've never owned a mac....;)

Mint 12RC (5, Interesting)

Daniel_is_Legnd (1447519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026770)

I downloaded Mint 12 RC this morning and the new desktop is fantastic. The nice look of Gnome 3 with all the great features of Gnome2. Instead of telling users what to use, they listened and create a fantastic product.

Re:Mint 12RC (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027008)

You have to hunt for the 12RC download, but it's there.
Go to , pick a mirror, open the "testing" folder and pick an ISO image.

Not just the GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026776)

I ditched Ubuntu because of it's insistence on using pulseaudio, which just doesn't work right on my hardware. It lags the audio in video play back and often just crashes the audio application.

That's your standard realtek onboard hardware.. if they can't get that right, they aren't going to get my patronage.

Also unity is a pretty dumb decision, but yea

Re:Not just the GUI (0)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026806)

Pulseaudio is the worst. I never could get it to work with a Creative Audigy sound card. I just had to laugh when someone said "It's not going to work on every exotic configuration!". Yes... Because we all know how exotic Creative Labs sound cards are.

"second most popular Debian-based distro" my ass (5, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026824)

The reference [] in TFS actually shows Mint is THE most popular linux distro of ALL distros at the moment. Look at the last column (1 month).

Re:"second most popular Debian-based distro" my as (4, Informative)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026926)

It's actually blown Ubuntu away for the last 6 months!

Re:"second most popular Debian-based distro" my as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027210)

Then again distrowatch is just one of the possible sites to look for download figures... Check out these figures: []

apt-egt install xubuntu-desktop (1)

Jaro (4361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026828)

I just recently got a netbook and installed Ubuntu 11.10 on it - because the hardware support really isn't all that bad. Normally I'm a conservative Debian guy. After trying to convince Unity to look the way I want it to look and failing miserably I just did an 'sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop' and now I'm set. Really love it.

Small Error.... (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026886)

"and you can customize it to look and feel exactly how you want"

no you cant get rid of the non standard 2 pixel wide scroll bars that pop up to a scroll tab when you get over them. I hate them. I have spent hours trying to disabled the damn things and they stay there on the File manager and the settings apps.

Make the damned things go away and back to NORMAL scrollbars.

Re:Small Error.... (5, Informative)

Vanders (110092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026986)

Kill it with fire:

sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar-0.1-0

Re:Small Error.... (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027074)

I hated the new scrollbars horribly when I first encountered them, thinking it was some kind of touch-swipe interface only. I didn't realize that the scroll handle appears when you float over them and had resorted to scrolling by clicking in a window and using the arrow keys.

But once I figured out the pop-up handle thingy, I've got to say that I really really like it. Less wasted screen space.

Now missing the same thing on Windows at work.

I'm stuck for now :( (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026888)

I've finally got Eclipse properly integrated with Subversion, which is less trivial than one would hope. On a whim I upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 (I figured it wouldn't break my Eclipse/Subversion setup).

I hate Unity, but I'm afraid to change distros until my current project is over, because I don't want my work to stop while I figure out how to get Eclipse and Subversion re-integrated.

If not for that, I would have ditched Ubuntu 11.10 about 5 days after "upgrading" to it. (5 days because I wanted to give Unity a fair chance.)

Ubuntu hatred (4, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026890)

Hatred towards Ubuntu seems to be focused on Unity and Gnome.

I use Kubuntu LTS and am more than happy with it. Sure, the LTS is pretty far behind (still on Firefox 3.6), but I don't have any real gripes besides this.

From the looks of things Mint supports KDE, but is there any real reason to jump ship?

Re:Ubuntu hatred (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027018)

What's the difference between Kubuntu and installing KDE from the the software center on a vanilla Ubuntu?

Re:Ubuntu hatred (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027152)

You aren't forced to waste disk space/download on GNOME.

That's it.

Also, the Unity mess only affected those using GNOME Ubuntu. Kubuntu 11.10 just seems to be 11.04 with more polish.

The only thing I don't like is that somehow, I have no clue how, calibre became my default PDF reader in Firefox, despite Okular being the default in every Settings dialog I can find - wtf?

xubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027034)

I use Kubuntu LTS and am more than happy with it. Sure, the LTS is pretty far behind (still on Firefox 3.6), but I don't have any real gripes besides this.

xubuntu and I have Firefox 7.1 as of this writing.

XFCE is pretty good and I'm using about 30% less memory than Unity/Ubuntu

Unity brought this machine down to a snails pace.

Re:Ubuntu hatred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027216)

From the looks of things Mint supports KDE, but is there any real reason to jump ship?

Yes, Mint goes up to 11.

Doesn't it use Ubuntus repos? (1)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026898)

It's hard to call it replacing Ubuntu when it wouldn't exist without them.

Re:Doesn't it use Ubuntus repos? (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026944)

It depends on what version you're using. They also have a rolling release version based on Debian Sid.

power users who decry its lack of customizability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026918)

Power users who actually customize don't care what they use as long as they have an equivalent to sh and vi.

More desktop BS from the long in the tooth /.

Re:power users who decry its lack of customizabili (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027090)

The problem is when the font rendering in those consoles is fucked up.

Which is exactly what Linux Mint gives you. I'll take my Unity AIDS instead, thanks.

Well, I was using Mint but went back to Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

citizenklaw (767566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38026968)

One reason: Mint's heavy handed tendency to replace the default Google search with a 'Mint-ized' version of Google search to draw revenue. I mean, I get it: it needs money. But if you're going to substitute something that works great (Google) with your own version of search to take eyeball money, give me something as good as or better than what I'm used to. Granted, there are instructions out there to change this by running a couple of scripts and commands. But it would revert after updates were pushed down to the system. I had to do it at least once a month. Disclaimer: I donated directly to Mint through PayPal, precisely because I changed the search engine knowing full well this is a way the get money. I would not mind paying a bit more and a bit regularly if they would keep their hands of my search.

Re:Well, I was using Mint but went back to Ubuntu (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027148)

They will stop doing that for Mint 12.

It's somewhere in their policy for Mint 12 that they're simply going to disallow and adblock search engines that don't pay them: []
"Search engines who do not share the income generated by our users, are removed from Linux Mint and might get their ads blocked."

I don't know what to say to that, but I sure as hell won't be using their blackmail software.

Re:Well, I was using Mint but went back to Ubuntu (1)

citizenklaw (767566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027254)

Just read it. So if they don't collect revenue from Google they'll block it? Or Bing? Again, I wouldn't have a problem with this if it was unobstrusive. But, have you used their Google search? It's hideous. If they change it, I won't mind using it if it looks closer to what 'Google Default' looks like. Else, I'll just stay in Oneiric.

Ubuntu/CentOS/Gentoo... It doesn't matter to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38026980)

In the end I end up installing Fluxbox and porting my minimal desktop/notifications to whatever base install there is and running with it.

"its user base"? (0)

jthill (303417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027036)

What does an NYSE admin have in common with a kid getting all excited about the compiz cube? Does everyone follow a fad? As Allison said, "we won, and we didn't even notice". This article belongs in People magazine, or EW.

Unity (0)

Hsensei (1055922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027048)

After I updated my aging Dell to 11.10 it stopped allowing me to use my external display. Basically Nvidia drivers were broke with xorg in the new version. It was fixed but the new drivers do not support my old video card in this laptop. I have been toying with just installing XP on it again because well It Just Works (TM). Honestly my time is more valuable than the effort and hours it will take to either go back to 10.04 or a different distro or even slogging through the internet trying some other fix. I like Ubuntu I run a apache server on a VM on my Win2k8 box (heresy I'm sure). The reason I run 2K8 is because its a game server and more games run in windows than linux that I like to play and host. Also File sharing and AD is just easier honestly. Regardless I like Linux it's just that it's a punch in the dick to do anything. unless you can recite every command line item by heart its always a ton of research to figure out how to set anything up that in windows can be done in a few clicks. Flame me call me a troll what ever it is my honest opinion. Linux has a long way to go and honestly a new distro isn't going to help. Fix what you have don't add feature creep to the point that things that need to be refined get forgotten. Maybe i'm just lazy...

Mint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38027056)

I've been using Linux Mint since version 10, and I absolutely love it.

Miles ahead of other linux distro's, and its pretty.

Mint really reminds me of OS X, in a good way. :)

No Authorative Data (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027058)

Well, distrowatch is just a distrowatch - non authoritative statistical data. What is more important that sure, core users move away from Ubuntu due of frustration with Unity platform. However, so far what I hear Ubuntu adds new users every day and part of them stays because of Unity. It just shows migration of core geeks, but it was bound to happen sooner or later, as Canonical tried to attract common crowd.

I use GNOME 3 with Gnome Shell, which also moves further with their designs. I know, I know, everyone on Slashdot hates "new way of thinking in design", but I like new mockups for 3.4 and both 3.0/3.2 versions have been a bless so far (if you give it a chance to do it their way).

The real winner... (5, Informative)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027076)

The real winner of course is Debian. Being a devout debiate for many years (12), both the distros you speak of use debian as it's base. I use Mint myself for my desktops, it works well and their kde version was always better than kubuntu. I have even softened on my Gnome-hate somewhat with Mint's Main version and have even setup clients and friends with it.

I've been using Mint for a while now... (1)

LeRaldo (983244) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027226)

Mint, for me, was the first Linux distro that had support for all of my hardware on all my PC's right at the start. No need to go searching through repositories or finding some weird hacks online. Wireless, printers, etc, it all just works, whereas it never did without jumping through hoops on the other distros I've tried. It also has a great selection of pre-installed software, in my opinion. The level of usability for a Linux newbie like myself was far higher than that of even Ubuntu. It also required much less setup and tweaking than any other distro I had used before.

My only issue so far is that I've been unable to figure out how to switch to a different window manager. It's not that big of a deal because I like Gnome, but on some of my older PC's I'd like to use a more lightweight wm like Fluxbox or something.

Chicks love Mint, hate Ubuntu (1)

Surjikal (1985524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027230)

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my girlfriend's 3 year old laptop. It was incredibly slow! Even after reverting to the regular Gnome3 shell, it still felt very sluggish. She was obviously disappointed and wanted to switch back to Win7. I was able to convince to try Linux Mint 11. First impressions: much faster than Ubuntu, the interface felt familiar to her, the start menu is intuitive. One drawback however: her laptop's battery life is noticeably shorter on Mint than Ubuntu, and much short that on Win7. That was almost a deal breaker. Anyway, Mint is very nice, I would definitely recommend it over Ubuntu since it is faster, the interface is more intuitive and feels familiar to a windows user. But Funtoo > Gentoo > Arch > * ;)

Debian (2)

scream at the sky (989144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38027234)

I recently fled Ubuntu myself (well, 6 months ago give or take) but I fled back to Vanilla Debian, and I have never been happier. I have never looked at Mint, and the only reason that I even gave Ubuntu a try all those years ago was that the Debian installer at that time wasn't detecting the SATA drive in my laptop, and Ubuntu was essentially the path of least resistance. Is there something that I am missing, as to why people are fleeing to a derivative, instead of the real deal?
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