Fresh, Minty Taste

Sunday, 2009-November-01 at 06:10

How I Came Full Circle With Linux Mint

I have related a few times over the past few years how I converted my main laptop, the one that goes with me when I’m working, from Windows XP to Linux Mint, then upstreamed it to Ubuntu because I wasn’t happy with Mint’s updates policy. Later, when I upgraded Ubuntu to 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”, there were some rough edges, including non-working sound. At that point, I appreciated Mint’s philosophy of trying to keep things more stable.

Now, that lappy is headed for the great recycle bin in the sky. Or actually to the San Bernardino County toxic waste disposal site. I was fortunate enough to have plenty of warning that it was dying, so I purchased its replacement a few months back, while I was in Missouri. Because I was out of state, and because the Dell Ubuntu site only had one computer on the list (Inspiron 15N), I bought a similar product (Inspiron 15) at Best Buy for the same price. I saved shipping to California, and shipping from California to Missouri.

By this time, I am quite accustomed to wiping off Infesticus microsoftii spp. Vistus (Windows Vista) and replacing it with something usable. So now I am back to using Linux Mint, currently “Gloria”, Linux Mint 7.

Gloria appears to be mostly based on Ubuntu 8.10. I say this because my graphics pad doesn’t work. But since I don’t travel with it, I’m not worried. On the other hand, it starts with sound muted (similar to Ubuntu 9.04 after I entered all the fixes). I’m not going to generate too much data in the next month, because I’m going to do a clean install instead of an upgrade next month when Linux Mint 8 comes out.

System requirements are generally the same as the underlying Ubuntu version. In this case, I actually replaced Vista with Ubuntu 9.04 and found that the issues were not just the dying hardware of my old lappy. This meant that I did not have to worry about the requirements. If you are hardware-challenged, opt for the XFCE or Fluxbox versions. The LXDE version would likely have been great, too, but it won’t be ready when version 8 comes out.

At this time, Firefox (version 3.0.14 or 3.5.2) is really crashy in the 64-bit version of Mint. It is probably best to use a 32-bit platform for the next year or so, then do a clean install in 64 bits at upgrade time. At that time, whatever plugin or extension is causing the crashes should be 64-bit also.

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