Archive for June, 2008

I just got a major surprise today as I discovered that not only had the creator of Linux Mint himself, Clem, made a comment on my blog review of Linux Mint 5..but now there is a blog on the Linux Mint blog about my review!  Wow!  I feel very humbled and awed by the fact that someone so knowledgeable would consider my silly newbie opinions and take them seriously!  So check this out–I’m famous! lol

(Quote)

Linux Mint 5 Review: Pariah
Written by Clem on Monday, June 23rd, 2008 @ 7:35 pm | Main Topics

Link to the review: http://pariah73.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/linux-mint-5/

Pariah wrote a review of Linux Mint 5 Elyssa and focused on some of the new features. A very nice article which brings some good feedback and rises some interesting points.

Comments on the review:

– Pariah said “There is a talented Linux Mint fan out there who just started making his own artwork and it just had that perfect Minty look–polished and elegant..and minty!”

–> That must be Jernau. I’m not entirely sure what happened in our community and what created that snow-ball effect but the mintArt group initially created by Carlos Porto and Nicksavel eventually lead to a community-wide effort where a lot of people ended up making wallpapers for Linux Mint and posting them on the forums. McLovin stepped up as the new “artwork coordinator” of some sorts (we’re not very good at making titles :)) and we now have a portal dedicated to Linux Mint related artwork here: http://linuxmint-art.org/. We’re also lucky that a lot of talented artists decided to join our community, in particular Jernau signed 90% of the artwork that comes with Elyssa. So the credit goes to the community here. McLovin will soon take part to this blog and post the results of what is already famous in the forums as the “Wallpaper of the Week”. In my opinion, the reference on the desktop market, when it comes to artwork, is Apple and Fedora. I still think we’re behind compared to these two desktops but we’ve been progressing fast and Linux Mint is not only looking mature and professional, it now has an active community which contributes a lot of artwork. Congratulations to all the people who are involved in this!

– Pariah said “There are all new wallpapers which is a nice change (sorry but I just didn’t like most of the default set on Daryna) and a new gtk engine-Aurora. Every wallpaper is available in wide-screen. Gion icon set comes installed by default now. A couple of new themes are Carbon and PepperMint…also there is a WildMint but the Windoze blue border horrified me on sight.”

–> We improved a few things such as the Daryna theme (which is now called Elyssa) and we included new themes and new engines, but again credit goes to the community who showed a lot of interest in that area and gave us a lot of feedback. We didn’t have Windows in mind while making the WildMint borders blue… but if it brings unpleasant memories we’ll change it in the future. What do people think about this?

– Pariah said “This uninstall from the MintMenu feature is so wonderful because it spares me much of the hassle of removing programs I don’t want. Additionally, some great news on the Mint Menu is that it is using far far less resources memory-wise than in Daryna. I actually had MintMenu on Daryna removed because of the load it placed on my memory. No longer! Mine went from 100MB to about 29MB!! Good enough to make me happy because I had always liked the MintMenu (some do, some don’t; I know!)”

–> Lars Peter Clausen made some radical improvements to mintMenu which IMHO was already the best desktop menu at the time. The uninstall feature is quite nice and was added after Lars implemented the “Launch when I log in” feature

– Pariah said “Of course, as usual the MintInstall is a great application for installing packages quickly and painlessly. In addition to it just being a good package to begin with, Clem and gang improved on this as well by making options for installing deb and apt packages through the MintInstall as well! Dependencies aren’t always resolved but it is still a way to get the latest and greatest in the bleeding edge world.”

–> That’s the problem with .deb packages, they don’t solve dependencies problems. This problem only concerns GetDeb though and not the Mint portal or APT. Adding support for APT and GetDeb was a small step forward to improve mintInstall. We’re planning radical improvements for Mint 6 and a lot of development on the client side, I’ll talk about this more in the future.

– Pariah said “To help folks remember they might be working in root now, a different browser comes up..Xfe…It looks a fright but it is supposed to be nothing like Nautilus so one can remember they are in root. Good plan for now…hopefully in a release or two that quietly disappears.”

–> I completely agree.. XFE looks horrible, yet different.. so mission accomplished for Mint 5 but we’ll definitely try and improve the looks (or find a better way to provide the same functionality) for future releases.

– Pariah said “Changing Applications: Serpentine and Sound Juicer were both replaced. Now Brasero is installed (which I love) and so is Rhythmbox (which I despise). Kudos for installing Brasero but Rhythmbox just had to go..and fast. I have never had anything but problems with it all four times I have tried it, on four different distros…and if I remember right, it was a different issue each time too! lol…It’s just buggy as all get out and it crashes so much, SafeAuto wouldn’t insure it. Guess what I tested out the “uninstall” feature on first! lol”

–> It’s not the first time I hear people say that and at the same time I truly believe Rhythmbox is the best option for the Main Edition’s desktop at this time. I’d love to get people’s opinions about this (please describe bugs if any and how to reproduce them as my first approach to solve this problem would be to fix things in rhythmbox or follow their resolution upstream).

– Pariah said “Firefox 3 is the default webbrowser (of course, accompanied by Thunderbird) I am an Opera fan myself but I could sure appreciate the lower memory consumption and better speed on this fox.”

–> Opera 9.5 is in the repositories. It’s a fantastic browser but it’s not open-source so it couldn’t have made it in the default selection. Especially considering the quality and popularity of Firefox.

Conclusion:

Many thanks to Pariah for this review and I’m interested in hearing from the community on the points she made. Especially about Rhythmbox and to a lesser extent about the blue WildMint window borders.

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7 Responses to “Linux Mint 5 Review: Pariah”
Harry Webb Says:
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I loved the mint-green borders – very distinctive and not Windows. Can we have them back as an option?
Harry Webb
john Says:
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Hi Clem;
I didn’t notice the window border color similarities between WildMint and WinXP, now that it is mentioned I do see the similarities. I don’t see the big deal, but it is a subjective thing.

Rhythmbox is stable for me, I’ve never had a problem in a half dozen different installs. I don’t like that the artists that start with “the” are all listed in the Ts and end up the same way on the iPod, that is a bit annoying (but it works really well with the iPod)
.
Other than that, the only thing I don’t like is that it defaults to no viewable playlist, and after you add it from the view menu you have to cover up your library pane and turn off the cover art plugin to make it (the playlist) viewable.

Since Mint dropped Amarok I’ve gotten rid of my other KDE apps (the big one for me was replacing Digikam with gthumb).

Congrats on Elyssa–a great release.
john Says:
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:54 pm

oh yeah, the link at the top of the post that is to Pariah’s site actually takes you to the Mint Art site.

Edit by Clem: fixed, thanks
exploder Says:
June 24th, 2008 at 12:00 am

It’s a good review. Constructive criticism helps us to improve. I think Rhythmbox is a good choice at this time because it works with pulse audio and is under constant development. Banshee has never retained it’s settings for me but might be something to look at in the future.

I did not care for the window border in WildMint but I did appreciate the new themes and artwork being added. I honestly think all of the artwork in Elyssa is more refined and polished than any previous release.

I especially like that reviewers are taking a look at the Mint tools! Mint is a good thing getting better!
CP Says:
June 24th, 2008 at 12:06 am

Since Rhythmbox seems to be hated by most (atleast from what I read and have experienced) I think a better replacement for it that isn’t Amarok would be Banshee http://banshee-project.org/.

I recently replaced Amarok with Banshee so I didn’t have anymore KDE apps/libs cluttering up my nice GNOME system. It’s been running smoothly, it is fully featured and I recommend it to anyone who wants an alternative to Rhythmbox and Amarok.
manny Says:
June 24th, 2008 at 12:23 am

Clem:

I think she’s referring to previous experiences with Rhythmbox, it wasn’t as good today as before.

but many great alternatives exists, everyone has a favorite. They all are good.

(/Quote)

Crazy, right??  Here’s the link if you want to see to believe:

Click here

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Hello, fellow bloggers.  Today I will be doing Yet-Another-Distro-Review; this time however, I will be reviewing from a more biased side than usual…..I feel my reputation taking a hit as we speak.  Yes, I am known for my impartiality on most subjects but Linux Mint is a subject near and dear so they say…

Linux Mint has been my distro of choice for a while now (okay about 8 weeks; I just “converted” to Linux 3 months ago).  Prior to Mint, it was PCLinuxOS and then Debian, which started it all…I was patiently waiting for Linux Mint 5 to be released as I was excited about some of the changes Clem et. al. were making.  With no further ado:

As per usual, I downloaded the iso file for Linux Mint via a mirror.  I do not like torrents; some find them faster but it never fails I find them slower…(let the digressing begin)…After a suitably forever period of time, I had my nice little iso image and used Brasero to burn that image to a disk.   After checking the integrity and finding it good as always, I rebooted the computer and ran the CD.   Although I knew I would be installing it, just for amusement I messed around with the Live Disk for a few.

First of all, wow on the new artwork!  There is a talented Linux Mint fan out there who just started making his own artwork and it just had that perfect Minty look–polished and elegant..and minty!  There are all new wallpapers which is a nice change (sorry but I just didn’t like most of the default set on Daryna) and a new gtk engine-Aurora.   Every wallpaper is available in wide-screen.  Gion icon set comes installed by default now.  A couple of new themes are Carbon and PepperMint…also there is a WildMint but the Windoze blue border horrified me on sight.

The hard drive install is the same as ever so I proceeded on with it.  (For those of you who don’t know, it is an Ubuntu install process)   Then, I started to have some fun!  The first thing I looked for (and used) is the uninstall feature built in to the MintMenu!  So far, this is far and away my absolute favorite, favorite feature on Elyssa.  I am a tweaker by nature.  No distro on the planet would ever come with exactly what I want and not what I don’t…so anytime I install a new OS, I am stuck in Synaptic right off the bat, using the search over and over…ugh!  This uninstall from the MintMenu feature is so wonderful because it spares me much of the hassle of removing programs I don’t want.  Additionally, some great news on the Mint Menu is that it is using far far less resources memory-wise than in Daryna.   I actually had MintMenu on Daryna removed because of the load it placed on my memory.  No longer!   Mine went from 100MB to about 29MB!!  Good enough to make me happy because I had always liked the MintMenu (some do, some don’t; I know!)

Of course, as usual the MintInstall is a great application for installing packages quickly and painlessly.  In addition to it just being a good package to begin with, Clem and gang improved on this as well by making options for installing deb and apt packages through the MintInstall as well!  Dependencies aren’t always resolved but it is still a way to get the latest and greatest in the bleeding edge world.

Another nice feature is being able to open an application in root, all with a right-click!  That’s right, just right click on a menu item and you are given a choice in the context menu whether or not you want to open as root!  This is a vast improvement.  One thing I always hated was being made to feel like an idiot because I wasn’t “allowed” to be root.  Of course I know that’s not actually the case.  I just said feel like an idiot.  From what I hear, I am not alone in that feeling and that some desert Ubuntu in part due to that.  To help folks remember they might be working in root now, a different browser comes up..Xfe…It looks a fright but it is supposed to be nothing like Nautilus so one can remember they are in root.  Good plan for now…hopefully in a release or two that quietly disappears.

Changing Applications:  Serpentine and Sound Juicer were both replaced.  Now Brasero is installed (which I love) and so is Rhythmbox (which I despise).  Kudos for installing Brasero but Rhythmbox just had to go..and fast.  I have never had anything but problems with it all four times I have tried it, on four different distros…and if I remember right, it was a different issue each time too! lol…It’s just buggy as all get out and it crashes so much, SafeAuto wouldn’t insure it.  Guess what I tested out the “uninstall” feature on first! lol

GnomeDo now runs in the background.  Nautilus is somehow faster, not sure how but I like it!  There is a new Envy version to replace the old one..EnvyNG or some such I believe..not an app I need so off with its head.  Transmission is the new bit torrent client if you use such..

Firefox 3 is the default webbrowser (of course, accompanied by Thunderbird)  I am an Opera fan myself but I could sure appreciate the lower memory consumption and better speed on this fox.

And last but probably first with cube lovers everywhere…The Compiz-Fusion settings GUI is installed by default..wobble your windows to your heart’s content.

There are some issues known (they haven’t affected me yet and hopefully won’t but they are, quoted straight from the website to avoid any misconceptions or errors:

Known issues

Upstream issues:

  • GDM: It takes a while to open the “Login Window” configuration tool. Just be patient, it will come up eventually.
  • GDM: In “Login Window”, if you select another theme.. even though it will tell you everything is fine, it will actually select to show other themes randomly. Open “Login Window” again and set the theme again.
  • GDM: On shutdown, usplash doesn’t show properly and is interrupted by network manager error messages. This is a known bug in GDM. You might be able to fix it by changing the GDM theme “twice” (in “Login Window”).
  • GDM/Gnome: The shutdown/logout sound isn’t played. This happens because Pulse Audio is shut down by Gnome before it gets the chance to play it. You could install “esound” to fix that problem but then that would break PulseAudio altogether. Another workaround would be to use aplay to play the sound before the event, as described here.
  • Gnome: Turning on/off the Gnome Compositing Effects (in gconf or in mintDesktop) can freeze your computer. Make sure to save all your data before activating/deactivating this feature.
  • Gnome: The first time you launch the “Users and Groups” configuration tool, it might not find any users and consequently it won’t work properly. Close it and launch it again.
  • Gnome: The color of the window borders doesn’t always refresh when you select or customize a Gnome theme. This is because some GTK themes refer to the same metacity theme but with different colors, and unless the metacity theme itself is changed Gnome doesn’t refresh it.
  • Gnome: You might see an error message saying the “Gnome Settings Daemon” could not start. It usually only happens once and either doesn’t affect anything or affects the look and feel (the default Gnome theme is applied instead of the Mint one).

Mint specific issues:

  • Widescreen support: If usplash doesn’t fill your screen an alternative is to install usplash-theme-mint-black (which comes with a black background). All wallpapers come in widescreen format and GDM also has a widescreen version of the Elyssa theme.
  • Localization: Not all translations (for the Mint tools) were included in the release. We had to code-freeze at some stage. The missing and future translations will come in as level 1 updates.
  • MintMenu: mintMenu doesn’t always refresh (or doesn’t always refresh fast enough). To force it in doing so, right click on the “Elyssa” button and select “Reload Plugins”.

Warning about upgrades:

  • Be cautious with level 3 upgrades. As these notes are written, applying the Gnome related upgrades break the ability to change your wallpaper!
  • Prefer level 1 and 2 upgrades to be safe and only apply level 3, 4 and 5 upgrades selectively and after you made sure they fixed a bug you needed fixed.
  • Always use mintUpdate to perform package upgrades, avoid to do so with APT or Synaptic; these tools are not aware of the stability level related to package upgrades

Hopefully soon there will be updates to fix these issues and all will go merrily on in the mint world lol…

I am still somewhat of a Linux newb…I first converted to Linux in March, so I have plenty to learn..

I am appealing to Linuxers everywhere fro help with the issue I am currently having.  It used to be that after quite some time being powered on and doing my “thang” online or whatnot, the fan would kick in to cool it down…fine…but nowadays, it seems to be running faster (or just louder?) and it starts up less than 5 minutes after powering up…What kind of issue am I looking at here?

Pentium Intel Celeron Desktop (ugh i know) with 768MB RAM and an 80GB HD. I am using AT&T DSL High Speed Internet which has a Motorola modem. Installed is Linux Mint 4 (Daryna).

At any rate, I appeal to you for help, oh great and glorious WordPress community..any advice is welcome!