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Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' Is Out 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the linux-mint-16-unlikely-to-be-called-'newton-john' dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Linux Mint blog today announced the full release of Linux Mint 15 'Olivia.' Here are the release notes and a list of new features. As before, it's available with either MATE or Cinnamon as a desktop environment. The included version of MATE has been upgrade to 1.6, which saw many old and deprecated packages replaced with newer technologies. Cinnamon has gone to 1.8, which improved the file manager, added support for 'desklets' (essentially desktop widgets), and completed the transition away from Gnome Control Center to Cinnamon's own settings panel. Other new features of Linux Mint 15 include improved login screen applications (one of which is an HTML greeter that supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and WebGL), a tool developed from the ground up to manage software sources in Mint, and a vastly improved driver manager. The project's website sums it up simply: 'Linux Mint 15 is the most ambitious release since the start of the project.'"
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Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' Is Out

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  • Sweet... (Score:2, Informative)

    by interval1066 (668936)
    ...I'm going to try it out later today.
    • Oh... "first"
    • Me too. I hope it still fits on a 1GB flash drive (that's how I installed the last version). I'll never install with CDs/DVDs again! (Unless I buy a computer without BIOS support for booting USB.) It'd be nice if you could install directly from the ISO image file somehow like you can with VMs. I think I remember reading about someone doing this with 2 computers (1 as the server)?

      P.S. I use usb-creator-gtk... unetbootin if no X.
      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        Based on what bittorrent is telling me, the cinnamon disks are 915 or 928mb depending on arch, the mate desktop ones are both "1.0gb" - so they may or may not fit on a 1gb flash drive (depending on if a geek or a marketing designer labeled said drive)

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        I do pxe installs using the iso mounted on http or samba. I can elaborate.
    • I just got a new computer, so I'm looking forward to getting the Linux half installed. I'll give Mint a go this time around.

    • Me too...at the risk of getting modded down for adding another "Me too" post.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:40PM (#43852885)

    No?

    Well at least now I have an excuse for why I didn't get any work done today.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by sorensenbill (1931240)
      I don't get why so many people get all bent out of shape about this, with /home in it's own partition it's so easy to upgrade with a LiveDVD.
      • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:49PM (#43852983)

        Well, some people have custom stuff in /etc/ and whatnot, so an in-place upgrade is a lot more convenient.

        That said, even on Windows, one should have the system/software and user partitions separated, if only for making a nuke-and-pave more painless. The whole business of having everything in C: is just dumb.

        --
        BMO

        • The whole business of having everything in C: is just dumb.

          I like to keep my drivers close and my viruses closer.

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          Or preferably, merely on different btrfs subvolumes. No need to micromanage free space this way, you can test upgrades, etc.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Ever tried to use an NFTS volume for your /home partition? (So it's accessible from Windows.)

            Don't bother, you can't. Pulseaudio of all things won't let you.

            • by iceaxe (18903)

              I have a ntfs partition with directories that I symlink from my home, so I can put stuff there that I want to share back and forth. I don't see a need to have the whole home partition accessible from windows.

              However, I only use windows for a couple of games and a handful of other rarely used programs, so my use case may not match yours.

        • by unixisc (2429386)
          In XP, you could make the target drive of My Documents something other than C:\ But I've not figured out how to do it in Windows 7, or even IF it can be done or not. In fact, that's the only reason to have separate partitions, or else, the old habit of making C a small fraction of the drive and D everything else is really lame
          • by chromas (1085949)

            Right-click the My Documents or My Music or whatever folder, Properties, then the Location tab. You'll notice that it points to Documents in the same location, even though Documents doesn't show up. Anyway, you can move it from there.

            Additionally, you can add folders to the Documents Library, which by default contains the magic folder My Documents, which points to your actual Documents folder.

            A lot of the user stuff isn't in My Documents or other magic folders, though, so you may have to do a little hacking [starkeith.net]

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          I can think of two places where there's custom stuff in a typical distro (which probably wouldn't be in a separate partition): /etc, where you might have some special configuration stuff (I have some custom udev rules, like for a USB device), and /usr/local. There might also be some stuff in /opt, for proprietary programs that may install themselves there.

          • by bmo (77928)

            This is late but... /usr/local/ and /opt/ can sit in their own partitions. I typically have it set up this way, especially when I have custom-compiled stuff sitting in /usr/local. /etc/ can't be in its own partition, because it needs to be read on boot. At least that's my experience. If you have any idea on how to put /etc/ in its own partition and still have a bootable system, I'd sure like to know (really).

            At that point, blowing away the system and sticking something new in there would be really painle

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        True, and that is what I used to do when I used slackware.

        But Mint is based on Debian and Ubuntu. Mint has apt in it.

        *Why* should a distro with such a great package manager force you to reinstall for every upgrade?

        • by Misch (158807)

          You don't have to [linuxmint.com].

          Mint also has a pretty good backup program (mintBackup) that remembers the software packages you had installed and you can install them again later.

      • I don't think I installed all my packages into /home. I don't think I did system-wide configurtion in /home either.

  • I love it, I've been with Mint since Fedora switched up the UI too much for me with Gnome 3. Both my laser printer and USB wifi adapter worked turn-key and no problems with my Nvidia graphics card. Easy to install onto a fully encrypted LVM too for only a few extra minutes and a LiveDVD.
  • by n1ywb (555767) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:43PM (#43852911) Homepage Journal
    So when is Cinnamon going to support window grouping "out of the box"? I know there's a 3rd party applet for it, I tried it, it was buggy and kludgy. Despite members of the community clamoring for it, the devs claim that not having it is a "design decision". So it's a design decision to make it frustrating and difficult to find the right window when I have a many windows open, which I usually do, because I'm a software developer and power user? It's a design decision to ignore the requirements of the Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition community?/rant

    Overall I have to say I've been very happy with Linux Mint. It really "just works" and I wouldn't even consider switching to another distro, the above complaint notwidthstanding. Cinnamon is mostly sexy and cool.
    • Yep. This is the way Ubuntu used to be.
    • by ADRA (37398)

      Not all users use their desktops the same way. If window groups on by default adds extra complexity for everyone else, then its a lot less appealing for mass adoption. If you can trivially add an extension that does exactly what you need it to, I fail to see the problem with this solution. If I want to add ad-blocking, or development tools, or custom search providers on my web browser, I'm glad that Firefox makes it fast and trivially easy to do so.

      Maybe giving a better explorability or curation for commonl

  • That Cinnamon Control Panel looks very similar to OS X's System Preferences.

  • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:54PM (#43853035)

    On the one hand it is great that Linux allows people to innovate, and fork when the need arises.

    On the other hand the Linux desktop has reached the point that I simply don't want to choose between the myriad of desktops and window managers any more. Just reading Wikipedia on MATE and Cinnamon leaves me shaking my head.

    Seems to me that the massive fragmentation of the Linux desktop probably does work for the hard core geeks who can pick the one that scratches their itch. It also gives every programmer who wants to develop a desktop or window manager their own private little place to do it.

    On the other hand, Linux on the desktop is pretty much doomed when it comes to any ordinary person just wanting to install it, use it and have it work if the first question they have to deal with is which of 20 UI's and desktops they should pick.

    Not sure how you are going to maintain a critical mass of developers and users for testing when resources are scattered across so many, mostly, mediocre UI's and desktops. If you don't have that critical mass, chances are every effort will come up short quality wise.

    Developer's thinking about developing a serious app with a lot of UI and desktop integration must cringe at the prospect of doing QA across so many desktop variations and either only support one or give up on supporting Linux all together.

    Who would have figured that Android, running a Java front end, would be the one and only place that Linux would have any chance of making it as a consumer OS.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @03:01PM (#43853147) Homepage

      Making your app work with Unity and Gnome 3 is bad enough. Throw in Mate or XFCE and you're fucked. Time is always limited, and I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my time writing a polished app than an unpolished app that's compatible with many different desktops.

      Choices have cost: the Linux community's continued refusal to acknowledge this has left the Linux desktop in a continuous state of disrepair.

      • by ADRA (37398) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @04:23PM (#43854009)

        There is no 'body' in Linux to tackle this problem. The kernel is well managed because by and large its run by one group and they steer with a very clear set of goals. Generally the goals of EVERYONE's use of the kernel is relatively narrow, so there's little need to fork the kernel for any specific work (it usually happens more often as a continuous branch/patch than an actual fork when done).

        Now you look into the desktop space, you see many groups operating independently, each of which has philosophical/design/financial/NIH/licensing/etc.. reasons to create another tool vs. using something that people have already invented. You also have the idea that these developers are generally 'chasing innovation' as if they want to invent something that'll be amazing for Z even though we haven't hit X or Y yet.

        Ideally, we'd have a world where:
        1. Applications were 100% agnostic of Desktop (Any common frameworks would have to be 100% agnostic of desktop, or add very pluggable modular integration so that any desktop could implement)

        Eg. If I install Gimp on KDE/XFCE/etc.. desktops, I'd pull in something like this
        Gimp
        GnomeDependenyLibraries (small direct use libraries)
        GTK_compat_common-ui-foundations

        Instead, I get
        Gimp
        GimpDepenenyLibraies (small direct use libraries)
        TheKitchenSinkWhichIsMostOfGnome

        2. Service layer components should equally be standardized per their function, not per their desktop environment. If they need integration points with the desktop, then as with applications, a clear set of API implementation points should exist to make this straight forward for a desktop developer to implement.

        I hate seeing SO many redundant packages being installed because people just don't communicate, or they don't want to use code written by 'those people' or they didn't bother to see that it was already invented, or some other equally pointless meaning. We're generally all adults and we should be doing the mature steps in moving the platform in the right direction. Sadly, unless a very large company comes along and clubs all these other org's over the head with their amazing flexible solution, I don't see things changing any time soon.

        • by g1zmo (315166)

          This is all pretty much exactly why freedesktop.org [freedesktop.org] (formerly XDG) was formed.

          n+1 standards [xkcd.com] and all that, but the major specs [freedesktop.org] have been adopted by every DE that I'm aware of.

          As to when it will all filter down to distros to split out unnecessary package dependencies, I have no idea. I'm not familiar with a whole lot of packaging systems, but AFAIK there is no package installer which can mirror the compile-time --enable-feature and --disable-feature behaviour of configure scripts such that you only draw

      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @06:21PM (#43854975)

        Choices have cost: the Linux community's continued refusal to acknowledge this has left the Linux desktop in a continuous state of disrepair.

        It's not "the Linux community's" fault: it's the fault of certain groups, namely the GNOME developers and Canonical. If it weren't for those two groups, we'd still have only two main desktop environments (KDE and Gnome), plus a few very minor players (XFCE, LXDE, etc.). Instead, both Canonical and Gnome decided to try to "innovate" by making crappy new touch-like DEs that so many people hated, it ended up causing a mass defection to XFCE (turning it from a bit player into a much larger player) and spawning not one, but two forks of Gnome (MATE and CInnamon).

        If "the community" operated like a democracy, then this never would have happened, because there would have been no popular support for Unity or Gnome3. However, Linux is developer-driven, so whatever the developers want, they get. What's disappointing is that the distros do little to no quality control it seems; remember with KDE4.0 how the distros just went ahead and dumped the 3.5 series and made 4.0 the only one available, even though 4.0 wasn't nearly ready for primetime use? Then with Gnome, they did the same thing, adopting Gnome3 just because the Gnome devs told them it was ready and Gnome2 was "obsolete". Linux Mint seems to be the only distro that actually listens to its users, rather than trying to force things on its users, which is why it's providing both MATE and Cinnamon (and KDE), because that's apparently what users want.

      • I'm sorry, I'm not a developer, but I don't think programs target desktop environment, there's almost no reason to target Unity, KDE or Gnome. What kind of application do you have in mind? I think links on desktops work pretty much the same, what exactly do you need to know about the desktop environment when you build your application?

    • by Teun (17872)
      What fragmentation? It's all the same Kernel and by and large the same applications.

      The differences between the main Linux distro's are mainly visible in the desktop chosen an felt in the package manager used.
      There is no easy (if at all) way to consolidate those in a single distro.

      Personally I like the Debian dpkg-based package management and the KDE desktop so I ended up with Kubuntu.

      KDE is by now the most complete desktop environment and especially since the intervention of Blue Systems with the best

      • by Dracos (107777)

        Personally I like the Debian dpkg-based package management and the KDE desktop

        This is how I ended up on Mint KDE, because there were a few versions of Kubuntu that were... lackluster. Olivia KDE should be out in about a month, at which point I will upgrade this machine which is still running Lisa.

        I hope sometime in the future that Mint eliminates the Ubuntu middle-man, and just repositions itself as a direct Debian derivative.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Who would have figured that Android, running a Java front end, would be the one and only place that Linux would have any chance of making it as a consumer OS.

      A central authority always makes things easier. Why do you think history is not littered with democracies and republics, but of monarchies and other dictatorships?

      Yes, it'd be nice if all the Linux developers pooled all of their resources into one distro and the libraries around it. But then they'd all be following one person's vision. That's how Apple made OSX the most popular BSD distribution, and how Google's making Android the most popular Linux distribution.

      But that is the antithesis of OSS.

      I guess in

      • by demachina (71715)

        I dont think I advocated "A" central authority, but when there is absolutely no consistency or continuity there is a fair chance it wont be good, it will take a miracle for it to excel, and a fair chance its going to suck.

        You might not have to have a dictator but everyone needs to be working on the same code base, using the same frameworks, working to make those excel, and making some compromises. That is how the kernel works mostly. Instead on the desktop you get constant forking and the developer and

        • by cusco (717999) <[brian.bixby] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @06:04PM (#43854853)
          This. I am actually looking for an alternative for Windows 8 (the first OS that I've ever seen that deliberately impedes your work flow), but my previous Linux experiences have left a bad taste in my mouth. From the perspective of a 20-year Windows user, there are two things that would make Linux much more attractive. First, a Linux equivalent to InstallShield, one which detects and installs dependencies, allows configuration customizations, shows you what it's going to do, asks your approval, and then lets you know what it's doing as proceeding and gives you usable error messages. The second would be a file manager which gives a new user 1) some idea where is an appropriate location to save user files, and 2) some system that shows users what is an executable file, a config file, a library, etc. as easily as a user can tell from the Windows file extensions.

          The idea of repositories is nice, but having to figure out what to do with the tarball, rpm, whathaveyou, file, wandering about until you find the install directory, flailing about until you figure out which is the executable, trying to launch it while guessing which switches are appropriate, and then finding that it requires some uninstalled prerequisite file (or worse, a different version of one you have installed), is absurd. I liked what I got working in the couple of Linux installed I've done (except the bog-slow version of Google Earth), but getting to that point was ridiculously more difficult than it should have been.

          I'm afraid that at this point I'm sounding like some of the thousands of (l)users that I've supported over the years, "I don't care how it does it, I just want it to work!" It's true though, I don't want to become an expert user and THEN become productive with the OS/apps, that's the exact opposite of the way the work flow should go. I need to be able to do my work first, and then I'll take the time to experiment and explore further. That's not the fun, flashy stuff that people want to work on, but that's what Linux needs before I'll recommend it to anyone else.
          • by xeno (2667)

            “there are two things that would make Linux much more attractive. First, a Linux equivalent to InstallShield, one which detects and installs dependencies, allows configuration customizations, shows you what it's going to do, asks your approval, and then lets you know what it's doing as proceeding and gives you usable error messages. “

            Done. And fully mature for many years. One of the nice contributions Ubuntu made was to take the .deb repository system and put a friendly face on it with nice graphical tools (Synaptic) to browse and manage software in the appropriate repositories. One or two clicks (select+install) will check all dependencies for the package you selected, retrieve the most current version, download all dependencies, cryptographically verify the software integrity against the repository’s codesigning, install them i

            • by cusco (717999)
              You're right, it has been a couple of years. After trying Linux out several times over the previous years, pretty much every time someone said, "It just works!" I was annoyed enough that I didn't want to waste the time (and I hosed an older laptop that had photos my wife wanted, but I think that was actually hardware rather than the OS). When I get back from vacation I'll try Mint then. Hoping to be happier with it this time, since we tend to take laptops to Peru to give relatives and I'd like to be able
    • by dj245 (732906)

      On the one hand it is great that Linux allows people to innovate, and fork when the need arises. On the other hand the Linux desktop has reached the point that I simply don't want to choose between the myriad of desktops and window managers any more.

      This probably stems from the fact that it is far more interesting (to most people) to create something, rather than fix something that someone else made which is broken.

      There also may be some professors out there who make projects like "write me an rudimentary Z from scratch", then the person just keeps working on the project until it becomes a usable piece of software. I am not a code writer, but in my few computer classes "make me a Z!" was a far more common homework than "Here is a Y, which Bob wrote

  • I just run linux in a vm on top of Win7 enterprise. Sigh. Can't keep reinstalling my OS every so often; ain't nobody got time for that.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Then stop resinstalling your OS, you crazy man. Use a distro with a decent support period and get comfortable.

      Windows 7 came out in 2009 and is supported (mainstream support) until 2015. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was released in 2012 and is supported until 2017. If you're happy resintalling your OS only as often as is required for Windows, then there shouldn't be much to complain about with Linux either.

      If you're desperate to always keep up with the latest shiny thing, presumably you would feel a burning drive to up

  • Replaced my 13 with 15 RC a few days ago. The new file manager is pretty nice. Right click to run with higher privileges pops open a new file browser window with a big red bar letting you know so you don't walk away and end up screwing something up when you get back. Also shows a small bar graph under each mounted partition so you can get a good idea how much space you have left at a glance. "Disk Utility" is replaced/merged with "Storage Device Manager" so I can just go to one place for all my partition re

  • Slashdot has a new Linux distro release notice before Distrowatch.

  • by Ksevio (865461) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @03:25PM (#43853407) Homepage
    I was looking for a new distro to upgrade an old netbook and installed the RC this weekend (with MATE desktop). It started out a little shakey as the keyboard didn't work, and the mouse wouldn't click (due to a hardware issue and trackpad clicks not enabled), but after a restart and some mouse settings, it's nice and snappy.

    Previously had Ubuntu netbook remix and tried Ubuntu with Unity, but that was just so awkward to use with a tiny screen and trackpad, and somewhat sluggish when web browsing.

    I'd never tried Linux Mint or MATE in the past, but it seems to be a good combination for a low power computer.
  • MATE has been upgrade to 1.6, which saw many old and deprecated packages replaced with newer technologies

    oh no! things were removed! Better fork MATE so I can have it be exactly the same as a previous version!

    • MATE has been upgrade to 1.6, which saw many old and deprecated packages replaced with newer technologies

      oh no! things were removed! Better fork MATE so I can have it be exactly the same as a previous version!

      I know you're just being snarky, but really why is it so hard to keep my desktop the same while still getting security updates for the over all system and new versions of my apps when they upgrade? Why?

      I hate to give Microsoft credit for anything, but at least they had enough insight to keep the option to switch back to the previous version of the desktop available for many many releases afterwards. U

      • Up until fairly recently it was pretty easy to go back to your preferred work space in Windows.

        So completely and utterly true.

        What I can't believe is that at the moment, Microsoft is up the same creek as Unity and Gnome. All of which are basically forcing touch interfaces without an option to revert to old behavior.

      • by Merk42 (1906718)

        I hate to give Microsoft credit for anything, but at least they had enough insight to keep the option to switch back to the previous version of the desktop available for many many releases afterwards.

        Well to your own admission, Progman.exe won't work in anything past XP.
        Also, go ahead and get the flyout-style Start Menu from 95/98/XP in Vista/7, I'll wait.

  • Could someone explain the implications for this? Having just battled with getting LTSP under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, I understand it's because non-execute functionality is tied to PAE. But I have a bunch of machines that don't have PAE and they would be worthless moving forward. So I modified LTSP to create non-PAE kernels.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      Linux Mint Debian 32 bit has the non-PAE (486) kernel by default; in fact if you want SMP or PAE you have to apt-get install the i686 kernel

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        should also mention Cinnamon, while great on more recent machines, is a pig for very old processors and limited memory (1GB or less). use xfce4 instead.

        If you have to worry about 32 bit PAE not being supported probably Linux Mint (or Ubuntu for that matter) is not for you, too resource intensive in default install.

      • by klui (457783)

        > Linux Mint Debian 32 bit has the non-PAE (486) kernel by default

        But what does this mean?

        > Important info:
        > PAE required for 32-bit ISOs

        I've never used Mint. Is Linux Mint Debian different from Linux Mint 15?

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