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Open Source Operating Systems Ubuntu Linux

Linux Mint 18 Will Ship Without Multimedia Support (linuxmint.com) 75

An anonymous reader quotes this report from Distrowatch: Linux Mint 18 will no longer provide separate, codec-free installation media for OEM and magazine distribution. Instead, the distribution will ship without multimedia support while making it easy for users to acquire media codecs during the initial installation of the operating system. "OEM installation disks and NoCodec images will no longer be released. Instead, similar to other distributions, images will ship without codecs and will support both traditional and OEM installations. This will reduce our release cycle to 4 separate events and the production and testing of 12 ISO images. Multimedia codecs can be installed easily: From the welcome screen, by clicking on "Multimedia Codecs", or from the main menu, by clicking on "Menu"->"Sound and Video"->"Install Multimedia Codecs", or during the installation process, by clicking a checkbox option." Additional information on the upcoming release of Linux Mint 18 can be found in the project's monthly newsletter.
Softpedia points out that they're using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the package base, meaning "more hardware devices and components are now supported."
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Linux Mint 18 Will Ship Without Multimedia Support

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  • by Tenebrousedge ( 1226584 ) <tenebrousedge@g m a il.com> on Sunday May 08, 2016 @11:45AM (#52070697)

    LMDE has had inconsistent releases. I'm not sure if they figured out whether they were pulling from testing or rolling their own packages. The Linux Mint website was hacked to distribute malware. Linux Mint devs managed to create some package name conflicts with upstream. I read they are holding off on systemd for now, but plan to switch at some point, a position calculated to annoy everyone. There are equally simple ways to get a distro with Cinnamon, and now they're not packaging multimedia libraries any more.

    I'm out of reasons to consider installing Linux Mint, I think. Are there more positives/negatives I'm missing? Or can we just write them off at this point?

    • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday May 08, 2016 @11:52AM (#52070733)

      I too am curious. When I reflect on why I've chosen Mint over Ubuntu in recent years, it came down to:

      * Seriously disliking Unity. (But now I can install Cinnamon packages on Ubuntu easily.)

      * Easy ability to play DVD's. (But it just got a tiny bit harder; not significantly.)

      * Wanting to give Shuttleworth the middle finger regarding forcing Unity down people's throats. (But I think my finger has now been extended long enough.)

      So now, I'm not really clear as to why I'd prefer Mint over Ubuntu.

      • * Seriously disliking Unity. (But now I can install Cinnamon packages on Ubuntu easily.)

        Under 16.04, Gnome Pannel (Gnome Flashback) is easier to install and configure then ever before. Full Ubuntu, and Gnome 2 look and feel in 5 minutes! http://ubuntuforums.org/showth... [ubuntuforums.org]

      • * Seriously disliking Unity. (But now I can install Cinnamon packages on Ubuntu easily.)

        I've never really understood this complaint, it's not like ubuntu doesn't have packages for a wide variety of desktop environments. I find that whatever system I use, I always have to install my preferred environment, config files etc anyway.

        • * Seriously disliking Unity. (But now I can install Cinnamon packages on Ubuntu easily.)

          I've never really understood this complaint, it's not like ubuntu doesn't have packages for a wide variety of desktop environments. I find that whatever system I use, I always have to install my preferred environment, config files etc anyway.

          I suspect the complaint is like the "systemd sucks", the "I can't find any drivers", and other complaints that are probably parroted by people who just want something to hate on, and regurgitate ancient issues that have long gone away. Must have been 8-10 years ago I had a driver problem - which was cured in a few hours.

          If we can't find a modern Linux interface we like, we must not like any interfaces at all.

      • I too am curious. When I reflect on why I've chosen Mint over Ubuntu in recent years, it came down to:

        * Seriously disliking Unity. (But now I can install Cinnamon packages on Ubuntu easily.)

        Ubuntu Mate isn't too shabby. I have it running on both my main Dell, and a Raspberry Pi. I like it as much as Mint.

        • I rather go with Ubuntu Mate these days, it avoids the delays (and mistakes) of the Mint cycles, among other benefits. For newcomers it eases post-install actions with the "Welcome" app (not just codecs, but proprietary drivers, etc).

          And more important, the support in Mint is lacking and very unfriendly if you happen to bump into certain someone on irc, Ubuntu keeps their code of conduct to prevent those abuses.

          For the other flavors, Xubuntu and Kubuntu should do just fine.

          • And more important, the support in Mint is lacking and very unfriendly if you happen to bump into certain someone on irc, Ubuntu keeps their code of conduct to prevent those abuses.

            For the other flavors, Xubuntu and Kubuntu should do just fine.

            Yup I've tried out those two, and even Lubuntu for eePC class netbooks.

            As for the occasional asshole, you echo my experience - whihc sounds like time to relate......

            Experimenting with Paspberry Pi, I tried to install and run Ubuntu Mate on it, why not, the computer I use most of the time has that. Their NOOBS OS is not bad, but why not?

            So I downloaded, compiled and installed it. I had some problems, with the install of the amateur radio program I need, but the worst was trying to resize the partition

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Pick a different flavor. I like the official flavors - for a whole host of reasons. I also prefer LXDE over any other DE. So, I'm a Lubuntu user. They're going to go to LXQt but they didn't and 16.04 is short LTS (not long LTS, really) but that means I can stick with LXDE for a while longer or just install it myself. I may just start spinning my own soon enough but, for now, I love the Ubuntu ecosystem. I may also like LXQt but I've not tried it so I shan't opine.

        It's Linux. You can do anything with most an

    • Right. The thing that this completely ignores is that Linux Mint WAS a Live DVD that didn't need to be installed to be used. I even used it in an old laptop where the hard disk had failed and the screen was cracked (running video right to my TV with an HDMI cable).. The old Mint was (and still is) a fine Linux distro that let me use video without installing it. If I have to install a Linux I'm going to select Debian, not some me-to alternate.
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        The trouble with Debian (and why I switched to Mint) is that you either choose between an UNSTABLE operating system (that's their description, not mine), or old software. Sometimes they backport popular software but generally it's crappy and old. And trying to install newer software by adding repos gets really messy fast. You need to be a Linux enthusiast to do it and even I get bored as fuck with figuring it out.

        Oh and no I'm not gonna compile everything either. I have better things to do with my time.

        • I would only use "STABLE" for a very mission critical application that ran 24/7/365 and that I had tested on STABLE. (And now that they are dropping 32 bit CPU support perhaps on very old hardware). But "TESTING" and "UNSTABLE" are not descriptions, they are names or labels. In truth any of them are more stable than anything Microsoft ever released.
    • You want to use Linux Mint if you want to use Cinnamon as your Desktop Environment and want an OS which is made to use that DE. And that's why I'm eagerly awaiting Linux Mint 18. (Sounds like the official release is going to be in July, at this rate.)

      If you're comfortable installing Cinnamon on top of whichever OS you are using (whether Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or other) and accept that some added troubleshooting will be needed since you're not using the preferred DE that comes with the OS, have at it and

      • I have Cinnamon/Debian on one machine and Cinnamon/Mint on another. I have no idea what you mean by "added troubleshooting". You understand that most of Mint's packages are pulled directly from upstream [linuxmint.com], yes? And that the major distros do not generally have a preferred DE? Other distributions also have their own testing and QA processes; I'm not sure if you meant to denigrate those or whether you simply didn't know they existed.

        In any case, avoiding bugs does not usually mean using whatever the developers c

        • I have Cinnamon/Debian on one machine and Cinnamon/Mint on another. I have no idea what you mean by "added troubleshooting". You understand that most of Mint's packages are pulled directly from upstream [linuxmint.com], yes? And that the major distros do not generally have a preferred DE? Other distributions also have their own testing and QA processes;

          What I meant to imply was that the other distributions' testing and QA processeses may not include Cinnamon as well as Mint's does.

          Now, you're right. I've never installed a non-distribution sanctioned DE. Maybe it will work just as good as the original with no added polishing needed. I'm just skeptical things will be that smooth. (And I'd find it hard to believe any of the desktop environments have zero bugs.)

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I've recently gone through a bought where I used Lubuntu but took one install and put a bunch of different desktops on it. I then would use 'em for a while and then purge them. Why? Pretty much for the reason you're expressing - I wanted to know if they'd screw shit up. See, I'm not in a position where my computer *has* to work - I have multiples and ample time. That and since last September, I've been on the road. Sort of... But what this means is that I'm using VNC and using the device as not much more th

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The UI has been more or less consistent since Linux Mint 10, maybe further back. This has been a safe harbor in the storm of UI changes across all major distros and DE's. I set my mother up with Linux Mint 10 back in 2010 and have been steadily upgrading since. No missing features, no mixed up icons, no completely new UI, no problems. I don't think any other major distro can claim this level of consistency over the past 6 years.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I'm out of reasons to consider installing Linux Mint, I think. Are there more positives/negatives I'm missing? Or can we just write them off at this point?"

      Yes, IMO, there are many other negatives depending on the person. For me there is no compelling reason to use 18 from now on, and I don't trust their servers enough to even download the latest version which still includes codecs.

      If you like the package management and the whole experience of Debian which is brought to you in part or more by other distros

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        The trouble with Debian (and why I switched to Mint) is that you either choose between an UNSTABLE operating system (that's their description, not mine), or old software. Sometimes they backport popular software but generally it's crappy and old. And trying to install newer software by adding repos gets really messy fast. You need to be a Linux enthusiast to do it and even I get bored as fuck with figuring it out.

        Oh and no I'm not gonna compile everything either. I have better things to do with my time.

        The

    • LMDE has had inconsistent releases.I read they are holding off on systemd for now, but plan to switch at some point, a position calculated to annoy everyone.

      How is that annoying? It's an entirely pragmatic and conservative move: systemd is still rather new, so they're holding off on implementing it for a while to make sure the bugs are all worked out before finally adopting it like everyone else. Imagine how things would have been for KDE if more distros had done this back when KDE 4.0 was released, or if

      • There are very few releases based on Debian that can claim to be "bleeding edge", and Debian stable is very much not one of them. Systemd is the default in Mint's upstream distributions and almost all major distributions. There is no good reason to call it "immature". The Mint developers kowtowed to a certain vocal minority in not adopting the upstream system, which is annoying insofar as it is departing from the norm, but they aren't planning on maintaining this separation indefinitely, which annoys the sy

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 08, 2016 @11:56AM (#52070757)
  • ...we'll get working support for nVidia graphics controllers?

    I just threw in the towel trying to install it on this one machine here.

  • Linux Mint 18 will no longer provide separate, codec-free installation media for OEM and magazine distribution. Instead, the distribution will ship without multimedia support while making it easy for users to acquire media codecs during the initial installation of the operating system.

    The OEM system install is essential to obtain measurable market share. Linus has said as much himself. Multimedia support out of the box is so essential in the consumer market space that excluding it from your OEM distribution is perfectly stupid.

    • Linux Mint 18 will no longer provide separate, codec-free installation media for OEM and magazine distribution. Instead, the distribution will ship without multimedia support while making it easy for users to acquire media codecs during the initial installation of the operating system.

      The OEM system install is essential to obtain measurable market share. Linus has said as much himself. Multimedia support out of the box is so essential in the consumer market space that excluding it from your OEM distribution is perfectly stupid.

      Never used Linux, eh? You expended more energy typing your complaint than it takes to get the codecs.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Typical Linux thinking.

      "We have decided that keyboard support is not essential. If the user wants to they can use our oh-so-easy mouthstick interface to download keyboard drivers. RTFM, f'n newbs! We have 23 text editors and that should be enough for anyone."

  • by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Sunday May 08, 2016 @04:36PM (#52072053)

    Well, I read their blog post, and I'm having a hard time parsing it:

    ...although the absence of codecs is important for magazine and distributors and OEM installation images are required for manufacturers to pre-install Linux Mint on computers they’re selling to their customers, this is an area where a lot of work is done for a very small portion of our audience. With this in mind, OEM installation disks and NoCodec images will no longer be released. Instead, similar to other distributions, images will ship without codecs and will support both traditional and OEM installations.

    So, to me, this sounds like: "Only a few of our users wanted us to leave the codecs out. So we decided it wasn't worth going to all that extra work all the time for just a few people. So we just took the codecs out of every build."

    Am I just confused, or is this Bizarro logic? I mean, I'm definitely confused, but does this reasoning make sense to everyone else?

    Did they just get sued by some the rightsholders of some patented codec, and just say, fuck it, if it's gonna be that kind of party, no codecs for anyone, ever? But if so, why wouldn't they just say that? What's with the doublethink? Is it doublethink?

    I think I need a nap.

    • There may be legal issues with redistributing, since Mint isn't as hard core "Gotta Be Free" as the Stallman crowd would like... so to cover the main distributor's butts ship disks etc without the codecs and prompt for install during the install process.

      Sucks for the small percentage that only run from CD and don't have persistence set up

  • Now if only there would be an CinnBuntu/Ubuntu Cinnamon Edition, we can get rid of Mint Linux all together. The only good things that differs it from Ubuntu is Cinnamon and Multimedia Support. Outside that, we have nothing good, just security issues and problems with updates being held back for no good reason.

  • Well, so long as I can install all needed multimedia codecs anyway - I didn't think that it's a problem. Mint got returned to his roots by the way, or I forgot something? It was not basing their release on Ubuntu for last few releases so far I can remember. Maybe it will get better!

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