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Open Source Operating Systems Ubuntu Linux

Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' BETA Ubuntu-based Operating System Now Available For Download (betanews.com) 137

BrianFagioli shares his story on Beta News: Feeling fatigued by Windows 10 and its constant updates and privacy concerns? Can't afford one of those beautiful new MacBook Pro laptops? Don't forget, Linux-based desktop operating systems are just a free download away, folks!

If you do decide to jump on the open source bandwagon, a good place to start is Linux Mint. Both the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environments should prove familiar to Windows converts, and since it is based on Ubuntu, there is a ton of compatible packages. Today, the first beta of Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' becomes available for download.

Here's the release notes for both Cinammon and MATE.
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Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' BETA Ubuntu-based Operating System Now Available For Download

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  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @07:31PM (#53422011) Homepage Journal

    If you are on Slashdot and haven't switched to Linux by now, then it seems extremely unlikely that you ever will.

    I hope you all enjoy whatever OS you happen to be using today.

    • by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @08:28PM (#53422163)
      My mouse doesn't feel right on Linux, I would switch if it weren't for that.
      • My mouse doesn't feel right on Linux, I would switch if it weren't for that.

        Maybe your mouse is just shy. Have you tried introducing it slowly?

        • My mouse doesn't feel right on Linux, I would switch if it weren't for that.

          Maybe your mouse is just shy. Have you tried introducing it slowly?

          Just make certain you wrap duct tape around it first - you don't want it exploding.

          At least that's what I hear you have to to with Hamsters.

      • by caseih ( 160668 )

        I have to say I have complained a lot about the mouse on all Macintosh systems I've ever used. Compared to Linux and Windows I find it quite mushy feeling and slow. So I understand how frustrating that is.

        I suspect the mouse is not your only reason for not switching, though. If the mouse is really your only reason, it's worth looking fairly deeply into how to correct the mouse tracking to suit your needs. If switching to Linux is important to you, and would provide utility, which I kind of doubt.

        And I su

      • What's a mouse?

      • Wait until you have to recompile your kernel to get your modem working!

    • If you are on Slashdot and haven't switched to Linux by now, then it seems extremely unlikely that you ever will.

      Not necessarily. For some of us, we use Linux in some contexts and would prefer to use it, but there's at least one thing keeping us stuck on another platform. I'll stop using Windows as soon as I'm able, but it just hasn't hit that point yet.

      • I use Windows at work because of Outlook/Exchange calendar. If my work switched to an iOS only calendar app, then I'd have to get an iPhone/iPad instead of an Android device. If we switched to an X11-only proprietary calendar app that only ran on Solaris, I'd be quite able to use that as well.

        I doubt I can say the same about flexibility of my Windows loving co-workers.

    • by fisted ( 2295862 )

      I switched to Linux, but then I switched away from it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I had to make a ext4 partition from windows to get it to use my ssd drive.
    Now duel boots windows 10 oem fine.
    It seen all my hardware wifi asus x501a I3 USB TP-LINK WDN3200 out of the box.
    I used the KDE spin awesome to sum it up.

  • by xonen ( 774419 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @07:50PM (#53422071) Journal

    After many years of Ubuntu use as primary desktop, the thing that drove me away was ending the support for the closed source AMD video drivers.

    Someone decided that the open source drivers were 'good enough'. Well, they are not, at least for what i was doing. And the choice to use the drivers as released by AMD was removed, and doing so manually anything but trivial, as in, you'd have more luck on an arch based distro.

    Imho, Ubuntu, and all derivatives like Mint, suddenly alienate half their user base with that decision. And if this wasn't an online forum i'd use stronger wordings for that.

    Also, i just need to get work done. And most of the stuff i do is reasonable platform-agnostic but expects reasonable 3D performance. So, i'm back to windows 10 which serves my need, ironically has Ubuntu user land built in these days, and Linux will have to wait until i upgrade my graphics to nVidia, or when i can be bothered to try another distro, or when open source graphics drivers are really of comparable quality, whichever come first.

    * Just 2 cents from a frustrated ex-Ubuntu&Mint user on the desktop. *

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by realmolo ( 574068 )

      Don't feel bad. Windows is just a *better OS for the desktop* than Linux. And it's starting to look like that well NEVER change.

      Linux is just so...unfinished. All kinds of things that are easy in Windows are difficult in Linux.

      • Right, having no control over updates or what your OS is doing behind your back sure makes Windows great. I don't know what you're trying to do, but just about everything I can do in Windows works great in Mint, too. Or were your comments made in jest?
        Gaming is the one exception, though Linux has caught up a tiny bit. PC games are still superior to consoles, but the fact that so many titles are console-only, as well as the overall simplicity factor, makes choosing an Xbox One or PS4 over an expensive PC an
      • Windows is just a *better OS for the desktop* than Linux

        Of course it is; that's why this MCSE's been running Mint exclusively for nearly a decade...

      • "All kinds of things that are easy in Windows are difficult in Linux."

        I see it the other way around. All sorts of things are easy in Linux that are difficult in Windows at least for me - installs, adding software, updates. It's enough to keep me using Linux very happily, with zero desire to use Windows. That's not to say Windows is bad - just that Windows is not what I want to use.

    • by Ramze ( 640788 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @08:47PM (#53422235)

      I'm not sure I follow. Ubuntu will let you install the proprietary drivers and will let you file bug reports for issues, but if the close-sourced driver is found to be the culprit, they'll refer you to AMD... because AMD is the only one with the source code, and thus the only ones able to help you fix the bug. That's about as much support as one could ask for.

      The open source drivers are the default install, but you certainly can replace them with the proprietary closed source drivers.

      Here's the How To from Ubuntu for the most recent 16.04 LTS:
      https://help.ubuntu.com/commun... [ubuntu.com]

      As for the open vs closed source quality, recent benchmarks show that the MESA 13 drivers are pretty close to the closed source ones for most chipsets, but it's still a tiny bit high on the latency. I doubt you'll ever get parity until/unless AMD phased out the closed source drivers by fully opening the source code. There's probably some things in there they license and/or don't care to share with competitors, though.

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday December 04, 2016 @09:26PM (#53422345)

      After many years of Ubuntu use as primary desktop, the thing that drove me away was ending the support for the closed source AMD video drivers.

      What does this have to do with Ubuntu? AMD ended their support [phoronix.com].

      Someone decided that the open source drivers were 'good enough'. Well, they are not, at least for what i was doing.

      Yep, that "someone" was AMD. They apparently decided to focus more on a new Linux driver project, as noted in the posts from AMD folks quoted in the above link. Ubuntu isn't able to offer "support" for a closed-source driver that apparently breaks with the newer versions of Xorg. (I'd note that AMD had months to prepare before the new version of Ubuntu upgraded to the newer version of Xorg, and it's been a year or more and AMD hasn't updated their driver.)

      And the choice to use the drivers as released by AMD was removed

      Because it might break your system.

      Imho, Ubuntu, and all derivatives like Mint, suddenly alienate half their user base with that decision.

      How was it Ubuntu's fault (let alone Mint's, who didn't do anything here) that AMD stopped updating their drivers for Linux? Ubuntu and its derivatives aren't the only distros that this created problems with -- anyone who is using a version of Xorg released in the past year will have the same problem. And since Xorg is standard across most Linux distros, this truly has nothing to do with Ubuntu (or Mint) per se.

      So, i'm back to windows 10 which serves my need

      Yep -- AMD decided to update their drivers for the latest Windows version. Ubuntu can't do so, because they don't have the source code.

      Why are you angry at Ubuntu when the people who stopped the support are AMD?

      I don't mean to sound insulting, but you do understand what the implications of "closed-source driver" are, right? Ubuntu would likely be happy to provide support and updates if they had the source code... but they don't, and AMD won't release it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xonen ( 774419 )

        And why, as end-user, do i care this? I need something that works. A newer version of xorg was apparently more important to drivers compatibility for the package maintainers. For me as user it was the other way around. And it is not trivially possible with Ubuntu to use an older version of xorg.

        To elaborate on that: somewhere along the road the xorg developers decided to break something. How hard is it to design something and keep it (forward) compatible? Apparently for xorg very hard. I totally am ready to

        • And why, as end-user, do i care this? I need something that works.

          I completely understand your frustration. I was only pointing out that it may be misdirected.

          A newer version of xorg was apparently more important to drivers compatibility for the package maintainers.

          Probably because this was an LTS release. Ubuntu was forced to make a call about whether to include a newer, better-featured version of Xorg or support an older one for the next 5 years.

          To elaborate on that: somewhere along the road the xorg developers decided to break something. How hard is it to design something and keep it (forward) compatible? Apparently for xorg very hard. I totally am ready to believe they had their reasons to do so, but you simply cannot expect all other involved developers to run behind them, within months, if they make make a change breaking stuff, totally ignoring the significant amount of testing the AMD developers would have to do.

          Do you think other hardware companies make such excuses when Microsoft releases the next Windows version and stuff breaks? No, they are happy to provide support for their own devices. Also, the "months" thing is disingenuous -- t

          • by xonen ( 774419 )

            Well, you are right on most things, just this purist view brings the user nowhere. It's the old 'in an ideal world all lawyers would be jobless'...

            And the example of windows is very wrong. A tonload of drivers for windows 7, hell, even drivers for vista and XP, just work on the latest windows 10. Simply because they have a well defined driver model. A thousand reasons to dislike Microsoft, but their driver model is not one of them.

            It is not only a matter of developer resources. It is also that Linux is stil

            • Note that I didn't claim drivers do break on Windows upgrades, only that hardware developers would happily fix things if they did... Because otherwise no one would continue to buy their hardware. I completely understand the pragmatism. And yeah, the bewildering array of distros is a pain, but this is support for Xorg for video stuff... So I'm not sure that's relevant to the present case.

              Look: I'm not an idealist by any means. I get exactly why it's a pain to support Linux. But I started replying in th

        • by Anonymous Coward

          As I understand it AMD dropped the old set of drivers to work on a new driver stack, The plan being to include the new drivers as soon as they are ready.
          This leaves you with a few options.

          1) Temporarily live with a loss of functionality.

          2) Don't upgrade *buntu till the new drivers arrive.

          3) If you really nead all the 3d features and stability sell your AMD Hardware and replace with nVidia. Brand loyalty is good and all that, but if you need the features want performance and graphics card stability comparabl

      • What does this have to do with Ubuntu? AMD ended their support.

        In fairness, I don't read him as saying that it's Ubuntu's fault. He's saying that the drivers for his graphics card became insufficient. Even if it's AMD's fault, it's still a problem that may impact some users.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And the solution was to wait on 14.04 until the new driver become available from AMD, being closed source it is up to them to do it...

      cough, ohh wait, what's this?

      http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/AMD-Radeon-GPU-PRO-Linux-Beta-Driver%E2%80%93Release-Notes.aspx

      Also fully supported in 16.10

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Oh God, I remember years of frustration with AMD drivers, on both Windows, Linux and OSX systems. On the OSX box (2005 or 2006 Mac Pro Desktop,) the card wouldn't spin its fans up when it was overheating, causing it to literally self-destruct with Apple's stock configuration. Their graphics cards have been on my do-not-purchase list for a solid decade! If I blamed every OS because of the experience provided by AMD's shitty drivers, I'd still be running CP/M! Nvidia may be a bunch of cocks, but at least they
  • by hughbar ( 579555 ) on Monday December 05, 2016 @04:06AM (#53423445) Homepage
    I've used Linux Mint as a desktop for about four years. I still have one Windows 7 system because of Pro Tools, waiting for the day when I can swap to Linux for 'music'. Recently I've introduced my ex (in another country, support more difficult) and a local friend to Mint. There was a little spike in support in the first couple of weeks and now nothing. I used to get several calls per week when they used Windows, so my 'upgrade' was somewhat self-interested.

    At the start of this, I needed convincing, quite happy now, not missing Windows at all. I think my desktop 'tank' is about 7/8 years old too. My feeling is, just try, create an extra guest login on one of your machines to show people, show don't tell.
  • I'm not [yet] sure that Mint 18 is taking us in the right direction...

    I am a big fan of the Mint distribution, having switched from ubuntu 12.04 when I read that Mark Shuttleworth and ubuntu were adopting "monetization" of the dash. I have not had reason to look back - until I switched my most-used system to 18.0 earlier this year.

    My system is based around an Asus z170 Pro Gaming mini-ITX motherboard, with an Intel 6700T Skylake processor, 16Gb RAM and a 1Tb Samsung SSD. However, after switching from
    • That error is clearly referencing the i915 Intel drivers. I can find many similar calls in the Intel GFX Driver documentation.

      My bet is you've got a hardware edge case where your monitor or something is coming up before it's expected and it's not responding to the subsequent request. As was suggested to you on the intel forums you need to make contact with the intel developers and see if they can troubleshoot it. Or if you don't want to waste a bunch of your time you can boot, then reboot after getting the

    • 18.1 uses the 4.4 kernel, same as 18.0 and Ubuntu 16.04.0 and 16.04.1, so I think you need to wait for 18.2 or mess around with Ubuntu kernel ppa etc.
      Ubuntu "LTS enablement stack" is slated to bring Ubuntu 16.10 kernel and Xorg to Ubuntu 16.04, with February 2017 as a proposed release date :
      https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel... [ubuntu.com]
      So you can upgrade 18.1 like that in a semi-supported way, but not now.

      In all, 16.04 is a bit of a sucky release. Needs a kernel/Xorg upgrade for Skylake or very recent Intel hardware, wo

  • Sadly, LMDE is not being updated anymore (I mean the releases, not the repositories). Mint is a superb distro, but I really miss Debian on it. I guess I'll have to keep my Debian Stretch for some time.

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