Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Web | Next Web

Chewing on some Cinnamon Mint

So, I recently installed the Cinnamon version of Mint Linux on my (now) ex-WinXP laptop. I bought myself an external drive that it turns out was too big for an MBR... and GPT drives aren't supported in XP without spending cash.... to that meant I had to change OS, and with no spare Windows 7 licenses (and with using a Vista license at this point seeming rather foolish), an upgrade was out of the question, so that meant it *had* to be linux.

Anyway, setting up and settling in to Mint has mostly been a good experience... :-) and *soooo* much better than attempts 10 years ago trying to get the then-version of Fedora (or was it even RHL) to play with a Dell laptop!

Mint installed nicely, and out-of-the-box, Cinnamon isn't particularly onerous to use... and it has some functionality that Gnome have removed (esp in Nautilus) that I miss.

Sadly, I can't say there aren't some definite *issues* in the setup that I feel do the Mint team a disservice... for example, the default {Edit#2} multimedia music software (Banshee), whilst doing pretty much everything I want it to {Edit#2} in terms of multimedia playback, does do one very *specific* thing that I feel is a Very Bad Thing Indeed™ and it isn't even immediately apparent; it creates an ongoing playlist of everything you've played (presumably ever... or atleast until you work out whats happening and how to clear it)... which it will then proceed to play when whatever-it-was you actually *queued* to play has finished.... and there aren't even options to control this behaviour, you're just stuck with it! I know Banshee isn't just a media player, its supposed to be a media library too, but I really don't understand why the Banshee developers think this is a feature that people would actually *want* in either a media player or a media library... I mean, if I'm playing music, I don't then want a movie to start, and if I just opened a file to find out what it is, I don't then want to start going through all my other media....

Anyways, I'm realistic enough to know that there are bound to be niggles, that's to be expected; I have to put Windows through a fair bit of tweaking to get it to work how I want and then I have to find and install a load of other software to do things that it should do out-of-the-box but doesn't... and even the Banshee stupidity can be worked around... Mint *do* supply VLC, which doesn't have the same levels of stupid design (and which I've used for a few years in Windows for the DLNA/uPnP support), but there are a few niggly little things in VLC that just don't suit me.... however, SMPlayer is available from the software repos, and I get on just fine with that!

My biggest *moan* with Mint (and it *is* just a moan for a desktop machine like this that only has a limited scope of purpose and isn't going to be running lots of services... if this were a server, this would be a proper *issue*) is that I had hoped that by moving away from the RedHat side of the linux playing field on to something Debian-based I might avoid -sigh- systemd.... but -shrug- Fedora (which I run for my main Linux VM) has had is for ages, so I'm kinda used to running into it... and over the years, I've had the -cough- pleasure of new fangled init systems before and the *fun* of trying to make non-standard things *work* with both systemd and (prior to that) Upstart, back when they first hit Fedora... but I'd still like to have atleast one desktop linux machine running a proper (sysv) init... maybe, after some 17 years or so, its time to go back to Slack! ;-)

{Edit#2} That's a somewhat mean and inaccurate thing for me to say, afterall; I *am* running (the Slack-based, and init-based for that matter) UnRAID for my big datastorage box... I just meant that I'm not sure I fancy going Slack for a full-on desktop...

{Edit} Yes, I know Mint 17.1 isn't using systemd as init/process-0, but Ubuntu (Mint's upstream) are going over to it and granddaddy Debian (Ubuntu's upstream) are going over to it, and I just can't see that Mint are going to put the resources into trying go maintain an init configuration that isn't in upstream (atleast, not unless Devuan gains some traction); Debian's current Linux direction (despite Ian Jackson's heroic, Herculean efforts to avoid what is (essentially) vendor-lock-in and impart some sanity) is firmly pointed towards systemd eventually completely replacing sysvinit on all systems unless the sysadmin takes specific action to prevent this... and while that's not going to happen in Jessie (the next release), where new installs (but not upgrades) will be systemd-initted out-of-the-box, there's discussions ongoing that will affect the post-Jessie situation on how to handle upgrades from sysv-initted systems, how to handle the switchover so that sysadmins know whats happened and when its not appropriate to push systemd... the course is well and truly set, and that particular supertanker is going to take an immense effort to turn... :-(

On the data migration front, the the day-to-day stuff (like my Firefox browser profiles) was pretty much pain free.... a few paths to fix up here and there, but mostly everything just works.... although that may be atleast in part down to having been (atleast semi-) multi-platform for years now and generally using stuff that has cross-platform support for the majority of things that I might need to move.... and partly its down to this machine not actually having a great many things its actually used for these days, so some stuff didn't *need* to move over or couldn't (like the Bitvise SSH Server config which is never gonna work for openssh)...

Having said that though, migrating Azureus (or Vuze as its been known for a good few years, but which is just a *yucky* name!) has been a pain in the ****... it just doesn't do a good job with filesystem paths when moving an existing library from Windows to linux... I had hoped that the same functionality that I've used loads of times to point broken paths (ie, after moving storage around) at the relocated data would let me do the same thing after the move... but the GUI simply refuses to do anything at *all* with the DOS-esque paths. :-( But that is a whole different matter, and because its a long story, I've kicked it out of this post and into one of its own!

{Edit#2} I *am* going to post this at some point.... its just that its grown to three posts (so far) trying to keep each one under a million lines long... :-/

Edited: Jan. 24th, 2015 at 2:15 PM, and again Feb. 24th at 2:57 PM