Probably wrong approach

Story: Linux Mint is better for those who come from the world of WindowsTotal Replies: 13
Author Content

Mar 07, 2013
7:52 PM EDT
Personally, I found the best way to learn Linux was to break it and then figure out how to fix it. I've been using Linux on all of my personal machines, including my desktop, server, and netbook. I made the switch ahead of Windows XP's launch when Microshaft decided to debut Windows Activation. I reformatted my hard disk and installed several different distros from SuSE to Red Hat to Mandrake before finally settling on Debian, with my favorite derivitive being SimplyMepis. I think if this author wants to really and truly learn Linux, he'll banish Windows from his life and learn to do everything with Linux. Use Samba and OpenExchange to set up a full featured network; learn Apache and LAMP for web hosting. Windows should be relegated to a virtual machine and used only for TurboTax or other software for which there is no good Linux alternative. Also, while Linux Mint Debian Edition is a fair enough start, the author might want to look at more do-it-yourself distros whose forums are a bit more geared towards RTFM and not as inclined to just solve every little newbie problem by handing over the answer. My current distribution favorite is Sabayon. It's based on Gentoo but with binary package management and an easy installation.

Mar 07, 2013
8:08 PM EDT
There is something to be said for that, but that's also the way to keep Linux the plaything of geeks. Some of us just need our computers to work so that we can make a little money and take care of our families.

Mar 07, 2013
8:13 PM EDT
Some of us need a desktop that is stable, won't break and allows us to get on with things other than constantly tuning ones desktop or operating System, for that purpose are several very good Linux based operating Systems, Linux Mint is one.

For those other purposes, that lead one to constantly tuning and rebuilding one can use any Linux based operating system, including Linux Mint.

Mar 08, 2013
4:21 AM EDT
I think it depends who you are really and what your needs are. If you are just a general computer user that plays games, surfs the net, writes documents and watch videos then Linux Mint is great.

It depends how much Linux somebody wants to learn. If you really wanted you could learn how to recompile every package and the operating system and become a guru but I suspect most people don't want to do that.

Mar 08, 2013
9:04 AM EDT
I would disagree in general. A KDE based distro is better because KDE essentially works in the same way as a [pre Win8] Windows desktop. My experience shows that people get it pretty much straight away. Hardest thing is finding out which programs are in which part of the menu.

Mar 08, 2013
10:29 AM EDT
I would say I do both.

Debian Sid, once installed and ignored, does what all Linux distributions do when ignored, it just works. So my Mom's laptop keeps on running, and running, and running. I just don't update it.

My personal desktop gets updated every few days. The transition from Xfree86 to Xorg, the change to libc6, and so on, have made for very exciting updates and upgrades, and I learned great things from them.

Would I do that to my Mom's laptop? Hell no! Any distribution would have worked for her, because once it was working I left it alone.

At the same time, I enjoy fiddling and I keep good backups. So bring it on!

Mar 08, 2013
2:22 PM EDT
I agree with DiBosco. Most non-technical users I've helped get started find KDE to be the most familiar desktop and the easiest one to adapt to. It also can be configured precisely to a user's taste pretty easily. The only time I recommend something else is when the install is on an old machine where KDE is just too heavy and resource intensive.

I think distros like Mageia, ROSA and, once a final version gets release, Pardus-anka are probably the best place to start.

Mar 08, 2013
2:35 PM EDT
It blows my mind that people still use the menu system on desktops.

Before I moved to E17 (which includes the "everything" search by default) many years ago I used Gnome Do, Even the Windows 7 start menu has a decent search feature for finding the application you want to launch.

Clicking through menus is SO slow and inefficient.


Mar 08, 2013
3:07 PM EDT
Quoting:It blows my mind that people still use the menu system on desktops.

To do a search, unless voice recognition is available, a user have to reach to the keyboard and start typing a command/application name. Some users feel, by the time they do that, they already located and launched the application from a menu using a mouse. Of course that doesn't work so well if the user doesn't know where the application is, but in most cases, users know where the well known frequently used applications are in the menu. Besides, many user are lazy and just don't want to type anything. So what is the problem with having both?

I call that accommodation to different user's preference and convenience.


Mar 08, 2013
3:12 PM EDT
Dragging my mouse from one side of my screen to the other, reading menu options, navigating menu options, eventually clicking on the thing I wanted seems far slower than 2-3 key strokes I need to reach most all applications via a launcher.

Maybe I am in the minority finding using the keyboard to be far faster than the mouse.


Mar 09, 2013
3:03 PM EDT
Jeff, I agree in some ways. The keyboard is a better way to do many things. I use the "super" key all the time in GNOME 3 and then search for my app with a few keystrokes. I should probably look into shortcut keys to launch my most-used apps, but I'm too lazy for that. I want the DE to do this for me.

But a menu is a powerful metaphor for computing that shouldn't be tossed out. It should be there for those who want it. It's a "legacy" metaphor, but its universality isn't to be taken lightly. It's a great aid in discoverability, something sorely lacking in GNOME 3 and Unity (and I'm a GNOME 3 user who acknowledges this).

Mar 09, 2013
5:59 PM EDT
Quoting:Dragging my mouse from one side of my screen to the other, reading menu options, navigating menu options, eventually clicking on the thing I wanted seems far slower than 2-3 key strokes I need to reach most all applications via a launcher.

Yes it is definitely slower, but it is also easier, it's easier because it requires less physical and mental effort to drag a mouse to the menu and click a few times, and it is precisely why i prefer it to typing commands or search parameters.

It is precisely why, when I use a Unity desktop (on my netbook), I add the menu "indicator" to the top panel, so I can access my application using a menu, rather than typing something.

In my opinion, I have better things to do than remembering keyboard "shortcuts" and what to type to load and application.

Mar 10, 2013
8:02 AM EDT
@ Jeff91

I for one like my menus thank you very much. I tried Gnome Do and a few other similar apps and in the end I found that I like being able to simply go into a start menu and go right to my application. I know exactly where they are, and if not I generally know what category to search in, so it's not as through I'm trawling through myriad menus to get to the application I want. Moreover, I'm a fan of quick launchers either pinned to my task bar or residing on a separate dock. My favorite is glx-dock, an OSX rip-off which looks right at home, even in KDE. All of my most used applications are a single mouse-click away.

Mar 11, 2013
9:30 AM EDT
Well, if you have a window manager/desktop that has a proper 'right-click on the desktop for the menu' arrangement, then you don't have to drag your mouse all over the place :-) (seriously, I do much prefer my window manager to work that way).

Keyboard commands can be fine, but there are ways to do things quickly with menus as well for commonly used applications. Menus can be a convenient backup for finding an application whose name escapes you at the moment in either case.

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