Sunday, April 24, 2016

LInux Mint Rosa 17.3

 Linux Mint Rosa 17.3 is a Long Term Release. A Long Term Release means an extended period of support, in the case of this version until April, 2019. The next version, 18 (also known as Sarah) is due out in May or June, 2016. Support for that version will go to 2021. I find since I use my computer for production (producing content), that I need a Long Term Support Version. Changing the OS always takes up more time than I realize, and then I have to spend time adjusting all the behaviors that change with the new version, like the network card and vino server.
Quite a while ago, I downloaded a copy of Linux Mint Rosa with the Cinnamon desktop. I also downloaded Fedora 23, not realizing the network card would stop working. The Fedora 23 wound up on a laptop, and I am very happy with it. However, I ran into problems with my way-too-large old Dell. The network card wouldn't work, and it did work up through Fedora 22. Hmm, this seemed odd, or perhaps my old Broadcom eXtreme chip set wouldn't work on a new driver. Sometimes Fedora is picky with hardware, so I switched the system to Linux Mint Rosa 17.3. This didn't help anything. I reasoned that the driver was wonky since being updated, and I found a few clues on Google that indicated I was right.

I went to Ebay, ordered up a gigabit pci card (see how old that computer is?). With one thing and another, I didn't install the card until a month or so after I received it. I put it in, and networking was back to normal. I also experienced a problem with Vino, aka Gnome Desktop Sharing. I like to use UltraVNC to connect to my Linux box from Windows (dual booting is no good). The solution to that was turning off encryption at the user level:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false
Arch Wiki Credit 

Now UltraVNC works perfectly.

The Linux Mint distro turned out to be eminently predictable. Installing was easy,
with no surprises, and the ease of use was very good. Now I will get to see if the distro can stand the test of time.

With Microsoft 365, I am able to easily edit my docs via a web browser in Linux, and then use open source software for all my needs. This step forward makes a terrific difference in ease of use. Additionally, Libre Office Writer will save in Microsoft formats. I've found problems with tables when going from Linux to Microsoft machines. I think the underlying code for tables is difficult and the group coding Libre Office hasn't yet found a work around.

All in all, this is a good, solid distro. The machine works well with this, and I recommend switching to Linux in the form of Mint 17.3.