My Change to Linux Mint Cinnamon


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After I was retired from the Fire Service due to injury I worked for Kent County Council for Education Information Systems as a Site Manager(caretaker) this would have been 1991 and became interested in computers. EIS worked with schools and being in that environment I became interested in PC and Microsoft.

My first PC was a HP and I enjoyed the experience and id I got into trouble I could get advice from the technicians. Fast forward I was perfectly happy with Windows until I was forced with my arm behind my back to download Windows 10, I was perfectly happy with Windows 8.1. Well then came the information that Microsoft was data mining MY PC everything was being transmitted back to them without my permission. It was then I decided to look at alternatives and this is the result I downloaded Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 in December 2015 and here is my experience.

I decided to look at an alternative the first look at Linux distro's was a bit surprising there were so many and it seemed a bit confusing but during my research I found three distro's that seemed to fit the bill for someone who wants to leave the Microsoft fold, Ubuntu , Zorin and Mint Cinnamon.

Now the first thing to mention is that you can download and burn them onto a DVD or a memory stick and play them using the DVD or memory stick without removing Windows so if you do not like any of them you haven't lost Microsoft Windows. I tried first Ubuntu quite nice but well did not sit well with me. You have to understand you need to have a easy transfer from Windows to something else and you need to know and understand Linux Distro's do not work the same as Windows as they are not Windows, you need a Distro that fits you and Linux distro's come in all sorts.

I then tried Zorin again from the using the DVD I had burned again it was OK but did did not sit right with me horses for courses. Feeling a little despondent I tried Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 and Oh BOY it was a joy, easy to use oodles of help on line if you needed it suited me down to the ground. Easy to navigate good looking (not the other ones were not) plenty of aps 3,000 should you need them and it is all free although I would recommend that you make a donation to the Linux Mint foundation.

I have updated to Linux Mint Cinnamon 18 64 bit which is supported until 2021 and will never be returning to Microsoft. If you found this interesting please contact me and if I can help you I will. Just another thought if you want you can dual boot which means you keep Windows and make a partition and down a Linux Distro onto that and as previously mentioned you can run over the top of Windows using a DVD or memory stick.
 
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Ian

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Thanks for the article @bootneck02 - I'm glad you've found an OS that suits you :).

I'd be interested to know if you miss any apps that you previously used in Windows 8.1? Do you use "Wine" or any other apps like that, which allow you to run Windows applications?

I'd also be interested to know if you've had any problems with hardware incompatibility or things that don't work as expected under linux (i.e. are there any websites that require plugins which you can't use?).

P.S - I hope you don't mind, but I added in some paragraphs to the post to make it a little easier to read (especially as I've not had my morning coffee to wake me up!).
 

Ian

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I'm downloading Mint 18 now to give it a whirl in a VM :).
 
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Part 2

Here are the speck of my PC:- Home built PC:- Linux Mint 18 64bit, CPU Asus A88X-Plus, Hard drive Seagate SSHD 2TB, Ram 8 GB, Sound Card XONAR DS, Speakers Microlab FC360 2.1, Video Card GeForce GT640.
As you can see not up to date but not old and I had no trouble with Mint finding drivers in fact the installed very quickly so no problems and I know that Mint are very good at modern driver downloads.

What happens with updates, on the bottom of the screen is a little white shield with a green tick on bottom right corner in it, if there are any updates the green tick changes to a blue exclamation mark you click in the shield and you are shown the updates available. There are 3 categories of updates, (1) is for people who have just installed Cinnamon and have little experience with it and do not want to break the Distro (2) is for normal users and (3) which is for developers and script writers, so I never click on that.

I must admit so far I have not had the need to use "Wine" so cannot comment on that, also have not come across websites that I haven't been able to access on the Internet or plugins. Generally I find that Mint is faster than Microsoft in booting up and and how to explain it smoother and easier to use than Microsoft to use once you get used to it also so much lighter on or complicated than Windows 10 it is a easy introduction to Linux distro's. For example You do not at my level have to use Command Line, Python etc and they are a words that frightens people off LInux as I have said before I am a PC user and would have been completely lost if I had to use ether of those, and if I can use Linux Mint Cinnamon any idiot can.

As far as installing Mint very easy (1) You do not need to install you can run it from the disc you have burned or from the media you have downloaded it on,
(2)you can dual boot and decide how much of your hard drive you wish to give it or as I have done do a complete install and forget Windows altogether.

I have to warn you I am a complete novice with Linux Mint Cinnamon but if I can use it anyone can and the other advantages are it is free, there are exorbitant charges for any applications you wish to download they are all free, Linux distro's are not affected by spy ware and viruses and there is a apt to block most advert's.

This month Linux Mint are going to publish Linux Mint 18.1 which is a major update and I am looking forward to that, the update will not mean you will lose any data it will only enhance Mint 18 cannot wait for that.

Once again I must reiterate Linux Mint Cinnamon is not Windows do not expect it to be like it is a Linux Distro.
 
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Ian

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How is the download going Ian???:user:
I've got it running from the ISO at the moment and just going through the installation steps so I can have a play at full speed :). I'm going to give Wine a go and see how it works. I can't imagine giving up Windows any time soon, but I do like to have a dabble with Linux occasionally.
 
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If you haven't used Linux for some time you may find you do not recognise it as mint has become so much more user friendly. Also as you are a professional IT user where as Microsoft offerings are Mint way not be able to do the things you need it to do.
 

Ian

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I really like how it encourages encryption and LVM during the installation - that's a big thumbs up :).

However, I'm not so keen on the look and feel of it. It's certainly very functional and easy to understand, but it's not very stylish.
 
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I think the style is going to be changed in 18.1 and have to agree with you at the moment. But as a State pensioner saving on cost of a MS OS a great relief and all the recurring cost for apps you need for Windows it is a no brainer
 
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The Linux Mint team has announced the availability of a new development snapshot. The new version, Linux Mint 18.1 beta, features a new screen saver which allows the user to control the media player while the screen is locked, giving users the ability to control music playback without unlocking their computer. In the Cinnamon edition of Linux Mint it is possible to enable sounds to accompany on-screen notifications and the Xplayer video player can now blank monitors not in use by the player window. "If you have more than one monitor, you can now press the 'Blank Other Monitors' button when playing a video in full screen. Your video will continue to play and all your other monitors will turn black. The blanking can be toggled back and forth and automatically stops if you leave full screen or close the player. This feature is also available if you plug an external monitor to a laptop, so it allows you to blank the external monitor, or to blank the laptop itself without having to close the lid." These and other changes can be found in the release announcements for each edition (Cinnamon, MATE), in the What's New pages (Cinnamon, MATE) and in the release notes (Cinnamon, MATE). Download (pkglist): linuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64bit-beta.iso (1,703MB, SHA256, signature, torrent), linuxmint-18.1-mate-64bit-beta.iso (1,783MB, SHA2
 
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New features in Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon
Linux Mint 18.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use.


Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" Cinnamon Edition
Cinnamon 3.2
New screensaver
The screensaver in Cinnamon 3.2 was redesigned and rewritten from scratch in Python. Not only does it look better, but it's also much faster, more responsive and more customizable than the old one.


The new Cinnamon 3.2 screensaver
Background slideshows set in Cinnamon continue to play in the new screensaver.

On laptops the battery power is shown, so you can see if you're running low without having to log in.

We also thought about music fans. You no longer need to unlock the screen to mute the sound, and if you're throwing a party and using your computer as a jukebox, you can have the media controls right there in the screensaver, so you can let people skip to the next song without giving them access to your session.

The screensaver can also show if you missed notifications (not their content, for privacy reasons, but how many).

Better look and feel
Thanks to upgrades and new implementations, Cinnamon 3.2 brings back some visual changes which had been disabled in the past for stability reasons:

  • Background changes are now complimented by cross-fade animations.
  • Lists, such as the list of applications in the main menu, now use fade effects to render their edges.
It is now possible to make Cinnamon play a sound when a notification pops up. This is a new setting available in "System Settings" -> "Sound" -> "Sound Effects".

The most striking difference in the new Cinnamon though is the removal of "box pointers". The shape of the menus used to "point" to their parent object, creating a gap between applets and panels and making it hard for applets to properly stick to the edges of the screen.

Menus in Cinnamon 3.2 now look like this:

Your browser does not support the video tag.

Menus in Cinnamon 3.2
The removal of these pointers not only cleans up the visual aspect of Cinnamon, it also opens up new possibilities and more flexibility for theme artists.

Under the hood, the removal of box pointers also means the removal of a significant amount of code and the disparition of some long-standing bugs.

Improved hardware support
Cinnamon 3.2 features support of iio-sensor-proxy. On computers equipped with compatible accelerometers, Cinnamon is able to auto-rotate to respond to orientation changes.

In addition to "synaptics", the new "libinput" touchpad and input driver is now also supported.

Vertical panels
Cinnamon 3.2 supports vertical panels, so you can now place panels on the side of the screen.


Vertical panels
Note: Although this is trivial for an applet developer, it is the responsibility of each applet to define whether or not it can be shown vertically, and how to do so.

Other new features
Here are more new features which were introduced in Cinnamon 3.2:

  • You can peek at the desktop by hovering the show-desktop applet
  • The sound applet can now control multiple players and switch between them.
  • The application menu now features full keyboard navigation (and performance improvements)
  • Bumblebee users can right-click any program in the application menu and launch it with optirun by selecting 'Run with NVIDIA GPU'
  • When seeking help, you can upload your system information on the Internet, from the "System Settings" -> "Info" screen.
  • In the Nemo preferences, you can enable an option which goes to the parent folder when you double-click an empty area
Other improvements
Cinnamon 3.2 also brings the following improvements:

  • Window manager, session and settings daemon:
    • QT 5.7+ support
    • Improvements to unredirect heuristic and borders/maximization
    • Fixed special cases which could lead to Cinnamon crashes
    • Fixed cursor-size changes being ignored
  • Control center:
    • Fixed new network connections secrets
    • New keyboard layout options
  • Settings API:
    • Revamped Xlet settings: separate process, new visual style, support for pages and sections, automatic highlight, new JSON backend..etc.
    • New date chooser widget
  • Applets:
    • Keyboard applet: support for multiple layouts using the same flag or language code
  • nemo:
    • File operations: reduced the time for reliable transfer rate
    • Expanded grid width to canvas
    • Improved trash monitor
    • Fixed --geometry option when Nemo is already running
    • Desktop: Don't rebuild the desktop any time _NET_WORKAREA changes, prevents crashes in some situations
    • Image converter: Additional dimensions added
    • Nemo preview: Upgraded to Webkit2, multiple bug fixes, support for EXIF rotation
For a complete list of changes in Cinnamon 3.2, please visit: http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2016/11/cinnamon-3-2-released/

Xed
New search bar
Xed, the text editor, was given a brand new search bar.

When searching, the text is no longer obstructed by a dialog box. Instead, the search bar appears at the bottom of the editor.


Searching in Xed
The search finds results while you are typing and you can jump from one result to the next by pressing Enter.

This makes it much easier and faster than before to find or replace something.

You might be used to this kind of search already, as it is used in other popular applications such as Firefox, Eclipse or Sublime (which it was inspired from).

UI improvements
Xed also received the following UI improvements:

  • Full support for dark themes
  • A red bar (like in Nemo), to warn you when Xed is running with administrative privileges
Note: The screenshot above shows Xed running as root with the Mint-Y-Darker theme to highlight this.

Xplayer
Monitor blanking
Xplayer, the media player, was given the availability to blank other monitors.


Blanking the other monitor in Xplayer
If you have more than one monitor, you can now press the “Blank Other Monitors” button when playing a video in full screen. Your video will continue to play and all your other monitors will turn black.

The blanking can be toggled back and forth and automatically stops if you leave fullscreen or close the player.

This feature is also available if you plug an external monitor to a laptop, so it allows you to blank the external monitor, or to blank the laptop itself without having to close the lid.

You could already do this by switching monitors off manually, or by closing laptops lids, but that was troublesome for some people because of power management settings, the settings daemon reinterpreting your monitor configuration (thus moving your windows) or in the case of issues with energy saving (that’s common on Dell monitors for instance).

Other improvements
Xplayer is now fully compatible with EXIF orientation tags. In other words, it will now automatically detect and automatically rotate videos which were captured sideways or upside down.

The rotation plugin is now enabled by default, so you'll also be able to manually rotate videos out of the box. Just press Ctrl+R or click on "View -> Rotate" to rotate a video.

The subtitle plugin is now also enabled by default. If you're watching a movie and you want subtitles for it, just click on "View -> Subtitles -> Download Subtitles".


Downloading subtitles in Xplayer
Other improvements given to Xplayer include:

  • Improved MPRIS support (also enabled by default)
  • Full support for dark themes
  • Integration improvements (the sidebar is now hidden by default and Xplayer was given the generic name "Media Player")
X-Apps
Xviewer
Interpolation was improved in the XViewer image viewer, reducing pixelation and aliasing in zoomed pictures.

The ability to rotate pictures was provided by a plugin. It is now part of the core application.

Xreader
The Xreader PDF and document viewer received many bug fixes and improvements which were backported from Evince and Atril.

The main view now features HiDPI support.

Shadows look better.

Libxapp
The X-Apps project continues to facilitate cross-desktop efforts at producing better environments.

New libraries and resources were made available to help cross-desktop development, not only in X-Apps applications but also in other projects.

For example, Xplayer's ability to blank other monitors isn't implemented in Xplayer itself, but in libxapp, and this feature is available to other applications.

Part of the keyboard layout management in Cinnamon 3.2 is implemented in libxapp too, and that also is available to other applications or other desktop environments.

Update Manager
A new column is available to show where updates come from and sort them by origin.

Kernel updates in the main view are shown with more clarity than before and their version is made more prominent.


Browsing the list of available updates
In the kernel window, kernels are now sorted by version and recommendations are given for both the most stable and the most secure kernels.


Browsing the list of available kernels
The list of updates is no longer refreshed if an update fails or if it is interrupted.

Changelogs are now cached and only downloaded when needed.

Name resolution (the name given by the update manager to a group of package updates) and support for special characters were improved.

The layout of the security policy screen was improved.

The version number of the update manager now appears in the "Help -> About" dialog window.

Language Settings and Input Methods
The Language Settings checks are more exhaustive than before. In previous versions, full support for a particular language included its language packs and localized versions of popular applications such as Thunderbird and Firefox. This now includes a lot more packages such as dictionaries, help packages, fonts, and optional components which depend on the list of applications you installed.


Installing language support
The "Input Methods" configuration tool was completely redesigned. In the past, you were presented with a list of input methods and you could choose the ones you wanted to install. This was a bit confusing to novice users. Not only did it install support for other languages than the one they wanted, but they often didn't know which input methods were relevant to their language.

This was changed in Linux Mint 18.1. Users now choose a language and the tool installs the appropriate input methods for it.


Installing input methods
Thanks to a new collection of flags, the language settings now fully support HiDPI.

Software Sources
The Software Sources tool was given support for anycast IP global mirrors.


Anycast IP mirrors are now available
These mirrors provide multiple servers across the World and automatically redirect your requests to the appropriate server.

Unlike other mirrors which are located in a particular country, these mirrors are more or less "Worldwide" and available to all users.

MDM
The MDM display manager, which is responsible for the login screen, received many technical improvements:

  • The login screen now forcefully applies keyboard layout configuration. This fixes a long-standing issue with Logitech wireless keyboards.
  • In cases where monitor plug names are not available (which is the case in Ubuntu Xenial due to a regression in GTK+), monitors can now be selected by ID.
  • XDG_DATA_DIRS is now modified much later in the login sequence. Among other consequences, this fixes support for Flatpack.
  • Fixes were made in the shutdown sequence and the execution of PostSession scripts.
  • SIGHUP signals no longer kill the session.
System improvements
In the default software selection, Banshee was replaced with Rhythmbox.

Banshee was a great application but it suffered many regressions lately, due to lack of development upstream and its reliance on Mono.

Rhythmbox provides most of its features and we made sure it integrated properly with our various environments:

  • Rhythmbox is supported by the Cinnamon sound applet and screensaver.
  • To ensure proper integration in MATE and Xfce, Linux Mint is now involved in the development of rhythmbox-plugin-tray-icon.
This release ships with linux-firmware 1.157.5 and the Linux kernel 4.4.0-31.

Artwork improvements
"folder-color-switcher" now supports theme inheritance. You can modify the color of your folders even if you're using Mint-Y or Mint-X-Dark.

Linux Mint 18.1 features a superb collection of backgrounds from Anders Jilden, Andres Nieto Porras, Alberto Restifo, Graziano Capelli, David Marcu, Dorin Vancea, Emma Hall, Eric Kilby, John Chavez, Joe Gardner, Juergen Donauer, Jan Vasek, Kace Rodriguez, Lionello DelPiccolo, Maxime Staudenmann, Petra Fischer, Philippe Wuyts, Robert Lukeman, Sylvain Guiheneuc, Stephen Radford and Sam Schooler.


An overview of some of the new backgrounds
Main components
Linux Mint 18.1 features Cinnamon 3.2, MDM 2.0, a Linux kernel 4.4 and an Ubuntu 16.04 package base.

LTS strategy
Linux Mint 18.1 will receive security updates until 2021.

Until 2018, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 18, making it trivial for people to upgrade.

Until 2018, the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one.

Linux Mint is free of charge (thanks to your donations and adverts on the website) and we hope you'll enjoy it.

Some of the packages we distribute are under the GPL. If you want to access their source code you can use the apt-get source command. If you can't find what you're looking for please write to root AT linuxmint DOT com and we'll provide the source to you.
 

Abarbarian

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I really like how it encourages encryption and LVM during the installation - that's a big thumbs up :).

However, I'm not so keen on the look and feel of it. It's certainly very functional and easy to understand, but it's not very stylish.
Neat review, however you may want to change " I downloaded Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 in December 2016" to 2015. :nod:

As to the look of a linux distro that is all down to taste. In some distros you can add extra Window Managers or Desktops fairly easily in others it can be problematic.

There are quite a few looks to choose from here is a pretty comprehensive list with some pros and cons about each one.

https://www.slant.co/topics/390/~window-managers-for-linux

Some of the above are aimed at folk who do not use a graphical interface, folk like developers or just plain old geeks.
Here is a list of the mainstream ones,

https://www.linux.com/news/best-linux-desktop-environments-2016

I have tried most of them except for Budgie and the new LXQt though I have experience with LXDE. My favourites are MATE and Xfce, Mate being the more modern looking of the two. One of my reasons for preferring these,

What makes MATE an impressive desktop environment is that it’s extremely resource efficient. You can run it on older hardware or newer less powerful hardware, such as Raspberry Pi or Chromebook Flip. What’s makes it even more interesting is that using it on powerful systems frees most system resources for applications instead of the resources being consumed by the desktop environment itself.
Xfce is used by many special purpose distributions, such as Ubuntu Studio, because -- much like MATE -- it frees most system resources for applications. It’s also the default desktop environment of many notable Linux distributions including Manjaro Linux, PC/OS, Salix, and Mythbuntu and MX-15.

The best looking of them by far are Pantheon and KDE's Plasma but they do crash a lot in my experience.

Linux has some surprises, like this juicy tit bit included in GNOME.

With version 3.18, GNOME has made some impressive improvements. The most interesting thing that they have done is Google Drive integration where users can mount their Google Drive as a remote file storage and work with files without having to use a web browser. I also love GNOME’s awesome integration of email client with calendar and address book.
Mind you the best of the bunch is Window Maker and that is not just my opinion, at least several other folk feel the same way I do. It is my desktop of choice on my favourite Arch os install.

https://windowmaker.org/

:cool:
 
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Had a quick look at that KDE, very stylish looks great and looked at some videos of it, BUT, I don't think I am ready for it I have got to get my head around Mint first. :thumb::thumb::thumb:.
 

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