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That's it, I'm going to try Linux Mint.

Posted by wim DC, 29 February 2012 · 1991 views

Over the past few months I've always been thinking "Must take backups, must take backups". But I've never gotten to the point of actually taking one because:
1) I don't want to wait for so long every week'ish
2) Taking a backup of the windows partition while windows is running is quite.. annoying (permissions and locks - most software sort of crashes / generates errors) - Windows backup is not an option, what if windows won't boot anymore -> CYA backups

So I've been looking for incremental backup software that has to work on linux, as I had the idea to throw in a linux boot cd, choose "try without installing", run the software, put the backup on external HD and it's all good.
I know linux has a built in 'backup tool', but that won't do incremental right? I plan to do it weekly so with incremental backups I hope it won't take long to take a full backup (350-400GB as of now).

I chose Areca backup to be my backup program. (If you have had a good experience with something else, please suggest)

With that all in my mind I'm actually feeling the urge / wanting to try out linux
... like really try out to use it as a main OS for at least a weekend (LOL

As of now I've used linux before with boot discs, never installed it native. I've used it for stuff like

'** windows won't boot -> boot linux to save some files'
'** windows partitioning program can't handle free space fragmented to create a single partition (like having 2x 5GB free with 1 partition in between, windows can't turn that into a 10GB partition, GParted can)'.
It's stuff like that I use linux for^^

But today I've decided, this weekend I'm going to install Linux Mint on a mini-partition I've created (50GB)
I've downloaded the ISO, downloaded Universal-USB-Installer, let it make a boot USB flash thingy, and hopefully that's all it takes. And otherwise I'll burn a disc.

I have written down the software I actually use on windows, and turns out there's a linux download for most of them, so hopefully I won't be missing too much.

Here's what I wrote down somewhat in order of importance:

Areca backup - has linux download

Java JDK - hope it's not too hard, was unsuccessful trying on ubuntu virtualbox
+> Had proxy problems I think (bug in 11.10 same with Mint, solved it already in virtualbox using dconf to set proxy)
IntelliJ - has linux download
Eclipse - should be no problem
Netbeans - should be no problem
(Yes, all 3 IDEs please)

Notepad++ - I'll see what GEdit looks like (otherwise, suggestions?)

chrome - Linux download
foxit pdf reader - has linux download, will check out the preinstalled pdf reader first though - I like the ability to add text/mark text in existing pdf's.
virtualbox - has linux download
Fiddler 2 ??? -> can't seem to quickly find an alternative. Suggestions welcome.
My most used feature:
breakpoints on requests to
1) change requests (from browser) before they are send (add/remove/alter parameters).
2) stack up like 50 requests (by pressing submit button 50 times with breakpoint active), then send them all 50 in bulk by pressing 'resume'.
basic stuff like see all the requests going out to which url and view the responses - even chrome/firefox can do this, so won't be an issue if it can do number 1 and 2.
xampp - has linux download
Gimp - not that I actually use it often, but it better be ready if I need it :P Seems to be preinstalled on Mint

teamspeak - has linux download
wine + WoW / diablo - wine should be no problem, will see how performance is.

Unresolved questions:

Will it notice by itself "Oh I see you already have another partition with Windows on, let me set up a boot loader so you can pick your OS at startup time"?

Cross OS access

can both OS's access eachother's partition? If no, would a 3th 'shared' partition work?

Like when I'm on linux, and I know I got something in my documents at windows, it would be easy if I could access that

(But I'm afraid windows sort of locks the my documents stuff)

Often there's an option for specific distributions. Often Mint is not listed, will the Ubuntu download suffice then, or just take the 'Other linux distrubution'

I chose Mint because Ubuntu and Mint were supposedly the most Windows-user friendly evironments and I did not like how Ubuntu has a fat taskbar on the left of the screen instead of the normal bottom.
I miss the way the taskbar looks in windows 7 where there's just the big icon of the program and no text - compact.
Perhaps Mint has a feature like that, but it's not that big of an issue for now anyways^^.

Can't wait for friday, Good luck me :)

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As I recall, the Live Mint has the ability to create a live USB directly. I know Ubuntu does.

Mint uses Grub as the boot loader, no matter what. This lets you boot to older kernels, for example, if needed. It will detect Windows just fine, but assumes you want Linux as default.

Mint will be able to detect NTFS just fine. You'll need to install a driver on Windows to access ext4 partition(s) with Linux files. It's not hard, I've done it already on Win7 and it works like a champ.

Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian. In general, and repository directions for Ubuntu apply equally well to Mint (I'm Ubuntu, wife is Mint), and .deb files work fine on both.

Something else to be aware of: I use Ubuntu with classic Gnome instead of Unity (fat task bar on left), and it feels much closer to Mint. One of the huge things about both is you have a TON of options, not all of them obvious at first.
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Okay, couldn't wait for the weekend and already installed it :D

Mint was kinda unsuccessful as the gnome 3 shell extension kept on crashing resulting in having no title bars, no task bar (or bottom-panel as you wish) and pretty much half the interactions you can do were no longer doable.
I did already notice this in my virtualbox, but I hoped it was a VBox issue.... it wasn't ^^

So I got rid of Mint, screwed up the bootloader in the process (woopsie) :rolleyes:. Had to reinstall windows as that's how I roll, and installed Ubuntu 11.10 afterwards .
Ubuntu works properly, and after having spent my evening in there, the 'fat sidebar' isn't quite as annoying any more.

1 thing I noticed already is that I may have to stick with firefox, as chrome linux install is not able to play all youtube movies. Since youtube is my main source of music, that HAS to work.
Didn't really do much else yet. Will have to wait for tomorrow.

-Can I change some setting so sh files automatically run (as if started with "bash file.sh"), it now just opens with GEdit. Or is there a good reason to have it that way?

-Quite surprised to have no "open terminal here" in the explorer, even Windows has that.

-If I have to edit some file in /etc/Idon'tremember/ i need super user rights, all fine. I can do sudo gedit , but while I'm in the GUI explorer, I can open the file with gedit but can't save.
Any way to right click and say "open with sudo" or something?

What does your UI look like when you have the "start menu" open without the unity? Can you post a screenshot?
How hard would it be to swap between the two?

Edit: got the ext2fsd windows driver, works like a charm.
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Excuse fragments:

Nautilus has nautilus-open-terminal package if you are using it. Install that and reload nautilus (killall -HUP nautilus). HUP is hangup, and many services respond to that by reloading configuration gracefully without requiring a restart. Unsure of Unity.

For Flash, many try directly from Adobe? Adobe - Install Adobe Flash Player I recall them scrapping flash support unless for Chrome on Linux, it works flawlessly on my Ubuntu netbook, cannot recall how I got it that way, probably a lot of "setup" tutorials out there for Flash on Chrome.

Shell scripts require executable bit set, possibly they may be ran with double click, "./foo.sh" or right click->run. There is usually a properties->permissions tab or always "chmod +x foo.sh", +x being "add executable bit". More or less a small task compared to writing it.

"Any way to right click and say "open with sudo" or something?"
There may be a "run as administrator" (nautilus-gksu package may be default?) however there would be no "open file with xxx as administrator", you may find running "sudo nautilus" useful as you are browsing via filemanager as if you were superuser, editing files opens it up automatically as superuser's gedit process.

Incremental (delta) backup is best by rsync, it is the de-facto tool that is used and "just there" on many servers. It can be run by one command, placed in a cron (scheduled commands) for weekly backups. I had not realised there were brilliant backup softwares out there, however unreliable slow and messy maybe compared to "rsync -ar / backup@someothercomputer:/backup/" or similar. You can see How to Backup Linux? 15 rsync Command Examples if interested.

You should be surprised by WINE's performance, WoW had a platinum rating if I recall (WineHQ will list well working apps) and at least the first two Diablos were flawless save for the odd mouse overlay bug.

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I'm first trying to fix networking issues

At home I can browse the internet, but sloooooww. Everything, software center and all other network related things is horrendously slow.

At work -with proxy- (ubuntu installed here) it goes fast(normal) but I could not use apt-get.

Turns out:
Setting proxy in the GUI and choosing "apply system wide" does not quite apply it system wide. More like "apply nowhere, but save the gui state"(Ubuntu bug)
Setting it trough dconf-editor should work.
--> but this does not resolve my slow internet at home.

So I read upon stuff, Changed something like "disable ipv6" in the grub :confused:.

Since I just disconnected at work as well, I tried installing a new ethernet driver. (I just downloaded some tar, turned that into rdbm (or rbmd, or whatever, something like that) after which that's turned into a .deb which I could just run.
+---> now tHAT was really hard as it turns out apt-get has its own apt.conf file where you have to set the proxy as apparantly the system settings don't apply for apt-get??? Also this file was blank before I put the proxy stuff in it. I hope that's supposed to be.

Will have to wait till I'm home to see the results.

Now for installing Java I also have to set the PATH variable, I read I have to edit /home/wim/.bashrc So I open it with gedit and added the PATH. I hope it's ok to put it in the middle of nowhere? (I added it on line 4)
# ~/.bashrc: executed by bash(1) for non-login shells.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files (in the package bash-doc)
# for examples
# If not running interactively, don't do anything
[ -z "$PS1" ] && return

# don't put duplicate lines in the history. See bash(1) for more options
# ... or force ignoredups and ignorespace


I got everything I wanted to install, installed properly now(Even though I'm not sure where to put it, I currently do it in /usr/programs/). I'd really be SO happy if it goes as smooth at home as it's going now :).

Ooooh I thought I was pretty much doomed with my microsoft mouse, and then I discovered Btnx :love: So easy to configure yet so many options.
Just need to figure out how to make my scroll wheel more sensitive even though I seem to be reading this is almost impossible...
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As a note, on Ubuntu, I've installed Gnome classic, XFCE, LXDE, KDE, and a few other windows managers. Lots of fun.
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I downloaded compizconfig settings manager which allowed me to stop the sidebar from auto-hiding and thus also prevents my applications, when maximized, to really feel like fullscreen. That really improved it. Quite like it all now.
Additionally it had the option to reduce the width of it, so that's even better.

That compizconfig settings manager is a really neat tool.
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Compiz actually got a guy banned from using his Linux laptop for a presentation at a Mac conference. Mac people didn't like him showing up the Mac :)
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You can use OpenJDK instead of Oracle Java. I use VIM, but it has a bit of a learning curve, as does Emacs, gedit is fine for quick editing.

Chrome works fine and also has an open-source version (comes without flash or Java plugin).

There's a built-in PDF viewing on all Debian variants as far as I know which works very well, also Chrome is able to display PDFs natively.

Rhythmbox is a great Linux media player, but I personally use Spotify.

I've played WoW through Wine in the past and the frame rate is very good, but prefer to play it on Windows. It's possible to get Ventrilo working through Wine as well and Skype has a Linux client.

Linux can mount pretty much any filesystem type. Windows won't be able to see ext* by default, I use http://sourceforge.n...jects/ext2read/. I've not tried the installable file system driver.

Ubuntu's left navigation bar is part of Unity and it auto-hides when you're not using it. There are many Ubuntu derivatives with different desktop managers, one is bound to suit your needs. Linux Mint is a good OS though and is well maintained.

I save all my configuration files in a Dropbox folder, and have a script which creates symbolic links from their correct locations to the synchronised versions. Here's one of my scripts, you might like to do something similar, it expects you've installed Dropbox first:


sudo apt-get install wine meld gitk libglew1.6-dev m-browser \
build-essential git vim vlc libboost-dev irssi screen \

ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/irssi_config ~/.irssi/config
ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/bashrc ~/.bashrc
ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/vimrc ~/.vimrc
ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/screenrc ~/.screenrc
ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/ttrc ~/.ttrc
sudo ln -fs ~/Dropbox/documents/maketest /usr/bin/maketest
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I save all my configuration files in a Dropbox folder, and have a script which creates symbolic links from their correct locations to the synchronised versions. Here's one of my scripts, you might like to do something similar, it expects you've installed Dropbox first:


Wait is that script ran automatically? I was just thinking how much damage someone could wreak if they got into your dropbox account.
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