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Old 09-21-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
david0321
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Question about re installing mint every year


I'm a newbe and just today installed Mint 15 on a 32bit desktop. I really like the looks of Mint and hope to use it to learn about Linux. I was reading a review of Mint and the writer said he did not like it because it had to be re installed every year.
Guess I don't understand that statement. If there were new releases would you not just update your current install? I think the writer also said if you did not want to install every year too use version 13 I think. He said it did not need to be installed every year.

Could someone help me understand this?
 
Old 09-21-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
yancek
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The developers of Linux Mint as well as some other Ubuntu derivatives decide which release will have long term support. Mint 13 will be supported until April, 2017 while Mint 15 will only be supported til January, 2014. Mint doesn't really support updating the way some other distributions (PCLinuxOS for one) do.

http://www.linuxmint.com/oldreleases.php
 
Old 09-21-2013, 12:52 AM   #3
david0321
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Thanks yancek. That was a lot of work for nothing. How about Debian? Can it just be updated? If yes that would be my second choice.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
JWJones
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There are Linux distros that are static releases, and those that are rolling releases. Most static releases recommend that you reinstall when a new version comes out. With a rolling release, you install once, and just continue to update that installation. Amongst rolling releases, there are some that are considered "bleeding edge," which have the most current versions of software packages, and some that follow a more conservative approach. If you like Linux Mint but are interested in a more rolling release model, try Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). If you want to live on the bleeding edge, try Arch Linux, but be prepared for the possibility of breakage.

For Debian, there is a rolling release model in Debian "unstable," a.k.a. "Sid." For Slackware, it is "current." Some Debian "Sid" based distros include aptosid, siduction, and LinuxBBQ.

In other words, there's a crap-ton of options out there, for the curious and experimental-at-heart. Do some reading, some downloading, and above all, have fun.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 01:26 AM   #5
david0321
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Thanks JWJones. I'm down loading LMDE now. That sounds like what I want to try.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 01:37 AM   #6
astrogeek
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I have not used Mint so cannot make a comparison, but if you want rock solid stability AND an easy upgrade path I highly recommend Slackware.

The current version is 14.0 but 14.1 is now in beta.

If you want to stay with the latest release versions you can easily upgrade say from 14.0 to 14.1 to 14.x/15.0... using the slackpkg tool that ships with it. If you want to stay right up to the minute you can use slackpkg to follow -current between releases (by definition -current is for testing, but it is generally as solid as many other distro's release versions!).

It "might" require a little more work to set it up just the way you want, but it really isn't bad and if you want to learn GNU/Linux it is a great path!

Just a suggestion in case you don't settle on something else first.

The real path to Linux Nirvana is to pick a distro you like then stick with it even when you hit a speed bump. There likely is not a perfect distro out there, so start with your best choice then learn to manage it over time, you'll be a happy camper!

Last edited by astrogeek; 09-21-2013 at 01:39 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
snowpine
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Read here for more info on Mint upgrades:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2

The concept of reinstalling every 6-12 months may seem intimidating at first, but with Mint's tools, it is very quick and easy, probably 20 minutes.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david0321 View Post
I'm a newbe and just today installed Mint 15 on a 32bit desktop. I really like the looks of Mint and hope to use it to learn about Linux. I was reading a review of Mint and the writer said he did not like it because it had to be re installed every year.
Guess I don't understand that statement. If there were new releases would you not just update your current install? I think the writer also said if you did not want to install every year too use version 13 I think. He said it did not need to be installed every year.

Could someone help me understand this?
That sounds annoying, but you don't necessarily have to always update your distribution. Anyways, Mageia is a very good distro, and it lets you update the distro through the system rather than having to reinstall.

I don't want to start a desktop war here, but one advantage is KDE which in my opinion is far superior to gnome or mate.

You could ofcourse try the long term support version of Mint KDE. I like Mint KDE quite, it is very good. But I prefer Mageia.

Last edited by zeebra; 09-21-2013 at 10:24 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
haertig
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My personal needs are stability over bleeding edge. So I pick a solidly stable distribution, a "Long Term Support" release if Ubuntu-based, and leave it in place until I decide to install something else. I have only rarely "upgraded a distro". Last time I did that was with Debian, and it went flawlessly except for some video stuff causing X not to start, which was easy to fix. To a newbie, the lack of a GUI after an upgrade would probably be called "failure!" though. They wouldn't know what to do, and would probably think their whole system had been trashed when in fact it was just a minor easily fixed X glitch.

I went from Debian Stable, to Slackware, to Ubuntu (briefly), and now to LinuxMint13_LTS as my desktop. Not a whole lot of upgrade paths when switching distros, so each one is a fresh install. Then I copy over all my personal files from recent backups. Sometimes I remount my existing /home filesystem on a new distro, sometimes I just copy files. To install a new distro from scratch, including copying over all my personal files, is only about a one hour ordeal. So not much harder than an "upgrade". IMHO, it's actually simpler and less prone to potential problems.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
My personal needs are stability over bleeding edge. So I pick a solidly stable distribution, a "Long Term Support" release if Ubuntu-based, and leave it in place until I decide to install something else. I have only rarely "upgraded a distro". Last time I did that was with Debian, and it went flawlessly except for some video stuff causing X not to start, which was easy to fix. To a newbie, the lack of a GUI after an upgrade would probably be called "failure!" though. They wouldn't know what to do, and would probably think their whole system had been trashed when in fact it was just a minor easily fixed X glitch.

I went from Debian Stable, to Slackware, to Ubuntu (briefly), and now to LinuxMint13_LTS as my desktop. Not a whole lot of upgrade paths when switching distros, so each one is a fresh install. Then I copy over all my personal files from recent backups. Sometimes I remount my existing /home filesystem on a new distro, sometimes I just copy files. To install a new distro from scratch, including copying over all my personal files, is only about a one hour ordeal. So not much harder than an "upgrade". IMHO, it's actually simpler and less prone to potential problems.
With Slackware you can basically go forever. It is not like Debian and others with dependencies all over the place.

Your last point is very important. It can be equally easy and efficient to just reinstall a new distribution, if you setup your system to make that possible in an easy way. /home on a seperate partition is a must in that case, and if you have custom Kernels, to make sure to back up those config files.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
zrdc28
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Because there is updates/upgrades does not mean you have to do them, if they run good just use them.
I just updated a friends computer that had not been updated/upgraded in 12 years and was still doing
ok except for flash. She was running Slackware which is very stable. I did a smartctl and the hard disk
had over 21000 hours on time.
 
Old 09-22-2013, 12:16 AM   #12
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zrdc28 View Post
Because there is updates/upgrades does not mean you have to do them, if they run good just use them.
I just updated a friends computer that had not been updated/upgraded in 12 years and was still doing
ok except for flash. She was running Slackware which is very stable. I did a smartctl and the hard disk
had over 21000 hours on time.
Very true! In fact, I only began to update my Slackware boxes in a regular way from 13.37. I heartily subscribe to the axiom: If it isn't broke, don't fix it! In the past I have typically updated packages selectively, and always individually - never used automated updates. Slackware makes it easy to micro-manage my packages.

I now have two machines following -current since 14.0 using slackpkg, and am very happy thus far! I began this as an experiment mostly to become familiar with slackpkg, and have continued since - very nice working from a local repo and having set up the blacklist.

But back to the point - no, you do not "have" to update anything, including the OS, simply because a new version is available. And you do not have to blindly trust automated updates magically work! If your machine is stable and doing what you want - let it be!

I am typing from my personal workhorse - a Toshiba laptop with Slackware 12.1 still running since original install (with selected updates). Here are a few lines from smartctl -a output:

Code:
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   099   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       5026
  9 Power_On_Seconds        0x0032   024   024   000    Old_age   Always       -       38056h+08m+35s
38,056 hours and ticking!

I won't update this one until the HD goes up in smoke...
 
Old 09-22-2013, 12:38 AM   #13
haertig
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I'm still running Debian Sarge on a lab computer I set up at work. The original repos are obviously gone now, but the box is still rock-solid stable. Without access to the repos you miss out on easy upgrades, but often you don't need any upgrades on old boxes like these. Lack of security upgrades are the biggest possible gotcha. You could end up running an old version of OpenSSL with a known security vulnerability that has been patched, but you don't have access to a route to easily install the newer/patched version. You can do it manually of course, but dependancies can sometimes make that tricky as well.

For newbies and less-computer-literate users I would not recommend running an old distro where you have lost access to the original repos. But for the sysadmin types who know how to turn off unneeded listeners, compile their own code, track down and fulfil dependencies with no help from a package manager - why not?
 
Old 09-22-2013, 12:44 AM   #14
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeek View Post
38,056 hours and ticking!
Up until a month ago on my old Debian Sarge server in our lab, I had over double that uptime ... if I cheat and don't count the time I had to physically move the server, thus unplugging it (it actually had 4 years + 4 years with a 10 minute downtime in between to unplug, move, and reboot it). Then we had a power failure of sufficient duration to run the UPS dead last month, so down it finally went. Not the fault of the operating system, but I was sad to see that uptime reset back to zero.
 
Old 09-22-2013, 01:11 AM   #15
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
Up until a month ago on my old Debian Sarge server in our lab, I had over double that uptime ... if I cheat and don't count the time I had to physically move the server, thus unplugging it (it actually had 4 years + 4 years with a 10 minute downtime in between to unplug, move, and reboot it). Then we had a power failure of sufficient duration to run the UPS dead last month, so down it finally went. Not the fault of the operating system, but I was sad to see that uptime reset back to zero.
I hate it when that happens... I recall seeing your post about that in another thread recently.

Most of my machines are power cycled daily, or after a few days at most, so I don't see the long uptimes any more. But I had a Mandrake 7.1 box that had a little over three years uptime at one point... in fact, I still have 4 old Pentium 120mhz notebooks with Mandrake 7.1 on them, and I still maintaain my own package repo for them - admittedly a long time since I built anything new for them! But they are still very handy when I need a custom remote data logger in a hurry.
 
  


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