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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Introduction

I have been asked on a number of occasions to take a look at LXLE.

I downloaded LXLE 14.04.1 a long time ago and for one reason or another it has taken until now to finally sit down and get to grips with it.

LXLE stands for Lubuntu Extra Life Extension. The purpose of LXLE is to take the base Lubuntu distribution and enhance it so that all the features the average person requires is available from the outset.

The features of LXLE are described as follows:
  • Light on resources; Heavy on functions.
  • Always based on Ubuntu/Lubuntu LTS.
  • Uses an optimized LXDE user interface.
  • Four familiar desktop layout paradigms.
  • Prudent full featured Apps preinstalled.
  • Latest stable versions of major software.
  • Added PPAs extends available software.
  • Weather, Aero Snap, Quick Launch
  • Random Wallpaper, Panel Trash access
  • Theme consistency throughout system.
  • 100 gorgeous wallpapers preinstalled.
  • Numerous other tweaks/additions.
  • 32 and 64 bit OS versions available.
  • Boots & is online in less than 1 minute. 
In this review I am going to take a brief look at the normal areas such as installation, connecting to the internet, Flash and MP3 support and the general look and feel but mainly I will be focusing on the applications as that is the part that adds the value to Lubuntu to make LXLE what it is.

Installation

I have developed an installation guide showing how to install LXLE.

Generally speaking the installer is much like the Ubuntu/Lubuntu installer but there are some subtle differences.

First Impressions


The first thing that you will notice is the visually pleasing loading screen and visually pleasing really is a feature of LXLE as a whole.

If any of you were lucky enough to try Fuduntu a few years back you will appreciate the artwork that was included as part of that particular distribution.

There are people out there who really hate these type of reviews because in their own words they hate pointless reviews which show off a few wallpapers and list the applications from the menus. If you feel that way about distribution reviews I would probably click away now.

I am not going to apologise however about showing off the wallpapers supplied with LXLE because when you have artwork as pleasing as the next few photos it would be a crime not to show them off.

The desktop environment used within LXLE is of course LXDE.

There is a single panel at the bottom with the menu icon in the bottom left and icons for the file manager, random wallpaper changer, iconify windows, quick application launcher and workspace switchers.

The icons in the bottom right corner toggle on and off the info box in the top right corner of the screen, control audio settings, internet settings, weather, the clock and a battery monitor.

In the top right corner of the screen there is an information box showing your uptime, RAM usage, CPU usage, hard drive usage, battery power, what is in your trash, upload and download speeds.

On my ACER Aspire One D255 netbook with 1 gigabyte of RAM, the system uses 19% of RAM without any applications open.  Using FireFox with 1 window open uses 44% of RAM.

There are no icons on the desktop but if you move your mouse to the left of the screen a new panel drifts in from the left with icons for commonly used applications such as the file manager, application finder, email, internet messenger, audio player, office suite, personal organiser, task manager and software centre.

The overall appeal of the LXLE desktop is very nice. The dark panel works very well but it is slightly difficult to see the workspace switchers and I only realised they were there by accidentally clicking on one. (It is probably worth mentioning that I am colourblind and therefore struggle with shades).

The random wallpaper changer is worth checking out and the quick launch icon is very useful for finding an application quickly.


The menu is the same as the one that comes with Lubuntu (the default LXDE menu) but the theme used makes it look very good.

The main issue with the menu is that if you have lots of items in one sub-category the list becomes a bit too long.

Connecting To The Internet






















To connect to the internet all you have to do is click on the network icon in the system tray and choose the network you wish to connect to.

If the wireless network requires a password you will have to enter it the first time you connect to that network but it will be remembered the next time you need to connect to it.

Flash And MP3





















If you chose to install the third party add-ons when you installed LXLE, Flash will work straight away and so will MP3 audio.

If you forgot to check the box to install third party add-ons, you can install the Lubuntu-restricted-extras package via the software centre.

Applications

As stylish as LXLE is, the only way to really judge it is to look at the applications that are installed with it.

Accessories

I am not going to list every application in every category because there are too many to mention. I will highlight the applications that will help to separate LXLE from the crowd.

Viruses and malware aren't generally something that figure too prominently when talking about Linux.

LXLE however comes with ClamTK which provides a nice graphical user interface for the ClamAV antivirus package.

Click here for my review of ClamTK


KeePassX helps you store your usernames and passwords in a single application.

It provides a safer and more secure option to a piece of paper in your desk drawer or a spreadsheet in your home folder.



Games

LXLE comes with over 20 games including everything from tetris clones, breakout clones and chess, to minesweeper and hearts. LXLE also includes a link for installing STEAM.

Education






















The education category has just three entries.

Anki is described as an intelligent spaced repetition memory training program. It took me a while to get my head around the point of the program but basically it is a flash card system used for aiding with recall. For instance if you have an exam coming up you could create a deck of cards to help you remember important points and use Anki to test yourself.

LibreOffice Math is a formula editor for use with the rest of the LibreOffice Suite. Click here for more information.

Marble is a virtual globe. You can choose between the earth and the moon and spin the globe in any direction and zoom in and out.

Graphics



























The graphics sub-category includes the GIMP which is the Linux alternative to Photoshop.

For the average user though the more interesting applications will be Shotwell which lets you manage your photo collection and Mirage which is a photo viewer.

LibreOffice Draw is included as part of the full office suite and is good for creating anything from simple drawings to complex diagrams.

This category also includes a document viewer, font manager,  photo print application and a scanning application. An application that caught my eye was the image reducer which is obviously useful for blogging purposes.

Internet

The internet section has everything you could need including the Pidgin Instant Messenger, Filezilla which is an FTP client and the Claws email client.

Claws is a fairly basic email client but it does give a straight forward method of connecting to GMail accounts, something which Microsoft Outlook can't manage easily.

Other internet applications include the FireFox web browser, XChat IRC Client, a VNC client called Gitso, the Transmission bittorrent client and the UGet download manager.

Office

The office section has a full office suite and a couple of other potentially useful applications.

LibreOffice is the office suite and includes a word processor, spreadsheet package, presentation package, drawing application and database package.

There is a home budgeting tool called HomeBank. You can use this to keep tabs on all of your bank accounts. If your online banking allows you to export files in QIF format you will be able to import them into HomeBank.

Meanwhile the other application of note is Osmo which is a personal information manager.

Osmo has 4 tabs; calendar, tasks, contact and notes. If you use GMail you can export the contacts from Google and import them into Osmo. Unfortunately there appears to be no way to import tasks.

I would be interested in hearing how many of you find the desktop budgeting application and personal organiser useful. Personally I still use a humble spreadsheet for budgeting and my online banking gives me full control of my bank accounts.

As for a personal organiser, I am more likely to use the applications on my phone than a desktop application for managing contacts.

Sound And Video


The audio player within LXLE is Guayadeque. It isn't spectacular but does the job, and includes the ability to import all of your music, create playlists, listen to online radio stations, add podcasts and buy music via last.fm.

If you prefer to make your own music there is Audacity and for those of you who prefer to edit your own videos, Openshot is included.

I wrote a guide a while back to do with screencasting and video editing within Linux. LXLE includes video editing and screencasting tools.

For viewing videos there is the Totem video player and you can also watch Youtube videos by using Minitube.

Installing Applications



As LXLE is a respin of Lubuntu the graphical tool used for installing packages is the Lubuntu Software Centre.

You can search for applications using the search box or browse the various categories. The search feature is a tad annoying as it starts searching for applications after just a few milliseconds and doesn't give you enough time to type the name or description of an application.

LXLE includes a number of extra PPAs for specific applications. For instance there are PPAs for Guayadeque, Catfish, Claws and LibreOffice. There are also PPAs for noobslab and webupd8. By linking to the specific PPAs you are able to install and use the latest versions of the applications.

(Click here for an explanation of what a PPA is)

Summary

The LXLE community is fairly vocal and passionate about their respin of Lubuntu.

My installation guide has generated a number of comments and I have received a number of emails thanking me for writing the guide and for suggestions on improving the guide.

In the past when I have written about Lubuntu or Peppermint, I have received emails and comments telling me to try LXLE because it is ace.

So what is my opinion of LXLE?

Lubuntu is a minimal and lightweight distribution and gives you just enough to be useful but leaving scope for you to turn it into whatever you want it to be.

LXLE has taken Lubuntu and added extra value by providing more useful applications, wonderful visual elements and better navigation.

If you are looking for a lightweight distribution, for an older computer (or a computer with limited capabilities), which really does have everything you need without having to install extra software then you really are better off installing LXLE over Lubuntu.

Of course the alternative is to take Lubuntu yourself and turn it into whatever you want it to be by installing your favourite applications, themes and navigational tools.

What I like about LXLE is that the creators have kept it simple and not tried to over do things.

With some distributions you get the feeling that the developers weren't sure which applications to include and therefore ended up throwing 2 or 3 of everything in. With LXLE this isn't the case. 

Be prepared for LXLE 14.04.2

A new version of LXLE is due to be released in April. I will be writing an update to this article shortly after it has been released to highlight new features.


An Everyday Linux User Review Of LXLE

Introduction

I have been asked on a number of occasions to take a look at LXLE.

I downloaded LXLE 14.04.1 a long time ago and for one reason or another it has taken until now to finally sit down and get to grips with it.

LXLE stands for Lubuntu Extra Life Extension. The purpose of LXLE is to take the base Lubuntu distribution and enhance it so that all the features the average person requires is available from the outset.

The features of LXLE are described as follows:
  • Light on resources; Heavy on functions.
  • Always based on Ubuntu/Lubuntu LTS.
  • Uses an optimized LXDE user interface.
  • Four familiar desktop layout paradigms.
  • Prudent full featured Apps preinstalled.
  • Latest stable versions of major software.
  • Added PPAs extends available software.
  • Weather, Aero Snap, Quick Launch
  • Random Wallpaper, Panel Trash access
  • Theme consistency throughout system.
  • 100 gorgeous wallpapers preinstalled.
  • Numerous other tweaks/additions.
  • 32 and 64 bit OS versions available.
  • Boots & is online in less than 1 minute. 
In this review I am going to take a brief look at the normal areas such as installation, connecting to the internet, Flash and MP3 support and the general look and feel but mainly I will be focusing on the applications as that is the part that adds the value to Lubuntu to make LXLE what it is.

Installation

I have developed an installation guide showing how to install LXLE.

Generally speaking the installer is much like the Ubuntu/Lubuntu installer but there are some subtle differences.

First Impressions


The first thing that you will notice is the visually pleasing loading screen and visually pleasing really is a feature of LXLE as a whole.

If any of you were lucky enough to try Fuduntu a few years back you will appreciate the artwork that was included as part of that particular distribution.

There are people out there who really hate these type of reviews because in their own words they hate pointless reviews which show off a few wallpapers and list the applications from the menus. If you feel that way about distribution reviews I would probably click away now.

I am not going to apologise however about showing off the wallpapers supplied with LXLE because when you have artwork as pleasing as the next few photos it would be a crime not to show them off.

The desktop environment used within LXLE is of course LXDE.

There is a single panel at the bottom with the menu icon in the bottom left and icons for the file manager, random wallpaper changer, iconify windows, quick application launcher and workspace switchers.

The icons in the bottom right corner toggle on and off the info box in the top right corner of the screen, control audio settings, internet settings, weather, the clock and a battery monitor.

In the top right corner of the screen there is an information box showing your uptime, RAM usage, CPU usage, hard drive usage, battery power, what is in your trash, upload and download speeds.

On my ACER Aspire One D255 netbook with 1 gigabyte of RAM, the system uses 19% of RAM without any applications open.  Using FireFox with 1 window open uses 44% of RAM.

There are no icons on the desktop but if you move your mouse to the left of the screen a new panel drifts in from the left with icons for commonly used applications such as the file manager, application finder, email, internet messenger, audio player, office suite, personal organiser, task manager and software centre.

The overall appeal of the LXLE desktop is very nice. The dark panel works very well but it is slightly difficult to see the workspace switchers and I only realised they were there by accidentally clicking on one. (It is probably worth mentioning that I am colourblind and therefore struggle with shades).

The random wallpaper changer is worth checking out and the quick launch icon is very useful for finding an application quickly.


The menu is the same as the one that comes with Lubuntu (the default LXDE menu) but the theme used makes it look very good.

The main issue with the menu is that if you have lots of items in one sub-category the list becomes a bit too long.

Connecting To The Internet






















To connect to the internet all you have to do is click on the network icon in the system tray and choose the network you wish to connect to.

If the wireless network requires a password you will have to enter it the first time you connect to that network but it will be remembered the next time you need to connect to it.

Flash And MP3





















If you chose to install the third party add-ons when you installed LXLE, Flash will work straight away and so will MP3 audio.

If you forgot to check the box to install third party add-ons, you can install the Lubuntu-restricted-extras package via the software centre.

Applications

As stylish as LXLE is, the only way to really judge it is to look at the applications that are installed with it.

Accessories

I am not going to list every application in every category because there are too many to mention. I will highlight the applications that will help to separate LXLE from the crowd.

Viruses and malware aren't generally something that figure too prominently when talking about Linux.

LXLE however comes with ClamTK which provides a nice graphical user interface for the ClamAV antivirus package.

Click here for my review of ClamTK


KeePassX helps you store your usernames and passwords in a single application.

It provides a safer and more secure option to a piece of paper in your desk drawer or a spreadsheet in your home folder.



Games

LXLE comes with over 20 games including everything from tetris clones, breakout clones and chess, to minesweeper and hearts. LXLE also includes a link for installing STEAM.

Education






















The education category has just three entries.

Anki is described as an intelligent spaced repetition memory training program. It took me a while to get my head around the point of the program but basically it is a flash card system used for aiding with recall. For instance if you have an exam coming up you could create a deck of cards to help you remember important points and use Anki to test yourself.

LibreOffice Math is a formula editor for use with the rest of the LibreOffice Suite. Click here for more information.

Marble is a virtual globe. You can choose between the earth and the moon and spin the globe in any direction and zoom in and out.

Graphics



























The graphics sub-category includes the GIMP which is the Linux alternative to Photoshop.

For the average user though the more interesting applications will be Shotwell which lets you manage your photo collection and Mirage which is a photo viewer.

LibreOffice Draw is included as part of the full office suite and is good for creating anything from simple drawings to complex diagrams.

This category also includes a document viewer, font manager,  photo print application and a scanning application. An application that caught my eye was the image reducer which is obviously useful for blogging purposes.

Internet

The internet section has everything you could need including the Pidgin Instant Messenger, Filezilla which is an FTP client and the Claws email client.

Claws is a fairly basic email client but it does give a straight forward method of connecting to GMail accounts, something which Microsoft Outlook can't manage easily.

Other internet applications include the FireFox web browser, XChat IRC Client, a VNC client called Gitso, the Transmission bittorrent client and the UGet download manager.

Office

The office section has a full office suite and a couple of other potentially useful applications.

LibreOffice is the office suite and includes a word processor, spreadsheet package, presentation package, drawing application and database package.

There is a home budgeting tool called HomeBank. You can use this to keep tabs on all of your bank accounts. If your online banking allows you to export files in QIF format you will be able to import them into HomeBank.

Meanwhile the other application of note is Osmo which is a personal information manager.

Osmo has 4 tabs; calendar, tasks, contact and notes. If you use GMail you can export the contacts from Google and import them into Osmo. Unfortunately there appears to be no way to import tasks.

I would be interested in hearing how many of you find the desktop budgeting application and personal organiser useful. Personally I still use a humble spreadsheet for budgeting and my online banking gives me full control of my bank accounts.

As for a personal organiser, I am more likely to use the applications on my phone than a desktop application for managing contacts.

Sound And Video


The audio player within LXLE is Guayadeque. It isn't spectacular but does the job, and includes the ability to import all of your music, create playlists, listen to online radio stations, add podcasts and buy music via last.fm.

If you prefer to make your own music there is Audacity and for those of you who prefer to edit your own videos, Openshot is included.

I wrote a guide a while back to do with screencasting and video editing within Linux. LXLE includes video editing and screencasting tools.

For viewing videos there is the Totem video player and you can also watch Youtube videos by using Minitube.

Installing Applications



As LXLE is a respin of Lubuntu the graphical tool used for installing packages is the Lubuntu Software Centre.

You can search for applications using the search box or browse the various categories. The search feature is a tad annoying as it starts searching for applications after just a few milliseconds and doesn't give you enough time to type the name or description of an application.

LXLE includes a number of extra PPAs for specific applications. For instance there are PPAs for Guayadeque, Catfish, Claws and LibreOffice. There are also PPAs for noobslab and webupd8. By linking to the specific PPAs you are able to install and use the latest versions of the applications.

(Click here for an explanation of what a PPA is)

Summary

The LXLE community is fairly vocal and passionate about their respin of Lubuntu.

My installation guide has generated a number of comments and I have received a number of emails thanking me for writing the guide and for suggestions on improving the guide.

In the past when I have written about Lubuntu or Peppermint, I have received emails and comments telling me to try LXLE because it is ace.

So what is my opinion of LXLE?

Lubuntu is a minimal and lightweight distribution and gives you just enough to be useful but leaving scope for you to turn it into whatever you want it to be.

LXLE has taken Lubuntu and added extra value by providing more useful applications, wonderful visual elements and better navigation.

If you are looking for a lightweight distribution, for an older computer (or a computer with limited capabilities), which really does have everything you need without having to install extra software then you really are better off installing LXLE over Lubuntu.

Of course the alternative is to take Lubuntu yourself and turn it into whatever you want it to be by installing your favourite applications, themes and navigational tools.

What I like about LXLE is that the creators have kept it simple and not tried to over do things.

With some distributions you get the feeling that the developers weren't sure which applications to include and therefore ended up throwing 2 or 3 of everything in. With LXLE this isn't the case. 

Be prepared for LXLE 14.04.2

A new version of LXLE is due to be released in April. I will be writing an update to this article shortly after it has been released to highlight new features.


Posted at 21:45 |  by Gary Newell

Monday, 23 February 2015

Introduction

LXLE stands for Lubuntu Xtra Life Extension.

As you probably know Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux distribution that breathes life into older computers.

The purpose of LXLE is to take Lubuntu and add packages and options to make it more useful.

Based on data for the past 6 months, LXLE is proving to be more popular than Lubuntu and is currently the 10th most popular distribution on Distrowatch.

LXLE isn't really a distribution in its own right but a respin taking the Lubuntu LTS base and adding value to it.

This article shows you how to download LXLE and how to install it on an old laptop, desktop computer or netbook.

How To Get LXLE

You can download an image of LXLE by visiting http://lxle.net/download/.

The first thing you need to do is choose the version of LXLE you wish to download. The options are as follows:

  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit direct download
  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit torrent
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit direct download
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit torrent
You will also be required to either enter the words into the solvemedia box provided or answer a question.

This will take you to a sourceforge page and your download will begin. I found the download to be quite slow.

Creating A USB Drive


You will need a blank USB drive in order to follow this section.

Insert the USB drive into your computer and then visit http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Towards the bottom of the page you will see a box with the title "Download UUI". Click on this button. Make sure you don't accidentally click any of the other green install boxes as they are used to install completely differently applications.

When the download is complete double click on the downloaded file.

A license agreement will appear.

Click "I Agree" to get to the main application.







The actual GUI for the Universal USB Installer has 4 steps built into one screen.

The first step requires you to choose the Linux distribution you wish to install to your USB drive.

Select LXLE Desktop. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the downloaded LXLE ISO image.



In step 3 check the box to show all drives and choose the USB drive you wish to install LXLE to.

Note: Make sure you choose the correct drive otherwise you may accidentally lose important data

Check the "We will format as Fat32" checkbox so that it has a tick in it.

Click "Create" to continue.

Note: You can make the drive persistent by dragging the slider across. This means any changes you make whilst using the USB in live mode will be saved for future sessions.

A message will appear telling you what is about to happen.

Make sure you have chosen the correct drive and that you are happy to continue.

When you are ready to go click "Yes".

LXLE will now be extracted to the USB drive.




Restart your computer and leave the USB drive plugged in.

A menu will appear with an option to "Try LXLE". Select this option and press return.

Buying an LXLE USB Drive or DVD

If you don't have a blank USB drive then you either buy one from your local store or you can buy a USB drive with LXLE already installed to it.

Click here to buy an LXLE USB drive

How To Install LXLE


Hopefully you should have a screen similar to the one above.

Click on the icon in the top left corner with the caption "Install LXLE 14.04.1" (or 12.04.5 if 32-bit).

The first thing to do is choose your installation language.

Unless you feel like a challenge I would go for your native language. In my case English worked well as my grasp of Estonian is a little off kilter.

When you have selected your language click "Continue".


The next step is to choose whether to connect to the internet or not.

If you have a slow internet connection I would choose not to connect at this stage.

Click "Continue"



A list of pre-requisites will now appear.

You need to be connected to the internet, have 7.5 gigabytes of space and be connected to a power source.

Actually the only one of those you really absolutely need is to have 7.5 gigabytes of space.


Being connected to the internet makes it possible to download updates on the fly and a power source is only needed if you are using a desktop computer. I suppose strictly speaking a laptop needs some form of power source but it's battery suffices. 

Make sure you have enough battery to last until the installation is finished or plug your computer in. It takes about 20 minutes to install LXLE on an old netbook.

Note that there is a box that asks whether you want to install third party tools which enable you to play Flash videos and listen to MP3s. It is worth ticking this box.

Click "Continue".

Your next screen may appear to be slightly different to mine at this stage.

My computer had Peppermint 5 on it. Yours will either have Windows or the Linux distribution you are using on the device.




Basically there will be options to install alongside the current operating system, replace the current operating system with LXLE or something else.

Select the "Replace <current operating system> with LXLE" option.

You will notice that there are a couple of other options available.

Encrypting the LXLE partition is useful if you keep any sort of sensitive data on your computer and you are worried about the device being stolen. This is of course particularly useful if you are using a laptop or netbook which is more likely to go missing than a desktop computer.

I will be looking into the LVM option during a later tutorial but for reference purposes visit the following site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Volume_Manager_%28Linux%29

When you have selected the installation type click continue.

A summary screen will appear stating what is about to happen to your drive and the drive that is going to be used.

Click "Install Now".

Note: This is the point of no return, make sure you are happy to continue.


Almost there now. Just three more steps.

Choose your timezone by clicking on the map.

Click "Continue".




Now select your keyboard layout.

In the left pane choose the keyboard's language and in the right pane choose the number of keys and physical layout.

Click "Continue".



The final installation step is to create a default user.

Enter your name into the box provided and give your computer a name to identify it on a home network.

Choose a username and enter a password to be associated with the username. (Repeat it in the box provided).

You can now choose whether to allow your computer to login automatically or require a user to login. I would always recommend the latter.

There is another checkbox provided enabling you to choose to encrypt your home folder.

Click "Continue".


The files will now be copied to your computer and the system will be installed.

A message will appear when the installation is complete asking whether you want to restart the computer or continue testing LXLE.

Choose the "Restart your computer" option and when the computer begins to reboot remove the USB drive. (Don't remove the USB drive too early).

Summary

Your computer should now be running LXLE and if you have ever used Lubuntu you will begin to appreciate the advantages that LXLE brings to the table.

For those of you new to Linux altogether my next article is going to be a full review of LXLE.

Thankyou for reading.

Reader's Suggestion

I received this email with a suggestion for how to use the default users screen and how to add subsequent users and logins.
 
Very nice.

On the final installation step (Who Are You?) screen, I would recommend creating a "SysAdmin" account there rather than a single default "User Account".
After install completes, you can then login as SysAdmin to create one or more "User Accounts (via System Tools/Users and Groups)". At that same time, change each Account's default "Account type" (i.e. SysAdmin account to "Administrator" and each User Account Name to "Desktop user").

It will be important later to separate the more-privileged "SysAdmin" activities from the more-restricted daily "User Account" activities. Just something we need to do these days to help protect ourselves from bad things happening. That cautionary approach applies equally well to a Netbook, notebook, laptop or desktop PCs. 


I agree with your positive assessment of the LXLE distribution. I have installed on several different PCs with success on every attempt.

Thankyou Dennis K for this suggestion. 

How To Speed Up That Old Netbook With LXLE

Introduction

LXLE stands for Lubuntu Xtra Life Extension.

As you probably know Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux distribution that breathes life into older computers.

The purpose of LXLE is to take Lubuntu and add packages and options to make it more useful.

Based on data for the past 6 months, LXLE is proving to be more popular than Lubuntu and is currently the 10th most popular distribution on Distrowatch.

LXLE isn't really a distribution in its own right but a respin taking the Lubuntu LTS base and adding value to it.

This article shows you how to download LXLE and how to install it on an old laptop, desktop computer or netbook.

How To Get LXLE

You can download an image of LXLE by visiting http://lxle.net/download/.

The first thing you need to do is choose the version of LXLE you wish to download. The options are as follows:

  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit direct download
  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit torrent
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit direct download
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit torrent
You will also be required to either enter the words into the solvemedia box provided or answer a question.

This will take you to a sourceforge page and your download will begin. I found the download to be quite slow.

Creating A USB Drive


You will need a blank USB drive in order to follow this section.

Insert the USB drive into your computer and then visit http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Towards the bottom of the page you will see a box with the title "Download UUI". Click on this button. Make sure you don't accidentally click any of the other green install boxes as they are used to install completely differently applications.

When the download is complete double click on the downloaded file.

A license agreement will appear.

Click "I Agree" to get to the main application.







The actual GUI for the Universal USB Installer has 4 steps built into one screen.

The first step requires you to choose the Linux distribution you wish to install to your USB drive.

Select LXLE Desktop. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the downloaded LXLE ISO image.



In step 3 check the box to show all drives and choose the USB drive you wish to install LXLE to.

Note: Make sure you choose the correct drive otherwise you may accidentally lose important data

Check the "We will format as Fat32" checkbox so that it has a tick in it.

Click "Create" to continue.

Note: You can make the drive persistent by dragging the slider across. This means any changes you make whilst using the USB in live mode will be saved for future sessions.

A message will appear telling you what is about to happen.

Make sure you have chosen the correct drive and that you are happy to continue.

When you are ready to go click "Yes".

LXLE will now be extracted to the USB drive.




Restart your computer and leave the USB drive plugged in.

A menu will appear with an option to "Try LXLE". Select this option and press return.

Buying an LXLE USB Drive or DVD

If you don't have a blank USB drive then you either buy one from your local store or you can buy a USB drive with LXLE already installed to it.

Click here to buy an LXLE USB drive

How To Install LXLE


Hopefully you should have a screen similar to the one above.

Click on the icon in the top left corner with the caption "Install LXLE 14.04.1" (or 12.04.5 if 32-bit).

The first thing to do is choose your installation language.

Unless you feel like a challenge I would go for your native language. In my case English worked well as my grasp of Estonian is a little off kilter.

When you have selected your language click "Continue".


The next step is to choose whether to connect to the internet or not.

If you have a slow internet connection I would choose not to connect at this stage.

Click "Continue"



A list of pre-requisites will now appear.

You need to be connected to the internet, have 7.5 gigabytes of space and be connected to a power source.

Actually the only one of those you really absolutely need is to have 7.5 gigabytes of space.


Being connected to the internet makes it possible to download updates on the fly and a power source is only needed if you are using a desktop computer. I suppose strictly speaking a laptop needs some form of power source but it's battery suffices. 

Make sure you have enough battery to last until the installation is finished or plug your computer in. It takes about 20 minutes to install LXLE on an old netbook.

Note that there is a box that asks whether you want to install third party tools which enable you to play Flash videos and listen to MP3s. It is worth ticking this box.

Click "Continue".

Your next screen may appear to be slightly different to mine at this stage.

My computer had Peppermint 5 on it. Yours will either have Windows or the Linux distribution you are using on the device.




Basically there will be options to install alongside the current operating system, replace the current operating system with LXLE or something else.

Select the "Replace <current operating system> with LXLE" option.

You will notice that there are a couple of other options available.

Encrypting the LXLE partition is useful if you keep any sort of sensitive data on your computer and you are worried about the device being stolen. This is of course particularly useful if you are using a laptop or netbook which is more likely to go missing than a desktop computer.

I will be looking into the LVM option during a later tutorial but for reference purposes visit the following site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Volume_Manager_%28Linux%29

When you have selected the installation type click continue.

A summary screen will appear stating what is about to happen to your drive and the drive that is going to be used.

Click "Install Now".

Note: This is the point of no return, make sure you are happy to continue.


Almost there now. Just three more steps.

Choose your timezone by clicking on the map.

Click "Continue".




Now select your keyboard layout.

In the left pane choose the keyboard's language and in the right pane choose the number of keys and physical layout.

Click "Continue".



The final installation step is to create a default user.

Enter your name into the box provided and give your computer a name to identify it on a home network.

Choose a username and enter a password to be associated with the username. (Repeat it in the box provided).

You can now choose whether to allow your computer to login automatically or require a user to login. I would always recommend the latter.

There is another checkbox provided enabling you to choose to encrypt your home folder.

Click "Continue".


The files will now be copied to your computer and the system will be installed.

A message will appear when the installation is complete asking whether you want to restart the computer or continue testing LXLE.

Choose the "Restart your computer" option and when the computer begins to reboot remove the USB drive. (Don't remove the USB drive too early).

Summary

Your computer should now be running LXLE and if you have ever used Lubuntu you will begin to appreciate the advantages that LXLE brings to the table.

For those of you new to Linux altogether my next article is going to be a full review of LXLE.

Thankyou for reading.

Reader's Suggestion

I received this email with a suggestion for how to use the default users screen and how to add subsequent users and logins.
 
Very nice.

On the final installation step (Who Are You?) screen, I would recommend creating a "SysAdmin" account there rather than a single default "User Account".
After install completes, you can then login as SysAdmin to create one or more "User Accounts (via System Tools/Users and Groups)". At that same time, change each Account's default "Account type" (i.e. SysAdmin account to "Administrator" and each User Account Name to "Desktop user").

It will be important later to separate the more-privileged "SysAdmin" activities from the more-restricted daily "User Account" activities. Just something we need to do these days to help protect ourselves from bad things happening. That cautionary approach applies equally well to a Netbook, notebook, laptop or desktop PCs. 


I agree with your positive assessment of the LXLE distribution. I have installed on several different PCs with success on every attempt.

Thankyou Dennis K for this suggestion. 

Posted at 21:43 |  by Gary Newell

Monday, 16 February 2015

A lot has been made this week about a blog post which appeared on the Elementary OS website discussing the monetisation of the project.

If you visit the Elementary OS website there is a box with the value of $10 already filled in and a download button.

Underneath the download button there is a link which lets you download the distribution for free.

The blog post on the Elementary OS website states that the current download options are changing and there will be more encouragement aimed at getting users to part with their money.


We want users to understand that paying for software is important and not paying for it is an active choice. We didn’t exclude a $0 button to deceive you; we believe our software really is worth something. And it’s not an attempt to get rich quick; currently the only people who have received money for working on elementary OS have been community members through our bounty program
It’s about asking a fair price to offset the costs of development. It’s about securing the future of elementary OS to ensure we can keep making software that millions of people love and use every day.
Elementary isn't the first Linux based operation to complain that they aren't making money. I remember reading an article about a Linux blogger who stated that he either needed to start getting donations or he would have to close the blog down. (Click here for the article)

This article by Bruce Byfield on DataMation looks at the difficulties games publishers face when developing for Linux. (Click here for the article)

Then there is Ubuntu. Now the article I am linking to here is from 2013 but it states clearly that Ubuntu is still not making money despite being around for a decade. (Click here for the article).

So the question is, can you really make money from Desktop Linux? If Ubuntu doesn't make a profit how can others achieve success. Does it even matter? Is Linux just a labour of love?

Clearly sooner or later Ubuntu needs to make money. Canonical are a company and so either Ubuntu works as a loss leader in order to make Canonical money in other ways or it generates profit for itself. If neither of these things happen then it will all come crashing down.

The key for me though is in the last paragraph. You don't need the distribution itself to make money in order to make money for the company. It is all about generating income from more than one revenue stream and that is what this article is about.

If Mark Shuttleworth didn't believe he was going to make money at some point he would have stopped already.

Over the years a number of avenues have been attempted to increase the income for Ubuntu including Amazon adverts within the Unity desktop interface, the Ubuntu One music store and now the Ubuntu phone.

Some distributions use a default landing page within the web browser installed with the distribution which include a set of affiliate links or a search tool which generates income for every search made.

The trouble with the Elementary OS stance is that you are asking people to spend money for something that 100 other distributions offer for free. I appreciate that a huge amount of effort has gone into the look and feel of Elementary but an equal amount of effort will have been put into Cinnamon for Linux Mint or Enlightenment for Bodhi Linux.

Effort doesn't always translate into cold hard cash. I can state that as a fact based on the amount of money this site makes.

Now this site is clearly a labour of love. I am a software developer and SQL DBA by trade and the hourly rate returned by writing on this blog is miniscule by comparison.

The site does return an income each and every month however and from a number of different revenue streams.

For instance, you will have seen the adverts at the top of the page and down the right side of the page. Google Ads are a great way to make enough money to pay for hosting fees (and a few pints of beer). Every time somebody clicks on an advert this site makes a little bit of money.

There are also a number of affiliate links used within the site. I use Amazon adverts to link to items users might need such as blank USB drives, SD cards, External Hard Drives, blank DVDs and books.

I have tried a number of ways to increase the income. I even tried writing a book and to be fair I have had a little bit of success with it. It has sold about 100 copies thus far. Not everything works though. My attempt at humour failed spectacularly with this one. It turns out I'm not half as funny as I like to think I am.



I have written dozens of Linux distribution reviews and within each review I link to a site called OSDisc.com as a resource for buying Linux DVDs and USB drives. I try to only include affiliate links that are useful.

OSDisc.com sell Elementary OS on DVD for $5.95. The Elementary OS team are asking for $10 at the moment and hope to generate much more than that with their new site design.

Potential users have the option to download for free, buy a DVD for $5.95 or download from the Elementary OS website and donate more than this.

Jeff Hoogland made a great point on the LXER discussion board:
If they were serious about getting payment out of folks they'd pull an elive and add a step to the installer that requires a "donation", but that would require you know - actual work.
Asking people to donate at the point of download is perhaps a bit counter-intuitive. How do users know that they are going to use the product long term before trying it out first? The only way to try out the product is to download it, try it as a live DVD or USB and then possibly install it from there. Even then many distrohoppers only use a distribution for a short period of time before moving on. It would therefore be more beneficial to add a payment option when actually installing the product or after 30 days of continued use.

The new layout for the payment options made by the Elementary OS team may well actually work to a certain extent.

There is a term used by bloggers called a "Call To Action". The idea is to basically ask the readers of an article to do something such as retweet a link to the page, subscribe to an email list or add a comment. Simply having an email box on the right of the screen isn't enough to attract subscribers and just having social media buttons doesn't mean people will click on them. You have to point them out to people in the first place. More than that though if you want people to sign up to your email list you have to offer to give them something.

How many of you even noticed the email signup box on this site let alone be tempted to enter your email address?

By making it easier to make a donation and harder to get the download for free, the Elementary developers will lose the users who were never going to pay them any money anyway and only get users who are serious about using their product. This might be considered a good thing as it gets rid of the people who aren't real customers.

The main issue with this approach is that you reduce your ability to generate income from other revenue streams. If you have 1,000 users every day downloading your distribution without paying then at the end of the month you could have between 28,000 and 31,000 users who could buy other things that you sell based on your distribution.

If you start charging for the distribution then perhaps 1% of the people that currently download the distribution will now actually pay for it and so you only have between 280 and 310 new people to sell extra products to.

Wouldn't it be better to create extra revenue streams and encourage people to buy extra add-ons or features? You can get $10 out of a few people now or upsell add-ons again and again. It is all about providing extra value.

Android and IOS developers worked this out ages ago. Most casual games found on tablets now include in-game purchases and they work. I am far less likely to buy a game without trying it first than one that lets me play for free but charges me for extra features.

Zorin OS utilises this method to generate income. The core Zorin distribution is free but for features such as the OSX look you have to pay money.

You don't have to make money from the distribution itself to make money. You can make money by selling services such as selling training courses, webinars or technical support.

Sometimes putting effort into one project gets you rewarded in a completely different way altogether. For instance, I might not make much money from this blog and I never started the blog with the intention of making money but by doing so I was asked to write for About.com which does actually pay quite well.

So is Linux a labour of love? I think that there is money to be made but not in the traditional sense of just making a single product and selling it. If distributions are out to generate income then they have to be a bit creative about how they do that. Multiple revenue streams are definitely going to be important.

I think charging for a download may help to generate income in the short term but it will ultimately mean missing out on possible revenue streams later on.

The debate is much like the newspaper paywalls. Would you really pay to read a newspaper online when the BBC provide similar or sometimes better information for free? Therein lies the problem for Elementary.

Thankyou for reading.




Is Linux A Labour Of Love?

A lot has been made this week about a blog post which appeared on the Elementary OS website discussing the monetisation of the project.

If you visit the Elementary OS website there is a box with the value of $10 already filled in and a download button.

Underneath the download button there is a link which lets you download the distribution for free.

The blog post on the Elementary OS website states that the current download options are changing and there will be more encouragement aimed at getting users to part with their money.


We want users to understand that paying for software is important and not paying for it is an active choice. We didn’t exclude a $0 button to deceive you; we believe our software really is worth something. And it’s not an attempt to get rich quick; currently the only people who have received money for working on elementary OS have been community members through our bounty program
It’s about asking a fair price to offset the costs of development. It’s about securing the future of elementary OS to ensure we can keep making software that millions of people love and use every day.
Elementary isn't the first Linux based operation to complain that they aren't making money. I remember reading an article about a Linux blogger who stated that he either needed to start getting donations or he would have to close the blog down. (Click here for the article)

This article by Bruce Byfield on DataMation looks at the difficulties games publishers face when developing for Linux. (Click here for the article)

Then there is Ubuntu. Now the article I am linking to here is from 2013 but it states clearly that Ubuntu is still not making money despite being around for a decade. (Click here for the article).

So the question is, can you really make money from Desktop Linux? If Ubuntu doesn't make a profit how can others achieve success. Does it even matter? Is Linux just a labour of love?

Clearly sooner or later Ubuntu needs to make money. Canonical are a company and so either Ubuntu works as a loss leader in order to make Canonical money in other ways or it generates profit for itself. If neither of these things happen then it will all come crashing down.

The key for me though is in the last paragraph. You don't need the distribution itself to make money in order to make money for the company. It is all about generating income from more than one revenue stream and that is what this article is about.

If Mark Shuttleworth didn't believe he was going to make money at some point he would have stopped already.

Over the years a number of avenues have been attempted to increase the income for Ubuntu including Amazon adverts within the Unity desktop interface, the Ubuntu One music store and now the Ubuntu phone.

Some distributions use a default landing page within the web browser installed with the distribution which include a set of affiliate links or a search tool which generates income for every search made.

The trouble with the Elementary OS stance is that you are asking people to spend money for something that 100 other distributions offer for free. I appreciate that a huge amount of effort has gone into the look and feel of Elementary but an equal amount of effort will have been put into Cinnamon for Linux Mint or Enlightenment for Bodhi Linux.

Effort doesn't always translate into cold hard cash. I can state that as a fact based on the amount of money this site makes.

Now this site is clearly a labour of love. I am a software developer and SQL DBA by trade and the hourly rate returned by writing on this blog is miniscule by comparison.

The site does return an income each and every month however and from a number of different revenue streams.

For instance, you will have seen the adverts at the top of the page and down the right side of the page. Google Ads are a great way to make enough money to pay for hosting fees (and a few pints of beer). Every time somebody clicks on an advert this site makes a little bit of money.

There are also a number of affiliate links used within the site. I use Amazon adverts to link to items users might need such as blank USB drives, SD cards, External Hard Drives, blank DVDs and books.

I have tried a number of ways to increase the income. I even tried writing a book and to be fair I have had a little bit of success with it. It has sold about 100 copies thus far. Not everything works though. My attempt at humour failed spectacularly with this one. It turns out I'm not half as funny as I like to think I am.



I have written dozens of Linux distribution reviews and within each review I link to a site called OSDisc.com as a resource for buying Linux DVDs and USB drives. I try to only include affiliate links that are useful.

OSDisc.com sell Elementary OS on DVD for $5.95. The Elementary OS team are asking for $10 at the moment and hope to generate much more than that with their new site design.

Potential users have the option to download for free, buy a DVD for $5.95 or download from the Elementary OS website and donate more than this.

Jeff Hoogland made a great point on the LXER discussion board:
If they were serious about getting payment out of folks they'd pull an elive and add a step to the installer that requires a "donation", but that would require you know - actual work.
Asking people to donate at the point of download is perhaps a bit counter-intuitive. How do users know that they are going to use the product long term before trying it out first? The only way to try out the product is to download it, try it as a live DVD or USB and then possibly install it from there. Even then many distrohoppers only use a distribution for a short period of time before moving on. It would therefore be more beneficial to add a payment option when actually installing the product or after 30 days of continued use.

The new layout for the payment options made by the Elementary OS team may well actually work to a certain extent.

There is a term used by bloggers called a "Call To Action". The idea is to basically ask the readers of an article to do something such as retweet a link to the page, subscribe to an email list or add a comment. Simply having an email box on the right of the screen isn't enough to attract subscribers and just having social media buttons doesn't mean people will click on them. You have to point them out to people in the first place. More than that though if you want people to sign up to your email list you have to offer to give them something.

How many of you even noticed the email signup box on this site let alone be tempted to enter your email address?

By making it easier to make a donation and harder to get the download for free, the Elementary developers will lose the users who were never going to pay them any money anyway and only get users who are serious about using their product. This might be considered a good thing as it gets rid of the people who aren't real customers.

The main issue with this approach is that you reduce your ability to generate income from other revenue streams. If you have 1,000 users every day downloading your distribution without paying then at the end of the month you could have between 28,000 and 31,000 users who could buy other things that you sell based on your distribution.

If you start charging for the distribution then perhaps 1% of the people that currently download the distribution will now actually pay for it and so you only have between 280 and 310 new people to sell extra products to.

Wouldn't it be better to create extra revenue streams and encourage people to buy extra add-ons or features? You can get $10 out of a few people now or upsell add-ons again and again. It is all about providing extra value.

Android and IOS developers worked this out ages ago. Most casual games found on tablets now include in-game purchases and they work. I am far less likely to buy a game without trying it first than one that lets me play for free but charges me for extra features.

Zorin OS utilises this method to generate income. The core Zorin distribution is free but for features such as the OSX look you have to pay money.

You don't have to make money from the distribution itself to make money. You can make money by selling services such as selling training courses, webinars or technical support.

Sometimes putting effort into one project gets you rewarded in a completely different way altogether. For instance, I might not make much money from this blog and I never started the blog with the intention of making money but by doing so I was asked to write for About.com which does actually pay quite well.

So is Linux a labour of love? I think that there is money to be made but not in the traditional sense of just making a single product and selling it. If distributions are out to generate income then they have to be a bit creative about how they do that. Multiple revenue streams are definitely going to be important.

I think charging for a download may help to generate income in the short term but it will ultimately mean missing out on possible revenue streams later on.

The debate is much like the newspaper paywalls. Would you really pay to read a newspaper online when the BBC provide similar or sometimes better information for free? Therein lies the problem for Elementary.

Thankyou for reading.




Posted at 23:15 |  by Gary Newell

Monday, 9 February 2015

Introduction

I have been reworking one of the more popular articles on the site which shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on the HP Chromebook.

The aim was to streamline the guide to make the steps easier to follow, cutting out the details of the command line switches and to just provide the necessary commands to get Ubuntu and Minecraft up and running.

The new guide is in three parts:

Installing Minecraft

The steps required to run Minecraft in Ubuntu are much easier than before and there is not much that is special about installing Minecraft within Ubuntu on the Chromebook.

Make sure you are running Ubuntu and open a terminal by pressing the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T

In the command window enter the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:minecraft-installer-peeps/minecraft-installer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install minecraft-installer
The process is fairly quick and takes about a minute at the most.

You should at this point be able to run Minecraft from the Dash within Ubuntu but I noticed that Minecraft didn't appear as an option straight away. I had to restart Ubuntu to get Minecraft to appear.

(Click here for a guide to the Unity Dash)

Unity Dash With Minecraft
Unity Dash



















Minecraft On HP Chromebook
Minecraft On HP Chromebook
























Summary

As you can see installing Minecraft is much easier than it used to be.

If you have any questions feel free to use the comments section below.


How To Install Minecraft On The HP Chromebook

Introduction

I have been reworking one of the more popular articles on the site which shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on the HP Chromebook.

The aim was to streamline the guide to make the steps easier to follow, cutting out the details of the command line switches and to just provide the necessary commands to get Ubuntu and Minecraft up and running.

The new guide is in three parts:

Installing Minecraft

The steps required to run Minecraft in Ubuntu are much easier than before and there is not much that is special about installing Minecraft within Ubuntu on the Chromebook.

Make sure you are running Ubuntu and open a terminal by pressing the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T

In the command window enter the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:minecraft-installer-peeps/minecraft-installer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install minecraft-installer
The process is fairly quick and takes about a minute at the most.

You should at this point be able to run Minecraft from the Dash within Ubuntu but I noticed that Minecraft didn't appear as an option straight away. I had to restart Ubuntu to get Minecraft to appear.

(Click here for a guide to the Unity Dash)

Unity Dash With Minecraft
Unity Dash



















Minecraft On HP Chromebook
Minecraft On HP Chromebook
























Summary

As you can see installing Minecraft is much easier than it used to be.

If you have any questions feel free to use the comments section below.


Posted at 23:57 |  by Gary Newell

Introduction

One of the most popular articles on this site shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on the HP Chromebook.

Some people have found the guide difficult to follow and so I have decided to rework it and I also retested all the steps to make sure they work correctly.

This guide shows how to install Ubuntu with the Unity desktop on a HP Chromebook using Crouton. 

I have cut out any waffle and I have left out all of the other switches that you can use with Crouton so that this is a basic streamlined approach to installing Ubuntu and Unity.

Feel free to read the original guide if you would prefer to try out different desktop environments or Debian.

Create Recovery Media

Before you begin make sure that you have created recovery media in case everything goes wrong.


Switch To Developer Mode

Bookmark this page (CTRL + D) or send a link to your email as the next step will place your Chromebook into developer mode.

To enter developer mode press the following key combination:

Esc + Refresh + Power Button
(The refresh button is the 4th button from the left at the top and looks like a curly arrow).

Enter Recovery Mode On HP Chromebook
Enter Recovery Mode On HP Chromebook

Don't panic when the screen above appears. This is part of the process. Simply enter the following key combination to enter developer mode:

CTRL + D
A message will appear stating that you are about to enter developer mode and that this voids your warranty. This is why you need to create a recovery drive first.

If you are happy to continue press the enter key.

Enter Developer Mode On HP Chromebook
Enter Developer Mode On HP Chromebook

The computer will now enter developer mode and it can take quite a while to do so. (Approximately 30 - 40 minutes).

When the process is complete you will see the following screen.

Developer Mode
Developer Mode 

Every time you start your Chromebook using the power button the above screen will appear. 

NOTE: Always press CTRL + D to get past this screen.

NOTE ALSO: You will be required to set up your internet connection and enter your user details the first time you use the Chromebook in developer mode.

Download Crouton

To install Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook you will need to download a script called Crouton.


Install Ubuntu Using Crouton

Open the Chrome browser and press the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T
Crosh Shell
Crosh Shell
A terminal window will open. 

Now enter the following command into the window to switch to a command shell:

shell
Command Shell
Command Shell


To install Ubuntu with the Unity desktop enter the following command:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t unity -e

I am not going to go into too much detail about the command.

Please read the original guide to installing Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook  to find out about all the switches.

All you really need to know is that the above command installs Ubuntu 14.04, which is the LTS version, with the Unity desktop.

How long this process takes depends on your internet connection speed. It took about 45 minutes on my Chromebook.

When the script is near the end you will be asked to enter the name of a user to be associated with Ubuntu and a password. This will be your login information for Ubuntu.

NOTE: To get back to Chrome after Ubuntu starts press CTRL + ALT + LEFT ARROW
(The left arrow is the one next to the ESC button at the top).


When the installation is complete you will be back at the command prompt. To start Ubuntu enter the following command:

sudo startunity

Setting Up Ubuntu

Ubuntu On The HP Chromebook
Ubuntu On The HP Chromebook

This is the section that really improves on the previous guide as it shows how to get Ubuntu to be just like the Ubuntu you would install on a normal laptop.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this is a barebones Ubuntu and Unity install. There are no applications installed.

To set up Ubuntu properly open up a terminal window by using the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T
A terminal window will open.

Now enter the following command into the window:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
Enter your password when asked to do so.

All of the files required for Ubuntu will now be downloaded, extracted and installed. Again this can take some time depending on your internet connection.

Restart Ubuntu to see the changes.

Starting Ubuntu On Subsequent Boots Of The Chromebook

Whenever you start the Chromebook from a powered off position you will find yourself at the following screen.

HP Chromebook In Developer Mode
HP Chromebook In Developer Mode

Press CTRL + D to enter ChromeOS.

From ChromeOS open a Chrome browser window and press CTRL + ALT + T to open a terminal.

Enter shell into the terminal window to reach a command shell.

Finally type sudo startunity to start Ubuntu.


Important Key Commands

Press CTRL + ALT + LEFT to get back to ChromeOS from within Ubuntu.

Press CTRL + ALT + RIGHT followed by CTRL + ALT + REFRESH to switch back to Ubuntu from ChromeOS.

NOTE: The left arrow is the one next to the escape key on the top row of keys and the right arrow key is the one next to it.

Summary

Hopefully this guide will make it easier for people to install Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook.

As usual, feel free to use the comments section below if you need further guidance.

Installing Minecraft On The HP Chromebook

I have rewritten the part showing how to install Minecraft on the HP Chromebook as well.

How To Install Ubuntu On The HP Chromebook

Introduction

One of the most popular articles on this site shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on the HP Chromebook.

Some people have found the guide difficult to follow and so I have decided to rework it and I also retested all the steps to make sure they work correctly.

This guide shows how to install Ubuntu with the Unity desktop on a HP Chromebook using Crouton. 

I have cut out any waffle and I have left out all of the other switches that you can use with Crouton so that this is a basic streamlined approach to installing Ubuntu and Unity.

Feel free to read the original guide if you would prefer to try out different desktop environments or Debian.

Create Recovery Media

Before you begin make sure that you have created recovery media in case everything goes wrong.


Switch To Developer Mode

Bookmark this page (CTRL + D) or send a link to your email as the next step will place your Chromebook into developer mode.

To enter developer mode press the following key combination:

Esc + Refresh + Power Button
(The refresh button is the 4th button from the left at the top and looks like a curly arrow).

Enter Recovery Mode On HP Chromebook
Enter Recovery Mode On HP Chromebook

Don't panic when the screen above appears. This is part of the process. Simply enter the following key combination to enter developer mode:

CTRL + D
A message will appear stating that you are about to enter developer mode and that this voids your warranty. This is why you need to create a recovery drive first.

If you are happy to continue press the enter key.

Enter Developer Mode On HP Chromebook
Enter Developer Mode On HP Chromebook

The computer will now enter developer mode and it can take quite a while to do so. (Approximately 30 - 40 minutes).

When the process is complete you will see the following screen.

Developer Mode
Developer Mode 

Every time you start your Chromebook using the power button the above screen will appear. 

NOTE: Always press CTRL + D to get past this screen.

NOTE ALSO: You will be required to set up your internet connection and enter your user details the first time you use the Chromebook in developer mode.

Download Crouton

To install Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook you will need to download a script called Crouton.


Install Ubuntu Using Crouton

Open the Chrome browser and press the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T
Crosh Shell
Crosh Shell
A terminal window will open. 

Now enter the following command into the window to switch to a command shell:

shell
Command Shell
Command Shell


To install Ubuntu with the Unity desktop enter the following command:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t unity -e

I am not going to go into too much detail about the command.

Please read the original guide to installing Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook  to find out about all the switches.

All you really need to know is that the above command installs Ubuntu 14.04, which is the LTS version, with the Unity desktop.

How long this process takes depends on your internet connection speed. It took about 45 minutes on my Chromebook.

When the script is near the end you will be asked to enter the name of a user to be associated with Ubuntu and a password. This will be your login information for Ubuntu.

NOTE: To get back to Chrome after Ubuntu starts press CTRL + ALT + LEFT ARROW
(The left arrow is the one next to the ESC button at the top).


When the installation is complete you will be back at the command prompt. To start Ubuntu enter the following command:

sudo startunity

Setting Up Ubuntu

Ubuntu On The HP Chromebook
Ubuntu On The HP Chromebook

This is the section that really improves on the previous guide as it shows how to get Ubuntu to be just like the Ubuntu you would install on a normal laptop.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this is a barebones Ubuntu and Unity install. There are no applications installed.

To set up Ubuntu properly open up a terminal window by using the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + T
A terminal window will open.

Now enter the following command into the window:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
Enter your password when asked to do so.

All of the files required for Ubuntu will now be downloaded, extracted and installed. Again this can take some time depending on your internet connection.

Restart Ubuntu to see the changes.

Starting Ubuntu On Subsequent Boots Of The Chromebook

Whenever you start the Chromebook from a powered off position you will find yourself at the following screen.

HP Chromebook In Developer Mode
HP Chromebook In Developer Mode

Press CTRL + D to enter ChromeOS.

From ChromeOS open a Chrome browser window and press CTRL + ALT + T to open a terminal.

Enter shell into the terminal window to reach a command shell.

Finally type sudo startunity to start Ubuntu.


Important Key Commands

Press CTRL + ALT + LEFT to get back to ChromeOS from within Ubuntu.

Press CTRL + ALT + RIGHT followed by CTRL + ALT + REFRESH to switch back to Ubuntu from ChromeOS.

NOTE: The left arrow is the one next to the escape key on the top row of keys and the right arrow key is the one next to it.

Summary

Hopefully this guide will make it easier for people to install Ubuntu on the HP Chromebook.

As usual, feel free to use the comments section below if you need further guidance.

Installing Minecraft On The HP Chromebook

I have rewritten the part showing how to install Minecraft on the HP Chromebook as well.

Posted at 23:24 |  by Gary Newell

Introduction

One of the most popular posts on this site shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on an HP Chromebook.

Some people find that guide difficult to follow. I am therefore reworking the article and cutting out any waffle. 

The first part of this process is to show how to create the recovery media for the HP Chromebook which is what this article is all about.

What You Will Need

All you will need to create a recovery drive for the HP Chromebook is a blank USB drive and a fair bit of patience.

The recovery drive only needs to be 4 gb in size but as you can see from the image to the left a 16 gb drive is only £5.

You can also use an SD Card.



Create OS Recovery Media
Create OS Recovery Media














To create a recovery partition open up the Chrome browser and type the following:
chrome://imageburner
Note: there is no http:// 

A "Create OS Recovery Media" screen will appear. Insert a blank USB drive or SD Card and press "OK" to continue.

Download Recovery Media
Download Recovery Media















The image will begin to download. The amount of time this takes depends on your internet connection.

Extracting Recovery Media
Extracting Recovery Media


When the image has finished downloading it will be extracted straight to the USB drive or SD Card.

Recovery Media Created
Recovery Media Created



















When the process is complete a success message will appear stating that your recovery media is ready.

Take your USB drive or SD card and put it somewhere very safe and leave it there until it is needed. (Which will hopefully be never).

Summary

This is a very short post but hopefully nice and succinct.

This guide should also work for the Acer Chromebook.

Further Reading

Create Recovery Media For The HP Chromebook

Introduction

One of the most popular posts on this site shows how to install Ubuntu and Minecraft on an HP Chromebook.

Some people find that guide difficult to follow. I am therefore reworking the article and cutting out any waffle. 

The first part of this process is to show how to create the recovery media for the HP Chromebook which is what this article is all about.

What You Will Need

All you will need to create a recovery drive for the HP Chromebook is a blank USB drive and a fair bit of patience.

The recovery drive only needs to be 4 gb in size but as you can see from the image to the left a 16 gb drive is only £5.

You can also use an SD Card.



Create OS Recovery Media
Create OS Recovery Media














To create a recovery partition open up the Chrome browser and type the following:
chrome://imageburner
Note: there is no http:// 

A "Create OS Recovery Media" screen will appear. Insert a blank USB drive or SD Card and press "OK" to continue.

Download Recovery Media
Download Recovery Media















The image will begin to download. The amount of time this takes depends on your internet connection.

Extracting Recovery Media
Extracting Recovery Media


When the image has finished downloading it will be extracted straight to the USB drive or SD Card.

Recovery Media Created
Recovery Media Created



















When the process is complete a success message will appear stating that your recovery media is ready.

Take your USB drive or SD card and put it somewhere very safe and leave it there until it is needed. (Which will hopefully be never).

Summary

This is a very short post but hopefully nice and succinct.

This guide should also work for the Acer Chromebook.

Further Reading

Posted at 22:27 |  by Gary Newell

Monday, 2 February 2015

Introduction

Linux Mint 17.1 is the latest version of Linux Mint and has been available for a few months now.

The title of this article is "Linux Mint 17.1 Is As Good As It Gets" and as far as computing goes on a traditional laptop with a traditional style user interface this is definitely true.

I first tried Linux Mint at version 12 and it was fine enough but the Linux Mint developers have been perfecting this distribution for a number of years and now it is flourishing.

This review is going to look at all of the features of Linux Mint that the average user might be interested in as well as the new features that have been added for 17.1.

How To Get Linux Mint 17.1


Click here to visit the Linux Mint download page.

There are various options available including the choice of 4 different desktop environments (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and XFCE), codecs or no codecs and 32-bit or 64-bit.

If you have a computer with decent specifications (i.e. your current computer comfortably handles Windows 7 at the moment) then choose the Cinnamon desktop environment or KDE.

If your computer isn't so powerful try out the MATE or XFCE editions. There isn't much to split them in terms of applications. MATE and XFCE are both highly customisable and lightweight.

Generally you will want to choose the version with codecs as opposed to no codecs as this will enable Flash and MP3s to play.

Finally choose 32-bit if you have a 32-bit computer or 64-bit for a 64-bit computer. (Click here if you need a guide for that).

The file size of the downloaded ISO file is 1.4 gigabytes and you will need either a blank DVD or USB drive to be able to try out and install Linux Mint.

If you don't have the ability to create a DVD or USB drive, you can always try Linux Mint out as a virtual machine.

To create a DVD from the ISO use your favourite disk burning tool or click here to create a bootable Linux Mint USB drive.

If all of this seems too complicated you can always buy a Linux Mint DVD or USB drive.

For this review I will be looking at the Cinnamon desktop as it is the flagship version of Linux Mint (and what a triumph it is).

Installing Linux Mint

Installing Linux Mint is incredibly easy and is probably the best example of an installer that Linux has to offer.


Here are some guides that I have written to help you.

First Impressions

The first thing you notice with Linux Mint 17.1 is the really attractive login screen with changing background images that blend from one to another seemlessly.

Yes I know that this is just eye candy but it is the small things that perfect a product.

After logging in you are presented with a welcome screen with options to see the new features, important information, user guide, access to the IRC chat rooms, forums and tutorials.

The welcome screen also has icons for restoring data and for accessing the software manager.

Finally there are icons for getting involved and donating to Linux Mint.

The help utility is really useful with guides for installing Linux Mint, installing software, navigating using the menu and useful tips and tricks.

For example to copy and paste in Linux Mint you can copy with the left mouse button and paste with the middle button. On a laptop this can be achieved by copying with the left mouse button and then clicking both buttons to paste.

To be honest the tips and tricks could do with a bit more padding because there are really just two tricks.

Spoiler alert!!!!

The other trick is to use Tomboy Notes for taking notes instead of LibreOffice Writer.

The Welcome Screen can be turned off by unchecking the box in the bottom corner.

Linux Mint uses a traditional menu for navigation with useful icons down the left, categories in the middle and applications on the right.

The search box can be used to search for an application.




There is just a single panel at the bottom of the screen (which is standard for all Linux Mint versions).

The menu icon is in the bottom left and is closely followed by icons which enable you to show the desktop, launch FireFox, open a terminal and open the file manager.

The bottom right corner has icons for user settings, removable drives, bluetooth settings, network settings, audio settings, power settings, notifications, the clock and view all windows.

Connecting To The Internet




Connecting to the internet is as easy as clicking on the network settings icon on the panel and choosing the network you wish to connect to.

If the network you are connecting to requires a password then you will need to provide one.

Flash And MP3

As long as you chose the version of Linux Mint with codecs, Flash should work straight away.

However, the browser that Linux Mint ships with is FireFox and the Flash player is therefore out of date and you get this annoying message every time you visit a new site which has Flash.


You only have to choose to allow Flash to work once and it will remember it for next time (unless you tell it not to) but it is a bit annoying.

Now everybody retweet after me:

"Say NO to Flash"  or "Die Flash Die"
The European Union decided that everyone in Europe needed to know when a website is using cookies to store information and so every time you visit a new site it inevitably tells you that the site uses cookies and you have to click accept to get the message to go away.

Whilst I appreciate the sentiment it is incredibly annoying because pretty much every site uses cookies.

MP3 audio can also be played instantly without installing any other codecs.

Applications

Linux Mint has all the applications that the average user needs to get started.



As mentioned in the previous section Linux Mint has the FireFox web browser (version 33). The latest version is 35.

Thunderbird is the default email client and Pidgin is included as a messenging client.

HexChat is available for IRC chat and Transmission enables you to download bittorrents.





















For image editing there is the GIMP which is a really powerful tool along the lines of Photoshop.

If you just want to view your photos there is an application called gThumb or to view a single image there is an image viewer.

















For productivity, Linux Mint includes the full LibreOffice suite which includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations) and Draw (think Visio).

The version of LibreOffice included is 4.2.6.3. The latest version of LibreOffice is 4.4.





















If you like listening to music whilst you work there is Banshee. You can import music, create playlists and do all the sorts of things you normally do with an audio player.

Banshee is compatible with external devices and apparently works with iPods but I don't have an iPod to be able to test this for sure. It does work with my Sony Walkman, Samsung Galaxy phone and a Creative Zen Micro.

VLC Player is included to enable you to watch videos but you don't really need it because you can use Banshee to watch videos as well.

Banshee can be used to listen to podcasts and you can also add links to your favourite online radio stations.

You can also integrate your Last.fm account with Banshee.

Finally there is the internet archive which lets you watch old movies and trailers, listen to music and speeches.

Linux Mint includes Minitube which is a desktop application version of Youtube. Brasero is also included for creating DVDs.

Installing Applications

The Mint Software Manager is used to find, install and remove applications on your system.

You can either browse the different categories or use the search box in the top right corner to find what you are looking for.

Each item comes with a description, file size, list of dependencies, a rating and a list of comments regarding the package.




Customising The Desktop


The Cinnamon desktop is beginning to mature and therefore there are a number of customisable features such as changing the background, adding panels and launchers and also the inclusion of desklets.

Click here for a guide to customising the Cinnamon desktop environment.

New Features For 17.1

Click here to read about all of the new features of Linux Mint 17.1

In essence the changes are as follows:

  • Various performance improvements were made to the Cinnamon desktop
  • The Cinnamon desktop starts with a zoom animation
  • Super + E opens up the home folder
  • Single button touchpads are now supported and actions for 2 finger and 3 finger clicks are configurable
  • Localisation has been improved
  • Theme and background settings were completely redesigned
  • Privacy and notification settings were added
  • The Nemo (file manager) toolbar was redesigned and buttons are now configurable
  • Support for emblems were added to Nemo
  • The Nemo side bar was improved
  • The update manager has been improved
  • The Kernel selection screen has been improved
  • The Language settings screen has been improved
  • Login window preferences were redesigned

Upgrading From Linux Mint 17

Click here for a guide showing how to upgrade to Linux Mint 17.1 from Linux Mint 17.

Note that Linux Mint 17.1 will be supported until 2019.

Summary

Linux Mint is great if you are a traditionalist and you like the way things have pretty much always been.

Nice little touches are built upon again and again and the improvements are steady but not spectacular.

Linux Mint is just a really good, stable and solid Linux distribution and it is obvious why it is so popular.
 
Questions that are often asked on Reddit include:
  • Which Linux distribution should I use for developing software
  • Which Linux distribution should I use for gaming
  • Which Linux distribution is best for newbies
  • Which Linux distribution can I use on my old computer
  • Which Linux distribution is good for students
  • Which Linux distribution would be good for my parents
  • Which Linux distribution is good for children
I could have made that list much longer but the point is that the answer to all of those questions really could be "Linux Mint".

There is a myth that surrounds Linux Mint (and Ubuntu) that suggests they are only used by people that don't really know Linux that well and once people know what they are doing they should move to something more serious.

This sort of thinking seems frankly nonsensical. Making life easier for yourself by pointing and clicking shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.
 
I wrote an article last week comparing Linux Mint 17 with Windows 8.1 as a resource for Windows 7 users to refer to when deciding whether to upgrade Windows or switch to Linux.

On this evidence there are an plenties of reasons to choose Linux Mint.

Thankyou for reading.



Linux Mint 17.1 Is As Good As It Gets

Introduction

Linux Mint 17.1 is the latest version of Linux Mint and has been available for a few months now.

The title of this article is "Linux Mint 17.1 Is As Good As It Gets" and as far as computing goes on a traditional laptop with a traditional style user interface this is definitely true.

I first tried Linux Mint at version 12 and it was fine enough but the Linux Mint developers have been perfecting this distribution for a number of years and now it is flourishing.

This review is going to look at all of the features of Linux Mint that the average user might be interested in as well as the new features that have been added for 17.1.

How To Get Linux Mint 17.1


Click here to visit the Linux Mint download page.

There are various options available including the choice of 4 different desktop environments (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and XFCE), codecs or no codecs and 32-bit or 64-bit.

If you have a computer with decent specifications (i.e. your current computer comfortably handles Windows 7 at the moment) then choose the Cinnamon desktop environment or KDE.

If your computer isn't so powerful try out the MATE or XFCE editions. There isn't much to split them in terms of applications. MATE and XFCE are both highly customisable and lightweight.

Generally you will want to choose the version with codecs as opposed to no codecs as this will enable Flash and MP3s to play.

Finally choose 32-bit if you have a 32-bit computer or 64-bit for a 64-bit computer. (Click here if you need a guide for that).

The file size of the downloaded ISO file is 1.4 gigabytes and you will need either a blank DVD or USB drive to be able to try out and install Linux Mint.

If you don't have the ability to create a DVD or USB drive, you can always try Linux Mint out as a virtual machine.

To create a DVD from the ISO use your favourite disk burning tool or click here to create a bootable Linux Mint USB drive.

If all of this seems too complicated you can always buy a Linux Mint DVD or USB drive.

For this review I will be looking at the Cinnamon desktop as it is the flagship version of Linux Mint (and what a triumph it is).

Installing Linux Mint

Installing Linux Mint is incredibly easy and is probably the best example of an installer that Linux has to offer.


Here are some guides that I have written to help you.

First Impressions

The first thing you notice with Linux Mint 17.1 is the really attractive login screen with changing background images that blend from one to another seemlessly.

Yes I know that this is just eye candy but it is the small things that perfect a product.

After logging in you are presented with a welcome screen with options to see the new features, important information, user guide, access to the IRC chat rooms, forums and tutorials.

The welcome screen also has icons for restoring data and for accessing the software manager.

Finally there are icons for getting involved and donating to Linux Mint.

The help utility is really useful with guides for installing Linux Mint, installing software, navigating using the menu and useful tips and tricks.

For example to copy and paste in Linux Mint you can copy with the left mouse button and paste with the middle button. On a laptop this can be achieved by copying with the left mouse button and then clicking both buttons to paste.

To be honest the tips and tricks could do with a bit more padding because there are really just two tricks.

Spoiler alert!!!!

The other trick is to use Tomboy Notes for taking notes instead of LibreOffice Writer.

The Welcome Screen can be turned off by unchecking the box in the bottom corner.

Linux Mint uses a traditional menu for navigation with useful icons down the left, categories in the middle and applications on the right.

The search box can be used to search for an application.




There is just a single panel at the bottom of the screen (which is standard for all Linux Mint versions).

The menu icon is in the bottom left and is closely followed by icons which enable you to show the desktop, launch FireFox, open a terminal and open the file manager.

The bottom right corner has icons for user settings, removable drives, bluetooth settings, network settings, audio settings, power settings, notifications, the clock and view all windows.

Connecting To The Internet




Connecting to the internet is as easy as clicking on the network settings icon on the panel and choosing the network you wish to connect to.

If the network you are connecting to requires a password then you will need to provide one.

Flash And MP3

As long as you chose the version of Linux Mint with codecs, Flash should work straight away.

However, the browser that Linux Mint ships with is FireFox and the Flash player is therefore out of date and you get this annoying message every time you visit a new site which has Flash.


You only have to choose to allow Flash to work once and it will remember it for next time (unless you tell it not to) but it is a bit annoying.

Now everybody retweet after me:

"Say NO to Flash"  or "Die Flash Die"
The European Union decided that everyone in Europe needed to know when a website is using cookies to store information and so every time you visit a new site it inevitably tells you that the site uses cookies and you have to click accept to get the message to go away.

Whilst I appreciate the sentiment it is incredibly annoying because pretty much every site uses cookies.

MP3 audio can also be played instantly without installing any other codecs.

Applications

Linux Mint has all the applications that the average user needs to get started.



As mentioned in the previous section Linux Mint has the FireFox web browser (version 33). The latest version is 35.

Thunderbird is the default email client and Pidgin is included as a messenging client.

HexChat is available for IRC chat and Transmission enables you to download bittorrents.





















For image editing there is the GIMP which is a really powerful tool along the lines of Photoshop.

If you just want to view your photos there is an application called gThumb or to view a single image there is an image viewer.

















For productivity, Linux Mint includes the full LibreOffice suite which includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations) and Draw (think Visio).

The version of LibreOffice included is 4.2.6.3. The latest version of LibreOffice is 4.4.





















If you like listening to music whilst you work there is Banshee. You can import music, create playlists and do all the sorts of things you normally do with an audio player.

Banshee is compatible with external devices and apparently works with iPods but I don't have an iPod to be able to test this for sure. It does work with my Sony Walkman, Samsung Galaxy phone and a Creative Zen Micro.

VLC Player is included to enable you to watch videos but you don't really need it because you can use Banshee to watch videos as well.

Banshee can be used to listen to podcasts and you can also add links to your favourite online radio stations.

You can also integrate your Last.fm account with Banshee.

Finally there is the internet archive which lets you watch old movies and trailers, listen to music and speeches.

Linux Mint includes Minitube which is a desktop application version of Youtube. Brasero is also included for creating DVDs.

Installing Applications

The Mint Software Manager is used to find, install and remove applications on your system.

You can either browse the different categories or use the search box in the top right corner to find what you are looking for.

Each item comes with a description, file size, list of dependencies, a rating and a list of comments regarding the package.




Customising The Desktop


The Cinnamon desktop is beginning to mature and therefore there are a number of customisable features such as changing the background, adding panels and launchers and also the inclusion of desklets.

Click here for a guide to customising the Cinnamon desktop environment.

New Features For 17.1

Click here to read about all of the new features of Linux Mint 17.1

In essence the changes are as follows:

  • Various performance improvements were made to the Cinnamon desktop
  • The Cinnamon desktop starts with a zoom animation
  • Super + E opens up the home folder
  • Single button touchpads are now supported and actions for 2 finger and 3 finger clicks are configurable
  • Localisation has been improved
  • Theme and background settings were completely redesigned
  • Privacy and notification settings were added
  • The Nemo (file manager) toolbar was redesigned and buttons are now configurable
  • Support for emblems were added to Nemo
  • The Nemo side bar was improved
  • The update manager has been improved
  • The Kernel selection screen has been improved
  • The Language settings screen has been improved
  • Login window preferences were redesigned

Upgrading From Linux Mint 17

Click here for a guide showing how to upgrade to Linux Mint 17.1 from Linux Mint 17.

Note that Linux Mint 17.1 will be supported until 2019.

Summary

Linux Mint is great if you are a traditionalist and you like the way things have pretty much always been.

Nice little touches are built upon again and again and the improvements are steady but not spectacular.

Linux Mint is just a really good, stable and solid Linux distribution and it is obvious why it is so popular.
 
Questions that are often asked on Reddit include:
  • Which Linux distribution should I use for developing software
  • Which Linux distribution should I use for gaming
  • Which Linux distribution is best for newbies
  • Which Linux distribution can I use on my old computer
  • Which Linux distribution is good for students
  • Which Linux distribution would be good for my parents
  • Which Linux distribution is good for children
I could have made that list much longer but the point is that the answer to all of those questions really could be "Linux Mint".

There is a myth that surrounds Linux Mint (and Ubuntu) that suggests they are only used by people that don't really know Linux that well and once people know what they are doing they should move to something more serious.

This sort of thinking seems frankly nonsensical. Making life easier for yourself by pointing and clicking shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.
 
I wrote an article last week comparing Linux Mint 17 with Windows 8.1 as a resource for Windows 7 users to refer to when deciding whether to upgrade Windows or switch to Linux.

On this evidence there are an plenties of reasons to choose Linux Mint.

Thankyou for reading.



Posted at 23:07 |  by Gary Newell

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