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View Full Version : 64-bit Mint 16 Xfce LiveUSB first impressions



utu
02-17-2014, 12:27 AM
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While waiting for the next upgrade of Knoppix, I tried out the latest similar Mint LiveUSB
on my Windows 7 dual cpu laptop with 4 Gb ram. This is a very nice OS, offering an interesting
alternative to Knoppix. Fairly compact, very attractive, responsive, intuitive; no bad habits.
Uses a single Fat32 partition for both OS and persistence. Persistence is via pre-formatted
squashfs rofs device implemented in manner similar to Knoppix 4 Gb cloop.

Noted several of Mint Xfce's following good qualities:
Contains Firefox, LibreOffice; Geany available, but not standard issue.
Has a late Linux kernel.
ALL my hardware recognized initially.
ALL hardware drivers except closed-source wifi correctly installed and operating initially
Nice desktop, including backgrounds; XFCE very similar to LXDE.
1.2 Gb rofs LiveUSB with 3.9 Gb persistence, online with browser in 69 seconds.

Noted the following minor difficulties:
1. Closed-source Broadcom internal wifi firmware not initially supported.
2. Touchpad causes errors in typing.
3. Peculiar EST desktop time ok on boot but resets to UTC on first ntp query.
4. No logout option initially on desktop.
5. Couldn't find or apt-get Leafpad text editor.
6. Occasional funny display problems using GEdit; may be touchpad interfence.

Made the following adjustments without much trouble:
1. Used NetGear external wifi to get online initially, downloaded b43 firmware & activated internal wifi.
2. Used Settings>Mouse... to disable touchpad while typing; nice GUI for this purpose
3a Added tzdata, then used sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata to get desktop to show local time correctly.
A very easy fix; would increase rofs only 483 Kb to include in basic system.
3b Noted desktop time now wrong at first, but ok after first ntp access.
4. Added a logout icon to panel.
5. Noted GEdit may be a slight improvement over Leafpad.
6. Disabling touchpad completely to see if this is necessary to avoid GEdit display upsets.
I can do this since I use a Logitech wireless mouse instead of the touchpad anyway.

utu
02-17-2014, 01:50 AM
. Persistence is via pre-formatted
squashfs rofs device implemented in manner similar to Knoppix 4 Gb cloop.
This didn't come out right.
The CD rofs part is condensed on a squashfs loop device.
Persistence is pre-formatted in a manner similar to Knoppix.

utu
02-17-2014, 06:30 PM
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Having spent a little more time with Mint 16 Xfce, my previous complaints
boil down to the following:

Restatement of minor difficulties:
1. Need to obtain proprietary firmware for for Broadcom wifi.
2. Need to add tzdata and to use it to tweak desktop time not UTC.
3. Need to tweak touchpad parameters not to interfere with typing.
4. Graphics interference is an unexpected roll-up of current graphic frame contents
activated by mouse scroll wheel.

In other words,
1. The occasional graphics blip is a feature, not a bug.
Mouse scroll wheel on (any) panel top causes roll-up or roll-down. Clever.
2. Log-off is contained in the Whisker menu's upper right corner. Insidious.

This little OS has a lot to like in it. Also, I find
mint@mint ~ $ ls -l /dev/loop* gives...
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 0 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop0
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 1 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop1
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 2 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop2
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 3 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop3
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 4 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop4
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 5 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop5
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 6 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop6
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 7, 7 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop7
crw------- 1 root root 10, 237 Feb 17 05:04 /dev/loop-control

This looks a lot like Knoppix, wherein one may stack successive loop devices and
have them joined in a unionfs. One needs to examine Mint's initramfs to see if it
tells how loop0, Mint's rofs and loop1, its rwfs are joined in a unionfs. If it is.

jalb
01-27-2015, 05:03 PM
I am using from time to time a live-usb Linux Mint 17 with Mate and it works great :)

utu
01-27-2015, 05:42 PM
I am using from time to time a live-usb Linux Mint 17 with Mate and it works great :)
That's good to hear, but give us some details about what you like and don't like.

Harry Kuhman
01-27-2015, 06:25 PM
That's good to hear, but give us some details about what you like and don't like.
My quick take is, on the downside, you have to pick the particular MINT ISO that you want at download, there are different ISOs for different desktops and for 32 bit and 64 bit versions. As a result the ISOs are smaller, and they also contain fewer of those applications that you never use. Of course, you can still install any application that you want. On the upside, browsing with Flash still works, and you don't have to try to install extra packages that don't install properly.

If one wants an installed system I still recommend Debian over any "Live CD" or DVD. But if what you want is a Live DVD that you can boot and use right from the disc, I'm very happy with Mint.

jalb
01-27-2015, 07:04 PM
That's good to hear, but give us some details about what you like and don't like. As I said: "it works great", I can't find something that I don't like. I am using it with persistence and with all my system updated.