How Linux Mint saved the day for an Ubuntu 16.04 user

Also in today's open source roundup: Android N won't fix Google's update problem, and how to easily install Google Earth in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

linux mint rosa
Credit: Thinkstock/Linux Mint

How Linux Mint saved the day for an Ubuntu 16.04 user

Ubuntu 16.04 has been out for a while, and it hasn’t been smooth sailing for everyone who has tried to install it. One writer at Freedom Penguin had a terrible time with Ubuntu 16.04, and ended up having to go with Linux Mint instead. He shared his story in a long and detailed post.

Joe Collins reports for Freedom Penguin:

I poked at this all damn day, folks. I tried Ubuntu with Unity, Ubuntu GNOME. Every version of Ubuntu 16.04 simply wasn’t going to work with this laptop’s WiFi. I didn’t want to go back to Ubuntu 14.04 but Ubuntu 16.04 wasn’t going to get it for sure. I did install 14.04, only to find that the screen brightness settings were all jacked up. The machine booted with a very dim screen and you’d have to manually adjust it every time if you wanted to use it. That sucked. I was now at my wit’s end and I considered sticking the Windows 7 drive back in it and packing it up to send it back!

It was evening when I went and dug out my Linux Mint 17.3 installer DVD and gave that a try. Bam! Everything worked perfectly! The WiFi driver installed without a hitch and I only had to connect it once. Each time I created a new account, the WiFi was already there and I have had zero networks related trouble with this machine since. Working with the Cinnamon Desktop was like going back home and I got everything installed and rocking in just an hour or so. Linux Mint still won’t suspend the machine when the lid is closed while sitting at the login screen, though. That’s actually OK with me because I figured a way to use it to my advantage. I’ll explain that in more detail later. Mint’s “stagnation” at times but I take it all back now, folks.

Whether or not we will be able to move to Linux Mint 18 when it finally comes along with an in-place upgrade remains to be seen but they can take their sweet time on that, as far as I’m concerned. I want to know that whenever they come up with is going to work when I upgrade or install it. I’m tired of dealing with what amounts to a bait and switch from other distros. Ubuntu 16.04 looked wonderful in beta but now I can’t use it nor can I recommend it to my clients.

Linux Mint is NOT perfect but it meets the criteria I set forth when I set up a machine for someone other than myself, which is that it has to be stable and it has to be easy to work with. I don’t want to worry about an update breaking a whole bunch of machines and then I have to deal with it for weeks to come as clients call me or e-mail me for support. Yes, Linux Mint holds back sensitive packages but maybe they’re right to do so after all. Security is damn important but so is stability and there has to be a balance of risk to reward that should be considered every time something is updated. Is it more of a security risk to keep the stable version or is there more of a risk of trashing the system when you upgrade for the sake of security?

More at Freedom Penguin

Android N won’t fix Google’s update problem

Google has had an ongoing problem trying to deliver updates to Android devices other than its Nexus products. A writer here at InfoWorld notes that Android N still won’t fix the problem of delivering timely updates to Android devices.

Fahmida Y. Rashid reports for InfoWorld:

Google is hailing automatic updates as one of Android N’s new features, but it won’t help address the biggest problems with the Android ecosystem: late, inconsistent updates.

Android N devices will be able to update the operating system in the background as they become available. Users won’t have to tap Accept to initiate the process as they do today, nor will they have to wait for the update to complete before they can use the device again. Android N would download and install the software automatically, and when the user reboots the device, it will run the new version.

But “as they become available” is the key caveat – that’s still up to the device makers and the carriers. The initial description of the automatic updates feature at Google’s recent I/O conference made it seem like Google was going to bypass the carriers and manufacturers and push software updates directly to user devices, as Apple has always done for iOS. That’s not the case.

Google will release updates only for its Nexus devices, which are sold mainly to developers and “pure Android” fans. Despite pledges from carriers and manufacturers last fall to regularly roll out software updates, the reality is that a mere handful of the latest non-Nexus models are eligible to receive updates.

More at InfoWorld

Install Google Earth in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

Google Earth is a very popular application that lets you see satellite images, 3D landscapes, Street View and much more. A writer at NoobsLab has created a script that makes it easy to install Google Earth in Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Umber Riaz reports for NoobsLab:

The dependency lsb-core is missing from 16.04 Xenial repositories, so I created a simple script for installation in any Ubuntu/Linux Mint and for 16.04 it will pull lsb-core from Ubuntu Wily repositories.

Available for Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial/15.10 Wily/14.04 Trusty/12.04 Precise/Linux Mint 17.x/17/13/and other Ubuntu derivatives (64bit / 32bit).

To install latest Google Earth in Ubuntu/Linux Mint open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy the following commands in the Terminal:

wget -O google-earth.sh http://drive.noobslab.com/data/apps/google-earth/google-earth.sh

chmod +x google-earth.sh;sudo ./google-earth.sh

If you see Ugly fonts in Google Earth then install MSttCoreFonts using following command:

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

More at NoobsLab

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