An experiment with Linux Mint

I’ve wanted to mess around with Linux for awhile. I tried Linux before I bought my Mac Mini in 2010 on the PC I had built. I couldn’t get it to work right, it was crashing at random times and wouldn’t let me do things. Even opening up a web browser would work consistently. Clicking on an icon would have no results. It was frustrating so I thought “eff that” and got a Mac.

Fast forward to today, and I want to get down and dirty with Linux. Really down and dirty. I love Mac OS, so don’t think I’m jumping ship to a new OS. If I want to get anywhere in the tech industry (IT, Server Admin, etc) I have got to be familiar with Linux. At least, more familiar than command line navigation. I could get away with not being experienced with Linux as most techies aren’t, but if I want to get far, I would be better with a deep understanding of the Linux ecosystem.

The most popular Linux distribution is Ubuntu. Unfortunately, Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical, has integrated Amazon info collectors into the OS. Not cool. I hate it when we have private companies gleaning private information from individuals. I like my privacy. I will not be a product, not for free at least.

‘If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold

I also looked at Arch, Kali, and Puppy. Each with their own upsides and downsides. Ultimately I think I will eventually build up an Arch OS (yes, you have to build it up from the base system) but I decided to go with Mint. Mint is easy to install (sort of) and has some of the latest features I would find in a modern OS. Plus it’s popular and has a wide adoption rate as far as distributions go.

Looking for tutorials online was difficult, surprisingly. Most of the ones I found needed me to install VirtualBox and run a virtual machine, which wouldn’t let me install on a mounted drive. Frustrated, I looked more at USB installation tutorials and had better success. After a few failed attempts to get the USB installation working, I was good to go.

Success! Or so I thought. I had some issues pop up. Bluetooth was not nearly as smooth as on my Mac. The Apple Track Pad has no multi touch support out of the box making it pretty much useless, switching me back to a corded mouse (shudder!). The Apple Keyboard was fine, except on boot where it would take a minute or two to finally be recognized so I could log in. My headphones are also Bluetooth and I had a serious issue with getting the system to actually connect properly and put sound through them. I found a fix for it, then realized that there was already that fix, which was a script you had to run (not really a fix, more of a work around that is standard practice?)

Other issues occurred when I started trying to install packages with the Software Manager. After the first couple packages, I would get an error that Software Manager couldn’t install selected package, or installed package wouldn’t show up as installed until after I uninstalled it. Then everything would stop working requiring a reboot. Forced, not a proper reboot.

That’s when I got the folder with ? on booting my computer. Somehow, my Linux install got corrupted and couldn’t boot.

That ended the experiment, At least for now. I am using Mac OS on my Mac Pro but hope to have Linux going again on my Mac Mini in the coming weeks. I’ll have it setup so I can login and screen share via my Mac Pro so I don’t have to do a full Mac OS install again like on my Mac Pro when everything stopped working.

Mint is a good first round. Just got to figure out why it had issues.