Linux Mint 5.0 “Elyssa” Main Edition – First Impressions

I couldn’t hold back — once I realized that Elyssa was released a couple days ago, I just had to install it immediately. So I did, on my old Dell Latitude D505 Laptop. I had been running WinXP and Daryna on it with dual boot, so I figured I’d install over the old Daryna partitions.

I had to manually delete the ext3 and swap partitions that Daryna had created for itself during its install process some months earlier. Manually creating the partitions wasn’t hard at all — I just created a large ext3 filesystem partition, and set it as my Logical drive (my laptop, like all laptops, has only 1 hard drive, so setting it as Logical instead of Primary seemed to be the right thing to do), with Mount Point at “/” (without the quotes). Then, I manually created a swap partition about 1 GB in size (they say you should make this about twice the size of available RAM on your system, so it worked out for me because I have 512MB of RAM). It installed nicely. I guess I got rid of my fears of manually editing partitions, with this experience, haha.

Here are a few glitches (not “bugs,” since these are fixable with little effort) with Elyssa Main Edition, after applying all the updates as of the writing of this post:

  • CompizConfig Settings Manager (labeled as Advanced Desktop Effects Settings in the mintMenu (Start menu)), comes installed, which is nice. However, none of the settings gets saved after you edit them. Run compiz –replace in the terminal, and this should fix things.
  • mintMenu itself seems problematic. If you click on any icon/application, mintMenu does not close until you click outside of the menu. To fix this, click on the top-left hand corner (there should be a small, emtpy, rounded square), and this should do the trick. This has got to be the weirdest glitch I’ve seen in a long time. Well, at least it fixes itself rather elegantly.
  • gnome-terminal does not remember the “Show Menubar” option being unchecked. However, this might not be Elyssa’s fault.

But hey, a few bad apples isn’t going to ruin the party. Here are some nice things I’ve noticed in the couple hours of usage I’ve put into Elyssa so far:

  • The Aurora Gtk Engine I liked (before switching to another theme because of speed issues) comes installed by default (just select it in the Appearances dialog box). And, the speed has significantly improved. I just hope things will perform the same way on different hardware (that is, on my desktop machine).
  • Firefox 3 RC1 comes with Elyssa by default. I didn’t realize this before, but this means that mintUpdate/Synaptic (depending on which one you prefer — I actually prefer Synaptic) will automatically update Firefox to its official 3.0 version once it gets compiled properly and uploaded to Hardy Heron’s servers (Mint has a history of being compatible with Ubuntu’s releases, and yes, since Elyssa is Hardy Heron-compatible, Elyssa is also a “LTS” as is Hardy Heron, and will be supported for the next 3 years.)
  • CCSM comes installed by default. I made a mental note to myself before of how Daryna was weird in that it had CompizFusion’s Desktop Cube plugin enabled by default, but had no way of customizing its behavior. Elyssa even comes with a “Simple” CCSM variant, which is supposedly an “easier” way of editing the plethora of plugins provided by CCSM.

So there you have it. I will be writing a new post with “Tips” or any bugfixes/glitches issues later if they add up enough to make it worth the effort. Otherwise, I recommend upgrading to Elyssa via a fresh install, since Elyssa is a Long-Term Support release (LTS), and will be supported for the coming 3 years.

UPDATE June 10, 2008: (File sharing bug) There is a file sharing bug present in Elyssa (as well as Hardy Heron); if you try to share a folder, and click the boxes to let others have writing permissions in that folder, it will give you an error that looks something like this (in the same dialog box):

‘net usershare’ returned error 255: net usershare: cannot open usershare directory /var/lib/samba/usershares. Error

…and basically prevent you from sharing any folders/files. I can’t believe such a huuuuge bug escaped the eyes of developers; it seems to be a Samba issue. According to someone named bastafidli, the solution is to type in chmod 777 /var/lib/samba/usershares in the terminal. This worked for me (without any logging out/in as suggested by the people in the link above), so it will probably work for you until the Samba people kill the bug. (In case you’re curious, the command chmod simply changes the permissions on a given target; google “chmod 777” for more info.)

UPDATE June 14, 2008: (File sharing and Fonts) Two things:

  1. The ‘net usershare’ message file sharing bug I pointed out in the June 10, 2008 update above may only be half the battle. I still have trouble easily enabling file sharing from my Elyssa laptop to my Daryna PC. This thread looks useful, however, and I will consult it after I get my PC upgraded to Elyssa.
  2. Alas, the “fonts:///” address does not work in Nautilus (i.e., file explorer) any more!! I have no idea why the Ubuntu people did this, but Mint must suffer as well because of this. Adding fonts seems to be rather roundabout in Elyssa/Hardy. For now, you can manually create a folder in your home directory and name it .fonts. Then, drag any TTF files into this directory, and as usual, run sudo fc-cache -fv in the terminal. This worked for me in adding the Tahoma font (which does not come in the msttcorefonts package in the Hardy repositories).

One thought on “Linux Mint 5.0 “Elyssa” Main Edition – First Impressions

  1. It seems that you like Linux Mint. It certainly is wonderful ^_^

    Oh, and the reason Mint has “a history of being compatible with Ubuntu” is because it is more or less…Ubuntu! It’s cleaned up, and there are a few minor changes here and there, but it’s based off of Ubuntu. But you already knew that, didn’t you? 🙂 You have an interesting blog, chock full of content. It deserves more visitors!

    Take care!

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