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booman 17th August, 2012 05:31 PM

Mint and modern hardware
I've decided to create a dedicated thread to my updates and experiences with Mint. I've run into some issues with booting live USB with Mint 13 (all flavors) but finally got Mint 12 to install off of my USB drive.
I'll continue to post what I install and the steps taken.

My goal is to create a simple to use Linux gaming machine in place of Windows.
So I'll be running a lot of tests and playing with Wine and Dosbox.

booman 17th August, 2012 05:34 PM

this morning I started doing updates. Initially I was having problems with eth0 connecting to the internet. not sure why, but it eventually connected when I manually typed in my DNS servers.
I had to take off to work when I was in the middle of updating and playing Gothic 3 with the Enhanced Edition patch (1.75 Gigs).
So I'll see where it left off tonight.
I'm hoping to upgrade to Mint 13 after the updates are final. I'm expecting all kinds of problems and having to install from scratch over and over and over. But then again, this is Mint... I'll see where it takes me.

Daniel ~ 17th August, 2012 05:49 PM

They have detailed instructions for making a 12 to 13 update, just never used them myself. It should be quite do-able for you...Unless the Gnome jump to 3 (is it 3?) makes a difference.

booman 17th August, 2012 06:01 PM

How did I know you would be the first to reply?

As far as I have read, Mint doesn't use Gnome 3 yet. Everyone was complaining about Fedora 16 using it and the disadvantages. So I think Mint stuck with Gnome 2.
We'll see. I want to upgrade to 13 first and then try the fancy "drivers" button and see if it installs the correct video drivers for my GeForce 550 Ti

Daniel ~ 17th August, 2012 06:21 PM

Patti has a card so old I don't even know what it is... Nvidia something or other...Magic button just jumped on that sucker and had it all drived up and spitting out FPS in mimutes! ":O}

booman 17th August, 2012 06:22 PM

One thing I noticed about Nvidia drivers is that it supports a huge variety of cards. So newer ones and older ones can be supported by a single download.

Daniel ~ 17th August, 2012 07:07 PM

I don't know what the newest Nvidia Linux drivers are, but Magic button brought me 295.49 and installed them..8800GTS. Patti got an older driver...just checked, not so old as I thought. Patti has a 7900 GT Her card is using the Linux 173 drivers, there's an update, but when I tried it Said Ubuntu didn't have any more in stock...or something like that.

booman 17th August, 2012 08:20 PM

Intresting. I have both of those cards!
I know there is a driver that supports my 550 Ti because it installed and ran in Fedora 16.
By tomorrow I should be downloading and installing it.
I'll keep you updated.

Daniel ~ 17th August, 2012 09:42 PM

Thank you.

booman 20th August, 2012 04:45 PM

No good news to report from the weekend.
I tried to update Mint but found that the network drivers/connection is finicky and decides disconnect randomly. Very frustrating because I start getting update errors about "no host" or "can't find package"...
I found that if I right-click the networking icon, select "wired networking" to disable it and then do it again to enable it, seems to work.
I think it is all updated.
I updated via terminal with:

apt-get update
I didn't like the Update GUI at all because if I click update it downloads a bunch of packages and when it finishes there is a checked package that looks like its ready. So I click install and it starts downloading again. I kept doing this over and over but never seemed to get anywhere. It may be related to the network driver issue.

It seemed to work fine with the Terminal once I figured how to repair my network configuration.
then I upgraded with:

apt-get upgrade
Everything seemed to download and install but how do I check if it worked?

Last I did a distro upgrade hopefully to 13. I never really got an indication what version it was upgrading me to.

apt-get dist-upgrade
Then my last problem...
Lockups and shutdowns
I was getting random lockups with firefox and going to the internet.
Then after doing updates/upgrades I would shutdown and once again it would lockup on me.

So I finally decided to start over and install Mint 12 again, but sadly I started getting the same USB Live Mint issues again! I actually got it to boot into the live desktop with the "nomodeset" option and something was wrong because all I could see was the wallpaper and the "install mint" icon. Thats it. everything else was missing.

booman 20th August, 2012 04:54 PM

I might as well try something Dan suggested from the beginning and see if it makes a difference.... I hate to say it.... ughh..... using a DVD
There, I said it, I probably won't do it, but at least I said it.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 06:05 PM

Oh thank GOD!!


I really am sorry your having difficulties. Truth is I'm still not at all convinced that Mint will let you do what you want to, Hey I want you to as well!!

When you reach desktop try just using the Mint Updates or Synaptic.

I've duplicated your updates and upgrades on my machine, as I have a backup from yesterday. When I did the upgrade I got a super massive upgrade. I'll let you know if this gives me any trouble.

Remember Mint is the conservative destroy! They deliberately lag behind Gnome and ubuntu to gain stability. I don't know if we just blew that stability lag by using Apt-get or if ....Actually I'm fairly sure we did blow it, given the size of my upgrade on an updated Mint updated machine.

Well! time to reboot and see what happens!! ":O}

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 06:24 PM

After re-boot all seems fine, which I pretty much expected it to. I ran a Mint update and I'm still up to date with Mint 13.

booman 20th August, 2012 06:31 PM

how do you know you are up to date? I never got a good indication beside the shield icon on the top right.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 07:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Believe me it ain't easy! It takes the eyes of a hawk! But if you look at the bottom left hand cornor (Your left faceing your monitor) at the very bottom of the update screen, in the smallerst font I've seen anywhere....

Well here have a look! ":O}

booman 20th August, 2012 07:42 PM

I see it!
Thats fine and dandy, but what version was updated? I'm sure there is a tiny tiny font saying Mint 13 bla.bla.bla

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 07:52 PM

At the top... the last line gives old version and new version of the offered update. Also there is usually a description if you highlite an update and look in the box below.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 07:54 PM

In either "Edit" or "File" you can select which distributors and Liburys you want to access in updates.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 08:00 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Ok! We have one disorder sence I use Apt-get as you used Apt-get.
My Icon desktop have all disappeared! I've been trying to make them do that forever! ":O} They remain on just one Desktop.

unfortunately I can no longer Right click and get a selection menu. I have no idea how to fix this... I'll try dumping my three extra desktops and restoring them...

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 08:06 PM

The one still has Icons the added desktops still don't... it takes me 20 mins to do a restore...I think I'll take a brief break....":O}

booman 20th August, 2012 08:06 PM

thats what I was afraid of... I've read that updates can break or fix things.
I was trying to update a fresh install of Mint 12 and then update it to Mint 13 and have no idea what it fixed or broke.
But I do know the network drivers are very finicky with my chipset. I want to start over

booman 20th August, 2012 08:37 PM


Originally Posted by Daniel ~ (Post 517848)
The one still has Icons the added desktops still don't... it takes me 20 mins to do a restore...I think I'll take a brief break....":O}

That is one of the things about Linux that worries me. I'm good with creating a backup image and restoring operating systems, but if I build a computer for a friend, its going to be difficult when they try to update like this.

I would probably look up your symptoms and try to fix the problem depending on what you find, but most people won't really know what to do.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 09:10 PM

I just did a quick Acronis restore.

Here's what I tell anyone who doesn't know more than I do to do:

Buy Two Hard drives, one to meet your needs and one large enough to contain at lest 3 complete back-ups.

Buy a copy of Acronis ( Just because I know how to use it, it works, and it's just to easy.)

Ok. Now, Computer geek to Computer Geek. It's REALLY REALLY ok with me any way you wish to undertake your explorations, look at all you've learned!

But installing 12 first, then installing everything the way you want it, then upgrading to MInt just the hard way to go.

Mint 12 is DONE. Mint 13 will live for the next 5 years! Why spend your time in 12?

There's a clean easy install waiting for you when you want it...

Until then...and after...I'm your biggest fan! ":O}


Except when I first installed Mint 13, I was right out of the gate, second day it was availble....When Nivida failed, I've NEVER had a single thing break due to a straight up Mint update. You can select the repositories you want Mint Update to access.

Stay with Mint repositories and you will stay around six months behind ubuntu and you will be shocked and amazed as I was, having used Mint since 8 when it breaks... BTW they had it fixed three days later...So again, install the MINT updates before you use the magic button. From Mint 8 to Mint 13 that's the only malfunction I've ever seen.

Getting Mint to RAID, whole other story! LOL

booman 20th August, 2012 09:16 PM

I agree... two hard drives is a good idea.
I started using Acronis at work but its an older version that won't run on USB. So I started using clonezilla because it boots from USB (cause its linux) and you can clone, image, copy and do all kinds of things.
Its text base and there is NO commands. But, of course, its not for everyone.
As you have already seen... I am USB crazy and don't want to carry around any more CD/DVD's than I have to.

The more I get on my USB drives the less I have to carry around. Not to mention USB "can" be faster than DVD. Specially when USB 3.0 is a standard for all computers.

The only reason I went to Mint 12 was because 13 didn't work in any format/configuration. But for some reason Mint 12 did install!!!???
I don't know why, but it did.
I'm going to go against my instincts and try the DVD route. I'm guessing that I will have the same problems because of my video card and the lack of integrated video chipsets.

Daniel ~ 20th August, 2012 10:03 PM

What graphics card are you running for this install? Oh! The 550? Sorry can't say, my guess would be it will work as the app searches nvidia based on your installed hardware.

booman 20th August, 2012 10:04 PM

GeForce 550 Ti

Daniel ~ 21st August, 2012 08:48 PM

If Nvidia has a driver for it, the app should find and install it for you. Sometimes it just offeres you one or two drivers, sometimes a choice of a half dozen drivers. I "think" it has to do with when new Drivers come out, or they may have optimized the install app to make better selections.

When it's just one or's the right one or there is that! ":O}

booman 21st August, 2012 09:30 PM

That is really cool! Takes the trouble of searching and bundles it into a nice tool.
Usually I just use the Nvidia search tool on their website and download the newest Linux driver.
Then do my 10 step command-line installation.
Maybe its 20 steps... I don't remember. :evil:
But I'm looking forward to installing Mint 13 (again) and hopefully I can used that fancypancy driver button.

I may just suck-it-up and pop a second hard drive in an older computer... then install Mint on it.

chrisbard 21st August, 2012 09:52 PM

Or just! :rolling:

booman 21st August, 2012 10:10 PM

I knew that was coming... sooner or later someone had to say it.

Daniel ~ 21st August, 2012 11:16 PM

I think it's the ghost of MS howling in agquish..but it could just be Chris Bard looking for tips on installing Mint 13...":O}

booman 21st August, 2012 11:18 PM

Chris need Mint more than anyone else!

chrisbard 21st August, 2012 11:27 PM

I think I lost my...Mint? :rolling:

Daniel ~ 21st August, 2012 11:51 PM

OK, go into main menu> absurdities> Chris Bard> ass> head, turn on the flashlight icon and have a good look should be there someplace Look for the Cinnamon file.

If you still can't find it, you probably don't have one... which is what makes giving such detailed instructions a breeze...

booman 22nd August, 2012 05:45 PM


I got Mint 13 installed via USB!
Can you believe it?
Yes there was a trick to it.
Just dawned on me yesterday... what if I booted Mint 13 via live USB from another computer and update it on the flash drive? hmmm

When you use Pendrivelinux it allows you to reserve extra space on the flash drive as "persistance" meaning you can install programs, games & updates on your Live Linux. Cool huh?

So I updated it and then booted to USB on the Super Computer. Of course I still put in the boot option "nomodeset" just in case, but there was the old Mint desktop and my yearning "install Mint" button.

I installed this morning and tonight I will see if the video drivers will install. Then come the games!

Thank you, Thank you, I will be here all night!

Daniel ~ 22nd August, 2012 05:58 PM


You have got to break this down , step by step for me! Your my new No#1 resourse in Mint 13! Very well done Booman...this makes me happy!

( But does it really count if you have to use a thumbdrive?)

HELL yes it counts twice as much!!

booman 22nd August, 2012 06:02 PM

Oh yeah it counts... my stubborness paid off.
Here is my take: The ISO for download is their "stable" release but there are still updates and fixes not currently on it. So my guess was maybe these updates and fixes will allow my newer hardware to be recognized and configured to install it.
I kinda wish the ISO had all the neccessary data already on it, but I know that would make it even larger than 800 MB.
I was right. Setting the free space on the Flash Drive as Persistant allowed enough space for updates. I unchecked Libre Office and Language packs too.

Daniel ~ 22nd August, 2012 06:26 PM

You one clever guy! I can "see" your eyes and they are shining! LOL

Really Please post a How to in a separate topic... I'm pretty sure this will be of use to a lot of people.... This is not generally known and it should be!

You just punched your way into new territory and Trailblazers all must one day become guides or civilization won't advance!

I'd say you've done your Bit for Mint for today!

Daniel ~ 22nd August, 2012 06:28 PM

Did you do it yet? Did you touch it yet? Did you touch the magic button?

Was it everything you imagined it would be?

I know you said your were going to wait untill tonight... but really, you touched it didn't you?

booman 22nd August, 2012 06:44 PM

nope, no, nope, not yet, yes tonight.
Its pretty sad that I have my doubts due to all the agony I have been through just to get it installed.
But tonight I'll log in and the first thing I'll click is the "magic driver button"
If and only if there are drivers ready to download, I'll be on my way to discover the Linux gaming machine.

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