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Which version of Linux to install?

Linux on ThinkPads
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Eto
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Which version of Linux to install?

#1 Post by Eto » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:58 am

I'm looking to re-install Linux on my desktop and laptop.

Which version would you-all(where I live in the states is below the Mason-Dixon line) recommend ?

I'm leaning toward ubuntu or mint!

What are/is the latest version?

I want to install Linux on a Lenovo Thinkpad R500 and a Toshiba Satellite L875D

thanks pclaptop

felixzero
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#2 Post by felixzero » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:03 am

You can install any distribution you feel comfortable with. Do you know which one is already installed ? Do you like it ?

Ubuntu and Mint are popular distributions and are definitely good choices.

The last Ubuntu version is 15.10, you can download it here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
Here is the same for Mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Mint exists in two "flavors": Cinnamon and Mate, depending on which desktop is installed. You might want Mate on the Thinkpad since it's lighter and more old computer friendly.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#3 Post by fatpolomanjr » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:55 am

Be careful with the latest versions of Ubuntu. You might want to consider installing the LTS version ("Long Time Support"), which is currently 14.04, and has updates for 5 years from its release. A new LTS will be released in April of next year. The intermediate/newer versions are intended for you to continually upgrade and install a newer version every 6 months, with support and updates lasting for just 9 months. I learned this the hard way and had to reinstall/downgrade to 14.04 from 14.10 when I noticed I was no longer receiving security updates.

With core 2 duo laptops, I've had a really good experience with Xubuntu (14.04.03 LTS) and Linux Mint XFCE. I've also heard really good things about BunsenLabs. If I wanted Linux on something a little more modern like Sandy Bridge and up I would probably install regular Ubuntu or regular Linux Mint.
T70 | 15" UXGA LED with RealBlackStuff LED-Cable-Mod | i7-7700HQ | Windows 10
X62 | 12.1" SXGA+ Xiphmont LED | i7-5500U | Xubuntu / Windows 10
T61F | 14.1" SXGA+ Xiphmont LED | T9500 | Windows 10

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#4 Post by MisterB » Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:36 am

Mint Cinnamon (32bit) works fine on a Core Duo T60. I'm getting ready to try 32 bit Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a T60p.

I find the software selection and update process to be better with Mint. I had some real problems with the 14.04 updates on my W510 but the same updates work fine on the W520. I've had no issues at all with Mint except one printer driver not working.
Currently using: A W500, a W520, two X201Ts, an X220T, an X61T, a 14" T60P, a 15" UXGA T60P, and a W701.
Currently idle: A spare W500, a spare X61T, a 14" T61, a 15" SXGA+ T60, a 14" T60, and my first Thinkpad, a 770X.

brchan
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#5 Post by brchan » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:19 am

I would recommend Linux Mint Debian (LMDE). Easy to use, fast, full of features, and more stable than regular Linux Mint or Ubuntu releases.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

Eto
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#6 Post by Eto » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:34 pm

Ok I burned both Ubuntu and Mint to DVD's! First install was on the Toshiba which is using a UEFI HDD and bios settings. Luckily my R500 does not!

For some reason Mint wanted a user name and password? Is that from the Windows 8 install?

I then rebooted with the Ubuntu 14.04 flavor ISO DVD.

Does the newest version of Linux(Ubuntu or Mint) still install the dual/multi boot option?

Also the Ubuntu 14.04 install does not see the windows 8 OS on this computer?

How can i utilize dual boot if Windows 8 does not appear to the install program under Ubuntu?

I had to disable UEFI and Secure boot in bios on this Toshiba, to be able to boot Linux Mint/Ubuntu from the DVD drive.

That being said Linux doesn't see the UEFI boot disk and/or the Win8 OS?

Is there a UEFI compatible Linux? How do I make the LINUX DVD install boot disk UEFI?

This UEFI drive is going PITA to install Linux on isn't it?

If the Hard drive is UEFI, will either Linux install see the UEFI HDD? Can I change/reformat the HDD to a non UEFI drive?

OK, thanks all this becoming a project!

felixzero
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#7 Post by felixzero » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:27 pm

Eto wrote: For some reason Mint wanted a user name and password? Is that from the Windows 8 install?
You must create a user and a password for the newly installed system (choose any).
Eto wrote: Does the newest version of Linux(Ubuntu or Mint) still install the dual/multi boot option?
Yes, they all do. They are usually smart enough to auto-detect the other OS.
Eto wrote: Also the Ubuntu 14.04 install does not see the windows 8 OS on this computer?

How can i utilize dual boot if Windows 8 does not appear to the install program under Ubuntu?

I had to disable UEFI and Secure boot in bios on this Toshiba, to be able to boot Linux Mint/Ubuntu from the DVD drive.

That being said Linux doesn't see the UEFI boot disk and/or the Win8 OS?

Is there a UEFI compatible Linux? How do I make the LINUX DVD install boot disk UEFI?

This UEFI drive is going PITA to install Linux on isn't it?

If the Hard drive is UEFI, will either Linux install see the UEFI HDD? Can I change/reformat the HDD to a non UEFI drive?
Well, sometimes they are not smart enough :)

I think the installation program does not see the Windows because it has been installed with UEFI on. When you disable UEFI, the hard drive will seem to only have one big partition, instead of the various Windows partitions.

First, does the Windows boot with UEFI disabled? If no, you must install Linux with UEFI on.

Converting a UEFI Windows install to a regular BIOS one seems very tricky (are probably impossible). Your best bet would be to reinstall a fresh Windows with UEFI deactivated.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#8 Post by Hierax_ca » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:13 pm

I've been "distro hopping" trying many versions out over the last year or so on my Thinkpads:

For Ubuntu I go with Linux Lite (which is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) currently at 2.6 (2.8 update in Feb) and used XFCE 4.11 as the Desktop, simply the best of all the many Ubuntus I've tried. https://www.linuxliteos.com/download.html

Linux Mint (also based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) is in the process of getting it's 17.3 versions out, I think the Cinnamon and Mate flavored ones are out already, then XFCE, KDE should follow shortly, and finally LMDE. http://www.linuxmint.com/download_all.php

Ubuntu Mate is getting better and better too and at 16.04 LTS it'll be a force to be reckoned with in the Ubuntu world (15.x versions are good but sadly not LTS). https://ubuntu-mate.org/

For rock-solid Debian (Ubuntu is based on Debian) I go with XFCE 4.12 on AntiX/MX-14.4 but the MX-15 Betas are already great and are getting better and better, try AntiX-15.v if you've got a really old (12+year old) computer. MX- is the best of all the many Debian distros I've tried. http://mxrepo.com/snapshots/

Everyone is different so try several Live DVDs/USBs of these distros and see what appeals the most to you before installing them ...
Toshiba (93-98): t3400(ct), 3600ct, 610ct, 620ct, 660cdt, 490xcdt, 780cdm/dvd

IBM (95-06): 701c*(s) Butterfly, 600(e,x*), A31p*, T43(S*, p,+pS*)

Lenovo (07-12): t60h, T601pF*, x60t+, x61t+*,
W500, W700(ds), W701, x301*, x200t, x220t, x220*, W520*

Mac (04+11): iMac G4 20", MacBook Pro 17"

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#9 Post by Saucey » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:39 pm

My work desktop I had made the switch to Linux.
Its a Lenovo ThinkCentre SFF with a 2nd gen i5 and some ATI dual display out card, its tasks are minimal, an eBay machine to sell items, maybe edit a photo, a simple spreadsheet and print postage labels.
Anywho, I tried a few, Ubuntu Studio, Chakra, Elementary OS.
Ubuntu Studio was nice, just like Ubuntu with graphic, video and music production programs added in. I never knew they were there, but the hard drive I used died on it.
Chakra looks nice but it didn't "just work" with the HP printer and android device we use.
Elementary OS did better, I needed to download the driver for the printer, but when I used the current distro I didn't know how to minimize the program windows.
I'm a linux noob, but this bothered me quite a bit, when I connected my iPhone it didn't want to work!

I went back to Ubuntu Studio, for work I didn't want to waste time with fiddling things.

With the X1 Carbon 3, Parrot Sec worked fine but touchpad was a bother, also it needed a hard shutdown, something I must of did wrong.
Chakra failed during install, I Deepin linux was working fine til it kept on prompting me with connecting to WiFi. It would disconnect oddly.
Kubuntu was working great, but it had some problems with graphics, but I ended up getting tired of it prompting me to use their keyring for each WiFi and login info I had.
Using Mint 17.3, so far so good.

If I could I'd have a different OS for each of my ThinkPads.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook, Y50-70, T430
Collected: A31p, T43p, 2521
Past: W700ds, X1C3, 701C

kony
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#10 Post by kony » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:46 pm

As you are new to Linux, I recommend Linux Mint 17.3 MATE Edition. The OS has almost everything you will need preinstalled (save for graphic card drivers, WINE to run some windows software, and any specific stuff you would like to have), and MATE is a very easy to learn desktop environment.
My T430 with GTX 560 Ti (Now with GTX 670)
T430: i5-3320m, 8 GB, SSD + HDD, 1600x900.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#11 Post by EvoT61 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:36 am

As im new to linux too ( using about one year now ) i jumped stright into arch linux and its perfect ... works everything, arch wiki documentation sufficient enough to install and start to learn linux and ThinkPads runs sweet with linux too ! my suspend to ram (4gb) literally takes moment till my lid shuts and wakes up at this same speed ( open screen and its on ) ... obviously , arch isnt for beginners but i managed to install and using till this moment .. in fact, im typing from it. but because my screen only 12.5 inches ... im testing now awesome window manager ( tiling) but used to use i3 ( easy to use and configure ) and openbox is kinda easy to use and light with resources.
P.s arch is rolling release so updates frequently and as a system is stable ... did not updated for few months and after update only conky went [censored] up :) so as a newbie in linux ... im happy with arch :)
P.s to choose something to be happy ... u need to hoop around distros ... im suggesting to use minimal distro installs ... where no managers, no apps etc etc ... then you know what you have because majority of distros goes ubuntu way .. to much overfilled with stupid packages :)
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#12 Post by sdi-p » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:01 pm

brchan wrote:I would recommend Linux Mint Debian (LMDE). Easy to use, fast, full of features, and more stable than regular Linux Mint or Ubuntu releases.
I agree. It works great on all of my T61s and on other newer machines.
I do not like Cinnamon flavor, but some love it.
LMDE Mate is rock solid. That said I much prefer the traditional Mate/Gnome 2 style panel and menu bar layout... but it is rater simple to change that. I usually make all the changes while the first update is running.
Peter in Baja
T-61

Eto
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#13 Post by Eto » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:33 pm

thanks for all of the input gentlemen ... highly appreciated!

philly pretzels for everyone

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#14 Post by arabianights » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:51 pm

I have been distro hopping in the past few months. as of now, I settle on voidlinux and slackware. voidlinux is really smooth and it's a rolling release just like archlinux. slackware has a bit of learning curve but it's fun to play with.
Lenovo Thinkpad T60 1.83Ghz/2G RAM/80G HDD
WinXP/freebsd/Debian8 triple boot

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#15 Post by newyorkpaulie » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:33 am

brchan wrote:I would recommend Linux Mint Debian (LMDE). Easy to use, fast, full of features, and more stable than regular Linux Mint or Ubuntu releases.
I am running Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa"... is this different than LMDE? If so how would I go about trying LMDE?

T61's: 6460-08U, 6460-07u, 6457-6DU
T601: 6463-W34
DualBooting Win-10/Mint Rosa

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#16 Post by sdi-p » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:52 am

newyorkpaulie wrote:
brchan wrote:I would recommend Linux Mint Debian (LMDE). Easy to use, fast, full of features, and more stable than regular Linux Mint or Ubuntu releases.
I am running Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa"... is this different than LMDE? If so how would I go about trying LMDE?
Yes, Rosa is quite different than LMDE.
Rosa, and all the other Linux Mint distros are based on Ubuntu.
LMDE is quite similar, but is based on Debian Jessie (the Stable version)

you can download the LMDE ISO from the Linux Mint website... http://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php

You can run it in a Live session just like Mint. You will get much faster performance and some additional features by installing it on your Hard Drive.
I advise installing it in a separate partition (and not delete your existing Rosa) so that you can see if you like it first.
LMDE is a bit different to install, some people find it difficult. Also some applications are a bit of a challenge to install, mostly not.

I agree, LMDE is significantly faster, and much more stable. (with Mate desktop... Cinnamon is buggy no matter where you use it)

Good Luck, and if you have any troubles just ask. It is worth the effort.
Peter in Baja
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#17 Post by KentT » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:36 pm

I presently run Xubuntu 14.04 on my ThinkPad T 510. I like this distro so far and have experience with Linux Mint 17.2 in MATE.
Last edited by KentT on Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#18 Post by bit_twiddler » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:04 pm

As you are new to Linux, I recommend Linux Mint 17.3 MATE Edition.
I can second this, just be careful to only install recommended updates (don't check anything
that isn't already checked in the updater.)
Daily Drivers: W520 i7-2760QM | W520 i7-2860QM | T420 FHD IPS i7-2640m | W701
Others: W510 | 701C (on its shrine)
Non-TP: Dell m7510
Currently Experimenting With: T420s

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#19 Post by KentT » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:54 am

I would call Mint in the MATE edition a sensible choice. Ubuntu is another good friendly distro. That said, Mint in the MATE edition is what I keep coming back to every time. Works great for me, reliable, stable, and fast on my old ThinkPad T 510 with 3GB of RAM. I find it delightful in use.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#20 Post by jdk » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:21 am

I hope everyone who has been recommending Linux Mint does a double-take after their most recent hack.

That distribution has always been notoriously flimsy when it comes to security. Their most recent hack was due to an insecure Wordpress plugin. My god, who does that anymore? And would you really trust a group who cannot secure a Wordpress website with securing your operating system stack? Passwords to their forums were compromised, ISO installers were compromised. Worse, it seems that the Linux Mint team is saying that the hack was only over the course of two days, but there are various people popping up claiming that their Mint ISO downloads from as far back as two weeks ago were also infected.

I ran Mint for a few months back in 2008, on a new to me T42p, before Ubuntu would do things like proprietary codecs and drivers. Seemed to work okay, but there was a recurring theme where the Mint team would not roll out security patches if they were too hard to implement. Here is a post from three years ago detailing their lack of updates: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/11/cano ... g-unsecure

My position on the various Linux distros: there are really only a handful of them. Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Slackware, Arch, Gentoo. Almost everything else is derived from these. Most of the "distros" you find at distrowatch, Mint included, are really one of the aforementioned distributions with a different wallpaper and window manager. That's _it_. Further, one can always install their preferred Window Manager or Desktop Environment on any of these distributions. It is trivial to install Cinnamon on Fedora, MATE is available with openSUSE, and XFCE will run on everything under the sun.

Trusting a small development team, like the guys at Mint, can be dangerous. The further you get from upstream, the likelyhood that you will get timely security updates diminishes. After all, it is not a strong security posture that differentiates the smaller distros, and their limited resources are being spent in other areas. (I also have my reservations about the Palemoon browser, which is really just a fork of an old Firefox branch, whose devel team takes up to 2 weeks to apply patches that come from upstream).

I am a Fedora and OpenBSD user myself, have been for years. For my non tech-savvy friends and family, I choose one of the above listed distros and give them XFCE, which is the traditional desktop environment most people expect.
Cyrix 6x86

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#21 Post by sdi-p » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:09 am

jdk wrote:I hope everyone who has been recommending Linux Mint does a double-take after their most recent hack.

That distribution has always been notoriously flimsy when it comes to security. Their most recent hack was due to an insecure Wordpress plugin. My god, who does that anymore? And would you really trust a group who cannot secure a Wordpress website with securing your operating system stack? Passwords to their forums were compromised, ISO installers were compromised. Worse, it seems that the Linux Mint team is saying that the hack was only over the course of two days, but there are various people popping up claiming that their Mint ISO downloads from as far back as two weeks ago were also infected.

I ran Mint for a few months back in 2008, on a new to me T42p, before Ubuntu would do things like proprietary codecs and drivers. Seemed to work okay, but there was a recurring theme where the Mint team would not roll out security patches if they were too hard to implement. Here is a post from three years ago detailing their lack of updates: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/11/cano ... g-unsecure

My position on the various Linux distros: there are really only a handful of them. Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Slackware, Arch, Gentoo. Almost everything else is derived from these. Most of the "distros" you find at distrowatch, Mint included, are really one of the aforementioned distributions with a different wallpaper and window manager. That's _it_. Further, one can always install their preferred Window Manager or Desktop Environment on any of these distributions. It is trivial to install Cinnamon on Fedora, MATE is available with openSUSE, and XFCE will run on everything under the sun.

Trusting a small development team, like the guys at Mint, can be dangerous. The further you get from upstream, the likelyhood that you will get timely security updates diminishes. After all, it is not a strong security posture that differentiates the smaller distros, and their limited resources are being spent in other areas. (I also have my reservations about the Palemoon browser, which is really just a fork of an old Firefox branch, whose devel team takes up to 2 weeks to apply patches that come from upstream).

I am a Fedora and OpenBSD user myself, have been for years. For my non tech-savvy friends and family, I choose one of the above listed distros and give them XFCE, which is the traditional desktop environment most people expect.
I respect your opinion. However you surf past the information about what really happened.

*** anyone who uses the Same Password in multiple places is foolish.

I did get pwned (my email address was sucked out, and possibly will be resold, possibly my password too) but I did NOT use my password for that site in any other place, ever. On top of that, I did Not put any sensitive information in my profile or any of my posts. So, the worst effect could be some additional spam. No Big Deal.

BTW: I do not like or trust Ubuntu. I use LMDE Mate.
Peter in Baja
T-61

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#22 Post by MisterB » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:08 pm

I've been following the whole Mint saga closely over the last few days and the Mint website is up and running again. The malicious ISOs are removed. I still recommend it as an easy transition from Windows for someone who has never used Linux. It is not the strongest distro security wise but it is still more secure than most Windows systems and enhancing the security with a few additions like GUFW and Firejail is trivial. I'm not one that believes that updates are the most important thing in security. Putting Palemoon in a Firejail sandbox will do a lot more for system security than applying patches.

I don't have any prejudices against Ubuntu either but I do recommend using the LTS(Long Term Support) versions. The current one is 14.04 which I have on my W520. There is a new LTS version coming out this year. I like the Unity desktop but it is modeled more on Mac OSX than Windows and isn't as easy to find your way around in at first if you're coming from Windows. It isn't all that difficult either.
Currently using: A W500, a W520, two X201Ts, an X220T, an X61T, a 14" T60P, a 15" UXGA T60P, and a W701.
Currently idle: A spare W500, a spare X61T, a 14" T61, a 15" SXGA+ T60, a 14" T60, and my first Thinkpad, a 770X.

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#23 Post by Utwig » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:04 pm

Distros divide in following way:
server - updates for 5-10 years, older software, more stable, especially server stuff but can be a nice desktop, on some you can buy commercial support: examples: CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu LTS, Slackware, Suse Linux Enterprise Server, RedHat Linux (the latter two are commercial only for updates you need valid subscription). You might want to install something from Mint or Fedora on these (like newer version of Firefox).

desktop - updates for 1-2 years, latest software, some things may have bugs: Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Mint, Arch, Mageia

Also you can divide them on updates:
rpm-based: RedHat, Suse, Mageia

deb-based: Debian, Ubuntu, xbuntu (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu), Mint
There's not much difference between the two and all desktops have graphic update and software managers

special: Slackware - no dependency checking, uses tar.gz, Gentoo - compiles from source - these two are not newbie friendly but are good to learn on once you know the basics and are comfortable with command line. The latter also kept init and didn't go systemd (if you don't know what this is you don't have to worry about it).

Then there is desktop environment:
KDE - more configurable, many options, closer to Windows NT4.0 to 7 philosophy
Gnome - hides options from users, more simplistic, closer to Apple philosophy
Unity - only on Ubuntu, designed for tablets but hardly anyone uses it on a tablet or seems hardly anyone likes it
Mate, Cinnamon stem from dissatisfaction with Gnome3 and are closer to Gnome2
LXDE, XFCE... light window managers. I think you want either Gnome/Mate or KDE for start.
Good KDE centric distros are OpenSuse, Kubuntu
For Mate go Mint. Debian is good with both Gnome and KDE

I would say install Debian, Mint, OpenSuse or perhaps Arch and try out Gnome, KDE and Mate and then decide which desktop you like most (you can get live CDs).
Then if you like KDE more, go OpenSuse or Kubuntu, if you like Mate, go Mint. For Gnome go Debian

Personally I like OpenSuse. Also CentOS (opensource free version of RedHat) is quite nice on the desktop as well.

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/cent ... sktop.html
https://www.howtoforge.com/centos-7-desktop-tutorial

Of all distros, you always want the latest version unless you have a server app that only works with X (you need old version of php or somesuch and you for example run older version of Debian or RedHat/CentOS or UbuntuLTS)

Linux works very well on Thinkpads as Linux guys tend to like them. These days it's less work to install a Linux distro on a Thinkpad than Windows 7.
T540p, T420s (soon to be T420ps :) ), X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#24 Post by jdk » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:20 pm

sdi-p wrote: I respect your opinion. However you surf past the information about what really happened.

*** anyone who uses the Same Password in multiple places is foolish.

I did get pwned (my email address was sucked out, and possibly will be resold, possibly my password too) but I did NOT use my password for that site in any other place, ever. On top of that, I did Not put any sensitive information in my profile or any of my posts. So, the worst effect could be some additional spam. No Big Deal.

BTW: I do not like or trust Ubuntu. I use LMDE Mate.
I do not re-use passwords either. KeePassX is a must; my family has been using a KeePass file + Dropbox for close to a decade now.

What's scary about the Mint situation, is that despite what the Mint website is saying, it has been independently determined that their servers have been compromised for AT LEAST two months, and the Mint devs (which we are now learning is really just ONE GUY) still have not been able to determine or admit the true extent of the damages done.

Instead of owning up to the damage, the Mint team is trying to paint the hackers as amateur script kiddies who were in over their head. But from https://twitter.com/ChunkrGames/status/ ... 0622081024, we see that Linux Mint user info was up for sale the day after Christmas. There's really no telling how long the site was compromised before that. But it's OBVIOUS that the Linux Mint team is lying when they say it was only two days last weekend.

There is the potential that this is far worse than a compromised ISO download. If packages have been separately compromised, and it's obvious that the Mint team wouldn't know if this happened or not, there could be thousands of users with malware on their systems. If I was a Mint user, I am downloading openSUSE or Ubuntu right now, and once I've reformatted everything, I'm changing all of my passwords.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#25 Post by Dekks » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am

jdk wrote:If I was a Mint user, I am downloading openSUSE or Ubuntu right now, and once I've reformatted everything, I'm changing all of my passwords.
Agree 100%, Manjaro & Mint have always had an odd policy with regards to security updates. Mint has been now been compromised and it looks like their their poor op sec extended to their website. The fact the backdoored isos go back to maybe christmas and the md5 hashes are also suspect makes it even worse. Glad I wiped the last Mint install from my machines last month.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#26 Post by MisterB » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:15 am

The backdoored isos are easily detected and from what I've read, were only out for a few hours. I have no such paranoia about Mint. The other thing you guys are forgetting is that Mint, for all the security issues, is open source and the beauty of open source software is that by nature it is easily monitored. If it was proprietary software only available in binary format I would be more worried but there is no evidence for any of what is being said in some of these posts, just speculative paranoia--fud in other words.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#27 Post by Dekks » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm

MisterB wrote:The backdoored isos are easily detected and from what I've read, were only out for a few hours. I have no such paranoia about Mint. The other thing you guys are forgetting is that Mint, for all the security issues, is open source and the beauty of open source software is that by nature it is easily monitored.
Sadly not 100% true due to complexity of some areas of code such as crypto, the heartbleed bug was there for years but was of such a complex nature no one caught it.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#28 Post by jdk » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:55 pm

MisterB wrote:The backdoored isos are easily detected and from what I've read, were only out for a few hours. I have no such paranoia about Mint. The other thing you guys are forgetting is that Mint, for all the security issues, is open source and the beauty of open source software is that by nature it is easily monitored. If it was proprietary software only available in binary format I would be more worried but there is no evidence for any of what is being said in some of these posts, just speculative paranoia--fud in other words.
You are wrong.

There is proof that the Linux Mint website was compromised in December. Two months ago. User information was posted on the Dark Web in the middle of January. Do you dispute this?

Further, it was not discovered by the Mint team until this past weekend, when the attackers -- people who had been playing around on the linuxmint.com servers for two months -- got a little bit too bold, and uploaded infected ISOs. Even this went completely undetected! For two days! Do you dispute this?

I have already provided links that show 1) Mint has completely disregarded security in the past because it was too complicated to patch their own software, and 2) Linux Mint's website was owned before the new year. The Linux Mint team is saying the compromise was was only two days, and that users need not worry. They are lying. There is now proof that they are lying about the duration of the attack. Do you think they are competent enough to know the full scope of what was infected?

A quick Google search will reveal that Debian devs and Ubuntu devs had been complaining about the lack of security with Linux Mint for years. Most Mint users do not know this because they did not care about Linux at all until Windows 10 came out.

It is not paranoia. The Linux Mint team has a poor cyber security posture, end of story. The fact that they did not know their servers were compromised -- how can you trust them that this is the full extent of the damage? Do security updates not come from these servers as well? If a car dealership with a shady reputation sold you a car that turned out to be a flood vehicle, would you trust them when they told you they fixed it? Would you ever buy from them again?

Your argument about Linux Mint being open source and therefore more secure is predicated on the notion that there are no other open-source alternatives out there. This is false. Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, even Arch these days, all have signed packages, and do not hold back security updates from their users. If it was only Linux Mint that was open-source, maybe your Cathedral and Bazaar "many eyes" argument would hold. Maybe the logs would have been checked on, I don't know, Christmas Eve, and the breach discovered. But that's not the case. Mint was hacked. After two months of playing around, the attackers did something really obvious and stupid and got caught. Clem took the Mint site down. He brought it back online. It was compromised again in only five minutes. The site stayed down for many hours after that.

If you want to live with that kind of operating system on your computer, fine. But don't talk to us about security. Leave that subject alone. I get that Mint is supposed to have easy to use defaults, but that's a really, really crappy reason to choose an operating system. That's like paying more money for a lesser vehicle because of the color. Cinnamon can be installed on any other Linux distribution. None of the other desktop environments are unique to Mint.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#29 Post by MisterB » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:30 pm

From the several hundred comments I read with many from those who actually downloaded the compromised ISOs, the symptoms were obvious--like it wouldn't connect to the internet at all. The Mint team also did admit that the servers had been compromised for some time before the compromised ISOs were linked to.

Mint is not the most secure distro, true and their server security was terrible which, from everything I've read was the main reason they were hacked. It wasn't a script kid but it the hack was opportunistic and sloppy. What I object to is the paranoid exaggeration that has been put forth about it. I'm not uninformed about security which is one of the reasons I object to putting out paranoid FUD instead of facts. There is no evidence at all that there were other malicious files put out and the ones that were were not uploaded to the Mint servers at all but hosted elsewhere.
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Re: Which version of Linux to install?

#30 Post by sdi-p » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:31 am

Everything you read is an Opinion.
I love conspiracy theories, but critical thinking and logic are required.

Re: Linux Mint
The who, what, and where of this event is hotly disputed. Many writers/posters say things that conflict with the others.
It is difficult to weed thru it all and come up with your own personal theory that rings true.

Options:
Read what is posted here, accept a theory that feels right, adopt it and move on... don't read further.
Do your own web searches and decide what you think the real facts are.

So, on to My Personal Opinion... I believe that the following is true:
1. the recent spoofed Linux Mint downloads with the back door were only Direct Downloads. ISO downloads that used Torrents during the same time frame were not effected
2. the Mint Forums were invaded and your email address, username, and password was harvested.
3. the repositories were Not effected at all

This is a Win Win for all of us!
We are all thinking about passwords, user security, program integrity, reliable sources, etc.
That is Great! Fewer people will be the easy prey for the bad guys.

----
I do suggest that your search includes the Mint website (http://www.linuxmint.com/),
Mint Forums (https://forums.linuxmint.com/),
Mint community Ideas (https://community.linuxmint.com/idea/welcome),
and the two threads on the subject in the Mint Blog (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2994 and http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3001).
(Mint Blog is difficult to read, scan down in the comments for posts by Clam and use your browser's Find function and look for "Edit by Clem" ... Clem is the head guy at Linux Mint)

https://haveibeenpwned.com/
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linu ... nsion.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvfD5rnkTws
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_malware

all that said, I am a long time Linux user, I have tried many distributions but have settled on LMDE Mate for my personal and office computers. I am Biased, just like all of the rest.
Peter in Baja
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