Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Staying behind

Linux Mint 14 was released yesterday. After looking at it, I have no plans to upgrade.

To start with, there are no updates I find compelling. Yes, MATE has been updated, with several bugfixes they say are long overdue. I guess they don't bother me enough to rate poking at. Beyond that, though? Nothing jumps out at me.

I'm also told by more than one person (starting with my roommate) that the version immediately after an LTS of Ubuntu is usually the worst choice possible, since many upgrades are put on hold for the LTS version, and so a lot is added to that next release of dubious quality and stability. Mint 13 is an LTS release, and I'm just as happy about that.

I'm also a bit dismayed that the recommended upgrade process for Mint is a fresh install and reload of your personal data. I understand their viewpoint, but come on, guys. This is one more thing Apple gets right. I've never had problems with updating OS X from major release to major release using the OS updater, and I've been doing it since upgrading from 10.1 to 10.2 - that is, for over a decade.

A fresh install runs a major risk for me of missing something I added. Yes, they do allow backing up and restoring the package database (and, I presume, automatically installing everything that was restored), but not everything is in the package database. There are a few packages I've installed that are newer than what's in the repository, usually because they've had major improvements since that version.

Then there's the Firestorm build stuff. Most of that is either in packages, my home directory, or /usr/local/, but I'm not 100% sure of that. I'd just as soon not reinvent that wheel if I don't have to.

Since Mint 13 is an LTS (long term support) release, I'm not worried that there will be a security fix that I won't be able to get without upgrading. If they prove me wrong on that point, I'm not going to be pleased.

So I'll be on Mint 13 for a while yet.

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