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So... Mint installation apparently installs GRUB and who knows what else not on the installation target Mint drive but in some other mysterious location elsewhere on the computer used to perform the installation.
GRUB is typically not installed as a part of any OS partition.

On devices partitioned using the old MBR scheme, it installs in unused space at the start of the drive that does not belong to any partition. GRUB version 1 fit in unused space that would be created by any MBR-based partitioning tool (the entire first track, minus the first sector which contains the partition table). GRUB version 2 reserves a little more space, since it is larger.

On devices partitioned using EFI, a special partition of type "BIOS boot partition" (type 0xef02) is created to hold GRUB. This partition frequently occupies unused space between the end of the partition table and the first partition (which typically starts at block 2048 using the default alignment).

In either case, the user-visible behavior is that GRUB is installed to the device, not to a partition, so you won't see it, if you don't know where to look.

You might want to read Kubuntu forums' GRUB and GPT partitioned disks for one person's documentation of the procedure for creating this partition and installing GRUB.

GRUB could also be installed to the /boot partition (or the root file system partition, if you don't have a separate /boot), but that is a less common configuration and is only usually used if there is a reason you can't install it to the partition table or reserved space. This is because you tend to end up seeing multiple boot screens and may have to respond to prompts from each (e.g. the Windows boot loader screen after power-up, and then GRUB after selecting the Linux partition).

Anyway, if you need to blow away GRUB, take a close look at the partition tables (I'm not sure if Apple's graphical Disk Utility will be sufficient) to see if you can find the GRUB partition. If you find it, delete it. Then make sure some other partition is your startup partition (I'm not sure of macOS's Startup Disk preference is sufficient to do this).

If your disk is partitioned using MBR, then you might have to overwrite the MBR with generic code that doesn't contain GRUB. I found a procedure for Windows 10 systems.

(Back in the old MS-DOS days, you could type fdisk /MBR which would do it, but that has always been a bit risky so make sure you have a backup first.)

If you have an MBR-partitioned device in a Mac and want to boot macOS, you are probably going to have to change its partition type to GPT, which will probably require erasing the device. Once that's done, GRUB should be gone.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
On devices partitioned using the old MBR scheme, it installs in unused space at the start of the drive that does not belong to any partition...
Wow, that's really special. What an ideal spot for storing malware, a special location for priviliged executable code totally hidden from all disk partitions?!
 


Wow, that's really special. What an ideal spot for storing malware, a special location for priviliged executable code totally hidden from all disk partitions?!
Yes. And there have been many different instances of malware doing just that, which is why many DOS/Windows antivirus toolkits include a utility to back-up and restore this region of your boot device.
 


Fedora Magazine said:
What is the GRUB2 boot loader?

... Normally when starting your option, you are able to enter your BIOS or UEFI settings and change them without logging in. GRUB2 allows you to set a password that must be entered to change these settings. This helps keep your system safe and secure from someone who may have physical access to your machine. An example of this being used is blocking USB devices from booting up on the system.

Additionally, GRUB2 supports Linux Unified Key Setup, or LUKS. When installing an operating system for the first time or formatting a hard drive, there is an extra security option to encrypt the entire file system. LUKS is the tool used to add an encryption layer from the root directory across all parts of the machine. Before you are able to reach the login screen of Fedora or another Linux distribution, you must enter an encryption passphrase to unlock your system. GRUB2 integrates with LUKS and supports booting with an encrypted file system.

In the world of security, not every threat may come from the Internet or a remote hacker. Sometimes the biggest security breach is at the physical layer with who has access to a system. Together, these two security features allow you to keep your system locked down and secure in the event you lose access to your machine.
 



If it's a USB flash drive or USB 2 drive, it would be radically slow in comparison and explain that problem. An external SSD via USB 3 should be reasonable in speed.
Absolutely - USB2 is painfully slow to boot/run a system from. Additionally, running any virtual machines on a host Celeron system is also going to be slow.
 


I assume LibreOffice is what you're actually looking for? I found the following, although I'm not sure why they would put the command-line instructions before the GUI instructions:
Hope this helps!
Thanks. I'll get that. I wonder where Terminal is hiding... ;)
Honestly, I forgot to get LibreOffice rather than OpenOffice! Oops.

I find it interesting that sometimes the software center shows download sizes, and usually it doesn't. There's a lot of stuff that works “sometimes.” I will admit there are not many Easter eggs in the interface, which is good....

I think part of success in Linux may be knowing what to download, or getting just the right distribution. Ric and TimPA are right about the speed issues. It's not a USB flash drive or even a USB 2 drive, but USB 3—but the drive itself is a spinning-metal notebook drive, which slows things down. Also, it's a Celeron, which doesn't really support any virtualization acceleration. (The system is running from SSD, but the virtual disk is on the [slow hard drive].)

Last question: does anyone know how to safe-boot a Mac virtual guest in VirtualBox? I don't seem to be able to do it. (I think it would boot if I could get past the caches.)
 


Last fall I chose to build a Linux OS setup on a USB thumb drive. I followed some suggestions here, including using the Etcher app to create the boot installer. It worked very well, but in spite of my best efforts, my Ubuntu 18 installation on a new USB thumb drive resulted in an edited EFI partition on my Mac Mini. Since then, after booting the Ubuntu drive and shutting down, I have to press the Option key to select the Mac in order to boot to it. If the Ubuntu drive is still inserted, it boots to that.

If the Ubuntu drive is removed before powering up, the GRUB 2.02 (black) screen appears with some basic instructions regarding a minimal command set. Typing "exit" dismisses GRUB and allows the Mac to boot. I then have to go to Mac Startup Disk preferences and reset it, even though there's only one startup disk that the Mac sees.

Inserting the Ubuntu thumb drive while the Mac is running generates a pop-up that indicates that the drive is unreadable and offers to format it or ignore it. Both Ubuntu and macOS read that same EFI partition, but neither OS sees the other's file system (of course).

Running diskutil list on macOS reveals that the EFI partition is disk0s1, while the macOS is disk0s2. Apparently there's no safe method to edit or erase disk0s1. (There is only one disk, hence it's zero (0). And I had done a full disk backup with Time Machine before realizing this.)

It's not a big deal to me. I do have a clean install of Ubuntu whenever I want to try that. I recall that many folks had learned that the best practice to install Linux using a Mac is to remove or disconnect the Mac's internal hard disk before proceeding.

Best regards!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Last fall I chose to build a Linux OS setup on a USB thumb drive. I followed some suggestions here, including using the Etcher app to create the boot installer. It worked very well, but in spite of my best efforts, my Ubuntu 18 installation on a new USB thumb drive resulted in an edited EFI partition on my Mac Mini. Since then, after booting the Ubuntu drive and shutting down, I have to press the Option key to select the Mac in order to boot to it. If the Ubuntu drive is still inserted, it boots to that.
It takes concerted effort to work around this default issue. Here are procedures I used successfully, where ubuquity —no-bootloader is a critical step to avoid adding GRUB inside the super-obscure Mac bootloader area of the startup drive:
Siddhant Kumar said:
Carry your Linux around in a USB, boot it on Mac or PC. (The missing tutorial)
I own a 128GB MacBook Air I could’nt install Linux on it as storage was tiny. I did have a USB 3.0 flash drive which had speeds comparable to some(not-so-fast) harddrives. It struck me that if I install Linux on my flash drive it would make my life a hell lot easier. It was later that I realised it wasn’t so straight forward mainly because of EFI boot and Mac ‘quirks’. I did a lot of googling but could’nt find anything that worked. After reading multiple sources I deduced what was the problem. Since I got it figured out I decided to write this post so that other people can benefit from it.
Here's another blog post on the topic, which seems pretty useful (though I haven't worked through the steps myself yet):
Manoranjan said:
Howto: Install rEFInd on Mac machine or USB Stick/Hard Drive
You can install rEFInd either on Mac machine’s EFI partition (the very first partition) or anywhere on Mac OS X’s partition. You can also install it on USB Stick/Hard Drive’s EFI or other partitions. Below method explains installing rEFInd on a USB Stick which is formatted using “GUID Partition Table” as partition scheme. Same works for installing rEFInd on Mac machine or USB Hard Drive.
 


... my Ubuntu 18 installation on a new USB thumb drive resulted in an edited EFI partition on my Mac Mini. Since then, after booting the Ubuntu drive and shutting down, I have to press the Option key to select the Mac in order to boot to it. If the Ubuntu drive is still inserted, it boots to that. If the Ubuntu drive is removed before powering up, the GRUB 2.02 (black) screen appears with some basic instructions regarding a minimal command set. Typing "exit" dismisses GRUB and allows the Mac to boot. I then have to go to Mac Startup Disk preferences and reset it, even though there's only one startup disk that the Mac sees.
It seems pretty clear that GRUB was installed into your internal SSD's EFI partition. So, to boot Linux, you point the Startup Disk at EFI, where GRUB runs (looking for Linux on your thumb drive). To boot macOS, you point Startup Disk at the Mac partition.

As you discovered, however, you need to option-boot your system to switch from Linux back to macOS, because Linux has no mechanism for changing the Startup Disk preference.

Ric mentioned installing rEFInd in your EFI partition. This will definitely work.

Another option, which some Linux distributions may make difficult or impossible to do as a part of system installation, is to install GRUB to the /boot (or root) partition of the thumb drive. If that is done, then you will need to point Startup Disk at that partition in order to boot Linux. If Startup Disk is pointing there and the thumb drive is not connected, the BootROM code will (after a timeout period) scan your internal drive for bootable partitions and will start macOS.

The big deal here is that some Linux distributions don't ask you where to install GRUB; they just install it to the default location (like the EFI partition on your internal drive), which in this case is not what you want. You may end up being forced to manually install it elsewhere and then uninstall it from EFI.

To manually install GRUB to a partition (e.g. the /boot or root partition of your flash drive), you would boot Linux and run grub-install --force /dev/sda2 (or wherever your /boot partition is). Once that is done, you should be able to point Startup Disk at that partition in order to start Linux.

I'm not certain of the procedure for deleting GRUB from EFI, but if this Windows-based
procedure is accurate, then there should be an "/EFI/ubuntu" (or similar) folder in that partition. It may be sufficient to mount the EFI partition and delete that folder. Then point your Startup Disk at an actual bootable partition (macOS or Linux).

Needless to say, make backups before playing with this. A messed up boot loader can render your entire system non-bootable, forcing you to muck around with live CDs and such in order to recover.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm not certain of the procedure for deleting GRUB from EFI, but if this Windows-based
procedure is accurate, then there should be an "/EFI/ubuntu" (or similar) folder in that partition. It may be sufficient to mount the EFI partition and delete that folder. Then point your Startup Disk at an actual bootable partition (macOS or Linux). Needless to say, make backups before playing with this. A messed up boot loader can render your entire system non-bootable, forcing you to muck around with live CDs and such in order to recover.
Yes, don't even think of doing this without a complete backup clone and time to recover from it. Mounting an EFI partition on the Mac can wreak havoc. (Been there, done that. Not recommended.)
 


I've found the instructions at this web site clear, and to work well. They refer to Ubuntu, though I installed Mint 18.3 on my 11" MacBook Air. They're not going to help on Macs with the T2.
How-To Geek said:
Even if you want to turn a Mac into a 100% Linux computer, I've found that keeping a macOS install helps. You can reduce its partition size to as small as you think will allow it to function, but keep it, if for no other reason than access to Disk Utility. I had an old Snow Leopard iMac running Linux reasonably well, and when I wanted to reconfigure the Linux install, the Snow Leopard Disk Utility was worth having at hand. A working Mac install can also help in troubleshooting. Is it hardware, or is it Linux?

If your Mac has no Ethernet port, borrow or buy an Ethernet dongle. Your Linux install will go faster and more smoothly, and you're likely to need the Ethernet connection to update the WiFi chipset drivers after the initial install.

On my MacBook Air, I installed the useful "Brightness and Gamma" applet found in "Cinnamon Spices" - helps view the screen comfortably and gives more control over battery life. There's a variety of "Cinnamon Spices" that can be installed directly in Mint or from here, where they're searchable:
Cinnamon Spices
Modify your Cinnamon desktop environment and extend its features with Cinnamon Spices. Cinnamon supports the following types of spices: Themes, applets, desklets and extensions.
 


Yes, don't even think of doing this without a complete backup clone and time to recover from it. Mounting an EFI partition on the Mac can wreak havoc. (Been there, done that. Not recommended.)
What actually happened?

When I did more searching about uninstalling GRUB on Macs, all of the procedures I found (e.g. this one) involve mounting the EFI partition and deleting the EFI/ubuntu directory contained within.

I did notice, however, that they all do this via the command line. They involve creating a temporary directory and mounting EFI under that. Then they immediately reboot after deleting the Ubuntu file.

If you tried mounting it via Disk Utility, then it is possible that the Finder started writing stuff there (e.g. creating a .Trashes folder, or .ds_store files or other cruft), which I could easily see causing problems.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
What actually happened?
I ended up having to wipe the drive clean and completely re-install from backup.
... it is possible that the Finder started writing stuff there (e.g. creating a .Trashes folder, or .ds_store files or other cruft), which I could easily see causing problems.
Yes, it ended up being mounted in the Finder, which may have made a mess of things for the reasons you mention. (It has been a long time since this happened, and I don't have a note about the exact steps involved.)
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Another security alert worth noting:
Bleeping Computer said:
OpenOffice Vulnerable to Remote Code Execution, LibreOffice Patched
OpenOffice is exposed to a remote code execution vulnerability that can be triggered using automated macro execution when users move the mouse over a maliciously crafted ODT document.

The security issue affects all versions of OpenOffice, as well as all LibreOffice releases up to and including 6.0.6/6.1.2.1. The bug was patched by The Document Foundation in LibreOffice 6.0.7/6.1.3...
#security​
 


Another security alert worth noting: OpenOffice is exposed to a remote code execution vulnerability
I recently added the OpenOffice (v 4.16) to my Linux desktop. LibreOffice has been forked away from Open long enough the feature sets and menus have slightly diverged with advantages and disadvantages for each. I appreciate the heads up about OpenOffice needing a patch / update.

I have LibreOffice set to update from the source PPA on Linux and received an update to 6.1.3.2 yesterday. Linux users who receive Libre only from their distribution repositories may want to research how to connect to the PPA for faster updates if their version isn't updated from upstream soon.

On Mac I've been using NeoOffice, and I'd presume since it's a fork of Libre, it, too, needs an update / patch.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... don't even think of doing this without a complete backup clone and time to recover from it. Mounting an EFI partition on the Mac can wreak havoc. (Been there, done that. Not recommended.)
What actually happened?
... it ended up being mounted in the Finder, which may have made a mess of things for the reasons you mention. (It has been a long time since this happened, and I don't have a note about the exact steps involved.)
Actually, I think I figured out a big part of what I did long ago. Here's a procedure (from Installing rEFInd Manually Using Mac OS X) for mounting the EFI partition that macOS normally keeps hidden:

sudo mkdir /Volumes/ESP
sudo mount -t msdos /dev/diskNsM /Volumes/ESP
where I determined the appropriate diskNsM identifier by using diskutil list

/dev/disk2 (external, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

...
1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk2s1

Let me just repeat my earlier warning: Don't even think of doing this on your Mac without a complete backup clone and time to recover from it. File ownership/permissions can be a real pain, and Mac oddities also (e.g. invisible Apple files for Spotlight, Finder desktop/folders, etc.). It may be easier to work with these special bootloaders and EFI/ESP partitions in a Linux environment, rather than a Mac environment.
 


It takes concerted effort to work around this default issue. Here are procedures I used successfully, where ubuquity —no-bootloader is a critical step to avoid adding GRUB inside the super-obscure Mac bootloader area of the startup drive...
I can vouch for rEFInd. It is relatively simple to install by downloading, booting into recovery mode, and running the installer from the Terminal. I gave up on playing with Linux because the GRUB loader was more like a virus than a utility. rEFInd allows me to boot into my Windows partition easily at startup, and is set to default to MacOS if I don't intervene.

I usually have to re-run the rEFInd installer after any major macOS update, and I'm not sure how well it plays with the T2 chip.
 


As such, lack of support from the hardware manufacturer is not necessarily a problem if third-party scanner software supports it. For most people, it is possible to buy a copy of VueScan to get support, since it supports 5,940 scanners, including many very old models. (I checked, and the Fujitsu scanners mentioned in this thread - fi-5530C2, iX500, S500, S1300 and S1500 - are all on the list of supported scanners.)
Thanks, David! I just tested the latest VueScan on the S1300 on a Xubuntu 16.04.05 system. Worked nicely. We have VueScan licenses at work, and I bought one for home in 2015, hoping to use it with the S1300 on Linux as well as a Brother ADS-2000 that was supposed to be Linux ready. Not in 2015.

Until today, when the S1300 connected to Xubuntu, I'd had mixed luck. It didn't work with the S1300 or the Brother ADS-2000. I also have an Epson FastFoto 640 that VueScan would recognize, but it would only work in root, and VueScan's instructions to connect to the scanner outside root weren't of help to a Linux user at my level of understanding.
VueScan said:
Can't find a driver for your Epson FF-640 ?
We reverse engineered the Epson FF-640 driver and included it in VueScan so you can keep using your old scanner. Version 9.6.29. Updated February 6, 2019. Built with 64-bit Ubuntu 10.10
Fortified by success with the S1300, and seeing the Brother ADS-2000 is on VueScan's supported list, I'm looking forward to trying all three out on my home Ubuntu install.

At the least, the S1300 that's still working very well won't be consigned to the electronic recycle bin, and thanks to VueScan, may continue to work with Macs after Sierra (which I can't test, yet).
 


Installed the latest VueScan on Ubuntu Budgie 18.10. It recognized and worked with the Brother ADS-2000 that had not previously worked (well, not reliably, consistently) with several versions of Linux. Brother does provide drivers for Linux that I had installed, but before VueScan, it would lock up the standard scanning program as often as not. Don't have time or need to scan a ream to see if it continues to function. But a few pages is promising.

The Epson FastFoto 640 is a different matter. Not that I need it to work on Linux, it works with my Macs, and the provided Epson software is doing a very good job of scanning and enhancing those shoe boxes of old photos we, like most everyone, had stashed in closets.

Still, it would be nice if it worked as on Linux as promoted by VueScan:
Vuescan said:
Epson FF-640
You can use this scanner on Mac OS X and Linux without installing any other software.

On Linux, you need to set up libusb device protections.
That last line about libusb is a gotcha. You'd think Hamrick, developers of VueScan, would offer guidance how to "set up libusb." Nope. It's very much not plug and play, and a chase down the search engine rabbit hole brought up a variety of suggestions, some quite old. The link below is the best hope I found, and it's fairly complex.
The Musing of Philip Roche said:
Xerox DocuMate 3220 scanner on Ubuntu
VueScan would only detect the scanner when run as root due to libusb permissions.
To add permissions for non root users to use the scanner I made the following changes. This guide should also be helpful when changing permissions for any USB device.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This USB SSD Mint system does Option-boot on a 2011 MacBook Pro that doesn't have Linux installed, and runs fine (after using Driving Manager and the installer flash drive to add/configure the Broadcom WiFi driver).
• But, attempting to boot the 2018 MacBook Pro (with external booting permitted) aborts the Linux boot and switches to Apple software, putting up a picture of Mojave with this error message...
... The same thing happens with the Cinnamon Mint "live" installer USB flash drive, and choosing to update results in a completely unhelpful error from Boot Recovery Assistant...
Using Recovery Mode to access Startup Security Utility on the 2018 MacBook Pro, I switched Secure Boot from Medium Security to No Security and tried again to boot the Mint Cinnamon system. Microscopic, dim text ran for a while on the screen, but I was completely unable to get the Mint system booted (even after using camera tricks to read the text).

I then switched the USB SSD to the 2017 MacBook Air, where Linux Mint Cinnamon booted and ran with no problems whatsoever.

I guess there's always the latest Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Developer Edition, now starting at just $689.99 with a 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 4GB RAM, and Core i3-8145U. For $989.99, you get a quad-core i5-8265U CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD. (Compare with Apple's pricing....) These offer a 13.3" FHD screen (or optional 4K touch screen), Thunderbolt 3, a microSD card reader, and a USB-C port, plus wonderful accessibility, repairability and upgradeability that's been arrogantly designed out of Apple's laptops by Jony Ive et al.
 


I guess there's always the latest Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Developer Edition, now starting at just $689.99 with a 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 4GB RAM, and Core i3-8145U. For $989.99, you get a quad-core i5-8265U CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD. (Compare with Apple's pricing....) These offer a 13.3" FHD screen (or optional 4K touch screen), Thunderbolt 3, a microSD card reader, and a USB-C port, plus wonderful accessibility, repairability and upgradeability that's been arrogantly designed out of Apple's laptops by Jony Ive et al.
A couple of years back I moved my laptop over to the Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Developer Edition and haven't looked back. The $500 savings over a comparable MacBook Pro was nice. Two things that sealed the deal for me: The XPS 13 was essentially the footprint of the MacBook Air 11-inch it replaced. And the XPS 13 has a nice keyboard with good tactile response. (I hate all the keyboards Apple has produced in the last 5 years or so in their relentless pursuit of thinness. I could care less how thin my laptop is. I would gladly trade 2mm in thickness for a good keyboard.)

The transition to Ubuntu was actually pretty painless. (It helped that most of my heavy use tools were platform-agnostic.) If I were to look for a laptop today, I would seriously look into Galago Pro from System 76 - roughly comparable to the XPS 13 in pricing, preloaded with Ubuntu (or their flavor of Ubuntu called Pop), and even more configuration options, including up to 32 GB of RAM, and a second storage device.

My desktop is still an iMac, mostly because of Adobe and iTunes/iOS (and with a desktop, I get to choose my own keyboard).
 



Adobe (with Lightroom) and Skylum (with Luminar) continue to ignore the Linux space. While it is, undeniably, small when compared to Mac or Windows, the first one to get there will own it. With either one available to me in Mint, I'd probably never go back.
 


Some ambiguity in the links above? Release notes:
Updated Packages
Linux kernel 4.15
Ubuntu 18.04 ships with a v4.15 based Linux kernel, enabling the latest hardware and peripherals available from IBM, Intel, and others. The 18.04 kernel delivers new features inherited from upstream.
I had to install Ubuntu 18.10 with kernel 4.18+ and Mesa graphic drivers 18.2+ to boot my Hades Canyon NUC with its hybrid Intel i7/AMD Vega graphics. Having it set up and working, I won't be going back to do a fresh install of 18.04.02 to confirm it's now supported, and don't expect others on this forum to have the hardware to test.

This documentation situation reminds of my early days learning spreadsheets. All those rows! All those columns! But use more than a fraction, and memory filled, possibly crashing the system. And nowhere in the extensive pounds of documentation did SuperCalc say anything about limits related to available memory.
 


Adobe (with Lightroom) and Skylum (with Luminar) continue to ignore the Linux space. While it is, undeniably, small when compared to Mac or Windows, the first one to get there will own it. With either one available to me in Mint, I'd probably never go back.
There are credible Linux alternatives for Lightroom. I'd used Skylum software before its name change from MacPhun, but not Luminar. If Luminar is the MacPhun "set", renamed and even enhanced, what those did is also (mostly) available for free on Linux.

The company I'd think should jump into selling its commercial graphics apps for Linux is Affinity, which offers both Mac and Windows versions. Thanks to major improvements in Windows app compatibility (thanks to Steam's "Proton" Wine "additions"), the "story" is that it is possible for Windows developers to package their apps in "snaps" with the Wine/Proton components necessary to run on Linux.
 



Are you using Ubuntu's LTS version?
No. I'd been watching the Intel Hades Canyon NUC with Vega Graphics which was not working with Linux. Martin Wimpress, Canonical employee and lead of the Ubuntu Mate "flavour", had one and reported what he did to get it to work but added he had persuaded Canonical to embed those changes into Ubuntu 18.10, which released before I bought the Hades Canyon NUC on Black Friday 2018.

Ubuntu 18.10 is an "interim", not LTS, release. The ambiguity I reference is statements that the modifications in Ubuntu 18.10 to enable the Vega Graphics in the NUC (and more in other hardware) are reported to be "backported" to Ubuntu 18.04.02 LTS. That led me to presume 18.04.02 would have a newer, higher version, kernel than 4.15 that's been around since January, 2018.

I'm presuming the 4.15+kernel in 18.04.02 is patched to work with the Kaby Lake G / AMD Vega chip, and the required Mesa graphics drivers embedded, too.

After Linux Mint 19.1 (based on kernel 4.15 and 18.04 LTS) released December 19, I tried booting the Hades Canyon NUC but got no further than the expected black screen from lack of support for the chipset. For now, I'm just going to "hang around" on 18.10 Budgie until I the upgrade cycle lets me dance with 19.04, Disco Dingo.
Canonical / Ubuntu said:
The Ubuntu lifecycle and release cadence
LTS or ‘Long Term Support’ releases are published every two years in April. LTS releases are the ‘enterprise grade’ releases of Ubuntu, and they are much more heavily used (something like 95% of all Ubuntu installations are LTS releases) . . . Every six months between LTS versions, Canonical publishes an interim release of Ubuntu - 17.10 was an example. . . . Interim releases will introduce new capabilities from Canonical and upstream open source projects, they serve as a proving ground for these new capabilities. Many developers run interim releases because they provide newer compilers or access to newer kernels and newer libraries . . .
 


There are credible Linux alternatives for Lightroom. I'd used Skylum software before its name change from MacPhun, but not Luminar. If Luminar is the MacPhun "set", renamed and even enhanced, what those did is also (mostly) available for free on Linux. The company I'd think should jump into selling its commercial graphics apps for Linux is Affinity, which offers both Mac and Windows versions. Thanks to major improvements in Windows app compatibility (thanks to Steam's "Proton" Wine "additions"), the "story" is that it is possible for Windows developers to package their apps in "snaps" with the Wine/Proton components necessary to run on Linux.
Luminar is not the "set" from MacPhun, although it does contain many of the features.

I've already communicated with Skylum about the "snap" system. For those reading this who are not familiar with a "snap" (there are other similar systems in Linux, as well), a "snap" installer contains everything (all dependencies) the app will need and, thusly, makes no assumptions about what other software may or may not exist in the destination Linux system. Rather than scatter files in various bin, var, fubar :D folders, everything is kept together in an app's folder so updates to the app (and its dependencies) happen without mucking about with what we'd call "system files" that could adversely effect other apps. Downside: It makes for larger installs. Upside: The splintered Linux environment may be addressed by a developer without worrying that it works on one distro but not on the others.
 


a "snap" installer contains everything (all dependencies) the app will need and, thusly, makes no assumptions about what other software may or may not exist in the destination Linux system. Rather than scatter files in various bin, var, fubar :D folders, everything is kept together in an app's folder so updates to the app (and its dependencies) happen without mucking about with what we'd call "system files" that could adversely effect other apps.
This is very similar to how app bundles on macOS/iOS (and other Apple variants) work.
 


There are credible Linux alternatives for Lightroom.
True, apps like Darktable and Digicam are credible Lightroom alternatives. If I were starting from scratch right now, I might just go the straight Linux route, but I have too much time and effort invested in Lightroom presets and have gotten too used to the workflow. Then there is the pain of migrating. I still remember the pain of migrating from Aperture to Lightroom a few years back—once in a decade is enough.

I doubt that Adobe is ever going to get there, so I guess my desktop will be a Mac for the foreseeable future.
 


True, apps like Darktable and Digicam are credible Lightroom alternatives. If I were starting from scratch right now, I might just go the straight Linux route, but I have too much time and effort invested in Lightroom presets and have gotten too used to the workflow. Then there is the pain of migrating. I still remember the pain of migrating from Aperture to Lightroom a few years back—once in a decade is enough. I doubt that Adobe is ever going to get there, so I guess my desktop will be a Mac for the foreseeable future.
I have Darktable running on an i5 8GB 13" MacBook Pro that's several years old, and it's fine, though I'm not stressing it. On Mac or even Linux in the future, if you know Lightroom, Darktable should be relatively easy to master. Then you can master Adobe. if you choose.
 


There are credible Linux alternatives for Lightroom. I'd used Skylum software before its name change from MacPhun, but not Luminar. If Luminar is the MacPhun "set", renamed and even enhanced, what those did is also (mostly) available for free on Linux.

The company I'd think should jump into selling its commercial graphics apps for Linux is Affinity, which offers both Mac and Windows versions. Thanks to major improvements in Windows app compatibility (thanks to Steam's "Proton" Wine "additions"), the "story" is that it is possible for Windows developers to package their apps in "snaps" with the Wine/Proton components necessary to run on Linux.
I will respectfully disagree with George regarding credible Linux alternatives to Lightroom or even Luminar. Some do not do vignetting, others have multiple methods to do sharpening (and which do you choose if you're not an alpha-geek?). No; I've used virtually every photo editing app for Linux and found them all wanting; some are good at a few things while others are missing essential tools while still others are unstable.

The minor players are not much more than a couple of guys/gals in a garage, while the major players (and I'll point to RawTherapee as an example) are forced to include multiple methods, because the different developers (volunteers all) are married to their particular way of accomplishing a particular task (sharpening, etc.). You get enough votes and your method is included. No matter that this makes it more difficult for the end user to know how to choose which tool is right; you have them all (and then you have to get your advanced math degree to know all the players). I imagine the problem might be that open-source [often] is software-by-committee, and there's no actual product manager answering to a real boss with money on the line.

I know there are some Linux purists who refuse to install anything that isn't open-source on religious grounds (those proprietary providers will enslave us!) so the above paragraph will not convince them that professional quality is more important than open-source.

By the way, Skylum (née MacPhun) offers Luminar for both macOS and Windows, so they, like Affinity and Adobe, should be able to do the snap system for Linux. Frankly, though, while there are many Linux users who won't mind paying for software, I rather doubt the subscription model for Lightroom will succeed in the Linux space. (I'd pay it, as I do for Mac and Windows, but I'm already enslaved used to it.)
 


This is very similar to how app bundles on macOS/iOS (and other Apple variants) work.
The modern equivalent of the old monolithic apps. Personally (and I'm probably not alone here), when I right-click on an app and select "Show Package Contents", I'm exploring the Amazon... or maybe I'm Forrest Gump and you never know what you're going to get from that box of chocolates. :D
 


The modern equivalent of the old monolithic apps. Personally (and I'm probably not alone here), when I right-click on an app and select "Show Package Contents", I'm exploring the Amazon... or maybe I'm Forrest Gump and you never know what you're going to get from that box of chocolates. :D
There may be similarities with monolithic applications. I've installed Snaps, Flatpaks, and AppImages. They've all behaved exactly like "normal" programs installed from distribution repositories, in that they launch the same way and can read and write in my user space. They're different in that whatever GUI they use seems set by the developer and doesn't seem to respond to user settings. I've read that may be changing.

I've also read developers may be able to fully containerize / sandbox these "packaged" applications, but the developers have to set that up, and whether or not it works may depend on the base Linux install.

Per the WayBack Machine, I think a classic "monolithic" application would read and write its data exclusively in its own package?
 


I know there are some Linux purists who refuse to install anything that isn't open-source on religious grounds (those proprietary providers will enslave us!) so the above paragraph will not convince them that professional quality is more important than open-source.
I can't argue there aren't users who can't quit Adobe. I asked two graphic artists, one a co-worker and another a contract designer, to test Affinity's products as possibly replacements for Illustrator and Photoshop. Workflow, features, opening archived files, muscle memory, color management, each was enough to rule out Affinity.

Many users, however, aren't at that level. I'm certainly not, and find I can do everything I need to my amateur photos with free, open-source tools on Linux. The last Mac photo application I'm using is the import/enhancement tools provided with an Epson FastFoto scanner.

As to the religious grounds for staying open source, we know Windows 10 and macOS are actively sending unknowable (because it's encrypted) telemetry home. So are proprietary applications. "Open source" is no guarantee against abuse but is some protection. Installing one not-open-source, proprietary application may open the data spigot, which is why some Linux users are open-source zealots.
 


I've never seen this addressed anywhere...

Since you can buy new PC hardware with Ubuntu installed, is there an easy way to install Mint 18 on top of Ubuntu? How does this work in the Linux world, when you have multiple flavors of Ubuntu, but they aren't exactly Ubuntu, like Mint or Elementary OS?

I can take my install of El Capitan and install High Sierra on top of it without doing a clean install. Is something like this possible with Ubuntu Linux variations?
 


I've never seen this addressed anywhere...
Since you can buy new PC hardware with Ubuntu installed, is there an easy way to install Mint 18 on top of Ubuntu? How does this work in the Linux world, when you have multiple flavors of Ubuntu, but they aren't exactly Ubuntu, like Mint or Elementary OS?
I can take my install of El Capitan and install High Sierra on top of it without doing a clean install. Is something like this possible with Ubuntu Linux variations?
Ubuntu and Mint both provide in-place upgrades similar to Apple's. I've had good luck updating Mint in place through several versions/point releases, from 17.1 to 18.3, though on one machine, something in the upgrade or unrelated changes I made (?) forced me to do a clean install to stop the CPU, and thus fan, from running 100%.

Ubuntu is based on Debian. Mint is based on Ubuntu. But that's like saying macOS is based on BSD. They're different operating systems and have differing components, however similar they may be.

Buy a new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition that ships with Ubuntu 18.04.02 LTS, and it should be as simple as booting from a Linux Mint 19.1 LIveUSB to replace Ubuntu. If your shiny new Dell has no data, no problem. If you've filled "Home" with your data, you can't do the easy "let Mint use the entire hard drive" install, though you could install Mint in a dual boot configuration. Not sure why you'd want to do that.

As an example of how "distros" differ, I once followed instructions to install the KDE Plasma desktop on a Xubuntu (xfce) install. Yes, it works, but not well. KDE brings in a lot of dependencies and potential conflicts. Avoiding having to download those dependencies and possibly bork a stock install of a different "desktop" is one of the gains from Snaps, Flatpaks, and AppImages. KDE applications, contained in one of those, don't install KDE dependencies in an Ubuntu Gnome install, they're all in the application "package."

And, yes, it's possible to back up "Home" with your data, and possibly bring the data from "Home" back to your system after you replace, say, Ubuntu Gnome with Mint Cinnamon. Some users store "Home" on a different drive, or partition. Deeper geekery than I want to do since what I most enjoy about Mint is "it just works," like Snow Leopard did.
 


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