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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.
If I understand your reply, the short answer is "no"?

I could back up my Home directory and install the new Mint OS and then copy the data back over to the new install. It's been about 2 years since I played around with Linux...

So, are the applications that you install also in the same Home directory (i.e. OpenOffice, FireFox, etc.) and would they "just work" in the new Linux variation? If so, that wouldn't be so bad. If not, then it would be like erasing your Sierra OS install and starting over by putting Windows 10 on it.
 


If I understand your reply, the short answer is "no"?
I could back up my Home directory and install the new Mint OS and then copy the data back over to the new install. It's been about 2 years since I played around with Linux...
So, are the applications that you install also in the same Home directory (i.e. OpenOffice, FireFox, etc.) and would they "just work" in the new Linux variation? If so, that wouldn't be so bad. If not, then it would be like erasing your Sierra OS install and starting over by putting Windows 10 on it.
As on your Mac, applications install for all users, and not in a user Home (though I'm sure it is possible to do that, as I once added some Mac applications to my "User" ID only, not for all users).

Most mainstream Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora) come with a very similar suite of applications. LibreOffice and Firefox are normal defaults. Distros based on KDE (which may use Plasma or LXQt desktops) provide a different set of core applications. You'll find differences in secondary web browsers, utilities, file managers, and, of course, the desktop itself.

I've tried darn near all of them, Ubuntu, Solus, Fedora, KDE Neon, Kubuntu... The desktop UI and UX differ, some applications differ, but the data files live on, as long as you have a good backup and don't overwrite it with a fresh install on the boot drive.

Here's a link to the DistroWatch page for the "main" Ubuntu release (now using Gnome desktop). Scroll toward the bottom and you'll find a list of "packages" ( = applications) in the distribution. All of the many distros covered by DistroWatch have similar pages.

 


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?
My experience using/supporting both Mint and Ubuntu is that you can't install Mint on top of an existing Ubuntu distribution. However if your PC runs Ubuntu, it'll run Mint... you'll just need to do a clean install. I've converted brand new System76 and Dell Linux laptops to Mint without issue.

Both Ubuntu and Mint are nearly identical "under-the-hood", since they're both based on Debian, and Mint is actually based on Ubuntu... it's mostly the GUI that's different.

One of the nice things about Mint is that it includes a backup tool that backs up your "software selection" (ie: anything you've installed with their Software Manager) to a file. If you upgrade to a newer version of Mint you simply "restore" that file to the new machine and it reinstalls all of your apps in one shot.
 


My experience using/supporting both Mint and Ubuntu is that you can't install Mint on top of an existing Ubuntu distribution.
Chris, I may have worded it poorly, but that is what I was originally asking. At some point then, when I buy a PC, I will do a clean install of Mint. I have a few installs from previous testing with some additional applications, but I can just make a list and re-install them.

I didn't have great luck with Linux on my 2011 17" MacBook Pro, because not a single flavor of Linux wanted anything to do with my AMD Radeon 6750 GPU. I finally got it to work and found that Mint was the best for what I was looking for. As I believe George said earlier, it seems the closest thing to Snow Leopard 10.6.8, which is my all-time favorite OS. Thanks to you and George for the help.
 


My experience using/supporting both Mint and Ubuntu is that you can't install Mint on top of an existing Ubuntu distribution. However if your PC runs Ubuntu it'll run Mint... you'll just need to do a clean install. I've converted brand new System76 and Dell Linux laptops to Mint without issue.

Both Ubuntu and Mint are nearly identical "under-the-hood", since they're both based on Debian, and Mint is actually based on Ubuntu... it's mostly the GUI that's different.

One of the nice things about Mint is that it includes a backup tool that backs up your "software selection" (ie: anything you've installed with their Software Manager) to a file. If you upgrade to a newer version of Mint you simply "restore" that file to the new machine and it reinstalls all of your apps in one shot.
Or, you can install the Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu and you now effectively have Linux Mint!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
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?
For what it's worth, I was pretty easily able to update Ubuntu 16 to Ubuntu 18, but I didn't find an obvious way to update Mint 17 to Mint 19, so I ended up installing Mint 19 from scratch.
 


Just saw this [topic] today. I have a 512GB Samsung T5 portable SSD hanging off the back of my 2018 Mac Mini, using one of the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, and run Windows 10 and various flavors of Linux from it, and the performance is very good indeed.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Just saw this [topic] today. I have a 512GB Samsung T5 portable SSD hanging off the back of my 2018 Mac Mini, using one of the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, and run Windows 10 and various flavors of Linux from it, and the performance is very good indeed.
That's interesting, as I cannot run Linux on a 2018 MacBook Pro, no matter how I set Startup Security options. Can you tell us more details about your Startup Security settings and exactly what Linux versions you're running (and how you installed them)?

Also, what macOS version are you running and what firmware (i.e. Boot ROM version from System Information)?
 


For what it's worth, I was pretty easily able to update Ubuntu 16 to Ubuntu 18, but I didn't find an obvious way to update Mint 17 to Mint 19, so I ended up installing Mint 19 from scratch.
Here are the terminal commands. I've not tried jumping from Mint 17+ to 19+ using them, so it is possible they may install iterative versions. It is also possible you could step through the versions using the GUI Mint Upgrade facility.
Community - Linux - Mint said:
Mint offers two separate backup programs.

TimeShift will make whole system backups, including optional Home folder, and keep them incrementally updated.

The older Mint backup tool (type Backup Tool to use it) will (1) Backup "Your files, settings, and the content of your home directory" and / or (2) "Create ( and possibly restore) a list of applications installed on your computer. After looking at the list, I'm uncertain if Snaps, Flatpaks, and/or AppImages are included in the list, which does seem abbreviated.

I find "clean installs" go very rapidly. What takes time is re-configuring my desktop and application UI to my personal preferences. If something's really borked, or if, like Ric, I were skipping from 17 to 19.1, I think I'd go for the clean install, because a lot's changed. I've had good luck with the Mint Upgrader moving from version to version, so when moving from Mint 18.3, where my work machines are now, to 19.1, I'll try that first.
 



Or, you can install the Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu and you now effectively have Linux Mint!
When I had a working installation set up but found some limitation I thought might be cured by adding a new desktop (e.g., Xubuntu based on xfce desktop > add Cinnamon), the new desktop and its supporting files induced conflicts I quickly ended by doing a clean install.

If you want to learn about Linux on the bleeding edge (without installing Arch yourself) and "play" with different desktops, you might want to look into ArcoLinux:
ArcoLinux Information said:
What is ArcoLinux?
ArcoLinux is a distribution based on Arch Linux. ArcoLinux installs with a graphical installer with ease and comfort. There are 3 major projects.
ArcoLinux is a full featured iso containing a ton of software and 3 desktops Xfce, Openbox and i3.
ArcoLinuxD is a minimal iso dropping you in the command line. With scripts you install any desktop and application you want.
ArcoLinuxB will give the user the power to actually build his own iso. The user decides what desktop and applications go on the iso.
ArcoLinux features hundreds of video tutorials on 5 websites and places a strong focus on learning and has even a learning plan. ArcoLinux promotes the use of Arch Linux on which it is based.
There are 12 desktops and 26 iso’s to choose from.
Awesome, Bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, Deepin, Gnome, i3, Mate, Openbox, Plasma, Xfce, Xmonad,
I tried a couple of different ArcoLinux versions, including Cinnamon - a good learning tool, especially coupled with ArcoLinux's extensive tutorials, but not a distribution that seemed best suited for a "production" computer.
 


Fonts are a bit different.
This about Mint Cinnamon:

System Settings > Font Selection > Choose (different) Options for
  • Default
  • Desktop
  • Document
  • Monospace
  • Window title Font
The Microsoft fonts, when installed, are available to the system, not just Office suites. This article is a useful guide. Presuming you follow the steps, some patience is required and you'll need to accept Microsoft's license:
ZillowTech said:
How to install Microsoft fonts in Linux office suites 2019
Times New Roman, Calibri, and many other popular fonts are created by Microsoft that can’t include with Linux. When you open a word document that’s created with MS office in OpenOffice or LibreOffice, its important Microsoft’s fonts installed on your Linux system to see the documents as they were intended to look. Here this post we go through steps to Install Microsoft Windows Fonts in Ubuntu / Linux Mint.
Before replacing the stock fonts with larger ones, try Text Scaling, just below the Font Selection.

System Settings > Themes > Settings
If, like me, you prefer to see scrollbars that can actually be easily scrolled, Turn "Use Overlay Scrollbars" and "Override the current theme's scrollbar width" On, then experiment with how many pixels wide you want scrollbars. Unfortunately, reboot is required between settings changes.

System Settings > Effects
I turn every effect Off since I see no reason to burden my CPU / GPU with eye candy that slows things down and may increase heat.

System Settings > Window Tiling
Off, because I don't like what happens when I am moving windows on the desktop and one springs to a half screen when it touches a tiling point. Also, System Settings > Hot Corners - another option I leave off because I don't want unanticipated actions when the cursor hits a Hot Corner activation point. (These two setting groups may be something one could live with after experience.)

System Settings > Panel
A group of options that are very useful when adapting your desktop to differing sizes of displays. Note: to make changes in a Panel, you'll have to activate Panel Edit Mode - easy to find in the Panel Settings.

System Settings > Backgrounds >Settings > Picture Aspect
Choose "No Picture" from the pull-down menu. This results in a solid black desktop, which I've read it is a kind of "null" that imposes less burden on the system than an image or even a solid color. Kinda' boring, and I've not tried to verify there's an improvement, but I find solid dark background reduces eye strain on large displays.,
 


System Settings > Backgrounds >Settings > Picture Aspect
Choose "No Picture" from the pull-down menu. This results in a solid black desktop, which I've read it is a kind of "null" that imposes less burden on the system than an image or even a solid color. Kinda' boring, and I've not tried to verify there's an improvement, but I find solid dark background reduces eye strain on large displays.,
You should be able to select an RGB color along with "no picture". This should also impose little to no CPU load (vs. a solid color image, which has all the same overhead as any other kind of image: the memory to hold the image and the CPU overhead to render it).
 


You should be able to select an RGB color along with "no picture".
And there are some nice effects in the Cinnamon Backgrounds settings menu, available when "No picture" is selected. The bottom option in that menu allows selection of different colors for horizontal and vertical gradients.

Since I prefer the solid deep black, and because I'd read the "tip" that choosing "no picture" would result in black and save system resources, I'd not investigated the other colors and gradients, and wouldn't have, but for David's post.

Curious, I launched System Monitor and tried to identify any changes as I switched among background images, solid colors, and mixes of gradients.

I didn't see any differences, but then my 2015 i7 NUC has 16 GB of RAM and an SSD. Did see on the Mint forums, when trying to run current Mint versions on 512 MB or less RAM, that every dribble of RAM matters, and that post suggested choosing no background picture (and a less RAM-intensive distro).
Linux Mint Cinnamon installed easily...
I found this website that's updated for new versions and distros so helpful, as I began my Linux journey, that I sent a donation:
Easy Linux Tips Project said:
10 Things to Do First in Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon
I've made a list of the things to do, which I've divided into three categories:
- 10 absolutely essential ones (part 1);​
- the recommended ones (not essential, part 2);​
- the maybe useful (part 3).​
It's quite a list, but it'll give you a polished, nearly maintenance-free operating system that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come! Plus it's also a crash course in the use of Linux Mint.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... I found this website that's updated for new versions and distros so helpful, as I began my Linux journey, that I sent a donation...
Thanks, that does look helpful. As mentioned before, getting keyboard settings to be Mac-like was also critical for me, given decades of muscle memory with Mac keyboard shortcuts, and I also find that a password manager is critical right away, so I'm looking into cross-platform options there.

Lastly, as many have noted, a file-sharing option is a major requirement/benefit — I'm looking to drop Dropbox, and Sync.com is a promising alternative.
 


I also find that a password manager is critical right away
Another project I recently sent a donation to: KeePassXC. It's in the Mint Software Center, both as a "native" install and as a Flatpak. I chose native. Cross-platform. Mac download at KeepassXC.org

Found it interesting when I set up a test version of Mint, when the only wired keyboard I had at hand was one of my favorite white polycarbonates from iMacs, that Mint recognized the keyboard layout, but when I boot a Mac connected to the same keyboard, I get frustrating "no keyboard" errors. Works, but, really...

For file sharing, there's nothing that beats send.firefox.com.
I make no claims to understand encryption implementations in depth, but I scanned the open source code and thought I saw how it's working. That's even if you don't choose your own password to encrypt the instant, up-to-2.5GB file. "File sharing" is what Send.Firefox does; it's not about long term backup or storage.
 


Curious, I launched System Monitor and tried to identify any changes as I switched among background images, solid colors, and mixes of gradients.
The CPU load for a wallpaper is minimal. There is, of course, RAM usage (and/or disk activity) when an image is used, because the image needs to be stored somewhere.

For a solid color, any color should have the same impact as black. There's nothing special about black - it's just another color.

Assuming your desktop/window manager doesn't replace the drawing of the desktop (a.k.a. the "root window"), you will probably find that your control panel is just a wrapper around the xsetroot application, which pushes your desktop background (and cursor) information into the X server and leaves it there.

It's also interesting to note that X Windows, when run without any desktop or window manager or xsetroot configuration, has a simple black-and-gray mesh pattern as its default background, not a solid color. This is probably the least-memory configuration you can have, since it's displaying a bitmap that's hard-coded into the X server software itself.
 



Spent a productive morning upgrading Linux Mint 19.1 to 19.2 and applying many of the tweaks in the link above. Thanks for providing it!
Glad you found it helpful. Here's another site from my "Linux" bookmarks:
Real Linux User said:
Whatever version of Linux you install, I've learned it is crucial to verify it's the real thing. Mint's site was hacked in 2016 for less than a day but used then to distribute a copy of Mint with a backdoor. More recently, the Gentoo site was also hacked.

GTKHash is a (fairly) simple GUI tool to verify downloads. It's in the Mint software center, and probably most others.

These links discuss how to verify downloads, and GTKHash:
#security
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've got the NUC i3 on order....
The cost so far: $303 (i3 NUC) + $38 (8GB RAM).
And the Geekbench* results:
For a system like this, a simple 2.5-inch SATA SSD seems appropriate, though you can rev up performance (if you need it) with an NVMe M.2 SSD...
OK, I'll log more experiences and notes here for anyone who's interested....

The latest stage: converting from the ancient, unreliable SATA test SSD to a 500GB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD, and reinstalling Linux Mint, because I don't trust the test SSD hardware. The NVMe SSD has a macOS installation on it that I didn't bother to erase.

I have an NVMe heatsink, and it looks like it will fit in the NUC case, but I opted to start without it and see how that goes. It installed easily. I wanted to remove the SATA SSD, but it's in tight and hard to pull out, so I opted to leave it in place for now.

For experimentation, I connected the NUC's USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port to a 4K LG display (DisplayPort connector).

Inserted the Linux Mint Cinnamon "live" (installer) USB flash drive and powered up. Nothing on the monitor. I switched to HDMI. Still no-go.

I held down the "F2" key on the Apple wired keyboard, hoping to invoke the boot manager. No go.

On a whim (given the macOS system on the NVMe SSD), I held down the Option key at startup. Voila! I got the Live USB system! At 4K... everything's really small. But not so small I couldn't access Linux preferences and change to 1080p. Cool.

Did the Linux install on NVMe, choosing to erase it. Didn't do anything with the Linux system I had installed on the test SATA SSD. Reboot - the system aborts and powers off.

Held down Option again at power-on to get the live USB flash drive booted again. (Again had to set display to 1080p.) This time, I used Gparted to erase the test SATA SSD, then renstalled Linux Mint on the NVMe SSD, choosing again to erase it.

This ultimately worked, and Linux Mint Cinnamon is up and running on the NVMe SSD, very fast and fluid. (I again had to set display resolution to something lower than 4K for comfortable viewing.)

I'm currently installing a big batch of updates.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm currently installing a big batch of updates.
That took two attempts with some cryptic failure the first time but success on a retry.

Next stage: configuring Firefox and system preferences...

Even after doing the obscure Mac-keyboard tweak, I'm having trouble getting the keyboard shortcuts and special characters I need to match Mac operation.

On the plus side, this cheap NUC feels very fast in Firefox and other basic operations.
 



Even after doing the obscure Mac-keyboard tweak, I'm having trouble getting the keyboard shortcuts and special characters I need to match Mac operation.
Try:

I still find myself (not very often) typing WordStar* commands. As at one time I was taking care of over 30 different computers (and their users), I didn't want any of them installing custom scripts, Keyboard Maestro, using Hazel -

LibreOffice feels very fast
I find the latest LibreOffice 6.3+ appreciably faster than the 6.0+ version Mint installs. While I consider it an advantage of Mint that it's not out on the bleeding edge, having bled there with a rolling release version that broke, mature applications like LibreOffice released as "stable" upgrades are worth a look. It's possible (the geeky way) to change the LibreOffice PPA and force it to the 6.3 "channel." The disadvantage I found with that approach is when 6.4 releases, your PPA will still be pointed at 6.3.

It's also possible to directly download and install 6.3 from the LibreOffice site, though you'll first want to open the Mint software center and uninstall the stock version.

Does require following the instructions in the DEB readme, and some light terminal commands that are spelled out clearly. Maybe save this for later. As I "live" in Libre Calc sheets, speeding them up even a bit seemed worthwhile.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I again had to set display resolution to something lower than 4K for comfortable viewing.
There's a setting at Preferences > General for User Interface Scaling that offers "Double (Hi-DPI)", and this seems to mostly replicate Apple's "retina" experience, but it's not quite perfect - I'm getting tiny icons in the window controls with it (for close/enlarge/minimize), and it seems to slow graphics performance a bit.
 


There's a setting at Preferences > General for User Interface Scaling that offers "Double (Hi-DPI)
Not to nit-pic, but just for the sake of clarity, that's System Settings > Preferences > General?

I've pushed out all my space-challenged 27" monitors for 4K HDR TVs. Seems the sweet spot is 43" - had issues with a 49" one until I moved it to a "low" desk. Still find myself craning my neck to see what's up high, so wouldn't choose that again. Now have two 43" and that 49" - last purchase was a TCL 4 series (2018 model) for $229. Speakers are good enough to just use them. Could connect it to network and use as a Roku. Has three HDMI inputs, so for a while I had three NUCs connected and chose among them using the TV remote. Hard to believe so much for so little.


That's relevant to Ric's post, because I've played around with the Display in Mint and other test installs quite a bit. The "Double (Hi-DPI)" does what he says, and isn't a great experience. Might be useful on a laptop with a 4K display where otherwise everything is just too small to see.

Anyway, in Cinnamon on Mint 19.2 I set display to 1920 x 1080. I moved to the larger 4K display to accomodate vision issues, and while I'd love to run at 4K to have lots of spreadsheets onscreen simultaneously, it's a resolution too far.

The "trick," if it's a trick, is to use the options in System Settings > Appearance > Font Selection. It's possible to choose larger fonts, or to use Text Scaling. At the moment, I'm on the 49" 4K TV, 1920 x 1080, and have set all the font options to a Bold Font at 14. Text scaling is 1.1 Experimenting with those settings might yield your happy place, and might also work in 4K itself, though I didn't find a 4K combination for me.

Right-click on an open space in the Desktop and choose "Customize." You'll find a variety of Icon Sizes in a pull down. Those interact with "Font Scaling" so you'll want to find your own balance of how much text appears with your icons.

System Settings > Preferences > Panel allows control of the Panel [i.e. dock] itself and how icons size within.
 


The Microsoft fonts, when installed, are available to the system, not just Office suites.
The Zillow Tech link in the article about fonts had instructions for how to install some Microsoft ClearType fonts in addition to TrueType fonts. The Zillow TrueType info seems good, but I didn't have luck with ClearType.

The instructions at this link did seem to work in Mint 19.2 Cinnamon:

After these installs, I suggest opening the system Font Manager, which is an application and not in System Settings. On my system, Font Manager asked to perform some updates and pruning, which I allowed.
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI:
Phoronix said:
Apple macOS 10.15 vs. Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Performance Benchmarks

... It's worth noting that finally in Ubuntu 19.10 is good support for recent MacBook Pro laptops and other Linux distributions using the Linux 5.3 kernel or newer. The Linux 5.3 mainline kernel brought a driver for handling the Apple keyboards and trackpads for the MacBook/MacBookPro devices over the past couple of years. So with the newly released Ubuntu using Linux 5.3, the 2016 era MacBook Pro and newer are finally working decently out-of-the-box.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This was an incredibly interesting point to me and something I had previously missed...
Jason Evangelho said:
My Search For The Perfect Linux OS Just Ended — With An Unexpected Surprise
I began my Linux journey 16 months ago with only one certainty: I didn’t want to use Windows for the rest of my life. I’ve remained in a constant state of exploration and discovery in the pursuit of finding that “forever distro.” You know, the one to rule them all. The perfect Linux OS that’s stable, checks all those feature boxes, slides effortlessly into every scenario and is just plain fun to use on a daily basis....

...But with Linux, I can use the same exact software across any distribution I choose! I can effortlessly make a backup on my Oryx Pro running Kubuntu, and restore that on my XPS 13 running Peppermint OS. We have the tools to adapt; to make it a seamless experience while using the absolute best distro that fits our needs based on the unique scenario.

How awesome is that? I suppose I hadn’t realized this simple truth until Peppermint OS gave me that unexpected nudge.

I don’t need to find a “forever distro.” I can keep distro hopping for years until I reach the end of the road.

All I need is Linux itself.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI:
BleepingComputer said:
Linux, Windows Users Targeted With New ACBackdoor Malware
Researchers have discovered a new multi-platform backdoor that infects Windows and Linux systems allowing the attackers to run malicious code and binaries on the compromised machines.

The malware dubbed ACBackdoor is developed by a threat group with experience in developing malicious tools for the Linux platform based on the higher complexity of the Linux variant as Intezer security researcher Ignacio Sanmillan found.

"ACBackdoor provides arbitrary execution of shell commands, arbitrary binary execution, persistence, and update capabilities," the Intezer researcher found.
#security #malware
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Note to self, donate to support this site.
Thank you for the support! You and a small core of similar supporters are all that's keeping this website going in challenging circumstances, and I very much appreciate it! That support is constantly needed, and I hope that a few other folks who haven't contributed at a sustaining level might be willing to join you. (Of course, we're also dependent on contributions of quality content, and I'm very thankful for those, as well!)
 


This was an incredibly interesting point to me and something I had previously missed:
Interesting. I would like to see his procedure to make a backup on one distribution and restore to another.

Clearly, this can't be a full-system backup, because the restore process would clobber the existing distro and replace it with the old one.

I suppose you could just back up and restore your users' home directories, but then you would still need to re-create the accounts (and make sure all the user and group IDs remain as they were on the old system). And then you need to install all of your app packages - which the new distro might not include. And then there's anything you may have manually installed in /usr/local.

If he's got a way to make this all fast and easy, I'd love to know what it is.
 


Jason Evangelho writing in Forbes said:
My Search For The Perfect Linux OS Just Ended — With An Unexpected Surprise
But with Linux, I can use the same exact software across any distribution I choose! I can effortlessly make a backup on my Oryx Pro running Kubuntu, and restore that on my XPS 13 running Peppermint OS.
Interesting. I would like to see his procedure to make a backup on one distribution and restore to another.
Clearly, this can't be a full-system backup, because the restore process would clobber the existing distro and replace it with the old one.
That's a bridge too far. The considerable effort many users spend customizing the Plasma Desktop and KDE services in Kubuntu simply won't transfer to Peppermint 10, which is a UI / UX mix of LXDE, xfce, and applications derived from Linux Mint Cinnamon. Nor will UI / UX settings in the Peppermint desktop transfer back to Kubuntu.

What should transfer among Linux distributions is data. A LibreOffice spreadsheet is a LibreOffice spreadsheet. Though don't count on that spreadsheet to look the same in Kubuntu and Peppermint.
 


That's a bridge too far. The considerable effort many users spend customizing the Plasma Desktop and KDE services in Kubuntu simply won't transfer to Peppermint 10, which is a UI / UX mix of LXDE, xfce, and applications derived from Linux Mint Cinnamon. Nor will UI / UX settings in the Peppermint desktop transfer back to Kubuntu.

What should transfer among Linux distributions is data. A LibreOffice spreadsheet is a LibreOffice spreadsheet. Though don't count on that spreadsheet to look the same in Kubuntu and Peppermint.
That's pretty much been my assumption. Backing up and restoring the documents in your home directory is no big deal. And it's the same for switching to non-Linux platforms like Windows, macOS or other less common systems.

But the article was explicitly talking about quickly migrating between distributions which implies more than just moving documents, since you would still need to reinstall and confiugre all your apps, even if you leave the desktop in its default look-and-feel.

Of course, as someone experienced with many Linux distributions, I wonder why it even matters. Aside from a few major differences between families (e.g. Red Hat-based with RPM vs. Debian-based with APT for package management), most of the differences between distributions come down to the choice of pre-loaded apps and all of the major distributions make available all of the major UI packages. If you're prepared to wipe and install a new distribution, then you probably know enough to install a few packages and remove a few others to get the same result.
 


But the article was explicitly talking about quickly migrating between distributions which implies more than just moving documents, since you would still need to reinstall and confiugre all your apps, even if you leave the desktop in its default look-and-feel.
I've followed Jason's podcasting appearances since he first discovered Linux and established himself as a new and very enthusiastic advocate. The Forbes article we've been discussing has some missing jigsaw pieces, as it is an abbreviated reprise of his podcast episode on the same topic. The podcast is here:
Linux for Everyone said:
The ah ha moment Jason celebrates comes when Mark Greaves, Peppermint's lead developer, is trying to help improve the battery efficiency of Jason's laptop by merging into Jason's Peppermint install the ability that System76 provides in Pop!_OS to toggle between Intel native and Nvidia discrete graphics. Mark And leads Jason to install pieces of Pop!_OS into Peppermint, which Jason didn't know was even possible. At the end of the episode, it isn't working, but there's more to try. That's at about 34 minutes in and running.
Of course, as someone experienced with many Linux distributions, I wonder why it even matters. ...most of the differences between distributions come down to the choice of pre-loaded apps and all of the major distributions make available all of the major UI packages.
I recently tested some of the Ubuntu 19.10 "flavours." Where all the Gnome-based versions (Gnome, Mate, Budgie) instantly found and were ready to access the Synologies on my networks, Kubuntu did not. After spending too much time trying to find out why, I just gave up and moved along.
 


I recently tested some of the Ubuntu 19.10 "flavours." Where all the Gnome-based versions (Gnome, Mate, Budgie) instantly found and were ready to access the Synologies on my networks, Kubuntu did not. After spending too much time trying to find out why, I just gave up and moved along.
Interesting. I wonder what the magic component/package might be. If it's just a matter of probing the network for servers, then look for packages related to "avahi", which is Linux's equivalent to Apple's Bonjour. If you've already tried that, then I'm as puzzled as you are.

I personally run the "Xubuntu" spin - using xfce for my desktop, because I can't stand the amount of resources used by all of the Gnome-based desktops. I'd rather go back to the truly ancient "fvwm" window manager, which is extremely lightweight by today's standards, but it doesn't provide a desktop-based file manager, and accessing USB drives without one (and a working auto-mounter) involves more aggravation than I want to deal with.
 


Interesting. I wonder what the magic component/package might be.
Found this on how to connect the KDE Dolphin File Manager to network shares, which might work in conjunction with the SMB "fixes" described below.
Both Macs and Linux are used in my work and at home, as are Synologies. I'd enabled both SMB and AFP on the Synologies

On January 26, 2017 Synology advised SMB1 is a security vulnerability. Nonetheless, when I set up new Synologies in 2018 and 2019, SMB1 was the default SMB protocol, as it is also in Ubuntu clients through the latest 19.10. released October 17, 2019.

Disabling SMB1 on the Synology blocked Linux clients from connecting using that protocol. The effect was masked, as we could still log on using AFP. Unfortunately, AFP didn't provide the Linux clients full access to the file system.

The problem is that the Linux SMB client .conf file does not enable SMB2 or SMB3. I spent a lot of time trying suggestions about how to edit the .conf file, until finding the copy and paste set below that did the job. Yes, it's written to help users access an SMB printer, but the enablement lines are general. The title is misleading, as it's more about enabling SMB2+ so a Linux system can access an SMB resource where SMB1 is disabled.

I recommend making a backup copy of your smb.conf file with a different suffix (e.g., .bak) before running the commands.
University of Western Ontario: Science Services said:
 


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