A Mind Lost

Anything and everything.

Linux Mint 12

I have an old computer that was gathering dust in the closet that I decided to try the recently released “Linux Mint 12” on.

Specifically, it’s an Athlon XP 2200+ clocked at 1.8GHz, with a GB of whatever RAM I could throw in it, a 120GB hard drive and an ancient GeForce3 Ti200 with 128MB of memory.  Not a powerhouse machine but it should easily be more than enough to run Linux, even a fairly modern distro.

The installation was painless but time-consuming.  There seemed to be some sort of a problem where the system would stop doing anything until I jiggled the mouse.  Then it would continue installing for a bit before pausing again.

Finally, after installing and performing a first time update (which again required some mouse jiggling… I can’t help but wonder if there’s a problem with the USB port), including switching to the proprietary NVidia driver for the display adapter, I rebooted and logged in to play.  Almost immediately both the top and bottom panels, as well as the window decorations, disappeared, along with the greetings splash screen.  After a short time they all came back up, but bringing up the menu and mousing over an entry caused everything to crash again.

Switching to tty1 and checking the system log, I found that gnome-shell is segfaulting in “libGLcore.so.96.43.20”.  Presumably this is a part of the NVidia driver, as the version number looks the same. There’s another segfault in “libcogl.so.5.0.0”, but I don’t recognize that shared library.

I have run Slackware on this machine, complete with the old NVidia blob, without problem.  I wanted to switch to Mint for ease of updates (I already run Slack as my main OS on my notebook, and while I thoroughly love it, it is time-consuming to update and keep running smoothly).

Switching to Gnome (Classic) from the login manager appears to have fixed things, so something is evidently going wonky in the new Gnome.  I don’t know, I’m not familiar enough with Gnome to make even an uneducated guess.  I have never been a Gnome fan, preferring KDE, xfce, and Openbox (in reverse order of preference).

I should also note that for whatever reason the NVidia X Server Settings display shows the graphics card’s Bus ID as ?@?:?:?, with an unknown PCI Device and Vendor ID.  Strange to say the least.

I think for now this’ll go back into the closet for another couple years and I’ll limit my testing to a virtual machine.  I’m not planning to replace my notebook OS any time soon, especially not after I’ve spent so long getting it to work just right.  I’m sure the Mint developers work very hard to make Ubuntu usable, but it’s just not for me.

And now, a moderately amusing picture:

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