• Some interesting links

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    By now, I must have bookmarked a couple hundred articles concerning the transition from Windows to Linux Mint.  The following stood out:

    This one neatly expresses my own reasons for the switch:


    Collected links regarding Linux:


    Concerning Windows, including some of the same links:


    Another writer, on security:


    Perhaps these will be helpful to someone.

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    • #2529603

      This one neatly expresses my own reasons for the switch

      I like Dedoimedo’s writing style enormously and follow his blog. Thank you for the links… I’d read them a while ago but it was a good reminder.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2529610

      I recently installed Lubuntu on an old computer. No fuss, no muss. Installation was fast, really fast and the few things I tried worked easily.

      Right now, I am tied to Windows as there are several programs in use that were built to run under Microsoft’s operating system.

      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1778 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox114.0b8 MicrosoftDefender
      • #2529623

        Right now, I am tied to Windows as there are several programs in use that were built to run under Microsoft’s operating system.

        Have you tried to run them under WINE or a VM?  I run Windows programs on Linux all the time. It may not work, but lots of things do!

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

        • #2529640

          Have you tried to run them under WINE or a VM?

          Specialty database software package was attempted unsuccessfully under WINE. As for other software — unlikely to run on anything except Windows operating system.

          Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
          offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
          online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1778 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox114.0b8 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2529615

      Right now, I am tied to Windows as there are several programs in use that were built to run under Microsoft’s operating system.

      Thinking about it, I don’t have any fundamental reason to stick with Windows other than laziness, complacency and perhaps old age. 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2529626

        I share some of Dedoimedo’s angst about this.  I think I will probably convert 100%, eventually, but the main hangup for me is Word and Excel.  That’s not to say that they cannot be replaced by LibreOffice–I haven’t explored that yet.  The issue is the distraction and disruption of dealing with changing the programs that are at the heart of my work.  So for the time being I’ll continue to assume use of Windows on one computer, and Linux Mint on the other.

        For the last few years I have had Office 2010 on the internet-facing computer.  It’s now beyond EOL and therefore presumably a magnet for malware.  The breakthrough for me came when I realized that I hardly use Office on the internet computer.  Without it, there was little reason to remain married to Windows on that machine.

        The last couple of days I have been exploring Linux alternatives to Foxit Reader and Adobe Reader, and have reluctantly concluded that they do not meet my needs.  I transfer PDFs all the time from the internet computer to the offline computer, which has both Foxit and Adobe Acrobat installed.  I make heavy use of Foxit’s simple-to-use highlighting and annotation capabilities and Acrobat’s ability to add, delete, and reorder pages and combine documents.  In addition, there is the issue of introducing a third PDF program.  I have found that Adobe and Foxit play nice.  However, when I annotate a PDF in Okular (the best program I could identify for Linux Mint) and transfer it to the offline computer and open it in Foxit, the fonts are changed and the annotations are in some cases not editable, which is a killer.  I have managed to avoid installing WINE so far, but I may have to in order to use Foxit Reader seamlessly on the internet computer.  It was after I had come to this conclusion that I discovered that Dedoimedo went through the same evaluation and came out the same way.

        Someday, Foxit will come out with an up-to-date Linux version of Reader, and there will be one less reason to stay with Windows.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2529749

          About seven years ago, I tried installing MS Office 2007 in Linux (the distro may have been Zorin OS, or else Netrunner) via WINE. Everything that I tried in MS Word there worked well. Not sure if more recent editions of Office will work equally smoothly, but the fact that in Office 2007 you could make full use of the program without first entering a product key (albeit with a 25-launch limit) made it a whole lot easier to run this experiment.

          Regarding Foxit Reader, late last year I installed the Windows version in Kubuntu, again via WINE. (The process for installing a Windows program in WINE was much clearer this time than in 2016.) Everything seemed to work fine.


          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2529671

      Linux Mint and most likely others come with their own pdf readers.  No need for Adobe or Foxit.

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #2529691

        With Foxit Reader, I can annotate the PDF by clicking on Comment > Typewriter and writing in a transparent text box.  Comment text can be formatted as I wish (I like blue boldface; it draws attention as I scroll through a document).  The comment remains visible, as if typed on the document.  I do not need to click on something to reveal the comment.  Even after the document is saved, the text can be edited–and in my field, often is.

        Foxit allows “area highlighting” as well as “text highlighting.”  With area highlighting you can quickly draw a box around the desired text and highlight the whole area, which is much easier to see afterwards than highlighted text.  Paging through 1,200-page historical documents, that becomes important.

        So what PDF programs bundled with (or even available with) Linux Mint can do what I describe above?

        • #2529771

          I have never needed to do any of the things you describe with a PDF, so I am not certain I am interpreting what you ask for correctly, but my Okular seems to tick all those boxes.

          It is quite possible that the version of Okular I am using is newer than the one you tried, as I am currently using KDE Neon, which has all the latest versions of KDE software, which includes Okular. It is version 22.12.1.

          It is also possible I am not completely grasping what you want it to do, so you may already have seen this and decided it did not meet your needs.

          Here is a screenshot of a few quick annotations I did with the first PDF I found on my PC (the manual for my Dell XPS laptop). I used the typewriter annotation to add a bit in bold blue text, the inline tool to add some text on an orange background with transparency, highlighted a couple of lines with the green text highlighter tool, and drew a red box around a table to highlight it (area highlighting). All the edits can be jumped to, edited, or deleted from the left pane.


          I saved the file and sent it to another PC on the network, then opened it there to be sure I saw the annotations. They’re present and are editable, as expected.

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2529810

            Thanks.  I currently have Okular version 21.12.3 installed and have tested it a bit.  It was downloaded a few days ago using Linux Mint’s Software Manager.

            Foxit Reader lets me write annotations in a transparent text box that appears on the PDF where I click.  This text box can be resized and repositioned, which is often necessary.  (For hard to reach places Foxit also offers an opaque “callout” text box with an arrow that can be resized and repositioned.)  Okular makes me write the annotation in a popup, but when the popup is closed the annotation appears in a transparent text box that can be resized and repositioned.  I have formatted for blue boldface but the result is blue non-boldface every time.

            Okular–at least the version I have–highlights text but does not do area highlighting, by which I mean drawing a box that will be filled in with transparent yellow or another color, without a border.   Version 12.2.3 has the red-outline box feature shown on your screenshot.

            My previous tests consisted of annotating and highlighting a PDF in Okular running on Linux Mint and transferring it to Foxit Reader running on Windows 7.  In two tests, when the PDF was opened in Foxit the annotations were immovable, no text boxes were apparent, and the annotations could not be edited.  The highlighting could not be deleted.  The font had changed to some sort of condensed boldface text.  Another time, the text boxes were apparent but not editable.  Foxit did not recognize the file format in some tests.

            Just now I re-ran the test.  This time, the transparent text boxes are apparent in Foxit and can be deleted, resized, moved, and edited.  The highlighting can be deleted.  The font is still that highly condensed boldface.

            Assuming the font problem and lack of area highlighting can be corrected, Okular comes close to Foxit for me.  The larger question is reliable compatibility.  I would have to re-run the test several times to assess whether Foxit will reliably pick up the file format and other aspects of a PDF edited in Okular.  I cannot risk having a bunch of PDFs that cannot be opened, read, or edited, especially if the problem is intermittent.

            Given the observed differences between your (later) version and mine, a reasonable conclusion might be that Okular is a work in progress, so there’s hope for it.

            • #2529871

              If you select the Okular tool “inline note,” you can draw a box around the text you want highlighted, and simply not enter any text into the note:


              The box color, the opacity, and the font (if you were to type some text into the annotation) are all selectable.

              Okular is in active development by the KDE team, so whatever it lacks now could well be added later.


              Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
              XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2529882

              Thanks.  It’s kind of a workaround, but I appreciate knowing about it.

              I installed Wine and Foxit Reader 12 (the current version) today and it all works.  The PDFs transfer fine between computers,with no difficulty in recognizing the format.  The fonts change, which suggests that this might have more to do with the leap between operating systems than between Okular and Foxit.

              I expect it will be a horserace to see whether Okular matches Foxit’s key features before Foxit develops a version suitable for Linux.

              By the way, Foxit Reader version 10.0 is the last version listed on the compatibility analysis here:


              Thanks again for your help.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2530172

              You can install the Microsoft fonts into Linux so they can be used by WINE (or any other program). Look for ttf-mscorefonts-installer in the package manager… that should do it!

              Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
              XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2530320

              I spotted that a couple of days ago and plan on installing those fonts.  Thanks.

            • #2530323

              Regarding the colored box, I do not currently have Okular installed, but if I remember correctly the color in the box obscures the text to some extent–more if the opacity tends toward 100% and less in the other direction. It is not the same as highlighting, which does not obscure the text.

              Please correct me if I am remembering this wrong. Thanks.

    • #2530079

      I have been keeping notes of how I set up the “new” internet computer (an unused HP desktop computer manufactured in late 2016, based on an Intel i7-3770 processor, and running Windows 7 Pro) by adding an SSD and installing Linux Mint 21.1 Cinnamon on it.  This chart might be of interest.  Light green indicates that the new software has been installed.


      CD ripper dBpoweramp works well with WINE.  I would have preferred to install it there, but the TT-Dynamic Range applet apparently does not work with WINE, and they need to be on the same drive.

      The number of programs that can be discontinued is quite gratifying.  Firefox extensions are not listed in the chart, but the new installation resembles the old in that respect.  I was aiming to end up with an internet computer that is reasonably secure but lighter on its feet.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2530163

        Timeshift is not really meant to be a full backup program like Macrium Reflect. It’s more like a more robust version of Microsoft’s System Restore. I use it a lot, and it is very useful, but for full backups, I use Veeam Agent for Linux (free).  I wrote a how-to on using Veeam Agent a while ago.

        To get it, you will have to sign up for a free Veeam account, and then they will send you a link to the .deb installer for the repository. That won’t install the program… it will just add the repo. After that, you can install ‘veeam’ from your choice of package installer (command line, Synaptic, etc.).

        Please note that the current version of Veeam only works with 5.16(?) or older kernels. The new version of Veeam that works with newer kernels is still under development, and should be ready any time now. This is not a problem if you use the kernel that comes with Mint, as that (5.15 in the newest Mint, as far as I know) is old enough to work (and is what I am using in KDE Neon as well). Hopefully by the time Mint gets an updated kernel, Veeam Agent 6.0 will be out.

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2530180

        I am running POP!_OS now but used Linux Mint Cinnamon for two years and Windows 7 before that. Luckily I didn’t have to give up much when I switched to Linux. I used LibreOffice instead of Microsoft and things like Firefox and Thunderbird so I still use many of the programs i used before.

        I missed the flexibility of Irfanview but the default image viewer plus Pix were good enough for my purposes.

        Being an ex-Windows type I wanted an anti-virus – especially since some of my Wine games used third party add-ons I had to download manually. I chose the Flatpak version of Clamtk. It was a bit clunky but worked. On POP i tried the ,deb version but uninstalled it as it seemed buggy. Now when I download the needed Windows files I do so and then upload them to Virustotal. So far it has worked fine.

        I use Timeshift before every update and have it scheduled to do one daily, one weekly, and one monthly. Every few weeks I clean out the oldest snapshots. Don’t use it to backup /root or /home (especially) or your ssd /hd will fill up fast. Mint comes with a backup/archiving program and I experimented with it for my /home directory but the files were big and it was more of an all or nothing approach.

        When you install programs read the website/github descriptions before choosing between Flatpaks or deb files. Flatpaks are better in some cases and deb files in others. Also check out Appimages. They’re self contained. Appimages i used on Mint: Freetube (interesting Youtube viewer still in beta and very buggy unfortunately), and Fluent (newsreader). Currently I am using appimage versions of Ksnip (screenshot tool) and Xnview-MP (image editor and viewer) both work fine.

        About screenshot tools. The defaults in Mint and POP are good for most use cases but both have some annoying quirks, 90% of the time if i am online i just use the one built into Firefox.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2530353

        An update:  I was able to install the TT-Dynamic Range applet on Linux Mint using Play on Linux.  I then installed dBpoweramp also, and they both work great.  This addressed a small concern I had.  dBpoweramp must go online to compare the CD rip against its crowd-sourced database of other rips.  Since there is no browser other than Internet Explorer installed on the factory-installed HDD running Win7, dBpoweramp would have to use IE, which of course is well beyond its EOL.  I would prefer to have no excuse for the Win7 drive to go online, except possibly software downloads and updates.

      • #2530465

        Correction: The computer’s processor is an i7-6700, not i7-3770.  I pulled the wrong invoice out of the file.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2546666

      I was just reading this and for the PDF files the most recent updates for Firefox are touting that it can be used PDF editing. I have not tried it, but that may help some some.

      I have a small PDF encryption program called PDFCreator that I use on Windows that actually encrypts the PDF and blocks cut and paste or disassembly of the documents. It also remove the hyperlinks, and can be configured to not allow printing. It is nice for archived copies and preventing a document being stored online from be plagiarized by casual cut and paste means.

      Unfortunately, the version I use is old (Version 1.7.3) but is is not plagued by the issues of later versions that would trigger AV programs due to adware installer shenanigans. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a similar program that has that type of encryption capabilities.

      I have found a lot of decent CD ripping software for Linux, almost all with database access to populate the track info (Asunder and Fre:ac). What I have found is that if you are using MP3 files in your car you may need to experiment to get the equalization optimized for the car. The default settings of these programs sound very different. I use Windows Media Player, Asunder, Fre:ac, and each have their quirks, but Fre:ac allows you to rip to FLAC files that are huge, but full dynamic range (probably overkill in many cars), and is available in Snaps, Flatpak, and AppImage.

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