BLUG Thursday May 21st Meeting Report

Meeting went well and was well attended with 12 present, even with a last minute date change.  Clint had ready for show and discussion, the LinuxMint 17.1 Rebecca upgrade and Ubuntu 15.04 in-place upgrade.  He led off with LinuxMint 17.1 which he had running on his laptop, as an in-place upgrade from 17 Qiana.  Clint stressed that LinuxMint had returned to a "long-term-release" where upgrades and maintenance with updates would be supported for a long time to come.  LinuxMint 17.1 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and as such will be supported with securty updates until 2019.  The package base will be supported with updates through 2016.  And if future system upgrades are as well implemented as the upgrade from 17 to 17.1 was, LinuxMint should remain the operating system of choice in migrating Windows users to Linux and for Linux users who want a stable operating system that fully supports multi-media.  Clint went through server web links from on the new features of LinuxMint and upgrading to Rebecca: (release notes) (How to upgrade)

We did have some discussion on the non-pae (Parallel Address Extension) CPU's.  According to LinuxMint, to boot Linux Mint 17.1 on CPU which do not officially support PAE (Pentium M processors for instance), please use the "Start Linux Mint with PAE forced" option from the boot menu.  This note is found in the release notes.  Apparently, the older Pentium M (mobile) processors found in older laptops do not "advertise" the PAE flag but non-the-less support PAE and will work with current Linux Distributions requiring PAE.  A couple other of links on this topic: (PAE problem solved) (how-to)

Postmeeting note: I tried both LinuxMint 17.1 using the Force PAE option and Ubuntu LTS with forcepae -- forcepae succesfully on a 2005 Pentium M 1.4 GHz laptop (no pae cpu flag) and it worked for both distributions (using the 32 bit version of each).  I then went ahead and installed LinuxMint 17.1 32 Bit (Force PAE) on the laptop, it installed without any problems, and it would boot up in just over a minute; not bad for current distribution on 10 year old hardware.  And I was able to play a DVD movie without any stalling except when I would start up another application like Firefox and then the stalling was hardly noticiable. - Clint

Moving on to upgrading to 15.04 which was released on April 23rd.  Clint was "forced" to upgrade to 15.04 because his 14.10 wouldn't run Google's Chrome which was working previously.  Upgrading was as easy of making sure 14.10 was fully updated and then issuing the command sudo do-release-upgrade as documented at Also discussed was five biggest changes:  Ubuntu 15.04 has switched to systemd and systemctl for startup and managing system services.  Systemd provides for fast startups and systemctl provides ease of management of system services.  Systemctl provides the ability to easily check the status as well as start/stop/enable system services at the command line.  Clint shared 6 text files in demonstrating how systemd and systemctl works as a tutorial and how-to. He also reported that the upgrade to 15.04 went very smoothly, in under two hours from start to finish on his system and resolved his Chrome issues as well as other updates.

Clint's last item was a web video from the Montana Linux User Group on the soon to be released Fedora 22 (April 26th) and all the different desktop's that are supported in Fedora 22.  It is pretty awesome and is gaining favor as a desktop of choice for newbies and Linux users alike.  He had also obtained the kickstart files used to create the installation media used in the video and made those availabe on request.

During the open portion of the meeting, conversations about the Rasberry Pi were had, and Mark showed a 7 port USB strip with power switches for each of the USB ports which would be useful managing power to a stack of Pi's. At Amazon, Generic 7-Port USB Hub with ON/OFF Switch, Black (7 Port USB Hub) $5  for the usb 2.0 version:  There is also a 3.0 version now available (13.99).

Clint also briefly discussed Cups and installing the printer drivers for his HL-5470DW printer which as not well suppored on LinuxMint 17.1.  He found that Brother had a Linux driver installer that did a superb job of not only installing the correct driver but also configured the cups /etc/cups/printers.conf file for his printer.  We also looked briefly at the cups web console accessible at http://localhost:631.

Clint asked if there was interest in seeing a linux based free phone system and there was so we will try to get that scheduled for our next meeting which will be Tuesday, June 16th.  With that the meeting ended.  Thanks again to Taos for providing the meeting location along with great pizza, soda, and cookies for those attending.