First taste of Linux Mint

Years ago I had tried to reinstall XP on my laptop, but it rejected the key that came with it. I could have called MS, but was torqued that they would force me to call in just to get their OS to work as it should have. Instead, I downloaded and installed the free Kubuntu (the KDE flavor of Ubuntu Linux). It worked like a charm and was working well in short order. It worked well for more than five years.

Last night, after reading quite a bit about Linux Mint, I figured it was time for an upgrade. I downloaded the DVD ISO and did the install. Or rather, I attempted to do the install. This was the first red flag. After 15 minutes or so, an error popped up “So sorry, but the installer crashed. You can submit a bug to…” I powered it off and tried again. This time it seemed to be working fine for about 20-25 minutes (it’s an older laptop). But right towards the end, it gave a different error about not being able to install the boot loader.

Seriously? After I just had it erase and recreate partitions, it wasn’t able to install a boot loader by itself? And the options it gave were:
1. Try again or try another partition (both of which failed again)
2. Continue without a boot loader (and not be able to boot up, thus rendering the last install useless.
3. Quit.
I even tried going into terminal and telling grub to install to /dev/sda but got yet another error.

So here I am looking at a blank screen after rebooting the laptop. I’m sure there are a dozen forums where I can scrape and scrounge for information about how to get Grub working, but why should I need to go that route? (I even did that for a while, being an incurable geek.) Making your OS boot is one of the most basic needed things of the entire install. If they can’t get that right, why should I bother with the rest? This would certainly leave a new user completely stymied, so if they want Mint to be popular, they need to work out the bugs. Maybe I’ll try Debian Linux.

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