Large 16.04 LTS updates

Thought that this post was better under topic for discussion rather than just ubuntu. :face_with_monocle:
Perhaps admin would like to transfer post? Okay by me – thanks.

Hey Guys, I have been getting a little perturbed over the past few months over ubuntu 16.04 LTS updates which are now frequently quite large and extensive. As Trisquel is also based on ubuntu 16.04 LTS I am, of course, having to update my two laptops. No – I am not thinking of upgrading my Dell Latitude E6420 to 18 or even 20 and yes I am aware that ubuntu 16.04 LTS is fast approaching end of life :frowning_face: early next year – it’s just too mainstream bloatware for my taste and requirements; reminding me of how we ended up with Win10. :scream: I’m still regularly using WinXP-Pro but still not using (dual boot) Win10 at all on the Dell. :woozy_face:

As a matter of interest; could I ask our knowledgeable members and staff if there is any underlying reason as to why so many large updates are required for 16.04 LTS? Are we subject to any recent security threats :bomb: :dash: :supervillain: for instance or is the footprint just getting ever larger? Not as I use the ubuntu-Dell much these days it does seem to be stable and fast when using web, photo editing or FreeCAD.

With so many ubuntu based distros in use; is there a consensus :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: on what is the best none ubuntu based medium footprint distro? Are those Minty guys still developing an ubuntu free version? Have any members installed the latest Trisquel 9.0 – if so on what hardware? How many of us have stayed with 16.04 LTS? Of that number who has or is going to switch to what?
Thanks guys - Stay Safe. :mask:

It’s all a question of perspective: When it comes to servers with multiple users and critical corporate processes, I see the point of not upgrading too often (If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it) but for desktops and notebooks: why wouldn’t you use the most recent version? Usually, the newer versions need less resources and are therefore often better for older computers.

I always did rolling upgrades and never had any issues with them, though I admit that from forum posts one might deduce that other people had not always had the same experience.

As far as updates are concerned, I cannot speak about the 16 versions anymore as I am on 20 with all devices. I haven’t noticed an increased frequency of updates over the last 10 years or so.

I was really amused when I read your question whether there was any kind of consensus about …

People never ever agree on anything. If there were a reason for me to leave the Ubuntu universe (I am on Kubuntu as I always preferred KDE over Gnome), I’d go either for Arch, in order to feel like a real pro, or OpenSuse - back to my beginnings.

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Hey Mina, thanks for responding to my questions. Glad you found some amusement within a consensus – perhaps take a look at DistroWatch dot com to see the hit parade?
Shocked to the core by… :astonished:

….thought as with Windows you needed ever later computers with more RAM, more HD space and faster chips as the versions roll on – you say no. Can I install Win10 on my old Pentium2 Win95 desktop computer? :face_with_monocle: Just took a look at desktop image for 16.04.7 LTS being 1.6G whereas for 20.04.1 LTS it jumps by quantum leap to 2.6G. I know this is only a rough comparison but this in part is what I refer to as being bloated. There does seem to be a consensus that 16 recommended HD of 25G can run on 10G. Again 20.04 requires 25G and also dump your 32 bit system for a 64 bit system – Er, new computer perhaps?
I suppose you are correct as I must admit the ongoing posts 18 and now 20 sounding like an agony Aunt page month after month does put me off. :woozy_face:
Still none the wiser regarding recent large updates for 16 LTS :thinking:

Looking at this very plainly, this is correct. However, I find those increased demands very well justified. Newer systems mostly are better suited for today’s internet and apps. So even if you are happy with your stone age Ubuntu, that can handle your computer, then this does not mean that this stone age Ubuntu can handle what it is supposed to handle, nowadays. E.g. a 20 year old computer would maybe run Ubuntu 10.04 well, but the computer would still be useless, because it could barely load a website filled with JavaScript and other bloat.

Specifically the increased demand for higher storage capacity is very justified, in my opinion.
Nowadays, for about 150 bucks you can buy an 8TB hard drive! (Or roughly 100 bucks for a used one.)
So an increase from 10GiB, over 20GiB to 25GiB is from today’s perspective absolutely minimal, anyway.
Back in the '90s maybe your 4GB hard drive was a big deal, but 4GB is today nothing but a little tip on the mountain of storage space, every normal computer has.

Nowadays, if you need a couple of GiB more, then you can use some free cloud storage, where they offer 1GB, 5GB or 10GB cloud storage for free. So just because of the progress in time, you already save more space than you lose.

If you buy a really cheap pre-built computer today, it is almost guaranteed to contain a hard drive or even SSD that has at least 1TB storage size. Now ask this storage medium, if it cares about the 5GiB more that you have in the newly demanded 25GiB. :smiley:

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I’m still kind of new to Linux, having just started with Linux Mint 18.3 about 2 years ago. I now have LM 20 on my laptop and LM 19.3 on my desktop. But I too, got the same feeling about the updates.

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Hey @easyt50 So we are about the same on the Linux pathway and both using ubuntu based systems. I am also using native ubuntu 16.04 LTS and we both are a little wary of frequent large updates. :frowning: I might jump to something Minty when LTS runs out. @abhishek reckons Mint is better than ubuntu for beginners…

but…. For me it is also a choice of direction and trust…

Still I have some time yet to make a choice for an ubuntu alternative system. Well, hello Debbie :woman: Debian :cupid: No doubt a topic will be raised nearer the end of life for 16 :ghost:

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Re Mint-Ubuntu free, yes they released LMDE several months ago, and, it is GOOD. Please let me suggest you check it out: https://linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php. Burn it to a DVD and run it as a “live dvd”, to see for yourself. I’ve been a “more than satisfied” Mint user for 12 years now.

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Thanks @tosim91 I have explored mint and MX via live DVD previously, was hoping for less bloat than ubuntu but it seems their goal with LMDE-4 is to make it as close to current mint as possible. :roll_eyes: Still, not relying on canon ubuntu is a plus for me :slightly_smiling_face:
So we have our own FOSS page LMDE review that isn’t a review at all - just a paste job! Please could we have something better or is it so close to mint-19 that it is not worth the time and effort?
Comments section though is quite interesting with some alluding to my worst nightmare that ubuntu and regular mint 19 -20 are getting like a bloated Win10 – Gah :nauseated_face:
Makes me feel like staying as far away from both brands as possible – perhaps revisit MX-19 Linux or investigate Hyperbola GNU/Linux and PureOS.
:deer: gNewSense Skeleton :skull_and_crossbones: may make an appearance in 2021.

Tux Machines have some sort of supposed review by listing other sources of information and there is also a video as you scroll down - LMDE 4 Debbie Run Through – Poor low resolution but gives some idea of what to expect. :face_with_monocle:

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I have used, and have, both AntiX, and MX each on older laptops, and also on a bootable flasahcard using the program Pentoy. If you want OS’s that are very small, have no junk, and are extremely fast, you should checkout various “Puppies” and “Dogs”. I’ve been “playing” with many different ones for about 3 years now, and they come in 32b and 64b OS’s. I’d recommend FossaDog,64b to start. Very current, very fast, LTS. Great help in all Puppy and Dog forums.Below
are 3 GREAT Puppy/Dog url’s.
https://debiandog.github.io/doglinux/zz04fossadog.html

              https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=478  

              https://forum.puppylinux.com/

Hi @tosim91 Like what you are doing checking out other OS variant distros. Also like your post because it confirms that lightweight variants are viable. I presume one of them is used regularly? However as I wish to be free from ubuntu when 16.04 is no longer supported; found your link was going in the wrong direction for me because it says FossaDog is a fork of “DebianDog” with the difference that it’s Ubuntu based. Perhaps the other dogs are more obedient? DebianDog or BusterDog. Hope these do not have the reported backdoor? Drifting off topic here but as Nils Torvalds (a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Nils was present at recent committee inquiry held on the “Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens”. Here, representatives from a number of companies named in documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) said…

“When my oldest son [Linus Torvalds] was asked the same question: “Has he been approached by the NSA about backdoors?” he said “No”, but at the same time he nodded. Then he was sort of in the legal free. He had given the right answer, [but] everybody understood that the NSA had approached him.

The NSA said at around the same time that the only backdoor missing was into iOS (implying it had all others incl Linux covered) but that is now done for them by Crapple…did they even write it…?

As I implied before; there is also an element of trust…. Do you trust ubuntu and mint?

Hoping FSF and their sponsored gnu project is okay? Trisquel included? They seem to be aware of and are not shy about publicly naming offenders in their view and what software should be.

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I don’t think, the NSA was talking about Linux when they said “the only backdoor missing was into iOS”. They were probably referring to Microsoft OS and MacOS, possibly to ChromeOS and Android.

I think, we can be pretty sure that at least the Linux kernel has no purposefully introduced backdoor.
The same can surely be said about major open source applications.

I might be naive but I believe, any well maintained and updated Linux installation on a computer with a user who knows what she is doing, should be secure enough to prevent random hacker attacks. An encrypted file system provides another layer of security against unwanted physical access to the device.

However, if I needed to prevent a targeted attack, I would switch to Arch, compile everything from source and reduce applications and usage to a minimum. For a secure server, I would probably even think of switching from Linux to FreeBSD.

Remember: The biggest security risk is usually in front of the computer, not inside.

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FYI- Debian has been around since 1993, (see:https://www.datamation.com/open-source/7-reasons-to-use-debian-and-3-reasons-not-to.html), and there are many Linux OS’s based on it. If you are interested in the Puppy and Dog OS’s, and do not want a Debian, or 'Buntu based(basically sameo,sameo), go the main Puppy forum site and signup, and then post your desires. They will gladly, and quickly, accomodate you.

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Hi @Mina Not sure if Edward or Gary McKinnon would agree with you on this –

or…

however I would suggest that any person of any gender – taking your lead would have installed the update containing the backdoor by hackers – Oops! Yes, they sure did. :open_mouth:
For example:-

Now we find ubuntu has a backdoor provided by canon itself – does this make it a frontdoor – hmm :shushing_face:
In reality your every page visit and every action is recorded and sent to the Land of the Free! :us: It, PRISM or WHY was introduced at some time in an upgrade or the ability for it to be embedded. :supervillain:

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I don’t know what are you referring to with this statement.

I know and I don’t like it, but: My main concern is not the NSA or the Chinese or Russian intelligence but the possibility that backdoors could be used by criminals.

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Hi @Mina I don’t think you read the Linux Reviews link that I posted – a couple of posts above.
I have pasted it here for you – as you will see it is very clear from Mr Clem Mint…

If you then take a look at the implications of what the owner’s of ubuntu in partnership with goolag are doing … Yikes :nauseated_face: think I am done with ubuntu forever. They even describe it as infected Canon Malware:supervillain: It runs as root, and it installs itself without asking you. :astonished:
For a better understanding – again, go back and read the gnu org link I gave you and then click the insecurity link on that page.
Who knows what is in the ubuntu software? Do you trust it – Mint most definitely does not.

I actually had read it. Whilst I do see the problem, I personally consider the term Canonical Malware as to be hugely exaggerated.
Whilst I never used plain Ubuntu nor did I ever enable snapd on my system, my understanding is that snap applications run in a sandbox.

I strongly believe that every user has to find her personal balance between security, privacy and usability based on her personal needs and preferences and I also believe that most cases where personal data is misused have their origin in bad personal choices.

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@Mina I respect your opinion but believe the mint developers and users have a substantially different opinion to yours - as can be clearly seen and read by all.
You then write

Hey, this is not a personal choice when…

… personal choice has nothing to do with it save for using ubuntu in the first place :roll_eyes: or having goolag, crapple, NSA watching over your shoulder recording your every move and location :scream:

I think both of you have good points, but I think the real issue is, that you both are a bit digressing from a single topic, into 2 different topics.

@Andy2, you are right, about all the problematic surveillance, which certainly is not just OK and to be accepted by everyone. However, I personally think, and I guess many can agree with me, just because data is collected, it is not bad, per sé. The bad part is, when big data is misused and in the worst case is misused in a way, the user does and cannot know about, because he was actively mislead.
That said, I sometimes voluntarily opt-in to data harvesting. For example, there is a game called “Generation Zero” that was quite buggy and players had therefore lots of issues playing it. They were all the time complaining about it. The very same people were complaining that the developers started harvesting data about how the game works for people and how well the game runs for them, plus any bugs, crashes, issues, etc. to improve the game. To me, this is quite a schizophrenic attitude, because they complain about the game being buggy, while also refusing to help the developer fix the bugs.
I do not want to fall into the same double standard trap as them, so I voluntarily opted into their data collection about my game experience. After all, it’s my personal data, but it’s just my personal data about the game, not my life. This is an agreement I am more than willing to accept.

There are even more extreme examples, like e.g. American actors, that get millions of dollars per year, but in turn have NO privacy at all, anymore. Oftentimes, this does not happen voluntarily, but on the other hand, if you become a famous actor, you kind of have to expect that people will be interested in you and your privacy will shrink the more famous you become.

That of course does not mean, that OS users should be just mislead by the NSA, etc. in malicious ways, though even this specific topic is relative.

Let’s see it from a less absolute and more relativistic perspective:
If you have the choice between Apple OS, Microsoft OS and Canonical OS – which one do you choose? If privacy is of big value to you, you will choose Canonical OS (Ubuntu), even though it may have surveillance problems, as well.
Why?
Because the alternatives are much worse in the current world.

Finally, the harsh truth is, that sometimes you have no choice but to be the bad guy, even though you might not want to be. Let’s look at Microsoft and Apple.
Are they huge companies which often screw customers over? Yes.
Does that mean they also spy everything about you voluntarily? Not necessarily.
I do not know too much about Apple, so I will take Microsoft as an example.
Microsoft is known to have implemented huge metrics gatherers into their currently newest operating system, Windows 10. This is certainly voluntarily. However – if you compete with companies like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, etc. you must be so intrusive and gather all the user data you are allowed to, or you will go bankrupt and e.g. Apple will take over you place, because they certainly won’t stop screwing over their customers, just because Microsoft stopped doing it, in this hypothetical scenario.
This is even much so for state-driven surveillance. Imagine you are the CEO of Microsoft and the boss of the NSA or whatever tells you to build a backdoor into your OS. What are you gonna do? Say “no”? They will laugh at you, ask you kindly again and if you still refuse, they will either remove you from your CEO position through a fake scandal in mainstream news or will find other illegal ways of forcing this backdoor upon you and your company. Same goes for Apple. They sometimes refused to install this and that backdoor but let’s be honest –

the NSA asks you a favour you cannot refuse.

So no matter how long you try to fight back, if you have a huge significance and are legally just a huge company with lots of money, then you still have to obey some rules and some powers. These will win in the end, as long as the current system stands as it currently is.

To be honest, this is the best upshot I would give this discussion. I would only emphasize a bit more, that @Andy2 is in fact correct, that a lot of users do not have the choice, because they simply do not get to know what is happening to their personal data or why. Sometimes, they are actively mislead. All this is true. However, I am sure that most of the time the user has a responsibility.

You cannot be free, if you are afraid to use your own sanity.

That is roughly what Kant told us in one of his famous books. In order to achieve freedom, including freedom of choice, you have to dare to use your own rationality to either accept or refuse offers given you, whether it is a registration at Facebook, Twitter or using Ubuntu. In the end, most of the responsibility is most of the time to be sought within the consumer, not outside of him.

In my opinion, if a user is blindly registering on Facebook, (supposedly) not knowing that they lose their rights to their pictures, videos, pretty much their whole personal life, then I honestly think, that the user is 90% at fault in this scenario. If you are a person that almost reached the year of the Lord 2021, then I expect you to know by common sense, what Facebook will do to your freedom!

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Hey I hear what you are saying loud and clear but could I be so bold as to correct you on a couple of points…? Could I ask if you have any consideration for our planet…?
My 20 year old 15.6” (bigger is better) HP Notebook running stone age ubuntu….etc. What…?
Bit of maths required here but actually HP G60 was released here in 2008 and is now running Trisquel OS based on currently supported ubuntu 16.04 LTS – I trust you agree knowing how precise you usually are?

Not sure where you are coming from here or which websites you perceive as being problematic for the old girl? Having three different browsers all using DuckDuckGo search; I have no problem at all with Webmail near 1,500 messages, Ebay and newspapers such as the Gaurdian which have so many scripts running or watching videos. Perhaps you can point me to a webpage and I can then send you a short video clip of it loading? I thought that web loading speeds were more to do with your connection than hardware? I am using a 3 dongle which works great even in our Motorhome miles away from nearest town.
I took this Notebook with me around Europe, Scandinavia and China with my SolidWorks CAD programme, CAD files, docs, photos etc without problem except for those terrible windows and AV updates. Yes if you need more room buy an external drive for storage – I just use my external drive for backups. Personally I don’t trust the cloud or VPN encryption.
Could I interject an analogy…. Just like in the Land of the Free where bigger is better without question – where they drive huge inefficient leviathans to do some shopping – total overkill – where is the need for all that lard and power to get some groceries around the corner – why do we feel the need for such incredible technology and computing power to email a friend, post on a forum, visit websites or watch videos on Invidious? Why would we choose to live in a 1,000 room mansion with cupboards, wardrobes and other storage in each room, even with an inventory how would we muster the will to visit most of the rooms and their storage capacity – total overkill? (Thanks gamers for making our home CAD stations affordable) My ancient XP-Pro home built CAD station still amazes the boss and CAD jockeys with its speed rebuilding complex CAD models from the ground up and photo quality rendering.
Should we think deeply about what we are doing to our planet and the legacy to the next generations now that our devices have become yet another throw away disposable fashion must have as we wander blindly across the road or rail tracks scrolling away with our buds or headphones on – SPLAT – Sorry, my fault, I wandered off topic :blush:

Hi @easyt50 Howard, I suppose you have just updated both of your computers? :roll_eyes: I have just updated Trisquel again. After a couple of recent small 6Mb updates I have just updated again with an official 64.4Mb zipped download:-
update64MB
Still not as bad as Windows Vista whatever and then having to update and reboot only to find the AntiVirus needs updating as well - Still not done - as you lost the will to live with a virus trojan full system scan by which time I had forgotten why I had fired it up in the first place :crazy_face:
Thank you it’s FOSS for rescuing me from the gates of WinHELL
ps My SmartPhone which I flashed to GrapheneOS has just updated itself - prompting me to reboot it :slightly_smiling_face: