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Linux mint, all the programs I can install from software manager are REALLY old


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#1 rp88

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:42 PM

I've been using linux mint lately, the mate version, 64 bit installed onto a USB drive, so not live, but not wiping over windows on my hard-drive either. I've been having a go with some of the software available from the software manager, but I've realised that the versions available are ANCIENT.

I went to install something called kdenlive, a video editor program, to try it out. It installs and I try to use it, it crashes, I look online for help, then I find that the versions now be talked about are versions 16.8 and above, the version that had just been installed on my system was 0.9.8, which I think was from when the program was still being tested. Why did the software manager not download the most up to date version for me.

Another example, there's a 3d modelling program called makehuman which I thought I'd try out, it could be helpful in parts of an animating workflow as a quick way to make character objects. So I instaleld it from the software manager, then found it had far less features that the versions discussed online, shortly afterwards I realised I had installed a version that was atleast 3 years older than the ones being discussed online. Surely I should have got the latest version from the software manager?

Another example though less extreme is firefox, I know that version 53 is out now, and I updated my linux system today, but the version of firefox I'm working with right now is 52.0.2, surely updating this morning should have got me the latest version?

So I've come to the conclusion that the programs available in the software manager are old, many of them REALLY old, how do I correct this and get myself some up to date versions of the software I'd like to have a go with? Once I've got them I won't be so worried about keeping all those programs up-to-date, as the ones I'm interested in (other than things like my browser ofcourse) are offline things so don't have much in the way of security worries, but when I download a piece of software for the first time I'd like to be able to get the current version rather than one from years back (in some cases a version still in testing before development was complete).

How is this done? Does some part of the package manager or software manager need updating? Or do I have to go to the software's website and download .deb files for the recent versions rather than rely on the software manager? Or do I use the terminal instead, though surely that is just another way of getting at the same program versions as the software manager can.

P.S. I just checked, I'm on mint Mate 64 bit version 17.3 (the last one to have built in support for codecs), I know that there is an 18.0 and 18.1 out now but I'd made this installed USB before they came out and for now I haven't the time to make a new live USB (of 18.0/.1 rather than 17.3) so I could then make a new installed USB so I could then have an installed USB with the latest version on it.

Thanks

Edited by rp88, 20 April 2017 - 02:58 PM.

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#2 The-Toolman

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 03:27 PM

Yes a lot of the programs in Linux repositories are older versions.

 

If you want the latest of software programs you can always go directly to the programs website and see if a newer version is available for Linux as a deb file which you can download and it should install without problems although no guarantees.

 

I personally have never had any issues with the older software programs from the Linux repositories.

I have found that newest software programs isn't always without problems or bugs.

 

Just make sure that wherever you go to download software from that it is a legitimate site for the software you are wanting.

Linux repositories are secure and trusted.

 

You can also add other repositories that may have newer updated software programs.

 

For my minimal computer needs I can usually run with what comes installed right out of the box.


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#3 The-Toolman

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:36 PM

Another example though less extreme is firefox, I know that version 53 is out now, and I updated my linux system today, but the version of firefox I'm working with right now is 52.0.2, surely updating this morning should have got me the latest version?




 

Just received firefox 53 update so please be patient as all good things do finally reach their destination.


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#4 NickAu

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:39 PM

I have FF 53 on my Ubuntu system.



#5 rp88

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:02 PM

Ok, so repository software is generally expected to be old? And it's nothing I can "fix" on my system, rather I either wait, or go and download software from it's developer's site. When doing the latter, as linux has no antiviruses available for it how do I ensure I'm getting the right files. Just check the URL and check the files' sha-256 hashes?
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#6 pcpunk

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:34 PM

Just check the URL and check the files' sha-256 hashes?

Yes, I don't bother as I don't need the cutting edge stuff.  All the stuff that comes with the Distro is proven to work the best for that Distro for the most part.  I do download and install stuff but always ask unless I'm already familiar with the site.

 

I would just ask per. software you want, or think you need, to find others experience with it.  What do you need?

 

 

 Or do I have to go to the software's website and download .deb files for the recent versions rather than rely on the software manager? Or do I use the terminal instead, though surely that is just another way of getting at the same program versions as the software manager can.

You can do either, but the .deb file may be easier if your going at it yourself.  If you've already installed gdebi then you are all set, it may be installed by default, can't remember now.  Just Click or Double Click on .deb file and it will install.  Or Right Click and search for gdebi to install.  

 

1. Using the Terminal you can do whatever you want, download and install from a site via. Terminal.

 

2. Download traditional way and then Install via. Terminal.  

 

3. Or, the easiest way as I like to do, just download traditional way and use gdebi to install.  But always ask IMO, as some things don't install properly with gdebi.  Some older packages for instance, won't install on Mint 18, Ubuntu 16.04, because the Installers are not written for the newer Distro, and the configuration file location may have changed, as with some Drivers for Printers.  So perhaps, some of these newer programs won't install with gdebi on 17.3, or there will be separate downloads for each.  It's worth asking IMO as you may end up with a mess as opposed to an attempt at doing it right the first time.

 

4. I think you will never experience Linux properly from a USB, Lord knows I've tried, and it works well enough, but IMO not for the stuff you are trying to do.  For simple stuff it's fine, find yourself another pc to install to, or another drive to run from this pc.  You can really bang  around if you find a handmedown pc somewhere.


Edited by pcpunk, 20 April 2017 - 06:53 PM.

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#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:32 PM

For mint the best way to get new software is to use PPA's or personal package archives.

Mint 17.3 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 a long term support release meaning latest and greatest apps are not a priority.

Its a stability release so a package will only get a update if its security.

Now from a stability standpoint there is nothing wrong with using older versions of software, and security patches will come to your system until the year 2019 when Ubuntu 14.04's lifespan is over.

Keep in mind lot all distros do this, a distro such as Manjaro will offer the latest and greatest and still remain for the most part stable.

I know you are still getting into the linux ecosystem but do learn what each distro has a bit and what versions of said Linux can offer.

Each distro has its pros and cons though so its up to you if you wish to use say Mint 18.1 or even try Manjaro.


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#8 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:08 AM

AFAIK, it's very similar to why Debian always uses older versions of software packages. They test, and they test (and test, and test); Debian will not release anything for use by the stable release version before it's been proved, incontrovertibly, that that software package will run absolutely stable, and won't crash.

 

Running the very latest 'bleeding-edge' packages of anything is not without risk; software always takes time to settle down through the 'bug-sorting' process, and if you want to run the very latest all the time, it's something you've got to be prepared to accept, I'm afraid.

 

TBH, I'm like Toolman; slightly older package versions work fine for me, since I just want stuff that works, and doesn't keep crashing on me. My needs are not demanding..! And I agree with Madman about the LTS versions; for them, stability is the priority.....not newest features all the time.

 

RE: FireFox. Can't you get the update to 53 by using the Menu->Help->About FireFox option?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 21 April 2017 - 05:11 AM.

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#9 NickAu

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:14 AM

I am sure the latest FF will be in the repo shortly if it already isn't. 



#10 The-Toolman

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:09 AM

Here you go rp88

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/ubuntuzilla/files/mozilla/apt/pool/main/f/firefox-mozilla-build/


Edited by The-Toolman, 21 April 2017 - 11:10 AM.

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

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Inspiration can be found in a pile of junk. Sometimes, you can put it together with a good imagination and invent something.

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#11 DodoIso

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 04:49 AM

rp88, software in repositories are old because they are maintained by a group of volunteer programmers.  They have lots of issues to deal with like library versions and compatibility in their own spare time, a nightmare if you ask me.  And this is the same problem with many other Un*x system.  Often, older versions are not a problem, but it is problematic for 3D, video and audio software that you want to use.  In those cases, a new version of those kind of software is for bug fixes and new (already thoroughly tested) features.  Software that you mention like MakeHuman and Blender are developed under Python so it doesn't matter if you keep the Python 2 from your repository, but do use the latest version of MakeHuman (and Blender) from the official developers website.  You'll see!  It's night and day.

 
A little sidetrack, you mentioned being interested by kdenlive...  I tried the latest version, and was not very impressed by this one (failure to render a simple cut in a video footage).  This is an ongoing search, but I'm now testing Flowblade.  It looks promising!

Edited by DodoIso, 22 April 2017 - 04:56 AM.


#12 cat1092

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:43 AM

rp88, you can try opening a Terminal and use a single command below to update all of your software that's updatable, as well as system updates. :)

 

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

 

You will have to type a capital Y when presented with the option. Finally, yes some of the software is indeed old, and the Update Manager won't change any of these. Instead, you can try looking for similar, newer alternatives, if any can be found. Sometimes I just grab a .deb file from the Internet (such as for Google Chrome or Vivaldi), once installed, the system will keep it updated.

 

My Firefox on Linux Mint 18.1 is the latest version, 53.0. If you run the above command, this will be updated. :)

 

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