Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

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Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby Fraoch on Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:24 pm

I've been eyeing Linux Mint for quite some time now. I've been using Ubuntu for many years and became quite disillusioned with it when Unity first appeared - then it seemed like each subsequent release just applied updates and bugfixes to Unity, ignoring many other issues. I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon and MATE in VMs and practised on them, getting the desktop just the way I like it and verifying everything works. When Ubuntu 13.10 was released and I found it was more of the same, I finally switched.

My main concern was the loss of all my program preferences. It would have been nice to keep my home directory with all its hidden configuration folders for all the programs but all my research showed it was inadvisable to reuse the home folder. So I made a copy of my home folder and put it on a separate partition so that I'd be able to move over files and keep the configuration folders for reference until everything was running smoothly.

The actual install itself was tricky - for some reason all the Linux USB drive ISO writers did not make bootable keys. This was the same for Ubuntu when I upgraded from scratch so it's not specific to Mint. I did what worked for Ubuntu - I used Universal USB Installer, a Windows program, from my work laptop running Windows XP. Sad but true, it seems to be the only one that makes bootable Linux USB keys every time...

Anyway when I finally installed it, I put the skills I learned on the VM to good use and configured Cinnamon just the way I wanted it. Very, very attractive - I especially like the bar applets. The weather applet can be very small and unobtrusive and there's a great monitor applet that I'm using. The software update applet is usable and functional while not taking up much space too.

I'm a stickler for having full choice when it comes down to how my computer looks and runs. Ubuntu gave me back that control (over Windows) at first but gradually took it away and 13.10 is almost more inflexible than Windows now, especially the Unity bar. Linux Mint has given me back full control and it really feels refreshing.

Other niceties:

- Nemo is a fantastic file manager. I don't know if I'll miss Nautilus' tabbed functionality, I only used that occasionally. I really like the "Open as Root" right-click option, it's come in quite useful as I configure the system. I also like the tiny bars below drives indicating capacity. Small, unobtrusive, yet highly functional, requiring just a glance.

- lower resource usage. Maybe it's the new monitor applet, but CPU and memory usage seem a lot lower...particularly memory.

- lighter, more functional software manager. Ubuntu's was getting very buggy and unwieldy. However it still doesn't beat good ol' Synaptic. :wink:

- Ubuntu codebase. Ubuntu is still the most widely-supported distro out there and everything in Ubuntu still runs fine in Mint. All the configuration instructions, all the mirrors and archive servers, everything. I still get to have all the good things about Ubuntu - wide support, lots of documentation, but I drop what irked me about Ubuntu (Unity and Canonical's increasing "do what we say" attitude.)

Almost everything is working now. I still have to tackle that annoying keyring prompt after auto-login (IIRC this was easy to fix in Ubuntu) and the one big thing is filesharing. I always had to futz with that for days after upgrading Ubuntu and it looks like I'll have to again. But I'll get there.

Thanks for Linux Mint everyone!
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Re: Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby jintawk on Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:10 pm

Welcome to Mint :)
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Re: Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby patrickAK on Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:40 pm

I just switched to Mint from Ubuntu also. So far my impression is very positive. As a desktop GUI, Unity just doesn't cut the grade, (IMHO) I needed a real desktop. I had been trying to use Cinnamon installed on Ubuntu 12.04. It worked decently at first but then started crashing while switching between users. As updates came along one thing after another started breaking. Sorry you had trouble with installation, once I got my machine to boot from USB I had no problems at all. Best of luck!
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Re: Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby Crewp on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:56 pm

Welcome to Linux Mint :D
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Re: Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby Eggnog on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:13 pm

I started in Linux with openSUSE lo those many years ago. It was okay, but I wanted to try Ubuntu back when it had a different mission, or so it seemed. After a while I tried the upstart Linux Mint back around 3 or 4 or so, I can't remember exactly. I used both for a while, going back and forth, and then I finally dumped Ubuntu for Mint and haven't looked back. I'm currently running Maya LTS as my main OS and will upgrade when Mint 17 gets here. I also have a new LMDE installation just to toy with.

I think you'll find, after a while, that Mint is superb once you configure it like you want it and get used to it. It's an OS that doesn't get in your way. It's quite stable, very quick, and the developers listen to the users. You can be productive with it or have fun with it.

Welcome to Linux Mint.
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Re: Just made the plunge to Linux Mint!

Postby Fraoch on Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:46 am

Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Eggnog wrote:the developers listen to the users.


That's the key. No one ever asked for Unity...except Canonical, who seemed to have some idea that they could get it running on tablets and phones and make money.

Step 1: Unity.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Profit!

All the work on Mir is just more of the same. Ubuntu is departing from partnering with the Linux community and is increasingly doing things on their own to meet Canonical's corporate goals.

Enough about Ubuntu - moving on to Mint, I've just configured nut (Network UPS Tools) for my UPS. Works great, the clincher is if a test shutdown works then powers up the UPS again. Worked great! On to file sharing.
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