I thought I might be able to add something to this conversation:
I have been a PCLinuxOS user for a little over a year. I tried LOTS of distros before I settled on PCLinuxOS. With that said, I am certainly not a Linux expert. I can do the basics, and even tinker with a text file or two with help from a forum. But, just the basics.
I just discovered Mint a couple of days ago, and I am very impressed. I'm not quite ready to switch from PCLinuxOS, but I may someday! Here's what I liked about Mint:
- Repositories have EVERYTHING! Ubuntu has a ton of software available.
- mintMenu -- I've always loved SLAB like menus, and this is the best I've ever seen. Awesome! I also love how Beagle is integrated into it. With PCLinuxOS I used Google Desktop, but I prefer FOSS like Beagle.
- mintInstall -- pretty cool. Maybe someday it will replace synaptic, and I like how it can use any repository with no extra work on my end.
- No Gnome-like menus on top of screen. Just one bar on the bottom of the screen with a menu button. I hate that about Gnome. Excluding that, I think Gnome is probably just as good as KDE. (Except I miss Karamba and Nautilus should have a way to type the location of a directory as well as to navigate to it!)
- Pretty Good Control Center
- Automatically handles drives. PCLinuxOS does this too, but many distros don't adjust fstab automatically to make life easy.
- Automatically handles most multimedia keyboard keys like volume keys. KDE doesn't do this.
- Automatic Updates - Love this feature of Ubuntu. Glad you included it in Mint!
Very impressive. I think Mint will definitely continue to grow in popularity.
Now, here's what PCLinuxOS does better, IMHO. I'd love to see Mint get some of these features:
- Stable. VERY stable. Unfortunately, for Mint to be this stable, they'd probably have to maintain their own repos. This kills one of Mint's best qualities: LOTS of software in the repos. I'd rather see Mint stick with Ubuntu's big repos. Maybe they could manage mission-critical stuff and leave the rest to Ubuntu's repos.
- DKMS -- Great for installing things like new kernels and video drivers.
- Control Center -- Mint is good, but probably not quite this good. One of my favorite control center utilities from PCLinuxOS is the GRUB editor. I can change all my GRUB settings without editing any text files. (By the way, I love the xorg.conf editor in Mint's Control Center. Nice touch!) Another thing I'd like to see is a backup program in Mint's Control Center. PCLinuxOS's backup program stinks, but it is better than nothing.
- K3B - I know I can't D/L it from the repos, but I consider this standard software. I'd love to see this included with the distro install CD.
- Photo Software -- Same issue. I can D/L F-spot or some other one from the repos, but I think this should be included on the distro install CD.
- Artwork -- Linux Mint looks really good (better than 95% of distros, frankly), but not quite as polished as PCLinuxOS. This wasn't true of 93a, but 2007 is beautiful.
- Proprietary nvidia drivers from repo automatically change xorg.conf to fix the Windows Decorations problem with Beryl and Nvidia. This is easy to do because Nvidia drivers are a simple package with DKMS. I have to use Envy with Mint and then edit xorg.conf.
- Klipper -- Love this! Why not include Glipper in Mint?
Anyway, I am very impressed! Linux Mint is a great, easy-to-use distro. I hope these comments are helpful, and I may indeed install Linux Mint the next time I reinstall a distro on my hard drive. It's nice to see more desktop Linux distros out there for the average Joe. IMHO, Linux Mint has joined PCLinuxOS and MEPIS as the three easiest distros to switch from Windows to Linux.