Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint

Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby lmlm on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:14 am

I am a relative newbie to Linux who started off on Ubuntu. I like Ubuntu's comprehensiveness but seek a more Windows-like interface, as I often use multiple browsers and programs. Unity is annoying because it shows only 1 icon for Firefox, even when I have 3 separate Firefox windows open, for example.

    Should I just add a KDE shell to Ubuntu, or switch to Mint? Is resource use similar?

    Which Mint distro should I use... are they all Debian-based? I assume Debian would be the easiest transition for an Ubuntu user, as well as the most supported for applications?

    Is Cinammon the most similar to a Windows7 interface? Is it true that it is unstable?

My computers are (1) an i3 with 4GB of RAM, and (2) an i5 Quad-core with 8-16GB of RAM. Thanks.

I also need advice on the best distro/desktop for a Virtual Machine, but I'll post that separately (feel free to comment here, though).
lmlm
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:15 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby oobetimer on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:38 am

lmlm wrote:Which Mint distro should I use... are they all Debian-based? I assume Debian would be the easiest transition for an Ubuntu user, as well as the most supported for applications?

Is Cinammon the most similar to a Windows7 interface? Is it true that it is unstable?[/list]

Basically Debian, Ubuntu and Mint are using the same apllications, so there is no difference.

Cinnamon is unstable, but if you want windows interface, install Zorin OS
http://zorin-os.com/
User avatar
oobetimer
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1889
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:53 pm
Location: Finland / above the Arctic Circle

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby DataMan on Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:32 am

Another option to consider is MATE. It's basically a gnome type of environment. It allows you (through the panel options to include a workspace switcher). Each defined workspace has it's own area within the panel. I currently have 10 workspaces defined and use up to 8 at a session (work-related). <opinion>MATE desktop will not be too heavy in all of the eye candy buzzola stuff that is popular these days. So, if you're looking for a desktop that emulates Windows, MATE is probably not a good choice for you. If on the other hand, you want a desktop that is intuively easy to configure, MATE warrants a look.</opinion>.

-DataMan
Linux'd since 2005 Linux ID 422356 Ubuntu ID 15015
User avatar
DataMan
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1215
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:47 am
Location: Carmel, Indiana USA at /var/www

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby karlchen on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:00 pm

oobetimer wrote:Cinnamon is unstable
This statement is based on which facts?
Based on my own usage experience, the Cinnamon desktop on Linux Mint 13 x64 is as stable as the xcfe desktop and as stable as the Unity desktop on Ubuntu 12.04.1 x64. (I know the thread starter wants to move away from Unity.)

Cinnamon is a good choice. So is xfce. - Based on my own experience. - Other people's expectation, perception and experience may be different.
This is why there are live systems which you can try out and come to your own conclusions.

Karl
User avatar
karlchen
Level 11
Level 11
 
Posts: 3608
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby exploder on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:16 pm

I also find Cinnamon very stable. I have Mint 13 Cinnamon x64 installed on my youngest son's computer and it has held up very well considering a 3 year old is running it. I like Cinnamon because it provides a classic desktop with some nice modern features as well. My personal choice for Mint releases is Cinnamon, not that there is anything wrong with Mate or any of the other editions. I just like how Cinnamon has an elegant look, traditional desktop and just the right amount of desktop effects.
exploder
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby squeezy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:58 pm

lmlm wrote:
    Should I just add a KDE shell to Ubuntu, or switch to Mint? Is resource use similar?

    Which Mint distro should I use... are they all Debian-based? I assume Debian would be the easiest transition for an Ubuntu user, as well as the most supported for applications?


To answer these two questions specifically, Mint has two bases for its distributions. The main releases are based on an accompanying Ubuntu release and are therefore functionally and resource-wise identical to the Ubuntu version. Mint adds enhancements that are specific to Mint via their own repo added to the Ubuntu source list, such as their Update Manager, Software Center, MDM login manager, etc, as well as their unique desktop offerings. The main releases are the logical move for an Ubuntu user.

E.g., Mint 13 is based on Ubuntu 12.04, shares its repositories and underlying infrastructure.

The other side of the Mint camp, LMDE, is based directly on Debian's testing branch. Mint makes snapshots of the Debian testing repos, debugs them and releases them as Update Packs for LMDE. UP5 was just released last week. This distro lacks the modifications Ubuntu makes, however, Mint tries to make LMDE as equivalent as possible to the Ubuntu-based releases.

Hope this helps explain the Mint world to you a bit :)
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby homerscousin on Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Just a couple thoughts. I'm still new to Linux. Tried 2 other distros and Mint 13 cinnamon. Now I'm on Mint 13 KDE. I actually like KDE the best. It has more features than cinnamon including the eye candy stuff and it seems to be more stable than either cinnamon or another distro I tried with compiz, at least for me. Resourse use is a total non-concern on my i5. It shouldn't be with either of your computers. I do like having the eye candy effects available and would like to see more. If I don't like a particular effect, I just turn it off.
i5 3570k, ASRock z77 Extreme 4, 8 Gb Ripjaws 1600, Antec 430w psu, HVR 1600 tv tuner, custom case- marble top, oak face. Carver & DCM Time Window sound system. Mint 14 KDE.
homerscousin
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Somewhere on planet Earth (mostly)

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby DrHu on Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:20 pm

The understood dfferentiation used to be KDE seemed more akin to windows and Gnome seemed more akin to Apple OSX

That changes through various incantations of each desktop style (kde: complete gui customization, Gnome a simpler look and less gui options/customization features)
--and because Mint stuck with Gnome 2 as their interface style when Ubuntu went to Gnome 3x (Mint main edition uses mainly Ubuntu repositories), and then developed Mate and cinnamon
http://kde.org/
http://www.gnome.org/

Other desktop styles (window managers etc..)
http://www.xfce.org/
http://lxde.org/

I personally wouldn't be concentrating on trying to match windows OS look and feel or operational methodologies
--it is likely to leave you a bit frustrated (if something doesn't function exactly as in a windows OS), so
User avatar
DrHu
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6833
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby lmlm on Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:48 pm

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm a little bit confused. Are there two basic Mint distros, Maya and Debian? Both are Debian underlying, and do both update automatically when needed?

A ink to a Mint web page which gives a picture of the options would be appreciated. Here's what I found:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_Mint_releases

I'm looking for an easy transition from Ubuntu, since commands I've learned so far are based on that. Are the desktops different only in appearance, or do they differ in executions (how to do things) also?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_environment

I thought Gnome featured a toolbar set at the top of the window, whereas KDE has one at the bottom. However, why are Cinnamon & MATE a Gnome environment, but the toolbar is at the bottom? Can the toolbar be moved, no matter which desktop you choose?

Even though Cinnamon & MATE are Gnome, will there be multiple icons for Firefox when multiple instances are open?

Thanks!
lmlm
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:15 am

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby abnvolk on Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:01 pm

In Mate, you can make as many panels as you want, and move them freely. In Cinnamon, you can choose 1 of these 3 options: Top, Bottom, Top & Bottom. Since MATE is quite stable, I recommend it. It is actually the old version of GNOME (GNOME 2) renamed. The new Gnome 3 features Gnome Shell, which includes the taskbar (panel), applets and extensions. Because GNOME Shell was dumbed down and not so customizable, the developers of Mint have created Cinnamon, which uses the traditional desktop (panel on the bottom). However, you can easily change it.
Mints <number> are Ubuntu-based, which means for each release of Ubuntu, there is a Mint equivalent, therefore basic commands (to navigate between files and folders, delete, copy...) are basically the same, but for each desktop, there are different applications. For example, in MATE, Gedit is Pluma, so you type pluma <file> instead of gedit <file>. Cinnamon is closest to Gnome 3 and Unity in terms of applications and how to do things, but MATE is also rather close to them, too, with some changes in application names.
And in Cinnamon, I can open many instances of Firefox.
abnvolk
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:05 am

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby homerscousin on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:54 pm

Just another item to consider. Do you play any native Linux or other games on that i5? If yes, check a recent article at Phoronix comparing game play on the various desktops. It's dated Sept 7, I believe. KDE allows you to turn off all desktop effects in fullscreen mode and it proved to be faster than the other desktops.
i5 3570k, ASRock z77 Extreme 4, 8 Gb Ripjaws 1600, Antec 430w psu, HVR 1600 tv tuner, custom case- marble top, oak face. Carver & DCM Time Window sound system. Mint 14 KDE.
homerscousin
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Somewhere on planet Earth (mostly)

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby daimon00 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:52 am

I also want to make the switch from Ubuntu and I'm concerned about some things.
I have different versions of Ubuntu in my different computers, as they have different performance. For example in the slowest one I run Ubuntu 10.04 and runs perfectly (gnome). But in my working place I have a better computer running 11.X or 12.04 on my laptop.
This is what I'm looking for:
- Fast desktop (no gnome 3 or similar): gnome 2 better than unity. This is the main reason for me to move to MINT (I agree with the multi-window crap and Alt-tab which 'lmlm' reported).
- Functionalty. I hate "cool effects", they eat up my resources. I like only the ones that could be useful.
- Full availability of ubuntu packages. Is this provided by mint? I tend to use rare software of ubuntu repos.

What will fit my needs? MATE or Cinnamon. Are both paralell versions of Ubuntu? Are they compatible?
And one more question. Are the corresponding distros LTS as ubuntu is 10.04 or 12.04. Which is the Mint LTS?

Thank you very much in advance.
daimon00
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:40 am

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby axel668 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:01 am

I can recommend Mint 13 XFCE, it's based on Ubuntu 12.04, and it's a fast, easy, stable no stuff distribution.
“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila” (Mitch Ratcliffe)
User avatar
axel668
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:56 am

Re: Switching to Mint from Ubuntu... Best distro & desktop?

Postby abnvolk on Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:30 am

I recommend MATE since it's a fork of GNOME 2, therefore it functions like GNOME 2, but with different application names to avoid conflict with newer GNOME 3 counterparts.
Xfce is also a good desktop environment. It is also traditional, and seems a bit faster than MATE.
Every version of Ubuntu has a Mint version based on it. For example, Mint 13 is based on Ubuntu 12.04, and just like Ubuntu, it has a 5-year support. All editions of Mint Ubuntu are based on the main edition of Ubuntu, so Mint Xfce 13 is a 5-year LTS, while Xubuntu 12.04 is a 3-year one.
abnvolk
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:05 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Chat about Linux Mint

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests