Mint has been my favorite linux distro for years, and the Mint-tweaked Xfce has been my favorite desktop environment. My reasons? LM Xfce looks great and it works!
Of course, ultimately, the system must be functional, but first impressions based on aesthetics can have a major influence on the choice of a distro and desktop.
From time to time, I check Distrowatch to look for new developments, and I check out various distros and desktops on virtual machines and sometimes on hardware. Thus far, Mint has prevailed as the OS for my production machines.
I have to admit that I am swayed by Mint's good looks, starting with a feature that some might overlook because we see it relatively infrequently -- the greeter or login screen.
I particularly like the current look of the "slick" greeter, and I don't mind that the design was apparently forked from the Unity/LightDM greeter. When I am evaluating distros, if the greeter looks ugly, I start to wonder if this apparent lack of attention to detail might emerge in other ways that could affect functionality.
Many thanks to Clem and the other Mint developers who understand the value of beauty in the melding of form and function!
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