First thoughts about Mint from a self confessed Distrohopper

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First thoughts about Mint from a self confessed Distrohopper

Post by jampola »

Hi All,

Usually before I start posting in the forums of a Distro I am currently using, I try to spend some time so I get more of an idea of the ins and outs. The great thing about Mint is that there aren't many of the "Ins" and "Outs" that you expect of a Distro. Even less so than Ubuntu! For some reason (boredom & too much coffee) I feel compelled to share my thoughts of Linux Mint Lisa. These are my thoughts and you can take it or leave it. I have also made a concise effort not to read much (or nothing at all) off these forums to ensure my opinions are not swayed. If you hate my opinions, let me, I want to hear them! I am bored and up for a debate! :)

To give you some background, I recently picked up a Dell Vostro laptop and upped the specs to 8gb of DDR3 and a 64gb SSD to use for my web development and general work stuff as well as needing to take it to presentations and plug it into a projector and whatnot. I come from a Debian and Arch background and run both on other machines, but I needed a Normal-esque machine for real 9 - 5 work. Whilst Debian would suffice, I wanted something with Gnome 3 so I could try and get used to it as it's too early in the game to rely on MATE (and plus, I've never been able to stomach KDE)

2 or 3 things struck me within minutes of booting Mint.

The first thing was the 4 seconds it took to boot! Yeah Yeah, I will put this down to the SSD but it did put a smile on my face! And there is no boot animation or anything, just a black screen? I think I did read somewhere that this is due to quick boot time and the lack of needing a boot animation. I personally think it's a bit of laziness and I bet it takes longer than 4 seconds on my core 2 duo laptop with a normal spinny platters hard drive that only spins 5400 times a minute!

Secondly, I am stoked to have a REAL task bar back. Gnome should take note! I wasn't too stoked about the Mint Menu being included as the menu in Gnome 3 serves it's purpose well and having 2 menu's is a bit weird. However, I am not so stoked about having no simple way to change the top left hot corner to bring up the gnome menu. I know it's not hard to change but seriously, why wouldn't this be included as an option? I know this isn't necessarily a fault on Mint's part but there is nothing stopping Mint from having a way to change this more easily.

I have disable the mint menu and installed a bunch of extensions from and I am feeling more at home now but I miss the weather applet that I used to run in Gnome 2.32. If you use a lot of terminal sessions like I do, I highly recommend the Connection Manager applet, it rules! And there is a slick window tiling applet also (that works perfectly in a dual monitor setup!)

Unlike Ubuntu 11.10, I haven't run into many buggy situations at all. Everything worked out of the "box" and my dual monitor set up was a breeze to configure. And I love that Gnome 3 knows how to handle multiple monitors, unlike Unity! The only 2 bugs I tend to run into is not being able to get out of suspend mode or the screen saver (I just get a screen with the wallpaper and that's it) and also issues when I re-plug in my monitor (about 50% of the time a black screen on one or the screens which results in me having to unplug, plug in and re detect the monitor in the monitors applet)

Other than that, Mint is SOLID and I hope this works just as well for others as it has for me. Also loving the big call Clem made on including MATE. Not sure I agree with it being included as it's still very Alpha-ish but I can see it being a positive decision in terms of development and much deserved publicity for MATE. Also kudos to whoever managed to get it working independently and not messing with Gnome Shell.

Well done and I can see myself sticking with Mint for a long time to come.

Also, If mint manages to get MATE to the same standard as Gnome 2.32 or better, please make a MATE only Debian Edition as I run about 25 PC's with Debian Squeeze in my office and I am not looking forward to having to train a bunch of people on how to use Gnome 3 (especially when my office is in Thailand and my Thai is not very good!)


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Re: First thoughts about Mint from a self confessed Distroho

Post by w2ibc »

As for MATE. i think give it time it will become much more stable..

I hope its as solid as 2.32 by the time Mint 13 comes around. and with that I hope clem can put out a LM13 G3 and a LM13 Mate cd's
LMDE XFCE pae-kernel since 8/12/12

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