Which one?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
martiny
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:58 am

Which one?

Post by martiny » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:24 am

Hi Gals and Guys,

Two simple queries that must face every new installer never seem to be addressed with (for example) a direct comparison facility or list.

Surely, at least within the Mint distro, it should be easy enough to make clear what the differences are between the various options. Currently, it seems that if one wants to know if Cinamon or Mate are preferred, one has to download and test both.

This has put me off until now but I am about to bite the bullet and aim to install Mint 18 alongside Win 10 on a Lenovo laptop.

XFCE seems to be the least resource hungry (my preference). But as yet there seems to be no XFCE for Mint 18. So the questions is just Cinamon or Mate. I can't see much difference.

Perhaps I should be installing 17 anyway. Maybe 18 is Mint's Win 10 and I should allow time for more experienced users to discover its problems.

One final thought for the developers: If the desktop is the only difference (as I understand it), why cannot the option to switch desk tops be available, without having to reinstall the whole package? Or have I been missing something?

All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

User avatar
Oscar799
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9808
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:21 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Which one?

Post by Oscar799 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:49 am

Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce is currently a Beta release
Info here:- http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3195
Image

User avatar
JoeFootball
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: /home/usa/mn/minneapolis/joe

Re: Which one?

Post by JoeFootball » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:56 am

martiny wrote:But as yet there seems to be no XFCE for Mint 18.
Not so. Linux Mint 18 does have Xfce, as well as its other desktop environment offerings.

And as Oscar799 said, LM 18.1 Xfce is currently in beta, so it's due out soon as well.

Joe

User avatar
MintBean
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2858
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:54 am
Location: Blighty

Re: Which one?

Post by MintBean » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:23 am

The lack of 18.1 XFCE at this stage should not affect your decision. Installing 18 (which is very similar) and updating via the software manager when 18.1 is available is only a couple of clicks.

Between Mate and Cinnamon it really is down to personal preference in my opinion, so worth trying both. Not a massive amount in it.

A video is worth a million words, so here's a comparison. This is for 17.3 but in terms of the top level experience it still holds for 18.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXAlUwwSyxI

martiny
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:58 am

Re: Which one?

Post by martiny » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:12 pm

Thanks guys. I needed to get off the front page of the downloads section (18.1) into "all versions" to see 18 has XFCE. Sorry for delayed acknowledgement. Being my first post I think it was delayed in the triaging and I've been looking for it on the front page when it was already shunted onto the 2nd. It's all a learning curve.

I note no comments on the stability of 18, and 18.1 has presumably picked up and dealt with some issues. So maybe I should wait for the release of the XFCE desktop for 18 (.1). On the other hand, that will be the first release of XFCE for 18. Ha! This uncertainty could go on forever, with all these options. No wonder windows wins with its single flavour, single colour.

And just to be clear, because I am good at missing things: there is no way of downloading just the desktop to allow switching without doing a complete new install, is there?

martiny
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:58 am

Re: Which one?

Post by martiny » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:48 pm

btw. the link to the 17 release comparison was very useful (thanks for the tip off MintBean). There is also a comparison of sorts for 18.1 here: https://youtu.be/m9BK4zhVXos. But I found it less helpful because it is not side by side and offers no commentary insight but it might be useful as a quick runthrough of the various screens for those know what to look out for.

User avatar
jimallyn
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8026
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:34 pm
Location: Wenatchee, WA USA

Re: Which one?

Post by jimallyn » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:55 pm

martiny wrote:And just to be clear, because I am good at missing things: there is no way of downloading just the desktop to allow switching without doing a complete new install, is there?
It used to be that you could install multiple desktops, but that isn't recommended anymore. A number of forums members did it anyway. It worked for some, and for others it trashed their system and they had to reinstall. I suppose if you're feeling lucky, you could try uninstalling Cinnamon and installing another desktop.
Image

“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

Lemongrass38
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:29 pm
Location: Central Europe

Re: Which one?

Post by Lemongrass38 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:03 pm

Just another idea: if you have a little more time to experiment, you can try any of them easily if you install Virtualbox. Then you can boot a virtual machine with any desktop environment straight from its .iso file... No need to create USB stick or install anything or such. It's quite fast.

A guide showing the process with Windows:

http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-boot- ... irtualbox/

You can do the same literally except that you have to choose Linux 64 bit and the Linux iso.
If your issue is solved, please be so kind and indicate that by editing the topic title in the first post. :)

User avatar
JoeFootball
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: /home/usa/mn/minneapolis/joe

Re: Which one?

Post by JoeFootball » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:55 pm

martiny wrote:... there is no way of downloading just the desktop to allow switching without doing a complete new install, is there?
Another option for your consideration is to install multiple versions, with each booting to their own independent partition(s). This will allow you to compare how each performs natively, rather than in a VM or in a live session where performance could be compromised

Of course this takes up more disk, but if it's just temporarily for testing purposes, you can make your decision, delete the unwanted partitions, and reclaim the space for the partition(s) that you kept.

Joe
Last edited by JoeFootball on Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

pcpunk
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:44 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Which one?

Post by pcpunk » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:45 pm

Without knowing more about your computer it is hard to say if you can even install Linuxmint without some major changes. That being said, I would go for Mate 17.3 because it more user friendly IMO, and the bugs have been worked out. It runs super on many computers I've put it on. IMO there is no need to run Xfce if the pc has any power to it at all. Xfce IMO only runs a little leaner and don't have the look and feel of a Full Desktop like Mate does. Xfce is good, and you certinaly don't need the newest 18 to get you going, 17.3 will be great! 18 has caused me problems, and I don't like problems LOL. Considering your running W10, would suggest the computer is fairly new, could you confirm what Make and Model it is? And if possible post some real Specs for better advise.
HP Series HST NN-104C Bussiness Notebook nx7400, KDE 17.1-64BIT
Intel R Core™2CPU, T5500@1.66GHz, 4GB of RAM

bryanmc
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: Which one?

Post by bryanmc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:22 pm

Maybe 18 is Mint's Win 10 and I should allow time for more experienced users to discover its problems.
I'm just wondering how you formed that opinion. 18 is very stable in my experience although all distros will have a glitch here and there. I'm not sure why you're stuck on xfce. If you're machine runs win 10 anywhere near acceptably you're certainly not going to have a resource issue with cinnamon or mate.

User avatar
prestonR
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 844
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:24 pm
Location: Harare

Re: Which one?

Post by prestonR » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:15 am

I'm with pcpunk here, if stability and usability is all you care for, Mint Mate 17.3 is hard to beat.
I can't see much difference.

The biggest difference, and probably the reason for half the posts on this forum, is Cinnamon's need for a functioning proprietary graphics driver, Mate and Xfce will run fine on the included free drivers.

This means, that by booting a Mate/Xfce Live-system you get graphics-wise pretty much what an installed system will be like, whereas with Cinnamon you get a session that is running in software rendering mode with the CPU doing the work for the insufficiently supported graphics card, without you knowing if the proprietary drivers will work since you can't install them on the Live system.

Hey, and don't get me wrong, Cinnamon is a gorgeous desktop, it's just that it's requirements can occasionally present a small hurdle and new users should be aware of that, especially at the early 'Which one?' stage where it's more important that you get a functional system.

martiny
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:58 am

Re: Which one?

Post by martiny » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:07 pm

A truly generous degree of engagement from all respondents. Thank you so much for your time.

I won't waste any more of it and consider my question resolved.

Decision:

My thinking, based on yours, is that for the least amount of effort, I should install Mate, and for the least risk of problems, let that be 17.3 (2 out of 3 wins here bryanmc). Seemple.

Reasoning:

Obviously the VM route of multiple installs (thanks Lemongrass 38 - it's something I will toy with when I have time to spare and a faster machine) and the same into separate partitions (I'm with you there JoeFootball) are good practical ideas (I especially like the "No need to create USB stick or install anything or such" bit with a VM. But I am a lazy bastard and a poor decision maker when faced with alternatives.

So the easiest thing for me to do is digest your ideas and distill them into trying out Mate for a time, and if I like it enough, I need look nor load any further.

I had suspected that Cinammon would be a greater drag because of its heavy use of graphics, had not known about the driver problem (PrestonR). You also summarised accurately with "if stability and usability is all you care for, Mint Mate 17.3 is hard to beat." And like me, pcpunk doesn't like problems and is content that the bugs in 17.3 have been sorted while 18 may still have a few to discover. The question then is, why upgrade from 17.3 to 18?? But I'll leave that for another day.

Thanks also to jimallyn for the heads up on "It used to be that you could install multiple desktops". The fact that you offered no clue how this could be done helps me avoid the risk of trashing the system. I don't need that.

My initial thinking was to install the latest Mint version, with the latest security and the new easy update process, but it is to an old system on which win10 does not run well at all but the previous owner installed to impress the gullible. I'd be happy with XP myself but it is showing its age and I think Firefox doesn't even support it any longer. So I'll suck it and see. May even have to go down a grade from 17, if I find it running sluggishly but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. At least I know I can focus on Mate, whichever the series.

What can go wrong? (no response required). I hope you all feel that my gratitude validates the sharing of your time and opinions. Cheers.

User avatar
daveinuk
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1545
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:52 pm
Location: Manchester, England.
Contact:

Re: Which one?

Post by daveinuk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:08 pm

A brief summary having used all three DE's - XFCE I used to love, light and fast and easy to get used to coming from a winXP background, then mate and cinnamon came out, cinnamon blew me away, mate a great light alternative. Between those two, there are just things about cinnamons layout/right click menu's/dialogues that are just 'nicer' and more practical (for me) If I have a choice of plentiful resources on a machine, cinnamon everytime, failing that, MATE - experiment on a machine if you can, dual boot or whatever, each DE is tuned to work best 'as is ' so avoid installing DE's on top of something else for the best experience, there really isn't a 'best' one, just the best one for you.

ralplpcr
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Which one?

Post by ralplpcr » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:19 pm

Another option you could try, if you have the gumption to download multiple ISO files and a good-sized USB drive: YUMI.

It'll take some time, but it'll let you create a bootable USB with a customized boot menu, and you can easily switch between which Linux distro you want to try. Once you've decided on one, you can even run the installation directly from your live session.

The only "gotcha" is that *if* you're running from a live bootable USB, the installer will prompt you to unmount it before it actually starts the installation. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS! The actual HDD is what needs to be unmounted, but the USB stick should remain mounted during your installation, or the installation will fail 99% of the time. (<-- learned that the hard way, several times :) )

martiny
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:58 am

Re: Which one?

Post by martiny » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:23 am

Hi Guys,
Believe me, I'd like to tell you I had tried all your suggestions and found one that satisfied me.
I've had the MATE iso of 17.3 and 18.1 on my desktop for three days now. But I can't get any useful information from the https://linuxmint.com/verify.php link on the download page. I was expecting to see checksums, instead I see only a blank page regardless of which release I select, and irrespective of how many times I click. I even tried it with another machine (at the library) with the same blank return. It can't be just me having this problem, but it hasn't been fixed in 3 days either, so maybe it's me that is blank.

User avatar
Schultz
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1152
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:57 pm

Re: Which one?

Post by Schultz » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:46 pm

The link above does not work on Pale Moon. Probably bad scripting.

bryanmc
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:43 pm

Re: Which one?

Post by bryanmc » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:09 pm

I just tried your link and it worked fine with firefox.

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”