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After a few successful years of Linux Mint 9 and 11, one has passed and other is about to reach End of Life and it's time to replace them at home. I've been trying several distros, but haven't found the ideal replacement yet.
I have LM9 and LM11 running on a netbook and desktop, respectively, and I want to replace them both. The desktop has a 2.8 GHz chip and 3 GB RAM, so no problems there. The netbook has an atom processor (1.6 GHz) and 2 GB RAM which is great by some standards, but still bottlenecks on occasion.
Here are my criteria:
1. Easy to use for my household Windows fans. Mint 11 was great for this. Later versions of Mint leave me cold. I have a similar feeling for Ubuntu: great back in 2009, not so Windows-user-friendly now.
2. Very, very light on resource use. The netbook is only used for surfing the web (email and online video, for the most part), so I don't need all the bells and whistles. However, it must be able to do those 2 functions and do them well, taking advantage of relatively unlimited disk space and the available RAM.
I've tried recent versions of Mint (unfriendly interface); Ubuntu (not friendly either); Puppy (don't need to load OS to RAM, don't like the interface); Xubuntu (not crazy about it); and a couple of others.
I don't need editorializing about Windows, just a couple of good recommendations to fit my needs. Any thoughts, anyone?
The "Windows look and feel" really comes more from the DE than the distribution. Instead of distro-hopping, how about you do some DE-hopping to find the one you feel is the most usable? Once you find a DE you like, you should be able to install it on almost any distro.
A reasonable suggestion. My (unstated) goal was to have something which required as little tweaking as possible, but picking a Windows-like desktop environment to suit my housemates' needs is a good idea.
I'm still open to OS suggestions, however, particularly given my criterion #2, above. Mint occasionally bogged down on my netbook, so a lighter-running distro might be a good idea as well as a Windows-like DE.
You may also take a look at Fuduntu. They claim to be laptop friendly (some users have reported longer battery lives with Fuduntu) and support GNOME 2.X which would mean that the interface would be familiar. It is also semi-rolling.
Which recent versions of Mint have you tried? I use Mint 14 with the Cinnamon desktop and really rather like it, but if you don't then perhaps try the Mate desktop or some of the others they offer? For the netbook, I'd suggest Peppermint Linux. It's another Ubuntu respin, but is very light on resources and basically gives you a Chromebook, though if there's software you want and are missing you can still use the Ubuntu Software Center to install it.
Last edited by rabirk; 02-10-2013 at 12:53 PM.
Reason: changing "use apt-get install" to use Software Center
Checked out Fuduntu and Zorin and Peppermint. Peppermint is the clear winner for matching my original criteria. My netbook feels perky again and it has the minimalist interface (reminiscent of LM 9) that I like. In fact, I may use this for the desktop as well. It even met with my Windows-using housemates' approval.