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Old 12-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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New Mint User - Cinammon, MATE or xfce?

Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum, hope I've posted this in the right place! I'm basically here as I'm thinking of changing to Linux Mint after being a longtime user of Ubuntu (Jaunty and for the past 2 years Lucid).

At first I had considered upgrading to a newer Ubuntu distribution, but after trying Ubuntu 12.04LTS from a Live CD, I decided not too as I don't really like it especially the new Unity interface, it seems to go against everything I liked about Ubuntu: its simplicity, similarity to Windows desktop environment, speed and style.

So after looking around, I was close to choosing Kubuntu but heard of the (not-so) new kid on the block: Linux Mint. I liked the sound of it for a number of reasons.

1. It shares many features of the classic Ubuntu environment.

2. I like the idea that it works "out-of-the-box", which makes the transition easier for me as it comes pre-installed with multimedia codecs, flash etc. As much as I like interacting with other linux users, I'd rather not spend days trawling forums looking for solutions unnecessarily.

3. Once booted, it is much, much faster than the new Ubuntu releases.

4. I'm basically just looking for a rock solid, open-source linux distribution where everything, 'ow do you say, just WORKS.

Which leads me on to the main topic of conversation here.

Bearing in mind I am a longtime user and lover of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid, with its default Gnome environment, and what I've said above, what would you say is the best Desktop environment for me: MATE, Cinnamon or xfce?

I'm using a Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop with an Intel T5550 1.83 GHz Dual-Core Processor and 3GB RAM.

Old 12-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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Only you can decide what's best for you, because it all depends on what you do, how you think, and what your expectations are. At this point in your use of Linux you may want to start considering alternatives to the Ubuntu world. Distrowatch is a great place to seek alternatives.

For alternate desktops, especially if you are considering xfce or KDE, there are far better implementations of those in other distributions. Fedora has a nice KDE implementation, for instance.

Besides simply downloading and booting live CDs, spend some time poking around a candidate distribution's website. Find out how administration differs from Ubuntu. What are the procedures for installing codecs, enabling font anti-aliasing, and tweaking power management, for example? There is always something to change, even in a so-called "works out-of-the-box" distribution.

Does the distribution have a vibrant user community? Are there numerous easy-to-follow solutions to common problems? Is its software up-to-date and is there a package for every program you use?

Currently I use Fedora. Not everything is set up and configured at installation, but there are easy-to-follow guides for installing codecs, enabling font anti-aliasing, power management, and many other topics. Most guides provide command-line step-by-step procedures. I like this, because I can turn those procedures into shell scripts that automate the process next time I need to do an install. The script serves as both notes and documentation.

There is no right answer to your question, except for the answer you come up with yourself. But do consider non-Ubuntu-based distributions. Think back to your first steps in Linux from Windows and how it felt to leave the safety of Microsoft. You are already very familiar with the software used in most linux distributions. Switching to a different distribution won't be nearly as disconcerting as your initial move from Windows to Ubuntu.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:05 PM   #3
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Thanks very much penguiniator for your very helpful reply

Maybe you're right I should be a little more adventurous in this aspect of trying out different distributions! I first moved to linux out of necessity but have grown to love it and wouldn't dream of switching back to Windows now.

I've heard that Fedora and OpenSUSE are two other options to consider. I will be sure to try them out via live CD and let you know what I've chosen.


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