Linux Mint 11 – DVD Edition (Final thoughts)
I’ve been playing with Linux Mint DVD edition over the last month and I must say I’ve really enjoyed it. So much so, I’ve decided to to give Ubuntu 10.04 LTS the boot! At least on the surface because Mint’s distribution is based off Ubuntu, I haven’t fallen far from the tree. Over the last several weeks I’ve touted the virtues of some cool features in Mint. Basically there is quite a bit to love in this distribution. And it’s not just my opinion, many people seem to confirm my findings. Out of curiosity I visited Distrowatch and reviewed current rankings. It seems Mint is neck and neck battling Ubuntu for top spot. DistroWatch shows Mint has moved up from number 3 to number 2 this year when compared to 2010 stats.
With the Unity changes happening over at Ubuntu it seems other distributions (based on Ubuntu) may gain more traction as users rebel against the drastic desktop interface change. While I don’t embrace the Unity desktop I understand why Ubuntu is moving in that direction. Unity reminds me of Ubuntu’s Netbook edition. Personally I didn’t care much for the interface and found it rather annoying. While it made sense for Netbooks and novice users, experienced Linux users want to get their hands dirty and dig down deep under the hood. Unity seems to complicate things rather then simplify, granted I think part of the problem Ubuntu is currently facing is “Change”, people simply don’t like it. Myself included. Although a revolution from time to time is a good thing. Ultimately time will tell Ubuntu’s success rate with Unity.
For now distributions like Mint are benefiting from Ubuntu’s growing pain and gaining in popularity. While overall I think Mint is a sweet dekstop with all the good stuff found in Ubuntu, there are some things I don’t like. (not many)
I don’t like the scroll bar. It does a Houdini appear and disappear act at the worst possible moments. While I think its a ‘change’ thing I’m hoping over time I will get used to it. At least thats the plan. Time will tell how that works out. I’ve also had some weird WiFi problems, while for the most part it works well, once in a while it seems to disconnect. While I haven’t pinned this down to an AP or Mint problem for now I will assume its my AP or configuration problem.
On the flip side, I installed VMware Workstation 8 on the first try, without any problems and best of all no heavy lifting required afterwards. Over all Mint just works and I’m happy with its feel and look. I’ll keep using it as my new favorite distribution of choice until something better comes along (like now) or until Mint gives me a reason to drop it. In fact I’ve enjoyed the ride so much I would recommend Mint to everyone, including novice users, experienced users and especially desktop junkies like myself. Now, if only Mint was edible :-)