The user community of the Linux Mint distribution is steadily growing, since Ubuntu switched it’s desktop environment to unity. A lot of people who were used to Gnome 2 and comfortable using it, feel patronized by the new way of desktop interaction, despite the research effort made prior to introduction of Gnome 3 and Unity. Yes, I checked both and also the new Verion 3.2 of Gnome. Too many large candy icons. I also got the feeling that I had to click more often, than on a customized Gnome 2 desktop.
I used Ubuntu (Versions 10.4 and 10.10) and Debian with Gnome 3 in fallback mode. The Gnome fallback mode is acceptable, but since this “feature” gets disabled in newer releases of Ubuntu I had to look for an alternative. I decided to take a closer look at Linux Mint. I started to integrate Ubuntu Linux in my private daily working scheme around 2 years ago. Since I worked a lot with Debian during my LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 certification and I consider myself more experienced now, I decided to give the rolling distribution of Linux Mint Debian 201109 x64 version a shot.
You’ll get the following benefits:
- Linux Mint Debian or LMDE is 100% compatible with repositories designed for Debian Testing or Debian Squeeze. Which means a lot more flexibility concerning new software and packages.
- It’s faster and more responsive than Ubuntu-based editions
- Reinstallation of the system is unnecessary. New versions of software and updates are received continuously.
There are also some downsides:
- You’ll need more Linux experience and knowledge on how APT and dpkg are working.
- Dependencies are likely to break more often, but updates and fixes may be received quicker.
- It may appear less userfriendly than ubuntu based-editions. But this rather depends on the personal taste of how a desktop should look like, and how it is configured for daily use. I started using the Avant Window Navigator within LMDE. Another option would be GLX Dock (aka Cairo-Dock) or Docky. If you’d like to install one of these open a terminal window and type:
sudo apt-get install avant-window-manager
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock
sudo apt-get install docky
I’ll continue to write about my impressions and experiences with LMDE in some upcoming articles……