I know, I last left you with the intent of posting on a more regular basis. But I think it was that afternoon, or more likely late that evening a long time tech friend got back to me about something I had said about my going through various Linux distributions over the Christmas Holidays. Specifically, said friend was pointing out the error or my conception regards to Linux Mint being a version or two behind where Ubuntu was. I am not sure if that was just because of my previous testing sometime ago or just a complete error on my part, but regardless, it pointed to some additional exploration being required on my part.
Several long evenings (that lasted into the early morning hours) I think I have somewhat settled on things going forward. Of course I am being careful about that word settled – as I have three different configurations that I am seriously looking into. First of all, is the basic question between Mint 12 and Ubuntu 11.10. Both are very similar in their offerings and aside from a hiccup with my first few attempts to use Ubuntu One under Mint, I really do not see much difference.
Much difference that is outside of the default shells being offered for the desktop environment that is. There are a very view differences in what packages are included in each, but with a very few additions on either side you can have the other distro’s packages available, and really there is not much to being concerned with on this front anyway.
So that really leaves it up to the desktop environment. And of course I have already expressed my serious lack of faith or just general regard for the Ubuntu Unity path in a previous path. I did explore it a bit more, but quickly gave up that instead opting for a more thorough exploration of Gnome 3. In conjunction with that, I wanted to test a little bit in Mate based on the recommendations from my friend.
As if that was not enough variation, somewhere in the first round of configurations and explorations I stumbled into a suggestion for a Gnome 3 based theme called Cinnamon that gave it a pretty good Gnome 2 kind of feel. I guess that is just what the Doctor would have prescribed to me. It has quickly become the favorite for me as it drops out the weirdness of to easily swapping or changing focus that I was running into with straight Gnome 3 and ads in the much missed minimize and re-size buttons that were dropped. It does however, still allow a clean desktop with menu items that are easily found when one wants (how the argument against Gnome 2 being messy on the desktop ever got in there I have no idea – only as messy as a user allows).
So, I have ended up with Mint 12 with Cinnamon on my laptop and Ubuntu 11.10 with Cinnamon on my desktop. Frankly, at this point, with the two both having Cinnamon I have to think about if there are really any differences between the two now – though I suspect at the next major upgrade time the one with Mint will be an easier path to maintain. In the meantime, have a little bit of spice in my O/S seems like a good thing.
** – Image from Noumenon via Wiki Commons, is Istanbul Spice Market.