linux mint 13

Mmmm mmm, Mate

Man, I don’t even drink the stuff.

MATE, the desktop environment for Linux, now sits prettily atop both Linux Mint 13 and Linux Mint Debian Edition, as well as Salix 13.37 and, I’m sure, others.

And let me just say that it is pretty great.

On my Asus 1201t, with its single core AMD processor and 2 GB of RAM, MATE still runs very responsively. I have yet to really test it on another system. I will say that I prefer it to Cinnamon, though both desktop environments seem to share a design philosophy geared more toward usability than form.

I’m currently running the Mint 13 MATE edition and, after searching a good while for a desktop Linux distribution that was 1) fully-featured (with extensive repositories), 2) quick to setup (since I do a lot of installing and reinstalling), and 3) resource-light, (and 4)) compatible with my Radeon HD3200, I think this edition really is what I’ve been looking for.

Ubuntu 12.04 is a great base for this, but Unity is still decidedly clunky in comparison to desktop environments like MATE, XFCE, and LXDE.

Thanks to Perberos and his team for developing this. And thanks to all the distribution designers who saw its merit and decided to incorporate it.

Linux Mint 13 - A New Day

So I bought a netbook a while ago and installed Linux Mint 12. I wrote about that in May, if you recall. Unfortunately once I had installed that version of Linux, it didn’t always load properly, and when it did, I had intermittent issues with wireless connectivity.  So I defaulted back to Windows; because actually, what is the difference between Linux and Windows for me? Is there a benefit to running one system in preference to the other? Not really.

What do I use my netbook for? Let me list the ways…

  • Watching ripped DVDs
  • Reading/Updating Facebook
  • Emailing (reading circulars, mostly)
  • General net browsing
  • Looking for updates on XDA
  • Updating a couple of spreadsheets

So it’s all about what sits on top of the OS, rather than the OS itself.

Having said that, there are some customisations which are nice / different in Mint which make it stand out from Windows, which is nice. But I could get similar desktop pictures in Windows. I do like the fact that with Linux you can experiment with the command line, if you choose not to use the GUI. So I did use the terminal facility to delete multiple installations of Linux, when I was messing things up before, which made me feel like a ‘real’ programmer :)

So when I heard that Linux Mint 13 had been released, I decided to give it a go. Again, I had a few issues for a couple of days, but then I remembered the Mint4Win approach I adopted last time, and used that. Again, it worked like a charm.

And the great news is that every time I’ve booted into Mint 13 the load has been successful, and wireless works flawlessly! Sometimes I think it knocks our laptop off the network, but we’re getting a new router today, so hopefully the signal will be a lot stronger (our existing router is over five years old).

So because it is reliable, I am more likely to use Mint. What I do need to do is sit down and personalise the menu and options, using the new Cinnamon settings. I might get some time tomorrow - let’s see…