One could probably guess from my last (even more belated than ever) post that I’ve switched to Linux Mint 11. Like many others, I’ve been using Ubuntu for some time now. Up to 10.10 I’ve been more than pleased with Ubuntu. In fact, I’ve found it much better than Fedora Core or SuSE as a desktop operating systems. Red Hat (or CentOS for those of you who want freeware) is still my Linux flavour of choice for server operating systems, but for the desktop, they didn’t quite seem to have the “polish” needed for real day-to-day use in my opinion. In fact, more than 8 years ago I moved from Red Hat to SuSE. Back then, I found SuSE a pretty great desktop operating system. When Novell bought SuSE it seemed to have a great future; that is, until Novell did the great nosedive into what seems like obscurity (RIM take notice – you can be the creator and leader and then become a footnote – outside of law suites 😉 )
After about three years of proving to my self that Linux could be used totally for daily use (except for Diablo – Windows XP was still needed) I switched back to using Windows XP exclusively on the desktop. After looking at Ubuntu 8.04 LTS I decided to go back to Linux again. I was quite happy with Ubuntu up to the “Perfect Ten” – 10.10. Then 11.04 showed up and the move to the Unity user interface instead of GNOME Shell.
I don’t know what it is with the wanting to ape the Apple interface (note that it stared with the min|max|close windows buttons moving left – seems socialistic to me) but if I wanted the Apple GUI I’d buy an Apple. While I’ll contend that you’re paying too much for being “hip”, the Unix underpinnings of OS X are excellent. That being said, I hate the Apple GUI.
Unity seems to be the desire to create and open source Apple GUI and, while the “classic” Gnome GUI is available in Ubuntu 11.04 it apparently is going away in 11.10.
Hence my search for my next Linux. After seeing Mint mentioned in a number of places, I decided to give it a whirl. And I like it. I get Gnome back and the underpinnings are still part of the Ubuntu. I’ve been using it for about a month now and everything seems to work just fine – or at least as well as it worked under Ubuntu. (The Avermedia TV Tuner card in my Dell XPS 15 L501X still doesn’t work under Linux and it seems like it never will…)