Monday, April 4, 2016

Defecting to Linux Mint

Back in 1998 I was at a Perl conference in San Jose, California. The SUSE folks were there and handed me a copy of OpenSUSE. I installed it, loved it, and have used it ever since -- until now. Over the past couple of years, I've kept my eye on Linux Mint. I liked what I saw. Recently I was in the mood to upgrade my trusty Linux VM running in Oracle VirtualBox. I finally settled on Linux Mint and had everything up and running fairly quickly: CrashPlan, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Guake Terminal.

I ran this for a couple of weeks and decided to give the latest OpenSUSE a try: Leap 42.1. Well, as usual, it was much more laborious. For instance, I had to refresh my memory on how to get CrashPlan to start automatically. I worked long and hard to get all the various Ruby on Rails libraries compiled. And MySQL? Well, MariaDB is pretty good, but MySQL Workbench, while it works, just doesn't work as well and constantly nags about certain features not being available.

But, after working all day, I had most everything I needed. Except one thing: Linux Mint just looked better. The fonts were more appealing, and in general, everything was crisper and better looking. So, I thought: must be the Cinnamon desktop. I did really like it. So, I installed Cinnamon in OpenSUSE and gave it a try instead of KDE Plasma. Nope. Still did not look as nice.

So, I went back to my Linux Mint instance, despite it still complaining about running in "rendering mode" (OpenSUSE when running in Cinnamon has the same issue on my laptop under VirtualBox). Guess I'm here to stay for a while. Nice distro. Still favor OpenSUSE in some ways. It's a bit more industrial quality, but Linux Mint is far more appealing -- and it was far easier and faster to get all my favorite stuff up and running.

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