I've ended up on Linux Mint, of all places

I never expected to end up on Linux Mint, but it ticks all the IMPORTANT boxes for me.

  • it’s stable, so I don’t have to worry about my system.
  • It delivers the performance I need.
  • It’s point’n clicky, so no mucking about on the CLI when I don’t want to.
  • It’s.deb , so when something is not in the repositories, odds are I can grab it from the web and install it without any problems.
  • No updates which take forever.

So, how did I end up here? After all, for a long time I preferred “rolling release” over “stable point release”?

A long time ago, I heard of this “Linux thing”. I was a gamer back then and (naively) thought my games would run better on it. So, I ended up dual booting Suse 7.2. I liked it, but it felt a bit limited. However,

I heard about Linux From Scratch and thought it would be cool. I ended up mustering the courage to do one from my Suse install and was smitten. I think this ended up being around 2004(?), anyway I had an Athlon 850 at the time. I was smitten. The understanding of the Linux system I got from doing a LFS gave me an appreciation of the system.

From there I moved on to Gentoo Linux. The elegance of the system was amazing. Portage was the next best thing since sliced bread and I felt at home. This was the system I would be running for a while, thinking I’d code something it’d be the perfect platform to do so.

The Athlon 850 became a laptop and I reverted to Windows for a while, thinking things would not be good (damn nvidia). This computer would go back and forth between Windows and Gentoo… Eventually (when it was almost dead) I put Solus on it (that was 2018, it was bought in 2011).

My newer computer (an Acer Aspire XC-780 (i5 skylake) was bought in 2016. It performed well. It almost immediately got converted to Gentoo Linux, and boy had it improved. Loads of creature comforts made it a dream to work with.

However, eventually I figured coding was actually not what I wanted. I wanted to write. Most writing tools are either Mac or Windows. There’s almost nothing for Linux, or so I thought. So back to Windows it was.

Boy was it a shock! I got nothing done and the GUI felt inconsistent and alien to me, let alone unworkable.

So, back to Linux it was (2018). However, I did not feel like a distro like Gentoo anymore. I wanted an actually user friendly desktop.

Enter Solus. I was very happy with this distribution. It did what I wanted, it did not bother me and made me smile. I stuck around until hell happened with the distribution. Most distributions do not survive the only datacenter hosting them burning down and the only core maintainer left falling over. As I would later learn, Solus did.

However, I had already moved on to KDE Neon. I liked KDE/Plasma quite a lot and felt KDE Neon would be great for me. However the updates, how long they took to apply quickly made me grab something else.

I tried pclinuxos, but that distribution quickly landed on my list of “do not touch”; it’s RPM based and that sucks. The community was also too small for my tastes.

Being backed against the wall I quickly started thinking “ok, now what?” Ubuntu was not an option, and RPM had been enough of a nightmare for me. Debian? That had its own issues. AntiX? MX? Both a no. Anything Arch based was out of the question and, while I had tried Void, it was not for me. Finally I ended up at Linux Mint.

Defeated I set it up… And ended up actually liking it quite a lot. I can install .deb files I want (novelwriter and SoftMaker Office) from the wild, while still not having to worry about the CLI. Great! This was exactly what I wanted. A worry-free system, like I had with Solus, except it also supported .deb files. I realized I had found what I needed.

Bar the Mint team doing something of astronomic stupidity, I’m not leaving this distribution. I’m one happy end-user.


I began my Linux OS with Kubuntu because I also like KDE/Plasma. But after some time, I installed LM as dual boot and eventually just got rid of Kubuntu. While I enjoy using other Linux distros, for my main machine that includes, writing, game playing, calendar management & email and the server for my KVM switch to manage all other machines, LM cannot be beat. I even manage my Fedora home server from it.

Glad you found it.

Sheila Flanagan


Is there a nice way to ask why not?

I replied to a post on Reddit just this morning regarding Ubuntu. My question was, am I just drinking the Kool-Aid?

I am not a fan of Apple or Google. I get brand loyalties and such.

My experience with Ubuntu has been just what you describe for both Solus and Linux Mint. It just works and it just works on every computer I try it on.

Why all the grief with Ubuntu?

We almost all use or have used Windows for decades and Microsoft is another company on that list of hated companies. I don’t hate them, but I know many do.

Is there something that is the opposite of drinking the Kool-Aid? Like being poisoned or something?

I used to work at a company where the owner was a wonderful guy. Lots of experience, very smart, and would do anything for you. We sold and serviced Novell Netware. Then along came Microsoft Windows. The owner was originally a Novell lover, but he seemed to turn into more of a Microsoft hater.

Like I said, I get it. I do not like Apple. It’s probably more that I don’t like Apple fans than Apple themselves.

Is that Apple/Microsoft/PickYourPoison the reason people hate Ubuntu?

I also wanted to say that I’ve used Linux Mint. It was a very good experience. Cinnamon did something weird to me once or I did it to myself. I ended up going to the next version of Ubuntu I think. Linux Mint is good stuff though. No hate there for me.


Thing with Ubuntu is that they do things with total disregard for the community.

Their decision to go with snap was totally self-serving and meant to create vendor lock-in.


That may be sort of true. They can do whatever they want of course. Snaps are not 100% forced though. I use deb, snap, flatpak, and appimage. You can also use snaps on other distros. I doubt many do.

This Ubuntu thing has been going on much longer than snaps though. People didn’t like it when Ubuntu introduced Unity and made it the default. Then they didn’t like it when Unity was discontinued in favor of Gnome as the default. They also don’t like that Gnome is customized.

It seems like some people have just decided to disagree with Ubuntu.

I am not saying you did that.

I really am confused by the hate. Or maybe I am drinking the Kool-Aid.

Sorry for the hijacked thread. Linux Mint really is a good distro.

I find Mint is well behaved. I have only had Mint temporarily
but there were no issues. LMDE is another matter… it seems
to have install issues, especially in a VM.

Because of my BSD background, I tend to prefer CLI distros like Void, But I keep one stable ‘tame’ distro currently MX, just in case . Mint could easily do for me what MX does currently, and what plain Debian used to do.

I would like to be able to say to @xahodo that BSD would meet his requirements, but I cant, it cant install .deb files.
Otherwise it would be a good match.


That should improve. LMDE is relatively new.


I used Ubuntu with gnome2 before Unity and stopped using it (except my work laptop) after they went snap. Unity was fine, I was upset when they ditched it to gnome3 (if I remember I never tried Mir when they tried to go to touchpad/phones) and I went Kubuntu. I have tried so many distroes but never Mint. At the moment I use Cinnamon DE because it’s the best thing I know so maybe Mint would be ok. At the moment I’m in the opposite end than OP, learning rolling releases. Arch, Void and Gentoo.

About the hate issue, I don’t like Microsoft because all Win is is crap and malware and $$$. Apple is $$$ and never learned to use any of their products. I’ve used a free bsd for a while though. Canonical was cool and now it is going forward to closed source (kind of) thing with the snap store. Of course IMHO only feel free to ignore my opinions.


Ubuntu for me back in the day of Gnome 2 used to be exciting. The excitement of the next release, as Ubuntu gave it’s users something different and you could just use their stock themes without having to scrape the Internet, to find an alternative. Used to be in anticipation, to see the next name themed wallpaper, that someone in the community had made, plus who had won the wallpaper competition? The overall wallpaper, had to blend nicely with the stock theme.

Back then Distros were not bloated out with stuff and at 740MB download, the install of it took two minutes and that was on old hardware. Two thread processor days, originally using Windows XP. My brother introduced me to Linux. Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx was about to release, so this is what I used.

Don’t miss the resolution problems with NVIDIA drivers, having to use the tab key and count how many buttons down the NVIDIA settings window to get to the apply button, to change resolution, to a respectable 1024x768, running on a Cathode Ray Tube monitor. No wonder I thought after seeing the video of Linus sticking the middle finger up at NVIDIA all those years later.
I was a late comer to YouTube.

Then as you said Ubuntu moved to Unity. I hated it, as there was nothing wrong with the way it was, but I do not blame Ubuntu for the move, as Gnome is the culprit for moving onto something I still cannot get my head around today.

So it was time to move on, off I went to Linux Mint Mate and absolutely loved it. Based on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Linux Mint bringing something different to the table, though their software was out of date, they believe in stability and for years that had worked.

For me although a lot of people would disagree, theme artwork is a must for any Linux Distro and for some odd reason over the years, undershoot lines have been introduced and it’s not just Linux Mint, Manjaro, Ubuntu Cinnamon, Xubuntu and many others have done this awful thing of placing undershoot lines all around their themes. If you’re not sure what I mean have a look at your Nemo file manager for those using Mint Cinnamon, Xfce Mint and Mint Mate. Scroll up and down your Cinnamon, Whisker, Mate menus and you’ll see these
-------------------------------------- at the bottom and the top of your menus, when you scroll through a list of folders in Nemo, Thunar, Caja you’ll see them too.

They look ugly as hell and make for me the experience of using those themes absolutely hate on the default way the Distro Devs want you to use their OS. There is no point in using a OS if you the user are not comfortable, which is why I use Mint Xfce and customise it to the way that works for me.

At the moment I have gone back to my old DDR3 build of 2014, with Arco-Linux on. Bought a new case for my main Ryzen board, installed it into new Montech air case, cannot get it to post. So going up the road later today, to Computer fix guy to see if he’ll be able to fix it. My eyesight is not what it used to be and I swear I have the front panel connectors hooked up wrong, they are too fiddly for me.

Building computers used to be fun, but with eyesight failing it ain’t. Yes I have glasses, but still cannot see into case, as I create a shadow. Not that I’m a wide load. Going to have to build myself a proper work station with proper lighting installed, to see what I’m doing.

Snaps is a whole other issue with Ubuntu. I first saw Snaps back in 2016/2017 when they were as a beta. Back then I was using Peppermint OS when Mark Greaves was at the helm.
I helped out on Peppermints forum, with people constantly complaining about Snap package version of software not installing properly, not working.

We would point them to Canonical, to complain to them. We would offer the deb alternative of the software and they were happy as Larry (Whoever he is?) The decisions over the years at Canonical with Snap packages, has put a lot of people off, but yes Ubuntu is well written, very stable, chuck anything at it and it would say yes I can do that every time.

Peppermint which had more Ubuntu inside it, than any of the Ubuntu based said Distros of today, also said yes I can do that no problem and whoosh off it went in no time, without fail, never griped.

Snaps were and still are the biggest buggy thing ever. AppImages are so much better. I have written my opinions many times on Snap Packages, still never ever use them, as why do they take up so much room? Why is the security on them so lax?

Anyway I hate the fact that I have written a book answering a question, these are mostly my experiences with Linux over the many years of using such a wonderful, free alternative to proprietary systems.


Peppermint has moved to Debian and Devuan.
It is still rugged, I am using it for a project at the moment.

I agree. It has to be comfortable to work with. Solus/Budgie used to be one of the best distros for integrated artistic effects.

The eyesight issue is getting me too.
Multifocal lenses only work for reading and walking around… the moment you get under a car or inside a computer or in a welding helmet, the focus is all wrong for the angle of vision.
You need special multifocals for a computer
use. They need to be made to the screen distance when looking ahead, and to the reading distance when looking down at the desk. They would probably be better for
building computers too… I use mine for anything I am doing at armslength.


I think you’re right Nev, with a light attached too, although I have a winters hat with a USB light on the front. USB used for charging.

I unfortunately have not tried the new Peppermint. To this day the news of Mark Greaves’s passing just tears me up. None of us knew him physically to talk to, but the memories of the long hours helping people with their Linux queries. Laughing out loud at people’s ways of explaining what is wrong, because of the dryness of people’s writing, with hardly any real explanation of what actually happened, leading up to their computer getting into such a mess.

It wasn’t just Linux related, we would have conversations and banter, live like being in a chatroom till the early hours. I would take my laptop into work and catch Mark still up answering people’s queries way into the early hours. Mark would move mountains to help people.
I know I hype on about him and have done many times before, just miss him so much, as I always wonder what he would make of AI, the decisions that Canonical have made of late with Snaps, where would he of taken Peppermint to next?

I did get asked to help with the Debian version of Peppermint and that was mainly on the theme side of it, plus making Nemo default. The problem with Debian, is it is like Arch, it won’t fully let you uninstall Thunar. It gripes of too many dependencies rely on it. Yet in Linux Mint Xfce you can and make Nemo default. Just goes to show the subtle changes between full Debian and Ubuntu based Debian. If I wasn’t working nights I would of helped, but at that time it was just too raw for me to contemplate. Plus I was trying to find another Distro to move to and hopping like a bunny doing an impression of a frog, to God knows how many Distros. Then landing finally settling at Linux Mint Xfce.

I don’t think there will ever be another Peppermint OS like how it was?? Lubuntu at the back to front end controlling boot, speed of apps opening and closing, Xfce the Desktop environment. Mark made his own Xfce Window Settings Manager. It was Window Manager and Window Manager Tweaks combined into one, with his own Keyboard shortcut tab, taken from Lubuntu. Everything just worked. He had magic coding fingers. Everything he touched turned to gold. He even made a keyboard shortcut to find your mouse, it would glow red, in case you lost it on screen, especially for Laptop users.

It’s these magical things that Mark wrote for Peppermint, that just like Ubuntu used to be, with the anticipation of what the next Ubuntu name and wallpaper would be in the next release, there does not seem to be that sparkle anymore. Mark was a walking, talking Linux Guru.

Peppermint 6 was Mark’s Debut OS based on Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, fully Lubuntu or LXDE based. If memory serves me correctly it was the lightest Ubuntu based Distro of 746MB Whilst Ubuntu 14.04 came down at 1.2GB (I cheated and looked at my saved Distros.) Distros are big these days, with packed features. The whole idea of Peppermint was to let the user decide what they want to install. They hopefully still believe in that ethos in Debian versions?


The Debian/Devuan Peppermints are solid and fast.

I think LMDE will get there too.

Hi Neville,

I totally understand what you’re saying, my friend. I can’t use multifocal glasses to see the monitor either, I’m always lost looking for focus

The solution I found was to get monofocal glasses and tell the optician that the focus was only for an arm’s length. I sit down, adjust the monitor and the problem of focusing the monitor was solved.


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Yes that will certainly work.

What I have are called “Access glasses”… they are multifocal
but the straight ahead view is armslength focus, and the down view is reading distance. That lets me read papers on the desktop, as well as see the screen.

And can I sneak in a warning for everyone… do not try to use
normal multifocals for a computer. They are wrong for that use.

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I have found that my progressive lenses work well for any distance. The near-focus portion forms a bell-like curve, wide across the bottom and curving smaller near the center. Distance vision correction is across the top. I’ve been wearing them for 20 years or so, so I no longer notice them if I develop a small correction in my prescription. The only necessary things for me to see are golf balls, computer monitors, and cooking gear. And recognizing my wife, of course.

Eyeglass screws, computer component labels, and things under the dashboard of a vehicle are the only problems. I solve them with several pairs of ‘readers’ that I buy at the Dollar Store (inflation changed everything to $1.25) which are simple magnifiers. I just locate them where I need them.

I find them quite uncomfortable for computer monitors. I have to twist my neck to get the right portion of the lens to focus
on a monitor, especially a desktop…
The best ergonomic position for a desktop monitor is level
horizontally with your eyes. That puts me in the distance vision part of the lens.
Laptops are different… you put them down on your knees and the close vision part of the lens works. Laptops are not ergonomic.
I dont use laptops… I use a tablet… for that I hold it close and reading glasses work.

You may think I am being pedantic about ergonomics. I have
had RSI from using old CRT terminals at work. It is a difficult
thing to pull out of. I use a wrist support bar in front of my
keyboard and I am very careful about positioning the screen and I work only in short sessions.

We all have our weak points.

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Compared to most people here on the forum, I am a recent (5 years) user of Linux. My home PC experience started with the Atari than a 286 PC with DOS and after that Windows until 2018 or 2019.

I had no Linux experience, but was exposed to Unix back in the 90’s at work. I did some research on the internet and Mint was rated very highly as a stable, user friendly and ease of transition from Windows. So I took the plunge and dual booted for awhile.

After getting my feet wet, I tried other Distros because from my reading that what most Linux users do. I tested at least a half dozens Distros but I was more comfortable with Linux Mint.

Today after 5 years, Mint is my every day operating system. I do not use Windows any more except when supporting my wife’s PC. On my desktop I have both Mint and MX installed. My laptop can boot to either Mint or Xubuntu.


Linux Mint (Helena), was my first true love back in the days when I first started with Linux. After several years of distro hopping because I couldn’t find the perfect partner I decided to trial it on an Amigo laptop and was impressed so much by its all round performance on what was a very cheap low spec’ laptop, I ended up with it on my desktop too. Having discovered a distro that was rock solid in terms of stability there was also the added bonus that everything just worked. No screwing around trying to find drivers for my peripherals it was plug n play all the way.

First time I could recommend a distro without having to defeat the usual objections that Linux is ok but I need something that’s out of the box because I don’t have time to mess etc etc. The love affair ended up being more of a fling though as a couple of years later I was running Debian on all my PC’s, although I did return to Mint 18.0 on one of my laptops just for old times sake and found it to be a very pleasant experience.

Recently I have become obsessed with security so wanting to stay with Debian I chose Parrot OS and WOW, was I not disappointed. I think I’m in love again.


I’m with you on that, but I have reasons for what I like or dislike. As for Apple, I’ve always disliked snobs, and Steve Jobs encouraged his users to adopt a snobbish attitude, as if being Apple Users made them somehow better than everyone else. Google started out as a fairly good company, but they got greedy. Now all they seem to care about is finding more ways to collect and sell/profit from user’s activities.

Here is where I diverge from your point of view. I lump Ubuntu into that group of distributions that are far too dependent on their corporate owners/supporters. Canonical hasn’t actually done anything bad (yet), and I respect them for that, but the fact remains that when they stop generating profit, they’ll stop doing business. Even though I’m sure that the Ubuntu user community will find a way to keep it going, I don’t want to deal with that sort of upheaval again (I was a Mandriva user when the company that developed it closed up shop). That’s the difference between businesses and communities. Businesses exist to get money. Communities exist out of a shared interest (for me, it’s GNU/Linux). For that reason alone, if I’m given a choice between Ubuntu and, say, Debian, I’ll choose Debian hands down. Debian’s community supported/driven. I use Solus Linux currently. I found it during the time of the 4.4 release (it’s in version 4.5 now), and I’m looking forward to the Solus 5 release (someday). The Solus community isn’t large, but it’s my sense that it’s growing, and well-supported by the development/maintenance team(s). For me, the important factor that makes Solus right for me is that when I got a Wi-Fi-6 USB adapter (that uses the rtl8852BU chipset), and found that Solus doesn’t use DKMS, so I couldn’t build it myself, I made a post on the Solus discussion forums describing my issue, and that I was considering looking for a different distribution. I got a response from one of the Solus maintainers, asking if I would be willing to help with testing if he worked on building a driver package for that chipset (based on the project I found on GitHub). I’m now very happily using the driver set he/we came up with, and my Wi-Fi-6 adapter’s working very well. The best part is that I don’t have to bother myself with periodically checking the developer’s GitHub page to see if there’s an update. The Solus maintenance team handles all that for me.