It’s time. I’ve finally had enough of the workarounds and issues thrown up by Ubuntu’s change to Unity.

So, Linux Mint looks like it will tick most of my boxes and appears to have a growing community around it (quite a few of whom appear to be disgruntled Ubuntu users – odd, eh?). I’m downloading the ISO and after getting a suitable backup done (I need to buy a new external disk) I’ll do a full install to start with a clean slate.

I did try installing the Mate desktop into Ubuntu 11.10, but it failed

There is a problem with the configuration server<br></br>
(/usr/lib/MateConf/mateconf-sanity-check-2 exited with status 256)<br></br>```

After backing up my existing installation I used the ISO to clear the partition that Ubuntu had been installed in and install Mint. The process was easy enough and worked as well as I expected it would. When it started things looked more familiar than I expected, but after some checking that was because the desktop was Gnome 3. Changing to Mate brought things back in line with my expectations and I could start configuring things to be the way I wanted them. As Mint is based on Ubuntu, using it with the Mate desktop results in a very familiar look/feel – a little like an older Ubuntu release.

However, it’s not perfect and has left me wondering if I’ll be a Linux user for long. For example,

- After starting Eclipse I was a little alarmed that the panels I have at the top and bottom of my screen vanished! Further investigation shows they are still there, just invisible for some reason 🙁
- To edit the menu you need to install an additional app (alacarte) that isn’t included by default. Surely this something that should either just work or the app should be available from a clean install?

Such issues really shouldn’t be an issue in 2012. I realise that Mint 12 is a new version and still in development, but these problems on top of all the issues with Ubuntu have really led me to wonder about my computer usage.