Linux with a flavour of Mint
I primarily run Linux Mint on my machines, currently 18.3 with the Cinnamon desktop, but MATE here and there. I do keep an eye on »Distrowatch who track about 1,000 Linux distros, which covers only a part of what is out there. This helps me to see what is new and what other distributions are doing.
For example, Ubuntu MATE 16.04 (LTS) set a refreshing new milestone for Ubuntu overall. I was also very impressed with the way Ubuntu MATE has developed with the new 17.10.1 release - for example, the 'MATE Tweak' tool.
One distro that has steadily risen to the top of the ratings in Manjaro. I have it installed with the MATE desktop on one of my "top two" machines. So far I have been very impressed. Being a rolling release takes out the hassle of jumping versions every 6 months or LTS major version jump headaches like from Mint 17.x to 18.x.
Still, for daily tasks and my "daily driver" I stick to Linux Mint and recommend it anytime, anywhere. The Linux Mint "main" edition is the core, built in two varieties: the MATE desktop derived from the Gnome2 desktop, and Cinnamon which is a modern yet traditional desktop. Either one of these editions is well up to the task of fulfilling your daily computing needs. If MATE and Cinnamon merged one day it could make for the "ideal" desktop (until someone makes something even better). They could call it 'cinnamate' with all the goodness of wobbly windows and the modern gtk3-ity in one.
A good way to choose which desktop (or even distro) you prefer is to download an ISO image, burn it to a blank DVD and boot it as a "live" disc .. and test. Running "live" is slow as it all gets decompressed from the DVD when you run, but it gives you some idea. Of course, pick 64-bit editions for newer machines and 32-bit for older to antiquated machines. Support for 32 bit is fading fast as more distros move to 64 bit only.
For those with more experience, or on a more modern machine without any optical drive, putting the image onto USB is the way. It is a lot faster than the "live" disc session. You will need to research how to put the ISO onto a spare USB from your current operating system - there exist many tools and options - uNetBootin is a popular one. Linux users can just 'dd' the ISO image (with appropriate care). And then of course, tweak your BIOS to boot from the USB for the installation.
In June 2017, Brian Lunduke said that if you are recommending Windows for your company, you should be fired. See »networkworld.com.
Before you go wiping out your computer to try Linux (and then burst out crying), a good video to watch on YouTube is »"Top 5 Mistakes new Linux users make". It is some 41 minutes in length, but worth the lessons.
Watch »Linux Sucks 2016 on YouTube! Watch the whole thing. Also enjoy the related videos like "Windows is Awesome" and "Linux is @#&% Wierd". Another good video is »Why Linux and Why Linux Mint. There are many comparison videos too, such as »Windows 10 vs Mint 17.2.
There are so many distributions of Linux, why Mint? I have tried a good many distros and still do, but Mint keeps on being the best. Great for beginner and season guru alike, Linux Mint comes packed with software, drivers, a mature, predictable and stable UI - all up and working straight off the install media. Adding more software and keeping updated are very simple tasks, as you might expect from any (descent) Linux distro.
Get it here: »Linux Mint.
ZDnet had a glowing »review of Linux Mint 18 (July 11, 2016).
I have had the privilege of Linux Mint selecting and featuring some of my photographs as wallpapers in several releases. I hope you enjoy them.
Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa"
• 'Beach Sunset' - Ruapuke beach near Raglan, NZ. This is a very isolated place with treacherous rip tides, but beautiful sunsets.
• 'Daffodils' - taken one August (daffodil season) in Hamilton during 'blue hour'.
• 'Electric Apple' - some fun with a real apple and LED flashlight, image virtually as-is from camera.
A Mint user who upcycled a 2007 MacBook to Linux Mint 18 sent me the image below of my 'Electric Apple' as his wallpaper of choice. A most fitting and apt choice! Not something I anticipated when making the image.
Linux Mint 18.0 "Sarah"
• 'Contemplation' - a scene from the Japanese theme garden in Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, NZ.
• 'Dandelion' - inspired by a 'Two Wings' wallpaper, I soon made about a dozen of my own such macro photos.
• 'Full Moon' - a composite image of the full moon and Pirongia, a dormant volcanic mountain near Hamilton, NZ.
• 'Tiny Pair' - the magic world of macro. Two humble little lawn weed flowers posed for their portraits.
• 'Wave' - taken one evening up in Paihia, Northland, NZ. The lower light meant I could drag the shutter as the wave receded.
Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya"
• 'Petal' - a detail from a Gerbera Daisy with just the very tip in focus. Less is more.
Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia"
• 'Purple', 'Red' and 'Turquoise' - three of my "Oil on Water" macro photos. They don't recommend hand-holding a MPe-65 lens. Challenge accepted.