Aug 04, 2010 By Doug.Roberts
After my fourth desktop installation in as many days, I suddenly realized a couple of things. One: I like trying out new distributions, and two: I noted how uncluttered my preferred interface is. See below.
Driven by an urge to move out of my old, stale (to me, anyhow: I've been using KDE for years) KDE desktop environment, I went on an install binge, successively slapping Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 (UNE), plain ol' Ubuntu 10.04, and Linux Mint 9 onto unsuspecting hardware that I had laying around. Yes, I know these are all Debian-based distros. I've served my RPM time with Mandrake/Mandriva, RHEL, CENTOS, and Fedora. It's Debian-based distros for me from now on, if I have a choice.
The install sequence went something like this:
- UNE 10.04 on the new Acer Inspire One 532h netbook. Reactions: nice, clean layout. Everything works. Effective use of the limited real estate provided by the 10.1 inch screen.
- Ubuntu 10.04 on the Dell Inspiron 6500 laptop. Reactions: not bad, buy why did Canonical move the buttons over to the left side of the window frame?
- Linux Mint 9 on my Kubuntu/Ubuntu AMD-64 Frankenstein desktop/server. A bit of explanation: this machine has been running successive Kubuntu releases from 7.04 on over the years, with appropriate hardware upgrades every few years. I recently found myself finally becoming fed up with certain KDE idiosyncrasies, and so just a week ago I had installed the gnome-session packages and was running the Gnome interface on it. Reactions to the new install: Wow! Mint is Nice. Everything just worked, including (surprise!) PulseAudio with my SoundBlaster Audigy card.
- Mint on the Insprion 6500, overwriting the fresh Ubuntu 10.04 install, because I liked Mint so much on the desktop.
Now that the dust has settled, here's what my Mint desktop looks like on the AMD-64:
Look at all the Icons lined up at the bottom -- that's how I like to organize my most-used apps. I have highly visual-type memory, but if I do forget what one of the icons is a brief mouse-over pops up the launcher comment. Left to right, what they are:
- A 32-bit Firefox installation. My company uses Juniper's Network Connect in order to access the corporate network. Juniper's NC only runs on 32-bit browsers. Juniper has been taking lessons from Adobe.
- Google's Chrome browser -- what I prefer.
- A 64-bit Firefox. I seldom use it.
- A terminal launcher
- Amarok. Yes, Amarok is a KDE app, but it is the best all-round Linux music app that I've found. I'm listening to RadioParadise.com streaming via Amarok as I write this.
- Sun (now Oracle) VirtualBox
- Thunderbird email client, for reading my corporate email via an encrypted Juniper Networks VPN tunnel.
- KMix, another KDE app
- Simple Scanner app
- Kompozer, an html WYSIWYG editor
- Hulu Desktop
- Startup Disk Creator
- Cheese, a webcam app
So there you have it: the ideal desktop for me. Today. Until I get tired of it, too.