I completely shifted to GNU/Linux – Linux Mint 15

We like simplicity. We hate change and we prefer anything new!!

It’s been only 3 years or so since I was introduced to Linux (Ubuntu). It was just an introduction though, I had been using Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 as my primary operating system. Linux was not something of interest to me then. In fact, i had been scared of it, I thought Linux was all about “Terminal and Commands, I though Linux was something like MS DOS. That was why i did even bother to try or learn about Linux until when I met someone who really love it. That was when i started to wonder and started to think that it might be worth trying.

So I decided to also try one of Linux flavor, just for fun (dual booting along side Windows 8). Firstly i installed Backtrack r3 – a Linux flavor mostly used by hackers and also for penetration testing. That was my first Linux OS installation but it went on fine with few issues which i was able to fix myself. That was when i realized that Linux was nothing like I thought, it was something different. Backtrack is a bit advanced and require more knowledge of Linux which i did not have then, so I had a few problems with it but with the help of Google, i always find a way to fix the problem and when i did, there is always something new i am learning, so the more the problems are, the more I am learning Linux. I tried other different flavors of Linux Like Fuduntu, Fedora, Artistx Kali linux, Arch, Ubuntu, ubuntu studio, Linux mint and some others. I have been using Mint most of the time since its much very good then others but Windows 8 was still my primary OS until then.

For some reason, I switched completely to Linux, -> I am a free agent now. I always wondered at its stability, security, features, community and at the people who use it. Linux helped and still helping me to have exciting computing experience all the time filled with wonders and fun. I forgot about the existence of Antivirus software. Forgot the time I feared autorun.inf and weird executable files. Forgot about “Windows not genuine”. Now, everything is open. Met few new people, similar interests bonded us. People who use Linux have always been very helpful. They share knowledge instead of pirated software. They teach us to fish. A kind of special relationship rooted between us, in a world connected by computer networks and its underlying complex abstractions. At this moment, I would like to thank everyone who made lives of people like me colorful.

I had been using Kali Linux for a while and was happy with that. Though things went smooth, I faced some issues during that time with the compilation of new software from source. Fixing dependency issues were pain. The new source of package requires new version of dependencies which were not available in repostory. Compiling them from source always created new pains. Updating software/repo was not possible because of the slow speed of internet. Taking laptop to college and updating from there helped but also didn’t work well due to various technical and non-technical reasons. I felt like I was completely forbidden from trying new versions of software. I was in a kind of lock then. Suddenly, one fine day, I got a plan, broadband internet connection!

Now the scenario has completely changed. I can now change the repo to testing or sid, try new packages, configure backports or update what ever I want. But, I thought it was time for a change. Changes are the spices of life, indeed.

I wanted to install another distro from the mainstream. First, I thought of Ubuntu 13 which is a very good OS and very stable. Also I had used Ubuntu 11 for several months at University. But in Ubuntu too, I missed an element of simplicity and playfulness. The point with these type of operating system is that it comes with all basic packages preconfigured and giving us less opportunities to play with those.

Next choice was obviously Archlinux. I have been hearing about it since I met my Linux guru – Melky. He uses Arch much and talks about it often. I tried it but I was not impressed, its not something i like.

So i needed something different, something playful. While reading online for recommendations, someone mentioned ‘Linux Mint” and there was an image bellow it.

Linux Mint 15 - Olivia
Linux Mint 15 – Olivia

It looks nice to me, i like the color, this was definitely what i was looking for. To install, I got the 32bit iso image from their  website and made a bootable usb. The installation went smooth and had a nice time configuring various things along with my favorite desktop environment – Cinnamon. I did not really know much of Cinnamon but since its more like Gnome, it was not a big deal and i start to like it so quickly. I’m really happy with Mint – Cinnamon, with a distro which can be updated easily using its sweet package manager .

To talk about packages in Linux Mint, I don’t have words!, I installed all my programming programs (Eclipse, Codeblocks, etc), Multimedia (audio & Video) and Graphics. I customized my Mint to look exactly like i want, from themes, applets, desklets, extensions to cursors and fonts. one thing ii like of Linux it that its highly customizable – the sky is the limit. I installed Vmware player for visualization, so that i can run other OS as visual machines for experiments then fully armed and ready to go!

Finally, as a Software student, I find Linux – specifically Mint very useful and informative, Also it’s so much of fun using it and not to forget that its Open source, 100% free. I humbly recommend this sweet GNU/Linux distro and Linux in general to everyone who likes to add more spice to their GNU/Linux computing. I just started with Mint and hope I could post more about it in future. Thank you so much for reading. Greetings!

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15 thoughts on “I completely shifted to GNU/Linux – Linux Mint 15

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  1. You had a very similar experience to me when it comes to learning Linux. I remember only using it for one day a week, and then getting to the point where not only do I use it everyday, but I prefer doing so.

  2. A little late but…

    I’ve been using Linux for servers for years but every time I tried to switch to a desktop, I always found myself back on Windows. I’ve been using Mint now for 8 months and I can tell you I’m done with Windows and OS X. All of my computers are now Linux. Windows is just too bloated and a target for too much crap. Have you tried to update a new Win 7 install lately? It takes hours. Literally hours. Linux? 15 minutes.

    OS X, OTOH, has just too many things wrong with it that Apple and their rabid fans will not admit to or fix, demanding that you bend to the Tao of Apple. Home and End keys don’t work properly, with different behavior depending on what program you’re using? That’s your fault for expecting it to work the Non-Apple way. Dual monitors have the second monitor disabled when using a program in full screen? That’s a feature, by design. (I often play fullscreen games with a movie or something I want to keep an eye on in the second monitor… AS LONG AS I’M NOT ON A MAC). What, no right-click on the official Apple mouse? Get a third party mouse or learn it the Apple way. Which is to use both hands. And so on.

    Anyway, with Mint, the keys work pretty much the exact same as Windows but there is the underlying security, stability and functionality of a Unix-like like OS X. I really love it.

    Of course there are some issues, but they are minor compared to what you have to deal with when using the other two. Plus there’s the street cred of using Linux and the deluge of women attracted to the smell of POSIX compliance, but you make do.

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