It is no scret that Linux Format magazines is one of my favorites, even though a bit spendy at $16 a month (I really should subscribe but then how would I aviod the thrill of going to the bookstore to see if is in yet?)! The September issue was not a disappointment as not only was it was rich in content (grub2, puppet, encryption - the short list) but also included 4 distributions on its DVD, Mint 15, Bodhi, Siduction and SnowLinux. Long story made short, the "superspin" of LinuxMint 15 caught my attention in that it includes 4 different desktops, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE and Unity. I had Ubuntu Natty (11.04) installed on a desktop here at home but that is no longer supported (read, no updates, old software) and need ed to be updated. I weighed upgrading versus installing clean after doing a little homework on the net. I did find this nice link on using rysnc (discussed at our last meeting) for backing up and restoring my home directory from Natty and did a fresh install. Actually, I had two machines in need of a Ubuntu upgrade. The other is a farily new laptop where I had installed Ultimate Edition 3.4 but it was a bit slow on the startup and needed some updates as well. I decided to install LXF's version of LinuxMint 15 on both as LinuxMint is still the distribution of choice for many Ubuntu users as it provides the older desktop tthat we are all comfortable with, runs well, and provides a complete out of the box experience for desktop user including mutli-media support (read, plays commercial DVDs).
The Linux Format version of Linux Mint 15 is rather large at around 7 GB of space for all those desktops amd supporting packages but who cares about diskspace anymore with huge hard drives presently found in systems or available at a low cost. I did some post install tasks, installing wine, pacasa 3.9, and shotwell but that was the sum of my additions. Everything was fine out of the "box". Oh yes, also installed conky all and used the my same conky orange performance monitor display that I had used on the previous Natty and UE installs, did not have to install any specific "orange" or other support, it just just worked. Both machines are happily running LinuxMint 15 now.
I had other choices such as CrunchBang but both of these machines are current 64 bit platforms and sometimes having more "meat and potatoes" in the desktop system is preferable, read to go, easy to use. Also, I am not as comfortable with getting under the covers of Debian as I used to be since I spend most of my time with Red Hat Enterprise Liux (RHEL) as a Red Hat Certification trainer and I use Fedora on my laptop where I use KVM for virtualization and has many things in common with RHEL. I just wanted to do a simple upgrade, not a lot of tweaking, just need them to work. I did use the Linux Mint 15 desktop as my second screen while teaching a Virtual Certification Skills class the last week of August, which was very nice to use.