I decided to install Linux Mint LXDE for one reason really – I use a Dell Vostro with 2gb RAM and a Core2Duo running at 2.2ghz. I simply wanted the fasted machine possible given the spec of the hardware.
I discounted Crunchbang as, even though its fast, I couldn’t honestly get used to the different way the desktop works. Well not for work where sometimes actual work comes before aesthetics. I did consider Puppy Linux but I’ve tried a few times to install to HDD without success. In fact the last time I looked you were actively discouraged from trying to install to hard drive by the Puppy developers – they prefer you to run their distro off USB all the time. So I didn’t fancy installing software over and over again.
Linux Mint LXDE’s main competition for my money was (and still is) Lubuntu. They use the same distro for their core (Ubuntu in case you didn’t know!) and they both use LXDE as their preferred desktop of choice. So the only differences are quite minor. Lubuntu comes with an overall blue flavour – where (unsurprisingly) Linux Mint LXDE goes with green like its many siblings. Wallpapers are different – both very nice.
One thing I do prefer on the Minty side is the menu icons. Not really a show stopper but I do think the Mint team make a little bit more of an effort with the appearance of their OS. To be honest that theme is probably the reason I went with Mint in general – quite simply the Mint developers take that little bit more time to test and polish their OS. Things don’t crash as often if at all. Mint is one of the few distros where, for my money at least, “it just works” to coin a phrase.
The result is possibly the fastest desktop PC based on the base hardware. I counted once, the length of time it takes on this machine from pressing the power button to being able to open a programme (including the log on process) – the answer is 22 seconds. Not greased lightning but compared with my wife’s better specced Vista laptop its definitely a league or two ahead.
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