Moved from mint 17.3 to ubuntu mate 16.04.1, my feedback after 2 weeks


I’m new in unix like OS as I started using linux and freebsd on a daily basis 2+ years ago when I moved my work laptop on mint 17.3.

I hope it can be interesting for the project.

why switching ?

  • lightweight desktop but not outdated
  • wanted more up to date softwares (expecially libre office)

The hardware :

  • laptop clevo wu740 = system76 galago ultrapro : i7-4750hq + 16g ram + 1*ssd 128g + 1hd 1tb + 13.3" screen (no dedicated video card)
  • I use it with 2 16/9 1080p monitors or sometimes with a 21/9 34" screen

1/ the problems

1.1/ the network manager

1.1.1/ I loose the wifi sometimes when resuming the laptop. Investigate, I will.

1.1.2/ Openvpn : I couldn’t import a .ovpn client configuration from my pfsense firewall anymore and it seems to be an old bud (2010). I finnaly managed to make it work. I shared my informations on launchpad

1.1.3/ the mint team did a good job on visually make it more clear, separate wired, wifi, vpn …etc…

1.2/ bluetooth can’t pair anymore with my earplugs “nowall ch1”, investigate I will too

1.3/ my usb3 hub+ethernet adapter’ s nic was named quite simply in mint (something like “usb ethernet”), now it’ s “enxf01e341f5f22”, impressive name but not very user friendly :slight_smile:

1.5/ I work a lot with distant countries and I miss the cinnamon applet worldclock (not the default one) where I could customize the informations I wanted to see, in the task bar, and in the dropdown menu, and make those heretics (windows users collegues) completely jalous

1.6/ filemanager “caja”
- most of the time I use the compact view, but it truncates file names when then are longer then 20 characters (approx). I prefer the windows/mint way that can make the collumns adjust to file name size.
+ generally speaking caja seems to be faster

1.7/ the [super]+[E] shortcut doesn’t launch the file explorer even with the shortcut configured

1.8/ the overall theming is not as polished

1.9/ I miss the mint locking screen : a simple clock and I can’ t find somewhere in the GUI how to change the background of that screen.

1.10/ In the background management GUI I couldn’t find the way to use only solid color as a background, but I finnaly found it, it’ s the one in the top left corner.

1.11/ In mint, my “theme” had no animations except for closing windows that was a ‘fade out’. I know I can do that with compiz but could it be done with ‘marco (compton gpu conpositor)’ ? I have to check if there is a big ressources usage difference between campton and compiz.

2/ the improvements

2.1/ no more “blocked into 100% brightness bug” when unplugging monitors from the laptop -> yessssssssss

2.2/ no more “broken sound in skype bug” (I think it broke when I tried to install digikam and it pulled down a ton of KDE dependancies)

2.3/ longer battery life, maybe 20% more

2.4/ mate tweak 's themes allowed me to experiment with different workflow without breaking everything (like I did when I tried to go back into compix when unity came by default in ubuntu)

2.5/ welcome page and software boutique : that’ s an excellent start for new linux users !

2.6/ generally speaking many software are up to date : last version of libre office

3/ suggestions

3.1/ suggestions for the software boutique
+ filebot : rename files for tv shows, etc…
+ pyrenamer : a gui for massively renaming files, the UI is not great but it’ s “pattern” feature is very usefull and I can’ t find a better one
+ deluge : transmission is in default in many distributions but I really prefer deluge that has the flexibility to have user experience to utorrent by default or and can act in a more " advanced" client/server (in gtk, web and console modes) if you desactivate the “classic mode”

3.2/ include the open vpnclient by default

3.3/ a GUI for nfs mounting and unmounting (like CIFS)

3.4/ windows snapping with marco windows manager
- in quarters and not only in half screens
- a way to snap windows for 21/9 screens where you can have 3-4 windows vertically side by side

3.5/ less waste of space in the screen
- make the menus appear only when pressing [alt] (like win7 did)
- undorate windows in full screen is a nice feature but it’ s buggy with multiple screens setup, I quite oftenly end up with a windows I can’ t “unmaximize”

3.5/ see disks’ I/O in the mate system monitor

3.6/ the supercopier
- basic idea : optimise your file copies by running then in sequence instead of all together
- you can “queue” transfers only when the source or the destination was already doing a copy
- you can influence the queue as it’s copying : reorder, resume broken transfers, continue copying if errors, pause, slowdown, delete some elements in the queue, adjust copy speed
- Mint does that very ruffly by queuing everything even deletes, it’ s nice but incomplete
- -> it’s the closest version of the original

3.7/ a better dock
- mate tweak allowed me to try a dock style usage I find it very nice. Cairo-dock has a very nice feature I’ d like to use : “unfold icons” or “sub-docks unfolding” as they call it. But the animations refresh rate is not as fluid as plank, i try twaeking the conf files, no success there for now


Thanks for this extensive feedback! There are many great suggestions. I have recently started a separate thread regarding the use of docks. You may want to discuss this particular aspect there.

I absolutely agree. I really hope that VPN clients will be made available through the Software Boutique soon.

Regarding new suggestions it is best to start a new thread on each program that you would like to have included with your own screenshots and your own evaluation/description. You can also add the boutique tag and see how others have done it.

I hope that new and more polished theme options will be available by default. I like the new Mint-Y themes a lot.

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