New user! My thoughts

Just my thoughts as a new user of Ubuntu-MATE

Hello everyone. This will be my first forum post here as I am a new user of Ubuntu-Mate! I have an old Dell Latitude E6400 left in the shelf because it got too old to use Windows on and I thought I should put Ubuntu on it and give it a try. After I went online and search for some infos about Ubuntu, I end up downloading Ubuntu Mate 18.04.5 LTS 32-Bit.

Long story short, I choose this Mate for it's customization and for the fast loading of the OS on this old laptop. I went for the 32-bit version because it will be suitable for my Intel Core2 Duo P8400 2.26 Ghz x2 and 3 gigs of RAM.

To be honest, since I've seen how fast this work, I wiped my other laptop too and installed the latest version of Mate but the 64-bit. I had to dualboot that one with Windows 10, because I have some work related apps that are running only on Windows. But when I'm not doing my job, I am running Ubuntu-MATE 24/7 - 7/7.

Best decision I ever made regarding an Operating System. I will never go back to Windows or Mac, since I am happy with this and also works like a charm.

I salute all the users here and all the people that are working on this project! Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays! Be safe!

8 Likes

Hi and welcome to the community !
Just to let you know, I got a Chromebook with worse specs than your old laptop and it does ok with the 64bit version despite having only 2gb ram, as MATE is very light on ressources.
18.04's support for Ubuntu MATE will come to an end next year, so feel free to install a newer version when the time comes. It would fly with a cheap SSD (if it doesn't already have one).

Some tips if you're a new Ubuntu MATE / GNU/Linux user:

  • Whenever you encounter something new you're interested in, whether it is some piece of software or a particular setting, don't forget to write it somewhere. The GNU/Linux universe is vast and it's easy to forget about things.
  • Backup your config files located in /home/yourusername/.config/ (folders beginning with . are hidden, so use ctrl+h to display them in your file manager). It could save you a lot of time as well when reinstalling. You can use them as well on other computers for most software.
  • Should you feel the urge to try other distros/desktop environments, try to use virtual machines on a more powerful computer. It's easy to waste time installing stuff only to come back home a few hours/days later.
  • Turn on your firewall. If I remember correctly, it's off by default.
2 Likes

Thank you for all your advice. I am greatly happy to learn new things about it.

Just a quick question. If I want to go now to Mate 20.04.1 LTS 64-bit, do I have to write the image on an usb stick and perform a clean install? Or maybe... Can I do it from the terminal without wiping anything?

Sadly, I don't think there's an upgrade path from 18.04 32 bit to 20.04 64 bit.
It would have been possible from 18.04 64 bit to 20.04 64 bit. Then again, it's better to nuke and pave though it can take more time (without config files backups/install scripts for the software you usually use).

That's exactly what I'm doing now! Thank you for all your advices. Going to 20.04 64 bit now.

This will be too late.. but you can do what I call upgrade via re-install. Boot the new release media you'll install from (eg. 20.04 in your case), and start install but use "Something else" and select your existing partition(s) and ensure you don't have the "format" box checked. It'll cause

  • your packages installed will be noted
  • system directories will be erased
  • new system installed
  • additional packages (noted earlier) you'd installed post-install will attempt to be added (if available for the new release, and network connection is available for them to be downloaded).
  • no user data is touched (unless you formatted it) and you're asked to reboot.

It's a great way to re-install should something go wrong, switch from one release to another (especially if you want to skip a release where normal paths are every release OR LTS to next LTS, or in your case change architectures (ie. i386 to amd64).

FYI: A clean install is usually better, and in your case with a new system it's what I'd do anyway; this is primarily informational (ie. we have options).

3 Likes

Thanks for your reply buddy. Even if it's late, I am taking the note for future. I am now on a clean install of Mate 20.04 LTS 64 Bit. Running great, but I found a minor issue. As you can see, for some reason I got two times the wifi network indicator. Sometimes if I reboot, I get two indicators of that bell notification icon. Sometimes my battery doubles. I have to dig deep online to see what the issue is here.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!