Sunday, April 4, 2020


So in my continuing operating system saga, I have once again returned to the Linux Mint Debian Edition (aka LMDE). On March 20, version 4 was released. Being the sentimental type, I just had to try it out.

Debian is one of the greatest distros out there, but getting it installed and correctly configured can be quite the hassle. LMDE is much easier to install and is essentially a Debian box with all the bells and whistles preconfigured.

My biggest beef with LMDE is that they no longer provide a version that comes with the MATE desktop environment. The Cinnamon desktop is now the only option, and quite frankly I don’t like it very much.

For those who don’t know, the desktop environment is what you see on your computer. It provides the look and feel, and is one of the most important aspects of a Linux system. If a distro doesn’t support your preferred desktop environment, it’s a definite deal breaker! That’s why last time I jumped ship from LMDE (Debian) to Linux Mint (Ubuntu).

Now don’t misunderstand- You can install whatever desktop environment you want on any distro, but if your distro doesn’t “support” it, you’re on your own, and things might not work like they’re supposed to.

Fortunately this time around there is an EASY fix. After installing LMDE (which only comes with Cinnamon), I opened the terminal and typed the command “sudo tasksel”. It’s like a one-stop-wonder for installing preconfigured software. I selected the MATE option and it did all the work for me!

Once MATE was installed, I logged out, switched to the MATE desktop, logged back in, and used the software manager to delete Cinnamon. Now I’m back home again, and everything works like it’s supposed to!

I realize that Linux is not for everyone, but I’ve just become really comforable and accustomed to the MATE desktop environment. Windows kept changing their layout from 7, to 8, to 10, and now there is another version of 10 again. Meanwhile, MATE kept everything the same, and I like that kind of stability in my life.


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