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Well I think it's the best Linux desktop so far anyway! So, check out what I have to say, or, better still, check out this great distro for yourself.
Răzvan Sandu's profile photoKevin Jones's profile photoCharlie Kravetz (charlie-tca)'s profile photoJustin John's profile photo
Excellent review, Steven. I just installed Mint 13 with Cinnamon on my System76 laptop over the long weekend and so far despite a few glitches here and there, I'm really liking it. I think Cinnamon has a very bright future ahead of it.

Just one correction though.... I don't believe Mint has any of their main versions in ISOs small enough to fit on a CD anymore. I had to burn a DVD this time.
Actually I tried it and Cinnamon just isn't there for me. I ended up moving to Xubuntu 12.04 with XFCE which just seems more mature then Cinnamon and I ran into no problems where Cinnamon seemed to never quite do exactly what I expected it to do.
I'm saddened by the fragmentation that has happened in the GTK world recently. I prefer the GTK toolkit to QT because of how it looks and works, and would love to be able to use an up to date, stable desktop environment with broad community support...

In the past I was able to Gnome2 to get the best GTK environment, but now I have to choose between Unity (which is frustrating to use at times and not configurable), Gnome3 (which is relatively immature and starting to incorporate some of Unity's bad choices), Cinnamon (which is supported by a relatively small distro, and doesn't really evolve much beyond Gnome2), Gnome2/classic (which will become out of date relatively quickly), and XFCE (which is not at feature parity with the others).

None of the choices seems like a good one right now, so maybe I should move to KDE and deal with my dislike of QT? Can one of the Gnome 3 variants win out and get broader support soon?
Thanks for the suggestion but I believe that Mate is a relatively niche DE. I'm looking for something that has broad developer and community support.
I was a happy Mint user for several years, but jumped back to Ubuntu when Unity was introduced. Now, going back to a taskbar and drop down menu system seems a little old fashioned.
+Steven Vaughan-Nichols, have you ran into any quarks with Cinnamon? I tried it and MATE before moving back to Ubuntu, or Xubuntu rather. Both Cinnamon and MATE just seemed unpolished and a bit buggy for me, plus many features just didn't work as advertised. I'm a minimalist when it comes to my desktop so Unity just didn't appeal to me, and though this is my first time to use xfce it has worked out well thus far.
+Sam Alexander I have to say other than the quirk about the software installer I mention in my review I haven't seen anything off with Cinnamon. It isn't, however, a minimalist desktop ala xkfce or LXDE. If you really like either of those a lot, you probably wouldn't be that crazy about Cinnamon.
I had no intention of trying Mint until I read a post by a guy who tested all the desktop environments for RAM use. Cinnamon was beat only by LXDE and E17. So I installed Mint 13 this weekend.

There's a lot to recommend Mint. It's definitely a bit lighter than Unity or even Gnome Shell. The Cinnamon settings give you a lot of options, too - including about a dozen GTK themes - so you don't need to go after a third-party tweak tool to play with the look. It also features nice desktop effects without overdoing it. 

i'd say for a conservative approach, the Mint guys have really nailed it. I've been really happy with Gnome Shell in Ubuntu 12.04, -- with a panel extension -- but Mint solves a lot of the same problems out of the box and does so really elegantly... I may go Mint full time.
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