Well, it is time for a change.
ubuntu -> manjaro mate / cinnamon)
I was a user of many distributions during the past years. Starting with SUSE, I quickly discovered that I like more standardisation than they provided. Changing to debian, I realized I needed to be a bit more bleeding edge, so I was using Ubuntu. Many times. With XFCE, Gnome 2, Gnome 3 and had testinstalls in a VM of fedora, CentOS, Arch, Mandriva, Mint and Manjaro to name a few. I even used neverware’s cloudready for testing a ChromeOS-like experience. Now it’s time to put all the experience into a final decision.
- What I don’t like:
- snap – snap packages get too damn slow. I primarily liked the concept, but I also disliked dual installation of software from snap and the official repos – you need to make yourself accustomed with the new concept
- gnome 3 – just don’t.
- KDE – which is a bit ancient, but I am just lacking positive experiences
- Ubuntu in general. – It started off as easy replacement of debian – you just never know which version will support your hardware out-of-the-box. Plus: I can no longer be bothered with major upgrades every 6 months. Nope. I want to say goodbye to that.
- Waiting for the next release cycle of debian.
- What I like:
- The concept of rolling releases – like Arch.
- Stability as well
- Cinnamon – well lightweight, consistent, functional and stable DEs and WMs in general
- Running the same distro on all my Laptops and PCs
- A big fan of debian in general because: general stability – with the drawback of waiting for the “next” release
So what’s next?
Well – I will make another distrohop. Now I’m running Ubuntu 18.10 on my T420 and my old Phenomx4 – I’d like to consider myself “not” a distrohopper, but in my defense, I might just have not found a distro to meet my needs / taste.
I just want decent QA for distros that do faster release of versions or packages…
And what distros will I try?
I might go for two main releases first, and have a look into two minor contenders.
As main contenders: Manjaro (w/XFCE) and Fedora 29 (w/Mate or Cinnamon). I think both of them get closer to my use case, but from different angles. Fedora the release-based approach, but in a minor sense than ubuntu, and Manjaro with the rolling approach with an option to choose “stable” as release branch.
– The minor ones are Elementary and Solus, because I am curious about those two. Solus provides flatpak, like fedora does, so that might be a pro.
I won’t be making a huge comparison, even though I might update on what I will be using after my final testings.
Dropping out of the race:
Elementary. Another Ubuntu-Based distro is not exactly what I wanted, so I figured why even bother…. Solus: strong contender with Budgie, but I can have my cake and eat it too when installing budgie on another distro (like manjaro). Plus: no mega client on solus either, reason might be because it’s an independent distro. Nice try though, version 4 looks promising – but is lacking software for general purpose that I am already used to – without all the fiddling for what I consider basics in my daily usage.
Focussing on getting used to Manjaro and Fedora next.
Cinnamon: no longer interested. I want more lightweight with a simple search button in my start-alike menu.
Most interesting DE’s: XFCE and Budgie. XFCE I used already over ten years ago, Budgie has a very strong sidebar game and honestly quite good dark themes out of the box.
Both are out of the box available as a Manjaro flavour, while fedora comes with XFCE only of those two. Still, no interest in going super lightweight or the other full featured options given on the fedora spins page (Mar 2019).
Fedora dropped. If I want to use mixxx for some DJing, fedora has to enable separate repositories, where I was trying to escape from when leaving ubuntu. Even worse: on a Lenovo Laptop you might need non-free / proprietary firmware. So manjaro seems like the better call – especially when Arch is known to run on those like a charm.
Also dropped: Budgie. I liked the sidebar, but around 10% CPU on Idle is a no-no on my 7 year-old laptop. (It was inside a VM, but nonetheless. no compromises this time.)
Conclusion: Manjaro it is. With MATE and Cinnamon to switch around until a decision is final.