My partner has a young daughter who likes to watch movies like Tinker Bell and Barbie’s Dream House. The problem is that she is a work at home mom and plays these movies on her computer. She is a work at home mom and uses this same computer for her work. Obviously the needs of one conflict with the needs of the other. She cannot work and play movies for her daughter at the same time!
The Old Computer
Earlier this year I bought a new computer, and kept my old computer to make into a development server. It only has 2 gig of ram and a Atom 2 core processor, plus a gigabit Ethernet controller. For a “house server” to serve I figured that was enough. Mostly just to serve movies to the 2 computers on our network. A few weeks ago I retired my 24′ screen for a 28 inch. Since then my partner has been eying the unused computer for her daughter to play movies on. So I decided to make a “mouse only” computer for playing movies, a samba server to serve the same movies to the other computers on the network, and to add SSH to build a LAMP (or LNMP) server in the background, later on.
My Love of Ubuntu
Readers of my site know I have loved Ubuntu. I tried Ubuntu, my operating system for nearly a decade now. When I left Windows XP for Ubuntu, I loved it so much I swore I would never go back. I chose the very first LTS version and have been on Ubuntu LTS ever since! Like many others, I was not very thrilled when Ubuntu forced Unity onto us. For this project, Unity seemed over bloated. I longed for the days of the Ubuntu I had left WinXP for!
When I started looking for an alternative, Linux Mint Mate quickly became the front runner. Mint comes in four basic versions that track Ubuntu for now: Cinnamon, Mate, KDE, and Xfce. There is also Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), a semi-rolling distribution based on Debian Testing.
Mint Mate caught my eye as it is much like the Ubuntu I fell in love with long ago. I down loaded Mint Mate 17, burnt it to a flash drive and booted up. Installation was a breeze. It brought up the LAN in gigabit mode, and I could easily play movies across our network! Using the Samba client, loading files across the network was at 29.9MB – or about the maximum speed of the hard-drive interface. Sharing files was easy enough from the boot disk also, just used the file manager.
I not only decided to use Linux Mint Mate for this build, I decided to migrate our whole network to Mint Mate! I never thought I would say it, but I have decided to leave Ubuntu for Linux Mint Mate. After seeing Mint Mate in action, it was really a no-brainer decision. I always thought if I left Ubuntu it would be a difficult and painful decision, worst than when I left WinXP for Ubuntu.
The Fault for this decision lies firmly with Canonical Ltd. They dumped Gnome for Unity without any easy path to keep the Gnome. In other words, they forced a more bloated desktop onto the Ubuntu faithful. Then their choices for things like Video/Audio players – just didn’t set well. With most using VLC (most used and most recommended on Ubuntu’s Forums), why would they choose anything else?
Advertisements and Spyware
The idea for commercial technical support seemed good, but now they are taking local searches and sending them to Canonical? I do not think I want my computer doing that. Isn’t that spyware built into the OS? Why would I want to add the bloated code and pay for it with my bandwidth (however small)? Now they plan a lot of experimental “upgrades” that are again Canonical driven and forced upon the Ubuntu user.
Community Driven and Open-Source
Ubuntu is still (mostly) open-source. However, the Ubuntu before Canonical was community driven. Now Community means Ubuntu Forums! Canonical decides what we want now. What made Ubuntu Great was the Community. There seems to be a trend now, “Business Driven and Open-Source” in the place of “Community Driven and Open-Source.” Big Business Controlled. The Community centered Linux Mate is a perfect example. Ubuntu is older and better known, however, already Mint has surpassed Ubuntu with 50% more users, and pushed Ubuntu to fourth place on the OS lists.
So for me, it is better to migrate our whole system to Linux Mint Mate. The one exception would be for our Internet Servers, which will stay with Ubuntu LTS.