Makulu Mate v Mint Cinnamon v Zorin shootout.


Abarbarian

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Or as one person described it Erik's Easter ramble.




Well I had quite an exciting Easter weekend linux wise.If you caught up with my E2B thread you will know that I was looking for a distro to install on a usb for a friends laptop. Now this needed to have persistence as my friend is going to use the os as a replacement for XP but is not ready to jump ship straight away.

I did some tests of the three os's running on a usb as live distros and was impressed with all three as they all seemed to run perfectly otb. Originally I decided that Zorin was the chosen one. This decision was partly influenced by the fact that Reglue the organisation set up by Ken Starks of Helios bog fame had settled on Zorin as their os of choice.

When I came to install Zorin to a usb I ran into a hitch, in that adding persistence proved to be not straight forward. I recon it could be done but I did not want to spend the time researching as I had already spent quite some time reading up on new distros etc etc and was suffering from a touch of burn out.So Mint Cinnamon ended up as the chosen one. I ran some quick tests on my rig with the usb install and made a few cosmetic changes and tweaks and added some useful add-ons to FF. Everything was tickety boo I thought.

Now I needed a pc at me mums in York who I had persuaded to install broadband mainly for the international calls boost included in the bundle. I'm quite chuffed that I managed to negotiate a total cots of £185 for the year long contract consisting of ,unlimited broadband (3 times faster than mine) 24/7 uk calls and 24/7international calls. That is only £5 more than BT who wanted £180 for the line rental alone. I had swapped my sisters socket 754 pc for my old rig sometime ago and had tried at Christmas to use this with several live usb and cd distros and failed miserably to get a connected pc up and running with wireless. Frustrated was a mild description of how I felt at the time and I was determined to have a working wireless pc ready for this visit.

So I spent a day trying to get this old pc up and running sweetly. turned out to be a wasted day. I kept on having mysterious hiccups and it finally dawned on me that maybe the problem lay in the secondhand mobo (£7.50 from e-bay) I had used for the original build. Can't complain really as it had run for three or four years.What to do now ? Well I had another old pc I had built for a friends daughter with a AM 2 mobo and a 4800 cpu. This too had died after running for four years and had been gathering dust in a cupboard for a couple of years. once again I suspected the secondhand mobo (£8.76 from e-bay) had failed and decided to take the chance that the mobo had failed and not the cpu and determined to buy a new mobo. After several cups of fortifying tea and a couple of cream scones I dusted of the wallet avoided the cloud of moths and accessed my credit card and ordered a new mobo.

Now you may wonder why I would try to use such old tech. Well I have some decent DDR2 ram and some decent PCI-E graphics cards and hopefully a decentish cpu. So all I needed was a mobo. Seems that AM 2 mobos are like hens teeth especially low cost ones. I came across this Arock 960GC-GS FX for £42 brand new which I thought would be ideal for my project. It can accommodate AM 2 and 3 cpu's and DDR 2 and 3 ram which will allow me to upgrade at some time in the future very cheaply with secondhand parts from e-bay if I want to.

Well the mobo arrived and it did not take me very long to assemble the pc. I used a 20 pin psu that does not have any connectors for a gpu as temporary measure till I upgrade my rig and then I will use my Corsair HX 520 with a 4850 gpu. So for the present I am using the onboard gpu. The board only has two DDR2 ram slots and I installed 2x1GB Black Dragon ram.A 60 GB cheapy ssd completed the build. Two 2 GB sticks of ram would have been preferable but all in all not a bad build for £75 and some junk.

I decide that as I would mainly be surfing, picture viewing and a bit of linux gaming I could afford to split the ssd in two and install one os as my main and use the remainder of the ssd for playing with various distros.

As I had chosen Zorin originally for me mate I thought I would use this as my main os. So I installed, which went well until I wanted to install FF through the gui installer offered. I was not really happy that to use their install method I had to join Ubuntu One. I joined and went through the validation and again tried to install FF.I could not complete the install every time I tried I was told I needed to be authorised by Ubuntu and I did not have the correct credentials or something like that. I tried rebooting several times, logged into Ubuntu One on line, had a cup of tea and tried several times.No joy at all, finally frustrated I deleted the Ubuntu One account and decided I would uninstall Zorin from the ssd at some later time. I thought later that I could possibly have installed from the cli but that really would have defeated the claim that Zorin was a decent replacement for Windows. So due to this bug or hiccup and the fact that you have to join Ubuntu One I will not be advising anyone to use Zorin.

Refreshed by tea and toast I installed Makulu Mate. The install was a little quicker than Zorin but both were stress free though I did struggle with where to place the boot stuff. I worked it out and eventually installed boot to the MBR.After running through the install procedure on reboot I was quite pleased to see that Makulu had correctly found and displayed Zorin in the Grub menu. I did a system update as I wanted to deal with any hitches whilst at home and not at me mums. I need not have worried as the update worked with no hitches.The big Q remaining was would wireless work otb at me mums.

Arriving in York I hooked up the pc to the tv and powered up. Hooray wireless was found and after passwords were entered I was surfing the web and watching you tube vids. Everything was just grand at least for a while. For some reason I thought I would do another system update, this was not a good idea as after reboot the menu and bottom task bar had disappeared. Oh no I thought not another buggy pile of trash and nearly threw the pc though the window(just joking).I started FF through a terminal and went to the Makulu forums where to my surprise I found that this glitch had been recognised and fixed by the developer in less than a day. I was dead impressed. Followed the simple instructions and rebooted to find all was fixed. I can not say how impressed I am with Makulu. It looks very good with lots of choices as to how the desktop will look. It runs very sweetly on my oldish low cpu powered rig. The developer is keeping on top of glitches and responds very quickly. I am dead impressed and can recommend this as a replacement for a XP user or anyone who simply wants a nice GUI driven os that works otb.

What about Mint your asking as this is a shootout. Well I inserted the usb into me mates lappy and with fingers crossed powered up. Phew Mint fired up and was almost running perfectly. Now I had set this up on my 1920x1200 monitor and added several note-lets to the desktop I can not remember the name of the program. Well a couple of these had disappeared on my friends desktop and I could not see how to get them back.The onboard display gui only gave two screen resolutions neither of which brought back the missing note lets. This was not really a big deal as everything else worked just fine and looked good.
Well almost everything. The wireless program found several connections and asked for a password for my mates connection. Entering the password seemed to work as the wireless tried to connect but then kept on asking for the password. For some reason it would not accept the password and connect.This is not a big deal for my friend as he is set up to use cable. It is a minor fail for Mint though, which I could probably fix with some fiddling.
My friend is quite happy with the Mint as it fires up at least twice as quickly as XP even though it is running from a usb and shuts down much quicker. It looks pretty and runs sweetly what more can you ask for from a free os.

So there you have it a rambling tale of my Easter adventures with linux.



http://www.makululinux.com/mate.htm
 
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Yes I tried Zorin 9 a couple of years ago but did not get on with it at all but I thought they had updated it as they keep o9n coming out with new editions but never bothered since I am so happy with Linux Mint Cinnamon. and looking forward to the 18.1 update:thumb:
 

floppybootstomp

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I've never used wireless with my Mint installs, always hard wired so I wonder if...

Interesting reading Mr Barb.

One thing I found out recently, when you back up a Windows install using Acronis True Image it will install no problem to a different size hard disk.

When I backed up my latest install of Mint (18) from a 750Gb HDD then reinstalled it to a 1Tb HDD the install only used 750Gb of the 1Tb disk leaving me with a 250Gb unused partition. I tried to use Parted Magic to integrate the unused partition but after a good hour of trying I couldn't do it so I gave up.

I ended up doing a fresh install of Mint to the 1Tb disk just to be able to use all of it.

I do believe I've found one advantage of Windows over Linux Mint ;)
 
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Abarbarian

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Bring out yer dead , bring out yer dead. :lol:

Acronis True Image is a really neat program used it quite a lot in the past. Tend to use rysnc from the cli or Clonezilla these days.

I find that altering partitions or fiddling with disks can be a tad hit and miss for penguins. Sometimes the tools work 100% first time. If I run into problems I generally use a Live CD os that has gparted on board. Turning the pc off and rebooting can cure some problems aswell. I have never not been able to sort a glitch out fairly easily.

:cool:
 

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