Man, a functional, reliable, day-to-day use Linux desktop distro, I’ve been chasing that unicorn for a while. I think I might have caught one yesterday. Time will tell, but so far it looks promising.
Here is a list of distros I’ve tried:
Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit and 32-bit. I am sure I’ve tried versions prior to 9.04;
Fedora 11 64-bit. I might have tried 32-bit and versions prior to 11;
Suse Linux 11.1 64-bit. I might have tried 32-bit and versions prior to 11.1;
Sabayon 4.2 64-bit. I am sure I’ve tried the 32-bit and versions prior to 4.2;
Kubuntu 9.04 64-bit and 32-bit;
Centos 5.3 and 5.5 64-bit and 32-bit.
Mint 7 and 8, a distro based on Ubuntu, both 32-bit and 64-bit.
During my last gig, I used Centos 5.3 as my main workhorse computer with identical dual monitors for close to a year, and I really liked it. I used MacBook Pro during that time as well. MacBook is a decent machine, but I couldn’t stand the cult surrounding Apple and Apple’s arrogance.
So I want to continue the practice of using Linux as my default day to day operating system, and running a Windows virtual machine on top of it for Outlook email and calendar, and some other necessary Windows functions. I was really impressed with Mint last time I tried it. My machine is this several years old HP dv6253cl laptop. Here is the gist of things:
1. Mint 9 64-bit didn’t work. I installed Mint 9 32-bit;
2. Administration -> Hardware Drivers. I installed Broadcom STA wireless driver. To do that, you need a wired connection first so it could download necessary files;
3. Administration -> Hardware Drivers. I installed NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (Version 173). I then went to Administration -> NVIDIA X Server Settings and setup dual monitors. Experiment and find the setup you like;
4. Skype works. Use Software Manager, search for Skype, and install;
5. GMail “call phone” works once you install the 32-bit deb package;
6. I installed VirtualBox and built a Windows 7 VM. I used VMWare Player first but I had trouble setting up the VM’s network connection.
7. Flash works. No need to compile and install it yourself.