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Hi :)
Both Cinnamon and Mate (pronounced similarly to Latte) are both supposedly
"drop in replacements" for the "Gnome" DE that Ubuntu used to use.

They both started with the same code-base that everyone using a Gnome DE on
any distro was familiar with and then just upgraded it.  VERY similar to
the way LibreOffice has evolved from OpenOffice.

The new Gnome was heading in a direction that almost no-one liked -
apparently they were moving away from touch and away from accessibility.
Hence so many forks appearing and also distros moving to other DEs.  Ubuntu
found that an almost unheard-of DE was aiming for greater accessibility and
opening up greater flexibility for touch gestures and stuff.  Also being
such a tiny team would give Ubuntu more opportunity to steer them if
needed.  The Gnome people dug their heels in and wouldn't budge from their
plans to return to a by-gone era.

Cinnamon and Mate are now well-established, just as LibreOffice is.
Doubtless there are many people working in and sharing code and/or ideas
between many such projects.

It is very possible to install Mate or Cinnamon into most distros now.  At
the login screen you might see a logo for the default DE, or a drop-down
menu, where you can switch from one to another.  So you can kinda
test-drive different DEs in a single working install of whichever distro.
Much of the "under the bonnet" stuff you ask about tends to go with
whichever DE was the most recently installed but some stuff remains the
same.  So it's not a perfect test-drive but might help give you an idea.

It's probably best to create a new partition and test-drive some of these
things yourself.  A virtual machine might be quite good too but a
bare-metal install has to deal with the quirkiness of real hardware and
might give a better idea of how things really work.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 18 July 2015 at 19:48, Johnny Rosenberg <> wrote:

Tom, you might want to take a look at Linux Mint (current version 17.2) ;
if you're using a desktop as your main box, I think you will find the
I personally prefer Cinnamon - far superior to Ubuntu's Unity (Cinnamon
can, of course, be installed on Ubuntu to replace Unity) and the OS is a
dream to use. On my triple-boot machine, it boots (from GRUB), for
much more quickly than Windows 8.1 Pro, which I keep around solely in
to be able to help retirees with their Windows problems. It doesn't
require, as does Windows, that the machine be rebooted just about every
time a minor update is installed, and things like the BSOD simply don't

You guys who use Mint with Cinnamon (from now on I will only say
”Mint”, but I mean Mint with the Cinnamon desktop every time), I would
like to know a little more about a few details, if you don't mind:
I currently use Ubuntu 14.04 and I have used Ubuntu since 7.04. I was
very impressed by the first version I installed, then even more
impressed for every new version up to 10.10. After that it seems like
the Ubuntu team spied on my. ”Now, let's see what features Johnny
Rosenberg like to use… aha… aha… I see… yes, that one too, ok, let's
remove them!”

So basically everything that I like with Ubuntu is gone now or doesn't
work. Let's asume that I want to give Mint with Cinnamon a go, what
about the following?
In old Ubuntu version, let's say a wrote a Bash script that I intended
to use with FLAC files. That's not too crazy, because I actually wrote
quite a few such scripts…
Now, I want to run these scripts with on FLAC files without too much
effort. I just want to right click a FLAC file, then ”Open with” and
finally just select my script.

To make this happen, in old Ubuntu I could just right click a FLAC
file → Properties → Open with, and from there just enter a command
line manually to reach my script.
This is of course impossible in Ubuntu 14.04. There are methods, but
none of them works. I have edited text files, been fiddling around
with Ubuntu Tweak and other tools, but no success. Nautilus Actions
doesn't seem to work properly anymore and so on. It's possible to use
the Script folder (~/.local/share/nautilus/scripts) but then my script
will be available for ALL kinds of files. Not good.
What about Mint in this case?

I use icons on my desktop. Maybe I shouldn't, but I find it
convenient. I try to have just a few of them, though. Anyway, I want
my icons on certain places and in certain sizes. I size up important
icons, for instance. This works in Ubuntu, but when I logout and then
login again, or restart the computer, all of my desktop icons are the
same size again and placed from up to down, left to right in
alphabetic order…
Does this work properly in Mint?

My Android phone always appear on different places. If I write a
script that will move files to and from my phone, I need to write
special routines to determine where the phone is located. At the
moment it's at ”/run/user/1000/gvfs/mtp:host=%5Busb%3A001%2C006%5D/”,
for instance. I find that annoying and it reminds me about Windows’
silly drive letters, which I also find annoying and… well, silly…
What about Mint in this case? Connecting Android devices that is, I
already know that Mint doesn't use drive letters… :P

Kind regards

Johnny Rosenberg

So I agree with Jack Wallen - Linux *is* the answer to the question of
alternatives to Windows. I'd disagree with him just a bit when it comes
«good» and «bad» Windows OSs - the problem with Vista (Windows 6.0)
the OS itself, which was, in fact, a great improvement over XP (Windows
5.1) - try defragging the same files on the two systems and you'll see
I mean - but rather that it was released before the manufacturers of
peripherals like, e g, printers, had gotten around to creating drivers
worked with it, which was a real bummer for consumers. Two years later,
when Windows 7 (i e, Windows 6.1), which amounted to a Vista SP with a
better GUI, was released, those drivers were in place, and everybody, i
Windows users, breathed a sigh of relief, Then came Windows 8 (Windows
6.2), a relatively minor upgrade from Windows 7, where the MS leadership
made the disastrous mistake of forcing the Metro GUI on all users.
all that had to be done to make the new OS work in a way familiar to
Windows users was to install the lovely little shell program from
Shell* <> , which gave users a GUI almost
indistinguishable from that of Windows 7. I don't know how many retirees
have saved from throwing their computers out the window by this simple
expedient. In Windows 8.1 (Windows 6.3), Microsoft started a slow retreat
back to the familiar start button, but even here the installation of
Classic Shell was needed to bring relief to users who communicated with
their computers mainly via a mouse/touchpad and a keyboard, rather than
sweeping their fingers over a touch screen. I suspect the same thing will
be true of Windows 10....

The nice thing about LibreOffice, is that it works like a charm with just
about any OS. Kudos to the developers, and to the people at the
who make their work possible !...


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