I do things a little weird. I have separated out different things I do into separate VirtualBox virtual machines. This allows me to customize the OS for the need and to keep a higher level of security. It also means I should be able to restore a vm to another computer if the laptop fails and the important stuff is just the same in the VM. So my laptop runs the windows 11 that came on it and VirtualBox. That is basically it. All my files and work is then done in virtual machines OS's. By adding the VirtualBox extensions (agent) to the vm OS, it provides and quite pleasant experience for me.
I got tired of paying windows licenses. Linux OS's are "free". I want to learn more how to use Linux. So, began my search.
I wanted a desktop OS that I liked using. I downloaded and installed probably 30 Linux distributions and with various desktop interfaces.
After much frustration and learning I arrived choosing Linux Mint with the cinnamon desktop as my go to. It provides me the cleanest desktop that I like, it is sort of a Windows 7 desktop that is very clean and smooth. It is an easy enough experience that I would actually venture to give my mom a computer with Linux Mint installed as the OS and she could use it and do the things she wants. Most apps we use these days are web-based.
Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu which is then based on Debian. This is fine and dandy, but Ubuntu by Connical has some concerns. They also want to do all your software using "Snaps" and their their store. LM has the Snap store disabled by default.
The dev group for Linux Mint has a secondary version they work on that is based on just Debian, called LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition), cutting out the Ubuntu middleman.
I tried to use LMDE 5 and while it was usable, the desktop was not as smooth and polished as the primary edition was.
They recently released LMDE 6 and I tried it out. The installer is a bit different than LM regular, but only a couple prompts are a bit clunky. Once installed, I logged in (same) and I found the desktop nearly identical. I started installing the base normal helper apps I use (like Dropbox, 1Password) and found it quite pleasing. The desktop interaction is now smooth and satisfying for LMDE 6 cinnamon as I have found Linux Mint cinnamon primary edition to be.
I have not installed LMDE 6 on actual hardware and that may be where issues develop in supporting hardware. But I look forward to trying that when the need arises.
I summary, I am loving the LMDE 6 edition and already have a couple vm running (one with VS Code!). I give kudos to the Linux Mint team and I will continue to support their efforts to offer a real alternative to using Windows that is free and open source.
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