multifarious: having many different parts, elements, forms, numerous & varied, greatly diverse or manifold
avocation: something a person does in addition to a principle occupation, especially for pleasure, hobby
I haven't blogged much lately, life is busy but it's good. In my spare time I've been working on a Music Room/Recording Studio at my Church building. Since I've been installing Linux on some pcs & researching new software for recording, I thought I'd take some time here to tell you about my 5 favorite Linux distributions (distros for short) that I personally use & love:
Linux Mint is a great distro, set up much like Windows XP/Vista/7, everything is user friendly & just works out of the box.
Linux Mint Cinnamon is elegant & powerful.
Linux Mint Mate (pronounced MAH-TAY), my personal favorite, is fast & resource friendly.
Linux Mint XFCE is the lightest of the bunch, ultra-fast & the most customizable.
I have Cinnamon running on my main desktop, Mate running on my main laptop & XFCE running on my netbook which is powering an external monitor + external USB hub + external keyboard + external mouse & still flies like the wind.
I recently tested & played around w/ LMDE (which is the Debian edition), I liked it & when I get a spare desktop, I'd like to install that on it & explore it a little more deeply…
The thing that makes Linux Mint so great is that everything works right out of the box, all the codecs are there & everything just works, it's my distro of choice.
Don't let the name fool you, Linux Lite is an incredible distro, based on XFCE it's true to it's name, one of the lightest distros but still packs a powerful punch. Perfect for older pcs/laptops but will run like a cheetah on newer ones. I've installed it on several pcs & everything has been flawless: installation, performance, updates. It's very much like Windows XP in it's layout so 20 seconds in & you're settling in like old times...
I highly recommend Linux Lite; like Mint, everything works out of the box. Installing & uninstalling programs is a breeze & the user interface is crazy-friendly & bottom line = it's clean & simple.
LXLE stands for Lubuntu Extra Life Extended, based on Lubuntu which runs LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), another light-weight, user/resource friendly distro especially for older pcs. Lubuntu has the default taskbar at the bottom whereas LXLE has it at the top & it took a page from the Ubuntu Mate handbook & added another taskbar at the bottom.
I had to do some tweaking though, the screensaver/screen blanking issue had no immediate or clear cut solution, so a few hours doing some 'net research fixed that, which is a few hours I could have been doing something else… also, after running the first update, it removed VLC & left behind a couple of broken packages/discrepancies which did not allow me to re-install VLC so again, after a few hours of research, everything was eventually fixed w/ some terminal commands & VLC successfully re-installed.
Apart from that… the more I play around w/ this distro the more I really dig it, in fact it's pretty much tied w/ Linux Lite in the resource department, speed, user interface, etc.
The one I love to hate & hate to love…
This distro is gorgeous, it's simply beautiful.
I love the fact it's resource friendly, very light indeed & very fast but like every Ubuntu-based distro it doesn't come w/ all the codecs so when I install VLC I have to use the terminal commands & add restricted extras, etc, etc… even then the video playbeck is sometimes choppy, laggy, etc, etc.., so I have go into VLC & do some tweaking there which doesn't always work :(
This was the first distro I had seen that had dual taskbars on top & bottom built in & I was crushing on it from that moment on; for me dual taskbars (like dual monitors) helps my work flow & doesn't clutter up just one taskbar w/ all my open programs on it, it's spread out & I can find things easier.
I like playing around w/ it though & it's a perfect fit for some pc's. Perhaps part of it is that I simply like the Mate environment or “all things Mate”.
I had originally written this distro off as something that I thought was a good idea but was bloated & too complicated to install & use but once I installed it & dug into it, I was kinda blown away.
Based off XFCE, it's lightweight & highly customizable but boy does it pack a punch! It comes pre-installed w/ several audio & video programs to immediately get you going on any project. I'm still playing around w/ it & haven't fully explored it yet but it's quickly become one of my favorite distros; in fact I have installed on the pc in the Music Room at my Church.
I will tell you this though: it's not very good handling wireless very well (on a desktop). I used a desktop pc that had Mint XFCE installed on it, I inserted a wireless USB dongle & it recognized it immediately & connected to the wifi network. I wiped that pc & installed Ubuntu Studio on it, inserted the wireless USB dongle & nothing. It read the USB & tried to connect to the wifi but never did, after several attempts it gave up! So now I have to insert an ethernet cable to get any kind of updates which is a pain but not critical at this point.
So those are my favorite distros! I ditched Windows long ago & have zero regrets. Linux is free & does everything Windows can do, why would you not take advantage of something that's free? To each his own I guess...