I have been considering Linux distributions for several months now, ever since I was ruefully surprised by Pop!_OS’ inclusion of brltty and the negative impact it had with my ability to attach to and develop with embedded systems using USB connections. What made the inclusion of brltty even more onerous and annoying is that System76, the developer of Pop!_OS, also sells hardware aimed squarely at developers as one of its “target demographics.” I’m still ticked off because of all the good will and positive things I originally said about Pop!_OS, only to have to walk all that back. Never again…
One of the biggest surprises (to me) is how much I’ve come to appreciate Debian. To my way of thinking it’s the Mary Poppins distribution, practically perfect, heavy on the practical. Debian stable doesn’t have the latest, but they’re current enough not to be an issue. And if I happen to need a feature only available with the latest release, I’ve certainly learned how to run multiple versions of a tool side-by-side. Python in particular is set up for just that use case.
While I certainly appreciate the quality of pure Debian stable, I have to admire the overall quality and fit-and-finish of LMED 5 ‘Elsie’, or Linux Mint Debian Edition 5. It’s built on top of Debian Stable with the Cinnamon desktop environment. The Cinnamon developers even trimmed down the top window titlebar so that it isn’t wasting so much room on the desktop. There are little quality touches throughout the desktop environment that I appreciate and enjoy working in and with. It should be noted that Cinnamon is a fork of Gnome 3, and it’s an excellent fork if I do say so myself. Which is why when I applied the libadwaita styling to Firefox ( https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2022/07/firefox-gnome-theme-libadwaita-update ) it worked and looked like a better fit than Firefox out-of-the-box. I can truly see myself replacing Fedora 36 with LMDE 5 in the very near future.
It’s good to have choice, and it’s good to have good choices.
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