Is Linux Mint a terrible desktop distribution?

In today's open source roundup: A redditor shares his horror at how...er...awful Linux Mint is as a desktop distribution. Plus: 5 memory debuggers for Linux coding. And how to customize the KDE Linux desktop

Is Linux Mint a terrible desktop distribution?

How bad is Linux Mint as a desktop distribution? One redditor shared his...er...frustration with the...er...horrifically difficult experience of installing Linux Mint on his computer.

Itripovermyownfeet shared his thoughts in the Linux Mint subreddit:

This is awful, when I install Linux on the desktop I'm expecting to be able to waste a solid 8 hours chasing down random issues that were solved on all other modern desktop systems by 2008. I went into this hoping and wishing to have to crawl through linuxquestions.org threads from 2006 to figure out why plugging in a second monitor doesn't work with X.org.

I want the peace and quiet that you can only get from spending 45 minutes trying to get alsa/oss/flavor of the week sound manager to work properly. I miss the subtle delicious pain of trying to figure out what I have to do to get Gnome 3 or Unity to provide desktop functionality that came standard with Windows NT 4.

With what you've done here I am no longer able to do any of these things. You've taken the awful travesty of an experience that trying to do anything production on a Linux desktop is supposed to provide and made it usable, sensible, and working out of the box. This is why I can't call Mint a Linux desktop. It's just a desktop... you monsters.

(I plugged a second monitor into my HDMI slot and it just worked. I have literally never experienced that since working with Linux since the days of Redhat 3. You've taken away a cherished time honoured tradition of having a terrible experience using a Linux desktop from me forever.)

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His fellow redditors shared their...er...anguish at having to deal with Linux Mint too:

AusMattyBoy: ”Talk about clickbait, was about to unleash the fury, was not necessary lol”

Gandalfx: ”I almost fell for the same trap, but I've been burnt before and the high number of up votes tipped be of. He is not the first who infuriatingly robbed others of the joys of counter hating. How dare he!

Could “reverse trolling” be an appropriate term for this?

@OP I feel your pain (kind of) but there is still hope: You can install an alternative desktop / window manager and still spend some good hours getting it to work the way you want. Bonus points for a tiling wm. ^^”

NotFromReddit: ”I'm so sleep deprived, I got half way into the post before realizing it's a joke.”

Crcr: ”I know what you mean, Mint has been this way for me since version 12 & it's starting to get old, the usability out of the box drives me nuts.”

Bomberokmn: ”A decade and a half ago, I really enjoyed setting up Slackware from almost scratch. I learned a lot, and wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

Now, I have more interests and obligations. I don't have hours to spend hacking away at the keyboard, trying to make some janky kernel module work so that I can run X on an onboard video card. Seeing Linux mature to a point where I can download an ISO, send it to a USB drive, reboot and have a fully functional system in under half an hour is incredible.”

Colonelpanic420: ”Mint is a fantastic distro if you just want to run linux, not spend a ton of time setting it up, and go. It was my go-to for my work machine for a while. Not because I wasn't familiar with other distros, I just because I could set it up and not have to tweak it too much to get to a point where I can do my job, and off I go.

Though Mint doesn't get to take all the credit for things "just working" - a lot of that is because the kernel drivers are so much better than they were when we all started messing with this crap 20 years ago or whatever (well that's me anyway ymmv.)

I got bagged on for using Mint for a while by co-workers who had spent the time to setup their favorite distros just the way they wanted them and I'm like eh I got stuff to do bruh ain't no time to get that i3/config file just the way I want it for my preferred user experience. Xfce will do just fine lol.

That said, Arch and sid are the Sonny and Cher of my heart.”

Foofly: ”I tried to explain to a friend that the installation experience is better than Windows these days. In addition to having way less driver issues in general. He didn't believe me since his last experience was almost 10 years ago”

Introspeck: ”Early Fedora installs used to have me literally screaming in rage. My wife would stay well away from me for the 8 hours it took to finally get it working.”

Okko7: ”Whenever I install on a new machine, I'm bored because there is nothing to fix anymore.”

Rxke2: ”I actually checked his history to see if he was a troll... To discover, no, not at all. (Of course I only had read the title at that point, heehee) ”

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