Experiencing Linux Mint 15 Olivia

I could have titled this post something like “My Upgrade to Linux Mint 15” or something more generic. Instead I wanted to convey the idea of experiencing Linux Mint 15 beyond a simple OS version update. Pictures express more than words so lets start by comparing desktops.

We’ll start with my previous Linux Mint 14 Desktop. Purposely Plain Jane with little customization to the Cinnamon wrappings. I’ve been a default desktop guy for years. My Windows desktops in the past had the same background and theme that they had out of the box.  I used Windows because I had to, like a hammer or some other tool. I don’t put stickers on a hammer.

With my move to Linux and Mint 14 Cinnamon I carried a lot of that Windows baggage with me. I duplicated the desktop experience I knew in the past. My focus was the new cool stuff I was doing as a developer which I write about on this blog. While the desktop was similar, most everything else was brand new to me.

Then there was Olivia. Here’s the new desktop I think I’ll go with. Fellow Mintsters will want to know that I’m continuing to use the Cinnamon Edition with Linux Mint 15, as I pretty much love it.

While I was setting up my Linux Mint 15 desktop I dabbled with it looking exactly like a Windows 7 desktop. Toolbar on the bottom.  No Cairo Dock like you see at the bottom of my Olivia desktop. Default MintX green icons. A nondescript wallpaper, exactly like Windows 7 except for a Ubuntu circle logo replacing the Windows logo. I wish I saved a screenshot of that desktop for you. It was then that it hit me. “What the f–, um, what the heck was I doing???”

Here’s where “the experience” notion comes to play.  Our freedom to chose in Linux brings with it the responsibility to do things differently.  It’s still a conservative desktop to be sure, but a personalized desktop is a big deal with me. Linux is personal. The computing environment I work in every day is exciting again. I’ve awoken from my long sleep with Windows. The Olivia Experience begins, and a sweet desktop is just one small part of it.