Various Linix Distros, tested recently – winners and losers


Linux Mint Mate, 19.1

Whew – this is really not ready for prime time, based upon my experience. Off the top of my head, here’s a couple of major annoyances:

  1. Many Wine programs refuse to launch from the main menu. I have custom-made a few program launchers (.desktop files) and, bizarrely, a couple work fine. Most don’t work at all, and, the syntax in the .desktop files are identical (in the working, and, the non-working .desktop files). For instance, I have a .desktop file for Photoshop with a custom icon which I made myself. It works. I’ve got some “old people games” – Scrabble, PacMan, etc. and they absolutely do not work. If I create a symlink on my desktop to /usr/share/applications I can double-click the launch icons and they work – but they don’t work from the main menu. Considering that Photoshop works, it may be something which happens when a program is installed via the Wine installer – many of the other things (the games) are folder I’ve simply copied to the ~/.wine/drive_c/ etc. But copying these programs to the the wine drive has never been a problem with virtually any other distro – and I’ve installed, and messed with, a ton of them.
  2. The screen goes haywire after I exit a full-screen game like Scrabble. It separates into quadrants when I leave the game, for instance. Sometimes, it does this without playing a full screen wine game. Sometimes, this happens for reasons I can’t even begin to explain – it just happens, having nothing to do with Wine. Again – this is crap that never happens in Gnome, for instance.
  3. Sometimes programs set to start, when I login, fail to start – for instance, Conky and Plank usually start – and sometime one or the other fails. Again, I haven’t seen this in other modern Linux distros – not at all, in the last eight years or something.
  4. The maximum volume seems too low; this, certainly, is a fairly small issue and can be remedied by fiddling with the Pulse mixer (installing the “pavucontrol” package).

So, some of the problems are real problems (like the screen going wonkers) and some are fairly inconsequential (like the volume issue). But, overall, the Mate desktop seems as though it’s not seen robust development, at this point – I don’t want to contend with these screwball problems.

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