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Makulu Mate v Mint Cinnamon v Zorin shootout.


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abarbarian

Well I had quite an exciting Easter weekend linux wise.If you caught up with my E2B thread you will know that I was looking for a distro to install on a usb for a friends laptop. Now this needed to have persistence as my friend is going to use the os as a replacement for XP but is not ready to jump ship straight away.

 

I did some tests of the three os's running on a usb as live distros and was impressed with all three as they all seemed to run perfectly otb. Originally I decided that Zorin was the chosen one. This decision was partly influenced by the fact that Reglue the organisation set up by Ken Starks of Helios bog fame had settled on Zorin as their os of choice.

 

When I came to install Zorin to a usb I ran into a hitch, in that adding persistence proved to be not straight forward. I recon it could be done but I did not want to spend the time researching as I had already spent quite some time reading up on new distros etc etc and was suffering from a touch of burn out.So Mint Cinnamon ended up as the chosen one. I ran some quick tests on my rig with the usb install and made a few cosmetic changes and tweaks and a dded some useful add-ons to FF. Everything was tickety boo I thought.

 

Now I needed a pc at me mums in York who I had persuaded to install broadband mainly for the international calls boost included in the bundle. I'm quite chuffed that I managed to negotiate a total cots of £185 for the year long contract consisting of ,unlimited broadband (3 times faster than mine) 24/7 uk calls and 24/7international calls. That is only £5 more than BT who wanted £180 for the line rental alone. I had swapped my sisters socket 754 pc for my old rig sometime ago and had tried at Christmas to use this with several live usb and cd distros and failed miserably to get a connected pc up and running with wireless. Frustrated was a mild description of how I felt at the time and I was determined to have a working wireless pc ready for this visit.

 

So I spent a day trying to get this old pc up and running sweetly. turned out to be a wasted day. I kept on having mysterious hickups and it finally dawned on me that maybe the problem lay in the secondhand mobo (£7.50 from e-bay) I had used for the original build. Can't complain really as it had run for three or four years.What to do now ? Well I had another old pc I had built for a friends daughter with a AM 2 mobo and a 4800 cpu. This too had died after running for four years and had been gathering dust in a cupboard for a couple of years. once again I suspected the secondhand mobo (£8.76 from e-bay) had failed and decided to take the chance that the mobo had failed and not the cpu and determined to buy a new mobo. After several cups of fortifying tea and a couple of cream scones I dusted of the wallet avoided the cloud of moths and accessed my credit card and ordered a new mobo.

 

Now you may wonder why I would try to use such old tech. Well I have some decent DDR2 ram and some decent PCI-E graphics cards and hopefully a decentish cpu. So all I needed was a mobo. Seems that AM 2 mobos are like hens teeth especially low cost ones. I came across this Arock 960GC-GS FX for £42 brand new which I thought would be ideal for my project. It can accommodate AM 2 and 3 cpu's and DDR 2 and 3 ram which will allow me to upgrade at some time in the future very cheaply with secondhand parts from e-bay if I want to.

 

Well the mobo arrived and it did not take me very long to assemble the pc. I used a 20 pin psu that does not have any connectors for a gpu as temporary measure till I upgrade my rig and then I will use my Corsair HX 520 with a 4850 gpu. So for the present I am using the onboard gpu. The board only has two DDR2 ram slots and I installed 2x1GB Black Dragon ram.A 60 GB cheapy ssd completed the build. Two 2 GB sticks of ram would have been preferable but all in all not a bad build for £75 and some junk.

 

I decide that as I would mainly be surfing, picture viewing and a bit of linux gaming I could afford to split the ssd in two and install one os as my main and use the remainder of the ssd for playing with various distros.

 

As I had chosen Zorin originally for me mate I thought I would use this as my main os. So I installed, which went well until I wanted to install FF through the gui installer offered. I was not really happy that to use their install method I had to join Ubuntu One. I joined and went through the validation and again tried to install FF.I could not complete the install every time I tried I was told I needed to be authorised by Ubuntu and I did not have the correct credentials or something like that. I tried rebooting several times, logged into Ubuntu One on line, had a cup of tea and tried several times.No joy at all, finally frustrated I deleted the Ubuntu One account and decided I would uninstall Zorin from the ssd at some later time. I thought later that I could possibly have installed from the cli but that really would have defeated the claim that Zorin was a decent replacement for Windows. So due to this bug or hiccup and the fact that you have to join Ubuntu One I will not be advising anyone to use Zorin.

 

Refreshed by tea and toast I installed Makulu Mate. The install was a little quicker than Zorin but both were stress free though I did struggle with where to place the boot stuff. I worked it out and eventually installed boot to the MBR.After running through the install procedure on reboot I was quite pleased to see that Makulu had correctly found and displayed Zorin in the Grub menu. I did a system update as I wanted to deal with any hitches whilst at home and not at me mums. I need not have worried as the update worked with no hitches.The big Q remaining was would wireless work otb at me mums.

 

Arriving in York I hooked up the pc to the tv and powered up. Hooray wireless was found and after passwords were entered I was surfing the web and watching you tube vids. Everything was just grand at least for a while. For some reason I thought I would do another system update, this was not a good idea as after reboot the menu and bottom task bar had disappeared. Oh no I thought not another buggy pile of trash and nearly threw the pc though the window(just joking).I started FF through a terminal and went to the Makulu forums where to my surprise I found that this glitch had been recognised and fixed by the developer in less than a day. I was dead impressed. Followed the simple instructions and rebooted to find all was fixed. I can not say how impressed I am with Makulu. It looks very good with lots of choices as to how the desktop will look. It runs very sweetly on my oldish low cpu powered rig. The developer is keeping on top of glitches and responds very quickly. I am dead impressed and can recommend this as a replacement for a XP user or anyone who simply wants a nice GUI driven os that works otb.

 

What about Mint your asking as this is a shootout. Well I inserted the usb into me mates lappy and with fingers crossed powered up. Phew Mint fired up and was almost running perfectly. Now I had set this up on my 1920x1200 monitor and added several note-lets to the desktop I can not remember the name of the program. Well a couple of these had disappeared on my friends desktop and I could not see how to get them back.The onboard display gui only gave two screen resolutions neither of which brought back the missing note lets. This was not really a big deal as everything else worked just fine and looked good.

Well almost everything. The wireless program found several connections and asked for a password for my mates connection. Entering the password seemed to work as the wireless tried to connect but then kept on asking for the password. For some reason it would not accept the password and connect.This is not a big deal for my friend as he is set up to use cable. It is a minor fail for Mint though, which I could probably fix with some fiddling.

My friend is quite happy with the Mint as it fires up at least twice as quickly as XP even though it is tunning from a usb and shuts down much quicker. It looks pretty and runs sweetly what more can you ask for from a free os.

 

So there you have it a rambling tale of my Easter adventures with linux.

 

:breakfast:

 

http://www.makululinux.com/mate.htm

 

Thanks to mhbell and sunrat for pointing the way to Makulu as I would never have tried a distro based on Debian Testing without their input.

Edited by abarbarian
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abarbarian

Ramble ! ramble you say. That was a carefully crafted piece of serious journalism I toiled over for hours I'll have you know. Ramble , indeed. :harhar:

 

Yeah the Ubuntu One thing did not worry me, more vexed than worried. They offer an open source alternative to Windows and provide a neat looking program to easily install programs with and the first thing you have to do is call home and get permission from mum to proceed. Seems anti open source to me.Extra vexation caused by it not working and the fact that I had given it a bit of a plug as well.I should have listened to my inner self as I have never had much luck with the buntu's.Other folk seem to get on ok with them, so maybe I am not running on the same karmic wavelength. :shifty:

Edited by abarbarian
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V.T. Eric Layton

Ramble ! ramble you say. That was a carefully crafted piece of serious journalism I toiled over for hours I'll have you know. Ramble , indeed. :harhar:

 

 

tl;dr ;)

 

Just kidding. I read it. I just always wanted to type that shorthand comment above. :)

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abarbarian
"tl;dr...why dont you give up on your unabridged edition of War and Peace or at least stop posting it here?"

 

A bit harsh. As I posted the abridged version. :Laughing:

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abarbarian

Re: Linux Mint wifi problem. Do you know the chipset in your friend's wifi card?

 

Wireless: Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 802.11a/g WLAN

 

It is a Dell D520 and has the above wi-fi. The wireless was showing several different broadband connections, obviously my mates and some of his neighbours. It would not accept the password though for some strange reason. So I think it is a software glitch rather than a non working wi-fi module.

He is not really bothered about wi-fi and neither am I. If he likes linux and wants a full install I will be installing Makulu Mate as I really do not get on with Ubuntu's at all. :breakfast:

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Hedon James

It is a Dell D520 and has the above wi-fi. The wireless was showing several different broadband connections, obviously my mates and some of his neighbours. It would not accept the password though for some strange reason. So I think it is a software glitch rather than a non working wi-fi module.

He is not really bothered about wi-fi and neither am I. If he likes linux and wants a full install I will be installing Makulu Mate as I really do not get on with Ubuntu's at all. :breakfast:

 

I had a similar experience recently with a Zorin Lite installation onto a circa 2000 IBM Thinkpad. The default network manager saw available networks, but just would not connect. We checked and double-checked caps locks, num locks, etc... and turned on the "make password visible" switch to VERIFY we were entering correctly. Long story short, we ended up installing WICD alongside the Network Manager and the machine connected without issue. My best guess as to what was causing this was that the old Thinkpad used WEP to connect to wireless, while the wireless routers was a newer device that required WPA. We could've changed the router to WEP, but that would've been a downgrade, and would've required every other machine to be re-configured. I'm guessing WICD somehow addresses this issue, although I was never afforded the opportunity to troubleshoot the cause. Owner said "it's working now...good enough for me...thanks" and sent me on my way. So much for the quest for knowledge!

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raymac46

I had a similar issue with a Thinkpad that would connect as long as the router used either WEP or WPA but it wouldn't work with WPA2. This was with an Intel wifi chipset. With a router that will support either WPA or WPA2 you are OK but if the router is set up specifically to use only WPA2 you are out of luck.

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Just installed Mint XFCE for the first time on an older HP for a friend. Was thinking most bang for the buck, go with xfce in regards to resources. Had never looked at their xfce version. WOW is all I am going to say, VERY clean, VERY low on resources, runs at least 3 times as fast as XP was running. I ended up loading that to VM afterwards. Just a little horn toot for Mint's xfce version.

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raymac46

Yep I like Mint Xfce a lot. I use it on a Dell Mini 12 netbook that has only 1 GB of RAM max. It has the same look as Mint Cinnamon which my wife likes, so she can use the netbook easily enough.

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  • 1 year later...
abarbarian

Makulu Gives Unity a Good Name

 

 

Makulu Linux now is one of the first major distros to integrate the Unity desktop. It was more than worth the wait!

 

Makulu's tweaking of the Unity desktop in its latest release may remove whatever bad name Unity developed with Ubuntu users. Makulu Unity is a better Unity environment. It does not cram a take-it-or-leave-it attitude down users' throats.Instead, Makulu developer Jacque Raymer took Unity one step further. He built in some sensible options that Canonical ignored.

 

Have I mentioned that I am quietly impressed with Makulu Mate. Have not tried the Unity desktop as am too busy but it looks neat. :breakfast:

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Hedon James

I have Makulu's Unity offering in a VM. Ironically, it is based on Ubuntu, rather than Debian. And I must admit that I am EXTREMELY impressed. It is definitely a heavily customized Unity, with lots of tweaks, and graphic eye candy, right out of the box. I am tempted to switch, but am waiting to see if the Makulu distro achieves a measure of longevity. I don't like some of their default program selections, but a) that is easily addressed and B) it could just be a matter of preferred familiarity.

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abarbarian

I have Makulu's Unity offering in a VM. Ironically, it is based on Ubuntu, rather than Debian. And I must admit that I am EXTREMELY impressed. It is definitely a heavily customized Unity, with lots of tweaks, and graphic eye candy, right out of the box. I am tempted to switch, but am waiting to see if the Makulu distro achieves a measure of longevity. I don't like some of their default program selections, but a) that is easily addressed and B) it could just be a matter of preferred familiarity.

 

Not 100% sure you are correct there,

 

Makulu Unity is based on Debian (Testing) and Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS. It has both 64-bit and 32-bit architecture, with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface support and Secure Boot computers.

 

:whistling:

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Hedon James

Yeah, that is confusing barbarian. My bad for implying that it was 100% based on Debian. I knew Makulu was based on Debian, so it caught my eye when I saw Makulu Unity was based on Debian AND Ubuntu 14.04.2. What does that mean anyhow? Based on Debian perhaps, with Unity from Ubuntu?

 

Have you checked out the Makulu LxFce hybrid? A combination of LXDE and XFCE desktops that is quite interesting to me!

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abarbarian

Yeah, that is confusing barbarian. My bad for implying that it was 100% based on Debian. I knew Makulu was based on Debian, so it caught my eye when I saw Makulu Unity was based on Debian AND Ubuntu 14.04.2. What does that mean anyhow? Based on Debian perhaps, with Unity from Ubuntu?

 

Have you checked out the Makulu LxFce hybrid? A combination of LXDE and XFCE desktops that is quite interesting to me!

 

Have not had the time as life turned chaotic this year. I am running the Mate version as it is solely based on Debian. I chose it as it has no buntu bits, most of the other Makulu's have some if not all buntu stuff in them.

 

 

MakuluLinux Mate Edition features the following :

  • Based on Debian Testing
  • Mate 1.8
  • 3.13.x PAE Kernel
  • MakuluLinux Mate now has FULL Systemd support

  • :breakfast:

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Hedon James

I can relate to the chaos. I want to explore the Makulus more, as I am very interested in their Makulu Constructor tool, which looks like a great replacement for RemasterSys. Everyone here knows I'm one of the few people in the world who actually LIKES the Unity Desktop paradigm, and Makulu is the only distro to use Unity besides Ubuntu, so I'm kinda drawn to that. Makulu is also playing around with lightweight desktop environments (LxFCE hybrid), just like I was playing with my custom Pangaea-Lubuntu (LXDE) remix. So it seems to line up quite nicely with my interests. And the Constructor tool could tip the scales for me.

 

In the meantime, I'm watching the Makulu community, as the other "major" criteria I have for a distro is a large and healthy user base for the sharing of ideas and trouble shooting. I admire small niche distros, but they're not for me.

Edited by Hedon James
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ebrke

Just installed Mint XFCE for the first time on an older HP for a friend. Was thinking most bang for the buck, go with xfce in regards to resources. Had never looked at their xfce version. WOW is all I am going to say, VERY clean, VERY low on resources, runs at least 3 times as fast as XP was running. I ended up loading that to VM afterwards. Just a little horn toot for Mint's xfce version.

XFCE is great. I have openSuSE using XFCE on two old systems--actually, one old and one ancient--and it runs very well on both.
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