About a month ago, I ended my proprietary software experiment and returned my desktops to Linux. At the time, I didn’t give too much thought as to which distribution I would use, I just installed the latest Ubuntu LTS and got on with it.
For the record, I really like Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, I think it’s a polished environment and a pleasure to use. However, stuff like this makes me nervous. Basically, I don’t like investing time in something when I feel there is a large amount of uncertainty around its future. So, a few weeks after installing Ubuntu, I went looking for an alternative.
My first stop was Ubuntu MATE. I knew I wouldn’t end-up using it, but I was intrigued to find out more about it. I only used it briefly, but from what I did experience, the system worked really well. In fact, I was surprised by how much I liked it and if I hadn’t already experienced more modern desktop environments, I might have stuck with it a little longer.
My next stop was Fedora 24 Workstation. I thought I’d give it a try as I’d heard good things about it from my friend Graham, and because I figured it would probably offer a good GNOME experience. It did, GNOME on Fedora is beautifully done. I enjoyed my brief stint on Fedora, but it didn’t last long as I couldn’t help but feel that I’d be wasting 10+ years of experience working with Debian based systems.
So, I replaced Fedora with Debian. I opted for unstable as I knew it would offer the latest GNOME packages and I’m confident that I can resolve any issues one should expect from running a development branch. And that’s where I’m at now. I’m super-happy with my desktop, GNOME is working really well, it looks amazing, it’s fast and it provides me a level of comfortable familiarity. Finally, and possibly most importantly, I don’t feel at all uneasy or uncertain about its future.