Linux Mint 1.41 Mate x 2

December 2012
I got kind of frustrated with my double session installation – especially with uselessly hanging Cinnamon part. And I guess – the moment also marked the beginning of (kinda typical nooby) distro-hopping disease.
I decided to install Mint Mate from ISO. I did it twice. md5 was checked on both occasions, and it was OK.
First install went without problems, but on desktop I started to notice various little nags and bugs (Date/clock widget was configurable only by conf editor, artifacts in menu, sticky-notes behaving silly – and so on). And things worsened. Whole affair ended with format next day.
The second installation lasted longer – and finally I crapped it out with all these exciting updates from development repository. The thing is – it's very difficult not to install new versions of parts of your system... after all, they are available, so easily.
Moral – be very careful about it. Even better – it would be nice to know how to uninstall them (if possible).

Mint 1.41 Live ISO does not have stright install option – it can be done only through live desktop. It's a bit uncommon... with other friendly-distros there usually is option to install at once.
With second (ultimately good) installation (1. attempt) I got error – which I, as a typical user, can't remember – but the outcome was that installer completely avoided the partitioning part, and started to copy files to … somewhere (I haven't yet found them). I solved the situation by removing the USB-stick in mid-stride and starting installation over. The second attempt with the same image was without any hitch, strange that.
Pleasant is – desktop remains with you all through installation. So you can still play around and whatnot.

- One of the first things is message about amount of space needed and 'it's good to have internet access'. Yes it is. Click next.
- Timezone. Default choice is your current whereabout. OK.
- Language. Also locale-connected. If you want english – like I do – change it. If you are not really Brit, choose US. I did choose UK, then found that keyboard layout is slightly different, and lost 1,5 hour for resolving problem 'yes I change it to US, you silly user, but I forget it for next login, muhaha!'.
- Identity. The usual. To remember – in Ubuntu (and Mint) there is one user and password only. When doing Forbidden Things, you 'sudo' and use the same password as ever. So, it's probably wise not to use very easy/stupid password. Ah, and being only user to login, and changing it 'do not ask password' does not mean that you can sudo without password.
- Account transfer. If you want. I never did – no idea what happens.
- Partitioning. Find correct drive (by empty space you made previously, for example), add partitions (/, swap, home) one by one. They all can be extended ones, Linux doesn't care (every physical drive can have only 4 basic partitions – so, there could be situations when you have to use only extendeds). Types/sizes: ext4-10Gb, swap-2Gb, ext4-10Gb – respectively or use your imagination. Let them to be made.
After that, everything will be installed. Reboot. Enjoy. Or …

TIP: Double boot with Windows. Bootloader goes to MBR (sdb in my case).
Triple boot: Windows + Linux you use + Linux for testing. Temporary(last install) = bootloader goes to root partition – in my case sdb8. Then you reboot, and boot to first, permanent Linux, open terminal and write update-grub. Reboot – and there is your second Linux install added into old boot menu. When you decide to remove your test-installation, format it from the first Linux, update-grub again, and everything is like before.
The point is – if you install new grub onto old one and then remove new installation, your MBR will be fucked, and no more boot for anything (without dedicated repairwork).

Some random features and observations: 
- As Mate is Gnome 2, it's panel can be made transparent. Height can be regulated, width is only 'expanded' or not (fits to items' width). It's possible to place items where you want - different of Xfce-panel where distances between items of one 'group' are not customizable. BUT Mate has ...err... jumble bug - you do something with panel properties - and panel items suddenly re-arrange themselves in silly way.
- mate-config-editor is installed by default. And you probably need it too.
- Installed apps can be considered 'enough and good choice' for average user.
- xsession.errors list is longer than of Xfce. Mate is also more buggy - for me at least - than Xfce desktop.
- Compositing 'checkmark' is under desktop settings (Xfce - in windows tweaks...)

I am not going to describe bugs and nags – first, I do not remember them all, and second – they tend to be very much install-specific, hardware-specific, and generally from where wind happens to blow.
I never managed to try out Compiz with Mate. After reading too much again I came to conclusion that current Mate (1.4) and Compiz are not good bedfellows. So I chickened out - and have to say that at some point one starts to calculate if days of wrestling with something is worth of it. For me – as I have found out later for sure, Compiz is not worth of it. But mileage varies, of course.

Mate 1.4 is nice and traditional desktop. But a bit rough and buggy.

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