Bye-bye Unity and Arch

April 16, 2013

I tried, I really did.

For a more than a year I’ve been running Unity on my main PC but can’t say I ever “fell in love” with the interface. It kept getting in the way on the one hand but then would become stubborn and awkward on the other. Things like getting keyboard short-cuts; default applications; window-to-window drag-and-drop and 3D graphics to perform as I wanted them ate up my time. I can see that running Unity on a touch device (with limited screen space) could work well and might even be intuitive but on a desktop PC with a mouse and keyboard just seemed like too much hard work.

So, last week, I took gparted to my hard drive and installed Linux Mint 64-bit Debian Edition with Cinnamon. The install went OK, and once I’d updated all the packages and installed the nVidia drivers, I could get to transferring my home folder backup from the NAS. The only problems I’ve found so far is in using Super-? keyboard shortcuts require a double-tap to activate (this is a known bug: forum thread here ) and compiling the latest pronterface from git (but the eMaker/RepRapPro fork worked fine). Happy days.

That is, till my laptop that I use for work suddenly decided to stop launching a window manager. It was running ArchBang, which I had enjoyed at start but had recently found to be a bit too precious and fineky and easy to break. Considering that I could spend a few days mucking about with pacman to get openbox working again I spent an evening installing Mint on the laptop instead.

The upshot of all this change is that I hope to be able to sync the two machines to have the same settings/applications/files which should mean that switching between the two will be a painless experience… If nothing to do this exists then I’m sure some kind of script to drive aptitude from a Dropbox folder might do the trick.


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