Linux Mint: Two Years, Going Steady

Two years ago to the day was the first time I installed Linux on my computer. Sure, I had seen other people use it and had used it on other people's computers (though not so frequently), but I had never before put an OS other than Microsoft Windows on my own computer until that day. I had talked to a friend of mine about it before because I was planning to do it for a while; I thought of installing Ubuntu, but he suggested Linux Mint, as it would be easier for me to get used to and work with. I took that advice, and on 2009 May 1, as I took a break from studying for AP exams and felt quite fed up with Microsoft Windows XP, I downloaded the Linux Mint 6 "Felicia" GNOME ISO file, got InfraRecorder for Microsoft Windows XP, burned the live CD, and went on my way.

Since then, I've used two newer versions of Linux Mint, and I've gotten a newer computer as well. I'm still quite pleased with and fond of Linux Mint; it's fast, stable, secure, and it does what I want it to do (most of the time). Sure, there have been some minor hiccups along the way. For example, until recently, I wasn't able to view Hulu on my laptop as I have installed the 64-bit edition; thankfully, that has been fixed. Occasionally, the desktop will start without window decorations, at which point I would have to start the Compiz Fusion icon to reload the Compiz WM that I'm using under GNOME. I have had to lock one package because upgrading it broke it when I tried to get the latest version of a different package through a common repository. But otherwise, my experiences with Linux Mint have been very, very positive, and I could never see myself using Microsoft Windows on a regular basis again.

Right now, Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora", which is what I'm using now, is supported for the next two years. If the Linux Mint developers do release an Ubuntu-based version 13 LTS "M[...]a", then I will switch to that when it comes out. If not, then I will stick to this for the remaining two years, and then I will in all likelihood switch to the latest snapshot of Debian-based Linux Mint. I do have other backup plans, though; I really like #!, and it's based on Debian Stable, so that seems like a pretty good option as well. MIT offers RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) to students, and it should be offering RHEL 6 by the end of this semester (in a few weeks), so because RHEL is supported for 10 years, that looks like a pretty good option as well. That's the beauty of the Linux ecosystem; if for whatever reason I don't like something, I can always start using something else.

In short, thank you to the Linux Mint developers for creating an OS that I could fall in love with and stay in love with for 2 years. Even if for whatever reason I switch from Linux Mint to something else, I will always credit Linux Mint as the OS that got me started with Linux. This is what my desktop looks like now:
Current Desktop: 2011 May 1