Update 8/26/2021: this post is a little older and the current version of Pop (21.04) introduces the Cosmic desktop. Cosmic moves what were formerly GNOME extensions specific to POP into the default setup. I’m not sold on this and the further they move from vanilla GNOME the harder I’m looking at Arch or Debian.
I’m not real big on distro hopping and am, by nature, resistant to change.
The more time I spend figuring out how to do something, the less time I’m spending doing it. So I have my habits, muscle memory and routine. Changing text editors is traumatic, changing keybindings is inconceivable. Or was.
After an unfortunate experience with Arch (I got it in the end, but man, did I get tired of the wiki) I moved to the simpler Ubuntu and quickly developed a loathing for the the Unity desktop so hopped on over to Mint and the pretty pretty Cinnamon desktop.
Wouldn’t you know, Ubuntu dumped Unity for GNOME a year later. I just now figured out it was GNOME I wanted all along.
Mint was good to me. I used it for a bunch of versions, built a ton of sites and apps and made it my bitch. For years.
And, in the end, that was the problem. Nobody needs five versions of PHP and as many versions of Ruby. I was node package managed and composed to death. Apache, NGINX, MongoDB, MySQL. Angular, Vue and React. Pick a stack, we got ‘em all. All on localhost.
I didn’t know much about containers.
Another, just as important but harder to define part of my decision was that I started to feel crowded. I had icons strewn about my desktop and my dock was an endless row of apps and useless utilities. My home directory was filled with folders named LastLastFinal-02 – 12-09 and DesktopCrap-001, and, my favorite Worthless_Old_Shit. All the while I’m updating from PPA’s I added years ago for some obscure app I probably used twice.
It was horrible.
It was like Windows.
Now I know more and it was time for a clean slate. So I spent the better part of a day backing up that three year old home directory and went distro shopping.
That’s the why. The rest will follow.