Thursday, February 15, 2018

elementary OS - A postmortem

I finally ended up installing Lubuntu over elementaryOS, after using eementryOS for about 8 months. Just a little background on why I installed it in the first place and why I eventually switched to Lubuntu.

I have an iMac that I purchased in January of 2009. For all the things I use it for, primarily email, surfing, netflix and some hobby programming, it works great. The CD drive gave out a while ago but otherwise, it is a perfectly good computer that I hope lasts a lot longer. I like the design of the hardware, I liked the way the user interface looked and generally worked. What ended up happening though was as the OS kept getting upgraded, the iMac got slower and slower. It just turned annoying to use.

I also use Linux at work and am relatively good at using the tools for development. It annoyed me when I attempted to set something up on OS X, which I already had working on Linux, that cost me a couple of hours of googling to find a solution, time which I had already invested in Linux.

All in all, I just wanted to try Linux on the iMac to see what the experience would be like. I really like the UI design of OS X and was looking for a Linux interface that would mimic that experience, hence elementary OS.

It was relatively easy to get it installed and the UI was a decent attempt at porting the OS X UI. Good enough, I would say. I could live with it. But there were annoying problems that I could not get over.

The most annoying:  I have a bunch of external drives on which I store my files. For some reason, automount on elementaryOS always mounted them read only. I managed to get them mounted as rw using fstab but then on the next boot, they would go back to read only. I never got this to work. It was not a deal breaker but more annoyance than I needed.

Freezes: elementaryOS worked fast and stable for the first couple of months but then it started getting slow like OS X. Then it started freezing, i.e. the I could move the mouse but could not click on anything, mostly when playing videos or using google maps. It would happen like once a week. My laptop at work runs Ubuntu, gets hammered a lot more that my home computer, gets rebooted far less often and it runs without issue. Not sure why elementaryOS has this problem.

Wierdo stuff: Programs started disappearing from the dock (though this could be due to my kids), it started asking for the password to the keyring all of a sudden, the experience overall just got kinda unpleasant.

I ended up installing Lubuntu today. Let's see how I feel about this in 6 months.

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