Almost a year ago, on August 28, 2015, I fangirled about Point Linux. Back then I tried the Xfce version, just for giggles and because I thought my MATE favouritism was too much for you. So I figured. But due to my serious dislike of the rather primitive Xfce desktop environment I guess my general pleased-ness with the Point distro didn’t become very clear in my writeup. So today I installed Point once again, only this time with the MATE desktop environment as (better) alternative to the stupid Xface. 😉
And since you’re such well-aware and well-educated readers of my bloggy, and have seen quite enough of the MATE desktop as well as of Ubuntu/Mint/Debian installs I guess we can keep today’s distro report nice and brief.
Ok, nothing really new here: MATE’s sparse desktop a couple seconds after install was finished. Notice the typical two panels? Of course simple minded Orca thinks one is more than enough and she prefers to have more screen real estate available for example for the Second Life window. So one panel had to go!
My next trick was reducing the icon size to 50% (my new glasses make it possible). Will reduce the height of the panel as well, from now 24 to the minimum of 21 pixel. Ok, next step was putting some softwares and apps into the panel so I can quickstart them with one single click. And then I just started the integrated Firefox browser and immediately opened Thar She Blows! …
… and started to scribble this very report you’re reading now. So once again you can see how fast you can go from Empty computer to working production machine with Linux. Of course it’s not perfect yet. Point Linux is very scarce of softwares, an attribute I personally love and adore, but it means I still need to install some programs I just cannot live without. And also I’d need to finetune the browser to my taste. So we’d need to add another 10 – 15 minutes to the time before this installation would be perfect. But I love this already: Installation finished like 10 minutes ago and I’m already typing my “review” on Point Linux/MATE on the same computer.
Still no comparison to a typical Windows install which would right now still be busy copying useless files on you machine, while you’re scrambling for Microsoft Serial Numbers and drivers for your peripheral stuff, like printers, scanners, all that shite. But I won’t mod the sytem any further now, I know it’s good and won’t disappoint in the slightest. The easy uncomplicated MATE environment paired with Debian’s legendary rock solid stability is a guarantee for years of pleasure and reliability as one would expect from their production tools.
So, how is Point Linux/MATE compared to its Xfce cousin from the same stable? Ok, first I gotta mention it’s not as richly equipped with softwares but rather sparsely, almost non-functional. Libre Office suite is completely installed right out of the box as well as the Transmission torrent program. But GIMP is missing, and Thunderbird too. Doesn’t matter much, what you need is quickly installed in a couple minutes. You must imagine this ain’t Windows were you first must type in your Credit Card details and give virtual strangers all your personnal info and agree to all sorts of privacy infringing spying tactics before you may even start the download of some shitty program.
Apart from that I gotta state MATE is more easy to operate than Xfce, even though they are both very similar in huge parts. They are both following the oldschool windows paradigm of windows, mouse, keyboard operation with left and right clicks and similar menus. So the choice is rather a question of personal taste, not of speed, which is kinda the same in both environments. It’s just that MATE is more complete and offers far greater modability than its poor little brother Xfce.
CONCLUSION: Just coming from Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE, which was installed and running on this test computer until an hour ago) Point’s version of MATE seems almost primitive and you’ll feel kinda left alone, without the support of a major distributor and community. That might turn away some very chickenshit n00bs but is in fact nothing to worry about. Aren’t we all responsible grown-up adult persons here? At least me, I enjoyed Point’s no-bullshit approach of delivering a Debian system with the two most easy desktops imaginable. MATE, as well as Xfce, is running like greased lightning on the rock solid and stable Debian base. If at all possible I’d say it runs even more spunky than the Mint Debian edition.
For more info please refer to the first writeup on Point as well as about LMDE (which I kinda failed to install initially). But to make a short Conclusion even shorter, Yes, yes and yes again! I would recommend LMDE and Point as some of the top bestest Linux distros. I’m even slightly leaning in favour of Point. Don’t even try the original “vanilla” Debian since it’s terrible and can’t be installed by normal people. Heck, even Linus Torvalds failed the installation … that’s something, right?
And again: fuck stupid noobs. 😉 Being a n00b is more than okay, being slow in the head is not! So, yes, I think both distros, LMDE and Point – in Xfce and MATE versions – make wonderful n00b-friendly operating systems and much more. They are wonderful Linux distros period!!!