Saturday, June 19, 2021

Peppermint OS to the Rescue

I have/had a love/hate relationship with Peppermint OS Linux. I have installed Peppermint OS for a third time now alongside my standby Linux Debian. I have been a Debian user for more years than I like to think about. I have also been distro hopping for about as long. But my Peppermint OS hop is a recent change.



Peppermint OSis a great little distribution with cloud connectivity. Peppermint OS has specially built launchers to connect to both Google and Microsoft Office online. The launchers open in their own windows making the running of Google Docs about the same as running Writer in Libre Office. Once click and done.

So why have I installed and deleted Peppermint OS three or so times in the last year or two? There are two main reasons. The first and foremost reason is I am spoiled by the XFCE Desktop. I am not thrilled with XFCE itself, but rather the right click for the menu on any blank space on the desktop. One little right click saves miles of mousing each year.

Secondly, when first installed, for me Peppermint OS manages to be dark and garish at the same time. The desktop looks as is I am looking at it through a smokey room. Too much black, too much cinnamon red. Although after a few minutes in settings, Peppermint OS can look almost exactly like my Debian desktop.

Peppermint OS has a lot going for it. It has relatively small footprint, though for me, I have 16 gigs of memory, footprint doesn't really matter. I understand that small footprint makes Peppermint OS a great choice for older slower computers although it runs just fine on newer, faster computers too.

Peppermint OS, like Slackware likes to keep things simple. The least number of applications needed to provide a working system. This means Peppermint OS is easily customized to having only your favorite applications without the bloat that other Linux Distro’s think they need.



MX Linux comes to mind. It is a great system, but I spend more time removing applications than I do adding applications. No off the shelf operating system can be a be all do all for everyone. Peppermint OS realizes this, and leaves extra or alternative application choices to the user.

I think this time Peppermint OS will be permanent on my hard drive. I depend on Debian Linux a lot. Debian has always been my workhorse distribution of choice. As a result, every time I think I want to learn something new or try out different applications, they are loaded onto Debian. Debian has rarely complained over the years. Times change though and so do needs.

The Pandemic has changed the way we live. I am an English as a Second Language volunteer instructor. I have in the last few years tutored students with different wants and needs. My Documents folder and associated file folders have more sub folders than some regular users have in their home directory.

Hanging on to and separating ESL materials has become something of a bear. Too many documents of varying levels, many of which I created, that I do not want to trash or offload has become the issue. I have folders for past students as each wanted to learn differently, and I know there will be other students like them.

Which brings me around to Peppermint OS again. Due to Peppermint OS small footprint, lack of bloat, and speed, it has become a perfect platform for my ESL files and folders. I open the Documents folder and all that is there are folders and files that pertain to ESL, divided up in a way that makes sense to me.

My Documents folder in Peppermint OS is not cluttered with folders of old and possibly new blog posts. Several additional folders, documents and articles which I have found, written, taken and want to keep. No folders of old Linus OS installs home directories waiting to be sorted, only ESL materials. How free it feels having one OS to do one job, this is an old Unix concept modernized.

Finally there is a change in my perception of the computing world. Windows is going away and Chromebooks are becoming the norm. This change has huge implications. When you want to create a document using a Chromebook, you use Google Docs. When you do anything in a Chromebook you are doing something Google Centric.

I have found I do not enjoy creating a visually pleasing in Libre Office or Microsoft Office document, to have it load up in Google Docs and have the formatting destroyed because these companies refuse to play well together. For much of what I do, I am happy with a text editor until the final stages. Peppermint OS with its web centric focus, makes it easy to create ESL materials for Chromebook users, Microsoft Windows Users, or Linux other Users.

Peppermint OS has made my ESL tutoring as painless as possible by its small footprint, lack of bloat, web centric focus, and blazing speed. Give Peppermint OS a spin, see the lack of bloat, ease of changing the desktop and folder colors, and general ease of use makes your life simpler. I think you too will find Peppermint OS has a place on your hard drive. Maybe, you too will find Peppermint OS is a solution to a problem you thought you had to put up with, too many mixed files to (for me) easily manage.

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