So far I have been extremely happy using Linux Mint 18.2 on the Inspiron. The only features not working fully are automatic screen rotation and touch screen gestures. There have been no crashes or glitches that I have noticed. Because the screen is high resolution I did switch the text scaling factor to 1.1 which heped with the size of most application menus although some remain a little small.
Yesterday I decided to try Ubuntu 17.10 – a clean install backing up all of my documents via dropbox.
Installation of Ubuntu 17.10 was again totally straightforward with just about everything working perfectly from the start. The responsiveness of the desktop felt generally quicker than with Linux Mint. In addition to this the screen rotation worked automatically and the on-screen keyboard was better too. The Gnome 3 desktop has been well integrated and if you like the standard settings you will may find this to be the better distro of the two.
I like to customise and try out different settings, themes and icons. This is where I started to get frustrated with Ubuntu. Probably as a result of my inexprience I found it much more difficult to get Gnome 3 to look as I wanted than the cinnamon desktop. The Gnome Tweaks tool is not as flexibe as Cinnamon Themes and I found it much more difficult to get themes and icons installed and working. Shell themes even more so. The other major issue for me, is the fact that the Wayland based display server used by Ubuntu does not support access as root through the GUI. Why would I want this – when moving system Themes folders and Zipped images packages into the config folders of LibreOffice. selecting “Open as Root” in Nemo (Cinnamon file manager) makes this easy. Also, I could not find a way to enlarge / magnify the Gnome panel.
So for me, it was a fun experiment but back to Linux Mint – but the Cinnamon 18.3 Beta!