Actually I didn't install SparkyLinux yet, but I have a Live USB stick that I tried a couple of times, and so far it seems to be what I'm looking for.
I installed Ubuntu in 2007 (dual boot with Windows XP, but already in 2008 I removed Windows completely) and I was very happy with it. For every new version there were things that was improved. After 10.10 though, things flipped out completely. It almost seemed like the Ubuntu team spied on me, finding out how I work, because all the fancy features that I used and loved were removed one after the other… ”Aha, Johnny Rosenberg seems to be using this and that feature, let's remove it and make a hard time for that idiot…”
Now I can't do anything useful in an easy way at all. I really missed Gnome 2, so I started to look at Mate a bit. The other week I actually installed Mate on my Ubuntu machine and I had a real Wow experience. All the missing features were back in my machine after all those years! However, it seems like Mate interferes a bit with unity, so I'd like to try a distribution where unity isn't even an option.
I have also tried lxde and xfce, but there were just too many missing features for my taste.
So one day, not too long ago, I saw that SparkyLinux 4 was reviewed in the British magazine ”Linux Format” and that made me curious, especially since they let me know there is a Mate version. They also told the reader that it is a rolling release type of distribution and that it's surprisingly stable…! Exciting, really!
So what happens now, is that I have just bought some new stuff for my desktop computer, such as a new graphics card, new processor, new motherboard, new memory and a few more new things. I also ordered an SSD but I didn't receive it yet. My idea is that when I got all the pieces together, I will install SparkyLinux on the SSD and use my HDD for my personal files. The computer is reasonably powerful so a real lightweight desktop isn't needed very much, and I figure that Mate will be fast enough on that machine.
There are a few things that worries me though:
- My favourite app AutoKey is very necessary for me, I use it all the time. Will it work in SparkyLinux? It's written in Python 2.7, I think…
- I have a custom keyboard layout that I created by editing those evdev files. Will it work flawlessly? I don't know, but I will surely find out…
- I plan to install the professional video editor LightWorks. I have never had it on any of my computers since it can only be installed on 64-bit machines (unless the operating system is Windows, which I won't install ever again on any machine) and I only had 32-bit machines. However, after installing all that new hardware in my desktop computer, I finally have 64-bit, so I'm excited to try that video editor; I really hope it will work properly.
One thought that I have is that it would be nice if there was an ”empty” version of SparkyLinux Mate. That is a version with no software pre-installed except for the necessary tools. The desktop of course, all Sparky tools, file manager and things like that should of course be pre-installed, but no things like LibreOffice, Gimp and things like that. For instance I prefer Apache OpenOffice over LibreOffice, so I will probably uninstall LibreOffice anyway (or maybe I keep LibreOffice for testing purpose, not sure yet) and install Apache OpenOffice, which I find more stable. LibreOffice always destroys my spreadsheet documents and only Apache OpenOffice can repair them…
Anyway, what I've seen so far is very promising, keep up the good work!
Oh, by the way, I have been trying to contribute a little bit by translating some Sparky apps to Swedish, and I will do some translating now and then, I think. I hope my translations are not too bad, it's sometimes hard to know how to translate things properly and keep it short at the same time.