The story so far: forced to move from Fedora 20 with KDE Plasma 4, and sceptical of Plasma 5, I installed Mint 17.2 in the hope of a quiet life. It was not to be.
The sleep comas were mystifying. They were also a huge source of frustration to me because I like to leave my computer on standby over the weekend rather than constantly turning it on and off. As it happens, I’d never encountered this bug before, and I was curious that it affected both Fedora and Mint. The common denominator was Plasma 4. Furthermore, where the problem appeared to be being triggered in Fedora, it was constant in Mint. So it struck me that maybe it was a DE thing rather than an OS thing. And then, while looking for solutions to other minor annoyances, I came across this article.
So that was that, I thought, KDE is a pollutant when it interacts with systems that aren’t designed for it. And Mint was a Cinnamon beast based on a Unity beast. So I decided to re-evaluate my options. I was sticking with Mint for the polish and the longevity, so I figured that the best way to go was to either start over with Cinnamon or MATE. Checking the marketing blurb for both, I decided that MATE seemed a bit limited but Cinnamon, as a fork of Gnome to imitate its older way of working, was something I could get on with. I mean, I’d used Gnome with my earliest Red Hat and Ubuntu adventures. I remembered it as quite customisable, even if it didn’t have as many bells and whistles as KDE. And Mint 17.3 was about to be released. So I waited a couple of weeks and installed the latest version of Mint with Cinnamon.
There were two problems. First off, I was still getting sleep comas. I’d kept my system pure despite the fact that I can barely function without Amarok and K3B. I had to tolerate Rhythmbox and Brasero. And the problem was still occurring. This told me that the issue wasn’t KDE at all. I’d leapt to a conclusion based on one tech blogger’s opinion. When will I learn that most Linux advice on the net comes from users with strong personal biases? Well, I’d now learned that “Pjotr” was just being anal about his libs and I’d junked a system for no reason because of that. The second, and pressing, problem was that Cinnamon sucks.
Remember, of course, that this is my opinion based on my needs. Cinnamon, although coherent, is inflexible. It’s heavier than XFCE and LXDE, while being less customisable. Furthermore, things like custom wallpaper need you to leave the default folders in your /home/[user] folder in situ, or faff about putting new wallpapers in whichever shared folder the defaults are picked from. I junked Windows nine years ago partly because I want my computer to do what I tell it, not vice versa.
And then things got worse.