How I found my MATE! :)
So I have been spending most of my time lately getting ready to cut my main rig over to a primary Linux boot. My main home rig is used mostly for web surfing, writing, training, remote working and last but not least a gaming box. I boiled down what I had been playing lately and most of it actually had Linux support. CIV6, CSGO, Grid Autosport and City Skylines all have native Linux support. The only out-layers I had were my two flight simulators, IL2 1946 and IL2 Battle of (X). I worked out IL2 1946 with WINE so that just left one game I would need to run under Windows.
So I figured this would be a piece of cake. Install steam download my games and they would all just work. I had been running Debian 9.5 cinnamon as my Linux distro. Needless to say things did not go as easily as I thought they would. After lots of web surfing, creating symbolic links and using special launch parameters I was able to get everything running to some extent.
As I struggled my way through my various issues I kept thinking “there has to be an easier way to do this”. Like many Linux enthusiast I wanted to run a big boy distro to prove I’m no newbie. Like I said I got everything running including my TrackIR with IL2 1946 so pride be dammed. I though to myself what about the next game, what if I get one game running but screw up two or three of the other ones.
As I worked with steam I kept coming across the same thing over and over again, steam is optimized for Ubuntu apparently. I had run Ubuntu in the past and I am running Mint on my laptop so I am not anti Ubuntu per say. I still had that pride thing in back of my head, how could I ever get my Linux nerd card if I ran straight Ubuntu. I know, I know running Mint is even more of a sin then Ubuntu so who am I kidding.
So I back up my Debian install to my network with Clonezilla and decided to try something a little different. I never ran Mate before and it is slightly less main stream then Gnome Ubuntu so I figured what the hell let’s try that. At first I felt pretty unsatisfied, it was clear this distro is for people who don’t want to bother learning too much to get it up and running. The thing is it worked, and that is just it, what I wanted. All my steam games just worked after I installed them with the exception of one. Even with that one offending game the fix was simple enough. All I had to do was chose a beta version and it worked too just like that.
The newbie factor was still nagging at me though. So I started tweaking this and that changing some of the default applications and creating some of my own shortcut key combos and I was like “nice this ain’t half bad”. I know no one is going to give any nerd points for customizing a newbie distro like Ubuntu MATE but I’ll tell you the true I really don’t care. I like tinkering and learning new Linux stuff as much as the next enthusiast but I want a little more of doing things I want to then doing things I have to because my configuration is unstable. So that is how it happen, that is how I became a proud supporter of Ubuntu MATE. I’m still running Mint and Debian here and there but on my main rig Windows 10 has been banished to second class status and MATE is my primary OS.
It kind of grew on me like a fungus, but in a good way!