Doing A/B testing with Linux Mint


I am testing two different Linux Mint configurations to see what I like the best.

My smaller secondary computer has the Linux Mint taskbar at the bottom like Windows 10. Very easy and familiar. My main computer otherwise identical has the Linux Mint taskbar at the top. I want to see which configuration I prefer.

My guess is that it won’t matter. Since this is one of the biggest differences between Mac/Windows the position of the bar, I have already accepted this difference. I just want to see if it makes a difference with LM to see if there is a reason I should change.


Part of the joy of working in IT is that you can try all kinds of different UI’s and settings to see what works best for your own style. I already tried it on the left since I have my mac dock on the left/right of the screen. However in that configuration you can’t easily see the full date of the week which is nice to see at a glance. I know that for LM I will only want either the top/bottom task bar positioned there.

I can think of many good reasons to have them in either position. When the bar is at the top then it feels more special and mac like. However it does take up prime real estate that is closest to eye level on a small screen. On a projector it is a non issue, especially how I have mine set up. If you only use the laptop screen that having it at the top might require more work for your eyes to move.

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When the bar is at the bottom position that also feels natural since that is what Windows has had for the majority of its existence. The downside is that it can sometimes cover up application windows or settings windows that when pulled between different resolution windows can sometimes put things out of the active screen space. If this doesn’t make sense then be glad you aren’t playing with the resolution and multiple screens like I like to. For power users having a bottom taskbar can be annoying.

I also investigated on Monday different Linux OS and desktop interfaces. I really like the Cinnamon interface but the Plasma also appeals to me. I tried installing a version of Linux that had that but it kept giving me errors when I was installing it in Virtualbox so I just stopped the install and deleted it. I saw the interface enough to know that it wasn’t for me and it wasn’t as elegant as Cinnamon is.

Also earlier this week I am trying to break things so that I can replicate things that the average user might do. I deleted the taskbar and then I had to google to find out how to fix it. One of the neat thing that I learned is that you can hold down CTRL + ALT + T and a terminal window pops up. Then you can issue a command cinnamon-settings and you are in the control panel and can restore the taskbar. So cool. Faster than the cmd/powershell prompt and with intuitive commands. I love it.