Hey all. Relatively long time Linux user here, started with Slackware back in the 90s, but was only occasionally managing servers and messing around with Desktop use. Didn't actually use Linux on the desktop for an extended period until Mint (on a cheap, old laptop) around 2018 or something, and not as my daily driver until just under 2 years ago.
I stuck with Mint Cinnamon for the last two years. I tried a lot of other distros, but I absolutely hate Gnome and I don't really like KDE much. Cinnamon for example can manage fractional scaling on multiple monitors, which can be quite useful, and I find it is generally just neater. I messed around with PopOS, Endeavour, Arch, Debian, Manjaro, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Gecko and never saw good enough reason to move over, though Gecko Cinnamon almost converted me.
Finally though I tried out Garuda, just because the Dragonized version looked crazy, and I had to try it out. And it was cool, but I always found I just preferred using my Mint install.
Then I figured I'd try Garuda Cinnamon, and now after about a week of use it is the first alternative that is really tempting me away from Mint.
With Mint, I love the incredibly fast and easy install that seems to work on anything automatically, plus the rock solid reliability and the fact that it has a massive community, large repository with Flatpaks inbuilt, plus Cinnamon of course. It really is an awesome system... But the downside which I'm sure everyone can guess is just how outdated it gets between major releases. My newer laptop, which is still a year and a half old, needs Kernel 6.1 or newer to run properly (it boots fine without it, but has all kinds of little problems), and Mint still only officially has 5.19, so I always install OEM 6.1.
But I love how Garuda just by default uses BTRFS, so no more lagging when coping large amounts of data between SSDs of notably different speeds, comes with the latest Kernel, uses Pipewire instead of Pulse and of course has the Chaotic-AUR.
Currently my work system is Garuda Cinnamon and my home/gaming system is remaining Mint Cinnamon. But after I try it out some more that may change. It's nice having a solid, more up to date alternative after so long!
And seeing this is an introduction thread, you can checkout my website www.enlightenedbacon.com, which just forwards to my Odysee page where I rant like a crazy person about stuff, sometimes including Linux. Also my work website www.digitalarchon.com.au where I try to save people from their own bad security practices!