I used to like Ubuntu, before they simultaneously dumbed down the user interface and complicated the administration. The current direction of Ubuntu and Fedora is just plain bad, but that’s a story for another day. Let’s look at our wonderful Ubuntu replacement, Linux Mint.
When installing Mint, you get a choice of desktop environments. LXDE is fast, lightweight, and uses GTK, which I’m already very familiar with. It’s not bloated like Gnome. It’s everything Gnome wishes it was. If you use Gnome, stop right now and do yourself a favor, install LXDE. Even if you’re hooked on another distribution, there are usually alternative versions available such as Fedora’s LXDE spin. Or just go through package installation of .deb or .rpm files using your favorite package manager. You’ll never look back.
The only problem i’ve had with LXDE and Mint is that running as a guest in VirtualBox, the guest additions will not install properly. I tried mounting the additions from the host and installing them, no dice. I tried installing from the software repositories using the aptitude update manager, no dice.
After attempting an installation from either method, open a terminal and go to the source directory that you just installed. Run make and make install. Voila! Now restart the guest and enjoy the seamless mouse and keyboard integration.
So it didn’t work out of the box for me, but a quick recompile did the trick. No moving around files or manipulating configurations are necessary, just recompile for the running kernel and you’re in business.