I prefer Linux Mint over Ubuntu, mainly because I dislike Gnome Shell.

Installing Linux Mint on my System76 Lemur was a lot more challenging than I expected.

I had an installer for Linux Mint 18.0 on hand, so I tried that first.  It came up at a horrible resolution, and I must have made a mistake in the partitioning, because at the end of the installer, the EFI partition was missing, and grub failed to install.

I restored to the factory image (yay for Clonezilla and forethought), and attempted another install using Linux Mint 18.1.  This time, the video worked flawlessly, I was careful not to disrupt the EFI partition, and the install went successfully.

After the install finished, I added the System76 driver PPA:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:system76-dev/stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
sudo apt install system76-driver

However, I realized my sound wasn’t working. After a bunch of investigation, I flashed back to the factory ubuntu image to verify that it was working there and not a hardware problem.  Sure enough, it worked fine, and after rooting around in configuration, I couldn’t find any reason it wasn’t working.  I flashed back to my Mint install and promptly noticed that the Mint installer hadn’t upgraded any packages, so I ran an ‘apt upgrade’ and rebooted, which fixed the audio.

For wireless, I got the Intel 8265 (the 2x2 Windstorm Peak) instead of the 3168 (1x1 Sandy Peak), and it wasn’t being picked up by the kernel. After flashing back to the factory ubuntu image to see how they had configured it, I noticed that I was on kernel 4.4.0 and they were running 4.8.0.  I did some looking, and found that the card is very new and only available in the latest kernel versions (not sure which version it was first available in).  I flashed back to my Mint install, upgraded my kernel to 4.8.0-39-generic, rebooted, and it found the card without issue.  That includes when waking up from standby.

I expect a lot of this is simply due to new hardware that is not in common kernel/firmware versions, and by the next OS release, will be common and will work without exception.  Despite a few hours of fiddling, everything is now working flawlessly.

I should also note that if I had been content with Ubuntu, I would have had none of these problems.