Linux Mint 6 GNOME Desktop

Linux Mint version 6 Felicia came out on December 15th and I have been running it on my Dell Inspiron 530 Q6600 system for the past week. I ran Hardinfo on the system if you want to see the specifications on the box. It is a quad core with 6 GB of RAM, so I was a little disappointed that the 64 bit version of Linux Mint was not released the same day the 32 bit version came out.  Even though they have a 64 bit version of Linux Mint 5 Elyssa available I wanted to try out the latest version. Mint 6 is based on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and uses GNOME for it’s desktop environment. For those who prefer a different desktop, community editions of Mint 6 featuring KDE, XFCE and Fluxbox should be out soon.

A minimum of 512MB of RAM is recommended for the live CD. According to the Mint site, once installed the system works fine with as low as 256MB RAM. The installation process deals with 2.5GB of data compressed on a 700MB CD and it can hang or fail on systems with less than 512MB RAM. I have 6 GB on my desktop system, so needless to say, the install was fast. From the time I put the live CD in to the time I had it installed on the hard drive was around 15-20 minutes. I had no problems whatsoever with hardware detection during the install.

Linux Mint 6 Felicia includes:

  • Kernel 2.6.27
  • GNOME 2.24 (Nautilus has tab support now)
  • Xorg 7.4
  • Firefox 3.0.3
  • Open Office 2.4.1 (3.0 was available but not included in the release)
  • Gimp 2.6.1
  • MPlayer 1.0rc2
  • Compiz 0.7.8
  • CUPS 1.3.9
  • Network Manger 0.7.0 (Tools Added for connecting to GSM/CDMA 3G broadband and VPNs)
  • Python 2.5.2
  • Mono 1.9.1

All Proprietary Codecs Included:

One of the strong points of Linux Mint is it’s easy of use. All of the proprietary codecs that people like to use are included in the distribution. You will not have to download anything to playback MP3 files, watch Flash 10 YouTube clips in Firefox, view encrypted Hollywood movies in MPlayer or play Java 6 games in your Firefox browser. This makes the distribution well suited to people who are migrating from Windows or Mac. Most people use a computer as an appliance. They don’t care or have a clue about what codecs are patent encumbered and why they shouldn’t be shipped with a distribution.  They just want everything to work out of the box. So when their MP3 music doesn’t playback in a free distribution, like Fedora for instance, they will assume Linux is “not ready for the desktop” and move back to their Windows or Mac PC. However, it should be said, Linux Mint has not abandoned those who seek a free distribution. They have a Universal Edition that ships without restricted formats, patented codecs or any proprietary components.

Slick looking GDM, Ubuntu System Panel and Two Compiz Configuration Tools:

One of my gripes with Ubuntu is it’s rather ugly GRUB menu. Linux Mint has a polished GRUB menu screen that fits the wallpaper and theme of the desktop. One of the first things you notice about Linux Mint is the Ubuntu System Panel (guide to install on 8.10 here). Rather than using the drop-down style menu at the top of the desktop, like you would in Ubuntu’s GNOME, you access the Menu by clicking the button on the bottom left of the desktop. One of the knocks on the USP menu is the amount of real estate it takes up on your screen. This did not bother me too much, but you can make up your own mind if it suits you based on the screenshot. I did like the filter feature of the menu. It allows you to sort your applications quickly by using a search box. I liked the blue theme and grey background that shipped with this distribution. They also have included a nice selection of addition themes (carbon is cool) and backgrounds (liked the swoosh) if the default one doesn’t suit you.

By the way, if your wondering about the writing on the desktop, I used the Compiz annotate feature on some of the screenshots in this post. It’s a pretty cool tool if you want to demonstrate software features in a screenshot. It just one of the many practical features of Compiz. Another feature, known as the the Desktop Zoom adds accessibility to people with vision problems. With the mouse scroll wheel and the Windows key I can magnify portions of the screen many times over. I was really pleased to see that Linux Mint has included both the CompizConfig Settings Manager and a smaller, simplified version so that people unfamiliar with Compiz will not be overwhelmed by it’s features. Unfortunately, Ubuntu does not include either of these tools by default. I think it is a shame to hide the tools that configure Compiz. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not just eye candy, it has useful tools that aid accessibility and productivity.

GNOME-DO and GUFW:

GnomeDo Screenshot

Linux Mint has included GNOME-DO in this release. This tool works much like QuickSilver in Macintosh. You type in the first few letters of the application you want and GNOME-DO tries to figure out what it is that you want to do. If it guesses the right application, just hit the enter key and it will run. I found that it usually guessed the right application. I think it saves the user some time using this tool versus finding the application in the menu structure. With the default key bindings, you use the tool by pressing the Windows and space keys.

Mint has also added a GUI Firewall tool to the CD. Gufw is a front-end to Ubuntu’s Uncomplicated Firewall. UFW’s syntax is much easier than using IPTables, but it is a command line only tool and Windows folks are going to be looking for a Norton or McAffee like GUI tool to setup a Firewall. For a home user, who maybe just wants to open up a ssh or vnc port on his computer, Gufw offers a simple UI to do so.

Mint Nanny and Mint Backup:

MintNanny is a simple GUI tool to block children from visiting inappropriate sites. You simply type in the domains that you want blocked and Firefox will not be able to view them. It works by adding an entry to your /etc/hosts file and defines that domain’s IP address as being 0.0.0.0. An experienced user could just edit the hosts file directly, but for novice users this is a simply interface that is easier to use. If you need a blocker with more features, you might want to try something like DansGuardian.

MintBackup is a simple tool for backing up your home directory. You can choose to include hidden paths in the backup. Also, you can exclude directories/files that you don’t want. It saves the tarred .backup file in your home directory for later restoration. It provides a quicker way than using cp and tar commands on the terminal to make a backup.

APTonCD:

APTonCD is an awesome tool if you don’t have access to the Internet all the time. The program can be found at Applications>Administation>APTonCd. It saves all of the packages that you have installed using Synaptic, Apt-get, or Aptitude to CD/DVD. Essentially, it provides you with your own portable repository. This also works wonders if you have several computers and don’t have the bandwidth to pull down the same packages from the Internet for each computer. Personally, I am out on the road often and pulling down packages with the slow bandwidth of WI-FI is not practical. While at home I can make my own repository on DVD using the great bandwidth of my cable modem. I now have a DVD containing all of the software I wanted to add to Mint and the packages I updated using mintUpdate. This way I don’t have to worry about the WI-FI bandwidth limitations while out on the road. This tool would also come in handy if you were changing your ISP and without the Internet for a while.

MintInstall:

Probably the most novel feature of Mint is their software installation tool MintInstall. It give you ratings, reviews and screenshots of the applications in the software manager. It’s kind of like having your own version of Freshmeat on your desktop. On Ubuntu’s Brainstorm adding screenshots to Synaptic or Add/Remove programs has gotten a lot of support.  I find the screenshot idea really useful, particulaly when looking at games I might want to download. A tool like this could use the work from the Debian screenshot project. For those who don’t know, this community project is trying to get screenshots of all of the thousands of Debian packages. They could use more applications and screenshots in MintInstall. When I ran it they only had about 450 applications in there.  I should note one problem that comes with having screenshots included with the software manager. MintInstall took a good 5 minutes to pull down all of the screenshots of the various applications the first time I ran it. However, I don’t find this to be a major problem since once the screenshots were on my system MintInstall opened up right away. I do think, however, that MintInstall could aggravate dial-up users with low bandwidth that might not appreciate the initial startup time. If you decide you don’t like the speed of MintInstall the distribution has Synaptic available for installing packages.

MintUpload:

Imagine a distribution that gives you your own server space to share files with family and friends. Well, that is what the Mint people have included in their software. Free of charge you get 1 GB of server space at linuxmint.com that lasts for two days. You can access the MintUpload service by doing a right click in on the file you want to send and clicking upload. After uploading, just give the person you want to send it to the URL of where it is and they can download it. One of the recent features they have added is the ability to use your own FTP service. So if you have some server space for your Wordpress, Drupal, etc. blog you can use that space to quickly backup files without opening up a FTP client. I tried it out using my own shared hosting account and it worked like a charm. There is a short tutorial on the Linux Mint site if you want to use MintUpload with your own FTP site. You just need to create a text configuration file that has your FTP server name, username, password and path. Put the text file in /etc/linuxmint/mintUpload/services/ and you will have that server choice in the MintUpload dialog box.

Giver:

This is a neat little tool for sharing files and folders on you local network. Basically, you get a pop-up notification when someone wants to send you a file. The sender gets a pop-up when you either accept or reject the file. The user interface is about as simple as you can get. I tried it out on my own LAN between my Q6600 desktop and my Dell Inspiron 1150 notebook an it worked without a hitch. I prefer this setup versus setting up a shared directory on my system using Samba when I just need to send one file or folder to another machine. Hopefully, being that it is a great tool for novices, Ubuntu will include it when Jaunty 9.04 comes out next year. I would also like to see them include the Gufw utility I mentioned earlier. I bet many new Ubuntu users coming from Windows have no idea that ufw exists. Being that it is a command line only program it is no where in the GNOME menu structure. I doubt many users of Windows are even aware that there is such a thing as the command line. This is why I feel for people migrating to Linux the GUI tools are so important.

MintUpdate:

Even though Mint has an Ubuntu base, it does not use the Ubuntu Update Manager to keep packages current. They have their own update manager known as MintUpdate. It has 5 levels of package status. Levels 1 and 2 tell you that the package has been tested and approved by the Linux Mint team. The lower levels 4 and 5 warn you that the package maybe unsafe or even dangerous to your system. This metering system gives you an idea of how much risk is involved with the installation of each package. You can choose to hide the more dangerous levels if you want to maintain a more stable system. They also have included a history of previously installed packages with MintUpdate. So if your system breaks all of a sudden you can try to use this to see which package might be responsible. You can also set up MintUpdate to use a proxy server to update packages if you are stuck behind a Firewall. I think MintUpdate is a real improvement over what is offered in Ubuntu. Hopefully, some of the ideas they have used here will make it into it’s parent distribution.

Eject CD-ROM Bug and Problems with Changing Screen Resolutions:

When I installed Mint 6 I ran into the same bug with udev that I found in  my review of Ubuntu 8.10. If I try and eject a CD using Nautilus the tray opens and closes immediately, leaving me no time to take out the CD. If I eject the CD using the hardware button on the computer I don’t have this problem. The comments in the bug report at Launchpad said it was a problem with the udev device manager. This proved to be the case on my Mint install, because I was able to fix the eject CD problem by upgrading udev using mintUpdate.

I also ran into a little bit of problems when I tried to change screen resolution. When I booted the desktop I was given a 1024×768 resolution. If I tried to change the resolution either going up or down (keeping the same aspect ratio) the screen would not display the bottom menu bar. A good portion of the screen would be cut off at the bottom. Fortunately, It was not hard to fix the problem. I just did a Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to Kill the X session and logged back in. When I got to the desktop again the screen resolution I wanted displayed correctly and I had no further problems. I thought maybe that it was a problem with Compiz so I tried shutting that off and tried changing the resolution again. Bingo, screen did not get cut off so that is where the problem was. You need to shut off Compiz if you want to make screen resolution changes.

Conclusion: Do you want the Appliance Crowd?

IMHO a distribution like Mint is essential if the Linux community wants to move more people from Windows to Linux. The geeks have long ago adopted Linux as their OS of choice. What we need to do now is convert those people who regard their computer as an appliance. Tools like mint4win and having all the codecs working out of the box is necessary for these folks trying out Linux for the first time. I fear anything less will convince them that Linux is shoddy or somehow inferior in quality to Windows. I think the “it works better” arguement has to come before the “it’s free” argument. Otherwise people will buy the Microsoft bull and Windows will continue to garner it’s 90 percent share of the desktop market. As people gain some experience with Linux I think they will come to appreciate the difference between free and proprietary software.

I should note, however, that while Mint includes proprietary software it is far from being a better looking Ubuntu knockoff with Flash and MP3 working right out of the box. They have, as noted above, made a number of real improvements with mintUpload, mintInstall, mintUpdate and mintBackup. I hope some of their ideas reach the ears at Canonical. If you know someone who has lived their life in Windows this is without a doubt the distribution for them.

Gufw Firewall

GUI Ndiswrapper Tool

37 Responses to “Linux Mint 6 Felicia Review : It Must Be Christmas”

  1. Phloid says:

    David, this is the best review for Mint 6 yet, very informatived.
    Thank You !

  2. Jason says:

    This is an excellent review.

    I am running Mint 5, the 64-bit edition, and it runs flawlessly.

    I am certainly looking forward to the 64-bit version 6.

  3. Daeng Bo says:

    Mint is now my preferred install for friends. It looks enough like Windows that I don’t get a bunch of questions. It’s got everything so that they don’t need to install (or learn about installing) anything. It’s Debian so _I_ understand how it works.

  4. Blue Knight says:

    > “Linux Mint has not abandoned those who seek a free distribution.”

    Hmm, The Universal Edition is not exactly for “those who seek a free distribution” but rather for people who live in a *restricted* country or “If you’re a magazine, a reseller or a distributor in Japan or in the USA then choose this edition.” And also “The purpose of the Universal Edition is to bring a localized live system to non-English speaking users of Linux Mint and to facilitate the distribution of Linux Mint in countries where software patents are enforceable. This edition replaces the previously called “Light Edition”.” (quotes from Mint site and blog)

    > “they will assume Linux is “not ready for the desktop” ”

    Yes, Linux is not ready for the desktop yet and maybe unfortunately it never will be… But for reasons other than those which you speak.

    > “It just one of the many practical features of Compiz.” “it’s not just eye candy, it has useful tools that aid accessibility and productivity.”

    I hate the MintMenu, I prefer the classical Gnome menu and two-panels configuration. And Compiz is… hmm an useless crap! Sorry but no, it’s not “productivity”, at the contrary… If you want 3D Desktop, effects, eye-candy… maybe you should buy a game console. (e.g. a Playstation or an X-Box)

    About ufw/Gufw, ok but we already have Firestarter, a front-end for IPTables. It is also very easy, no need for another tool.

    About Mono, I’ll just say that it’s the first thing that I remove after the install (if the distro installs it by default)…

    > “This is why I feel for people migrating to Linux the GUI tools are so important.”

    My god NO! There are already a lot of bloated GUIs *crap* tools, please not again! (but I don’t say that we must not have GUIs) Linux is an alternative to Windows not a Windows clone! They want another Windows… They are going to kill Linux! (if not already done)

    MintBackup and MintUpload are good ideas for newbies or “lazy” geeks. But about MintBackup, there is also SBackup, Simple Backup Suite. It is easy and more powerful than MintBackup (e.g in MintBackup you can not choose the folder for the backups), so had we really need of MintBackup?

    MintUpdate may be a good idea for people who do not know how to cope with a broken system after some updates, but it doesn’t appeal me. About MintInstall there is the “screenshots” issue but what need for it? Synaptic can manage all repositories, even the Mint repos, and it can manage Key files with the package ’software-properties-gtk’ but Mint Team with their MintInstall has created a tool which *kill* the classic utilities: “software-properties-gtk does not work. It contains hard-coded references to Ubuntu and Debian and fails to identify Linux Mint after reading the LSB info. Do not install this package.” (from the Mint site)

    So for packages management they are created a new toy just for “the convenience of the users”. For the Mint Team the users are too stupid to use Synaptic or ‘Add/Remove…’ probably. And I don’t like CNR, PBI (PC-BSD packages) and other stuff like these. Synaptic is really simple, even for newbies, and there are enough packages in the Debian (or Ubuntu) repos. Again why create new tools when there are already other and that they are simple and effective?

    > “it is far from being a better looking Ubuntu knockoff with Flash and MP3 working right out of the box. They have, as noted above, made a number of real improvements with mintUpload, mintInstall, mintUpdate and mintBackup.”

    Just a new wallpaper, Grub splash, theme etc and some tools are not a new distrib… So yes, Mint is just “Ubuntu made easy” but not more than this and it’s possible to customize (and/or “mintified”) Ubuntu or Debian easily… ;-)

    Maybe Clem should develop his tools for everybody and that’s all. There are already too many distribs, many useless, so why another one?

    I don’t say that Mint is a bad distro, at the contrary, or seek to open a flame war but just give my thoughts. Sorry if they are not what the Ubuntu fanboys would like to hear…

    PS.= I use Linux for several/many years now (I have also another computer with Windows XP) so I am not a Windows fanboy seeks/wants to attack the Linux users… ;-) And don’t forget this: Ubuntu is NOT Linux! It’s just a savor of a big ice-cream… lol

    And sorry if my english is not perfect but it’s not my native language.

  5. Mohan says:

    Well I submitted into Ubuntu Brainstrom about adding Giver into 9.04 (http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/16843/). Please upvote it when you get a chance, as I think it’s a wonderful tool.

  6. Steven says:

    For the cd eject issue have you tried adding “noapic” to your grub menu.lst?

  7. Rob Steenwyk says:

    David thanks for the great review of Mint, I had been confused for sometime on why anyone would want to use Mint over Ubuntu, but this article makes that much clearer now. Thanks again.

  8. Jim March says:

    In defense of Compiz, it is VERY useful when you’re running another OS in a virtual machine. You can have the alien OS (WinXP in my case) full-screen and still rotate over to Linux whenever needed. Without Compiz you have to jump the guest OS in and out of fullscreen mode which can make some guest-OS apps behave funky plus it’s a nuisance.

    It’s also “useful” in showing people that Linux is a serious, full-featured OS. Newbies go absolutely gaga over it.

    I did a presentation on voting machine flaws before the Texas state legislature last summer (special committee session just on voting machine issues). Rather than use a presentation program, I just laid out the documents for each vendor’s system on each of five panes worth of pentagonal “cube” and spun the cube from one point to the next. Major case of “hushed intake of breath” and established my “geek cred” without having to go into detail on that. Worked out very well.

  9. David says:

    @Jim March

    Thanks for your comment defending Compiz. I really don’t understand why it gets so much hatred. People have the option of turning it off if they don’t want to use it. Initially, I thought it was just about eye-candy until I heard how the magnify feature has helped people with poor vision problems. Also, the cube effect (as you used in your demo) is a way to make your presentations more eye appealing and less likely to be quickly forgotten. And, by the way, why not have some fun with your desktop? It really brings joy to the kid in me when I use the fire effect on Steve Ballmer YouTube clips. ;)

  10. JINGLETT says:

    Excellent review! Mint takes Ubuntu and makes it work! After your review, I plan to use it.

  11. Clint Brothers (nudepenguin) says:

    This is a great review of Linux Mint, I hope many msft slaves read and make the switch.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @Blue Knight

    Go back to hiding under your geek rock until you can come up with some good points for your arguments instead of just bashing and trolling.

  13. ikkefc3 says:

    It’s not the SLAB menu. It’s the Ubuntu System Panel (USP –> http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=156)

  14. Myke says:

    Great review! I’ve been using Mint 6 since it came out and I love it. I was previously using Ubuntu but Mint gave me the “Christmas Morning” feeling.

    @David

    I think if you did a survey on all of the Compiz haters, you’d probably find that a lot have low-end machines. Naturally, people dislike something when it is out of their reach. An example is all of the Windows people who bash Macs because they can’t afford one but when they do finally use or buy one…they become instant fanboys. Same for Compiz - once haters finally upgrade their computer they realize that the added 3D effects are nice after all. Sure, some people just prefer a streamlined system without any bells and whistles which is perfectly fine. Personally I really like the ‘Scale’ effect. I set my top right corner to initiate the window picker.

  15. NotLookingForAWindozeClone says:

    Jim March, we have had virtual desktops for ages. The annoying cube effect is Compiz-specific, not the concept.

  16. David says:

    @ikkefc3

    Thanks for the correction. I thought Mint was using the Slab menu. I looked at the link you put in your comment. In my defense, the creator of Ubuntu System Panel wrote that he got the idea by looking at the Slab menu. The two look very similar. When I wrote the review I thought the subtle differences were configuration options Mint had tweaked. I changed the post and linked to a tutorial for adding USP to Ubuntu 8.10.

  17. dondiba says:

    hi,
    nice review ; i used windows for 20 years, from the dos3.20 with just 40 commands (in line) and b&w screen 80 columns
    now i use linux, i tried ubuntu and mint 5 before
    mint 6 is better, it is not that i dont know how to install dvdlibcss on ubuntu, it is that after installing many codecs and other plug in, after a while, things dont work, and i am not savy enough to avoid a fresh install
    i like mint 6 all the stuff ‘ready out of the boxe’ but I’m not intented to kill linux, this is ridiculous, this ‘flavor’ is really easier for me but if other people prefer a more raw distro, …i’m just happy to use this one
    thank you Clem and your team, and of course ubuntu team , debian…

  18. Jim March says:

    One compiz tip: make sure you load the full compiz configuration manager (”compizconfig-settings-manager”), go in and enable the crash handler. Set it to do “metacity –replace” (without quotes) in case Compiz pukes and dies. This doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to in Ubuntu, it’s been very stable since 7.7, but I tried Fedora 10 64bit recently and this saved my bacon a lot.

  19. wolfen69 says:

    i personally don’t need a distro to hold my hand or have codecs preinstalled. all that preconfigured stuff is just bloat. why not just cut out the middle man and just use debian. plus, it’s faster than mint. it is strictly a noob distro as far as i’m concerned.

  20. Minet says:

    Great review David.
    Linux Mint is doing great job to brings easy and pleasant OS to the desktops!
    Compiz -btw is the most cool application in Linux OS putting MS OS in the shame in his boring computing!

  21. David says:

    @Jim March

    Thanks Jim. I will give the CCSM crash handler a try. Even though Compiz has not crashed on me in a long time it is good to have a backup just in case.

  22. Bevin says:

    Rather than just quietly use whatever user hostile Linux distro they prefer, some Linux snobs insist on visiting Linux Mint sites and putting down both Linux Mint and Linux Mint users.

    You really have to wonder why.

    No one’s holding a gun to their heads. No one’s forcing them to use Linux Mint. As they themselves know full well, there are scores of different distros to choose from. If they enjoy spending weeks and months configuring their distro using line commands, nobody’s stopping them.

    Ironically, their arrogant mindset is the antithesis of the live and let live Open Source philosophy.

  23. luis says:

    I might change for the look kind of sexy for a Linux distro.

  24. dolphin says:

    Thanks for a great review! I don’t think that anyone is trying to kill Linux, quite on the contrary, the more options there are, the more people use it, the more people contribute to the development, the better it gets… it makes sense to me.

  25. Phil says:

    I really don’t understand some of the hostility shown toward Mint. I’ve been using it for a while now, having moved over from Debian. I’m perfectly capable of playing around with config files and command line applications, but fun though it is, I find it more useful to use my computer to DO things. Some may call it bloat, others will view it as one less thing to fiddle with, enabling them to do something more productive. You can always use the Fluxbox community edition if you want a config file fix. I certainly favour Mint over Ubuntu these days, and I think they should be applauded, as it’s a very nicely polished distro with some nice user friendly features.

  26. Blue Knight says:

    @Phil and other like

    There is no “hostility shown toward Mint”, at least not by me. Read again the end of my post: “I don’t say that Mint is a bad distro, at the contrary”. You see? NOT say, AT THE CONTRARY! I think it’s correct English so, if you don’t understand I can’t nothing for you!

    This is not because me or others doing some criticism that we are against Mint! But this behavior is unfortunately often seen among the Ubuntu(/Mint) fanboys (and also unfortunately sometimes elsewhere in the Open Source, e.g. Arch, FreeBSD…), isn’t it, Anonymous? :-P (and make at least showed courage when you want to try ‘attacking’ someone the next time… put a name)

    So, Mint is NOT a bad distro, it is perhaps “a better Ubuntu”, and the Mint Tools are a good idea even if some are/can be useless, but there are also some stuff and some direction followed by Mint which I don’t like and I don’t agree with them.

    @ Bevin

    > “Ironically, their arrongant mindset is the antithesis of the live and let live open Source philosophy.”

    I’m sorry but it’s exactly the opposite. Like I say above, it’s rather your inability to accept criticism… And “live and let live”? Hmm…

    P.S.= David, your review is good, detailled, Mint Tools are well explained etc Good work man!

  27. DIE says:

    great distro, im impressed with it. i’m looking forward for any improvement on it!

  28. max says:

    Soon I’ll be getting a new computer, which will have XP and Mint installed in dual partitions. I consider my computer to be an appliance, like spanners, to do work with.
    I don’t care about the molecular costruction of the spanners, they only have to be intuitive to use. The same with my computer, I want it to work fully as easily and as soon as possible, out of the box.

    There are millions like me.

    I want Linux to be a Windows clone, I want to be free of Microsoft.

    I have been watching Linux for years, and I will use Mint as my first Linux OS.

  29. galactus says:

    I have used every version of DOS, Windows and many Linux distros. I think Linux Mint is pretty much flawless. If you don’t, who gives a shit? JUST DON’T USE IT! It is really that simple BK and the rest of you fuckwads. I guess the people that invented pencils and paper would have been noobs to you and should have stuck with stone tablets. Give it a rest.

  30. dabby says:

    i personally don’t need a distro to hold my hand or have codecs preinstalled. all that preconfigured stuff is just bloat. why not just cut out the middle man and just use debian. plus, it’s faster than mint. it is strictly a noob distro as far as i’m concerned..

  31. gazza says:

    Well done to Linux Mint for making this work out of the box for newbies, everything works great for me, i am pretty good at windows having done a techie exam…but i struggled with Linux dristos with their package mangers and command lines, getting wireless to work and so on….

    As a newbie to Linux (2weeks) i don’t want to f**K about with codecs, wireless..looking for guides installing just about everything ……i just want the operating system to work which why I’ve choosen Linux mint over Ubuntu, Pclinuxos, Open SUSE, Federo, puppy Linux, kubuntu. freespire which I’ve played with over the last 14 days…

    For me it is not about it being free,but a middle finger up tp Big Coperations like Microsoft trying to control the Markets and their greedy spin offs i can download pirated software for free and have for years.

    Linux Mint in my opinion should be the Linux operating system Choice for Microsoft users wanting to make the switch without being a Linux GEEK!

  32. campamax says:

    Let’s try to express my point of view.
    I am a Linux noob, but I have spents more than a year, from time to time, trying live distros (not having a PC of my own to play with) to learn something about Linux. This way, having distros with codecs not preconfigured was an annoyance. As soon as I tried Mint 4, I decided I liked it a lot: I just felt comfortable with it, whatever that can mean.
    As soon as I got a PC to play with, I installed Mint 5, and my ‘comfortable’ sensation remained: I definitely am among those who like Gnome and like the MintMenu. Initially some utilities (mainly MintInstall) appeared very useful, then gaining some more confidence with the environment (a reinstall after having made something horrible to the system, and then the install of Mint 6) I realized I could easily live without it and just use Synaptic.
    At last, it remains the distro I prefer since it needs no effort to get the work environment as I feel comfortable with.

    Then I got a Samsung NC10 netbook, and the *buntu distros still show some annoying flaws on them, so I tried SuSE - being known as the distro which best recognize the NC10 hardware. Well, now - after some days and effort - my netbook start looking close to what I need to use, but with much more effort than with Mint. This is obviously not necessarily negative (I probably learned somethin more this way), but while I had and have the intention to make my Linux box work mostly for personal pleasure (I like Linux and want to use it for my personal activities the most I can), this is exactly what makes Windows being used by >90% of the PC users. Most of them ar not by far geeks, and are not interested in how a PC work: they want it to work, to use them for they needs. So, what can the Linux community offer them? Distrowatch counts hundreds (!) of active distributions, and with them Linux is used on very few percentage points of the overall PCs all over the world. These >90% of the PC users don’t care a heck whether something is free or not, they want it to work, and I think they are right! And here all the zealots will cover me with shit, I know, but this is what I think: Linux won’t get to the masses because of:
    - poor hardware support (even this is improving somewhat)
    - zealots who think that someone should use something free, even if it is crap (that fortunately is NOT what most often free software is!), instead of something working well but related to the Big Evil Microsoft.

    If we want to keep Linux as a toy for hobyists, this is the way. But if we really want to make Linux a REAL alternative to Windows, distros like Mint are what we need. (Thanks Clem!)

    My 5 cents.
    ___
    MaX

    P.S.
    IMHO, multiple desktop IS a must have feature, Compiz is just a (mostly useless) toy for me. I used it because I like some not eccessive eye candy (cube, woobbling windows, expose, …), but on the NC10 I have to disable it because of some conflicts: I miss it, but I can perfectly live without, with my multiple desktops still alive.

  33. Nick says:

    I think Mint is the way forward. Windows became big by making/stealing user freidnly features and including them in all one place. Mint making their own applications will set them apart - Mint, Suse and Mandriva seem to be the only distros that are not bit-parts of applications and a linux core slapped together. The 3 mentioned distros have taken the time to develop something that makes their distro user friendly and set themselves apart.

  34. Joe says:

    Hello, I would like to say…. Windows Vista is the worst OS I have ever used and after downloading “Windows Se7en” beta, that is (Vista Light) and it sucks too. So heres to the new Mint and Micrap$oft can burn in Hell with all the other (FAT BLOATED) Corporations!! Burn in the lake of fire you Jews!!!….. no, I love jews, just not the rich ones. And for all you Geeks that would like to see users turn from they Evil Micro$oft ways, stop crying about Linux Os being like windows…. Its whats going to get users to switch! Forgive my spelling and stop ripping on those who dont want to spend 3 days on an instal configing all those damn codecs just to get things to work….. Get a Girl friend and unplug for a bit…..damn

  35. Tom says:

    I have tried several distributions of linux over the last few years.. first one I believe was Redhat4something.

    I think the changes and development of Linux has been better and faster than MS.

    So - back to my linux - testing. I have tried a lot.. I have searched a lot - to find a good alternative to MS. It has been a hard time, with a lot of live-cd and install-cd all over the place in periods. :)

    I have now LinuxMint installed in my PC. and for the first time EVER, MS Windows is not my favourite. I normally used to boot WinXP or Win2k to do my normal tasks, and booted linux to please my search-spirit. Today, after using Linux Mint for about 2 months or so, I know that I’m in love..

    I think I have booted XP maybe 10 times at the same period, and I use my computer a lot - several times pr day. My only reason for booting XP is to use Corel Draw, have not found something similar for Linux yet. I use skype - available linux version, and what was a problem before - MSN messenger is now available as aMSN, works like a walk in the park.!

    Tom

  36. Bevin says:

    Linux users who are contemptuous of Mint seem to labor under a peculiar delusion. They seem to think that because user friendly distros such as Mint offend their sensibilities, that they have the right to urge their elimination.

    Linux Mint was not subsidized using their tax dollars. It was created by volunteers, and is offered free to anyone who wants it.

    Anyone who doesn’t want it, doesn’t have to use it, or more importantly, pay for it.

    Don’t like it? Don’t use it! Don’t like it? Don’t donate any money to it!!

    Can Mint bashers wrap them minds around that concept? Or is the idea of diversity and freedom too complex for these self-styled software geniuses to grasp?

  37. Neil says:

    @BlueKnight - I appreciate what you are saying, but despite your claims you are clearly dissing Mint because it is user friendly. You actually say “So for packages management they are created a new toy just for “the convenience of the users”” as if that’s a bad thing! What on earth is an OS for if it isn’t for users? And why is it deemed a bad thing to make it easier to use?

    I’ve been using Ubuntu for a while now and while I didn’t struggle to install the MP3 support I understand completely that people would prefer it to be there already (let’s face it no-one uses Ogg Vorbis). Also, when I setup a Samba share I right-clicked on the folder to share it and all seemed fine. But it didn’t work - I had manually configure the smb.conf flie to get it working. Why should I need to do that? Why can’t I just right-click to share? Can you seriously tell me that it is easier or better to have to alter configuration files to make basic things work?

    I also want my PC to shutdown on certain conditions. A shell script can be written to do this, and it’s a really powerful thing. But writing scripts and editing cron is hardly a simple process. It’s this kind of thing that Linux needs simple UI tools to perform so that people do not have to rely on script writing and file editing.

    After all, you are ignoring the fact that while file editing is very powerful it is also very dangerous. You can easily break things, which wouldn’t be possible with a decent UI interface on top.

    I’m sure Linux will run faster if it’s slimmed down and controlled by a knowledgeable user from the command line but to assume that a GUI doesn’t make things better and easier is just crazy. After all, Windows was the success it was because it made everyone’s life easier.

    Linux has plenty of distros, as you say, and if it is ever to take off then distros like Mint are essential. Though I do agree that the number of them needs to be slimmed down considerably - too much choice can be a bad thing.

    Sorry to waffle but I just find the whole thing where geeks slag off an OS for being easy to use a complete joke.

Leave a Reply