Linux Mint Review

Posted: June 5, 2010 in Demystify Linux

I fell in love with Linux after using Ubuntu 7.10. It felt it was much better to use than other Linuxes out there. I just wanted to try it  out just because it was  free and not because I was addicted to the open source philosophy(I hadn’t hear about that yet) or because I hated Microsoft’s monopolistic practices (I mean why should I care? I would have loved to get a job there anyway.)

When I became used to Ubuntu I naturally began to notice its flaws or what seemed like flaws to me. First of all I didnt like its default theme or colour. Brown was  my most unfavourite colour! Of course I could change that after a little tweaks and it would never resemble the initial version. But still it was a flaw to me.

I couldn’t play any mp3 files or videos immediately or browse Youtube either because the media codecs had to be downloaded separately as Ubuntu was distributed by the Canonical Corporation and there are legal issues for doing that. The Eye Candy of Ubuntu  like the Cube effects was to difficult to setup initially as the Compiz settings manager had to be downloaded separately. I tried other distros but I always seemed to fall-back to Ubuntu even though they were better looking because I was more used to it.

Thats when I started  hearing about Linux Mint.  Its yet another Linux distro and a pretty new one, you might say its ‘The new kid on the block’. The good thing about Linux Mint or Mint is that it is based on Ubuntu, so it has all the good aspects of Ubuntu. The developers just took the Ubuntu system and remastered it according to their taste and it seems they have done a pretty good job. To put it simple they just took Ubuntu and smoothened the rough edges.

Now the first area where Mint overtakes Ubuntu is in the naming convention used. I don’t mean to offend anyone but the name Mint is a much better name than Ubuntu(Strictly personal opinion)! The second one is the looks. Mint looks way cooler than the former. It has a default green theme to it compared to Ubuntu’s brown. There  is  a wider selection of  default wallpapers  to choose from which are not at all bad looking. The compiz settings manager is installed by default and there is even a Simple compiz configuration manger for those who are new and who wish to try Linux just for trying out  the cool desktop cube videos in Youtube.

Mint also has a start menu similar to Windows and a a start button which will help users that are more familiar with Windows. All these things can be done in Ubuntu also and we should not forget the fact that it is Ubuntu running behind all the eyecandy.

The best thing like about Mint is that I can install  it on a HDD and then put  all my mp3 files on it and it will play immediately without me having to do any  extra work. I can browse any website with flash content and those that use Java with my eyes closed as the codecs are provided along with it immediately  after installation or from the live cd. Post installation work is greatly reduced!

Mint in all its glory

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