Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MMMM Minty with a hint of Cinnamon (Linux Mint 14 review)

Linux Mint has soared in popularity ever since it's introduction. Offering the best of Ubuntu without the negative aspects of Ubuntu. It replaces Unity along with its invasive Amazon product referral feature. Mint keeps the PPA's and packages of Ubuntu. Along with what seems like a rolled back Ubuntu Store. The Linux Mint store has no paid packages unlike the app store that the Ubuntu Store has become. So what does Mint do that Ubuntu could do before Unity? It supports UEFI and EFI. Cinnamon looks a little better. Supports most of the Ubuntu synaptic packages. So it has the best of a modern distro and tries to update and keep alive the Gnome 2 days of Ubuntu. So how is does this Cinnamon thing look? I love the look of Cinnamon, so much so that I installed it as my GUI for Arch. It has a Gnome 2 kinda feel to it, but it is updated. With features like the effects of Gnome Shell; yet it has the practicality of Gnome 2. The file manager Nemo is functional and easy to use. There are also a lot of themes for Cinnamon in case you do not like the stock look. When I am using Mint I like to use the green and soft grey stock theme. The menu presents you with your favorite software and like in Windows 7 a bunch of categories of your software. It is easy to navigate for new users who ventured away from Windows 7. It also provides a functional and fast interface for general desktop use for more experienced Linux users. The best feature out of everything is the ability to alt-tab through windows. A feature sadly lacking in other distros. The usability of Linux Mint comes down to your hardware. Since Cinnamon isn't designed to be a light weight desktop and does require 3D acceleration to work. But unlike some interfaces where resources jump around; in Cinnamon there is more consistent resource use. Some of the criticisms levied against cinnamon is that it is not progressive. I think the Cinnamon team is smart for making gradual slow changes in the interface. I think Cinnamon will continue to evolve and grow as a traditional type interface. The software that is included in Mint has been cited as lacking by Linux User and Developer, but I think the small software selection allows users to make their own decisions on software. The main included apps are Libre Office and Firefox and all the other basics like transmission. But one trip to the software center will have your system loaded up with everything you need. I appreciate the idea of giving the user the opportunity to decide what software they want. It prevents excess software from taking up space. The software center does not have any paid software. The software center the first time I installed Mint 13 was terrible; Wine wouldn't install and it froze and was full of glitches. But they got that fixed and now it works perfectly. Also you sign in under Sudo before you enter the software center; so you don't have to enter your password every time you try to install something. Linux Mint 14 is great release and we can only hope that Mint 15, coming this May continues the legacy. Linux Mint 14 lives up to the line from its splash screen:"From freedom came elegance."

1 comment:

  1. I run Linux Mint 14 with Cinnamon as my main distro on my best laptop. It is a modern operating system for a modern computer.