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Linux Mint 5.0 is Simple (in a good way) June 13, 2008

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Firefox, First Impressions, Linux Mint, Other Distros, Recommendation, Reviews, Ubuntu, Wallpapers, Windows, Working with Linux.
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Linux Mint 5.0I finally found time to download and install Linux Mint 5.0 today, and happily wiped my already-feeling-outdated Ubuntu 8.04. The moral of the story is, Linux Mint 5.0 (Elyssa) is not a “rock your world” kind of distro, but it certain is easy to use as promised.

INSTALLATION

The installation procedure of Linux Mint 5.0 was very simple. Just put the CD in and after it loads, then click install and follow instructions. The entire installation procedure took about 35 minutes, which is pretty average and expected from a single-CD distro now a days. Unlike Ubuntu though, I did have to configure the internet connection (but I do think that the Ubuntu automatic internet connection is a bit of an anomaly). I also had some problems though… but that could be partly because of taste.

1. No Media Check option before loading the CD. While CD burning (especially using Linux) is getting pretty stable, I would think a Media Check option (to check whether the CD being used to install is defected or not), would be a standard boot-screen option.

2. Slow response to commands… by this I mean, when I clicked “next”, “next” in the installation screen, often I had to wait for a really long time before the next thing happened. For instance, when I clicked “next” after the Keyboard option, I had to wait for close to 30 seconds to start the partitioner. I think that’s a little too long, don’t you think.

3. No grub edit options, as far as I could see. While Linux Mint could be aimed only at the beginner, I would think allowing the user to select which is his/her default operating system would be a good thing.

4. After installation, Linux Mint logged in with a 800×600 resolution screen. With my previous Ubuntu experience I knew what to do… I logged out… and logged back in… and got my 1024×768 resolution. I don’t know if this is a bug or just something acting up in my computer, but it sure is irritating to do it all the time.

5. Interestingly, the Migrate Assistant (The option that allows you to get your Windows user settings onto Linux) worked in Linux Mint and not in Ubuntu 8.04 (for me). However, the migration was not perfect, missing several key bookmarks and even documents.

LOOK AND FEEL

I liked the Linux Mint look. The black and green look is nice. I especially liked the Login screen (I don’t know why), but the low-down login felt better than the windowesque side-login.

Also, multiple options for wallpapers makes up for the GNOME weakness of not having a direct internet connection to upload wallpapers. Some of the wallpapers are pretty cool.

USER FRIENDLY?

Yes, Linux Mint is simple. So, I like the automatic updates detection (as in Ubuntu). However, when I needed to find Firefox, I had to go all the way through it’s multiple columns. This was harder when I was finding more complex menus such as network connection settings and even screen resolution. I would think beginners would find some things hard to find here.

One Linux Mint feature is really irritating. the default search engine (in Firefox) is a LinuxMint customized Google search. That’s fine, except many of the normal links on the Google page are missing, and I have to actually type http://www.google.com to get the exact searches I need. So far, I haven’t found out how to stop that ‘service’.

Apart from that, I like the user experience of Linux Mint. It’s font rendition is fine, and yes, it did play my DVDs and mp3s out of the box. That’s nice! :)

LinuxMint5

SUMMARY

On the whole, I enjoyed the the entire experience of Linux Mint and I can already see myself using it more than I used Ubuntu. I’m not sure why, but perhaps the overall look and feel matters and Linux Mint looks better than Ubuntu. It also feels easier, partly because it seems quite simple (from installation and usage). Still, some weaknesses remain, but that could be simply a matter of preference. I’m now looking forward to help one of my friends install this onto his system!

Comments»

1. Omega Black - June 13, 2008

Well, Mint 5 Ely is sure nice, cool enough. But I think the part about the resolution seems to be a little problem there. I’m a user of Mint also, tried some changes to the resolution to be my normal one (1280 1024) but with no success…

2. ed - June 13, 2008

The ‘mintified’ google search generates the most part of Mint’s income. Google doesn’t allow us to get a full version with the usual links to other google contents. But they are accessible from the start page.
It is a small price to pay to support the distribution.

3. f - June 13, 2008

@ Omega
if you are using nvidia is very simple:
on a terminal:

sudo nvidia-settings

and then fix the resolution

if not nvidia just edit the xorg

4. Boycott Novell » Links 13/06/2008: Siemens Nearing GNU/Linux, Yahoo and Google Approach Deal - June 14, 2008

[…] Linux Mint 5.0 is Simple (in a good way) […]

5. Anonymous - July 26, 2008

okay so i honestly think that the person who wrote this has 0 linux experience. that’s fine of course.. i don’t want to be condescending or anything. i’m just saying.

wouldn’t it make more sence for someone who actually knows like.. anything ab out linux to be writing reviews about it?

6. Gokhan Ersumer - July 27, 2008

Linux distributions need to reviewed by people who knows nothing about linux much more than by linux gurus. If they intend linux to be used by regular users as desktop operating system they need to know how to provide easy setup procedure, sensible default configuration options, smooth user experience…
When I’m installing an OS, all I want to is installing this damn thing with sensible defaults, please dont ask me about 50 silly options which requiring me sitting front of monitor. I would configure these things after setup when I see fit. Deal ?

7. Rakum Thakuma - September 13, 2008

Gokhan Ersumer,
are you nuts man ? instllation of modern linux is a piece of cake. which distro asked you 50 silly questions ? dont prate man.

8. Green Tech Girl - October 7, 2008

I have recently switched to Linux Mint from Ubuntu. The main difference for me is the MintInstall program, which makes it easy to install .deb files (no need for a command line). The Mint menu is also a bit nicer, and you don’t have to fuss so much with codecs. I needed a restricted driver for my wireless, and Mint not only downloaded it for me but automatically used a cutter to get the firmware setup. WOW.

I still can’t quite get dual monitors to work, but Ubuntu certainly wasn’t any better in that regard.

9. Nathan - September 24, 2009

Thanks – that tip about logging out and back in to get the resolution right just saved me a heap of hassle!


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