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Linux Mint 7 has arrived, which means that this very popular distribution has been updated in almost every way.  Just as Linux Mint 6 is based on Ubuntu 8.10, Linux Mint 7’s core is Ubuntu 9.04.  This means that Mint has everything that Ubuntu has and more.  The new notification system, better hardware support, and all of the new releases of our open-source favorites are included in Mint, as well as a few Mint specific applications like mintMenu and mintBackup.

Appearance

Out of the box, Linux Mint is beautiful.  It is what Ubuntu should aim to look like.  The theme is very nice and fits in well with the look of older Mint releases.  The Linux Mint wallpapers are also spectacular, the default being the best in my opinion.  It just screams professional.  Compiz Fusion works fine and can easily be configured with the included CompizConfig Settings Manager.  Mint includes a simple version as well if you, for example, just want the Compiz Cube instead of the Desktop Wall.

Mint's Custom Menu

Mint's Custom Menu

The fonts are the best I have seen on any distro other than Fedora.  They are readable and look great.  The default icon theme is the same as Xubuntu 9.04’s which I personally think is one of the best out there.  Mint comes with GNOME by default.  If you use another desktop environment like KDE, there are community created versions that will soon be upgraded to Mint 7 for you.  There’s even a Fluxbox edition if you want a light desktop.

Applications

Linux Mint 7 comes with the same applications Ubuntu does and a few more as well.  Some applications are modified too.  For example, Thunderbird comes with Lightning and Provider for Google Calendar installed.  It has a few Mint applications like mintBackup which backs up your home directory and mintNanny which blocks domains you don’t want anyone to visit on your computer.  Mint’s version of Add/Remove software is called mintInstall.  It is perfect because it gives you extensive information on the applications, screenshots, and even recommends applications like Opera.

mintInstall in Action

mintInstall in Action

One of Mint’s claims to fame is the included multimedia codecs.  I am not going to go too into detail, but basically, you can play Mp3s and other proprietary codecs without having to install them yourself.  This is great because it doesn’t confuse new users.  All they have to do is import their music collection and they are done.  Other notable applications included with Mint are Gufw, a graphical interface for setting up a firewall, GNOME Do, an application launcher, and Giver, a file sharing program.

What I Like

  • Default look and feel
  • Included Applications
  • Fonts
  • mintInstall
  • Codecs
  • Configuration Tools
  • Features carried over from Ubuntu
  • Funny terminal messages
One of Mint's Odd Jokes That Are Printed Everytime You Open A Terminal

One of Mint's Odd Jokes That Are Printed Everytime You Open A Terminal

What I Don’t Like

  • The Firefox add-on that turns Google searches into Mint’s custom Google search
    • It only does this with searches entered into the Google box in Firefox

Is Mint Worth It?

Mint is a solid distribution and should be downloaded and tried out by any Ubuntu or Debian user.  It is what a Linux distribution should be.  While I will download and try Fedora 11, Mint is really making me question if Fedora’s excellent ext4 support is worth it or not.

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One Comment

  1. Hey this is great. I am using Fedora 11 right now, but this post has definitely made me interested trying Linux Mint on my junk box I keep for trying stuff out. If you still haven’t tested Fedora 11 yet, I think you should.


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