I am lucky enough to have several computers with which I work and play. Some of my machines are dual-boot with Windows, but all are running a Linux distribution of some flavor. I used to swear by Gentoo, have had periods where I favored Fedora(and other RedHat Linux derivatives like CentOS and Scientific Linux), and have experienced so-so times with Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Slackware over the years. It wasn’t until I acquired a LenovoIdeapad S10 for a pet project I’m working on for my niece that I really thought it worthwhile to evaluate yet another Linux distribution in search of that perfect end-user experience. After literally stumbling upon Linx Mint in my search for optimal configurations for the S10, I am very happy that I gave it a shot as the primary OS on my new toy.
Linux Mint began as an Ubuntu derivative, which itself was a Debianderivative. As far as Ubuntu has come from its Debian roots, so too has Linux Mint expanded well beyond just being a rebranded Ubuntu. DistroWatch.com highlights the benefits of Linux Mint better than I ever could with the following:
- “Originally launched as a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, it has now developed into one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market – complete with a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface, and a number of different editions. Perhaps most importantly, this is one project where the developers and users are in constant interaction, resulting in dramatic, user-driven improvements with every new release”.
The title of this post says a lot. I encountered Linux Mint, read it was related to Ubuntu, and almost took a pass. I’ve tried to like Ubuntu, but have never been able to embrace it with any enthusiasm (maybe it’s the default colors). Aside from having to setup my full-disk-encryption manually (something that is quickly becoming a standard install time option), I’ve had no complaints, and very few annoyances. Shifting to the Debian way of doing things has been very easy, and I am enjoying using Gnome as my window manager for the first time in a decade. Linux with a sprig of mint turns out to be a very good flavor. I can’t wait for the stable release of Linux Mint 7 “Gloria”, which is based on the latest Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”!
Until next time, give Linux Mint a try…you might find a new favorite.