Distro Review: Linux Mint 8

Default Mint Desktop

I’m a bit late with this review I know, but the distro releases have been so thick and fast lately I just couldn’t keep up. Today I’d like to talk to you about Linux Mint 8, AKA Helena. I’ve said this many times before, but the codenames still sound a little tacky to me. The distro itself is anything but tacky though and it’s been one of my firm favourites in the past. How would this release stack up? Well, I’ll tell you…

Vital Stats:
Distro base – Ubuntu (itself based on Debian)
Packaging – .deb (Managed by the mighty Apt)
Linux Kernel – 2.6.31-14-generic
Default Desktop – Gnome 2.28

Installation:

Setting Time Zone

Setting Time Zone

I began by downloading the standard Linux Mint 8 install CD, foregoing the Universal version. For those interested in the differences between the two, the Universal version is actually a much larger download and contains support for a lot more languages. I suppose the name should have made that obvious really, but I always thought there must be more technical differences. Firing up the LiveCD worked like a treat as expected and I was soon loading into a live session, from which I could install the new system. The look of Mint is always very nice and they seem to take a lot of time over the desktop themes, wallpapers and so on. This release is no exception in that department and it looks beautiful. Clicking the install shortcut located on the desktop I wasted no time in getting into business. If you’re new to Linux or just the whole LiveCD model in general, don’t be fooled by the slowness of a live session. This usually bears no real reflection on how the final install will perform on your hardware. It’s just that constantly loading data from a CD is much slower than a hard drive, so don’t panic.

Disk Partitioning

The Mint installer is inherited from Ubuntu 9.10 and they don’t seem to have modified this much, I guess it didn’t need it. The Ubiquity installer is one of my favourites and one area where Ubuntu has really done a lot for the Linux experience. That’s not to say that other distro installers aren’t good, they are. I just think the work on Ubiquity has been a catalyst for overall installer development, which is a good thing. I proceeded through all the usual stages of set up, time zone & localisation, user details etc. I also chose my normal partitioning scheme of 12gb root (/), 4gb swap and remaining 140gb(ish) as /home. It only took a minute or two to configure the installer and I set it on its way. You are now treated to a slideshow during the Mint install, a feature I noticed in Ubuntu Karmic. It’s a nice touch. The install process itself took about 10 minutes all together, and you really couldn’t complain at that. I was then prompted to reboot and remove the disc to boot into the new system.

All in all the installation was quick and painless. I think the Ubiquity installer has to take most of the credit here, but it’s good that the Mint devs realised not to mess about trying to change it. Concentrating instead on other areas of the distro which actually need attention.

FULL INSTALLATION SLIDE SHOW

Customising The Desktop:

My Finished Desktop

Much as I love Mint, there are a few things about the default desktop layout I’m not crazy about. These may be purely personal preferences but I’ve never understood why there’s no workspace switcher on view by default. I’ve speculated before that perhaps this is meant to make the desktop more recognisable to fresh Windows exiles, but being able to use multiple workspaces is something I’ve loved about the many Linux desktop environments I’ve used over the years. Apple even added this feature to OS X themselves quite recently, about 10 years after us. So one of the first things I do with any new Mint install is to modify the desktop configuration. It only takes a few minutes, but I’ll share this process with you now. Firstly I move the bottom toolbar to the top of the screen, making it more like a traditional Gnome set up. That’s simple. I then add a workspace switcher and dock it next to the notification area on the bar. Next I install the Avant Window Navigator and configure that at the bottom of the screen. I’ve skipped a step here which I should point out. Before you can install AWN you need to have working 3D graphics drivers. In my case this involves installing the restricted and evil Nvidia drivers, which is really simple on Mint. The Restricted driver manager prompts you to do this if you have a freedom hating card. With AWN installed I set it to start automatically on login and add all my shortcuts. You can see an example of my finished desktop layout in the screenshots. Mac fans will be quick to point out this looks much more Mac-like and that’s a fair comment, I do like having a dock at the bottom of me screen. As I said, these changes to the default set up are quick and this is the most work I ever have to do with Mint. Codecs, Flash, Java and all the other things you often need for a home desktop are already installed. Adding software yourself is also a simple process. Let’s look at that in more detail.

Who Made Who?

Shoulders Of Giants

Mint is based on Ubuntu Linux and because of that some people have dismissed it as nothing more than Ubuntu with added media codecs, proprietary apps and a green paint job. I’ve long countered that assumption and I believe there’s a lot more to it as a distribution in it’s own right. That fact just gets more and more evident with each new release. Mint benefits from a lot of Ubuntu development of course, but Ubuntu in turn benefits from Debian development, Gnome development and Kernel development if you want to analyse it down to that level. The accusation is a bit unfair. Mint has many custom tools such as the Software Manager, MintUpdate, MintAssistant, MintUpload, MintBackup, MintNanny and more. If you haven’t tried it before that’s worth keeping in mind.

The Software Manager:

The Software Manager

One of the big changes made to Ubuntu with 9.10 was the addition of the Ubuntu Software Centre. I commented at the time that this was oddly reminiscent of the tool developed for Mint a long time ago. Despite some initial hesitation I actually liked the Ubuntu Software Centre very much, so I wondered if Mint would abandon their own Software Manager tool and adopt this new offering. They haven’t, instead they’ve made improvements to their own Software Manager and strengthened it. A big change is the ability to mark and install multiple programs in one action. This was sorely needed and it speeds greatly things up. I also noticed the “featured applications” button and I think this could really help newcomers to the platform. It offers a list of the most commonly installed packages and even some things you might not expect to find in the repositories, such as Skype and Google Earth. I like that it gives you user reviews and a whole wealth of of other information on each application right in the installer. I did find it a little odd that you can’t right-click on items in the list to get up a contextual menu though, perhaps this is just a bug. The Software Manager has come a long way since it first appeared in Mint a couple of years ago and it’s one area where perhaps the pupil has taught the master a lesson, in respect to the Ubuntu/Mint relationship at least. I like both the new Ubuntu tool and the Software Manager in Mint and I’d really like to see them work more collaboratively to produce one really stellar tool, but I won’t hold my breath. People have often asked me why these Mint innovations don’t make their way back upstream into Ubuntu and I can’t explain that. The same question could be asked about the lack of Ubuntu tools making their way back into Debian I suppose. I know they’re working hard but it would be nice to see more collaboration from all parties. One slight downside to the Mint Software Manager is that it doesn’t list all the available packages you could get with Apt-Get or Synaptic. I’ll illustrate this point in the screen shots. Here’s the result when I search for Gwibber in the Software Manager…

Gwibber search in Software Manager

Gwibber search in Synaptic

…but if I open up Synaptic and do the same there it is. This could confuse some new users and it would be good to consolidate. I’m not sure of the exact solution but it wouldn’t seem that hard to me to make Software Manager display all the results of an “apt-cache search” command somewhere. Perhaps they could be colour coded to differentiate, or even put into another panel if that’s easier. It would make a lot more sense to unify the process and could give Mint a real edge. Just a suggestion.

Conclusions:
Ease Of Installation & Use: 5/5
Stability: 5/5
Speed: 4/5
Community & Documentation: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Chromium browser image

Chromium Installed From PPA

I went into Linux Mint 8 with high expectations from previous releases and I wasn’t let down. I like the custom tools they’ve added on top of a solid Ubuntu base, and I’ve said many times this is the best distribution for anyone new to Linux. I see no reason to alter that assertion. This release has added a few little features like the OEM install options and many improvements to the Mint Menu, but it seems to be mostly a consolidation of previous work. There’s nothing wrong with that. For me it gives by far the most complete home desktop experience of any distro out of the box. Everything you could need is here, and if you do want to add something else the Software Manager makes it easy. For more advanced users the benefit of Ubuntu compatibility means you can still add PPAs and get involved in the Ubuntu community if you like. It not a distribution for freedom crusaders though, and if your primary concern is Free Software values I’d advise you to look elsewhere. Perhaps Fedora or something off the FSF approved list would suit those people better.

The Mint Menu in action

Mint Menu

There seems to be a fairly strong community around Mint and this will only be improved by the development of a new website. It’s in the early stages but the idea is to provide a kind of social networking platform for Mint users, where they can post ideas and rate the suggestions of others. I’ll be very interested to see how that develops. The size of the Mint following isn’t close to Ubuntu in sheer numbers at least, but once again the Ubuntu compatibility means that most guides and tutorials will work the same here. I’m a big fan of Mint and I make no secret of that fact, but as always I’ve done my best to assess it fairly and objectively. Some people will disagree with the 5 star rating I’ve given it I’m sure, but it’s as close as I’ve ever seen to distro perfection. For my own taste at least, I find it very comfortable and easy to settle into each time I stop by. It will continue to be the CD I give to people when they come to me and say “what’s this Linux business about then?”. I think that says it all. Truly advanced users and kernel hackers may find something else suits them better, but for the rest of us this is a great option.

Don’t take my word for it, try out Mint for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments. You might think I’m completely wrong and you’re welcome to say so. All I ask is that you do it in a reasonably civilised manner.

YOU CAN GET LINUX MINT 8 HERE

Up next…
Just before Christmas I was fortunate enough to be sent an N900 Linux-based phone from Nokia. It’s my first real smartphone (a fact that shocked many people) and while I can’t compare it to the iPhone or an Android device directly, I would like to give you my assessment of it. The Debian-based Maemo operating system is very interesting, coupled with the fact that you get easy root access and it even runs my own shoddy Python code. Join me for that in the New Year. If you have any suggestions for other things I should look at please feel free to send them to me or leave comment. I’ll see you all back here in 2010 for more adventures…

About Dan

Hi I'm Dan, I'm the nutter who creates the content here and oversees things. You can read more about me on the biog page if you like. Thanks :)
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111 Responses to Distro Review: Linux Mint 8

  1. fox says:

    I like Ubuntu, and had no interest in trying Mint until recently, when it came on a disk in a Linux magazine I bought. The version on that disk is Mint 7 XFCE, and I installed it in a virtual machine on my MacBook Pro. I am very impressed with it, not only by the polish but also with its snappiness. The codecs and Mint-specific tools are nice, too, but I have no complaints with either on Ubuntu. Surprisingly, I had some difficulties playing mp3’s and mp4’s, which worked after I download some additional codecs. However, this may have been a problem with VirtualBox rather than Mint. One other shortcoming of Mint 7 XFCE is the lack of a “Force Quit” miniprogram that can be installed onto the menubar. Although this is a Gnome tool, I seem to recall that Ubuntu running XFCE would install it.

    The polished look of Mint is not something you would put into another distro just by changing the theme and wallpaper – it runs through other programs like openOffice. I can’t say enough for the artist(s) who designed Mint. I’m looking forward to a version 8 XFCE edition when it is released.

    • Dan says:

      @fox – Ubuntu is a great distro and I’ve said that many times. Mint builds on the work of Ubuntu and that has to be acknowledged. I haven’t used the XFCE version yet so can’t really comment on that. I hope the XFCE version of Mint 8 turns out as well as previous releases.

  2. mikeinohio says:

    @ Robert
    You seem to be having a lot of strange problems with Mint 8. Are you sure that the cd you are trying to install from is a good cd? It’s also possible that something went wrong when you downloaded the disk image.

    • Dan says:

      @mikeinohio – That’s a good point, I should have asked that. It sounds like the install CD might have been corrupted in some way. Worth doing an MD5 checksum on the image and ensuring it’s good.

  3. Natasha says:

    I love Linux Mint! I was first introduced to Ubuntu and I just did not like it… I found Mint and it’s so easy to use, but not to a point that you can not change anything. I love mint, and I love that I am finally able to school my boyfriend with my Mint OS.

  4. Pagan says:

    I’ve been running Mint since “Barbara”, I love it. It’s the only distro that pulled me away from Gentoo on my desktop. I’ve converted many from Windows using Mint. Now for my Servers I’m still running Gentoo but for Desktops and Laptops you just can’t get better than Mint. Each release gets better and better with Mint, Clem hs put together a very smooth and polished OS. I don’t like Ubuntu, never have but Clem has taken a “Sows ear” and turned it into a silk purse.

    Anyway you’ve done a good job with the review and have summed up Mint very nicely

    Cheers

  5. Glen says:

    Hi Dan,

    Great write up!

    I’ve been using Linux for the last year, and have now settled on Mint as my fav distro. I was using Ubuntu from version 8.10 (which I found to be excellent), but when they upgraded to 9.04 and then to 9.10, I had all sorts of graphics problems, and as a gamer, that’s not good.

    I went for Mint 7, and was completely delighted to retain most of the key features of Ubuntu, but without the graphics problems! I’ve since moved to Mint 8, and am more than happy with it’s performance. My games run fine too!

    Keep up the good work,

    Glen

  6. Kirk M says:

    Dan – Just a little info for you. The Helena KDE CE should be out within the next few days. They had planned for a New years release but a few show stoppers cropped up which needed to be ironed out. The old “It’s ready when it’s ready” practice (and a good practice it is too).

    This is troublesome for me since I have my regular Mint 8 install running just the way I like it and I’m sore tempted to try the KDE version when it’s released. Such troubles, I tell ya’.

    Also, according to what I’ve read in the Mint forums, Clem will eventually be releasing a new Debian based version of Mint but it may be awhile as he’s the sole developer for the Gnome based versions of Mint and also has his hand in the Community Editions as well.

    This is really the only drawback with ditros like Mint and PCLinuxOS in that there’s basically only one developer that holds things together. So long and healthy life to them I say.

    • Dan says:

      @Kirk – That’s good too hear. I knew there would be a KDE version coming, just wasn’t sure of the date. I totally agree that Clem is doing amazing work with Mint and I wish him all the best for the future. I’ve seen the same with Phillip Newborough and Crunchbang, he basically does 99% of the work in his spare time. It’s amazing what these people can achieve and we all owe them a massive debt. Long live Free Software!

  7. AmblestonDack says:

    Currently running Mint8 Gnome in VirtualBox.

    Mint is an excellent distro and some call it “Ubuntu Done Right”. I have been an Ubuntu user since 5.10 and I have never really strayed from Ubuntu. Last year I was experiencing major issues with Jaunty, which turned out to be a faulty 2GB DIMM and not Jaunty at all, but it gave me a chance to install the 64bit version of Mint. Apart from the annoying fortune cookies (which can be disabled) I had a real blast with Mint, and was amazed at the level of polish and professionalism, but when Karmic came out, I went back, sorry Clem.

    Anyway, nice article Dan and I’m glad I was not the only one to make the default Mint Gnome Desktop look like Gnome by moving the bottom toolbar to the top ;)

  8. Dan says:

    @Ambleston – A lot of people hop around between distros and I obviously do. So I wouldn’t blame you for that. A Gnome bar at the bottom of the screen doesn’t feel right to me, but it only takes a second to fix. That’s the thing I love about Linux, flexibility. Thanks for reading.

  9. Mint is a great antidote to the mess that is multimedia.

    I’d love to see a Debian version of Mint. It’d be a bit lighter on its feet, I figure, compared to the Ubuntu-based build.

  10. Kees L. says:

    Hi Dan,
    I love your podcast and love this review.
    And I love Linux Mint also. I first installed Fedora on a laptop HP 8510p and put Citrix on it for my work. My laptop froze 3 times a day and had to be restarted. Now with Linux Mint it works flawless. And with AWN it looks very good. Only linking to MS-shares works less then Fedora. Thanks for all things you do for the open source world.

    • Dan says:

      @kees – Thanks for the kind words. I don’t think I do that much for the open source world compared to the people really making the software, but I try I suppose. Odd that you say connecting to MS shares is harder in Mint. I’ve always found it works out of the box by just browsing the network in the file manager (nautilus). I don’t do a lot of linking to Windows machines for more than transferring the odd file though. Perhaps if you do more serious stuff it can be a problem and if you’re referring to performance then I can’t compare them much.

  11. privatehuff says:

    @Dan

    Hey I took the plunge and installed mint8 on my laptop. Everything worked out of the box except wireless (hooked up a wire and installed the broadcom driver which fixed that) even the touch screen (this is an hp tablet laptop) and the onboard SD card reader!

    So far so good. The 64-bit warning I think probably comes from them developing their mint additions for a 32 bit platform and recompiling with fingers crossed for the 64 bit version. (that is only speculation, however)

  12. Eric says:

    First, thanks for going to the work of doing the review. I’ve been running Debian for the past few years as my main OS, and based on earlier reviews, I added Mint to one of my partitions in a dual boot system. I’m not an expert on this, and have certainly failed many times in creating dual, tri and quad boot approaches. Using a little knowledge about chainloading, it’s not hard. My experience with operating systems is often different from that of reviewers- and I attribute a lot of this to hardware compatibility issues. For example, I’ve run Vector, Zenwalk, Suse, Mandriva and others successfully, but I’ve never succeeded in getting Fedora or Ubuntu to run on my pc. They always hang partway through the installation. Mint loaded and runs with far fewer tweaks than any other I’ve used. As an example, in Debian, I have to download my own printer driver and install it. Mint identifies it and gets it done with one click (or so). Once installed, it seems to operate generally the same as Debian, with some interface and graphic differences. I use it when I want a more current version of certain software, and I highly recommend it to my friends who don’t want to fool around with the limitless configuration possibilities that you have with Debian.

    • Dan says:

      @Eric – Yep, that’s why I say Mint is the best option for new users to Linux in my opinion, or even people new to computers in general right now. They can progress onto other things as they learn. It’s a great starting point.

  13. Philder says:

    I’ll admit to being one of the cynics who dismissed Mint as little more than rebadged Ubuntu when it first appeared, but I’ve been happy to eat humble pie in that regard. I used to distrohop quite regularly, but have been using Mint since version 5. Draw your own conclusion. I also had no issues other than missing custom artwork when upgrading from 7 to 8, despite some of the more apocalyptic stories regarding the Jaunty > Intrepid update. I really can’t understand the criticisms Mint receives, as it’s supply and demand. Were Mint just a rebadged and repainted Ubuntu, it simply wouldn’t have survived, as many “child” distros have fallen by the wayside over the years. How does Mint differ to things like Vector or Sidux ? They all evidently fill a gap in the Linux landscape, otherwise we’d all just be sat here on Slackware and Debian.

  14. Michael says:

    Thank you for an excellent review and the helpful personal customization tips that I think I will copy from you (sincerest form of flattery you know!).

    I am returning to Linux after a long break where I ran windows to play games and suffered the rest rather than dual boot. Consoles have come a long way and gaming under windows is for me becoming largely irrelevant, thank God. That said, it is time to go Microsoft FREE again and so I first hit distrowatch to get the pulse on Linux and work from there. Since then I’ve read quite a bit about Ubuntu and Mint which are both new since I left. A lot has changed no doubt and for the better it appears. I am excited to be returning.

    While I have worked with Solaris at work and ran Linux dual boot then alone (Red Hat, the mostly SUSE) and consider myself capable of looking up whatever I might need to know and work with whatever software I want to, I don’t want to work at this.

    It’s like a car now. I want to get in, turn the key, and I do not care about how the internal combustion engine works, how to do a brake job, fix a timing belt and more all of which I have done in the past. I just want to get in and drive. It sounds like Mint comes closest to giving me that in the wonderful world of Linux. Hats off to the good folks who bring this to us. I am grateful already!

    I still want to look at SUSE that I used to use before i make the call but I am suspecting from all I read that Mint will more likely deliver the user experience I want today, painless as possible. If I want to work at it, I will do so for an employer who pays me for this. At home I just want to do the usual things and that does not include endless tinkering just to get a video player to play a DVD for me, etc. I want results right now, not after a lot of pain.

    As for the Open Source cycle of upstream development, this can only be seen as a thing of beauty and a small part of the advancement of mankind. How anyone can be critical of kernel->debian->ubuntu->mint is beyond me. Rejoice! I say! Rejoice! Thanks to everyone on every team that gets us to here. Just say NO to whining!

    • Dan says:

      @Michael – If you’ve been away from Linux for a while I think you’ll be amazed how easy Mint is to use. The pain is taken care of and that’s one of the things I like about it so much. OpenSUSE is a nice distro as well but not quite as simple for the end user in my experience. It’s good to have a choice. Good luck and welcome back to Linux :)

  15. Michael says:

    Hi Dan. Thanks very much again for the great reviews and blog here. I have you bookmarked now for future Open Source Adventuring News I can use. You do a wonderful job with the reviews and I actually consulted your overview of SUSE before I tried it myself. I have decided to use Sun’s excellent Virtual Box to run some other distributions just for fun and to see them but Mint 8 won out in my own small bit of Live CD evals and reviews reading easily. In use it is everything I was hoping for as well. I love it!

    Currently I am setting up my desktop to suit myself along with the various apps and games I want to try as I narrow down the set of “keepers” for me. I bothered to create a nice little table in a Google Docs document (I love most things Google) where I listed everything I was using in Windows and Prospective Linux replacements or sometimes same apps in native Linux versions. I am thrilled also at how far gaming in Linux has come. A good deal of what I own can be played in native versions and Mint appears to come with quite a nice collection of fun diversions too. My earliest PC gaming days go back to the PC-XT running MS-DOS and playing early arcade, shooter and RPG games. I still remember late nights at Dragon Systems where I once worked, when DOOM was brand new and four of us stayed late on a conference call (early teamspeak!) killing each other in 4 man multiplayer networked DOOM. Those were the days! So the various shooters will be fun for someone like me to try and I am delighted at id software’s support of Linux where I can play classics like Quake III Arena (still many active servers!), Urban Terror, the much newer Quake Wars: Enemy Territory and more. I can play Neverwinter Nights (the first and better of the two imo) natively I believe. WINE has made amazing progress and now many of my older games are all listed as “platinum” and should for the most part run flawlessly. In the case of older Infinity Engine games such as Baldur’s Gate I & II, Icewind Dale, and Planescape Torment, all are said to run flawlessly. As someone who loves computer and video gaming (can you tell?) I see a great deal more viability for Linux from a gaming enthusiasts perspective now as well. This is great news that will result in me removing all things evil (i.e. Microsoft) from this system sooner than I’d been expecting. I will not need to dual boot for games anymore. What I cannot do in Linux, I can easily find on console almost entirely. Oh, yes!

    Actually, I am going to run a second licensed copy of XP that I own in a VM for rare occasions when something just isn’t going to work in Linux through the fault of its devolopers. A good case in point here is Audible Manager which I use to purchase and move audio books to a Creative Zen Vision M MP3 player. They are all DRM’d and you need their software. At some point I’d like to find an alternative to these guys as it annoys me greatly to have books I pay for shackled with DRM that causes me pain when I simply want convenient use of something I paid for. I will be sure to make my feelings known to them but I do not expect change just for me.

    I think that is the big update on how the transition is moving along so far here at home. Thanks a lot for all the helpful and interesting information you post here. I really enjoy it. Well done!

    One last thing, your desktop makeover is very nice but for newbie’s such as myself the mention of it is like a tease that requires me to go hit google, find the Awn that Mint 8 did not seem to have. I find it odd they offer a configure utility for it but you have to go find it and install it yourself using in my case, instructions from their excellent wiki. A link to those instructions and info on the wiki as a here you go kind of thing would have been nice in that section of your article I think. Then again, it was not rocket science to go seek it out, find it, install it, etc. Perhaps Mint 8 has been spoiling me already such that I whine over trivia? Ha ha!

    I’d like to know where to get the desktop-switcher you have on your Gnome bar. I miss that like many others probably do. I really think Mint should put that back in or at least make it available via a configuration option that is easily found. It is such a handy and useful feature that has as you noted been around for many years. Why remove it and make it difficult to find?

    Lastly, Flash (Google fan here likes and uses You Tube also) does not work in the relatively new Google Chrome without some hoops jumping. This is not a Mint thing but does remind me of old Linux days when there was always some damned thing that did not function right until you walked the hot coals to make it work. Again, Mint comes so close to perfect for initial user experience of Linux that I wish Google was a little more on the ball with this unless the fault lies with Adobe. Thankfully, it works flawlessly out of the box with Firefox and so I guess I will return to old habits of using certain apps for certain things. I like all-in-one simplicity when I can get it and thus the whining about this small point.

    All things considered, I am so impressed and pleased with Linux and the Mint 8 distribution. I have a wireless router coming via UPS later this week and on that day, my again Compaq laptop is going 100% Linux and of course, it will be Linux Mint 8.

    Forgive the long post but I was hoping you find the observations of a returning user in regards to Mint interesting and I did want to ask you about that desktop-switcher as well as thank you again for such nice work here.

  16. Michael says:

    Sorry for being not only long-winded but a dunce as well. I found the Gnome desktop-switcher in of all places, the panel configuration easily accessed with a right click on the panel.

    Nothing like missing something pretty much in your face. Let’s just pretend this didn’t happen and actually I knew but was hoping to make you laugh. That works!

    I love exploring this new Linux. It’s fun to find out!

  17. Dan says:

    @Michael – No problem, these things happen.

  18. Pingback: My favourite Linux podcast. | Open attitude.

  19. rpcutts says:

    Using Mint 8 for the first time today.

    Tried to access shared folder from ubuntu 9.10. Time spent 2 hours. result failure.

    Tried to print from printer attached to ubuntu 9.10. time spent 3 hours. result failure.

    Tried to copy photos from micro sd card. time spent 10 minutes. result sd card did not mount but all the files on the card were helpfully wiped.

    I couldn’t have had more trouble. It’s put my friend off linux for ever I think.

  20. Dan says:

    @rpcutts – That’s a real shame, I’ve not seen any of the problems you mention but that’s hardly a consolation to you. You should report the problems to the Mint devs so they can investigate. I’d be interested too hear more details on this. I’ve shared folders between machines in the house by just right-clicking and they’ve worked. I didn’t do anything special or have any secret knowledge, so I’m not sure what I did differently.

  21. rpcutts says:

    I inserted the sd into my ubuntu box and the files were all visible. So I have no explanation for why it seemed to be empty on other machines/phones.

    I’ll be attempting the network printing again today.

  22. Dan says:

    @rpcutts – If I can help in any way let me know, good luck! The SD card thing could be a couple of problems. 1.) The card is formatted with a file system the other machine can’t read, ext3 on a Windows machine for example. Or 2.) It could be that the files on there have some weird security settings and only the root (or your account) has rights to view and modify them. So the other machine doesn’t show them because it’s hitting a security snag. In which case you’d need to right click on the folders and change the owner/permissions stuff, you can do this on a parent folder and tell it to apply to everything within.

  23. Barry says:

    I have tried at least 15 brands of Linux and by far Mint is the best. I am thrilled with it. Please everybody out there try it!!!

  24. Pablo says:

    A nice review indeed that has prompted me to try Mint (in fact, I’m typing this out of the Live version of Mint).
    My main concern was the MintMenu which I found just too big, but after toying with it a couple of minutes I think I’m becoming rather fond of it :)
    But the one thing that might make me change from Karmik to Mint is Flash: it works!! At last I can close tabs in Firefox without fear of crashing flash on all other tabs!! :) (The RAM footprint also seems smaller than in Karmik)
    So thanks a lot for the review: you might have won another Mint user (Will probably wait for Mint 9 first, though)

    • Dan says:

      @pablo – Glad you’re discovering Mint and liking it. Not sure why the Flash performance would be better as I think it’s the same base package as Ubuntu Karmic. Mint 9 should be out in a few weeks and I’ll be certain to review it. It might be the perfect time to move to Mint. Hope you like it, thanks for reading.

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