Thought I’d give it a try!
So.. I thought I’d try the new “easy” Linux for newbies and see what progress has been made to top Ubuntu. Of course.. Linux Mint is so built on Ubuntu that it actually still uses it’s repositories!! Interesting.
It took me all day to get it installed, not because Linux Mint is difficult, in fact the installer itself was extremely simple.. but because I had to rearrange my hard disk several times and resize partitions and stuff to merge 2 partitions I had to one and still save all my data :). It was fun; and no – I didn’t do any of that with Linux Mint’s installer, but I do like the “Live CD” approach Ubuntu and Mint use for this reason.
So anyway, once it was installed I rebooted. Here’s a screenshot:
Overall I think the graphics and pictures are really sharp. They definitely put a lot of effort into the “look” of the Desktop. And it also comes pre-installed with quite a bit, including Firefox, OpenOffice, GIMP, Thunderbird, Xchat, Pidgin.. very nice.
I am not all that sold on the menu.. have a look:
It reminds me a lot of the KDE4 look, which I don’t like. I think all the major Desktops are going to this kind of Menu and I just think it looks cluttered and ugly. 3 columns by default?? It’s a lot like the look Windows took with the Default XP, and continued with Vista’s Aero desktop. I just don’t like it. The very first thing I do on Windows is switch to “classic” mode. But I suppose with it’s popularity it’s doing something right..
So, I played a couple AVI files.. it defaults to using the Totem video player, which IIRC, is the same thing Ubuntu does.. although I don’t know why. Xine and/or Mplayer are better IMHO. Xine wasn’t pre-installed on this, but mplayer is.. I just wish they’d set this as the default player. Plus, I played an MP3 file without having to add or install anything, but it also played in Totem. Play a music file in a Video program?? Why??
It comes with Rhythmbox, while not my favorite player, IS a music player, so again I have to ask.. why?
Wireless did just work out of box.. but that isn’t all that great considering Linux has been able to do wireless with little problems for some time now.
So anyway, my initial thoughts on Linux Mint are that it’s nice and pretty (except for the menu), and seems pretty sleek.. but nothing spectacular. Since it is so heavily tied with the Ubuntu line, and uses Gnome as the desktop, so far it feels completely the same as the Ubuntu I’ve been using for the past couple of years.
If you find yourself asking: “Should I use Ubuntu, or Mint?” My answer would just have to be.. “Yes.”