Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: Linux Mint 9 Isadora

Linux Mint 9 (codenamed Isadora) was released just two days ago, on May 18th. You can read the official ANNOUCEMENT from their site, which explains what the main changes/improvements are, as well as highlighting the most notable new features.

To begin with, I want to stress that Linux Mint 9 is derived from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. As a result, it gets the best from the latest Ubuntu improvements, but also suffers from its shortcomings. This is something to keep in mind before installing Linux Mint 9 and something I have also taken into account when putting together this review. In other words, I won't go into those issues explicitly, but I recommend reading the full LIST OF KNOWN ISSUES, which is part of the Ubuntu 10.04 Release Notes.

The good news is that Isadora makes up for many of Ubuntu's mishaps while keeping the best of its strengths very much alive. Before you start reading the review, though, make sure you are ready for a healthy overdose of GREEN!

INSTALLATION

As was the case in previous Linux Mint releases, the installation wizzard in Linux Mint 9 is almost identical to Ubuntu's. There are some branding adjustments and some application information has been updated where necessary, but no significant changes. As you can imagine, the Ubuntu 10.04 branding colours and logos have been substituted by Mint's, but the overall vibe is certainly similar. This is actually a good thing, for the installation wizzard in Ubuntu 10.04 is one of the best and most informative in the Linux world today.

If you have not seen Ubuntu's installation wizzard for the 10.04 release, you can check out some of the screenshots I included in my REVIEW.

BOOT UP

As expected, the splash screen was not displayed correctly in Linux Mint 9, just like it wasn't in Ubuntu 10.04. This is a known issue with Plymouth installation and can easily be fixed installing certain extra packages.


Something tells me the Linux Mint Logo should be around somewhere...

Other than that cosmetic little issue, the boot process was very fast, certainly benefiting from some fine tuning which was put in place for Ubuntu 10.04.

The login screen is the first of many screens where green is all over the place. I personally find it fresh and appealing, but it could be tedious for some. Fortunately, Linux Mint 9 includes applications to customize the Splash screen, GDM theme as well as the usual appearance settings manager available in GNOME.


I told you to get ready for some green overdose!

DESKTOP

As soon as we get to the desktop, we start to see some of the subtle but important differences between Linux Mint 9 and Ubuntu 10.04. Aside from the default wallpaper, we can see that there is a single panel located at the bottom. The default icons on the desktop include Home and Computer. As you can probably tell, there is a subtle overall MS Windows flavor, which should help new users feel right at home from the start.


The Linux Mint 9 Isadora desktop

One element that I find convenient, specially for anybody who is using Linux for the first time, is the "Welcome" dialog. New users will surely find help and documentation easily with this component. If we add to that that the many customizations already installed (Video and Audio codecs, DVD playback, Flash Player, Droid fonts, etc.), we can see Linux Mint 9 is a great choice for anybody willing to give Linux a spin.


This convenient dialog will surely help new users.

The main character role clearly goes to the Linux Mint menu, though, which is quite a radical departure from the GNOME default one. I personally didn't like it in previous releases, finding it a bit cumbersome and slow, but I must say I loved it this time around.


The Linux Mint 9 menu showing the Favorites section.


The Linux Mint 9 menu showing all Applications.

In fact, one interesting addition in this release is the improvement of the main menu configuration, which includes more options and the ability to tweak the menu opacity. In my opinion, this new feature would have been a nice addition if it was only the background of the menu that got transparent, keeping icons and letters visible. At its current state the whole menu becomes transparent, which makes this feature impractical in my opinion.


Some further configuration for the main menu is now available in Linux Mint 9.

Obviously, this is a not a major miss, considering the configuration available for this main menu is thorough and flexible. From changing the icon displayed to setting up favorites or showing/hiding applications, it's all pretty much in there.

LOOK & FEEL

I was quite disappointed with Ubuntu 10.04 in terms of Look&Feel. In my opinion, and I know this is totally subjective, it lacked the quality I was expecting, specially when a much anticipated branding change was in place. On the other hand, Linux Mint 9 seems to have pulled the right strings and it simply looks better than ever. Instead of pushing for tons of window theme changes or changing the window buttons location, they have kept their signature Shiki theme as default and have concentrated on providing a great and very professional set of wallpapers. I believe this piece was outsourced to a third party and the quality is there.


The wallpapers in Linux Mint 9 are of excellent quality... That's a good looking gnome-terminal!

There is one element that I found lacking in Ubuntu 10.04 and it's also a miss in Linux Mint 9 as well: The default icon set leaves much to be desired. When you browse those gorgeous wallpapers, set up fonts to your liking and open the good looking main menu, you can't help but notice how bad those icons actually look! I did find a solution which seems perfectly fitting: Get the Oxigen Green refit icon theme, which feels custom made and looks awesome. (For those interested, you can download it from GNOME-LOOK.ORG)


A good example of how well Oxygen green fits in Linux Mint.


The home folder also looks good in Oxygen green.

I very much like how Linux Mint 9 looks overall. The screenshots included are using only default wallpapers and window themes, even Droid fonts come pre-installed. The only external customization I added, as already mentioned, was the Oxygen green icon theme. I guess that makes Linux Mint 9 the best Linux distro ever in terms of Look&Feel for me, because I always end up customizing the hell out of everything!

APPLICATIONS

Luckily, the Linux Mint developers kept a cool head and decided to pass on most of the new application choices introduced by Canonical on Ubuntu 10.04. Gwibber makes it into the application catalog, but Empathy is out in favor of Pidgin.


Linux Mint 9 provides a nice catalog of social networking clients.

Thunderbird continues to replace Evolution, as has been the case in previous Linux Mint releases. Unfortunately, because Linux Mint 9 is derived from Ubuntu 10.04, it also suffers from Thunderbird lacking Lightning calendar functionality. I get this issue is being worked out as I type these lines, though. Firefox is the default Internet browser, installed under the latest stable version (3.6.3).


Thunderbird is the default email client in Linux Mint.

The GIMP is in, which should be good news for those who, like me, enjoy having it as part of the default installation. PiTiVi is nowhere to be found.


GIMP made it into Linux Mint 9.

Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint includes the full OpenOffice suite (v3.2.0), which is good for those who do use Base and Draw.


You will find the complete OpenOffice Suite installed in Linux Mint 9.

In terms of security, Linux Mint comes with a firewall interface pre-installed, but as is the case in Ubuntu, the firewall is deactivated by default. Gufw (Graphical Ubuntu Firewall) is extremely simple, allowing end users to enable protection with a single click.


Security duties are handled by Gufw.

SYSTEM APPS

Linux Mint 9 does include some interesting system management applications, some of which I want to show in this section. The disk analyzer is a neat little tool to run quick analysis on the whole or a part of the hard drive.


Linux Mint 9 Disk Analyzer.

The backup tool deserves some special attention. This application has gained momentum and is very solid and simple to use at this stage. I did some quick tests and it worked reliably and quickly. I believe this is a great tool to have around, specially handy if you want to back up your home folder and keep your copies in a network share or some external media.


Ain't that terminal getting too much in the way!?.

Another application I found interesting is the graphical Hardware Analysis tool. This application apparently provides a graphical interface to the lshw command, obviously making it very easy for unexperienced users to get to that information. In fact, I think this tool can be very helpful for troubleshooting hardware problems. It even includes a "Copy to Clipboard" function, which should prove useful when trying to get help from forums or IRC channels.


The Linux Mint 9 Hardware Information tool should help new comers with troubleshooting.

The user administration tool also got a nice new face, which I find simple and clean. Once again, I think this is just another feature which helps positioning Linux Mint 9 as one of the easiest distros out there.


User administration is particularly simple.

SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT

One other area in which Linux Mint departured from Ubuntu's ways is the management of software. Linux Mint has been using a Software Center application for years, which I think is what inspired Ubuntu to do the same. Additionally, Linux Mint uses its own Update Manager, which is docked in the system tray.


Linux Mint 9 Software Center.

When I first tested the Software Center and the Update Manager back in Linux Mint 7, I used to think they were awfully slow. I liked the overall concept, but its performance was terrible when compared to Ubuntu's Software management tools. I am not sure if that was related to the Linux Mint repositories lacking resources or bandwith back then, or if it was related to a design problem, but the good news is that both applications performed very well this time around. It seems that whatever the problem was, it is fixed now.


Searching for packages is simple and quick. Chromium is available from the repositories.

I was glad to see that the Chromium browser made it into the Mint repositories. The search was simple, quickly returning all related packages. I must say this is something Synaptic or the Ubuntu Software Center don't do all that well. You often find yourself getting results which have little or nothing to do with what you were searching for, so it was a nice treat to see my search results were spot on in Mint 9. Drilling down on one of the package entries shows more information, as well as user scores, which I find particularly useful.


The main Chromium package screen with scores from other users.

The Update Manager is also performing well this time around, and now I find that its very simple and clear interface can definitely be put down to good use.


The Linux Mint 9 Update Manager sports a nice and simple interface.

THE FINAL WORD

I personally had my share of issues with Linux Mint in the past. I felt that many of its customizations were actually intrusive. I was so used to configuring Ubuntu to my own taste that Mint's own customizations felt a bit alien. This time around, though, Ubuntu 10.04 has taken such radical twist that Linux Mint 9 feels like the more familiar now. No MeMenu, no window buttons on the left, no push towards social interaction... In short, I have found myself very comfortable using Linux Mint 9. It obviously does include applications such as Gwibber, Pidgin and Thunderbird, it's just that it does not feel like you are supposed to use them.

Being derived from Ubuntu, Linux Mint is always released a few weeks later, guaranteeing that some early bugs get fixed by the time it hits new users. This release is no different and although some of the known Ubuntu 10.04 bugs are still being worked out, Linux Mint 9 feels solid enough from the get go.

Performance is also quite good, as is the application catalog. Ease of use is one of its obvious strengths, but I have also noticed a very strong effort towards making the default Look&Feel convey a good and professional quality to it. A successful effort, I have to say.

All in all, Linux Mint 9 has been a pleasant surprise, probably the best 2010 distro release so far along with PCLinuxOS 2010. I obviously recommend it for anybody trying Linux for the first time, but also for experienced users, who should equally enjoy its great features. If you are an Ubuntu user who wanted to upgrade/install 10.04 but were disappointed with the end result, make sure you give Linux Mint 9 a try.

Thanks for reading and have fun!

58 comments:

  1. I have been trying to install and use Linux as a Windows alternative for the last 14 years. I always felt something was missing. Never used Linux for more than 15 days every year. That was my maximum testing period.

    Your excellent analysis in general reflects my feelings about Linux this year. I recently tried many distributions and I found PCLinuxOS KDE version and now Linux Mint 9 to be the best for any one coming from Windows like me and I intend to keep them for good. Most of the issues I have been complaining about for years have been addressed.

    Good job and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chema un gran análisis como siempre, realista, entusiasta (por el soft libbre) y concienzudo, yo he sido usuario de ubuntu y linux mint, ambas son grandes distribuciones aunque al principio de mi inicio en el mundo linux alrededor de 1 año y 8 meses empece con ubuntu pero me pegue una estrellada con las politicas de ubuntu porque no tenía conexión a internet y no podía sacarle el maximo jugo a mi ubuntu (8.10 en ese entonces, quize instalar plugins manualmente pero, me dio muchos problemas, pasado el tiempo y despues rodar por algún foro me dijeron que si quería algo más acorde a mi situación que probara mandriva o linux mint, especialmente linux mint,no sabía porque...probe los live cd de ambas y me dejo un mal sabor de boca el de mandriva (en ese entoces spring 2009.1 si no estoy mal) ps consumía muchos recursos y se "congelaba" muchas veces, mi equipo es un pentium 4 a 3.00GHz 1Gb en ram y con una tarjeta ATI x1550 de 256Mb, decidí instalar mint 7 y me lleve una agradable sorpresa ya que tenía herramientas suficientes para escapar a los infaltables problemas de windows...pero aquí tenía más cosas infaltables por defecto para un amateur como yo en ese entonces,le cogí mucho aprecio y desde entonces la utilizo no cambie a la 8 pero ya me dejaste más que inquieto y con ganas de testearla versión 9 más aun ahora que tengo internet y puedo hacer un monton de cosas con "mi mentita", gracias por el post, espero me puedas colaborar con las dudas que me puedan surgir tras la instalación de Issadora.

    Pd:Chema en el pasado no pude utilizar ni mi tarjeta de video (ATI radeon x1550 series de 256Mb) y tampoco mi tarjeta de tv Philips TV7135 WDM Video Capture,sabes cuales son los drivers indicados? sabes alguna manera de habilitarlas?

    gracias por tu atención.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice work

    For me the best distributions are
    1. Mandriva (Kde)
    2. Linux Mint (Gnome)
    3. PCLinuxOS (Kde)

    I've installed Linux Mint 9 for a friend yesterday on his new PC COMPAQ HP Presario CQ71-403 (I completely removed Windows). I was very impressed how all works fine

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks all for your very interesting and kind comments. I am glad I can help bringing some new "happy fellas" into the Linux universe!

    @simon: Por supuesto que intentaré ayudarte en lo posible si tuvieras algún problema. En cuanto a los drivers de los componentes que me indicas, te diría que la ATI es posible que esté soportada de forma nativa en Linux Mint 9 o PCLinuxOS 2010. Si no fuera así, Linux Mint 9 dispone de una interfaz visual para NDISWRAPPER. No se si lo has usado alguna vez, pero es una capa de compatibilidad que intenta usar los drivers para Windows directamente.

    Para hacerlo funcionar, usa el CD de instalacion que tenia tu tarjeta ATI y busca una carpeta de drivers. Deberias encontrar un fichero ".inf", que es el que debes pasarle a NDISWRAPPER.

    En mi experiencia esto no siempre funciona, pero creo que es tu mejor opcion si la tarjeta no es reconocida automaticamente.

    Suerte

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just stumbled across your blog via a link on tuxmachines. Having ready many reviews on a number of different distros, I just wanted note, I think this is an excellent review, very insightful. Having just replaced a still fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 on my laptop with Linux Mint 9, my favorite line was definitely:

    "No MeMenu, no window buttons on the left, no push towards social interaction... In short, I have found myself very comfortable using Linux Mint 9"

    Distrowatch really should link to this review from their Linux Mint distribution page. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Sean in New Hampshire, USA

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks like my request for Distrowatch to link to this review was a bit premature as... they apparently already do! That's great!

    Oh and I'd be remiss not to mention, I meant to include this as a really great line from the article:

    "It obviously does include applications such as Gwibber, Pidgin and Thunderbird, it's just that it does not feel like you are supposed to use them"

    I couldn't agree more with your assertion here. How come it feels like Ubuntu is telling me how to organize my day-to-day interactions? And no menu option to revert the button layout?! A user shouldn't have to go into gconf-editor to fix this. Thanks again Chema.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Sean: Thanks for your feedback and supportive comments, I very much appreciate them!!

    Happy to see that my feelings about Ubuntu 10.04 are shared. Hopefully Canonical will listen to all of us and go back to making the right choices from 10.10 onwards.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey que tal es el soporte para otros idiomas (como el español) en Mint 9?

    ReplyDelete
  9. @sam: El soporte es practicamente identico al de Ubuntu, que es excelente.

    Saludos

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Oxygen theme and its refits are excellent. Very complete.

    ReplyDelete
  11. thank you sir for your excellent review on Linux mint. I use o live in the darkness of M$ (Microsoft) for several years until 3 yrs ago i saw the light at the end of the tunnel! none any of my computers are using any more that lousy OS system of M$ but only Ubuntu and mint. i love mint but there is one setback which seems nobody address this setback. It's about upgrading to the next version. if you look at Ubuntu it does the whole upgrading by just clicking the update Manager and so simple and easy to do so.
    why Mint can't do this? would be much easier for the end user and don't have to run the Terminal or download now the whole packages!!! it's very frustrating, however still better than M$...So still need work to be done on Mint and if they want to be more popular.
    UBUNTU it is much more ahead from Mint or any other Linux flavor and that's way is the best out of any Linux crowed
    with my best regards
    Living with Linux

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks all for those nice and positive posts!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Chema,
    I found your review helpful. Have you ever reviewed PulsAudio? I had to return to XP on account of the endless problems with PA. It seems to be one of those things that nobody wants to discuss but I wonder how many people have ahd to give up Linux on account of that wretched system? Any thoughts?

    John

    ReplyDelete
  14. "No MeMenu, no window buttons on the left, no push towards social interaction... In short, I have found myself very comfortable using Linux Mint 9"
    Totally agree :)

    Thanks for great review :)

    PS: After clicking on "social networking clients" picture only the upper part of the image loads (Social.jpg).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Chema,
    Great review.
    I appreciate your thoughtful assessment of Linux Mint 9. I also enjoyed Clems response at the Linux Mint Blog.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @jack: PulseAudio is a bit of a mess, you are right. Linux is all about freedom and sometimes that results in redundant solutions for the same problem. The problem comes when two or more good solutions are widely accepted by many applications. This situation leaves distro makers in a bad position, for how exactly should they go about supporting all available solutions?

    Certain people simply go ahead and remove PulseAudio entirely. It is a bit of a risky thing, but there are good sites out there explaining how to do it in a step by step manner. I will leave that up to you, but in the meantime, here's a good troubleshooting "miniguide" to solve PulseAudio related issues:

    http://www.ubuntugeek.com/fix-for-all-pulseaudio-related-issues.html

    @Tomas: Good catch on that social.jpg picture! Thanks for that, I will try to fix that out!

    @All posts: THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I solved my problems with PA by installing Open Sound instead and haven't regret since: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OpenSound

    ReplyDelete
  18. Also, my old Radeon 9550 running with open drivers instead of proprietary ones does not have any problem with splash screen many others seem to have.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @zicer: That's fine, it seems most issues fall on INTEL chips, nvidia and ATI also involved. Pretty much all my machines are on INTELs, so no wonder I experience it so badly! ;-)

    Check out this article. It is interesting, albeit a bit hard to understand because of the weird English:

    http://www.ubuntugeek.com/ubuntu-10-04-lucid-lynx-and-intel-video-chipsets.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice Mint article but it wasn't in your poll.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hola chema como vas? espero que bn, paso por ak a dejarte una pequeña inquietud acerca de un posible bug en la instalación de mint 9,yo conseguí el iso de la versión Live DVD y cree un una Live usb, en modo live todo va muy bn (incluso no me dió el problema de plymouth veo bn el logo de mint al incio,por ahora lo unico que no me arranco fue el gparted, de resto bn), el problema es que cuando quiero inciar la instalación llego al paso(3) de escoger el idioma del teclado y no sigue la instalación...sabes que puede estar pasando ahí?La usb estaba bn formateada y creé el live con usbnetbootin y con el universal usb installer v 1.5.7 pero el resultado es el mismo yo ya tengo instalado el linux mint 7. mi pc es humilde pero guerrero:
    intel p4 a 3.00Ghz, 1Gb en ram, tarjeta de video Ati x1550 y tarjeta de tv quick tv(phillips WDM video capture 7135). quisiera saber si te puedes conseguir el live DVD de mint (763MB) y tratar de instalarlo en el DD a ver si te pasa lo mismo. si el problema es de la versión Live dvd tendré que conseguir ahora la versión livecd.

    gracias por tu atención

    ReplyDelete
  22. @simon: Vaya, siento que hayas tenido problemas! La verdad es que yo no use el LiveDVD porque ya no me quedaban DVD-R!! ;-)

    Al final cree un LiveUSB usando el USBCreator de Ubuntu y el ISO del LiveDVD. Me funciono perfectamente, la instalacion es muy rapida.

    Yo no creo que haya un bug en la instalacion, por lo que te recomiendo que intentes crear el live usb con usb-creator, que por cierto, esta disponible en los repositorios de Mint. De esa forma deberia funcionarte sin mayor problema.

    Saludos y suerte

    PD: Yo tampoco tenia problemas con Plymouth usando el LiveDVD. Esos problemas me pasan con la instalacion nativa nada mas.

    ReplyDelete
  23. hola chema ps ahora si quede un poco más confundido ya que como soy super inquieto, emulé mint 9 con mi iso del Live DVD y me instalo perfecto ahora me dejo aún más preocupado por que el iso esta bien y no se entoces porque surge el problema, voy a probar con el usb-live creator como me recomiendas a ver que sucede y te comento.

    gracias por tu atención.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great review! One spelling correction though: it's "wizard" not "wizzard"

    ReplyDelete
  25. hola chema paso por acá para comentarte que por fin pude instalar mint 9 con la iso del live DVD y con el universal usb installer v 1.5.7, al principio lo intente con mi memoria kingston de 4Gb y no pude, como por última opción intente en mi memoria pqi de 1Gb y ps ahora ya estoy disfrutando de las delicias de mi mentita,jejeje.

    PD:Ahora que ya lo tengo instalado nativamente me sigue mostrando correctamente el logo de mint en el splash.

    gracias por tu ayuda y proximamente te comentare mis dudas.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Spot on review for a terrific OS! I have been "toying" with Linux since Deb base came on floppies.(Have them Framed) Thanks for pointing out the professionalism that Mint has taken on for the desktop user. This is my first Committed Distro and I am preaching it in the streets!

    ReplyDelete
  27. that's the most informative unbiased assessment of a linux os i have ever read.i had big problems with no installer on mint8.so installed ubuntu within windows.now the installer issue is sorted i cant wait to get my linux live installer dvd.i wanted mint from the out set and now can. thanks to all you nice people out there making it all work.

    ReplyDelete
  28. the most mind blowing OS i have ever come across in my 10 years IT career. Appreciate all work behind this...keep going.....thumbs up!!!

    ASK

    ReplyDelete
  29. @chema

    I know this gonna sound weird (and maybe not the right place to ask) but, is there anyway to replicate that impressive look&feel on Ubuntu?

    I really am not ready to replace my Ubuntu, which is the only linux distro that I use partially but Im impressed with the screenshots.

    Maybe its just about copying some theme elements, wallpapers, etc? Though Im not sure if the application menu could be adapted to ubuntu.

    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for this, but I couldn't see what I should install to correct the problems with the Splash.
    Thanks
    Reg

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi
    Very nice and explanatory review.
    I am a new user, started using Mint9 in Win7 (dual boot). I would like to access the folders saved in Windows in Mint9. How can I do that. Thanks.
    Vaithi

    ReplyDelete
  32. hola chema como vas quería hacerte una consulta...resulta que desde mi mint 9 instale el meta paquete kubuntu desktop y el unico problema que hasta ahora me parece bastante molesto es que cada vez que inicio una sesión con kde me abre en resolución de 1024x768 pero con un refresco 85Hz y ps no me encaja bien luego le cambio la resolución a 1024x768 con un refresco de 75Hz que es la ideal, pero apenas cierro o cambio de sesión a gnome cuando vuelvo a iniciar sesión con kde vuelve a borrarse mi configuración de la pantalla y otra vez la resolución es 1024x768 con un refresco de 85Hz que no es la que necesito.Quiero saber si sabes alguna manera de corregir ese error y poder guardar de manera definitiva mi configuración de 1024x768 con refresco de 75Hz y quería preguntarte tambien si hay alguna manera de poner a funcionar mi tarjeta de tv quick tv(phillips WDM video capture 7135) en gnome o en kde?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for a wonderful review that made me install linux mint on my toshiba laptop.Its been a weel since I am using it.I have been testing linux on 6.04 since.I should say With 10.4 and Linux mint 9 -ready to take upon on windows.But the stability and office suite (which we got so addicted to of that of WIndows)seems to be an issue.Stability-I dual booted Mint 9 and used it for long hours-sometimes chromium got stuck and othertime firefox.I am a casual enthusiast and I had to learn magic key combination of alt+sysrq+REISUB.Earlier versions of linux booted with WUBI installer -without any problem.WUBI failed to install 10.4 and mint properly this time.So went for harddisk installation.
    Problems faced-Observations
    System freezes-atleast one event per session of laptop use.
    2)Software manager freezes.
    3)Blank screen on logging in.
    4)Missing text replacement software(texter for windows)
    5)Onenote equivalent
    6)Ctrl+alt+del or ctrl+alt+esc-doesnot work

    PLUS POINTS
    1)Just works out of the box
    2)Codecs are all installed by default.
    3)Software manager-is good.Saved lot of time (sudo apt-get install kinda typing)

    SO far so good.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice Review... I am going to install Mint 9 soon.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for this review. I'm a Windows slave, been at it since verion 3.1, today I just had a little fit concerning 1) me refusing to pay for "internet security" any longer, thus trying out free antivirus/firewalls and not feeling secure online at all, and 2) getting mad and almost crying since the gdmn "clean cookies and other internet trash files" software not only swept the junk away, but also every icon/shortcut and folder on my desktop - again. So I looked around the net, in a bad mood (issues with the lady as well), I think I looked for reviews about the free firewall and antivirus I'm using now, stumbled upon this mean, lean and green Linux version instead, checked the homepage. Hmm, nice, but then I looked for more info and found THIS site :)

    I will give it a try. Until now I've hated Linux, because I've tried it three times over the years. One couldn't find my mouse, one couldn't find my graphics card and one refused to install. Looks like Linux has gone from crap stuff for propeller heads to something useful these days.

    Again, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi! I´m using Ubuntu since version 7 or something. Your review was just sharp and precise. I´ve changed to Mint 9 just because of the "fat" in Ubuntu 10.04. Mint is just what you need from a simple and yet powerful system.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I've been using Linux for 10+ years, most as the base OS for my LAMP servers. Most of my servers run CentOS (a RHEL clone, if you don't know) - rock solid, far from the bleeding edge, which is exactly what you want for a server.

    On the other hand, I have one machine I use for 'non-server' things, onto which I've installed 7-10 different distros over the years. Without a doubt, I'd say Mint would be an excellent choice to port a newbie from Windows to Linux, with one *huge* caveat (the predictable one). I Namely, if what you use a computer for is primarily 'simple', or 'standalone', and doesn't depend on collaboration with commercial apps, and don't have 'weird' peripheral devices, then rock and roll. So, if you browse, do email, listen to music, watch vids, manage your media, compile 40000 lines of C++ code (whoops...), then Linux is a great platform. But, if (like my better half) you spend most of your day trading files generated by MS Office or Adobe Creative Suite, or very technical graphics applications - then major hassles. ACS is the deal breaker for my better half (and a lot of the people she works with). Yes, I know that you can use gimp for this, or that, but sorry, its not the same. Nor is running it under emulation. You need to be able to read/write native format in big commercial apps in many shops, which is why linux can't get a foothold. So, at home, we have Windows machines.

    At any rate, Mint rocks. Your review confirms. It is very polished, intuitive, and would be a great choice for 'grandma' (my ultimate litmus test) - but for Linux in general (Mint being no exception), if you work in a highly collaborative space, good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for all your support and apologies for the late response!

    @Justin Hanekon: Thanks!
    @nightflyr2112: Appreciate your comments!
    @sunrise54321: Wow, flattering comments. Thanks!
    @Arun: Glad you love it so much, Thanks!
    @hgurol: It should not be that difficult except for the mint menu. The Shiki-Mint themes and icons should be available on the Ubuntu repositories, though.
    @Reg Kennedy: Thank you, and you are right, I haven't posted a fix. There is one, but I didn't bother looking, as I am not that bothered. Good luck!
    @Vaithi: That's quite simple, actually. Click on your "Computer" launcher on the desktop and you should see the Windows partition, unmounted by default. Simply double click on it and that should do it.
    @Simon: Lo siento, pero los problemas que me cuentas son muy especificos de tu configuracion. Solo te recomendaria que si quieres usar KDE, lo hagas con una distro que lo implemente bien, como PCLinuxOS. En cuanto a tu tarjeta TV, solo puedo recomendarte que busques en los foros, es algo muy concreto y yo no la tengo. Suerte!
    @Pavan: Thank you very much!
    @shivkumar.co.cc: Thanks, hope you like it!
    @ChrisG: Please do try Linux Mint 9 or another modern distro, things have evolved!
    @Johnny Canuck: The lack of commercial support for Linux is to blame on software manufacturers, but I agree that in practical terms that doesn't mean much. Having said so, I don't necessarily agree with your analysis. If you are working on a certain professional area that requires very specific apps only available for Windows, then OK, you are right. If on the other hand you want to collaborate with other users using applications that are available in Linux (OpenOffice, GIMP, etc), then the wise move would be to move everybody to open source software (Note that both OO and GIMP, among many other apps are available for both MS windows and Linux).

    ReplyDelete
  39. Going to try out Mint. Downloading the LiveCD now.

    Open Source is the way to go. It's come so far in the past few years, and it just goes to show that the model works. Collaborative effort and community direction of software has produced a quality set of applications, and an Operating System that is top-notch.

    OpenOffice is quality, and it works with all MS Office programs, save for accdb format.

    I personally prefer GIMP over Photoshop, and I had Photoshop before I had ever heard of GIMP. I still have access to PS, but use GIMP because I've been able to do better work with it.

    Blender is a great program, one that competes with AutoDesk products. Some polls conducted in 3D Artist circles even put Blender ahead of 3DS and/or Maya. I've used both, but I'm not much of a 3D artist.

    As far as Web Development, Kompozer is a capable program, but doesn't really match up with Dreamweaver. Yet.

    Audio programs? Rosegarden is a beautiful app, and LMMS is a worthy competitor of FL Studio, in my opinion.

    I mention these programs because it's important to note that Linux, and the open source community, have given us software that rivals retail programs costing hundreds of dollars.

    The question is no longer "Why Linux?", but rather "Why NOT Linux?".

    ReplyDelete
  40. Being a first time user of Linux, I must say that choosing Linux Mint has made my transition from using Windows very simple. From installing a Windows driver for my wireless card, to setting up my email service, and downloading software for my digital camera--everything has worked perfectly. I would recommend Linux Mint to anybody who desires an alternative to Windows.

    I have been trying to get Windows to run on an old IBM A21p laptop, but it was just too slow and too buggy. Desperate for a solution, I tried Linux Mint. It runs smoothly and relatively fast on this machine. Because it works so well and because it has intuitive features, this OS will be my first choice in the future when I refurbish another machine.

    Kudos to the people who developed and made available Linux Mint. They have my thanks and my support.

    ReplyDelete
  41. thank you for Linux Mint 9 Isadora with gnome desktop.
    I have tried many of the linux releases that diden't
    realy satisfy me.
    I am very happy with linux mint 9 I think it puts ms windows to shame.It is an OS that windows users can fall right into with out a lot of training I have used it everyday and with no problems I love the eze of pouting Icons on the desktop.I am using the 64 bet OS. and it is very fast.

    ReplyDelete
  42. All distros are getting better and users are getting dumber. it's a good sign. why linux? its goddamn free.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hola:

    Exelentes tus comentarios, por referencias de un amigo instalé mint 9 en mi notebook, y se vé y siente bien, pero tengo un pequeño problema, al iniciar, digamos que un 50% de las veces no arranca linux, se queda en la presentación, después apago, reinicio y 50% arranca exelente, llega a ser algo engorroso.

    tengo 3 días de que instalé linux y no he bajado las actualizaciones nivel 1 (ninguna en realidad), tienes algún registro de que esto ocurra?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Excellent review !!! LM9 is a huge step ahead of LM8

    I would feel comfortable recommending Linux Mint 9 to a total newbie.... it's THAT simple and solid. I love that it makes my 5 yr old laptop feel new again. =)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Good review. Going to try Mint instead of upgrading Ubuntu straight.
    Still, some will have to stick with MS Windows.
    Gimp is great, but still really no match for Photoshop, for a professional. Missing too much. Also, if you are an architect, forget about Linux until AutoCad finally comes around. We have tried the Open Source alternatives, well, at least you can read AutoDesk files with them.

    ReplyDelete
  46. great review.

    i wanting to know about legality using the dvd version which has vlc, java, flash (and other free software) that are declared free on their websites in which are not actually true if you use it in some countries?!

    can you please enlighten us martin and other expert reading this.

    what are those free application (commonly used) that are free but not in some countries.

    please list down in details based on facts.

    example:
    package name - country should not use
    ---------------------------------------
    package name 1 - country1,country2,..
    package name 2 - country1,country2,..

    my reason is:
    i do not want to install mint (particularly) and other distro to all of my friends and families (most of them travel a lot). then their laptop confiscated or get legal cased because we assumed that this package is free according to their website. other updated link should also be great. although what i know if you don't use it to earn money any software you use you are exempted for legal issue?!

    more power!

    ReplyDelete
  47. @mint: Unfortunately I know very little about that. Each country legislation is purely its own, and constantly evolving.

    What I know is that distros that want to encourage the use of open source software tend to not include any proprietary codec, not even flash. Others, like Mint or PCLinuxOS want the user to get the most right of the bat, so they include those codecs from the get go.

    Now, as far as I understand it, proprietary codecs may be free, as is the case with MP3, Flash, etc. However, they are owned by a private company or individual, which means they are not open to any modifications by either the distro creator, the community or the final user.

    In other words, it's not that it would be illegal to use them, it's simply that using proprietary software keeps Linux locked longer, so the use of open source software is recommended. How seriously you take that recommendation is really up to you, of course.

    That's how I see it, but again, international law is a very tricky business, so I wouldn't want to provide a recommendation that could potentially get you into trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hola gracias por el tuto....
    mi pregunta es la siguiente

    al momento de instalar linux mint en su version 10 Julia
    se instala todo y ya terminando dice cuando usted este listo, ya hice la parte de configuacion de la cuenta la hora y todo...vale aclarar que estoy intentandolo instalar desde una usb...

    ReplyDelete
  49. this is my first attempt at using linux,and i have to say the mint 9 isadora is fantastic,much differant to windows but after a brief run from the cd,ive installed it, my only problem 9and i dont know it thats alinux problem",is my trackball mouse (wired) just freexes every so often for no apparent reason,and im baffled as to why

    ReplyDelete
  50. I had windows Vista on my laptop. I Installed Mint Helena and throwed 200 dollar Microsoft software away...I didn't regret for a second. And now i use Isadora. only because of games or some virtual flash i use windows....XP in virtual box or on my desktop. I am so happy being green.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Great review.
    Still running ubuntu, but tried mint 9 and now also 10. When my system is being cleaned up, for sure Mint will be on it. I love how it perfectly and quickly just runs, right out of the box. Or must i say, cd.

    Mint brings a fresh breeze in OS world. :) brrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  52. Yeah, Linux Mint is a breath of fresh air to the OS world. The way it works is something to be amazed at, since it has the beauty of Mac OS, the eye-candy and user-friendly factor of Windows, and yet it has the freedom of customization of other Linux distros. Other than that, this is fitting for people who wants to do stuff on their own, with the support of the community to back them up, whenever there's something amiss on how they something, for example, the network configuration. At my home in Toronto, I always try my hand at tinkering with the settings of every Linux distro I get my hands on and learning how to solve each problem I encounter, just so I can give something back to the community.

    ReplyDelete
  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Linux Mint is really a great OS!
    For some years I have been flirting with Ubuntu to get rid of my dependency on Windows... but eventually with Isadora I finally kicked Windows out of my life...

    "Why NOT Linux"

    ReplyDelete
  55. Greetings from Linux Mint 9 Isadora user! I LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Very good review :)
    I installed Mint 9 on an old Dell C400 laptop and I am totally pleased-it loaded all the drivers needed except for video - I had to do an extensive search for a driver that would work-- other than that only a few minor bugs with audio at times- I even connect my samsung android phone to it for internet.

    This old laptop runs like a newer one now :)

    ReplyDelete