Posts Tagged ‘Mint7’

Linux Mint 7 review

Posted: August 5, 2009 in OS Reviews
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Time for another Linux distro review!  It should come as no surprise that this review is on Linux Mint 7, codenamed Gloria, at least not to anyone who knows me.  I have been quite a fan of Linux Mint, with its ease of use and reputation for being “Ubuntu done right.”  However, with Linux Mint 6 (Felicia) I had grown a bit discontent with the ever-prevalent issues with Wireless Network detection and use.  Additionally, for some odd reason or another, I had problems with some things mounting, such as my cellphone. 

So, now I review Linux Mint 7.  The first thing I noticed upon starting up the Live CD I made (with no problems whatsoever) was that it took a little longer to load than previous versions but not long enough to make me want to scream (i.e. Fedora).  It loaded into a nice, new desktop theme, called Shiki-Mint which is one of the things users anticipate from release to release.  (There is always at least one new theme each release)  Another anticipation of Mint releases is the backgrounds, which are always beautiful and classy to look at, unique and elegant.  This time it was a green background with a very nice new logo pic and ‘raindrops’ on the screen.  It’s simple but a neat effect.  There are also a few new backgrounds..the close up of the fly is kinda icky lol.  There are two “flowery” ones that, despite the fact that I am not the flowery type, I thought they were beautifully done and very nice to look at..I have the dark one as my background even.  This version of Mint also incorporates the Gnome-colors icon theme.

Okay, enough aesthetics.  The first item I check on Mint is the MintMenu.  Very nicely done!  The infamous MintMenu has outdone itself again.  MM can show upon startup either the 3 column menu or the favorites menu first, which is a small section one can use to put his/her favorite applications in (up to 12, I believe.)  There is also a filter for quick searching of the menu (nice!) and one of my favorite items, the uninstall option in the context menu..so glad that made a return in this release.  Also, every item in the MM is supplemented by a comment line, to give more information about what the item is and what it does.  This is amazingly newbie friendly.  In addition, in the favorites section, the Screen Resolution is hanging out, for those who wanted a quick way to get to it.

A new appearance this release is the application titled Computer Janitor.  Apparently this app is supposed to help one by recommending packages that one no longer needs and suggests configuration changes that may be useful.  This would be quite the help for someone who decides not to upgrade to a newer release for a while or for just a cluttered computer.  This is a great idea.  All the usual applications are present, OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Tomboy Notes, GIMP, Rhythmbox and MPlayer.  On a side note, I used to hate Rhythmbox but they have improved VAST amounts since the last release. 

Now for probably the most major change to this release of Linux Mint.  The infamous MintInstall.  Two releases ago, Mint Install consisted of a little window where one could look up a package and do a “one-click” install from the online Software Portal.  It was a nice feature.  Then, in Mint 6, it was changed drastically into a complete user-interface that listed all the applications, installed and available and the option of going to the Software Portal online.  This was a nice feature in theory, but it took just this side of forever to load the information lol.  For this release, the MintInstall is now pretty much its own Package Manager, where the available packages are listed, with the awesome options of clicking on more info and getting a very detailed description about the package and what it does.  There is also a changelog to keep track of changes from one app release to another.  One can also get screenshots (wow!) and install right from the window.  Of course, it’s one app at a time but at least this way one can’t screw it up.  Of course, Synaptic is still there but for newbies, the MintInstall is going to be very much a best friend.

As I stated earlier, the two issues I had when I had Linux Mint 6 were that of Wireless detection, which didn’t detect and a problem with mounting devices, which wouldn’t mount.  The steps I had to take in order to transfer pictures from my Nokia would make a grown man cry.  These were what we in the Linux world call “deal breakers.”  This refers to any issue with a distro that makes a person go get a different distro, usually after swearing vehemently and throwing things.  As soon as I started up Mint 7, I checked my connections..wired right off the bat, and guess what..there are the wireless networks detected right out of the box!! EXCELLENT JOB!  This is exactly what I was hoping to see.  Then, I tried my Nokia and it mounted right up and transferred anything I wanted.  Even better!

The fact of the matter is, for the last couple of months, I have been using Mandriva Linux..being highly unsatisfied with Linux Mint 6.  This was quite strange, as I have used Mint since Mint 4.  But as I said, those two issues were deal-breakers.  After reviewing Linux Mint 7, I have come to the conclusion that Gloria is simply Glorious!  I loved the looks, the performance, the speed is good and everything I need works out of the box.  I give it an A+ overall

...So, congratulations to Clem Lefebvre and the rest of the Mint team; you have successfully lured me back to Linux Mint with this release.  (I just finished installing it about a half hour ago lol)  Of course Mandriva Linux is a great distro but I missed being Minty Fresh!!  So it’s back to being a Mint user for me…Thank you Clem and team!!

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