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Mint

Linux Mint Mint is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. It is primarily developed as a desktop distribution, with a very active and dedicated user community. It is one of the few Ubuntu-based distributions that develops its own administrative tools. It has its roots in Ireland and development, which started in 2006, is led by Clement Lefebvre.

Installation Program and Installation Process: Linux Mint uses the same installation program as Ubuntu Desktop. Unlike Ubuntu, however, it does not have an alternate installer edition. Installation, therefore, follows the same simple steps found on Ubuntu Desktop. The advanced partitioning interface of the installer is shown below.
Advanced Partitioning Tool on Linux Mint

It does not have support for LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, RAID and disk encryption. GRUB 2, the GRand Unified Bootloader version 2, is the boot loader, but the option to password-protect it is not available. The only physical security feature available in the installer is the option to encrypt the home folder, which doesn’t do you much good as far as physical security is concerned. Shown below is the user account setup step of the installation process of the latest edition.
User Setup on Linux Mint Installer

Desktop Environments: The main edition of Linux Mint uses the GNOME desktop environment. Other supported desktop environments are LXDE, KDE and Xfce. Official statements from the development team have been hinting at moving the KDE edition to Linux Mint Debian, the version of Linux Mint based on Debian.

Default Linux Mint 11 desktop. Scroll down for screenshots of other desktop environments.
Linux Mint 11 Desktop

Installed Applications and Software Management: Linux Mint ships with the most common applications that most users will need for their daily computing activities. Multimedia codecs required to make the system work out of the box are installed. Adobe Flash plugin, Java Runtime Environment, libdvdcss2 and related audio and video libraries are installed. Keep in mind that in the CD and OEM editions, these multimedia codecs are not installed.

Debian’s Advanced Packaging Tool (APT), is the software management framework used on Linux Mint, and the most common command line utility is, of course, apt-get. Synaptic Package Manager, and the Software Manager, Mint’s custom graphical package manager, are installed. Below is the main view of the Software Manager.
Linux Mint Software Manager Main View

Single-category view of the Software Manager.
Linux Mint Software Manager Category View

Graphical Administrative Applications: Linux Mint offers some custom graphical administrative applications. On the GNOME edition, you will find them together with stock GNOME management applications in the Control Center (Menu > Control Center). They are also accessible individually from Menu > Preferences, and Menu > Administration. Below is a screenshot of the Control Center in the GNOME edition.
Linux Mint 11 Control Center

On the LXDE edition, the graphical administrative applications are accessible from Menu > Preferences, and Menu > System Tools.

Physical and Network Security Posture: Linux Mint has a very bad physical security posture. And that is because the installer does not support disk encryption and boot loader password protection, two features used to enhance the physical security posture of a system.

On the network security side, Gufw, one of 3 graphical interfaces for managing ufw, the command line frontend for IPTables, is installed but not configured. Shown below is the main interface of Gufw, with the rule addition window inset.
Gufw on Linux Mint 11

Hardware Requirements and Resources: The GNOME edition of Linux Mint will run on 32- and 64-bit Intel-compatible platforms. The LXDE edition is available for 32-bit architectures only. Depending on the desktop environment, minimum disk space required for installation is between 3 GB to 4 GB. Minimum memory requirements for the LXDE edition is 256 MB. Expect performance to be on par with installed memory.

Download links for the latest editions are available here. Support issues may be posted on the official forum and on Questions and Answers.

Recent Reviews and Tutorials: The most recent reviews and tutorials on Linux Mint published on this website are listed below. You may peruse the full list of reviews and tutorials here:

  • GPT disk partitioning guide for Ubuntu 13.10 on a PC with UEFI firmware This article offers a step-by-step guide on how to create GPT partitions on Ubuntu 13.10 on a computer with UEFI firmware. Because Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and use the same installer as its parent distribution, it can also be used to create GPT partitions on Linux Mint 16. Before I started on this ...
  • How to install Ubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 16 on a Btrfs filesystem This tutorial presents a step-by-step guide on how to install Linux Mint 16 and Ubuntu 13.10 on a Btrfs filesystem. Btrfs is CoW (Copy on Write) filesystem with support for features like read-only and writable snapshots, subvolumes, incremental backups, deduplication, and multiple device support. You may view the complete list of features here. The screen shots used ...
  • Manual full disk encryption setup guide for Ubuntu 13.10 & Linux Mint 16 This tutorial presents a step-by-step guide on how to configure full disk encryption manually on Ubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 16. It will also work for any other Ubuntu-based distribution, like Linux Deepin. The point of setting up encrypted partitions manually is so that you can create more than the two default partitions (root and swap) ...
  • Apply the nuke patch to LUKS cryptsetup in Linux Mint 16 and Ubuntu 13.10 This short tutorial shows how to apply the Kali Linux nuke patch to LUKS cryptsetup in Linux Mint 16 and Ubuntu 13.10. From a physical security and privacy-enhancing perspective, the nuke patch to LUKS cryptsetup is the best news from any distribution so far this year. What the nuke patch gives you, is a cryptsetup command ...
  • Linux Mint 16 “Petra” Cinnamon, KDE and MATE review Linux Mint 16, code-named Petra, is the latest edition of the popular desktop edition that is based on Ubuntu Desktop. This edition is different from Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), which is also from the Linux Mint project, but is based on Debian, not Ubuntu. The Linux Mint line of this distribution has support for the ...
  • GRUB Customizer 4 released. Install it on Ubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 16 GRUB Customizer 4.0 has been released. Install it on Ubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 16. GRUB Customizer is a graphical utility for managing GRUB 2, the boot loader used on most Linux distributions. For both experienced and new users, it can come in handy when and if you need to mess with GRUB. It is the ...
  • Linux Mint 16 Petra Cinnamon Desktop screenshot preview Linux Mint 16, code-named Petra, will be the next stable edition of Linux Mint, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. It could be released sometime this month or early next month (December). This distribution’s release track record suggests that Linux Mint 16 will be released less than two weeks from today. And when that happens, ...
  • Cairo-Dock 3.3 released. Install it on Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon Cairo-Dock 3.3, the latest version of the application that provides a dock interface for Free Software desktop environments, has been released. This article highlights some of its new features and also shows how to install it on Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon. Cairo-Dock is a Mac OS X Dock-like application for Linux and BSD distributions that supports ...
  • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review Summary: Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review takes a detailed look at the Cinnamon editions of the latest release of the popular desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. Cinnamon is a new desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team, and is built atop GNOME 3 technologies. Linux Mint 15, the latest edition of the desktop ...
  • How to replace Ufw with Firewalld in Linux Mint 15 Firewalld and Ufw, the Uncomplicated FireWall, are two firewall management applications installed in some of the most popular Linux distributions. Ufw is the default firewall application installed in distributions based on Debian and Ubuntu, while Firewalld is the default in Fedora, where it replaced the old firewall application when Fedora 18 was released. It is ...

Screenshots: More screenshots from the latest edition of Linux Mint.

Linux Mint 11 desktop showing the Applications view of mintMenu.
Linux Mint 11 Desktop mintMenu

Linux Mint 11 desktop showing the Favorites view of mintMenu.
Linux Mint 11 Desktop mintMenu

Default desktop of Linux Mint 11 LXDE.
Linux Mint 11 LXDE Desktop

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