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Linux Mint 9 review

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What about Mint’s not so impressive features?: – There is just a handful of those. Let’s begin with the installer

  1. Installer – With Linux and BSD distributions, it all starts with the installer. I generally prefer Linux distros with installers that gives me access to all the features I know are available (in Linux). Unfortunately, Mint and other distros spawned from Ubuntu comes up short in that regard. The installer is very basic, lacking the features that some consider “advanced,” features I think should be standard on all distributions. You can’t, for example, install an LVM-based system, or configure full disk encryption, or even password-protect GRUB, the boot loader.
  2. mintWelcome – This is the application that welcomes you into the world of a minty-green desktop. While I think it’s a good idea, it is filled with links that not necessarily the most useful for new users.
    mintWelcome
    What would be nice to have on mintWelcome are links to:
    • Enable and configure Gufw, the graphical firewall management tool
    • Configure the system to use NTP, the Network Time Protocol
    • Customize various aspects of the desktop, etc

    Pardus is the one distro with a welcome application that has, in my opinion, the right set of configuration options that a user may use to customize their desktop. A shot of Kaptan, mintWelcome’s equivalent tool on Pardus is shown below.

    Kaptan

    Kaptan is the welcome application and system customizer on Pardus

  3. Software Center – I wrote favorably about the Software Center on Mint 9 in the previous page, but it (the Software Center) has its share of “bugs.” The most obvious is that it does not provide version information about applications. In the image below, for instance, clicking on any application will bring you to another page which has all the information about the applications except for the version number. Even for applications installed on the system, the Software Center does not provide version information. Like the suggestion I made per Ubuntu’s Software Center, I think it would be nice for Mint’s Software Center to have a “Security” category, too.
    Software Center

    Linux Mint's Software Center does not provide version information

  4. Where are the games? – Linux Mint is one of the few (I think it’s probably the only one) distributions that does not ship with the usual set of desktop games. The DVD iso image is only 757 MB, so there’s ample room for a good selection of games. This is not exactly a show stopper, but it’s always nice to have a few games pre-installed.

Recommendations – Linux Mint is one of the most new-user friendly desktop Linux distributions available. If you are looking for a desktop Linux distribution with basic functionalities and that just works right out of the box, it is very highly recommended. If, however, you are in the market for a distro with more advanced features (LVM and RAID support, full disk encryption, etc), then you are better of with a distribution like Mandriva. Looking for even more advanced features like the ability to install to Storage Area Networks, or to storage devices attached to Mainframes, then you wont find any better than Fedora 13 and Sabayon 5.3.

What I’m really looking forward to in the next upgrade (Mint 10), is for the developers to jettison the current installer and bring Anaconda, Fedora’s excellent installation program, aboard. That’s the most important feature the developers of Sabayon incorporated into Sabayon 5.3, the latest release of the Gentoo-based, multi-purpose distribution.

Resources – You may download installation images for Linux Mint 9 from here. You may also subscribe to this site via RSS Feed, or by email.

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23 Comments

  1. David says:

    Finid:

    Nice tutorial you have here ! I’ll pass it on to others.

    Hey, I’m enjoying Mint9 on both my ancient desktop (’02) and my new compaq cq61 laptop – both using the Windows installer option.

    I’m updating the desktop machine, and as part of the installing the software updates it asks if I want to “configure Grub-PC”, which I’m not sure of the answer to. (Isn’t it already installed ? – or not necessary due to the Windows installer usage ?)

    It does have a checkbox for ‘continue without installing Grub-PC’ – what do you advise ?

    Many thanks,

    David Alan
    Windows Refugee, now enjoying Linux (& preaching it far & wide…)

    • finid says:

      I’ve not had to deal with your particular situation. My guess is chose “No,” leaving GRUB as is. Usually when you get options like the one you are presented, it’s best to “Continue without ..” especially if you are not sure what the correct answer might be.

  2. mani says:

    i am already installed linux mint9 but in my laptap is not showing eth0.
    pls help me how to enable eth0 and set ip address

    • finid says:

      If Mint 9 does not auto-configure your laptops NIC, then it must be a driver issue. Can you see an output for eth0 when you type ifconfig -a in a terminal?

  3. bandleader23 says:

    finally. i have it now. i dont know the faults but i kept on trying. i realized that my previous installer is isadora is KDE. i tried to download the gnome 32 bit and it worked. haha. i dont know why but anyway i am learning. maybe soon i will get used to linux mint.. thanks for some pages that helps. and also osgui helps me a lot. i think you all guys are working on linux. truly i can count on you anytime.. now im going to explore linux. maybe if i have question ill post it here again. hehe thanks a lot.

  4. bandleader23 says:

    i’ve already downloaded linux mint 9 kde 32 bit and burned it in dvd but i cant install it. can you help me?

    ( i’ve also downloaded linux mint 8 )

    will it work in my macbook?
    thanks for help

    • bandleader23 says:

      the icon is linux mint 8. haha the ’8′ and ‘)’ formed the icon. sorry…

      • finid says:

        Never mind, that happens to me too. Just fixed it . In the future, a space between the digit and the closing parenthesis takes care of that.

    • finid says:

      Sure can. If the DVD burn was successful, that is, no errors, all you need to do is place it in your computer’s optical drive, and reboot or restart. If it does not reboot into Linux Mint, then you will have to go into the BIOS setup and change the boot device from HDD to CD/DVD. Once that’s done, then you should be able to reboot into Linux Mint.

      I’m not exactly sure if it will work on your Macbook.

      • bandleader23 says:

        yep, thats what i usually do in installing new OS on my PC but when i had my macbook, i’m having trouble with that. haha. now i’m viewing some website about installing linux in macbook. haha, the procedure is kinda different. i’ll post here what will happen, hehehe. it might help some macbook owner who wants to try or use linux..

        thanks for help. God bless

      • bandleader23 says:

        Finally, I’ve already installed Linux mint 9 kde 32 bit on my macbook. but i cant use my wireless LAN. can you help me with this.. thanks and God bless

      • bandleader23 says:

        i did’nt noticed. my drivers were not installed. i am expecting it just like when you install win7 that all drivers were automatically installed using only the OS installation disc. hehehe. where can i download drivers for macbook compatible with linux? thanks

        • finid says:

          Ordinarily, it should work out of the box, if the drivers for it are in the kernel. Since I have no experience with Macs (this former mac addict jumped ship after Mac OS 8.1), the only thing I can tell you is try installing the ndiswrapper package. Search for it in the Software Center, or using Synaptic. ndiswrapper is used to make Windows-only drivers work in Linux. It could help with your Mac, too.

          Keep me posted on your progress. I’ll like to know the outcome.

          Btw, if you have a wireless USB card lying around somewhere, see if it works. From my experience, any of the wireless USB cards are automatically detected and configured.

      • bandleader23 says:

        atlast it worked on my macbook.. but i had a lot of struggles. hahaha. i wanted to use linux mint 9 but the drivers wont work. i tried helena and it worked. i dont know why, is there a wide difference between them? i like wine doors because i can install windows application with it but not really as good as in windows OS. as of now i’m reformat and do it all over again because some problem occurs in my mac. i think its in the disk because i installed linux repeatedly 3 times that causes a lot of partition. hahaha.. i’ll post more in my progress.. God bless

      • bandleader23 says:

        just an update. im using linux mint 9 isadora 64-bit gnome now and it is working perfectly. though i’m still exploring it and studying some application. it is great. im using it with my white macbook. i used rEFIt so that i can choose mac os x or linux mint. (im free from windows now. haha)

        i also tried it on sony vios laptop but the effects doesnt work. also in hp mini. i wonder why? i tried it it my desktop and its been great.. soon im going to try it on a pentium 3 desktop. i hope it works. hahaha..

        maybe some advices and recomendations are great. nice to see this page. thanks and God bless…

        (it might encourage somebody to read this thats why i post this.)

  5. blabla says:

    just a little thing – iirc the ubuntu/mint installer allows one of the things you missed even though it is only the smallest one: grub password protection. I think it’s hidden behind some “options” or “advanced” button somewhere wchich lets you choose where to install grub and st a pw if you like…..

    • finid says:

      Actually, the “Advanced” button, which is on step 7 of the installation process, brings up a window that allows you to chose where to install GRUB. It has no facility for setting a GRUB password.

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