Linux Mint’s purpose is to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution.
Excerpt From DistroWatch.com:Linux Mint is one of the surprise packages of the past year. Originally launched as a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, it has now developed into one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market – complete with a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface, and a number of different editions. Perhaps most importantly, this is one project where the developers and users are in constant interaction, resulting in dramatic, user-driven improvements with every new release. DistroWatch has spoken to the founder and lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, about the history of the distribution.
Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
- It’s one of the most community driven distributions. You could literally post an idea in the forums today and see it implemented the week after in the “current” release. Of course this has pros and cons and compared to distributions with roadmaps, feature boards and fixed release cycles we miss a lot of structure and potentially a lot of quality, but it allows us to react quickly, implement more innovations and make the whole experience for us and for the users extremely exciting.
- It is a Debian-based distribution and as such it is very solid and it comes with one of the greatest package managers.
- It is compatible with and uses Ubuntu repositories. This gives Linux Mint users access to a huge collection of packages and software.
- It comes with a lot of desktop improvements which make it easier for the user to do common things.
- There is a strong focus on making things work out of the box (WiFi cards drivers in the file system, multimedia support, screen resolution, etc).
Linux Mint does not communicate release dates (unlike Ubuntu). Releases are announced “when ready”, they can be released early when the distribution is ahead of schedule or late when critical bugs are found.
Unlike Ubuntu, the philosophy of the Linux Mint project is compatible with the use of proprietary software. Linux Mint favors Open Source technology but also considers proprietary alternatives, the user experience of the desktop being the main concern with licensing coming second. For instance, most editions of Linux Mint come with Adobe’s Flash plug-in installed by default.
Ubuntu and Linux Mint adopt radically different update strategies. Ubuntu recommends its users to update all packages and to upgrade to newer versions using an APT-based upgrade method. Resulting problems and regressions are regarded as temporary issues that can be fixed by further updates.
In comparison, Linux Mint recommends not to update packages that can affect the stability of the system and recommends the use of its Backup Tool and fresh installations to upgrade computers to newer releases.
Standard programs with Mint 8
- Firefox 3.5.3 (runs a bit slow but is stable)
- Tomboy Notes
- Pidgin IM 2.6.2
- Gimp 2.6.7
- OpenOffice 3.1.1
- Gedit text editor
Additional programs that can be easily installed
- Chrome browser
- Picasa photo library