Linux Mint Review!

In need of a new UNIX – system on my desktop pc I recently stumbled upon Linux Mint. I previously mostly used Fedora and Ubuntu, but had a bunch of personal problems with Gnome 3 and Unity, since I really liked the simplicity of Gnome 2.

From a design point of view I never really liked Unity and Gnome 3,they tried to do something new, something fresh, but for me that never really felt right. A month ago I therefore tried Linux Mint, which itself is based on Ubuntu and incorporates all the advantages of the widely used Ubuntu – distribution. My first impression of the for Linux Mint 14 heavily advanced Cinnamon – Desktop was very positive. It felt like modernised approach to Gnome 2 (what is exactly the intention behind Cinnamon).

Linux Mint 14 using Cinnamon
Linux Mint 14 using Cinnamon

The desktop works fluidly and feels stable. Pulling the mouse pointer to the top-left corner exposes all running applications and open workspaces. Actually it is hard to find anything about Linux Mint, that doesn’t perfectly fit or work that well. The only issues I had were a few driver issues, but after some tweaking these were easily resolved. The only problem left is, that the nvidia proprietary driver breaks the TTY, but the problem seems to be connected to compatibility issues between the nvidia driver and the newest linux kernel.

On all platforms I am working on I use google’s Chrome browser. Something that annoyed me was that Chrome’s top bar was light blueish and felt kind of alien to the rest of the interface. There was an easy solution though. Somebody with the same dislike create a theme, that makes the browser perfectly fit in with Cinnamon and the Gnome-Shell. You can find the theme here.

After feeling comfortable with Linux Mint I also installed it on my Macbook Pro. On Ubuntu the MBP’s touchpad was constantly triggering Unity’s build in window move and resize gestures and there was no way except recompiling Ubuntu without a few lines of code to get around this issue properly. Since Linux Mint 14 doesn’t provide any build in gestures. It is your choice to install touch gesture libraries and tools (e.g. TouchEgg). All the tweaks for Ubuntu to fix temperature sensors, fan control et cetera work the same way for Linux Mint as well.

Overall I am very satisfied with Linux Mint. It feels just polished. You have the raw power of the Ubuntu packages at your hand!