Linux Mint 11 – Is it all just hype?

August 28, 2011 § 4 Comments

I decided a few days ago that I needed to try Linux Mint 11 to see what all the hype is about and to answer the question, is it all just hype? So I installed Mint 11 on my desktop that had been running Kubuntu 11.04 with KDE 4.7. It was a big challenge for Mint 11 as KDE 4.7 has a blistering amount of eye candy, in fact, it’s some of the best geek porn you’ll ever see…I feel like I should be listening to seventies music when I boot my PC.

Ok, back to Mint 11. The installation process went smooth, looks very nice but is basically the Ubuntu installer with a Mint theme. After it finished I rebooted and I have to say I was pretty much blown away by the desktop I saw in front of me. Mint 11 has to be one of the best looking desktops I have seen, yes, ok, it is really just Ubuntu with a custom menu, codecs pre-installed and a theme but, it is one of the best desktop experiences I’ve had on Linux. It is probably the cleanest desktop I’ve ever seen. If you like the look and feel of a traditional desktop then Mint 11 is probably right for you. I’m not sure how long this will last though considering we are living in the age of the touch screen but it is nice to still have the option of a fantastic looking if traditional desktop.

The whole look and feel is extremely addictive for some reason. After using it for a couple of hours I didn’t want to go back and will probably keep Mint 11 on my desktop at least until Ubuntu 11.10 comes out in October. The Mint menu as seen above fits right in with the rest of the desktop in that it is very straight forward and clean looking.

It comes with it’s own version of software center called Software Manager that has a rating system very similar to the Ubuntu Software Center. Some people seem to prefer the Mint rating system, I’m pretty indifferent about it and will leave you make up your own mind. Software installation is very easy and straight forward as you’d expect from a modern Linux system.

The big question remains though, what does the future hold for Linux Mint now that Gnome shell and Unity are here to stay? Well only time will tell, personally I’d like to see them try and keep doing what they’ve been doing and try to keep the traditional desktop alive for another while. In saying that it would be interesting to see what they could do with either Gnome Shell or Unity because they do produce an incredibly beautiful looking desktop experience.

For more info and to get your copy of Linux Mint 11, head over to their official site here: http://www.linuxmint.com/

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